Okay, let's see:
edited 18th Jun '12 2:45:40 AM by MattII
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Fell out of use in the 18th century as grenades basically became useless due to other military advancesAnd then re-emerged with a vengeance in the First World War and has since been an essential part of the modern military.
Endless Conflict: Every war ends in time, even supposedly this one.
@ Matt II I would suggest you look up Swedish pikemen, the answer to the Polish Hussar. There's several factors concerning the continued prolonged use of pikes in the Swedish Empire:
edited 18th Jun '12 3:24:54 PM by breadloaf
I would suggest you look up Swedish pikemen, the answer to the Polish Hussar.They would, however, have gotten eaten by Western European cannons.
I was outlining how you'd use each type of troop.Against Arquebusiers and early cannons (ie, gunpowder weapons of the 15th and 16th centuries) though, pikes are still reasonably efficient.
I'm not sure where I suggested they do single-file firing, but if I did then I did not mean that. I thought I said that the more "linear" their formation the better.Ah, my apologies. Still, I wouldn't consider 12 ranks deep exactly linear.
I thought that this story does not take place that far into the tech line?Brown Bess musket was still around in the Napoleonic wars, despite the design being almost a century old. Also, who's saying the gunpowder weapons in this world went as in ours, a really far-sighted monarchy could probably push development somewhat faster than it got pushed in this world. Breech-loading weapons were around in the 16th (14th century if you count swivel guns) century for instance (Henry VIII had one he used for hunting), so it's far from impossible that a forward looking king and a sufficiently powerful economic base could give an almost American Civil War level of technology in an era when others are still experimenting with shot and pike formations.
Well our troops used to be way more than 12 ranks deep, so relatively speaking, it's quite linear. :P I'm not entirely sure about the cannon part. The Eastern European cannons were just as large and strong but the problem was that their armies tended toward the smaller, elite and more heavily armoured. It allowed them to field expensive units that the Western European countries would never do so, in favour of larger quantities of cheaper gunpowder units. It was an issue that armies in the east had with cannons where cavalry rushes would come in, force them into clumps and then they'd get chewed by cannon fire. That was actually the tactic. So it's not so much "imagine they would get chewed by cannon fire", that's actually what they tried to do! So, looking up the exact time frame for the grenadiers, they were most relevant from 17th to 19th century. Up to the author to decide whether that fits or not.
Hm, wikipedia states that grenadier use (wherein grenadiers actually throw grenades) declined markedly in the 18th century to the point at which they became merely elite troopers, not actually specially armed ones.
Sounds about right. Gun improvements over the same time would have made throwing grenades pretty suicidal. Then we're back to grenades now. Is that irony?
No, grenades will always be useful in tight situations (like cities), but they're still worthless on an open battlefield.
I wouldn't say that. If you speak with soldiers, they use grenades all the time because it's very rare to ever be in a super wide open nothing battlefield. There'll be small barriers and ditches everywhere. Because I mean, if there weren't you'd be riddled with bullets at 600-800 metres anyway. Or maybe the more correct thing to say is, we normally don't have soldiers get into those situations because they try to move from cover to cover.
edited 19th Jun '12 1:22:50 PM by breadloaf
I wouldn't say that. If you speak with soldiers, they use grenades all the time because it's very rare to ever be in a super wide open nothing battlefield.Yeah, but the last time the US fought a conventional war was in 2003, and before than I think was in 1991, and they were mostly curb-stomps. And that's getting away from the point. IMO give the Shangri-La rockets and arquebuses if you like, but make the Zanj basically a loose tribal confederation, because it will make it a real bugger to control.
Well, let's hope we don't have to find out what it'd be like in the 21st century.
there's other ideas to consider as well, like catapult launched shrapnel bombs (presuming that they can't make decent cannons, or can't build strong enough shells), and rocket arrows.
edited 19th Jun '12 9:08:12 PM by MattII
Firework-like weapons have been around fairly long, does our no-gunpowder army just have no gunpowder at all?
Well if you have trouble refining saltpeter and/or don't have reliable sources of sulphur then you may not have more than firecrackers.
Jungle climates are bad news to any culture that is not used to it. China, historically, has done a lot of mucking around in Southeast asia in premodern times, and it's always been a colossal mess. Also, China (with gunpowder) was conquered by the Mongols who didn't necessarily start out with gunpowder.
Well... by the time China got conquered by Mongolia there was gunpowder everywhere.
Raven WilderIt's highly unlikely the Shangri-Lese will be the only ones with guns. If nothing else, once the war starts, Zanjans will start taking guns from dead/captured Shangri-Lese soldiers, start training their soldiers to use them, and start learning how to make guns of their own. If they're technologically advanced enough to make steel weapons, then they can probably make guns.
"It takes an idiot to do cool things, that's why it's cool" - Haruhara Haruko
Historically, the gunpowder weapon that first made an impact on the battlefield was not the infantryman's gun. It was artillery. Cannons, rockets, bombs, lobbed explosives. All things that made a big boom and didn't need a lot of finess to decimate a lot of enemies. (And blow up structures)
edited 6th Aug '12 10:09:01 PM by Natasel
In many ways the first infantry firearms were just an enhanced crossbow. Easy to use, slow to prepare, and deadly at a distance. The biggest issues are A. grape shot and B. the ability to knockdown castle walls efficiently. Joan of Arc actually used early cannons, bombards I believe, to capture forts in record time. You can counter cannons with long- or crossbows but it's risky. You can retaliate with catapults but the cannons have a flatter trajectory so they don't have to adjust for range as much as a catapult. You're also going to find yourself outranged.
Okay so re-reading the OP, he indicates that the gunpowder tech is at "musket and rocket" level. This is right in the middle of the Swedish Pikemen versus Polish Hussar time period. Guns, cannons and rockets existed, and having more muskets didn't necessarily win you any wars. The problem of heavy cavalry was too extreme for muskets to be that useful. So this is roughly I think 16th (maybe 17th?) to 18th century. So plenty of gunpowder weapons, even some rifles, definitely have rockets, grenades and very good cannons (most armies at the time had some number of field guns).
Canister shot would have been nasty though, at close range.
Couple things. Plate armour is not bullet proof. It is resistant. The closer they are to the firer the more likely they are to have a shot go through and kill them. The plate would stop the pistol bullets on the chest. You get hit elsewhere you might not be so lucky. Considering the typical means for firing was massed volleys there is a good chance of getting wounded or killed. The more powerful musket could punch through the armour at about 20yds. The Curiass could turn a hit from a shot if it struck the armor in the oblique. But a dead on hit had a high chance of going through or knocking the poor sod off his horse. Guns provided a huge advantage and the light calvary started using the carocle tactic to pour fire on enemy formations in the hopes of softening up the infantry pike and musket formations to permit the lancers to charge. Grenades never dissappeared from the battlefields. They saw use starting in the 17th century in Europe and never were completely abandoned. Hell there is a good chance they existed in China much ealier then that. They saw use in the Glorius Revolution in 1688. At the start of WWI no one except the Germans had large stocks of grenades. The British and French had some but not enough for a full blown war. There were even primitive impact grenades in the American Civil war as well as the more traditional varieties.
edited 7th Aug '12 5:37:28 PM by TuefelHundenIV
No, the other one.Knocking someone off his horse? There's not that much force in a bullet, or whatever ammunition they did use... Well, caught off-guard, you don't need more than a surprise, if you're not good at keeping your balance on a horse.
edited 7th Aug '12 6:13:44 PM by AnotherDuck
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However, a grenade is limited by factors like throw distance (especially compared to guns and the like, or even bows), unless you are in a situation where the battlefield isn't a big open plain.
The grenades of the time were typically thrown at a formation or used against fortifications. They are nothing like a modern grenade. They give us the iconic black iron sphere with a fuse you see in cartoons. The British Grenadiers became famous as assault troops for atacking fortifications and entrenched enemies. There were even primitive grenade launchers called hand mortars but they were so unsafe they never really saw much use.
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