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Hoplite combat

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I'm surprised there isn't any how to fight like a viking, knight, samurai etc threads yet, so here is the hoplite thread

I am a fan of ancient Greek combat, and a big fan of Alexander the great. I know that the Macedonian foot champions didn't use the tradition hoplite phalanx, but it is hard to build and transport 16 foot spears so I use more traditional hoplite equipment. I guess I want to know how to fight like a hoplite. I know they fought in a phalanx, most probably trained pankration, there is a lot of materiel on that, but there are still a lot of questions to be answers.

Getting good at wrestling is easy, there is crazy amounts of info on it. if you watch the javelin and shield tournaments you can see why grappling was very important to the Greeks. (thanks Konradr)

I admit right now I am no expert with a spear and shield, but this is what I gathered so far. Any advise from other spear and shield users (don't just make **** up) would be greatly appreciated. Right now I believe being good at spear and shield has a lot to do with conditioning.

1. what length do you use?
I use a spear around 7 foot. I found the way I hold a spear I lose about a 1.5-2 feet in length. This gives me 5-5.5 foot of what I am going to call net range.

2. How do you hold your spear?

that is how I hold mine in more dense formations. I like using my shield to help aim my spear.

how I hold my spear in less dense skirmishes.

3. Learning curve, how do you improve your power and accuracy?
I know for me, I didn't just pick up a 7' spear and it feel natural like a sword and shield. First time I fought single green I couldn't hit hard enough for anything to be legit, and my accuracy sucked. My muscle endurance still fails me with single handed spear, but it is much better when I first started. I think a lot of using a spear and shield is conditioning.

4. fighting against armor?
I try to take out uncovered pieces of the body, with a big shield in front of you, you will have a decent amount of time to set up and aim your shot in a line fight.. If the person is covered in armor I just blast them really hard, and make them want to take death.

Sword and shield

There isn't much information out there about sword and shield so I will explain how I am trying to reinvent the combat techniques used with the sword and shield. First these techniques are based more for one on one fighter, were the spear was based more for group fighting.

If you look at the martial art eskrima ( just watch the first bit of the video. You see that they make the same attacks unarmed that they would with weapons. So my idea of recreating the Hoplite sword and shield techniques, which there isn't much info on, is to look at there unarmed combat techniques, where there is tons of info on.
look at this Greek boxing video. There are many hammer fist and even many of the "uppercuts" are done like a hammer fist. Now imagine that they have swords in there hands doing the same attacks. Breaking down each attack is hard to do in words but it gives you a good idea how a sword fight went.

any comments or other things to add would be helpful

Tycho Velius:
I think this is great, and that those of us with less of a 'sport' mentality should work on codifying these styles in a Dag-translatable manner.

Hey, if they can make a video showing how to do a darksideflatspincross, we can at least write up quick guides to historical emulation in combat styles, right?

Squash the Goblin:
My only issue is your advocating hitting people 2 handed and hoping it's a hard enough hit for them to take a death on. But if your not clarifying what kind of shot your taking with the spear and people are taking death thinking they got hit with 2 hands than I would consider that cheating as the rules are written.

Other than that an interesting style. My spear is 12' long and rather unwieldy for a style like that but I always loved the idea.

I always let them know they were hit by single green. Threads derail too fast on here lets try to keep this more about technique.

Squash the Goblin:
Have you been able to use this in a phalanx or line?

By that I mean standing shoulder to shoulder with other spear and shield users? If so how effective did you find it to be?


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