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Feb 3 12 12:12 PM

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New Liberty and Union League Submission: Aztec Warriors

Vote here:  http://www.wargamesfactory.com/BookingRetrieve.aspx?ID=40609

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#2 [url]

Feb 3 12 3:38 PM

Here's what I have in mind with this proposal:

Is a set that allows one to build the bulk of an army from a single sprue which has the basic body types depicted in this reconstruction. So if there's five figures on a sprue, I am of the mind that two wearing the basic quilted "flak vest", and three in the full feathered body suit:




Osprey Warrior 32 - Aztec Warrior 1321-1521






Leland R. Erickson, Evil-Genius-at-Large "Clouseau! Give me ten men like him, and I can destroy the whole world!" -Inspector Charles Dreyfus

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#3 [url]

Feb 3 12 3:41 PM

To continue, with enough head, weapon, and shield options on the sprue, building up an impressive and suitably *large* Aztec army becomes a financially viable prospect in 28mm. The sheer scope of the campaigns waged by the Aztecs prior to the arrival of the Spanish involved a sophisticated army structure and a substantial logistical infrastructure that was equal to if not better than anything in Europe at the time. For an in-depth narrative of the Aztec way of war, I highly recommend the following book:


http://www.amazon.com/Aztec-Warfare-Expansion-Political-Civilization/dp/0806127732

Leland R. Erickson, Evil-Genius-at-Large "Clouseau! Give me ten men like him, and I can destroy the whole world!" -Inspector Charles Dreyfus

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bryon31

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#4 [url]

Jun 26 12 1:55 PM

I personally would like a pre-columbian battle. Once the Spanish showed up the games would be lame I'd think. The technological and military advantages that the Spanish units had would make them damn near invincible.  Who'd want to fight against that?

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#5 [url]

Jun 26 12 3:27 PM

Bryon. In a wargame you can make the forces as balanced or unbalanced as you want.

From a real world point of view, the Spanish were not as superior to the aztecs as many think. In most movies or books, you see all the spanish decked out in heavy metal armor. While some would have been able to afford that, the vast majority did not. The main weapon that would give the spanish the advantage (the arquebus) would really only be a psychological weapon, and even then its effect would wane with more battles. And also not every man was armed with an arquebus as crossbows were more common. Combine that with superior numbers and better knowledge of the terrain, I think the aztecs could have done better..., If they did not ivite the enemy into their house or think they were gods, or die to foreign dieseases...


Also it wasn't really Spanish vs Aztecs... It was more like Spanish and other native tribes vs Aztecs...The aztecs had a lot of enemies and teh Spanish capitalized on that.

I think this would be a very interesting range...

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#6 [url]

Jun 27 12 12:03 AM

Apparently the Spanish stopped wearing the metal armour (and adopted native quilted armour) because it was too damn hot.

As with many of these native vs colonalist encounters the natives would have done a lot better if they had used a different strategy (which of course they did not do).

Now I already do a decal sheet for Aztecs, so hopefully any figures would fit that


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bryon31

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Posts: 686

#7 [url]

Jun 27 12 7:08 AM


Also it wasn't really Spanish vs Aztecs... It was more like Spanish and other native tribes vs Aztecs...The aztecs had a lot of enemies and teh Spanish capitalized on that.
I think this would be a very interesting range...

-captainmathias


 
I realize that the Spanish had native allies and that without them the history books would probably never make mention of Hernan Cortez and the Conquest of New Spain. However, Spanish soldiers were amongst the elite of Europe in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. The Spaniards were not a rag tag group of adventures but highly disciplined and effective killing machines. The Steel armor and weapons were so vastly superior to the stone and bone equipment of the Mexica that it could be compared to Greek Hoplites fighting Neanderthals. The gunpowder weapons were ineffective at best. The real shock and awe of the campaign was the cavalry. The hose was the ultimate deciding factor for the Spanish. The poor unit cohesion of Aztec/Mexica warfare had no contingency for repelling charging cavalry.
 
Take the battle of Otumba for example. This was one of the few battles that pitted a pure Spanish force versus a pure Aztec force. Depending on the histories you read the number of Spanish was around 1,000 and the number of Aztec ranged from 30,000 to 50,000 or more. At the end of the day the Spanish left an estimated 20,000 dead in their wake losing less than 100 of their own. The story goes that not a single Spaniard left the valley without a wound, even Cortez himself was injured. However, the fact remains that the Spanish outnumbered by up to 50-1 still left the field victorious, the deciding factor being cavalry. Ironically heavy cavalry was on its way out in European warfare but worked magnificently against native armies.

You might ask how the Aztec’s and their vastly superior numbers could lose so wonderfully. First of all Native American warfare was very different from warfare in Europe. First, Natives were more interested in capturing enemy than killing them (well at least killing them on the battlefield anyway) that’s not to say that men didn’t die on the battlefield, war is still war after all. Second, the Natives lived on a continent without large beasts of burden and so the concept of cavalry was never developed and therefore the tactics to repel cavalry was never developed. The fighters in Eurasia and Africa had been dealing with horse driven warriors for millennia and had developed tight infantry formations as a counter measure. The loose formations of the natives, who fought essential as masses of skirmishers were easy pick ins for Spanish cavalry and pike. And last but my no means the least; Native American warfare was essentially a deadly game of capture the flag. When a flag would fall to the enemy it was common for the force to retreat (also ideal for cavalry to run down a fleeing enemy) and this was exactly the case at Otumba. In his prior dealings with native armies Cortez had noticed this and made it a point to capture the enemy flag, and what better to do this that a heavily armored Spanish warhorse and knight. Once the Spanish captured the enemy flag the Aztec line fled and the Spanish ran them down to devastating effect.
 
Spanish units of pike, crossbow, and cavalry as the core of a conquistador army (for gaming purposes) would be next to immortal on the table when fighting Aztecs.  And in my mind would not make for a fun game. However, Spanish vs. Moor battle would certainly be fun. And I love the look of Berber miniatures.

If you would like more info on how Spanish tactics were amongst the most important factors in the conquest of New Spain I suggest an article entitled: Tactical Factors in the Spanish Conquest of the Aztecs by Douglas A. Daniel. It’s not long, but a compelling read just the same. Unfortunately I can only access it for free through my universities JSTOR account.

And excelent transfers by the way Zed!  I wonder how they would look on WF Greek shields.

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#8 [url]

Aug 21 12 8:38 PM

Regarding the Mexica defeat at the hands of the Europeans, I am an adherent of Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel argument. Disease played a hand, as well as the Spanish advantages in the horse and the profound tactical advantages it conveyed over an opponent unused to dealing with cavalry.

Indeed, the Spanish of the period were the elite soldiers of Europe, were imbued with a degree of supreme self-confidence that only such devastatingly successful combat veterans can possess, akin to the elite combat units of the 20th century such as the US Marines during WW2, the Legion Etranger, or the SAS. hence their willingness to wade into many times their number of native warriors and slaughter them in droves.

The advantages conveyed by the horse cannot be underestimated, however had the Mexica and other indigenous peoples been able to adapt their tactics to the new threat presented by cavalry -ie., employing longer spears or pikes in tight, disciplined formations- they may have been able to at least force the Spanish into a stalemate in the short term, and made the conquest of the Americas all the more difficult and prolonged.  This was the single great tactical disconnect, a (local) style of warfare designed for 100% infantry armies optimized for flexibility in battlefield deployment and maneuver and adapted to the lack of a domesticated beast of burden able to carry supplies and/or men over protracted distances, squaring off against some of the very finest metal-clad shock cavalry Europe produced during this period of history, an opponent/weapons system with which the Mexica had absolutely no conception of prior to their arrival, and the Spanish were shrewd enough to not give the locals any breathing space to figure out the logical solution (ie., pikes).

The Aztecs/Mexica did not lack unit cohesion or discipline; their formations and maneuvers were perfectly suited to their environment and style of fighting. Units could rotate ranks in a disciplined fashion reminiscent of the Roman Legions, do so efficiently and without compromising the cohesion of the overall battle line against their own, local opponents who fought in much the same way. What they lacked was a style of warfare designed to resist shock cavalry. The various civilizations that had the benefits of first chariots and later cavalry employed for shock action soon enough learned that in order for infantry to survive a confrontation with charging cavalry, they had to stand in close order, with spearpoints or better still pikes leveled enmasse and steady. When this formula was employed, shock cavalry found it damn near impossible to break such an infantry formation.

The Mexica as you pointed out had no prior experience with an animal anywhere near as large as the horse, so they had no baseline for sorting out the advantages and disadvantages of cavalry until it was far too late.

Now all that aside, I submitted this proposal with an eye towards Pre-Columbian warfare, not necessarily towards La Conquista period "turkey shoots." Against their own the Mexica were formidable opponents, and an Aztec army deployed on the tabletop is a riot of color and pageantry, and can double as a very handy fantasy human army as well.

Leland R. Erickson, Evil-Genius-at-Large "Clouseau! Give me ten men like him, and I can destroy the whole world!" -Inspector Charles Dreyfus

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