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[request] longer pikes


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Although in 0 A.D. pikes are visibly longer than spears, they're represented shorter than the were in reality. When zooming in, it seems 0 A.D.'s pikes are about twice as long as the men:

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pikemen.thumb.png.005e2fb42f804a37d9c4fbe3688b0e05.png

Let's say a man is 1.8 m tall, then these pikes are 3.6 m. We know from Hellenistic authors pike length varied over time (I posted a summary in this post), but even the shortest (4.8 m) were a third longer than 0 A.D.'s, and the longest (7.68 m) over twice as long.

I vaguely recall humans being about 4 Blender units tall (@Stan`?), so I guess the current pikes are 8 Blender units. It would be great if someone could create longer pikes, preferably four sizes: 10, 12, 14, 16 Blender units. Or, to put it differently, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% longer than the current version.

And another thing. When playing around a bit with the syntagma formation, the pikemen in the front rows seem to physically bend (@Alexandermb); this is wrong: in reality the men should stand upright, holding their pikes horizontal. Lowering your back means you occupy more space, and the idea of the syntagma (‘square’: 16×16) is its closed-packedness. Furthermore, actually the first five or six rows held their pikes horizontal, the men in the rows behind them at angles of c. 45°:

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syntagma.thumb.png.5192f4a9db900daec3ca74f610a2337a.png

 

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Funnily enough, the original sarissa length was about the length of the current hoplite spears (and the hoplite spears were shorter too). 4 sizes is okay, since weapons in general are pretty low poly and use no transparency, though for gameplay visual purposes it would look kind of odd to have 10 meters of spear sticking through target units, which is why the original sarissa was so short. We need the "pinning" factor in the game that Rome Total War had with its pike units. In that game, enemy soldiers would get "hung up" on the heads of the pikes and would have to work their way down the shafts in order to reach their enemies, which was the main function of the Macedonian-style phalanx (the anvil). This would be difficult to do in 0 a.d. and look weird without hard formation combat (another plug for battalions). 

 

Not disagreeing, just adding some thoughts. Minor disagreement though would be that we don't need 100% accurate pike lengths. You have a penchant for insisting on these kinds of things, which is okay and thought provoking, but in the abstract it is a game where "fortresses" are about the size of a house and for gameplay purposes a cliff is about 10 meters tall. However, more lengths does appeal to me so we can depict "early" and "late" phalanxes.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone
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14 hours ago, Alexandermb said:

Short question while my internet works, first row bends. Solution: Straight up the animation of the infantry?

Yes, currently they arch their backs a bit (like a “C”), which I imagine is quite tiresome. The men should stand upright (like an “I“):

phalangite.jpg.f1fa50c0dcab44408b4bcc13dffd755f.jpgphalangite.png.98137402574c12970b748c0632ed1ba3.png

 

18 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Not disagreeing, just adding some thoughts. Minor disagreement though would be that we don't need 100% accurate pike lengths. You have a penchant for insisting on these kinds of things, which is okay and thought provoking, but in the abstract it is a game where "fortresses" are about the size of a house and for gameplay purposes a cliff is about 10 meters tall.

Indeed, structures are not to scale, nor should they be; maps in 0 A.D. are much too small for that. I doubt even a giant map would reach a kilometre across. On the other hand, rabbits are disproportionally large, which is fine, they're already difficult enough to see when zoomed out. So no, I'm certainly not arguing everything should be of one and the same scale.

However, the differents parts of an entity ought to be about proportional; capes and shields are on the same scale as the men, for good reason; in my opinion pikes out to be relative to that too. In reality pikes were about two to three times as long as thrusting spears, or four to six times the length of javelins. Part of 0 A.D. is educational, and having more accurate pike lengths won't hurt. It's in small details the game can really shine.

18 hours ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

However, more lengths does appeal to me so we can depict "early" and "late" phalanxes.

Indeed! Or differentiate factions; e.g. Iphicrates' peltasts a 10-cubit pike, Alexander's phalangites 12-cubit pike, Seleucid's a 16-cubit pike, Ptolemies a 14-cubit pike. Moreover, having properly long pikes would allow mods to experiment with the syntagma.

Edited by Nescio
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17 hours ago, Nescio said:

Indeed! Or differentiate factions; e.g. Iphicrates' peltasts a 10-cubit pike, Alexander's phalangites 12-cubit pike, Seleucid's a 16-cubit pike, Ptolemies a 14-cubit pike. Moreover, having properly long pikes would allow mods to experiment with the syntagma.

Not to sound skeptical, but just at a glance it seems a bit odd to me that there would be that noticeable of a difference in average pike lengths between two successor states.  Would you mind providing any source that backs that up?  

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4 hours ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Not to sound skeptical, but just at a glance it seems a bit odd to me that there would be that noticeable of a difference in average pike lengths between two successor states.  Would you mind providing any source that backs that up?  

The saris(s)a was discussed by various ancient authors and its length is know to have varied over time. The numbers I mentioned are all attested. For more details, see Christopher Matthew “The Length of the Sarissa” Antichthon 46 (January 2012) 79–100 https://doi.org/10.1017/S0066477400000150.

The justification for giving different civs different pike lengths is that, while 0 A.D. aims to cover the entire 500–1 BC timeframe, each faction is mostly focussed on a particular point in time; e.g. Macedonians on Alexander the Great, and Ptolemies on Ptolemy IV, and Romans on the Second Punic War.

To be clear, I'm not saying all civs must have different weapon lengths; however, I do think it's a suggestion worth exploring, and mods are great for that.

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