IE6 is not supported at this time. Please consider upgrading to Internet Explorer 9, FireFox, Apple Safari, or Google Chrome.

Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven



You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Total War History
Moderated by Pitt

Hop to:    
Welcome! You are not logged in. Please Login or Register.21 replies
Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven » Forums » Total War History » The Most Elite..
Bottom
Topic Subject:The Most Elite..
Awesome Eagle
Spear of Mars
(id: awesomated88)
posted 07-01-10 09:04 PM EDT (US)         
Hello

I was just thinking about who would be the most elite unit in world history... From any time... Excluding present or recent times....
This cam be a whole army or just a small unit of warriors

Thanks

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it- George Santayana
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are- David C. McCullough
Wars not make one great- Yoda
AuthorReplies:
Edorix
High King of Britain
posted 07-02-10 01:07 AM EDT (US)     1 / 21       
The legionary first cohort. Need I go on?

• EDORIX •
~ ancient briton ~

/\
/|||| ||||\

(dis ma house)
Cancer of the Head
Ashigaru
(id: say1988)
posted 07-02-10 12:04 PM EDT (US)     2 / 21       
Completely and utterly pointeless to consider.

So many variables and so much ambiguity it isn't even worth thining about.
Primo
Ashigaru
(id: Marcus Orentius)
posted 07-02-10 12:28 PM EDT (US)     3 / 21       
The problem with this is that many 'elites' from history were elite more due to discipline and numbers than personal skill.

A legionary on his own would probably be bested by a Gallic warrior of the same age and experience, but with his mates, and being coordinated by the officers, they could hide behind their shields and win the majority of their battles.

Also, this question is pretty stupid, as technology changes in the armed forces. A Spartan phalanx may be nigh unstoppable in their own time, but plonk them in the 18th century, and I'd love to see them survive volley after volley of bullets.

Exilian - a website for mods for Mount&Blade, Rome Total War, Empire Total War and news about Shogun 2: Total War
"There is no extreme metal, death metal, progressive metal or vegetarian metal." - Tryhard
"Light infantry, rangers, and riflemen all have the unique ability to pull yard-long poles from their arseholes and plant them in order to stave off cavalry." - BurningSushi460
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 07-02-10 02:59 PM EDT (US)     4 / 21       
I think he meant elite in perspective to the times, as opposed to the elites from any time period meeting in battle. Obviously a Spartan is no match for a Navy Seal or USAF Blue Angel, who could destroy a Spartan phalanx without even seeing it.

The praetorians were one-time elite, but then degraded to a political bodyguard. The Theban Sacred Band was considered the elite of its day, though.

But for me it would be the Batavian Cavalry- named by contemporaries as the best horsemen in the Empire. They and seven cohorts of auxilia whipped a legion's ass without hardly any losses, then went on to force the surrender of two more legions and get two others to turn against Rome and join the enemy! It took eight legions- about a third of the Empire's military, to finally bring them to defeat.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII

[This message has been edited by Terikel Grayhair (edited 07-02-2010 @ 03:00 PM).]

Awesome Eagle
Spear of Mars
(id: awesomated88)
posted 07-02-10 06:12 PM EDT (US)     5 / 21       
Hello

I probly should have been clearer... Terikel got what i ment though... Use Terikel's understanding to answer...

Thanks

Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it- George Santayana
History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are- David C. McCullough
Wars not make one great- Yoda
Legio Yow
Ashigaru
posted 07-02-10 10:31 PM EDT (US)     6 / 21       
The Batavians were not quite as impressive as all that. They were only so successful because A) They were all Roman auxiliaries, and so trained in the Roman style, and B) the empire was a touch preoccupied with civil war and Jerusalem.

The Roman legions are a good choice, but they weren't really an "elite" unit, rather just an excellent military, and the elite units within were not all that better than the extremely good regulars. The Janissaries in their heyday are a possibility. Napoleon's Old Guard was rightly feared.

The problem is that, generally speaking, there aren't really "elite" military unites. Guard units, which are the best equipped and paid, are usually distinguished by the loyalty rather than their quality. Knights and samurai are close, but don't really form a cohesive unit, The best examples afre modern, such as the Iranian Republican Guard, US Navy SEALS, or British SAS.
Completely and utterly pointeless to consider...
Also, this question is pretty stupid
Good point. Since this is a serious center of academic debate and it will be reviewed later for relevance and quality of research.

Just kidding! It's an internet forum. Lighten up.

"That which we call a nose can still smell!"
-Reduced Shakespeare Company

"Abroad, French transit workers attempt to end a strike, only to discover that they have forgotten how to operate the trains. Everybody enjoys a hearty laugh and returns to the café." -Dave Barry
theboyne
Ashigaru
posted 07-04-10 10:19 AM EDT (US)     7 / 21       
Varangian Guard - single unit, turned out famous heroes on a regular basis, historically recorded unbending loyalty, Spartan level of mythos, frequently given the task of dealing with anybody too tough for the rest of the army (which all said and done was a still Byzantine army).

Rifle Brigade (Wellingtons Peninsula army) - trained and equipped to perform functions that rest of the army wasn't trained for. Expected to perform above and beyond and did so against Napoleon.

I would oppose Legio Yow's choice of the Iranian Republican Guard since, in my mind at least, their elite status comes specifically from politcal consideration, not actual abilities.

An elite can only be considered such by action, not word. As the US army says, "you talk the talk, do you walk the walk".
Gnarlyhotep
Ashigaru
posted 07-06-10 01:07 PM EDT (US)     8 / 21       
I would oppose Legio Yow's choice of the Iranian Republican Guard since, in my mind at least, their elite status comes specifically from politcal consideration, not actual abilities.
I have to agree with this assessment.

This subject, if to be discussed seriously, requires more guidelines. The term elite, when applied to a unit like this, is imprecise and not well defined enough to allow for meaningful comparison. Is it a unit that is treated as elite by the command, and reaps the benefits thereof? Is it a unit that is lead by an elite commander and has that benefit? Is it a unit that, in historical retrospect, was able to achieve elite victory on the field of battle?

There's also the issue of comparing units with completely differing roles and who historically may have been considered elite. Reconnaissance and skirmish units have been considered elite at many times, but will be savaged by perfectly ordinary line units in a direct confrontation. An elite specops team isn't going to do much against a milita tank brigade. How do we even compare air superiorty fighter wings vs hunter-killer submarines?

In the end, it's just a popularity contest, and some roman legion or other will win.
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 07-07-10 01:54 AM EDT (US)     9 / 21       
But it still generates a good discussion.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII

[This message has been edited by Terikel Grayhair (edited 07-07-2010 @ 02:43 AM).]

theboyne
Ashigaru
posted 07-07-10 08:03 PM EDT (US)     10 / 21       
I agree with Gnarlyhotep that you need guidelines.

Three important points on an "elite" unit need to be stated.

1. When - some famous units have existed for centuries and had both high and low points in their history (the Royal Scots for example existed as an independent regiment from 1633-2006 and the Roman 9th legion was raised by Julius Caesar in 65BC and disappeared in 161AD - both had many battle honours but also devastating defeats). You have to specify WHEN they were an elite unit in your eyes.

2. Where - It's in the nature of elite units to be "specialised". A unit trained to fight one opponent (for instance, both English longbow men and Swiss pikemen where above average effectiveness when fighting heavy cavalry but sucked against cannons).

3. Why - saying a unit is "kick-ass, hardcore elite because it's like, you know, got big guns, huge swords, spiky armour and runs around screaming warcries" does NOT make it elite - it makes it the unit most likely to be used to run suicidal decoy attacks against the front of enemy formations while the rest of the army sneaks round the back. It's also not an elite unit if it's massive bodycount and numerous "battle honours" relate to how effective it was at killing civilians. The Iraqi Republican Guard was considered an "elite" unit because it was tougher than those it fought. Then it ran into people who where trained, equipped and prepared to face a massive Soviet invasion as envisaged in the cold war. Stuff "bringing a knife to a gun fight", more "bringing a spud gun to a tank battle".

That's why I consider the Varangian Guard a real elite. They successfully fought and beat whatever they fought in their time. Given their close-order style of fighting though and they would have suffered against gunpowder.
Honestbloke65
Banned
posted 07-08-10 10:26 AM EDT (US)     11 / 21       
In my opinion the British commandos were the most elite fighting force. The commandos were elite one-man armies, capable of crossing rivers, scaling cliffs, travelling through forests, and even planting explosives. The British originally used them for small attacks on enemy beaches but they were used all over the world from Africa to France.

They have been featured in many films such as Guns of Navarone and also in games like Commandos 2 and Empires: Dawn of the Modern World.





On another note, the Waffen SS. Yes, you may scoff, but htey included elite troops from many countries (there was even an English SS division) and although they were allegedly implicated in war crimes that does not take away from their elite status, after all we do not say that Enola Gay crew are cowards.

[This message has been edited by Honestbloke65 (edited 07-08-2010 @ 10:34 AM).]

Cancer of the Head
Ashigaru
(id: say1988)
posted 07-08-10 12:39 PM EDT (US)     12 / 21       
On another note, the Waffen SS. Yes, you may scoff, but htey included elite troops from many countries (there was even an English SS division) and although they were allegedly implicated in war crimes that does not take away from their elite status, after all we do not say that Enola Gay crew are cowards.
Saying "the Waffen SS" would be teh same as saying "the US Army".
The Waffen SS was not elite. It contained a number of elite units, but it also contained many of the worst units in the German armed forces (i.e. conscripted Eartern Europeans).
If you said, say, teh 12th SS, you could make an arguement based on their morale and willingness to fight to the end. Or the 1st SS, which was a very capable division.

As for teh British Freee Corps, it was a propaganda item, that is all. 59 men joined, with maximum strength of 27.
Most of the volunteer "divisions" were either far under division strentgth or largely composed of Germans.
Edorix
High King of Britain
posted 07-08-10 02:10 PM EDT (US)     13 / 21       
Total War history here, please: Ancient Egypt up till the 19th century. The world wars are, strictly speaking, out of bounds. A tangent is fine, but on the whole we ought generally to try and steer away from the 20th century.

As you were, gentlemen.

[This message has been edited by Edorix (edited 07-08-2010 @ 03:56 PM).]

Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 07-08-10 03:02 PM EDT (US)     14 / 21       
I had forgotten about the Varangian Guard! How could I do that? One of the most famous of them was Harald Hardråde- Harald Hardcounsel (Or Hardhead, if you wish) the last Viking King of Norway.

Thanks for the reminder, theboyne. I agree with you on that one.

|||||||||||||||| A transplanted Viking, born a millennium too late. |||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Too many Awards to list in Signature, sorry lords...|||||||||||||||||
|||||||||||||||| Listed on my page for your convenience and envy.|||||||||||||||||
Somewhere over the EXCO Rainbow
Master Skald, Order of the Silver Quill, Guild of the Skalds
Champion of the Sepia Joust- Joust I, II, IV, VI, VII, VIII
Honestbloke65
Banned
posted 07-08-10 06:42 PM EDT (US)     15 / 21       
Ok, I read the forum description, and I think I understand the rules now, I shall take my WW2 discussion over to the library.

[This message has been edited by Honestbloke65 (edited 07-08-2010 @ 06:44 PM).]

Pitt
Daimyo
posted 07-09-10 01:27 AM EDT (US)     16 / 21       
Total War history here, please: Ancient Egypt up till the 19th century. The world wars are, strictly speaking, out of bounds. A tangent is fine, but on the whole we ought generally to try and steer away from the 20th century.
As the cherub said.

There's nothing wrong with a general topic straying into time periods beyond the 19th century, indeed it may often be useful to a discussion, but generally speaking it shouldn't be the specific focus of a thread.

Threads beyond this can be started in the RLT instead, of course.

"Into the face of the young man who sat on the terrace of the Hotel Magnifique at Cannes there had crept a look of furtive shame, the shifty, hangdog look which announces that an Englishman is about to talk French." - P.G. Wodehouse, The Luck of the Bodkins

[This message has been edited by Pitt (edited 07-09-2010 @ 01:27 AM).]

Alpha211
Ashigaru
posted 01-22-11 04:12 PM EDT (US)     17 / 21       
prob a very late comment but the SAS has got to be a brilliant elite force. however if speaking in the past then the spartan hoplite was a brilliant unit although they did have some weaknesses (such as a spartan brigade that was wiped out by greek skirmishers) roman legionaries were quite good but mongol warroirs pulled together quite a brilliant system for "nomads"..... the list gos on but there are some weaknesses & brilliant strengths in every unit
Rinster
Ashigaru
posted 01-23-11 02:36 AM EDT (US)     18 / 21       
Just to add my two cents, I would say my choices would be Caesar's tenth legion, always his favorite that (almost) never let him down.

My other(s) would include Alexander's companion cavalry, even though I don't know how many of them there were or if the same units were with him all the way.

I'm sure I can think of others, but its 2:30 in the morning and i am tired
PraeQuae
Ashigaru
posted 07-20-11 00:43 AM EDT (US)     19 / 21       
I think the Manchu clan Aisin Gioro that took over China in the 1600's were elite warriors. They were trained swordsmen and horse archers that rode in and set up a 300 year dynasty in the most populous country in the world.
Agrippa 271
Ashigaru
posted 10-20-11 05:52 PM EDT (US)     20 / 21       
Wondering : What is "RLT"? Kind of off topic but if you can make a thread about WW2 I need to know what it is. It is life and death (in my opinion, at least).

Oooooooooohhhh. DUHH!

Death is a (vastly) preferable alternative to communism.
"Idiocy knows no national or cultural borders. Stupidity can strike anyone, anywhere." -- Terikel

[This message has been edited by Agrippa 271 (edited 10-20-2011 @ 05:53 PM).]

Alex_the_Bold
Ashigaru
posted 05-04-12 07:22 AM EDT (US)     21 / 21       
I'd like to opt for the Sciritai. They came from the Sciritis region in Arcadia, in the Peloponese. They provided the spartan army with a lochos of six-hundred men who were always deployed in the extreme left flank of the spartan army, when deployed for battle. This was the most difficult position in a phalanx, as the enemy's best troops would be deployed against them. They were also used as scouts when marching. They were so good that only they had the right to precede the spartan king when the spartan army was in marching formation.

Invincibility lies in defence, while the possibility of victory in the attack -Sun Tzu
Akouson me, pataxon de (hit me, but first listen to me)-Themistocles to Euribiadis prior to the battle of Salamis.
You must be logged in to post messages.
Please login or register

Hop to:    

Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven | HeavenGames