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Total War: Shogun 2 Heaven » Forums » Total War History » Alexander vs Genghis
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Topic Subject:Alexander vs Genghis
Latinium
Ashigaru
posted 12-06-11 04:26 PM EDT (US)         
Hey guys.

Just wondering who would win in a battle, Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan.

Let me give you two senarios.

The first is that the terrain is that of a mountainoues landscape say Greece.


The second is that a river crossing say like the river Tigris.

Just your opinion and why.

"Confront them with annihilation, and they will then survive; plunge them into a deadly situation, and they will then live. When people fall into danger, they are then able to strive for victory"-Sun Tzu
"They can beacause they think they can" -Virgil
"Laws are silent in times of war"- Cicero
"Who watches the watchmen"-Juvenal
AuthorReplies:
Pitt
Daimyo
posted 12-06-11 06:09 PM EDT (US)     1 / 15       
My opinion is that they're two leaders from two different times with very different styles of warfare that were adapted to their local circumstances.

For one thing, the Mongols relied on speed and mobility to defeat their enemies, both on the actual battlefield and on the strategic level. To achieve this they, like the Huns before them, required multiple horses (at the very least more than three per warrior). Greece hadn't the forage sufficient to support a large army of marauding horsemen for a long period of time.

"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
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 12-07-11 02:08 AM EDT (US)     2 / 15       
It would also depend on other factors as well- such as weather.

I do like this type of challenge, though portraying it accurately is as Pitt noted- the two generals in question fought in different times, with different weaponry, and different styles.

The Mongols would require lots of space and forage to be effective. Alex could choose a battlefield where his tight-packed phalanagites could stand shoulder to shoulder without being ripped to shreds by arrows (a wooded area, or try to do battle at night, or in a rainstorm, or in a city). But anywhere else, and in normal conditions, the Mongols have the superior mobility and as long as they had supplies enough, they could do battle at a distance, for which the Macedonians would have little response.

All in all, I would have to give the theoretical victory to Ghengis.

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Thompsoncs
Ashigaru
posted 12-07-11 02:15 AM EDT (US)     3 / 15       
The mongols can rain down death from distance on the macedonians. Though the macedonians have some archers and slingers themselves, they will be too few to deal with the mongols. And the hetairoi will never catch the fast horse archers.

Best thing would be hiding behind city walls I think. A phalanx in the woods isn't effective (it is in the game, but not in reality). Their formation will be broken, especially if they advance.

I think the mongols would win.
Agrippa 271
Ashigaru
posted 12-11-11 04:50 PM EDT (US)     4 / 15       
I think it depends on whether or not Alexander has a sufficient number of Companion Cavalry to attempt to pin down the Mongol horsemen. As far as I know, the Mongols relied on light cavalry and horse archers, so if Alexander could maneuver them into an unfavorable position where his Companions could be brought to bear, then the Mongols would be in trouble.

However, like comparing all great generals, there is an inherent problem in that Ghengis Khan and Alexander the Great fought with a variety of different factors; Weapons, armor, tactics, terrain. If it were an even fight, no surprises, nothing changed in respect to the two armies that they would have fielded normally, then the Mongols would win. They had superior weapons, armor, and mobility. Alexander won his battles fighting an enemy who's armies had a fairly similar composition, deployment, and tactics. The Mongols had the advantage of having fought the Chinese, the Turks, and the Europeans (for a short period) successfully. They would have had to have been extremely flexible to be so successful against so broad a spectrum of fighting styles, whereas Alexander showed his mastery against foes who fought in a similar manner and would have provided a different challenge.

Because of the huge technological differences, I would give it to Genghis. He had over a thousand years advantage in arms and armor. Alexander wouldn't have stood a chance with the tools he had. Give him the advantage of surprise, of getting his Companions into a position of attack, maybe, but it would be quite a feat.

Death is a (vastly) preferable alternative to communism.
"Idiocy knows no national or cultural borders. Stupidity can strike anyone, anywhere." -- Terikel
Thompsoncs
Ashigaru
posted 12-11-11 06:23 PM EDT (US)     5 / 15       
It also has to do to with adaptation. Alexander and genhis were both great military leaders, but they had specific tactics that worked for them.

Same goes for romans. A 1st century BC roman army was perfectly able to fight any european enemy, but crassus and his legions were crushed when they met the parthians in battle the first time. Later roman armies on the eastern borders focussed much more on archers and cavalry and were more succesful against the Parthians.

Like I said, in a first encounter, genghis will win. Companions are too heavy to catch the mongols, and if they try, they will be cut off from the phalanx and annihilated by the more numerous mongol cavalry.

But given time alexander might adapt his strategy.

And I did read that composite bows tend to do less in wet weather, so perhaps a nice rainstorm could give alexander the advantage.
Agrippa 271
Ashigaru
posted 12-12-11 08:14 PM EDT (US)     6 / 15       
That's why I said that Alexander would need surprise on his side.

The rainstorm idea might work, but how many major battles do you know of off the top of your head that occurred in heavy rain? I don't know of many. I don't doubt there are some, but it isn't that common.

Death is a (vastly) preferable alternative to communism.
"Idiocy knows no national or cultural borders. Stupidity can strike anyone, anywhere." -- Terikel
Cancer of the Head
Ashigaru
(id: say1988)
posted 12-12-11 11:18 PM EDT (US)     7 / 15       
Not to mention you still need a slow moving army to force an engagement against the highly mobile Mongol Army at the right timing when weather is unpredictable.

Essentially you are trying to recreate Azincourt, with even more precise conditions (rain during the battle, not just before) against an enemy that was well disciplined (which would have prevented the suicidal charge).

As for the topic, it is like saying "Napoleon vs Haig"

Given the right set of advantages and a bunch of luck, sure Alexander's army could win, but the tactics and technology difference is enormous. The fact that the Roman Legions beat Phalanxes using mobility and flexibility, but contemporary mounted armies could run circles around them (the Mongols had discipline in spades too).
Agrippa 271
Ashigaru
posted 12-13-11 07:37 PM EDT (US)     8 / 15       
Under most circumstances, it would probably not even be a real contest. The Mongols would steamroller the phalanxes, and then continue conquering.

Death is a (vastly) preferable alternative to communism.
"Idiocy knows no national or cultural borders. Stupidity can strike anyone, anywhere." -- Terikel
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 12-14-11 03:50 AM EDT (US)     9 / 15       
Or simply go around them...

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Edorix
High King of Britain
posted 12-17-11 10:56 AM EDT (US)     10 / 15       
The flame will go out, little man.

The flame will go out at the call of The Awakening.
Agrippa 271
Ashigaru
posted 12-17-11 10:26 PM EDT (US)     11 / 15       
He's doing this everywhere...

Death is a (vastly) preferable alternative to communism.
"Idiocy knows no national or cultural borders. Stupidity can strike anyone, anywhere." -- Terikel
Edorix
High King of Britain
posted 12-18-11 04:18 AM EDT (US)     12 / 15       
Sorry.

EDORIX
~ ancient briton ~

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(dis ma house)
Agrippa 271
Ashigaru
posted 12-20-11 01:59 PM EDT (US)     13 / 15       
Its fine. I just wish I knew what it was about...

Death is a (vastly) preferable alternative to communism.
"Idiocy knows no national or cultural borders. Stupidity can strike anyone, anywhere." -- Terikel
Terikel Grayhair
Imperator
(id: Terikel706)
posted 12-21-11 01:00 PM EDT (US)     14 / 15       
Try looking here for a clue.

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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
Agrippa 271
Ashigaru
posted 12-21-11 04:34 PM EDT (US)     15 / 15       
Thanks.

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