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Why was the Pilum made into a spear?

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Reiksmarshal

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WBWF&SNWVC
Why was the plium made into a spear, Empire troops are not throwing them anymore the last few updates. This really is terrible as the pilum is primarily a throwing weapon and they are more effective as throwing weapons. Taking throwing weapons away from the Empire really hemps their style and they should be returned back to throwing weapons asap.
 

Askorti

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WB
This really is terrible as the pilum is primarily a throwing weapon and they are more effective as throwing weapons.
Calradia =/= Europe. If TW want to make a non-throwable spear called pilum, they can. It's stupid, but it is what it is.

But I agree it makes more sense for it to be a thrown weapon.
 

danEN

Banned
WBM&BWF&SNWVC
Calradia =/= Europe. If TW want to make a non-throwable spear called pilum, they can. It's stupid, but it is what it is.

But I agree it makes more sense for it to be a thrown weapon.
or they could've just made a spear and called it spear instead of making a pilum and calling it pilum but it's no longer a pilum it's just a spear
 
You should open a bug report, they will have to look at it classify as issue or non issue. It might be an oversight, like some Vlandian troops that required warhorses but used common horses.
 

Ferisko

Knight at Arms
WBWF&SNWVC
A couple of patches back they changed the IA use of throwing weapons so soldiers always keep the last one for melee, that may cause problems with 1 projectile weapons like pillum.
For example if you equip a companion only with throwing weapons so they never go unarmed. Seems like an oversight to me
 

Askorti

Sergeant Knight at Arms
WB
or they could've just made a spear and called it spear instead of making a pilum and calling it pilum but it's no longer a pilum it's just a spear
To be fair, a real-life pilum is also a spear, and it was used as one too. Yes, it was predominantly a thrown weapon, but in a pinch there was absolutely nothing stopping the legionaries from using it in melee when needed.
 

Julio-Claudian

Knight at Arms
To be fair, a real-life pilum is also a spear, and it was used as one too. Yes, it was predominantly a thrown weapon, but in a pinch there was absolutely nothing stopping the legionaries from using it in melee when needed.
That's exactly how they are used in the game too lol... unless they are actually no longer throwable.
 
Up till recently, legionaries actually threw their pilums- in fact they do plenty of damage with them.

This is not some design choice from TW, it seems like all spears with the throwing property have this bug. Should definitely get reported, I can confidently say that this isn't how its supposed to be.
 

fragonard

Grandmaster Knight
WB
A couple of patches back they changed the IA use of throwing weapons so soldiers always keep the last one for melee, that may cause problems with 1 projectile weapons like pillum.
For example if you equip a companion only with throwing weapons so they never go unarmed. Seems like an oversight to me
This would certainly explain the problem and there might not be an easy fix.
 
The pilum is primarily a throwing weapon whose purpose is:
1) sticking into the opponent's shield and bend in such a way as to be inextricable and therefore force the opponent to throw the shield to be able to move freely without tripping.
2) if the enemy does not have a shield, hit the enemy. simple.

The launch, just before the charge, was used for point 1, if the enemy had shields, and for point 2,if he did not have a shield, and, in both cases, as well as to temporarily demoralize and disorganize the enemy.

The metallized part of the pilum is made of a non-hard metal, flexible enough to be able to cross the wooden shields and subsequently bend with the weight of the javelin itself(due to the torque) and the opponent's movements (additional torque).

Making the pilum a spear means not having understood anything about this weapon and the Roman Empire.

This is what developers should do.
[POLL] SHIELD + STUCKED PROJECTILE = ENCUMBRANCE
 
1) sticking into the opponent's shield and bend in such a way as to be inextricable and therefore force the opponent to throw the shield to be able to move freely without tripping.

It was not designed to bend. What made it hard to remove was the shape of the head, the long metal part was so that the pila would move and shift its weight making it impossible to use the shield and thinner than the head so the pila wouldn't slow down too much and still be able to hit the man behind the shield.

Making the pilum a spear means not having understood anything about this weapon and the Roman Empire.

Oh really? There is documented evidence of the use of the pila as a spear, like the siege of Alesia.
 
It was not designed to bend. What made it hard to remove was the shape of the head, the long metal part was so that the pila would move and shift its weight making it impossible to use the shield and thinner than the head so the pila wouldn't slow down too much and still be able to hit the man behind the shield.



Oh really? There is documented evidence of the use of the pila as a spear, like the siege of Alesia.
de bello gallico, 1, 25:
"«Milites e loco superiore pilis missis facile hostium phalangem perfregerunt. Ea disiecta gladiis destrictis in eos impetum fecerunt. Gallis magno ad pugnam erat impedimento quod pluribus eorum scutis uno ictu pilorum transfixis et conligatis, *** ferrum se inflexisset, neque evellere neque sinistra impedita satis commode pugnare poterant, multi ut diu iactato bracchio praeoptarent scutum manu emittere et nudo corpore pugnare.»"

traduction:
«The Romans, throwing their javelins from above, easily managed to break the enemy formation and when they had disrupted it they threw themselves impetuously with swords in hand against the Gauls; these were very clumsy in the fight, because many of their shields had been pierced by the throwing of the javelins and, since the irons were bent, they could not uproot them, so that they could not easily fight with the impeded left; many then, after having shaken their arm for a long time, preferred to throw away the shield and fight with the body uncovered. "

Do you know who said this?
julius caesar.

But since I always write "what is not physically impossible and is reasonable to happen, can happen":
If some enemy went armorless (and someone was there), obviously the romans could hit him with a pilum(in melee) at close range, from above the fortification, precisely because romans had a greater distance from the enemy(that try to scaling the wall), the height difference and the protection of the fortification on which you stood.
The exception is not the rule.

But generally the pilum was thrown before the charge.
A soldier had 2, one lighter and one heavier, but they generally had the same functions.
What can be deduced from the "de bello gallico" and from how the use of pilum is described is:
- The pilum creates massive damage and disrupts enemy ranks;
- The charge of the soldiers takes place immediately after the launch of the pilum, to make the most of the disorientation and confusion among the enemies;
- The folding of the pilum creates an impediment to the enemies and forces them to do without the shield;
- The fortuitous folding of the pile prevents their reuse by the enemies towards the Romans.
 
de bello gallico, 1, 25:
"«Milites e loco superiore pilis missis facile hostium phalangem perfregerunt. Ea disiecta gladiis destrictis in eos impetum fecerunt. Gallis magno ad pugnam erat impedimento quod pluribus eorum scutis uno ictu pilorum transfixis et conligatis, *** ferrum se inflexisset, neque evellere neque sinistra impedita satis commode pugnare poterant, multi ut diu iactato bracchio praeoptarent scutum manu emittere et nudo corpore pugnare.»"

traduction:
«The Romans, throwing their javelins from above, easily managed to break the enemy formation and when they had disrupted it they threw themselves impetuously with swords in hand against the Gauls; these were very clumsy in the fight, because many of their shields had been pierced by the throwing of the javelins and, since the irons were bent, they could not uproot them, so that they could not easily fight with the impeded left; many then, after having shaken their arm for a long time, preferred to throw away the shield and fight with the body uncovered. "

Do you know who said this?
julius caesar.

But since I always write "what is not physically impossible and is reasonable to happen, can happen":
If some enemy went armorless (and someone was there), obviously the romans could hit him with a pilum(in melee) at close range, from above the fortification, precisely because romans had a greater distance from the enemy(that try to scaling the wall), the height difference and the protection of the fortification on which you stood.
The exception is not the rule.

But generally the pilum was thrown before the charge.
A soldier had 2, one lighter and one heavier, but they generally had the same functions.
What can be deduced from the "de bello gallico" and from how the use of pilum is described is:
- The pilum creates massive damage and disrupts enemy ranks;
- The charge of the soldiers takes place immediately after the launch of the pilum, to make the most of the disorientation and confusion among the enemies;
- The folding of the pilum creates an impediment to the enemies and forces them to do without the shield;
- The fortuitous folding of the pile prevents their reuse by the enemies towards the Romans.

Yes, I know, the same Gaius Julius that deployed his troops to use the pila as a spear in more than one occasion. It wasn't mainly a spear, but to say that allowing the use of the pila as a spear is born out of ignorance of history is a bit much.

And about the bending of the pila, the way it is mentioned in this extract sounds more like an occasional event than a design choice. It could also be due to the fact that the back is heavier than the front and it is very likely that the back would touch the ground causing the momentum to bend the metal.

Why would Caesar deploy his troops with the pila as a spear in more than one occasion if the weapon was made to bend easily on impact?
 
Why would Caesar deploy his troops with the pila as a spear in more than one occasion if the weapon was made to bend easily on impact?
You have to take into account that the defensive equipment of the Romans and the Gauls was completely different.
Perhaps the Romans noticed that the Gauls left enough parts of the body uncovered or poorly defended and therefore even a pilum could be used as a hand-to-hand spear if they have these instead of an hasta
But against men who don't leave many body parts exposed I don't think it makes sense to use pilums (which are throwing weapons) when you have units that use Hasta that give you more range.

the romans had two types of pilum.
The "pila muralia"(used above a wall or a fortification to defend that position, like those they use in alesia to defend the outer wall fortification of the besiege camp) and the pila that generaly they throw.
They generally threw both of them on occasions that presented themselves.
If there was an occasion in which it was convenient to use it in close combat(like when someone climb the wall and you don't want use the sword because it make you expose to out of the fortification due to its low range, then the "pila muralia" one was used, because it had less soft iron than the other.
The metal part of the pilum was made up of 2 different alloys:
the tip was hard.
the metal part before the tip had a soft iron.

The purpose of bending or breaking and no longer being reusable by the enemy once launched was intended.
Or at least one source supporting the thesis that pilum must broke after hit a shield or the round is in one of the episodes narrated by Plutarch:
One of the two metal rivets that blocked the tip with the tang was replaced with a weak wooden pin that would have broken on impact in such a way as to deform it laterally, at the behest of Gaius Marius.
The purpose described in this episode was to cause it to BROKE to prevent its reuse by the enemy.
The early stacks do not seem to have this feature.
But with Gaius Marius (157-86 BC) we are well before Caesar, so it can be deduced that when Caesar invaded Gaul there were already types of pile that had the function of bending once the shield has been penetrated or in case he had impacted on a hard ground or on stone (so that it was not reusable).

Obviously it happened that it didn't bend or that even slightly crooked it could be thrown back, but I doubt that while you get a forest of spears you start looking for the one still intact to pull it back.

Other types of pile, with the same principle, had the iron tip hinged to the wooden rod to which it was fixed with a fragile wooden pin that broke on impact: the weapon bent with the same consequences on the enemy.

From the sources we read that that effect was wanted and sought after, without however risking having a fragile weapon for hand-to-hand combat (I suppose they were looking for a compromise, even with luck I would say).
Some scholars accredit these theses and others do not, as happens with all the historical finds of which there are few replicas and few sources.

If you then say that Caesar deployed troops with the pilum as a melee weapon instead of a hasta, at this point give me a practical example or report a clear event with the source, so at least I understand what you mean.
 

Antaeus

Sergeant at Arms
That moment when a discussion about a game mechanic becomes a test of pride between two people intent on not seeming wrong in front of the group, but arguing based on limited source material that isn't comprehensive enough to prove either point of view.

darksoulshinu, you know as well as anyone, that a weapon designed for one particular use could, and likely (over the course of hundreds of years probably was) occasionally used differently. Highest of all Landers, you don't need to argue your point out of pride.

In the game, the weapon is what the developers make it. If your problems are about historicity, you're in a fantasy game where a small character can swing an axe with a head that's 2 feet long while riding a horse at full gallop, swing it in a wide arc that kills 3 enemies in one blow, and make that pass 5 times without being touched - IRL the axe would weigh 20kgs. We're in hero land here. Things are being used out of context and time all over the place. The only thing that concerns me is whether this is intended behaviour by the devs - in which case OK. or if it is an accident - in which case FIX *shrug*
 
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The metal part of the pilum was made up of 2 different alloys:
the tip was hard.
the metal part before the tip had a soft iron.

It's straight up not physically possible to make a javelin head that is soft enough to bend *after* impact, while also being strong enough to penetrate a shield. There are a dozen other things Julius Caesar could have been referring to, for instance the pilae getting stuck during lulls in the fighting as the celts try to wrench them out, or a slight bending as the celts run with them and the pilae bounce and bend slightly. None of this requires a javelin head that is too soft to use as a spear.


What makes the pilum (and the soliferreum, and a few african weapons i can't remember the name of) unique is that it can penetrate shields and thus hit the man behind the shield, while most throwing weapons just can't. The idea of having a javelin (as opposed to an arrow which can easily be snapped or just ignored) stuck in your shield was probably terrifying. But like all javelins, it doubles up as a melee weapon. There are tons of examples of them being used that way.

There were probably different variants of the pilum over time, but the laws of physics prevent any of them from bending the way they do in most people's imagination. Notice how in the video they say the shaft is made of softer metal, but it still goes right through the shield and doesn't bend at all.

I'm pretty sure this change in the game is just a mistake. It makes zero sense as an appeal to history or as a balance change.
 

If I remember correctly, there are at least two pins in the pila, and one of them breaking does not mean the wood shaft comes loose entirely, in fact it would make unwanted weight shifts even worse with two moving parts (from head to end of metal shaft and then the wooden shaft).

There is a good difference between making the weapon unusable in the hands of the enemy and making it to force shields to be ditched, the design suggests that it is meant to pierce through with the shield bearer as the target.

As for when Caesar ordered his troops to use the pila as a spear, there is mentions of it in the Commentarii de Bello Gallico during the siege of Alesa, he also used it as a spear against cavalry in the battle of Pharsalus and there is also a mention of Mark Anthony using it as a spear in the Parthian campaigns.

Highest of all Landers, you don't need to argue your point out of pride.

It is not out of pride, arguing over stuff usually has the benefit of bring information either side hadn't seen before, or at least different interpretations over the same source that even if you disagree with are good to know. Besides, I thought it was pretty established that the current state of the pila might be an oversight or an unintended side effect of another change that benefited throwing weapons with more than one item in the stack and that the course of action was to open a bug report for them to take a look at this. I don't think this is the first time I saw this mentioned and I don't think it will be the last, but with a bug report at least we would have a definitive answer.
 
It's straight up not physically possible to make a javelin head that is soft enough to bend *after* impact, while also being strong enough to penetrate a shield.
The weapon does not necessarily have to bend on impact, also because if it did bend on impact it would risk not crossing the shield as it should and would not hit the enemy.
The pilim must bend after penetrating the shield.
And nowhere is it written that he has to do it by harnessing the forces and energies due to the impact and the speed of impact.
These are interpretations that do not take into account the dynamics of the clashes, situations and times that the soldiers have to act.

Let's imagine the scene:

After the pilum crosses the shield (and if it hits the enemy, so much the better) the target, if left unharmed, tries to extract it, but the hooks (when there are), the shape of the tip and the discomfort of the movements (also due to at the excitement of the moment, there is a Roman at 15 meters running towards him) they do not allow it and begins to move it with force, perhaps rotating it around the fulcrum (the hole in the shield).
If the metal meets the following conditions:
1) the impact force applied along its length does not generate bending and allows it to break through wooden shields.
Considering that they were throwing from a not too great distance, the accuracy in the throw and the target that raised the shield in the direction of the incoming pilum, gave angles of impact such that the forces acting on the axis of the pilum were as much parallel to the axis as possible. same.
2) fixed a fulcrum and fixed the resistances linked to the constraints (the constraint forces generated during an attempt to bring the tip towards the entry hole and the subsequent non-exit from the hole) and applied a force orthogonal to the axis of the metal rod (always trying to get it out), it would have to bend.


In those few seconds, our target of the example ends up bending the pilum, because he cannot be precise in removing it as his gaze goes from the shield to the Romans, from the Romans to the shield and sees that the Romans are first at 20 meters, then at 15, then at 10, while he with all his strength tries to get that damned javelin out.

So the metal must be such as not to bend on impact (forces generally parallel to the axis), but to bend subsequently IF there are forces applied not parallel to the axis (guy who wants to extract it) and resistances (the wood of the shield, maybe even the arm or part of the body of the soldier that prevents the tip from rotating and moving, the fact of keeping the shield on the ground to extract the pilum means that the ground does not rotate the part penetrated into the shield).
only a slight bend is needed to "make the draw tedious" and make the target decide to throw the shield, because while he tries to draw, there is a Roman 15 meters running towards him.

There were probably different variants of the pilum over time, but the laws of physics prevent any of them from bending the way they do in most people's imagination.
The problem is when the laws of physics are applied to support a thesis.
If it is said that the metal must bend as a result of the energies and momentum due to the impact(longitudinal foces), then I agree that the pilum either bends and does not break through the shield, or it breaks through the shield and does not bend.
But if the metal has to bend as a result of the attempt to extract the pilum (trasversal forces), then the forces involved and their directions are not those due to the impact, but rather the man's attempt to extract the pilum from the shield (which in itself would be already complicated even if it did not bend).

If the one who has to remove the pilum has the shield on his left arm and tries to remove it with his right, trying not to lower his guard too much, he ends up applying orthogonal forces to the pilum axis, which could bend it.
In any case, the goal is not: "the pilum must bend at all costs", but "let's make the extraction of the pilum more tedious and time-consuming".
If it bends by means of the forces due to extraction ,? well, the enemy throws the shield.
If it bends on hitting a rock? well, the enemy won't throw it back at me.
 

MostBlunted

Sergeant Knight
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