Battering Rams, Fire bombs and other unconventional weaponry against Phalanx, shieldwall/legion?



So here is the question.
How would:
  • A hand held battering ram
  • Moltov Cocktails
  • Fire Arrows
  • Medieve Lances

Do against A Phalanx, A shield wall or a legion?

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Battering Rams
Even with the lack of mobility that phalanxes and shield walls have any battering ram large enough to be worth it has less.​
Molotov Cocktails
Could work, better with phalanxes as they have smaller shields. For shield walls and testudos better to throw in front of rather than on as shield can deflect them.​
Fire Arrows
Similar to Molotov Cocktails but generally less effective; they are less likely to set the terrain on fire.​
Mediaeval Lances
On Foot​
You've basically got a phalanx.​
On Horse​
Flanking would work, you do have a speed advantage, but best to have a distraction in front of them so they don't turn. Pointy sticks and horses don't mix, even barded horses. Not really going to work on a testudo though.​
 
Battering Rams
Even with the lack of mobility that phalanxes and shield walls have any battering ram large enough to be worth it has less.​
Molotov Cocktails
Could work, better with phalanxes as they have smaller shields. For shield walls and testudos better to throw in front of rather than on as shield can deflect them.​
Fire Arrows
Similar to Molotov Cocktails but generally less effective; they are less likely to set the terrain on fire.​
Mediaeval Lances
On Foot​
You've basically got a phalanx.​
On Horse​
Flanking would work, you do have a speed advantage, but best to have a distraction in front of them so they don't turn. Pointy sticks and horses don't mix, even barded horses. Not really going to work on a testudo though.​
Battering Rams:
So what your saying is that they 'Could' be usefull, but due to their lack of mobility, the enemy can compensate?

Molotov Cocktails:
I imagine that they are great for the Shock and Moral factor. If your surroundings are on fire, and you are on fire, I imagien the line would break up.

Fire Arrows:
Yeah... Nah.

Medieval Lance Calvalry.
Basically Lances would aid an Alexandrian 'Hammer and Anvil' tactic?
 
I like the OP's ideas.

Battering Rams
Even with the lack of mobility that phalanxes and shield walls have any battering ram large enough to be worth it has less.​
Wait, why? I know a battering ram is slow, but a phalanx's limited mobility is mostly forward, turning actually breaks the formation, which the Romans found out and exploited. Obviously the idea of using an anti-gate battering ram against the phalanx wouldn't work otherwise someone would have done it, but I still need convincing that the phalanx can get out of the way in time.

Mediaeval Lances
On Foot​
You've basically got a phalanx.​
You've made my day
 
well greek fire clay pots did exist but i never heard their use in battle
There is no reason to use greek fire when Vodka is much cheaper. Greek fire is way more expensive than alcohol. It really is not necessary when odds are good that the enemy army doesn't have buckets and buckets of water handy.
 
There is no reason to use greek fire when Vodka is much cheaper. Greek fire is way more expensive than alcohol. It really is not necessary when odds are good that the enemy army doesn't have buckets and buckets of water handy.
Alcohol fire can be put out way easier than a nepalm like substance it would be better to use against sieges engines tho
 
There is no reason to use greek fire when Vodka is much cheaper. Greek fire is way more expensive than alcohol. It really is not necessary when odds are good that the enemy army doesn't have buckets and buckets of water handy.
Vodka bombs. I like it
 
There is no reason to use greek fire when Vodka is much cheaper. Greek fire is way more expensive than alcohol. It really is not necessary when odds are good that the enemy army doesn't have buckets and buckets of water handy.
A combination of distilled Vodka and Tar/pitch would make a very good combonation, similar to Modern day Moltov cocktails.
 
Can nets be used against a phalanx? It's not hurting them directly, but destroys their mobility and inhibits their use of their weapons which makes the job of those facing the phalanx much esier.
 
The Macedonian Pike Phalanx had the mobility to dodge Persian scythed chariots by making holes in their formations for them to pass through. So the battering ram is right out.
 
Ballistae would be a very good period weapon against phalanxes and heavy infantry formations. Their comparatively slower movement speeds and manoeuvrability make them easy targets, why risk fire and big unwieldy weapons when you can pound them from afar, and with elevation or training you can increase the distance between your forces with little loss. A combination of archers and ballistae keeps them slow and easy targets, with light infantry and cavalry to pin them in and take advantage of any breaks in their formation.
Edit: Let alone the psychological effect of seeing 3 of your buddies being pierced by a 2 metre long pole.
 
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Battering Rams:
So what your saying is that they 'Could' be usefull, but due to their lack of mobility, the enemy can compensate?

Molotov Cocktails:
I imagine that they are great for the Shock and Moral factor. If your surroundings are on fire, and you are on fire, I imagien the line would break up.

Fire Arrows:
Yeah... Nah.

Medieval Lance Calvalry.
Basically Lances would aid an Alexandrian 'Hammer and Anvil' tactic?
I like the OP's ideas.



Wait, why? I know a battering ram is slow, but a phalanx's limited mobility is mostly forward, turning actually breaks the formation, which the Romans found out and exploited. Obviously the idea of using an anti-gate battering ram against the phalanx wouldn't work otherwise someone would have done it, but I still need convincing that the phalanx can get out of the way in time.



You've made my day
Twelve guys each with their own big stick can turn faster than twelve guys strapped to a telephone pole.

And yes exactly like the "Hammer and Anvil"
 
Ballistae would be a very good period weapon against phalanxes and heavy infantry formations. Their comparatively slower movement speeds and manoeuvrability make them easy targets, why risk fire and big unwieldy weapons when you can pound them from afar, and with elevation or training you can increase the distance between your forces with little loss. A combination of archers and ballistae keeps them slow and easy targets, with light infantry and cavalry to pin them in and take advantage of any breaks in their formation.
Edit: Let alone the psychological effect of seeing 3 of your buddies being pierced by a 2 metre long pole.
I suspect that if Ballistae were so effective, they'd have seen more use IOTL.
 
I suspect that if Ballistae were so effective, they'd have seen more use IOTL.
They die to cavalry even faster than a phalanx where the cav charged the side (and hence, not needing to worry about pointy sticks). That wouldn't kill them alone (after all skirmishers don't stand well to cavalry and they have a use) but the weight of most siege artillery makes a battering ram seem light.
 
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