Mongol vs Conquistador

June 11, 2009

Deadliest Warriors -Season 2 Episode 3

The hits just keep coming. I should probably make these shorter and more exciting to read, but if I'm going to do the research you're going to read it.

Mongol Warrior vs. Spanish Conquistador
My third choice for season two is a match-up between two renowned cavalry warriors who conquered and plundered their way into the history books.

Spanish Conquistadors were brutal mercenaries and brilliant tacticians whose mandate was to bring civilization and the word of God to the new world, but instead they conquered and plundered an entire continent.

Mongol Warriors were fierce nomads from the steppes of Asia who forged one of the largest empires in history by crushing enemy after enemy and spreading terror from the sea of Japan all the way to the heart of Europe.

Mongol Warrior - Circa 1220 AD.
Mongol Warriors used a combination of unique tactics, technological advances, and a lifetime of constant training to become some of the greatest cavalry troops in history. From a very young age Mongol warriors practiced not only horsemanship and archery, but also the unit tactics that would give them a great edge in wars against untrained peasant armies and noble knights alike.

Leather, Iron & Silk: Mongol troops wore armor consisting mostly of layers of boiled and hardened leather with iron plates added for extra strength in the chest, boots and arms. They would also wear a silk undershirt that served as extra protection from arrows. Mongol warriors wore leather helmets with a domed cap made of iron or steel. Some warriors also carried a light yet effective leather shield that was capable of stopping arrows, swords and knives. This mix of light and heavy armor gave the Mongols protection against various attacks, while also allowing them the flexibility they required to ride and fight.

Scimitar: A favored weapon of the Mongol cavalry was the curved saber or Scimitar. This weapon had a single edged curved blade that was 3-4 feet in length and was primarily used for slashing attacks from horseback. Its effectiveness for mounted warfare was legendary and the fact that it was adopted by so many different armies is a testament to its effective design.

Lance: The mongol lance was 12' long with a blade at the end for piercing and slashing. It also had a hook under the blade for pulling other riders off their horses.

Recurve Bow: The Mongol recurved bow was light and could be fired rapidly from horseback with devastating effect. Mongol archers were able to draw and shoot up to 12 arrows a minute even when firing from horseback. The bow was made from composite materials, and was unmatched for accuracy, force, and reach. Targeted shots were best at a range of 60-80m, while ballistic shots could hit enemy units at distances of up to 400 m. 

Lasso: The lasso was a useful tool for capturing horses or moving livestock, but it was also used as a weapon to pull armored knights from their mounts and drag them to death. The Mongolian lasso is usually made of a wooden pole with a loop of leather or rope tied to one end that could be drawn tight around the neck of a horse or the body of an enemy.

Horse: Mongolian horses are relatively small, and would lose short-distance races under equal conditions with larger horses from other regions. However, since most other armies carried much heavier armor, the Mongols could still outrun most enemy horsemen in battle. In addition, Mongolian horses were extremely durable and sturdy, allowing the Mongols to move over large distances without stopping. All horses were equipped with stirrups, saddles and often carried a type of leather armor.

Spanish Conquistador - Circa 1520 AD.
Conquistadors were professional fighting men who ventured to the new world in search of fame and fortune. These were excellent soldiers and veterans of many wars in Europe who boasted some of the finest cavalry in the world. Spanish cavalry were the shock troops of the Conquistador army, capable of smashing enemy lines with ferocious and disciplined charges.

Leather & Steel: The average Spanish soldier preferred to use all the metal armor he could afford. This tended to be a steel curiasse that covered only the torso or a sleeveless chain mail vest. This metal armor was usually covered by a leather jacket called a Cuerra or a padded cloth coat called a Gambeson that protected the arms and lower torso. The Spanish helmet was called a Morion, which was a type of steel helmet usually having a flat brim and a thick crest from front to back. Some versions also had cheek guards and even removable face plates to protect the soldier from sword cuts to the neck or face.

Saber: In close combat a Spanish rider would use his saber, a straight steel sword about three feet long that was sharp on both sides and relatively narrow. This weapon was a swift, light, sword made from excellent Spanish steel that excelled at both slashing and thrusting attacks.

Lance: Spanish lances were wooden spears, 12-15 feet long, with an iron or steel point on the end designed to pierce armor and devastate masses of foot soldiers.

Crossbow: The crossbow was a European weapon designed to defeat armored knights and allow unskilled archers to fire accurately and kill at up to 200 yards. However, they were very slow to load causing their rate of fire to be approximately one shot per minute, much less than a bow.

Harquebus: A sort of early musket, the harquebus was a smooth bore matchlock firearm that fired a low-velocity lead slug capable of piercing even the best plate armor and frightening enemies with its sound and fury. The harquebus had an effective range of 250 feet, a maximum range of 500 feet, and a rate of fire that was a slow 1 shot per minute and a half.

Spanish war horses are strongly-built, compact horses, that are renowned as some of the best cavalry mounts in history. Known for their intelligence, agility, and quick change of direction, the Conquistadors were able to make multiple charges in short order using these horses. When going into battle Conquistador horses were often fitted with armor, including heavy plate steel that covered their head, neck, and sides.


Close Combat
Scimitar vs. Saber
The Mongol Scimitar was the forerunner of all modern cavalry blades, but the Spanish Saber was made of superior steel and was a faster more versatile weapon.

Mongol Lance vs. Spanish Lance
These lances are fairly equivalent but the Mongolian Lance has the extra ability to hook riders from their horses.

Long Range
Recurve Bow vs. Crossbow
The Crossbow is the deadlier more powerful weapon, but the Recurve Bow is capable of piercing plate armor and has an enormous advantage in rate of fire.

Special Weapon
Lasso vs. Harquebus
The Lasso is a devious trick that can dismount even the heaviest knight, but the Harquebus is deadly if it hits and frightening even if it doesn't.

This is a tough one to predict because the Mongol Bow has the potential to dominate the fight. However, the Conquistador has the overall deadlier arsenal and the heavier armor. That's why I'm giving a slight edge to the Conquistador.

(Kill Estimates)
Kills      Mongol Conquistador
Close       90      150
Mid        150      140
Long       230      120
Special     20      100
Total      490      510