Blood on the Sand: Aztec vs. Zande

May 11, 2010

Tonight at 10, Deadliest Warrior brings you one of the most ferocious pre-gun battles we've seen to date: Aztec vs. Zande. Join Max Geiger in this week's Blood on the Sand for a look at why this is a battle for the ages.

First off, thanks for checking out Jesse James and Al Capone last week, and I'm sorry to report that unlike Geoff, I won't be sharing any sweet vacation photos that relate to this episode.

That said, this matchup, Aztec warrior vs. Zande warrior, is one of my favorites this season. It's got two ancient warriors wielding some of the most creative weaponry we've seen to date, and there's some great history behind each of them.

This season, is posting the full list of weapons each warrior is using in our matchup, so be sure to check that out. Many of you have already brought your own pre-game analysis to the table, so there's not a whole lot for me to add on that front, save the reminder that each weapon is only as lethal as the hands wielding it.

Which leaves us with our warriors. This is an odd matchup in some ways because while most people know of or at least have heard of the Aztecs, the Azande people are less widely known.

While there never was a Zande empire to rival that of the Aztecs, that doesn't mean they're the underdog in this fight. Our Zande warriors have metal melee weapons, a sizable shield, and the Botto bow/Pima arrows, which is a solid long range performer.

Turning to our more familiar warriors, our Aztecs had some of the most unique weaponry we've seen on the show. The role of the Aztecs in the history of the North American continent can't be overlooked. While the conquest of Aztec lands at the hands of Spanish conquistadors is often cited as the moment that Western guns, germs, and steel proved their worth, for it's easy to forget the martial superiority the Aztecs enjoyed in their heyday.

Our Aztec warrior is notable for the obsidian weapons he's carrying- they are sharpest weapons we've seen yet on the show. Properly made, glass knives can carry an extremely thin edge (only a few molecules thick in some cases), but they are brittle. It's an interesting trade-off in the design of the weapon, but in a fight with so little armor on each side, our Aztec's only got to worry about getting past the Zande warrior's weapons. Additionally, the sling and atlatl our Aztec warrior carries give him more options at a distance than our Zande's bow and shorter range throwing knife, the Kpinga.

This proved to be a high-stakes, fast-paced, and very close fight in our simulations, and I think you'll enjoy the results.

That said, be sure to check out twitter-Geoff, Dr. Dorian, and I are all there, and Big G and I usually try to live tweet along with the episode, West Coast times. You can find us as @GeoffDesmoulin, @DrDorian, and @MaxGeiger. Also, check out some of the other stuff we're working on! Geoff's got a website with some sweet shirts, Doc's delicious drink, Dox (say that 5 times fast!). Also, today is the day the DVD of Season 1 finally drops! Do us a solid and pick it up here:

Until next time, morituri te salutant!