Blood on the Sand: Joan of Arc vs. William the Conqueror

July 26, 2011

Get ready to smack talk each other like never before because this week for the first time on Deadliest Warrior we have a medieval battle of the sexes when our first female warrior Joan of Arc faces off against William the Conqueror!

Geoffrey Thor Desmoulin here with Blood on the Sand to get you up to speed on the technology used in this episode and introduce the legendary warriors for this week's match-up.

Watch the first 12 minutes of Joan of Arc vs. William the Conqueror.

The Technology

Whether you're creating characters in a video game like Deadliest Warrior: Legends (LINK to the GAME) or assessing the effects of medieval armor on sword-wielding, the most important thing is to be able to "capture" natural human motion. To achieve accurate measurements or enough information to develop a realistic game, scientists and game developers use motion capture systems. Motion capture is a method of digitizing human motion or turning human motion into 1s and 0s that a computer can record, analyze, playback, and integrate. The current state of technology relies on the tracking of markers that are located on the skin or suit of the person making the motion. The number and type of markers/cameras dictate the sophistication of the system. From over 50 high resolution cameras capturing data at rates over 600 frames per second and over 100 markers placed on the human analog down to a single camera and a handful of markers. What you choose to use is dependent on the need. When making a video game, fine motion is desired and the more sophisticated the system the better. However, when trying to determine joint angles or a swing velocity in the field without the resources of a dedicated motion capture laboratory, a simple portable system is more than adequate to achieve those numbers. On this week's show you'll see me break down the effect of each of the warrior's armor on their ability to wield their swords using motion capture.

The Warriors

Joan of Arc wasborn in 1412 as a peasant in France, who later claimed to have received divine guidance after remarkably predicting a military turn of events near Orléans. While a convincing 12-year-old girl, it was more likely that France viewed her as the only source of hope for a regime near collapse. The French Military was demoralized and every logical option attempted and failed. Hence the decision to place a girl claiming God was instructing her to lead her countries army seemed like a good option as they had nothing else to lose. After gaining control Joan led the French army to multiple key victories that helped pave the way for the crowning of King Charles VII. However, like most great stories there is a tragic ending. Joan was captured by the Burgundians, sold to the English, and tried and burned at the stake when she was 19, leaving her a patron saint of France.

William the Conqueror was born around 1028 as an illegitimate son of Robert I, Duke of Normandy but in fact his only living son. Hence, when his father died in 1035, William was recognized as heir. As William aged he took more personal control and gained military experience by warding off rebellions from 1046-1055. William, jilted by having Harold (Earl of Wessex) crowned King in 1066 instead of him; a position promised to him, invaded England and camped near Hastings. Harold arrived without delay to ward William off and while it was a close-fought battle, Harold was killed and his army collapsed. On Christmas Day 1066, William was crowned King of England.

Twitter Requests

Yes, I'm trying to answer Twitter requests in Blood on the Sand as well so feel free to hit me up during the week. I've answered most twitter requests and most directly from @Dark_Angel_TJ and @VeritasKnight with the above paragraphs but another twitter request from @ETK_Gaming_Clan will be briefly answered here: "mention a favored weapon or tactic…" This is an interesting question because there are almost 400 years separating Joan and William which means many generations of weapons design and technology improvements. If you have different weapons you're most likely going to change the way you implement them so both the weapons and tactics are affected. The major one that sticks out for me is Joan's use of black powder. She could set up her 12-pound cannons just outside the range of any long-range weapons a castle might have had and pound away. On the flip side she had limited amounts of gun powder and cannonballs while William could have simply built any catapults needed with the trees of nearby forests and had almost limitless ammunition with the rocks and diseased animal heads (biological warfare) of the very land they fought on.

Watch this episode on Wednesday, July 27 at 10/9c to find out… who… is… Deadliest!

Okay, I owe you an apology. I advertised that I would live tweet last week as @geoffdesmoulin but failed to do so due to a charity event I was at. However, I hope to be live tweeting this episode. So if you're watching the show and just gotta know… hit me up. You can also hit up the Doc @drdorian and Mack @mack5326 as none of us can get enough of this show.

New Episodes of Deadliest Warrior air on Spike Wednesdays at 10/9c and are posted on three days later.