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Blood on the Sand: Pirate vs. Knight

by gdesanctis   April 28, 2009 at 2:34PM  |  Views: 234

Tonight at 10pm, Deadliest Warrior will pit Pirate against Knight, cunning against tradition, and lead against steel in a duel to the death.Before we get down to analyzing tonight's fight, I just want to thank you guys for making The Aftermath a success. We've been keeping up with all of your comments and feedback, and it's great that you guys are keeping the conversation going. I'm definitely looking forward to doing this week's, so be sure to leave a comment for us after Pirate vs. Knight premieres.

But on to the matter at hand: What makes this fight unique and interesting, and what sort of strategies will our combatants need to use if they want to best one another?

To begin with, I'm tremendously excited about the sheer range of possibilities in this matchup. Of all our fights this season, this is the one that came closest to actually occurring in history -- we've just taken the liberty of smooshing two sections of timeline, the High Middle Ages and the Golden Age of Piracy, closer together in order to see what results when they overlap.

You may already be thinking to yourself: "Well, this is pretty cut and dried: we still have gunpowder weapons today, but you don't see anyone using steel plate armor in modern warfare," but the history of the matter isn't that simple.

Gunpowder weapons first became widely adopted in Europe in the 14th century, first as cannons, and then quickly progressing to handheld artillery (the harquebus, or literal "hand cannons" in many cases) in the 15th century. However, plate armor evolved in kind, and early guns were ineffective at penetrating armor at a distance. But by the late 17th century, improvements had been made to musket technology that allowed guns to fire projectiles with greater muzzle velocity, and consequently, bypass armor.

But accuracy remained an issue. Early muskets lacked rifling in their barrel (simply put: a rifle puts spin on a bullet to give it a stable flight path -- think of what happens when you throw a football with proper spin. Now imagine throwing the ball without that spin. Awkward, isn't it?). To compensate for a lack of accuracy, armies at the time relied on massed firepower -- shooting became a numbers game more than anything.

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