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Author Topic: The Warfare-Agriculture Connection  (Read 4983 times)
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« on: 07 15, 2005, 08:15: PM »

This probably belongs somewhere in the culture section, but ive no clue where Cheesy

from a quick perusal, heres my conclusions.
uniquely compared to us, klingons developed without agriculture (the indigenous japanese nearly did, but got outpopulated by agricultural korean immigrants). This means Kronos is (or must have been) pretty rich in food (but we knew this anyway from the number of large carnivores).

So, iron age klingons were still hunter-gatherers (though more hunting than gathering it must be said). This means they wouldnt have had the concentrated populations to raise large regiments of men. A centralised government would be impossible or at least highly unstable as each community can easily become independant. Trade is a convenience but not a necessity.

All this means lots of skirmishers and lone individuals running around the battlefield, and probably not a whole lot of metal to go round (as this requires some centralisation to organise arming everyone).

Assuming that there are no large friendly beasts, then no cavalry, but maybe stuff like elephants (fanged carnivorous ones of course) ridden by brave klingons. Chariots might be present, but not popular as they would be hard to control (getting a free one way ticket into the heart of battle might be cool to some though).

Weapons wise, no bows or crossbows have been mentioned that i know of, but slingshots have (moy'bI'). Skirmishers would be armed with these and javelins (tlhevjaQ). Lack of archers really changes the battle field some, but i think they could be replaced with javelin throwers with chetvI' (the hook thing).

Spears were specifically made for battle (ghIntaq) and shields featured too (yoD), and they work best in ranks, so some sort of massed unit is suggested, though probably screened by their bravest warriors with axes ('obmaQ) to break up enemy formations (the vikings i think also followed this model). 
Given the greater strength of klingons i think yoD could be quite massive making shield walls possible even without tons of drilling in it.

Given the hunter gatherer roots, im thinking some elite units would be ambushers. Stalking around the flanks and attacking when the enemy are already engaged with hunting spears, knives, etc.

Also of note are elite guard units which are the forerunners of the order of the batleth. They will be armed with weapons not unlike batleths and will probably be tasked with protecting the leader.

unlike other warbands who start up all whipped up and enthusiastic but quickly reconsider when they start to lose men, im thinking klingons would be reluctant to start with; challenging the leaders or each other, trash talking, etc. But once the fight gets going they will be out for blood; Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam (it is a good day to die) indeed.

[Edit -- changed thread title]
« Last Edit: 03 18, 2008, 12:30: AM by Kesvirit » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: 07 16, 2005, 01:52: AM »

Very interesting ideas. I of course must dispute some of them. Starting with agriculture, which I will admit does not play a large cultural role. In Pawns and Symbols there are scientists working on enhancing grain to stop a famine. While I don't think they specifically mention the grain being cultivated, engineered grain would have to be confined to a farm. That implies at least that there is a farming industry in the Empire. In Flag Full of Stars, the Klingon school teacher says that his father is a farmer. Kirk theorizes that he is more of a plantation owner than a working farmer. While one could doubt Kirk's knowledge of the empire, here we have a Klingon speaking of farmers. Both of these are modern (post space flight) era references but they do go to show agriculture as existing.

Next would be the lack of metal, I find this odd because almost every ancient Klingon reference there is mentions swords or metal weapons of some type, including the sword of Kahless. The book Kahless which disputes all the time honored myths even mentions Kahless going to a blcksmith with the concept and having batleths made for his men. In order for blacksmith to exist as a trade, there would have to be ample supplies of metals.

If the food is ample enough that one does not need to cultivate it, then communities would form arround something other than farming needs, why not mining needs. Once early Klignons discovered that some rocks melt and become weapons, wouldn't it make sense for a warrior race to gather arround the place where the melting rocks are?

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« Reply #2 on: 07 16, 2005, 02:42: PM »

Hmmm... There is Merit in this Discussion... And it may well Be that Heavy Agriculture Developed more Recently than in "Ancient" Klingon History...

As to Communities Congregating around Mining Industry... This Makes a Certain Type of Sense Since it Was Over Mining of Praxis which Nearly Destroyed the Empire...

I Would Also Point out though that it is a Natural Progression of the Model of the Star Trek Universe, that Most Planets Have a Variety of Environments, and that Resources would also Vary with the Environment... I Do do Not See Why Kronos would be much different... So While Mining Might be Prevalent in One Area, it might be Less Common or Impossible in Others, Where other Types of Early Industry Could have Developed... It Seems Two Dimensional to Assume that an Entire Planet Would Rely on Identical Means of Subsistance...  

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« Reply #3 on: 07 16, 2005, 04:06: PM »

on agriculture. you misunderstand, agriculture is inevitable. it will always occur eventually, but when is the important thing.
In every rich land in human history agriculture has never begun but has been imported by people from less rich lands (who have preceeded to out populate and slaughter the less centralised indiginous folk), and Kronos (or at least large tracts thereof) MUST be a rich land to support the large numbers of carnivores and not to mention sophisticated societies of hunter gatherers.

Im inclined to think that, unlike most hunter gatherers, Kronos was rich enough that Klingons were not nomadic and could settle and invent pottery, etc. Then and only then would such things as metal work be possible (you try processing ore while on the move to catch your dinner, its not just a case of melting rocks, though that is hard enough) and you'd get some degree of centralisation necessary to have an army at all (and not just gangs or tribes).  

I dont see klingons developing animal husbandry and crop management that early though, they are much more keen on hunting. Im thinking only after the Hurq invasion (when was that meant to be btw? im thinking post-industrial but i have no idea. also, what tech level are we looking at with the time of Kahless?).

Without this agriculture it would be very expensive for a guy to give up catching his own dinner and instead devoting his life to metal work. The population would simply not be able to support a large number of metal workers and so weapons with a great deal of metal would be quite rare, and you can forget about metal armour. Some militia would still be using clubs (jeqqIj) even and not looked down upon for doing so.
The time for lots of huge metal weapons would not come till much later (think the equivelent of medieval knights compared to celtic tribesmen. Its the medieval knight everyone looks back to just cos they are more impressive model to emulate). Kahless himself might have been the guy that started the trend and forced metal working to be fashionable.

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« Reply #4 on: 11 10, 2008, 05:39: PM »

With agriculture there is of course the distinction between large scale and subsistence farming. As most tribal groups have even if it is just for a little while have a space that is central to them, or a location used for ceremonial occasions. Also not only is metal work expensive in resource and man hours it is also in trade. So it may be that farm tools (Like in Britain's history) were used as melee' weapons.

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