Hello, DeadAliveManiac here, I'm doing my first DW fanfic and hope you enjoy. These stories may be long but I want to be as accurate as possible.
Hannibal: Rome's greatest threat who was the first to utilize elephants in European combat…
Julius Caesar: Rome's greatest leader, who fought for his country in war and politics.
"For centuries, scholars debated who the better strategist was, now, we find out. They were both great strategists who were the best at laying traps for their enemies." Mack says.
"Well, for me, we have to start these warriors off from scratch." Dr. Dorian answered.
Circa: 216 BC
Weight: 155 lbs.
Weapons and Armor:
Bronze Rimmed Wooden Shield
Circa: 48 BC
Weight: 165 lbs.
Weapons and Armor:
Falcata vs. Crocea Mors
"The Iberian falcata was made of high carbon Spanish steel, the best on the planet at that time. It was 28 inches long and weighed 5 pounds. The way it is formed gives it the momentum of an axe while keeping it as versatile as a sword." Dave Baker explained.
On a ballistics gel torso, the falcata cleanly pierces through the heart and out the back of the spine in one thrust and almost decapitates it with only two centimeters of flesh holding the head to the neck. But one of the Caesar experts interjected, "This was by far the most lethal weapon the Roman's faced, though it would go through our armor, it's basically a killing machine."
"Well, I'm glad to hear a Roman be noble for once." the Hannibal expert jokes.
"Well, unfortunately, we still need to test the damage this weapon can do to Caesar's armor." Geoffrey says.
Another gel torso is set up, this time with a scutum in front of it, pteryges at its waist and an iron centurion helmet. "Alright, you've got one thrust and swing at the shield, a thrust at the pteryges and a swing at the helmet, got it?" Geoffrey asks.
Geoffrey gives the count down and the Hannibal expert thrusts at the scutum, almost puncturing through all of the curved part of the blade. He then comes up top and comes down on the rim of the shield, hacking down the center of the shield a good foot. To the cheers of the Deadliest Warrior crew, he grabs the shield and tosses it aside, the thrusts into the pteryges, puncturing the lower intestine and is pulled out smoothly, then comes up high hacks at the helmet, leaving a three inch long crack. "Well, if we look at the first thrust, if it's next to the person, their dead, the hack, on the other hand, also destroyed the shield. Then, if we look at the armor, yep, it went all the way through the intestines and part of the colon, so not only will you bleed out rapidly, you will also spill out excrement, in other words, a, shall we say, shitty way to die. Then, you hit the skull, and let me see…" Dorian pulls out a scalpel and cuts open the scalp. "See, there are bones depressed into the brain, so this is an instant kill."
"Another thing we have to count on is the intimidation of this weapon, if you see one of your men get hacked to pieces through his shield and he comes for you, your first line of defense is now thrown into question and you think about running away. The Romans did have to reinforce their shields with iron strips and thicken the wood but we've just tested a reinforced shield and it still failed." Mack added.
"Well, you may have a high quality sword, but our sword has a legend to it." the Caesar expert says.
"The Crocea Mors, a legendary gladius that only Caesar could control. It weighed 3 pounds and was 25 inches in length was made of carbon steel, but it wasn't as high carbon as the falcata." Baker said.
It was tested against a bare gel torso and amputated the arms in two clean swoops, then punctures through the heart with a singled stab. Next, it is tested against Hannibal's shield, rimmed with bronze with a bronze boss in the center of the hardwood, bronze musculata, and brass helmet. He thrusts at the shield penetrates with an inch out the other side, but not far enough for a kill if the shield was next to the body, then slashes, only hitting the boss in the center, leaving barely a dent. He then thrusts at the armor at the abdominal level and the doming out of one of the abs leads to it only leaving a large scratch, and then he comes up high, a hack to the helmet leaves a large crack and even larger dent on the crest of the skull. Dr. Dorian assesses only the helmet injury and says, "Yes, we have another depressed skull fracture, this is an instant kill."
But to fully assess the power of the weapons, they will be tested on horseback against gel torsos in armor. The Hannibal team is up first. The horse charges at the torso and he slashes, cutting straight through the bridge of the nose. Dr. Dorian looks at the wound, chuckling, "Well, you almost cut his head in half, if the sword was a little heavier, it would have, but this goes through the brain and slices it in half horizontally, instant kill."
The Caesar expert mounts his horse. He speeds towards the armored torso and slashes at the neck. "Again, great accuracy, the blade goes through the windpipe and cuts both jugulars and the carotid on both sides of the neck, another instant kill."
Back at the fight club, the team assesses the weapons. "I have to give the edge to the falcata, superior steel and it did more damage to the armor." Geoff says.
"Agreed, it has the waited tip and it could go through the reinforced shield the Romans made." Mack agrees.
"Edge falcata." Dr. Dorian says.
Coming up, the Romans fire back with a heavy javelin on steroids. And later, Mack dissects to greatest battles these generals ever led.
Soliferrum vs. Pilum
"The soliferrum was an Iberian throwing javelin. It was made solely of iron and was around 2½ feet in length, weighed two pounds, and was around a centimeter in diameter. The great thing about this weapon was how dense and heavy it was. It could go straight through armor and shields, and it was also perfect from horseback." Baker said.
"The soliferrum was mainly used on horseback and Hannibal's Numidian cavalry was well equipped with this weapon." the Hannibal expert explains.
"Okay, you'll get three throws, two to the shield and one two the torso itself. With the first two, I want you to try and hit the shield itself and the boss in the middle." Geoff details.
Another gel torso is brought in with new armor on. The Hannibal expert mounts his horse and makes it barrel towards the torso and throws a soliferrum, sticking straight into the boss, perpendicular to the shield itself. He come back around and unleashes another soliferrum, striking the shield this time. On his last attempt, he comes around and unleashes his last soliferrum, sticking it into the left chest of the torso. "Alright then, let's have a look." Dr. Dorian leads. "Well, the first javelin went through the boss but didn't go anywhere past that. The second did get through the shield but not by much. The last one, went clean through the ribs, punctured the lung and collapsed it, this is an incapacitating injury."
"But, let's see," Mack takes the shield, "I can't really feel these in the shield so I can still keep fighting, I don't need to stop and pull it out, you've made my shield a little bit deadlier."
"But the great thing is Hannibal had his men carry three or four of these." the Hannibal expert argued.
"Well, we have javelin of our own that takes out shields and men."
"The pilum was 6 feet long and weighed 6 pounds, the end of the iron shank was in a weighted point that made it superior at penetrating armor. And, at the other end you have a spike to stick it into the ground and wait until you need it." Dave explained.
Back at the range, the team assesses the pilum. "So can you use it from horse back?" Geoff asked.
"No it was strictly an infantry weapon, you could use it as a spear, or, it's main purpose, a javelin." the Caesar expert said.
Just as the previous test, the Caesar team will get three pilum and hit the shield twice and hit the torso. He grabs the first pilum and flings it, hitting the shield a couple inches to the left of the boss, sticking into it. But as it's rear-end hit the ground, it pried a sliver of the shield out with the tip; the pilum fell to the ground. He grabbed the next, discouragement in his face, and flung it; this one went wide of the shield and hit the musculata, sinking in. He grabbed his last and threw it with a battle shout, hitting dead center of the boss. "Man that looks sick." Geoff whispered.
They took the armor off the torso and saw the weighted tip was the only part that made it through, barely puncturing the epidermis. "Well, you don't get in deep, no kill. The first shot actually took a small piece out of the shield and didn't slow the warrior down; the last did stick in the boss, so either pull it out or ditch the shield." Dorian stated.
The team goes back to the fight lab once again and assesses these weapons. "I have to give my edge to the soliferrum, it's smaller, faster, and you can use it from horseback." Geoff stated.
"I agree, soliferrum all the way." Dorian said.
"Soliferrum." Mack said.
Coming up, Mack looks at the battles that made these legends. And later, Hannibal's elephant goes against a double-edged steel dagger.
Battle Field Tactics:
Double Envelopment vs. Hidden Fourth Line
"Alright sir, what do you consider to be Hannibal's greatest victory." Mack asked the Hannibal expert.
"Oh, without a doubt, the Battle of Cannae." he answered.
"Alright, let's go there." Mack said, using his touch screen table to reenact the battle.
"So Hannibal deploys his infantry in a crescent shape and when the Romans drive deep enough into it, all 80,000 troops, the left and right flanks broke off and attack Rome's left and right flanks. His Spanish and Gallic cavalry defeated the Roman cavalry and go around the rear of Rome's formation and assist the Numidians in defeating the allied cavalry, they were then chased by the Numidians. For the final blow, the cavalry spread out into a line and attack Rome from the rear. Now, they spent the day killing and capturing Roman and allied infantry." he said.
"The greatest defeat Rome has ever seen, 50,000 dead or captured soldiers." Mack added.
"What was Caesar's greatest battle?" Mack asked the Caesar expert.
"The Battle of Pharsalus." he stated.
"Alright, let's take a look."
"During the prelude of this battle, Caesar flat out says if they lose this battle, they will all be killed. He also drills them to use their pilum like spears and aim for the faces of the cavalry. At the battle, Caesar has barely 30,000 troops to his rival Pompey Magnus has almost 70,000. Caesar has his lines come closer together to cut down on the risk of fatigue and fighting distance. At one point, Pompey orders his army to cease its charge and wait, he thought Caesar's army would become even more tired and fall apart because of the distance they would have to cover. Caesar, proud of how disciplined his army was, had them wait and recover. Then, Pompey's army charges and begins the attack. Just as Pompey had anticipated, his cavalry annihilated Caesar's, chasing them off the battlefield. But, after the cavalry runs off, he deploys his hidden fourth line which uses their pilum tactic to such an effect that Pompey's cavalry runs away. Then his fourth line attacked the left flank of Pompey's army, then the third line of Caesar's army helps the fatigued first and second lines fight. Surrounded on three sides, a river to the right of the army, Pompey leaves the battle and flees to Egypt. His army soon flees and Caesar wins the last major battle of Roman Civil War."
"After seeing these two battles, I have to give my edge to Hannibal. His tactics led to far more success against a more determined force." Mack said.
EDGE: Double Envelopment
War Elephant vs. Pugio
Due to the extinction of the North African Elephant, the team will test a 9,000 pound African Bush Elephant. They line up a gel torso with a shield over top of it. The owner of the elephant pushes it on to stomp on the shield. The shield was almost instantly crushed and the torso beneath it was next. The ribs and spine could clearly be heard cracking. Then, it finally stepped on the head, exploding everything inside outward. To the cheers of everybody, even the Caesar expert, they inspect the body. "Well, I don't need my gloves for this." Dorian lifts the shield. "Oh the shield actually splintered into the chest and punctured the right lung, all the ribs have been broken, the spine's broken in almost every way, and his skull opened up like a flower, he's dead."
"But," the Caesar expert interrupts, "elephants are easy to spook, and if my pilum can cause it enough pain, it will run away."
"That sounds like a test." Geoff answered.
Geoff then assembles an "elephant" out of quarter inch leather for the dermis, ¾ of an inch of close cell foam for the epidermis, and 9 inches of ballistics gel for the subcutaneous tissue. The Caesar expert takes aim with his first pilum, hitting center mass of the "elephant", getting halfway through the ballistics gel. "Alright, it did get in, but it didn't get through enough to kill. However, the elephant will definitely be in pain, and when it's moving, the shank will shake its way out, but not all the way, that waited tip," Dorian grabs the javelin and begins to wiggle and pull it out, "is still stuck, so it's causing even more pain."
"So you have discredited the elephant, but, if the elephant sees you do this, it's not just gonna sit there and take it, its going to run you down and kill you. And it has a special way of doing that. It leans forward and kneels on you and crushes you with their weight." the Hannibal expert said.
"Well, we still have a weapon we can use to stab you when your elephant runs off." the Caesar expert snapped.
"The pugio dagger was 13 inches long and weighed around 1½ pounds. It is a double-edged steel blade that is very narrow at the tip and was actually used by conspirators to kill Caesar." Dave detailed.
To test the effectiveness of the weapon, it will be tested against two targets, one unarmored, the other fully armored. The Caesar expert steps up to the first and is given the countdown. He stabs it in the abdomen and slashes at the abdomen three times. He comes up his and stabs it in the throat, then slashes both sides of the neck, and finishes up with a stab to the skull. He moves to the next and stabs at the helmet, going through the helmet and visibly into the skull. He pulls it out and stabs at the heart of the torso, but the blade only makes a small hole in the armor. Dorian assesses the serious injuries on both torsos. "Starting with the unarmored, the first strike was directly into the stomach, this would cause a lot of bleeding, this is a kill. These slashes are actually very shallow due to the diamond shape of this weapon; these will hurt but not kill. The stab to the throat and slashes to the neck would all kill instantly or within seconds. To the armored, this brass helmet is a disaster, it went through it and a quarter of the blade went into the skull, instant kill, and well, you don't even hit flesh, theirs no consideration of even a wound."
"So this is a very fast, strong weapon, and it doesn't run away once it gets hurt." the Caesar expert snarked.
So which weapon gets the edge? "Again, we're seeing consistency on the side of Hannibal; his weapons were well thought out and had a great effect, edge Hannibal." Geoff said.
"Well, the elephant can be spooked, but to do that with the pilum, you have to be fairly close to it to get the damage you want on the elephant, edge Hannibal." Mack said.
"I pray if I was attacked by an elephant it stepped on my head, with the dagger, it's over quickly, with the elephant, I see the body of my fellow comrade and I'm gone, edge Hannibal." Dorian added.
EDGE: War Elephant
But, to properly assess these warriors, we must assess X-factors, critical intangibles that allow to further assess a warrior on a scale of 1 to 100. "Alright Rob, what do you have for us?" Geoff asked.
"I'll address the main X-factors and we'll start the sim." Robert Daly answered. "First off, we need to start off with the warriors, Hannibal will have 2 Numidian horsemen and 2 African foot soldiers, they will wear lorica hamata and carry the shield and helmet Hannibal does, except the Numidian cavalry, who won't wear the helmet. Caesar will have four centuries, two horsemen and two foot soldiers and they will also wear lorica hamata and the same armor as Caesar except the pteryges. For strategy, we gave Hannibal a 97 to Caesar's 92. Logistics, we gave Hannibal a 77 to Caesar's 93 due to the fact that he came more equipped for a long war. For physicality, we gave Hannibal an 84 to Caesar's 81 due to Hannibal's falcata. For generalship, we had to give it to Hannibal, he had his men do the impossible, cross the Alps with elephants, because they believed in him, so we gave him a 91 to a close Caesar 90. For endurance, again, for the fact Hannibal started his conquest of Rome in the dead of winter, we gave him an 89 to Caesar's 86. Finally, for audacity we gave Hannibal an 87 to Caesar's 90. While it took a lot of guts to attack Rome, Caesar constantly offended the Senate with his ideas and speeches, keeping him wildly popular with Roman citizens." Daly said.
"Well, the only thing left to do is throw the switch." Geoff said.
Daly clicks a button and the simulation begins. It starts with the view of a dry Italian field. Hannibal rides atop his towering elephant and his Numidians on his left and right, and his Africans on both sides of them. He hears the blare of a Roman trumpet and turns his head to one of the hills and sees Caesar, wearing a bright white linen shirt going down to his thighs, his pteryges covering his waist over top of the shirt, and his men walking towards them. Hannibal unsheathes his falcata and orders his Numidian horsemen to attack them. They charge off towards the hill Caesar is slowly descending. They both pull out their soliferrums and they each throw one, the first hits Caesar's shield, sticking to it. The latter hits an unprepared foot soldier in the throat, killing him instantly. The other foot soldier thrusts into the horse's side with his pilum and kills it; it somersaults on top of its rider and crushes him. The Roman rolls the horse off of him and sees the man is still alive. The Numidian reaches his bloody hand up to the Roman in a sign of mercy, blood flowing from his mouth and nose. The Roman holds his pilum like a pitchfork and stabs him in the abdomen, then twists it and pulls it out, killing the Numidian. Caesar, anger on his face, orders a retaliation attack by his horsemen. Hannibal sees the two horsemen charging and slides down the side of his elephant, shield and soliferrum in hand. He prods the elephant in the rear, making it trumpet fiercely and charge at the cavalry men. The two see this and turn their horses around, but one horse is spooked and rears up and throws its rider to the ground, knocking the wind out of him. He looks up just as the elephant lifts its foot up and steps on his head, smashing the helmet into his head and pulverizing his face. The elephant looks around with tusks raised in the air as a sign of aggression. The Roman horseman comes back around the rear of the elephant and holds his pilum like a spear and runs it into the elephant, causing it to trumpet in pain. He pulls out his gladius and rides towards Hannibal, one of his African infantry charges at him. As they come close the Roman swings the gladius wildly, slicing into the face of the foot soldier, making him spin a 180 and collapse to his knees and fall to the ground dead. The Roman turns his horse around and rides back to Caesar, looking back at Hannibal and smiling. He turns around and sees the elephant charging at him. Before he can turn his horse around, the elephant tusk gores him through the chest, making him fall off his horse and die. Caesar and his foot soldier attack the elephant with two pila, sticking into the same side as the last pilum, causing it to trumpet again and run away. Hannibal orders his Numidian to charge again, his horse tramples towards Caesar and his soldier at high speed as he pulls out his falcata. The Roman foot soldier puts his shield up as the Numidian swings wildly, hacking into the top of the scutum. The Roman thrusts his gladius up and into the chest of the Numidian, knocking him off his horse and killing him. Caesar looks at the Roman with a smile and pats him on the back. Hannibal and his African foot soldier walk towards Caesar and his Roman and Caesar and Hannibal stop, eyeing eachother. The Roman and African engage eachother by dropping into a defensive shield pose. They circle eachother and the Roman makes the first strike, slashing horizontally at the African, only hitting the boss of the shield. The African lunges forward with a thrust and the Roman ducks, he then counter thrusts at the African's legs but he dodges that as well. The African sees his opening and hacks at the Romans exposed heel, cutting his tendons and leaving him on his knees. The African raises his falcata and stabs at the back of the Romans neck, entering through his spine and out the front of his neck through the windpipe. He pulls the sword out and watches the Roman fall to the ground and he is stabbed in the side of the neck by Caesar's pugio. Caesar walks around the falling African, leaving the pugio in his neck, and draws his gladius. The two circle eachother and Hannibal whips a soliferrum at Caesar, striking his shoulder and knocking Caesar back. Caesar rips the soliferrum out of his shoulder and throws it aside. He advances towards Hannibal without regard and slashes at his opponent, Hannibal raises his shield and blocks the blow. Caesar then shoves Hannibal to the ground with a huge blow from his scutum. Caesar stands atop Hannibal with both hands on the hilt of his gladius and raises it high overhead. He brings it down with all his might on Hannibal's chest. But the blow only makes a hole in Hannibal's musculata. Hannibal looks up at the shocked Caesar and makes his opportunity. He swings at Caesar's head, hitting his helmet and cracking it. Caesar wobbles back, his eyes glazed over. Hannibal rises and stabs Caesar in the abdomen. He stares Caesar in the eye and rips his falcata out of Caesar. Caesar slumps to the ground like a ragdoll and bleeds out. Hannibal turns and raises his falcata in the air and shouts, "Rome mos cado!" and walks off of the field, searching for his elephant.
Falcata-66% Crocea Mors-34%
War Elephant-79% Pugio-21%
Armor Fail Rate: Armor Fail Rate:
Helmet: 63% Helmet: 39%
Armor: 4% Armor: 80%
Shield: 7% Shield: 44%
2,676 Wins 2,324 Wins
Strategy: 97 Strategy: 92
Logistics: 77 Logistics: 93
Physicality: 84 Physicality: 81
Generalship: 91 Generalship: 90
Endurance: 89 Endurance: 86
Audacity: 87 Audacity: 88
"The reason Hannibal won was because his strategies worked, even if Caesar studied Hannibal's tactics, he couldn't use them to the same effect as Hannibal. Hannibal also had superior weapons and armor, excluding his helmet, even with the thickened shield the Romans were still being hacked to pieces." Mack said.
Next week: It's a battle of the most influential warriors, Sun Tzu: the genius strategist who wrote The Art of War and changed warfare…
Genghis Khan: the Mongol leader who unified the Mongol clans and started the world's largest continuous empire.
Who will be…the deadliest warrior?