Based on the show Deadliest Warrior, which I love despite the fact that it is absolutely ridiculous.
The Spartan is a full Spartiate, a veteran peer of Sparta’s warrior class from the height of Sparta’s power circa the 5th Century B.C. He has access to the xiphos short sword, spear, javelin and bronze hoplon shield. He wears a full set of armour - bronze helm, cuirass and greaves.
The Samurai is a veteran of the Sengoku Jidai, the Age of the Country at War, 1467–1573 A.D. He has access to the katana blade, naginata polearm, yami bow and the kanabo club. He wears a full set of lacquered samurai armour.
The battle takes place on even ground. Assume both have adequate motivation for the other’s demise.
On the face of it, they are quite similar. Both are from warrior castes who look down on other elements of society. Both have a culture that revolves around warfare and the glory/honour of dying in battle. Both place great importance on their equipment - the Spartan was told to come back with his shield or upon it, and the Samurai called the katana his ‘soul’.
The Spartan was in many ways the most fearsome soldier in all history, trained from infancy in war. However, the Samurai has access to weapons of folded steel he trains with every day. But who…is…deadlier?
I’d give it to the Spartan. Their spears have greater reach, and the samurai wouldn’t know how to handle his hoplon - shields being largely unknown in East Asia. Plus, based purely on my knowledge of popular culture, the samurai were more interested in acquitting themselves honorably, while the Greeks were more result-oriented, and weren’t above using dirty tricks if the situation required it. Pragmatism beats honor any day of the week.
I thought the point of a hoplite was to fight in a phalanx. I don’t think just one hoplite would be particularly formidable. Its pretty hard to stick someone with a seven foot spear unless your in some sort of formation.
And the Samuri has a thousand years of technological advancement to draw on. The hoplites were using bronze and iron, the samuri had steel swords.
I voted for samurai before really considering the issue.
First of all the Spartan has that fucking javelin (which the samurai has no shield to lose in exchange for) and as Boudica knows now better than anyone, javelins rock. I was going to say that the javelin toss might play a big part in who won but you know what? I think even without the javelin the Spartan would win pretty solidly because he’s armored pretty fucking heavily in bronze and, most importantly, he’s got that shield. I think the shield is the real game ender in favor of the Spartan. Sorry samurai.
The javelin gives the Spartan an edge, but only because of a flaw in the scenario. The Spartan gets his customary ranged weapon, but the samurai doesn’t get his. Give both warriors their traditional distance weapons, and the Spartan is dead before he can get near enough to the samurai to throw his javelin.
Take away both of their distance weapons, and it’s still a pretty lopsided fight. There’s no way bronze arms and armor have a chance against high quality steel. Remember, the samurai is armored too, and his armor, in the period specified by the OP, is steel plate. And unlike the hoplite, the samurai is armored in it head to toe. All the shield is going to do is prolong things. End of the fight, the Spartan is dead, and the samurai isn’t even breathing hard.
Did anybody read the OP? The Samurai has a bow. At long range the Spartan is toast and in any case you can’t reload a Javelin.
The OP isn’t clear about what range the battle takes place at.
I also suspect that the Spartan armor was pretty thin. We are talking about infantry and not cavalry here. Even the Cavalry plate armor of the middle ages wouldn’t stop the arrows from English longbows. The Samurai bows are probably a lot weaker than the English Longbow, but I suspect the armor is a lot weaker also.
Spartan armor was designed for fighting in formation against other Greeks. A Spartan would be giving up a lot of mobility against the Samurai one one one.
Doesn’t matter. A phalanx is toast to skirmishers as a general rule - the latter move faster since they aren’t burdened with heavy armour, nor a need to fight cohesively. Unless the samurai are backed against a cliff… on all sides… they’re going to whittle the Spartans down.
Even more so if the samurai get their horses - they were pretty big on horse archery. Horse archers fucked up even the Roman legions, which were superior to Spartan phalanxes on pretty much all fronts.
The fight’s not even remotely fair for the Greeks. But then, 15+ centuries of technological disadvantage will do that
I think some people are mixing up Macedonian phalanxes which used the long Sarissa with the much shorter spears in a Spartan phalanxes. The Sarissa is usually associated with the 4th century and not the 5th century we are talking about.
The Spartan is trained, equipped, and indoctrinated in the most team-oriented style of warfare in the history of organized warfare.
The Japanese samurai warrior is trained, equipped, and indoctrinated to fight individually.
One versus one it’s not really a fair fight. I don’t think the issue of 1500 years of technology is actually very relevant; even if you downgrade the samurai’s tech a little, he’s still a trained duelist and the Spartan is not.
I haven’t seen the show but how they concluded the Spartan would win is completely baffling to me.
Because as far as I can tell their ‘High Tech simulation software’ is an excel spreadsheet, where they enter discrete numbers for each weapons supposed effectiveness from lab tests and get it to spit out how many kills are made with each weapon. :smack: