Spartan fights Samurai. Who wins?

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?

FTR, in the show, the Spartan (narrowly) won.

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.

The Spartan would be screwed.

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.

Cavalry. Superiority.

One rider with a sabre beats one foot soldier with a short sword. The spear might help, but I’m betting on the samurai.

On foot, I’m still going with the samurai. Even though Japan was isolated for centuries, a 16th-century samurai is much more technologically advanced than an ancient Greek.

hardened steel vs. bronze. tough.

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.

Aside from what’s already been said about bronze vs steel, the samurai should also have access to matchlocks. Game over.

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.

Ha! I totally double checked the OP to see if it mentioned a bow before I posted, and I still missed it!

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 :wink:

Samurai. Points made already. Better technology and more prepared for one on one battle.

Right. True the Spartan warrior culture was scary. As a warrior, both naked and given nothing but a large club, the Spartan might well win. But Spartans were trained formation fighters, not duelists.

The bow just clinches it, but makes it unfair. I mean, it’s technology is over 1000 years of developement later. It’s like who’s gonna win- a Samurai or a Seal? “Hai!” “buddabuddabuddabudda” “thud”.

The show is just plain wrong.

But like I said, given both a breachclout and a club, I’d bet on the Spartan.

Well, obviously. You need a ninja to make that fight even. :smiley:

1 vs 1: Samurai.

1000 vs 1000: Spartans.

Spartan equipment and tactics works quite well in formation, especially in the Greek mountains where you can use the terrain to minimize the chances of being flanked.

One guy with a very long spear is a guy who has difficulty handling his weapon. 100 guys with very long spears is a wall.

Trying to fight with one Spartan though is like trying to dam a river with one sandbag. You need a critical mass.

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.

It’s been said above, but I’ll give my reason for voting Samurai

Spartans were trained to fight in a unit, not individually.

Samurais on the other hand duelled a lot.

So, I give it to experience

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:

They presumably show that the Nazis did in fact beat the Soviets (Tiger pwns T-34) and that contrary to popular belief, the US won the Vietnam war.