This scenario was brought up because in the distant past of my Agent: DARK story, this exact same scenario kept on occuring for millennia during the time when Amazons and Lietti still warred for domination of the Supercontinent, with the Amazons invading roughly every twenty years or so. In the story, these wars that started every generation usually ended in mutually assured destruction, when both sides no longer have enough manpower to continue fighting, and both sides rarely gain any ground afterwards. But then I actually started thinking about how these battles would actually, realistically play out, Amazon charges literally trampling hundreds to death, Lietti devising pike tactics and using trenches to disrupt their momentum, Amazonian archers and slingers being ballistas and catapults, the Lietti countering with their own ranged units and flanking with horse archers and lancers! As you can see, the whole thinking about these battles evolved into quite a thought experiment. No matter your conclusion, a battle between Lietti and Amazons in this time period would be nothing short of horrific. Now that the context is out of the way, I’m going to describe in this order the combatants attributes; casus belli, morale, physical strengths and limitations, and assets. Who would you think would be more likely to win?
Casus Belli: The Ancient Solution
*Right out the gate, it’s blatantly obvious that the Amazon Race desired nothing less in those days than total world domination: but why? In Agent: DARK, the Amazon’s all babying those smaller than they are is explained as" ‘Cossetting Syndrome’ which is a quirk of Amazonian neurology that afflicts them with an irrepressible desire to dominate those smaller than they are. Now the other half of Cosseting Syndrome is more important for the absolutely dire consequences it has is that if the Amazon’s have no smaller people to dominate, then their urges will afflict both sexes with a raging baby fever that will drive them to procreate everytime their children are a few years old. Cosseting Syndrome starts at puberty, this means that a unique trait of Amazonian civilization is a explosive population growth, even when the Amazons were starving, they still reproduced because their urges were too strong to resist. The Amazonian equivalent of Rome, to solve the problem, mandated for every twenty years to gather in colosseums where half of the adult population kills the other half, and that’s one of the less cruel solutions. Therefore when they discovered the Lietti existed, they invaded, exterminating at first, but then they realized that by enslaving Lietti and treating them as babies, even though deep down the Amazons KNEW they were adults, their subconscious accepted them as children to the point that their Cosseting Syndrome abated. Now that the Amazons had a solution that didn’t require them to systematically cull their population every 20 years, their society and population growth finally stabilized. However, they knew the Lietti would never stand for what they were doing. They were an enemy, an enemy strong enough for there to be only ine possible solution to nullify their threat; world domination.
Casus Belli: The Ancient Horror
Long ago, the Lietti believed that an ancient civilization called the Jeru ruled the world, but was forgotten by all during a cataclysm that devastated everything. One of the few legends of that time that survived spoke of a legion of gigantic warriors that prowled the once fertile land, devouring everything in sight until nothing remained but desert, only to war amongst each other for the dwindling natural resources until they died out with everything else in the Eastern Desert. When the entire Amazonian Race migrated west, the Lietti of the Supercontinent were utterly unprepared, barely managing to stop their advance before half of their land was taken. All of the Nations of Lietti formed a pact called the Lietti League which banded together in mutual defense against the giants. For thousands of years, that’s how it remained, every twenty years the two races would war for domination, for a while these generational conflict favored the Lietti, and the Amazons were pushed back until they realized that they could enslave Lietti to handle their Cossetting Syndrome, and the societal stability this gave Amazonia increased their effectiveness ten fold, and the tide turned again, every twenty years the Amazon’s lands grew while Liet’s dwindled, and with their Cossetting Syndrome under control, didn’t reduce their homes to uninhabitable deserts. When Liet’s technological innovation finally raced ahead of the Amazons it became an even fight, many of the wars ended in stalemates with neither side gaining or losing territory. But ultimately, while it had slowed to a glacial pace, Amazonia was still expanding.
Morale: Expand or Die!
Clearly, after the Amazons began trying to conquer and colonize Liet’s portion of the Supercontinent, they didn’t completely stop reproducing, for the purposes of conquest, they still had many children, and the lower classes couldn’t possess Lietti at all. And so while the explosive population growth was solved, it was only selectively applied, owning a Lietti is a reward for status, as cossetting them was the gateway to communal stability and food security, and so the lower classes would be eager and willing to venture forth into a new land, if they failed, that would be excess population shaved off, but if the invasion had some measure of successfully holding territory, then the formerly lower class warriors who survived would be instantly granted wealth (from capturing and selling the Lietti population to the Amazons who stayed behind) and status. The lives of lower class Amazons were miserable, this, combined with a religion that emphasized a favored afterlife for those who either died in battle, or died peacefully after being victorious in war. The Amazons were a truly inoxerable force indeed, the invasions will conquer or die trying.
Morale: We are their Last Hope!
On the other end of the spectrum are the obvious underdogs, they remembered what was done to them, and know what defeat means. They stand united and all mutually support eachother, they were wealthy, and educated, and so understood the true damage the giants had caused, and that they had everything to lose if they were not stopped. Most Lietti trained to fight from childhood, on the supercontinent, being a warrior or soldier was every Lietti’s 2nd job, and drilled into them as children was the belief that when they defended their walls, or marched into battle, they were the last hope of everyone behind them, and only the bravest nations of Lietti were able to repel the Amazons with some level of consistency. Due to the Lietti being very good at being brave, and their circumstances necessitating a high level of self-sacrifice, means that battles were not decided by who broke and ran first, but by who managed to strike enough killing blows first, so battles were won by what assets the two sides had, and how well if at all they were able to effectively and creatively use them and the environment.
Biological Strengths & Weaknesses: Trample all resistance until the survivors beg for captivity.
The first advantage of the Amazons is pure mass, they didn’t have cavalry but against Lietti, they don’t really need it as their charges kill dozens of Lietti and pierce deep into their lines. And even when they die by charging straight into a pike phalanx, they often fall right on top of the pikemen, permanently compromising the defensive line through both their corpses making the ground where the phalanx tactic becomes useless, and through sheer casualties. With their size comes reach and strength, which means they can wield heavier weapons, such as longer pikes, and it turns any slinger, archer, or javelinman into walking artillery. And of course their top sprinting speed is far faster than anyone our size, they would be slow to accelerate and stop, but they would run and hit like trains. But of course, the weaknesses this comes with are just as immense as their size, because of their size, they would have no pack animals to help haul their stuff, and so carts with trained pullers like China had would be universal until cars, because they are larger, they need more to eat, and so need more land in order to sustain the same amount of population the Lietti do, and even more space just to exist in. And of course, since they are larger, they are a truly obvious target for Liet’s own missiles, while this vulnerability is massively negated by Amazons wearing full suits of padded armor, they were man-for-man far poorer than the Lietti were, and as such high quality armor was rare, and they need more resources to make any equipment.
Biological Strengths & Weaknesses: Aim for the knees! They can’t hurt us if they can’t reach us!
In David vs Goliath, David is considered the underdog for a reason, if your opponent is bigger than you, then that’s pure disadvantage in reach, strength, and amount of hurt that can be taken. On the flip side though, Lietti are essentially the same size as regular people, and as such need far less food and space to sustain the same population the Amazons do. Due to their smaller size, they can actually make use of cavalry and beasts of burden, they use their mounted archers and lancers not only for flanking maneuvers, but for highly effective guerilla actions, such as attacking supply lines, and even seizing, destroying, and plundering Amazonian camps that were left lightly defended because the warriors were out fighting the rest of the Lietti Army. They need less resources to build fortification or equip and sustain their troops, and so are inherently superior at sieges, which means the Amazons would need to force a fight in order to have the best chance at winning, which means they would be storming castles a lot.