What medieval weapons would CENTAURS really use?

Centaurs, the classic creature from Greek mythology, lets see what real historical medieval weapons best suit their physical characteristics. Awesome shirts by Shadiversity: The mounted charge and stirrup: Shield use on horseback: Richard Alvarez's study on the mounted charge:

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The human turret on the back. SICK. Best. Idea. Ever.
Even better - put two hobbit with crossbow on top of a centaur for triple power XD
Shad's argument that centaur archery would suffer from the "horse" gait in a charge... I'd argue that the centaur would be aware of his/her own gait (Even at a subconscious level.) and would compensate for the charging gait with both there arms and upper torso. In fact whether from training, or just unconsciously, they would likely not loss an arrow until that point in there 'stride' where all 4 hooves were clear of the ground and there was no jarring impact to deal with. Also Shad's overlooked the truly OBVIOUS weapon(s) of such a critter... It's horseshoes. An archery charge, followed by a trample, and a parting KICK to the head... ?
Daggers tied to hooves get shanked nub
The real question is: How good would they be at polo?
You said that centaurs would not use shields... But what about dragons?
Pretty sure they would use Neighpalm.
So in essence: Every fantasy race should use polearms!
I guess a human on their back would be like some kind of centaur squire. =P
Maybe centaurs have two hearts.
You wanted to say "front and Centaur", didn't you? 😉
Was waiting for the human-on-back theory all episode and then was like, "well, obviously". Though admittedly, as a human, the idea and possibilities of a symbiotic relationship between human and centaur is much more appealing. If they were to enslave humans, I doubt they'd actually get as much use out of their "weapons" compared to if they were to strike some sort of deal with, or even befriend them. Because let's face it, if the centaurs were to go up against a human army one day, there's no doubt in my mind that the slaves on their backs would turn on them instantly if they saw even the slightest opportunity to get away. Not a funny thing to imagine a clear enemy on your back and put a weapon in their hands. Then of course there's the matter of whether the slave was captured or "bred", and how easily humans get attached to other living creatures and how much of a centaur's thinking resembles ours in that respect... gosh, this idea gets very complicated very quickly, doesn't it? Add social, cultural, biological and emotional aspects into this and it turns into a right mess of possibilities.
Armored centaur with knight on back armed with a lance and a shield while the centaur wields a bow and polearm !? Damn. Take into account the armor on the centaur and man.
I was actually thinking of symbiosis between centaur and humanoid. It would be great deal of honor to be human on centaur and would show intense trust and respect.
FLAILS! The medieval weapons which attaches a ball with a chain to the handle! They would work perfectly no? The centaur could charge at full speed with the strongest hit they want and suffer no impact of its force due to the chain. I reckon a well placed hit with dent any armor and possibly break bones at a good speed. There also exist two handed Flails. +Shadiversity
Compare the size of a Clydesdalethat is 6' tall at the withers (shoulder), to the size of a 5'10" man. Now scale up the human torso so that it fits a horse body and you have a nearly 9' tall behemoth. He can use whatever weapon he wants to and you just have to like it. The limitations that a centaur has are, no climbing, turning an ankle is death, and something leaping on its back. Probably more , but that's all I thought of immediately. Compensate by having a rider, preferably something light but wiry and Be in a fantasy setting that has greater restoration.
Seriously, if I would write a fantasy story with Centaurs participating in war, I would give them whips, grappling hooks, chains etc. because I presume their acceleration gives their whip more power and they could drag enemies on the floor while riding along. Furthermore if multiple centaurs hold on a chain tight and storm the enemy, they surely lift a lot of their feet. I think a weapon which would be useful for them is a "meteoritenhammer", from which I only know the german word, that are two metal balls intertwined with a rope or a metal chain, which in my eyes seems deadly combined with fast, strong and tall soldiers. On a second thought, if they could use magic, centaurs would be really efficient as a healing division. Galopping over the battlefield, healing those in need, jumping over smaller soldiers and breaking necks with their hooves
A centaur with a japanese longbow (the ones literally the height of a grown man) would be fucking terrifying.
Shad, have you tried total war, I think that you would really like it.
Humans on the back as mounted archers?  Good idea.  Even better idea?  Halfling (or gnome?) mounted archers on back!  Why strain yourself to carry a "disposable battle sidekick" of full human size when we're in a fantasy world with lots of little folk who could do the job just about as well (and maybe better, since halflings and gnomes are generally considered to have agility/ hand-eye coordination advantages vs the average human in most fantasy settings...)  If the situation is reversed, with the centaur as the archer and the rider as a lancer, a dwarf would be preferred, as they'd have all the strength but with less bulk.
22:56 I also love strapping a midget to my back; def not limiting at all.
How about this.A row of centaurs each holding/wearing a HUGE shield forming a moble battlement.Each centaur has a rider with both a bow and a polearm to use as needed.Having a defensive wall charging at you with arrows being fired from protected positions is bad enough, but then as it gets close, the polearms appear sticking out front.Once the charge has slammed into the defensive line, the centaur can let the shield rest on the ground and use spear through a small hole to double the number of weapons taking out the remaning defenders.
A centaur would likely have two hearts one in the human and equine torsos respectively. The really complication would be whether or not a humanoid airway would be able to inhale deeply enough to provide a sufficient supply of oxygen for such a large body.
Shad, I'm attempting to write a novel (but get distracted by this thing called video games), and I actually have Humans riding Centaurs! I thought I was the only one to do it. :(
It would not be bumpy for a centaur. think about how they would evolve, is it bumpy for you too run?
About 13:34 The Zulu tribe was know for a tactic called the "Bull Horn Formation" where a large army is split into 4 groups. The main, biggest group engages head on, two of the others both flank at the same time from both the left and right(making a bird's eye view look like a diagram of a bull's head, hence the name) and the rest would chill at a safe distance until one of the other three groups needs reinforcements. If a Centaur army used this they could compensate for their size(and resulting inability to group tightly) by simply being having each group not be as big as their entire combined force would, especially with so many reserves just waiting around in the back. Thewhole flanking nature of this would also work specially well for this race in which everyone is the cavalry.
11:10 - To add a bit of info here, yes this is probably the reason. If you ever used a motorcycle in rough terrain (or any kind of obstacle), one of the thing you do is to stand up and use your legs to reduce the harsh movements caused by the terrain. One of the ways a centaur could, maybe, avoid this issue would be jumping.Since stopping would basically break half of the point in mounted archers, if they jump they would maintain movement while getting a small window to shoot - of course, they would need to account for their up and down movements, but that could possibly be trained for. In short, their strategy would be running until they find a target, aim at it's general direction, jump, correct the aim and shoot before reaching the ground and repeating the process.
The human on the back of the centaur could easily kill them with a stab to the neck or back. This is why the centaurs to be sensitive to creatures on their back.
You have a nice house. Oh crap, I forgot about the dragons!
Hmm. Thanks for the ideas, bro. In my writing, I've been contemplating a possible alliance between goblins and centaurs (my version of goblins isn't necessarily evil, btw). Having a goblin mounting a centaur might be a half-decent idea.
The human sitting in a rear-facing saddle and firing backwards is optimal.One of the key advantages a centaur has in combat is its speed.With a rear-facing archer, the centaur can charge, make its own attack, and the archer can continue the attack on targets left behind while the centaur presses forward.
I think, given how things tend to work in real life, that giving a slave a weapon and then expecting them to use said weapons AS weapons is a very bad idea.Slave revolt, anyone? After all, the Centaur's enemies can't hit you if you never turn up.(Also, Centaurs can't easily tell what the person on their back is doing.Friendly fire isn't very friendly.) Centaurs allying with humans now, that's a good thought.
Love your channel and love the discussion of fantasy creatures. It's been an interest of mine. This one got my curiosity up with a comment about the heart. Where would it be? Could it even be possible they have two hearts. The main bigger heart in the larger body and a smaller one in the humanoid body. Just my thoughts.
Question, what about slings? drive by hit n run shooting style combat. yknow... forward momentum + rotational momentum or would that add nothing? (idk physics)
Do centaurs have two sets of organs?
Huh never seen you before but you have a subscriber because I was expecting this to be some guy talking about his personal preferance not someone like you who actually does research and knows how weapons are supposed to be used
On dealing with the jostling of the gallop while firing arrows: the Mongolians actually trained to release each arrow when they felt the horses four hooves all leave the ground at a certain point in their stride. This gave them insane accuracy at full gallop. I don't see any reason why centaurs couldn't do the same.
During this whole video I was thinking, why not put a human on the back? When he was talking about the best and most obvious weapon I was thinking, what haven't I thought of yet? And then he revealed that he meant a human and I felt the victory.
I would think that Centaurs could account for the motion of their horse body much better than humans can account for the motion of a horse since its a separate animals. Think shooting when you run vs shooting when your on piggy back on a person
Since the human doesn't need to drive, he could be mounted backwards to better cover the flanks.
As interesting an idea as having a Human or another Fantasy Race riding a Centaur and assisting it during battle, wouldn't it severely reduce the speed and momentum of the Centaur? Not to mention the fact that it could seriously hinder the combat powers of the Centaur. Think about it: If the Centaur has a humanoid riding on its back, it wouldn't be able to fully draw back the string of its bow, or even use it's Two-Handed weapon because the humanoid would either restrict it's movements or risk hitting its rider. It's a cool idea, but I just wanted to give some possible counterpoints
When you talk about bumpy ride your forgetting they are permanently attached to the horse you are not it why you bump just like humans walking are extremely bumpy walking pigy back someone they'll tell you it's really bumpy but your head and arms compensate for it so it's save to assume that a centaurs would also compensate they bounce like any other creature does
Centaurs could hop or jump to temporarily smooth out for a shot while on the move.
Archery could be employed by centaurs easily. All they have to do is alter their gait ( watch harness racing or Tennessee Waking horses and you'll see what I mean) You overlooked the obvious weapons that all centaurs would have at their disposal during melee combat...their hooves. Anyone who has ever been kicked by a horse will tell you it will knock the wind out of your sails pretty quickly. That's why horses are still used for riot control to this day.
I'm gonna guess: most famous mounted weaponry(spears and bows), shields, and possibly a human on their back, which i'd guess would have a stigma in centaurish culture.
It seems to me that a centaur would be able to shrug off the jostling, because they do it every time they move about. So that might improve their accuracy as archers.
Not sure if this is relevant but numidian cavalry did not use a stirrup and were considered expert horseman there were known for using a double sided spear if the books I've read are accurate they fought for Hannibal Of Carthage
Helpful. Helped me make a centaur for a campaign I'm now playing, and I love it. I loved the thumbnail so he's very Greek flavored with a short Sarissa style spear.
Give them bows. Horse archers but not nearly as difficult.
I would give them a large sheild designed to protect both parts covered in spikes with an archer mounted and facing the back so that they would be able to charge and of the charge missed the archer could get the kill.
A little bit of information about the mounted archery business: There is a certain technique (of which I don't know the name) where you shoot at the moments where all four legs of the horse are airborn. Of course you can not do that with every single horse either, they have to be rather trained for such a thing, because usually that time, where the horse is totally airborn mid gallop, is abour quarter and half a second for European horses. But, in Asia, especially the Akhal-Teke, can stay airborn for absurd aounts of time such as a second or even a solid a second and a half. So if we'd consider that this technique could be used by the centaurs too, depending on the lore and stuff, they could actually, use a bow and arrow with ease.
My opinion is the horse body is so easy to get hit & vulnerable, thus armor protection is really critical for centaurs( a knight could continue fight on foot, a centaur - supposed not! ). By get rid of the puny human onboads, and his leg armors, saddle, etc., u could easily exchange those "dead weights" for one set of FULL BODY CENTAUR PLATE ARMOUR. We know from history when knights & horse wore full armor their mobility are crippled to the extent no better than light infantry.
That's all well and good, but what about dragons?
How about a grappling hook ? Just grab someone and run away.
Why dont they just shoot while they jump ? ... they run --> they make a small jump--> they shoot in midair
I would challenge you on the maneuverability part, horses have much more problems of quick movements to the sides or turning. Also I think throwing spears might be even better then spears because they have a lot better control then just riders since they are the horse as well.
Not so keen on humans. Halflings maybe. Like 3 or 4 halfling infantry. Kinda like a fantasy Bradley fighting vehicle. Oh, and I kinda like the idea of twin cutlasses for slashing and poking. Tho the cutlass came way later. So I guess I agree with the falchion and the whatever the other one was.
Well cavalry use shields that are best suited for protecting against other cavalry will still be useful for centaurs cause that waythey can get away from a lance assault to the face... and my opinion on swords for them would be Clamor as everyone seeing that sword would be just as frightening as a halberd! your point on using humans was brilliant, though not as original as you thought - there are few(very few) writers that used it but never a large scale writer ever seen that point, the reason? I know not. thanks a lot for that video.
What about javelins? Do they compare favorably or unfavorably with other possible ranged weapons?
12:00 something to note is a horse doesn't care about using a bow, but a centaur could walk in such a way to be more stable than a normal horse
For skirmishing, there's a couple of weapons you forgot : - Slings : A Centaur could carry much more ammunition, all it has to do is stay *just* out of enemy range. - Explosive Bola : Run up near the enemy, fling the bolas at them and run away at full speed before the Bola's even hit. - Grenades : Not the modern ones, but the ones that pirates used. They'd be devastating in a hit 'n' run. - Hooks : Run up to the enemy, hook an enemy, drag him away, let the small humans stab him do death with their spears. - Strong Ropes / Steel Wires : Topple many enemies, and have your allies stab them to death.
Lynels, Lion-Centaur monsters from LoZ: Breath of the Wild, are pretty close to how you described, Shadiversity; They all use powerful bows (which can fire a spread-shot of multiple arrows, possiby because of low accuracy while moving), and their melee weapons are either a sword [designed for slashing] & shield [that's bladed], a spear (that's closer to being a halberd), or a two-handed club weapon for smashing... Plus they have horns which they use to charge at and savagely gore enemies (Link)... Oh yeah, they can also breath fire...
Very interesting.I had a centaur character in a text-based MMO for a few years.I put a fair amount of thought into weapons for him, and wound up with, iirc, the Chinese Dao.A two-headed polearm, I think.It's been several years, so I'm not positive on that, but if you've any interest at all I can dig up the rp's and combats I used him in.
I'd go a step further with centuar having a cooperative nature with another race who form warfare in a stance of equals and battle bonds, where a centaur and their ranged specialist a brothers practicly. I'd also say centaur would also be of great benefit from missiles like javalins, or better yet a hasta. Early republic Rome Hastati before engaging the enemy as a whole formation threw the hasta into the enemy line effectively breaking a good portion of fortified potential. Hastati could only effectively carry 2, but a centaur could in theory have a quiver full of them and in 2 separate divisions first throw the hasta to break the line then as you stated polearmed divisions could do a savage strike apon a newly vulnerable line, and this could continue indefinatly. If not the hasta what would you think would be better for a thrown missile?
The trouble I have with centaurs is where their organs are located in their bodies. I suppose that they have roughly horse sized organs; their brains are still in their heads and their intestines are probably near the butt, but there seems to be a lot of space for everything else.
Just imagined that as centaur's arms are higher then human's arms they could weild a greatsword like a longsword EDIT : I'm watching the part where he states the same thing-
Ancient Chinese warriors who were skilled enough did use polarms very often.
On the part with the smaller bows the Huns and mongols had special compound bows that compensated for the smaller size (not as powerful as a longbow but could probably hold up against other medium size bows)
See I think the instability of horseback riding is a lot more because you aren't attached, so you rattle around like someone trying to run at full tilt while wearing a big heavy canteen. One assumes horses don't lose their ability to aim while running, their heads keep up perfectly and they instinctively bob them slightly while running. Not that a horse has much to aim at. A centaur would surely naturally know how to bob his human torso a bit as he runs and be relatively okay. And yeah, with that kind of ground clearance they could draw a freaking 3-meter-high bow if it was feasible. maybe with super long arrows.
Horse shooting can be done sitting quite easily IF you know your horse well enough to shoot between hoof impacts.
Don't forget about the Nodachi!!!
"Get on dork, we're goin places!"
Their accuracy would also suffer from the split of focus.A horse rider can focus on the archery and the horse can focus on running.A centaur would have to pay attention to moving in addition to running.
I say with a centaur, you could ditch the shield, make a beast of a breast plate with a frog helm and some extra lumbar supporting back plate to avoid snapped spines, cavalry sabre in one hand, and javelin or spear in the other with more in a "quiver" on the flank.
But sticking to the Video.... I would say Humans are much more universal fighters than centaurs. Like you said, Centaurs would be nearly useless in closed space due to the size, while humans are just... wel, colums. So Centaurs would be really powerfull in stepe like territory, while in a hill like area ( aslong they are beneath the hill), mountains and forests, humans would have the edge.
Thoughts on best weapons for a 4 armed humanoid? 3-4 meters tall, proportionate strength to that of a human.
I always found centaurs to be the most poorly designed mythological creature, for a pretty obvious reason - how do they eat? Assuming that they have either a human or a horse's digestive tract (and not both), the diet for one species would be completely inadequate for the nutritional needs of the other half. And even if somehow the creature can sustain itself off of either a diet of grasses or an omnivore's diet, the mechanical process of getting food into the centaur's mouth seems pretty difficult - simply put, the human arms are too short to reach the ground unless the centaur lies down. The scenario of centaurs lying down in a field of grass and picking the grass by hand to shove it into their mouths might seem silly, but consider the alternative - the human half folding downwards, walking along on its hands while it chomps at grass with its mouth. Ridiculous.
Why not warhammers?
You could have a pair of centaurs equipped with what would essentially be a scaled down balista, with the third centaur carrying the ammo.
Shad, Apparently the Huns, the best known mounted-archer, did not use any stirrups. The Persian invented them after the Huns arrived in Europe
Something to consider Shad is that a centaur would need a far stronger musculature in his upper body to resist the shock of moving at full gallop than a human riding a horse would, (at the same time, he would need a larger, stronger heart to pump the blood all way through his body, possibly also needing larger lungs for better endurance). I would assume that a centaur has a bigger frame as a result, making him better able to resist the shock of striking with a couched lance, or any larger weapon like an infantry pollaxe. Armour wise, heavy barded horses still kept enough maneuverability to run circles around infantry; so a centaur could still employ heavy armour over its entire body. Human turret idea is simply ingenious by the way.
Why not a chariot with wheel spikes a trained centar would be much more accurate with the spikes and wouldn't panic the main problems with chariot spikes
I don't think a centaur would be able to use a bow to any good effect while moving because firstly the bumping you talked about but also the focus you need to move since archery for humanity has been very immobile even horse archery is practically standing for the human while drawing the bow, however they could use something simpler for ranged combat or rather one or two volleys before charging the enemy something like throwing spears.
Okay, I'm about 7 minutes in and this guy is missing a lot of info. 1) shields and other mounted-efficient weaponry is designed to protect the sides of the body and kill from the sides of the body.A mounted warrior has the advantage of a horse's chest, neck, and head in the way of any center of mass strikes. 2) a mounted warrior is more efficient with a shield than a polearm because a shield doesn't take much coordination to use: a plus when you need to hold on to the reins of a destrier.Not as big a deal when you're under your own steam. 3) lancers:yeah, they aren't attached to the horse.but they also don't have to sit upright when they charge.If they lean forward, the energy is placed laterally on the spine instead of bending it backwards.If a centaur leaned forward (think shoulder-charge), the spine would work the same.
To your point about a centaur's flexibility, might it not be wise to consider the flexibility of a horse's neck? I realize with ribs and organs hinder that notion, as well as armor, but still...
Hehe when you got to the person on the back I actually ran a D&D campaign where humans and centaurs did exactly that where they use massive polearms(Glaive, Halberd and Ranseur) for charge and the as they were retreating away the men on the back just devastated with bows. TPK count for that battle is at 14, to this day it has not been beaten. Most groups don't even want to attempt it anymore.
Would you please do a video about Minotaur's and Vampires? Also I think Centaurs need two Hearts in order to deal with their massive size.
As far as organs go i think it would have organs in both "halfs" of the body
Could you do something about cupids (or small humanoid winged creatures) as a race? I would like angels but just the though of a adult human been able to fly, no matter the wing length,is absurd.
Random human watching opening cinema: "I want to merry a dragon!" A dragon: "Um, we aren't, you know, the same, species." The human: "But you forget, magic exists in this universe!" *drinks a potion that turns him into a dragon*. Dragon: "Ok, I will merry you. But what about dragons?" Newly dragon that use to be human: "We can have as many as you want. They will be well educated in magic and smithing, and we can live on vacation with them."
Didn't the Japanese use bows on horseback? I would find that effective
15:05 well, their organs would 100% need to be in the horse half, obviously excluding brain and other such organs, due to the fact that first off, the sheer amount of blood they need to pump around. think about a horse for a moment, just how much blood would a horse be able to bleed out before dying, Its one hell of a lot, so first no, heart is in the horse, and then you have other organs like bowels, liver, stomach, etc. a horse human hybrid would be a TERRIBLE biological combination, because a lot of the human and horses bodies are total ends of the spectrum, and im about 99% of cases, it would need to be redeveloped into a whole new system, which would again totally throw the concept of where to target out of whack.
I would have said a messer or an Ōdachi
What if the Centaur drops the weapon? He can't pick that back up :o
Bow shoot then run or shoot then charge with a spear
The bounce depends partly on the gait of the horse. Lateral gaits were much more common in medieval breeds than modern and provide a smother ride at all speeds.
I'm guessing bows and arrows?
Arrow i the knee,then end him rightly!!!
Ah! But you are assuming that centaurs would have the horse body of a humanbread horse typicallywould have and that centaus even could support humans on their backs though it certainly beg the question: why did humans in history not have more than one human at a time on a horse?
A centaur is in control of its own pace though. A centaur would fire between 'steps' in the same way a sniper fires at a certain point in their breathing cycle. Centaurs would train specifically for this.

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What medieval weapons would CENTAURS really use?