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Old 03-07-2024, 08:06 AM   #21
Donny Brook
 
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Default Re: Narnian Talking Horse Cavalry

Fielding sapient horses for combat is likely to require substantially increased investment in horse armor, unless the horses are relegated to a significantly lower social status.

Of course, if horses are sapient, there may be a revisiting of the role and need for riders.
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Old 03-07-2024, 08:11 AM   #22
Anders
 
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Default Re: Narnian Talking Horse Cavalry

It's even possible the horses are substantially better armored than the riders. We never see talking animals as lords in Narnia, but imagine a horse as the owner of the fiefdom and the rider as one in his retinue.
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Old 03-07-2024, 08:57 AM   #23
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Default Re: Narnian Talking Horse Cavalry

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Originally Posted by Donny Brook View Post
Of course, if horses are sapient, there may be a revisiting of the role and need for riders.
I could see the role shifting, but the need would still exist. Having a rider would be of benefit to a sapient horse - the rider can more readily wield weapons (if the horse can do so at all) and strike from higher up, can get a better view of the battlefield with their superior eyesight, can focus on fighting while the horse focuses on moving, can help actively defend the horse with both weapon and shield, etc.

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It's even possible the horses are substantially better armored than the riders. We never see talking animals as lords in Narnia, but imagine a horse as the owner of the fiefdom and the rider as one in his retinue.
A sapient horse might be more willing to function under a heavier load, but keep in mind horse armor would be markedly heavier and more expensive than comparable protection for a human due to the much larger surface area.
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Old 03-07-2024, 09:21 AM   #24
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: Narnian Talking Horse Cavalry

Sapient horses are unlikely to be at all interested in melee combat. They'd be highly aware of the difficulty or armoring their legs.

Horse(borne) archers would probably look like a much better idea to them and enable them to get by with enough barding for their Torso and anti-arrow levels of threat.
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Old 03-07-2024, 06:03 PM   #25
David Johansen
 
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Default Re: Narnian Talking Horse Cavalry

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Don't forget the Houyhnhnms, originally from Gulliver's Travels and adapted in GURPS in GURPS Furries. As written they'd make poor cavalry, as they're fairly intolerant of humans, but a more-sympathetic variant is also suggested there.
Yeah, they're basically utopian, pacifist, philosophers so I don't imagine they're easy to talk into riding out to war. On the other hand, maybe they could ride Yahoo borne palnaquins surrounded by angry mobs of dirty, unwashed Yahoos. I'm not so sure they'd want to watch Yahoo on Yahoo violence but it might be preferable to actually fighting. In a fantasy setting they're very likely to be wizards or mentalists or something, natural philosophers maybe? I wonder how they'd feel about Yahoo's riding around on their unspeaking cousins.
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Old 03-08-2024, 10:44 AM   #26
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: Narnian Talking Horse Cavalry

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Sapient horses are unlikely to be at all interested in melee combat. They'd be highly aware of the difficulty or armoring their legs.

Horse(borne) archers would probably look like a much better idea to them and enable them to get by with enough barding for their Torso and anti-arrow levels of threat.
Horse archers are mainly associated with the East, but though it is not widely known longbows could and often were shot from horseback (see Eric Lowe's book on the subject). It just wasn't the normal thing. In any event longbows would be more in spirit than composite bows.

Talking horses as scouts would be very useful (as would talking hounds of course but those need to be carried for mobility's sake). Even dumb horses can be good trackers. The horse who is lower can examine the ground while the human who is higher can examine the horizon.
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