For Norse Honor! – Debunking Game Theory on Viking vs. Knight vs. Samurai
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For Norse Honor! – Debunking Game Theory on Viking vs. Knight vs. Samurai

August 12, 2019


Intro Music Okay, here’s my response to the recent game theory video on Vikings versus knights versus samurai people have been flooding the living daylights out of my inbox over this… Anyways, so let me just say right off that I don’t have a personal problem with MatPat I simply don’t know him I watched maybe three or four of his videos I don’t know what he’s like as a person nor does it matter because you’re supposed to attack the argument not the person and it seems to me that he focuses more on entertainment than education which is what I do as well. Now if he had just talk about “vikings”, “knights” and “samurai” enough with the bunny ears for now the way they are portrayed in For Honor which from what I’ve seen is about as historically accurate as the pirates, vikings and knights mod for Half-Life that would be one thing but he basically claimed that it was a historical analysis and there were just too many grossly inaccurate statements that need to be corrected. Shad has already made a response video to this and he talked mainly about knights, Metatron made a response to it he provided some information about samurai equipment I’m gonna link both of those videos in the description down below and I’ve been planning on focusing on Vikings I’m not a historian but I’ve always had a special interest in Vikings and there are a lot of strange statements in that video. MatPat went on to talk about how the Vikings were defined by the frozen nightmare they inhabited which I’ve always found really funny on the one hand you have the image of the stereotypical fantasy Viking who basically runs around half-naked maybe little patches of fur here and there but plenty of naked skin to show off all those impressive muscles and everything and all-that happens supposedly in frigid wastelands of perpetual snow and ice. I mean think about it all those massive steroid pecks won’t do them any good if they turn into frostbitten necrotic tissue. Also there’s this quote from the video they stayed alive almost entirely by stealing from other people so again the stereotypical image of the icy wasteland nothing grows all the animals are frozen and the entire population of Scandinavian’s have to take off to get their food elsewhere like a grocery raid and once a week on Saturdays they just do that I mean you could argue that Norwegians still do that nowadays when they cross the border to Sweden to get cheaper food but they still buy it. Alright let’s shoot down this common misconception not all Scandinavians in the early Middle Ages were Vikings the old Norse phrase “Fara I Viking” means to go on an expedition which the sagas usually means going on a raid or piracy so basically regarding all Scandinavians as Vikings would be essentially the same as saying: “Oh! 17th century Englishman?You mean pirates!” In fact the majority of the Scandinavian population were farmers between [the years] 400 and 1200 agriculture in those areas intensified and the food production increased their by the population size increase and the resulting population pressure is very likely one of the reasons why people decided to go Viking so it’s not: no food leads to raids but a lot of food leads to a lot of people leads to raids so if anything it’s kind of the opposite by the way you will also help food production the medieval warm period from about [the year] 900 to 1300 now based on the data it looks like nowadays it’s still a bit warmer than it was then but we also broke the climate so that’s not saying too much so as far as I can tell it seems fairly comparable it wasn’t a lot colder than if at all and of course it also depends on which region you look at you can make all the claims about frigid wastelands if you look at the northern most tip of Norway or Sweden for example but if you look at southern Denmark for example it’s pretty mild climate really. Now on to the topic of armour this is where it gets really bad so the claim is that Vikings wore the equivalent of tissue paper either no armour at all or very light armour as in leather or quilted fabric now archaeologically as far as I’m aware there is no evidence of anything like that for the Vikings leather armour or gambesons or anything like that padded armor cloth armor they may have had that but if they did we don’t know because organic material is only preserved under exceptional circumstances it’s quite rare so who knows either way what we do have evidence off is mail so this is referred to in the old Norse sagas as a “brynja” what we would call a mail hauberk it’s a shirt of interlocking iron rings and this is the same thing that eleventh century knights had exactly the same. The idea that they wouldn’t want to be weighed down by armour. But first off email hobart isn’t all that terribly heavy and also if you’re wearing it with a belt then the weight is distributed between the shoulders and the hips so it’s not that big of a deal and the problem of saltwater I mean if everything rusted instantly and there was nothing they could do about it they would have had to use bone knives and stone axes but it’s not that hard to deal with you just need to do some maintenance so some oil or grease on the mail and you’re going to be okay you may say yeah but this was extremely expensive and most Vikings wouldn’t have been able to afford it true but we’re talking warrior elite here aren’t we we’re comparing knights to samurai I mean a random Joe Schmo with no money couldn’t become a knight so why would we compare that to a random Leif Olafson with no money it just doesn’t add up you might as well put sheep mounted peasants with pitchforks in the knight category and then compare that to the samurai or whatever so if we’re talking warrior elite then they have to be similarly equipped or at least similar amounts of money, value however you want to look at it you get the point. Another fun side note one group of knights the Norman knights ironically descended directly from Vikings the famous Viking “Hrólfr” or Rollo attacked France in the early 10th century besieged Paris and raided towns up and down the Seine River with his army of Danish raiders now he was then given land by Charles the Simple the king of France who made him a vassal and over time the Vikings adopted the local culture and became Norman and then those
Normans who were then knights attacked England defeated the Anglo-Saxons after the Anglo-Saxons had defeated Norwegian Vikings at the Battle of Stamford Bridge so it’s all interestingly coming full circle. Then he talked about rudimentary shields and axes… what? What is rudimentary about Viking shields they were very well-designed and effective fighting tools they were also expertly crafted some were found that were actually tapered from the center to the edge so there’s a lot of thought that went into them and they do the job really well now the kite shield is larger but what I personally like about the round shield having a center grip it makes it pretty versatile so you can do something that you can’t do with a strap shield for example you can more effectively strike with it you can redirect attacks so an attack comes in you let it roll over to this side and now you’ve created an opening on the opposite side and can strike that. In the game For Honor I’ve seen a samurai slice a Viking shield clean in half… Yeah good luck with that I don’t think that’s going to happen these shields were made of sturdy wood and they were most likely covered in either linen or leather which makes them quite resistant to cuts so what’s much more likely to happen is that you cut into the shield and then it gets stuck at some point which means that your opponent now has control over your weapon one of the main arguments in the video is: the samurai would win because archery and the vikings can do absolutely nothing about it [dramatic pause] really now that’s just one of the main purposes that the shield is for protecting you against arrows also there is this neat thing the Vikings did called a shield wall if we’re talking battlefield situation as opposed to a one-on-one duel and i found an interesting note by the monk Abbo of St-Germain who wrote about the Viking attack on Paris and said that they advanced hard packed underneath a testudo so he must have read about the Roman testudo saw what the Vikings were doing in the siege and recognised that and said oh that’s a testudo in another passage he said painted shields held up above to form a life preserving wall I don’t find that hard to believe that all I mean especially in a siege there is going to be a lot of arrows coming down at you and we know the Vikings had a shield-wall meaning that they had all of their shields overlap with the person to either side of them and it really doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the guys behind you can raise their shields over their heads also overlap them and provide pretty good protection against arrows. What you have to keep in mind is Vikings knew what arrows were they used bows themselves in warfare they faced bows on the battlefield and there’s literally no reason why they would be completely unable to deal with them when if it was that easy then nobody would have trouble with Viking raids because hey just shoot a few arrows at them and they’ll flee in terror the other thing is rudimentary axes [he says with disgust] tell me this axe looks rudimentary and then there is of course the famous Dane axe which is a remarkably powerful and effective weapon and these were not simple crude little pieces of iron that the smiths just hammered out in an afternoon they were pretty well-made they had a harder edge of higher carbon content, a softer core and there are plenty of examples of well-made efficient weapons of that time also the quote: [reads passage] “if they were particularly well off they had a seax.” [end passage] Nope if they were particularly well off they owned a sword a seax is just a knife it’s a tool and a backup weapon it’s not the main thing Vikings had swords and in fact really good swords. And of course there’s also get about the famous “Ulfberht” swords which are commonly regarded as the best blades available before industrial times some say they were made of crucible steel others say they were just very high-quality bloomery steel but either way it was good stuff they also had pattern welded blades and finally I want to talk about bows because there was such a focus on archery in the video I found an astonishing lack of information on 11th century Japanese bows or “yumi”s I don’t know if that’s because all the good information is in Japanese or whatever but I found plenty of information about y’know “kyūdō” how they’re used and how they’re made and all of that but nothing about the draw weight at all like there’s; I found out that the draw weight a common draw weight for modern “yumi”s is 45 pounds which isn’t a whole lot but that may just be for sports use from what I could gather supposedly they use comparatively heavy arrows which carried a lot of kinetic energy but limited the range so a later 17th century Japanese source that mentions archery needs to be practiced at a distance of seven or eight “ken” which is about 50 meters to be able to pierce armour so that begs the question could Viking bows potentially outshoot them? There’s this example of a Viking bow found in Hedeby also known as “Haithabu” I’ve seen several estimates of the draw weight ranging anywhere from 80 to between a hundred and hundred thirty pounds now supposedly it would have an effective range of about 200 meters so a longbow basically not quite as powerful as some of the later English longbows but still a lot of power potentially so the question is could they penetrate samurai armour I have no idea and this is important to keep in mind if you don’t know for sure you shouldn’t just assert that yep this could pierce through mail armor how would you know I mean have you seen a historically accurate reproduction of the Japanese bow used on historically accurate reproductions of European mail I’ve never seen that I don’t think anybody’s ever done that. And alternatively I have never seen a longbow used on Japanese armour so I’m not going to sit here and claim that yep they could totally penetrate the armour but they may very well outperform them in reach and from what I’ve seen it doesn’t seem as if Japanese mounted archers had armored horses so if the Vikings could shoot at a longer distance and take out the horses that’s certainly an advantage but again this is pure speculation I’m not going to say that the Vikings are going to beat the samurai because of this. The thing is most of the fighting in For Honor is done on foot in a historical scenario if you wanted to compare them you’d have to narrow it down a lot if you’re talking an open battle on a field it depends on so many factors y’know what is the terrain like exactly, who commands the armies, what shape are they in, what exact equipment do they have y’know what’s the weather like do they know of each other’s tactics so on and so forth we’re talking one-on-one duels it’s also hard to say and when you think about it the equipment is overall reasonably similar and all three have spears and swords all three have helmets two out of three have the same type of armour and shields it really comes down to who are the individuals how experienced are they how skilled are they are they familiar with how the other ones fight personally I have no idea how 11th century Japanese armour compares in quality or protective value to European mail at the time I just don’t know enough about it but regardless of armour there are certain techniques that always work grappling for example and the Vikings were pretty damn good at it there is the Viking martial arts system that has survived until today called “Glima” it involves strikes, kicks, chokes throws, joint locks, and other wrestling techniques they did that for fun as a sport and to prepare for battle regardless of the armour of your opponent is wearing you can throw them to the ground you can pull your knife or dagger out and stab it in the gaps of the armour or in the face I mean all of them have exposed faces they’re are ways to deal with that so it really depends on the individual warrior’s skill y’know what they know about the others their fitness their experience and a portion of luck let’s not forget about that in the end this is a popularity contest because what we all do when looking at these versus scenarios is we pick our favorite and we go: “yeah! you go kick their ass!”, like, “Vikings go!” or, “Samurai, awesome!”, or, “Knights all-and-all.” we all have our biases it’s the faction that you want to win so you’re gonna look at everything that supports your opinion that they would win and ignore the rest and y’know downplay the other’s equipment and what not. [♪]

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  1. So, 1 men required to string the bow ~ 30 lbs. This means that a 3 men bow (三人張り) ~ 96 lbs and a 4 men bow (四人張り) ~ 128 lbs. The majority of the bows were in between “3 and 5 men” so the draw weight of the war Yumi is in between 70 -180 lbs, just like any other war bow

  2. since the forging abillity(they didn't have steel.) of samurai is the least they will be based purily on skill. the fact that they don't employ shields as often and their armor is comparible to brigandine or leather armor makes them less survivable than knights and vikings.

    the vikings had the best quality steel, they couldn't however get their weapons as sharp as european knights. this made theit axes amazing but their swords were average.(still better than any katana)
    vikings wore steel mail with a padded cloth underneath. making their mail better than even kabuto armor. their shields were large and had offensive capabilities.

    the knights had the most advanced smithing, their steel wasn't as strong as the nordic steel but due to their expertise they were able to create the scharpest edges. since we are looking at the early medieval period the knights wore mail and a shield for self defence. the mail was lighter than nordic but they had better gambersin undreneath it making them on an equal level. they had the offensive advantage with spears and high quality arming swords.

    if i were to decide i would be sure that the samurai didn't stand a chance.
    for the battle between a viking and a knight i would maily focus on the reach factor. this will result in the fighter with the most effective one handed reaching weapon would win.
    this means the knight would defeat the viking in one on one combat with similar skill and strength.

    so its
    1 knight
    2 viking
    3 samurai

    skill ranking:
    1 samurai
    2 knight
    3 viking

    strength ranking:
    1 viking
    2 knight
    3 samurai

  3. plus you have to remember vikings were very well traveled and had weapons and armor they took from other cultures most euro and samurai hardly ever left thier home areas except for the crusades the samurai fought each other most the time or defended thier homes from invasion they were very xenophobic.

  4. I'm doing some research on medieval weapons myself. While not exactly 11th century, there was a specific description from 1500s by a King military General specialized in coastal defense. In the record yumi was extremely heavy, fired heavy arrows at a very limited range, and anyone it hits would fall instantly. Considering the Mongolian invasion during the 1100s, Yumi could have been there in 11th century and had not changed much since then.

  5. Many who think the Samrai sword would easily beat the Viking armor, probably think of the 19th & 20th century Samurai swords. Which would have been of better quality, than 11th century Samurai swords.

  6. What do u mean we broke the climate? You don’t actually believe in all that bullshit regarding global warming Skall?

  7. The samurai were, for most their history absolute BS. They sat around with their little boy toys and wrote poetry about winning battles for honor. They were an upper class, and most of their time was spent impressing themselves, and coming up with rules of conduct for battles they would never fight. The Japanese were, and still are TINY.

  8. The best steel and bronze smiths in the world were from central, northern Europe. The Viking trumpets/horns made 5000 yrs ago will blow your mind…in some museum.

  9. Look at samaria drawings and history not once in Hughes battles did they use shields idk I guess they found it dishonorable which against a army depending on many factors that did use them it's a disadvantage they probably did find it dishonerabel maps prove time and time again there pretty suicidal when it comes to a fight

  10. Grocery Raid…u got me there xD
    wait…that's what the Scandinavians do, when they go (by boat) to germany, to get some Alcohol…(In Kiel, in the Citti-Park mall, there is an entire section of alcoholic beverages, just for Scandinavians. Germans r not allowed to buy in that section. Has something to do with taxes. (but at least a swedish accent and talking straight away in english, is everything u need to do, to get some sweet, sweet, danish mead)

  11. They have done historical accurate longbow vs ring-mail and it seems ring-mail is very effective, if the arrow hits a ring perfectly it can jab into superficial skin but not a deep enough puncture to kill or even cause enough damage to hinder at all. Crossbow however when right through, crossbow even went through cheaper plate armor but not the top of the line hardened version. In fact in the last years that plate armor was used and hand cannons started to hit the battlefield specifically to combat full plate armor knights. The knights added a second plate over the chest area that would even stop the bullet.

  12. What about the Varangian guard that was composed of “Vikings” (what would be the kievin Russ) they were extremely financially well off and respected and used the Dane axe over swords

  13. I don’t really get the whole “Deadliest Warrior” thing anyway. It ignores the whole reason why the warriors did what they did, and how they fought, (for example, Spartans fought in groups.)

    Like if we wanted history’s “Deadliest Warrior” would be today’s warriors with guns. That’s why we use those things to fight war now instead of swords lol.

    And humans are pretty smart. Any particular population was probably doing the best with what they had available.

  14. I think with this kind of games we shouldn't even consider historical accuracy, at the base consider this: Vikings period lasted around year 1000, within cenutries. The armors japanese characters wears are totally not yet being there before 1300/1400.

    And "this could pierce that" it is your opinion and even if they can or not it is only a fact of casuality as katanas like longsword evolved to fight against a different kind of armor and against different weapons and fighting styles.

  15. 2:12 I gotta ask, how the hell did they get this image? was it like "hey jimmy! come over here and lemme take a photo of your painfully frostbitten hands!" or something like a purposeful experiment? either way, that's cruel.

  16. wrong temp graphs.. your using altered data

    the Midevil warm period was warmer (per the less manipulated/ edited 1990 IPCC report)

  17. When talking about vikings one should never refer to conditions in the very north of Scandinavia (Lapland) because in days of yore it was habited mostly by just the sámi people who have nothing to do with vikings. It's true that agriculture is not an option in the very north but that just lead to cattle herding and more hunting and fishing, not reqular raids.

  18. So basically, this is an epic battle between:
    Shadvisity, the heart of HEMA.
    Metatron, the Kenjutsu katana.
    And Skallagrim, the skall-crushing Norsemen.

    Who would win!!!

    I mean, I know Shad actually knows and practices HEMA,
    And Metatron actually knows and practices Kendo and Kenjutsu.
    AND that Skallgrim also does HEMA.

    It would legit be an EPIC three person battle.

  19. You debunked f all you just kept talking about vikings and how you love them and how you think they are better basically just stop fan boying vikings we get it your fan. You forgot to calculate individual mind sets , training , the area of battle and leaders and their tactics.

  20. My Asian dad who is a weapons expert and was a US Marine officer who does speak highly of samurai even thought they would lose when he saw the episode of Death Battle when the samurai defeated the viking. Body mass and strength really does come into play.

  21. I know this video is old, but who do you think would win if you take one fighter from each group,the top skilled fighters, and put them up against each other?

  22. I know they say that most men that went on Viking raids were poor and had no money they were farmers but in battle don’t you think that the Viking man that one would have stolen the armor or weapons of the dead that they defeated so intern I feel later in the periods of these battles like Wessex in York that the Viking men and women I guess would have had armor towards the end of it they wouldn’t have left all that armor just laying on the battlefield it would’ve been repurposed am I wrong

  23. 16:03 two pictures compared advanced late vikings with old early samurais, wrong, samurais even used chain mail!

  24. Climat cant bee broken climat is alot more than some co2.and humans cant do anything about it but addept like we always did.10000 years ago we had some serieus climat change we where there before and after.just like now things wil changes like always we wil survive like always

  25. But it would still be somewhat available I think not like suits of armor but something who knows we need a time machine for these questions lol

  26. if you get a viking with a ulfbert sword against a katana armed samurai of the same period its pretty likely that the katana would fail they are pretty prone to breakage and the japanese smiths historically used imported steel for good katanas, which might is true for the ulfberth sword as well by the 13 century however european armor and wepons were superior to anythig elsewhere and i would not dare to try to use japanese equipment from the same period against it and even though i like the vikings thats the point they vanish and the knights take over. i never played the game and i dont think most of the games get historically accurate on the topic at all. neverthanless nice video thank you skallagrim.

  27. As much as I am a fan of katanas, samurais would not stand a chance against a knight or a viking. Samurais were essentially lightly armored horse archers. The Japanese foot soldiers were less elite and heavier armored but not as heavy and expensive as the knight. Judging by the harsh lifestyle of vikings-pirates and the rigorous training of Knights, they'd mop the floor with samurai scrubs or peasant foot soldiers in a tournament.

  28. I’m not sure what he’s arguing against… “ a male halberd isn’t heavy… the salt water isn’t that much of a problem… you might compare that to a samurai.

  29. Exactly equipment depends on the use

    In africa colonist saw a defeat in rivers because the brought seafaring ships into rivers to fight the river boats

    African horse back riders would have a advantage because only they knew of the tse tse fly and would protect the horses

    But if that battle happed in say asia the s fact that they barn horses in air tight room would means horses would be harder to car for with no advantage

    Ya i know seems dumb now but they didnt know africans would have the advantage in rivers

  30. Technically, the Samurai, might be at a general disadvantage, most (not all) of the early (and late) Japanese arms were slashing, exactly what chain is good against

  31. ….Does MatPat not think the Norse ever used bows ? Yes the Samurai were most likely better trained with a bow but hes acting like the Vikings are the bandits in Skyrim who come running at you while you pepper them with arrows

  32. looking back on this video, the Vikings in for honor have won almost all the seasons after the first couple when they where releasing the Y1 heros, I guess we can say, Skallagrim :1 Matpat :0
    #Valhallaisprettyrad

  33. In the 13th century when the Livonian crusaders fought the baltic tribes, the zemaishi and zemgalian tribes chose to hold a battle inside a swamp and they had a considerate advantage due to not having much steel armour on them. This is an example of how horses and heavy armour could be turned against you by a simple choice of terrain. Oh and in case anyone is wondering – the pagans won that battle but they didn't win the war.

  34. Imagine if everyone who debunked matpat got together as Vikings, samurai and knights and had a full scale battle to prove mat wrong

  35. The equipment is similar, it really comes down to numbers, preparation, tactics and experience and funding, which was always a variable, and when they have numbers, funding, experience and tactics, you have expansion, which all of these groups had at one point or another.

  36. 3:50 gratz your now a climate change denier. or hadn't you heard that the medieval warming never happened? see if you look at your graph it has a hump in it not the sort of dramatic "hockey stick" one needs to really dramatize the dire situation that is global warming. so NOAA and NASA decided to adjust the data so you must be wrong about the Scandinavian population boom as well as the subsequent Norse expansions……glad i could clear all this up for you have a nice day.

  37. Samurai and knights where nobles i mean the knights warhorse alone could cost more than there armor and weaponry Vikings where elite warriors and very resourceful and did a lot more than just raiding they where also explorers and some of what we know about the natural world is because of Vikings to belittle a culture is wrong period

  38. Also though we think you know Vikings were giants with axes well the lower ranking Vikings yes used axes then maybe a battle axe but the most successful actually chose to use a sword. It was a status symbol since it cost more to have forged

  39. Fake video, Katanas have been folded over One THOUSAND times, they can cut though anything like butter in the hands of a skilled master

  40. As Shad pointed out the Vikings would still probably be at a detriment, at least in a open field battle, simply for the fact that they are the only one of the three cultures that didn't traditionally employ cavallry in combat and well… Unless you have a lot of very well-trained people with polearms fighting cavallry without having it yourself is very difficult.

  41. Look, all I ask is that the Samurai faction gain some gd land in the Faction War during the competitive season. Off-season we did great but who cares! Let’s gain some headway! Let’s win for once! GEEZ!

    To those who say, “faction war don’t matter.” IS IT THAT HARD TO PLACE YOUR BANNER IN A DECENT PLACE?

    COULD WE WIN ONE!?

    Lmao, I could go all day on this, even if it’s a rando comment on this channel

  42. I like how matpat thinks the samurai would win and Vikings would lose but in multiplayer the Vikings always win

  43. In the current year of for honor the Vikings faction does not lose and there is one reason for that. The reason is the majority of players on For Honor are in the Viking faction outnumbering the samurai and knights and they also have the most skilled players

  44. Viking raids may have also been related to climate change, and no not the hoax modern man made climate change but the natural cyclical climate change, the period of viking raids seems to coincide with the medieval warm period which no doubt resulted in a population boom. Funny just as i finished typing this comment you then mentioned it. By the way that black line they have added to that graph of temperature is simply data tampering which they admit doing or a what they expect the temperature to do because otherwise people would clearly see that today's temperature is the same as the medieval warm period, but that's another story.

  45. Man is not responsible for the climate, CO2 is 0.04% of the atmosphere, and humans contribute 4% of the yearly CO2 output which leaves 96% from nature. They want to return to a CO2 level of 200 ppm even though at 150 ppm plants stop growing and we all die, remember CO2 is not a pollutant, it's plant food. The climate has always changed and always will, global warming is nothing more than the new plan for wealth redistribution created by communists. Tony Heller is one of the best at debunking junk science https://youtu.be/7Ag3D0rjGuc I realise this place isn't exactly the forum for such a discussion but people need to be exposed to the truth.

  46. It's all about marxist SJW political correctness when they make these claims about Europeans vs Samurai, remember these people hate Europeans and the west

  47. 9:10 I disagree, I think that the katana would break, because most samurai were actually poor, and could not afford masterfully crafted weapons

  48. No one talks about the medieval warm period. WTF kind of SUV's and coal energy plants were they using to create all that global warming

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