Published on May 25th, 2009 | by Mike0
I was flipping through the channels today in boredom, looking for some entertainment, when I found it in The Deadliest Warrior. For all of you who have seen it, you know the show I am speaking of. The basic premise of the show is to pit the manliest/deadliest warriors of all time against one another in a simulated combat scenario to determine who is in fact, histories deadliest warrior. Through careful analysis of each warriors primary weapons, strengths and weaknesses, as well as the usage of modern day analytical technology, it becomes possible to develop a reasonably realistic battle scenario.
Actually, now that I think about it, to someone who has no idea how this technology works (myself) all of this deadliest warrior stuff may be a completely meaningless rendition of who the producers want to win. So here is a little background info on its functioning.
- The technology was developed by Slitherine Software, for use in a real-time role strategy game called “Great Battles of Rome” created by the History Channel.
- In “Great Battles of Rome” a player serves as general, in control of troops that have unique strengths, weaknesses and differing methods of attack. The player controls the game by using his troops strengths, knowledge of when to press forward or retreat, and how to utilize his troops abilities in certain terrains (ex. Archers will suck in the bush).
Troop types in GBoR include light and heavy infantry, archers, cavalry and war elephants. Cavalry presumably move faster than elephants, but are less powerful against a lone soldier; archers can attack safely from longer distances, but are handicapped by forest terrain; and so on.- martialdevelopment.com
- The game pits two groups of 1000 soldiers against each other in a simulated battle. This was reworked by the programmers at “The Deadliest Warrior” to instead simulate 1000 battles, between 2 opponents.
- The Deadliest Warrior uses the Monte Carlo algorithm instead of applying specific fixed values for the fighters specific qualities. The Monte Carlo algorithm allows programmers to create a range of “possible” values(numbers), for all of the fighters specific strengths and weaknesses.
- By running a series of test cases using only the numbers that fall within the range of possible values, it is possible to gather results and determine a probable real life victor.
Now, this seems completely logical and it makes sense to use this method under various circumstances. Combat comparison may not be one of them, as illustrated by a few expert opinions below;
As any experienced martial artist can tell you, the fighting tactics shown in the final reenactments are laughable. On the show, “computer whiz” Max Geiger explains these episodes as dramatized composites of a sober statistical analysis; but in fact, the analysis itself is probably no closer to reality. – martialdevelopment.com
Ultimately, these “scientific rules” of warfare were written not by experienced warriors, but by a group of programmers; and with the initial constraint that they should be simple enough to produce an entertaining computer game.- Great Battles of Rome
Random numbers alone do not make a battle. Remember that the computer does not know how to fight, nor is it capable of learning this independently. In the end, it can only follow instructions. -martialdevelopment.com
Instead, they attempted to identify twenty different factors that could affect the outcome, and all the paths through which these factors can interact. In other words, they attempted to reduce mastery of the martial arts to a straightforward mathematical equation, and draw “scientific” conclusions from the use of that equation.-martialdevelopment.com
Regardless of whether the program being used is 100% valid, the show is beyond entertaining and will no doubt satisfy your craving for historical simulations and mediocre gore (we all have them). The program has tons of scientific positives and is quite impressive in reality. Skeptics argue that it is flawed in the fact that it cannot account for the true experience of combat or the fighters themselves.
Realistically who gives a shit? We all just want to see a pirate fight a knight anyways. Hell if they run a simulation and there is only a 85% probability that the shows victor would of won in real life, that is more than enough evidence for me.
Watch the show for entertainment and you won’t be disappointed. I’m personally kind of hoping that they will eventually start pitting various animals against one another. Like a legal version of dog fighting.
The results up to date are;
Apache vs. Gladiator- Apache wins
Viking vs. Samurai- Samurai wins
Spartan vs. Ninja- Spartan wins
Pirate vs. Knight- Pirate wins
Yakuza vs. Mafia- Mafia wins
Green Beret vs. Spetsnaz- Spetsnaz wins
Shaolin Monk vs. Maori Warrior- Shaolin Monk wins
Below are a couple clips from the show;
Behind the Scenes
Shaolin Monk vs. Maori Warrior