Friday, August 17, 2012

Writing Fantasy with The Deadliest Warrior

If you've read either of the first two novels in my epic fantasy series, you know that they're post-apocalyptic. As such there, there is a range of technology and weapons, along with magic and mythical creatures, that play a part in the plot and battles that occur. Close examination of the covers of Flank Hawk and Blood Sword hint at this.

A few months back I came across a TV series available on Netflix called the Deadliest Warrior. I found it to be interesting while providing information and ideas for my writing.

The premise of the series is to pit two opponents from history that never faced each other in a combat to the death. Weapons, skills, training, tactics and several other factors are examined by various experts, from an experienced ER trauma surgeon who assesses the lethality of wounds inflicted by various weapons employed by the warriors to arms and combat experts who assess the effectiveness of  weapons against opponents. All of the information is programmed into a combat simulation program where it's run 1000 times to determine which of the two warriors (combatants) is the victor. Of course, they have a combat between the selected warriors whose script is determined by the computer results.

To give you an idea, among eleven matchups in the first season, they pitted:
Viking vs. Samurai
Pirate vs. Knight
Spartan vs. Ninja.

What I found interesting was the assessment of the variety of weapons and tactics against differing weapons, armor and tactics. This is something that I researched for my novels. Now, certainly the show doesn't examine how well a fire-breathing dragon would fare against a Stuka dive-bomber, or how well an earth wizard would match up against a panzer, but the program has provided me with further ideas and insight as to how primitive explosives and firearms would affect armored opponents, and how varying swords and other weapons would match up in combat and against types of weapons and armor they were not designed to overcome.

While I didn't always agree with some of the assessments of weapons, and the program's method of testing them against each other, it did provide me with somethings to ponder as I move forward with the next novel in the First Civilization's Legacy Series (whose working title is Soul Forge).


  1. Deadliest Warrior is a favorite of mine! Some of the modern warrior episodes helped or inspired me in writing contemporary action-adventure. Plus, the concept of Pirate vs Knight, Ninja vs... reminds me of my favorite game- Heroscape.

  2. David, I can completely see where the modern ones would give ideas and inspiration for your action novels.