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When they receive a favour, they forget it, but if an injury is done them they never fail to revenge it.
— Nihon Shoki

The Emishi Horse Archers were members of an ancient Japanese tribe who primarily hunted various wildlife and fought each other. Like other horse archers, they relied on distance and speed to succeed in combat but carried a variety of weapons in case enemies got too close. They wore a set of iron lamellar armor that made them even more difficult to put down in a conflict and they were their people's most iconic soldiers. They are perhaps best known for wagering a 38 year war against the Yamato army when they invaded and held the advantage for the majority of the war. It was only after the Yamato adopted their tactics that they were finally beaten and forced to surrender or migrate out of their territories.

Battle vs. Cataphract (by Pygmy Hippo 2 )[]

Wiehen Hills, Germany

The Byzantine Cataphracts had been sent to the western Roman Empire to help them defeat a new enemy who had just invaded their lands from the far east, the Yamato army had prevailed against the Emishi Horse Archers and found a use for their former enemies in a new conflict. It was these two events that led to ten men on each side running into each other, one was there as allied soldiers to protect the area and the others were there unwillingly as conscripts who had just gotten away from their tyrannical rulers. The two sides didn't say anything before pulling out bows and firing arrows at each other in an attempt to earn some early kills which saw some success on each side.

One Byzantine managed to hit an Emishi in the throat with a composite bow shot before his iron mail skirt was penetrated by an Ebisu Yumi shot giving him the same fate, another arrow hit one of his comrades in the side before the two groups started riding. The soldiers chased after the Warriors with their Kontarion lances out except for one archer who got a lucky shot in the spinal column of a fleeing warrior, only for his fellow to fall over dead from wolfbane poison and another was knocked off his mount by a similar hit to helplessly struggle on the ground in agony. The Cataphracts were getting closer which made the Horse Archers draw their Kumayari throwing spears and toss most of them at their pursuers which wound up bouncing off most of the time or just causing shallow wounds with one actually sinking deep enough in between the iron scales to cause a mortal wound.

The Emishi were devastated as the lances made contact, two men being run through outright through the sheer force and toppling backwards with gruesome wounds that went past their iron lamellar before another was unfortunately still alive for a little bit after the impact before a horse stepped on his head. The warriors who barely avoided death began to ready melee weapons except for one who took a shot at a passing soldier with his bow, the Kontarion barely missed his torso but the Yumi hit its mark in his foe's neck. The Horse Archers quickly swung their Tsurugis to destroy as many lances as they could before the Cataphracts could draw their Spathions and the two started duelling on horseback with some utilizing their shields as well.

The Byzantine's sword cut through the Tate with ease while the Tsurugi boinced off the Skoutaria and the Emishi then tried to hack at the horse who whined in pain but it didn't give him enough time to react to the Spathion coming for his throat next. The soldier was pleased with his enemy's death but now he he had a wounded horse and turned to get a Kumayari thrusted at his chest which luckily didn't do much damage, however, it also sent him falling off his mount and down a steep hill. Two men were trying to have a meal as a Horse Archers attack sent a Cataphract plummeting down towards them with the impact clearly ruining lunch as 88 pounds of iron and a carcass laid on it.

The man in a silk kimono with two swords on his waist and the man in ivory armor with a spear on his back looked at each other before walking away, Miyamoto and the Inuit could meet somewhere else where there wasn't Byzantines and Emishi fighting. Back above, another soldier had stabbed into a warrior's face before a Tsurugi stabbed through his mail skirt to reach his neck and another of his fellows was hit from two sides by a spear and sword which both punched deep into his flesh before the sword's owner was sent flying by a Kontarion lance hit. The Cataphract then knocked the other Horse Archer off his horse with a shield bash and turned around to finish the job as another horse was slain by a lance going right through it's chest.

However that Emishi had an easy shot with his Ebisu Yumi as he got up to see the Byzantine struggling to free his polearm from the dead mount, all he got was an arrow that went past his armor and into his face. The other warrior desperately dodged the soldier's charges as he attempted to run him down and got support from his fellow firing upon his opponent. The Horse Archer's shots bounced off the iron scales or missed and the Cataphract was just driven into an even greater fury with the projectiles pelting him and the annoying foot soldier who refused to die.

The Byzantine lost his patience and went all in for a Spathion swing which the Emishi didn't just dodge but slashed the horse's neck open with his Tsurugi in response, making the cavalry crash to the ground. The soldier got up in pain with several broken bones and extremely slowly thanks to his heavy armor and only got the warrior's sword puncturing his throat for his troubles and collapsed to a knee. The Emishi Horse Archer watched his foe for a moment before yanking the Tsurugi out and letting the Byzantine Cataphract's body fall before greeting his fellow and walking back over to his horse so that they could continue their escape.

Winner:Emishi Horse Archers

Expert's Opinion[]

The Byzantine Cataphracts were far better protected and had the devastating Kontarion Lance along with superior training but the Emishi Horse Archers had them beat with better weapons at short and long range with the Tsurugi Sword and Ebisu Yumi Composite Bow. It didn't hurt that the Emishi's tactics directly countered the Byzantine's tactics either and they had comparable experience despite fighting less variety in foes.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.