Scorpio Diamante: the deadliest warrior

(a rare image of Scorpio Diamante, worker of wonders, transitioning from the reference desk to the lucha libre ring)

Here’s a rambling post.

Season 2 of “The Deadliest Warrior” just started airing this month. If you haven’t seen this show, it is on “Spike,” the cable channel that used to be called TNT, I believe. It is a show where a few guys do what probably every gamer, history buff, and bored guy does, viz. discuss who would win in fight between, say, a ninja and a pirate. But they add an air of authority to thier speculation by running computer simulations (yawn) after doing a series of tests with the weapons each kind of warrior used (pure awesome).

There is some trash talking, which is very funny on several levels, between “advocates” for each warrior, usually a couple of guys who are serious reenactors/history buffs/hero worshipers. It is all very fun. The matchups are sometimes head-scratchers (why pit a knight vs a pirate, or a gladiator vs an Apache, or William Wallace vs Shaka Zulu, rather than an opponent a little bit more similar in technology, for example) and sometimes really interesting (Viking vs Samurai!).

Because I am a gamer, history buff, and often bored, and because my brother Tom and the mysterious Scorpio Diamante are both interested in this kind of match-up, I’d been having a similar speculations for some time before even the first season aired, many of which are preserved in emails.

The latest Deadliest Warrior was Alexander the Great vs Attila the Hun, which is an interesting match-up even though they lived about 700 years apart in time. Alexander did face some horse archers (Saka or Scythians, I forget) in his time and did not really fight them — he used artillery to drive them off, without there really being a decisive battle. In the show the weapons mix for Attila was a lasso, bow, sword, and Scythian axe (all reasonable weapons, although I thought the Huns also used a ball-and-chain type weapon called a huna or hunna? That or a spear would seem to be more typical of the Huns than the axe, but as long as the bow is given primacy, all good).

Alexander, on the show, had a kopis (the Greek sword that looks a lot like a kukri), a xyston (the “barge-pole” lance of the Macedonains), a gastrophetes, and a ballista. He was also described as a pancratian master, which may be true but was obviously just mentioned to justify the MMA champion they had guest-starring to test some of the weapons. I’m a little surprised by the gastrophetes (I thought these were basically siege weapons employed by one of Alexander’s enemies or successors or something) but in light of history the ballista is not a terrible idea.

Anyway that show ended as I’d expect, with Attila on top. No beating the horse archer except with serious foot archery or indirect methods (logistics).

Anyway for the edification of my readers, here is what I believe to be the first of our “Vs.” exchanges from almost exactly two years ago, occasioned by my library’s acquisition of a DVD of the movie La momia azteca contra el robot humano:

Me: Please let me know who should win this

SD: I am pretty sure that the Aztec Zombie (AZ) would win this battle. My reason is that AZ is a time tested killing machine capable of withstanding environmental stressors in a way that 1958 cyborg technology cannot match.

Let’s say for example that they were fighting in a desert climate; I could see sand and heat interfering with the flexibility of the human robot (HR). Another possible deadly scenario would be AZ’s cloth wrap jamming up HR’s robotic parts while the two are grappling. HR’s complexity is his weakness.

Even if HR had weapons systems built in am not sure that they could counter the awesome force of aboriginal undead superpowers. Not that AZ’s can serve up a death punch, but as we all know they can withstand one. In short, AZ would wear down HR and eventually suck the life from his electrically charged head.

P.S. 50’s era cyborg scientists were still drawing schematics on napkins during 5 martini lunches; I am sure there are design flaws.

Here is another:

SD: John Paul II vs Benedict XVI ???

Me: JPII vs. B16? The obvious winner is the viewing public.
One might think the lifeless corpse of JP2 is at a disadvantage but I’m assuming some sort of canonization-worthy miracle would occur and JP2 would rise as a zombie-pope (or Antipope). B16 would obviously use his “Turn undead” abilities but that would only hold zombipope at bay, like garlic vs. vampire. Such a fight can only end in a draw; you basically have two infallible fighters, and neither would ever make an error that leaves an opening for the other’s attack.

If anyone would care to see more of our analyses, let me know in the comments. I’ll also see if Tom will give permission to repost his extensive analyses of some Deadliest Warrior episodes.

Update: here’s a list of season 2 matchups:

  • 4.1 Episode 10: SWAT vs. GSG9 <skipped this one>
  • 4.2 Episode 11: Attila the Hun vs. Alexander the Great
  • 4.3 Episode 12: Jesse James vs. Al Capone <expect great trash talk, and a tommy-gun riddled gunslinger>
  • 4.4 Episode 13: Aztec Jaguar vs. Zande Warrior <comment: Aztecs really went for the capture rather than kill, so I’m thinking Zande>
  • 4.5 Episode 14: Nazi SS vs. Viet Cong <yawn>
  • 4.6 Episode 15: Roman Centurion vs. Rajput <It’s hard to beat a Roman, but I can’t wait to see an urumi and a katar tested! India has such wonderful toys. Also, a Centurion has slightly different equipment than a legionary. Hmm.>
  • 4.7 Episode 16: Somali Pirate vs. Medellín Drug Cartel <nothing exploitive here, move along>
  • 4.8 Episode 17: Persian Immortal vs. Celt <Interesting matchup, but the “Immortals” were the best of the best, and any old Celt is his foe? A little unfair>
  • 4.9 Episode 18: KGB vs. CIA <yawn>
  • 4.10 Episode 19: Vlad The Impaler vs. Sun Tzu <WTF?>
  • 4.11 Episode 20: Ming Warrior vs. Musketeer <Very interesting matchup, I love East vs. West>
  • 4.12 Episode 21: Comanche vs. Mongol <Mongol pretty much over anyone, but light cavalry vs. light cavalry seems to be a toss-up>
  • 4.13 Episode 22: Navy SEAL vs. Israeli Commando <yawn>

Since Episode 2 included horses, I really hope they’ll consider Knight vs. Samurai and maybe add a Parthian Cataphract, Polish Winged Hussar, Sioux, and so on… I take it Alexander sort of stood for the Macedonian companion cavalry. I’d also like to see a Thracian warrior at some point, just see how well a falx does (& how they reconstruct it). Oh, and a Landesknecht with a bigass 2-handed sword.

Published in: on April 29, 2010 at 3:24 pm  Comments (4)  
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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Peoples Temple vs Order of the Solar Temple?

    • This is the sort of match-up that separates the wheat from the chaff! The People’s Temple (Jim Jones, Guyana) claimed an astonishing 918 lives in their mass murder/suicide. Their cult was supposedly a strange mix of Christianity, communism, and anti-racism, an explosive mixture, but apparently was really just a cult of personality. The Order of the Solar Temple carried out far fewer killings but had a series of incidents rather than one apocalypse, which is impressive in its way, especially since they occurred more recently. That was some kind of mix of Christianity, freemasonry, and even some of Aliester Crowley’s craziness. So that’s kind of sinister, and scores some points. In fact both lose hands down to more traditional and widely accepted cults, often including only one of the elements mixed in the PT and OST, and which kill far more people on an ongoing basis. Both the PT and OST are losers in the Last Religion Standing Battle Royale that appears to dominate history.

  2. […] here’s a more even match-up from the Scorpio Diamante […]

  3. I agree 100%

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