All draen warfare had been drastically different to human warfare, mainly because of the environment and mobility. Human tactics stop working when you can just glide over your enemies. Artillery was useless, so were missiles, when every structure was on the sacred Ani. Draen warfare is ferocious, close quarters one-on-one warfare.
Due to the environment of the Ani forests and the biology of the drae, their warfare is drastically different from human warfare. The verticality of the environment makes walls impossible, which makes siege tactics useless. The drae are also superhumanly fast, and have a sturdy exoskeleton. The first big change in infantry warfare was in the developement of armor, and the second the developement of firearms.
In the tribal ages, all wars were in their core for territory. Territory is a very important resource, as it limits the population of the tribe. Every single member of the tribe must eat, and prey comes with area. How much prey there is for an area changes according to its unpredictable migration, and large-scale migrations have caused more than one war.
The drae mark their territory with scratches in the bark of the local Ani. They will slowly heal, but while they are, they ask the intruder to go away to prevent combat. It is a weak instinct, which apparently evolved to minimise combat between the tribes. There is a theory it was the start of written language.
If a drae encounters an intruder in their territory, they will often proceed to fight him. Most commonly the defender will be unarmed, or goes to get his weapon, if the stash is sufficiently near. Even unarmed the drae are dangerous, mainly due to the blades and the poison stinger in the tail. Combat mainly consists of keeping distance and tiring the opponent. The goal is making the opponent run away, or incapacitating him, if neither one accepts losing. Killing is most often not the goal, though it does happen too.
The combatants will dance around each other, manouvering with their gliding wings, trying to land a hit to the side of the other drae. The distance will be as close as it can be so that the weapons of the enemy are out of range for effective attacks. One good hit with a sharp weapon will fracture the exoskeleton, which will most commonly cause the other to run to heal. Just couple of fractures will be enough to completely incapacitate the drae, as moving at that point would be suicide. If the damaged drae is given rest, he will heal completely much quicker than a human could, even to the point of limbs regrowing. Depending on the injury, it will take from a couple of days to almost two months for full recovery.
The weapons of the pre-armor period were almost exclusively variations of sharp thing on the end of a stick. The most common one was very similar to a halberd, though had an another spike in the place of the axe blade, called the starspear. It was effective for both thrusting and swinging attacks, and is practically the symbol of weapon and combat for the drae. Where we would put the symbol of a sword, they would put a starspear.
Then metalworking techniques developed to the point making metal armor became useful. Even the hardest strikes with the starspear couldn't even dent it. Of course, they limited mobility, and the models which had eye protection limited vision by quite a lot. Less complete models, which only protected the sides also existed, and were used widely, although they allowed sharp strikes to the limbs and the tail.
Full body armor was much more useful to the attacker than the defender, as defense relied on sight and response tactics, which required mobility, as otherwise the enemy could quite easily pass the defence. This maked the combat quite asymmetric.
For the attacker, the combat suddenly became much more brutal. An enemy running away could attack back with full body armor, when the attacker had to take the armor off to hunt and othervise live normally. Only enemy that couldn't hit back was a dead enemy, and suddenly the death rates by war grew enormously.
For the defender, even a single enemy now became a threat. Weapons became mandatory, as blades and tails couldn't pierce the armor. Blunt weapons replaced sharp ones, and instead of trying to damage the opponent directly, the tactic was usually to make the enemy fall to the sea, something potentially fatal with the armor, unless it is taken off immediately.
The attackers still most commonly used the starspear, because of its effectiveness in killing unarmored enemies. This version usually had three shorter spikes on each side instead of the old ones with one long spike per side, as it is more inclined towards hitting limbs instead of the sides, now protected by armor plates.
The defenders are most commonly equipped with maces or hammers, a heavy head on a much shorter stick than the spears, which were oriented more towards reach. It would be used to hit the sides of the attacker's armor to push him down, or to hit his feet to rip them off the surface they are grabbing. Also used by the defenders were shields, stopping the starspear from hitting his limbs.
Then firearms were developed. They were more like directed shrapnel grenades than real guns, but they hit far. The recoil was enormous, and the ammunition clunky, but the range advantage and piercing of usably thin metal armor greatly outweighted their flaws. They were not at all accurate, but the sheer amount of shrapnel made up for that on short distances, and was even advantageous, as it made it so you didn't really have to aim except for the general direction of the enemy. The closest earth equivalent is a shotgun. The reloading was manual, but the gunpowder-equivalent was included inside the shell. Also a common firearm was a grenade launcher, which used the shell to shoot a single sticky grenade to the shield of the enemy, which then exploded, and either made the shield fly away or made the victim fly from the force of the explosion. They were notoriously easy to dodge from some distance.
The one most important tool used both by the attacker and the defender is a thick shield to protect the body from shrapnel. Going to combat without it is suicide, as the shrapnel will pierce through the exoskeleton easily, and possibly damage internal organs. Even far outside the effective range, a stray shot can easily kill. The environment didn't have any real cover except for the Ani, which could be really useful if the shield was unavailable.
The goal was to hit the enemy where there was no shield to protect him. A good near shot would either incapacitate or kill him, so getting shot was disasterous. A common tactic was trying to deplete the enemy's ammunition.
The shield was often three centimeters of solid metal, making it very heavy. It was worn on one of the blades, making it easier to protect oneself from the front. This allowed the shield to be made lighter, as it didn't have to cover the whole side of the drae, but just the relatively thin front profile.
Body armor vanished almost completely, as making it thick enough to protect from the shrapnel would've made it too heavy for usage. As it was useless and limited mobility, it became better just to leave it off. This allowed for the return of hits from blades and tails. Even without ammunition or shield, quick rush towards the enemy and a couple hits could still turn the fight in your favour
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