Paul Cockburn
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I am grateful to the forums here for introducing me to "Empire of the Summer Moon" by S C Gwynne which turned out to be a fascinating read and provided a really helpful insight into various aspects of the game. Especially for someone from the Old World who has little knowledge of American history or geography. Here are some insights I'd like to share.

Names of Territories: The only names previously familiar to me were Upper and Lower Arkansas, which I wrongly assumed referred to the State. I now know that all these Territories except one are named after major rivers, with the two aforementioned ones being named after the same river and one (Brazos Colorado) being named after two rivers. The exception is Llano Estacado, a large almost featureless plain, cut through by the second largest canyon in America (Palo Duro).

Horses: There were no horses in America until they were introduced to the continent by the Spanish newcomers. It was the arrival of horses which started the rise of the Comanche nation. They became extraordinarily skilled horsemen, able to shoot (arrows) from horseback and duck alongside their horse at full gallop to avoid return fire. The army (and many other Indian tribes) used horses only to ride to the site of the battle, then dismounted to fight on foot. The Comanche fought on horseback.

Battle Tactics: It was not in the nature of the Comanche to risk great loss of life by pressing their advantage. Their tactics were more often a swift strike followed by a fast retreat (maybe riding far and fast for days on end to escape pursuit.)

Raids: The conduct of raids against settlers or other tribes and the accompanying torture and mutilation of victims was horrible enough that it made me wonder about whether I wanted to initiate a Comanche raid even in a game. But I think I can get over my squeamishness for the sake of a decent gaming experience.

Purpose of Raids: Sometimes for revenge against those who had attacked them. But often to steal horses. (The more horses a person or tribe owned, the richer they were.) Or to capture people either for later trade (with other tribes) or ransom (to the white people), or perhaps to assimilate into the tribe to increase the population. All these aspects of raiding are simulated by the game.

Lack of central government: The Comanche had no overall leader, but was a loose affiliation of lots of bands.

The man on the box lid: This impressive looking gentleman is called Quanah Parker, the son of a captured white woman, who was hugely influential in the declining years of the Comanche empire and beyond. As a young man he led many successful raids and killed many white people. But when he realised the writing was on the wall for his people (the buffalo having been hunted almost to extinction and the Texans finally working out how to fight Indians on their own terms) he persuaded his band to surrender, joined the reservation and became a very vocal spokesman for the Comanche. His enterpreunerial skills (not to mention a lucrative protection racket) allowed him to become wealthy, build a large house (for his several wives and many children) and become widely known as something of a celebrity. He even entertained and impressed Teddy Roosevelt.

In short, I highly recommend this book!

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Iceland
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Thanks for the write up. I have the book on my kindle, but was too lazy to read it so far.
 
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Shane
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I too own this book, and have read about half way through. The only reason it is still unfinished is that, sadly, I'm not much of a reader.
 
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champalaune christ
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I have read this book twice in the french version.

A french editor:here is the link (www.editions-anacharsis.com/IMG/pdf/perdu_en_terre_indienne.... )

writtes this book is caricatural and racist showing Comanche people as savage people and prehistoric people before the discovering of the horses ......

I don't feel this in the french version and I have had pleasure reading it,

This book is interesing to give a strong feeling when playing Comancheria,
yes the game is soft , no blood and massacres on the map !! and I would like not playing this kind of game but I thing we have to read this book because we need to feel inside us the hard time for natives and also for emigrants from Europe. I think now at this time of history we have to pray to trigger a compassion for all the people died in this period of fight and ignorance. I hope timpe will care our minds and to ease the relation ships with natives and more and more understanding each other.

In 1992 and 1194, we invite in Switzerland , indians people (Sioux) to a 20 days retreat to pray, dance , have sweat lodge , it was great for me , an european man to have sweat lodge with Siouw people, the ambiance was happy, understanding and Sioux people were happy to speak with european people very different from America, perhaps more open and friendly with natives !!!!
It some people wants pictures, newspaper about the retreats , send me an email..

christ from Grenoble France
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Josh
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Pedant alert: Horses existed in North America for millions of years, but went extinct about 12,000 years ago. They were later reintroduced by Cortes in 1519.
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champalaune christ
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Thank you for the precision,
As a french , I don't know what it's mean ''pedant alert'' ?

For me, I was thinking the horses didn't live in America , yes a liitle strange for us, europeean habitants, in Europe, horses lives in Europe for millions years but all contients have evolved with different ways. In prehistoc caves in France (Lascaux and Chauvet), many painted caves with horses, bisons, lions, rhinocéros, bears....

In reading the books, I understand that many people, tribes have a deep tendancy of greed, fight and are not kindly for others people,european people were and are greedy for ressources and territories.
Comanches are not different !!! they were hard people and like to fight , for conquering territories . There were like all of us, human beens.

have all of us, a good cofee,

christ from Grenoble France
 
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Lazy Mountain

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champalaune wrote:
Thank you for the precision,
As a french , I don't know what it's mean ''pedant alert'' ?


Don't worry, most English speakers probably had to re read it, too. Here just means he is being very precise to bring up this detail, "being pedantic" (the less rare, but still rare form of this word).
 
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Paul Cockburn
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Lzmountaingames wrote:
champalaune wrote:
Thank you for the precision,
As a french , I don't know what it's mean ''pedant alert'' ?


Don't worry, most English speakers probably had to re read it, too. Here just means he is being very precise to bring up this detail, "being pedantic" (the less rare, but still rare form of this word).

There's a lovely moment in "Jonathan Creek" (a British detective series from some years ago) when Maddie is annoyed with Jonathan and says to him, "I'm fed up of your pedantism!" He pauses for a beat and then quietly responds, "Pedantry."
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Joel Carr
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I found the book to show brutality on all sides(white man and native alike)... As I recall it also clearly discussed native tribes which did not partake in such gory ... er.. pastimes, which were avenged upon by the "white man" ... sigh. that said it was a "un-relaxing" evening read.


 
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Victor thorongil
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Thanks for the insight, I think I will read the book
 
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