Members Only 71 – Shop Talk on Battle Cattle

Zee and I discuss Battle Cattle, among other things…. including my brief, but illustrious, career as a fast food worker.

Thank you so much for supporting the podcast and being a part of this project! As you know, this show is entirely member supported and if it wasn’t for your support the main show wouldn’t be possible. I hope you enjoy this Member’s Only Episode, and if you have any trouble accessing it please don’t hesitate to contact me.

You can reach me at [email protected]


  1. OK, this has to be one of the best podcasts yet. I am just waiting now for the History Channel Vikings series to use it. Ragnor versus the Bull.

  2. Hi Jamie and Zee, When you guys were talking about battle cattle (is that a prop to Fallout NV?) in this episode, I thought of the Romans and elephants. When Hannibal first used elephants against the Romans, they very effectively broke open the Roman phalanx. Later, the Romans developed refined tactics for neutralizing elephants.

    Though I’m certainly no expert here. (Everything that I know about Romans and elephants, I learned from Mike Duncan’s HoR podcast.) I could imagine that angry bulls would have been very effective against against a vikinger shieldwall. The later saxon and danish shieldwall was basically cargo cult phalanx. If the vikingers did not face “battle cattle” very often, it could be that they just did not have an effective counter in their playbook.

  3. Probably my favourite members episode so far, looking forward to the next one.

    However in a podcast that (correctly) uses words such as hearthwerod and vikingr rather than modernised equivalents to give us a sense of historical and cultural perspective medieval archers should not “fire” their arrows.

    Sorry for griping, keep up the great work!

  4. Question – how do you know those few emails re: Judith were older white men? I get that you can assume they were men based on their names, but . . . age and ethnicity?

    1. Google profiles and Facebook profiles are a wonderous thing. Where we earlier just knew an email came from “[email protected]” now, with pretty much no effort on my part, I can see who the complainer is. Information like that is invaluable because I can quickly assess how much weight to give a given email. For example, when I get someone criticizing my tone, and I see they are a member of various gamergate and MRA groups, I can surmise that it isn’t my tone that they’re taking issue with… but rather, my attention to women in history.

  5. Talking to my wargaming club about battle cattle this week after listening to the podcast and similar to the comments above we were thinking that the use of these could have been very similar to the use of war elephants. Similarly if the enemy force they were sent against managed to spoke them, perhaps with a well placed arrow, spear, war horn blast of whatever then they may pose just as much of a threat to their own shield wall if they suddenly turned around and ran the other way.

    Also what sprang to mind d was the Romans setting pigs and the like on fire and sending them towards the enemy battleline. Now as you said it would not be a real night if the cow/bull died as a result of this as in the end your going to eat it anyway and it is better than being raised by Vikings or whoever.

  6. Long time listener, first time commenter! Love the BHP! Jamie/Zee, have you seen 13 Assassins? I thought of the use of flaming water buffalo in that movie when Jamie discussed the battle cattle in the sagas.

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