This comic started out as a comment on the use of Punji sticks in the film. It kind of grew out of hand.

I did a back of the envelope calculation. I estimated that it takes roughly 5 minutes per Punji stick, which includes time to harvest and carry the raw wood, trim it, sharpen it, plant it, and other maintenance, such as tool sharpening, food, and restrooms. With two workers, that means they can create 24 sticks per hour.

The scenes in the film show between 20-40 sticks per group, with the mound being an exception (I estimate about 90 sticks there). From the different scenes, I give a really rough estimate that there were about 400 sticks used in the battle. That means it took about 16 hours, 30 minutes to assemble all that. And that's without the time for setting up the other traps (including a trou de loup, which Michael mentions). Either Thulsa Doom took three days to reach the mounds, or these two guys were exhausted in the battle.

Also, I deliberately added the first Punji stick scene, even though there's a Doom solder visible. If you look carefully, you'll notice that Conan and Subotai were able to procure bamboo for their defences. Now, I'm no expert botanist, but I don't think bamboo grows in that region. However, Wikipedia seems to think that bamboo can grow in sub-Saharan Africa, so I could be mistaken.

Or, just maybe, they could make a convincing argument that A Wizard Did It.

If Tom's comments regarding the gods was a bit confusing, here's some notes on Ilios and the Judgement of Paris.

There doesn't seem to be a thread for this chapter. Check for yourself at the forum for chapters.


Scene: Subotai and Conan prepare their battlements, while Tom, playing Thulsa Doom, listens in.
Subotai:We'll also setup pits with false tops, to trap the horses and riders.
Thulsa Doom:Where are you going to get the shovels?
Conan:I'll use an old shield from the dead.
Thulsa Doom:I don't think the spirits of the land will like you disturbing their rest.
Wizard (DM):{ Walks up to Subotai and Conan, while carrying a large assortment of weapons and armor. } The gods are pleased with you! They permit your use of the wealth of the dead, and will watch the battle.
Conan:{ Swings a giant axe polearm. } Finally! A bardiche! Thanks!
Thulsa Doom:So it will be like Ilion - Paris will stick me with Aphrodite, while Athena will vengefully rally with the Greeks.
Subotai:We'll setup Punji sticks around the mound, to funnel the troops into choke points.
Thulsa Doom:Where would you find the sticks? There's only brush around here.
Subotai:From the same place I found the wood for your funeral pyre.
Thulsa Doom:How are you going to make enough of those sticks before my troops arrive?
Subotai:We'll work long hours.
Thulsa Doom:Will you use your own feces on the sticks?
Subotai:Sandra, kick him out. We need some secrecy so he doesn't see all our plans.

Last updated: Tue, 08 Sep 2008 20:59:00 CST

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