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Who would win in a fight, a minotaur with a trident or a centaur with a crossbow?
March 21, 2008 2:33 PM   Subscribe

Who would win in a fight: A minotaur with a trident or a centaur with a crossbow? Surely one of the great questions of of our time. Luckily the cast of Battlestar Galactica is on hand to answer. Basic cable scifi show not credible? Ask the cast of The Wire instead.

The centaur seems to be ahead in the straw poling, but perhaps Brian Posehn is right: When a minotaur and a centaur fight, we all win.
posted by robocop is bleeding (94 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Dude, pleae... A crossbow does, what, like 1d4+1 damage?? Once the minotaur closes to melee range, it's all over.
posted by LordSludge at 2:49 PM on March 21, 2008 [6 favorites]


Wow that was painful to watch. It would have been a lot cooler if they had split the videos up even more, maybe make each one a two-parter, with a lead-in and lead-out, so we could see the logo some more.
posted by odinsdream at 2:50 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


More importantly, who would win in a fight between a grilled cheese sandwich and a taco?
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 2:51 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Minotaur would win easily, even if the centaur got a shot off with his crossbow.

Anyway. Great post robocop. It's a lot of fun to watch.
posted by cameron.case at 2:51 PM on March 21, 2008


A crossbow does, what, like 1d4+1 damage?? Once the minotaur closes to melee range, it's all over.

A couple of called shots to the eyes will pretty much take Mr. House of Leaves out of the fight before it even starts, though. And closing to melee range on foot against a horse that knows it has the advantage at distance? Gladiator please.
posted by cortex at 2:52 PM on March 21, 2008 [15 favorites]


I'm going to start saying Mine-o-taur. All the time. Every time.
posted by spec80 at 2:54 PM on March 21, 2008


KIRK! no wait PICARD! no wait KIRK!

Definitely Kirk.
posted by PlusDistance at 2:56 PM on March 21, 2008


Great post. What amazed me is how many celebrities they have answering that question.
posted by bove at 2:56 PM on March 21, 2008


Interesting that, with a few exceptions, the people from The Wire (a non-SF show) generally seemed to take the question more seriously than the people from BSG (an SF show). As entertainment-reporter questions go, it's at least as relevant as "Who are you wearing?"

I'm also sort of surprised that so many people have never heard of centaurs or minotaurs.

My favorite part was where you have to scroll down really quick to see the video once it auto-starts.
posted by hifiparasol at 2:57 PM on March 21, 2008


Wait a minute. The centaur's only got a crossbow? They didn't say he also has any quarrels. Without any ammunition, his speed only means he can get away, which is the same as losing.
posted by aubilenon at 2:58 PM on March 21, 2008


Too many unanswered variables - it totally depends on the terrain. It's like asking who would win in a 3-way battle between a tank, a helicopter and a submarine?

But I am so pro this kind of healthy debate.
posted by RokkitNite at 3:03 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm going to start saying Mine-o-taur. All the time. Every time.

Wait, isn't that how it's pronounced?! I'd never heard anyone say min-a-tarr before. It sounded weird.

But then again, I flinch every time I listen to the podcast and hear someone say met-a-filter...
posted by afx237vi at 3:05 PM on March 21, 2008


Also, can you even load a crossbow with hooves? I think you need feet for it.
posted by aubilenon at 3:06 PM on March 21, 2008


A dinosaur with a machine gun.
posted by Smart Dalek at 3:12 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I personally loved the Ozzy one. The one guy who's blasted off his ass from all the drugs has the tenacity to ask the interviewer if *he's* on drugs. WTF?

I really loved the D&D answer. ICE-T certainly knew the jig. And Posehn definitely has the best one of all.
posted by symbioid at 3:17 PM on March 21, 2008


I'm wondering why the centaur isn't using the superior longbow. C'mon, that weapon was practically made for centaurs! Also, we all know that centaurs are archers, not crossbowmen.

I'm a little disappointed that none of the women of Battlestar Galactica knew what a centaur or a minotaur was. I do appreciate the amount of thought Grace Park put into the question.
posted by dinty_moore at 3:17 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


my frame of reference is nethack, and there, a whole pack of centaurs wouldn't stand a chance against a minotaur. the minotaur wouldn't need the trident, frankly.
posted by facetious at 3:19 PM on March 21, 2008


Okay, Jon Favreau just convinced me to see the Iron Man movie.
posted by tracert at 3:20 PM on March 21, 2008


I like Baltar's slightly nuanced intelligence-bests-brutality answer, but he's still wrong. A minotaur is a fuckin' bull with hands.
posted by bunnytricks at 3:21 PM on March 21, 2008


Daniel Craig's reaction to the question is better than his response, but for the sheer force of his analytical nature, I give the overall award to My Name is Earl's Ethan Suplee.
posted by Dreama at 3:24 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oderus Urungus wins.
posted by waraw at 3:29 PM on March 21, 2008


This, THIS is what metafilter is for! Awesome post r.i.b.

Minotaur, totally.
posted by djeo at 3:37 PM on March 21, 2008


couple of called shots to the eyes will pretty much take Mr. House of Leaves out of the fight before it even starts, though.

But has the centaur taken the precise shot feat?
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:38 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's good to see that Sydnor's finally been given something to say.
posted by 1 at 3:39 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is definitely about where they fight. In close (labyrinthean) quarters, there's no question that the centaur will be whorin' for a gorin'. But in an open field, sooner or later the centaur is going to goad the minotaur into throwing his damned trident, and when he misses, look who's got all the weapons, four legs, and two middle fingers.
posted by krippledkonscious at 3:45 PM on March 21, 2008 [7 favorites]


Dude, my money is always on the trident.
posted by absalom at 3:46 PM on March 21, 2008


The centaur would win. Yeah, you heard me!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:47 PM on March 21, 2008


Oh, and in all seriousness (!!), I go with the centaur on the open field. I envision the centaur using his speed to maintain range and attack at gallop.

Although, the whole premise is absurd. Centaurs use bows.
posted by absalom at 3:47 PM on March 21, 2008


never used baby shoes: Centaurs don't have feet!
posted by aubilenon at 3:48 PM on March 21, 2008


He who lives by the sword (trident) dies by the arrow (crossbow).
posted by JWright at 3:53 PM on March 21, 2008


Christ, even McNulty's real accent sounds fake.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:53 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


A hoof is just a foot that is not fucking around.
posted by cortex at 3:58 PM on March 21, 2008 [22 favorites]


i thought "this is what a centaur is" was more mainstream than it apparently is. i mean, i know i'm a big old nerd, but still.

minotaur, yeah, that's a bit more obscure, sure.

also, nth-ing the fact that it's all about terrain.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:59 PM on March 21, 2008


never used baby shoes: Centaurs don't have feet!

Damn, really? What am I gonna do with these Centaur shoes? Not again...
posted by kid ichorous at 3:59 PM on March 21, 2008


Donald Trump and Crispin Glover are not amused. I liked watching Helen Mirren take the question seriously. Always classy.
posted by painquale at 4:06 PM on March 21, 2008


Oh, and in all seriousness (!!), I go with the centaur on the open field. I envision the centaur using his speed to maintain range and attack at gallop.

Absolutely. Superior speed and superior range together are virtually unbeatable. It's true in naval combat, it's true in MechWarrior, and it's damn well true here. Unless, of course, they're fighting in a labyrinth.
posted by PercussivePaul at 4:07 PM on March 21, 2008


PercussivePaul: We only have one account of a minotaur fighting anyone in a labyrinth and the minotaur doesn't even do that well there.
posted by aubilenon at 4:12 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow. The poll is at exactly 50/50. I had no idea so many people played dungeons and dragons.
posted by tehloki at 4:19 PM on March 21, 2008


I prefer the Onion AV club's take on filler interview questions.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:20 PM on March 21, 2008


You know, they really screwed this up. Going around to a bunch of celebrities and asking them a "who would win in a fight" question is a great idea, but they picked a horribly boring battle with too easy of a cop-out answer.
posted by painquale at 4:21 PM on March 21, 2008


I love how delighted Will Farrell looks by the question.

Also--most the women have no idea what the interviewer is talking about, while the majority of the men not only understand the question, but have strong opinions about which answer is correct.
posted by EarBucket at 4:22 PM on March 21, 2008 [4 favorites]


Minotaur: Meh.

His centre of gravity is so high, the centaur could knock him down with nothing more than a couple of unimpressed sighs.

And of course the Centaur would also get the leg up intellectually, what with his having a human head rather than a bovine one.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:22 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Just the best. Thanks for the post, my day is redeemed.
posted by emmet at 4:23 PM on March 21, 2008


Also, according to an old classics prof., Centaur came from the Greek roots "ken" + "tauros," or "bull killer." Wiki agrees:

The Greek word kentauros could be etymologized as ken - tauros = "piercing bull". Another possible etymology can be "bulls slayer". Some say that the Greeks took the constellation of Centaurus, and also its name "piercing bull", from Mesopotamia, where it symbolized the god Baal who represents rain and fertility, fighting with and piercing with his horns the demon Mot who represents the summer drought. (In Greece, Mot became the constellation of Lupus.) Later in Greece, the constellation of Centaurus was reinterpreted as a man riding a horse, and linked to legends of Greece being invaded by tribes of horsemen from the north. The idea of a combined monster may have arisen as an attempt to fit the pictorial figure to the stars better.

Which means that Centaurs kill bulls implicitly. And since we're dealing with mythoi, constructs of language, we've no choice but to obey the language: Centaurs kill the Minotaur (son of the the bull of Poseidon), Michael Jordan (and his teammates), Richard Moll from Night Court, Bald Bull from Punch-out, and certain energy drinks. Then they kill Warren Beatty for the hell of it.
posted by kid ichorous at 4:24 PM on March 21, 2008 [13 favorites]


If it was a bow, I would go with the Centaur, but since he only gets one shot* I don't see it ending well for our equine friend.


*since crossbows require that you put you foot in the loop on the end in order to cock them and he doesn't have feet.
posted by Megafly at 4:31 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


No contest. Superior range + superior mobility = winner every time. Proof right here. Unless, as has been mentioned, we're talking about close quarters.
posted by echo target at 4:40 PM on March 21, 2008


Dude, that whole name thing is just gonna piss the minotaur off.

And you do not want to mess with a pissed off minotaur.

In any case, comparing the results from a Google image search for Minotaur and Centaur is probably sufficent to settle this question.
posted by washburn at 4:46 PM on March 21, 2008


crossbows require that you put you foot in the loop on the end in order to cock them and he doesn't have feet.

Centaurs have four hooves, which are comparable if not superior to clad feet. He could have a loaded crossbow in either hand, rear up on his hind legs, and cock both at the same time with his front hooves, and that in itself would kill you from the sheer awesomeness of seeing it.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:47 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


In any case, comparing the results from a Google image search for Minotaur and Centaur is probably sufficent to settle this question.

Or, at least, to see enough fantasy furry body-mod porn to settle all questions, forever.
posted by kid ichorous at 4:52 PM on March 21, 2008


From the d20srd (open source D&D3.0 reference guide)

Minotaur
Centaur

Pretty clearly the minotaur has every advantage. While the centaur does have a significant advantage in base speed, the minotaur has Mighty Charge, which is made at a +9 attack bonus and deals 4d6+6 damage. Not only that, but he can fucking power attack with it. Considering that it's charge range is 80 feet, I have a hard time imagining that the centaur could really dance around it for long enough to keep the minotaur from charging. And while the centaur's Dodge could help it out of a tricky situation, it wouldn't even be able to flee after realizing it's severely outmatched due to the minotaur's Track.

Additonally, the centaur's range bonus and presumed advantage from this is basically nullified by the fact that the minotaur can't be caught flat-footed.
posted by baphomet at 5:11 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think the centaur would be smart enough to use poison arrows.
posted by Citizen Premier at 5:12 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


There were a number of different mechanisms to cock crossbows other than just sticking your foot in the toe-loop and yanking back on the string. There were even repeating crossbows in China.

And the damage done by these things was serious. Serious enough to penetrate plate armor, and serious enough for a contemporary observer to exclaim that they were practically a harbinger of the end-times. 1d4+1 damage? Don't make me laugh.
posted by adamrice at 5:14 PM on March 21, 2008


On preview, what Rob Zombie said.
posted by baphomet at 5:14 PM on March 21, 2008


(adamrice: the heavy repeating crossbow could do some damage at 1d10 with reloading as a free action, but after 5 shots he'd have to spend a full-round action reloading, which gives the minotaur the perfect opportunity to use the charge)
posted by baphomet at 5:18 PM on March 21, 2008


Donald Trump and Crispin Glover are not amused.

That's because Trump is a self-important asshole who should eat a centaur's dick. Crispin didn't seem irritated to me, though.
posted by papakwanz at 5:23 PM on March 21, 2008


Oh, and I love the way Will Arnett takes apart the question.
posted by papakwanz at 5:25 PM on March 21, 2008


Now THIS is what the internet is for.

Minotaur, on average - I mean, you have to look at this from a statistical point of view, 'cause, y'know, the minotaur could trip during the rush and game over, or the centaur might hit one of the horns instead of a penetrating head wound (the likelihood of killing the minotaur without a brain hit is pretty small) - so it's a guessing game for any ONE interation (even in the D&D context - the preponderance of the time, the minotaur will win (as per the D&D guy on the linked site, and baphomet's answer above) but the minotaur rolls an epic fail, and he's screwed).

I hope they get to ask Stephen Colbert one day...
posted by birdsquared at 5:30 PM on March 21, 2008


MINOTAUR WITH A TRIDENT : CENTAUR WITH A CROSSBOW :: TEDDY ROOSEVELT WITH A LETTER OPENER : GEORGE W. BUSH WITH A NUCLEAR SUBMARINE

MINOTAUR WITH A TRIDENT : CENTAUR WITH A CROSSBOW :: CHRIS HANSEN WITH A CHAT LOG : GARY GLITTER WITH A SCREEN NAME

MINOTAUR WITH A TRIDENT : CENTAUR WITH A CROSSBOW :: WOMAN WITH DIGNITY : HIPSTER WITH FEDORA
posted by bunnytricks at 5:40 PM on March 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


As someone who plays Team Fortress 2,

I'd have to say that speed and range are not showstoppers. While a sniper might be able to dominate heavies at range, a soldier can put an end to your shenanigans with a few well placed rockets.

Another great illustration is how pyros can negate a snipers powerfull range attack with steady close range attack.

So anybody who is discounting the minotaur, even in an open field, based only on speed and range is doing their argument a great disservice. My money is on the centaur, because I believe the centaur has a superior reasoning facility as someone pointed out earlier.
posted by The Power Nap at 5:43 PM on March 21, 2008


Lot of folks in this thread really overestimate the amount of damage a centaur could do with a crossbow. Tiny little pointy sticks? Minotaur laughs at them!
posted by Bookhouse at 5:45 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


You're all a bunch of friggen NERDS.
posted by Doohickie at 6:14 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


no, sorry Danny Glover has the right answer. God, I have got to move to Hollywood and become the next Byron Allen
posted by parmanparman at 7:14 PM on March 21, 2008


I agree with Bookhouse. The minotaur has the advantage. How many crossbow bolts would it take to take down a minotaur? Probably a lot. Unless it gets hit through the heart, or the brain, or some other vital organ, it's just going to keep coming at you. On the other hand, once the minotaur gets close, there's no stopping it, the centaur will get torn to pieces. If it can't get close, it could throw the trident, back the centaur into a corner, anything that would negate the speed advantage, and the minotaur wins. Obviously if the Centaur gets lucky, the minotaur will either get struck in a vital organ or never get in range. But it only takes once. Overall, I think the majority of contests would end up going to the minotaur.

Also, if you consider the centaur's intelligence, he might ask himself, "This fight is stupid. Why am I fighting this stupid minotaur anyway? What do I gain?" and decide to just leave. In which case the minotaur sort of wins by default.

So yeah. Minotaur.
posted by cecilkorik at 7:29 PM on March 21, 2008


If the centaur was holding a puny little pistol crossbow like the one in the picture, sure, bet on the minotaur. A centaur holding a 500 pound draw weight ratchet cocked steel pronged Arbalest is another beast entirely however, one which can shoot on the move and has a maximum accurate range of 500m. And don't talk to me about how tough the minotaur is either. Latter day crossbows were used to shoot holes in plate harness from the distance of a football field, half a ton of ambulatory pot roast that gets hit by a crossbow bolt is not just going to shrug it off.
posted by Grimgrin at 7:31 PM on March 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'll change my bet to the minotaur if the centaur is forced to wear a Ronald McDonald costume. The minotaur's rage alone will cause the centaur's girlfriend to die.
posted by krippledkonscious at 7:37 PM on March 21, 2008


I can't believe these people keep saying that a crossbow is only one-shot. As anyone who's played Half-Life knows, crossbow bolts come in reloadable magazines of five, each tipped with an explodey head. Duh. Centaur.
posted by brownpau at 7:46 PM on March 21, 2008


Crossbow or no crossbow. Have you ever been kicked in both nuts by both iron-shod rear hooves of a centaur?
posted by porpoise at 8:08 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Modern crossbows are pretty deadly things, what with advances in materials, ammunition design and such. Tridents? Meh.

Also, crossbows are far more fun to use than tridents! Have you seen the things they do to enemies in videogames? They bring the smiley to my face, srsly. Half-Life and No One Lives Forever, for example.

Centaur (and crossbow) ftw!
posted by WalterMitty at 8:47 PM on March 21, 2008


Is the Centaur on a treadmill?
posted by empath at 9:27 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


Predator or Super Mario?
posted by jfuller at 9:28 PM on March 21, 2008 [2 favorites]


The correct answer is Minotaur, btw. Accepting that the centaur actually has quarrels, he needs to be using a light crossbow, as he lacks the feet to use a heavier one. And if he has some form of centaur-hoof-friendly heavy crossbow, that just sacrifices his main advantage - swiftness.

Anyways, the centaur can pepper the minotaur at range with bolts, but it will take well-aimed shots to get through the bullman's thick beastly hide. For more than a random bodymass shot, the centaur needs to stop, again sacrificing swiftness, and aim. Yes, the random shots will hurt and will damage muscle and could cause the minotaur to bleed out, but that will take awhile.

I assume that each fighter is well trained in their weapon. That means the minotaur also has a single-use ranged weapon. He can hurl the trident at the centaur. That shot won't kill either, but it will either ruin the centaur's aim (front shot) or slow him down (rear shot). For the minotaur, the trident is just icing on his holy-fuck-I'm-a-giant-bullman-with-horns-and-fucking-claws cake. Anything that slows the centaur down put him one step closer to being torn limb from limb.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:35 PM on March 21, 2008


Close combat will just not work for the centaur. The minotaur would be far better at circling. The horse-legged centaur wouldn't be able to turn as quickly as the minotaur could circle, and as the centaur's rotation lagged, its horse-shoulder would be exposed to trident attack.

Some have suggested that the centaur could rear up and attack with its hooves. However, the minotaur's arms and trident would have greater reach; any hoof-attack would be met with a stab to the centaur's horse-chest.

The only way the centaur can win this is by maintaining range.
posted by Jpfed at 11:57 PM on March 21, 2008


I'd think a centaur could cock a heavy crossbow just as well with a hoof as a foot, however, a crank or lever cocked crossbow would be quite sufficient for killing a minotaur in armor assuming sufficient space to maintain distance.
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:32 AM on March 22, 2008


In any kind of arena, the centaur is going to get one shot with a crossbow. If it doesn't drop the minotaur, he's not going to have time to reload.

And those Chinese repeating crossbows don't have any kind of serious velocity behind their shots - the bow has to be weak enough that the lever can extend the string when worked with one hand. And the quarrels are much less accurate than a regular crossbow, because they have no stabilization and have to fit somewhat loosely in the magazine.
posted by me & my monkey at 2:46 AM on March 22, 2008


The minotaur has superior upper body strength. If he can get just one good throw at that centaur, it's all over.

This is almost perfectly analagous to the "Bruce Lee vs. Mike Tyson" question. Lee had the finesse, Tyson had the raw power.
posted by zardoz at 4:21 AM on March 22, 2008


Close combat will just not work for the centaur. The minotaur would be far better at circling. The horse-legged centaur wouldn't be able to turn as quickly as the minotaur could circle, and as the centaur's rotation lagged, its horse-shoulder would be exposed to trident attack.

When I first saw this question it reminded me of this video. Horses can be pretty agile.
posted by Tenuki at 4:44 AM on March 22, 2008


Regarding the videos: Ben Garant and Thomas Lennon have my favorite response: decisive, thoughtful, lots of follow-up questions. But what surprised me most is how much scarier Tigh from Battlestar is than the dude from Gwar.

Anyway, centaur. Better center of gravity, better ability to run if he needs to. Also, as far as I know, ancient mythology gives us only one minotaur. Centaurs are like, an actual race, you know? Dude can scrape up some friends if he's in a pinch. Crossbow Centaur has a posse.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:57 AM on March 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Anyways, the centaur can pepper the minotaur at range with bolts, but it will take well-aimed shots to get through the bullman's thick beastly hide. For more than a random bodymass shot, the centaur needs to stop, again sacrificing swiftness, and aim. Yes, the random shots will hurt and will damage muscle and could cause the minotaur to bleed out, but that will take awhile.

Man, Centaur's got no place to go. He's got time, he's got time, he's got nothing to do today.

I'd also like to remind all that if the Minotaur hurls the trident, and Centaur dodges, he has the ability to then use the trident himself. If the Centaur shoots a few bolts and misses, the Minotaur can only use those as little stabby daggers.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:01 AM on March 22, 2008


Minotaur has stabby daggers coming out of his head.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:14 AM on March 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Tenuki- your video is indeed impressive. I underestimated the horse's ability to circle. But I also have it paused at 1:57, where it looks like they jump-cut to avoid showing that the bull would've gored the horse's hindquarters if it had kept going. What with my confirmation bias and all.
posted by Jpfed at 8:28 AM on March 22, 2008


Did Nick Nolte fall asleep?
posted by kirkaracha at 8:30 AM on March 22, 2008


Man, Tiger Woods is the coldest, most stone-faced interviewee ever. Ozzy, on the other hand.... poor ozzy. You could see his fragile brain chemistry breaking down under the strain of the absurdity.
posted by absalom at 9:17 AM on March 22, 2008


People are really underestimating the Centaur. Probably because they have 1d4+1 stuck in their heads.

I've always assumed the human portion of a minotaur to be larger than a typical human, likewise the human portion of a centaur. The centaurs we see in movies are generally attached to ponies instead of the larger, evil SOB destriers.

As Tenuki points out, horses can posses extreme agility so, on the right battlefield the Centaur can engage the Minotaur in hit and run tactics. The Centaur should be able to wear down the Minotaur causing it to tire out and make mistakes. Presumably the Centaur possesses superior intellect and should be able to turn those mistakes and the terrain to his advantage.

What I think this boils down to is the battlefield. If the the Centaur has the room to shoot and scoot, and enough ammo then the Minotaur is in serious trouble. A crossbow will do unimaginable damage to the Minotaur. Assuming the Centaur has a scaled up crossbow (their human torsos are scaled up remember), or maybe an arbalist, one good shot might be all it takes.

The single dumbest thing the Minotaur could do is throw his trident, once thrown the Minotaur would need to resort to bull charging the Centaur. While bull charging the Minotaur would be bent low, with very little visibility. I can see the Centaur easily dodging this kind of semi-blind attack.

Also don't forget, _if_ the Minotaur does hit the Centaur there is very little chance of causing serious damage. Because the Centaur has both a human and horse torso it has two sets of internal organs. That's an awfully big advantage.

My money is firmly on the Centaur (unless it's a cage match, in which case I'm phoning the RSPCC).
posted by schwa at 10:17 AM on March 22, 2008


On an open field it would be the Centaur no question.

But I think that people are underestimating the combat power of one in a labyrinth; there seems to be some implicit assumption that it would suffer in the more confined areas. But I think it would enable a more hand to hoof style of fighting that might favor the animal that weighs as much as a horse over the one that weighs as much as a large man.

Sure, the weapons will play a big part, but I don't know that I would want to go up against a normal horse with a trident, and when that horse is as smart as a man? And armed with a ranged weapon? No contest. I think the Centaur would win on nearly any battlefield.
posted by quin at 11:09 AM on March 22, 2008


Please, it's so so CLEARLY the Centaur. Think of it this way:

Simply between weapons, the trident is pretty much useless compared to the crossbow, especially in the hands of a creature who can do more damage bare-fisted. Trident gives the minotaur no advantage. Crossbow gives the Centaur the HUGE advantage of range.

Now, between opponents, the Minotaur is a bull with a human body. The centaur is a human with a horse body and superior intellect. So put both battles relative to oneself. If out that a man-bull with a pointy stick is coming after you, it's scary, to be sure, but you also know that there are certain things you can do, such as getting to higher ground, use his rashness against him, etc. Hell, a man I know once successfully staggered a charging bull by punching him square in the face. So bulls can be taken care of. However, you hear that there's a creature out there that's just like a human except that it's bigger, stronger, faster, smarter and determined to murder you at all costs, well, you're pretty well fucked.

Centaur every time. I don't care if it's in close quarters, the centaur will find a way. It is what they do.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:50 AM on March 22, 2008


Listen, all you centaur people are just Wrongy McWrongersons from North Wrongerton.

In every depiction of centaurs I've seen, the horse part has been scaled to match the human part. That is, it's a normal human sized torso with horse parts scaled down to match. On the other hand, the minotaur's human elements are always scaled up to match the size of the bull head. So humanoid mass-wise, the minotaur is just plain bigger. This size would come into play at a close range, no weapon, fight. The -and I cannot believe I'm typing this in a serious, non-furry slashfiction manner- minotaur could mount the centaur and break him like Misty of Chincoteague.

And I'm not sure where you're getting the 'centaur had superior intellect' stuff, Navelgazer. The minotaur lives in a fucking maze! He's got to be smart to get to the bathroom from the living room! Centaurs just poop in a field! Yes, I give you that centaurs are more noble creatures, but I think that's their pride that comes before their fall and eventual glue-factory visit. The centaur would be all like, "I'm smarter and faster! Just have to wait this cunning, huge, stalking beast out and o fuck I'm dead."

I mean, the only classical centaurs that spring to mind are rapists. The classical minotaur has people sacrificed to him he's such a badass.

Someone needs to get asavage up in here. While this fight may be outside the scope of his show (despite being two actual myths who are busting each others' heads), I think he has the credibility to rule on this argument.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:50 PM on March 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's clearly all about quarters. If the minotaur can get within striking distance of the centaur, it's all over, and he won't even need the trident. I don't think the centaur's hooves would do the minotaur much damage. But with enough room, the centaur can run circles around the minotaur, either peppering the minotaur with arrows until he finally bleeds out, or -- if the centaur's lucky -- getting in a headshot that'll probably end things pretty fast.

If these are close quarters, the centaur is fucked unless he's a really great shot. Because Ice-T is right -- that's basically a gun with one bullet. He'd never get a chance to reload.

My guess, though, is that these are not close quarters, because when a minotaur and a centaur fight, you know how many people want to watch it? Everyone. Everyone. You're gonna need a real big venue.

Therefore: Centaur.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:31 AM on March 23, 2008


I don't rate all these "long-range/short-range" arguments. A proper crossbow would send a bolt straight through the Minotaur, game over. Worst comes to the worst and you don't kill it, you just canter away for a bit to reload. Centaur, no question.
posted by YouRebelScum at 9:26 AM on March 23, 2008


Last night I dreamed that we got asavage and hodgman in here, and they figured it out between the two of them. Maybe we should MeFi Mail them.
posted by EarBucket at 9:32 AM on March 23, 2008


Last night I dreamed that we got asavage and hodgman in here, and they figured it out between the two of them.

Which of them had the crossbow?
posted by homunculus at 10:33 AM on March 23, 2008


I have nothing else constructive to add, except that I'm listening to some Mötörhead right now, and I just realized that would be a fucking TIGHT soundtrack for this particular battle.

Seriously, pop on "Ace of Spades." Now close your eyes, and imagine a minotaur and centaur bellowing and screaming as they charge each other, each lusting for the blood of the other.

This is the best Easter ever!
posted by Greg Nog at 2:24 PM on March 23, 2008


Listen, all you centaur people are just Wrongy McWrongersons from North Wrongerton.

Maybe if all you nerds put down your sixty-three sided dice and took a walk in the real world, you'd get it - and rib, I'm not even going to take your bait and start a derail about what's wrong with Southern Wrongertoners, sorry. I've spent time around bulls, hell, some of my best friends are bulls, and as much as I like them, despite an innate cunning, they aren't all that smart. A minotaur is a steroid popping thyroid case with a bull's head, and therefore, a bull's brain. The dumbass probably thinks his trident is for pitching hay for its breakfast. There's plenty of raw power there, but not much else, while the centaur has all the strength, agility, and power of a stallion, combined with buff human arms, and the most powerful weapon ever conceived, a human brain. There's a reason why, when you geeks are boring some poor girl who made the mistake of asking you if you were having a good time at the party (A party you probably weren't invited to, I might add), you describe a minotaur as a "bull-man" and a centaur as a "man-horse". Do the math, fools.

And all that labyrinth static is just that, static - yes, in close quarters the minotaur could be a menace, but even in a maze the minotaur is at a disadvantage, because it's so freaking stupid, and its fancy pitchfork's effectiveness is rendered moot. Anyone who didn't have to repeat the third grade knows that Theseus handily escaped the labyrinth due to human cunning - meanwhile, the minotaur who lived there for decades never figured out how, hell, the idea of escaping from its dank prison probably never even occurred to to it, in much the same way you pencilnecks will never escape from the dank prison of your mom's basements.

And that is why, once I start working out and get a T-Top Camaro, I will so be makin' it with tons of chicks while you sad little mouthbreathers are still throwing unsuccessful saving rolls against loneliness and wondering what it'd be like to go all the way with your pillows.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:10 AM on March 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


That's okay Alvy, I remember my first horse tranquilizer too.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:13 PM on March 24, 2008


Regarding the Chinese repeating crossbow - it probably wasn't too effective a personal weapon, but as a weapon used by massed ranks of archers it probably would have been rather more useful.

[The third link's a YouTube video of a guy who's testing his home-made crossbow.]

And a link I found from "Vintage Projects" on how to make your own crossbow. I might have found something to do in my spare time this summer. I can think of a few people off the top of my head I'd love to plant a quarrel in.
posted by WalterMitty at 9:02 PM on March 24, 2008


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