What are some ways that heavily armored mounted/unmounted terror troops could ellicit fear in their design, perhaps some burning fuses in a pauldrons?Some historical examples of psychological warfare in armor/weapon design would be helpful! A few things to note, these troops are very strong and so are their horses, cost isn't really much of a concern and uses of crude gunpowder are acceptable, also if you think you have a good idea involving magic let me know.

  • $\begingroup$ Real psychological warfare is much more than plain old terror and demoralization. If t & d is all you want, there are plenty of historical examples - start with Genghis Khan. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 3:04
  • $\begingroup$ ill take a look at the material you recommended sorry if i'm miss representing the question a bit, it is just the way i though to write it. Thanks for the input! $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 3:27
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    $\begingroup$ The word "illicit" (with an "i" and two ells) is an adjective meaning "illegal", "disallowed"; it comes from Latin illicitus, "unlawful". You want "elicit" (with an "e" and only one ell), from Latin elicio, "to draw out" . $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 3:36
  • $\begingroup$ Have your researched calvary uses in historical warfare ? They were terrifying armed soldiers even in WW2 ! A large group of horse galloping at you topped by rider with a saber or lance pointing right at you is just about enough to scare any human, including trained and experienced soldiers. Magic ? Maybe magic armor for the horses would be cool or improved luck or a spell that increases any existing panic in a person. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 3:50
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    $\begingroup$ Literally nothing is more terrifying than a reputation for brutal military success. Look up the history of Nathan Bedford Forest during the U.S. Civil War. He didn't have weapon designs, or uniform designs, or anything aesthetic that made him look terrifying. He was just so good at what he did that it scarred the crap out of the Union armies. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 4:13

2 Answers 2


They all elicited terror. During the battles massed charges shook the ground and smashed through formations.

Wholesale slaughter and enslavement was common enough amongst the horse archers and so was making examples of the losers. Ghengis Khan and his army would depopulate whole regions and were so terrifying that many strong cities capitulated without a fight.

Tamberlaine had a wooden floor built, places all the defeated enemy officers under it and him and his men had a victory party on it and squashed them all to death, except the leader Bayazid who was put in a cage and got to watch the party including the rape of his wives and harem.

So you do something terrifying and then you make sure everyone knows about it. Blind 10,000 defeated soldiers and then send them home is one way, or build pyramids of decapitated heads.

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    $\begingroup$ you seem to be missing the "armor or weapons design" bit. $\endgroup$
    – Burki
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Burki blood spattered weapons and armour works best $\endgroup$
    – Kilisi
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 13:24


Scary noises have been used by armies since the beginning of time. Bagpipes were used by Scottish infantry because of their penetrating and intimidating sounds. The Nazis put sirens on their Stuka divebombers because they wanted them to be more scary. My favorite, though, is the "Rebel Yell" used by Confederate troops.

rebel yell at Antietam https://blogintomystery.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/antietama.jpg


WERTHEIMER: That group yell, it sort of vibrates inside itself like a pack of wolves or coyotes or something when it becomes a scream. It's a very strange sound.

BORDEWICH: Well, it is. And if you can imagine, for example, let's say the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863 when 28,000 Rebel troops surprised the right wing of the Union Army coming out of the woods, whooping and yelling like this, it must have been a stunning and terrifying experience.

So too your terror troops. Invent a noise that they make. They could start their noise at a distance and have it get louder and louder, or they could make it as they begin the attack like a confederate soldier or a divebomber. Either way it will be terrifying.

Unless you have them use war cowbells. But if you are dead set on cowbells, really big ones might still be terrifying.


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