For this avian species, imagine a race of Hoatzin-like animals, with gripping appendages on their wings. The birds generally live in nest groups, building large communal nests. They are also larger than the Hoatzin, with size approaching the size of a wandering albatross.

Entering the Chalcolithic, they've condensed into tribes, and of course, those tribes are condensing into tribal unions and cities. These city-states are coming into conflict with each other. However, unlike humans, these warriors need to fight in three dimensions. How differently would a campaign be waged in these conditions?

  • $\begingroup$ I just kinda want to get an idea of how they would fight in this period of time. If there are problems with this question, comment and I will address them ASAP. $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2018 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ If the gripping appendages are on their wings & located in the same place as the Hoatzin climbing claws they won't be using any weapons or utensils with them while flying, so you might want to consider more dexterous "feet" for your avian species if you want them to use any weapons mid flight? $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Dec 14, 2018 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ What do you mean by campaign? Wouldn't you first be interested in a single battle? I may be forgetting something... or ignoring others, but in that time period, I am not sure there were real organised battles, even less war campaign... $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2018 at 20:05
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH edited the post. $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2018 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ @bilbo_pingouin I'm not sure about the military history that far back, I could edit to battle, however I'm not sure on the etiquette for editing when there's already an answer. $\endgroup$ Dec 14, 2018 at 21:13

3 Answers 3


In the time span you set your question human fight was not so refined: just a mass vs mass fight, with preferably ambush to take the opponent by surprise.

I imagine the same would apply to your avian beings: flock vs flock, trying to use surprise as tactic and counting on numerical superiority to win the battle.

Being avians the importance of higher position would be prominent, so I imagine that high flying attitude would be quickly selected as a positive genetic trait. Maybe even echo location could give a sensible advantage allowing to attack in darkness or clouds, but the advantage would only be against non echolocating opponents.


Fire bombardment would win any war before it begins, your birds can just grab torches or ancient grenades and throw them onto enemy nests... even if 0 enemies are killed, they would be too busy re-building their home to attack back, Anyone attacking first would be the winner, just like nuclear bombs today.


As a base point, I think this video of United States Air Force Air Combat Manuevering ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvDz4MrYXNc ) is a great starting point for grasping the most important part of any combat scenario: splitting the enemy force into more manageable targets.

Now that we have the basis of any strategical victory laid out, we must assess the battlefield. For this, we will use open, unobstructed sky.

If we were to take out the gravitational pull of the planet these birds were on, the direction of anything would be absolutely pointless. Therefor, we know now that the only, and most important resource this battlefield offers is gravity. With this, aerial warfare "high ground" get a different set of bonuses than land warfare "high ground". The avian units can use this resource to build speed faster towards enemies, lob weapons at enemies placed directly under them for extra speed and not having the weapon "arc" with gravity. Basically, be creative as gravity is your main combat modifier.

As for an entire "war campaign", it would be important that any stronghold would have sentries posted 360 degrees around and also be scouting in all directions. Along with this, creating a network of outposts and strongholds would allow for your avian armies to transport weapons and food in a more organized fashion. Imagine these hubs like a web of airports that they are trying to expand out into the enemy army's territory.

Another answer by a user named Hollow suggests using a scorched earth tactic, and that never hurts when trying to dismantle webs of outposts.

It should also be noted that these birds have no communications technology so strategically taking out an outpost without any escapees or messengers living could yield for enemy parties to enter the airspace of the newly claimed fortress completely unaware for a short time. If an outpost doesn't report in a timely manner, a large force could be sent out to investigate.

I hope this is the kind of content you were hoping for, I tried to be diverse in my answer since I wasn't sure if you wanted battle tactics or big picture war strategies.


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