In the hellenistic period, giants are considered gifts and blessings from the Gods, and are honored as minor deities by the culture that they are born into. They measure between 10 - 12ft tall, and their size is directly proportional to a human body. As a result, they are given enhanced strength compared to the average person, and are used as soldiers in military campaigns. Armies of most nation's around the world deploy them in warfare.

However, giants are very rare in the world, and armies of tens of thousands would normally contain a few hundred of them. Due to their size, they present obvious targets for the opposing army. All of the enemy weaponry would be focused on bringing them down, making them easy prey to hit. This is specifically the case for weaponry like cannon fire, which would be directed towards them (cannons were invented early in the setting). In addition, fielding these large humans would be expensive, as their armor would have to be uniquely designed for their body mass. This could make the use of giants in warfare impractical, both strategically and economically.

Is there a way to make giants a staple in a regular army due to these drawbacks?

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    $\begingroup$ What kind of "armies of most nation's"? Hellenistic? Late Antiquity? Early Middle Ages? High Middle Ages? Renaissance? Ottoman? (Limiting to before the Early Modern period, because from about 1610 onwards the giants will not present any important tactical advantage.) (For example, if the "armies of most nation's" are medieval, the point about their armor being bespoke it moot, because all suits of armor were bespoke.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 17:37
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    $\begingroup$ There were no cannon in the ancient world... $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 17:42
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    $\begingroup$ What is the tech level? $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 19:47
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    $\begingroup$ This is too broad. It's no different than asking "how can human males be incorporated into a traditional army?" Answer: they serve in thousands of roles for thousands of purposes across five major military organizations, where would you like to start? Your giants can be secretaries, quartermasters, heck, they can be the motor on the boat. Way, way, way, way, way,way,way, way, way too broad. Do you have one, specific battle you want us to focus on? We'll need to know the geography, disposition of the enemy forces, and a better definition of what a "traditional" army is. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 19:54
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    $\begingroup$ Suggestions for a new question or an update. A-Technology level of the world. If a modern setting then this changes nothing except that transportation is bigger to accommodate them. You mentioned cannons but that could mean any time. B-Make them bigger, possibly stronger. I don't mean to change the setting but honestly even 3 meters does not change much from a military viewpoint. Armies had to contend with 1/2 or 1/3 numerical superior or sever technological gap...etc so a bigger person does not equal instant win. C-Their ratio in the population. Again if 1/million then who cares! $\endgroup$
    – Seallussus
    Commented Oct 11, 2020 at 21:56

3 Answers 3

  1. Have them act as vanguard in a charging unit when laying siege to enemy strongholds. The giants will be living battering rams. Each giant will be supported by a bunch of mounted archers preferably, to provide cover fire as the giant charges. It will at least justify the cost of armor.

  2. Have them in the rear operating giant-specific ballistas or catapults or trebuchets. The advantage is that you can remove the gear mechanisms entirely, which reduce the operational strength requirement in exchange for speed, and you will thus have rapid-fire capability with siege engines. Have one giant supply strength for loading and another to load the ammo. A two giant team per siege engine, wearing leather armor which is cheaper.

  3. Invent a special circular three wheeled armored car for giants, driven by the giants physically from inside. The wheels can be connected to a spinning bladed rim around the car. That way when the car moves, and you will have a spinning saw of death on the battlefield, mowing through enemies like cutting grass. Or you can have something similar to the car from "the Flintstones", and road roll the enemies flat when fighting on plains. But the sides will be vulnerable and turning is an issue.

  4. Train the giants to throw javelins (using atlatls) replacing ballistas, or slings replacing catapults and trebuchets. Then deploy them at suitable range, and you have a highly mobile living siege engines. Downside is accuracy and repeatability will suffer.

Edit: Since cannons have also been invented, you can have giants mounted with cannons, carried like a strapped minigun or shoulder mounted bazooka, but lighting the fuse and loading the cannon will be a bit slow unless it's a two man team. Three man (human) teams would still be faster, so I don't see much advantage other than moving speed.


There are many ways that would proparly create different type of stories.


They can carry injured soldiers back to safety with speed. Considered blessings of God and doing humane work would be reasons not to attack them. Being able to carry a person twice faster to receive surgery would be huge for the survivability. While the giants are so rare they would be noticed by friendlies alike to enemies. Knowing that your survival is more likely would increase morale. But also being rare means they cannot be everywhere. The huge expectations on them would create story off disappointment, not being able to save people that trusted for the giant to save them.

Storm unit

They would be strong enough to carry way more ammunition and stronger weapons. Run faster. Be more heavily armoured. In other words, do the work of mechanized infantry. Compared to a tank a giant is not that noticeable. Running with machinegun to a good position, grenade launcher with mobility... They could wreak havoc like a normal person cannot. Mechanized infantry moves with the main bulk of the army so they would be a bit of celebrities. Stories of hitting enemy artillery hard and letting the others come across battlefield without artillery on them with minimal losses would make them popular. Being giants would add to the novelty and let them be the center of attention. Maybe stealing some praise from other that do similar things creating friction.


That amount of size does not matter that much if creeping on forests camouflaged. They could carry more equipment. Behind enemy lines there is no supply so everything must be brought by people carrying it. More resources translates to longer missions or heavier equipment. Heavier equipment can be stronger radios, more ammo, maybe even a machinegun. Ambushing with a machinegun would be insanely strong deep behind lines where enemy is not adapted to the possibility. Your basic special forces story but when back to barracks a bit similar situation to above mentioned things.


What would I do with them with my limited warfare understanding?

Perfect skirmishers Here is why they are the prefect skirmishers. First they are taller which means they can stand behind your infantry and shoot at the enemy. They are stronger which means they can maintain a higher rate of fire with better damage, more on that later, and lastly as they are bigger they are even faster than normal humans.

  • Their larger size will allow them to draw the same bows humans use to kill one another, think English longbows, at a higher rate of fire. Please do not make the mistake of giving them larger bows to have maximum total overkill. An English longbow is plenty enough to murder most people. However the increased rate of fire, because they are stronger means you can keep shooting arrows and throwing stuff longer. That is perhaps a better killer than anything else.
  • Slinging bullets, small rocks that has a particular shape, is a very viable usage for them. Here, as always, Newton proves to be the most dangerous man in the world. As they are stronger which means you can scale up the projectiles a bit, context of course, and still maintain a decent rate of fire. Normal human slingers existed and so giant slinger would be better.
  • Throwing spears, darts, axes, or javelins...etc is a again perfect. Here you traded the range of arrows, yes medieval arrows were not guns but that's a whole other thing, and went for raw power. Again not giant stuff but say 25% bigger weapons. And you can imagine what a 25% bigger pilum would do to people.
  • Their larger size allows them to move much faster than normal people so they can be deployed to harass the enemy and once the enemy tries to pursue or attack them they can just retreat. This is a 100% historical tactic.
  • This also allows you to simply armor them with simple and basic stuff, like chainmail, and a shield. A shield seems a must especially because they are a bigger target. Shields are a lot cheaper and plentiful than plate armor.
  • Armoring them in actual armor is very expensive but also problematic. Especially as they have larger joints which automatically mean larger gaps and a weaker armor. We all know the knees or armpits...etc where week points and with a bigger target you will be be forced to provide more materials, more money, and then raw strength is not the biggest issue.
  • The enemy can simply counter you with a shield wall or phalanx or whatever else they can do. They don't have magic abilities and will still be killed if they charge a phalanx.
  • Of course they are still not a super force. Arrows can be blocked with shields but because you can produce a much higher rate of fire with them then I think they can do more damage in an ancient battlefield than if they were infantry.
  • Anti giant cavalry will be a thing. Whither pure mobility or pure armor I'm sure they will be armed with super long lances to counter giants. Then you deploy your own giant protection units and it is business as usual.
  • This also applies to skirmishers. The enemy would use their own giant skirmishers but that is just the nature of war.

Flankers. If you really need to use them for melee units then I think they can be the best at the flanks. Why? Greater mobility. Think about it. They are stronger and fast so they can execute a better flanking maneuver than anyone else. They can also turn much faster to face an enemy. Just make sure to give them decent shields.

Officers. A no brainer really. Not because they are stronger but because they are taller which means they can see further, again context, and shout louder and carry a banner or walk faster. They can be a figure of rallying the troops around and it would mean that your own officers are courageous and strong. However Sun Zu clearly warns of the disparity between officer and soldier. Never have a gap between both. He says :" When the officers are too strong and the common soldiers too weak, the result is COLLAPSE. When the common soldiers are too strong and their officers too weak, the result is INSUBORDINATION." So bear that in mind.

Overall I think they would make excellent skirmishers and overall excellent support units. I mean I would suggest runners or watchers or just keep them as officer but honestly I think you want to include them in more fighting rules.


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