Before The Great War, the Eteno categorize their war history into three periods: Pre-Development Era, Early Development Era, and the Late Development Era.
In this era, the most advanced weapons were spears, swords, simple catapults, and bows and arrows. The average spearman had simple chest armor, a helmet which covered the entire head, a kilt, a small shield, and a short spear which is now the trademark symbol of ancient Eteno war. Normally, spear bands of about 200 men would form a line about one or two men thick, and about a hundred long. These long, thin lines then charged each other with their spears pointed out and try to pierce the other band's line. Bowmen wore body-covering leather suits with chainmail chest and leg armor underneath. Better-trained and veteran bowmen wore metal hats akin to those of soldiers in Roman cohorts in the Earth time of the Roman Empire. The bows were of size similar to that of the Romans, as well. The duty of bowmen was to rain down suppressing fire upon advancing enemy warbands. Sometimes, on hills, bowmen would stand on the side of the hill, protected by a line of spearmen, and fire down at the heads of charging enemies. When this strategy was used, arrows were usually set alight before they were fired. Catapults were very crude trebuchets capable of hurling huge stones (sometimes doused in oil and set alight) long distances into marching enemies.
Early Development EraEdit
The dawn of this era saw the beginning of rifles, cannons, better swords, and the use of ships for combat, instead of just transport. At the beginning of the era, war was huge warbands smashing into each other. At the end of it, it was highly organized line regiments that did most of the fighting, supported by horsemen and cannons. Contrary to humanity, the Eteno's first gun design had a grooved barrel. This proved accurate and sufficiently deadly, and quickly replaced spears as the weapon of choice for infantry. Infantry of this day walked in tight, organized formation. They wore very plain uniforms with chevrons denoting rank on the shoulders. The style of clothing looks like a cross of the uniforms of Napoleonic-era Prussian fusiliers and regular British infantry. The color of the vests and pants, however, was normally the colors of the soldier's nation's flag. Artillery cannons were used extensively in the wars of this time, and formed the backbone of any army. They fired large, bullet-like slugs from the highest position possible. Besides normal cannon bullets, cannon balls filled with quicklime also were popular. Horsemen, instead of forming the brunt of an attacking force, now served on the flanks of an advancing line regiment. They countered flanking maneouvers and charged the flanks of the enemy. They also made quick expeditions in the night to kill officers in the enemy's camp, if the location of it was known.
Late Development EraEdit
For about half of this era, the organized combat of the previous era was the rule. Almost all battles that occured during the first half of this era were in that style. Technology continually advanced during this time, and at one point it was not uncommon for line infantry to have rudimentary automatic weaponry. About halfway through the era, battles became much less organized and generals started to fight with guerilla tactics, and dug trenches. Trench digging is the symbol of this era. Quickly, the line regiment was retired and now there were simply brigades and divisions digging and fighting in trenches. Because of this, wars became much longer and bloodier. Strategies for trench defending included mining the front trench and abandoning it, then opening fire on advancing enemies while artillery lay down fire behind the attackers, preventing a safe retreat. A popular attacking strategy was to get as close to the target trench as possible, throw gas and frag grenades into it, and charge so that the grenades explode right as you get to the trench. Many thousands of Eteno were killed in drawn-out trench battles. This was true in part because of the fact that various chemicals and gasses found their ways into the shells of mortars and cannons. Yes, chemical warfare was commonplace, and the Eteno believe that more chemicals were used in two short LDE wars than in the humans' so-called World Wars I and II. At the end of the era, cheap and effective SMGs were right around the corner and trench warfare was now the norm. The advent of the tank at the very end of the era also threatened to transform the new norm. It is also worthy of note that several events that took place about midway through this era set up a global political landscape in which small conflicts and national rivalries were common.