The actions of ancient warriors were shaped by habits and customs influenced by the socio-economic and practical military context in which they fought. They were bloody-minded pragmatists that pursued the complete destruction of the enemy – but they had very limited means at their disposal to achieve this. The training or rather the lack of it caused stubborn amateurism in most of the ancient armies (Spartans, Macedonians and Romans being among others qualified exceptions). Even more, armies consisting of free men did not lack systematic training, they actively resisted it – and armies were clumsy masses of ill-disciplined militia that simply were not capable of grand manoeuvres or tactical masterstrokes. Since troops were not expendable the tactical plans focused more on keeping them alive than winning the battle – tactics focused on carefully secured conditions in which the fight could be reduced to a quick and decisive encounter.