My view is that in a "warrior society" there is a premium placed on physical prowess at whatever skills the society values, (archery, horsemanship, etc). If you actually lived there your impression will be much like witnessing a whole town of football fanatics (American or soccer). There will be a hierarchy of physical skill and experience with most at the level that would be considered "backyard" football. Along with nearly everybody having the same childhood experience of training. (A society where 80% of the males joins youth football). The average skill level of the population will be shifted higher because of the emphasis on warrior training and ethos.
For most warrior societies it will seem more violent due to different safety standards. I.e. the backyard football is always full contact and never just "touch" football. True intent to maim (or kill) will be frowned on and the grounds for legal action or feuds.*
However the best of civilization is likely to beat the best of a "warrior" society" due civilization's ability to preserve and pass on knowledge. A warrior society acquiring civilization rapidly transitions because the relative abundance allow the mediocre warrior to flourish at other occupations.
With that being said, a civilized warrior society is usually the result of a conquering population oppressing a slave population like the Assyrians and the Spartans and usually is transitory compared to surrounding cultures.
I don't have any hard data to support this other than general knowledge of how skill differences work in a human population and a few historical accounts.
*One of the reasons I have such a generous negative hit points rule in my D&D campaigns is to allow PCs and NPCs to bash the shit out of each other and the result be unconsciousness rather than automatic death. My rule is -3 at first level growing by -3 per level until you reach your constitution. A character with a 15 constitution will die at -15 hit points at 5th level and that where it stops.
Medieval Warfare Magazine – Volume 6 Issue 3
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