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Matthew
2010-03-28, 06:52 PM
Very interesting. It sounds like Polybius is describing the shift from light cavalry to medium cavalry. I think this may have happened in stages more than once. In the Republican period when Polybius was alive, the "Greeks" (Macedonians) had their companion cavalry, which would be kitted out more or less as he described, but the really heavy cavalry with armoured horses came from further East. The origins of the knight, in fact. Imperial Roman Legions and their Cavalry screening forces were decimated several times by Sarmatian and Parthian Cataphracts who were able to charge into the Legions with relative impunity, then go back to regroup while archers softened them up. This cost at least one Emperor his life in the East. The Visi-Goths adopted this tactic (and kit) at Adrianople which saw the grizly end of yet another Roman Emperor. Later the Romans adopted their own version of this 'super' heavy cavalry which they called Clibinarii.

Indeed; and it is interesting to note his reference to Greek cavalry using shields, which we must suppose means they are not likely of the kontos sort. Interesting suggestion about the repeat development of heavy horse, as it obviously requires a good deal of specialisation that can easily be lost. Definitely something to think about.



Did these guys evolve into the Byzantine cataphract?

Exactly what the relationship between the Byzantine cataphracts and their eastern counterparts was is not completely clear, but it is probably safe to say that the Byzantines borrowed from the Persian/Parthian set up. Some articles on the subject (if I recall correctly):

John W. Eadie, The Development of Roman Mailed Cavalry, The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 57, No. 1/2. (1967), pp. 161-173.

A. D. H. Bivar, Cavalry Equipment and Tactics on the Euphrates Frontier, Dumbarton Oaks Papers, Vol. 26. (1972), pp. 271-291.

A. Lewin, Kastron Mefaa, The Equites Promoti Indienae and the Creation of a Late Roman Frontier, (2001)

Dervag
2010-03-29, 01:29 PM
I mean, did the clibinarii evolve into the cataphracts?

HenryHankovitch
2010-03-29, 01:56 PM
I suspect the reason not to have an actual blade on both ends is so you can more easily keep track of where the dangerous part is, since a spear-head will cut as well as a sword does. India has an exception to almost every rule of weapons but by and large, double weapons other than a staff are a fantasy RPG creation, IMO.


For that matter, isn't the "staff as a double weapon" concept unique to fantasy RPGs also? As far as I know most staff-fighting systems focus mainly on gripping the staff asymmetrically, rather like a spear, and thrusting and bashing with the "long end." Which is, after all, just using the reach that the weapon gives you to its full advantage, as you would with any melee weapon.

I suspect that the double-weapon meme comes from Robin Hood and wuxia movies, rather than any basis in fact.

Back to the spearpoints...having a metal cap or spike on the reverse tip of your spear is desirable to serve as a (partial) counterweight for the spearhead. It also probably has functional use in terms of helping to keep the shaft from splintering or rotting at the end; especially in terms of a military weapon that soldiers are going to be carrying around for days on end, dragging, dropping, stacking, etc. Having a spike instead of a cap on the reverse end seems to me to be more a functional implement, for jabbing into the ground to "set" the spear, or even just to stand it upright when not in use. It seems improbable that any spear or pike user, in formation, would actually try to flip his weapon end-for-end if the spearhead was somehow blunted or broken. He'd be better off either continuing to use the blunted end, protecting his comrades with it, or dropping it and switching to whatever backup weapon he would be carrying.

Matthew
2010-03-29, 02:45 PM
I mean, did the clibinarii evolve into the cataphracts?

That would be a terminology issue. Here is what John W. Eadie has to say:



The word clibanarius occurs for the first time in SHA, vita Alexandri Severi 56, 5 (purportedly from a speech delivered by Alexander Severus on 25 September, 233) : 'centum et viginti milia equitum eorum (i.e. Sassanian) fudimus, cataphractarios, quos illi clibanarios vocant, decem milia in be110 interemimus, eorum armis nostros armavimus '. This passage has been often cited as proof that clibanarius is the 'Roman name for the Persian cavalryman armed like the Roman cataphractarius '.47 Admittedly clibanarius and cataphractarius are interchanged indiscriminately by some fourth-century writers, especially Ammianus Marcellinus, but the two units were differentiated by their armour and were organized separately during the fourth century. M. Rostovtzeff, one of the few scholars to appreciate the distinction, explained the simultaneous use of cataphractarii and clibanarii as an effort ' to distinguish the cataphractarii of the Roman auxiliary forces from the real clibanarii of the Persian and later Roman army . . . there was a certain difference between them . . . the cataphractarii wearing no helmets and using horses not protected by armour as a rule '.45

The best description of the Sassanian clibanarius is provided by Heliodorus, Aethiopica 9, 15. The rider is almost completely encased in bronze or iron : a one-piece mask-helmet covers his head entirely with the exception of eye-slits ; his body, from shoulders to knees, is protected by a mail suit constructed of small, overlapping bronze or iron plates, which are sufficiently pliant to permit freedom of movement ; attached to the mail coat are
greaves to protect his legs and feet. The horse is similarly armoured : head covered by a metal plate ([Greek word]) back and flanks protected by a ' blanket ' of thin iron plates ([Greek Word]) legs fitted with metal greaves (Greek Word) the horse's belly and presumably his eyes and tail are unprotected.

Heliodorus' description has been corroborated by the discovery of the ' charging clibanarius' graffito and contemporary horse-armour at Dura Europus. The armour worn by the horseman of the graffito is strikingly similar to it (see pl. XI,2) : lorica squamata coat from shoulders to knees ; arms, legs and feet protected by parallel metal rings (lorica segmentata). Heliodorus' mask-helmet, however, does not appear ; the graffito horseman wears a conical helmet with a mesh veil attached to protect the face. The horse is outfitted in the manner described by Heliodorus-only the hoofs, tail and eyes are visible. That such armour is not merely the product of literary or artistic imagination was proved by the discovery, in 1932 at Dura-Europus, of several ' blankets ', constructed of iron plates stitched to a cloth backing, which were designed to protect the horse's back and flanks. The literary descriptions and artistic representations also detail the relatively simple weapons of the third century clibanarius : the long pike (contus) and a sword or dagger worn at the side. It should be noted that these are also the weapons of the Roman contarius and cataphractarius (i.e. mailed contarius) ; evidently few, if any, of these cavalrymen carried a bow.

Sorry about any formatting issues, the pdf copy and paste function was not too good.

Galloglaich
2010-03-29, 04:22 PM
For that matter, isn't the "staff as a double weapon" concept unique to fantasy RPGs also? As far as I know most staff-fighting systems focus mainly on gripping the staff asymmetrically, rather like a spear, and thrusting and bashing with the "long end." Which is, after all, just using the reach that the weapon gives you to its full advantage, as you would with any melee weapon.

I suspect that the double-weapon meme comes from Robin Hood and wuxia movies, rather than any basis in fact.

Yes and know. "Quarter staff" is the normal guard you are talking about (where you hold the weapon from the rear quarter) used with staves and spears and polearms of all types, but a "Half Staff" guard is also used typically at close range. This is all over poleaxe manuals and staff manuals.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/28157/28157-h/images/img159.jpg
http://www.mercierarmory.com/library/MArenaissance.JPG
http://www.chicagoswordplayguild.com/c/media/historic/marozzopolearms.jpg


You are correct in that it's a common myth in movies and cartooons and rpgs and computer games to see people starting a fight in half-staff, but it is a place you can and will get to if the fight goes to close range, it is arguably the best way you can still handle a weapon like that in close range, but of course with a long weapon you normally try to use a staff weapon of any kind at range, to take advantage of the reach.

However to me for the record the way DnD handles "double weapons" including the staff as a "double weapon" is absurd and juvenile, and clumsy. Don't even get me started on all the dire flails and special ork weapons and the like. For a while I saw two bladed swords on ebay, sharp metal ones... really scary (for all the wrong reasons)



Back to the spearpoints...having a metal cap or spike on the reverse tip of your spear is desirable to serve as a (partial) counterweight for the spearhead. It also probably has functional use in terms of helping to keep the shaft from splintering or rotting at the end; especially in terms of a military weapon that soldiers are going to be carrying around for days on end, dragging, dropping, stacking, etc. Having a spike instead of a cap on the reverse end seems to me to be more a functional implement, for jabbing into the ground to "set" the spear, or even just to stand it upright when not in use. It seems improbable that any spear or pike user, in formation, would actually try to flip his weapon end-for-end if the spearhead was somehow blunted or broken. He'd be better off either continuing to use the blunted end, protecting his comrades with it, or dropping it and switching to whatever backup weapon he would be carrying.

Spear butts were used tthe way you described, but also as weapons and a 'butt-forward' guard is common in the manuals. There are many references in various period documens from Classical times through the 19th Century of spermen or lancers or billmen or spearmen etc. using the butt to attack after the point or blade breaks.

G.

Mike_G
2010-03-29, 06:28 PM
Bayonet fighting is similar.

You want to put the blade in the other guy, but if he is too close, the butt of the rifle is a nice heavy thing to bash with. Plus, if he deflects your point, you can "punch" your right hand forward and pull pack with the left, bringing the stock whipping around to hit him. It works nicely.

Polearms in formation were likely used point forward, so as not to foul the other weapons, but in individual melee, the haft and back end of the weapon are perfectly good for smacking people.

Galloglaich
2010-03-30, 08:16 AM
Agreed... I think bayonett drill evolved from staff or bill weapons, pikes are not very likely to be used at 'half staff' although there is some written material (from England, IIRC) about fighting with "long staves" up to 12 feet long in individual combat. That is kind of a freaky specialty thing.

G>

Galloglaich
2010-03-30, 03:46 PM
That would be a terminology issue. Here is what John W. Eadie has to say:


Sorry about any formatting issues, the pdf copy and paste function was not too good.

Thats wierd! I never heard of cavalry (or any troops) fighting with body armor and no helmet. I thought that only happened on TV shows and movies :) Goes to show you (and re-emphasize) that it's dangerous to make assumptions about life a thousand or more years ago. Things were a lot different than we realize.

I just finished Procopius very amusing "Secret History" and I'm going to read his history of Emperor Justinians conquests next, that is supposed to be one of the best sources for early Byzantine warfare.

One of the wierdest things I already read in "Secret History" which is apparently explained a bit more in the other book, was reference to a 'whale' which was at war with the Roman Empire, harassing shipping and attacking docks and port facilities in the Bosporous, allegedly for 50 years!!!! Sounds like something from a bad Sci Fi Channel film.

Who knows maybe they are more historical than I realized all along :)

G.

Matthew
2010-03-30, 04:39 PM
That's weird! I never heard of cavalry (or any troops) fighting with body armour and no helmet. I thought that only happened on TV shows and movies :) Goes to show you (and re-emphasize) that it's dangerous to make assumptions about life a thousand or more years ago. Things were a lot different than we realize.

Yes, I was surprised to read that as well. It could just be a misunderstanding of the iconographic evidence, where "heroic" figures (much like in modern movies and comic books) are being depicted without helmets to emphasise their identity. Something I plan to be looking out for in the future, certainly.



I just finished Procopius very amusing "Secret History" and I'm going to read his history of Emperor Justinian's conquests next, that is supposed to be one of the best sources for early Byzantine warfare.

One of the weirdest things I already read in "Secret History" which is apparently explained a bit more in the other book, was reference to a 'whale' which was at war with the Roman Empire, harassing shipping and attacking docks and port facilities in the Bosporous, allegedly for 50 years!!!! Sounds like something from a bad Sci Fi Channel film.

Who knows maybe they are more historical than I realized all along :)

Ha! I have never heard that anecdote before; very amusing.

fusilier
2010-03-30, 06:57 PM
I agree. Of France, Britain and Russia, Russia was in the weakest position - though thats not to belittle their efforts. The German game plan was to knock out France - when that didn't happen Russia was the obvious target, as there was no way to get at Britain at the time. It think its fair to say Russia was weak militarily - certainly in equipment terms - not manpower. And the events of August 1914 must've led the Germans to believe they were beatable.

There's actually a line of thinking now, that the German military command egged on Austria to start the war with Russia (by invading Serbia). The Russians were in the middle of reforming their army, and this was expected to be completed by 1917. The German High Command felt that if they completed their reforms, they wouldn't be able to defeat them, and didn't know if they would get another chance at war.

Also, the leading ally in WW1 was France. If France could be knocked out of the war, then Britain could at least be isolated, even if not induced to peace talks. Britain suing for peace after the fall of France, seems more plausible in WW1 than in WW2. The German attack at Verdun in 1916 took away a lot of material from the Russian Front (and possibly botched an opportunity to knock Italy out of the war), but was totally aimed at bleeding the French.

As for opening up other fronts in WW1, many high commanders like Haig were totally against these actions. They felt that the war would be fought and won on the Western Front (or in Cadorna's case the Italian Front). While Gallipoli was a failure, the Macedonia front was more successful . . . eventually. However, most other fronts tended to turn into a similar kind of stalemate, even if they weren't as intense as the Western Front.

Fortinbras
2010-04-01, 11:20 PM
In the TV show Flashforward a couple of the characters, several of whom are FBI or CIA agents, are in Somalia and find themselves being held at gunpoint by an enraged Somali warlord. The Somali decides to execute one of the characters and the CIA agent who happens to be standing be hind him at the time pulls a pistol, seemingly out of thin air, and shoots the Somali in the back of the head.

I was corious if anyone had anyone has any idea what a real CIA agent (one without acess to a pistol) would have done in that situation.

Is there some sort of unarmed combat technique which is desigend to assualt a man with an AK-47 from behind?

Maeglin_Dubh
2010-04-01, 11:22 PM
There's plenty of ways to hit someone from behind.

Were you looking for something specific?

Fortinbras
2010-04-01, 11:25 PM
Well the guy has an AK-47 strapped to his shoulder and he has the barrel a couple of inches from the agent's college's head. Wouldn't that complicate things a little?

Maeglin_Dubh
2010-04-02, 12:13 AM
Well the guy has an AK-47 strapped to his shoulder and he has the barrel a couple of inches from the agent's college's head. Wouldn't that complicate things a little?

Ah, I haven't seen the episode, so I wasn't really visualizing the question as you had asked.

I can try to answer this tomorrow, or someone else can take a shot. I'm thinking really slowly right now, and I'm not sure I could accurately visualize or express how to deal with something like that.

Dervag
2010-04-02, 01:02 PM
Is there some sort of unarmed combat technique which is desigend to assualt a man with an AK-47 from behind?That's going to depend on what you mean by "designed."

If the question is "is there an optimal (translation: least suicidal) way to attack from behind against an opponent with an automatic rifle?" the answer will be "yes."

If the question is "is there a technique I can memorize that will always work for attacking from behind against an opponent with an automatic rifle?" the answer will be "no."

No idea what the technique would be, though.

Skorj
2010-04-02, 10:42 PM
Thing is, why would a nation want to destroy or enforce its will on others by the threat of destruction? Can you construct a logical chain of motives that begins in the real world and ends in that sort of war?


Carthago delenda est (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthago_delenda_est)


The people you have mercilessly bombed, who have no conventional military with which to fight you will wage asymetric warfare against you.

That assumes you kill some of the people. As Rome proved with Carthage: if you are completely without mercy, there is no reprisal. The particularly scary thing about nuclear weapons is their ability to kill everyone in a large area, especially if you're willing to use 10000 or 20000 of them. Fortunately, the cold war is over, and arsenals are far smaller now.


Well the guy has an AK-47 strapped to his shoulder and he has the barrel a couple of inches from the agent's college's head. Wouldn't that complicate things a little?

Several martial arts have techniques to counter a gun within arm's reach, or within a step: the closer the gun is, the easier it is to defend against. "All" you have to do is move your body such that no part of it is in the line of fire before your opponent can react and squeeze the trigger, which (unlike in a video game) can take several tenths of a second. A rifle just inches from your head is the ideal situation, really, you just have to move to the side a few inches and towards the opponent, at which point he'll have to take a step backwards in order to bring the rifle to bear.

Of course it takes years of specific practice to be good at that sort of thing, and real world CIA agents focus on social skills (a covert operative in most intelligence services dons't in general "spy", he recruist locals to spy, and any situation involving combat would almost surely be the end of his covert career, if not his life).

Dervag
2010-04-03, 01:02 AM
Carthago delenda est (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carthago_delenda_est)And if you plan your military so that every war you fight looks like that (because you lack the forces to do it any other way), YOU get to be the next Carthage.

It's not smart. It's not even sane.


Of course it takes years of specific practice to be good at that sort of thing,And you're still very, very likely to get it wrong and wind up with a hole somewhere critical...

Mike_G
2010-04-03, 10:54 AM
That assumes you kill some of the people. As Rome proved with Carthage: if you are completely without mercy, there is no reprisal. The particularly scary thing about nuclear weapons is their ability to kill everyone in a large area, especially if you're willing to use 10000 or 20000 of them. Fortunately, the cold war is over, and arsenals are far smaller now.


I'm assuming you came into this one late.

The argument that Johel was making was about not needing ground troops, but using your air power like a rolled up newspaper to swat your foes on the nose ever time they did something of which you disapproved.

Sure, you can bully a weak, tinpot dictator with airstrikes. Sometimes.

Yes, you can just kill everyone. Congrats, you win possession of the barren wastes.

All these arguments hinge on you being a billion times tougher than the enemy you want to dominate.

If this is not the case, then air power will not be enough, and to win a war, you will need to put young men in dusty boots with rifles on whatever piece of land you'd like to control.

The theoreticians who drank the air power Kool-Aid have been writing the obituary of ground forces for sixty years. They were on crack then, and they are on crack now.

Having air superiority today is like having the Maxim gun and breechloaders was in the late 19th century. It gives you a huge advantage, but you can still get your butt handed to you by a bunch of guys with asegais or tomahawks or jezzails if you get too cocky and just assume you have the Win button.

Skorj
2010-04-03, 04:07 PM
And if you plan your military so that every war you fight looks like that (because you lack the forces to do it any other way), YOU get to be the next Carthage.

It's not smart. It's not even sane.

And you're still very, very likely to get it wrong and wind up with a hole somewhere critical...

True enough (on both counts), but there certainly is a real-world mindset that ends in total destruction of an enemy, and said total destruction actually happened historically. We were dangerously close to it ourselves during the cold war.

Would a sensible person rely on an airpower-only army (or nuke-only threat) for their military - well, no. But then, when sense and rationality prevails beween powers on the world stage (in any century), isn't that sort of the exception?

My point was merely that real-world states do think in terms of total destruction of the enemy regardless of long-term cost from time to time, and these days "airpower" is all you need for that mindset.

Oh, and while trying to dodge a gun is quite dangerous, it's less dangerous than not doing so, in the scenario presented. :smallamused:

Daosus
2010-04-03, 09:01 PM
One aspect of the discussion about relative power, the uses of air power, and total annihilation often forget is the other guys. Rome could destroy Carthage because there were no significant powers on the Mediterranean wanting to attack Rome or attacking Italy at the time. Today, we don't have to LOSE a war with a weaker nation to lose on the grand scale. We just have to exhaust ourselves enough that another country gains pre-eminence. So, back to air power. Air power gives you three options:

1. Harass and weaken your opponent. This will not win wars.

2. Totally level your opponent. This will win wars, but it will either be exhausting as describe above, or diplomatically untenable (nukes).

3. Act as a significant force multiplier for ground troops which can then hold territory you want to control. This does win wars.

The thing is, air power CAN win wars. It just can't do it without putting you into a bad spot with the other nations you're constantly competing with.

EpicEvokerElf
2010-04-03, 09:29 PM
Apologies if this has been asked before, but how large would the real equivalent of a tower shield have been, and how heavy?

Thanks!

Mike_G
2010-04-03, 09:44 PM
Apologies if this has been asked before, but how large would the real equivalent of a tower shield have been, and how heavy?

Thanks!

This depends on what, exactly, you mean.

The pavise was a shield used by archers or crossbowmen to provide cover while they reloaded. It was not a hand to hand weapon, and this is what the D&D Tower Shield seem to be, as I read it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavise

Many posters stats the Roman Scutum as a tower shield, which I think is incorrect, but it would be about 2 feet wide, three and a half feet tall and would be light enough to wield with one hand. D&D weapon weights being,m as usual, insane.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutum_%28shield%29#Structure

Matthew
2010-04-04, 08:52 AM
Apologies if this has been asked before, but how large would the real equivalent of a tower shield have been, and how heavy?

Thanks!




This depends on what, exactly, you mean.

The Pavise (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavise) was a shield used by archers or crossbowmen to provide cover while they reloaded. It was not a hand to hand weapon, and this is what the D&D Tower Shield seem to be, as I read it.

Many posters stat the Roman Scutum (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scutum_%28shield%29#Structure) as a tower shield, which I think is incorrect, but it would be about 2 feet wide, three and a half feet tall and would be light enough to wield with one hand. D&D weapon weights being, as usual, insane.

Pretty much as Mike says; you basically have two statistics with the tower shield that could be used to find a "real-world" analogue. One is its listed weight (45 lbs), which is basically unheard of for any sort of combat shield and can be discounted along with most other weights presented in D&D over the years (to be fair, D20/3.5 has probably come the closest to reasonable weights, and AD&D originally had a more abstract "encumbrance" value). With that in mind you are left with the dimensions, which seem to be about 3 feet by six feet for the average human fighter type. The only shields you are likely to see of those dimensions would be ceremonial, specialised duelling shields, or a pavise. The latter is the most likely, since in D20/3.0 the tower shield explicitly functioned primarily as moveable cover.

Galloglaich
2010-04-04, 09:00 AM
I agree with Mattew and Mike G. Real historical battlefield shields like all combat weapons and armor tend to be lighter than most people realize. And the Scutum is not a tower shield!

G

EpicEvokerElf
2010-04-04, 04:11 PM
So what would you estimate would be a more reasonable weight for such a shield (the real thing)?

Spiryt
2010-04-04, 04:23 PM
Roman shields in "classical" period of ~ 100 BC to 200 AD were around 20 pounds, a bit less or more but generally not heavier than 25 pounds AFAIK.

True pavises of XV century could be a lot heavier, since they're were a bit more "mobile fortificationr" (hyperbole:smallwink:) style of shield, although it certainly varied a lot.

You may find something here:

http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=2711&highlight=pavise

Matthew
2010-04-04, 05:24 PM
A rough estimate for a shield 60" x 30", based on reconstructions of the Fayum shield (52" x 25", 22 lbs), would be about 30 lbs. However, if you based it on reconstructions of the Dura Europas shield (41" x 33", 12 lbs) you would get something like 15 lbs. So, for a shield approaching the dimensions of a D&D "Tower Shield" you are probably looking at 20-40 lbs, but the issue is really that a shield weighing 20 lbs and more is just not very practical as a personal defence item. That said, it is a fantasy game with fantasy strength scores, so...

SSGoW
2010-04-04, 07:19 PM
A few weeks ago I watched the history channel or discovery channel that was talking about a paper armor that the chinese used. This paper was folded over on itself many times until it was made into small plates (kinda like chain mail but not metal). When shot at by a crossbow at near point blank range the arrows didn't go into the human wearing it lol

Anyone know what this armor is called or how they make it? Google searches didn't help me much at all

Yora
2010-04-06, 12:39 PM
I'd like to use inspirations from polynesia and south-east asia for my setting, but I know close to nothing about the typs of weapons and martial arts used in these regions, or what they used to protect themselves against weapons.
I figure they probably used spears, like about every single other culture on earth. But there's probably a lot more, so can anyone share his knowledge on this? :smallsmile:

HenryHankovitch
2010-04-06, 01:47 PM
A few weeks ago I watched the history channel or discovery channel that was talking about a paper armor that the chinese used. This paper was folded over on itself many times until it was made into small plates (kinda like chain mail but not metal). When shot at by a crossbow at near point blank range the arrows didn't go into the human wearing it lol

Anyone know what this armor is called or how they make it? Google searches didn't help me much at all

I'm pretty sure this is a case of the History Channel lying to you. Which is hardly rare, sorry to say.

Matthew
2010-04-06, 02:55 PM
I'm pretty sure this is a case of the History Channel lying to you. Which is hardly rare, sorry to say.

I have heard of paper armour before; I think there was a long discussion about it in the first Weapons & Armour thread. It sounds crazy, but I suppose folded paper will eventually become like wood.

Saw an awesome "tower shield" manuscript illustration the other day in an Osprey book: The Normans (http://books.google.com/books?id=lRwCJId3KGMC&printsec=frontcover&sig=ACfU3U0V-pRF6n8BZCgxuaRdk4h4gx4k-w#v=onepage&q=&f=false); scroll down to page 10.

Fhaolan
2010-04-06, 03:26 PM
Chinese paper armour was supposedly made from 10-15 layers of mulberry paper, and then probably coated in the standard lacquer common with Chinese armours. This was in and around the 9th century. The actual armour resembles scale, with the scales made of high-quality plywood.

Mulberry paper, also called 'rice paper', is relatively strong; stronger than common wood-pulp paper. There are scenes in some old kung-fu movies/tv shows where the student shows his skills by stalking along on rice paper without tearing it. This is due to a misunderstanding where the audience thinks rice paper is like tissue paper. Actual rice paper is more like rag craft paper, and is the tough stuff used to make the wall screens and whatnot.

http://books.google.com/books?id=QOH-icuirzAC&pg=PA32&lpg=PA32&dq=mulberry+paper+armour&source=bl&ots=U7eJ601Fc6&sig=N24-ICMFdpyi7WAAQyKGkeNrkIE&hl=en&ei=85m7S8XPF42osgO5m-F-&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBoQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Spiryt
2010-04-06, 03:31 PM
If you put enough sheets of standard A5 paper on each other, you will easily bend knives (and wrists) striking it. It's somehow more unpleasant than striking really solid substances, because it will take the impact of your strikes and then give it back :smallwink:

The question is if relatively blade stopping layer of paper could be practically worn on body.

Fortinbras
2010-04-09, 02:29 AM
Do sappers and combat engineers build things or just blow them up?

Storm Bringer
2010-04-09, 05:16 AM
both, as needed.

if what is needed is a bridge, then they will build a birdge, either a quick and dirty assault bridge or somthing more lasting. If what is needed is a defensible postion, they'll get the hesco out and build the walls

ifs what's needed is a enty hole in the wall of that building, now, then they break out fhe c-4.

Fortinbras
2010-04-09, 08:28 PM
So what do they do in peace time?

Raum
2010-04-09, 09:35 PM
So what do they do in peace time?. Practice.

Storm Bringer
2010-04-10, 07:15 AM
So what do they do in peace time?

Practice. either at civillian tasks (for example, rebuilding a bridge destroyed in a flood), or at demo work.

its the same with any part of the army. When not in a war, they train for a war.

Mike_G
2010-04-10, 09:10 PM
So what do they do in peace time?

In the US, the Army Corps of Engineers does a lot of work with dams, levees, and so on.

They have an easier time using their skills during peacetime than the Artillery do.

Dervag
2010-04-10, 10:03 PM
Hey, guys: I've got a question on behalf of a friend:

Is there any place in the US that trains people in medieval-style swordfighting out of the original techniques, the sort documented in the old handbooks that get referenced here a lot?

He didn't think you could learn that sort of thing anywhere but in Europe, and I seem to remember some of you guys talking about it here.

Creed
2010-04-10, 10:06 PM
Hey, guys: I've got a question on behalf of a friend:

Is there any place in the US that trains people in medieval-style swordfighting out of the original techniques, the sort documented in the old handbooks that get referenced here a lot?

He didn't think you could learn that sort of thing anywhere but in Europe, and I seem to remember some of you guys talking about it here.

there are plenty of places I think. the best place to learn is a medieval festival, as many people there know actual sword techniques. $20 usually can score you a few hours of training with a pri. hope this helps

Hades
2010-04-10, 10:21 PM
There are all sorts of groups all over the place, the thing to do would be to check out things like the Sword Forum's (http://www.swordforum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=42) practice partner finder subforum, or the HEMA alliance's (http://hemaalliance.com/discussion/viewforum.php?f=5&sid=143ad76193eea3813dde389fee9f389b) version of the same, which has this handy map (http://www.communitywalk.com/THE-HEMA-ALLIANCE-Training-Partner-Finder), but note that only HEMA alliance groups are listed on that.

The Selohaar fechtschule (http://www.selohaar.org/fechten.htm) has a number of chapters spread about (I attended the Veritas Swordplay Academy in Moses Lake, WA while I lived nearby), and is quite good.

The Academia della Spada (http://academiadellaspada.com/) is in Seattle, the Black Falcon School of Arms (http://www.blackfalconschool.com/links.shtml) is in Colorado Springs, and they have a links page (http://www.blackfalconschool.com/links.shtml) to other groups, and the Meyer Frei Fechter (http://freifechter.com/studygroups.cfm) have groups spread all over.

That's all I have bookmarked at the moment, which is of course not a complete list. There is also the ARMA.

Yukitsu
2010-04-10, 10:32 PM
A quick question:

What was considered the ideal percentages of line infantry, irregular infantry, cavalry and artillery during the Napoleonic era?

Storm Bringer
2010-04-11, 06:41 AM
not a quick question to answer.

however, lets look at the rough percentages form historical fights. all figures are form wikipedia.

Waterloo
french

The French army of around 69,000 consisted of 48,000 infantry, 14,000 cavalry, and 7,000 artillery with 250 guns.

'British' (actaully mostly dutch and belgian, but we'll call it birtish)

His troops consisted of 67,000 men: 50,000 infantry, 11,000 cavalry, and 6,000 artillery with 150 guns....

...Of these, 24,000 were British, with another 6,000 from the King's German Legion. All of the British Army troops were regular soldiers and 7,000 of them were Peninsular War veterans. In addition, there were 17,000 Dutch and Belgian troops, 11,000 from Hanover, 6,000 from Brunswick, and 3,000 from Nassau.



so on the french side, the ratio was about 7 (6.8) infantry:2 cav: 1 gunner. the english side runs it at about 8 (8.3) infantry: 2 cavl: 1 gunner.

form that (very) rough and ready caluation, I'd say that the average army of the time would run at about 70-80% infantry, 20% cav and 10% gunners. I couldn't give you a spilt down between line and light infantry without cracking out an order of battle for both sides.

obiviously, I'm making a sweeping generalistion based on one mesurement, but i feel it gives a rough idea of the percentages you are looking for.

Erutaron
2010-04-11, 10:47 AM
Where can i find good resources on types of duels fought in medieval times..

For example, what type of competitions went on at tournaments, other than jousting and Arrow-target-shooting..

And where can i find more about dueling shields

Hades
2010-04-11, 10:57 AM
Where can i find good resources on types of duels fought in medieval times..

For example, what type of competitions went on at tournaments, other than jousting and Arrow-target-shooting..

And where can i find more about dueling shields

I did a bit of research (primarily on judicial duels) a while back, but these two books also had quite a bit on the rest of what would go on at tournaments and so forth:
Muhlberger, Steven, Deeds of Arms : Formal Combats in the Late Fourteenth Century, Chivalry Bookshelf, 2005.
Muhlberger, Steven, Jousts and Tournaments, Chivalry Bookshelf, 2002.

If you can read French, this one was also handy:
van den Neste, Évelyne, Tournois, Joutes, Pas d’Armes, École des Chartes, 1996.

As for dueling shields, I'm drawing a blank at the moment on which Fechtbücher have them in, Talhoffer and the Codex Wallerstein I think?

Dienekes
2010-04-11, 11:11 AM
Dueling Shields are in Talhoffer definitely, I'm not certain about Wallerstein.

Also interesting information here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ac7dsFIlPj8&feature=related) at around the 1:50 mark.

Brainfart
2010-04-12, 01:58 PM
I'd like to use inspirations from polynesia and south-east asia for my setting, but I know close to nothing about the typs of weapons and martial arts used in these regions, or what they used to protect themselves against weapons.
I figure they probably used spears, like about every single other culture on earth. But there's probably a lot more, so can anyone share his knowledge on this? :smallsmile:

As far as I know, most SEA island countries didn't have a strong tradition of spear use. It's a horrible, horrible thing to carry in a jungle. To make things worse, your buddies don't really have room to stand next to you. Machetes, short swords, knives, sticks, clubs etc are more of the norm.

To my knowledge, eskrima and kali are quite representative of the 'weapon arts'. They cover the weapons listed above. Burma and Thailand would probably have more conventional (from the fantasy gamer's point of view) weapons and martial arts, though they probably have a strong tradition of jungle skirmishers as well.

Just out of curiosity, what possessed you to draw inspiration from cultures that you know very little about for your setting? :smallbiggrin:

fusilier
2010-04-12, 07:59 PM
I think hawaiian warriors would use a large spear. At least there is some imagery that shows hawaiian spearmen formed up almost like pikemen.

fusilier
2010-04-12, 08:09 PM
This site about hawaiian warfare might help a little:
http://www.mythichawaii.com/ancient.htm

imp_fireball
2010-04-18, 07:31 PM
How would you guys stat out the Scottish ball and chain (from William Wallace era?).

Also, Dirk and Targe?

Spitting poison?

Been watching deadliest warrior.

Is their a list of links somewhere?

Norsesmithy
2010-04-18, 11:33 PM
Unfortunately we don't stat.

That's what the home brew forum is for.


I can't bring myself to watch that show, but a quick google seems to indicate that they had a guy throw an old style ball and chain (like you'd shackle to a prisoner's leg?). I'd think that'd probably have to be handled under improvised weapons rules.

You'd probably use it similar to the sport of "hammer throwing", and they could probably be thrown shockingly far.

Can't imagine thinking it'd be worth the weight though, a warrior could get a long so much better with the lighter load, or use the weight to carry several other more useful items.

imp_fireball
2010-04-19, 08:47 PM
Unfortunately we don't stat.

That's what the home brew forum is for.


I can't bring myself to watch that show, but a quick google seems to indicate that they had a guy throw an old style ball and chain (like you'd shackle to a prisoner's leg?). I'd think that'd probably have to be handled under improvised weapons rules.

You'd probably use it similar to the sport of "hammer throwing", and they could probably be thrown shockingly far.

Can't imagine thinking it'd be worth the weight though, a warrior could get a long so much better with the lighter load, or use the weight to carry several other more useful items.

But people did carry them, so obviously they were kind of useful being that you could probably knock someone of their horse if you got lucky.

I wouldn't make it improvised, but I'd give it maybe a -2 penalty or give a Str requirement, with each Str increment below the requirement incuring a penalty to the attack (so if it requires 15 Str and you have 10 Str, take a -2 penalty to the attack). It weighs 12 pounds. Not that heavy compared to armor, and it can be thrown. And if you hit someone in the helmet it's supposed to be equivalent to being 'rammed full on by a speeding motorcycle' and would kill very nicely.

Maybe 2d6 bludgeoning and allows ranged bull rush checks when thrown (granted, most people carry only one or two of these; also it sorta competes with the hulking hurler who is pure damage)? Otherwise, wielding it in melee could incur a -1 armor check penalty (because you have to whirl it around), or penalize touch AC by 1. Or you could treat it like a dire flail in melee (but you can't make trip attacks with it, so maybe higher damage?).

Also, William Wallace was strong. Seriously, like 16 or 18 strength. A ball and chain weighs nothing. I mean, how much did the claymore weigh (4 foot long steel sword; granted it's only about half as long as Cloud's weapon, but nothing as close in width)?

Raum
2010-04-19, 08:58 PM
But people did carry them, so obviously they were kind of useful being that you could probably knock someone of their horse if you got lucky.Well...they carried them in the movie at least. :)

We do try to avoid game stats in this thread though. All too often they have more to do with game balance or variety than with anything in real life.

Thomo
2010-04-19, 09:04 PM
The Dirk and Targe is simple. The Targe was a small round shield, sometimes spiked that could be wielded on the forearm to allow the user to also carry and use a dagger (which is what a Dirk is).

If you wanted to stat it out in DnD - look at the buckler. That's basically what it was.

Mike_G
2010-04-19, 09:20 PM
Hammer throwing is still a part of the Highland Games, where large men in kilts hurl gurt big stones on a chain long distances, so I wouldn't be surprised if there is a historical link.

The thing would be devastating if thrown into a massed formation, and armor probably wouldn't do squat for anyone hit by it, but it would be easy to dodge.

At the Loon Mountain Highland Games several years back, I saw a poorly thrown "hammer" head straight for a judge. Like most of the competitors, he was, shall we say, built for power and not speed, but he was able to easily sidestep the errant boulder. If he hadn't, it probably would've killed him.

As far as stats, maybe a Reflex save to avoid it, with some knockback on a failure.

Cealocanth
2010-04-19, 09:34 PM
Before I go and decide to never post in this thread again, here is my final word. Weapons and armor took a long time to make because they had to do everything from scratch. Even the most skilled of blacksmiths had to re-try their armor again and again because it was too small, or it broke when hit by a sword, or because it hurt when you put it on. (@#$! wussy knights.:smallannoyed:) No real life medival knight could walk up to a blacksmith and ask for a custom made set of armor and arrive the next day to get it. Adventurers should have to wait at LEAST a month, although it usually took at least 3, and they had to do a fitting at least once a week for each and every part of the set of armor.

The knights always wore wool clothes under their armor because armor is extremely uncomfortable. Getting wet would cause it to shrink, and was hard to get off. Also, in the heat of a usual summer day, a knight would overheat in an hour of wearing that armor. The way that in game fighters can wear their armor all day is completely unrealistic.

Shields were, although often beutefully carved and exquisitely designes, were a one shot use. Even the toughest of wooden shields would break under the strain of being hit by a sword, and the knights depended on them to break because if the shield collapsed under the blow and re-directed it, a knight would be able to kill his opponent when he stumbled over under the strain of his armor. Metal shields were rare and were often not used in battle due to their bending under blows and being able to be peirced easily by arrows.

That is my word. If you are wondering how I've come to know all this and much more about all things middle ages, feel free to message me. I'll be happy to tell you all about it.:smallbiggrin:

Ogremindes
2010-04-19, 10:26 PM
I mean, how much did the claymore weigh (4 foot long steel sword; granted it's only about half as long as Cloud's weapon, but nothing as close in width)?

About 5-and-a-half pounds, or 2.5 kilos.

308HTR
2010-04-19, 10:45 PM
Where can I find a scimitar/kilij for sale? Like not some mass produced piece of junk from a swap-meet but something capable of cleaving an opponent groin to throat.

Brainfart
2010-04-19, 10:47 PM
That is my word. If you are wondering how I've come to know all this and much more about all things middle ages, feel free to message me. I'll be happy to tell you all about it.:smallbiggrin:

This seems a bit presumptuous, considering that you're in a thread full of people who've demonstrated a lot more knowledge in this department. :smallamused:


About 5-and-a-half pounds, or 2.5 kilos.

That'd be on the high end of the weight scale. The average one would weigh a couple of pounds less.


Where can I find a scimitar for sale? Like not some mass produced piece of junk from a swap-meet but something capable of cleaving an opponent groin to throat.

That mass produced piece of junk is still quite capable of ventilating your insides. :smallwink:

http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/scimitars.html

Scroll down to the scimitar section. Those are fairly cheap and decent swords. You're not overburdened with choice, to be honest. There's not much interest in that style of swords.

imp_fireball
2010-04-20, 03:44 AM
Where can I find a scimitar/kilij for sale? Like not some mass produced piece of junk from a swap-meet but something capable of cleaving an opponent groin to throat.

I don't think any scimitar could ever do that unless you had the power attack feat in real life.

Claymore on the other hand...

Also, why does the claymore weigh so little? Doesn't it require weight to add force to the blow? Lightness isn't that important. Anything less then ten pounds can be carried enmasse anyway. I mean c'mon, warriors are supposed to be strong. They're risking their damn lives. It isn't luxury.

And don't give me crap about how it'd be too hard to swing. I can swing my 20 pound dumb bells (although it's a little awkward).

Mr White
2010-04-20, 05:19 AM
And don't give me crap about how it'd be too hard to swing. I can swing my 20 pound dumb bells (although it's a little awkward).

Sure, and for how long can you swing those dumb bells? Battles were rarly resolved quickly I imagine.

Storm Bringer
2010-04-20, 05:35 AM
Claymore on the other hand...

Also, why does the claymore weigh so little? Doesn't it require weight to add force to the blow? Lightness isn't that important. Anything less then ten pounds can be carried enmasse anyway. I mean c'mon, warriors are supposed to be strong. They're risking their damn lives. It isn't luxury.

And don't give me crap about how it'd be too hard to swing. I can swing my 20 pound dumb bells (although it's a little awkward).

it's a speed issue, amoung others. the sword is not only a striking tool, it is used to parry and block with. it needs to move fast , from attack to defense to attack agian, and the user needs be able to carry on using it for hours. he needs the weapon to do as he tells if, and not have to fight momentum. He also needs to keep up with someone using a different weapon, one that is lighter. It's no good if his full body swing can cleave a man in twain, if he gets a short sword to the gut before he can deliver his mega-blow.

also, he gains nothing form the extra weight, and loses quite a bit.

steel has a clear and well known density, and so a steel rod X inches long, Y inches wide and no more than Z inches thick will also have a fairly clear weight.

to make it heavier, you'd have to increase the volume of the sword, which would impact on proformance. too thick, and you have trouble cutting, as the sword needs to move so much material out of the way. too wide, and you loose stab proformance for the same reasons. too long, it's unwieldy and hard to stab or swing with.


in short, you make the sword to the shape you want it, and that gives you a certian volume of metal. that metal will only weigh so much.

Spiryt
2010-04-20, 07:27 AM
And don't give me crap about how it'd be too hard to swing. I can swing my 20 pound dumb bells (although it's a little awkward).

It wouldn't be hard to swing.

It would be hard to swing quickly, repeatedly, accurately and effectively.

20 pounds mauls are useful when you drive stakes into the ground repeatedly, they allow you to use the sheer momentum of them to strike - you don't have to do it to quickly, agilely or with great technique, you must just raise it and bring it down.

This of course won't work on the battlefield and such weapon would be plenty useless.

Even if in pure theory you could strike harder with it than with say, 6 pound warhammer, you wouldn't be able to do it in fight anyway.

I heard that when reenacting was raising in Poland smiths were selling guys those horrible 11 pound "replicas" of one handed swords made from rail profiles :smallbiggrin:
If someone was vaguely knowledgeable, they were of course trying to sell stuff like "weight will increase power". Unsurprisingly, it wasn't working too well.

Those had to be good times, certainly.


They're risking their damn lives. It isn't luxury

Exactly - That's why they needed weapons that would gave them maximal chance to stay alive and break the opposition.

Mike_G
2010-04-20, 08:36 AM
I don't think any scimitar could ever do that unless you had the power attack feat in real life.

Claymore on the other hand...

Also, why does the claymore weigh so little? Doesn't it require weight to add force to the blow? Lightness isn't that important.


You've never marched with a Squad Automatic Weapon and 500 rounds, have you?



Anything less then ten pounds can be carried enmasse anyway. I mean c'mon, warriors are supposed to be strong. They're risking their damn lives. It isn't luxury.

And don't give me crap about how it'd be too hard to swing. I can swing my 20 pound dumb bells (although it's a little awkward).

Lighter is quicker, lighter is easier to control, a quicker moving weapon hits harder and an easier to control weapon is more accurate.

A three pound length of sharp steel is plenty heavy enough to kill you, if it's swung hard. More than that just slows you down. If your enemy were to dodge your blow, you could bring the light sword back in time to defend yourself, or strike again. If he dodged the 20 pound weapon, you'd be dead before you could change the direction of your swing.

Galloglaich
2010-04-20, 08:38 AM
What they said.

You can get in a fight with me using your even a 6 pound maul any time you like, I'll take a machete. You swing at me, I take a step back and cut your hand twice and then one more time before you even recover. Now you can't even hold it, and I hack halfway through your face. That is why real life war hammers used in every culture around the world were exactly the opposite of fantasy ones; the striking head is about the same size as that of a framing hammer usually.... much smaller and lighter (and better balanced) than any maul or sledge hammer.

It doesn't take a lot of mass to break bones, even less to cut meat and bones. It takes a certain degree of skill, some speed, and a kind of calmness, very similar to target shooting. If you want to cut someone in a fight, it takes a lot of speed and precision especially.

One of the greatest myths of RPGs, computer games, and bad fantasy films (that is to say, 99.99% of fantasy films) is they convey the idea that swords and similar edged weapons are basically ablative crushing devices of some sort.

Spiryt
2010-04-20, 08:42 AM
And only katananananas, rapiers, short funky swords and stuff were finesse and stuff, guys with axes and claymores were just raising them high and mauling down in hope they hit something. :smallbiggrin:

And stuff.

Johel
2010-04-20, 09:32 AM
Simply to point out that, against an heavily armored opponent, you want something with weight. Because unless you are very accurate, light blades won't help you much while he won't mind swinging a flail or a longsword around. The kinetic energy of heavy blows might at least stun our man, here.

Of course, if you are well-armored yourself and ready to risk close quarters, a light blade is still your best bet to stab the bastard between the plates...before he does the same to you, that's it. So yeah, better stun him first anyway.

Claymores were used for two things : ceremonies...and breaking those damn thick formations of pikemen. They were useful in these situation because :

pikemen were not well-armored, making a single swing deadly.
pikemen couldn't block a sharp, heavy blade with their own weapons.
pikemen couldn't dodge an horizontal swing without breaking formation.

The tactic was suicidal but it was cost-effective : 1 man is sacrificed to break a formation, allowing the rest to slaughter the disorganized square. If the man somehow survived, he was then rewarded handsomely.

Spiryt
2010-04-20, 09:47 AM
Actually two handed claymores were used by Highlander combatants, in many small scale battles and stuff, and even in larger conflicts, they could quite possibly not encounter too much pikemen at all.

Even with continental 16th century two handed swords this whole pike thing isn't certain at all.

Most accounts seems to indicate that very often a guy with two handed sword, axe, or similar "room needed" weapon were deployed on the flanks, to protect banners, and in similar places.


pikemen were not well-armored, making a single swing deadly

Depends.


pikemen couldn't dodge an horizontal swing without breaking formation

Although if someone really cuts you down so effortlessly it may be good moment to screw formation anyway.

And it certainly weren't easy to swing surrounded by all those pikes anyway.

Johel
2010-04-20, 10:07 AM
Actually two handed claymores were used by Highlander combatants, in many small scale battles and stuff, and even in larger conflicts, they could quite possibly not encounter too much pikemen at all.
My bad.
I was thinking Zweihänder.


Most accounts seems to indicate that very often a guy with two handed sword, axe, or similar "room needed" weapon were deployed on the flanks, to protect banners, and in similar places.
Well, of course : the mission was already suicidal enough for him NOT to charge from the front. :smalltongue:


Although if someone really cuts you down so effortlessly it may be good moment to screw formation anyway..
That's the idea, yeah : scare the **** out of them !! Survival instinct tends to kick in when some mad man charge at you with a BFS :smallamused:

Galloglaich
2010-04-20, 10:26 AM
The idea that you bash metal armor with a swords edge is yet another myth propagated by Ren Faires and Role Playing games.

Cutting weapons were not used to bash through armor. They can't cut throught metal armor either... though with cloth or leather there is some chance. To test thing try cutting or bashing through an iron skillet with a chef knife. Swords are for cutting not ablating or denting things.

Fully armored (Cap-a-pied) fighters were always rare, they existed in some numbers only for a relatively brief span of time, say from the 12th Century through the end of the 14th Century. The heydey of armor was already fading by the time plate armor had been invented. But it was always much more common for warriors in Europe (where the most armor was used), to have partial armor protection, ranging from a helmet and an (essentially disposable, as someone pointed out upthread) shield to a helmet plus a mail shirt or some other form of flexible or rigid torso protection. With or without a shield.

For example, in the 16th Century, the front rank of pikemen, billmen, or halberdiers were often armored like this:

http://www.antiqueweaponstore.com/PS-1.JPGhttp://www.higgins.org/Images/1700_1138.jpg

This was mainly to protect them from bullets, arrows, crossbow bolts, darts, javelins, and other pikes.

They were protected from hand to hand weapons (other than pikes) by the pikes themselves; attacking a pikeman in formation with a shorter weapon was virtual suicide, you'll be dealing with not only the neighbors of your target to each side, but all those long pointy spears from 3 or 4 ranks behind him. That is not to say it couldn't be done, but it required expert troops like the Spanish rotello swordsmen who used iron shields and short cut-thrust swords... and they weren't cutting pikes they were going underneath them to get at the wielders.

Similarly, the most common way to deal with armor was to go around it to wherever your enemy was not protected. This is why for example in the famous Wisby battlefield on Gottland most of the skeletons which show signs of trauma have cuts to the lower left leg. This area was rarely protected.

To get through armor, you did not try to cut it or blunt the edge of a cutting weapon (especially a sword!) by 'bashing it', the only way to get through armor is to punch through with a point or break it with a blunt weapon like a mace, a pick or a hammer.... . If you have a sword, that means either thrust with the point, often by choking up into a half-sword grip, or you use the pommel or the quillions to try to crack the armor like a nut-cracker.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/Wallerstein_219.jpg
http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd251/Tah908/half_sword.jpg

G.

Galloglaich
2010-04-20, 10:30 AM
And only katananananas, rapiers, short funky swords and stuff were finesse and stuff, guys with axes and claymores were just raising them high and mauling down in hope they hit something. :smallbiggrin:

And stuff.

It's wierd how they make rapiers and smallswords cut very well in Hollywood films, (especially candlesticks) but earlier cutting swords are depicted like crowbars that can only cut almost by accident. And can't thrust, unless the bad guy falls on the point by accident, which is always fatal.

G.

Spiryt
2010-04-20, 10:57 AM
As for bashing trough armor with swords - well it's always a bit of internet fencing, but certainly doing some damage by bashing some parts (like helmet) was possible - there are some test on the internet, showing dents on the helmets.

Of course, it wasn't easy at all, some other methods may be used instead - depending on what your enemy is allowing you to do, exact weapons and armor, your skills and all other things.

A fight essentially. And certainly never defeating armor, even slightly was easy.

Interesting video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MncQ5OKROc0&feature=PlayList&p=F8CAD07909CE5414&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=9), showing some quite visibly crippling blow - most probably landed on the rear side of thigh, where there's no plate.

Of course, those bugers quite possibly can not have perfectly historical stuff, and whole situation is very abstract, but things like that always give something to think about.

imp_fireball
2010-04-20, 11:06 AM
guys with axes and claymores were just raising them high and mauling down in hope they hit something.

Claymores can actually cut pretty smoothly, indicating that they require skill.

The weight and length adds immense power to the blow. On deadliest warrior, a skilled user managed to cleave through three heads in one swing (skulls on top of material simulating human necks).

The problem with a shield breaking though is that they couldn't use it later on. An adventurer would bring a long a shield that wouldn't break.
---

Also 20 pound dumbells are hard to swing in a long battle, but you can trade off weapons, can't you?

The GM can't just say 'you can't use the 20 pound sword', period. You wouldn't be using it all the time, but you'd use it on occassion.

Spiryt
2010-04-20, 11:21 AM
The point is that there's no reason to use 20 pounds sword.

10 pound - maybe, the ones like that happened from time to time in XVIth century.

20 - no way. Maybe if wielder is 7' 4'' 400 pounds or something, so he can have similarly scaled sword.


Claymores can actually cut pretty smoothly, indicating that they require skill.

And hammers don't require skills, cause they don't cut at all. :smalltongue:

But anyway, my post was a bit sarcastic whining, my whole point is that weapons weren't used like that.

Finally, Deadliest Warrior is simply, horrible stuff.

What weight of claymore they stated there anyway?

imp_fireball
2010-04-20, 11:27 AM
Finally, Deadliest Warrior is simply, horrible stuff.

What weight of claymore they stated there anyway?

Where do you get that accusation? They try not to be biased and there testing methods seem perfectly reasonable. Also, can't remember.


One of the greatest myths of RPGs, computer games, and bad fantasy films (that is to say, 99.99% of fantasy films) is they convey the idea that swords and similar edged weapons are basically ablative crushing devices of some sort.

I think it started when they tried to reflect how much of a bad ass the hero was that he'd boast that 'my-a blade can cut through armor!'. Also, magic blades.

Yora
2010-04-20, 11:27 AM
I got a related question: What difference makes a curved blade compared to a straight one? There's a smaller point of impact on a chopping cut, but as human bodies have very few flat surfaces and a blade will almost never strike completely paralel to the surface it hits, I somehow doubt that this makes much of a difference?

imp_fireball
2010-04-20, 11:30 AM
D&D boasts that the scythe has uber critical multiplier. I guess on a fluke you'd eviscerate someone by accident with a scythe (seems like what they're trying to reflect), or thresh them like wheat?

Also, heavy weapons have an advantage when used in flails I think.

The witch king of Angmar's flail is like 200 pounds (if you include an arbitrary weight bonus to attack/damage when 'wound up' and combine that with dungeon crasher... heh). :smallbiggrin:

I don't understand why axes aren't more popular, in fantasy at least.

Yora
2010-04-20, 11:36 AM
Are they? Dwarves, orcs and northmen only use axes.

Storm Bringer
2010-04-20, 11:39 AM
I got a related question: What difference makes a curved blade compared to a straight one? There's a smaller point of impact on a chopping cut, but as human bodies have very few flat surfaces and a blade will almost never strike completely paralel to the surface it hits, I somehow doubt that this makes much of a difference?

short answer runs: the cutting edge is longer, to can cut more.

imp_fireball
2010-04-20, 11:41 AM
Are they? Dwarves, orcs and northmen only use axes.

Orcs use swords a lot of the time. According to D&D, falchions mainly (I guess the weight suits their above average strength).

'Evil' themed blades tend to have saw tooth edges. Logically, this would be because pulling it out of the victim is even more painful and could cause more damage.

Would it be realistic to use such a weapon for that purpose?

Spiryt
2010-04-20, 11:43 AM
Where do you get that accusation? They try not to be biased and there testing methods seem perfectly reasonable. Also, can't remember.


From everything. I managed to handle two episodes, with some Wallace one.

Their "history" is complete pseudo historical imagination. Their method's of "calculating" of it all ridiculous. Their people who are "animating it" didn't see real combat in their life.

Their scenarios about pirates running around and blowing things up are ridiculous too. Their experts behave like WWE stars and have definetly weird ideas like double spear throw. :smallsigh:

They showed "Wallace" with kilt, claymore and painted face, right? Nothing more to add.

I suggest searching around where more knowledgeable people talk about it - generally from point of history and actual fight it's horrible.

Their test are entertaining to watch, and that's the only saving thing.
simply beacuse angles of the curve portion of the blade cutting the target will be wider.

Hurlbut
2010-04-20, 11:45 AM
Sure, and for how long can you swing those dumb bells? Battles were rarly resolved quickly I imagine.True but a battle IS a series of intense clashes, that come in pulses or waves. No one, not even a seasoned and well fit soldier, can fight more than a few minutes at a time in an intense clash. So the battle isn't one long drawn out brawl; it's actually pretty much like the professional boxing. Fight for several moments, break off then take a breather and recover for a moment, then start a new round. There are exceptions, but this is generally the rule.

imp_fireball
2010-04-20, 11:45 AM
From everything. I managed to handle two episodes, with some Wallace one.

Their "history" is complete pseudo historical imagination. Their method's of "calculating" of it all ridiculous. Their people who are "animating it" didn't see real combat in their life.

Their scenarios about pirates running around and blowing things up are ridiculous too. Their experts behave like WWE stars and have definetly weird ideas like double spear throw. :smallsigh:

They showed "Wallace" with kilt, claymore and painted face, right? Nothing more to add.

I suggest searching around where more knowledgeable people talk about it - generally from point of history and actual fight it's horrible.

Their test are entertaining to watch, and that's the only saving thing.

The fight scenes with actors are for show actually. The way the actors look and the costumes are realstic but the fight is a little exagerrated.

But the actual tests and their conclusions seem perfectly reasonable.

They portrayed Wallace with more than a kilt and a painted face. They talked about his weapons. They provided reasons why he'd beat Shaka Zulu. All in one hour. :P


Their "history" is complete pseudo historical imagination. Their method's of "calculating" of it all ridiculous. Their people who are "animating it" didn't see real combat in their life.

You should watch 'The Aftermath'. They make it seem like all they calculate is weapons but they actually calculate a lot of things. That complaint was addressed.

Would you provide any suggestions on how to make the show better?

Spiryt
2010-04-20, 11:52 AM
I got a related question: What difference makes a curved blade compared to a straight one? There's a smaller point of impact on a chopping cut, but as human bodies have very few flat surfaces and a blade will almost never strike completely paralel to the surface it hits, I somehow doubt that this makes much of a difference?

Nest of hornets, generally :smallbiggrin:

No one can really agree on that - in theory curved sword will allow greater sectional denisty of blade on impact - simply beacuse angles of the curve portion of the blade cutting the target will be wider.

That's one of theories anyway.

Obviously, curved sword will usually have one sharp edge, what'll affect whole sword - if anyway only one side will be cutting, crosssection may be changed.

Curved blade will also have relatively lower range.

And so on. You may search MyArmoury.com or http://swordforum.com/ for example - people disscussed it to death, and some knowledgeable ones made many good points.


EDIT:

About "Warriors"

Yeah, "their weapons", like claymore that Wallace wouldn't see in his life, because they started showing in 16th century :smalltongue:

As for "improving" - if show must be entertainment with very weird characters and stuff, I suggest more dynamite and cutting stuff.
It's always nice to watch.

If it may be historical reenaction in any way - don't make it.

The whole idea of Zulu vs Mel Gibson is silly and won't allow much serious actions.

Spiryt
2010-04-20, 12:07 PM
Sorry for the double post, but I thought it would be more clear that way:

Just for some hint about curved or straight brainstorm:

Theory (http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=42198&highlight=castellan) I was taking about by someone who actually makes some pretty good and accurate swords, and knows some english. :smalltongue:

Thiel
2010-04-20, 12:24 PM
Sorry for the double post, but I thought it would be more clear that way:

Just for some hint about curved or straight brainstorm:

Theory (http://forums.swordforum.com/showthread.php?t=42198&highlight=castellan) I was taking about by someone who actually makes some pretty good and accurate swords, and knows some english. :smalltongue:

It should also be noted that curved sword were fashionable in the middle east back than. Never underestimate the power of fashion.

Mike_G
2010-04-20, 12:36 PM
The fight scenes with actors are for show actually. The way the actors look and the costumes are realstic but the fight is a little exagerrated.

But the actual tests and their conclusions seem perfectly reasonable.

They portrayed Wallace with more than a kilt and a painted face. They talked about his weapons. They provided reasons why he'd beat Shaka Zulu. All in one hour. :P



You should watch 'The Aftermath'. They make it seem like all they calculate is weapons but they actually calculate a lot of things. That complaint was addressed.

Would you provide any suggestions on how to make the show better?


William Wallace lived a few centuries before the "Claymore." He died in 1305. The two hander with the forward angled quillons that they show in Deadliest Warrior, and that Mel carries in the 1995 movie was carried by 16-18 th century highlanders. Many were used at Killicrankie in 1689, when Wallace had been dead for over three hundred years.

And Wallace was a lowlander. He woulnae ha' worn a kilt.

I married a Wallace. My sister married a Lachlan. It's fashionable to throw a plaid skirt on all Scots on TV, but the kilt was Highland dress, not lowland. They get tetchie about such things.

Spiryt
2010-04-20, 12:45 PM
Not to mention that kilts, showed up much later,(XVIth century?) and actual clan specific tartans even earlier.

Also, Scottish people weren't dying their faces blue, those were Picts.

Probably stopped around 5th century A.D too, when they were slowly christianized and generally culture was getting more uniform.

I heard that some guys who are organizing some mass events near Stirling (or Falkirk?) have some actual signs in the spirit of :

"Peasants in XIII century Scotland looked very similary to their counterparts in the rest of Europe. People in kilts and bodypaint won't be allowed to enter"

Anyone can confirm? :smallbiggrin:

Galloglaich
2010-04-20, 01:16 PM
Nest of hornets, generally :smallbiggrin:

No one can really agree on that - in theory curved sword will allow greater sectional denisty of blade on impact - simply beacuse angles of the curve portion of the blade cutting the target will be wider.

Keep in mind, there are two kinds of curved swords, curved out like a saber, and curved in like a kurkri (gurkha) knife. Both cut quite differently.

The vast majority of curved swords in the world historically were and are curved like a saber. These weapons were very common. Every single-handed curved saber shaped sword I know of from everywhere in the world, Europe, Japan, Etheopia, Malaysia, China etc., was for use by cavalry. This type of curve is for draw-cutting.

http://www.chinese-swords-guide.com/images/chinese-swords-dao.jpg

http://www.civil-war-sword.com/images/dragoon-sabre-8814f.jpg

A draw-cut is a slice, the blade moves along the target horizontally. It's much easier to do a draw-cut from horseback. Cutting from horseback roughly doubles the speed of a sword cut, which makes swords hard to hold on to. This is also why sabers often have canted hilts, for weapon retention.

Slices work well on bare skin and flesh, less well on bone or clothing or textile armor.

Inward curving swords like the Turkish Yataghan, the Iberian Falcata, the Greek Kopis, the Indian Sosun Pata, the Gurkha Kurkri knife etc. etc., are choppers, they cut like an axe cuts. They cut very well but are hard to hold on to in a ride-by cut. They are brutal weapons for killing, not very good for fencinig so to speak.

http://www.mdc.hr/krizevci/images/foto-oruz-1.jpg
Yataghan
http://bjorn.foxtail.nu/images/jt_falcata.jpg
Falcata

People tend to forget about the curve on double edged swords in these types of discussions. There are also 'strait' swords in which both edges curve toward a single point, such as a Bronze Age leaf blade, spartan Xiphos, or some versions of a moro Barong, and triangular shaped ones ala Oakeshotte Type XV.

http://www.arco-iris.com/George/images/barong_01_220.jpg
Barong

http://www.museumoflondonprints.com/lowres/29/main/3/60962.jpg

http://www.myarmoury.com/images/reviews/aa_hen5_s.jpg


That's one of theories anyway.

Obviously, curved sword will usually have one sharp edge, what'll affect whole sword - if anyway only one side will be cutting, crosssection may be changed.

Curved blade will also have relatively lower range.

I agree with that. Double edged have longer range, and thrust better, and can cut with both edges, but saber type swords are potentially quicker close-in... very generally speaking.




EDIT:

About "Warriors"

Yeah, "their weapons", like claymore that Wallace wouldn't see in his life, because they started showing in 16th century :smalltongue:

As for "improving" - if show must be entertainment with very weird characters and stuff, I suggest more dynamite and cutting stuff.
It's always nice to watch.

If it may be historical reenaction in any way - don't make it.

The whole idea of Zulu vs Mel Gibson is silly and won't allow much serious actions.

Agreed... that show had potential to be interesting, because test cutting is fun, especially with skulls and bones and ballistic gel and high speed cameras etc. etc., but it was pathetic, especially that particular episode. Why did they use non-riveted "chain"mail? The 'experts' on that show are just low level Hollywood fight coordinators who spew a mish-mash of mostly gibberish which is then treated as if it's historical fact.

It really was closer to Mel Gibson than William Wallace in that episode.

I would love to see a show like Mythbusters where they would test actual historical weapons and armor or good quality replicas in the way they purported to do in Deadliest Warriors. The high level of interest could maybe indicate a possible audience, but I think most people are satisfied with the gibberish.

G.

Matthew
2010-04-20, 01:38 PM
The vast majority of curved swords in the world historically were and are curved like a saber. These weapons were very common. Every single-handed curved saber shaped sword I know of from everywhere in the world, Europe, Japan, Etheopia, Malaysia, China etc., was for use by cavalry.

Also, Xenephon was advocating curved swords for cavalry back in the fourth century BC. Quite what he had in mind, I am not sure, could be the falcata, which would be interesting. Additionally, I have heard that the transition from the tachi to katana was associated with a change in the emphasis on cavalry, which would make sense since the latter is generally less curved and shorter than the former. Anybody care to confirm or deny? (Japanese history is not my speciality). Nonetheless, I think the difference between curved and straight swords must be pretty small and subjective, a subject of debate even for the cavalrymen who were using them.



Agreed... that show had potential to be interesting, because test cutting is fun, especially with skulls and bones and ballistic gel and high speed cameras etc. etc., but it was pathetic, especially that particular episode. Why did they use non-riveted "chain"mail? The 'experts' on that show are just low level Hollywood fight coordinators who spew a mish-mash of mostly gibberish which is then treated as if it's historical fact.

It really was closer to Mel Gibson than William Wallace in that episode.

I would love to see a show like Mythbusters where they would test actual historical weapons and armor or good quality replicas in the way they purported to do in Deadliest Warriors. The high level of interest could maybe indicate a possible audience, but I think most people are satisfied with the gibberish.

Yep; interestingly, not even the History Channel picked that show up over here; instead, it is on Bravo.

Mike_G
2010-04-20, 01:40 PM
The point is that there's no reason to use 20 pounds sword.

10 pound - maybe, the ones like that happened from time to time in XVIth century.

20 - no way. Maybe if wielder is 7' 4'' 400 pounds or something, so he can have similarly scaled sword.



What weight of claymore they stated there anyway?

I don't remember a weight stated on the show.

Wikipedia give the two handed "Claymore" a weight or 5-5.5 lbs, and the one handed basket hilt "Claymore" a weight of 2-3 lbs, which seems pretty consistent with swords I've held.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claymore

That's a decent breakdown for combat swords, 2-3 for a one hander, with a few really heavy swords nearing 4 lbs, and 5-7 or so for the two handers.

As far as curved vs straight, curved swords cut better on a draw, and work nicely for cavalry on a ride by, with less chance of getting stuck in a foe. Also, a single edge allows for a more acute taper from a thick back edge to the cutting edge, rather than two less acute tapers from the central spine to both edges, which allows more mass behind a sharper edge for the same weight.

As far as straight blades thrusting better, you can learn how to aim a curved blade pretty quickly, and they work fine in a thrust. The straight blade does give a bit more reach.

HenryHankovitch
2010-04-20, 01:51 PM
'Evil' themed blades tend to have saw tooth edges. Logically, this would be because pulling it out of the victim is even more painful and could cause more damage.

Would it be realistic to use such a weapon for that purpose?

Not really. The sawteeth would tend to make it less effective both for cutting and thrusting, since you'd actually have a high percentage of your blade-length which was blunt. The teeth/notches would cause extra friction on armor and shields, making it harder to make a penetrating thrust, and interrupting a cut, as well as making it more difficult for the wielder to follow-through and recover.

A "real" orc's blade might end up chipped and jagged simply because they weren't maintaining it and caring for it properly. I could see that happening. But it's mainly a fantasy aesthetic. Spikes = ruthless/evil.

Spiryt
2010-04-20, 01:55 PM
One of popular polish stations is actually broadcasting it for free, so I may overcome fear of this stuff with some almost certainly terrible translation, and take a look. :smalleek:

They had something about mainly family, religious and educational mission in their statute, and now after years of financial problems they're showing this along with WWE Superstars, buehehehe.

Exarch
2010-04-20, 03:13 PM
Deadliest Warrior usually leaves me frothing at the mouth with rage, but I watch it anyway. It's entertaining for when things go the way I want them to and watching Italian Mafioso bludgeon and stab Japanese Yakuza was pretty interesting, even if the Yakuza had nunchuku as one of their weapons.

Still, the times that they've given weapon weight it seems to be pretty accurate. When they reference the claymore for William Wallace, I want to say they stated between 3.7 lb and 5 lb, which is believable as far as I know.

Some of the pairings are just silly though? Spartan v. Ninja in open combat? Of course the spartan would win. Viking v. Samurai? I'm sorry, but vikings never had archery of their own? And the Gladiator v. Apache was silly. Though Apache v. ninja would be something fun to watch!

I seem to recall hearing that the Spestnaz guys were pretty upset with how they and the Berets were treated and how they were edited so it looked like they were at each others throats all the time. And the Beret's stated that they had their weapons picked out for them. Still, I'm a fool for bad tv so I'll keep watching it. And I'll keep yelling at people who cite Deadliest Warrior as fact.

Fhaolan
2010-04-20, 04:02 PM
I'm sorry, but vikings never had archery of their own?

Yep, they did. It's one of those strange blindspots that movies/tv has. Lots of arrowheads have been recovered from Norse digs, and it's even mentioned a lot in the sagas. However, very few bows have been recovered due to decay. While there's lots of kindling that *could* have been bows and arrows at one point, they are simply not intact enough to be sure.


I seem to recall hearing that the Spestnaz guys were pretty upset with how they and the Berets were treated and how they were edited so it looked like they were at each others throats all the time. And the Beret's stated that they had their weapons picked out for them. Still, I'm a fool for bad tv so I'll keep watching it. And I'll keep yelling at people who cite Deadliest Warrior as fact.

Yeah, I've talked with some people who were on the show and to a man they are pretty upset with how the editing portrays them. Most of those people are real martial artists who thought they were going to be given a venue to demonstrate their skills and talk about the historical background of their arts. Instead they were edited and talked over, and had results dictated by compulter 'simulations' that did not cover a fraction of the variables involved in an actual fight, such shifting tactics.

Shademan
2010-04-20, 04:26 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWvsHorqldM&playnext_from=TL&videos=VteLfYqP4D0 A point about scimitars.
Just speculations, but still interesting

Galloglaich
2010-04-20, 06:05 PM
That's a decent breakdown for combat swords, 2-3 for a one hander, with a few really heavy swords nearing 4 lbs, and 5-7 or so for the two handers.

Only for huge five or six foot long 16th Century "true" two-handers. Almost all of what you would think of as a European 'two-hander' in the Medieval - Renaissance period were around 2 -4 pounds just like single handed swords.



As far as curved vs straight, curved swords cut better on a draw, and work nicely for cavalry on a ride by, with less chance of getting stuck in a foe. Also, a single edge allows for a more acute taper from a thick back edge to the cutting edge, rather than two less acute tapers from the central spine to both edges, which allows more mass behind a sharper edge for the same weight.

What makes you assume that? Why would the edge be sharper? It sounds a bit like you are arguing for one shape of sword over another. If there were a perfect sword shape it would have become universal all over the world. Each type of sword was designed for a very specific purpose. Those which became popular for use in combat were so because they worked, not due to fashion. That wasn't really a major factor until they were no longer important combat weapons.

G.

Mike_G
2010-04-20, 06:37 PM
What makes you assume that? Why would the edge be sharper? It sounds a bit like you are arguing for one shape of sword over another. If there were a perfect sword shape it would have become universal all over the world. Each type of sword was designed for a very specific purpose. Those which became popular for use in combat were so because they worked, not due to fashion. That wasn't really a major factor until they were no longer important combat weapons.

G.

If you have a two edged sword, for a given amount of mass, you need to have the blade taper in two directions from a central ridge. Or a fuller, but same idea. A single edged sword, of the same mass and length, can have the blade taper from the back edge to the cutting edge in one, longer narrower angle.

Figure a blade width of 2 inches. The single edged sword can have a cross section from a wide back edge, tapering over the full two inches to the cutting edge. A two edged sword must have two tapers, each narrowing from the thickest point to the edge over one inch, not two. For any given cut, only the taper to that edge matters. The other taper on the back edge is wasted.

It's tough to explain without drawings, but the idea is one sharper angle versus two less sharp ones.

Basically, the single edged blade can have a cross section like this:

B
******C
B

Where B marks the thickness of the back edge, and a double edged sword looks like this, assuming the same width

------B
C ******C
------B

You can see the triangle from B to C in the top craptastic diagram will be more acute angles than the diamond in the lower diagram.

Galloglaich
2010-04-20, 06:42 PM
Yep, they did. It's one of those strange blindspots that movies/tv has. Lots of arrowheads have been recovered from Norse digs, and it's even mentioned a lot in the sagas. However, very few bows have been recovered due to decay. While there's lots of kindling that *could* have been bows and arrows at one point, they are simply not intact enough to be sure.

They have found actual longbows in Scandinavia going back to the Bronze Age.

But there isn't much evidence of their large scale use in warfare, largely for the reasons you mentioned.




Yeah, I've talked with some people who were on the show and to a man they are pretty upset with how the editing portrays them. Most of those people are real martial artists who thought they were going to be given a venue to demonstrate their skills and talk about the historical background of their arts. Instead they were edited and talked over, and had results dictated by compulter 'simulations' that did not cover a fraction of the variables involved in an actual fight, such shifting tactics.

The people who did the European stuff, including the knight, the Viking, and the William Wallace guy, were all idiots. I think I can say that definitively.

G.

Galloglaich
2010-04-20, 06:52 PM
If you have a two edged sword, for a given amount of mass,

Yes but that makes a huge number of assumptions, to the point that it's essentially meaningless. Width of swords is not a constant factor, nor is the profile taper or profile shape on either single-edged or double-edged swords; there are / were all kinds of different blade geometries used, fullering, ridges etc.. and the edge geometry does not necessarily start at the spine or the center of the sword (in fact quite rarely).

Consider where the hamon is on a katana for example. It's not way out at the spine is it?

And perhaps most importantly, mass is not a huge factor in cutting ability, which is why most single-edged swords (including falchions) weighed the same or less than double-edged swords. Shape and hardness and flexibility matter at least as much as mass.

In other words, I think you have to be very careful of generalizations about swords.

G.

Galloglaich
2010-04-20, 07:00 PM
Deadliest Warrior usually leaves me frothing at the mouth with rage, but I watch it anyway. It's entertaining for when things go the way I want them to and watching Italian Mafioso bludgeon and stab Japanese Yakuza was pretty interesting, even if the Yakuza had nunchuku as one of their weapons.

Still, the times that they've given weapon weight it seems to be pretty accurate. When they reference the claymore for William Wallace, I want to say they stated between 3.7 lb and 5 lb, which is believable as far as I know.

What is a claymore then exactly in a 14th Century context? What is that ball and chain thing? Can anyone find me evidence that or any other of the half-dozen odd 15 or 30(!) lb hand-to-hand combat weapons from that show were actually ever used? Or that Wallace painted his face like a smurf or wore a kilt?


Still, I'm a fool for bad tv so I'll keep watching it. And I'll keep yelling at people who cite Deadliest Warrior as fact.

I won't deny either, I watched it too.... that is how they are able to get away with **** like that, even those of us who know better are all too often suckers who will take whatever pablum we can get. There are only so many channels and they all suck.... :smallamused: so we learn to get by with less and less signal and more and more noise. And they know it.

I think to be honest, that is what happened with Role Playing Games too. Basically everything.

G.

Mike_G
2010-04-20, 07:09 PM
Yes but that makes a huge number of assumptions, to the point that it's essentially meaningless. Width of swords is not a constant factor, nor is the profile taper or profile shape on either single-edged or double-edged swords; there are / were all kinds of different blade geometries used, fullering, ridges etc.. and the edge geometry does not necessarily start at the spine or the center of the sword (in fact quite rarely).

Consider where the hamon is on a katana for example. It's not way out at the spine is it?

And perhaps most importantly, mass is not a huge factor in cutting ability, which is why most single-edged swords (including falchions) weighed the same or less than double-edged swords. Shape and hardness and flexibility matter at least as much as mass.

In other words, I think you have to be very careful of generalizations about swords.

G.

Well, it's nigh impossible to discuss straight vs edged without large generalizations, and secondly, there was a movement toward the backsword and sabre from the double edged sword in the later European weaponry. Eastern cutting weapons seem to largely be single edged.

You can only cut with one edge at a time, obviously, so the sharp back edge is wasted. Now, the first six inches being sharp certainly helps, and if you ding up one edge, you can turn your sword around and use the other edge, but I don't see where the double edged blade would ever cut better than the single edged.

Thrust, maybe. The cross section may well give it more strength in a thrust, and there may be a fighting style that cuts with the back edge, but I've never seen it.

Galloglaich
2010-04-20, 07:22 PM
This is a revival of some old Victorian era myths, which I think are important to challenge. There were a lot of ideas about the perfection of the sword in the 19th Century, the rapier evolving into the smallsword for personal protection based on the primacy of the thrust, and the saber as the only real military sword for the open battlefield.


Well, it's nigh impossible to discuss straight vs edged without large generalizations,

Yes, which is why one must be careful in which ones you make...



and secondly, there was a movement toward the backsword and sabre from the double edged sword in the later European weaponry.

This happened (in the West) when swords had already become tertiary battlefield weapons, used primarily by cavalry, when cavalry itself had become diminished dramatically in importance behind artillery and firearm equipped infantry, reduced to essentially a support and recon role.

Most of this cavalry typically used swords for a single ride-by cut. Cavalry swords intended to be used in sustained combat by shock-cavalry were often double-edged like the Polish Pallasch and the Schiavona.


Eastern cutting weapons seem to largely be single edged.

Cavalry weapons. Look up the Chinese Jian and the Hindu / Sikh Khanda. And you might want to look at the actual swords used by the Arabs during the Middle Ages ;) They didn't start using curved sabers in the Middle East until around the same time the Europeans did.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y110/Nephtys/ISAS/ISAS_27_1.jpg



You can only cut with one edge at a time, obviously, so the sharp back edge is wasted.

Unless you know how to fence... false-edge cutting is a critical part of European fencing, and all fencing systems using swords which have a full or partial false-edge.



Now, the first six inches being sharp certainly helps, and if you ding up one edge, you can turn your sword around and use the other edge, but I don't see where the double edged blade would ever cut better than the single edged.

Thrust, maybe. The cross section may well give it more strength in a thrust, and there may be a fighting style that cuts with the back edge, but I've never seen it.

It's every fighting style which uses two-edged swords. More on that later.

G.

fusilier
2010-04-20, 08:31 PM
Pikeman Armor:

I've seen pictures of pikemen wearing even more armor, from the early 16th century, and I think they even had a shield that was strapped to the arm (Rodela?).

http://usuarios.multimania.es/ao1617/weapon.html

Deadliest Warrior:
I've only watched a couple of episodes some time ago. I wasn't terribly impressed. Who wins is going to depend totally upon how they weight their variables, and how they weight their variables are ultimately arbitrary decisions. Even the choice of variables are arbitrary, and I don't remember hearing any discussion about the legitimacy of their models. How did they calibrate their model? What datasets did they use to validate it? etc. Also, they seemed to encourage trash talk between the competing sides which really detracts from a serious academic discussion. It's entertainment, pure and simple.

Brainfart
2010-04-20, 09:40 PM
The ideal blade for producing maximum energy is the heaviest sword that you can comfortably swing at maximum speed repeatedly. Cutting through your target medium is another matter entirely, of course. That requires a lot more work on blade geometry and mass distribution.


Would you provide any suggestions on how to make the show better?

Cancel it?

Deadliest Warrior is fun to watch for gel dummy mutilation, though I usually leave it on mute so that the stupid doesn't leave me comatose. There were a few bits that I didn't hate, though. The look on the faux samurai's face when the katana bounced off the mail shirt was priceless. :smallbiggrin:

Then the b*#&@$%s brought out the 'great axe', and I gave myself a concussion with repeated headdesking and facepalming.

Mike_G
2010-04-20, 09:50 PM
This is a revival of some old Victorian era myths, which I think are important to challenge. There were a lot of ideas about the perfection of the sword in the 19th Century, the rapier evolving into the smallsword for personal protection based on the primacy of the thrust, and the saber as the only real military sword for the open battlefield.


You are reading waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more into my post than was there. I'm not talking about the supremacy of the sabre, or of the smallsword or what have you.

I opined that if you optimize a blade for cutting, you will tend to get a slightly curved, singled edged sword. I did not say that this will be an optimal all around sword. I think that a straight, double edged sword will not cut as well, purely based on blade geometry. I am not going to compare apples to oranges looking at metalurgy, training, etc, just that given the simple principal of the wedge, the single edge does that more effectively.

I conceded that a straight, two edged sword would likely be better for thrusting. This would be more advantagous against armored enemies, since slashing armored foes is going to be less effective than thrusting at gaps. The fact that backswords and sabres gained popularity in Europe as armor use declined makes sense.




This happened (in the West) when swords had already become tertiary battlefield weapons, used primarily by cavalry, when cavalry itself had become diminished dramatically in importance behind artillery and firearm equipped infantry, reduced to essentially a support and recon role.


Absolutely.

I think the sword was in a supporting role earlier than that, behind the longbow and pike, but in essence I agree.



Most of this cavalry typically used swords for a single ride-by cut. Cavalry swords intended to be used in sustained combat by shock-cavalry were often double-edged like the Polish Pallasch and the Schiavona.


Sure, if you stay and fight in melee, you probably want a sword that can cut and thrust.




Cavalry weapons. Look up the Chinese Jian and the Hindu / Sikh Khanda. And you might want to look at the actual swords used by the Arabs during the Middle Ages ;) They didn't start using curved sabers in the Middle East until around the same time the Europeans did.

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y110/Nephtys/ISAS/ISAS_27_1.jpg



Sure. It was probably better for thrusting between the gaps in a Crusader's armor, and cut well enough.

But the later curved Mamluke style scimitar was probably lighter and cut at least as well, and was better for not getting stuck in your foe and breaking your wrist as you rode by.



Unless you know how to fence... false-edge cutting is a critical part of European fencing, and all fencing systems using swords which have a full or partial false-edge.


Which is why I referenced the false edge, specifically the first six inches of the back edge.

I am a nationally rated sabre fencer.




It's every fighting style which uses two-edged swords. More on that later.

G.

Dude.

Relax.

I am not a card carrying member of the Cult of the Perfect sword, I don't think that there is a direct linear evolution from the flint knife to the smallsword or Katana, depending on which Kool-ade one drinks.

I do say that if you want to cut better, the single edge lends itself to that. Most cutting tools are single edged for a reason.

I didn't say that a sabre or backsword was better at anything but cutting, and that when compared to a straight, two edged sword of similar weight.

A sabre would have been a bad choice for William the Conqueror to have carried to Hastings. But I also think that I'd not want to bring a Norman or Viking sword to Waterloo.

Galloglaich
2010-04-20, 10:59 PM
You are reading waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more into my post than was there.


I'm not talking about the supremacy of the sabre, or of the smallsword or what have you.

No, I'm just a weapon enthusiast like yourself, and I'm familiar with your perspective.


I think that a straight, double edged sword will not cut as well, purely based on blade geometry.

But that is where we disagree.



I am not going to compare apples to oranges looking at metalurgy, training, etc, just that given the simple principal of the wedge, the single edge does that more effectively.

I don't think that is correct.



I conceded that a straight, two edged sword would likely be better for thrusting.

But that is not why they had two edges. In fact blades intended primarily for thrusting, like a roundel dagger or a smallsword, or an estoc, often had three edges or none at all. The double edges on swords were for cutting, in fact on almost all swords intended for shock combat (i.e. sustained fighting) were double edged for precisely this reason.

You and I may never agree, but for other folks reading the thread I recommend looking at some cutting videos. You probably know what a tatami mat is and how hard they are to cut. I just don't think most people understand how dangerous a real (or realistic) sword is since almost nobody ever gets anywhere near one. I've yet to see a cavalry saber cutting like this (though I am open to seeing a vid of one):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2ahRiSHi0E&feature=related



This would be more advantagous against armored enemies, since slashing armored foes is going to be less effective than thrusting at gaps. The fact that backswords and sabres gained popularity in Europe as armor use declined makes sense.

Armor use wasn't the only thing declining, the significance of melee weapons was declining in favor of missiles. That was the actual significance. Swords were relegated to civilian dueling weapons (smallswords) or sabers for cavalry... which is why single-edged weapons rose to the fore. Not because they cut better, that is inaccurate.

In other words your theory only from that Victorian perspective via Olympic style fencing. If you look to Europe before cap-a-pied armor, double-edged swords bar far predominate. The Gladius, the Xiphos, the Spatha, the Migration era sword, the Arab sword.



I think the sword was in a supporting role earlier than that, behind the
longbow and pike, but in essence I agree.

It was a sidearm to the spear and the javelin and the crossbow... longbows were not widely used in most of Europe, and Pikes don't appear until the Renaissance. But since the spears and lances were either essentially disposable, the sword (and the sax and later the dagger) was what finished the fight. So it was a much more important sidearm than say the pistol to a rifleman.



Sure, if you stay and fight in melee, you probably want a sword that can cut and thrust.

And you want a sword which can cut with both edges, which is why two of the five mastercuts in German fencing use the false-edge.



Sure. It was probably better for thrusting between the gaps in a Crusader's armor, and cut well enough.

Does that honestly look like a thrusting weapon to you?



But the later curved Mamluke style scimitar was probably lighter and cut at least as well, and was better for not getting stuck in your foe and breaking your wrist as you rode by.

It draw-cut well, and yes was better for a drive by cut, but it wasn't called a scimitar. That is another Victorian invention. You would say a Saif, a Shamshir, or a Tulwar, depending on where you were... but the Mamelukes through most of their history were more likely to use the weapon like the one depicted above. Like I said, the saber didn't become widespread in the Middle East or in Persia or South Asia until the 15th Century. It's only in China and Central Asia that it really goes way back, as the Dao.



Which is why I referenced the false edge, specifically the first six inches of the back edge.

Why would you only need the first six inches? What if I wanted to do this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vleC5-tvx4&feature=PlayList&p=B26F9FF079B4D693&playnext_from=PL&index=0



I am a nationally rated sabre fencer.
That explains your 19th Century Classical fencing perspective, since most people into modern sport fencing are taught that as if it were history. Unless of course you mean a saber like this,

http://thetf.net/uploads/darndest08/2008-03-02_132100_British_1796_Pattern_Light_Cavalry_Troop ers_Sabre.JPG
..instead of a 'saber' like this:

http://www.affondo.co.uk/images/sabre.jpg




Dude.

Relax.

I don't know how I gave the impression that I'm hysterical, but it's hard to tell how you are coming across online. I'm pretty relaxed, I just got back from vacation. And I'm an experienced fencer myself.



I do say that if you want to cut better, the single edge lends itself to that.

Care to provide some evidence of that claim?


Most cutting tools are single edged for a reason.

The reason being that they are tools and not intended for fighting.

I didn't say that a sabre or backsword was better at anything but cutting, and that when compared to a straight, two edged sword of similar weight. [/quote]

And I disagree amigo :)


A sabre would have been a bad choice for William the Conqueror to have carried to Hastings. But I also think that I'd not want to bring a Norman or Viking sword to Waterloo.

I wouldn't want to bring a Viking sword to Iwo Jima or Faluja either, mainly because most of the fighting is going on with firearms and I'd be unlikely to use a sword of any kind. But if I had to get into a hand-to-hand fight in the open rather than a quick cavalry action, I'd actually much rather have a longsword or a rapier than either a viking type sword or a saber. Closer in maybe something real short and lethal like a gladius or a falcata or a barong, or a bowie knife.

G.

Galloglaich
2010-04-20, 11:06 PM
This is for somebody upthread who suggested that a single-edged sword is better at cutting from a sheathed guard. I used to think that was true too, it's a fundamental technique in Iaido with a "Samurai" sword, I didn't think it worked well with Western style swords.

I now know different:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e6x5J7nrKE&feature=PlayList&p=B26F9FF079B4D693&playnext_from=PL&index=4

G.

Galloglaich
2010-04-20, 11:19 PM
But as an olive-branch, here is a great clip from a Polish film with some excellent sabre fencing (the full scene is about three times as long)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kx_vLz-DXjs

Some of the only real sabre fencing I know of in any film, and one of the precious few examples of any remotely realistic historical European fencing I know of in any film... almost all the other examples being rapier or smallsword duels.

G.

Mike_G
2010-04-21, 06:21 AM
No, I'm just a weapon enthusiast like yourself, and I'm familiar with your perspective.


You and I may never agree, but for other folks reading the thread I recommend looking at some cutting videos. You probably know what a tatami mat is and how hard they are to cut. I just don't think most people understand how dangerous a real (or realistic) sword is since almost nobody ever gets anywhere near one. I've yet to see a cavalry saber cutting like this (though I am open to seeing a vid of one):



About 2:30 into the promotional video on this site, they cut tatami mats with a sabre.

http://www.coldsteel.com/1796cavalry.html

And in the Longsword video, all but one of those cuts was with the leading edge, the back cut was made near the tip, which I've repeatedly agreed was a valid technique, and it's a cut being made with two hands, so I'd expect better than from a one handed sabre.




In other words your theory only from that Victorian perspective via Olympic style fencing. If you look to Europe before cap-a-pied armor, double-edged swords bar far predominate. The Gladius, the Xiphos, the Spatha, the Migration era sword, the Arab sword.



Don't put words in my mouth or presume that since I've won medals with a car antenna disguised as a sword that that is all I know.

I've sparred with many styles of sword, and read Oakshott and Rheinhardt and looked over Talhoffer.

I think the single edged sword was developed for a reason, and I think it does one thing well. I think doubled edged swords do several things well, but compromise on one for many.

Spiryt
2010-04-21, 06:33 AM
I think the single edged sword was developed for a reason, and I think it does one thing well. I think doubled edged swords do several things well, but compromise on one for many.

I'm just going to say that I don't think it's that simple.

For example in Viking era Norse, along with other cultures knew plenty one edged blades - not even counting seaxes and other big knives.

Straight, one edged swords were found in quite large quantities AFAIK.

And while it's of course possible to achieve deadly thrust with most swords of the era, slashes, hacks and stuff were definitely "standard" for all swords, especially (stereo)typical light, forward balanced, broad, round pointed sword.

Those were most popular weapons for such goals.

Cross section of different types of weapons will give them different characteristics in thrust, cut, and general behavior under stress, but that's not simple "this one cuts better" IMHO.

Many people seem to share that view, so I stick too it.

Many, many test with very accurate replica would be one solid source of knowledge, but it's not easy to do, obviously.

Mike_G
2010-04-21, 06:48 AM
I'm just going to say that I don't think it's that simple.


You're right. It's not.

But I've been forced on the defensive here. Someone a billion posts back asked about straight vs curved, and I replied with some (I think) solid theory and (admittedly) generalizations, which a question that broad will necessarily get, unless you want to quote the entire text of Oakshott.

I never, ever, ever, ever said straight two edged swords couldn't cut, or that the Dark Age cultures didn't know about curved swords or any of the Victorian conceit that swordmaking and swordplay reached its zenith in 1800.

I'm getting my back up because I'm being painted that way.

Please, feel free to disagree that a single edge cuts better. That's fine, and maybe I'll learn something, but I will not be categorized as a Sport fencer who thinks the Olympic foil rules are historical fact.

Galloglaich
2010-04-21, 08:27 AM
You're right. It's not.

But I've been forced on the defensive here. Someone a billion posts back asked about straight vs curved, and I replied with some (I think) solid theory and (admittedly) generalizations, which a question that broad will necessarily get, unless you want to quote the entire text of Oakshott.

I never, ever, ever, ever said straight two edged swords couldn't cut, or that the Dark Age cultures didn't know about curved swords or any of the Victorian conceit that swordmaking and swordplay reached its zenith in 1800.

I'm getting my back up because I'm being painted that way.

Please, feel free to disagree that a single edge cuts better. That's fine, and maybe I'll learn something, but I will not be categorized as a Sport fencer who thinks the Olympic foil rules are historical fact.

Mike,

I'm sorry if I painted you into that corner. None of us has a monopoly on knowledge about this stuff, I'm sure you know a lot more about sabre than I do. I disagreed with you about some of the mechanics of cutting, which is a pet peeve of mine (and was of Ewart Oakeshott and Syndey Anglo and of a lot of people in the HEMA community).

My argument isn't really with you, it's with a culture-wide perspective on swords and fencing which has been dominant for a couple of hundred years. I am a pretty big geek about this, but I do realize 99.999% of people don't give a crap about what false-edge cutting is.... for some reason all that stuff is real important to me I'm not really sure why.

I didn't mean to mischaracterize your position, and I understand where you are coming from about getting your back up, I know that feeling... I'll leave the thread alone for a bit I'm probably being more overbearing than I realize. Sometimes i get carried away in forum discussions.

G.

valadil
2010-04-21, 10:21 AM
So, I gather that Deadliest Warrior isn't worth watching. How is Fight Science? I watched a few episodes on Hulu (mostly where they measured the impact of various martial arts). It seemed legit enough, until they got to weaponry. The katana was treated as the pinnacle of swordliness. That made me wonder about the rest of the show, so I'd like to know if it has any merit?

And back to the claymore discussion for a bit, one point that I didn't see (though I admit I was skimming, so I may have missed it) is that swords are balanced differently than weights.


And don't give me crap about how it'd be too hard to swing. I can swing my 20 pound dumb bells (although it's a little awkward).

And I can swing 30 pound dumb bells no problem. But a 5 lbs sword feels weighty and awkward to me (note that I didn't weigh this sword myself, the 5 lbs figure comes from its owner). The weight of it isn't in your hand - it's distributed over an area starting at your hand and ending ~30 inches away. Holding it vertically feels like a dumb bell. Horizontally it feels very different. Rotating it out in front of me, the sword tries to pull away. It's got a lot of momentum and it's long enough to have decent torque too. I wouldn't want to use the thing as a weapon and I'm a big guy to begin with. If you don't believe me about the awkwardness, compare swinging your dumb bells to swinging a sledgehammer. I'm not saying a sword handles like a sledgehammer, but swinging one will give you a better feel for how an elongated weight would handle. Now try swinging that sledgehammer with your hands on the bottom 12 inches of the handle, instead of with one on the end and one in the middle.

Another thing to consider is that maybe 3 lbs was enough weight. If 3 lbs can pierce plate, why would you add more weight? There probably were people who could handle a 4 lbs sword, but there would be no advantage to doing so. And the sword would cost more as it used up more material.

Exarch
2010-04-21, 11:05 AM
Well, I can't contribute to the sword discussion other than about weight. I know that I have a katana (I was going to take up kendo, but that fell through so I'm stuck with something I don't really care for. Oh well), it probably weighs around 3-4 lb. Picking it up, it doesn't feel too heavy but when you start to swing it the center of gravity is fairly high up, roughly 3/4ths up the length of the blade. Now, I've noticed this lends itself very well to cutting, however I've also held a broad sword (or something) of similar weight, however the center of gravity is much closer to the hilt and crossguard, giving the illusion of it weighing less. That's something to remember when dealing with weapon weight as well.

Back to Deadliest Warrior, here's the upcoming season!:

SWAT vs. GSG-9 -This one ran last night, haven't watched it yet.

Attila the Hun vs. Alexander the Great

Aztec Jaguar vs. Zande Warrior

Jesse James Gang vs. Al Capone Gang

Persian Immortal vs. Celt

Roman Centurion vs. India's Rajput Warrior

Somali Pirate vs. Medellin Cartel

Nazi SS vs. Viet Cong

KGB vs. CIA

Vlad the Impaler vs. Sun Tzu

Ming Warrior vs. Musketeer

Comanche vs. Mongol

Navy Seal vs. Israeli Commando

Anyone care to make some bets on anything? How angry we'll get? How inaccurate it will be? Whether or not the doctor on the show loses his license for helping with this farce?

Edit: Galloglaich: I just found the information about the claymore. http://www.spike.com/video/sneak-peek-testing/3173479 5.5 lb and 4'6" long if you don't want to watch it (don't blame you). And yes, Mr. Wallace is sporting a kilt and blue face paint.

Spiryt
2010-04-21, 11:45 AM
So their claymore basic dimension seem decent after all, even though it somehow looks like it is some claymore like stuff, not reproduction of something found in museum.

Anyway, from random nitpicks, their legionnaire like guy is holding his 'scutum' in perfectly improper way. :smallamused:

Theodoric
2010-04-21, 11:55 AM
Anyone care to make some bets on anything? How angry we'll get? How inaccurate it will be? Whether or not the doctor on the show loses his license for helping with this farce?
Nazi SS vs Vietcong will be the worst thing ever on television.

One of the reasons being that the Waffen SS wasn't all that good. Yes, they were fanatics, yes they had slight preferential reatment in some cases, but they weren't the 'elite of the army' or anything. They weren't part of the army (though that became merely a technicality later on; I'm not really bothering to write down it's exact position within the SS and that of the SS within Nazi Germany since i't's complicated and doesn't make sense), and probably less 'elite' than Grossdeutschland or Panzer Lehr, amongst others.

The only thing the Waffen SS, or the SS in general, was extraordinarily good at was committing crimes against humanity. :smallconfused:

Exarch
2010-04-21, 12:09 PM
Nazi SS vs Vietcong will be the worst thing ever on television.

One of the reasons being that the Waffen SS wasn't all that good. Yes, they were fanatics, yes they had slight preferential reatment in some cases, but they weren't the 'elite of the army' or anything. They weren't part of the army (though that became merely a technicality later on; I'm not really bothering to write down it's exact position within the SS and that of the SS within Nazi Germany since i't's complicated and doesn't make sense), and probably less 'elite' than Grossdeutschland or Panzer Lehr, amongst others.

The only thing the Waffen SS, or the SS in general, was extraordinarily good at was committing crimes against humanity. :smallconfused:

Mind you, the VC outstanding fighters either. They could raid, they could terrorize, but they were also fanatic conscripts. But maybe the match will be between who can commit the worst war crimes? Oh, that would be terrible...

But yeah, it will be "automatic weapons vs. bolt action rifles with some SMGs" and we can all guess how that'll end up. Plus the VC have the advantage of being sneaks who use camo. Although, if you're going up against a force who doesn't care about executing a whole village or burning down a forest, I would have effective guerrilla warfare would work.

Galloglaich
2010-04-21, 12:53 PM
Ask the partisans about that

Exarch
2010-04-21, 01:13 PM
Ask the partisans about that

To which would you be referring to? In the case of WW2, the Nazis had to deal with other nations, taking out a pretty good supply of troops. The partisans also provided more of an auxiliary role, supplying information for the allied war machine, harassing communications and supply points and only really doing damage when they out numbered the Nazis. For example, Belarus went to hell for the Partisans once the Soviets were forced back in '41 if I remember correctly. Of course, once the Soviets were able to rally in '42 the tide changed once again.

If you mean partisans against the Soviet or Chinese Communist regime...well, it didn't go so well for them.

So it seems like if there's a large/strong military supporting the partisans, and is actively engaged against the nation the partisans are opposed to, then they'll be able to give assistance. However if it's merely partisans fighting against a regime that's bent on their annihilation, things don't go so smoothly.

Cogidubnus
2010-04-21, 01:49 PM
Can anyone find me evidence that or any other of the half-dozen odd 15 or 30(!) lb hand-to-hand combat weapons from that show were actually ever used? Or that Wallace painted his face like a smurf or wore a kilt?

I won't deny either, I watched it too.... that is how they are able to get away with **** like that, even those of us who know better are all too often suckers who will take whatever pablum we can get. There are only so many channels and they all suck.... :smallamused: so we learn to get by with less and less signal and more and more noise. And they know it.

I think to be honest, that is what happened with Role Playing Games too. Basically everything.

G.

I can give some evidence. Wallace probably did paint his face, simply because there was limited cultural development in the Highlands until centuries later, and so the people living there retained many of the cultural habits of their Celtic ancestors (as well as their language, Scots). The original Britons did paint their faces. The name "Brittania" for Britan actually meant "land of the painted ones", and most sources (Caesar, Tacitus etc.) from the Roman period talk about the Britons painting themselves. Such cultural trends continued in the north for centuries after they died out in the south.

Also, the Spartan's equipment is fairly accurate, so far as we can tell what they used, except that it would have been made of iron rather than steel (they didn't know how to make steel).

Galloglaich
2010-04-21, 02:02 PM
I can give some evidence. Wallace probably did paint his face, simply because there was limited cultural development in the Highlands until centuries later, and so the people living there retained many of the cultural habits of their Celtic ancestors (as well as their language, Scots). The original Britons did paint their faces. The name "Brittania" for Britan actually meant "land of the painted ones", and most sources (Caesar, Tacitus etc.) from the Roman period talk about the Britons painting themselves. Such cultural trends continued in the north for centuries after they died out in the south.

Also, the Spartan's equipment is fairly accurate, so far as we can tell what they used, except that it would have been made of iron rather than steel (they didn't know how to make steel).

None of this is new information, but there is no evidence (that I know of) of anyone painting their faces blue in the Middle Ages.

It's a bit like depicting soldiers in Vietnam wearing square shoes and pilgrim hats because their Puritan or Quaaker ancestors wore them in the 17th Century.... or suggesting German troops in WW II died their hair with henna and wore swabian knots because Tacitus said the Cimbri or somebody did it 2000 years ago...

G.

Cogidubnus
2010-04-21, 02:06 PM
Not really. The Highlands were fairly isolated - there wasn't much urban or cultural development. Not my period of expertise, but generally where there's no urbanisation there's not much cultural development. People see no need to advance.

Storm Bringer
2010-04-21, 02:08 PM
more to the point, wallace was a knight, and part of the nobility. As far as i know, he dressed like the english knights, with the same equipment.

Cogidubnus
2010-04-21, 02:10 PM
Did not know this. As I say, not my area of study, but still. One likes to pretend to know these things XD

Spiryt
2010-04-21, 02:12 PM
Not really. The Highlands were fairly isolated - there wasn't much urban or cultural development. Not my period of expertise, but generally where there's no urbanisation there's not much cultural development. People see no need to advance.

I don't see what stoping face painting has to do with "advance".

Scotland was part of European, Christian culture, and no one was expected to do such things. It would probably not end well for a peasant doing such stuff, he could easily be accused of many things from insanity to paganism.

Also noone probably even remembered something like blue paint on face then.

Last Pictish people slowly fade away as some different group about ~9th century if I recall correctly.

Storm Bringer
2010-04-21, 02:32 PM
Did not know this. As I say, not my area of study, but still. One likes to pretend to know these things XD

its why this thread exists.:smallbiggrin::smallbiggrin:

like the english knights, the scots nobility took its cues from the french (what with the british nobility being mostly norman), and indeed spoke french, and maybe latin (Braveheart, for all it`s faults, got that bit right). the scotish lowlanders (which formed most of the population) were, as Spiryt points out, fairly normal western europeans.

Attilargh
2010-04-21, 02:43 PM
Plus the VC have the advantage of being sneaks who use camo.
I have to pop in to point out that Waffen SS was one of the first (if not the first) organization to use camouflaged uniforms. And at least judging by the 'Nam flicks I've seen, most of the combatants in that war didn't wear actual camo aside from helmet covers and such.

Mike_G
2010-04-21, 06:21 PM
Mike,

I'm sorry if I painted you into that corner. None of us has a monopoly on knowledge about this stuff, I'm sure you know a lot more about sabre than I do. I disagreed with you about some of the mechanics of cutting, which is a pet peeve of mine (and was of Ewart Oakeshott and Syndey Anglo and of a lot of people in the HEMA community).

My argument isn't really with you, it's with a culture-wide perspective on swords and fencing which has been dominant for a couple of hundred years. I am a pretty big geek about this, but I do realize 99.999% of people don't give a crap about what false-edge cutting is.... for some reason all that stuff is real important to me I'm not really sure why.

I didn't mean to mischaracterize your position, and I understand where you are coming from about getting your back up, I know that feeling... I'll leave the thread alone for a bit I'm probably being more overbearing than I realize. Sometimes i get carried away in forum discussions.

G.


Not at all.

I welcome discussion. As I said, I may well learn something.

My issue is that this was going down a road where namecalling and speculation about one another's ancestry was on the horizon. Many posters on weapons forums, this one included, tend to have a certain reactionary style. Mention anything nice about a smallsword or Katana and you get jumped on as a sport fencer or Katana fanboy.

I would be happy to continue to discuss the merits of sword geometry, and I may well be wrong, but I'm not arguing fighting based on a viewing of Errol Flynn movies and the rules of Olympic Epee.

Brainfart
2010-04-21, 10:05 PM
The smallsword is a knitting needle with a hilt. :smallbiggrin:

The katana hate is probably justified though. It's become pretty tiresome for the normal, sane and educated people to have to constantly correct the legions of weeaboos who keep rehashing the same arguments without bothering to do their research. It's worse when the 'historical' documentaries spout this BS as well, since it's pretty hard to explain to the average person why Joe McDojo on TV isn't a reliable source.

While katanas do generally cut better than most longswords that weren't optimized for the cut, they have nothing on the grosse messer, falchion and similar swords. Personally, I can appreciate the katana from an aesthetic and technical perspective, but this ridiculous overstating of their abilities is completely daft.

Yora
2010-04-22, 07:15 AM
Jesse James Gang vs. Al Capone Gang
Persian Immortal vs. Celt
Somali Pirate vs. Medellin Cartel

These are all really stupid!
About 10 guys with single action revolvers against dozens of mobsters with Tommy Guns?
Celts against a unit that never existed?
Poor kids who found some AKs and a tiny boat against a huge drug cartel?

"SWAT vs. GSG-9" has been done before several times, it's called "SWAT Challenge". And at least in the first years, GSG9 just dominated the entire event.
But then GSG9 is a single unit while there are dozens or hundreds of SWAT units.

Spiryt
2010-04-22, 07:24 AM
The worst thing is that Jesse James Gang thing at least have some sense. You can find some straight facts.


"Celts vs...." is like saying "Europe vs ....".

Celtic culture spread over about 500 years (not counting Rome years, I guess) from Scotland to Turkey, and somebody will make some guy, probably painted blue with spiky hair and compare it with some other lame stereotype from 300.

What's scary - people seem to prefer 'learning' about such weird creatures that look like unit from Empire Earth that about some real cultures of the past.

I think I'm going watch it just for laugh. :smallbiggrin:

Autolykos
2010-04-22, 08:51 AM
I think I'm going watch it just for laugh. :smallbiggrin:Yep. I just watched some of those on Youtube, and it's actually quite fun to see some semi-fantasy guys from different genres beat the crap out of each other. Kinda like kids discussing if the Power Rangers could beat Superman. But I wouldn't recommend it to anyone looking for historical facts...

Yora
2010-04-22, 08:58 AM
I once read a rather good article about Samurai vs. Knight.

It concluded that the authors really couldn't say and it would probably come down to personal skill and luck. :smallbiggrin:

hamishspence
2010-04-22, 09:02 AM
Was that the one in Dragon 323?

Or have there been multiple Knight vs Samurai articles that came to the same conclusion?

Yora
2010-04-22, 09:23 AM
I wouldn't trust Dragon about anything they claim about history. :smallbiggrin:

But maybe they coincidently got something right.

hamishspence
2010-04-22, 09:33 AM
Maybe the original article was submitted to Dragon, but had been seen prior to that?

Galloglaich
2010-04-22, 09:53 AM
While katanas do generally cut better than most longswords that weren't optimized for the cut, they have nothing on the grosse messer, falchion and similar swords.

Speaking of grosse messer:

http://www.huscarl.at/coppermine/albums/langenzersdorf2010/normal_langenzersdorf2010_vr_112_galerie.jpg

G.

Galloglaich
2010-04-22, 09:59 AM
Was that the one in Dragon 323?

Or have there been multiple Knight vs Samurai articles that came to the same conclusion?

Longsword vs. katana,from a modern German perspective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hy_A9vjp_s

I don't agree with these sorts of comparisons being pesented in such a definitive manner on principle, but it's interesting to see how the perspective is now changing in Europe as they are beginning to reclaim their own martial heritage. It will probably go to far in the other direction now. The fact is, katanas are good swords, European longswords are as well.

G.

Spiryt
2010-04-22, 10:01 AM
Those discussions are almost always crappy unfortunately, and the picture is GREAT.

Who made the messer?

Looks accurate and fine.

Galloglaich
2010-04-22, 10:13 AM
Not at all.

I welcome discussion. As I said, I may well learn something.

My issue is that this was going down a road where namecalling and speculation about one another's ancestry was on the horizon. Many posters on weapons forums, this one included, tend to have a certain reactionary style. Mention anything nice about a smallsword or Katana and you get jumped on as a sport fencer or Katana fanboy.

I would be happy to continue to discuss the merits of sword geometry, and I may well be wrong, but I'm not arguing fighting based on a viewing of Errol Flynn movies and the rules of Olympic Epee.

Ok good then, I think you are right it was threatening to go off the rails....

Here are a couple of points I think are important to keep in mind then:

The weight. Three pounds is a remarkably consistent median weight for not just swords (both single and two-handed) but also nearly all hand weapons like axes, maces, picks etc. Three pounds (or a range of two to four pounds) seems to be a sweet spot for hand weapons all over the world across thousands of yeas... especially striking when we consider that almost all of these weapons are hand made with no standardization. The reasons is the weapons "evolve" to fit the need, the inefficient ones don't get used long (are often buried with their owners).

No sword that I know of ever used in battle weighed more than 6 or 7 pounds, and those are the truly huge six foot zweihander / flammards. Probably 95% of real combat swords found in Europe weighed between 2-4 pounds.

The reason is, while you may indeed be able to strike once with a very heavy weapon, followup striking, defensive use of the weapon (usually left out of almost all RPGs) and thrusting etc. are critically important to survival let alone victory in a real fight. This is why gigantic heavy-metal album type weapons did not exist in real life.

Victorian Sword myths: they are very persistant, I highly reccomend to everyone to view the film "Reclaiming the Blade". It has a lot of emphasis on the role of swords in film, but there is also some very useful perspective on European swords and European martial arts and how our memory and understanding of them got distorted.

Katanas are good swords! And Japanese fencing (the real thing as opposed to a sport like kendo) is actually remarkably similar to German Renaissance fencing. You have almost all the same guards, the same cuts, many of the same counters and defenses. The chief difference is due to the differences in the weapon itself: the longsword has the cross (and later siderings and complex hilts) which protect the hand more, and the blade itself is a bit more robust, so there is more emphasis on working from the bind (i.e. when the blades are touching each other). In Japanese fencing you use voiding more.

Cutting in general There are different types of cuts. Slicing or draw-cutting (with which you might slit a throat or someones belly) is very different than the percusive type of cut an axe makes. A slice cuts soft targets better, a cut has a better chance of severing bones. Some swords cut both ways well, some (like a kurkri say) are specialized for one or the other.

False-edge Cutting. False-edge cutting is a fundamental technique with European two-edged swords. It's also done with most single edged swords as well, to a lesser extent ... which is why they have a partial false-edge.

Eroll Flynn was a good fencer, he actually did know how to fence. His instructor Bob Anderson is a remarkable character, still training actors today, he was in the Darth vader suit in Star Wars during the fighting scenes, he choroegraphed Princess bride and Lord of the Rings among other films.

Smallswords are a bit like knitting needles but don't fool yourself, they are dangerous weapons, very effective for their particular niche. They are just not the pinnacle of swords any more than katanas are.

Test-cutting has disrupted a lot of theories about cuting and sword mechanics, even in the last 5 or 10 years. What we have found is that the most realistic / historically accurate replicas cut the best, subtle differences of the real hisorical sords seem to make a huge difference.

And blades with shapes we thought were more thrusting oriented have turned out to be the best cutters. The most dramatic example of both of these cases can be seen in the famous Brescia Spadona replica from Albion Armorers which Peter Johnnson copied centimeter by centimeter from the Renaissance original.

G.

Storm Bringer
2010-04-22, 10:21 AM
I once read a rather good article about Samurai vs. Knight.

It concluded that the authors really couldn't say and it would probably come down to personal skill and luck. :smallbiggrin:

sounds a lot like the ARMA article on the matter. try thier site, I'm sure i;ve been linked to that article form at least one version of this thread.

Yora
2010-04-22, 10:26 AM
Which would be this one (http://www.thearma.org/essays/knightvs.htm). Which could very likely be the one I've been thinking of.

Galloglaich
2010-04-22, 10:29 AM
These are all really stupid!
About 10 guys with single action revolvers against dozens of mobsters with Tommy Guns?
Celts against a unit that never existed?
Poor kids who found some AKs and a tiny boat against a huge drug cartel?

"SWAT vs. GSG-9" has been done before several times, it's called "SWAT Challenge". And at least in the first years, GSG9 just dominated the entire event.
But then GSG9 is a single unit while there are dozens or hundreds of SWAT units.

They seem to be going almost exclusively for sensationalist rather than historical, even for their basic show premises, which is ironic because they will quickly run out of the former, whereas there is an immense amount of material for the latter.

I'll probably watch too again though, at least the first few minutes until it gets too stupid.

G

Edmund
2010-04-22, 10:49 AM
like the english knights, the scots nobility took its cues from the french (what with the british nobility being mostly norman), and indeed spoke french, and maybe latin (Braveheart, for all it`s faults, got that bit right). the scotish lowlanders (which formed most of the population) were, as Spiryt points out, fairly normal western europeans.

They didn't "take their cues from the french" as much as they simply were the french. That said, Gaelic rather than French was the prevailing language, even among the nobility.

Also to discount the highlands in this period as socially and economically undeveloped is foolish, since it ignores the great importance of places like Buchan and Aberdeen. It's generally misleading to view the economic importance of places in Scotland during this period as a highland/lowland divide but rather an eastern coast/western coast divide.

Eorran
2010-04-22, 11:20 AM
Anyone else notice on the Deadliest Warrior list CIA vs. KGB?

I don't pretend to know much of anything about combat the way many posters on this thread do, but even I know that's utterly wrong.

Spying does not work that way!

Though I've learned from Wikipedia that CIA does bring in people with special ops training, usually to train local resistance groups (like in Afghanistan in the 80s), I don't know if KGB has the same sort of people.

Either way, it's not James freakin' Bond.

Shademan
2010-04-22, 12:45 PM
These are all really stupid!
About 10 guys with single action revolvers against dozens of mobsters with Tommy Guns?
Celts against a unit that never existed?
Poor kids who found some AKs and a tiny boat against a huge drug cartel?

"SWAT vs. GSG-9" has been done before several times, it's called "SWAT Challenge". And at least in the first years, GSG9 just dominated the entire event.
But then GSG9 is a single unit while there are dozens or hundreds of SWAT units.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_Immortal
persian immortals (as the greeks called them. real name seems to have been "companions") seems to have been around. tho' they are VASTLY different from how 300 portrays them.
(

imp_fireball
2010-04-22, 02:05 PM
Still, I'm a fool for bad tv so I'll keep watching it. And I'll keep yelling at people who cite Deadliest Warrior as fact.

Look I understand that you are trying to be non-conformist, but it's possible to have 'non-certified wholesome education channels' produce something that's worth watching.

Trash talking makes it realistic. It never was meant for academic value (and neither is history channel; it's only there to say 'hrm, that's interesting'). What from watching this could be written on paper to be studied and analyzed?

In fact, these sorts of shows are the result of academic study rather then academic value of their own and they do a good job of providing knowledge perspective and making things exciting - thus, they are better able to catch the interest of those who hate going to school (less intellectually inclined or otherwise).

Finally, anyone with common sense would know that the two competing sides don't really hate one another.


tho' they are VASTLY different from how 300 portrays them.

Well, I'd imagine so considering 300 portrayed them as some sort of ugly vampire/LotR orc yet discernably human crossbreeds.

Storm Bringer
2010-04-22, 03:10 PM
They didn't "take their cues from the french" as much as they simply were the french. That said, Gaelic rather than French was the prevailing language, even among the nobility.

Also to discount the highlands in this period as socially and economically undeveloped is foolish, since it ignores the great importance of places like Buchan and Aberdeen. It's generally misleading to view the economic importance of places in Scotland during this period as a highland/lowland divide but rather an eastern coast/western coast divide.

o submit to your superior knowledge of your own county's history. I was under the impression that the normans didn't replace the local nobility in scotland like they did in england (i thought they didn't get that far north), but am willing to believe it.

Galloglaich
2010-04-22, 06:22 PM
I was agreeing with you up to this poiint


In fact, these sorts of shows are the result of academic study

I don't mind the trash talking but trust me, there is precious little "academic" about that Deadliest warrior show.

G.

imp_fireball
2010-04-22, 10:29 PM
Longsword vs. katana,from a modern German perspective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Hy_A9vjp_s

I don't agree with these sorts of comparisons being pesented in such a definitive manner on principle, but it's interesting to see how the perspective is now changing in Europe as they are beginning to reclaim their own martial heritage. It will probably go to far in the other direction now. The fact is, katanas are good swords, European longswords are as well.

G.

In D&D terms that long sword is a bastard sword, because the guy keeps using it with two hands. Name is of course, interchangeable.

Katana on the other hand -

1d8 slashing, 20/x3 and can be used with weapon finesse feat.


I don't mind the trash talking but trust me, there is precious little "academic" about that Deadliest warrior show.

You sure? I can't trust them to release all the data sets and variables for their slytherin studios program, but nonetheless they take it through 1000 battles. Which is more definitive then a bunch of torture tests that the viewer could watch on national geographic.

Edmund
2010-04-22, 10:59 PM
o submit to your superior knowledge of your own county's history. I was under the impression that the normans didn't replace the local nobility in scotland like they did in england (i thought they didn't get that far north), but am willing to believe it.

Eh, I'm playing a bit fast and loose with the definitions. There definitely wasn't as big a migration as in England, and in fact a lot of the 'Normans' had lived in England for a few generations. However, the fact that many of the important nobles in this time, and since the time of David I really, were of fairly recent Norman extraction is more what I was referring to. Robert Bruce is easily the best example but there are plenty of others. Comyns, Stewarts, Gordons... Despite this, Gaelic still remained the most important language, though French was widely spoken among the nobility.

edit: They didn't invade to get in there though. They were brought as part of David I's court who had been a hostage in the English court when he ascended to power (like a number of Kings of Scots before him).

tyckspoon
2010-04-22, 11:52 PM
You sure? I can't trust them to release all the data sets and variables for their slytherin studios program, but nonetheless they take it through 1000 battles. Which is more definitive then a bunch of torture tests that the viewer could watch on national geographic.

That assumes you trust the assumptions they make and that the battles they set up represent something that would actually happen. Based on other thread commentary here, that is questionable at best. 1000 runs of a flawed simulation still gives you flawed results.

vrellum
2010-04-23, 12:17 AM
In D&D terms that long sword is a bastard sword, because the guy keeps using it with two hands. Name is of course, interchangeable.

Katana on the other hand -

1d8 slashing, 20/x3 and can be used with weapon finesse feat.



You sure? I can't trust them to release all the data sets and variables for their slytherin studios program, but nonetheless they take it through 1000 battles. Which is more definitive then a bunch of torture tests that the viewer could watch on national geographic.


The Katana is not a paricularly light sword. Nor is it really quicker or "finessable" than other similarly sized and weilded swords.

Galloglaich
2010-04-23, 08:14 AM
The Katana is not a paricularly light sword. Nor is it really quicker or "finessable" than other similarly sized and weilded swords.

Yes... in fact as someone was mentioning upthread, the point of balance on a European longsword (bastard sword or greatsword in DnD) is closer to the hilt than on a katana. On a katana typically the PoB is about 7" out, the longsword more often around 3-4" average, though it varies quite a bit. This makes the longsword feel a bit more lively in the hand.

The reason for the closer-to-the-hilt balance is for false-edge cutting, (cutting with both edges without turning the blade, which makes followup cutting much faster) and because of the work at the bind. Katanas are not intended for parrying much (your defense is primariily from voiding or stepping out of the way) or working from the bind, longswords are more intended for intensive bind and winding work, like you see these guys doing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtisxi1dxdY

Typical length of a longsword is about four feet, katana closer to three feet, but both weighed around the same on average (about 3 lbs)

It's also worth noting that other European swords which were not really intended for parrying or fighting from the bind, like 'Viking' type swords or Spathas, had a further out PoB of 5-6" or more.

G.

valadil
2010-04-23, 08:17 AM
In Japanese fencing you use voiding more.


What is this voiding of which you speak? I don't think I've encountered it in these threads before, but I could be wrong.

Galloglaich
2010-04-23, 08:21 AM
That assumes you trust the assumptions they make and that the battles they set up represent something that would actually happen. Based on other thread commentary here, that is questionable at best. 1000 runs of a flawed simulation still gives you flawed results.

Yes, and given that about 1/3 of the weapons and armor are just made up out of thin-air and totally unhistorical (30 lb clubs, inch thick shields, unriveted "chain" mail and stainless steel swords), and the values assigned to all of them are basically totally arbitrary, the results are pretty ridiculous.

G.

Galloglaich
2010-04-23, 09:15 AM
What is this voiding of which you speak? I don't think I've encountered it in these threads before, but I could be wrong.

The simple answer is to just avoid a cut or a thrust, rather than parrying it.

Think of it as the type of movement a boxer does to avoid being punched, usually by footwork, sometimes by movement of the hips shoulders, arms, and head. There is also a concept of standing in the "scales", a stance which lets you lean pretty far forward or far back, so for example you can 'tempt' your opponent to strike at you by leaning forward, then lean back as they strike, and strike them after they go by, this type of attack is called 'Nachriesen' in German fencing (Nach means 'after' so it means literally going after). This is also a concept used in Japanese fencing a great deal but it's called something else.

I'll quote from Bill Grandy's German Longsword article on Myarmoury:

http://www.myarmoury.com/feature_arms_gls.php


Movement is the most important element of defense. Stepping out of the way of attacks, known as voiding, and immediately attacking from your new position is one of the more efficient means of defense. Unfortunately, voiding alone is not always effective, as quite often your opponent will change the angle of his attack to follow you. So, although, you should not feel that you must make blade contact with your opponent, you will often need to do so in order to set it aside as you void.

This is how the idea is expressed in terms of European Renaissance fencing. Voiding, the Nach, and the Scales are all concepts which exist in Japanese fencing, but they are called by different terminology (I don't know the names)

Another more sophisticated way to void in German fencing which I know also called Durchlauffen, or 'running through', this can be done with or without blade contact or with or without a (judo style) throw. This type of technique was often used in Japanese fencing as an entry to do Jujitsu throws, Jujitsu being the unarmed component of Nihonto or Japnese fencing. Its the same in German fencing except called ringen.

These are some examples of ringen throws using Durchlauffen in German longsword:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7kB7icJYoE

I couldn't find a vid of doing this type of technique without blade contact, but I'll try a bit later when I have more time.

Hope that helps.

G.

Thane of Fife
2010-04-23, 03:25 PM
I can't trust them to release all the data sets and variables for their slytherin studios program, but nonetheless they take it through 1000 battles. Which is more definitive then a bunch of torture tests that the viewer could watch on national geographic.

Hmm. While Slitherine won't/can't release the code (http://www.slitherine.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10214), they say that it's similar to the code used in their Great Battles of Rome game. Now, owning that game, I took a look through some of the files in it.

I can only look through the definition files, and not the actual code, but it doesn't look that complex - that is, most of the defined variables appear to be either related to morale, vision, or speed. While, again, I can't see the code, it appears to be a [Chance to Hit] [Chance to Dodge] [If hit, subtract (Damage - Armor) + Armor-Piercing Damage from enemy health] [Repeat] sort of thing. There's a Stamina variable in there, too, but it's always been commented out; there's probably a good chance it's being used in the show's code. There are other variables that may have functions, but they're either identical for everybody or obscurely named (Kill Equalizer?).

Mike_G
2010-04-23, 03:52 PM
Deadliest Warrior is sometimes fun to watch, but it isn't science.

Then again, Braveheart was fun to watch, but it wasn't History.

Galloglaich
2010-04-23, 04:57 PM
Well put.


G.

imp_fireball
2010-04-23, 06:17 PM
The Katana is not a paricularly light sword. Nor is it really quicker or "finessable" than other similarly sized and weilded swords.

But if it's balanced a lot differently then a longsword, then that requires it to be wielded differently. 'Brute strength' is not as much of an issue, hence Str modifier to damage won't apply as much despite it being a two handed weapon. Hence, it should be finessable - at least for balance reasons.


Deadliest Warrior is sometimes fun to watch, but it isn't science.

Then again, Braveheart was fun to watch, but it wasn't History.

Then neither is national geographic. In that sense, the only thing that is truly science or history is pure raw text books.

Reasons for hating deadliest warrior because it isn't truly science isn't necessary or all that justified. More like believing your non-conformist, imo.

Dienekes
2010-04-23, 06:36 PM
But if it's balanced a lot differently then a longsword, then that requires it to be wielded differently. 'Brute strength' is not as much of an issue, hence Str modifier to damage won't apply as much despite it being a two handed weapon. Hence, it should be finessable - at least for balance reasons.

The problem here being that the katana's vs longswords I've held and swung around a bit (which I will admit wasn't very long on the katana bit and when I did I had no experience at all, so please feel free to tell me to shut up and sit down if I'm wrong) the katana is actually harder to make quicker swings with. And since d&d has very little reasoning behind how they stat out weapons, well in my opinion this way leads to madness, or at least a lot of homebrewing on your part.



Then neither is national geographic. In that sense, the only thing that is truly science or history is pure raw text books.

Reasons for hating deadliest warrior because it isn't truly science isn't necessary or all that justified. More like believing your non-conformist, imo.

On Deadliest Warrior, I would suggest watching it, enjoying it, and once finding a weapon you find interesting go do the research yourself, taking their word on faith can be wrong, a lot. Pointing out there are a lot of things wrong with the show isn't non-comformist, it's knowing the basics of history and realizing that DW plays fast and loose with facts (Ex. special weapon is the E-Tool, are you kidding me?)

lsfreak
2010-04-23, 06:42 PM
But if it's balanced a lot differently then a longsword, then that requires it to be wielded differently. 'Brute strength' is not as much of an issue, hence Str modifier to damage won't apply as much despite it being a two handed weapon. Hence, it should be finessable - at least for balance reasons.
'Brute strength' isn't an issue with either weapon. And while game terms still don't have any real place here, a katana would be harder to finesse, thanks to a longsword's superior center of balance. Nothing someone trained couldn't easily compensate for, but if you're going to give one of the weapons Finesse in D&D terms, it goes to the longsword/bastard sword.


Reasons for hating deadliest warrior because it isn't truly science isn't necessary or all that justified. More like believing your non-conformist, imo.
When you try and pass hype and conclusions based on flawed premises off as something scientific, that's a perfectly good reason to dislike something.
Note that I don't actually know what I'm talking about, but considering the level of expertise present in this thread, I'm comfortable repeating what others that are experts in their fields have said

imp_fireball
2010-04-23, 06:52 PM
On Deadliest Warrior, I would suggest watching it, enjoying it, and once finding a weapon you find interesting go do the research yourself, taking their word on faith can be wrong, a lot. Pointing out there are a lot of things wrong with the show isn't non-comformist, it's knowing the basics of history and realizing that DW plays fast and loose with facts (Ex. special weapon is the E-Tool, are you kidding me?)

Uh, well... they may not tell you everything (and if you wanted to learn more, you could do research), however their reasons for why one warrior beats another are justified. They just don't have time to list off every fact within the hour time slot per show.


a katana would be harder to finesse

Finesse is a style of fighting in d&d. It uses dexterity rather then strength. A katana would be more effective finessed. That isn't to say a longsword/bastard sword can't be finessed, it's just they wouldn't do any better when finessed (most likely worse when you lose strength to damage, even when you apply dex to damage). I understand that D&D plays loose with the rules and states that longswords and bastard swords can't be finessed simply because most warriors that used them didn't finesse with them in real life (at least that's holly wood talking). But katanas definitely do get finessed in hollywood, so it shouldn't be different for D&D.


When you try and pass hype and conclusions based on flawed premises off as something scientific, that's a perfectly good reason to dislike something.

I never said deadliest warrior was science.

Maybe I should hate D&D because it tends to fill itself with fanatical inflexible rules/fluff fan boys (otaku or what have you).

Raum
2010-04-23, 07:08 PM
But if it's balanced a lot differently then a longsword, then that requires it to be wielded differently.Balanced differently than which 'longsword'? Various swords balance differently based on a lot of variables. Here's a basic overview of a few sword variables / geometries (http://www.myarmoury.com/feature_properties.html).


'Brute strength' is not as much of an issue, hence Str modifier to damage won't apply as much despite it being a two handed weapon. Hence, it should be finessable - at least for balance reasons.I think you're discussing game mechanics here but, if not, please explain.


Then neither is national geographic. In that sense, the only thing that is truly science or history is pure raw text books.Science is potentially described as "investigating phenomena by gathering observable, measurable, and empirical data to form and test hypotheses."* There are too many assumptions and untested hypotheses in Deadliest Warrior for it to be 'science'. The biggest single untested assumption is the hidden algorithm they use. If it is science, write the paper and publish for peer review.

* (Hopefully someone can come up with a clearer definition.


Reasons for hating deadliest warrior because it isn't truly science isn't necessary or all that justified. More like believing your non-conformist, imo.Actually, it may well be more "non-conformist" to watch the show. :) Just guessing - I haven't checked ratings.

Fhaolan
2010-04-23, 07:13 PM
Uh, well... they may not tell you everything (and if you wanted to learn more, you could do research), however their reasons for why one warrior beats another are justified. They just don't have time to list off every fact within the hour time slot per show.

http://www.martialdevelopment.com/blog/deadliest-warrior-combat-simulator/

The 'simulator' is a minorly tweaked video game engine, dude. It's results are a justifiable as Dungeon Siege is a perfect replacement for a tabletop RPG.

Dienekes
2010-04-23, 07:13 PM
Uh, well... they may not tell you everything (and if you wanted to learn more, you could do research), however their reasons for why one warrior beats another are justified. They just don't have time to list off every fact within the hour time slot per show.

Very true, they do not have time to list every fact. However it would be nice if what they do show us makes sense or is accurate. For one, I remember them testing a blunderbuss against a plate armor (without the extra padding and layers that the knight would wear) and then using that as proof when as stated above the test itself was flawed. Or then looking at the shield attacks used by the Viking or the Spartan, where the Spartan's shield was shown to be an amazing killing weapon even though the Spartan would likely rarely if ever use it as such since it was a formation fighter and the attack would have broke the formation. While the Viking did a small push forward instead of a swing and it was determined to not be too efficient a killing weapon. Then there's the whole William Wallace thing that is so inaccurate it causes apoplexies.



Finesse is a style of fighting in d&d. It uses dexterity rather then strength. A katana would be more effective finessed. That isn't to say a longsword/bastard sword can't be finessed, it's just they wouldn't do any better when finessed (most likely worse when you lose strength to damage, even when you apply dex to damage). I understand that D&D plays loose with the rules and states that longswords and bastard swords can't be finessed simply because most warriors that used them didn't finesse with them in real life (at least that's holly wood talking). But katanas definitely do get finessed in hollywood, so it shouldn't be different for D&D.

That's fair in Hollywood katana's are the king of speed swords. However, I find it odd you bring up Hollywood fighting since this is the Real-World Weapon and Armor thread.


I never said deadliest warrior was science.

Maybe I should hate D&D because it tends to fill itself with fanatical inflexible rules/fluff fan boys (otaku or what have you).

I don't think anyone is asking you to hate anything. They are saying not to take it as proof for anything. If you'd go to some martial arts group and start talking about how one weapon is worse than another because D&D gives it a d6 instead of a d8 or a high crit or not, well, don't be surprised if they laugh at you.

Philistine
2010-04-23, 07:47 PM
Then neither is national geographic. In that sense, the only thing that is truly science or history is pure raw text books.

Reasons for hating deadliest warrior because it isn't truly science isn't necessary or all that justified. More like believing your non-conformist, imo.
No. Just no.

"Pure raw text books" aren't "truly science," because science is not a collection of facts, formulae, and hypotheses. Science is a process - a way of thinking that focuses on using observation and experimentation to solve problems. "Deadliest Warrior" blatantly fails at observation, as they get so many known facts wrong; that alone would be enough to call into question the results of their experimentation (via simulation), even if their modeling and simulation work was beyond question - which it manifestly is not.

So the reason "Deadliest Warrior" isn't science has nothing to do with the medium of presentation; the same content delivered in book form would still be unscientific, because their methodology is dubious and their fact-checking is nonexistent. It would be sensationalistic entertainment in any format. And while hating the program may be an overreaction ("may," I said), dismissing their results as so much twaddle is only fair and right.

Similarly, the reason for stating that Braveheart isn't history is not "because it's a movie," it's because the movie got the historical facts wrong - even when it would have been easier and/or the story would have made more sense if they'd gotten them right (such as actually including the bridge at the Battle of Stirling Bridge).

===

Uh, well... they may not tell you everything (and if you wanted to learn more, you could do research), however their reasons for why one warrior beats another are justified. They just don't have time to list off every fact within the hour time slot per show.

(snip thread-inappropriate game rule discussion)

I never said deadliest warrior was science.

(snip flamebait).
This bears repeating: Lists of Facts are Not Science. Science is a matter of how you think, not what you know. (Mind you, the "what you know" is handy, as it keeps you from having to reinvent the wheel; and personally verifying those already-established conclusions is a useful learning tool as well.)

And you have repeatedly described the conclusions arrived at by "Deadliest Warrior" as "justified" - including earlier in this very post! - and admired their methodology (such as running their gamesimulator one thousand times). While you haven't used the exact wording "DW = SCIENCE!", it's a thoroughly reasonable inference based on the things you have said.

imp_fireball
2010-04-23, 08:30 PM
http://www.martialdevelopment.com/blog/deadliest-warrior-combat-simulator/

The 'simulator' is a minorly tweaked video game engine, dude. It's results are a justifiable as Dungeon Siege is a perfect replacement for a tabletop RPG.

That article is a bit unfounded. How tweaked is the engine necessarily? Nothing is specified.

It seems to be trying to make a point that the deadliest warrior isn't definitive. Well of course it ain't! Computers aren't creative or human, as is pointed out like 5 times in the article - but consider this, creativity has no rules and no known limit - how can one define something under creativity? It's impossible for a computer. Heck, a computer with actual human sapience would be no more definitive since each computer would have varying opinions on the subject. Unless we were to ask someone who understands every nuance and inner working of the universe, like I don't know... god?

The criticism is illogical and self contradicting.


even though the Spartan would likely rarely if ever use it as such since it was a formation fighter and the attack would have broke the formation.

If the spartan is alone then I think it's safe to assume that they would be using their shield a lot more. And they were trained to fight and kill from birth, so they're no push overs.

The only thing that bothered me about the show is that deadliest warrior is a bit of a buzz word, being that a longer name would've been 'deadliest warrior: In varying scenarios' but that sort of name don't sell.


However, I find it odd you bring up Hollywood fighting since this is the Real-World Weapon and Armor thread.

I was justifying D&D mechanics as a side topic, which I guess is off-topic and should be ignored.


I don't think anyone is asking you to hate anything. They are saying not to take it as proof for anything. If you'd go to some martial arts group and start talking about how one weapon is worse than another because D&D gives it a d6 instead of a d8 or a high crit or not, well, don't be surprised if they laugh at you.

But it's real to me, dammit!

... :smallbiggrin:

I'd never take it as absolute proof. I don't have that low of a wisdom score. But there is such a thing as semi-proof, which is why historians and other academics always cross reference and refer back, etc.


And you have repeatedly described the conclusions arrived at by "Deadliest Warrior" as "justified" - including earlier in this very post! - and admired their methodology (such as running their gamesimulator one thousand times). While you haven't used the exact wording "DW = SCIENCE!", it's a thoroughly reasonable inference based on the things you have said.

When I say it's justified, that's just me saying the knowledge is reasonable.

You define 'science' as a thought process rather then anything do with thought presentation, so then why do you bother to discuss the dismissal of deadliest warrior as 'crap/whatever word you might choose to use'? You say that the knowledge is unreasonable. How can you prove that the thought process involved was unreasonable? You then say that it's useful to not have to re-invent the wheel but then you seem to infer that the guys at DW should probably re-invent the wheel to satisfy you.

I'm drawing conclusions in the same way that you are, inferring things about you. That isn't really science itself, yet demands discussion.


So the reason "Deadliest Warrior" isn't science has nothing to do with the medium of presentation; the same content delivered in book form would still be unscientific, because their methodology is dubious and their fact-checking is nonexistent. It would be sensationalistic entertainment in any format. And while hating the program may be an overreaction ("may," I said), dismissing their results as so much twaddle is only fair and right.

So do you have proof of such a claim?

Galloglaich
2010-04-23, 09:37 PM
Imp Fireball, how old are you?

G.

imp_fireball
2010-04-23, 10:53 PM
Imp Fireball, how old are you?

G.

Twenty.

How old are you?

Dienekes
2010-04-23, 11:10 PM
If the spartan is alone then I think it's safe to assume that they would be using their shield a lot more. And they were trained to fight and kill from birth, so they're no push overs.

The only thing that bothered me about the show is that deadliest warrior is a bit of a buzz word, being that a longer name would've been 'deadliest warrior: In varying scenarios' but that sort of name don't sell.

Now, Sparta is my pet society. I will not even pretend to know as much as Galloglaich, Matthew, Mike_G, or well just about anyone who posts here regularly about anything else. But Sparta is what I have studied extensively and I like to think I have a fairly firm grasp on the societies many strengths and many weaknesses. The ridiculousness of the situation presented in Deadliest Warrior is that the shield attack completely opened up the attacker to a counterattack as well as the shield itself was designed so as not to be able to successfully swing with it as shown. Contrarily the Viking shield with the boss in the middle would have been easier to use as a weapon, and yet simply because the Viking guy didn't think to swing it the way the Spartan guy did, his shield was shown as a lesser weapon. Even though said attack would have been performed easier on it's shield and the attack was pretty stupid anyway.

As for the title which I'm willing to pass over, it should be called Deadliest Weapons, not Deadliest Warrior since several times they have used weapons that were not used by the warriors in question in order to match the odd idea that every warrior must have a long, middle, close, special weapon to make calculations easier.


But it's real to me, dammit!

... :smallbiggrin:

I'd never take it as absolute proof. I don't have that low of a wisdom score. But there is such a thing as semi-proof, which is why historians and other academics always cross reference and refer back, etc.

But that's just it, just about everyone here would argue that you should take it as barely any proof at all. It's not just us though, there has been such criticism of the show that Spike had to release a web series to try and answer these criticisms and yet the criticisms were not ebbed at all because that show tended to be just as grossly inaccurate.

As for the rest of the post about what is science and how to gather information, I leave that in the hands of people much more intelligent than I.

Philistine
2010-04-24, 12:12 AM
When I say it's justified, that's just me saying the knowledge is reasonable.
I'm sorry, what? Knowledge isn't "reasonable" or "unreasonable." Supposition and speculation may be reasonable or unreasonable, but not knowledge. Unfortunately, the only knowledge you're likely to gain from watching Deadliest Warrior is the knowledge of "what the show's producers think is cool."

Also, that still sounds like an endorsement of DW's methodology. The reason people keep trying to explain to you why DW isn't science is that you keep posting things that sound like you believe it is. I'm explaining this because you seem to be having some difficulty understanding why people would think that is necessary to repeatedly correct you on the subject.


You define 'science' as a thought process rather then anything do with thought presentation, so then why do you bother to discuss the dismissal of deadliest warrior as 'crap/whatever word you might choose to use'?
Because DW's process really is manifestly, demonstrably, and utterly crap. That has nothing to do with their presentation - as I've already said.


You say that the knowledge is unreasonable. How can you prove that the thought process involved was unreasonable?
This is trivially easy - in fact several people have already done so in this thread. But... one more time, okay.

First: DW commits errors of elementary historical fact. Not arcane, off-the-wall stuff either, but extremely basic gaffes like putting William Wallace in woad facepaint and a kilt and handing him a claymore, despite the historical fact that none of those things were in use in Scotland within hundreds of years of Wallace's lifetime. Given that we cannot trust DW to get even the easy, obvious stuff right, how can we possibly trust them on the hard stuff? It's also fair to ask, with so many known errors in play, what exactly is their game supposed to be "simulating"?

Second: by keeping the algorithms of their "simulation engine" secret, DW makes it impossible for anyone to independently verify their results. In scientific terms, a result that cannot be verified is as close as you can possibly get to worthless. Computer simulation is a funny business - it absolutely depends on having accurate mathematical models of the processes under examination. Bad models give bad results, so the modeling itself has to be exposed to outside scrutiny. At least, it does if the show is presenting "scientific fact" rather than "sensationalist entertainment."


You then say that it's useful to not have to re-invent the wheel but then you seem to infer that the guys at DW should probably re-invent the wheel to satisfy you.
No, I don't demand that DW re-invent the wheel. I do demand that a program which purports to convey historical fact make at least a minimal effort to get said historical facts correct. DW does not do this; thus DW's methodology is crap. I do demand that a program which purports to be "doing science" publish their methodology (and since their "experimentation" is conducted via computer simulation, this means the algorithms used in their code) so that their results can be confirmed. DW does not do this; thus DW's methodology is crap.

Also, you might want to learn the difference between "infer" and "imply" at some point.


I'm drawing conclusions in the same way that you are, inferring things about you. That isn't really science itself, yet demands discussion.
No, blatant flaming doesn't demand discussion.


So do you have proof of such a claim?
Yes, and so do you.

imp_fireball
2010-04-24, 12:23 AM
As for the title which I'm willing to pass over, it should be called Deadliest Weapons, not Deadliest Warrior since several times they have used weapons that were not used by the warriors in question in order to match the odd idea that every warrior must have a long, middle, close, special weapon to make calculations easier.

That's been addressed in the after math. The fact is, there's no quantitative value on how determined or bad ass a specific warrior is. Physical stature is probably the closest they get.

Also, you aren't giving examples of why it is ridiculous. Frankly, if the actor could swing the shield that way, then shouldn't spartans be able to? Before you shoot down that ridiculous sentence, just think - the spartan uses the rim of his shield in such a way as to actually bash and deny the enemy an opening. There's a feat called 'improved shield bash' for that explicit purpose.

Ravens_cry
2010-04-24, 12:32 AM
But if it's balanced a lot differently then a longsword, then that requires it to be wielded differently. 'Brute strength' is not as much of an issue, hence Str modifier to damage won't apply as much despite it being a two handed weapon. Hence, it should be finessable - at least for balance reasons.

It's funny that some people seem to think that us Europeans, with a long and bloody history of fighting our selves, and others, couldn't make excellent, light, and agile swords. The idea that medieval European swords were metal clubs is a myth, perpetuated by Renaissance swordsmen used to super agile, super thin rapiers and similar weapons. The fact is, you don't go almost a millennium of killing one another with swords and not learn how to make an effective weapon. Here is an interesting essay I read on the matter (http://www.thearma.org/essays/2HGS.html) that should hopefully clear up some of the misconceptions.

Dienekes
2010-04-24, 01:05 AM
That's been addressed in the after math. The fact is, there's no quantitative value on how determined or bad ass a specific warrior is. Physical stature is probably the closest they get.

You're only defending half the argument. Not every warrior in history used weapons that fit into the category long, medium, short, and special, and several times they warrior didn't even have a weapon set at all like the ones given to them. That fairly quickly takes away any support that they're going by actual warriors and into just a bunch of weapons that have a similar theme or come from a roughly similar time.


Also, you aren't giving examples of why it is ridiculous. Frankly, if the actor could swing the shield that way, then shouldn't spartans be able to? Before you shoot down that ridiculous sentence, just think - the spartan uses the rim of his shield in such a way as to actually bash and deny the enemy an opening. There's a feat called 'improved shield bash' for that explicit purpose.

Yes, I have. If the most damage was done by completely opening oneself to attack, the Spartan's would likely not have done it as it was suicide. So therefore any evidence we get from that technique should be voided and evidence should be collected again. Saying that since we could do it the Spartans must also be able to do it, but somehow better is a fallacy unless evidence is brought up either textually or it is shown by someone to be actually possible. Similarly, on a shield that would be more effective doing a technique it should be allowed to show what damage could be done doing such a move but since it is never tried it is never part of the data. This indicates that the data itself is being collected poorly.

imp_fireball
2010-04-24, 04:43 AM
You're only defending half the argument. Not every warrior in history used weapons that fit into the category long, medium, short, and special, and several times they warrior didn't even have a weapon set at all like the ones given to them. That fairly quickly takes away any support that they're going by actual warriors and into just a bunch of weapons that have a similar theme or come from a roughly similar time.



Yes, I have. If the most damage was done by completely opening oneself to attack, the Spartan's would likely not have done it as it was suicide. So therefore any evidence we get from that technique should be voided and evidence should be collected again. Saying that since we could do it the Spartans must also be able to do it, but somehow better is a fallacy unless evidence is brought up either textually or it is shown by someone to be actually possible. Similarly, on a shield that would be more effective doing a technique it should be allowed to show what damage could be done doing such a move but since it is never tried it is never part of the data. This indicates that the data itself is being collected poorly.

Could you give any examples of other themed weapons?

I don't understand your arguments for the spartan. They still seem pretty unfounded. You have no evidence that a spartan actually does open itself up to attack with the shield. The shield is pretty big, so I don't think it would when facing off against a single opponent. Plus the technique they use is often a 'can't miss' strategy, wherein they wait for the opponent to actually move up to their shield and into a position where they can't avoid it. They'd never openly charge someone and swipe away with their shield.

Also the shield isn't a killing tool - it's there to disorient the opponent.

Brainfart
2010-04-24, 07:00 AM
Deadliest Warrior is rather similar to those shows where some idiot presenter with frizzled hair and a grimy lab coat does 'sciency' things in a room full of whirring gizmos while spouting utter faffing nonsense along the lines of 'Did you know that platypuses possess mass accelerators and can kill humans by farting at the right time?'.

As many have said earlier, it's fun to watch for gratuitous destruction of gel dummies, but it has absolutely no value beyond that.

Yora
2010-04-24, 09:07 AM
It's funny that some people seem to think that us Europeans, with a long and bloody history of fighting our selves, and others, couldn't make excellent, light, and agile swords. The idea that medieval European swords were metal clubs is a myth, perpetuated by Renaissance swordsmen used to super agile, super thin rapiers and similar weapons. The fact is, you don't go almost a millennium of killing one another with swords and not learn how to make an effective weapon.
It's all about coolness. Not only do we make our own stuff look bad, we also completely overhype things from other cultures. What we have is common, what others have is exotic. And exotic is always cooler.
But we're not the only ones doing that. For example the Japanese are as much into our stuff as we are into theirs.

Dienekes
2010-04-24, 11:27 AM
Could you give any examples of other themed weapons?

Didn't you see the whole stink a page or two back about William Wallace being a knight, and not being alive during the time of the claymore, and yet wielding a claymore? Or that the Yakuza use nunchaku?


I don't understand your arguments for the spartan. They still seem pretty unfounded. You have no evidence that a spartan actually does open itself up to attack with the shield. The shield is pretty big, so I don't think it would when facing off against a single opponent. Plus the technique they use is often a 'can't miss' strategy, wherein they wait for the opponent to actually move up to their shield and into a position where they can't avoid it. They'd never openly charge someone and swipe away with their shield.

Also the shield isn't a killing tool - it's there to disorient the opponent.

Yes, I can see I'm not explaining myself well. The shield can be used as a weapon, I am not arguing that. However, the move used to get the biggest effect from the aspis in the show completely opened the attacker up and was awkward because the aspis was designed to be made to not be used as shown. As you say, they'd never openly charge someone and swipe away with their shield, but that is exactly what the attacker did. So this evidence should be replaced with a more accurate depiction of how to use a shield. Contrarily, the Viking shield could be used with such a swipe much easier, but the attack does not do it in that show and therefore gets much lower data. This shows that the data they're collecting in these examples is inherently flawed, which puts any results into question for these two match ups.

Raum
2010-04-24, 11:41 AM
Moving on to more interesting questions, how much (if any) evidence is there for cooperation between the Templars and the Ismailis?

Ravens_cry
2010-04-24, 12:26 PM
It's all about coolness. Not only do we make our own stuff look bad, we also completely overhype things from other cultures. What we have is common, what others have is exotic. And exotic is always cooler.
But we're not the only ones doing that. For example the Japanese are as much into our stuff as we are into theirs.
Oh, I know the phenomena. And a katana is a beautiful sword.
But the idea that a good cruciform sword was somehow this super heavy monstrosity that was little better then a meat cleaver is downright insulting.

Spiryt
2010-04-24, 12:31 PM
Oh, I know the phenomena. And a katana is a beautiful sword.
But the idea that a good cruciform sword was somehow this super heavy monstrosity that was little better then a meat cleaver is downright insulting.

Some katanas are saw in museum are downright ugly.

So are longswords, too. We are talking about centuries, and even though katanas were't changing too much after ~1600, there were good and bad, beautiful and ugly swords.

Aside the fact that "beautiful sword" is purely subjective thing.

Johel
2010-04-24, 01:20 PM
Just out of curiosity, how scientific and how accurate are the documentaries by Mike Loades, in comparison to "Deadliest Warriors" ?

I'm familiar with Mike Loades various documentaries and really enjoy them, mainly because the man himself is passionate about what he's doing and somehow communicate his enthusiasm. I consider most of the explanations as sound and found very little to criticized. The fact that weapons were actually tested not by simulators but in as-close-as-safety-allows "real" conditions is a big plus to convince me.

I'm not familiar with "Deadliest Warriors" (saw a show which compared various oriental weapons, concluding with "staff is the best" but I'm not sure it was Deadliest Warriors. They used gelatin dummies, though.)

Eldan
2010-04-24, 01:25 PM
Yet another question coming from Fantasy, I guess. This time from the Dresden files.

Harry Dresden, in the last book I read, makes an off-hand remark that, in his opinion, a ballistic vest wouldn't protect against swords. Any opinions on that from the people here? I'd think that something which can stop a small calibre bullet would also help at least a little against swords...

Spiryt
2010-04-24, 01:33 PM
I heard that lighter vest don't protect against arrows and bolts too well - which have lesser energy than bullets, but concentrate energy in a way ( different - greater- sectional density, shape, momentum, mass etc) that allow them to pass though fabric.

If it's true, I think that they would have no chance against sword stabs.

Probably would be much better against cuts, as usual.



Just out of curiosity, how scientific and how accurate are the documentaries by Mike Loades, in comparison to "Deadliest Warriors" ?

I'm familiar with Mike Loades various documentaries and really enjoy them, mainly because the man himself is passionate about what he's doing and somehow communicate his enthusiasm. I consider most of the explanations as sound and found very little to criticized. The fact that weapons were actually tested not by simulators but in as-close-as-safety-allows "real" conditions is a big plus to convince me.

Watched few his things, and while IMO it has many it's own faults, it's obviously light years ahead of "Deadliest Ninjas". Aside from the fact that it in fact treats (or tries) about real things, not some weird comic book characters.

I learned some interesting things from it, and dude really shows some very fine things - it's obvious that he understands quite a lot about general combat.

Johel
2010-04-24, 01:41 PM
Yet another question coming from Fantasy, I guess. This time from the Dresden files.

Harry Dresden, in the last book I read, makes an off-hand remark that, in his opinion, a ballistic vest wouldn't protect against swords. Any opinions on that from the people here? I'd think that something which can stop a small calibre bullet would also help at least a little against swords...

There are several types of bulletproof vests.
Some are designed to resist stab.

I don't think many of them could withstand a slash from a sword or an axe, though.

From Wikipedia : (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballistic_vest#Overview)

Vests designed for bullets offer little protection against blows from sharp implements, such as knives, arrows or ice picks, or from bullets manufactured of non-deformable materials, i.e., those containing a steel core instead of lead. This is because the impact force of these objects stays concentrated to a relatively small area, allowing them to puncture the fiber layers of most bullet-resistant fabrics.
and

(...)Corrections officers and other law enforcement officers often wear vests which are designed specifically against bladed weapons and sharp objects. These vests may incorporate coated and laminated para-aramid textiles or metallic components.

Fhaolan
2010-04-24, 02:49 PM
Yet another question coming from Fantasy, I guess. This time from the Dresden files.

Harry Dresden, in the last book I read, makes an off-hand remark that, in his opinion, a ballistic vest wouldn't protect against swords. Any opinions on that from the people here? I'd think that something which can stop a small calibre bullet would also help at least a little against swords...

As mentioned above, it depends a lot on the precise vest. Older ballistic vests that were issued to the Sûreté du Québec (The Quebec Provincial Police) proved to be... not arrow proof during one of the many 'incidents' they had with protesting Native Americans back in the 70's. Apparantly some of the protesters brought some hunting equipment to the barricades and took some pot-shots at the Riot-gear garbed police. I don't think anyone honestly thought that the arrows would go through, but they did. I was in school at the time in Ontario, and remember the newspaper reports. Mainly because the english newspapers were making fun of the Quebecers, which was very common at the time.

Now, if the vest has metal or ceramic reinforcement plates, it probably won't penetrate, but standard issue vests rarely have the reinforcement plates and it would depend a lot on exactly how much the plate was rated for. Some of those plates are rated so low they're almost pointless.

Galloglaich
2010-04-24, 06:19 PM
Moving on to more interesting questions, how much (if any) evidence is there for cooperation between the Templars and the Ismailis?

I think there is some evidence of this. This book

http://www.britannica.com/bps/additionalcontent/18/9326835/The-Templars-and-the-Assassins-Book

...claims that the Templars had an official arrangement of receiving tribute from the Ismailis at one point, they may have been clients.

They definitely worked together for a while against Suni Islam under Sal-aldin and Nur-al-din, I remember one anecdote that Sal-al-Din was supposedly taking all these elaborate precautions against the "Assassins" during some of his campaigns against the Outramer kingdoms.

Later the Crusaders including some of the religious orders, sided with the invading Mongols, because the Mongol Horde which arrived in the Middle East were themselves nominally Christian. Some of the Christian Crusader states briefly became vassals of the Mongol Horde under Hulagu Khan.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hulagu_Khan#Conquest_of_Syria_.281260.29

Later the Crusaders decided the Mongols were even more dangerous than the Muslims and made a treaty with the Mamluks to allow them safe passage and resupply before the battle of Ayn Jalut. I think some of the Mamluks were Shiite because there were Shiites in Egypt, and the politics in there get pretty confusing but I don't think the Ismailis were powerful there. There were some alliances between Egyptian Shiites and the Ismailis at various points though.

The Mongols were the true catastrophe for Islam and many people believe, the main reason for the nihilistic fatalism and pessimism which pervaded Islamic culture since the Middle Ages, for the Mongols not only sacked and burned Alamut and the great library of the Ismaili "Assassins" which was said to be greater than the famous library of Alexandria, they also sacked Damascus and Baghdad and burned the libraries there too, and slaughtered most of the population. If the Mamelukes hadn't finally figured out how to push them back they would have depopulated the entire region as they had so much of Central Asia.

Just FYI this is the best book I ever read on the Templars, it's very hard to find accurate information about them because they were one of those kind of "bigfoot / UFO" type historical subjects, but this book was excellent in spite of the somewhat sensationalist sounding name:

http://www.amazon.com/Dungeon-Fire-Sword-Knights-Crusades/dp/0871316579


G.

EDIT: forgot the link

Galloglaich
2010-04-24, 06:23 PM
As mentioned above, it depends a lot on the precise vest. Older ballistic vests that were issued to the Sûreté du Québec (The Quebec Provincial Police) proved to be... not arrow proof during one of the many 'incidents' they had with protesting Native Americans back in the 70's. Apparantly some of the protesters brought some hunting equipment to the barricades and took some pot-shots at the Riot-gear garbed police. I don't think anyone honestly thought that the arrows would go through, but they did. I was in school at the time in Ontario, and remember the newspaper reports. Mainly because the english newspapers were making fun of the Quebecers, which was very common at the time.

Now, if the vest has metal or ceramic reinforcement plates, it probably won't penetrate, but standard issue vests rarely have the reinforcement plates and it would depend a lot on exactly how much the plate was rated for. Some of those plates are rated so low they're almost pointless.

I read not too long ago that the most modern knife-proof vests, mostly made in Germany, now incorporate mail (i.e. "Chain Mail") which turned out to be the best way to stop knife points. Go figure...

G.

EDIT: found an old one for sale, mixed mail and kevlar

http://www.denbigharmysurplus.co.uk/army-stores/Police-Chain-Mail-Kevlar-Bullet-Stab-Proof-Vest.html

imp_fireball
2010-04-24, 08:36 PM
Didn't you see the whole stink a page or two back about William Wallace being a knight, and not being alive during the time of the claymore, and yet wielding a claymore? Or that the Yakuza use nunchaku?



Yes, I can see I'm not explaining myself well. The shield can be used as a weapon, I am not arguing that. However, the move used to get the biggest effect from the aspis in the show completely opened the attacker up and was awkward because the aspis was designed to be made to not be used as shown. As you say, they'd never openly charge someone and swipe away with their shield, but that is exactly what the attacker did. So this evidence should be replaced with a more accurate depiction of how to use a shield. Contrarily, the Viking shield could be used with such a swipe much easier, but the attack does not do it in that show and therefore gets much lower data. This shows that the data they're collecting in these examples is inherently flawed, which puts any results into question for these two match ups.

What is choreographed in the show doesn't necessarily reflect what they put into the slytherine studios program.

They probably have a different guy directing the choreographers.

Also, I never thought of william wallace as a knight. If he opposed the english, why did they knight him?


I heard that lighter vest don't protect against arrows and bolts too well - which have lesser energy than bullets, but concentrate energy in a way ( different - greater- sectional density, shape, momentum, mass etc) that allow them to pass though fabric.

If it's true, I think that they would have no chance against sword stabs.

Probably would be much better against cuts, as usual.




Watched few his things, and while IMO it has many it's own faults, it's obviously light years ahead of "Deadliest Ninjas". Aside from the fact that it in fact treats (or tries) about real things, not some weird comic book characters.

I learned some interesting things from it, and dude really shows some very fine things - it's obvious that he understands quite a lot about general combat.

Okay, I think the main problem here is that there's a bunch of weapons that the people on DW chose not to use for certain people.


Just out of curiosity, how scientific and how accurate are the documentaries by Mike Loades, in comparison to "Deadliest Warriors" ?

I'm familiar with Mike Loades various documentaries and really enjoy them, mainly because the man himself is passionate about what he's doing and somehow communicate his enthusiasm. I consider most of the explanations as sound and found very little to criticized. The fact that weapons were actually tested not by simulators but in as-close-as-safety-allows "real" conditions is a big plus to convince me.

I'm not familiar with "Deadliest Warriors" (saw a show which compared various oriental weapons, concluding with "staff is the best" but I'm not sure it was Deadliest Warriors. They used gelatin dummies, though.)

Deadliest warriors uses gelatin ballistic torsos as the closest comparison to actual human flesh, supposedly (besides pigs).

Edmund
2010-04-24, 08:52 PM
What is choreographed in the show doesn't necessarily reflect what they put into the slytherine studios program.

They probably have a different guy directing the choreographers.


Why, if they wish to present their findings as factual, would there be such a massive dichotomy between what they show the viewer and what they model? That would be incredibly misleading and counterproductive.



Also, I never thought of william wallace as a knight. If he opposed the english, why did they knight him?

Two pieces of information might help answer this question.

1. Scotland had been a unified kingdom for centuries before the time of Wallace.
2. England isn't the only place that produces knights.

imp_fireball
2010-04-24, 09:04 PM
Why, if they wish to present their findings as factual, would there be such a massive dichotomy between what they show the viewer and what they model? That would be incredibly misleading and counterproductive.

You'd be surprised how many shows are known for that.

Also, in the claymore wiki:

The two-handed claymore seems to be an offshoot of Early Scottish medieval swords which had developed a distinctive style of a cross-hilt with downsloping arms that ended in spatulate swellings.

It's close to some earlier design that might have originated around Wallace's time. So somewhat accurate, possibly.

Dienekes
2010-04-24, 09:41 PM
What is choreographed in the show doesn't necessarily reflect what they put into the slytherine studios program.

They probably have a different guy directing the choreographers.

Also, I never thought of william wallace as a knight. If he opposed the english, why did they knight him?

Well this is getting fairly obviously futile, but I'll give it one last post. I was referring to the information gathering portion of the episode, not the fight choreography at the end. Other than some funny sword candy the last fight choreography means about as much as watching an Errol Flinn movie.


Also, in the claymore wiki:

It's close to some earlier design that might have originated around Wallace's time. So somewhat accurate, possibly.

From the same wiki

It was used in the constant clan warfare and border fights with the English from circa 1500 to 1700.

and

Sir William Wallace (Scottish Gaelic: Uilleam Uallas; 1272 – 23 August 1305)

So no, not all that possible. Especially since the sword that is being compared in your quote is a one handed sword, if memory serves.

Galloglaich
2010-04-25, 12:27 AM
In defense of DW though, just to play devils advocate, it's fun to watch them test various vaguely realistic weapons against pig carcasses, skulls, gelatin etc., and they did once or twice do some nice things like prove that swords can't cut through riveted "chain" mail, (even katanas) and medieval armor could stop bullets. I enjoyed seeing that stuff.

And things like Chuck liddel punching that side of beef with a Roman gladiator punch axe or whatever that was, was entertaining.

I think test-cutting (and shooting) of weapons is cool we'd all like to see a show like this where they test some things out, we would just prefer if it was relying on the knowledge of actual experts instead of third rate stuntmen and fight coordinators and wasn't so dumbed down and sensationalized.

That said I'll still probably watch a couple of the new episodes, at least for a while until I can't stand how stupid it is. I wish those guys from mythbusters would do a show like this.

G.

Spiryt
2010-04-25, 12:37 AM
Yeah, I think I would watch it some time with sound switched off and changing the station when they stop test cutting.

And it's always nice to see non stoned Chuck. :smalltongue:

Dienekes
2010-04-25, 12:59 AM
In defense of DW though, just to play devils advocate, it's fun to watch them test various vaguely realistic weapons against pig carcasses, skulls, gelatin etc., and they did once or twice do some nice things like prove that swords can't cut through riveted "chain" mail, (even katanas) and medieval armor could stop bullets. I enjoyed seeing that stuff.

And things like Chuck liddel punching that side of beef with a Roman gladiator punch axe or whatever that was, was entertaining.

I think test-cutting (and shooting) of weapons is cool we'd all like to see a show like this where they test some things out, we would just prefer if it was relying on the knowledge of actual experts instead of third rate stuntmen and fight coordinators and wasn't so dumbed down and sensationalized.

That said I'll still probably watch a couple of the new episodes, at least for a while until I can't stand how stupid it is. I wish those guys from mythbusters would do a show like this.

G.

I do too, and I don't think I've missed an episode. It's entertaining to watch even when it's stupid and as you've mention the scissor weapon was about the coolest thing I've ever seen in my life.

As I've mentioned earlier, watch the show find something you like or think is cool and then see how accurate they were yourself. Watching the claymore cut three heads off in one swing was awesome, pity it didn't make sense in the context the show presented.

fusilier
2010-04-25, 03:27 AM
When you try and pass hype and conclusions based on flawed premises off as something scientific, that's a perfectly good reason to dislike something.

This is basically my problem with the show. Also, I don't see how trash-talk is realistic, while there are different proponents for the opposing sides, they're not actually fighting each other. Trash talk also makes it sounds like neither side cares about actually determining which one is "better" (the "purpose" of the show).

By performing a battery of real world tests, having a computer simulation that uses hundreds of parameters, and running a thousand simulated trials, it all sounds very impressive. Unfortunately, it comes off as disingenuous, if you are aware of the various difficulties at almost every level of the study.

Showcasing the weapons, and their abilities, training, tactics, and listening to their proponents' arguments, without a conclusion (leaving that up to the viewer), would be much better in my opinion. However, when you start to use "computers" the whole thing takes on an air of authority that it shouldn't. This mainly has to do with the curious fact that people treat computers like magical boxes (and they have always done so, stretching back about 100 years before the first computers were constructed!).

I've made systems like they use in the show, and I know they are fraught with issues. The result is their conclusions sound very convincing - but the science is so badly stated that they are most likely misleading people (perhaps unintentionally).

The show is not totally devoid of merit. Some of the tests they do can be enlightening. But definitive conclusions aren't necessary, in my opinion, if you want to attract people. Weapons alone are good enough. Show case the weapons/tactics/training, etc, even make comparisons. But trying to claim that there is some definitive conclusion out there, based upon a poorly exposited computer model . . . leave that out. Then you would have something that probably wouldn't be as irritating to many. Oh, you can be certain that people on this board would have problems with what Mr. XYZ said, or the technique that Ms. ABC demonstrated, but it wouldn't be nearly as annoying.

Galloglaich
2010-04-25, 08:48 AM
Well put.

I think the idea had some potential, but basically you can see the attitude Spike TV has toward it's audience based on some of their other shows. So long as a large amount of people watch the shows and get brainwashed to buy axe bodywash or whatever energy drink they are selling, they don't give a crap. Which is true of most efforts of Hollywood and Madison avenue frankly, Spike is just a bit more blatant about it. And if we want that to change we have to be a more demanding audience.

G.

imp_fireball
2010-04-25, 05:49 PM
This is basically my problem with the show. Also, I don't see how trash-talk is realistic, while there are different proponents for the opposing sides, they're not actually fighting each other. Trash talk also makes it sounds like neither side cares about actually determining which one is "better" (the "purpose" of the show).

By performing a battery of real world tests, having a computer simulation that uses hundreds of parameters, and running a thousand simulated trials, it all sounds very impressive. Unfortunately, it comes off as disingenuous, if you are aware of the various difficulties at almost every level of the study.

Showcasing the weapons, and their abilities, training, tactics, and listening to their proponents' arguments, without a conclusion (leaving that up to the viewer), would be much better in my opinion. However, when you start to use "computers" the whole thing takes on an air of authority that it shouldn't. This mainly has to do with the curious fact that people treat computers like magical boxes (and they have always done so, stretching back about 100 years before the first computers were constructed!).

I've made systems like they use in the show, and I know they are fraught with issues. The result is their conclusions sound very convincing - but the science is so badly stated that they are most likely misleading people (perhaps unintentionally).

The show is not totally devoid of merit. Some of the tests they do can be enlightening. But definitive conclusions aren't necessary, in my opinion, if you want to attract people. Weapons alone are good enough. Show case the weapons/tactics/training, etc, even make comparisons. But trying to claim that there is some definitive conclusion out there, based upon a poorly exposited computer model . . . leave that out. Then you would have something that probably wouldn't be as irritating to many. Oh, you can be certain that people on this board would have problems with what Mr. XYZ said, or the technique that Ms. ABC demonstrated, but it wouldn't be nearly as annoying.

If Mythbusters did testing, they'd probably draw out conclusions as well (after all that's what they do myth busters).

The whole point of having them draw out a conclusion is to hear their opinion about it (which is nice). Drawing out a conclusion won't make anyone believe it's definitive except the ignorant.

As for the trash talk, I don't think that affects anything. The stunt guys have no power over the simulator, vice versa.


o long as a large amount of people watch the shows and get brainwashed to buy axe bodywash or whatever energy drink they are selling, they don't give a crap.

See, this is the problem with people that think they're non-conformist. Ever heard of irony? Portions of spike, while serious about advertising, are also partly ironic in other ways. Stripperella? Total irony (except not a very funny show). Just an example though.


So no, not all that possible. Especially since the sword that is being compared in your quote is a one handed sword, if memory serves.

The wiki mentioned a one handed claymore, but I don't think it verified that that's what they used in Wallace's time.


but it wouldn't be nearly as annoying.

To you, anyway. There's plenty enough people out there that know that simulators are not always absolute.

Galloglaich
2010-04-25, 10:19 PM
Saw the show tonight, THIS IS SPARTA!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I think the reason for the large cheesiness / BS portion of the show boils down to money. They could get top experts for these various subjects but they'd have to fly them in from all over the world. The guys they used are probably agency guys who work in town (I would guess LA) for rate.

I recognized a lot of the swords and other weapon replicas used in the show, they were all very cheap, from the $150-$400 price range. A quality replica Medieval or Iron-Age sword that is in even in the ballpark of realistic is more like the $600 - $2000 range, and that is for a CnC milled mass produced replica from Albion or A&A or one of those outfits.

Check the prices here

http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/swords-albion-mark-nextgen.htm

For a real hand-forged sword from a qualified swordsmith like Peter Johnnson or Vladimir Cervenka or the late Paul Champagne, that would be representative of a real top quality Medieval weapon, the cost is in the thousands and there is typically a 3 or 4 year waiting list at minimum.

For armor it's even more of a wide range. Butted mail like they used in the William Wallace episode, while totally unhistorical, has the advantage of costing as low as a hundred bucks. The cheap Indian riveted mail they used in some of the other episodes is in the neighborhood of $300 or $400... but if you wanted an authentic (and vastly superior quality in terms of effectiveness as armor) mail shirt it will cost you at least $1000.

Even the cheapest quasi-historical plate armor panoply is going to cost at least $1500 - $2000, and that is for one-size-fits-all piece that won't fit your stunt man, but at least you could put it around a ballistic gel dummy. But that would be very expensive for something likely to be dented and burned. That is why the Knight advocate was wearing some kind of weird home-made SCA amor and the stuff they were putting on the dummies was even cheaper. A realistic quality gothic ('platemail') harness replica would cost upwards of 10 or 15 thousand dollars.

A realistic Renaissance power arbalest with 1000 lb or more draw weight is almost impossible to get hold of, you might be able to have a replica made for a couple of grand or even buy and refurbish an antique. But I wouldn't DW to do it.

So if you are doing a TV show whose primary goal is to sell Axe body spray to stinky teenagers, you buy a $200 sword, a $100 butted mail shirt, have your prop department make a fake $50 shield made out of a picnic bench, a $80 crossbow replica, and a $50 prop "kanabo" club from a tourist shop in Hawaii with little spikes glued on from somebodies leather jacket, plus four actors working at scale you have a reasonable cost show and you can count on guys like imp_fireball to believe your results no matter what they look like.

If you bought a $2000 Albion Brescia Spadona (sword), and a $5000 Maximillian harness, a $1000 arbalest with 800 lb draw, and flew in Peter Johnsson and Sydney Anglo and Fabrice Cognot to be your advocates, you'd have a pretty good test that Mythbusters wouldn't feel embarrassed by, but a much more expensive show that probably wouldn't air on Spike.


G.

crazedloon
2010-04-25, 11:58 PM
I will not attempt to even go into actual factual arguments about weapon comparisons in DW but I have one simple nitpick which I feel is repeated (maybe not to the fullest degree as this example but this is the best) in every episode.

DW makes some assumptions about the "use" of weapons by grouping them into very broad and vague categories. My nitpick is the Samurai vs Viking episode. For each side we have the following weapons

the great axe - close range
the long sword - mid range
the spear - long range
the shield - special

the katana - close range
the naginata - mid range
the bow - long range
the kanibo - special

is it just me or does the above seem a little silly

the Vikings close range weapon is not really that close range of a weapon (indeed the guy even over states the slight range benefit it has) this should be a simple sword vs sword (particularly because they are both "test") but I am sure that would be to similar of results to be fun.

the mid range has the dumb match up with a spear (naginata is a pole arm no matter how you look at it) vs sword? and again they test the viking spear but put it in a dumb category because the comparison would be boring (in this case a emphasis on more close range slashes vs long thrusts)

long range should be a bow comparison as all cultures have for centuries used bows for hunting as well as combat, but again it is boring so we get ridiculous "Double spear" demonstration that if it ever happened (which I doubt) was rare and far between.

special we have a comparison of a defensive item which can be used as a weapon and a ridiculous weapon which would see about as much use as the above technique on the battle field (ok I will admit I am not expert and it may have seen some use but I find that hard to fathom)

if the show at least made a simple baseline for weapon groups it may at least begin to get some credibility. a simple example would be
short = hand weapons
mid = pole arm
long = bow/actual ranged weapons such as sling

special = this would be more of the flexible category to allow some of the more peculiar weapons used by some cultures (though this category is more fun than scientific because comparisons will be to arbitrary like the show already is) for example how do you compare the monk's flexible weapon to a Aboriginal boomerang?

at least than you can compare like to like

than if the test used for both sides were the same we start looking like an actual science show, but the problem with their tests are that they seem to be arbitrary and not constant between the two weapons in a group. The test tend to measure random factors and the "Effectiveness" of weapons are all about wow factors. The most ridiculous part of the show is the shock and awe shown by the hosts when weapons do what they are supposed to do, i.e. do damage capable of killing or doing severe bodily harm.

now we have some test that make sense

now the last thing is the thing I find most annoying that they leave out however claim they "test" and that is the use of armor. Armor only ever comes into the equation when one of the teams trash talk and claim their armor can withstand the attacks of the other sides weapons (and more often than not they do as seen by the katana vs chainmail and the apache club vs gladiator helmet) or a defensive item is a "special" weapon. So lets make some of the above test (After getting "combat stats") against the armor that the weapons would be used against.

so with the above changes we might actually start looking like a little science (well as much science as one can get from a glorified what if show) admittedly you end up with a 2 hour show with less flash but more fact.

so now we have a variable for defense.

Now as I said I have little actual knowledge on these facts but from a science lovers point of view these seam like simple changes that will help the "realism" of the science presented

imp_fireball
2010-04-26, 01:51 AM
Saw the show tonight, THIS IS SPARTA!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I think the reason for the large cheesiness / BS portion of the show boils down to money. They could get top experts for these various subjects but they'd have to fly them in from all over the world. The guys they used are probably agency guys who work in town (I would guess LA) for rate.

I recognized a lot of the swords and other weapon replicas used in the show, they were all very cheap, from the $150-$400 price range. A quality replica Medieval or Iron-Age sword that is in even in the ballpark of realistic is more like the $600 - $2000 range, and that is for a CnC milled mass produced replica from Albion or A&A or one of those outfits.

Check the prices here

http://www.albion-swords.com/swords/albion/swords-albion-mark-nextgen.htm

For a real hand-forged sword from a qualified swordsmith like Peter Johnnson or Vladimir Cervenka or the late Paul Champagne, that would be representative of a real top quality Medieval weapon, the cost is in the thousands and there is typically a 3 or 4 year waiting list at minimum.

For armor it's even more of a wide range. Butted mail like they used in the William Wallace episode, while totally unhistorical, has the advantage of costing as low as a hundred bucks. The cheap Indian riveted mail they used in some of the other episodes is in the neighborhood of $300 or $400... but if you wanted an authentic (and vastly superior quality in terms of effectiveness as armor) mail shirt it will cost you at least $1000.

Even the cheapest quasi-historical plate armor panoply is going to cost at least $1500 - $2000, and that is for one-size-fits-all piece that won't fit your stunt man, but at least you could put it around a ballistic gel dummy. But that would be very expensive for something likely to be dented and burned. That is why the Knight advocate was wearing some kind of weird home-made SCA amor and the stuff they were putting on the dummies was even cheaper. A realistic quality gothic ('platemail') harness replica would cost upwards of 10 or 15 thousand dollars.

A realistic Renaissance power arbalest with 1000 lb or more draw weight is almost impossible to get hold of, you might be able to have a replica made for a couple of grand or even buy and refurbish an antique. But I wouldn't DW to do it.

So if you are doing a TV show whose primary goal is to sell Axe body spray to stinky teenagers, you buy a $200 sword, a $100 butted mail shirt, have your prop department make a fake $50 shield made out of a picnic bench, a $80 crossbow replica, and a $50 prop "kanabo" club from a tourist shop in Hawaii with little spikes glued on from somebodies leather jacket, plus four actors working at scale you have a reasonable cost show and you can count on guys like imp_fireball to believe your results no matter what they look like.

If you bought a $2000 Albion Brescia Spadona (sword), and a $5000 Maximillian harness, a $1000 arbalest with 800 lb draw, and flew in Peter Johnsson and Sydney Anglo and Fabrice Cognot to be your advocates, you'd have a pretty good test that Mythbusters wouldn't feel embarrassed by, but a much more expensive show that probably wouldn't air on Spike.


G.

Yah... I mean, I saw the show too. Are you sure replicas are really that deadly?

Why don't you ask DW yourself how they got a hold of those things instead of playing assumptions like everyone on this thread has been doing? You're asking me to do the research, so don't accuse if you don't wanna do it yourself.

Also, they do match up the weapons against one another - but not in a tactical sense. Strictly, they measure how lethal each one is. The classifications (such as long, short, medium, special) seem pretty showy.

I also thought it was a bit unfair how they considered the carribean pirate a 'modern warrior' which ended up grouping him with the spetsnatz, mafia and IRA.

Note that spartan also beat samurai and spetsnatz defeated IRA.

crazedloon
2010-04-26, 02:32 AM
Also, they do match up the weapons against one another - but not in a tactical sense. Strictly, they measure how lethal each one is. The classifications (such as long, short, medium, special) seem pretty showy.

they do no such thing. They let one weapon do one "test" and the other do completely different tests and than shout about how awesome or devastating it was. They spout some silly numbers which have nothing to do with the numbers/tested variables they have for the other weapon in that category. Also half the "test" involve a guy hacking away at a dummy or target until he feels the need to stop so of course it will look bad.

If you wish to see some proper showy testing the mythbusters do a relatively good job of making test relatively passable while still enjoyable to watch (though IMHO they focus too much on explosions now watch earlier seasons for best examples)

what DW needs is some simple test apparatuses such as a swing simulator. That way they can have a guy wail on a dummy all he wants for show but than take the numbers like the velocity his strikes were traveling at and apply them to the apparatus so that 1000 (or an arbitrarily high number) strikes can be simulated on test slices of ballistics jelly or what have you. This should give a base test for 2 weapons to be compared on. Each weapon can have their specialist wail away with whatever combat form they wish and the number for relevant strikes (i.e. those used to contact the target not flashy movements outside a strike) will be crunched by a controlled model. This is how one would match weapons against each other or at least match their destructive force. Indeed with a proper jelly "arm" with a bone in it you can demonstrate the effects of bladed as well as bludgeoning weapons on the human body. Than for the armor test a simple piece of appropriate armor is added tot he test apparatus.

The problem the above (which is not hard and is very feasible) is science like and thus too boring for tv

Galloglaich
2010-04-26, 05:57 AM
Just the basic weapon choices are absurd. In Viking vs. Samurai; actual Vikings, as opposed to Hana barbarians like those morons who were the advocates, actually had longbows. Longbows have about 3 times the range and equal accuracy to a Yumi bow. That should have been the long-range weapon. The whole double javelin thing is strictly hollywood.

In the knight vs. pirate episode. First of all, knights would fight on horseback typically, using a lance, which wasn't even considered. Next, they made a big deal about the pirate having gunpowder and the knight being blown away by that (literally). Well by the time they had the type of articulated plate armor they were showing, gunpowder weapons had been around for about 150-200 years, including "grenados" and pistols. In fact there was a whole subtype of knights called reitter knights who fought with pistols rather than lances, typically carrying 6 on their horses saddles. In fact by the 16th Century most armor had been 'proofed' by firing a pistol at it.

So you can imagine the 'knight vs. pirate' episode would have gone a bit differently if they'd given the knight some pistols or a grenade of his own.

I totally agree about the issue with the grouping of the weapons too, yumi and spear are virtually identical, they should have been grouped together. They tended to do it completely arbitrarily, they didn't really have a category for defensive weapons like a blocking dagger or a shield (usually instead assigned as a "special weapon" with emphasis on it's offensive power) or armor which was handled as a special case.

All of these (and many other) points were brought up to DW on their website. They couldn't care less.

G.

Spiryt
2010-04-26, 06:03 AM
Jeez we are still talking about it?

How wrongness of weapons can matter (even though they're kinda bad), when basic scenario involves armored, armed to teeth knight (without lance though from some reason) riding around some Treasure Island with Captain Hook trying to blow him to the sky?

Peter Pan is probably watching, eating popcorn.

How much more absurd can things get?

Yora
2010-04-26, 06:19 AM
In fact there was a whole subtype of knights called reitter knights
Sure about that? In German "Reiter" means rider and "Ritter" means knight, so "Reiter-Knight" would be Mounted Knight and "Ritter-Knight" would be Knight-Knight. :smallbiggrin:

But regarding cutting tests: I've seen a lot of videos where people hack at straw mats and water filled plastic bottles. But what is that supposed to show? Every weapon seems to cut clean through. The only impressive thing I saw was cutting through 13 bottles with one strike, but what would that compare to?
The only real exception is that video some posts above, where they try to cut through another sword. But as we don't know if it was a high quality sword and a low quality katana, it doesn't prove anything.

Mr White
2010-04-26, 06:37 AM
After reading 3 pages full of a DW discussion, I'm finally fed up.
Fire Imp, nobody is faulting you for liking this serie. We can all admit that it's a very entertaining show. But an entertaining show isn't the same as scientifically correct show. Enjoy it, just don't treat its conclusions as fact.

Galloglaich
2010-04-26, 08:39 AM
Sure about that? In German "Reiter" means rider and "Ritter" means knight, so "Reiter-Knight" would be Mounted Knight and "Ritter-Knight" would be Knight-Knight. :smallbiggrin:

Just like Gendarme simply means "armed man" in French, but meant a specific type of heavy cavalry in the 16th Century, or how shielhau simply means "squint-cut" in German but means something very specific in German Renaissance longsword fencing... Reitter had a specific meaning in the 16th Century



But regarding cutting tests: I've seen a lot of videos where people hack at straw mats and water filled plastic bottles. But what is that supposed to show? Every weapon seems to cut clean through. The only impressive thing I saw was cutting through 13 bottles with one strike, but what would that compare to?

It's hard to understand unless you have cut, but I can explain. The 'straw mats' are tatami mats which have been soaked in water, used by Samurai since the 16th Century to test cut with swords. With a wooden dowel in the middle cutting one is roughly equivalent in difficulty to cutting a human arm. They became popular for testing cutting all kinds of weapons in the last ten years as a means to prove this or that sword could do what samurai swords could do.

But there are also plenty of videos of people cutting actual meat and bones of various types which demonstrate this equivalency easily enough. For example:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QAqlCZPGktE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v4j3mvrDyQ&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PSkUGQAxrc&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xG6sP3aezco&feature=related

People cut clean through in the videos because they don't put up videos of their bad cuts.

Cutting a bottle is a softer target, the skill is in the cutting, if it's done right the bottom of the bottle will stay in place without falling over or even spilling all the water, if it's not the bottle will go flying away. With say a two-liter coke bottle, an inexperienced person will usually cut wrong and the bottle will bounce off the sword blade with a little dent. Once you know how it's pretty easy though.



The only real exception is that video some posts above, where they try to cut through another sword. But as we don't know if it was a high quality sword and a low quality katana, it doesn't prove anything.

No not necessarily, I agree. But it does demonstrate that you can kind of see (or spin) the whole medieval European vs. japanese sword debate a bit differently than the current pop-culture conventional wisdom. Ultimately it's somewhat pointless, each weapon has their strengths. but it's true that the European longsword sword is made a bit springier and more robust.

I think you can see here in this thread, people are starting to get hip compared to how things used to be. There is a big resurgence of interest in "real" martial arts, largely due to MMA, and the European martial heritage in particular has been kind of rediscovered. Ten years ago I would have been shouted down if I tried to make any of the points most in this thread brought up about DW, today a lot of gamers and people interested in historical and fantasy genres are much more aware. I think that is a good sign.

G.

Galloglaich
2010-04-26, 08:55 AM
Wiki on Reiter

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reiters

Ended up becomming a common name, as did the Dutch equivalent ruyter.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/97/Reiter_gdanski_2.1.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/36/Dresden-Zwinger-Armoury-Armor.13.JPG/450px-Dresden-Zwinger-Armoury-Armor.13.JPG

The really interesting thing to me is that both the pistol armed reiters and lance armed gendarmes and demi-lances and Hussars continued to be deployed side by side and in opposition for nearly 150 years, and it wasn't always the pistols which prevailed, the best heavy cavalry in Europe for much of this time were polish Hussars, usually armed with lances. They were very similar to Renaissance kinghts, except that they had just developed tactics for dealing with firearms.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polish_hussars

G.

lsfreak
2010-04-26, 11:09 AM
See, this is the problem with people that think they're non-conformist. Ever heard of irony?

Since when is not liking something for well thought out, rational, and articulated reasons 'being non-conformist?' I think you've confused 'non-conformist' with 'generic insult for someone who doesn't like something I like.'

Also, so much what Mr. White said. No one is saying it's not a fun show, or that it might have some kind of merit (like getting people interested in a subject). What everyone is saying is that their methodology is highly questionable and in some cases they flat-out ignored facts, so you can't hold them to the same level of credibility as people who have researched in-depth topics that DW covers (which is what you seem to be trying to argue for).

Matthew
2010-04-26, 12:36 PM
Longbows have about 3 times the range and equal accuracy to a Yumi bow.
This sounds like a good area of debate. I was under the impression that Japanese and English long bows have a very similar level of performance, but I know very little about the oriental bow. One interesting online article I have encountered is this one (http://ejmas.com/jcs/jcsart_denig_0301.htm), but it is about a hundred years old itself! Still, it suggests something like a 100-200 yard range and a pull of 30-150 lbs, which sounds very similar to modern occidental long bow types. I am away from my books and links at the moment, but would enjoy reading more discussion on the subject here.

Spiryt
2010-04-26, 12:41 PM
Well, "longbow" is simply name for any gorram stave from good wood, which doesn't have flat cross section.

So there can be longbow that are very good or excellent as far as bows go, or the ones that simply do shoot - and that's all.

I know next to nothing about Yumi bows, but their rather freaky length means that mechanics of their work had to be interesting. Namely, one "half" was obviously working much differently that other one, much shorter/longer.

Galloglaich
2010-04-26, 01:07 PM
I never heard of a Yumi bow over 80 lbs draw if anyne knows of one I'd be interested to learn that as well.

Like with a lot of Japnese Martial Arts, their archery has been heavily formalized into a sort of ritual / sport (which in this case empahsizes accuracy) sometimes it's hard to find out the actual details of the MA behind that. It could be that my (limited) sources are more reflective off the modern practice of Kyūdō.

Anyway I'm eager to hear if anyone else knows more about it.

G

Autolykos
2010-04-26, 01:10 PM
I know next to nothing about Yumi bows, but their rather freaky length means that mechanics of their work had to be interesting. Namely, one "half" was obviously working much differently that other one, much shorter/longer.But that's hardly a sign of quality or good performance. Basically it's just an ugly workaround to allow a bow of that size to be used (somewhat) comfortable from horseback.

Spiryt
2010-04-26, 01:14 PM
But that's hardly a sign of quality or good performance. Basically it's just an ugly workaround to allow a bow of that size to be used (somewhat) comfortable from horseback.

It has obvious effect on performance.

I don't know much about them, but obviously bow that's so long, while one of the limbs is rather short isn't going to work similarly to more "standard" ones.

I'm not saying it has to be "worse" or something, just stating observations.

Cogidubnus
2010-04-26, 02:14 PM
How many pages of how inaccurate DW is? Ultimately, it's never going to be wonderfully accurate, and more importantly, it's a tv show. It's MEANT to be showy and to fool people who don't know what they're talking about (which is all of us outside of what we've studied, after all). This whole thread's about one comment from becoming an enormous flame war.
Though some of the discussion has also been quite interesting :smalltongue:

imp_fireball
2010-04-26, 07:40 PM
They couldn't care less.

G.

What do you mean 'they couldn't care less'? This is actually the case with just about every televised thing. They can't address everyone's concerns. It only seems like they don't care. I hear that everywhere.

But I do agree that things weren't entirely accurate - but to consider that their entire conception of the viking/ninja/knight is completely inaccurate seems a little off. Sure, knights may have used pistols in 16th century but note that the knight they portrayed was a 15th century french knight. The carribean pirate was 17th century (I think) - that may have been around the time that flint locks were new.

Also, blunderbusses are powerful. They didn't test them for stopping power though.



Though some of the discussion has also been quite interesting :smalltongue:

Thank you, that's why I'm continuing it. :P


I never heard of a Yumi bow over 80 lbs draw if anyne knows of one I'd be interested to learn that as well.


According to wiki, the mongolian horn wood bows of Genghis' time had a draw weight that was twice that (I think). I'm not kidding.

Though in D&D terms it's probably something like a composite bow with a +3 or +4 Str modifier added to it (I think the rules for not having enough strength to fire those should instead impose a small penalty instead of preventing you from firing at all or maybe raise the number of range increments beyond 10).

crazedloon
2010-04-26, 09:04 PM
well their are quite a few mentions of European longsword fencing (particularly German) My question is if I was interested in learning not only about its history but its combat forms (or however it is known in European martial arts) where would a god place be to start? Are their books or articles which are particularly useful for a beginner and beyond?

Dienekes
2010-04-26, 09:28 PM
I asked a similar question a few months ago herehttp://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=124683&page=21

Scroll down a bit to my post and you'll see what they say about self teaching through books and sites.

Galloglaich
2010-04-26, 10:33 PM
well their are quite a few mentions of European longsword fencing (particularly German) My question is if I was interested in learning not only about its history but its combat forms (or however it is known in European martial arts) where would a god place be to start? Are their books or articles which are particularly useful for a beginner and beyond?

What he said, plus, for an overview, the wiki is a good start:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_school_of_fencing

as is this article

http://www.myarmoury.com/feature_arms_gls.php

To find a group in your area, check the HEMA Alliance website,

http://hemaalliance.com/discussion/

they have a specific map for finding groups near you

http://www.communitywalk.com/THE-HEMA-ALLIANCE-Training-Partner-Finder

... and / or the WMAC website

http://www.wmacoalition.com/

Hope that helps,

G.

RationalGoblin
2010-04-26, 10:37 PM
Question; what kind of weaponry did the 10th century Turkic groups mainly use? I'm researching stuff about the Khazars, so I need to know what they used in battle.

Also, what was the best way to fight fast-moving horse warriors of the Turkic style, especially archers and skirmishers?

fusilier
2010-04-26, 11:12 PM
If Mythbusters did testing, they'd probably draw out conclusions as well (after all that's what they do myth busters).

The whole point of having them draw out a conclusion is to hear their opinion about it (which is nice). Drawing out a conclusion won't make anyone believe it's definitive except the ignorant.

The problem is what they are concluding. They are not concluding that a thrown Spartan spear will penetrate a human torso more than a throwing star (or whatever). They are testing that. They are "concluding" that a Spartan will beat a Ninja X times out of a thousand. In order to conclude this, they use a computer model that is *impossible* to validate! Even if they constructed an expert system it would be fraught with other problems (and they clearly aren't constructing an expert system).

My main problem is their computer model! It's no better than flipping a coin. Like I said, the showing off of the weapons is actually kind of cool and has some merit.

imp_fireball
2010-04-27, 12:23 AM
Since when is not liking something for well thought out, rational, and articulated reasons 'being non-conformist?' I think you've confused 'non-conformist' with 'generic insult for someone who doesn't like something I like.'


No, everyone who considers themselves 'smart' is always opposing axe body spray commercials (and other similar things like, I don't know Paris Hilton or jocks) as if not everyone opposes them already.

They think they're being original and non-conformist when in fact, it is very very conformist to do so.

Jocks are dumb and you're smart for pointing that out and not looking a little further beyond stereotypes, we get it.

Daosus
2010-04-27, 01:37 AM
Also, what was the best way to fight fast-moving horse warriors of the Turkic style, especially archers and skirmishers?

There are a number of ways to beat horse archers. They all concentrate on having enough firepower to hold the archers at bay or on forcing the archers to commit to close combat.

One method is to coordinate shock and missile fire, like Alexander did at the battle of Jaxartes and Antony did in his Parthian campaign. Another is to use foot archers to push the horse away so they can't attack and force them to commit by threatening important centers, much like Richard I at Arsuf. A third is to use ambush and encirclement by heavier troops as at Lechfeld by Otto and at Kulikovo by Dmitriy Donskoy.

The above methods seek to actively destroy horse archers. You could also hold them off using fortification and tight formations of armored soldiers (as at Poitiers). If they couldn't attack, they usually moved on.

Horse archers are best on certain types of terrain. If a state was bordering that terrain, they often fomented dissent among the various tribes so they could not unite and present a strong threat. Horse archers are also slow to replenish losses, so inflicting even one strong defeat on a tribal horse archer people often resulted in a generation or more of peace (as with the Magyars).

gdiddy
2010-04-27, 01:54 AM
An awesome look at Norman tactics used against 11th century Turkish cavalry, as well as a limited breakdown of weapons and armor:

http://www.historynet.com/first-crusade-battle-of-dorylaeum.htm

Brainfart
2010-04-27, 02:14 AM
well their are quite a few mentions of European longsword fencing (particularly German) My question is if I was interested in learning not only about its history but its combat forms (or however it is known in European martial arts) where would a god place be to start? Are their books or articles which are particularly useful for a beginner and beyond?

Generally, learning martial arts from a book will only get you so far. It's best to look for a group with a qualified instructor and attend meetings/practice sessions regularly. You'll advance a lot faster that way.

http://www.hroarr.com/survey/worldwide/practitioners/

Jon_Dahl
2010-04-27, 03:29 AM
Is butchers knife (http://delphinescarlett.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/butcher-knife.jpg) closer to dagger or handaxe? Sorry for the bit D&D:ish question...

Galloglaich
2010-04-27, 06:32 AM
Is butchers knife (http://delphinescarlett.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/butcher-knife.jpg) closer to dagger or handaxe? Sorry for the bit D&D:ish question...

In DnD terms, a dagger... but a dagger should do more damage in DnD than it does.... a ten inch knife is hardly the 'nuisance' weapon it is portrayed as in DnD. Given the limits of the system, you get certain bizarre distortions.

G.

Galloglaich
2010-04-27, 06:34 AM
But I do agree that things weren't entirely accurate - but to consider that their entire conception of the viking/ninja/knight is completely inaccurate seems a little off. Sure, knights may have used pistols in 16th century but note that the knight they portrayed was a 15th century french knight. The carribean pirate was 17th century (I think) - that may have been around the time that flint locks were new.

Firearms in Europe go back to the 14th Century. The first major pitched battles involving firearms were in the early 15th.



According to wiki, the mongolian horn wood bows of Genghis' time had a draw weight that was twice that (I think). I'm not kidding.

I'm pretty sure you are kidding. What does a mongolian "horn wood bow" have to do with a Japanese Yumi bow?

G.

Galloglaich
2010-04-27, 06:35 AM
An awesome look at Norman tactics used against 11th century Turkish cavalry, as well as a limited breakdown of weapons and armor:

http://www.historynet.com/first-crusade-battle-of-dorylaeum.htm

That's really interesting thanks for posting.

G.

Galloglaich
2010-04-27, 06:36 AM
No, everyone who considers themselves 'smart' is always opposing axe body spray commercials (and other similar things like, I don't know Paris Hilton or jocks) as if not everyone opposes them already.

They think they're being original and non-conformist when in fact, it is very very conformist to do so.

And if that is the case, it's conformist to tell everybody they are trying to be non-conformist ;)


Jocks are dumb and you're smart for pointing that out and not looking a little further beyond stereotypes, we get it.

Either you know what you are talking about or you don't kid. This is a thread for answering "real world weapon and armor questions". So far you haven't shed a lot of light on this discussion.

G.

Johel
2010-04-27, 07:01 AM
And [someone] invented the EDIT function.
:smallbiggrin:

Eorran
2010-04-27, 08:15 AM
Is there any archaeological evidence for steel/metal bows in the Middle East? I came across a reference to "steel" (probably not what we'd consider modern steel) bows in Israel circa 600 BC.

Are there any records of steel or metals being used to make bows, in any culture?

Spiryt
2010-04-27, 08:21 AM
There are indian steel bows.

Also bows in heavy draw crossbows were often made from steel, for not very efficient, but powerful prods.

Galloglaich
2010-04-27, 09:27 AM
There are indian steel bows.

Also bows in heavy draw crossbows were often made from steel, for not very efficient, but powerful prods.

What he said. Steel bows in 600 BC sounds unlikely, there isn't much evidence for steel that I know of before around 300 BC and that was very rare and in relatively small artefacts. A bow made of steel is a high level of metalurgy indeed.

The Indian steel bows were apparently wootz steel, used from possibly as early as 500 AD. There are still some around:

http://www.oriental-arms.co.il/photos/items/29/002429/ph-0.jpg
http://www.atarn.org/letters/letr_dec04/nosteelkaman1.jpg

It's hard to find out how effective they were or precisely what their role was, from reserarch I did for my book I came to the conclusion that there were several different types, some were very small (so called "cupid" bows) at least one pretty large type were apparently short-ranged armor piercing weapons. But that is as best an educated guess, for a variety of reasons it's hard to find out more about their actual use. Whatever their actual battlefield function, they were apparently popular enough to be adopted by the Mughals, the Ottomans, and the Persians all on a fairly large scale. There are paintings of them being used in battle by the Ottomans.

On the very powerful 16th Century steel prod crossobows, called arbalests, these made for the most powerful crossbows ever made, comprable to muskets in power, and much smaller than older weapons. They remained in use for hunting into the laste 18th Century so we have a few of those still around too.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/40/109101025_1e2ec99531.jpg
http://images.travelpod.com/users/sylvester.k/1.1262119737.crossbow.jpg

G.

Fhaolan
2010-04-27, 09:46 AM
http://www.atarn.org/letters/letr_dec04/nosteelkaman1.jpg

Pretty! Want! I needs it!

Subotei
2010-04-27, 02:21 PM
There are a number of ways to beat horse archers. They all concentrate on having enough firepower to hold the archers at bay or on forcing the archers to commit to close combat.

One method is to coordinate shock and missile fire, like Alexander did at the battle of Jaxartes and Antony did in his Parthian campaign. Another is to use foot archers to push the horse away so they can't attack and force them to commit by threatening important centers, much like Richard I at Arsuf. A third is to use ambush and encirclement by heavier troops as at Lechfeld by Otto and at Kulikovo by Dmitriy Donskoy.

The above methods seek to actively destroy horse archers. You could also hold them off using fortification and tight formations of armored soldiers (as at Poitiers). If they couldn't attack, they usually moved on.

Horse archers are best on certain types of terrain. If a state was bordering that terrain, they often fomented dissent among the various tribes so they could not unite and present a strong threat. Horse archers are also slow to replenish losses, so inflicting even one strong defeat on a tribal horse archer people often resulted in a generation or more of peace (as with the Magyars).

Also - employ your own horse archers.

Subotei
2010-04-27, 02:32 PM
Is butchers knife (http://delphinescarlett.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/butcher-knife.jpg) closer to dagger or handaxe? Sorry for the bit D&D:ish question...

I've statted out cleavers, machetes etc out as sickles before - its the only simple slashing weapon listed in 3.5 other than a dagger. Bizarrely no simple hatchets, axes etc - can't get a more peasant weapon than an axe but hey ho..

Fortinbras
2010-04-27, 09:49 PM
Without half swording is it possible to thrust with a longsword?

Hades
2010-04-27, 10:10 PM
Without half swording is it possible to thrust with a longsword?
Certainly, especially from pflug or ochs-type positions (sorry, don't know the Italian names).

This clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC5FIyfI8TA) has a couple examples of thrusting with the longsword, not the most obvious as the thrusts aren't isolated from the other sequence of moves, but it might give you a bit of an idea, and was the first clip I found.

Edit: if I've done it right, this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj4Ng6DBfrg&feature=related#t=52s) should take you directly to a series of longsword thrusts from a different clip.

Brainfart
2010-04-28, 02:15 AM
Certainly, especially from pflug or ochs-type positions (sorry, don't know the Italian names).

This clip (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC5FIyfI8TA) has a couple examples of thrusting with the longsword, not the most obvious as the thrusts aren't isolated from the other sequence of moves, but it might give you a bit of an idea, and was the first clip I found.

Edit: if I've done it right, this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj4Ng6DBfrg&feature=related#t=52s) should take you directly to a series of longsword thrusts from a different clip.

I think the closest equivalents are posta breve and posta di fenestra. Breve isn't used in the same manner as pflug though, since the sword is held in the centre and not to the side.

Low guards like porta di ferro mezzano (which is basically alber :smallbiggrin:) and posta di dente di zhengiaro (boar's tooth, spelling seems to vary) are pretty good for thrusting too.

Hades
2010-04-28, 02:21 AM
Low guards like porta di ferro mezzano (which is basically alber :smallbiggrin:) and posta di dente di zhengiaro (boar's tooth, spelling seems to vary) are pretty good for thrusting too.
I just KNEW somebody was going to pop in here and say I forgot alber... :smalltongue:

Thanks for the Italian versions. I was trying to dig up a few of the original plates with the gruesome longsword-thrust-through-the-face bits, but got lazy, and I might be thinking of some of the later rapier plates, anybody have anything like that handy?

Galloglaich
2010-04-28, 06:35 AM
There are a bunch but I don't have time to look them up either right now.

Thrusting is a fundamental technique with the German or Italian longsword, in German longsword fencing it's one of the "three wounders" along with the cut and the slice. Arguably thrusting is more emphasized than cutting in the earlier German manuals.

In sparring, you have to thrust (and have an effective thrust defense) to survive a bout. This is one of the biggest differences you'll see between HEMA sparring and your various re-enactor types of combat or stage combat - because thrusting is more dangerous and basically requires a fencing mask.

G.

Brainfart
2010-04-28, 11:39 AM
You seem to be implying that death and maiming occur very often in freeplay. If so, you're doing it wrong. :smalltongue:

Quick OT question: which longsword in the Albion Maestro line is preferable for the Italian tradition? I've heard good things about both the Meyer and Liechtenauer, though I'm hesitant to commit to one. I've handled the L and quite like it, though it has a tad too much blade presence for my liking. The M's too hilt heavy (but bloody fast) and gets steamrollered by beefier swords, and the flanges seem to affect the performance of certain techniques.

I've been using a borrowed blunt for quite some time (an old beaten up A&A with the flange thingmajigs at the cross, not sure what it's called), and it basically wobbles all over the place when I cross swords.

Galloglaich
2010-04-28, 01:28 PM
I would guess the Lichtenauer since the Meyer is specifically based on the german training swords with those flanges. I'm a German system guy myself so I'm not sure what is ideal for Italian.... personally I like the Meyers a lot for sparring but I know some well informed people who prefer the Lictheanuer.

I find the Meyer is just in that perfect 'sweet spot' for fencing, surprisingly safe and not as painful as I expected it to be, but still feels like a sword unlike those Hanwei feders. I don't own one yet but when I can budget it I'm going to get one.

I haven't tried the Tinker / Hanweis yet, I handled some recently and they felt pretty impressive, good balance etc., but I've heard about some breaking, there may have been some early production problems which have been subsequently fixed.

Are you doing Fiore / Vadi or something later like Marrozo?

G.

Brainfart
2010-04-28, 08:12 PM
Fiore primarily, with some bits from Vadi.

The Tinkers are a pretty good buy if the bulk of your group is using them, but they don't hold up too well to repeated strikes by harder swords since the edge tends to be a bit thin. Some of the older Tinkers here can even burr after repeated edge-flat displacements. They do handle very nicely though.

Galloglaich
2010-04-29, 06:27 AM
Have you had any break yet?


G.