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  1. - Top - End - #151
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    My understanding of plate armour was that combat was based around stabbing through eyeslits and underarms, and knocking someone over so you have the opportunity to get to the weak points.
    There might technically be a structural weakness, but humans can't cut plate steel anyway.

  2. - Top - End - #152
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    My understanding of plate armour was that combat was based around stabbing through eyeslits and underarms, and knocking someone over so you have the opportunity to get to the weak points.
    There might technically be a structural weakness, but humans can't cut plate steel anyway.
    It's not cutting through the steel that's the issue. It's that if the breastplate traps the point instead of deflecting it, the impact all gets transferred to the wearer. The force might knock you down, rather than sliding off to the side. Or the blade might ride the cleavage path up the breastplate to the throat.

    And something really heavy, like a lance or a bolt from a heavy crossbow might punch through armor.
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  3. - Top - End - #153
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    My understanding of plate armour was that combat was based around stabbing through eyeslits and underarms, and knocking someone over so you have the opportunity to get to the weak points.
    There might technically be a structural weakness, but humans can't cut plate steel anyway.
    That's mostly if you have a weapon like a sword or a dagger which can't get a ton of inertia behind it. Historical plate armor was remarkably thin: 3 millimeters was considered high, and it's thickness varied quite a bit.

    With weapons like warhammers, lucerne hammers, and poleaxes (even a sword being held by the blade to use as a makeshift hammer), you could leave a sizeable dent in plate (and ideally the person inside), or even punch through it. Against such brute force, often concentrated into small points, you really don't want armor to be too close-fitting if you can avoid it. The more you can deflect a blow away from you, the more of a "crumple zone" you have, the better.
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  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Isn't that what the padding inside is for?

    Seems like situations where the structural weakness makes enough difference to matter would be fairly small. Lethal strikes from things like heavy crossbows and lances seem like they would likely be lethal anyway.

    I don't have a dog in this race particularly, but y'all tend to know these things.

    Another open ended question that may not have a useful answer: If you're missing your ring and pinky fingers from one hand, how much of an obstacle is that likely to be when using firearms? Seems like it would make it very hard to hold steady, but I have no gun experience.

    Obviously, this is another 'it depends' question, but how would someone optimise things so it would be as little an obstacle as possible? What would be the easiest or most difficult weapon to use?

    Thanks. Not super important, just a question I've been wondering.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    It's not cutting through the steel that's the issue. It's that if the breastplate traps the point instead of deflecting it, the impact all gets transferred to the wearer. The force might knock you down, rather than sliding off to the side. Or the blade might ride the cleavage path up the breastplate to the throat.

    And something really heavy, like a lance or a bolt from a heavy crossbow might punch through armor.
    About lances, jousting with boob plate looks like a terrible mistake. Many hits to the breast that would otherwise glance off to the side would have their force driven towards the centre, or glance towards your throat and chin. Lots of broken lances!
    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
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  6. - Top - End - #156
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    Isn't that what the padding inside is for?

    Seems like situations where the structural weakness makes enough difference to matter would be fairly small. Lethal strikes from things like heavy crossbows and lances seem like they would likely be lethal anyway.

    I don't have a dog in this race particularly, but y'all tend to know these things.

    Another open ended question that may not have a useful answer: If you're missing your ring and pinky fingers from one hand, how much of an obstacle is that likely to be when using firearms? Seems like it would make it very hard to hold steady, but I have no gun experience.

    Obviously, this is another 'it depends' question, but how would someone optimise things so it would be as little an obstacle as possible? What would be the easiest or most difficult weapon to use?

    Thanks. Not super important, just a question I've been wondering.
    Padding helps, but it's better to have padding AND more space. Plus, more space means more room for padding.

    Against things like powerful projectiles, lances, and powerful weapon strikes, the value of deflecting blows rather than meeting them directly is everything. If the hit connects cleanly, it will most likely hurt you. If it glances off, the vast majority of energy is lost (unless it's deflected into another body part, which you want to avoid). Deflecting a blow away from your body often means the difference between being knocked off-balance and getting a hole punched in you.

    For firearms and missing fingers, it'll depend on the weapon and the hand. For a pistol, a hand with two fingers missing is going to be very inconvenient. You'd have the other hand to support it, but it would probably better to just learn to shoot with your non-injured hand and use the injured one to support.

    But for rifles, it's not such a huge deal to be missing those two fingers in particular. When you're shooting a rifle, you've got three points of contact: your shoulder, your firing hand, and your supporting hand. Your shoulder is taking most of the recoil, and you can hold/fire a rifle with only three fingers. Is it ideal? No, but it's not even close to impossible.
    Last edited by AdAstra; 2020-11-22 at 01:47 PM.
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  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Does anyone know or have links to stuff about military "rules of thumb" or actual guides regarding how far away troops shpuld be able to spot & recognize tanks, planes, apcs, etc.?

    I'm trying to set up a system agnostic set of tables for visual and audible detection and identification using real data. I've been searching for studies and experiments but it's slow going, there's lots of signal noise involving eye charts and autonomous vehicle systems. The eye charts are particularly annoying because it's everyone's frst recommendation but there turn out to be bias and cognition issues related to preparation, simple shapes, and high contrast static images.

    The best stuff I've come across so far was a study of using different types of image degredation to mimic distance effects when using pictures to study vision & distance relationships (it included a beautiful charts of Y% correct identification of faces at X distance by different methods), and a paper about proving the accuracy of some visual distance measurement in air traffic control situations with images of aircraft at different angles (less useful as I'll have to spend a couple hours reading the paper to figure out which equation they're trying to prove, if it was proved, and if it's actually relevant to my needs).
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  8. - Top - End - #158
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Elaboration and concurrence on shooting with missing fingers.

    First I want to note that I will not discuss possibility of shooting with freshly detached fingers. I am not sure if there is anyone who knows more than a few anecdotes about how much fresh open wounds hamper ability to shoot, and if someone knows more it's a very niche knowledge.

    Also missing fingers on non-dominant hand should not affect accuracy significantly with a long arm as long as one has a time to adjust to it instead of getting into shooting war right after removing stitches on finger stumps. So further cases are about dominant hand

    With a pistol: you are screwed. Mostly. I would not say it is impossible to hit a man at three meters but it should hamper shooting greatly, especially ability to go back on target after the first shot. Supporting mangled hand with intact off-hand is unlikely to be good enough. Retraining to shoot with your other hand is recommended if you have enough time.

    With a long arm: nowhere near as bad as pistol, still bad enough, especially for ability to go back on target, especially without time to adjust. What can help significantly is adding more points of contact, by using a bipod, bracing a forend against something of appropriate height (make sure you don't have one of those guns which jam when a force is applied to the barrel\forestock), or using a shooting sling. Just in case - ability to fire heavy weapons from tripods will be affected not at all. Probably.
    Last edited by Saint-Just; 2020-11-22 at 06:33 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Talakeal View Post
    With all the recent talk about boob-plates, one thing that I haven't seen addressed is this article's claim that if you trip while wearing a molded breastplate you will shatter your sternum, likely fatally.
    Boob plate as a concept won't shatter your sternum necessarily, but the most common execution definitely, absolutely will.

    To make that clearer, the idea behind boob armor is to make it female-form-fitting for eye candy, and that is sonething that's fundamentally opposed to how armor works. We're not really talking about cuirass that has boobs on it but otherwise acts as a cuirass when it comes to what's under it (i.e. gap and padding), we're talking almost form-fitting plate of steel.

    If that takes a strong hit from pretty much anywhere from the front, it will apply sudden leverage directly on your sternum, and the problem is, sternum (unlike, say, an arm) has nowhere to go. Most solid blows (and remember, this is armor fighting, so mace at a minimum, likely a pollaxe) porbably won't shatter it with immediately fatal results, just crack it, but that alone is likely to decide the fight. If you catch a lance? Game over.

    Bolts and arrows don't have the necessary momentum (they do have the energy, but low momentum means they will be easily flipped or redirected) to break bones, so you'll be fine there, unless your boob plate redirects those straight under your chin. Which it will in some cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by AdAstra View Post
    Deflecting a blow away from your body often means the difference between being knocked off-balance and getting a hole punched in you.
    It's not just getting a hole punched in you, a lance impact is strong enough to break your neck, and blunt force trauma alone can bruise or tear off your organs. Armor being partially penetrated and blow being stopped short of your fleshy bits is actually better from blunt force perspective, because that penetration and subsequent deformation not only spend some of the blow's energy, they also spread the blow out over a longer timeframe, reducing the impulse of force. That latter part means the modern abaltive bulletproof vest isn't really analogous to how a plate armor functions in this regard, either.

    Jousting especially involves extreme blunt forces being passed around - there are numerous accounts of a lance impact on the rider breaking the back of a horse. Put that kind of power anywhere near your neck, or into the middle of a boobplate, directly on top of your sternum, and, well...

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapphire Guard View Post
    Isn't that what the padding inside is for?
    The important thing to remember is that padding is still heavy - I have two gambesons, one for under chain mail and one for standalone use, the standalone is made from looser padding, insanely protective and clocks at about 3-4 kilos. The under mail one has the same weight, but is significantly thinner when we measure from skin to top layer of gambeson, about 2-3cm when compared to 10-12cm.

    The idea here is that you need some padding, but don't want to increase weight, and there is a point at which more padding doesn't matter, because you either stopped the blow or are getting shot at by cannons.

    Then there is the issue of lessening the impulse of force I described above, but I'm unsure if anyone knew about that in the period, the equations for this sort of thing involve maths that weren't discovered quite yet, and there were no high-speed cameras. It is entirely possible that people just figured out that a gap works better than no gap, without really knowing why.

    Finally, if you pierce a plate of steel and keep driving in, there is going to be friction between your piercing spike and edges of the hole. The bigger the distance it has to travel, the more force it will absorb. Combine this with we don't want to add weight approach, and gaps suddenly make sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Telok View Post
    I'm trying to set up a system agnostic set of tables for visual and audible detection and identification using real data. I've been searching for studies and experiments but it's slow going, there's lots of signal noise involving eye charts and autonomous vehicle systems. The eye charts are particularly annoying because it's everyone's frst recommendation but there turn out to be bias and cognition issues related to preparation, simple shapes, and high contrast static images.
    Well, good luck. This is a topic that depends so much on time of day, place, weather, paint of target, foliage and many, many more - you will likely end up with "and then DM can apply a modifire that goes to just about +-100% of a value you have gotten".

    For man-sized targets, you should probably talk to Ian from ForgottenWeapons YT channel, I remember him mentioning several times how difficult it was to identify a target at x yards in a three gun match. I don't really remember which videos it was in, so you can either watch a few of them or just send him a message.

    For vehicles, only thing I can think of are warships, which are conveniently placed on a flat surface most of the time. There are some issues with camo paint, but looking at various pre-carrier battles should give you a good idea when it comes to at what range it is possible to spot a ship - Jutland, for example, has a spotting distance of 20-30 km.
    That which does not kill you made a tactical error.

  10. - Top - End - #160
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    How many times did Julius Caesar build a wall to force a battle on his own terms? I know he did it at least twice, but I seem to remember he did it even more than that. (And there was also the time he build a giant bridge over the Rhine , just to make a point.)
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  11. - Top - End - #161
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Re: seeing things.

    If you really want to read it, this sort of thing was a popular technical research subject back in the day. Long story short, humans can fairly consistently be observed at 100m or less in any terrain where they are not literally physically obstructed (e.g. very thick woods, jungle, or other areas where there is no actual line of sight), but by 300m the variables start coming in to play...detection in an open field remains easy, detection in a far wood line becomes extremely improbable.

    So...that’s probably where your chart starts. In difficult conditions or terrain, you will not get a chance to observe a human until they close to under 300m. At 100m you detect by default unless they do some deliberate sneaky stuff.

    Double that for “medium” terrain.

    Double it again for “open” terrain.

    In theory you can actually potentially visually resolve a human at nearly 5km, but 1200m “chance” and 400m “auto unless stealthed” in the plains seems fair to actually human mental acuity.

    https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/753600.pdf

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    I'm not looking less for just spotting things than for recognizing them and, ideally, how accurate people are at it. That's why the facial identification study (I'll try to get the link, I promise, when I can use an actual computer) was pretty much perfect. I'm not worried about obstructions, concealment, etc., yet. Just trying to find actual data on the basics for now.
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  13. - Top - End - #163
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    I just remembered there was something perfect for your purposes, a WW2 wargame used by Brits Western Approaches Tactical Unit to very effectively counteract German submarines. It had to have rulesets for spotting and identification, and accurate ones, since it has proven to work almost flawlessly in real world. Unfortunately, ruleset seems top be lost to time, and only person who remembers it and is known to us is Prince Phillip. He probably won't answer your email.

    Fortunately, the ruleset was based on wargames by Fred Jane, which are available. There's a couple of books out there - which I'm not spending money on, but you may want to - and there are some online files, for example this one, which gives sighting range at 20 miles. It also gives semaphore signaling distance at 12 miles and flags at 5, and since you need to identify those properly, it would give you what you need once you look up naval signal flag size.
    That which does not kill you made a tactical error.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Telok View Post
    I'm not looking less for just spotting things than for recognizing them and, ideally, how accurate people are at it. That's why the facial identification study (I'll try to get the link, I promise, when I can use an actual computer) was pretty much perfect. I'm not worried about obstructions, concealment, etc., yet. Just trying to find actual data on the basics for now.
    I mean, people are so good at recognizing faces that we frequently recognize faces where there are none, so that's a start. Generally, the way people spot other people is by recognizing a familiar shape, like a face, or body outline, which draws attention to our brains. Telling the difference between specific people will be a lot harder, but you can pretty much recognize a human at any distance where you'd spot the person to begin with.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Sweet, thanks. The infantry time-to-spot also had a little daya point I could use and, importantly leads me towards a tanks/vehicle version of that paper.

    There was a facial recognition one that I started with, great graphs summarising what I needed. It was done as part of studying criminal witness accuracy.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Vehicles mostly get treated for acquisition by other optics. For all you ever wanted to know about what platforms can detect a vehicle at what range and recognize it at another, the WEG is your go to. Or you can just assume acquire at 3600m and recognize at 2000m. This is a older one, but modern enough:

    https://fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/row/weg.pdf

    That does not cover the mark one eyeball however. Don’t quote me on it, but I believe the older concepts were that an unaided eye should be able to recognize a fighting vehicle in the open at 800m provided time and knowledge. To the degree that you could know “western tank or Russian tank” though probably not wild specifics.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Haven't gotten to look at anything more since last post but found the facial ID file

    faculty.washington.edu/gloftus/downloads/loftusharleydistance.pdf
    Niven's Laws, #5
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Trivia question: whose hand is on the shoulder of this sailor as she shoots? Does it have a purpose? Is it a common thing to do? File:US Navy 080725-N-4236E-391 Fire Controlman Seaman Rachel Hubley fires an M4 carbine from the fantail of the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72).jpg - Wikimedia Commons

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.R.R. Tolkien, 1955
    I thought Tom Bombadil dreadful — but worse still was the announcer's preliminary remarks that Goldberry was his daughter (!), and that Willowman was an ally of Mordor (!!).

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    My first guess would be a firearm instructor checking on how she is dealing with the recoil to give advice how her posture could be improved. Or as a signal to start and stop shoting when other noise makes hearing spoken instructions unteliable.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Who knows? Even for a propaganda shot, they laid that one on thick. I’m pretty sure that standing with a CCO and a gangster grip isn’t the stuff of match grade teaching. And it’s not like 5.56 is going to cause any recoil that you’ll notice.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Is Pathfinder's sickle-sword based on anything actually or quasi-historical? My searches just keep turning up the khopesh.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Well for Sickle-swords there is the Shotel:

    It lacks this "second grip" thingy, though.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    The description sounds completely unlike anything I've ever seen, and I have no clue how it is even supposed to work or look like.
    Seems like the silliest fantasy "weapon" since the double ended flail.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Ajustusdaniel View Post
    Is Pathfinder's sickle-sword based on anything actually or quasi-historical? My searches just keep turning up the khopesh.
    It's not. The reasons are in three rough categories.

    1) Too long

    Most swords with weird curvatures tend to be fairly short, 3 1/2 feet is 105cm, which is the length of bastard swords and longswords if it's just the blade. If it's total, it's the upper end of arming swords, and remember, it curves, so it would be pretty unweildy.

    2) How does it even curve

    The description of it is remarkably bad, I can't really picture it in my head. It could be falcata, kopesh, yatagan, falmberge...

    3) This is not how swords work

    The only reason for a secondary grip is halfswording, and to my knowledge, while halfswording isn't exclusively European, secondary grips are. Unpredictably twirling it mid-fight is a good way to either get your hand chopped off, or to get stabbed because your reach is now reduced.


    So, it could very well be based on something initially, but with a bad description and worse ability when in use, it's hard to tell.
    That which does not kill you made a tactical error.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    The description sounds completely unlike anything I've ever seen, and I have no clue how it is even supposed to work or look like.
    Seems like the silliest fantasy "weapon" since the double ended flail.
    "If exotic weapons were any good, they wouldn't be exotic."

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    About what I figured, but given that the Nine Branch Sword turned out to be based on an actual (ceremonial, non-battleworthy) weapon, and the urumi is apparently (somehow) a real historical weapon, I figure it never hurts to check in case there's some actual obscure artifact or technique these things are loosely based on.

    For what it's worth, Pathfinder's core setting associates it with their Spooky Fantasy Russia culture, so maybe it's a bizarre attempt at fantastifying the Shashka?

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    A shashka is just a pretty plain and straightforward cavalry saber.

    As far as I am able to tell, there is no illustration for the Pathfinder sickle sword. Who knows what kind of abomination the writer might have imagined.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Zombimode View Post
    Well for Sickle-swords there is the Shotel:

    It lacks this "second grip" thingy, though.
    It's not a shotel, because Pathfinder have shotel as a separate weapon, and even gives it bonus for stabbing around shields in line with real-world use of shotel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ajustusdaniel View Post
    About what I figured, but given that the Nine Branch Sword turned out to be based on an actual (ceremonial, non-battleworthy) weapon, and the urumi is apparently (somehow) a real historical weapon, I figure it never hurts to check in case there's some actual obscure artifact or technique these things are loosely based on.

    For what it's worth, Pathfinder's core setting associates it with their Spooky Fantasy Russia culture, so maybe it's a bizarre attempt at fantastifying the Shashka?
    Unlikely. Shashka is not that weird, unusual, or distinct from other blades (with exception of the "handle goes into the scabbard" bit which is mostly associated with Caucasian shashkas and not Russian/Cossack shashkas).
    Last edited by Saint-Just; 2020-11-30 at 09:07 AM.

  29. - Top - End - #179
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    The "curves multiple times" could apply to the Yatagan, which curves forward like a Khopesh or Kukri at the center of percussion and then curves back as it nears the point, bringing the point more or less in line with the grip, so it's probably easier to stab with than other curved blades.

    I've never heard of one with a secondary grip for half swording though.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yatagan
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Also wave-bladed swords. Flambards (two-handed swords), flamberges (one-handed swords), and krises (daggers/ short swords). Flambards even have a ricasso like many other two-handers, but none of these blades look even a little bit like sickles.

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