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mrinku

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#41 [url]

Jun 1 13 1:44 PM


An axe isn't heavier than a sword necessarily, but the mass is concentrated at the business end. This does make them harder hitting, but clumsier. They also are far easier to block, since they need to be square on target to get any edge. I'd rather chop wood with a hatchet than a machete of the same weight, but the hatchet is of less use when clearing light vegetation.

They are also generally easier and cheaper to manufacture, though cultural preference does play a part in what gets used when. More sword-resistant armour did historically lead to an increase of axes/maces/hammers in Europe, though the weapon of choice on foot during the full plate era was the poll axe or halberd (mounted, the lance remained the beau ideal).

D&D doesn't really take into account active defense and the effect that different weapons have on that (few RPGs do). Go a few rounds at your local SCA and you'll see. The D&D concept of how shields work is particularly wrong. 

Mark Dewis

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#42 [url]

Jun 1 13 7:24 PM

I suppose I'll jump in at this point, also, just to add my favorite thing to the discussion that it seems everyone is over looking.

It seems that everyone is under the impression that an axe is pretty much a one trick pony as a hacking type weapon, and while this is generally true, it all depends on the type of axe that you are using. While somewhat uncommon, there is such a thing as a Thrusting Axe (the only "actual" thrusting axe that I have ever seen anywhere online was called a Hungarian Thrusting Axe). A thrusting axe basically looks like a bearded axe that whose head has been flipped so that the pointed beard is pointing out past the end of the haft, basically making it a short blade extending beyond the end of the axe. Add a counterweight/skullcrusher at the bottom of the haft, and now, suddenly, you have a weapon that has near as much utility as most swords. Admittedly, it is an axe and still more "clumsy" than a sword (though I do believe that a highly skilled axe man would be every bit as fluid with their weapon of choice as a well trained swords man), it has all the utility except for the slashing and cutting ability... the balance of an axe just does not lend itself to the motion required for these types of attacks. However, what a thrusting axe gives up in slashing and cutting, it makes up for in methods of entanglement, and parrying surfaces. Truly, in a way, a good thrusting axe would have just as much utility as a sword, but the method of wielding would be more concentrated on defense and disarmament, or unbalancing an opponent to create an opening...

I would call this my two cents, but it seems it may have turned into more of a nickel, or a dime...

Whatever you can do with finesse I can do more thoroughly with volume.

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mrinku

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#43 [url]

Jun 1 13 9:30 PM

Thing is, you shouldn't look at single weapons in isolation. Best to consider the armour worn (and WHY), the mode of the soldier (infantry, cavalry, skirmisher, missile, front rank etc) and what is used in each hand. The off hand is always used for something in the primary role. I exclude civilian use here.

To clarify, my comments above were mainly in regard to one-handed weapons. That Hungarian axe is definitely a two hander, verging on a polearm, at over 4 foot long. Once we get into two handed use, hafted weapons are far and away the most common choice, everywhere, in all time periods before the modern age (and even then, if you count bayonets).

Mark Dewis

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jack

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#44 [url]

Jun 5 13 3:21 PM

   ..hafted weapons are far and away the most common choice, everywhere, in all time periods before the modern age (and even then, if you count bayonets). 

-mrinku


Mrinku, Im no military or a weapons expert, but I think Im pretty close to the mark when I say, the reason the hafted weapon was so common and widely chosen is pretty simple though for the longest in my youth even I failed to see it.
Granted the closer you get to your enemy the greater your chance for hitting him... but that works both ways; the better 'His" chance of hitting you.

"You see old friend, I brought more soldiers than you did." 'King Leonidas - 300'

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#45 [url]

Jun 5 13 9:35 PM






Best anti-zed hand-to-hand weapon IMHO is a Guan do:












Leland R. Erickson, Evil-Genius-at-Large "Clouseau! Give me ten men like him, and I can destroy the whole world!" -Inspector Charles Dreyfus

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#47 [url]

Jun 6 13 9:39 PM


Then there's the nodachi...


Or the Pudao:











Leland R. Erickson, Evil-Genius-at-Large "Clouseau! Give me ten men like him, and I can destroy the whole world!" -Inspector Charles Dreyfus

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#48 [url]

Jun 7 13 3:04 AM

    everyone,
I just got a look at that Hungarian Axe, interesting weapon:
[image]
Axe, thrust AND mallet weapon all in one!
Here is the site, if you are interested:
[url]
My thought is our mash up creators might get some great thoughts for weapons from this site.
Jim

-jim_goss

-wink wink nudge nudge- Just remember who it was that mentioned it in the first place.

Whatever you can do with finesse I can do more thoroughly with volume.

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jack

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#50 [url]

Jun 7 13 4:00 PM

I just got a look at that Hungarian Axe, interesting weapon:   Axe, thrust AND mallet weapon all in one!

-jim_goss

 A most intimidating weapon to say the least. However I think if I found myself on the battlefield with this, I'd certainly use it for thrusting. Either way, you wouldnt want to find yourself on the recieving end of this one.
"If" its the weapon Im thinking, the haft is 'at least' 6 to 8 ft long, giving you great reach, but also rather difficult to wield.

"You see old friend, I brought more soldiers than you did." 'King Leonidas - 300'

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#51 [url]

Jun 7 13 5:36 PM

   
 A most intimidating weapon to say the least. However I think if I found myself on the battlefield with this, I'd certainly use it for thrusting. Either way, you wouldnt want to find yourself on the recieving end of this one.
"If" its the weapon Im thinking, the haft is 'at least' 6 to 8 ft long, giving you great reach, but also rather difficult to wield.

-jack

No, Jack. The thrusting axe is not a "pole" weapon. I believe the haft is 36-48" inches long, so yes, two handed, but much easier to wield than you might think... and still something you wouldn't want to get smacked with.

Whatever you can do with finesse I can do more thoroughly with volume.

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#52 [url]

Jun 8 13 7:15 AM

everyone,

Thankfully those days are behind me now, but back in the day I owned a wood burning stove. I never bought my wood it was all axe/chain saw cut by me.

With practice it is amazing how fast and accurate you can get with a sharp, well balance axe. No machine for me, I hand split all the large wood with small wedge & axe. The blunt side of an axe is also very effective.

Remember in some of the Hollywood Viking movies actors with prop weapons are not real life use, but if you watch veteran loggers (not me) it looks like they can get close to that speed. 

To me, the issue with the axe is either missing your target entirely or the exposure in all large battles to counter attack by 'the other guy" or even worse his fellow soldier next to him who is NOT engaged when you swing.

Jim

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mrinku

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#53 [url]

Jun 8 13 1:05 PM

Point taken about a skilled axe user, Jim, but it's all relative. A skilled swordsman will still have an advantage in terms of balance, speed and options, other factors being the same. May not be a massive edge, but in mortal combat you don't need one ;)

As a rough rule of thumb, though, the more metal armour is involved, the less effective a blade becomes and the more attractive a mass weapon. Even a mail shirt is pretty sword resistant. Axes fall somewhere between a sword and a hammer or mace in this regard. The history of European arms and armour is instructive in this regard - elsewhere the armour and the weapons used tended to stablilise, though you can see some of the same effect in Japan after the introduction of firearms. 

The number one disadvantage with using a two handed weapon such as an axe, halberd, or even a zweihander, is that you don't have an arm for active shield use. Only a handful of cultures didn't use shields prior to firearms - Japan is the main one I can think of, and that seems to be because their focus was originally so heavy on the bow, especially mounted archery. Their isolation may have also been a factor - the Japanese do a LOT of things differently :) 

It's also relevant that two handed weapon use from horseback isn't practical. And the one handed weapon par excellence remains the sword. 

Mark Dewis

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bryon31

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#54 [url]

Jun 10 13 7:03 AM

              

And the one handed weapon par excellence remains the sword. 

-mrinku

But which one handed sword is the best?
 
Does anyone have the answer I doubt it. But I'm partial to the Gladius and other short thrusting swords that when paired with a shield is an efficient and deadly combo. I can't imagine how tiring a longsword or sabre would get if combat lasts longer than a few minutes, swinging those things for too long can get difficult. The swords themselves aren't all that heavy 3 or 4 pounds but they require a lot of effort to get a good swing and although they can be used for trusts they are harder to control than a short sword. I've played with both types, and I'd never call myself an expert (that’s my younger brother) but when we spar I as a layman can hold my own using gladius and shield for a while whereas with the bigger badassier swords I'm out of luck. My brother has a little more stamina than I do with the larger weapons as I'm sure a swordsman from antiquity would but it still requires, in my opinion, a lot of wasted energy to make the same kill a simple thrust with my 18inch blade does. Not to mention a good old fashioned shield bash to set up the killing blow.

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potter

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#55 [url]

Jun 10 13 9:21 AM


I can see the point of the Gladius (no pun intended) and it's a very fine weapon. 

Personally  I like a standard broadsword of the medieval period, and it's been proven it is pretty effective. I forget the name of the guy here in the UK who is often asked for expert opinion on weapons (sure his title is 'Weaponsmaster' or something but certainly knows his stuff!). Have been looking on You Tube for examples of his programmes, but without knowing his name I'm stuck!

I'm sure I remember he did comparisons on a mail coated 'torso' with a broadsword, a bastard sword, a falchion, and a two handed sword all from within 100 years or so of each other. Pretty sure the falchion was the most brutal, but I just like broadswords for the point as well as the slashing ability.

Alternatively, one of the British heavy cavalry swords of the 1790's-1800's. Only draw back with the latter is you suddenly only have one cutting edge. Yeah I have read the Sharpe books...

Still I'd rather go down that aisle that a sabre, falcata, scimitar or tulwar.

I guess it really depends on personal choice, the wielder of the weapon and the situation they are in.
Shazam!

Is there anything you can't combine with the Persian figs?

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mrinku

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#56 [url]

Jun 10 13 6:08 PM

Well, sword for a heavy infantryman with a large shield in formation has different requirements than a sword for a light cavalryman in the age of gunpowder, which further differs from the needs of a fully armoured knight.

When armour gets lighter or absent (post gunpowder Europe, hot climates) cavalry swords tend to be slashing weapons, the design of which favours curved blades. Once you're fighting in this style, the back edge isn't getting used much and may as well be left unsharpened. Doing so can add some blade strength too - single edge is not necessarily a bad thing.

Turkish scimitars, European sabres and Japanese Katana all fall into this rough design category.

Mark Dewis

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#59 [url]

Jun 19 13 6:28 PM

Hmmm... I think I'd call that a fantasy piece of poo... but then again maybe I'm being too harsh... I used to collect show pieces like that, too though. Once you get your hands on a real piece of steel though, you won't ever want anything else.

Whatever you can do with finesse I can do more thoroughly with volume.

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mrinku

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#60 [url]

Jun 19 13 9:45 PM

It's not as bad as some I've seen. At least the business end looks reasonably practical, though those cutouts are probably a bad idea. Why would you want to reduce weight in an axe? Likely makes the thing a bit fragile and easier to disarm, too. One good spear thrust would be enough to hook it away, I reckon.

Mark Dewis

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