1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Ask me about swords.

Discussion in 'Research' started by Anders Ämting, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Russ

    Russ Istar

    2,161
    1,145
    163
    The sabre is a very different weapon than anything Fiore ever wrote about or used so use the Flower of Battle with caution on that subject.

    There are plenty of sabre manuals around to study including one written by Patton. The field is someone split amongst those who think the sabre should be a slashing weapon, and those, like Patton who say it more as a shock weapon, but some of the difference may come down to design.

    Use of saber is tricky, and at various times the weapon has been referred to as "old wrist breaker" by mounted troops.
     
    Metanoiac likes this.
  2. Judith Rook

    Judith Rook New Member

    4
    1
    1
    In an extended short story I am writing a character sharpens a scythe blade. Later on in the story he sharpens a sword blade. I would like to make the two sharpening techniques different, if that is possible. For example, would the strokes of the whetstone move away from the body in both techniques? Thank you.
     
  3. Guy

    Guy Inkling

    451
    199
    43
    Why two different techniques? It wouldn't be necessary.
     
  4. Judith Rook

    Judith Rook New Member

    4
    1
    1
    The story begins in 1950s England. The scythe belongs to that world. The action moves into a similar parallel world within the multiverse. The sword belongs there. I thought that different sharpening techniques would help to define the different worlds but if, as you suggest, that would not be sensible, then I'll not persist with the idea. To have access to this type of expert knowledge is one of the reasons why I joined Mythic Scribes. Many thanks.
     
  5. Valentinator

    Valentinator Minstrel

    79
    3
    8
    I have a question about a strength-based techniques in swordsmanship. How exactly an exceptionally physically strong swordsman can use his strength as an advantage? I understand that a brute force alone doesn't do much without the skill but what about a combination of skill and strength vs just the skill? I'm interested in a pure swordplay, not a hand-to-hand combat transition (I know the latter relatively well). The skill levels are similar for both fighters.
     
  6. Russ

    Russ Istar

    2,161
    1,145
    163
    Off the top of my head the stronger fighter can gain advantage in two ways in a sword fight, other things being equal:

    1) is by entering into binds, in which the blades are locked together and strength can then be used to dominate the bind and allow the stronger fighter to move into the better place:

    2) if the fight is armoured, half swording techniques, (where one hand is placed above the cross guard) would allow strength to be an advantage.

    There might be a third but I will need to think on it a bit.
     
  7. glutton

    glutton Inkling

    553
    91
    28
    In a fight with swords and shields a larger/stronger fighter could also potentially wear down the opponent faster.
     
  8. Guy

    Guy Inkling

    451
    199
    43
    Superior strength might confer superior stamina. Otherwise, I don't really see it conferring a huge advantage. When a guy swings at you with a sword, Plan A is get out of the way. Plan B is redirect or deflect the blow. Plan C is directly block the blow. So only if you were bound to use Plan C would an opponent with superior strength have a definite advantage.
     
  9. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

    546
    235
    43
    It's a massive advantage. Games and RPGs especially have given us this strange notion that strength is a completely isolated trait, when in reality, superior strength gives you increased burst and balance. Basically, the stronger you are, the quicker your movements are and the tougher it is to bring you down. A stronger swordsman will be able to strike, lunge and dodge faster than his opponent.
     
  10. Valentinator

    Valentinator Minstrel

    79
    3
    8
    Thanks a lot for the answers! That was really helpful.
     
  11. Guy

    Guy Inkling

    451
    199
    43
    I'm going to have to respectfully disagree. I've seen plenty of cases where the stronger fighter was also the slower fighter. And someone who's stronger isn't necessarily harder to bring down. Psychological forces play a huge role. Look at cases of gunfights. There are many instances of men of average size and strength and with no drugs in their systems taking multiple hits from major calibers and remaining active. Some people see their own blood and panic. Some people see their own blood and get really pissed. Some people are subdued by pain. Others are almost blind to it.

    “If it was not an art, then the strong would always win.” -- Hanko Dobringer, German fight master, 1389
     
  12. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

    546
    235
    43
    I was speaking from a purely physical standpoint, with all other things being equal, which is what I thought the question was about. For a given skill level, mentality, and weight, the stronger person will always be quicker and physically tougher to bring down.
     
  13. Guy

    Guy Inkling

    451
    199
    43
    It's the "always" I disagree with. There are usually exceptions to rules. In swordplay strength can be an advantage, but it is no guarantee. Sword blades generate a good deal of centrifugal force. Even a half-hearted swing can cut deeply or break bones, so you don't need a great deal of strength to use one. In swordplay, control is a far bigger factor than strength. Regardless of how much strength is behind a sword thrust, it takes little force to set it aside. English fight master George Silver said a child with a stick could do it. Like I said earlier, when it comes to blows, Plan A is get out of the way. Strength means nothing if it doesn't hit its target. Plan B is to redirect the blow, like shoving a descending blade aside. A weaker opponent can usually do this easily enough. Plan C is directly stopping the blow. That's when the stronger swordsman will have the advantage.

    You also have to take into account the mechanical damage a sword blow can inflict; it doesn't have to kill you to stop you. A decent blow to the wrist or arm can sever muscles, tendons and nerves, rendering the limb useless. A blow to the hand can make it impossible to grasp the weapon. It doesn't matter how strong someone is when their muscles are no longer connected to anything.

    Strength can be an advantage, but in swordplay there are many more factors that combine to make that advantage a small one.
     
  14. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

    546
    235
    43
    You're still not understanding. What I'm talking about is so basic it's not even just about sword fights, it's about human movement in general. The strength of your muscles (in combination with your mass) determines how quickly you can move. This isn't just speed, it's changing speeds quickly and changing direction quickly. This is physics. Force equals mass times acceleration. If you increase the force with a constant mass, the acceleration will be greater. If you increase the acceleration of something, it will reach a certain speed faster, or change direction faster.
     
  15. Guy

    Guy Inkling

    451
    199
    43
    But the original question was about the advantages of superior strength in sword fights (and the poster specifically said he was not addressing unarmed combat), so that's what my answer was geared towards. My answer was it isn't much of an advantage, for the reasons given. In unarmed combat, yes, superior strength is an obvious advantage, which is why you have different weight classes in boxing, MMA, and the like. But once you start introducing weapons into the equation, that changes significantly (there's a reason why weapons were invented, after all), and since that's what the original question was asking, that's what I'm sticking with. The stronger opponent has more force to apply to his movements, but what happens when he has to move more mass, or over a greater distance? I've experienced this in sparring sessions when my opponent, who was far weaker than I, could hit me before I could move because while I had superior strength, she had superior position. We were using practice longswords, so all she had to do was push with her strong hand and pull with her weak hand to strike me, whereas I had to move my entire body to get out of the way because I wasn't in position to deflect or block. I had to move more mass and I had to move it a greater distance, completely nullifying my strength advantage. Also, significantly greater strength often translates into significantly greater size. In armed combat, this just makes you an easier target. That's why it's not as simple as simple as what you're saying. The principle you're talking about is basic, but an actual armed fight (which was what the original question was about) has many more factors and is therefore much more complicated. The result is superior strength isn't as big an advantage in armed combat as it is in unarmed combat.
     
  16. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

    546
    235
    43
    You're arguing against physics. Let's take a look at a basic thrust, alright? You have a sword with a mass of m, and you apply a force of F in a given direction, which results in it moving in that direction for a length d (because your arm is only so long). The time t it will take for that thrust is easy to figure out.

    F=m·a and a=d/t^2, therefore F=m·d/t^2

    Solving for t yields t=sqrt(m·d/F)

    Now for the sake of simplicity, let's say that the force I'm applying is 1 Newton, the length of the thrust is 1 metre, and the mass of the sword is 1 kg. In this scenario, the time it takes for that thrust is 1 second.

    Now let's double the force applied, so instead of 1 N, it's 2 N. The length of the thrust is still 1 m and the mass of the sword is still 1 kg. In this scenario, the thrust would take roughly .7 seconds.

    The thrust is faster. All other things being equal, more strength equals faster movement. Undeniable physics. Period.
     
  17. Guy

    Guy Inkling

    451
    199
    43
    Yes. I never said it wasn't an advantage. I said it wasn't a huge advantage. And strength isn't the only thing that affects speed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2016
  18. TheKillerBs

    TheKillerBs Inkling

    546
    235
    43
    You're ignoring this. You keep arguing about other factors when I have twice stated that I was making my point exclusively with strength being the only variable factor.
     
  19. glutton

    glutton Inkling

    553
    91
    28
    I somehow doubt the hypothetical scenario involves two fighters that are completely identical in everything but strength unless they are clones with one having enhanced strength.

    That said, another advantage strength could give that hasn't been brought up is that a stronger fighter could wield a heavier weapon that inflicts more blunt trauma even through an opponent's armor, or wear heavier armor themselves, without being much slowed down. Like so...

    [​IMG]

    That thing could kill a man in full plate in one hit, or maybe even a dragon... she is so BAE XD
     
  20. MiguelDHorcrux

    MiguelDHorcrux Minstrel

    51
    16
    8
    I apologize if this has been answered before. I'm on a pc from the Jurassic age and this thing will explode if I leave this page and make it do another task. So my questions are:

    Is it true that blood strengthens swords? Like in Naruto, when Zabuza said that the iron in the blood of his enemies keep his cleaver even more powerful? Any truth to that?

    Another thing, I want your take on this. I have a country of knightmages in my story. They use broadswords with enchantments that make their weapons lighter and tougher. I also have a country of samurais. Their katanas are bespelled to not be as fragile as they are in real life. Have any of you ever used magic to bypass the fragility of swords?
     
Loading...

Share This Page