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Ask me about swords.

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

  1. Gray-Hand

    Gray-Hand Scribe

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    Thank you Malik.
    What about a rapier or small sword?
    Assume:
    1. top quality forging appropriate to their era of fashionability.
    2. Point of impact of the stomp being, say an inch from the hilt.
     
  2. Malik

    Malik Archmage

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    Unlikely without a defect of some sort in the blade, which was always possible, given the way that steel was made until the adoption of blast furnaces in the 1800's.
     
  3. Gray-Hand

    Gray-Hand Scribe

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    Thank you again.
     
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  4. bob1thousand

    bob1thousand Dreamer

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    I wanted to hear opinions on character weapon choices in a fantasy story i’m making.


    In the story, the princess mainly uses a rapier and sword breaker together.

    The king’s best soldier and brother in arms switches between using a estoc and a falcata during combat. He also has on gauntlets that can grab blades.

    The knight’s daughter (who is a naga/lamia) also uses a falcata and has a pair of butterfly swords.


    Are these bad weapon choices? For both adventuring and/or battlefield?
     
  5. pmmg

    pmmg Auror

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    Nothing wrong with the choices. The only question I am asking is would all of these belong to the same culture, and likelihood that they would appear together in a story. If you got that covered, than I am far less questioning.

    A sword breaker would seem to only be useful against a rapier, of which the other two swords are not. If the other two swords are more common, than what would be the use of a sword breaker. Further, the rapier kind of proved to be a more successful weapon than the others, if sword technology had advanced to the creation of rapiers I would think they would be more desired than other sword types for all the various reasons they replaced them in the first place.
     
  6. Malik

    Malik Archmage

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    The only issue I see is that the estoc and the falcata are designed for use against heavy armor, and the rapier is designed for use against a lightly-armored or unarmored opponent. Around the end of the popularity of the estoc, late 16th / early 17th Century, is when we saw the rapier really come into vogue, so the idea of them coexisting is no big deal. As long as the princess doesn't, you know, slice through plate armor with her rapier, I think you're pretty good.

    Pretty much any heavy glove can grab a blade; it was common practice in swordsmanship, particularly in the armored combat of the estoc/falcata period (there are texts for training knights and soldiers that show them holding the sword by the blade and using the crossbar like a hammer, bare-handed)--

    [​IMG]
    --so he wouldn't need any kind of special heavy gauntlet for it. Sword blades used in armored combat aren't sharp in the way that we generally think of sharpness, today. They generally had an appleseed-shaped bevel and a dense cross section that allowed them to function more or less like a splitting maul; not to slice through armor, but to damage it and injure the person underneath. (Way more on this on my piece about greatsword combat right here on this very site.)

    Super-sharp edges are delicate, and not for battlefield use as much as Hollywood would want us to believe it. Driven into iron plate or even mail, razor-sharp blades get dull really fast. I talk about this in my piece about greatswords, but dropping a straight razor into a marble or granite sink can destroy it.

    So, yeah. Solid choices from here. Thumbs up.
     
  7. bob1thousand

    bob1thousand Dreamer

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    are estoc considered short or long swords?
    also after hearing some other opinions i've decided to change the naga's falcata and butterfly
    now she's have an estoc but i'm not sure about the secondary.
    Dha 18in
    Niuweidao/oxtail Dao 24in
    Dao (Naga_sword) 12in

    i choose these because they're from southeast asia where naga originate
     
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  8. Malik

    Malik Archmage

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    The defining feature of a sword isn't its length but its purpose, which is why bastard swords (hand and a half swords) are separate from longswords, and both are separate from greatswords, even though they all have roughly the same overall lengths. They may look similar at a glance, but the blades, edge geometry, handles/grips, and points of balance are all different, and they all require individualized study to make the most of their wildly different capabilities.

    An estoc is its own animal. They ran the gamut in length from smaller weapons comparable to single-hand arming swords to two-handed estocs the length of greatswords that could double as a lance in a pinch. But they're not longswords per se; the longsword is a cut and thrust weapon, while the estoc has no edges. Estoc literally means "thrusting" in French.

    So, again: size-wise, they could be anywhere from arming-sword length to greatsword length, but an estoc is a completely different weapon than a longsword.
     
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  9. bob1thousand

    bob1thousand Dreamer

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    thanks
     
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  10. bob1thousand

    bob1thousand Dreamer

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    could you do me a favor and like two of my posts so i can post links?
     
  11. bob1thousand

    bob1thousand Dreamer

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    thanks
     
  12. Gray-Hand

    Gray-Hand Scribe

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    What is the purpose of a bastard sword?
     
  13. Guy

    Guy Inkling

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    A bastard sword is also known as a hand-and-a-half sword - it's neither a true one-hander or a true two-hander but an attempt to split the difference between the two. The blade is as long as or slightly longer than the blade of a one-hander, but the hilt is long enough to accomodate two hands.
     
  14. Gray-Hand

    Gray-Hand Scribe

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    Of course, I know what a bastard sword is. I’m asking what it’s purpose is?
    For example, two ganders were developed to deal with heavily armoured opponents. Small swords became fashionable when armour became less common.
    What niche were bastard swords meant to occupy? Who used them and what type of opponent were they designed to be effective against? Why would someone buy or equip themselves with a bastard sword in preference to another kind of sword?
     
  15. Malik

    Malik Archmage

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  16. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Auror

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    I think the video hit the basic notion: versatility. Shield/no shield, mounted, you have it. A zweihander is wicked, but doesn’t leave you as many options, nor the “longsword” which was mainly meant for 2-hand use.

    I glanced at another of his videos and have to disagree with his assertion that the aesthetic of the sword is a main reason for its popularity. When life and death are on the line, history generally teaches that an armor or weapon with longevity has a good reason for its longevity and popularity. But at least he didn’t say something goofy like the crucifix form... that one annoys me, heh heh. The elegance and aesthetics of the sword are just icing on the cake.

    The popularity of the sword is multi-faceted, there really isn’t anything else that provides what a sword provides: 1-hand, 2-hand, vs armor, with or without shield, mounted, unmounted, civilian or military, its defensive capabilities smoke most hand-held weapons, and with the ease of portability that a sword has with a sheath it is simply the finest all around tool available. IMO. It is a side-arm. Weapons might be better in a niche form of combat (spears are awesome for what they do), but swords do it all well.
     
  17. Gray-Hand

    Gray-Hand Scribe

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    Very helpful Malik - thank you.
     
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