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  1. - Top - End - #91
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Sometime around the American Civil War (I think a little before), the term "cannon fever" was used to refer to "a strong desire to get away from the front lines", basically PTSD.

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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    I'm sure I read something in a previous thread about a Medieval text giving advice on how a knight should deal with what is essentially PTSD? Gonna have a look.

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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by Dienekes View Post
    Minor quibble Ajax was still still at Troy and his madness was specifically caused by Athena since he was going to attack Odysseus who may (depending on version of the story) cheated him out of Achilles armor, as well as consistently making him into a fool in front of the other soldiers, and generally being the giant **** that Odysseus is.
    Yes, the plots of the plays do involve the intervention of allegedly supernatural agents

    That being said, I think the folks over at the Philoctetes project say it well:
    It has been suggested that ancient Greek drama was a form of storytelling, communal therapy, and ritual reintegration for combat veterans by combat veterans. Sophocles himself was a general. At the time Aeschylus wrote and produced his famous Oresteia, Athens was at war on six fronts. The audiences for whom these plays were performed were undoubtedly comprised of citizen-soldiers. Also, the performers themselves were most likely veterans or cadets. Seen through this lens, ancient Greek drama appears to have been an elaborate ritual aimed at helping combat veterans return to civilian life after deployments during a century that saw 80 years of war.

    Plays like Sophocles’ Ajax and Philoctetes read like textbook descriptions of wounded warriors, struggling under the weight of psychological and physical injuries to maintain their dignity, identity, and honor. Given this context, it seemed natural that military audiences today might have something to teach us about the impulses behind these ancient stories. It also seemed like these ancient stories would have something important and relevant to say to military audiences today.
    I think it would be ignorant of the modern reader to overlook the psychological torment of Ajax, the returning veteran, because his madness is said to be caused by Athena.

  4. - Top - End - #94
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by Essence_of_War View Post
    Yes, the plots of the plays do involve the intervention of allegedly supernatural agents

    That being said, I think the folks over at the Philoctetes project say it well:

    I think it would be ignorant of the modern reader to overlook the psychological torment of Ajax, the returning veteran, because his madness is said to be caused by Athena.
    He wasn't returning anywhere. But despite that, I mentioned Athena and attacking Odysseus because as far as I'm aware (and I admittedly am no expert) Ajax doesn't act like a PTSD victim, more like the bullied kid who brings a gun to school. The flashback and anxiety from trauma are absent from the play. Instead we see Ajax getting pissed over Odysseus pulling one over on him again, and thinking it's about time to end the bugger once and for all.

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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    There seems to be a lull in the conversation, so I thought this might be a good opportunity to ask a question.

    I was interested in how modern stab vests work, specifically what sort of materials they're constructed of, and how they're tested. There is a little on the wikipedia article, but it isn't terribly in-depth. Could anyone direct me to additional reading sources on this subject?

    I was mostly interested in the topic since I know at various points in history, people have solved the "how do I prevent the pointy/sharp end of that person's weapon from getting into me?" issue through methods like mail, brigandine, coat-of-plates etc.

    Do modern stab vests incorporate components like mail into them? If not, why? I know mail is still used by butchers and slaughterhouse workers because it's so dang good at preventing sharp things from getting at squishy bits. Are there simply better (lighter and more efficient?) materials and construction methods that are used instead?

    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Yes they do incorporate mail, apparently it's the only thing that really works.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mail_(a...ab-proof_vests

    They tend to be pretty secretive about how they are made so it's hard to find much detail online, from what I understand they have some kind of mail in all of the 'high level' (threat level 3 I think?) stab-vests, made by companies in Germany and a few other places. This was after a long period of experimentation with different types of armor, things that looked like lamellar and brigandine and so on. In the end they came back to mail in most (not all) cases.

    My understanding is that mail doesn't protect though against things like syringes with very thin needles, so you need other materials for that kind of threat. Sharp knives also perform differently than spikes or ice picks. Kevlar and so on can't stop a really hard stab with a long knife... so the vests designed for this kind of threat typically incorporate mail.

    Here is a government report on stab vests with a lot of interesting data

    https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/183652.pdf

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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    http://www.nij.gov/nij/pubs-sum/183652.htm


    I think that this pdf has quite solid description of testing procedures etc.

    As far as mail goes - hard to know for sure, but it quite probably wouldn't be practical for such applications.

    It most certainly wouldn't stop any bullets of decent energy, protection against spears and stuff is hardly relevant, and few good kg of clanging iron probably isn't considered worth it for knives.

    But I'm pretty sure that there are some mail supplemented vest around.
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    Default Wrestling/Fighting with Teeth

    Sometimes, you hear legends of people who kill tigers with their barehanded and such as that. This brought me to wondering... how would you deal with fighting creatures such as gnolls, or wild beasts in general?

    A lot of fighting techniques include wrestling, in such a way that your opponent can't stab you or get at your eyes. However, I don't know if they often make provision for them having a set of predatory teeth and jaws.

    With armoured parts, being bitten wouldn't be that much of a concern, of course--but still, I can imagine a lizardman biting someone's face off.
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    everything has a vulnerable spot. EVERYTHING. there would be different techniques for close quarters combat with a gnoll than with a lizardman but there would be techniques. There will be somewhere that a well placed boot will cause severe pain. And while lack of claws/sharp teeth are a disadvantage for humans, it is not a disadvantage that training can't balance.

    My real life example is people who deal with gators and Crocodiles, while the gator has the advantage of extreemly sharp teeth and powerfull jaws, there are techniques that allow these people to subdue the gator with little more than their bare hands.
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by Conners View Post
    Sometimes, you hear legends of people who kill tigers with their barehanded and such as that.
    Emphasis mine. If someone tries to take on a large, powerful predator in its specialty (predation) without using the human specialty (tool use) they are going to get badly hurt, and very likely killed. I doubt even someone like Masutatsu Oyama could have taken on a tiger barehanded.

    Quote Originally Posted by Conners View Post
    This brought me to wondering... how would you deal with fighting creatures such as gnolls, or wild beasts in general?
    Traps, projectile weapons, plate mail armor, spears, shields, and knives, in that order of priority.

    If we're talking fantasy humanoids like gnolls, there is one bit of good news — bipeds have a large set of well-understood weaknesses that are relatively easy to exploit. You might also be able to exploit field of vision, depending. The bad news is that they'd be exploiting all of the same weaknesses on you, and copying your tool use.

    (The other good news is that these creatures are largely impossible for structural reasons, so we're already in the realm of the ridiculous even sincerely considering them).

    Quote Originally Posted by Conners View Post
    A lot of fighting techniques include wrestling, in such a way that your opponent can't stab you or get at your eyes. However, I don't know if they often make provision for them having a set of predatory teeth and jaws.
    If you're forced to confront a toothed, clawed, big humanoid with your bare hands, then yes, grappling would probably be your best bet. A lot of locks and holds would effectively neutralize the advantages of teeth and claws. The problem is, first you'd have to go through the teeth and the claws.

    Quote Originally Posted by eulmanis12 View Post
    everything has a vulnerable spot. EVERYTHING. there would be different techniques for close quarters combat with a gnoll than with a lizardman but there would be techniques. There will be somewhere that a well placed boot will cause severe pain. And while lack of claws/sharp teeth are a disadvantage for humans, it is not a disadvantage that training can't balance.
    It is if whatever you're up against also has training. It's like that old saw, "training in X can allow you to defeat bigger opponents and use your opponent's size against them." Well, yeah, unless your bigger opponent has the same training. Then you're not in such a great boat.

    Quote Originally Posted by eulmanis12 View Post
    My real life example is people who deal with gators and Crocodiles, while the gator has the advantage of extreemly sharp teeth and powerfull jaws, there are techniques that allow these people to subdue the gator with little more than their bare hands.
    Crocodiles are easy. They bite harder than anything else alive, but the muscles they use to open their jaws are weak enough that you can hold them shut with rubber bands. Many animals have no such obvious weakness — trying something like that on something like a hyena, a bear, a tiger, a wild gaur or (god forbid) a hippo? That's a recipe for disaster.
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Well, Brazilian name for rear choke is mata leon, after all.

    Even huge dangerous animals could be certainly defeated by securing good positions and choking them out, or attacking throat/eyes in some way.

    There are legends about African tribesmen like Masai killing lions unarmed, but not sure if there are any documented ones.

    In any case, technique would be probably secondary to outright stupidly cold blood, experience, and generally aggressive and fearless mentality, because there's 914 things that may go very wrong in any second.
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    Even huge dangerous animals could be certainly defeated by securing good positions and choking them out, or attacking throat/eyes in some way.
    Against many large animals, a chokehold wouldn't be feasible. A person would need to be absurdly strong to choke a gaur, for instance, considering not just the size of its neck, but how much muscle is packed onto that neck. Humans don't use their heads as a primary weapon, so our necks are comparatively weak. Even if a person could choke whatever animal, they'd be trying to hold onto something that, unlike their flimsy biped body, is built for weight and power. There's a reason that it's difficult to stay on a bull for even eight seconds. So if a hippo wants to buck you, it will buck you. And other animals may have other options, too. If you get on a tiger's back, it can always just roll over, and crush you under five hundred pounds of cat. A grizzly may try to scratch you off against a tree. Things like that.

    Attacks to the throat are slightly better bets, again, assuming you're actually strong enough to hurt one of these animals at all. The problem is twofold: first, many large animals have weaponized heads, meaning getting to the throat is hard. Second, most can also attack quite lethally with their forelimbs (in that respect, canines are probably more manageable, since most don't have fighting claws). Eyes are probably the best you could do, assuming that your attempt to poke out the tiger's eye doesn't end with your hand in the tiger's mouth.

    But the best option is still to arm yourself, since humans are tool users. We have fantastic fine muscle control and our muscles are second only to chimpanzees in terms of strength per pound, we have good visual range and are highly maneuverable, and our manipulating digits are second to none. Asking a human not to use tools would be like asking the tiger not to use its claws or teeth.
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    I'm aware that D&D weapon categories is...not quite right, but say I have a shortsword, a longsword, a bastard sword, and a greatsword as D&D define them, what possibly the approximate length of each of them?

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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by Salbazier View Post
    I'm aware that D&D weapon categories is...not quite right, but say I have a shortsword, a longsword, a bastard sword, and a greatsword as D&D define them, what possibly the approximate length of each of them?
    Shortsword up to 70cm of length

    Longsword from around that 70 to 1m, sometimes a bit more

    Bastard sword up to 120 cm

    And Greatsword for all above that

    Would probably be just fine for what D&D 3.5 was trying to get across.
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    Shortsword up to 70cm of length

    Longsword from around that 70 to 1m, sometimes a bit more

    Bastard sword up to 120 cm

    And Greatsword for all above that

    Would probably be just fine for what D&D 3.5 was trying to get across.
    Thank you. are those just the blade length or with the grip as well?

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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Overall length.
    Last edited by Spiryt; 2012-09-30 at 05:31 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    With dual wielding: What are the problems involved with using two weapons of the same length (two katana, two daggers, two rapiers, etc.)?
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    Overall length.
    Yes, indeed. Gygax actually provided the lengths he imagined for us, and they are pretty much as Spiryt outlines.
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by Conners View Post
    With dual wielding: What are the problems involved with using two weapons of the same length (two katana, two daggers, two rapiers, etc.)?
    As far as I understand, there's just not much point to do so.

    Wielding weapons like that requires rather spectacular coordination, for no good purpose.

    With most famous case of rapier and dagger, it was apparently considered practical, and covered accordingly, because short, nimble dagger with proper hand protection could cover completely different angles and distances than rapier or side sword, and thus be used to guard body, deflect enemy thrusts, bind his weapon and so on.

    Apparently, there were some attempts at using two identical weapons like that, as well, but didn't seem to be really popular.



    Two katanas particularly doesn't have sense, being mainly two handed weapon, and with their long handles and handling properties trying to operate two of them at the same time wouldn't really have any sense.
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    There is a paired-rapier style called Florentine, which I've tried but don't see much point to.

    Rapier and dagger is feasible because you are basically using the dagger as a buckler; I've rarely seen anyone actually stab with their off-hand weapon.
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    Shortsword up to 70cm of length

    Longsword from around that 70 to 1m, sometimes a bit more

    Bastard sword up to 120 cm

    And Greatsword for all above that

    Would probably be just fine for what D&D 3.5 was trying to get across.
    Which actually matches quite well for what we would consider a generic short sword or greatsword.
    The length of a Roman gladius was about 65 to 80cm, the 14th century longswords are about 120cm and up. The Roman spatha is given on Wikipedia as about 70 to 100cm.
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by Conners View Post
    With dual wielding: What are the problems involved with using two weapons of the same length (two katana, two daggers, two rapiers, etc.)?
    The biggest problem, especially with cutting weapons is that in order to swing a cutting weapon you need a lot of room, throwing it a second cut just makes it harder. You find yourself cutting around the weapon the same way you would cut around a shield, or having both weapons in motion at the same time. Usually you use one sword to defend and one to attack. This makes things a great deal easier.

    Quote Originally Posted by kardar233 View Post
    There is a paired-rapier style called Florentine, which I've tried but don't see much point to.

    Rapier and dagger is feasible because you are basically using the dagger as a buckler; I've rarely seen anyone actually stab with their off-hand weapon.
    Florentine is a fighting style usually used between superb fighters. In a duel a person who is well trained with single sword should defeat a person who is less well trained with two swords.

    However if someone has mastered single sword, then sword and dagger and then gone on to master a case of swords (fancy speak for two swords) then you will probably need two swords to beat them.

    With respect to rapier and dagger, the dagger is used more as a longer, sharper, less vulnerable off hand than a buckler, at least in rapier.

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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by Conners View Post
    With dual wielding: What are the problems involved with using two weapons of the same length (two katana, two daggers, two rapiers, etc.)?
    Well, first of all, let's draw a line: there's a difference between using two daggers and using two rapiers. Two knives or daggers is reasonably practical and relatively straightforward — but two long or even mid-length blades is a distinct sort of challenge.

    As to the problems of using two long blades? There are a lot of them.

    The real standout is lack of versatility. No matter how good you are at fighting with two long weapons, there's not much you can do with them that couldn't be done better with a single long blade or a long blade and a short blade, and plenty of things you can't do that those styles can. There are some long weapons better suited to paired use, but none that really reap huge advantages from it, because ultimately, you are only going to attack with one blade at a time no matter what you use.

    Coordination is another one, as Spiryt mentions. Two long blades can get in each other's way like nobody's business. As a subset of coordination, there's the question of attention — that is to say, where is your mind in the fight? With single sword or sword-and-dagger, you focus on attack and defense with one weapon, and have a small second weapon or a free hand held back for quick defense or binds when the opportunity presents itself. With two equal-length weapons, the second weapon doesn't necessarily have a role. It's just sort of there. (This is something my own teacher has emphasized to me when I brought the question up with him — to paraphrase, "you can use one sword for offense and one sword for defense, but I'd rather just focus on the one weapon and use it twice as well.")

    There's also a basic physiological problem — to actually use two long weapons, as opposed to just hold them, you need to keep both of your shoulders forward, and your feet in a position to drive either arm at any given time. For many weapons (though not all), this goes against doctrine. A profile or half-profile presents a narrower, more easily defended target. Placing your feet in a position to drive either hand usually slows defensive footwork. There's a lot of defensive compromise for a limited amount of offensive gain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    Apparently, there were some attempts at using two identical weapons like that, as well, but didn't seem to be really popular.
    My understanding is that Florentine duelists usually managed to die in the process of killing their opponent. One can imagine how that wouldn't really catch on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    Two katanas particularly doesn't have sense, being mainly two handed weapon, and with their long handles and handling properties trying to operate two of them at the same time wouldn't really have any sense.
    Indeed. The closest you'll find to historical precedent on that is Musashi. He actually advocated that warriors should become familiar with using a long blade their left hand, their right hand, and each hand, as part of the training for long blade-and-short blade. But he never advocated a pair of long blades in battle, as far as I can tell; my limited understanding is that for him, even sword-and-dagger was primarily for dealing with multiple opponents.

    I have heard that the Japanese did occasionally use paired mid-length blades (kodachi), with one held in a reversed grip for defense, but I've never seen anything to indicate that actually happened.

    Turning a bit East, China does appear to have some paired saber and paired sword traditions, of ... questionable efficacy. Having encountered legitimate Chinese traditional martial arts, I've never yet seen shuang dao or shuang jian that looked like it was doing anything a single sword couldn't do while keeping the other arm available for balance and hand techniques.
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by Darius Macab View Post
    However if someone has mastered single sword, then sword and dagger and then gone on to master a case of swords (fancy speak for two swords) then you will probably need two swords to beat them.
    Or any number of projectile weapons, or a polearm, or a two handed sword, etc.
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    yuk Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    There's also a basic physiological problem — to actually use two long weapons, as opposed to just hold them, you need to keep both of your shoulders forward, and your feet in a position to drive either arm at any given time. For many weapons (though not all), this goes against doctrine. A profile or half-profile presents a narrower, more easily defended target. Placing your feet in a position to drive either hand usually slows defensive footwork. There's a lot of defensive compromise for a limited amount of offensive gain.
    You can just square your stance, and have both weapons roughly in range though.

    Getting any meaningful swing with both at roughly the same time is however just awkward - one can take a swing in one direction, step onto one leg, shift his body weight etc. in one direction, attempt at two at the same time will be rather counterproductive, from obvious reasons.

    I guess that's why people were attempting double rapiers - with weapons of such strictly thrusting dynamics, one could try to make it work.

    My understanding is that Florentine duelists usually managed to die in the process of killing their opponent. One can imagine how that wouldn't really catch on.
    Case of rapiers was described in manuals from all around the Italy, so this wasn't some very isolated idea.

    Probably used mostly by people who were desperate for adrenaline still.
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by Darius Macab View Post
    However if someone has mastered single sword, then sword and dagger and then gone on to master a case of swords (fancy speak for two swords) then you will probably need two swords to beat them.
    Unless you're better with your single sword than they are with two swords, because you've been working on your single sword for two to three times as long.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    You can just square your stance, and have both weapons roughly in range though.
    Most of the sword work I know uses a square stance to strike and sometimes defend, though, and I still can't figure out how you'd push two blades around from a footwork perspective without ruining your ability to retreat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    Getting any meaningful swing with both at roughly the same time is however just awkward - one can take a swing in one direction, step onto one leg, shift his body weight etc. in one direction, attempt at two at the same time will be rather counterproductive, from obvious reasons.
    Yeah, basically. What I've seen of shuang dao uses the big motions of the saber to set up one movement while executing the other, but even that seems like it doesn't do anything using one saber with greater flow couldn't. Plus, it weakens the individual techniques, since there's no left hand for support.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    I guess that's why people were attempting double rapiers - with weapons of such strictly thrusting dynamics, one could try to make it work.
    Yeah. The problem is that weapons like the rapier, where that doesn't matter as much, are exactly the kind of weapons that really don't seem to like square stances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    Case of rapiers was described in manuals from all around the Italy, so this wasn't some very isolated idea.

    Probably used mostly by people who were desperate for adrenaline still.
    That seems plausible. I only know it by its name, but I'm sure it showed up here and there. And I'm sure it had roughly the same outcome a good portion of the time.
    Last edited by gkathellar; 2012-10-01 at 04:41 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    Unless you're better with your single sword than they are with two swords, because you've been working on your single sword for two to three times as long.
    But mechanically it is extremely difficult to win a fight if your opponent has two rapiers and is properly trained with them. A skilled fighter can simply use one hand to keep your sword busy and stab you with the second one.

    You cant just say: "I'm better with my single sword than you are with two swords, therefore i should win." I get beaten by people who are "worse" than me all the time, usually because i did calisthenics-from-hell in the class before, and i beat people who are "better" than me all the time, just not consistently.

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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by Darius Macab View Post
    But mechanically it is extremely difficult to win a fight if your opponent has two rapiers and is properly trained with them. A skilled fighter can simply use one hand to keep your sword busy and stab you with the second one.
    A buckler, or a dagger, or a well-made leather glove can keep your opponent's sword just as busy, and do so without requiring you to keep all the fighting within one range while your attention is divided.
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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    A buckler, or a dagger, or a well-made leather glove can keep your opponent's sword just as busy, and do so without requiring you to keep all the fighting within one range while your attention is divided.
    No, they cant constrain the sword effectively.

    By constrain i mean to force your opponent to take an action that will give you an opportunity to strike, this action is often predictable or controlled by the constraining weapon.

    A dagger is about 1/10th as long as a sword, requiring you to be in closer and thus be closer to harm, it is also far harder to effectively constrain your opponent with than a full length sword.

    A buckler is hard to use to control the sword, it can certainly deflect a thrust, but that often simply moves the point of impact from one hurty bit to another one.

    As an avid user of the off hand in rapier combat i can firmly state that the offhand is not only limited by its tiny reach, how slow it is compared to a sword, and its inability to constrain on its own, but its also your hand a piece of meat and bone, and it gets hurt accordingly.

    Nothing constrains better than a sword, two swords constrain almost twice as well with proper training. I don't mean to say that two swords is always better, but someone with proper training and understanding of how two swords work and how one sword works will have an advantage over an opponent only using one sword.

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    Default Re: Got a Real World Weapons or Armour Question? Mk XI

    Quote Originally Posted by Darius Macab View Post
    No, they cant constrain the sword effectively.

    By constrain i mean to force your opponent to take an action that will give you an opportunity to strike, this action is often predictable or controlled by the constraining weapon.

    A dagger is about 1/10th as long as a sword, requiring you to be in closer and thus be closer to harm, it is also far harder to effectively constrain your opponent with than a full length sword.

    A buckler is hard to use to control the sword, it can certainly deflect a thrust, but that often simply moves the point of impact from one hurty bit to another one.

    As an avid user of the off hand in rapier combat i can firmly state that the offhand is not only limited by its tiny reach, how slow it is compared to a sword, and its inability to constrain on its own, but its also your hand a piece of meat and bone, and it gets hurt accordingly.

    Nothing constrains better than a sword, two swords constrain almost twice as well with proper training. I don't mean to say that two swords is always better, but someone with proper training and understanding of how two swords work and how one sword works will have an advantage over an opponent only using one sword.

    DM
    G, while your rapier-centric viewpoint is good for a counterpoint (but usually just a laugh), this bit clearly illustrates why you need to take some Wednesdays off and go to Sidesword Focus.

    A buckler doesn't necessarily need to lengthwise constrain your opponent's sword (in the way that another sword does) in order to give you strike openings, that's you thinking in rapier/rapier combat exclusively. In misura stretta a buckler can neutralize nearly any of the mandretti, forcing your opponent to take a dui tempi to get an actual strike on you from that side.

    Only at misura larga is the off-hand useless in that respect.

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