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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    Quote Originally Posted by wolflance View Post
    In other word, my theory goes like this: European generally used longer swords, and had numerous? dueling traditions that can utilize various single-time counters to their fullest, thus they developed larger and more protective guards, and later found out that these guards are also useful in other situations/on the battlefield.
    I would agree with Mike that this is not necessarily the case. It's harder not to die when you are attacked with a longer weapon, but if you aren't killed or wounded right away, and you do manage to parry, you can still seek the bind and if you get it, do the single-time counter or mastercut. It has to do with the geometry of weapons, as Mike mentioned - putting your strong on their weak and sliding in like a snow plow. It still works the same way, once you clear their point you are good to go.

    That said, of course having the longer weapon is always helpful (until / unless you are very close).

    If we wider our focus to include other parts of the world...let's say Japanese. The Japanese used their swords (as sidearms) on and off the battlefield, and carried sword in their day-to-day life. They also dueled. Japanese likely faced all the issues mentioned by Galloglaich (no gauntlets, gauntlets interfering with dother things, gauntlets offer insufficient protection, no shield, etc) but developing complex guard never seems to occur to them.

    I think the reason might be that Japanese "duel" is actually very different from European duel/juridical combat in that there's no sense of fairness and nothing dishonorable about "bring an oar to a sword fight" so to speak. Apparently the participants are free to muster every ounce of advantage they can, including bringing more men to gank up on the other party (it is only a duel in the sense that both parties agreed to show up on a set date to duke it out). They probably attended a duel with very different expectations/mindset from the European, and as such did not develop complex guard.
    I am no expert on Japanese fencing, but I would say this: from what I understand, in a nutshell, Japanese fencing relies on a high level of training and skill to protect yourself with the sword, using special techniques


    Japanese fencing emphasized some parrying with the curve of the blade, and especially voids via movement and tempo (similar to the German "Nachreisen"), and other complex maneuvers and counters - all things which you find in European fencing as well, but without relying on the more aggressive parries (hard vs hard) which require the hand protection (tsuba) very much, for obvious reasons. I think this is partly because the Japanese sword is essentially a saber, and also because the very hard, very sharp katana / tachi blades were potentially vulnerable to edge on edge contact. Which bleeds into your next question.

    I heard that sharp swords actually bite into each others and do not slide down as much as HEMA steel simulators did. Is that true?
    This is something a lot of people have been looking into in recent years and is a bit of a controversy in the HEMA world. I know Roland for example has experimented with it, among other people. I've done a little bit of careful experimentation. There is also a certain notorious group in Germany whose name I won't mention who does some rather reckless types of 'experiments' and I know people have talked to them about this exact issue. They say that they don't notice it very much, I.e. they rarely stick, others like Roland say it almost always does stick.

    Based on my own experiments I suspect it matters a great deal what the metallurgy and level of sharpness of the swords are and how you are fencing / parrying.

    The honest answer is though that the jury is still out on this.


    That's not always the case. Case in point:

    Persian saber (shamshir) appears to be intended for duke-it-out combat only. There's actually no unarmored Persian swordsmanship. All Persian martial arts, with the exception of dagger combat, assume you are armored, wear bazubands, carry a buckler or shield (or another sword/dagger), and heavily emphasize strength training and grappling/wrestling.

    (Being the originator of superheavy catapharct cavalry, Persian were probably liking the duking quite a bit more than ride by slashing)
    Interesting, and that makes sense. Do you know sources on this?

    I know in the Sikh martial arts, Gatka and ... I forget what the more 'pure' version is called, they do kind of a hybrid type of saber and buckler fencing which seems to simulate being on horseback some of the time. But they also do put knucklebows on their sabers and swords (so called 'ferrengi' or foreign hilt).

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  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    Even in peace time and out of armour proper, they sometimes wore this textile gauntlet/sleeve which covered the forearm and back of the hand (sometimes the forearm part was reinforced with mail or metal plates). Embarrassingly I am completely blanking on the name of this armour, although knowing the Japanese, it was probably called kote and tekko as well.
    .
    Very interesting point thanks for posting! I didn't know that.

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  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    Quote Originally Posted by Galloglaich
    Quote Originally Posted by Graywolf
    What it doesn't protect you from, unlike more complex hilts, is someone sniping your hand after voiding the initial attack, you have to use other methods to do that, be it timing and distance, or a buckler. Preferably both.
    I think this is where you are missing the point of the cross. If you are cutting at someone and someone snipes at your hand, a slight shift of your wrist and a turn of the cross is precisely what you do to save your hand.
    Let me unpack this a bit more.

    From my understanding, fencing systems around the world tend to have a lot of similarities. I know from working with a lot of FMA guys over many years (there are a lot of Kali / Arnis people in HEMA) there is an enormous amount of overlap between FMA specifically and Liechtenauer fencing. Same with Japanese fencing.

    All fencing systems I know of advocate striking the weapon hand. The response, once you have given your enemy that opening, is similar - with some nuance which basically relies on the hilt protection; i.e. without the cross, you need to move your weapon more for a parry further down your blade (like a 'krumphau'), or yank your arm back further out of the way, or change your cut at their head or body into a cut at their weapon hand (which can also be a 'krumphau' or a type of 'nachreisen'). You do all of these things in Liechtenauer as well.

    But with the cross you have another option - you don't need to pull back nearly as far and you can instead just move your wrist slightly and align your cross properly with the attacking blade, so it's a slightly shorter and simpler movement. You can also then possibly get a bind which you can then exploit with a counter*.

    This, in aggregate, translates to being able to put your hand out there a bit more, because when you do get 'sniped' at, you can remedy the situation more quickly and simply, and therefore it isn't as risky and doesn't interrupt your tempo as much.




    This is also probably the same difference between European medieval fencing systems vs. earlier (Viking, Migration era, Gallic, Iberian, Roman, Greek etc.) though we don't know for sure because we don't really have enough data about them.




    *I should also point out that getting the bind does NOT mean that you are always going to go for a thrust or a single time counter, it may very well mean you do a double time counter, or cut against another opening like with a 'zwerchau' or a 'schielhau', or move into grappling or a disarm, or a pommel strike, or any number of other techniques. Getting into the bind just opens up a whole host of more advanced techniques which you can potentially exploit.

    This is why, incidentally, the Liechtenauer manuals advise you that if you are fencing against a master, avoid the bind! This is also a good idea if you are fencing against a Fiorista because they will use those angles on you.

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  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    How much food/water did ancient armies typically carry? Like... Did they ring just enough to survive? Did they bring as much as possible, just to be safe? Something in-between? How dependent were armies from seizing food/water from enemies/locals?
    Homebrew Stuff:

  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    As far as complex hilts go, note that 16th-century English military writers disagreed on the utility of complex hilts for soldiers. Sir John Smythe wanted daggers with a simple cross and swords with a simple complex hilt: "with their hilts only made with. 2. portes, a greater and a smaller on the out side of the hiltes, after the fashion of the Italian and Spanishe arming swordes." I'm not sure exactly what this means, but I'm imagining something like a knuckle-bow and side ring. And Smythe assigned this same style of sword and dagger to archers as well as heavily armored pikers, so it's not just a matter of gauntlets, which he wanted pikers to wear, making more extensive hilts unnecessary.

    Humphrey Barwick assigned arquebusiers swords and daggers without commenting on hilt style but specified a simple cross only for pikers, who wore gauntlets, and halberdiers, who apparently didn't have gauntlets (it's not perfectly clear).

    George Silver of course recommended a basket hilt for both civilian and military use. He mentioned that some critics complained that a basket hilt made a sword more difficult to draw quickly.

    So in late-16th-century England, where a variety of different styles of complex hilt were common, there was no consensus that they were appropriate for military service.

    While I do consider hand protection valuable for single combat, even then it's not a huge advantage. I suspect various historical martial cultures failed to develop or adopt complex hilts in part because they just weren't that important and had potential marginal downsides as well as benefits. The downsides include increased cost of manufacture, increased weight, increased bulk when wearing, and increased difficulty of drawing swiftly.
    Last edited by Incanur; 2017-08-23 at 12:00 PM.
    Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    This is taught in foil fencing with the wee circular bell guard and weapons of the exact same length.
    If I understand your description right, it's practically the second thing I've been taught in classical French foil, and at my school we use tiny figure eight guards so that you learn not to rely on the hand protection too much.

    On the subject of single-time counters, I'm familiar with the concept and have seen some of the longsword techniques described as such, but I feel like I'm missing some things. Would it be fair to say that a single-time counter is a defense that positions your weapon for immediate offense (the guard position also being the start of an attack)? Or is it more "defending with an attack?" Or are these both misunderstandings?

    Also: I feel like most of the video or picture examples I've seen of single-time moves lead into thrusts (and cuts with the false edge, maybe). Are there single-time chops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Incanur View Post
    While I do consider hand protection valuable for single combat, even then it's not a huge advantage. I suspect various historical martial cultures failed to develop or adopt complex hilts in part because they just weren't that important and had potential marginal downsides as well as benefits. The downsides include increased cost of manufacture, increased weight, increased bulk when wearing, and increased difficulty of drawing swiftly.
    The place I find its absence especially odd is the jian, which tends to have a proto-crossguard but lack the more fully developed type seen in the West. There's some moves here and there which would need to be a tiny bit different, but in general a larger guard seems like it'd be logical.
    Last edited by gkathellar; 2017-08-23 at 12:41 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post

    On the subject of single-time counters, I'm familiar with the concept and have seen some of the longsword techniques described as such, but I feel like I'm missing some things. Would it be fair to say that a single-time counter is a defense that positions your weapon for immediate offense (the guard position also being the start of an attack)? Or is it more "defending with an attack?" Or are these both misunderstandings?
    They are both correct - you can attack in a way that also defends you (by covering their weapon, so to speak - meisterhau) and you can defend while attacking (versetzen, which are basically just defensive meisterhau, or absetzen etc.)

    Also: I feel like most of the video or picture examples I've seen of single-time moves lead into thrusts (and cuts with the false edge, maybe). Are there single-time chops?
    Yes most definitely. Zwerchau is probably the easiest and most obvious example of this, but there are many others.


    The place I find its absence especially odd is the jian, which tends to have a proto-crossguard but lack the more fully developed type seen in the West. There's some moves here and there which would need to be a tiny bit different, but in general a larger guard seems like it'd be logical.
    Agreed, the differences may be due to variations in the fencing system. Possibly due to a blade that isn't as stiff?

    G
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  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    Just FYI, in Liechtenauer, most of the attacks can be either a thrust, a slice, or a cut (the 'three wounders'), depending on what your opponent does and what happens in the bind etc.

    So a Zornhau can be a cut, or a thrust, or even (in the followup) a slice. Shielhau can be a cut or a thrust... or a slice in followup.Zornhau starts as a cut but can morph into a thrust or a slice. Krumphau can be a cut or a slice, probably a thrust too though I can't think of how off the top of my head.

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  9. - Top - End - #189
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    Quote Originally Posted by Incanur View Post
    As far as complex hilts go, note that 16th-century English military writers disagreed on the utility of complex hilts for soldiers. Sir John ...(snip)...

    While I do consider hand protection valuable for single combat, even then it's not a huge advantage. I suspect various historical martial cultures failed to develop or adopt complex hilts in part because they just weren't that important and had potential marginal downsides as well as benefits. The downsides include increased cost of manufacture, increased weight, increased bulk when wearing, and increased difficulty of drawing swiftly.
    I think there is definitely a sweet spot, and without a doubt you can clearly see that more complex hilts appear for the civilian or what you might call "semi-civilian" context (like town guards for example who would wear some armor but not necessarily gauntlets) vs. full fledged military, for some of the reasons you stated above, namely bulk and the potential for things to get in the way.

    For example these 'Swiss sabers' were often associated with town guards and with civilian use as sidearms, and had a lot of complex hilt features





    You also see longswords of hand-and-a-half length (i.e. slightly shorter than ususal) with complex hilt features, and sometimes coinciding with broad-blades that are more for cutting than thrusting, which come from town armouries and were specifically used by the town guard.








    Simpler is better for the military but they still used a cross, a nagel or clamshell, and later on fairly often other things like finger rings and siderings, and knucklebows, on most military swords from the High Medieval into the Industrial era.





    As well as all your basket-hilt swords which were most closely associated with 'heavy' (I.e. 'stand and fight') cavalry





    G
    Last edited by Galloglaich; 2017-08-23 at 02:05 PM.
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  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    I think full basket hilts were fine for military service too, assuming no gauntlets, but not unambiguously superior. You do see them from time to time, most famously in Scottish hands but going well beyond that.

    It's additionally possible that complex hilts on certain sword designs were just better, a technological advantage in the broad sense. Sometimes one marital culture has better gear than another. For sabers and other single-edged one-handed swords, at least a knuckle-bow strikes me as advantageous at minimal cost. (If you have a double-edged sword, on the other hand, a knuckle-bow gets in the way of reversing the sword. Not a big deal, but a potential disadvantage.)

    For an example of superior gear, the weight of the available evidence indicates that Manchu composite bows were and are considerably more efficient than English-style yew bows for launching heavy arrows. Manchu bows are more difficult to construct and maintain, especially in moist environments, and harder to draw at any given draw weight, but they still trump yew bows in terms of sheer performance.

    European plate armor likewise appears to outperform any other armor design for overall protection. It's complicated to produce, maintain, and put on, but a full harness can make the wearer nearly immune to muscle-powered weapons at relatively light weight. (Of course, I don't know of any comprehensive tests of numerous historical armors, so it's possible some other designs were better. I've heard rumors of one Chinese design performing best in one test, but I've never be able to find the details.)

    Personally, I adore both the aesthetics and function of complex-hilt swords, especially complex-hilt longswords like the so-called Swiss saber.
    Last edited by Incanur; 2017-08-23 at 03:16 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    I think the complex hilt is a superior technology and confers an advantage, very generally speaking, but it's also tailored to specific fighting styles, and the differences in the general approach to fighting are part of what led to their development.

    Same with the best types of armor for example which also developed alongside either heavy cavalry or heavy infantry, not just in Europe but in places like Central Asia, Persia etc..



    The Indians adapted some complex hilt features in their swords, but the Japanese didn't, even though they did adapt European plate armor and firearms and so on. I think this is because their fencing system worked without it (and perhaps, because they had cut themselves off from foreign contact for a long time after about 100 years of interacting with the Portuguese and Spanish).

    G
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    Sword design in Japan was also standardized by Hideyoshi IIRC, and were required to be a certain length to qualify as katana/wakizashi/etc. Prior to that point there was a lot of variation, and swords were more often worn edge down (and referred to as tachi). I'm given to understand that even today, kenjutsu has a whole etiquette of sword use that forbids things like stepping over a blade on the ground. Introducing complex hilts would've been socially taboo during the Edo period, and possibly illegal. During the late Edo period there was some experimentation with sword design, but swords were also banned during the Meiji period, so ... yeah.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    Was curious about everyone's opinion on this weapon from a recent Game of Thrones episode:

    (BIG SPOILERS FOR GOT S7E5)

    Spoiler
    Show


    Is that as completely unrealistic as I think? Given what real warhammers looked liked, that thing seems like it would be impossibly heavy to swing.

    Or is there something I don't know.
    Last edited by Wonton; 2017-08-23 at 05:16 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonton View Post
    Was curious about everyone's opinion on this weapon from a recent Game of Thrones episode:

    (BIG SPOILERS FOR GOT S7E5)

    Spoiler
    Show


    Is that as completely unrealistic as I think? Given what real warhammers looked liked, that thing seems like it would be impossibly heavy to swing.

    Or is there something I don't know.
    You've pretty much hit the nail on the head. It's a big, dumb fantasy hammer which handles on the show like it's made out of plastic rather than metal. Medieval warhammers and poleaxes generally didn't need extremely heavy heads to do a lot of damage, but they did need to be able to swing quickly and recover quickly.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    How much food/water did ancient armies typically carry? Like... Did they ring just enough to survive? Did they bring as much as possible, just to be safe? Something in-between? How dependent were armies from seizing food/water from enemies/locals?
    In general, it was pretty dependent on local conditions, culture, etc., and varied heavily.

    Roman legionaries carried a lot of supplies, as well as cooking implements--they earned the nickname 'Marius' Mules', after a famous commander, for the amounts of equipment and supplies they carried. At the same time, the Romans were certainly not above foraging from local terrain, and certain soldiers were exempted from labor duties--building camps, etc.--instead functioning as hunters.

    Greek hoplites generally fought campaigns within a few day's march of their homes, and thus would be less dependent on carried food.

    Quite frankly, I don't know much about other ancient armies, though I'd say from what I do know that the Assyrians especially were known for having large supply trains for food and other things.

    All in all, though, it probably depended on the season, availability of food, and duration of campaign, and was extremely flexible.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonton View Post
    Was curious about everyone's opinion on this weapon from a recent Game of Thrones episode:

    (BIG SPOILERS FOR GOT S7E5)

    Spoiler
    Show


    Is that as completely unrealistic as I think? Given what real warhammers looked liked, that thing seems like it would be impossibly heavy to swing.

    Or is there something I don't know.
    This might be a better example of unusually large warhammers: http://bilddb-old.khm.at/viewArtefac..._304_45868.jpg
    From Hungary, around 1530.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonton View Post
    Was curious about everyone's opinion on this weapon from a recent Game of Thrones episode:

    (BIG SPOILERS FOR GOT S7E5)

    Spoiler
    Show


    Is that as completely unrealistic as I think? Given what real warhammers looked liked, that thing seems like it would be impossibly heavy to swing.

    Or is there something I don't know.
    I think we all need to take a moment to appreciate just how stupid that thing looks.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    Quote Originally Posted by Wonton View Post
    Was curious about everyone's opinion on this weapon from a recent Game of Thrones episode:

    Is that as completely unrealistic as I think? Given what real warhammers looked liked, that thing seems like it would be impossibly heavy to swing.

    Or is there something I don't know.
    I estimate the head on that would weigh at least 10 kilos if made of iron or steel.

    A standard sledgehammer has a head which is more like 4 kilos. I'm around normal adult male strength or slightly over, and I would find a 4 kilo sledge extremely unwieldy*. To the point that I would much rather use the unweighted handle as a weapon. If I had to fight with a sledgehammer, I'd grip it with both hands like a spear and jab with it because it's too slow and clumsy to swing.

    From that, I'd guess you'd have to be x2.5 as strong as me to use the illustrated weapon as clumsily as I could use a sledge. The strongest men in the world are around x4 or x5 as strong as me. So I guess if you're the strongest man in the world, you might be able to wield that GoT weapon effectively, though I suspect it would still be somewhat clumsy.

    Cliffs: yeah it's absurd.

    * to swing at people. It's a fine weight to wield overhead at a static target that I want to hit hard.
    Last edited by Mr Beer; 2017-08-23 at 06:43 PM.
    Re: 100 Things to Beware of that Every DM Should Know

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    93. No matter what the character sheet say, there are only 3 PC alignments: Lawful Snotty, Neutral Greedy, and Chaotic Backstabbing.

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

    Also, compare to medieval tools (sledge hammers):
    http://ica.themorgan.org/manuscript/page/12/77002 (about 1470)
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/C...io_2010_n2.jpg In this case, the shape of the haft has been slightly modified to give a better sound (about 1500)

    Finding images of actual hammers was too hard. I kept getting warhammers, or, in academic repositories, every damn object that had been hammered.

    EDIT: Finally I found one! 24 cm long sledge hammer head, used for metal working, 1500-1700, from England. Its shape kind of reminds me of war hammers. Almost 3 kg. https://finds.org.uk/database/artefa...cord/id/152197
    Last edited by Vinyadan; 2017-08-23 at 07:07 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by rrgg View Post
    You've pretty much hit the nail on the head. It's a big, dumb fantasy hammer which handles on the show like it's made out of plastic rather than metal. Medieval warhammers and poleaxes generally didn't need extremely heavy heads to do a lot of damage, but they did need to be able to swing quickly and recover quickly.
    Apparently Westeros imports weapon designs from Lordaeron (WoW setting)!

    I usually don't mind dumb fantasy tropes, like bigass weapons and chainmail bikinis... But it's completely out of place in GoT, which is a more gritty and "realistic" setting.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    Apparently Westeros imports weapon designs from Lordaeron (WoW setting)!

    I usually don't mind dumb fantasy tropes, like bigass weapons and chainmail bikinis... But it's completely out of place in GoT, which is a more gritty and "realistic" setting.
    For some values of "realistic".
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    For some values of "realistic".
    Pff, you just don't realize that grime and misery = realism. Ten year summers that don't ruin local agriculture happen all the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by KKL
    D&D is its own momentum and does its own fantasy. It emulates itself in an incestuous mess.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    This might be a better example of unusually large warhammers: http://bilddb-old.khm.at/viewArtefac..._304_45868.jpg
    From Hungary, around 1530.
    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    I think we all need to take a moment to appreciate just how stupid that thing looks.
    The different impressions I get from these two pictures is kind of funny. With the GoT hammer, it looks cool but stupid--it's one of those things that looks like a cool weapon for your hulking warrior fantasy trope, but you (should) recognize that practically, it'd be incredibly dumb to try and use in battle. The real warhammer looks kind of dumb just from aesthetics, but I can believe that it'd actually make an effective implement on the battlefield. Funny how that works sometimes.
    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    It's fantasy. Nearly by definition it contains things that cannot exist. Complaining that this gets the science wrong is like shooting fish in an aquarium; at once easy, likely to upset aquarium fanciers, and utterly oblivious to the reason most people like aquariums in the first place.
    Quote Originally Posted by Xuc Xac View Post
    Descriptive: You ate that baby, so you're Evil.
    Prescriptive: You're Evil so you have to eat babies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    Pff, you just don't realize that grime and misery = realism. Ten year summers that don't ruin local agriculture happen all the time.
    You'll notice that I added quotation marks to the word "realistic".

    In any case, it's not the grime and misery that make it realistic... It's the fact that there are far fewer fantastical elements than, say, World of Warcraft. Magic itself is rarer and (usually) more subtle. You know the deal. Still... Even a "realistic" (notice the quotation marks again) fantasy setting is still a fantasy setting, so there's impossible/nonsensical stuff in it, anyway.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    You'll notice that I added quotation marks to the word "realistic".

    In any case, it's not the grime and misery that make it realistic... It's the fact that there are far fewer fantastical elements than, say, World of Warcraft. Magic itself is rarer and (usually) more subtle. You know the deal. Still... Even a "realistic" (notice the quotation marks again) fantasy setting is still a fantasy setting, so there's impossible/nonsensical stuff in it, anyway.
    It's not the dragons and spells that make me scoff at the notion that GoT is "realistic"... it's that it's just a wild over-reaction to the nice and pretty faerie-tale ren-faire version of the times/places that inspire these settings.

    (And I didn't mean to imply that you meant it was realistic, just following up on your comment, as an aside.)
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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

    As fantasy genre show, GoT was kind of realistic. More so than others. It had more internal consistency and the plot and some of the characters were loosely based on history, so it had that ring of truth. That and major characters being able to die... made it feel plausible.

    I think that is kind of changing as the show wraps up though (and surges way past the ground covered by the novels)

    That hammer thing is a LARP weapon, as are the big axe and a lot of others making appearances lately.

    Most of the weapons and sword fighting etc. in GoT have been pretty bad though.
    “The nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.”

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Galloglaich View Post
    As fantasy genre show, GoT was kind of realistic. More so than others. It had more internal consistency and the plot and some of the characters were loosely based on history, so it had that ring of truth. That and major characters being able to die... made it feel plausible.

    I think that is kind of changing as the show wraps up though (and surges way past the ground covered by the novels)

    That hammer thing is a LARP weapon, as are the big axe and a lot of others making appearances lately.

    Most of the weapons and sword fighting etc. in GoT have been pretty bad though.

    Someone did a running count of the number of times weapons slide right through chain or plate like armor is decorative, but I can't find the video.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Galloglaich View Post
    As fantasy genre show, GoT was kind of realistic. More so than others. It had more internal consistency and the plot and some of the characters were loosely based on history, so it had that ring of truth. That and major characters being able to die... made it feel plausible.

    I think that is kind of changing as the show wraps up though (and surges way past the ground covered by the novels)

    That hammer thing is a LARP weapon, as are the big axe and a lot of others making appearances lately.

    Most of the weapons and sword fighting etc. in GoT have been pretty bad though.
    Yea... I hate sounding like a book elitist... But the show really started falling in quality after it stopped following the books... Some events, character decisions and plot lines simply make no sense whatsoever.

    But anyway... I'll stop with the derailment now.

    (BTW, once again: Thank you very much to everyone who answered my questions. I really appreciate your kindness.)
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armor or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIV

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    Single-time counter explanation
    Thanks for the explanation, that clarify a lot of things for me (especially on the "don't need complex guard" part). That being said, the two points I suggested, while no longer absolute, are still GENERALLY true, aren't they?

    (in the sense that having longer sword and better guard do help a great deal and encourage this type of techniques)

    A question though, how easily can one performs single time counter with guardless weapon? i.e. in a quarterstaff vs quarterstaff fight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Galloglaich View Post
    This isn't how most fighters or soldiers were prepared for war in the medieval period. See the above. It was a combination of martial sports and games, hunting, and more or less continuous low-intensity warfare and raiding.
    G
    (This is beside the point of swordmanship/complex guard discussion)

    Umm, you mean, they didn't formally drill the troops in formation maneuvering (advancing/retreating/disengage/change direction) back then?

    Quote Originally Posted by Galloglaich View Post
    Interesting, and that makes sense. Do you know sources on this?

    I know in the Sikh martial arts, Gatka and ... I forget what the more 'pure' version is called, they do kind of a hybrid type of saber and buckler fencing which seems to simulate being on horseback some of the time. But they also do put knucklebows on their sabers and swords (so called 'ferrengi' or foreign hilt).

    G
    There's a revival movement of sort for Persian/Iranian martial arts, in the same vein as HEMA, known as Razmafzar. I learned a great deal from their YouTube channel (they use English and do a bit of cross-discipline sparring with the HEMA folk).

    Spoiler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galloglaich View Post
    Agreed, the differences may be due to variations in the fencing system. Possibly due to a blade that isn't as stiff?

    G
    Chinese sword blade is generally stiffer than its European counterpart, because they don't taper the blade that much. I think flexible yet tough blade is only really feasible with superior European metallurgy.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    The place I find its absence especially odd is the jian, which tends to have a proto-crossguard but lack the more fully developed type seen in the West. There's some moves here and there which would need to be a tiny bit different, but in general a larger guard seems like it'd be logical.
    Not that I agree with him, but this article makes some interesting points (especially about archery and its relation on the development of sword guard).


    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    Sword design in Japan was also standardized by Hideyoshi IIRC, and were required to be a certain length to qualify as katana/wakizashi/etc. Prior to that point there was a lot of variation, and swords were more often worn edge down (and referred to as tachi). I'm given to understand that even today, kenjutsu has a whole etiquette of sword use that forbids things like stepping over a blade on the ground. Introducing complex hilts would've been socially taboo during the Edo period, and possibly illegal. During the late Edo period there was some experimentation with sword design, but swords were also banned during the Meiji period, so ... yeah.
    Japanese sword quality also plummeted after the Koto period (i.e. after Sengoku Jidai concluded), as they made their sword increasingly ornate but less functional. Sword smithing traditions nearly went extinct, in fact. Some lineage struggled but somewhat survived, and there were later attempts to revive the tradition, but then modernization happened, then war happened, and they lost the war, forcing many sword smiths to went underground until relatively recent time.

    (I think the bad reputation of Katana being "if you bend it, it stays bend" also comes from this, most surviving antiques come after their sword quality plummeted. It does bend if you subject the blade to very serious abusing though.)

    Which may be another reason why they didn't develop complex guard. “Older is better" was actually true for them during that period (that and they're cut off from outside influence).
    Last edited by wolflance; 2017-08-23 at 11:48 PM.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by rrgg View Post
    You've pretty much hit the nail on the head. It's a big, dumb fantasy hammer which handles on the show like it's made out of plastic rather than metal. Medieval warhammers and poleaxes generally didn't need extremely heavy heads to do a lot of damage, but they did need to be able to swing quickly and recover quickly.
    Yeah! It even looks like it's made of plastic! Like they couldn't put a more metallic paint on it or something? It literally looks like a fake fantasy weapon you'd buy at Walmart. With their budget, you'd think the prop department could do a biiiiit better...

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    I think we all need to take a moment to appreciate just how stupid that thing looks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
    Apparently Westeros imports weapon designs from Lordaeron (WoW setting)!

    I usually don't mind dumb fantasy tropes, like bigass weapons and chainmail bikinis... But it's completely out of place in GoT, which is a more gritty and "realistic" setting.
    Agreed. GoT has usually been pretty decent about realism. Here's an interview from Season 1 with the weapon master, who talks about needing to make the weapons aesthetically pleasing, but also practical: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XSReDJYHsM

    This monstrosity is NOT practical, and like Lemmy said, looks like it was ripped straight from WoW. Very jarring.
    Rules that supersede Rule 0:

    Rule -1: You're all there to have fun. The GM and the players should never do anything that would limit people's fun, for any in-game or real-life reason.

    Rule -0.5 (corollary): That means that if someone's fun is getting in the way of other people's fun, that person needs to change how they're playing.

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