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

    Quote Originally Posted by heavyfuel View Post
    Was there ever a weapon that was used both as an axe and as a dagger / small sword?

    I don't know if this included in the goal of the thread, but what I'm asking for is a weapon that would fit both the Axes and the Light Blades weapon groups in Pathfinder 1.
    Assuming you mean a weapon axe, not a tool axe.

    The classic medieval weapon that fits this bill is the falchion. The Kukri is another famous example. The Greek kopis is another well known design.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Truth. It should also be noted that, at least in some versions of D&D, the term buckler is misapplied to something that straps to your forearm but leaves your hand free, whereas historically the term was used for a small shield you held.
    At that point you're wearing armour.

    And for a dagger/short-sword axe thing, there's machetes and other curved blades. Importantly you'd want a point heavy blade. Which is why machete's work. So you could potentially describe people as using dark-age or earlier swords. Which were much blade heavier than the later medieval blades you probably think of when somebody say sword.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzardevil View Post
    At that point you're wearing armour.
    ??? I was discussing terminology, as that was pertinent to the discussion I referenced. I honestly have no idea how your comment relates to mine.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzardevil View Post
    At that point you're wearing armour.
    You’re missing the fundamental difference between armor and a shield. The difference isn’t how it’s attached to the body.

    A shield is an object that makes it harder to hit the the target. Armor is a a covering that negates the effect of a blow.

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

    Hey, all, I've got a weapon idea in one of my stories that I wanted to shoot past you guys to check for verisimilitude- I've been incorporating stuff I've learned from Skallagrim and Shadiversity, but obviously it's not super likely they'd get back to me on how well I'd done so.

    So the weapon in question is a longsword of the sort one would normally consider impractically large- not in Buster Sword territory, but maybe four to five feet long with another foot for the hilt, and with a rather hefty blade as well- maybe six inches wide or so, and an inch or two thick (estimates are to be taken with a grain of salt, I haven't really sat down to proportion it out accurately). So again, not as insane as some anime/video game swords, but much larger than normally considered practical. That's where I've been putting in so much thought- how to make it work as something you could imagine being used.

    So the two big things that contribute in-story to this design are the material of the blade and the character the sword is made for. The sword is made later on, after the character loses their more conventional longsword and the material used in the sword is obtained.

    The character is basically a Warforged stripped of game mechanics and setting details- an elite golem warrior that mysteriously obtained self-awareness in a process which has started to lead to poorly understood mystical abilities. Practically, this means that he is much stronger than a normal person, but also a good deal heavier, something repeatedly noted as something that would help with oversized weapons, but also part of the original enchantments included into his design are 'sticking' effects in his hands, feet, and back that increase his traction, grip strength, and act as a convenient place to store his weapons while marching. This means that he is even better equipped to weild a heavier weapon, as he has magic keeping him from loosing balance or grip while swinging the darn thing around.

    The material of the weapon is a mysterious alloy originally made by the Mysterious Ancient CivilizationTM, this variety being known well for their supernatural metallurgy. The metal is essentially Adamantine- supposedly indestructible, but this has quite notably been shown to have limits. How? By this character's afore-mentioned developing powers. So while the metal is extremely durable and extremely strong, the weapon is being made for the one person known to be able to break it, so they don't want to go the route Shad discusses in his latest video about magical materials- they want to prioritize durability. Thus, in addition to making it big enough for a golem to use, they make it bulky enough to make sure it'll survive that use. For balance's sake, this also justifies some ornamentation on the hilt, in order to make the center of gravity more similar to a normal sword.

    Now, the other problem with big weapons is the cutting ability, again something that would normally encourage thinner blades in both dimensions. My thought process here, which is the one I'm not as confident of, is that the unconventional design weighs in to the somewhat different use of a larger sword over a smaller one. I heard it said once that longswords and Zweihanders and such could almost be considered a kind of polearm, and that really got my mind going- in practice, essentially, this sword works more like a really big axe. It has the much larger blade length of a sword, but the weight and heft of it mean that it focuses more on chopping than slicing- if it can't cut as well, it will transfer its kinetic energy very well. This is still a trade-off, but people did make battleaxes in real life, right? With the unique properties of its wielder's grip, the wide blade also works as a good hand-hold for half-swording in a pinch. In regular combat, though, the typical sweeping, circular style I recall being recommended for big swords would be devastating with that much momentum behind it, and the alternate combination of traits would make it very good for fighting giant monsters as well.

    Most debatably, one might consider that the wideness of the blade could allow it to be used as an impromptu buckler of sorts, as it is still very durable and the increased surface area would at the least make blocking in melee a bit easier.

    So, how well have I figured things out here? Am I way off base, or have I made something that you could believe a sane blacksmith would make for this kind of character? Did I not include sufficient Machicolations?
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    So the weapon in question is a longsword of the sort one would normally consider impractically large- not in Buster Sword territory, but maybe four to five feet long with another foot for the hilt, and with a rather hefty blade as well- maybe six inches wide or so, and an inch or two thick (estimates are to be taken with a grain of salt, I haven't really sat down to proportion it out accurately). So again, not as insane as some anime/video game swords, but much larger than normally considered practical. That's where I've been putting in so much thought- how to make it work as something you could imagine being used.
    Single edged or double edged blade?

    If it's single edged, it's not too far off a Chinese two handed dao, although a lot thicker. I presume that 1 inch measurement is the centre of the blade and it tapers to an edge?

    I would also take advantage of sword making techniques to reduce the weight of your weapon - fullers for example make the weapon lighter for no real reduction in blade integrity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    With the unique properties of its wielder's grip, the wide blade also works as a good hand-hold for half-swording in a pinch. In regular combat, though, the typical sweeping, circular style I recall being recommended for big swords would be devastating with that much momentum behind it, and the alternate combination of traits would make it very good for fighting giant monsters as well.
    Unless your character is much bigger than a human or has oversized hands, your blade is too thick for effective halfswording as you can't wrap your hand around the blade to get a good grip.

    For examples of how such a large weapon could be used, see this Miao Dao variant although probably ~2" off in blade width and on the shorter end of your scale.
    Moving back to European traditions, there's a number of longsword techniques which can be scaled appropriately for your weapon; for example there's this Adorea longsword duel

    The main purpose of such fighting styles is use of the weapon's reach to fend off multiple attackers or being able to stop cavalry - the latter would probably be useful for giant monsters.

    Edit: Man at Arms made replicas of Cloud's Buster Sword (although at 12" wide, the blade is twice as wide as your one) and Gut's sword from Berserk (which seems to have your exact required dimensions).

    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    Most debatably, one might consider that the wideness of the blade could allow it to be used as an impromptu buckler of sorts, as it is still very durable and the increased surface area would at the least make blocking in melee a bit easier.
    This is a trade-off between coverage (the wider the blade, the more you have to hide behind) and manoeuverability (the weapon needs to be fast enough to move into position). At the moment, you're way over into the coverage side of the scale, so it's easy to hide behind but you can't move your blade quickly, unless you're so ridiculously strong to compensate for the blade's inertia, in which case you're better off using a club or throwing stones. You can use magic to compensate but you're going to have to handwave it a bit, since trying to flesh it out leads to madness (e.g. Mass Effect style of mass manipulation would make the weapon easy to handle, but would reduce its cutting power as you won't have the same momentum).
    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2019-07-12 at 04:17 AM. Reason: Added additional points as I had more time

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Gideon Falcon View Post
    Hey, all, I've got a weapon idea in one of my stories that I wanted to shoot past you guys to check for verisimilitude- I've been incorporating stuff I've learned from Skallagrim and Shadiversity, but obviously it's not super likely they'd get back to me on how well I'd done so.

    So the weapon in question is a longsword of the sort one would normally consider impractically large- not in Buster Sword territory, but maybe four to five feet long with another foot for the hilt, and with a rather hefty blade as well- maybe six inches wide or so, and an inch or two thick (estimates are to be taken with a grain of salt, I haven't really sat down to proportion it out accurately). So again, not as insane as some anime/video game swords, but much larger than normally considered practical. That's where I've been putting in so much thought- how to make it work as something you could imagine being used.

    So the two big things that contribute in-story to this design are the material of the blade and the character the sword is made for. The sword is made later on, after the character loses their more conventional longsword and the material used in the sword is obtained.

    The character is basically a Warforged stripped of game mechanics and setting details- an elite golem warrior that mysteriously obtained self-awareness in a process which has started to lead to poorly understood mystical abilities. Practically, this means that he is much stronger than a normal person, but also a good deal heavier, something repeatedly noted as something that would help with oversized weapons, but also part of the original enchantments included into his design are 'sticking' effects in his hands, feet, and back that increase his traction, grip strength, and act as a convenient place to store his weapons while marching. This means that he is even better equipped to weild a heavier weapon, as he has magic keeping him from loosing balance or grip while swinging the darn thing around.

    The material of the weapon is a mysterious alloy originally made by the Mysterious Ancient CivilizationTM, this variety being known well for their supernatural metallurgy. The metal is essentially Adamantine- supposedly indestructible, but this has quite notably been shown to have limits. How? By this character's afore-mentioned developing powers. So while the metal is extremely durable and extremely strong, the weapon is being made for the one person known to be able to break it, so they don't want to go the route Shad discusses in his latest video about magical materials- they want to prioritize durability. Thus, in addition to making it big enough for a golem to use, they make it bulky enough to make sure it'll survive that use. For balance's sake, this also justifies some ornamentation on the hilt, in order to make the center of gravity more similar to a normal sword.

    Now, the other problem with big weapons is the cutting ability, again something that would normally encourage thinner blades in both dimensions. My thought process here, which is the one I'm not as confident of, is that the unconventional design weighs in to the somewhat different use of a larger sword over a smaller one. I heard it said once that longswords and Zweihanders and such could almost be considered a kind of polearm, and that really got my mind going- in practice, essentially, this sword works more like a really big axe. It has the much larger blade length of a sword, but the weight and heft of it mean that it focuses more on chopping than slicing- if it can't cut as well, it will transfer its kinetic energy very well. This is still a trade-off, but people did make battleaxes in real life, right? With the unique properties of its wielder's grip, the wide blade also works as a good hand-hold for half-swording in a pinch. In regular combat, though, the typical sweeping, circular style I recall being recommended for big swords would be devastating with that much momentum behind it, and the alternate combination of traits would make it very good for fighting giant monsters as well.

    Most debatably, one might consider that the wideness of the blade could allow it to be used as an impromptu buckler of sorts, as it is still very durable and the increased surface area would at the least make blocking in melee a bit easier.

    So, how well have I figured things out here? Am I way off base, or have I made something that you could believe a sane blacksmith would make for this kind of character? Did I not include sufficient Machicolations?
    The issue I see is that this thing is going to be all about the inertia.

    With that much mass, stopping it will be very difficult. So that's good for offense, as it will be hard to block, hard to make armor good enough to stop it, it will be able to shear through the flesh of huge creatures, etc.

    The problem is also that it will be hard to stop. If you swing and miss, it will take all day to stop that much mass with that much momentum to make another cut or to block. This will be terrible at defending against anything even a little quick, because once you start it moving to parry, changing direction if that was just a feint is going to be very very hard. Great strength will help, but only so much. A semi has a bigger engine than a sports car, but it still takes a while to get that mass moving. Or to stop it moving.
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  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    There are reasons most swords actually used in combat were within a certain weight and size range, going all the way back to the oldest bronze swords.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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

    To our rapier question, quite randomly today I happened upon an answer. I was visiting the Swedish Army Museum and happened upon what looked like a stiff, narrow, hand and a half sword meant for thrusting. The blade was quite long and had a narrow taper, but was less wide than most of their one handed swords on display.

    They had it labeled as a “Varja”, which they translated to English as “Rapier” and dated in the mid 1500s.

    I suspect there may have been an alternate naming convention in some parts of Europe that did not use “Rapier” to envision a flexible one handed fencing piece that we think of today, but instead these larger and much stiffer thrusting swords. Which incidentally, probably would have been better for a battlefield. Hence “war Rapier”

    I would post photos, but for some reason my phone won’t let me copy them here.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by KineticDiplomat View Post
    To our rapier question, quite randomly today I happened upon an answer. I was visiting the Swedish Army Museum and happened upon what looked like a stiff, narrow, hand and a half sword meant for thrusting. The blade was quite long and had a narrow taper, but was less wide than most of their one handed swords on display.

    They had it labeled as a “Varja”, which they translated to English as “Rapier” and dated in the mid 1500s.

    I suspect there may have been an alternate naming convention in some parts of Europe that did not use “Rapier” to envision a flexible one handed fencing piece that we think of today, but instead these larger and much stiffer thrusting swords. Which incidentally, probably would have been better for a battlefield. Hence “war Rapier”

    I would post photos, but for some reason my phone won’t let me copy them here.
    I have checked. The rapier is "rapir" in swedish. "Värja" means "smallsword..." which is weird, because the weapon you are describing sounds like a medieval estoc and not at all like a smallsword...

    The swedish sword for estoc is "pansarstickare" (I think it comes from german "panzerstecher...").

    But it's true that in many languages edgeless rapiers are sometimes called "estocs". In Spain thrusting swords without an edge are often called "estoques", and in England both rapiers and estocs were sometimes called "tucks".
    Last edited by Clistenes; 2019-07-12 at 09:07 PM.

  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    Single edged or double edged blade?

    If it's single edged, it's not too far off a Chinese two handed dao, although a lot thicker. I presume that 1 inch measurement is the centre of the blade and it tapers to an edge?

    I would also take advantage of sword making techniques to reduce the weight of your weapon - fullers for example make the weapon lighter for no real reduction in blade integrity.
    It's double-edged, but it does have a large fuller. And yes, of course the full thickness is at the center, don't worry it is actually sharp.
    I do admit, the thickness of the blade is probably an artifact from before I started learning about sword design that I could shave off- make it more conventionall in

    Unless your character is much bigger than a human or has oversized hands, your blade is too thick for effective halfswording as you can't wrap your hand around the blade to get a good grip.
    That's what I was trying to say with the grip enchantments- it's like a low-key Spiderman- not quite good for climbing, but he doesn't need to wrap his hand around the blade to get a good grip.

    For examples of how such a large weapon could be used, see this Miao Dao variant although probably ~2" off in blade width and on the shorter end of your scale.
    Moving back to European traditions, there's a number of longsword techniques which can be scaled appropriately for your weapon; for example there's this Adorea longsword duel

    The main purpose of such fighting styles is use of the weapon's reach to fend off multiple attackers or being able to stop cavalry - the latter would probably be useful for giant monsters.
    Awesome, thanks! Those are definitely the kind of thing I imagine- and it was certainly made with that same intended use as you said.

    Edit: Man at Arms made replicas of Cloud's Buster Sword (although at 12" wide, the blade is twice as wide as your one) and Gut's sword from Berserk (which seems to have your exact required dimensions).
    Oh, dang, Gut's sword is actually a really good approximation- this sword isn't quite so long, but it does have a similar width. That is a really good reference.

    This is a trade-off between coverage (the wider the blade, the more you have to hide behind) and manoeuverability (the weapon needs to be fast enough to move into position). At the moment, you're way over into the coverage side of the scale, so it's easy to hide behind but you can't move your blade quickly, unless you're so ridiculously strong to compensate for the blade's inertia, in which case you're better off using a club or throwing stones. You can use magic to compensate but you're going to have to handwave it a bit, since trying to flesh it out leads to madness (e.g. Mass Effect style of mass manipulation would make the weapon easy to handle, but would reduce its cutting power as you won't have the same momentum).
    Right. Good to note, I'll have to keep that stuff in mind. Again, I did figure that was the more shaky idea in the stack, so it's not too much a surprise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike_G View Post
    The issue I see is that this thing is going to be all about the inertia.

    With that much mass, stopping it will be very difficult. So that's good for offense, as it will be hard to block, hard to make armor good enough to stop it, it will be able to shear through the flesh of huge creatures, etc.

    The problem is also that it will be hard to stop. If you swing and miss, it will take all day to stop that much mass with that much momentum to make another cut or to block. This will be terrible at defending against anything even a little quick, because once you start it moving to parry, changing direction if that was just a feint is going to be very very hard. Great strength will help, but only so much. A semi has a bigger engine than a sports car, but it still takes a while to get that mass moving. Or to stop it moving.
    Okay, thanks. I had figured it would be like that. I will definitely incorporate that into the character's style, it's been mentioned in the videos I mentioned as well. Great info.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    So, I am far from an expert when it comes to swords or sword naming. I’ll just post these here and let the more knowledgeable heads work on it:

    https://ibb.co/rFqq3TK
    https://ibb.co/94X0j8r
    https://ibb.co/HN0sDYn

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

    Quote Originally Posted by KineticDiplomat View Post
    So, I am far from an expert when it comes to swords or sword naming. I’ll just post these here and let the more knowledgeable heads work on it:

    https://ibb.co/rFqq3TK
    https://ibb.co/HN0sDYn
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by KineticDiplomat View Post
    So, I am far from an expert when it comes to swords or sword naming. I’ll just post these here and let the more knowledgeable heads work on it:

    https://ibb.co/rFqq3TK
    https://ibb.co/94X0j8r
    https://ibb.co/HN0sDYn
    Looking at the handle, that totally looks like a medieval estoc...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clistenes View Post
    Looking at the handle, that totally looks like a medieval estoc...
    It does, although if you compare it to the knives nearby it, it looks to be a one-handed variation. Given that, it's understandable how it could get classified as a rapier.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    It does, although if you compare it to the knives nearby it, it looks to be a one-handed variation. Given that, it's understandable how it could get classified as a rapier.
    The design of the handle looks more like a hand-and-a-half sword... I think this is the same kind of weapon as this one...


    The one in the Swedish museum looks like it would be easier to use one-handed, though, given the smaller crossbar...

    This one and this one, both original pieces, may be even closer...

    These estoc models look even more rapier-like...
    Last edited by Clistenes; 2019-07-14 at 06:21 PM.

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

    I need ideas for weapons and armor for a particular civilization, the People of the Waters.

    Constraints:
    * No good sources of iron[1], but plentiful ingredients for bronze.
    * Jungle terrain. Similar to the Yucatan, without the limestone shelf (just normal, flat-ish jungle).
    * Very hyper-organized society. Efficiency is their prime ideal. I'm thinking they do the Roman (post-reforms) model of building roads and forts and using standardized gear.
    * Lots of slaves (taken from neighboring cultures).
    * Very expansionist.
    * Local opposition is similar to pre-columbian aztec/mayan indians, except not organized at all beyond the tribal level.
    * Magic exists, but it's not super common here, at least at the military level.

    I'm thinking stiffened, reinforced leather and cloth armor, wooden shields, and bronze spears and swords, with various missile weapons (javelins, bows, etc). Does that sound reasonable?

    [1] the ancient[2] iron and coal mines are located in the hills, which are the current habitat of very nasty things that are pretty content to stay there, as long as they're not disturbed. The People of the Waters aren't stupid--they don't disturb them when they can avoid it.
    [2] there was a major, civilized, high-medieval-tech (plus magic) nation here about 200 years ago, but that died catastrophically[3]. Not much remains, and the jungle has eaten most of the ruins.
    [3] being the beach-head for an invasion of demons, plus the end of all magic for 50 years, plus massive natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, hurricanes lasting months, etc., all about the same time will do that.
    Last edited by PhoenixPhyre; 2019-07-14 at 06:58 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXVIII

    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I need ideas for weapons and armor for a particular civilization, the People of the Waters.

    Constraints:
    * No good sources of iron[1], but plentiful ingredients for bronze.
    * Jungle terrain. Similar to the Yucatan, without the limestone shelf (just normal, flat-ish jungle).
    * Very hyper-organized society. Efficiency is their prime ideal. I'm thinking they do the Roman (post-reforms) model of building roads and forts and using standardized gear.
    * Lots of slaves (taken from neighboring cultures).
    * Very expansionist.
    * Local opposition is similar to pre-columbian aztec/mayan indians, except not organized at all beyond the tribal level.
    * Magic exists, but it's not super common here, at least at the military level.

    I'm thinking stiffened, reinforced leather and cloth armor, wooden shields, and bronze spears and swords, with various missile weapons (javelins, bows, etc). Does that sound reasonable?

    [1] the ancient[2] iron and coal mines are located in the hills, which are the current habitat of very nasty things that are pretty content to stay there, as long as they're not disturbed. The People of the Waters aren't stupid--they don't disturb them when they can avoid it.
    [2] there was a major, civilized, high-medieval-tech (plus magic) nation here about 200 years ago, but that died catastrophically[3]. Not much remains, and the jungle has eaten most of the ruins.
    [3] being the beach-head for an invasion of demons, plus the end of all magic for 50 years, plus massive natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, hurricanes lasting months, etc., all about the same time will do that.
    It sounds like the easiest way is to just ctrl-c ctrl-v the Incas. The basic difference between the tech and society you’ve mentioned is that the Incas developed from highland Andean plateaus, but they expanded well into the Amazonia. For The neighboring tribes ctrl-c ctrl-v the Aztec’s neighbors like the
    Tlaxcalans.

    The Incas were more into incorporating conquered people into the Empire, inspired by the wanting their neighbors to follow the sun god, but it isn’t that big of a twist to make them slavers. Since their society was formed along socialist lines with jobs and land allocated by government fiat you can argue that everyone was slaves.

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Clistenes View Post
    I have checked. The rapier is "rapir" in swedish. "Värja" means "smallsword..." which is weird, because the weapon you are describing sounds like a medieval estoc and not at all like a smallsword...
    Any sword that would feels like you fence with it would be called "värja" in common Swedish. The definition is, literally, "blade you fence with". A "rapir" doesn't exist in Swedish (the dictionary doesn't know it), outside historical books or, I guess, specialized fencing lingo.

    As opposed to a blade that would clearly be a sword.

    Also, ofc, museum personnel aren't weapon experts necessarily and people who made blades and used them for real didn't generally engage in descriptive nomenclature.


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    From what I know of the critters, there's probably a really annoyed moose looking for its jaw bone right now...
    Looking at the size of it, it's a quite small moose so no worries. Now had they taken the jaw of a 12, or god-forbid, an 18 pointer I'd be looking over my shoulder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I need ideas for weapons and armor for a particular civilization, the People of the Waters.

    Constraints:
    * No good sources of iron[1], but plentiful ingredients for bronze.
    * Jungle terrain. Similar to the Yucatan, without the limestone shelf (just normal, flat-ish jungle).
    * Very hyper-organized society. Efficiency is their prime ideal. I'm thinking they do the Roman (post-reforms) model of building roads and forts and using standardized gear.
    * Lots of slaves (taken from neighboring cultures).
    * Very expansionist.
    * Local opposition is similar to pre-columbian aztec/mayan indians, except not organized at all beyond the tribal level.
    * Magic exists, but it's not super common here, at least at the military level.

    I'm thinking stiffened, reinforced leather and cloth armor, wooden shields, and bronze spears and swords, with various missile weapons (javelins, bows, etc). Does that sound reasonable?

    [1] the ancient[2] iron and coal mines are located in the hills, which are the current habitat of very nasty things that are pretty content to stay there, as long as they're not disturbed. The People of the Waters aren't stupid--they don't disturb them when they can avoid it.
    [2] there was a major, civilized, high-medieval-tech (plus magic) nation here about 200 years ago, but that died catastrophically[3]. Not much remains, and the jungle has eaten most of the ruins.
    [3] being the beach-head for an invasion of demons, plus the end of all magic for 50 years, plus massive natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, hurricanes lasting months, etc., all about the same time will do that.
    If they have bronze weapons they will probably have at least bronze helmets too...

    Bronze scale armor was easy to do, and was created quite early in history... they could rivet or stitch rows of bronze scales over the leather and cloth armor...

    Bronze breastplates, greaves and maybe manicas and/or spaulders wouldn't be too difficult to craft, either...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clistenes View Post
    If they have bronze weapons they will probably have at least bronze helmets too...

    Bronze scale armor was easy to do, and was created quite early in history... they could rivet or stitch rows of bronze scales over the leather and cloth armor...

    Bronze breastplates, greaves and maybe manicas and/or spaulders wouldn't be too difficult to craft, either...
    I'm worried about the longevity of bronze in a jungle environment. Especially since a large chunk is coastal, so you have salt. But I'm not too well versed on that metal chemistry, so I'm not sure it's a valid concern.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I'm worried about the longevity of bronze in a jungle environment. Especially since a large chunk is coastal, so you have salt. But I'm not too well versed on that metal chemistry, so I'm not sure it's a valid concern.
    Bronze resists corrosion very well as metals go. If it's being used and maintained (oiled and so forth) then it won't be an issue and a sword could probably survive a few years in the ocean and still be serviceable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    I'm worried about the longevity of bronze in a jungle environment. Especially since a large chunk is coastal, so you have salt. But I'm not too well versed on that metal chemistry, so I'm not sure it's a valid concern.
    Bronze is much more durable than iron/steel when it comes to moisture in the environment. It isn't a coincidence that ships rams were cast in bronze, and marines often used bronze, rather than steel weapons because they resisted corrosion much better.
    Last edited by Kiero; 2019-07-15 at 10:10 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    Bronze resists corrosion very well as metals go. If it's being used and maintained (oiled and so forth) then it won't be an issue and a sword could probably survive a few years in the ocean and still be serviceable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kiero View Post
    Bronze is much more durable than iron/steel when it comes to moisture in the environment. It isn't a coincidence that ships rams were cast in bronze, and marines often used bronze, rather than steel weapons because they resisted corrosion much better.
    Good to know. Bronze weapons, helmets, and bronze scale for the line, with cloth/no armor for the cannon-fodder rabble if needed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Good to know. Bronze weapons, helmets, and bronze scale for the line, with cloth/no armor for the cannon-fodder rabble if needed.
    Well-worked bronze is the equal of the lower grades of steel that any non-modern civilisation is capable of producing. The only meaningful difference is that the same volume of bronze is about 10% heavier than the equivalent of iron.

    It does take skill to make longer blades (see the Chinese, who were masters with bronze), otherwise you're limited to shortswords and spear/axe heads. As mentioned, larger plates are also pretty easy to make if you can already work bronze, so cuirasses, greaves and so on would be common. This isn't a metal-poor culture when it comes to equipment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PhoenixPhyre View Post
    Good to know. Bronze weapons, helmets, and bronze scale for the line, with cloth/no armor for the cannon-fodder rabble if needed.
    A good minimum loadout for militia/draftees and so on is an open faced helm, a shield (bronze or leather over wood) and a spear. Maximum defense for minimum expense and favoured by various armies of the past. Also lightweight and non restricting to wear or carry on long marches. Cloth armour would be hellish to wear in a jungle due to the humidity and heat, so I'd expect them to be mostly unarmoured other than the shield and helm.

    Bows over javelins I think, dense jungle terrain favours more compact weapons and javelins can be quite unwieldy, plus there's no shortage of wood for making bows and arrows. The Incans used slings, but that was largely due to a lack of wood in their homeland, and a lot of South American tribes used blowguns, but those are only practical for hunting because of how big they are.

    Jungles are also pretty bad for formation fighting so I'd expect to see a focus on skirmish and swarm tactics. It's not practical to cut down every tree in your way so you need to fight between them and focus on surprise or surrounding your enemies or just overwhelming them with numbers.

    I'm going to advise against the scale armour proposed by others, I think it would be too hot and heavy for jungle terrain. A more encompassing helm, maybe a scale or chain covering around the neck and shoulders, but otherwise I'd keep the heavy soldiers in some sort of light tunic to keep them from overheating.
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    One complicating factor (read: plot hook) with bronze is that the need for both copper- and tin-mining operations makes it more difficult to secure the resources needed to manufacture it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    One complicating factor (read: plot hook) with bronze is that the need for both copper- and tin-mining operations makes it more difficult to secure the resources needed to manufacture it.
    This was certainly a concern in the real world, where copper and tin occurred in different places, and tin became rare as the old sources were tapped out. By contrast, iron ore often occurs very close to either coal or trees from which you make charcoal/coke.

    Whether or not that's a concern is up to the setting creator.

    One additional point to follow what Grim Portent said, for personal weapons, I think knives and/or short choppers would be common. The latter for clearing brush and cutting through the jungle. In the real world, non-tropical forests seem to make an axe the favoured tool, but in tropical ones it's the machete.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    Cloth armour would be hellish to wear in a jungle due to the humidity and heat, so I'd expect them to be mostly unarmoured other than the shield and helm.
    That's what you expect, but the Aztecs went heavily into ichcahuipilli, which was a quilted cotton armour and could be regarded as the equivalent of a gambeson in terms of protective quality.

    If anything, they would be less likely to wear bronze armour due to the outermost non-breathing metal layer preventing heat loss to the environment (some conquistadors were reported as preferring to use the Aztec's armour rather than their own cuirass as the loss in protection was well worth the additional comfort).

    Spoiler: Aztec armour in the Codex Mendoza, 16th Century
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    I'd also say that it depends heavily on acclimatization - if you're used to living in a jungle environment, then wearing protective clothing wouldn't be as restrictive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    That's what you expect, but the Aztecs went heavily into ichcahuipilli, which was a quilted cotton armour and could be regarded as the equivalent of a gambeson in terms of protective quality.

    If anything, they would be less likely to wear bronze armour due to the outermost non-breathing metal layer preventing heat loss to the environment (some conquistadors were reported as preferring to use the Aztec's armour rather than their own cuirass as the loss in protection was well worth the additional comfort).

    Spoiler: Aztec armour in the Codex Mendoza, 16th Century
    Show


    I'd also say that it depends heavily on acclimatization - if you're used to living in a jungle environment, then wearing protective clothing wouldn't be as restrictive.
    Yeah, that was what I was thinking of. I remember seeing those illustrations (or similar ones) and since these guys are (in naming[1] and vague architecture[2] only) modeled on a mishmash of the Central American (plus a little Inca) civilizations, I figured it fit.

    [1] The civilization is named Tlalocana, a play on the Aztec god of water, Tlaaloc. They're the People of the Water, originally the Water Serpent People, now because they (unknowingly) serve an Aboleth, via some mind-flayers, which for me are water-associated.
    [2] step pyramids and jungles, mainly
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