December 08, 2019, 10:07:17 AM

Author Topic: Ancient and medieval fighting and weapons  (Read 13971 times)

Offline Elfy

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Re: Ancient and medieval fighting and weapons
« Reply #60 on: May 12, 2015, 12:17:11 AM »
Arma are a cool bunch if a little strange they differ from re-enactors in that they don't try to portray the lifestyle but just keep the fencing and fighting techniques alive. They fight full contact and tend to break each other a lot.
If you play with swords you tend to meet lots of ex members.

In one of the 3 musketeers films the female antagonist tries to kill D'artagnan with a pair of acid filled glass daggers. These were a thing (at least in Italy) I have come across French account of the English poisoning arrows due to the mortality rate from festering wounds, but this is put down to standing them in the ground in front of you ready for use while suffering the effects of dysentery. No English account exists of arrows being poisoned.

If you are hunting large prey hunting with broad heads and then chasing with dogs to work the arrow in the wound seems to be method. Poison used with blowpipes in both Africa and South America certainly happened
but there are plenty of frogs, spiders and snakes to extract poison from , something we lack in Northern Europe.

Duelling the idea is to hurt and  humiliate your opponent. Killing them was frowned upon and often led to murder charges. In Italy between 1680 and 1800 over 2000 official duels were fought resulting in only 45 deaths.
Poisoned blow darts and the like were also used in parts of the Pacific and Asia. During the Vietnam War pungee sticks were smeared with human excrement so that any word incurred by them was more likely to fester and become infected.
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Offline Yora

Re: Ancient and medieval fighting and weapons
« Reply #61 on: May 12, 2015, 09:18:59 AM »
Someone in an RPG forum just complained about game rules for fighting with two weapons at once. But yeah, while it's popular in fiction, it wasn't usually done. The one real "exception" are certain fighting styles in which someone would have something like a dagger in his second hand, but it would generally not be used offensively. The use of a dagger with a rapier is more similar to that of a small shield so you could deflect without having to push your fingers into your enemies blade. Big advantage is that a dagger is very easy to carry around with you all the time, while a shield tends to be more than a bit cumbersome.
Of course there were the occasional master swordsmen who did some sparring with two weapons, but mostly that was for showing off in situations that were not fights of life and death.

Even if you have the sufficient precision and control in your second hand to fight with it, the brain can really only concentrate on one weapon at a time and the way swords, axes, maces, and so on are swung you can only strike with one weapon at a time. It doesn't make you any faster if you strike alternating with two weapons.
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Offline Rostum

Re: Ancient and medieval fighting and weapons
« Reply #62 on: May 24, 2015, 05:22:13 PM »
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Someone in an RPG forum just complained about game rules for fighting with two weapons at once. But yeah, while it's popular in fiction, it wasn't usually done. The one real "exception" are certain fighting styles in which someone would have something like a dagger in his second hand, but it would generally not be used offensively. The use of a dagger with a rapier is more similar to that of a small shield so you could deflect without having to push your fingers into your enemies blade. Big advantage is that a dagger is very easy to carry around with you all the time, while a shield tends to be more than a bit cumbersome.

I would have to respectfully disagree. Sword and buckler Sword and dagger are established styles in English, Italian and Spanish fencing manuals as you state but there are lots of variations and if you were formally taught to use a sword you were taught how to use it in conjunction with a dagger amonst other things.

While the fighting I did was play, it was competitive. The style I choose to fight in would depend on  lots of things but largely what my opponent was using.  If I have a sword and dagger against a sword It should be a short fight. I would engage using the sword defensively and look to parry and lock out their sword while stepping in and using the dagger. This is safer than parrying a sword with a dagger and gives you more control (which is what fighting is all about) over your opponent.
Simply put defend strong attack weak. Not being maimed or killed is more important than maiming or killing your opponent.

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Big advantage is that a dagger is very easy to carry around with you all the time, while a shield tends to be more than a bit cumbersome.

Shields and bucklers are military equipment. Not really the done thing to carry round unless you are going to war.

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Of course there were the occasional master swordsmen who did some sparring with two weapons, but mostly that was for showing off in situations that were not fights of life and death.

Sir Walter Raleigh carried a pair of Katana for a while(show off that he was) and deemed the satisfactory.

Fighting with two weapons requires practice, nothing more. I am certainly not a master anything but could fight sword dagger, sword buckler, sword axe, longsword shortsword and  spear dagger and a few more combinations with reasonable ability to use the advantage each weapons has to benefit the overall effect. By preference I would take a shield, but is is all easily done with time and effort.

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Even if you have the sufficient precision and control in your second hand to fight with it, the brain can really only concentrate on one weapon at a time and the way swords, axes, maces, and so on are swung you can only strike with one weapon at a time. It doesn't make you any faster if you strike alternating with two weapons.

The control is acquired through practice. Your left arm and right arm are connected by your body and controlled by your brain. There are a thousand tasks you carry out a day where your hands are both active and independent. I am typing right now. Parrying and attacking at the same time would be the most common use of two weapons but striking high and low simultaneously can work or just overwhelming them with a flurry of blows until one gets through can work just as well.