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Author Topic: Strange and unusual weapons  (Read 2463 times)

Offline xiagan

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Strange and unusual weapons
« on: January 05, 2016, 10:09:33 AM »
Just found this article about strange and unusual weapons and was wondering what other kinds of overlooked weapons you may know of or have used in your writing.

Strange and unusual weapons

Examples:





"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Yora

Re: Strange and unusual weapons
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2016, 12:11:35 PM »
An important thing to understand with weird weapons is that a very large portion of them were intended for show or practice, but people generally didn't go into battle with them if something more conventional was at hand.

A slightly strange weapon that was used quite extensively in combat during the iron age and then somehow pretty much disappeard during antiquity are kopises, falcatas, and khepeshs.







This second khepesh is the most commonly seen style, but I think it looks a lot like a show weapon that looks a lot better as tomb goods than in battle. The one above seems much more practical and is quite likely the type that most egyptian soldiers would actually have used.



They all look a lot like swords, but in many ways they are a lot more like axes with a metal shaft. They are basically big cleavers but with proportions and a weight distribution that allows you to fight with them similar as with a sword. And all evidence suggests that they were really very good weapons and extremely lethal. If you absolutely, positively, got to decapitate every single Persian on the battlefield with a single blow, accept no substitues.  ;)

It's believed that Alexander's army carried the design to India where it survived in the more compact version of the kukri that makes a decent allround knife and hatchet.

Offline CryptofCthulhu

Re: Strange and unusual weapons
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2016, 02:22:01 PM »
The Lantern Shield takes the cake. I saw a video on YouTube about that a week or so ago. Looks like a medieval Swiss Army type weapon.
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Strange and unusual weapons
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2016, 03:15:03 PM »
This comes from an old episode of some show that pitted different historical warriors against each other (can't remember the name at the moment) but one that sticks out in my mind are "black eggs", which were (according to the show) used by actual historical ninjas (not the storybook variety - the spies and assassins who existed in Japan, often dressing as peasants or farmers, not in black pajamas).

I can't recall the exact way it was made, but essentially, it came down to hard-boiling an egg and then sucking the actual egg itself out, while leaving the hard-boiled shell. The ninja would then fill this shell with ground glass, stinging powder, or any other irritant at hand. In a pinch, the ninja would toss the black egg at the face of their assailant, which was like hitting them with mace except much, much worse.

Some of the tales about what ground glass does to your eyes once it gets splattered all over your eyeballs are pretty terrifying. You canNOT just wash it out, and if you took that in the face, you were pretty much going to go blind in an absolutely agonizing manner.

EDIT: Googled the show where I heard about the black egg! It was called Deadliest Warrior.

Offline ArhiX

Re: Strange and unusual weapons
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2016, 03:46:17 PM »
This is my favourite on this list: Katara knife. At first glance it looked like a single bladed push dagger. Later on, some crazy people decided to put GUNS on the edges of a handle for some extra effect after stabbing a victim.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 12:11:02 AM by ArhiX »
"The world is full of stories, and from time to time, they permit themselves to be told."

Offline Yora

Re: Strange and unusual weapons
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2016, 04:13:47 PM »
The probably most lunatic weapon ever made is neither from China nor France, but from India.

Spoiler for Hiden:



The urumi has blades made from flexible strips of steel with sharpened edges. You can swing it around like a whip but it will cut like knives. It's even more insane than lightsabers.
But again, not sure if these ever made any significant appearances outside of martial arts schools. But if you're getting attacked by a guy with one of these, you probably just want to run away.

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Strange and unusual weapons
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2016, 05:11:42 PM »
The probably most lunatic weapon ever made is neither from China nor France, but from India.

Spoiler for Hiden:



The urumi has blades made from flexible strips of steel with sharpened edges. You can swing it around like a whip but it will cut like knives. It's even more insane than lightsabers.
But again, not sure if these ever made any significant appearances outside of martial arts schools. But if you're getting attacked by a guy with one of these, you probably just want to run away.

Holy hell, that's awesome (and terrifying). Filing that away for a crazy weapon in a future book.

Offline xiagan

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Strange and unusual weapons
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2016, 05:29:44 PM »
In the  Malazan books is a woman called Shimmer who is one of the last to wield the Whip Sword. She's second in command of the Crimson Guard.
I think her weapon must be something like the one in the first picture.
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline ArhiX

Re: Strange and unusual weapons
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2016, 05:57:23 PM »
In the  Malazan books is a woman called Shimmer who is one of the last to wield the Whip Sword. She's second in command of the Crimson Guard.
I think her weapon must be something like the one in the first picture.

Or propably something like this:

The idea feels right - you put a lot of small metal blades on a whip to have this intimidating, but propably not very effective weapon. But I guess it could work against someone hiding behind the shield, as one , strong vertical hit would just go well over the shield to hit the enemy.
"The world is full of stories, and from time to time, they permit themselves to be told."

Offline Yora

Re: Strange and unusual weapons
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2016, 06:58:31 PM »
From our very own cultural backyard we have the flail.



Everyone has seen them many times, but when you look at contemporary description and images flails show up actually very rarely. Exist they did, but some people have doubt that it was ever actually considered a practical weapon for combat.

Offline ultamentkiller

Re: Strange and unusual weapons
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2016, 10:39:31 PM »
The zhua’s  and the Nest of Bees are my favorites. I'll have to use those if I ever get around to writing.

Offline Yora

Re: Strange and unusual weapons
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2016, 11:03:04 PM »
A case of a weapon that is actually much less strange than many people think is the scythe. A lot of times you see evil dudes with spikes on their armor carrying something like the grim reaper, but that's not how people used it as a weapon in war.

The practice is really this.

Spoiler for Hiden:



Basically just a glaive with the point turned down instead of up. Not quite sure how people fought with it, but if you sharpen the back of the tip you could probably just use it like any spear. Alternatively, you could move the tip behind an enemy and then try to drag the edge along his side when you pull it back. But probably not well suited for hacking as that needs lots of room and would likely be quite slow.
But when you hear peasants going to battle with a scythe, this is how it would have looked like. Really just an ordinary polearm that can be quite easily made from a straight piece of wood and a scythe blade people would likely have at home.

Offline ArhiX

Re: Strange and unusual weapons
« Reply #12 on: January 06, 2016, 12:44:38 AM »
Actually there are manuals for it. Image look messy here but just right click it and > show image.
Spoiler for Hiden:

However in my opinion people were just charging with them slashing and stabbing whatever they could laying they trust in numbers. You can't really expect more from peasants as it's not some cheeky Korean MMO.

I was actually considering giving one of my characters a giant scythe to run around and slash enemies, but then I realized that it would have totally no sense. Nobody would be able to slash a human being in half with one strike, especially when it comes to killing fully armored soldiers. And even if someone could do that, it would be just a lot more convenient to just use something like Claymore or Zweihander. And by the way - there are records about someone using this sword:
Spoiler for Hiden:
It belonged to Pier Gerlofs Donia who was a pirate and a rebel.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2016, 12:47:04 AM by ArhiX »
"The world is full of stories, and from time to time, they permit themselves to be told."

Offline night_wrtr

Re: Strange and unusual weapons
« Reply #13 on: January 06, 2016, 12:59:30 AM »
I've always liked the haladie!
Spoiler for Hiden:

Also comes like this with a front spike:
Spoiler for Hiden: