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Medieval And Ancient Weaponry


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#1 Cyfer

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 11:01 PM

I noticed that this forum doesn't have a weapon thread, so here it is!

Discuss anything about medieval/ancient weaponry or armour, from anywhere part of the world.

Here's an article I found for an introduction to common misconceptions about medieval weaponry and how it judged against the Eastern style:Sword vs Katana

I'm hoping to collect a few katanas, longswords and a suit of armour when I get a job, currently I only have a pair of gauntlets :)

Is anyone else interested by this/have any thoughts?

Currently I'm confused on whether a rapier or longsword would win a fight, considering armour is included, although it seems rather silly as rapiers were made to counter the longsword.

#2 poland first to fight

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 05:28 PM

Currently I'm confused on whether a rapier or longsword would win a fight, considering armour is included, although it seems rather silly as rapiers were made to counter the longsword.


Ok, there are two main points I've got to make. Firstly you need take into consideration the fact that with more primitive weapons like swords it was really the skill of a user that decided upon the victory while the actual weapon would be a secondary factor.

Secondly you missed very important point. A user of a longsword would usually be heavily armoured so the limited agility of the longsword was compensated by the armour. Other way round the user of a rapier would have less armour but his weapon would be 'quicker' in combat.

You also need to remember that different weapons were designed for different purposes. For example Roman soldier fighting with a gladius in 'tight' battle would have advantage over a user of longer and heavier sword but if there would be more room the situation would be opposite.

#3 Cyfer

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 11:21 PM

Currently I'm confused on whether a rapier or longsword would win a fight, considering armour is included, although it seems rather silly as rapiers were made to counter the longsword.


Ok, there are two main points I've got to make. Firstly you need take into consideration the fact that with more primitive weapons like swords it was really the skill of a user that decided upon the victory while the actual weapon would be a secondary factor.

Secondly you missed very important point. A user of a longsword would usually be heavily armoured so the limited agility of the longsword was compensated by the armour. Other way round the user of a rapier would have less armour but his weapon would be 'quicker' in combat.

You also need to remember that different weapons were designed for different purposes. For example Roman soldier fighting with a gladius in 'tight' battle would have advantage over a user of longer and heavier sword but if there would be more room the situation would be opposite.


You are absolutely right, however I'm not sure whether in an extreme circumstance for example a spear versus a gladius, skill would matter as much.
Also I wouldn't really call swords or any medieval weapon primitive. Various evidence along with detailed books show that swords would be perfected in terms of steel and not crude weapons. They were very much well made even by modern standards.

Yes but with your example the rapier was specifically made to slide into the gaps between plate armour, hence I am not sure whether the factor of armour itself is such a problem in this scenario.

Also we cannot account for psychological factors e.g. a longsword user may be European therefore Christian therefore believe in piety etc etc, whilst a katana user would (famously) have no fear of death due to honour

Thanks for the post though, finally got one :D

#4 poland first to fight

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 06:31 PM

I meant relatively primitive where there were not as many things to change and the skill of the user was the primary factor as opposed to modern warfare. For example in modern tank warfare the technology is just necessary to gain victory and the experience of their users has little to do in a fight of (for example) T72m vs. M1A2.

Secondly I agree with you that there are a lot of records to confirm that there was a lot of work put into longswords. I believe that the best ones were made in Italy. Am I right?

Yes but with your example the rapier was specifically made to slide into the gaps between plate armour, hence I am not sure whether the factor of armour itself is such a problem in this scenario.


Don't forget that the user of a longsword would also have a shield. As far as I'm concerned there are no gaps in a shield. :lol: Also you need to remember that it isn't that easy to just hit whatever part of the soldier you want because he's going to move, he'll protect himself with a shield etc. and will also try to attack himself. In this occasion the user of a rapier would have to dodge the longsword as he wouldn't have much choice. Your 'plan' of striking in gaps is good but no plan survives first contact with enemy (some of them actually do!(not as often though))

So, as a final judgement I shall conclude that most is up to the skill of the user. Full stop.




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