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Arkavyn's Armory! A weapons and armor guide.

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That's of course true. Like we spoke before, any bastard sword is not a sledgehammer.

When the blunt side is used to strike, the targets tend to be (preferably unarmored) hands, wrists, fingers and head.

Yet we must remember that everything in real combat is about desperation. A smack with the blunt side of your blade to the mask or helmet of your opponent might give just the needed split second to change the angle of your blade and go in from a better spot.

There is the formal use of every weapon, and there's this unspoken array of stuff that you only understand through live practice or actual fighting. Often this stuff includes moves that your average historian would laugh at. And yet they work - when used by the right guy in the right situation against the right opponent. (At least if the stars are right. :d )
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Posted Aug 23, 13 · Last edited Aug 23, 13
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Agreed there. I suppose the thing is I usually try to stick purely to the 'formal' use of weapons, but improvisation and desperation are important, and it's critical to not employ a binary outlook on whether or not to use certain moves. That said, it's equally important to clarify when something is viable, and when it's wise; or when it isn't but might make a useful desperation move.

I suppose that's a goal worth pursuing with the armory; being a little less black and white and clarifying what is inadvisable but situational, and what should never be done.
Posted Aug 23, 13 · OP
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even when two-handed, katana do not excel against armor due to their lack of weight and thickness.

Weight, what do you mean, exactly?

A katana weighs about 2kg, at max. And considered that a big, fat, Claymore weighs about 3kg, I can't imagine that many other swords weighs much more or much less and therefor doesn't make much of a difference. =o

And a Nodachi, weighing about 3,25kg. If the source is correct, that is.

So for a well-trained soldier, I can't imagine that the weight differencials means that much.
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Posted Aug 23, 13 · Last edited Aug 23, 13
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A katana weighs nowhere near 2kg. Barely 1.25kg, in fact. At most. The difference between a 1kg weapon and a 2kg weapon is MASSIVE when it comes to speed, but it's also about shape.
Posted Aug 23, 13 · OP · Last edited Aug 23, 13
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but it's also about shape.

That includes the balance/center of gravity?
Posted Aug 23, 13
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To add to that: Shape is important because it's not sharpness that cuts through plate - in fact, it does very little to metal armor. Instead, you need crushing impact, which requires thickness and weight. For example, a 2kg mace is going to do a lot more damage to a breastplate than a 2kg sword, simply because most of the mace's weight is in the head of the weapon and it's striking a smaller surface area; this increases the PSI, or pounds per square inch of force. Meanwhile, pretty much the entire length of the sword is being placed against the armor, greatly lessening the PSI and ergo removing the weapon's ability to cut through the plate effectively.
Posted Aug 23, 13 · OP
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but it's also about shape.

That includes the balance/center of gravity?

Yeah, exactly. When it comes to getting through armor, PSI is the best tool to employ. It's about how much of the weapon's weight is making contact at a specific point. There's a reason three pound hammer will break through plate better than an eight pound zweihander: because all of its' force, all its' momentum, is being applied to that tiny section where the head is striking, instead of being distributed evenly.
Posted Aug 23, 13 · OP
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Falchion!


Originating in the 11th century and derived from the persian scimitar, the falchion is a european sword that sought out to combine the strength of an axe with the versatility of a blade. Like many swords of this era, it went through frequent and significant changes, varying in size and weight for some time before settling on a fairly consistent design. The capacity to serve as a tool as well as a weapon made these flexible swords ideal for long campaigns and traveling armies, but also generated some misconceptions about their quality and created an image of a 'peasant's sword'; this couldn't be further from the truth.

In actuality, the falchion's use varied wildly; because of its capacity to dig and chop through brush (not unlike a machete), travelers and peasants did indeed favor it, but it also became popular in noble circles because of its remarkable effectiveness in mounted combat between knights. Many falchions inlaid with gold and ornate gems have been found by historians, including one bearing the coat of arms of a Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Now, as for why the falchion is such a competent weapon, it comes down to its simple but effective design. There are two primary types of falchion: the cusped, and the cleaver. Both share some basic qualities: a short, one-handed hilt, a single, curved edge with a straight back, and a thick blade. Beyond that, however, they are very different in both appearance and purpose.

The cusped design is the more well-known and iconic one, somewhat resembling a machete with a flared or cusped tip. This variation is usually between 31 to 37 inches long and weighs approximately two pounds. Though lightweight, the cusped falchion's thick blade and flared design complement the pendulum motions of the human arm, allowing it enough force to break through chainmail, though it's insufficient to do any real damage to plate armor. This design also excels in chopping, allowing the wielder to make swift, severe wounds to vulnerable areas. On the downside, because of the heavy curve, it makes for a poor thrusting weapon, capable of stabbing unarmored flesh but failing to penetrate plate, mail or thick leathers.

The cleaver falchion, by contrast, is a much more rare example. Straighter and more consistent in thickness than its fellow, it resembles a large meat cleaver in design. It's also both shorter and heavier than the cusped falchion, usually about 27 inches long and weighing two and a half pounds. This deviation makes it excellent for chopping through flesh and bone and superior for ignoring leather armor, but makes it less effective against mail or plate, a large part of why it faded from usage in the 14th century.

Though wielded primarily in one hand, falchions can be supported during a parry by placing the free palm on the flat or back of the blade, similar to a scimitar; this makes them excellent for defense. Offensively, they're designed to be quick and lethal, punishing missed strikes with blows to extended limbs. It's of critical importance to exploit brief openings, as their typically inferior range and poor thrusting capability makes competent footwork absolutely necessary. As always, the utility of a free hand cannot be overstated, and a common tactic with the falchion was to catch an adversary's arm after avoiding a strike and then hacking at the shoulder or elbow to damage or even remove the offending limb. Strikes to the torso and neck are less advisable since they can be difficult to reach, though of course, any good opening is worth exploiting.

Because of these qualities, the falchion is often used as a sidearm in pairing with a larger weapon (such as a bastard sword), though rarely [if ever] dual-wielded. That said, it is not impractical to use them alongside a dagger when necessary, the shorter blade serving as a thrusting weapon to complement the falchion's chops and slashes.

Whether used as a primary or backup sword, the falchion is a practical, versatile choice. As one of the few one-handed swords capable of excelling in armored combat, it occupies a niche that made it understandably popular from the peasantry to the nobility, and when paired with solid footwork and a good eye for openings, it becomes an absolutely lethal weapon.
Posted Aug 25, 13 · OP
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What exactly would you say this armour is? And what is it good for? My character wears it, but I'm not knowledgeable enough about this stuff to understand its intricacies and I'd like to know more.

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Posted Aug 26, 13 · Last edited Aug 26, 13
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That's a pretty elaborate mix of armor types, truth be told. The greaves, helm, gauntlets and breastplate are fluted plate, which is good for turning aside blades. The bared navel and collarbone are concerning, though. The rest of the armor is most reminiscent of Indian Pangolin scale, which is a bit thicker and better for dealing with blunt weapons. It's also very good against spears and lighter swords, but heavier blades and axes excel against it.

Hope that helps!
Posted Aug 26, 13 · OP
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