How good are you guys with spears?
If you prefer non spear weapons, alright. That's your call.
Spears are good for formation fighting i guess. Good reach and a simple learning curve for your basic infantry is gold, and paired with a shield you've got a line of guys ready to repel most anything.
Now in a one on one fight, or in a fight where you're outnumbered, thrusting attacks suddenly become a liability. You expose your flank and get overwhelmed, it isn't a fun time. If you're not fighting in a line with other guys at your side I'd recommend a short sword. Slashy, choppy, stabby, lightweight, and effective with just as small of an initial learning curve.
You guys are acting like we're all skilled with weaponry here. You should start with a weapon that's simple to use but packs a hefty punch - the mace. All you have to do is swing it - you don't have to worry where a point is going or if a backhand is using the false edge.
spears aren't limited to just stabbing though. You can spin em like a motherfucker and quarterstaff a fool. And unless you've got the shittiest head possible, you can easily slash with it as well.
We're not. Did you mean the characters we play?
Asking about "spears" is for /k/.
Asking about PC using spears, is /tg/.
Asking how many niggers you can kill with a spear, is /pol/.
Asking how many spears can fit in your ass, is /b/.
Asking if spears are pink usually, is /a/.
Asking how many times you can lift a 300lb spear, is /fit/.
Learn boards anon.
Just like anything, a halberd has a place and a spear has a place.
Spears are superior weapons if you need something lighter, easier to wield, easier to use from a mount, and are fighting against unarmored or lightly armored opponents.
They are also easier weapons to hand off to the untrained and are far easier to mass produce. Weapons are hardly ever simply worse or better than one another, and its why such a great diversity of weapons existed throughout the period when melee combat was still relevant.
>Asking if spears are pink usually, is /a/.
Literally what? Don't get me wrong, /a/ is cancer of the worst sort with one of the most toxic userbases on the entire site (second place after /v/), but not like that it's not.
Actually /tg/ is where we discuss medieval weaponry, as /k/ prefer to discuss firearms as opposed to swords, and our backgrounds in fantasy RPGs gives us knowledge in such weapons.
It's why people seeking good fantasy literature go here instead of /lit/.
Remember our motto. /tg/: You don't even need the other boards anymore.
I forgot to mention that I honestly don't think their is a better melee weapon for an unarmored skirmisher than a spear. The reach, relative lightness, and lethality of a spear makes it so useful for mobile skirmishers, and keeping your opponent a good distance away really helps one to stay mobile and prevent dangerous situations like grapples against multiple opponents.
In an rpg setting the weapon is rarely as potent as it ought to be because of the way game mechanics rarely make stab wounds immediately lethal or incapacitating.
Honestly, I prefer muskets because I have actual training with them. Easy to load, easy to fire, and easy to use in general. Someone gets close, you use it as a short pike, or a club.
And their are rarely game mechanics that model the problems inherent in being literally skewered. Most games you just "deal damage" and then the enemy can run past the point without issue.
I am skilled with weaponry compared to most people here and I'd STILL use a mace and a shield if I had to fight someone to the death in some kind of whacky middle ages gladiator match tomorrow.
Edge alignment is a bitch with cutting weapons, and they don't work well against hard armor anyway. Stabbing requires a lot of accuracy. Swinging a heavy thing at another thing is dead easy and works great.
That said, spear is probably in the running for second simplest weapon to use. Every time I've ever sparred with one against someone with a sword or something it was damn easy to beat people who by all accounts should thrash me senseless.
Mace vs spear matchup is determined entirely by the armor of the two combatants. If the armor worn by the mace wielder is basically spear proof then the spear wielder can only win by staying mobile and using the point of the weapon to prevent his enemy from closing. Without armor the game becomes one of endurance and when/if the mace wielder gets tired enough the spear wielder can win.
Both enemies unarmored it is literally probably a 10 to 1 advantage to the spear.
RuneQuest 6 gives the most advantage to a spear. Greatswords do a little more damage and are harder to party, but a pike or long spear means a greatsword has difficulty even attacking you and short spears can be thrown to great effect or used with a shield (which is maybe the most useful weapon in the game).
Spear also have the ability to stop a charge dead and with a shield you have attack options at any melee range.
>still pushing RuneQuest 6
Spears have the "Impale" special effect that means the enemy is damaged, can move or use actions, and then damaged again when the weapon is removed. Since spears are larger than, say, arrows they are effective at locking down large creatures and deal enough damage to incapacitate most things with good rolls (RQ6 has small HP pools on different locations).
It really is crazy dangerous to be impaled in that game and either means retreat or death of a solid blow with a spear lands and you don't have backup.
/tg/ does have a sizeable community of HEMA, re-enactment and other historical weapons types who actually use spears in various forms of combat. I'm one for what it's worth.
Ask a real-life spearfag anything.
One thing a lot of people don't realize about piercing weapons is that they are very hard to avoid. A slashing cut made with a weapon is visually very recognizable, but a spear pointed at your face and then thrust forward takes much longer to recognize (and by much longer I mean a few fractions of a second longer, which is meaningful). This is because if the rest of the body is carried loosely the only real visual signature that the weapon is coming at you is that it is that its "point forward" profile is getting larger. This is why jabs to the face are so hard to avoid when delivered with zero windup.
From what Ive heard, youll often avoid it instinctively unless you fall for a feint just prior.
As to your question on a training spear, sorry. No idea. Id guess work out what length and weight you would use, get a staff to those specs and maybe stick something on it so you can tell how well you're hitting the mark? Maybe strap on a permanent marker?
The advantage is that with a spear against a shorter weapon you can make these "jabs" with literally zero consequence as it doesn't really force you to commit momentum to perform an attack with potentially lethal consequences.
There were loads of types of bayonets long about as long as there were guns more complex than a handcannon.
It just took a while to get the fiddly mounting bits for a bayonet that didn't render your gun inoperable.
Not he, but training weapons serve different purposes.
You could use a real spear as a training weapon, but you couldn't use it against other people obviously. So, great feel, but it doesn't let you train against a resisting target.
On the other end of the spectrum is something like a rattan stick, which you can basically whap somebody with until the cows come home and leave naught but nasty welts. However, it's much too flexible and light to feel like a real spear, so what you gain in some ways you lose in others.
My preferred mark is on the realistic side of middle. Real hard wood shaft, but a soft rubber tip. Exercise good control and basic safety gear (mask - of a sturdier sort if possible - and cup or equivalent). This lets you get pretty good practice in with thrusting (including to the head), although it is necessarily limited when it comes to techniques involving the haft or butt since the shaft of the spear is basically just a real quarterstaff.
Learned this in dagger training a few months ago. Thrusting straight forward to the face from head level is very hard to perceive. All the more reason to close aggressively rather than to sit and try to react, I guess.
True but a spear can also be knocked aside. It has long reach but its threat range is reduced compared to a sword of the same length.
At the end of the day, it would boil down to the skill of the wielders. An unskilled spearman will be bested by an expert swordsman, regardless of the reach advantage.
I'm going to admit upfront that what I do is not a 100% accurate reconstruction of medieval combat. We try our best but certain concessions to safety mean that there are limits.
In regards to spears, the big one is that the society I run with does not do face shots with spears at all.
This is a big deal because if a guy rushes you with a short arm (sword, axe etc) and a shield he can cover a good amount of his body. The head is an easy target that is pretty difficult to defend with a shield, so a real battle where your opponent will aim for the head makes rushing spears a far more risky option than in our reconstructions where the foolish swordsman defends his body but leaves his head totally exposed. So a moderate disadvantage for spearmen but nothing game-changing.
The spearheads we use in combat are blunted with a knob where the point should go to allow for safer thrusts. Both the tip and the edges of the spearblade are considered "live" for purposes of scoring hits. I'll try to find a picture of one.
As for lengths, max height of a spear used exclusively in two hands is 9ft, single handed spears are 7ft. Most people go for the maximum allowed length, though myself and a few others enjoy using the shorter spears with two hands. The spearheads vary from from maybe 4" to 16" of blade, with sockets adding a third or more again to the total length of the spearhead.
Perhaps, but I don't think thats a very fair comparison. An expert swordsman would probably lose to an expert spearman, and we are comparing the relative benefits of the weapons, not the users.
I grant the sword has advantages outside of a fair duel in an open field between unarmored combatants, but within those constraints I think it is heavily disadvantaged.
knocking aside a spear and then moving past the point only works on a theoretical level if you assume the spear wielder doesn't also have legs and/or space to move in.
If a swordsman gets through (something armor is very helpful for) he has the advantage. But the spearman has the first-mover advantage, better angle, and less fear of over-committing on any given thrust.
For real life, given lightly armored men of middling skill, that gives the spear a winning advantage, because one hit will cripple someone.
If it's a high-fantasy RPG with magic healing and full plate for everyone then its a different story.
>not using a lightpike
A good wooden shaft, ash ideally, pad the end as best as you can, make sure your fencing mask is suspended properly so it won't get forced back into your face or you'll end up with a bloody mesh pattern in your skin.
>From what Ive heard, youll often avoid it instinctively unless you fall for a feint just prior.
Your head only moves so fast. And that's assuming you see it coming in time, and aren't locked into moving in some other direction, and so on. In sparring you WILL get nailed in the head every now and then. Check your insurance coverage before you begin.
Strikes towards the face aren't much more unnerving or triggering of instinctual dodges than other attacks. Putting someone into a poorly controlled, half-panicked defensive is a good thing, but you'll get there mroe through footwork and just attacking in general than by aiming for the face. And training will suppress the instincts here in favour of trained, rational response.
Still, if were talking about a ''take all comers'' weapon, Id be fond of a lucerne hammer myself. Reach, power, reasonable speed and the means to puncture armour and crack skulls.
On the topic, how would such a weapon fare against a spear, assuming equal skill and equipment, in your opinion?
I suppose. On the other hand, though, shouldn't you be watching for attacks at all times? Unless you're feinted or distracted by outside influence, shouldn't you see most attacks coming to some degree?
Granted you mightnt be fast enough to full avoid a hit but to turn a sure hit into a glancing blow?
I think its heavily reliant on the armor of the two combatants. If both are heavily armored the lucerne hammerer has little to fear other than losing endurance, and will probably win shortly after delivering his first meaningful blow.
If both are unarmored then the spear has a very strong advantage imo, especially because actually swinging the hammer will immediately make the user incapable of defensive mobility until the weapon becomes controllable again.
If the Lucerne hammerer has armor and the spear wielder doesn't then it is a game of endurance. The spear wielder can win if he can tire his opponent through strategic offense and gain control of the hammer in a grapple. The hammerer can win if he can get the spear user to overcommit to some offensive bait and get a telling blow in.
The lucerne hammer is not an ideal weapon against mobile light infantry.
I should clarify that I am a re-enactor and as such the combat I do is done with blunt steel weapons that attempt to be a close as possible reproductions of actual finds.
For both display and training purposes we wear kit that attempts to be the sort of thing that was actually worn by the people we portray. This can run the gamut from full body maille coverage over padding with a helmet to just a tunic, shoes and a cheeky grin.
This has its pros and cons from a reconstruction point of view. Obviously correct reconstructions of the clothing and equipment used is almost as important as making sure the weapons are correct in trying to understand how things actually work. However the downside is that unlike >>44674883, and HEMA types that the lack of modern safety equipment does limit the extent we can whallop each other.
Would the top-spike of the hammer not counter the effective range advantage? Or is the difference in length simply that great?
Im not the most familiar with real life examples of either, I must confess.
So what would be the ideal ''all comers'' weapon in your books?
In the armored hammer vs unarmored spear a very important factor would be the terrain. Restricting terrain would have to be taken advantage of for the hammerer to end the fight quickly, and the spear wielder wouldn't have full advantage of his mobility.
It is very great, and also the spear's offensive end is much lighter than a hammer and therefor much more quick and precise. Extending a hammer out to maximum range would make it very slow and imprecise, and could get your weapon pulled from your grasp.
Yes, you should be watching for attacks at all times. Successfully spotting all attacks in time however is NOT easy.
Sometimes you're fats enough to dodge or black entirely.
Sometimes you only manage to turn a solid hti into somethign less solid.
Sometimes you fail to do anything much about the attack at all.
And sometimes you don't even register it until you've been hit, and stand there feeling pretty humiliated.
In my opinion it would be the spear. Assuming open "field" like conditions and that ranged weapons are not allowed. If armor is allowed things might get more interesting. Perhaps a halberd would be best in that example. I'm heavily biased towards a spear though and the only training I have is in highschool wrestling and jiu jitsu. I've always imagined a spear would be ideal for myself because if someone managed to get past the point they would have to be careful to not carry themselves into a grapple and lose any advantage they might hope to gain.
It depends on what your environment and purpose is. Relying solely on a spear if you have to protect someone inside a building is a disaster waiting to happen. If you are an assassin your weapons performance in a duel is the least of your concerns, and simple lethality and concealability are the most important factors, so for him it would be a dagger.
For a soldier on the battlefield, or a wandering ronin issuing fair challenges to willing opponents its hard to beat a spear. Especially because it is so easy to carry/replace/maintain and use.
The thing I have noticed again and again when new recruits pick up the spear is that they tend to suffer from a "rabbit in the headlights" effect.
Whether they are facing off against other people who have just started or grizzled veterans most people are extremely heistant to attack or take any sort of action. They just stand there with the spear in their hand and completely surrender the iniative. So many battles could have been won but nobody on one side took advantage of an opening and instead wait until they are cut down one by one.
It's all part of the learning process of course, but it is frustrating at times to drill people who seem resistant to actually using their weapon to attack the other guy.
Ive seen the same in hand to hand sparring and Im pretty sure the US Army has observed the same in battle. We sorta naturally dont want to hurt others I think. Not sure why but Ive seen it enough to believe it.
Thats why drilling with a weapon and in combat scenarios, or sparring, is important. You need to break the barrier and learn that you can hurt others if you need to. Then you need to drill till you trust your judgement and skill.
At least, ideally speaking.
Thanks for the advice. Yeah, with such a reach you have all the initiative to control the pace of a fight. Keeping your opponent reactive, especially with such a long weapon would mean you would always have control of the fight rarely risk damage to yourself.
A duel between spears would heavily favor the guy with more experience and aggression, and the next most important factors would be size strength and endurance I imagine.
I do think aggression is the most important thing in a fight, along with experience, simply because fighting with lethal intent is such an alien concept for everyone that whoever is "willing to go there" is going to have a huge advantage. I can see practiced and experienced spear weilders losing to a big untrained motherfucker who simply possess a willingness to bleed in exchange for a killing blow.
this is actually bad
maces have very short reach and unless you are in armor they will get you killed
maces are good when you are in armor trying to take out another armored opponent
they are terrible for everything else
It really depends on the culture and time period involved.
I portray the Early and High Medieval period, and historically speaking almost all soldiers would have a spear as their primary weapon at the start of the battle. The main exception is when they have some sort of two-handed weapon such as a dane-axe, which is another long/pole weapon.
Hand weapons are sidearms that get used when things get pressed up close, formations have collapsed or your spear broke.
The spear and dagger combination is a combination, if the spear becomes a liability then it can be dropped and the knife produced very quickly even when you are being rushed by attackers.
Yeah I imagine a dagger was incredibly important. Its hard to kill people instantly with weapons, and when a wound does not instantly result in death a fight could quickly turn into a grapple.
It's certainly noticable in a battle or sparring session where a gap in the other sides lines is opened and the order comes to breakthrough and destroy the formation.
All the experienced fighters swarm through, while the new guys hover uncertainly. This of course leaves the veterans unsupported, they die and the trainees just wait as the entire enemy force then swings round to mop them up.
It does seem to be primarily a confidence thing, and most people get over it. However confidence, morale and intimidation can be just as important factors in a living history battle as a real one.
I of course meant to say that spears and daggers are an effective combination. The nice thing about them is that it is easy to switch mid-melee, whereas with some weapons you want a few seconds when someone is not trying to hit you.
Yeah, true enough. What would you say is the most effective way to train people? Ive toyed with the idea of having them spare or mock-battle veterans as recruits but I dont know that that would teach much. Spartans I know used to have a policy of training people to be automatons in battle. Have you any strong opinions on the matter?
From a grapplers point of view a dagger is also incredibly dangerous at range 0. It literally can't be stopped from inflicting damage, don't believe the movies. You grab the knife, you get cut, you grab their arm, it goes to the other hand, you try to block it your blocking limb gets cut. It takes just a couple of rolls with a fake knife for grapplers to realize how insanely dangerous they are. Bigger weapons can't be used in such a versatile manner as a knife, so that weapon is truly "king" at grappling range.
I've done a bit of 15th century spear-fighting, and it's interesting to see how they work in a line with halberds and bills. A billman can trap an opponent's weapon, opening up the trapped person for a swift jab to the chest.
Swordsmen fighting spearmen tend to get knocked out quite quickly. You're going to get spiked by someone else, even if you do manage to get behind someone in the line.
>You should start with a weapon that's simple to use but packs a hefty punch
- the spear. All you have to do is thrust it - you don't have to worry about swing arcs or if a strike has enough draw
>slow to get going
>needs a heavy impact to do significant damage
>so you still need room to swing
Sounds like a very unforgiving, outright noob-hostile weapon to me. You need to close the distance, then wind up for the attack, if you miss you're fucked, and you have no slice if things get closer than you want.
Drill drill drill drill drill. The brain will freak the fuck out and can't really keep up anyway, so you want the body to do something reasonably ok out of pure habit.
Sure, call it a spear. It's some fantasy thingy that is pretty fucking far form anything that was ever use historically, so compared to the minimal differences between many historical weapons, it's whatever really, and spear would seem to be the most general of the terms that could apply.
Glaives are single-edged (but not all single edged ones are glaives).
A partisan is a regular spear with bladed wings at the base of its head. That's a fantasy weapon, but the closest I can come up with is a swordstaff which is basically a sword on a haft.
Sparring with safe "mock" weapons is the most ideal way of training. You can drill attacks and moves for days against air but it's meaningless without practical application against a thinking opponent.
This is why all martial arts with surviving full contact sport variations with prize money on the line are universally acknowledged as far more practical than martial arts without such.
Skill with a weapon and battlefield effectiveness are related but not the same thing.
The main thing though is practice, practice, practice. Build that muscle memory and keep them learning new tricks. Having the veterans teach them the ropes and making them practice is essential. Pair them up, have them show techniques and then make them drill and duel until it becomes second nature. Then when they start to get the hang of things bring it all together into larger fights.
Have some experienced guys stand on the sides and watch things. They can spot where things need improving or if they are learning bad habits that need correcting before someone gets hurt.
For the larger fights, teamwork and awareness are the key skills. You are not a bunch of individuals who happen to be next to each other, you are a unit. Have them communicate and co-ordinate, otherwise they will probably just stand about in sheepish silence.
But mostly practice, practice, practice. Mix things and swap sides about, and make sure they understand when something worked and they won or something didn't and they lost.
Axes perform the same job for us, hooking and trapping weapons and shields to allow thier buddies to score the kill. The feeling is they are more of a support weapon that need to be paired with a spear or sword as they suffer on their own and their utility at hacking right through shields and people is not one that shines in re-enactment reconstructions with blunt weapons.
I doubt hand axes were ever effective at hacking through people and shields. Maybe it was something that could happen, but not something that was relied upon. The beard was probably the most important tool on the axe, as your reenactments indicate, not the actual blade.
So basically, good practice. Makes sense I suppose
How viable is mid-combat communication? Even to the degree of just being able to tell a dude that someones coming up behind him or that you need a hand with something, for example?
It certainly wasnt relied upon but it is frequently reported. Besides, I imagine the blade was useful for finishing off a downed foe. Spearmen gets the dude in the leg, puts him on the ground, advances, axemen finishes him off.
The other thing is that not only can your veterans teach vital skills to the new guys, but the new blood keeps the veterans on their toes.
When you fight the same guys exclusively, week in week out, you start to adapt to their particular styles. You can get complacent but mostly the skills and tricks that work on Dave everytime are going to land you in trouble when you fight someone else who can counter them and you have no back-up plan.
New recruits makes sure that you avoid falling into bad habits, and teaching the basics reminds everyone else.
Beards are useful, but not essential or universal. Handaxes without beards are just as capable at hooking than bearded axes and I personally prefer them as long beards are more difficult to disengage if they become entangled.
The shield comment was mostly in reference to dane-axes, but a handaxe would be more damaging than a spear thrust or sword cut to the wood.
Its interesting. I imagine formation fighting between blocks of infantry involving a single uniform choice of weapons but from what you are saying it appears that many different weapons were used be different elements of each fighting block for different purposes. Any internet sources to learn about these kind of tactics, weapon distributions, and how they evolved over time?
Also remember that as often as a unit would have mixed weapons for strategic reasons, equally as often it'd have mixed weapons just because all the soldiers of that county happened to own different weapons.
Ah yeah, thats also very important. Very interesting. I suppose many people specialized in specific roles as well, but those could change over time due to aging, injury, or as experience increases. Very complex. I wonder if their are any well kept records of mercenary regiments and how those tactics were changed over time.
Mid-combat communication is essential. You need to let your team-mates know that people are coming behind them or that you need assistance.
One of the most important things is letting them know when they get "injured" or "die". Nothing is worse than assuming the other guys have got things covered while you merrily spare only to discover they all died and they guys they were fighting appear behind you.
The Duke of Wellington has some choice words on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZOr0vMz3AM
Having a "commander" who bellows when to get stuck in is important, and getting the new guys to have a go at this role can teach them the importance of communication and awareness. It also helps with morale and getting people to give it some oomf instead of being passive to the point of inaction as I mentioned earlier. But mostly keeping you team abreast of the situation, if you are doing well or poorly or whatever.
Its essential, that much is true, but is it easy? Like would you be able just to talk a bit louder than normal? Or are we talking ''Yell repeatedly so you're sure''?
I know when I was playing basketball shouting repeatedly was the norm but Im unsure what the difference in ambient noise would be. Would you need to outright bellow? Is that even doable if you take a spear to the guts?
I like my polearms to be multi-purpose.
Stabby, slashy, and smashy.
When in doubt, always shout.
A good habit is to have orders from a commander be shouted back so that everyone can hear them. For orders about when to advance or fall back it is pretty essential that everyone hears them. If you need to tell someone something important then yelling until they respond is the way to get things done.
There are of course gradients.
You can probably talk normally to the guys either side of you, but in a large fight it might get drowned out so a bit louder than normal helps. A war cry should be bellowed, and helps get the adrenalin going so the men are aggressive and decisve instead of "rabbit in the headlights".
Some of the events we go to have hundreds of warriors on the field, ocassionally thousands for the largest ones. Shouting is pretty much the only way to get heard. At events of that size banners and war cries become really important.
Banners provide a visual anchor in the chaos of a battle, and tell you where the sides are. You can see them above the heads of everyone and know that your mates are gathered underneath the banner. Losing a banner means that you are certain of the guys next to you and everything else is guesswork.
War cries help identify friend or foe, which is really useful as in many periods battles are fought between sides with no uniforms and very similar equipment and clothes. In a huge battle you don't know everyone on the field so anything that helps you know who is on your side and who is trying to kill is a godsend.
I can't remember for sure but I think her weapon was previously broken and she had rigged that solution rather than pay a weaponsmith for something better.
But yeah, that seems like it would be a big fucking problem lol.
No we would probably be talking about how underdeveloped the guy who is holding the spear's traps and pecs are
She's not really a lady in the sense that she has the option of taking the traditional "women's role". She's a bodyguard by trade, and was a political refugee since early childhood, on the run from state sponsored assassins.
Naginata's become associated with women in the Edo period after the unification of Japan.
For much of the history before this it was a battlefield polearm that was used extensively by Samurai and other warriors.
When /tg/ has threads like this it's so weird because people actually debate like there's a competition between one-handed weapons and polearms.
Polearms are unmatched in their power, reach, and speed. Longer weapon means greater reach, greater speed of swing, greater power. Smaller movements at the wielders ends translate to larger movements at the business end.
There are only three situations where a one-handed weapon is more useful than a polearm.
1. Extremely close formation fighting, like in a phalanx. Even then there are types of formations (like the Macedonian pikeman) where polearms are preferred.
2. Extremely tight indoor scenarios where a polearm is too large, like in a castle stairway, underground tunnel, various kinds of urban combat and sieges, or similar situations.
3. Civilian environments where carrying polearms is banned or illegal. Cloak and dagger shit, criminal stuff, gentlemen dueling, and that kind of thing.
There is however case for when either or both of the combatants are heavily armored, in full plate harness or similar. A bludgeoning weapon like a mace would be more damaging than a thrusting weapon like a spear or a cutting weapon like a glaive. That said, many polearms like the bec de corbin or pollaxe have bludgeoning heads and would be preferable. But even in this scenario, the reach and power of a polearm would make it competitive with a shorter but more damaging weapon. Combat is not just about taking turns hitting each other. In one-on-one duels there is a lot you can do with even a quarterstaff if your opponent's weapon is shorter than yours - jabbing the face, tripping, grappling, locking. Getting someone to the ground would put you in a position to be able to stomp their head in. You don't need a weapon for that.
One-handed weapons are sidearms. They were carried as backup weapons, in almost all eras and scenarios. A polearm is categorically better in almost all cases.
I think just about everyone in this thread has agreed to that already man. You're a bit late to the party.
Not that your comments aren't valid, of course.
Come to think of it, what would you consider the best weapon to carry for general purpose use? The spear has been mentioned, of course, and Ive heard some people suggest that a staff sling with a spearhead on the bottom would cover the most bases. Whats your opinion?
Its one evolution of the spear. Not the only one.
Its also not as easy to pick up, which is a mark in the spears favour. You'll learn to be competent with a spear better than you will with a halberd and, generally, have longer reach which is ideal if you're only just competent with your weapon.
No, everything >>44673674 said is correct. Halberds that were used in block infantry fighting were typically 8-9 feet tall, despite what Wikipedia says. They were weapons that were most often used by infantry in blocks, not by cavalry. A spear is better for a horseman if you are choosing between the two. The halberd's length and heavier head weight make spears easier to wield and easier to train for.
It's true that the course of medieval warfare, halberds gained favour later on, but it's not because they were better weapons in all contexts. It was an adaptation for fighting against plate-armoured cavalry and infantry in the late middle ages. It was most popular just prior to the era of pike and shot, whereas the spear was most popular in the era when maille armour was most prevalent.
I would say more but it would just be repeating what >>44673674 said.
If I'm just wandering around by myself, I'd probably go for a pollaxe as it covers all your bases. Long (but not so long that it's unwieldy and best used in formation), pointy so you can jab with it, has a bludgeoning end for armor, has a cutting head for if you to chop something or swing it around wildly or whatever. There's a reason they were favoured by knights. If stamina is a big concern then I might just go for a spear though.
I don't have any experiences with staff slings so I don't know if they are significantly better than regular slings, but you could always just carry a regular one in your belt regardless. You can even make one out of stuff you find in the forest if you really need one.
>You'll learn to be competent with a spear better than you will with a halberd and, generally, have longer reach which is ideal if you're only just competent with your weapon.
To the best of my knowledge, spears are typically longer than halberds and easier to learn to use.
Now, if Im only just barely competent with my weapon, I want to keep my opponent as far from me as possible. I want to jab fast and keep the fucker off me so he can't kill me. Id be less worried about the other way around.
However, if as >>44679163 stated halberds were 8-9 feet long, then my assertion of the range advantage was incorrect so that can be ignored.
However, either way, ''stick that can stab'' is easier to learn than ''stick that can stab, slash and chop'' I should imagine.
And besides that, chopping would require some bit of strength while slashing requires more finesse. If you lack either, chances are the sections of the weapon dedicated to such are just dead weight, ergo making a spear more efficient.
But, bear in mind, Ive never wielded either. Ive personally trained hand to hand, some bit of archery and some sword work and knife defence. Thats all.
This is what Miyamoto Musashi has to say about spears and halberds in the Book of Five Rings. What he calls a halberd is probably a naginata though, so it's probably more a comparison of spear and glaive. Still interesting.
Musashi, Book of Five Rings, Book 1:
"The halberd is inferior to the spear on the battlefield. With the spear
you can take the initiative; the halberd is defensive. In the hands of one
of two men of equal ability, the spear gives a little extra strength. Spear
and halberd both have their uses, but neither is very beneficial in con-
fined spaces. They are also not appropriate for taking a prisoner. They are essentially weapons for the field."
You can find both spears and halberds that range from 5-9 feet, so there is no absolute answer on which is longer. There's a huge variation in both. What I meant is that it's in late medieval block infantry fighting, like what you normally associate with Swiss halberdiers and such, where you find the longer 8-9 foot halberd.
>To the best of my knowledge, spears are typically longer than halberds and easier to learn to use.
Every pointy stick counts as spear. How can you just claim the one thing is typically long than the other when there is so much variety?
Also the halberd can be used the completely same way as a spear so I don't think learning to fight with that is much more difficult.
>What he calls a halberd is probably a naginata though, so it's probably more a comparison of spear and glaive
There's no probably about it. Naginatas are glaives, and while there is similarity between glaives and halbards the two are still different weapons.
Yes, I know that naginatas are glaives. The probably is because I haven't read the Japanese source material so I don't know whether he specifically says "naginata" or not. It's a question about the translation, not the similarity between a naginata and a glaive. There are many kinds of Japanese polearm he could have been referring to.
An axeblade and a point, but yeah I agree. There's a long history of people translating weapon names badly though. Look at any jrpg translated to English. There's no guarantee the person translating was versed in medieval European weaponry. A naginata certainly isn't a halberd, so it's anyone's guess.
>maces are good when you are in armor trying to take out another armored opponent
>they are terrible for everything else
>implying maces are terrible
>implying they can't be used with finesse
There's a reason they were considered one of the major knightly weapons along with the sword.
Spears are fuckign excellent one on one.
Maces are fucking shit unless you're in armor, against men in armor. They're no easier to use than blades and have considerable disadvantages.
Please stop posting. Forever.
>There's a reason they were considered one of the major knightly weapons along with the sword.
Because they tended ot have full armor with metal hand protection and gravitated towards fighting men with the same.
And no, it really isn't a "major" knightly weapon. Lance, poleax, and sword all beat it for that honor.
They can be used with finesse, but that doesn't make them a better weapon. They shine in armor vs. armor situations, and in urban civilization situations (clubs and cudgels) where no one really is armed with battlefield weapons, but in pretty much any other situation there are better alternatives. In history, you only really see clubs/maces show up as super cheap "barbarian" or peasants weapons, or as sidearms in armoured knight fighting.
You can get a decent idea of how commonly they show up by looking at period art. In a crowd of knights, you usually only see one or two using them.
Though, there are such a thing as polearm morgensterns (morningstars), which are a different thing altogether and probably saw more use in various contexts. That's a polearm though, not a one-handed mace of the kind we're talking about.
Well I've never had any formal training in how to fight with one, but the basics seem pretty self evident. The weapon is best in play when your hostiles are in front of the point and you're in trouble if they get inside the haft or get their hands on it. Its best uses are in defensive formations or offensive charges which can make use of its range advantage over swords.
As for in games, I've not recently had the chance to play a character who could plausibly use a spear effectively. As for my personal preference in bladed weapons, I find swords my usual choice. You can't really go wrong with them, you stick 'em in the bad guy and he dies.
Mauls are underrated. Anti-armor, while also having lots of utility.
"And herein our archers of England far pass the Parthians, which for such a purpose, when they shall come to hand-strokes, hath ever ready, either at his back hanging, or else in his next fellow's hand, a leaden maul, or such-like weapon, to beat down his enemies withal."
But swords and spears often had difficulty piercing deep enough into plate armor to cause significant injury unless the user was well trained.
It took absolutely zero training though to bash a fully armored person's fookin' 'ed in with a hammer. Even today there's only so much protection armor can afford your skull and more importantly your vertebrae against being smashed by heavy objects.
>Ive heard some people suggest that a staff sling with a spearhead on the bottom would cover the most bases.
Oh, you don't want to do that. It's been done before. They're called hoopaks, and they're used by KENDER. If you don't know what they are, trust me, it's better that way.
Bayonets existed for as long as guns did, they just weren't popular for mass use. The sockets were usually fiddly, and plug bayonets had a nasty habit of getting stuck in the barrel. Wasn't until the late 1600's that they finally made a suitable ring bayonet that fit around the gun tight enough that it wouldn't dislodge to often. Eventually the socketed bayonet came out, and the rest is history.
a fencing helmet does wonders for protecting the face from spear stabbing, at least all the times ive been stabbed in the face wearing one. yeah it knocks you back but as long as you arent facing a gorilla or a rage filled autist it does little more then stun or surprise you,
Except english archers were known for their skill with sword and buckler-or plearms.
If he has a fucking maul, it was a desperation weapon.
Logical, because it's short, has no hand protection, is slow, and can't defend worth a shit.
A man with no training trying to
>bash a fully armored person's fookin' 'ed in with a hammer
Is GOING TO FUCKING DIE. You don't brute force your way past a better man with better armor and a better weapon. RPGs are not a reflection of reality. Using a maul means you lose fingers and die.
It's true that a ton of medieval melee fighting (read: chaotic pitched battle infantry fighting, not one-on-one) just involved running up to people and hitting them in the back of the head while they're fighting someone else. Just watch any Battle of Nations of match and you can easily see that. It's also true that most medieval military campaigns involved roaming through enemy country sacking towns and besieging walled cities. Mauls are fine in those settings, but that doesn't mean the maul is in any way an ideal weapon if you have a better alternative, particularly if you ever plan to engage any one in a one-on-one fight.
They're definitely fun though, and you do occasionally see them show up in period art.
I used to play a cocky knight who was always fight who only fought his sword because it's muh heroic weapon, even he had like 3 or 4 more skill point in polearms. He was always mad as fuck when he had to use his spear because of the way he was considering a peasant weapon.
Guy, don't even start with me. Are you unable to read or did you miss the part where I said formation fighting and sieges? You know that implies shield use? Do you not understand that just about every culture throughout history has used spear and shield together? Do you know that there's no situation where one-handed weapon and shield is better than spear and shield, except the ones I listed above? Do your homework.
> Tight formation fighting implies 1v1 with a shield.
OK boss. Speaking of homework, how about you go use the weapons you're talking about and get back to me when we're on the same page.
>Not sure if bait or just retarded.
Please do tell how a mace would be significantly easier to use than a sword.
Yes, there are a great many advanced and complex techniques that you can use with swords. If you will, they have a high skill ceiling. However, that doesn't mean that they're intrinsically more difficult to use at the novice level. After all, what is a sword? It's basically a club, except with a blade and better balanced. If all you're capable of doing is just kinda swinging at things, then a sword will do just fine. Probably better than a mace, since the point of balance makes it more wieldy and the edge and point makes it more dangerous against unarmed targets.
Sorry for being a bit of a faggot about this, but it's hard to tell who's trolling and who's serious on an anonymous message board. Then of the people that are serious, there's this attitude where they always bombastically pronounce their opinions as the true fact of the matter. It's fun, of course, but frustrating too.
So, with that out of the way, the thing you aren't considering is something most people who have never cut a suitable target with a sharp sword also don't consider: it's fucking hard!
A fairly competent swordsman who's spent a year worth of weekends training and sparring with steel blunts against opponents who are his seniors will commonly fail to damage a suitable target with a sharp cruciform blade. Almost as often, they will only barely damage it. They probably only get a significant cut - on an unmoving, unresisting target - 3 times in 10.
That's a competent swordsman by modern standards. Imagine a complete neophyte with no idea where to hold his sword, how to step, how to cut. It's a disaster. It depends on the sword, but for many of them you could wear a t-shirt to that fight and it'd be good armor.
A mace, on the other hand, is literally so easy that it is impossible to fuck up. There's no edge alignment like a cutting weapon. There's no precise aiming like a thrusting weapon. There's just swing that shit as hard and fast as you can and try to connect literally anywhere.
A mace has a lot of problems. It's tiring to use. Sometimes, being short. It's not very helpful for defense.
But for someone that sucks, I think that's an excellent weapon profile. For defense? You won't block with your weapon like a numpty and you have a free hand for a shield. For offense? You can't fuck it up, and it works against armor, too. New fighters are often too timid, but having a short weapon forces you to get close and be aggressive.
> After all, what is a sword? It's basically a club
A mace IS a club. That's why it's easier.
>heavy for length
>slow to recover
>no hand protection
>slow to defend
>can't draw cut
It's inferior. Full stop
>implying shit doesn't happen
"Well it works if he has no idea you're there" and similar arguments would also apply to tree branches, or using you mothers cavernous vagina to trap and suffocate a man.
It doesn't make a branch or her cunt a good choice of weapon.
Went to a sword training thing once as a guest, friend of mine was super into it. Got to fight each other with some kind of machete-like choppy sword and with short (five-ish feet) spears. The spear was MUCH more intuitive, even if it was a padded training one.
Mate, fuck off with that kindergarten level tier list shit. Spears, axes, and even fucking bows fit all of those criteria, are you honestly going to tell me they're all shit weapons as well?
A weapon's value is defined by its context as well as its properties. Even the guy who forgot about shields in 1v1 fucking knew that.
Matt, being an expert, fucking knows this too. That's the reason his video series title includes "in an unarmoured fight."
Now get the fuck out with that weak shit.