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[ERROR] No.15184580 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

/v/ told me that historically swords were used more as a side arm than as a main weapon.

Since the internet is full of derp and my google-foo is weak I will ask you to explain to me why would the most versatile weapon be a backup weapon.

>> No.15184590 [DELETED] 

the next would be a hatchet or a hammer - or a combo of both.

>> No.15184592

Because polearms and ranged weapons have vastly superior reach.

You know you could go to /k/, the board about weapons instead of coming here to whine on /tg/ about something /v/ said. It isn't even /tg/ related.

>> No.15184596

Spears have longer reach? Not to mention were cheaper and more effective against a charging enemy.

>> No.15184597

>/v/ told me

how about you don't listen to them

>> No.15184598

armour

>> No.15184600

I'd say it's true. It depends on what you're talking about. For large scale wars swords weren't the go to weapon most of the time. Spears bows and pole arms were more effective most of the time.

>> No.15184606

>implying /v/ is right

>> No.15184609

>>15184580
Depends on the period in history you are talking about.

>> No.15184621

I believe swords were almost universally seen as the most noble weapon. They weren't always the most effective though.

>> No.15184626

Because it's versatile.

They lack the the reach, power and affordability (even the cheap ones) of spears and polearms. They take a lot of training to become good with.

That's pretty much it. You bring a sword to a spear fight, but you don't use just swords because that'll get you killed by weapons with superior reach. But when used together they work better than either would individually as each has it's own strengths and weaknesses as a weapon.

>> No.15184635

>>15184592

But /k/ = gun and you all know that. And the people of /tg/ are much more into early warfare than them.

>>15184596
>cheaper
Well if you have a sword for a side arm you can obviously afford it.

>>15184600
Full scale battles, at least few hundred people fighting.

>>15184609
>period
I'm guessing the development of armor divides the periods here?
But even after full plate a heavy sword would be a great weapon. And even 500 BC swords were of good enough quality to be superior.

>> No.15184638

Polearms are superior to swords in a battlefield, hands down. It's really simple - your weapon is on the end of a stick, so by the time your opponent gets to you, he's dead.

Maces and axes - small, fast weapons that can be used very close-in, have some use in breaking spear walls. If you can get a few guys with them through the line of knives on sticks, they can maim a bunch of people and let others through before the enemy can reform ranks.

Swords can be used, poorly, in either of these roles. Since you don't know which of those you're going to be short on when people croak, guys with swords make decent reserves. Which means they're dashing all over the battlefield saving the day, which helps the sword's romantic image.

Also, castles have features designed specifically to stop attackers from using polearms, but swords still work. And castle assaults - the part that isn't sitting on your thumbs for months on end - are action-packed exciting deals. Again, the sword gets used to do the cool stuff.

>> No.15184640

>>15184626
Hell before the perfection of firearms there was no perfect weapon. You could almost always counter a weapon type with another and the popular weapon was always the one that was the most effective against the last popular weapon.

>> No.15184655

>> No.15184660

Doesnt the superiority of spears and pikes come from the MYTH that war is tidy and neat?

Because in a blood bath where you got 5 enemies breathing in your face and another behind you a stick with a knife at the end is the last weapon you want holding.

>> No.15184685

>>15184660
On an open plane a knife on a pole isn't what you would want, but if you are fighting from a defensive position it works pretty well. Also with properly trained warriors spears behind a shield wall is very effective.

>> No.15184693

>>15184660

Difference is, you have 5 other guys with you. Yes, a spear is crappy close up, but at that point, he's at just the right distance for the guy behind you to stab him. Phallanx tactics, yo.

>> No.15184694

I thought it depended on the tactics. Wouldn't romans legionnaires just walk into phalanxes and start chopping? Spears/Pikes also seems very weak on the flank. I always thought the longbow took the place of the main weapon before the gun.

>> No.15184704

Arming swords and side-swords were, especially in the latter eras. Although versatile and never really inert, other weapons simply have superior reach and/or armor penetration. In the earlier eras spears and Dane-axes where the weapons of choice for the funded warrior, and latter war hammers and pole-axes too the spotlight; with spears and pikes still all too prevalent.

However, swords like the zweihander you have in your image there, and claymores, where always used as primary weapons; with an arming sword sheathed and ready to be drawn as backup. Hell Rome was nothing but short swords and spears. The general infantry of any army pre-gunpowder and even for a while there after contained a large number of spearmen, if not a majority.

Not to say there weren't people who preferred and specialized in swordsmanship who would use a sword as their primary, but generally speaking 1 handed swords (to use a layman's term) where side arms in most eras.

>> No.15184707

>>15184694
it was the composite bow from house back.

>> No.15184709

>>15184694
Bows were only effective until the enemy closed ranks and took a long ass time to learn to use well.

>> No.15184715

>>15184694

Man was the main weapon before the gun. Just many, many men.

On the battlefield a good 60-70% of the people were fresh recruits.

There are exceptions, of course, but that is the general rule.

>> No.15184718

>>15184685
on an open plane having the right weapon is the least of your problems

>> No.15184719

>>15184694

Longbow takes years of training to use properly. Spearmen don't.

Roman Legionaries had their asses handed to them in straight fights. But the big victories they had against phalanxes came when they flanked them.

And generally speaking, the good spearmen tactics revolve around spearmen in a box protecting crossbowmen or gunners interspaced throughout.

>> No.15184722

Swords were not backup weapons until polearms became common place.

Hell not even then really. What caused the decline of swords as primary infantry weapons was the pike-and-shot formations of the 17th century.

Don't listen to the spearfags. Spears were the weapons of peasant conscripts and were only really useful in an anti-cavalry role. They got phased out in favor of pikes.

>> No.15184733

>>15184722

Long pointy sticks. Same school.

>> No.15184735

>>15184660
Ideally you'd be with 10 of your buddies all with more sticks with knives in and trampling over 15 of the guys-in-your-face's friends.

>> No.15184741

>>15184640
There /still/ isn't a perfect weapon, considering that we've got calibers and rifle sizes for everything. Do you want a pistol-caliber carbine, shotgun, machine-pistol, assault rifle, battle rifle, PDW, or dedicated Marksman's rifle? Do you want a rifle that can shoot subsonic or do you want all possible juice? Then you go down the line. What caliber, what type of ammunition, what ballistic characteristics you'll get compared to other cartridges, how heavy is the ammunition, how fine is the cartridge grain, on and on and on and on.

>> No.15184748

>>15184704

Well isnt the zweihander a very spear-like weapon? Long, can be used to stab at someone from some range or against mounted foes. Also heavy enough to be effective against armor, like the poleaxe.

>> No.15184751

>>15184580
On the battlefield (and we all know there's no other setting ever where weapons count, the battlefield is the one and only situation which matters here), you probably start with the enemy way over there.

So you get a long weapon to begin with, to reach him, and if he should get closer, then you may switch to your shorter one.

That said, many on 4chan are quite desperate to show how they've managed to see past anything that may be a romantic gloria, and will thus try to paint polearms as always superior to absolutely everything (as far as melee weapons go at least), simply because they got the notion that swords are for noblemen, and thus must suck.

>>15184693
Kinda hard to accurately stab someone when you have three guys in the way, and god forbid you get flanked or some fucker makes it into your formation.

Sure, the phalanx worked nicely, and a wall of pikes appear to have been a decent obstacle to get past. But don't think it's the silver bullet to solve all battlefield problems, one not uncommon notion around the Great northern War was that pikemen were basically sitting duck in melee, their function instead being to provide a mobile set of stakes to take the edge off of cavalry shocks. (Peter Englund, "Poltava")

>> No.15184753

this baby right here was the king.

>> No.15184756

>>15184722

>Spears were the weapons of peasant conscripts and were only really useful in an anti-cavalry role

>only really useful in an anti-cavalry role

Christ, I hate it when someone gets all their facts from Age of Empires.

>> No.15184761

>>15184719
>>Roman Legionaries had their asses handed to them in straight fights.

What?

No they fucking didn't. Not usually anyway.

>>But the big victories they had against phalanxes came when they flanked them.

Phalanxes are pike formations. Pikes =! Spears

Of course you couldn't take that in a straight fight. What's more pertinent is EVERY OTHER TYPE OF ENEMY THEY FACED.

To be quite blunt, roman legions steamrolled their enemies all over the motherfucking place. Especially those who used spears as their main weapon for infantry fights.

>> No.15184764

Swords demands space to be swung around, space is not something you have a lot of in a packed formation. Polearms don't require as much space to be useful, same thing with spears. So they're both more useful in a formation. When formations clash you have even less space, then you need something that can be used in the short range and be deadly.

Swords are great weapons, but they're not a weapon that can win against everything. Just look at the many different kinds of swords that exist to see that. You got swords for chopping through limbs and leather, swords for piercing mail and stuff ranging from zweihanders to rapiers.

>> No.15184769

>>15184694
>I always thought the longbow took the place of the main weapon before the gun.

If it had it would have seen far wider use than it actually did. The longbow is pretty over rated by a lot of media/people. In reality it's a good weapon, but what makes it notable is the way it was used rather than the weapon itself.

>Spears/Pikes also seems very weak on the flank.
referring back to >>15184660 the MYTH that war is tidy and neat
Which is pretty much a myth inherited from pike&musket era tight, organized formations, flanks are weak on pretty much all formations. But there are only flanks if a formation is engaged at the front. Otherwise, people being what they are and being cunning about this, they turn to face things.

>> No.15184780

The answer is that humans are always coming up with new and better ways to kill each other. No one weapon was ever effective in every situation and would ultimately get replaced pretty quickly.

>> No.15184781

>>15184748
Indeed. However, it's functions are stabling ans slashing, used like any other sword; just with a little more choke-up room.

>> No.15184784

>>15184660
Generally battles would start out tidy and neat, and turn into chaos after somebody broke the enemy spear line. Forming a spear line is not a complicated task - you find another guy with a spear and stand next to him - and breaking one means a significant portion of your enemies are already dead. At which point, yes, the polearm is a bad weapon... for the outnumbered side, who has already lost at this point and is more concerned with running to the woods.

>> No.15184786

>>15184753
Until you manage to get some moisture into the hide glue. Or if you happen to need a bunch of bows now, instead of in half a year.

>> No.15184788

>>15184780
that isn't entirely true.

there is one weapon that takes cake. Weaponized insert virus.

>> No.15184793

>>15184733
Pikes are not the same thing as spears, they were used in an entirely different way.

And it was the shot part of the formation that made swordsmen obsolete, not the pike part.

>>15184756
But it's true though. They weren't all that useful against any sort of heavy infantry(including swordsmen) in the middle ages or earlier because heavy infantry were well-armored.

>> No.15184795

>>15184786

haha glad someone knows their shit about bows.

Yes they took a long ass time to make.. but when made right they were unstoppable.

have you ever had the chance to use one? they are pretty impressive.

>> No.15184797

>>15184722

Nah you are full of shit. The basic kit of an infantryman "of the line" across cultures and history before firearms has traditionally been a spear and some sort of sidearm if they are lucky.

Hoplites, Sparabara, Assyrian Spearmen (Be they irregular conscripts or part of the professional army or royal guard), Egyptian Spearmen, Germanic Footsoldiers of the Migration period, Mycenaean/Minoan Footmen, Arabs of Muhammad and the Rashidun period, ect.

Infantry of the Line who wield a sword to the exclusion of a spear are always the exception to the rule, principally if their culture encourages it. Honestly the Romans, those sword-and-buckler guys of the Spanish Empire, and a brief epoch of the Chinese are the only cases I can recall of a highly organized military group favoring a sword to the exclusion of a spear.

And infantry assuming a 'light' role - be they slingers, javelineers, or archers who head out of the battle line and aren't perched behind it (Like you get with the professional Assyrian or Persian archers) are still not going to use their sword as a primary weapon.

>> No.15184801

>>15184769
Indeed.
The function of formation was to keep them organized and get them into and around the fight efficiently, but once two fronts meet all bets are off.

>> No.15184804

>>15184764
Swords can be used to stab. Which doesn't require much space.

>> No.15184812

This one was the king, and what took effort to lug about.

A shield offers advantages no other piece of equipment can match.

Personally, I'd use an axe as main, because it is REALLY versatile when it comes to hurting people, and hooking aside their weapons/shields. A sword is a good backup because it can be drawn very quickly, and can actually be kept in a neat scabbard.

>> No.15184818

>>15184722

>> No.15184822

>>15184764
you don't swing a Gladiu around, you poke people with it. Poking people with shortswords is very effective and easily done even in tight packed formations. You maybe thinking of armingswords, broadswords or longswords, thoug there are techniques for them to be used in close range too. And a longsword used with Halbschwert techniques is pretty much a short polearm, in line with an awlpike only more versatile.

The decline in swords as primary weapons has alot to do with prices (it's cheaper to build a polearm), availability of armor (it's cheaper and easier to build a polearm that can penetrate plate) and focus on mounted combat by the ruling class (you need polearms to fight against those effectivly)

>> No.15184825

>>15184797
Spears were only used that way because they were cheap. For the most part, anyone who could get their hands on a good quality sword instead did so. Why? Because swords are better weapons for killing people then spears.

>> No.15184826

Oh boy, it's almost as if all the things ITT were already repeated hundreds of times on /tg/.

>> No.15184846

>>15184825
one on one a sword beats a spear

100 on 100 a spear beats a sword

>> No.15184848

>>15184784 and breaking one means a significant portion of your enemies are already dead.

Armies have broken before the enemy killed a single one of them (or even been near), and at other times the winner has been standing there with a third of their men dead (not casualties, dead). Psychology rules here, not pure killcount, so the number you need to kill to make them run will be anything but constant.

Also, the formation itself can start disintegrating even without either side running for the hills. Cavalry shocks could at times go straight through infantry blocks or each other, at which point they reformed and went for another try, and another, and another... (Seitz, "Svärdet och Värjan") Hell, things can get chaotic enough for soldiers to occasionally end up ranked up in an enemy regiment after a fight breaks up and the units reform. (Englund)

>> No.15184854

>>15184804
Yes, shortswords were used to great effect by the Romans in that manner. But to do that you need to get up real close, which can be done. But it also leaves you very vulnerable to cavalry with stirrups, or hell even without stirrups. Either way it's not something you want to have in your hand if a knight is charging at you with a lance, and the mideval times had lots and lots of knights.

The sword is still awesome on horseback though, works great for slashing down from above. But that's in the melee after a charge with lances. And if the enemy doesn't seem likely to break after one charge then you retreat, pick up a new lance if it broke and then charge again. Keep at it until the enemy breaks, after which it's time to chase them down and kill any who aren't likely to be able to pay ransom.

>> No.15184856

>>15184825
Cheap and effective.

They worked, they worked well, if they didn't work well, something would have replaced them. Which eventually did happen, with polearms of various kinds generally replacing spears, then pikes taking the place of polearms, then bayonets for turning muskets into spears so that pikes were not needed.

>> No.15184873

>>15184846
No it does not.

The only way that works is if the swordsmen aren't wearing armor. Which wouldn't happen because the sorts of people who could afford swords could also afford chain mail, or whatever sort of armor was used by reasonably wealthy professional soldiers/nobles of the time.

>> No.15184892

>>15184818
spanish Rodeleros (armed with swords and bucklers) beat up the swiss so bad in the 1512 century that they themselfs adopted such troop formations to break up the polearm formations of the enemy.
The Majority of Cortez man were equipped with swords and shields during his conquista in the new world.
Just a few examples.

>> No.15184897

>>15184822 you don't swing a Gladiu around, you poke people with it.
Well, by design it's quite obviously a cut-n-thrust sword (wide blade means a thin cross-section, making for a good cutter, or an overweight blade, which isn't good for fighting at all really), and there's some old chronicler around making a big deal of all the loose limbs lying about after a legion had stomped someone. But we should never let such things come in the way for nice and simply truths like "the gladius is only for stabbing" or "X always beats Y" and so on.

>> No.15184906

>>15184780
This is true. We all like to talk about these things as if everything from the fall of the roman empire to the invention of the gun was the same static time period, or maybe break it down into a handful of categories. But in reality people would try anything. People DID go into battle with weapons we would consider hopelessly exotic - and then they'd die and nobody else would try that particular thing again. But other times a new idea would completely dominate everything it faced for the course of a war - longbows were unstoppable, a couple times. So was articulated plate armor the first time that happened. Hell, the spear, club, and thrown rock all were at some point. What's important is that these things that worked would have a whole crop of attempts to defeat them a few battles down the road. There was no state of "normalcy" anywhere during this gigantic period of time we're talking about.

>> No.15184908

>>15184892

>The Majority of Cortez man were equipped with swords and shields during his conquista in the new world.

Irrelevant

>spanish Rodeleros (armed with swords and bucklers) beat up the swiss so bad in the 1512 century that they themselfs adopted such troop formations to break up the polearm formations of the enemy.

Super-relevant

>> No.15184909

>> No.15184917

>>15184856
>>effective.

No. Not against armor anyway.

They were only "effective" because most people couldn't afford the sort of armor that would stop spears.

Get a bunch of swordsmen wearing chain mail or better(which is quite easy) and they'll be able to massacre an even number of spearmen easily.

This is what the romans did all the fucking time. This is what any one who could afford large formations of armored swordsmen did.

>> No.15184925

>>15184873 reasonably wealthy professional soldiers/nobles

That swords would only be used by such limits you rather severely in time, and such time limits should definitely be stated outright as well. To have the grunts issued swords isn't exactly unheard of.

>> No.15184933

>>15184906
>>15184780

no the truth is this trumps everything in this thread.

We have the perfect weapon for killing humans. Nothing can beat it. Nothing can stop it.

>> No.15184934

>>15184917
>lots of force concentrated to a single point
>bad against armour
well if the choice is my big peasant knife or a spear, guess what Im gonna take?

>> No.15184939

>>15184892
that is definitely ghoiong to need some pretty solid citations, as the Swiss worked in the way the Landsknects copied: Pikes supported by muskets with groups of halberds (and the rare two handed sword, typically guards of officers) to help mix it up once formations met.

The Spanish method was not much more than a brief fad with a very high attrition rate for expensive troops.

>> No.15184941

>>15184873
In general, yes it does. Unless we're talking about plate armor it's not going to make that much of a difference against spears. A strong thrust from a spear can go through leather and break a links (which is all you have to break to penetrate chainmaille), especially if it's thrust with two hands.

>> No.15184943

>>15184933
vaccine?

>> No.15184944

Polearms, especially simple ones which were just poke-the-other-guy-dead like the spear, were also more popular because it was much easier to train a soldier to use it. Particularly with conscripts.

Training to use a sword well is something expensive, in terms of production of the sword itself, and time consuming, in terms of actually learning to use it in any way where giving someone a cheaper and simpler weapon wouldn't be more effective.

>> No.15184948

>>15184943

RNA based.

>> No.15184955

>>15184897
yeah, that was more a direct rebutal against 'you have to have space to swing swords around'. I got a little carried away typing, you're of course right. Sorry

>> No.15184964

>>15184948
that doesn't matter

>> No.15184967

>>15184933
> Nothing can stop it.
*needs citation

>> No.15184969

>>15184944
There's more to things than just "poke the other guy", most notable "marching around, wheeling, turning, and going to defensive stance with those fifteen foot pikes without half the unit tripping and getting tangled up".

>> No.15184981

>>15184933 Nothing can stop it.

Yet somehow every Ebola outbreak so far has been contained and stopped. Often quickly. And that in some poor and crowded regions of Africa.

>> No.15184989

>>15184925
>>That swords would only be used by such limits you rather severely in time
Not really. This is the way things were done for a looooonnnnggg time.

Off the top of my head there are only a few exceptions to this i can think of. The romans being the most notable.

>>15184934
Doesn't matter how much force you can concentrate against it, a spear is a long stick with a pointy metal bit at the end. Against chain, the wooden bit is going to break nine times out of ten.

>>15184941
>>A strong thrust from a spear can go through leather and break a links

Good luck getting a strong thrust in when your facing somebody who has a shield. Like say, most swordsmen.

Also, most of the time swordsmen didn't wear leather armor.

>> No.15184992

>>15184964
>>15184948
Should've gone with prions.

Which I'm sure we'll eventually have a cure for, but if you had a weaponized or contagious prionic illness (instead of the usual having to eat cowbrain type) you'd be have a weapon far, far beyond our current ability to stop.

>> No.15184993

>>15184964

sure it does. the virus will mutate way to fast for a proper vaccine to be made in time. there is a reason why we "don't" have a cure for HIV / Aids. the only way around it would be to simulate the protein coat and "trick" white blood cells into attacking that particular protein coat. Even if that happened thousands of different strains could be released all with different RNA structures from double to single - all with only assumed mutation rates.

>>15184981

that is weaponized Ebola - if that was ever released it wouldn't just be some small incident in africa. however, I was referring to the concept of Weaponized viruses / bacteria .

>> No.15185007

>>15184992

you are getting to my point. We aren't their yet. But very close. I was just using an example of weaponizing such things.

>> No.15185015

>>15184917

Yeah because Punic era Rome was fucking wealthy as balls, nigga. Not like the mighty fucking empires that held down the lucrative trade routes in the Near East were as wealth as an uppity bunch of hill-folk who a few generations back were just another ass-backwards Italic tribe feuding with one another like Afghans without pants.

You stupid motherfucker, swords were plentiful amongst the hoplites - yet they wielded them only after the spears had been broken. Swords were copious as fuck amongst the early Islamic Arabs, yet only in a one on one champion duel before the battle would they be designated the primary weapon. Your retarded ass logic would suggest that if someone had a sword they'd immediately drop and forsake their spear never to be used again - which is complete bollocks, since all the goddamn time you've got men wielding spears instead of swords.

The Sea People almost certainly originated amongst the Aegean and with their ancestors the Philistines were noted as introducing longswords to the Levant and Egypt. Hence, they would have used the same swords as their Aegean brethren - particularly the NAUE which was Gladius sized. Most Egyptian artwork of them depicts them with swords. It also depicts them on FUCKING BOATS, BECAUSE THEY WERE PEOPLE OF THE SEA THAT RAIDED AND SO OFTEN FOUGHT ON SHIP TO SHIP WHERE SWORDS WERE MORE ESSENTIAL. AND LO AND BEHOLD MYCENAEAN AND MINOAN DEPICTIONS OF THEIR WARRIORS ON LAND TYPICALLY WIELD SPEARS. THE ONLY GUYS WHO EXCLUSIVELY WIELD SWORDS ARE MEN FIGHTING AS LIGHT INFANTRY AGAINST OTHER LIGHT BARBARIANS.

You're as fucking stupid as the Katana faggots. I have to think that you're a troll because of how stubbornly retarded you are. You must think some 300 level bullshit of swordsmen butchering away millions of spearmen is a reality.

>> No.15185032

>>15184993
It still gets stopped by an NBC suit.

Sure, if you spray an area with it you may kill some unprotected people there. but the same goes for hitting the area with Sarin, Anthrax, napalm, or plain old 500lbs iron bombs.

>> No.15185034

>>15185015

You seem upset.

>> No.15185041

>>15184989
>Against chain, the wooden bit is going to break nine times out of ten.

Only if you're using a sharpened bit of wood as a "spear". Anything with an iron or steel spearhead is going to fuck up your chainmail just fine.

And, while I can't imagine you're quite that stupid, but if you happen to be insinuating that a halfway-decently made wooden spear shaft is just going to go an break from thrusting at a guy armoured in maille, then you are quite possibly the biggest moron i've encountered in a long time.

>> No.15185042

>>15185032

i am pretty sure I have won if you need to live the rest of your life in a NBC suit.

>> No.15185045

It is a good point to make that most depictions of warriors in ancient time had them wield spears, as it is more phallic than say, a club or a sword.

These were as true as todays D&D manual images.

>> No.15185047

>>15185034

Upset at how goddamn retarded this guy is.

>>15185015

He might want to conclude that it's more than just HURR GRORIOUS GLADIUS GIFT OF THE GODS that made the legionary a capable fighting force. And the fact that up against the Macedonians at that battle of the dogs heads they couldn't do shit until they managed to envelop the Macedonians. Or the fact that the Romans transitioned back to a reliance of spearmen after their brief adventure into swordsmanship. Or the fact that it was never an explicit case of the Gladius simply deciding the battle altogether, since countless times the legions had their asses kicked against Carthaginians, against Germans, against Gauls, against Epriotes, against Jews, against Parthians, against Sassanids, against more Germans, against more Germans. Which is a mystery since HURR ROMAN SWORDS SHOULD HAVE AUTOMATICALLY WON AGAINST THESE SPEAR WIELDING SILLY SAVAGES.

Or that the Romans transitioned from a hoplite strategem inspired by their Etruscan overlords after getting raped by the Gauls and Oscans not because "HERP SWORD IS GLORIOUS" but rather because the rigid phalanx was shit in the hilly and forested terrain of Central and Southern Italy. Since if the sword was end all, be all, we should have seen an Oscani hegemon emerge when they were fighting against spear-wielding Greek colonists, spear-wielding Etrusca..

Oh yeah, I forgot, the Oscans wielded spears and javelins along with swords, not to the exclusion of swords or the exclusion of spears. Because you're a dumb motherfucker who knows shit about what he's talking about. :3

Now time to go get my new Video card.

>> No.15185050

>>15185042

i am pretty sure if that happened soon you too would need to live the rest of your life in a NBC suit.

>> No.15185061

It's simple. Pikemen only cost food and wood, which were virtually unlimited resources. You could spam the shit out of pikemen until your opponent runs out of gold.

>> No.15185064

>>15185050

I already do. I work as a Bio-chemical engineer, at a private firm.

because of where i live, if i wasn't at work when it hit i would die with the first batch.,

>> No.15185073

>>15185015
Nice wall of text there chuckles. Also, you might want to calm down, getting this upset is rather bad for your blood pressure.

>>You stupid motherfucker, swords were plentiful amongst the hoplites - yet they wielded them only after the spears had been broken.

Exception to the rule.

>>Swords were copious as fuck amongst the early Islamic Arabs, yet only in a one on one champion duel before the battle would they be designated the primary weapon. Your retarded ass logic would suggest that if someone had a sword they'd immediately drop and forsake their spear never to be used again - which is complete bollocks, since all the goddamn time you've got men wielding spears instead of swords.

Arabs used tons and tons of cavalry. They used spear infantry for anti-cavalry work.

>>ND LO AND BEHOLD MYCENAEAN AND MINOAN DEPICTIONS OF THEIR WARRIORS ON LAND TYPICALLY WIELD SPEARS

Mycenaean and Minoan(they are one of the exceptions to the rule here, regarding wealthy soldiers and equipment) soldiers used spears, and thus artistic depictions of their soldiers had them using spears. It's not a particularly large jump from that to them depicting any soldiers they heard of that way. Artistic depictions of military forces are frequently different from how those forces actually were equipped. Which is why the greeks didn't actually fight naked, for example

>> No.15185076

>>15184592
>You know you could go to /k/, the board about weapons instead of coming here to whine on /tg/ about something /v/ said. It isn't even /tg/ related.

Not OP, but WTH as /tg/ become?! Seriously? We can't even talk about weapons in /tg/ now?

>> No.15185081

Didnt the romans use a strong cavalry most of the time? Like, all of the time?

It was them who won or lost battles, as these were used to flank and break formations of the enemy. The foot soldiers were just a mobile wall.

>> No.15185090

>>15185081

Nope, Romans had shit for cavalry. And Archers, for that matter.

Sure, they had auxiliaries, but they really weren't up to the same standards as the cultures that had dedicated cavalry traditions of their own.

Unless you're thinking of the Byzantines, who adopted Asian-style Kataphraktoi much, much later on.

>> No.15185094

>>15185041
Depends on the quality of the metal used in the spear, and the quality of the armor in question. Still, getting a mail breaking thrust past a shield is not at all an easy prospect.

>> No.15185104

>>15184993
that may be true, but even so we can still produce vaccines for RNA based viruses.
The reason why we don't have a cure for HIV isn't because its RNA based.

>> No.15185115

>>15185047
What the hell are you talking about?

The romans used swordsmen until the very end of the western empire and beyond that even. Spear using infantry were auxiliary or militia.

And the Carthaginians were successful against the romans because of hannibal. That's all.

>> No.15185118

Because you don't use the most versatile tool for the job if you have a SPECIFIC tool for the job. Take, for example, a machete. Now let's assume you also have a hatchet. Yes, the machete can chop wood (among many other things), but are you going to use it for that when you have a purpose-focused tool?

>> No.15185124

>>15185094
which is why you ditch the spear in a one on one battle
but when you have a line of people with spears and shiels and people with two handed spears behind them...

>> No.15185130

>>15185124
...they still lose because spears are shit against armor.

>> No.15185132

It kind of seems silly to note the SUPERIORITY OF SPEARS AND PIKES over swords when both get used quite a damn lot. You don't see many armies use /only/ swords, /only/ maces, only spears, only bows, only daggers, or only pistols. Hell, a lot of people concerned with winning wars try to learn at least two separate weapons or more in order to not be found wanting. Samurai took the katana, bow, AND polearm all as very worthwhile endeavors, lots of men-at-arms extensively worked to perfect more than just the sword. Yeomen, Genoese crossbowmen, Swiss Guard, cavalry, quarterstaffs, wrestling, on and on and on.

Furthermore, spears, pike, and lances do have their disadvantages. polearms are constrained by their length and utility on horseback. You can't fight up close on horseback with a lance, nor can you get a particularly long polearm on there for long periods of time. Those 20 footers are a pain in the ass to train on somebody at less than a full charge, and furthermore, you've got almost no room to fix your miss on a horse going even 15mph, particularly when it's 20 freaking feet long. A 10 foot pole would be better, of course, but obviously you're both closer and you just gave him 10 more feet to get away and 10 feet to pull you off and strike your horse. Galloping and charging everywhere just isn't feasible, especially when you're trying to shatter a unit after the charge.

The moment you add length, you lose mobility and tempo flexibility. You can't easily disperse, you have to keep in formation so that individuals don't get picked off and that attackers don't disarm or break your polearm, and need I point out that your own polearms present an obstacle to your friends.

>> No.15185137

>>15185104

even with BVS it is a bitch to come up with a proper vaccine before an RNA virus can mutate. Aids / HIV was the easiest example of an RNA virus with a easily reproducible protein coat.

>> No.15185144

>>15185130
lots of force concentrated against a small point, do we really need to go over this again?

>> No.15185177

>>15185144
We did go over it.

Spears are wooden sticks with a sharp iron bit on the end. That's not going to get through heavy armor.

Chain mail for example, was a suit of chain shit over a leather vest. A spear isn't going through that.

>> No.15185179

>>15185130

Much like swords then

>> No.15185181

Wars and battles? Swords saw little use.

Skirmishes and duels? Swords were much more useful.

>> No.15185185

>>15185177
first of, you'd wear a padded gambeson under maille, not a leather vest
secondly, you really got no idea about the properties of wood, do you?

>> No.15185190

>>15185137
what like hepatitis A, polio or rabies?

oh wait, we have effective vaccines for those ones

>> No.15185191

>>15185130
Full plate of the later eras were designed to provide as many curved edges as possible so spears wouldn't keep their grip on the armor and pierce it. I'm pretty sure it worked somewhat effectively, but it didn't make them impervious.

If you mean chainmail, I'm going to hurt you for being a silly motherfucker.

>> No.15185193

>>15185177

It is, actually. Surprisingly frequently. Weapons that rely on force applied at a small point, such as spears and arrows, tend to perform quite well against chain. It's cutting/hacking weapons like swords and axes that chain fucks up.

>> No.15185196

A better place to learn about this sort of thing than /tg/, namely due to it being full of the people who do the research on subjects like this for a living.

http://www.myarmoury.com

>> No.15185205

>>15185144
seems like it really depends on the kind of spear. Does perfect spear technique on a really long spear allow you to get much force behind the hit? I always took those spears as big stakes you let the other guy impale himself on. I mean with an axe, sword or mace, its much easier to get torque on the swing by using your body weight and gravity. I can see a small spear being devastating in this respect, but how do you make use of an anti cavalry weapon this way?

>> No.15185206

>>15185190

Single strand RNA virus. Less likely to mutate.

>> No.15185210

>>15185193

Axes have the weight and concentrated force to deal much heavier bludgeoning damage than a sword though.

>> No.15185212

Let's say that you're part of an army. Your army is facing another army, and both sides are packed tightly together in formation.
Then you unsheathe your sword to do some damage, and everyone else in your army does too. You all start swinging those edged weapons around while right next to people in your army.
Sorry about that leg Bob.
Don't worry, Tim, you still have one leg!

Meanwhile, the other army that is armed mainly with spears is watching you kill yourselves trying to get past a wall of spearheads.

Swords are good weapons, but they don't work well in big groups. That's why the 'Hero' always has a sword. He's a lone wolf in a more open enviroment, where he can do all sorts of technical shit to slice and dice.

>> No.15185223

>>15185206
>>15185190

honestly I should have beena lot more clear when getting my point across.

>> No.15185236

>>15185205

Poke him with the pointy bit as hard as you can. Sheer torque matters far less than the shape of the weapon in this case. Sharp narrow point > hacking/slashing blades.

Also, I think you're somewhat overestimating the difficulty of using your basic spear. Unless you are referring to Pikes, which are sufficiently different as to count as another weapon entirely, TBH.

>> No.15185237

>>15185206

HIV rarely mutates.

The reason we have no vaccine is because it attaches to receptors on B-Plasma cells, which are (HURR) part of the immune system. We would fuck ourselves up anyway.

You're talking about Retrovirus, faggot.

>> No.15185241

>>15185181
>>Wars and battles? Swords saw little use.
Except that's wrong and they actually saw a little of use.

>>first of, you'd wear a padded gambeson under maille

Sorry, i forgot the specific term.

>>secondly, you really got no idea about the properties of wood, do you?

I know that wood is going to break before iron will.

>>15185191
Full plate was designed to protect against slashing weapons and arrows.

>> No.15185242

>>15185193
>he thinks spears does better against chain than axes
>laughingmaidens.jpg

You get much, much less force through thrusting something heavy than swinging it. And I mean much. Did I say much?

>> No.15185252

>>15185210

Correct, but at the preceding arguments are generally regarding the penetrative properties of a spear vs. maille. If we intend to include blunt trauma in the equation then we need to open up the field to an entirely different set of arguments.

>> No.15185253

>>15185177
I'll tell you what, get stabbed in the gut by a spear with chain mail on and see if you can still fight. in a line one guy running up a spear wall is going to die, hell 800 guys running up a spear walls gonna die. plus nobody wants to run INTO the spear wall, it's against human nature to do something that dumb. That said I'm all for swords, they make any armament better and well rounded. I just don't think anyone fought wheel of time style.

>> No.15185261

>>15185212
Read the thread

Swords were stabbing weapons as well.

>> No.15185262

>>15185212
If you're in formation, you stab and do downwards slices, not slash from side to side, numbnuts! Like the Romans!

And the Romans fucked up phalanxes good and hard.

>> No.15185265

>>15185212
That's why the roman Legionairs fighting in Hastati and Principes units dropped the spear (Hastati, the fucking namegiver of one of that units) for the Gladius, cause it was so ineffective in closly packed formations engaged in close combat. With only the veteran triarii troops keeping with the spear as their primary weapons.

romans hated to work with efficient tools i guess.

>> No.15185266

>>15185212
Swords can thrust though. A short sword is a great weapon to just just close to people and jab them with. However, a spear is also good at thrusting, has more range and more utility.
On the other hand, compared to the other weapons you swing with, a sword isn't great except against un-armoured opponents. So if you're a cavalryman, a hammer, pick, mace or axe is a better choice.
Swords are good at parrying though. And being able to thrust or slash makes them fairly versatile

>> No.15185267

>>15185253
Why would i get stabbed in the gut? I'll just block the spear with my shield and stab the other guy in the gut.

>> No.15185269

>>15185253

This is quite true and is also the reason I doubt the common conception of shield wall vs shield wall combat as a giant pushing match. That shit would have been lethal as fuck.

>> No.15185271

>>15185237

then explain the 8 mutations of the protein coat then. Like i said the likely cure it to replicate the protein coats and trick out white blood cells into killing them. I didn't think i needed to go into detail about how exactly the virus works.

while it might be rare for a virus of it's classification it still happens.

And none of this changes the point that weaponizing a virus / bacteria is the single greatest weapon we have.

>> No.15185281

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4qbQCJ9QKs


/thread

>> No.15185285

>>15185242

The difference in lateral force in this argument doesn't matter a great deal, functionally. Sure, that axe is going to inflict a fuckton of blunt trauma on the maille-armoured guy. That's a given.
However, a spear, by virtue of the interaction between a narrow, pointed speartip and a shirt of interlinked metal rings, the spear is by simple virtue of construction far more effective at at penetrating the chainlinks and inflicting lacerations/perforations to the wearer. *That's* the point we're making.

>> No.15185288

>>15185241
yes but were not whacking a iron pole and a wooden pole against each other here.
Yes the mail will protect you but it wont make you invincible and it certainly will give in if you try to walkt at a spear til it breaks

>> No.15185293

>>15185271
For a virus, 8 mutations is no big deal, at all. Most RNA based viruses go through more mutations than that inside a week. HIV is a (relatively) stable virus because it's based around DNA, not RNA which mutates more readily thanks to outside stimuli than something that uses a double helix structure.

>> No.15185294

>>15184580
OP such topics cannot be discussed on anonymous image boards, due lack of people with real knowledge, demagoguery and excesssive trolling.
Try some sites that are focused on medieval history, combat and other similar stuff.
Unless you are troll by yourself.

>> No.15185301

>>15185288
So you block the spear with your shield and stab the other guy in the gut with your sword.

>> No.15185308

>>15185205
It depends as much on the spear as a curved sword makes for a better cavalry sabre.

You can still use a straight sword to slash from the saddle perfectly well, but it won't do such a good job at it because you're most likely not hitting them perfectly perpendicular.

In either case, most of the force in making any sort of blow comes from your shoulders, back, and hips. This is true in boxing and swordsmanship, and I don't see why even a 20 foot polearm would be much different.

Of course, it's 20 feet of manweight, pole weight, man shoving polearm with a good chunk of his back strength onto a tip the size of a pen. I don't think it'll be a problem to gut someone with a solid blow, even if it is difficult to handle something 20 feet long while shoving it at somebody.

>> No.15185309

>>15185293

I was referring just to it's protein coat. And HIV is an RNA virus. It becomes a DNA virus after it has attached.

>> No.15185324

>>15185267
thats not as simple as it sounds.
A shield isn't an impenetrable barrier no weapon can get past.

>> No.15185333

>>15185241
>I know that wood is going to break before iron will.

Good god, are you serious? It's not like we're stabbing a big solid wall of iron here. It's a thin sheet of interlinked iron rings, often either bent into place or secured with even thinner studs of iron. The speartip strikes one of those, slides into the centre of a ring, and bursts the ring from the inside creating a gap in the maille for the rest of the spearhead to slide through.

Besides which, the force is getting bled off all the time. It's not like the guy wearing the maille is going to just stand there like an immovable rod as a considerable amount of force is being thrust into him at one small point on his body, y'know. A bit of metal on your body doesn't magically make you an immovable object, despite what storybooks would have you believe.

>> No.15185342

>>15185301
no you don't because he's still outside of sword stabbing range and has his own shield.

>> No.15185344

We defeated the animals of nature with sharpened long sticks, so why not use this same tactic against men, except upgraded?

>> No.15185349

>>15185236
I mean, from what I know about boxing and physics, the way you use a long spear seems like a jab, while the way you use the other weapons I mentioned seems like a hook. One has a lot more force. I'm trying to think of a way to get a lot of force behind a long spear, but the only methods I can come up with involve taking a forward step or lunge, which in one on one combat is saying "HEY IM DOING THIS, GET READY". The ideal weapon for penetrating armor for me would be something that has a small contact area as well as a lot of force, like a modified pickaxe or crossbow, not a spear. Regardless, penetration as a strategy against armor seems faulty as you need to get close to a clean "perfect" hit for penetration to occur(except for the crossbow, that thing seems to rape armor). If you're trying to get a good clean poke, while the other guy is bashing your head in with a frying pan(or more likely, a mace), you seem to be at a disadvantage. Can anyone who actually knows something clarify?

>> No.15185354

>>15185281

the best war scene in any movie

>> No.15185362

>>15185324
Completely blocking might be difficult, sure.

But keeping him from getting a good hit in isn't that hard.

Especially for a well-trained swordsmen.


>>15185333
You can force a sword through chainmail too. But it isn't easy and there's no reason to think that a spear would have an easier time of it. Especially when the other guy has a shield.

>> No.15185363

>>15185349
oh you can get plenty of force in a spear without making it too obvious, if the spearman is good.
heck, getting a goot jab with a blunt spear during training can be quite ... crippling.

>> No.15185367

I'm sure my elegen/tg/entlemen brothers have said it before, but yes. Spears and polearms were the primary weapons of fighting men in war due to their reach and the fact that wood is cheaper than metal, and a pole or spear uses more wood and less metal. Made them easier to supply soldiers with and gave them the edge against short-reach melee weapons. With longbows (fucking English) and crossbows (fucking everyone) and spears everywhere, the sword was less a weapon of war and more the blade of choice for duelists or for personal defense, either when not on the battlefield or for when one's primary arms were no longer available or feasible for use. Swords did, however, have their place in battles when one boarded a ship, made way into the interior of a fortified structure where spear formations were difficult, or when one needed to travel light and low profile.

>> No.15185372

>>15185241
What's an arrow.

Hell, what's a bullet.

Of course, a polearm is going to automatically have the weight of a full man behind it, but a glancing blow is still a glancing blow. Hence why I said helpful and efficient. Not impervious.

>> No.15185376

>>15185349
>>15185349

First, fucking well define "armor" properly. There are literally hundreds of different kinds, all with different properties.

If you're referring to late-era plate harnesses, then yes, your assertion generally holds true.
*However*, if we are referring to any armour that is not made up of solid, curved steel plates, then your argument is idiotic.

See >>15185333 for an explanation of how pierce weapons such as spears, arrows or crossbow bolts will fuck up chain-based maille relatively easily.

>> No.15185379

>>15185342
Which is why you get within his range, using your shield to block and spear strikes. Then you make with the stabbing.

This is precisely what the roman legions did and it is also what knights did on the rare occasions they fought on foot.

>> No.15185383

This tread hurt me eyes.

>> No.15185388

>>15185383
stop sleeping under trucks.

>> No.15185393

>>15185349
spears weren't weapons for one on one combat. Also the spears extra reach would mean that he in fact did not have to deal with someone bashing him over the head with something because they where still 6 ft away from him.
with the right technique you can still get a decent amount of force behind a spear thrust, sure not as much as say a pick or poleaxe. but still enough to penetrate any armour of the period.
Also you wouldn't have to try penetrate the toughest spot on an armoured soldier, putting a spear head into a shoulder or leg or other weak point is still going to cripple your opponent long enough for you to finish the job.

>> No.15185398

>>15185363
>>if the spearman is good.

This is the problem really. Most of the time, it's incredibly difficult to get that good with a spear, far more difficult than with a sword even.

>> No.15185402

>>15185362
>You can force a sword through chainmail too. But it isn't easy and there's no reason to think that a spear would have an easier time of it. Especially when the other guy has a shield.

No, actually, it's much easier to force a spear through maille by virtue of that it's a much larger lever, allowing you to exert considerably more force at a distance than a sword with a shorter grip, even a two-handed one.It's also a consequence of the human body's anatomy - it's considerably easier for us to apply force with a bit of reach and a little bit of forward movement.

>> No.15185409

inb4 some weeaboo shitstain thinks samurai weren't just as spears and archery focused as western warriors, if not more so

>> No.15185411

>>15185402

this annon is right. The original spear was meant to be an extension of the human body. it works much better with muscles and movements then a sword.

>> No.15185416

>>15185402
Against someone who isn't using a shield, maybe.

Good luck with that otherwise.

>> No.15185418

>>15185333 often either bent into place
The only place you'll ever see butted mail used for anything except pure costume armour is Japan, where they had a very odd variant with very light mail sewn to a cloth backing, making something which may in spirit be more light scale than mail.

Basically everywhere else mail was either fully riveted, or a mix of riveted and solid rings.

>>15185349
Trying to go straight through armour is generally a bad idea, yes, as even kind alight armour will turn a hit that cut to the bone into nothing much.

Stabbing weapons meant for anti-armour work usually has long, slim points with a decent amount of thickness to them for stiffness. Sometimes the cross-section becomes flat-out triangular, quadratic, or round. Even with these, aim for gaps if you can, going straight through is a last resort. Mail for example stands up pretty well to these thing,s and it will almost certainly be backed by a layered fabric arming garment, which tend to be pretty damn good at catching stabbing points, and also allows the mail to move when hit, greatly improving its toughness.

http://www.myarmoury.com/feature_mail.html
http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=11131

>> No.15185421

>>15185398
oh tush, if you practice ten hours a week you'll get there in six months

>> No.15185439

>>15185421
There's a bit of a difference between medieval reenactment battles(I.E glorified LARPing) and actual medieval battles.

>> No.15185442

>>15185421
>ten hours a week
>casualfag
Three hours a day, every day. Twenty one hours a week. Enjoy your light civilian training.

>> No.15185448

>>15185398
Uh, no. This is completely untrue. One of the reasons that armies were so often equipped with predominantly spears was because they were cheap to make and easy to learn to use. Want to raise an army quickly? Take all the peasants you can find and give them simple spears. And that's basically it.

>> No.15185455

>>15185411
you shut the fuck up.
EVERY weapon must be used as an extension of the body. That is the basic principle behind all armed combat.

A sword is a much better analogy for the human body anyway, it is just as flexible and versatile as the human frame, and every part of the sword is a weapon. People rule this earth because they can adapt, and the sword is the most flexible, adaptable weapon out there.

>> No.15185463

>>15185439
LARPing aint nothing compared to buhurts.

>> No.15185470

>>15185448
Spears are easy to use with average proficiency, using them well enough that you can kill an armored swordsman reliably is another matter.

>> No.15185481

>>15185448
The problem there is that a decently equipped and competent force will generally rip that peasant horde to shreds. This results in a lost war, and if you're still alive and in possession of some lands afterwards, you'll find that the people you got butchered on the battlefield where the same that were supposed to work out on your fields, and/or pay the taxes.

The alrge peasant horde army is in many cases mroe myth than not, battles back then were often an affair for those with a decent bit of training and equipment (be it hired mercenaries, a special warrior caste, or whatever). http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=13579

>> No.15185484

>>15185470
True. But for any given level of comparable proficiency, it takes longer to learn to get there with a sword than with a spear.

The spear is quite simply the easiest to use weapon throughout human history, barring possibly the club.

>> No.15185490

>>15185470
Spears are cheap to produve and just so fuking easy to use on basic level. hell, you can kill chaging enemy, simply by sticking it forward. And it is long enough, so poorly trained mass of men wouldn chicke ount and run instead of fighting.

Pike is even better in that way, but then untrained mass can only hold ground ot attack forward, any other maneuers require professional soldiers.

>> No.15185491

>>15185379
using spears with less than 3 ranks of soldiers is dumb
swords against properly armored enemies is dumb
greatswords against anything but horsemen and polearms is dumb

No ultimate weapons, there will always be a situation/weapon/enemy you'll loose to.

That said, the ultimate close quarter weapon is the flanged mace.

>> No.15185493

>>15185481
It depends entirely on what part in time we're referring to. "medieval times" is a horribly wide timeframe.

>> No.15185502

Favorite topics for /tg/. Thing they know nothing about.

>> No.15185507

>>15185491
Flanged maces loses to polearms, bitch.

Polearms is as close as you will get to the ultimate medieval weapon. And no, getting in close doesn't help you as much as you'd think as the polearm can reliable be used as a staff.

>> No.15185510

>>15184580
nice troll thread OP

Here's the deal.
A sword can function with maximum efficiency when defending against all other kinds of melee weapons.
What this means, is that the principles of sword combat work equally well against another sword as they do against a mace, a spear, a halberd, a pole-axe, a dane axe, a pike, etc etc etc
So, when you went to war, your sword was your backup because when your lance was broken or your axe cracked, you had a weapon on-hand that would save your ass no matter who you were fighting.
The sword wasn't so sought after because of it's killing power, it was sought after because it could save your ass from EVERYTHING. Except projectiles obviously.

So yes, in your formation you relied on the reach of your spear and the comrades at your side. But when the battle got dirty and formations began to fall apart things started going pear-shaped, you need something that can keep you alive when you're all alone. Nothing was better at this than the sword.

>> No.15185541

this man has the right idea
hit them with a fucking ship mast

>> No.15185572

As a /k/ommando, I just need to say that this question needs to move from the TRADITIONAL GAMES board to the WEAPONS board. It isn't just about guns over there, we have our fair share of folks who know of the old ways of killing people.

>> No.15185581

>>15185507
I don't count polearm range as close quarter.
The staff fighting trick is nice yeah, but it's no good against armored enemies, enemies with faster weapons, and when 50 of your fellows are pushing you forward into the enemy.

>> No.15185583

>>15185510
How does a sword defend against a flail? I guess it wasn't really that common though,

>> No.15185595

>166 posts and 22 image replies omitted. Click Reply to view.

In two days we will have the next Swords vs. Polearms thread, and everything learned ITT will be forgotten.
The same mistakes will be corrected again and again and again and again and again like they have been in a thousand Swords vs. Polearms threads before.

>> No.15185600

>>15185510
Too bad most spear-men barely owned their spear fought in cloth armor or leased heavier stuff from the army and at best had a dagger or nail-studded club as sidearm.

>> No.15185613

>>15185484
Not really, no. Killing an armored swordsmen with a spear is a very difficult thing to do.

The sort of proficiency that allows you to do that reliably often is far harder then it would take if you were using a sword.

>>15185490
>>Spears are cheap to produve
Yes.

>>and just so fuking easy to use on basic level

Holding a line? Sure. Defeating a force of armored heavy infantry? Not so much.

>> No.15185649

>>15185595
Its not just sword vs polearm or sword vs katana or sword vs platemail. Or legionaries vs macedonian phalanx.
It is any debate about some historical things that no one here realy knows.

>> No.15185655

>>15185502
My favorite threads are the "transhumanist" ones -- fa/tg/uys talking about things of which they know basically nothing, except for a few who are repeating the arguments of "experts" who essentially just make shit up. Good times.

>> No.15185656

>>15185583
you know how in the movies the guy always wraps the flail's chain around the sword and pulls the sword out of his opponents' hands?
That's bullshit. You point your sword at the enemy and when he pulls the chain slips off. Because a sword is tapered to a point, the chain can't effectively grab.
When your toe-to-toe the flail is a shitty weapon, but a sword can still be half-handed and used like a dagger. Because a sword can adapt to any situation, whereas a flail only really shines when the guy is at the perfect distance.
>>15185600
true, but that is not a weakness of the sword. Would you pick a spiked club over a sword if you had the choice?
protip: you shouldn't

>> No.15185662

>>15185583
Flail like two-handed flai made from farming tools or onehanded cavalary weapon?

>> No.15185690

>>15185281
Its like Im watching a live action dynasty warriors movie

>> No.15185694

>>15185690

Red Cliff is an amazing movie. It's pure bliss, 5 and a half hours... and 100% Chinese. Really go watch it.

>> No.15185701

>>15185694

John Woo should do chinese sword and sorcery far more often.

>> No.15185714

somebody find the video where a guy puts a sword point through a chainmail covered bottle or something with a lazy thrust. a spear just does this 6 feet away. The links get split, shit bricks, not cut through.

>> No.15185721

>>15185281
Uh-uh. I could poste some othr chinese action movie, where kung-fu guy defends arains 1000 arrows using only his dress.
That would be nearly at same level of usefuless.

>> No.15185722

>>15185662
>>15185656
The one handed generic "spike ball on a chain" kind. I don't see how you block it with a sword or even a shield, as it would just go around and hit you. I mean, if its not good at that, why did it even exist?

>> No.15185723

>>15185714
That proves absolutely nothing.

For the self same reason that katanas slicing bullets in half prove nothing.

>> No.15185725

>>15185690
LuBu the movie lol

>> No.15185743

I'm shocked. /v/ got something right.

the sword is a sidearm, the weapon of last resort.

its a jack of all trades, can be used in many situations.

but a polearm is better in armour, a mace and warhammer are better for anti-armour. a spear is better in range for unarmoured, and better in units for combat. a sword in a unit is a liability.

for an individual on horseback, the sword was the secondary weapon, once the lance was broken. even then the short mace was preferred for control and ease of use in fighting.

the only exceptions to that were things like the zweihanders in OP's pic (primary weapon in a unit of halberdiers, to help nail opposing units) or in civillian use, where the longsword, rapier or smallsword all had the advantage of mobility over the weapons of war. you would'nt see a gentleman with a pollaxe at their side walking down a street, after all.

>> No.15185757

>>15185722
yea, you don't "block it"
It's designed to do one thing, a sword is designed to do everything. So just duck, or step to the side, or stab the fucking guy point blank.
Or just let him swing and swing and wear himself out heaving that heavy ass flail around.

The point here is that the sword gives you many options, the flail gives you one option. If you're dumb enough to play into the flail's ONE strength, well, you're a dumbass and weren't worthy of your sword in the first place.

>> No.15185767

hi i bought a skaven doom flayer weapon team today and i was wondering what i could do to make it fit in with my plague monk army :)

>> No.15185779

Using a sword well is difficult and takes training.

It requires room to swing that isn't often present on the battlefield.

It's expensive.

Basically, you're better off arming 80% of your chumps with spears, which are usually a better weapon in any case.

>> No.15185783

>>15185767
forget that faggy Pestilens clan.

Skryre clan best clan, and Moulder not far behind.

Modify your Plague Monks with pipes, exhausts and gasmasks to fit your doomflayer instead.

>> No.15185792

>>15185743
The problem with what you're saying is that your making a too large a generalization here.

Polearms for example only existed in latter portion of the middle-ages.

For a good chunk of time swords were the primary weapon of those who could afford them because there was no weapon that could do the stuff they could do.

Also, the roman legions say fuck your spears bitch. Gladius all day erry day.

>> No.15185796

>>15185767
Dwarfs did it first, and better

>> No.15185802

>>15185779
Read the thread idiot.

Swords could be used to stab and the only thing handing a peasant a spear does is give you a semi-adequate defense against cavalry.

>> No.15185803

>>15185572

>mfw

you have somewhere around of 5 people who know more than nothing about medieval weapons and warfare, one of them is KM who I highly respect, but get real. /k/ as a whole don't know shit about medieval weapons...
There is one thread right know there and... well you can go and see it

>> No.15185805

>>15185792
what about the fucking Pilum?

>> No.15185812

>>15185783
why would i want a skryre clan monks, and moulder pfft i modified my hell pit abomination to be a walking plague pit

>> No.15185822

>>15185805
A javelin used to disrupt a formation before a charge.

It wasn't really the primary weapon of the legions.

>> No.15185829

>>15185805
that was a thrown/skirmish weapon. They didn't normally use them like a spear. In fact, due to the iron shaft, they literally couldn't use them like a spear as it would deform and bend, which was the whole point.

>> No.15185830

>>15185722
It was perfect anti-armor cavalary weapon. You hit with all strength combined with speed of horce without risk losing weapon due ( i lack apropiate english skills - counterforce maybe), also it can have much longer reach that usual mace, but chain wont break like simple handle and much eacier to carry.

You cant swing it mass battle - you will definetely hit some allies, or it woud be catced by some wepon etc. etc.
It is too predictable and you hardly can feint - so it is easy to avoid when there is plenty of space around. And it is hard to use of its ideal range. And interval between attacks is too long, so you will soon be owerwhelmed by enemy. Andactualy it is pretty hard to hit over someones shield. For this you should step closer that actual striking range of your weapon, and still enemy could perdict you attack and defed agains it. I mean he shoud just place shield not like agains sword or ax, but like agains flail. Not before him, but above.
And it is almost completely useless for defence.

>> No.15185839

>>15185812
simply because gasmasks are cool, because steampunk/fascist, chemical-warfare specialists are cooler than fat rotten monks.

that being said, converting the abomination is a good initiative

>> No.15185842

>>15185802
>and the only thing handing a peasant a spear does is give you a semi-adequate defense against cavalry.

as opposed to the only thing handing a peasant a sword does, which is gives you a load of dead peasants on your own side, for a lot more expense?

>> No.15185880

>>15185842
What's your point? That swords require training to use as an offensive weapon? No shit.

Spears require even more training to get to the point where you have decent odds against a swordsman.

>> No.15185896

>>15185880

why?
I mean as far as I know it's not harder to learn to fight with a spear, and not so much different either. There is a fuckton of techniques you can use with either a sword or a spear

>> No.15185903

>>15185839
thats why im saving up for globadiers, i dont work well with mechanical more organic i work on

>> No.15185918

>>15185880
>Spears require even more training to get to the point where you have decent odds against a swordsman.
And the average peasant already has years of familiarity with using tools based off a long straight pole such as shovels, pitchforks, and rakes and understands how to use a tool built like that. Their knowledge of swords is somewhat more limited.

>> No.15185922

Because a shortsword is the lightest weapon that still does significant damage by swinging.
The main weapon was either a spear or a bow or a lance, depending on soldier - but all of those weapons are very unwieldy, and can't be drawn quickly if someone's in your face.
Note that all of those weapons also have superior range. The idea of fighting in formation was that you keep the enemy at range - stops them from hurting you.
Vulnerable to flanking, though, which is why you have the sword.

>> No.15185926

>>15185896
Because swordsmen tend to be wealthy and thus have better armor then the spearmen.

It's not at all simple or easy kill an armored man with a spear. It's slightly easier to do so with a sword.

And no, the techniques you and your LARPer buddies use with foam sticks do not count.

>> No.15185927

>>15185896
it's much easier for a sword to get around a staff in close quarters. It's also a lot more deadly in close quarters than a staff.
Sure, you can half-hand the spear to keep the pointy end close, but then it becomes unwieldy and even easier for a sword to overcome.

Now, if you're a ninja-monk who has trained his whole life with a spear/staff, then you are on equal terms. Unfortunately most peasants are not ninja-monks

>> No.15185935

>>15185927
But most ninjas were peasants.

BAM

>> No.15185946

>>15185935
>But most ninjas were undercover.

fixed that for ya.

>> No.15185947

>>15185918
None of those things are weapons. None of them are used for hunting, let alone warfare. The idea that using a shovel for farming is the same thing as using a spear for fighting(especially against armored targets) is absurd.

>> No.15185951

European weapons are small time anyway. The eastern warriors were better trained in the use of swords and the blades of a katana could cut through armour easily. The katana is capable of cutting through two human bodies at once.
The fighting style was far superior in every way and it could easily cut a spears head off and move in close where the spear cannot reach, just like a halberd. a katana is fast enough to move in and attack where a pole arm has the weakest point.
Katanas were also used to deflect arrows and incoming projectiles. They were also used to cut cannonballs in two. Their one thousand folds of Diamond edge Titanium made them indestructible and the greatest weapons of the fifteenth century.

>> No.15185953

>>15185722
its easy to block with a shield, the head will only wrap around if the head isn't the first thing that hits the shield. swords you could just block with, the head won't hit you as it wraps around the blade unless you did it wrong. and then you can have an easier time killing the guy since his flail has just had its momentum stopped.

>> No.15185957

>>15185947
They were used for self defense, you moron.
Shovels are heavy and sharp as hell, if you must know.

>> No.15185959

>>15185947

You've never seen what a scythe can be turned into then? Or a butchers cleaver strapped to a pole can do? Peasant levies had some of the nastiest weapons around (even if they were rusted as all shit).

>> No.15185970

>>15185947

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7EdhnReYH0

Stupid as all hell, yeah, but it shows what even a shovel can do. There's many a story of entrenching tools being used more effectively than bayonets in WW1 and 2. Anecdotal evidence, yeah, but it has to get started somewhere.

>> No.15185975

>>15185926

ahh you mean that. That's different, I thought you say it1s overall harder to learn using a spear.
By the way I'm not talking about larp fights. For example most of the the guards from the german schools are used for spears and polearms too. There is difference, of course, but not as much as you would think.

>>15185927

Every polearms advantage that it has the ability to not let the opponent into close quarter fight. It's like saying a sword is a bad weapon because it can't reach over 2 meters. It doesn't take a ninja-monk to use effectively a spear but yeah, you need more than a simple peasant.

>> No.15185984

>>15185951
I like the slow buildup of this post.

>> No.15185995

>>15185959
Not that guy, but a makeshift weapon is never as good as a real weapon.

>> No.15185997

>>15184580
>explain to me why would the most versatile weapon be a backup weapon.

Because versatility comes at the cost of outright effectiveness at a given task.

So, your main weapon is something that's really good at "Plan A." When Plan A breaks down, your backup weapon is something that's decent at any number of other plans.

Plus swords (or at least the kind that were used as sidearms) are relatively light and portable so they don't get in the way while you fight with your main weapon.

>> No.15186009

>>15185995

Not trying to argue that, but I'm saying don't discount improvised weapons out of hand

>> No.15186012

I will never read a thread on /tg/ again.

>> No.15186016

>>15186009
Absolutely.

>> No.15186018

>>15185959
Those are early polearms. Not spears.

>>15185975
What the hell else would i mean?

Any sort of war pre-musket is going to have people wearing armor

>>15185970
Because wars in which personal body armor was practically non-existent proves...uh what exactly?

Oh and yes, i know that there was some stuff latter in ww1 that might qualify as body armor, but i'm pretty sure that has very little relevance for pre-gunpowder warfare.

>> No.15186022

>>15186012

And nothing of value was lost.

>> No.15186079

>>15186018

yeah but not full plate

>> No.15186113 [DELETED] 

This thread is fucking stupid.

WHAT KIND OF SPEAR, ASSHOLES? HALFSPEARS, OR SHORTSPEARS? THOSE ARE QUARTERSTAFFS WITH A SPEARHEAD ON ONE END; VERY NIMBLE AND VERSATILE FOR PERSONAL COMBAT; NOT SO USEFUL IN RANKS. OR LONGSPEARS; USEFUL IN PHALANX FIGHTING FORMATIONS? OR THE SARISSA, WHICH WAS BASICALLY A PIKE USED BY THE FUCKING MACEDONIANS

>> No.15186147

So... does anyone else find it absolutely hilarious when anon claims that polearms were only invented in the latter parts of the Middle Ages? Because I'm laughing my ass off at the idiocy involved there.

>> No.15186163

>>15184580
/v/ is right for once. On horseback you would use a lance of course and only use a sword if that broke . On foot a sword would be basically useless against a spearwall and spears require just about no training. The well armored feudal infantry would likely use a war-hammer hammer head and pick head, or a blunt weapon because swords just don't go through armor

>> No.15186175

>>15185581

Funny thing- the weakest spot on a lot of armored troops?

From the knee down, naturally- shots that got past shields (Visby excavations being the textbook example).

LARPfag though I am, it does tend to be a common spot to land a shot if I'm swinging a polearm up close- cracking the calf or simply planting the butt squarely into someone's foot.

Downing someone in the middle of a mob in close combat is more than halfway to dead.

>> No.15186196

>>15186113
THIS KIND OF SPEAR

>> No.15186200

This thread is fucking stupid.

WHAT KIND OF SPEAR, ASSHOLES? HALFSPEARS, OR SHORTSPEARS? THOSE ARE QUARTERSTAFFS WITH A SPEARHEAD ON ONE END; VERY NIMBLE AND VERSATILE FOR PERSONAL COMBAT; NOT SO USEFUL IN RANKS. OR LONGSPEARS; USEFUL IN PHALANX FIGHTING FORMATIONS? OR THE SARISSA, WHICH WAS BASICALLY A PIKE USED BY THE FUCKING MACEDONIANS AND GREEKS A THOUSAND YEARS BEFORE THE MEDIEVAL PIKE-AND-SHOT FORMATIONS?

AND WHAT KIND OF SWORDS? SHORTSWORDS LIKE THE GLADIUS, DESIGNED FOR CLOSE-IN WORK OVER THE TOP OF YOUR OWN SHIELD, AND GETTING AROUND THE ENEMIES SHIELD? ARMING SWORDS, AN INDISPENSABLE WEAPON FOR A PROFESSIONAL WARRIOR WHO WILL NEED IT IN THE OVER 9,000 SITUATIONS WHERE HIS POLEARM WON'T BE WORTH A DAMN? IS IT LIKE THE SCIMITAR OR SABER, WEAPONS VALUED FOR THEIR USEFULNESS FROM HORSEBACK BY NOMADIC, HORSE-CENTERED CULTURES WHERE COMBAT IS OFTEN ORIENTED AROUND SWIFT STRIKES AND MOUNTED SKIRMISHES? OR IS IT LIKE THE LONGSWORD, A HUGE, FAST, LONG-REACHING PRIMARY WEAPON GOOD AGAINST DAMN NEAR ANYTHING?

Over 5,000 years of human history, swords and spears have been made in every conceivable length, in every conceivable design, to fill every conceivable purpose. Often the dominance of one or the other; or their exact roles were entirely determined by technology of the time (ancient Greeks only had shortswords because lolbronze made anything bigger infeasible.) Each has taken its turn as the primary weapon or the backup weapon, and in many situations they were equally indispensable and valuable on the battlefield.

>> No.15186205

>>15186200


Yes, we get it. The status of the sword as an expensive weapon reserved for wealthy, lifetime-trained professional warriors has overshadowed the awesomeness of the spear. I feel that as well. I geeked the fuck out watching Prince of Persia when that palace guard flipped his shit and beat down on the Prince with a spear. I also geeked out in that "Day of the Witch" movie's sparring scene, where they showed longsword techniques that borrowed much older quarterstaff/spear fighting techniques and made good use of them. But I do not pretend the sword has constantly been a second-string player.

>> No.15186207

>>15186196
>spiked club

Anon, I am fucking proud. A fine example of how unassuming and cheap a truly versatile weapon can be.

>> No.15186216

>>15186207
Gotta love it, man.

>> No.15186250

>>15186207

and then science came around

>> No.15186260

>>15186200
>>15186205

WHAAAN MOOOAR THEENG.

We tend to forget just how effective a simple quarterstaff was. I particularly like one line from an older version of the Robin Hood tale; where Will Scarlet first meets Robin Hood and challenges him to a duel. He tells him to find a good stick to match Will's own quarterstaff, because "it'd be a shame to shatter such a fine blade on oak." Depending on the technology levels of the day and regional supply realities effecting swordsmithing quality, an oaken staff shattering a sword-blade with a solid blow was not out of the question, if the staff wielder was a beefy fucker. Wood has great tensile strength; this is how the USS Constitution's ("Old Ironsides") 21-inch thick oak sides were able to repel cannonballs.

There has never been a weapon in human history that one can easily discount.

Well, besides the Nambu.

>> No.15186287

>>15186260

or the katar... I mean seriusly only an unarmed guy would be afraid of the katar.

>> No.15186307

>>15186287
Be that as it may, they look cool. also the forked ones are kinda scary...

>> No.15186311

>>15186287

What's wrong with the katar? It lets you punch someone AND stab them, all at the same time!

>> No.15186323

>>15186260

I remember reading about an English guy who was captured and killed four (at least I think it was four) Spanish fencers with a quaterstaff.

>> No.15186370

Swords have the greatest PR department ever. They have a place within myth as the greatest damn thing to ever grace a man's hand.

Probably has something to do with the whole Good Swords being for nobility and rich folks. Having a sword made you better than everyone, therefore swords must be awesome.

Don't get me wrong, swords are pretty damn good.. But if you are running into a large battle with a sword and the other army has a line of spearmen? Well, the sword isn't so great in that situation.

One on one combat? It certainly has some distinct advantages, but that doesn't mean it tops all other weapons.

I happen to think that a good spear has a great deal of value when compared to other weapons simply based on range and versatility, but most people want to be sword fighters and completely ignore the idea that Spears and Polearms have any use outside of being held at length against a charging enemy.

>> No.15186382

Well, that's because they were fencers. Fencing is fucking stupid. It's a fighting style for rich ponces to kill other rich ponces using the same weapon, often using a fighting-style that favors being flashy over actually hurting someone. It's pretty much just existed as an excuse to kill someone.

>> No.15186421

>>15186370
Swords also have considerable utility in calvary due to the fact that they can be used one handed and benefit from the hight advantage.

>> No.15186427

>>15186382

A fighting style based around one select group of the populous, all using the same weapon, usually designed for un-armoured combat, and everyday clothing.

Yep pretty much exactly like the Samurai and the normal use of the katana.

Just the rapier and fencing doesn't have the same PR department.

>> No.15186451

>>15186427
Funnily enough the rapier and katana are pretty much the perfect weapons for the modern day, should you decide to be one of those sword guys that always talks about how cool his sword is. Since no one uses armor anymore (what with guns making it impractical), and you get a nice surprise factor by pulling out a sword.

>> No.15186458

>>15186451

>surprise factor

>3 foot blade

What are you doing

>> No.15186463

>>15186451
>Stab vest
>Bringing a sword to a gun fight

Your argument is about as invalid as it gets.

>> No.15186466

>>15186451
if you hadn't had a 4 foot long scabbard and hilt sticking down you may be surprising. wakizashi might work, or tanto.

>> No.15186472

>>15186427
>>15186451

I thought fencing was developed from the smallsword and not the rapier

>> No.15186474

>>15186466

How about a fucking knife

>> No.15186480

>>15186451

>you get a nice surprise factor by pulling out a sword

Yeah, your opponent may laugh so hard he drops his gun or just walks away thinking you're someone who has walked away from the nursing home.

>> No.15186485

>>15186451

Oh totally.

While I would say the rapier had specifically focused styles for fighting in more military situations especially in its use against heavy armour certainly the "upperclass" duel like fighting systems which also used the rapier are akin to the katana in use.

>> No.15186491

>>15186463

That one scene from Indiana Jones comes to mind.

>> No.15186492

>>15186451

Thats assuming you can get anywhere near the guy before he empties his mag into you. Or has a chance to fix a bayonet.

I also think that a ballistic plate would be somewhat resistant to a sword.

>> No.15186494

>>15186480

>pulls sword

>BLAM

>"That was pretty surprising! Who knew he'd have a sword!"

>> No.15186510

>>15186480
>>15186492
>>15186494

You do realise that the whole world isn't like murrika right?

>> No.15186521

>>15186492
actually it isn't
It's not hard to make it resistant though, add some delicious chainmail or similar anti sword thing.

>> No.15186525

>>15186370
>Don't get me wrong, swords are pretty damn good.. But if you are running into a large battle with a sword and the other army has a line of spearmen? Well, the sword isn't so great in that situation.

Sup.

>> No.15186528

>>15186510

Oh yeah.

In other parts of the world it's even EASIER to acquire firearms.

>> No.15186529

>>15186510

similarly, murrika isn't the only nation with decent carry laws.

>> No.15186532

>>15186510
Is it legal to carry a sword in Finland? They have pretty liberal knife laws, please can it be legal!

>> No.15186534

>>15186510

I was under the impression he was talking about a warzone, since I doubt that many people were walking around in armour off the battlefield back them either.

>> No.15186550

>>15186472
>I thought fencing was developed from the smallsword and not the rapier

No, no, the rapier was an actual weapon, the smallsword was a decorative, lingering vestigial toy worn on coats for official functions long after gentlemen switched to killing each other with pistols.

>> No.15186553

>>15184596
Yes. Also a sword actually requires some training or practice to use effectively. Spears and pikes and shit give your noobs some distance from killy dudes which gives confidence. Spears are goddamn easy to use and they're fucking cheap, like Cost-Co cheap.
>>15184598
No, armor is fucking expensive, Like 3 new cars expensive. Very few could afford it. A lot of swords either have enough crushing weight behind them or are pointy enough to still wound through the armor.

>> No.15186566

>>15186550

which would make it perfect for the stylized ritual of fencing.

>> No.15186572

>>15186525

>> No.15186599

>>15186510

I'm going from my experiences from Australia. We've had about 20 incidents of people using swords in the past decade (fire arms are almost entirely banned) and they all end up being shot by cops or some local farmer who didn't hand his gun over during the amnesties. How many people have died from sword related assault? 2. They were killed by some chinese gang where 10 dudes with knock-off katanas surrounded a couple of guys and basically beat one person to death with them and the other drowned trying to swim away down river with a broken arm.

>> No.15186603

>>15186532

I don't know about Finland, but in Hungary because of a certain loophole you could carry a feder whenever you want. But then again if you would do that there is a chance the cops will fuck you regardless...

>> No.15186604

>>15186510
But you do realize that 4chan is an American website and Americans are currently awake?

>> No.15186636

>>15186604

Well, it's not 4chan.us either.

And of course swords are primarily backup weapons...

>> No.15186651

Swords aren't good primary weapons for infantry. They're at a significant disadvantage in terms of reach compared to much simpler weapons, typically cost prohibitice for general issue, hard to be proficient with and maintainance intensive.

They do however have a niche role.

Swords are usually well balanced, making them easier to use with one hand. Which means that cavalry (especially post 1200) were fond of them. This also makes them useful in combination with a shield, so shock troops who needed to get in close and move rapidly were fond of them where they could get them.

Because they were expensive and hard to make, only the rich could really afford them, which meant they were popular as status symbols with knights, officers and nobles. It also made identifying your superiors on the battlefield much easier (just look for the guy with the sword).

>> No.15186678

>>15186603
Remember to say, it is part of a costume for theatre.

>> No.15186698

.TYou guys are getting too worked up over false dichotomies, its not a matter of one vs another, its a matter of what situation vs another.

Swords are, as noted numerous times, a versitile weapon, but to take a min max perspective, not very effective at meeting a formation head on, as opposed to spears or pikes.

Beyond that, Armour and logistics are the most importaint factors to take into account when chosing a weapon, the romans ability to travel distance quickly and maneuver effectively is what allowes then to defeat pike formations by out flaking them, it was not feasible to take it head on.

On another level, the ease at which pole weapons could be constructed and conscripts trained to stand in a line is a majpr logistical benefit for the spear.

Conversely, a large protective shield is best used in conjunction with a short one handed weapon, affording excellent protection and an advantage in 1 vs 1, the romans were able to fully exploit the versitility with their high level of training, enemies without pole weapons or not in good formation were milled through by manipular tactics, the rough terrain is where it really shines, against a phalanx your only choise is to dance aeound them untill they break ranks or you can flank them, which is a tall order against a large or an equally well trained pike force.
cont...

>> No.15186706

>>15186566
>the stylized ritual of fencing
>FENCING HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO WAS JUST LIKE THOSE FAGGOTS I WATCH ON TV DURING THE OLYMPICS

NO. Renaissance-era fencing was a method of combat revolving around rapiers, and it was meant to fucking kill people. It wasn't for honor duels, it was for killing some motherfucker trying to gut you for your purse in a back alley in Bumfuck Europestan. Modern sport fencing is a game of tag based on the ancient fighting technique, but it is not the same thing. A rapier is not a foil.

>> No.15186730

Amusingly enough, Americans do have sword-related deaths.

A while back some idiot tried robbing a house in Maryland. One of the residents nearly took his hand off with one swing of a katana, then tore his lungs open with the second. He died quickly afterwards. The robber was a career break-and-enter type who was known to pack a gun. Apparently, they saw his 9mm and raised him a full meter of steel.

>> No.15186734

>>15186651
>Because they were expensive and hard to make, only the rich could really afford them, which meant they were popular as status symbols

No no NO, you dumb FUCK. Swords were not only expensive, but required a great deal of training to be used effectively, so they were most often used by dedicated lifetime warriors, the "standing army" of a Lord or kingdom (Housecarls, Thanes, and in Medieval Europe, "Knights.") Thus the association. Swords were iconic of that order of royal retainers and warriors, but they weren't for fucking decoration.

Jesus fuck.

>> No.15186744

>>15186706
You are correct. A rapier is an epee, not a foil. I take it you don't know much about fencing.

That aside, I am a fencer, but I still agree with you. Modern sport fencing is not combat fencing from the old days. Our fencing now revolves around touches (cuts, first blood, etc) instead of focusing on fatal strikes. That isn't to say that somebody trained with an epee couldn't easily kill in a single strike if you gave him a rapier. It just means that modern fencing is just a sport.

>> No.15186752

>>15186698
>the rough terrain is where it really shines, against a phalanx your only choise is to dance aeound them untill they break ranks or you can flank them

Or you can get your own pikemen with longer pikes, which makes THEM go get longer pikes, until both sides max out the practical length and then you both spend all day shoving pikes back and forth 20 feet away from each other,

This was pretty much retarded and a complete clusterfuck, as attached image demonstrates.

>> No.15186776

>>15186752
And that's why you pin the opponent's pike line with your own expendable pike troops, and then flank them with your maneuverable heavy cavalry and attack them from behind or the side, and CRUSH them.

>> No.15186784

peasants for a period were forbidden from even owning swords.
with chainmail vs chainmail you'd like a sword, sure.
But once you get into the plate armor period, nobles wont be fighting eachother with swords anymore.
So, it becomes a weapon to cut down peasants with, or symbolism for how badass you are.

>> No.15186794

This was only true in the early era, where short swords were used as a sidearm. Long swords did not come to their full strength until metal has become strong enough to forge effective swords of this type.

Swords were the most versatile weapons, but also the most expensive. In formation, polearms were used. When you broke out of formation for whatever reason, you used swords, because swords could do everything every other weapon does reasonably well - they could pierce through armor using morte-strikes and half-swording, they had decent range, they offered superior defensive qualities, they could lop off the heads of polearms, and the largest types were used to break pike formations exactly because they were practically half-way to a polearm (see: wikipedia article on Zweihanders) but could also lop off the heads of actual polearms.

tl;dr swords sucking is as much of a myth as swords being awesome.

>> No.15186802

>>15186776

or you just simply call the artillery or the musketeers

>> No.15186803

I personally find knives to be far easier to use and more versatile. But maybe thats just me speaking.

>> No.15186804

>>15186734
except the one which were specfically for decoration. like ones tat would actually be impractical as fuck in battle, or had ridiculous amounts of etching.
Though most weren't these you are correct.

>> No.15186808

>>15186744
>That isn't to say that somebody trained with an epee couldn't easily kill in a single strike if you gave him a rapier.

Indeed; just because the techniques have been diluted doesn't mean that 90% of the Art of Murdering Mine Foes isn't still in there somewhere. Hell, any fencer could revert to "Renaissance fencing" pretty easily; just score as if you're trying to kill each other, and modify scoring rules appropriately. Hit zones? Fuck your hit zones. Whip-touching? GTFO. There's plenty of guys doing Germanic Longsword sparring, and THEIR discipline wasn't preserved through the ages in a sporterized form at all!

It happens to every "art." Tae-Kwan-Do, for instance. I've seen it taught as the descendent of Korean "foot-fighting" techniques, as a way to fuck up people trying to kill you, and I've seen it taught as a tourney sport to little kids as an after-school babysitting program. Kendo's got it bad, since it went full retar- er, ritualized generations ago.

But everybody knows what the "sporterized" elements are, and if they were ever used in earnest, that shit would be dropped by the wayside in a heartbeat.

>> No.15186815

>>15186784

>peasants for a period were forbidden from even owning swords.

thus the messer was born.
It's just a long knife. Problem, your lordship?

>> No.15186823

>>15186147
Not really no.

If we're talking about europe and the near east polearms came onto the scene rather late.

Although "latter part of the middle ages" is probably a bit inaccurate.

>> No.15186826

>>15186698

The rise of rome occured in a period where the great hellenistic kingdoms of old were in decline, (few truely proficient phalanx opponents), and stirruped heavy cavalry was an unknown concept, in that enviormwnt the roman heavy infantry, thanks to their skills and the developmwnt of the maniple, could face down.any other existong infantry at the time, and be able to opperate in a variwty of terrain types. This combined with their peerless logistical skills (which allowed long distance force.projection) is what Lead to millitary success. the choice of gladius as the pefered impliment is only natural, no plated foes to hammer, and few qho effectively urilized shields to splinter with hand axes.

Full plate armour is expensive, ans it is not feasible to out fit an army with it, which goes back to why spears are so useful as a standard weapon, easy to make, easy to use, and effective against cavalry (very importaint for foot soldiers) and infantry
on the other hand full plate
On the.other hand, plate represents the pinacle in melee protection, in most cases obviating the usefulness of a shield, this is where the.sword.realy shines As a backup weapon.
a mace or hammer is ideal for close combat vs plate, and a polearm is ideal for formarion combat, but thanks to mailed fists, a long sword has qualities that make it ideal for one on one combat, the ability to grab and use rhe blade as a surface completely changes the synamic of its use, giving you the reach of a staff in sharp and durable metal form, greater defensive capability thanks to the greater freesom to hold it, greTer speed in thrusts, again thanks to wider grips, ability to use the handle end as a mace, and finaly having a free hand unburdenes by a shield for weestling your opponwnt once the distance is xlosed (note, thia is also whwre armour spikes came feom, to stop poorfags with no plate.from having.a shot wrestling)

>> No.15186829

>>15186784
>But once you get into the plate armor period, nobles wont be fighting eachother with swords anymore.
But they did just that.
This thread is filled with historical nonsense.

>> No.15186831

>>15186803

yeah but EVERY free man had a knife or a dagger. Maybe more then one.

>> No.15186851

>>15186808

the modern fencing is still good to kill others. I mean you have a pointy thing in your hand and the other guy probably unarmed.
Of course they would be in a disadvantage against a renaissance fencer but you need to invent a time machine for that

>> No.15186865

>>15186829

>> No.15186867

>>15186734

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't housecarls prefer daneaxes. Huge ones.

Also, I didn't say swords were just for decoration numbnuts, I said that they were usually niche weapons and popular with nobility because most peasants couldn't afford them.

>> No.15186877

>>15186851
>Of course they would be in a disadvantage against a renaissance fencer

Only through bad habits learned through things you get away with in "sport" fencing. My point is, the actual martial technique isn't LOST TO HISTORY, we know that shit, they wrote it down in fucking manuals from fencing academies.

>> No.15186878

>>15186851
It's simple: rise to power, abolish guns from your country completely, legalise swords.

>> No.15186880

>>15186734

swords were expensive. Compared to the other weapons. Deal with it.

>> No.15186889

>>15186826
The armenians had heavy cavalry and the romans still kicked their asses whenever they fought them. Hell, the legions even reached the persian gulf. The parthians, another bunch of cavalry dudes still couldn't stop the legions.

Sure they managed to win fights against them, but that's nothing new.

>> No.15186891

>>15186878

>> No.15186919

>>15186829
Meh.

It's just the sort of stuff /tg/ loves. It hates anything that might be elite or special in anyway and loves all things that are dirty, disgusting, and ugly like it is. Hence the absurd idea that pitiful levy troops armed with sharpened sticks have a chance in hell against armored swordsmen.

>> No.15186922

>>15186878
Japan more or less did this centuries ago.
They had lots of guns, then the Shogun banned them except for a small private stock for his military to use.

Unfortunately that didn't make them good swordsmen. What resulted was a lot of Tokugawa era nonsense about swords written by glorified administrator 'samurai'.

>> No.15186931

>>15186919
>Hence the absurd idea that pitiful levy troops armed with sharpened sticks have a chance in hell against armored swordsmen.
I'm going to assume that you aren't this stupid and are just trolling a bit.

>> No.15186937

>>15186510

Anywhere that bans guns is probably going to look down upon carrying a fucking sword around. You can't hide that shit properly. And if you're whipping out a sword to murder up some kids, they're probably some kind of armed belligerents unless you're a psychopath, in which case literally any weapon, improvised or not, is every bit as good. You can kill a terrified unarmed man with half a brick in a wool sock, or with a knife, or a piece of wood, or a hatchet, or a machete, or a baseball bat, or an automobile, or a length of metal pipe. If you get the first solid hit in, it doesn't really matter what you're using.

>> No.15186943

>>15186919

I like to read threads like this. Yeah half of it are complete bullshit but there are always a few good ideas. And you can laugh at the bullshit.
Also it's still not as painful as a sword/knife thread on /k/

>> No.15186955

>>15186867
>but didn't housecarls prefer daneaxes

That was purely to put knights in context as professional warriors and retainers, as opposed to nobles sitting on their asses all day.

>Also, I didn't say swords were just for decoration numbnuts, I said that they were usually niche weapons

Well, you're STILL a fucking idiot, because the frequency with which professional warriors employed them would suggest differently. "Niche weapon" my fucking ass. A longspear or a pike is a "niche weapon," a mace is a "niche weapon." Both only gained popularity in response to particular tactical challenges and conditions. But the sword? The sword has been with us since antiquity, and as soon as metallurgy moved beyond pissweak bronze, it never played second fiddle in any ancient war again.

>> No.15186993

>>15186891
I lol'd incredibly hard

>> No.15187006

>>15186955
>daneaxes

Oh, lets not forget that the Vikings were notably the only European military of their time who so favored axes, to the point of being noticeable for them. The daneaxe, not the sword, was a niche weapon there.

>> No.15187023

>>15186891

that's what happens when you bring a stick into a swordfight

>> No.15187029

>>15186955
How to know if someone knows their shit: they mention metalworking in the same breath as sword quality

>> No.15187033

shields are somewhat obtrusive for walking around with. So I agree with some of the other anons here in that the staff or hand spear is the best one on one, the ability to use variable grips affords you a leverage advantage, which translates into greater speed and power, on top of its reach advantage.
You travel lig ht and have a bitchin walking stick.

If I had a choice however id go for the shield every time, blocking shots is too easy, that kind of defense is a huge advantage.
Only exception is plate, the issue of economy has already been discussed, but it offers superior protection making a shield muxh less useful, gauntlets change the game by allowing you to use a big long sword the same way as a staff, but the underlying primciple is the same.

>> No.15187036

>> No.15187051

>>15186955

>it never played second fiddle in any ancient war again

Ummmm.... right.

So that explains how it played second fiddle to polearms throughout most of history, then blackpowder weapons. In fact, only the Romans adopted the sword on a large scale as a primary infantry weapon. Only cavalry have used them for any length of time as a direct attack weapon, and even then the form of the sword has changed much over time. Quite the contrary to what you are saying; the sword is the weapon which has needed to adapt to changing tactics and situations. What similarity does a tuck have to a falchion? Or a zweihander ro an epee? Spears and pikes just got longer or shorter and occasionally sprouted hooks.

You talk about professional warriors, but you forget that the vast majority of combatants at any time or place were not professionals. They were armed or armoured with whatever was to hand. Swords had their place on a battlefield, but that was NOT for the most part as a primary weapon.

>> No.15187063

>>15187051
He never mentioned them being a primary weapon. Neither are, say, airplanes or sniper rifles today, but they are important, staple, weapons of war.

>> No.15187148

>>15186370

The population of this board is largely descended from or at least heavily influenced by the early population of England, and the various people that arrived to fuck up those people (or arrived to defend them, and decided to fuck them up anyway). For many of these early Briton tribes, the mark of kingship was not a crown or a throne, but a sword. This is the reason Excalibur is a thing. 'Arthur' (who was likely a composite of several old stories put together by monks several hundred years later, and then heavily embellished by romantic poets) became king due to receiving a sword.

While the kings in question certainly did use swords, these particular swords were largely ornamental, to be visible and/or shown at all times. These kings were seen hoisting them around looking fierce and imposing and selling the 'this sword makes me a fucking king' thing just as hard as it can be.

BAM, sword means power and nobility in the myth of the britons, the various people who decided to come squat on the britons' land, and their descendants who populated large swathes of America.

>> No.15187152

Swords are a good secondary weapon. They're not a grand main weapon for war (as noted, a shitload of weapons do what a sword does, better) but the sword is usable in a wide variety of situations and is relatively compact.

A man can reasonably lug a sword around in his daily life. A spear (or fuck, a polearm) much less so. And damn near everyone had a knife or dagger.

The sword has such mystique because it's been developed and refined and used longer than most melee weapons out there. The ancients used them. We still carry them around, even if it's mostly ceremonial now- except in sword-like tools like the machete...which still get plenty of use chopping people along with the more mundane uses. Heck, another name for machete is "cutlass".

>> No.15187165

>>15187152
Once formations are broken, if you could afford to arm your troops with swords, you would. The weapons simply have different uses. This does not makes them a side-arm, as lines are broken very often.

>> No.15187235

>>15187051
>it played second fiddle to polearms
>only the Romans adopted the sword on a large scale as a primary infantry weapon

Listen very carefully: Fuck you, and fuck your peasant levies.

Yeah, you fucking heard me. Peasant conscripts with pokey sticks were primarily useful for covering the flanks of the professional warriors, the core of the army, preventing them from being overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of the OTHER sides peasants with pokey sticks. The force that made the real difference, the one with the heavy armor, the lifetime of training, and the morale not to break ranks and run like little bitches, were the professional house guards - and they always carried swords, and usually ended up using them when the charged into the thick of it.

You know why Rome equipped all their soldiers with swords? BECAUSE THEY WERE A FUCKING EMPIRE, AND THEY COULD AFFORD IT. They didn't have to compromise with the el cheapo option, so they didn't. Similar examples of proper Empires, that could organize vast amounts of resources to equip their armies (China, for example, esp. Warring States period) always gave their troops swords; even the spearmen - because once the ranks clash, the lines dissolve, and things go nuts, a sword is far better in desperate close-combat then a longspear, which requires keeping ranks to use well. If they could afford to issue swords, they DID.

(con'td)

>> No.15187259

>>15187235


>then blackpowder weapons

Which is percisely why I specified "ancient wars," in anticipation of autistic cocksuckers like you trying to pull semantic bullshit games. PRE-EMPTED, ASSWIPE.

>Only cavalry have used them for any length of time as a direct attack weapon

And for a goddamn good long chunk of military history, heavy cavalry has been the single most deciding factor on the battlefield. Unless they're charging with lances (most often a one-off assault,) they relied on swords to hack down enemy infantry and defend themselves from being swarmed - to say nothing of battling enemy horsemen.

>You talk about professional warriors, but you forget that the vast majority of combatants at any time or place were not professionals.

Who fucking cares? The professionals did most of the work. They were the ones who held ranks when the conscripts broke and ran, or were the ones who MADE the enemy conscripts break and run. To summarize, I don't care how many fucking mud farmers were wandering around with pokey sticks: where it mattered, in the hands of the men who decided the battles, swords were always present.

>Quite the contrary to what you are saying; the sword is the weapon which has needed to adapt to changing tactics and situations.

Exactly, it COULD adapt to changing tactics and situations, whereas polearms are good for one or two specific situations, and useless outside them. Need a close-in weapon for tight fighting? Gladius. Need a big, powerful primary weapon? Longsword. Need a weapon suited for cavalry? Scimitar, saber. Need a self-defense sidearm for use in back alleys? Rapier. What the fuck can polearms do, in comparison? They can just get longer or shorter and occasionally sprout hooks.

>>15187165
>The weapons simply have different uses. This does not makes them a side-arm, as lines are broken very often

This, right fucking here. This.

>> No.15187262

if your formation breaks 'very often' then your army is made up of sad sacks of shit, and you better hope his formation is broken too somehow, cause otherwise you are about to get rolled over.

>> No.15187281

>>15187262
Do you think warfare consisted of a group of squares slowly pushing each other across the battlefield while poking at shields with spears?

>> No.15187298

>>15187148
>BAM, sword means power and nobility in the myth of the britons

You are a fucking idiot. Swords were associated with power and nobility because POWERFUL PEOPLE USED THEM. We're talking fucking Iron Age European cultures, goddammit - KINGS BECAME KINGS BY KICKING EVERYBODY'S FUCKING ASS. Read fucking Beowulf, look up the commitatus code. These guys didn't sit on silk cushions and commission expensive wall-hangers, they carried weapons meant for fucking KILLING people - which included swords. Shortspears and axes were plenty effective as well, but because of the cost and the mastery required, swords were the only "exclusive" weapon, found mostly in the hands of the warrior class (which was the same as the noble class.)

Thus the association was born. The association persisted well past the invention of gunpowder.

Lern2history.

>> No.15187301

>>15187281

no, im saying its backwards to outfit your units under the assumption that they will ignore orders and turn tail.

>> No.15187334

>>15187301

>he thinks that formations broke only because of fleeing

>> No.15187340

>>15187262
>and you better hope his formation is broken too somehow

That is exactly the situation. If one side broke and the other did NOT, the side that didn't had won. That was kind of the point of phalanx fighting, dating back to antiquity.

Except if both sides are hardcore pissed, and the "push of pike" goes on long enough, lines on both sides will dissolve and it becomes a magnificent clusterfuck.

And not everybody engaged in phalanx formations as matter-of-course, especially if they sucked at them. e.g, Athenians. Spartans could maneuver "short," i.e. with ranks only 4 men deep instead of 9 men deep, allowing them to extend their lines quite a bit. Athenians wisely avoided phalanx battles whenever they could, and outside of a phalanx a longspear is kind of shit. (They still used shortspears often, only because it was the fucking bronze age, man, swords weren't read for prime-time yet.)

>> No.15187349

>>15187301
Lines breaking is not the same as soldiers breaking. One is often the result of distance being closed in or death on the frotnline causing a chaotic shift, while the other is the result of what you mentioned.

>> No.15187371

>>15187023
No, this is what happens when you bring a stick to a swordfight >>15186323

>> No.15187383

>>15187371

Staff =! stick
fencing != swordfight

>> No.15187401

>>15185073

No, it's not the exception to the rule. It's the rule. This same behavior is mimiced in the Sparabara, the Assyrian foot, the Arab foot, the Germanic foot, the Late Roman Foot. You're pointing to the roman legionary in his heyday as proof that everyone else used swords first and foremost if they could. I'm pointing to the fact that in the vast majority of armies the standard footman's kit was a spear AND some sort of sword or dagger, and exceedingly rarely would they forsake the spear for the sword exclusively. Quite frankly, only the Romans and those Rodero Spaniards did that.

>>Arabs used tons and tons of cavalry. They used spear infantry for anti-cavalry work.

No, you're incorrect. During the time of Muhammad and the early Rashidun period they had less cavalrymen compared to the Byzantines and Sassanids. Rashidun era Arab strategy was based around the bulk of the soldiers being a large and solid formation of spear and sword armed infantrymen, with archers and other ranged foot operating from the rear and cavalry operating on the wings, able to return to the formation for security. You can see a continuation of that strategy in the Murabitun and Muwahhiduns. The predominance of cavalry for the Arabs developed as time went on, and only truly became apparent into the Abbasid period.

The time when cavalry became the exclusively dominant force is when Arabs ceased to be the primary military force, and it was the Turkmen and Turks instead.

>> No.15187409

>>15187334
>>15187349

the exact cause is not relevant, the point remains the same.

>> No.15187425

>>15185115

Into the late roman period it was increasingly common to equip men with a hasta, and not just the gladius or spatha.

http://books.google.com/books?id=gr0H_wr9J4wC&pg=PA263&dq=Soldiers+and+ghosts+hasta&hl=e
n&ei=WH3uTc7tGoWRgQfumr2VDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ
6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false
>>The surprise at Strasbourg is the way the Roman infantry fought, not with ancestral pilum and shortsword but by forming a wall of interlocked shields...the men in the front lines might now carry the spatha, but especially they carried a thrusting spear - essentially the Old Roman Hasta.

>>15187235

The Romans began to transition to swords when they were still a piddly ass provincial Italian power, and not even a full hegemon of the whole of the Peninsula. This happened in the 4th and 3rd centuries, starting when they were still competing with the Oscans in the south, the residual Etruscans in the North and the Gallic invaders. They were not rich, nor exceedingly powerful or even well organized. Why then do you claim that it was their wealth and empire (When they were nothing more than a hilltop republic) when neither existed at this point?

Why didn't the Assyrian monolith, which was the best organized military in the Middle East up to the 7th century BCE, choose to arm more of their footmen with swords?

Why didn't Alexander and the Diadochi? Why didn't the Achaemenid's, at least with their native and semi-professional persian regiments? Considering in the early Roman period their military was essentially the same basic structure as the Persian's - semi professional farmers who bring their own equipment towar.

>> No.15187431

>>15187409

>the point remains the same

>> No.15187461

>>15187006
Their reliance on axes over swords and such was probably due to the lack of large quantities of usable iron available at any given moment. The nordic regions were known to have very little mineable iron and a long history of using bog iron (naturally occurring deposits of iron that would gather in pellets in the peat of marshes).
A sword for them was like a mansion for most of us today, since only lords and heroes could even consider gathering that much iron together to make a single weapon, and those swords were intended to be priceless family heirlooms. You pretty much -had- to rely on weapons like axes and spears, otherwise an entire years worth of iron would go into only a small handful of weapons.

>> No.15187476

>>15187409

so the point is we trust in god that our formation will not broke (because when the enemies formation work that's because they don't believe in god as hard as we) so we don't need swords?
Also we don't need armors for the same reasons?

>> No.15187485

>>"The main weapon of the period was the spear, not only for the peasant but also for the professional soldier and even the nobility. It was the traditional weapon that Woden used and remained the weapon par excellence among the Germanic peoples even during the tenth and eleventh centuries.
>>At the battle of Maldon in 991 the Eorl led his men into battle armed with his 'spear and shield'; it was only after he had killed two men with his spears that he then drew his sword to engage a third man."
>>The spear was, without doubt, the commonest weapon of this period and its almost universal use within all ranks and cultures testifies to its effectiveness. It is a weapon that can make an untrained man fairly dangerous very quickly. It keeps your enemy at a fair distance, and most importantly cheap to make. The ash shaft being easy to acquire, and a relative small amount of expensive iron necessary for the blade. Even a poorly made spear could be dangerous. This cannot be said of the other weapons available then.
>>The spear was retained for as long as possible in a battle and it is probably for this reason that the armoured fighting glove was apparently considered a waste of time, if it was considered at all. Some of the spears found in Scandinavian contexts have an almost rapier-like blade in appearance; others tended to be squatter. At any rate, it must be said that even the best mail and padding would not be proof against a strong thrust from such weapons."

http://www.regia.org/warfare/spear.htm

>> No.15187533

>>The most prized and lauded weapon, but not the most common one, was the sword.
>>. There is also a good chance that striking a wooden shield could trap the blade in the Lime or Poplar timber, ensuring that your enemies got a free shot at you. Helmets would also not do the edges of your blade much good, even if you did stun your opponent. This left you with just the mail and any exposed flesh as targets. Even the mail might cause you problems. That is why so many of the victims that have been discovered, were probably stabbed with spears, making them vulnerable to being dispatched with a sword afterwards as a crude and bloody coup de gras.

>>How Alfred's fyrdmen were equipped is uncertain, although spears and shields still remained the prime weapons. The fyrdmen, on the other hand were a professional warrior class, drawn from amongst the wealthiest men in the country...The evidence we have suggests that helmets, swords and mailshirts had become much more common..and most of the fyrd would have been equipped with at least a helm and sword in addition to their spear, shield and horse.

>> No.15187588

>>15187425
>The Romans began to transition to swords when they were still a piddly ass provincial Italian power,

Probably because:

1. The large shield + shortsword combo was very effective against the longspear phalanxes popular then, esp. in the hilly Italian countryside,
2. Shortswords were not very challenging for the metallurgy of the time;
3. Shortswords are pretty cheap compared to full-length war swords,
4. They didn't have that many troops to equip at the time.

Why they continued to use a comparatively costly weapon well into the days of the Roman Empire, however, is obvious: it worked, and they could afford it.

>Why didn't the Assyrian monolith, which was the best organized military in the Middle East up to the 7th century BCE

Probably because that was late Bronze age/early Iron age, back when swords SUCKED ASS, BECAUSE THE METALLURGY STILL SUCKED.

>Why didn't Alexander and the Diadochi?

IRON AGE, YOU DRIPPY CUNT, IRON AGE. Swords? Still sucking! Oh, and technology proliferation; it took time for new forging techniques developed over *here* to migrate over *there,* so if your people were still using shitty unquenched, untempered iron swords that bent when they hit a shield, you wouldn't be using them much, would you?

Dumb fuck. Try some real arguments.

>> No.15187672

>>15187485
>>15187533
>vindication.jpg

Also:

>There is also a good chance that striking a wooden shield could trap the blade in the Lime or Poplar timber, ensuring that your enemies got a free shot at you. Helmets would also not do the edges of your blade much good, even if you did stun your opponent. This left you with just the mail and any exposed flesh as targets. Even the mail might cause you problems

This is exactly why swords (and their related techniques) from Antiquity were specifically designed for shield-fighting. Best example would probably be the Kopesh, or any other hooked-bladed sword that let you nail the enemy by striking *around* his shield.

Bronze-age swords of antiquity were much like early Viking swords in that they both had shit metallurgy (soft, edges didn't hold well, unquenched, untempered, bent easily,) but in Antiquity chainmail wasn't a Thing, really, it was all up to the shield.

>> No.15187763

>>15187401
>I'm pointing to the fact that in the vast majority of armies the standard footman's kit was a spear AND some sort of sword or dagger

Why is this so fucking hard for people to accept? Both weapons were of great importance. Neither weapon "won" or "lost" any imaginary dickwaving contests. They were equally indispensable. THEY WERE BOTH "PRIMARY" WEAPONS.

Just because you hit the bad guy with the spear before you used the sword doesn't mean the sword wasn't important. Fuck. You people remind me of assholes who think 3.5 wizards do all the work in fights because "the fighters just finish it." If a chick took them 90% of the way with a handjob, then went "WELP THAT'S BASICALLY THE SAME" and walked away, then their blueballs would show them the error of their ways. But they'll never be touched by a woman, thus they will never stop being retards.

>> No.15187906

>Neither weapon "won" or "lost" any imaginary dickwaving contests.
Well spears are longer and have a bigger head...

>> No.15187954

>>15187906

... but swords are effective on the thrust AND the draw.

>> No.15187974

alot of folks in this thread are ignoring the fact that roman military success was just as much, if not more so, a strategic matter.

the roman army was designed from the ground up to be generalist and idiot proof, each maniple was a tacticaly self contained battle unit, able to preform multiple roles on the field. having a large number of generalized units increases your 'effective' force, where a more specialised force may not be applicable to all situations. the high standard of training and skill allowed then to use their adaptability to exploit weaknesses in the enemy, rather then be mediocre and fail by facing the enemies strength.

someone mentioned the arminian heavy cavalry, and it is historical fact that the romans conquored arminia, but they neglected to mention any details surrounding their victory, with the implication that the gladius was a deciding factor.
i can tell you right now that standard opperating procedure for the romans was to use pillium to form a *spear wall* against charging cavalry, combined with their large protective shields which aided survival chances against a charge.
beyond that, the roman advantage in marching and 'effective' force numbers come into play, they could out pace other armies to fight on their own terms, or catch them unawares at camp, or divert a portion of the force to strike at valuable targets left undefended (again, going back to generalisation allowing for a larger effective force, even if exact numbers are the same.)
in the fight against any enemy, the first choice would of course be to out march then and put them in a bad situation, roman doctrine advocated being strategicly agressive, tactically defensive, forcing them to come to you through one means or another (say, by seiging an importaint town) gives a big advantage to the defending force, especialy if they have time to prepare the battle field before hand to obviate any advantage the enemy might have (roman engineering at its finest).

>> No.15188010

>>15187974
on a tactical level, against enemy infantry with no pole weapons, standard procedure is to do what heavy infantry does best, mill through the chaff using manipular tactics, even if the enemy is equally skilled and no kills are made, they can still change ranks to let the next man in line come front, pitting the fresh roman against the already tired enemy. it was a very effective system.

now assuming somehow battle on an open plain is nessesitated, against unsupported phalanx troops, the main course of action was to pin the pike men down up front while fellows swung around to flank, this is where the importaince of the training comes in again, the always vital shields helped them survive, but it was a losing proposition to try to advance and meet the enemy, the commander hand to rely on his frontline troops to hold fast while getting sstabed in their faces untill their comrads to get into position, a breakdown at any point would spell doom on the whole thing.

>> No.15188068

>>15188010

however, the addition of supporting cavalry changes the entire dynamic of combat, and its in this combined arms approach where phalanx tactics truely shine, strategicly border horses make excelent scouts and harrying forces while on the march, and in combat there is no better option for a flanking force to swing around the lines for a rear charge, any infantry on the move is vulnerable to a charge, which can delay infantry based flanking, but if they dont move the troops facing the phalanx head on will be cut down eventualy, while the cavalry enjoy greater freedom thanks to their speed, able to both harry light infantry and preform hammer and anvil strikes in concert with the pikemen.

additionaly, missile troops are a difficult prospect to deal with solely using troops (though here the roman shield continues to demonstrates its usefulness, its nother thing to actualy catch up with them), again presenting the benefit of cavalry.

alexander the great best exemplified this combined arms approach, a highly trained professional infantry force able to best exploit their nich (can turn on a dime, if engaged flank and rear troops and turn to present pikes, can be counted on not to break, ect..), and a elite cavalry force that brings it all together. with it he conquored multiple existing empires each at the hights of their own power.

tl:dr the roman way is practical and economical, but not nessisarily the tactical ideal.

ps: republican rome is an exceptional instance, throughout history the ease of manufacture and ease of use have made the pole arm the weapon of choice in warfare, the sword being a side arm isint saying the sword isint good, it says its good as a back up for everyone whos more specialised in somthing, be they cavalry, pikemen, hammer men, or armoured in full plate.

>> No.15188851

>>15187588

You seem to be misunderstanding me. I am challenging the sword-fanatics' logic. My "Why didn't ______" is rhetorical points. He said that the Romans were able to equip all their men with swords because they were an empire, I pointed out they were not an empire or even a wealthy regional power when they began that transition. Now you're changing the goalposts by providing other evidence for why they wanted to do swords, not because they were wealthy and an empire - which was the previous claim.

>>Shortswords were not very challenging and pretty cheap
Celtic sword history is a bit tricky for me, but I think you'd be surprised what constituted a 'long' sword back then. The NAUE sword is generally about as long as the gladius, and the only people who even flirted with gigantic war swords systematically were the interior Europeans. So #2, #3, and even #4 can be applicable to a wide variety of peoples who did not exclusively favor the sword. Everyone used short swords. Even Celtic "long swords" were quite short.

>>Probably because that was late Bronze age/early Iron age, back when swords SUCKED ASS, BECAUSE THE METALLURGY STILL SUCKED.

That's a rather poor statement, since bronze metalurgy was highly advanced and likely superior to iron metalurgy at this time. Swords were used in abundance at this time, the Philistines and Sea people seem to have greatly preferred them - but not to a universal exclusion of the spear (although they did seem to greatly prefer the longsword)

>>Iron age

You're then implying that the Romans were somehow not part of the iron age, since, you know, ALEXANDER AND THE DIADOCHI OCCURED AT THE SAME FUCKING TIME AS THE ROMAN TRANSITION FROM PHALANX TO MANIPULAR. THE 4TH CENTURY.

So apparently swords were still sucking at the same time THE ROMANS WERE STARTING TO FAVOR SWORDS AND SWORDS ONLY.

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