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Michael Babbage





Joined: 24 Mar 2008

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Mon 24 Mar, 2008 5:43 am    Post subject: Weapon damage         Reply with quote

Hi all.

I am starting to research the fundamentals of weapon combat, and have become extremely curious about the damage they can inflict.

So lets construct a scenario.

We have a guy in good physical shape, not too strong, but not weak, either. He is attacking a guy who is without armour.

Assuming he lands a solid hit, which weapons do you think would do the most damage, from weakest to strongest:

One handed sword (think generic, cut and thrust weapon like an arming sword), a halberd, a pole-axe, a one-handed battle-axe, a two-handed axe like the Danish Axe, a two handed blade like a claymore or flamberge, a simple dagger, and a spear of around 6-7 ft that is used one handed, and a general form of mace

Yeah, I know there are many different factors, weapon types and angle, force of blow, but please, just humor me!
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J. Pav




Location: NJ
Joined: 05 Oct 2006

Posts: 75

PostPosted: Mon 24 Mar, 2008 6:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe I'm over-simplifying it in my mind, but they'll all kill the target easily, so long as the hit is landed correctly.

Lethal is lethal. It's not like comparing stun-guns to grenades.

Weapons don't do "damage" like in video games. You either kill, incapacitate, or miss/deflect. The human body is pretty forgiving, but all lethal weapons are pretty much designed to overcome that. If they couldn't, they were quickly abandoned.
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Kelly Powell




Location: lawrence, kansas
Joined: 27 Feb 2008

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Mon 24 Mar, 2008 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And what do you mean by damage? how deep it can cut soft tissue? how much bone can be cut/damaged? lowest amount of ft pnd per second to achieve lethal wound?
The ones able to cause horrific wounds with a single hand would be your shearing blades....falchion, falcutta,kukri, messer certain hand axes..etc
Best piercing, would be a category
Best blunt force per pound of weapon
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Darryl Aoki





Joined: 12 Oct 2006

Posts: 93

PostPosted: Mon 24 Mar, 2008 8:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Um, I think most of the weapons would definitely put the target in the "dead" category, if not in the "dead and in multiple pieces" category. The dagger and the arming sword are the only ones that might not kill instantaneously with a single blow. (Which is not to say that a single blow wouldn't be fatal.)

As suggested, a better way to assess this might be to assess piercing/slashing/crushing capabilities of weapons against a standard material type, then repeat with armor. There may be some stuff of that nature here, or at least links to this sort of thing; it certainly wouldn't hurt to search.

As an aside, I am reminded of the damage categories from the Paranoia role-playing game, which were:
Healthy
Slightly Wounded
Wounded
Incapacitated
Dead
Really Dead
Excessively Dead
Vaporized

No, there wasn't really any differences between the different grades of "dead," except that if you were vaporized, all of your equipment went away along with you.
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Dan P




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 28 Jun 2007

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Mon 24 Mar, 2008 9:22 am    Post subject: Re: Weapon damage         Reply with quote

Michael Babbage wrote:
Assuming he lands a solid hit

A solid hit with any of the weapons you mention is probably going to be crippling or lethal to an unarmored person.
The real question is, which weapon is better for landing a strike, not which does more "damage". And since that's more a function of training, skill, strength, and time, you're most likely to get as many different answers as weapons you list.
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Corey D. Sullivan




Location: Canada
Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Reading list: 12 books

Posts: 73

PostPosted: Mon 24 Mar, 2008 11:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael, just so you don't get disappointed, but you may have a very difficult time actually getting any straight answers out of anyone. We as collectors and reenactors don't like discussing this kind of thing in public, because it may cast us in a bad light, at least with the rest of the general population, and we don't like giving ammunition to anyone who might try to ban our hobby.

I wouldn't be surprised if the moderators came to have a word about this.

This isn't anything against you, or your question. It's natural to be curious and it seems to be human nature to be fascinated with devices capable of inflicting massive damage. That being said, don't expect to get any in depth answers. I'm just saying.


Quote:

Healthy
Slightly Wounded
Wounded
Incapacitated
Dead
Really Dead
Excessively Dead
Vaporized


Just to humor you, if I were using this scale, I would say that all the weapons you listed would place a person at least into Incapacitated and Dead, with the halberd, pole axe and two-handers moving into the Really Dead and Excessively Dead.

"He had scantly finyshed his saienge but the one armye espyed the other lord how hastely the souldioures buckled their healmes how quikly the archers bent ther bowes and frushed their feathers how redely the byllmen shoke their bylles and proved their staves redy to appioche and loyne when the terrible trotnpet should sound the blast to victorie or deathe."
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Bennison N




Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Joined: 06 Feb 2008
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 416

PostPosted: Mon 24 Mar, 2008 10:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Corey... There are people out there who want to stop people with interests like ours. A lot of them don't realise that learning to control violence is akin to no violence at all. Someone who has used a sword to test-cut knows what his blade can do to a human, and will be far less likely to do it to one. Too many people don't realise this, however. So you might definitely have problems getting the kind of answers you want for the question you've presented here...

However, I have more of a practical interest in weapons than many (but by far not all...) of the other more historically interested patrons of this forum. I prefer to test my skill against other skilled people than look at pictures (no offense, guys...). I would be happy to tell you what I know, but only by way of PM, and you can't use my real name when listing your findings. Sound ok? Drop me a PM if you're keen.

"Never give a sword to a man who can't dance" - Confucius

अजयखड्गधारी


Last edited by Bennison N on Tue 25 Mar, 2008 6:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jonathan Eells





Joined: 09 Dec 2007

Posts: 79

PostPosted: Mon 24 Mar, 2008 10:38 pm    Post subject: Even "Damage" is Subject to Interpretation         Reply with quote

Y'see, there's the damage that renders a person unable to lift an arm - because it's gone missing from the shoulder downward - and there's damage that, while not permanent, is so frikkin' painful that there's no chance a person can effectively offer a fight. Take a blast of lemon juice to the eye. Can't do anything after one of those! On an early date with my wife fifteen years ago, she went to put lemon in her ice tea and hit me in the eye with a solid squirt from across the table. I couldn't do ANYTHING for a minute or so. I knew right then she was the girl for me.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Thu 27 Mar, 2008 11:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I agree with all the people in this thread who said that any of those weapons would kill with a solid hit. But I'm a little disappointed that there's no choice of "all"--one good hack with each form of weapon you've mentioned, going sequentially down your list. That'd be a lot more fun.
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Brad Harada




PostPosted: Fri 28 Mar, 2008 6:48 am    Post subject: Re: Even "Damage" is Subject to Interpretation         Reply with quote

Jonathan Eells wrote:
Y'see, there's the damage that renders a person unable to lift an arm - because it's gone missing from the shoulder downward - and there's damage that, while not permanent, is so frikkin' painful that there's no chance a person can effectively offer a fight.


That is, unless you happen to be the Black Knight! "It's just a flesh wound!" Laughing Out Loud
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