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Gary Teuscher





Joined: 19 Nov 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2008 12:49 pm    Post subject: Sword vs Falchion         Reply with quote

Had a question for anyone who has used both blades.

As a cutting weapon, is not a falchion less balanced with more end weighting? I'm sure there could be a lot of different falchions with different degrees of end weighting, so this might be a bit tough.

But I guess the question is if you compare a standard arming sword with an end weighted falchion, you get more cutting and percussive ability from the falchion I would guess.

Does this come at a trade-off? Do you lose some nimbleness and agility of the weapon that comes along with the end weighting?

And I guess would this also hold true for other "end-weighted" weapons like axes and maces?

My guess is like with falchions, maces and axes can be made with more of an end-weighting or can also be made in a more balanced form.

Another question - were the early 900-1050 or so arming swords more end weighted than the later 1050-1200 or so swords? I know the later ones were more designed for thrusting than the earlier swords (thinking of a type x vs a type XII, skipped over the XI)
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Christopher Gregg




Location: Louisville, KY
Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Reading list: 2 books

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PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2008 1:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gary, I think you've answered your own questions, but I'll throw in my two cents.

Yes, I think the end-heavy falchions are a bit less nimble than a period-comparable arming sword. For instance, I get more "movement" from my Del TIn 2121 than with my Del TIn 5131 Falchion (an end-heavier type). BUT... my Albion Vassal is much quicker and livelier than the 5131, IMO, although it lacks the reach of the 2121. Certainly, the falchion was used by both men-at-arms as well as foot soldiers, archers, etc. than the knightly arming sword, and was almost certainly a back-up weapon for most who used it. I think the shorter length of falchions in general to arming swords gave them an advantage in the close-up melee, but perhaps those warriors who used the arming sword as their secondary weapon were better trained for its use.

I know I'd prefer a Vassal type falchion to a standard cut-and-thrust arming sword as my side-arm, if I were in battle long ago. Wink

Christopher Gregg

'S Rioghal Mo Dhream!
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David Black Mastro




Location: Central NJ
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2008 1:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Sword vs Falchion         Reply with quote

Gary Teuscher wrote:
Had a question for anyone who has used both blades.

As a cutting weapon, is not a falchion less balanced with more end weighting? I'm sure there could be a lot of different falchions with different degrees of end weighting, so this might be a bit tough.

But I guess the question is if you compare a standard arming sword with an end weighted falchion, you get more cutting and percussive ability from the falchion I would guess.

Does this come at a trade-off? Do you lose some nimbleness and agility of the weapon that comes along with the end weighting?



The blade design of falchions certainly makes them impressive choppers, and yeah, on some level they're arguably not as nimble as swords that aren't as heavy towards the tip.

But one other factor to consider is the shorter length of flachions and similar weapons. One would think that other tip-heavy swords--say, the Iberian falcata--would lack a certain amount of nimbleness, but I once handled a Del Tin falcata, and it felt fine to me. That shorter length compensates for the more tip-heavy design, to at least some degree.

"Why meddle with us--you are not strong enough to break us--you know that you have won the battle and slaughtered our army--be content with your honor, and leave us alone, for by God's good will only have we escaped from this business" --unknown Spanish captain to the Chevalier Bayard, at the Battle of Ravenna, 1512
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