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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct, 2011 12:52 pm    Post subject: Comparison needed of a few Albions         Reply with quote

Hello all, even though I've made a couple posts in another thread I decided this would be my intorductory post. I'm very impressed with this site and have already learned a ton from reading through posts and reviews. In the near future I hope to be buying my first sword. A little background on me, I have enjoyed collecting weapons for many years. I collected Busse, Strider, and Benchmade knives, and I have owned a huge variety of modern firearms over the years (I'll be happy to post some pictures if anyone is interested Happy). But I've never had a sword.

I've decided that my first sword will be an Albion. I believe I've narrowed it down to a few. In order of preference so far, they are:

-Laird
-Crecy
-Squire
-Burgundian

As you can see, the Crecy is the odd man out. It is the only hand and a half or larger. I've read reviews on each of the designs above, but I've never seen them compared to each other. A problem is also that I don't live anywhere near Wisconsin (I think this is where Albion is out of), and I sort of hate to spend a lot of money on what will likely be my one and only sword, without having the chance to at least hold it in person.

It might be a long shot that people have owned more than one of these, but I'd be very grateful for a comparisson if you have. Likes, dislikes, handling, etc. Photos with one or more would be appreciated as well (you can never have too much sword porn of styles you like).

As for uses, this will be for collecting, wall-hanging, fondling (haha). I really doubt I'd ever get into swordsmanship as a hobby (I have way too many hobbies as is). As for reenactments, I enjoy learning from them and watching them, but swords are really the only part of the medieval age dress that I like. With collection as my primary goal, I can see why people would just suggest I get the sword I like the looks of most. The problem is, I'd also like to have the one that feels best in my hand.

Any input would be appreciated. And thanks again for a fantastic site. I will be spending hours of enjoyment here learning more about the medieval ages and their famous weapon.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 07 Jul 2011
Likes: 14 pages
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 226

PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct, 2011 2:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Comparison needed of a few Albions         Reply with quote

D. S. Smith wrote:
"I really doubt I'd ever get into swordsmanship as a hobby (I have way too many hobbies as is)..... The problem is, I'd also like to have the one that feels best in my hand."


Mr. Smith, its hard to say what will feel best in your hand. I know my opinion has changed a lot as I started to get more WMA experience. Any Albion or A&A is going to feel appropriate, with which one you like most being a product of your experience and preference. You might try looking up fellow forum members in your area, people always love to show their collections off. Chances are one of them will have LOTS of Albion's Happy

Also have you also considered the Albion Sempach or A&A Durer?

Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA) - La Crosse
A HEMA Alliance Affiliate

“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” -Juvenal
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Brian K.
Industry Professional



Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined: 01 Jan 2008

Posts: 726

PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct, 2011 2:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Comparison needed of a few Albions         Reply with quote

D. S. Smith wrote:
I've decided that my first sword will be an Albion. I believe I've narrowed it down to a few. In order of preference so far, they are:

-Laird
-Crecy
-Squire
-Burgundian

As for uses, this will be for collecting, wall-hanging, fondling (haha). I really doubt I'd ever get into swordsmanship as a hobby (I have way too many hobbies as is). As for reenactments, I enjoy learning from them and watching them, but swords are really the only part of the medieval age dress that I like. With collection as my primary goal, I can see why people would just suggest I get the sword I like the looks of most.

The problem is, I'd also like to have the one that feels best in my hand.


Of the four you listed, you really can't go wrong. Each & every sword feels different, so it really comes down to preference, which can change over time. If you don't get a chance to handle before buying, and you're ok with a purchase without doing so, then I would also suggest going with what appeals to you the most. I've handled all four swords, and each one is an exquisite example of their respective sword types. My first Albion was the Prince, which shares the same blade as the Squire. I still have it, and I still like it very much and will be a heirloom to my son when he comes of age.

Brian Kunz
www.dbkcustomswords.com
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Adam Bohnstengel




Location: Spring, TX
Joined: 24 Aug 2011

Posts: 72

PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct, 2011 2:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You want the big one, just admit it. Go with the Crecy hand and a half and be done with it. The large size will be visually more impressive when displayed, and big swords are just more fun.
Violence is the supreme authority from which all other authority is derived.
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct, 2011 3:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are you maybe close to KoA? They have some Albions in stock.
http://www.kultofathena.com/
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,565

PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct, 2011 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For what its worth I think the Crecy is about the best first sword for anybody when you decide to hit this price point. With your first sword you're not going to appreciate all the nuances and purposes of the different blades and furniture. The Crecy is the most adaptable of the bunch and will most align with what your first sword expectations are going to be. Second thing to get is a decent scabbard and suspension for it.

As you learn more, if the interest stays, you'll branch out and explore other swords and appreciate their context when you do.

"The goal shouldn’t be to avoid being evil; it should be to actively do good." - Danah Boyd
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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct, 2011 3:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Luka Borscak wrote:
Are you maybe close to KoA? They have some Albions in stock.
http://www.kultofathena.com/


Unfortunately no, I'm on the central coast of California. I could get as far as Utah or Washington to check out swords simply as an excuse for a road trip on my motorcycle. But unfortunately Illinois is a bit too far.


Thanks for the feedback so far gentlemen. I laughed at your comment Adam, the Crecy is the most impressive of them from a visual standpoint.

Mr. Arndt, you guessed my tastes pretty accurately. The Sempach is right up my alley. The turn off for me is the curved cross guard. I'm pretty stuck on the standard crucifix style guard. The forward slanted (as opposed to curved) guards such as the Laird are not exactly my favorite, but I think I still like them due to the trace amounts of Scottish blood still in my veins (my mother's maiden name is MacLeod).

Edited to add:
Joe, I haven't forgotten about the scabbard and belt. I've spent far too many hours already drooling over Christian Fletcher's scabbards website. I will without a doubt be having one made for whichever sword I choose. In fact, years ago I had a custom sheath made (kydex with a leather covering) by a gentleman in Denmark named Martin Swinkels. When it came time to sell the knife/ sheath combo I was much more sad to sell the sheath than the Busse knife it was made for. Haha

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Eric G.




Location: Arizona
Joined: 08 Feb 2011
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Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 249

PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct, 2011 7:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The other day a friend of mine told me that when he is undecided about something he just picks one at random. If he feels any disappointment after doing so he either eliminates that one or tries to use that disappointment to pinpoint the one he really wants.

Fortunately for you, one of our members recently put his Squire up for sale. It's a good opportunity to get is cheaper than normal. Plus no wait time. That's a big plus, says I.

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...highlight=

I should also add that I have a Crecy, and I really like it.

Eric Gregersen
www.EricGregersen.com
Knowledge applied is power.
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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct, 2011 8:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eric Gregersen wrote:
The other day a friend of mine told me that when he is undecided about something he just picks one at random. If he feels any disappointment after doing so he either eliminates that one or tries to use that disappointment to pinpoint the one he really wants.



That's not a bad way of doing it. With any luck I'll be attending the local Ren Faire this next saturday (I've never been to one before). I know it's a long shot but I'm crossing my fingers that someone there will have one of these types and let me take a look at it. Happy

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Mon 03 Oct, 2011 11:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Do you know what style of sword you favor? Do you want the sword to be neutral in hand or have some omph? Really, unless we know more about you, it's kinda hard to give advice on what amounts to personal taste.

You can try the stick thing I advised just before now. Get a stick, 50 inches long, mark it at 38 inches and grip there. Swing it and see if you like the length and if not, start totrim it down until you get to the length you like. Then add weight to the base until you get a balance you like and fine the PoB. It will kinda give you an idea of what is good in your hands so get whatever has the closest stats to that.
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Ryan McLaurin




Location: California
Joined: 12 May 2008

Posts: 36

PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct, 2011 12:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Of the swords you listed, I say go with the Crecy if you are only going to own one sword. I own and have handled dozens (and dozens!) of swords over the last 30 years, and I find I get much more enjoyment handling and swinging around the swords which I can get both my hands on the grip. The hand-and-a-halfers like the Crecy are especially enjoyable. I find that with the lack of training I have, other than what I've garnered from books, having two hands on the sword allows a lot more control and confidence in handling. I always feel like I'm going to hit myself with the one-handers when I do cutting exercises or am just swinging a sword around for no other reason than the enjoyment it gives me.
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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct, 2011 1:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A lot of suggestions for the Crecy.
P. Cha, thanks for the great suggestion about measuring out a stick. I'm going to have to try that. Ryan, you make a great point about the increased feeling of control with a hand and a halfer. Even without having held a sword, your logic makes sense to me.

I've decided to rule out the Burgundian. I've discovered that I simply can't live without a fuller of some type. In my mind, the fuller helps complete the idea of what a medieval sword should look like. Regardless of how nicely the Burgundian handles (and I've read excellent reviews of them), I can't get past the look for a sword that will primarily be for looking at. Haha.

I noticed that part of the reason I like both the Crecy and the Squire is the blade profile. It makes sense, since unless I'm mistaken they are the same blade type, but with a different legth of hilt (and slight difference in blade length as well). If the Laird hilt came with a Squire type blade my decision would already have been made. I'd love to see that combo even if it's not historically accurate.

Part of the romantic idea behind the sword for me is carrying one while not armored, almost more of a status or self-defense role. I wonder, would a hand and a halfer like the Crecy still have been seen in this role? Or would they be considered too large to be an "around town" sort of blade?

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct, 2011 9:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Judging from the fact that huge amounts of long sword teachings from the Liechtenauer and Italian traditions are devoted to blossfechten, or unarmoured fencing with the long sword, I would say that people certainly carried them around in non-military contexts quite frequently.
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Neil Langley




Location: Stockport, UK
Joined: 23 Jan 2006

Posts: 112

PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct, 2011 12:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

D. S. Smith wrote:


I've decided to rule out the Burgundian. I've discovered that I simply can't live without a fuller of some type. In my mind, the fuller helps complete the idea of what a medieval sword should look like.


I think the Crecy is a lovely blade 'in the flesh' but the Burgundian is hollow ground, which in my opinion is the most elegant of all blade forms - it just does not come across as well in photograph as a fullered sword does. If you really want one for its aesthetics I think you need to see them side by side before choosing.

Sorry if this makes things harder not easier!

Neil.
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Paul B.G




Location: Victoria, Australia
Joined: 01 May 2011
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Posts: 140

PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct, 2011 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi, I made a similar choice not that long ago and the members here gave me some great advice, these are the threads I used. hope these are of some help, ps Im very happy with my Crecy Wink

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...highlight=

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...highlight=

A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person

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Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Tue 04 Oct, 2011 3:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul B.G wrote:
Hi, I made a similar choice not that long ago and the members here gave me some great advice, these are the threads I used. hope these are of some help, ps Im very happy with my Crecy Wink

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...highlight=

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...highlight=


Thanks for the links Paul, I just finished reading both of your threads. The first one had some fascinating reading on the armor-defeating qualities of the different types (although it seemed they got pretty sidetracked from the purpose of your thread, which was angled towards less armor if I read you right).

People have made some great points towards the Crecy, and I wouldn't have included it in this list if it wasn't in the top of my picks based on asthetics alone. And Ryan's thoughts on wielding the longer Crecy, from a novice's perspective, makes a ton of sense to me logically. That said, I've got to admit that the Laird sort of "speaks to me" the most. At least right now. That could very easily change once I've had a chance to see some of them in person.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,565

PostPosted: Wed 05 Oct, 2011 6:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One thing to consider about the Laird is that its a distinctly Scottish form. That can be a real plus, or a real minus, depending on your interests. Its also a form that was probably a little less widely dispersed across the continent than some of the others. Eventually you'll come to have favorite periods and favorite areas if you stick to this hobby. If the Laird does not fit with your thematic interests somehow in the long term, you won't keep it. True for any sword of course...
"The goal shouldn’t be to avoid being evil; it should be to actively do good." - Danah Boyd
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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Fri 07 Oct, 2011 10:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Joe Fults wrote:
One thing to consider about the Laird is that its a distinctly Scottish form. That can be a real plus, or a real minus, depending on your interests. Its also a form that was probably a little less widely dispersed across the continent than some of the others. Eventually you'll come to have favorite periods and favorite areas if you stick to this hobby. If the Laird does not fit with your thematic interests somehow in the long term, you won't keep it. True for any sword of course...


I see what you're saying Joe. I immagine the same would be true if I picked a late 15th Century sword and then discovered that the Crusades were my favorite area of study. But to be honest, as much as I enjoy reading and learning about the medieval ages, my true interest in swords is a result of fantasy and fiction. The reason I'm choosing an Albion sword is that I figure high quality reproductions like Albions will have truer handling characteristics and overall "feel" than a pure fantasy sword would. And as I said earlier, I also prefer the more subtle and less flashy designs.

Since fantasy is my motivating factor, I'm also not incredibly concerned with which scabbard and suspension style would have been most appropriate for a given era or location. I'm more going to be looking at which design is the most asthetically pleasing and which design looks like it'd be the most comfortable to actually wear. Since I'm not going to be going for a historical recreation, I'm not hampered by the "that wouldn't have looked right for that setting" type thoughts. Of course since the sword and scabbard are in fact going to be based on historical designs, I'll actually be able to explain to people who ask, "well ths type of sword would have been used during xxxxx period and for xxxxx purpose". But that is just the added bonus of utilizing a recreation as opposed to a purely fantasy weapon.
Hopefully that made sense. Laughing Out Loud

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Sat 08 Oct, 2011 5:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I went to the Norther California Renaissance Faire near Hollister today. it was my first time ever going to a Ren Fair and I have to admit, it was pretty fun. Even from just the small amount I've learned so far on this forum I could see obvious flaws in a lot of the costumes worn. But people were still having a good time so that's the most important thing.

I was disappointed not to see any swords that even remotely resembled Albions. So my quest to see an Albion in person has not yet been fulfilled. Worried

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Zach Luna




Location: Los Angeles
Joined: 04 Jul 2010
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Posts: 170

PostPosted: Sat 08 Oct, 2011 7:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

D. S. Smith wrote:

I was disappointed not to see any swords that even remotely resembled Albions. So my quest to see an Albion in person has not yet been fulfilled. Worried

Sorry to hear that, but it's par for the course I'm afraid. The only times I've seen Albions at a Ren Festival were when I brought them in myself!

Speaking of which, of your shortlist I have owned the Squire and the Crecy (well, actually a Ranger sword built on a Crecy blade, but that's by the by). The blades are close siblings and satisfying for related reasons in their respective niches. The Crecy is a bit longer in the cutting area after the fuller and is obviously built with dimensions appropriate for fitting two hands on the hilt. It's a very smooth-handling bastard sword, wicked-fast in two hands and intimidating in one.
The Squire is a solid and full-sized arming sword. As is to be expected it is easier to handle with one hand than the Crecy is, but that does not mean the Crecy is cumbersome or the Squire insubstantial. The Squire has good blend of power, agility, and precision for an arming sword. It is both wider and longer than the Albion type XII's (like the Laird) and has a more aggressive taper.
The Crecy hits harder, but again this is a simple matter of size difference. The Crecy is an agile and responsive bastard sword that's a better cutter than it has a right to be, and the Squire is an agile and responsive arming sword that's also a better cutter than it has a right to be, considering its sharp taper. Comparisons between them are more of a reflection of the sword types than about other qualities since they are in some ways the same sword stretched and squeezed into two different roles.


Both are superb weapons, as is the Albion way. I don't think you can go wrong with any of these choices you've listed, but if you're going for a first sword and are inspired by fantasy I'd choose the Crecy. It's bigger and bolder and you can swing it with two hands, but you don't lose the one-handed option. Also, with the purchase of a single sword you can get a more informed sense of whether you are more inclined to go for two-handers or one-handers down the road.
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