Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Another author's question Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next 
Author Message
R Ashby





Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Likes: 6 pages

Posts: 103

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 3:14 am    Post subject: Another author's question         Reply with quote

Ok- first off let me say a HUGE thank you to the members here- many of you helped me with a couple of questions on my first book, and it's currently being "second looked" by several publishers. Your input was really important to the overall success of the book.

Now, next question: If you had to choose one or two weapons (no guns allowed!) to use against a foot soldier in heavy armor (mail with lots of plated sections, or full plate), what would you choose?

Thanks!
View user's profile Send private message
Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
Likes: 1 page
Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 324

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 3:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, personally I would use a heavy crossbow from a long, safe distance!
But in a melee situation, it seems that the pollaxe/warhammer was the weapon of choice for wealthy and well trained men in armour.

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger
R Ashby





Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Likes: 6 pages

Posts: 103

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 3:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My thoughts as well. And perhaps a mace?
View user's profile Send private message
Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
Joined: 11 Jun 2007
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 2,225

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 3:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mace is ok, but with a hammer or poleaxe you have more possibilities.
View user's profile Send private message
Colt Reeves





Joined: 09 Mar 2009

Posts: 466

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 3:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, that sounds about right. Maybe a trebuchet loaded with a bunch of fist or head sized rocks?

Seriously though, a pollaxe would be a good bet, a mace might be nice, perhaps a spear if there are large sections of exposed mail.

I think you need to clarify a few things though. For example, do we get armour too? Does a shield count as a weapon? 'Cause that'd be handy if we aren't allowed armour for some reason. Are we fighting one on one or in a large battlefield where we might expect some aid fighting this guy? What weapon or weapons is he packing? Does the guy have equal, greater, or less skill than ourselves? Do we have time to train with weapons we are not familiar with or do we have to stick with what we already know? (Boy am I in trouble with that one. Wink ) Do we even know any of these things, or are we only told "He's wearing heavy armour?"

All of these things might change our choice of weapons. If I knew the guy was a crappy fighter and using a spear I might choose a mace, a good thrusting longsword, or even a dagger in order to try to "prison yard rush" him, get past his point, and do some damage before he can react. If I knew he was a really good fighter but using just a mace I might go for a pollaxe, spear, billhook, ahlspiess, halberd, or some other polearm to try and keep him at bay. If I get good armour and am facing a foe with an arming sword and shield, I might find it best to go with a thrusting longsword just because it is more versatile and I am relatively safe from counterattack.

There are a lot of variables here...

"Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown.
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.
As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small.
For Iron, Cold Iron, must be master of men all..."
-Cold Iron, Rudyard Kipling
View user's profile Send private message
R Ashby





Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Likes: 6 pages

Posts: 103

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 3:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm still in the formative stages on this one.

Here's some ideas:

Idea 1: the peasant knight-killer: lowest end armor unless he stripped it off someone he killed, and weapons that he would be familiar with- a guess and axe or bill could be good there.

Idea 2: Knight killer that is a trained soldier- knight himself, but needs the versatility to fight both in and out of armor, against opponents both in and out of armor. So basically put, needs a "one-kills-all weapon". Longsword and poleaxe?

Idea 3: Knight with less armor that kills knights with more armor, so knight 1 has more speed. Practical at all? Sounds too Hollywood to me, I'd think you'd want distance in a weapon, so maybe a longer polearm, which is not all hat flexible in tight conditions.

Sounds like #2 is the most realistic sort of character.
View user's profile Send private message
Craig Johnson
Industry Professional



Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 16 pages
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,281

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 5:47 am    Post subject: Weapon Variety         Reply with quote

In discussions of this type of combative interaction it is good to look at the period sources that describe such encounters and how they play out in theory and in reality. The weapon chosen is always part of the equation but not as important as the knowledge, confidence, training and luck of the combatants. That being said if we look at sources such as Fiore, Talhoffer and the like, we find Knightly armored combat dominated by the Poleaxe/hammer, Tucks, and a variety of pole arms such as spears and bill types.

In my opinion there is such a huge variety of these types of weapons that the basic components of length and weapon dynamics are the important aspects and the actual form can be quite varied and you should pick something that matches the time, place and status of the character.

While it is an obvious thing when one thinks about it, I often get surprised looks from folks when I lecture about medieval weapons and armor that they are just tools used by the combatants. The quality of their training and experience would be the most important aspect and their ability to translate their skills to the weapon at hand or favorite choose is the key. This would also provide a cool bit for a character in combat to have to adjust what they would do in a situation where they must use a weapon they are less familiar with.

Your writing of course allows you to approach the discussion from the fun view point that you are adding detail and interest to the character by the choice of the weapon and the circumstance of its use. Thus using the historical examples keeps it "real" but then allows you to flesh it out not just as a weapon but how the character interacts with it and the fight.

Anyway I hope that helps or at least does not sound to simplistic Happy

Best
Craig
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Likes: 23 pages

Posts: 448

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 6:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would definitely want armor myself, in the first place. Razz At least solid puffy gambeson/pourpoint.

Situation where I must dance around, hack like crazy, aim for the joins, or outgrapple opponent to have any chance, while he can disable me with flick of wrist would be not very fun at all.

But it all depends on quite obvious plot situations - if character is just returning from the market with two superbly weaved baskets, he is not supposed to have any armor at all.
View user's profile Send private message
Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,278

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 7:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R Ashby wrote:
Idea 1: the peasant knight-killer


Really, *is* there such a thing? The knight is a highly trained armored killer. The peasant is a trained farmer! Brave and strong are good, but there's no way a farmer could match the training and experience of a noble who has done little but train for warfare from the age of 7.


Quote:
Idea 2: Knight killer that is a trained soldier- knight himself, but needs the versatility to fight both in and out of armor, against opponents both in and out of armor. So basically put, needs a "one-kills-all weapon". Longsword and poleaxe?

Idea 3: Knight with less armor that kills knights with more armor, so knight 1 has more speed. Practical at all? Sounds too Hollywood to me, I'd think you'd want distance in a weapon, so maybe a longer polearm, which is not all hat flexible in tight conditions.


As Craig points out, the really important "weapon" is the training and experience! I wouldn't bet that an armored peasant could beat an UNarmored knight. Any decent knight would be versatile enough to fight with or without armor, and so would any decent soldier. Being more lightly armored would certainly be an advantage in a running situation, but once two combatants clash on battlefield or street or crowded elevator, more metal helps.

If I couldn't match the skill of an armored opponent, yeah, what Bjorn said, big crossbow and don't get near the guy!

Matthew
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,587

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 12:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R Ashby wrote:

Idea 1: the peasant knight-killer: lowest end armor unless he stripped it off someone he killed, and weapons that he would be familiar with- a guess and axe or bill could be good there.

Idea 2: Knight killer that is a trained soldier- knight himself, but needs the versatility to fight both in and out of armor, against opponents both in and out of armor. So basically put, needs a "one-kills-all weapon". Longsword and poleaxe?

Idea 3: Knight with less armor that kills knights with more armor, so knight 1 has more speed. Practical at all? Sounds too Hollywood to me, I'd think you'd want distance in a weapon, so maybe a longer polearm, which is not all hat flexible in tight conditions.

Sounds like #2 is the most realistic sort of character.


As already pointed out, #1 doesn't make much sense. In modern terms it would be like a farmer going on a rampage and killing a bunch of Navy Seals. Farmers have more sense than that!

I don't think #3 makes sense either. If less armor is better, then why don't all the knights just wear less armour?

I'd go with a modified form of #2. A Sergent Man-At-Arms who has also trained and fought all his life, and is just a natural born fighter, but is not from the noble upper class and cannot afford the best 'modern' plate armor of your particular period.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
Joined: 16 Nov 2005
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 446

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 2:16 pm    Post subject: sledge hammer         Reply with quote

I for one think that a peasant fighter could do the job, inasmuch as he had a good old fashionned sledge hammer, a few tricks and an arrogant over confident adversary. Of course his best friend will be a sympathetic novel writer.
By the way, the sledge hammer,did become a popular weapon, the lead mallet, or, in french, maillet de plomb, I also vaguely remember the expression 'marteau de Luzerne', which I think is a variation of the same type of object. Basically a long hafted pile driver.

Bon coeur et bon bras
View user's profile Send private message
Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,162

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: sledge hammer         Reply with quote

Jean-Carle Hudon wrote:
I for one think that a peasant fighter could do the job, inasmuch as he had a good old fashionned sledge hammer, a few tricks and an arrogant over confident adversary. Of course his best friend will be a sympathetic novel writer.
By the way, the sledge hammer,did become a popular weapon, the lead mallet, or, in french, maillet de plomb, I also vaguely remember the expression 'marteau de Luzerne', which I think is a variation of the same type of object. Basically a long hafted pile driver.

Usually that only worked if he had some buddies with him to help.
View user's profile Send private message
R Ashby





Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Likes: 6 pages

Posts: 103

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 3:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow- a tremendous amount of info- thank you all so much.

I did a late-night research ramble, and came across the flemish goedendag, which according to one source turned the tables against knights from 10:1 in favor to 1:2 against. But then according to wikipedia, quoting a military historian, this weapon was designed to unseat horsemen, and that's the secret to it's effectiveness. But if that is the case, why were they so short? Wouldn't they be longer if used solely against horsemen?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goedendag

The character I am envisaging is a knight himself, but fallen or exiled, sort of like Lancelot in the movie Excalibur. From memory he used a mattock in the last battle with Mordred. There's symbolism in using a peasant's weapon, particularly if it's designed for use against knights.

I'll look into bills too, but they are not as fun as a bloody big club with a spike on it.

A poleaxe or lucerne hammer is a natural choice, except I'd have a dickens of a time writing about the technical aspects of using one- too complex for my humble skills. I have enough trouble with a longsword.

Maybe my knight-killer needs to kill knights off the field of battle.
View user's profile Send private message
Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
Joined: 16 Nov 2005
Likes: 4 pages

Posts: 446

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 3:42 pm    Post subject: unpleasant peasants         Reply with quote

Dunno, wasn't there.. but there were a few nasty peasant uprisings that did a lot of damage before being ultimately quashed by overwhelming force. I have had the pleasure of breaking a few rocks in my day, and a stone mason's mass or hammer can be very impressive, especially in the hands of a real mason, the forearms on some of these guys are very strong...and as we were talking about a novel, I think that the novelist would be entitled to describe circumstances which would lead to one good crushing blow. As for the arrogance aspect, well I think we have all seen superior well trained fencers take a hit from a beginner, stuff happens, and the more your life resembles a novel, the more stuff happens...
The maillet de plomb were used against cavalry and were long. They were swung with both hands.

Bon coeur et bon bras
View user's profile Send private message
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,098

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 3:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think Dan and the others have it right. Usually commoners in little to no armour relied on amassing huge numbers to one smaller knightly force, maybe 5 or 10 to one.

That said looking around we have some examples from history, bows- England, Wales and later in France and Burgundy. Long spears/Pikes- Scots and Swiss. War Flail- Hussites, everyone always goes on and on about the guns but almost every one had one of these and three to one these are mentioned as the weapon everyone was afraid of.

That said all of these weapons were used in specific ways or they were less effective, large numbers usually being a part of them.

Now regarding the Godendag.... I doubt they knocked any one from their horse, pikes and spears do that. The Godendag is for clubbing the knights silly or the spike to finish them off.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Bartek Strojek




Location: Poland
Joined: 05 Aug 2008
Likes: 23 pages

Posts: 448

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 4:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
which according to one source turned the tables against knights from 10:1 in favor to 1:2 against.


That's pretty much color commentary, club with a spike on it's end cannot obviously somehow turn the tables like that. If it was flamethrower, now.... Wink

Quote:


That said looking around we have some examples from history, bows- England, Wales and later in France and Burgundy. Long spears/Pikes- Scots and Swiss. War Flail- Hussites,


All of those were obviously used in combination with other arms, with right tactics and so on - in case of English archers, the Swiss or many Hussites, by pretty damn professional operators too.

So all in all, I heartly agree that weapon is one of the least important things in 'killing a knight' by any somehow 'handicapped' opponent.

Quite important still, though.

Quote:
I'll look into bills too, but they are not as fun as a bloody big club with a spike on it.


How about morningstar type of club? Haven't seen that much of two handed variations of those, but for the novel purpose they may be great.
View user's profile Send private message
R Ashby





Joined: 12 Feb 2010
Likes: 6 pages

Posts: 103

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 4:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's that dirty big club with the short spikes off the side and a longer one of the top- it looks fierce. I've seen it on myArmoury. I'll have a look for it. I think it's a morning star.

Like that last one in the picture, but with a longer spike on the top to get in under crevices in armour.



 Attachment: 54.05 KB
Boeheim_Morgenstern_01.jpg
from wikipedia
View user's profile Send private message
Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,278

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 6:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R Ashby wrote:
The character I am envisaging is a knight himself, but fallen or exiled, sort of like Lancelot in the movie Excalibur. From memory he used a mattock in the last battle with Mordred.


Sure, if he was brought up as a knight and one of the best fighters around, that'll work.

Quote:
Maybe my knight-killer needs to kill knights off the field of battle.


Careful. In some places that's called "murder". Your knight-killer might find all kinds of nobles AND peasants looking to hang him! Not so bad if it's a fair fight, probably. Come to think of it, I honestly don't know how common lethal one-on-one duels were! Or what laws governed them. Huh! Had to be a lot of variation and change over time, but if your millieu is at all historical, it'd be worth looking into. Curious to know, myself, now!

Matthew
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Craig Johnson
Industry Professional



Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
Likes: 16 pages
Reading list: 20 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,281

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 6:48 pm    Post subject: One of my favorites         Reply with quote

here is a nice period example. One can see that the use of an axe in the proper fashion can be quite intimidating. Now have a fellow who has seen a thing or two and been a place or three and give him something that is meant to do a job and it gets interesting pretty quick no matter how good one might be.

Best
Craig



 Attachment: 132.25 KB
knightat.jpg

View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Ben Sweet




Location: 831
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 512

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 8:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My custom ordered Michael 'Tinker" Pearce Type XVII

View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Another author's question
Page 1 of 3 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum