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Which Albion sword should I choose?
Munich
28%
 28%  [ 17 ]
Squire
5%
 5%  [ 3 ]
Crecy
26%
 26%  [ 16 ]
Alexandria
5%
 5%  [ 3 ]
Gallowglass
8%
 8%  [ 5 ]
Viceroy
13%
 13%  [ 8 ]
Other (production or custom)
13%
 13%  [ 8 ]
Total Votes : 60

Author Message
Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jul, 2014 9:10 am    Post subject: Picking an Albion         Reply with quote

Hello all,

So thanks to the government, I've recently come into something of a pecuniary windfall to the tune of around $1600. Well, more than that actually, but that's the amount I have to play with. It's not quite enough considering that there are a number of other things I would like to purchase as well as a sword, so I will most likely not actually be purchasing it immediately. Rather, I am more likely to save up for some time and *then* make the purchase and have money left over for the other things (some quality woodworking tools, for one).

I have always wanted a really good sword, so most likely an A&A or an Albion or a custom. I don't particularly want to go custom as I have way too many ideas for my own good :P So that leaves a production sword, and in the States at least that pretty much leaves A&A and Albion. I don't know as much about what A&A offers, so I'll go with Albion for the moment. If anybody has suggestions though, feel free to throw them out there Happy Travelling or finding someone with examples to try them out for myself is not really an option, unfortunately, so I have to select them sight-unseen. Hence, this thread: I want your input and opinions.

A few quick metrics if they're any help: I am ~6'1" height, broad shoulders, large-ish hands but I can fit both hands upon the Hanwei Tinker bastard sword grip (snugly) at a little over 7". From the list, it will be fairly clear that I am a longsword guy-- I prefer to handle most swords with two hands. If I use one hand, I'd rather have a shield in the other (traditional that way). Besides, the last sword I purchased was a single hander, so there you go.

Regrettably, it's very difficult to pick JUST one! Here is the list. I will be listing just the Albion price after the first entry, as Kult of Athena's prices are typically only ~$50 less than Albion's. I may purchase from KoA, though, as $50 less is still something! Plus they do have that discounted Vigil (or is it an Oakeshott?) right now...

--Munich. $1650 Albion price, $ 1625 Kult of Athena. Beautiful, awesome longsword. This has been a 'dream sword' of mine for probably over ten years or so (basically since I found out about Albion in the first place). The only possible problem is a.) the cost, I would have to wait a little longer to actually purchase it, and b.) I understand the grip is somewhat thin and I have large hands. It would be quite the letdown to actually purchase it and then find out it's not really fitted to me.

--Squire. $1016. Supposed to be one of their best single handers. I already have a number of single hander swords so this is not as much of a priority... but it's still a gorgeous piece.

--Crecy. $880; probably the most reasonably priced one of the bunch. A cutting monster. Difficult competition for second place in the 'dream sword' after the Munich.

--Alexandria. $1375. Some people prefer the Principe due to a longer grip; I prefer this because I like the plainer look and the aesthetics of a round pommel versus the fish-tail of the Principe. This is the other sword competing for second place-- I've longed for a wide-bladed XVIII for years. Just something about how that looks.

--Gallowglass. $1430. A ring-hilt, fairly unique for its quality. Supposed to be one of the best handling swords that Albion makes, IIRC. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong though.

--Viceroy. $1650. This one is probably in third place after the Crecy and Alexandria. It's a monster of a war-sword, but beautiful in its own Renaissance fashion. I love wide blades (which makes my preference for the Munich a little weird, but what can I say).

--And finally, despite this list, I am honestly open to suggestions. A&A swords similar to the ones above or unlike them, custom makers who could make something similar, etcetera...

Thank you for your time. When I do purchase whatever I settle upon, you may be credited :P

Have a very nice day!
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
Likes: 31 pages

Posts: 677

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jul, 2014 12:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well if I were in your lucky shoes I would probably go for the Munich, the Gallowglass, or the A&A Black Prince and get a nice scabbard or dagger with the extra money (Black Prince is $850 and I think it is a great classic, great handling too. Check out the reviews here on myArmoury). Of your Albion choices, I like the way the Munich and the Gallowglass look the best, but you have several great options! I just don't care about the Alexandria but that is just my personal feeling. Whatever you decide, post some pics and a review!

The only Albion I have is a very nice Senlac, and right now I only have the A&A Irish Ring-hilt and several daggers. So my input lacks the personal experience someone else might give you. But my Senlac and Ring-hilt are pretty sweet (single-handers)!
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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Posts: 3,900

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jul, 2014 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the Crecy is your safest bet, especially for your first longsword

1) Every owner that has ever written about it, really likes this sword.

2) It is a good all-around cut and thrust sword. some of the others on your list are more specialized.

The 6.75 inch grip might be a little short for you.
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Scott Hanson




Location: La Crosse, WI
Joined: 19 Jul 2006
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Posts: 154

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jul, 2014 12:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What do you plan to do with the sword? Hang it up as a decoration? Handle it occasionally? Use it for cutting practice? (what targets?)

Hard to advise without knowing why you want a sword.

Proverbs 27:17 "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another"

Wisconsin Historical Fencing Association (WHFA)
A HEMA Alliance Affiliate
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jul, 2014 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Hanson wrote:
What do you plan to do with the sword? Hang it up as a decoration? Handle it occasionally? Use it for cutting practice? (what targets?)

Hard to advise without knowing why you want a sword.


Good point and something I should have mentioned--

I don't cut as much as I used to, but this sword will definitely get used (in a non-violent manner of course, barring home invasion or some such fairly unlikely scenario). Essentially my answer is "all of the above"... targets would probably be bottles and such for the most part as I don't really have access to tatami. The occasional cardboard carpet roll would probably come up as well.

Honestly though the cutting is a secondary thing, this is mostly just for the buzz of having an awesome sword Big Grin Immature perhaps, but when it's something you've wanted for years...
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Lee O'Hagan




Location: Northamptonshire,England
Joined: 30 Sep 2003
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 509

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jul, 2014 2:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you don't decide on either of your top dream swords,
which if I were you, I'd ask about here to see if anyone is local enough to get a looky see at, Wink
personally if I was looking to spend similar,
this one keeps calling me back, and every year I wonder why I haven't yet bought one,
http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_els.html
from the cosmetic onto the numbers it screams perfect for me,
I'm also of similar size to you,and recently bought the hanwei you mention to project out,
normally I'd just click the custom vote, but this sword is one of very few that one day i'l have to buy,lol,
jmo, Happy
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Dan K. F.




Location: Calgary, Alberta
Joined: 12 Aug 2013
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 32

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jul, 2014 4:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lee O'Hagan wrote:
If you don't decide on either of your top dream swords,
which if I were you, I'd ask about here to see if anyone is local enough to get a looky see at, Wink
personally if I was looking to spend similar,
this one keeps calling me back, and every year I wonder why I haven't yet bought one,
http://www.myArmoury.com/review_aa_els.html
from the cosmetic onto the numbers it screams perfect for me,
I'm also of similar size to you,and recently bought the hanwei you mention to project out,
normally I'd just click the custom vote, but this sword is one of very few that one day i'l have to buy,lol,
jmo, Happy


I actually picked up the A&A English Longsword used on this forum last year. Feels great in my hands, perfect length and balance, not too plain but not gaudy either - it's pretty much everything I was looking for for my first premium longsword purchase. The shape of the pommel gives you a little more space for a two-handed grip than the measurements given in the review (as the review itself notes).

Jeffrey, if you're willing to wait (and it sounds like you are), you might want to browse the marketplace section periodically to see if an Albion or A&A pops up that catches your eye. You'll keep some cash in your pocket and it'll allow you to bypass the six month wait from the manufacturer. Speaking from recent experience, waiting months for A&A/Albion to manufacture and deliver your sword while you drool over the pictures on their site is absolute torture!
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 28 Jul, 2014 5:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Go with your dream sword. You don't really need to ask us which sword you should buy; the best we can offer is to point you back to your own authority by asking "Which sword speaks to you the most?" If the Munich calls to you, there's probably a reason. It's a superbly elegant sword and handles with surprising agility. I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
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Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jul, 2014 7:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Its hard to explain "why" I or any of us "sword nuts" wanted any of the swords bought, other than "they called to me". There is nothing rational about it, ideas about a period ensemble, style of training, or historical period of interest not withstanding. The Munich got me when it was a sketch. It does not fit the time period (12th century) of any historical ensemble I will put together. I have not regretted getting mine, even if it does spend a lot of time in a closet .I still love it.... If its doing that to you, you will probably end up getting it anyway.
Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Ben Coomer




Location: Colorado
Joined: 06 Sep 2011

Posts: 184

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jul, 2014 9:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My first choice would be the Crecy. Its an all around good sword.

Second would be the Squire, but that's because I'm on a single handed kick.

Finally, the Alexandria calls to me as well.

Still, if the Munich is your dream sword, go with it. Better than regret.
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Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jul, 2014 9:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig and Jared, your thoughts expressed are spot-on. Good posts! I agree 100%.

Having said that, I voted Munich because I think it fits the needs of the topic author and I happen to love the sword and want one as well.

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Victor R.




Location: Spring, Texas
Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 233

PostPosted: Mon 28 Jul, 2014 10:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Since you enjoy cutting, I'd go with your second place dream, the Crecy. I love my Gothic Munich, and, while it would likely do well against light cutting media, it isn't designed to primarily be a cutter, so you wouldn't be able to enjoy it in the same way. And, for the price of the Crecy, with the budget you have, you could get a very nice scabbard & suspension, and still stay under the cost of the base, bare-naked Munich.

If you do, however, go with the tide of the vote at this point & go Munich, I can say that the fore of the grip on my Gothic compares favorably in thickness to my Landgraf, Agincourt and Mercenary - it is really only the back part of the grip that is exceedingly thin, in keeping with the style & design of the exemplars. However, the Gothic grip does have the crossed risers on either side which does add some heft. The standard grip would appear to be somewhat thinner. If this is a significant concern to you, maybe go with the Crecy now and start putting aside for the Munich in the future, doing it up all the way with the Gothic grip. If the standard grip doesn't worry you, then I'd suggest red or oxblood for the grip to make it pop a little more - the black for that sword is a little blase' unless it's dressed-up with the wire wrap, risers & studs. Well, in my opinion at least. Wink

Either way you go, I think you'll be pleased, and you will have an excellent new sword.
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Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
Joined: 29 Apr 2004
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Posts: 616

PostPosted: Wed 30 Jul, 2014 10:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My first Albion was the Munich, with a custom Christian Fletcher scabbard. It was a beauty and I had no regrets. It is now in the keeping of my oldest and closest friend, and I visit as often as possible. I have also owned a Crecy, which I recently sold to a fellow forumite here. Both swords are wonderful, but since there can be only one, I'll try to parse out some arguments for each.

The Munich is certainly more of a unique creation, especially if you go with a Gothic grip like I did. Still, it's a very purpose-driven weapon, optimized for use against heavy armor and the techniques pertaining thereto. The Crecy is more of a universal longsword, with an excellent blend of cutting and thrusting abilities. Sort of an everysword, if you will. Still, it handles like a dream. Absolutely nothing wrong there.

With your budget, I'd go with the Crecy and then use the leftover cash to get her a decent scabbard. That's just me. I've never felt a sword was quite complete until she had a proper gown for the ball, as it were.

Ultimately, you should go with what speaks to you, and what is intended for the period and style of combat that interests you. That's what makes a sword more than just a pretty thing to hang on your wall or carry to a Ren Faire. And I'm not sure you can really go wrong with the list you've provided. Have fun with it, and let us know what you end up going with. Happy

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Jeffrey Faulk




Location: Georgia
Joined: 01 Jan 2011

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue 19 Aug, 2014 12:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I pulled the trigger and bought a Munich. Campaign dark brown grip; apparently I'll be the first ever to request this colour. Very excellent, up-front and rapid communication by Mike and Amy at Albion.

Thanks to all who participated in this. I see the poll was very close between the Crecy and the Munich, but the dream sword got it by a nose Happy
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