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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Mon 13 Oct, 2014 6:26 pm    Post subject: I can't stand....         Reply with quote

Ok, here is a different idea for a thread which hopefully hasn't been done before and hopefully people will enjoy. The idea is to challenge other members to post an example, either historical or a good reproduction, of a type of weapon or armour that the poster can't stand.

For example, I can't stand rapiers. I just don't get them. I guess they are effective and pointy, and might, just possibly, have some cool hilts, but really, I like swords with a bit more meat. Call me ignorant, but there it is.

So if you know of a rapier you think just might change my distaste, please post a picture of it and tell us all why you like it so much. If you post one that I grudgingly allow might be an ok example, or better yet, a conversion piece, you win and you get to say, "I can't stand..." whatever you want. If no one can sway my opinion, well I'll just pick someone at random to keep it going. And so forth.

I dare you.

Basket-hilts and Schiavonas not allowed for a response. I think I could like those someday. They have some meat on their bones anyhow.
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Michael Wiethop




Location: St. Louis
Joined: 27 May 2012

Posts: 63

PostPosted: Mon 13 Oct, 2014 9:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting idea!

I can't stand swords.

Well, that's not really true. I like shaskas, kampilans, makhairas/kopeis/falcatas, and zweihänders, and maybe Bronze Age stuff to an extent. But when it comes to most others, especially most other European swords, I'm left feeling bored. Most swords just don't do it for me. They seem overdone and overrated.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 13 Oct, 2014 10:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"I can't stand" might be a little bit strong as a phrase for me. However, there certainly are numerous forms of arms that I have a difficult time relating to.

The first thing that comes to mind are small swords. It's obvious that many of them are very aesthetically pleasing, but they just don't "grab" me as a weapon. I also have a hard time with European late 18th and 19th century sabers, military swords, and the like. I'm not sure why it is, but they really don't interest me. That might be in part because there's relatively little about the history and military engagements of this time span that I want to read about.

I also find that I am not particularly interested some pole arms, especially those post 1500 AD. Partisans, ranseurs, spetums, corseques, the more fancy and elaborate halberds and glaives- they just don't do much for me. I don't mind earlier halberds, poleaxes, bills, glaives, guisarmes, war axes, spears, and the like. It's just some of the ornate ones from the Early Modern Period, and especially tri-headed spear variations, that I don't particularly care for.

The other thing I curiously have trouble appreciating are thrusting-oriented single handed swords from the Middle Ages. That is to say, I don't particularly love Type XVs, and XVIIIs, nor do I own any. It used to be that I preferred cutting oriented single handed swords and thrusting-oriented long swords. Now I find that I also appreciate great swords as well. But for whatever reason, the single handed XVs and XVIIIs still haven't changed for me. This is especially odd given that I own a Castellan, and Late 15th C Bastard Sword, both of which are XVa blades. For whatever reason, I seem to prefer a thrusting blade on a long sword.

Unlike Mr. Nicolaysen, I do like rapiers, especially those of the swept hilt variety. They have an especial beauty and elegance as weapons, and there is a certain seductiveness in rapier fighting that is not present in medieval sword fighting. At the same time, I also appreciate broader cutting blades and prefer to train in earlier, late medieval arts.

In terms of things that I have gained new appreciation for, bronze age swords, Viking swords, katanas, and really broad cutting swords (the Type XIII family) all make the list. Previously, these swords either did not interest me that much. In the case of katanas, I had used to have a negative view of them due to their over-hype, and my need to identify as a European practitioner of sword fighting; now, I find myself able to appreciate them, and I would like to own one or two at some point. In the case of the XIIIs, the broadness of the blade and seeming uselessness for thrusting were unappealing to me. As time has passed, my tastes have shifted to encompass these swords, albeit on a smaller scale.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 13 Oct, 2014 10:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What about this seven ring rapier? It's got a broader blade than many, and there is an elegance to the hilt that you just cannot find in other swords.

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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 1:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Or, how about this Town Guard sword from the Higgins Armory? You might argue that the sword isn't technically a rapier, but it certainly has the hilt furnishings to place it in the rapier family. I really like these swords a lot, and purchasing one is part of my "some day" sword projects. I know A&A does one; I'd probably want to have mine custom done to bring it closer in visual appearance to the antique specimens.

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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
Joined: 03 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 5:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Craig and Michael for getting into the spirit of the thread.

I think most of my problem is ignorance of the type of sword and fighting style. Then again, I'm fairly ignorant of the wonderful variety of swords, armor and swordsmanship styles of India, Eastern Europe, Turkey and so on, yet I think some that I have seen are absolutely incredible.

Perhaps part of it is that like Craig,
Quote:
I also have a hard time with European late 18th and 19th century sabers, military swords, and the like. I'm not sure why it is, but they really don't interest me. That might be in part because there's relatively little about the history and military engagements of this time span that I want to read about.


And so on with rapiers and their time. The things I really like, I love and can learn about and hope to collect. Other things I "can't stand", I am interested to hear why people like them so I might have at least a working appreciation. I hadn't ever drunk the Katana Kool-Aid, but JSA did focus my attention so I did not learn much about other swords and styles until recently. But I always liked some of the other European weapons for sure.

Those are good candidates Craig, but I would like to see some more if other people like that style quite a bit. One thing I think would help would see a few practitioners go at it. I'll look around You-tube and certain WSA sites to see if I find anything
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J. Nicolaysen




Location: Wyoming
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 5:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

By the way, my REAL FIRST name is Jon, but only creditors and government call me that. Please use my nickname "Kem" Happy
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Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 7:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Like Craig the first thing that came to my mind is smallswords. I just don't like that they (usually) don't have any cutting edge, though some smallswords do have beautifully decorated hilts. Other swords from the early modern era that I don't like are spadroons and artillery swords. As for earlier times I've never like Oakeshott type XIs and XVIIs.
Éirinn go Brách
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Bryan Heff




Location: Philadelphia
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 7:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Its harsh I realize but in the spirit of the thread...for me I just simply can't stand Japanese swords. I just zero interest in them, none...which is interesting in a way because I am very interested in European swords so one would think that being "into swords" a person would have at least some interest in say a Japanese sword in this case but I really don't.
The church is near but the roads are icy. The tavern is far but I will walk carefully. - Russian Proverb
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Matthew P. Adams




Location: Cape Cod, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Viking swords.

There, I said it, and its something I've thought about a bit. Short cutting blades designed for mass combat, none of the romance of one on one combat, and they lack the grace of a longsword.

Obviously just one mans opinion!

And as pretty as pattern welding gets it's still a way to get good performance out of flawed material.

I'd love to hear why so many folks are enamored of viking swords! Is it the many materials in the hilt? Viking culture? You like the pattern welding? Whats the draw? (Ha! see what I did there?! "Draw"?) Laughing Out Loud

"We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training" Archilochus, Greek Soldier, Poet, c. 650 BC
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Gordon Alexander




Location: Eagan, MN & Dubois, WY
Joined: 24 Dec 2012

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 9:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I aspire to be a dandy even though I am light years from achieving that noble goal. Swords that are too large or brutish to be good dress accessories have less appeal to me;-)

Last edited by Gordon Alexander on Tue 14 Oct, 2014 5:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Chris Friede




Location: Austin
Joined: 15 Mar 2014

Posts: 39

PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 10:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Presentation or bearing swords..while they are gorgeous, and I can appreciate the technical skills and ornamentation, the idea of a weapon just to be decoration is unappealing.

Cinquedas. They strike me as fat and inelegant, but the elegance was supposed to be part of the point.

I do like Viking-era swords, though. I think the fact that pattern-welding both enhanced the beauty AND made the sword a better performer makes them winners.

My wife...she can't stand rappers and small swords...thinks they look to effeminate. A little annoying to me because I got into swords through sport fencing, so I preferred light and fast blades until I discovered Tallhoffer.
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 10:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I agree with Chris on the cinquedeas, though I do think that similar blades, perhaps a bit longer, can look good with a sword hilt. For example the sword of Cesare Borgia.

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/400187116858209209/

Éirinn go Brách
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 11:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To answer Matthew's question on why people like viking swords. Well I like some styles, but not all. For example, I'm not a fan of Petersen type Ls, but I do love the look of lobed pommels. I also like the wire inlays used for decoration.
Éirinn go Brách
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 1:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I hate sicas. That curved blade - it's so Un-Roman.
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Baard H




Location: Norway
Joined: 13 Mar 2013

Posts: 90

PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew P. Adams wrote:
Viking swords.

There, I said it, and its something I've thought about a bit. Short cutting blades designed for mass combat, none of the romance of one on one combat, and they lack the grace of a longsword.

I'd love to hear why so many folks are enamored of viking swords! Is it the many materials in the hilt? Viking culture? You like the pattern welding? Whats the draw? (Ha! see what I did there?! "Draw"?) Laughing Out Loud



SHORT!? MASS COMBAT!? My good Sir, you are thinking of the average run-of-the-mill reenactment fighting blade off the shelf made by makers who cater to the needs the average re-enactor think he has regarding safety and practicality.


The true (high-end) swords from the "viking" era was admittedly made for cutting, but they doesn't stand back too much lengthwise from the later "knightly swords". A friend of mine has handled "viking"-swords in museums wich has had up to 110 cm length or so.

As for mass combat: There are theories existing that the large round-shield with center grip is mainly a duelling weapon, with techniques such as the shield-wall being a way to compensate for its lack of usefulness in a line.


Visual mind-changers:
As most re-enactors are (sadly) unaware of those beautiful long single-edged blades I mentioned, they aren't manufactured commercially and I'm unable to find any pictures on-line for you. However I have a couple of Youtube videos lined up where the point for round-shields as refined duelling weapons is made perfectly.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkhpqAGdZPc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MWvNDKdKpQ

PS: in an age where you only occasionally will run into maille, you don't need a pointy end to make an effective thrust...

At kveldi skal dag leyfa,
konu, er brennd er,
mæki, er reyndr er,
mey, er gefin er,
ís, er yfir kemr,
öl, er drukkit er.
-Hávamál, vísa 81
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 2:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is a difficult subject, because so many people's egos get so invested in their particular interests. But also for me, because, truth is, there are very few sword designs I absolutely don't like. But even I do have my favorite types of swords. I tend to like single-handed swords, and shorter swords. Sword and shield work interests me. And yes, certain eras of history and certain cultures interest me more than others. For instance, the ancient world, to include Greece and Rome. The migration and Viking eras. Scottish history. These interests draw me to certain types of swords. And it turns out that I like the swords from these times and places.
So, what can't I stand? Again this is hard for me. Let's see....
Rapiers? I don't have much interest in rapiers (that being said, I have a couple. Not my favorite swords, in fact one I'd like to sell if I can find a big enough box). However, I do see the appeal. Hey, I like the musketeers as much as anyone. And original rapiers are beautiful swords. So, I can't say I "can't stand" them.
Longswords? Don't have much interest in them. But again, I do see the appeal. Heck, they are pretty cool. So, I certainly can't say I can't stand them.
Katanas? Ah yes, the Japanese sword. So over hyped. And no, I don't have much interest in them. Still, I can't say I can't stand them. Actually, I wouldn't mind having one, at some future point....
Two-handed swords? Don't care for them much either, despite the fact I have a couple Highland Claidheamh Da Laimh hanging on my wall, which I do like very much. Other than that, I wouldn't have one. Can I say I can't stand them? Nope....
Fantasy designs? Although some are rather silly, others are quite valid, and in fact pretty darn cool. The swords from LOTR have generally been pretty nice, and there are a few historically-based fantasy swords that are great. So, again, can't say it...

And this list could go on and on but the same answer would apply; I can't say there are many sword designs I honestly can't stand, just some that interest me less than others. And I don't think one should have to defend their personal tastes, either. It's all good. Like what you want, don't like what you don't. Appreciate what you do have. Simple as that.

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

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Ben Coomer




Location: Colorado
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 3:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Complex hilts.

I know they have uses and are an important development and tactically useful and all that, but I do not like them very much. They just strike me a gaudy and unnecessary. And let's not even start on basket hilts.

I am thinking about eventually getting a rapier and side sword, but finding a hilt that doesn't strike me as a club smashed on to an otherwise nice blade is the hard part...
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Tyler Jordan





Joined: 15 Mar 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't like spadroons at all, but that's probably not uncommon.

It's post-napoleonic cavalry swords that just rub me wrong. I dunno, they're just.. meh. Wanna bore me? Bring out some civil war sabers. Anything else, I probably want it.
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Greg Ballantyne




Location: Maryland USA
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PostPosted: Tue 14 Oct, 2014 4:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

An interesting take on the discussion to this point on this subject, not true in every case but appears to be a common enough theme...... the "I can't stand" statements seem to then be followed by either an admission or a revelation of some level of ignorance. I have noticed this in myself; I can think of a number of subjects that for me would have fit the intent of the OP at one time, but upon further discovery, research and learning no longer occupy that spot.
Just an observation....... interesting none the less
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