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Bart M





Joined: 05 Aug 2005

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sat 07 Nov, 2020 1:29 pm    Post subject: Albion Type X - handling of Bayeux/Reeve, Vigil and Hersir?         Reply with quote

Hello gentlemen

I have been reading a lot, all I could find, about these swords. The consensus seems to be that Bayeux and Reeve are considered to be very light in hand, sometimes described as 'big knives', lacking enough mass and authority compared to other swords of this type.

On the contrary, Vigil and Hersir are said to possess strong blade presence and give a feeling of a devastatingly powerful cut once in movement.

Which brings my question - none of it can be explained by looking at the stats of each sword. In fact, they all have similar weight according to Albion website. Bayeux actually has PoB 2cm further up the blade than Vigil with a weight difference of 20g. Vigil also has a blade with more distal taper and thinner tip. It all sounds like black magic Happy

I know there is also a bit of length difference here but Bayeux and Hersir are almost the same length.

Is there a reasonable explanation for all of this, cause according to my way of thinking it all sounds counter-intuitive? Wink

(To give a little bit of background on my experience. I have only handled and cut with one Albion Sword so far, the Caithness. While a great sword, it injured my hand muscles (the ones called abductor digiti minimi and/or flexor digiti minimi brevis Big Grin ) with full power swings. I tried both loose hammer grip and handshake grip. In the latter it wanted to fly out of my hand using full power. I even read the whole famous thread on gripping viking swords here on the forum. But thats quite off topic anyway Wink )
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Brian K





Joined: 17 Feb 2019

Posts: 39

PostPosted: Sat 07 Nov, 2020 7:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Some of this is just because different reviewers have their own opinions.

These are all lightweight swords and all of them will feel fairly responsive.

The Reeve feels (to me) like it "accelerates itself" because of its lightness with a forward balance. At least with downward cuts. Otherwise it has more inertia out on the blade because of its balance.

The others with closer balance to guard are faster to get up to speed. I think the Hersir uses the same blade as the Reeve, and is just balanced to where it is easier to accelerate and recover. Maybe for some, a fast to accelerate wide cutting blade feels most powerful, while others would say the inertia and follow through is more so.

The longer blade of the Vigil does mean more tip speed, and so would be a devastating cutter. Plus, a longer blade does convey a feeling of power.

All these are powerful cutters. The stats don't really lie but the reviewers' word choice is coloring your impression, probably.
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Nov, 2020 12:16 am    Post subject: Re: Albion Type X - handling of Bayeux/Reeve, Vigil and Hers         Reply with quote

Bart M wrote:
The consensus seems to be that Bayeux and Reeve are considered to be very light in hand, sometimes described as 'big knives', lacking enough mass and authority compared to other swords of this type.

On the contrary, Vigil and Hersir are said to possess strong blade presence and give a feeling of a devastatingly powerful cut once in movement.


The problem is, those statements are all highly subjective.

The underlying problem is that there is a lot of bias already in the concept of "buyer reviews" especially in a small, highly specialized community like this. Generally reviews are written by people who bought a sword, but if they are buying something they generally do a lot of research into what they want exactly, and are therefore unlikely to be disappointed.

Bart M wrote:
(To give a little bit of background on my experience. I have only handled and cut with one Albion Sword so far, the Caithness. While a great sword, it injured my hand muscles (the ones called abductor digiti minimi and/or flexor digiti minimi brevis Big Grin ) with full power swings. I tried both loose hammer grip and handshake grip. In the latter it wanted to fly out of my hand using full power. I even read the whole famous thread on gripping viking swords here on the forum. But thats quite off topic anyway Wink )

This is not off topic at all but instead a very important point of this discussion: personal strength and experience with fencing / cutting. And experience with swords in general.

Nowadays a lot of people are office workers of some kind and not used to physical labour, let alone hand-to-hand combat.
So they may experience a certain sword to be quite heavy, while in fact it is on the light side of period originals.

In my experience, if you use a sword more often and become better at moving a sword around properly, the lighter they get. But if you continue to use a sword for a long time (i.e. resembling a battle) then you'll notice it getting heavier and less comfortable to hold then you thought at first.
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J.D. Crawford




Location: Toronto
Joined: 25 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Sun 08 Nov, 2020 6:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I guess it depends on what you're used to as well. I found both Vigil and Caithness to be light for my taste, but I was practicing with bigger 3lb + swords at the time. Now I practice less and I prefer lighter swords. I'm surprised that Caithness gave you tendonitis. I've had that from a few swords, but they were either much heavier or poorly balanced. Have you had any lessons?
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Paul Hansen




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 17 Mar 2005
Likes: 5 pages

Posts: 807

PostPosted: Sun 08 Nov, 2020 8:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:
I guess it depends on what you're used to as well.


I just found this thread:
http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=276...p;start=40
where you posted the following, which I'll repeat here because I think it's spot on:

J.D. Crawford wrote:
I spent a few years practicing drills with swords like this (with far-out PoBs) on a daily basis, and concluded that is mainly about motor learning. Being wide through the shoulders helps, because that's where the power needs to come from. The other thing is developing a feel for how swords like this want to move. Trying to man-handle a sword like this to move against its design, especially using the arm muscles, will just result in awkward motion and injury.

The current sword is a slightly different story, because the main obstacle here is the mass, not mass distribution, and that's that's hard to overcome through coordination strategies. Great strength would definitely be an advantage with this sword. Right now I'd like to go back 20-25 years to the days when I could bench 300 ten times! Youth is wasted on the young. Sad

One can well imagine that a 13th century warrior, in the prime of his strength and raised from childhood to handle such weapons, could do a lot more with them than we can today through casual contact. You hear about the bone and muscle development of archers, but what about swordsmen?
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Bart M





Joined: 05 Aug 2005

Posts: 12

PostPosted: Sun 08 Nov, 2020 9:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

J.D. Crawford wrote:
I'm surprised that Caithness gave you tendonitis.


I must have expressed myself poorly. It's not that I pulled a muscle or got tendonitis. It's just that the long edge of the pommel on Caithness digs into your palm muscles when you swing it a lot. It became seriously uncomfortable on the second day. It wasn't about being generally sore. I tried a few ways of gripping the handle and I couldn't really get around this. (There is a part in Matthew Jensen's review of the sword where he holds it in a 'hammer' grip. Imagine if he held it closer to the pommel) with his little finger resting against it. The other side tends to dig into your palm muscles)

This becomes really noticeable when you swing the sword really hard. I think the pommel is too long and wide to grip it like a viking sword and also not rounded like disc pommel swords. With a handshake grip it doesn't rest against your palm, its just moves away. I really liked how the sword cuts and it's general balance, simply couldn't get around the pommel. Your index finger gripping bare metal also felt a bit weird. The handle in general felt a bit too thin too. Maybe with more time I could've figured a better way but I decided that if I don't feel like my hand and the sword work together well from the beginning it might be a better idea to try another one. I have a little experience with other weapons, this was simply my first Albion.

I also have a heavy cavalry sabre and it is indeed a weapon that requires heavy swings from the arm, like mentioned in the above post. There is just no other way to wield it. But once in motion it feels great. You also have two ways of gripping it, near the guard or just at the end of the handle and it feels different with each grip.

Well, I guess I derailed my own topic a bit but you guys probably said everything there is to say about my first question. These reviews are indeed highly subjective Happy
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