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Kelly Powell




Location: lawrence, kansas
Joined: 27 Feb 2008

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Thu 20 Mar, 2008 12:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

With a buckler, you have to be very reactive to your opponets moves....you punch block as soon as you THINK their weapon is going to move....Or if the weapon is allready moving,try to redirect it instead of absorbing the energy(it looks really cool if you do absorb a two-handed weapons blow, but your wrist and shoulder will pay for it after awhile).
As for low shots...I'd sayit's a 50/50 chance either way....If you connect and ruin the guys ankles...fight over....If the shield guy either evades or comes in past the sweet spot , then he probably wins.
Of course rattan weapons move and react much differently....it is much harder to redirect a rattan shot....you do not have a rattan blade sliding downanother rattan blade like you see with steel...same goes with rattan on shields....It's more bounce or stick.
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Jan Downs




Location: Earth
Joined: 12 Feb 2006

Posts: 28

PostPosted: Fri 21 Mar, 2008 6:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's that whole indestructible sheild issue in the SCA as well. This creates a real problem when discussing whether or not a longswordsman would prevail against a sheildman.

A real poleaxe can destroy a real sheild. An SCA poleaxe can't destroy an SCA sheild.

for God's sake strike true, man!
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Kelly Powell




Location: lawrence, kansas
Joined: 27 Feb 2008

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Sat 22 Mar, 2008 5:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

but a all metal buckler is going to take a lot of damage...you'd most likely pop the rivets out of the handle or the arm would give before you sheared through or bent basically a round chunk of plate steel. or iron.
yeah, the indestructible heaters and other sca shields are a pain.....it handicaps weapons like axes and maces....their main advantage is their destructive power...in sca they are a slow baton that happens to rock your helmet a little harder.
but look at the x-factor that real swords vs shields bring....what if your sword gets stuck into the shield?and so on....As long as that shield saves you from the first few shots the shieldmen has a chance to at least get into grappling range, if not get in a strike to the longswordsmens hands or forearms.
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Kyle Nelson





Joined: 04 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Sat 04 Apr, 2009 11:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Defeating an opponent armed with a shield when you're armed with 1 sword by Felren:

First off we're going to assume the sword is fairly long, capable of being weilded with 2 hands but balanced and light enough to make single handed strikes. We'll get into a few other scenarios in a second.

Most would say sword and shield vs someone with a single sword is 1 sided, but it really is not. A sheild is just as big a disadvantage as it is an advantage. Shields are far more effective used in conjunction with similarly armed comrades, not when you are by yourself in a duel.

Why? A shield creates a blind spot, the larger the shield the greater the blindspot. Not to mention the weight 1 arm is forced to hold in an upright position constantly quickly wears on your stamina. To defeat this shield user, you must not let them push the offensive with shield attacks, and must make them defend themselves. If your weapon is longer, hence the 2 hander, you can force them to defend whilst maintaining enough destance to evade their counter attacks. Do not use strong - energy wasting blows. Test your opponent with very weak blows and arc them from several different angles. This will tire him out and keep him on edge as he is forced to move his shield around.

Manouverability is your friend. If your opponent is on the defensive you can force him to create blind spots wherever you chose him to have them, and strike with a feint to the now undefended area. When you move to make your killing (or hopefully in everyone's case non lethal but winning strike) close the gap: lose the precious distance you had been keeping and get inside their guard. If you are unsuccessful you can change your attack into a shove or keep them from doing the same by a quick pommel attack and retreat.

Changing your attack arcs, your footing, and wearing particularly stubborn sheild users down through chains of attacks will create many openings in your enemies guard. Hopefully you are skilled enough to see them, and never forget, in a duel the shield is a weapon, not a peice of armor. Never forget that it is often more dangerous than his right-sword-arm.

If it turns into a stamina battle, use as weak of sword swings as you can, or if you're willing to risk it and your weapon is heavy, use strong blows targeting the shield speficially (if its raised). They will feel those hits in their forearm bones through the shield and you may even defeat them without ever tagging their body. This should only be used if you are stronger and have obvious leverage because if you are unsuccessful and not strong enough you will tire out before a minute has passed, and lets face it, an offensive sheild and sword flurry of attacks is not easy to defend against unless you are simmilarly armed. Also don't make the big wide and powerful swings if they are not standing square to you and are in a side stance. They can block the heavy blow using their added strength from their superior footing position and pivot and swing quickly inside your now open guard.
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Bill Tsafa




Location: Brooklyn, NY
Joined: 20 May 2004

Posts: 599

PostPosted: Sat 04 Apr, 2009 7:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting thread you dug up Kyle. It goes back to 2005 but well worth discussing further, especially since I was not involved in the initial discussion :P

I have considerable experience with sword and shield. It is true that it can create blindspots but not just by its mere presence. The guy with the single-sword has to create blind spots where they don't normally exist. An experience sword and shield fighter knows very well were the bindspots are at rest. It is very easy to fool a beginner shieldman to lower his guard by placing a blade below his shieldline. When he lowers his shield and looks over to see the blade you slam the blade in his face. This will not work against anyone beyond the beginner level. An experienced shieldman can tell from your body positioning what your sword is doing. He can even tell what you feet are doing when he can't see them. For example, he will look for your head position to change as you switch from a classic fencing stance to a horse stance and he will know where your feet are.

Against a single sword the the bindspot is minor, especially against a weapon that is only slightly longer. The full-proof tactic of the shieldman is to bind the single weapon with his shield and attack with his free weapon. Once he closes in, he does does not need to see the weapon in order to control it with his shield. He can feel the pressure through the shield. The longsword concept of "feelen" applies here.

The shieldman is not invulnerable by any means. I have fought against shields with the single sword on a few occasions. The only reason I have a chance is because I know how to fight shield, so I have some idea of what to expect. Furthermore, I know how to create blindspots where there are normally not. By backpeddling in circles to the shieldside and menacing the shieldman constantly with faceshots I am able to get 1 kill in every 8 matches. Occasionally, I might get a chance to tug on the shield with my freehand and take a free shot like that too. I have seen a few Dukes in the SCA that can get 1 in 4 kills with the single-sword against shield. They can do this because they know the shield fighting so well and know how to misdirect it. That is as good as the odds probably get.

The single-sword vs shield-sword matches are actually very common in the SCA. When a person gets hit in the arm, they loose the use of that arm. This forces the single-sword vs sword-shield match up. The SCA is where you will find the greatest number of people experienced in this match up.

With regard to the issue raised earlier of Shield destructibility or indestructibility, it is just not wise to count on breaking someones shield in order to beat them. Yeah, it might happen... but what do you do if it does not. You better know how to get around it.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
Roger of Hoveden, 1174-1201
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Steven H




Location: Boston
Joined: 10 May 2006

Posts: 545

PostPosted: Sun 05 Apr, 2009 10:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Vassilis Tsafatinos wrote:

With regard to the issue raised earlier of Shield destructibility or indestructibility, it is just not wise to count on breaking someones shield in order to beat them. Yeah, it might happen... but what do you do if it does not. You better know how to get around it.


Very good point. It's like the idea behind "fly in, fly out", abzug etc. a particular hit might end the find - but you need to be prepared for the fact that it might not.

Cheers,
Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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Alex Leduc




Location: KY
Joined: 13 Mar 2011

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2011 5:22 pm    Post subject: Sword n' Board vs. Longsword         Reply with quote

In my experience, which is mainly based on the rules of dagorhir, the most effective way for a single sword wielder to engage a sword and boarder is to pretend your off hand is another weapon and grapple the shield. I am a right handed single edged two-handed sword user, and i find that shield users never expect me to do things like push on their shield with my left hand. This is of course horribly unsound, as my entire left side is exposed during the maneuver, but it makes the point that shield users are not accustomed to use of the off hand.

Against a right handed sword and boarder, the strike I find most effective is this:

Engage with blade in right hand covering the left side of your body by holding it high and pointed downwards while your left hand is outstreched underneath the blade. Grab the inside edge of the shield with your left hand while catching the reflexive blow with your sword. Pull on the shield to open up the chest and make an upwards strike with the sword into it (hitting several times to be sure they feel it *sorry, dagorhir*).

Obviously this will fail if your opponent expects it, because it is nearly impossible to move a shield that is unwilling. it also fails if the sword and boarder does not hit from the right to the left. often shield users will com from their off side, in which case, the position of your sword will be ill suited to quickly slashing into the chest, and the opponent will thereafter be alerted to your grabbyness.


The other most effective thing I find is to simply keep attacking. Most shield users will not charge into a hailstorm of small strikes, so maintaining offense is paramount to survival. it is very easy to get bowled over because the shield guy decided to stop staring you down and start running you down. if that happens, the lonsword is just too long to be useful and you'll be reduced to a wrestling match on the ground, if you survived the incoming sword strikes. Just keep that shield moving to the rythm of your strikes and be ready to catch the eventual retaliation from his sword arm right in the elbow.

LEG SHOTS ARE ALWAYS A BAD IDEA. A legged shield guy might as well be in a fallout shelter. only hope is to run him over and put him on his back. IF a leg shot is your LAST HOPE, then you had BETTER GET THE OTHER LEG AS WELL, or immediately proceed to grapple the shield away and finish for a kill.

In Conclusion:
1) Keep on the offense! prevent shield charges at all costs! don't get knocked down!
2) Use that offhand as a weapon to harrass the shield and get it out of the way
3) Don't leg shield users, unless immobilizing them has greater utility to your objectives, in which case, killing is not required.
4) If at all possible, get help. Teamwork always wins.

Experimentalist
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Randall Pleasant




Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Joined: 24 Aug 2003

Posts: 333

PostPosted: Sun 13 Mar, 2011 9:04 pm    Post subject: Re: Sword n' Board vs. Longsword         Reply with quote

Alex Leduc wrote:
...i find that shield users never expect me to do things like push on their shield with my left hand.


I must disagree with you. As someone who studies the sword & buckler of I.33 I would absolutely expect you to use your left hand if it was empty. In fact, I don't know of a single Renaissance or medieval weapon in which I would not use my left hand when it is empty.

Ran Pleasant
ARMA DFW
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Mar, 2011 9:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, there are pretty much two approaches to single sword fighting; get close up and grapple, or long range manouvering. Rapier, Backsword and sabre, for instance, do not use the hands a lot, and rely on feints, covers and binds from long range, only entering once a superior position has already been established.

Other than that, the move Alex describes is a I.33 "fiddlebow" stance without the buckler. I have no doubt it can work, but it is easily countered by a competent opponent. But then, so is everything.

While it is not imposible to kill a shieldman with a single sword, the odds are generally not in your favour, assuming a similar level of skill.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Justin Lee Hunt




Location: North Baltimore OH
Joined: 28 Jun 2011

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jun, 2011 10:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chuck Russell wrote:
something far worse to a sword n board guy to face is a swordnaxe guy. its hard to beat a sword n axe combo


Sword and axe is my favorite combo. But as to the question being asked, I have fought in this situation before during some of my reenactments and a great many training sessions. I've found that sticking VERY close is the most effective method. "Getting in the mix", as I call it when training my squires opens up many oportunities for the use of pommel and hand guard strikes, as well as using the off hand to choke up on the blade and re-brace for more devestating blows. Being close like this also gives you the advantage of being able to slip behind your opponant. There is also what I call a "hail Mary" manuver. Using the cross guard of your sword, when up close to hook the edge of the shield closest to the wearers elbow and use the leverage to turn him to where his back is open and he is off balance. (I've only succesfuly done this once).

I opperate a website for my reenactment troop it's www.orderoftherouseclan.org Be sure to check out our forums www.orderoftherouseclan.proboards.com
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jun, 2011 10:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

it also depends on what type of shield your using. are we assuming a particular type of shield since, a large heater with a diagonal strap grip is braced and held slightly differently to say the wielder of a viking shield which is a round shield held single handed behind a metal boss with a normally vertically aligned grip, to contrast, roman scuta of various periods and types are, unless im mistaken, held also behind a boss, but with a horizontal grip.

its also a fairly common technique with viking shield is to let the person chop into your rim, and then promptly rotate your hand to essentially pull the sword and thus his wrist and body into a wierd position that would, id imagine leave him open.
also, the nature of the viking shield grip means that having a verticle grip that if you hit either side of the shield with a thrust or try and kick orshield bash either side of the shield, the handgrip is SUPPOSED to be pretty smooth and round so that it easily hinges back and forth.

and viking style is to not hold the shield flat in front of you unless in shieldwall, but to hold it out with the rim facing your opponent, and when attacked up high a good fighter (excludes me ecause i make this mistake a decent bit, ) is that you dont simply hold it flat in front and raise it up because, as mentioned, creates a blindspot and leaves your legs open which , unless i backpedal, rewards mewith a smack in the thighs, the technique when using sword and shield of feint high then attack low while hes blinded by his shield.such a is a classic

(i do live steel reenactments as part of a varangian guard group, so viking 1 hander and shield is the mainstay of our fighting methodology mostly because we consider spears too dangerous for novices and noones game to start swing about daneaxes because we dont want our shelds to be reduced to splinters in a single training session.

the centre grip arangement and that flop around also means that a viking roundshield will much better absorb the shock of a blow on your shield it also means that a shield must be bit lighter / thinner to be able to be held for a decently long period, mine for example s 9mm thick plywood 78cm diameter, with a 2mm thick, 975 gram iron boss , covered with heavily glued canvas and a rawhide rim and weighs about 4 1/2 kgim not the fittest fighter so that shield wears me down fairly quickly trying to wave it around. and ward off blowsfrom multiple directions, so


also is worth noting that while its not as bulletproof as a plate harness, a mail hauberk/ byrnie plus a decently padded gambeson etc means that id be less afraid about taking a body hit.

but this is about sword and shield s i guess its better we leave armour out of this. since theres not alot a viking swordsman can do against a plate clad knight, most of the vikings choicesof techniqe would thus be eliminated,
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Lee Keller King




Location: Sugar Land, TX
Joined: 18 Nov 2011

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri 18 Nov, 2011 4:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Aaron Schnatterly"]
Stephen Hand wrote:
Level of armour and effectiveness of arms is a huge factor in this. Put the longswordsman in a full Gothic harness, and the sword & shield guy in maille/transitional. It'll suck, but the single-handed sword is going to have a heck of a time actually inflicting much damage, regardless of making contact. One of the modern misconceptions is that getting hit with a sword is lethal, regardless of armour. Hollywood swords cut through everything. Many of the anachronistic groups (not just picking on the SCA, guys) say that you take any reasonable hit. Some of the LARP rules I have seen allow some form of hit points for limbs (or even proof against attack) based upon weapon type. This is all fine, but from the study of form and from cutting, it is very clear to me that just making contact does not guarantee a significant wound.


If I may offer my "2 cents," the better your armor the better your chance of survival. In the SCA we are "simulating" armored combat and we (or at least some of us Happy) know it. It is a martial art, not war training. (A "Do" and not a "Jutsu" for your asian martial arts types). Notheless, it can give you an idea of what would happen in real, edged combat.

From my experience, given a roughly equal level of armor and skill, a man with a shield has an advantage over a man without. Granted, some of this may be from fighting with rules, which would not happen in a real encounter. But then, at least in the SCA, the rules cut both ways. For instance, a shield punch as Aaron mentions in his message would be illegal on the SCA field (because it is TOO effective). But so would many of the grappling technicques I would use against a shieldbearer (or period fechtbuch tecniques). Happy

I would suggest that many medieval infantry battles were more battles of (1) attrition, or (2) morale (or some combination of the two). Either the two sides slugged away at each other until one side was more exhausted than the other, or until one side believed they were beaten. (Poiters, for instance, when the 3rd Battle fled the field). All in all, I'd prefer being the guy in the nice plate (the better to get ransomed in!).

But hey, I'm just an old tired squire. What do I know?

Lee
(Who likes playing in the current middle ages, but likes electricity and flush toilets more)
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,447

PostPosted: Sat 19 Nov, 2011 2:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Lee Keller King"]
Aaron Schnatterly wrote:
Stephen Hand wrote:
Level of armour and effectiveness of arms is a huge factor in this. Put the longswordsman in a full Gothic harness, and the sword & shield guy in maille/transitional. It'll suck, but the single-handed sword is going to have a heck of a time actually inflicting much damage, regardless of making contact. One of the modern misconceptions is that getting hit with a sword is lethal, regardless of armour. Hollywood swords cut through everything. Many of the anachronistic groups (not just picking on the SCA, guys) say that you take any reasonable hit. Some of the LARP rules I have seen allow some form of hit points for limbs (or even proof against attack) based upon weapon type. This is all fine, but from the study of form and from cutting, it is very clear to me that just making contact does not guarantee a significant wound.


If I may offer my "2 cents," the better your armor the better your chance of survival. In the SCA we are "simulating" armored combat and we (or at least some of us Happy) know it. It is a martial art, not war training. (A "Do" and not a "Jutsu" for your asian martial arts types). Notheless, it can give you an idea of what would happen in real, edged combat.

From my experience, given a roughly equal level of armor and skill, a man with a shield has an advantage over a man without. Granted, some of this may be from fighting with rules, which would not happen in a real encounter. But then, at least in the SCA, the rules cut both ways. For instance, a shield punch as Aaron mentions in his message would be illegal on the SCA field (because it is TOO effective). But so would many of the grappling technicques I would use against a shieldbearer (or period fechtbuch tecniques). Happy

I would suggest that many medieval infantry battles were more battles of (1) attrition, or (2) morale (or some combination of the two). Either the two sides slugged away at each other until one side was more exhausted than the other, or until one side believed they were beaten. (Poiters, for instance, when the 3rd Battle fled the field). All in all, I'd prefer being the guy in the nice plate (the better to get ransomed in!).

But hey, I'm just an old tired squire. What do I know?

Lee
(Who likes playing in the current middle ages, but likes electricity and flush toilets more)


one thing id argue rgarding the SCA, is that, and correct me if im worng. the use of alot more armour, bars across the front of helmets, and rattan swords plus heavily padded polearms means that you can strike a wider variety of targets, the side of the head, the face maybe even and those targets in a different way than say... reenactment combat for vikings since, the openface nature, or complete lack of helmets at all, and lack of neck protection, not being able to use lots of extra protective gearm in order to keep authenticity, means your options of attack are much more limited.
it also means occasionally some weapons cant be used because they cant be made safe without sacrificing authenticity too much. (flails are one example in my group. )
this means in terms of simulating the intensity and the nature of blows recieved means you have in one sense a more authentic combat experience in terms of technique mostly.

unless you cant really attack some of the areas i noted
better yet (and i havent checked, what areas/ attacks are legal in SCA regular melee fighting)
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Alex Hutchins




Location: Narnia
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PostPosted: Thu 26 Sep, 2013 7:53 pm    Post subject: Rapier and Shield         Reply with quote

I got bored reading the massive amounts of posts on this page, so forgive me if this point has all ready been made.

As a practicing member of SCA rapier fencing, I have found that shield is not as intimidating a form as it seems. Having fenced with and against it I have found that the buckler I have of about a 14 inch diameter blocks my line of sight considerably when fighting refuse. Several times, my opponent was able to score rising cuts to the top and back of my head by keeping the blade mostly out of my line of sight. When fighting other people with bucklers, I have employed similar tactics by hitting my opponents legs and feet. I have also found it relatively easy to perform successful feints against people with bucklers.

Please keep in mind that the SCA does not allow shield bashes in its combat, and that this might also limit the versatility of the form.

Also none of the people I fenced were masters in the form of buckler.
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