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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Help with handling qualities of a few Albions Reply to topic
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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Sun 02 Jun, 2019 11:42 pm    Post subject: Help with handling qualities of a few Albions         Reply with quote

Good evening! I've been absent from the forum for quite a while (since my Albion Sempach in 2014), but I've been hit by the sword bug again.

I'm starting to save for my next purchase, and I'm considering three single-handed swords from Albion. I'd love to hear about their handling characteristics, especially in regards to the flexibility. The three models are:

-Oakeshott
-Vassal
-Lancaster

I'm aware that those three swords have almost nothing in common with each other, but they are the three top contenders right now. Laughing Out Loud In the past, I've owned both a Knight and a Laird, and I have to say, the Type XII blades have more flex than I personally like. For a comparison, although it's a hand and a half, my Sempach has what I consider the perfect amount of stiffness. So I think I might lean more towards later blade designs in my preferences. I think I remember reading that the Oakeshott (and Chevalier) have a much stiffer blade than was usually found during the same period. Is that correct? And as far as the Vassal is concerned, I imagine the blade to be very thin, based on the stats. How flexible would it be compared to a sword like the Knight? Right now the Vassal is at the top of my list, but that would quickly change if I find out it's more flexible than I'd like.

The Lancaster, I'm sure, has a plenty stiff blade. It just happens to be the least visually appealing of the three. Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks!

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2019 12:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have you considered the Kingmaker or the Burgundian? Both could be thought of as more "elegant" than the Lancaster, and yet they still have a fair amount of rigidity. While I don't have, and have not handled, the Vassal, I do own a Soldat. My guess is that you will find the flex in the Vassal to be less to your liking. It won't have the rigidity of a sword like an XVII or XV/XV.a.
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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2019 1:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Have you considered the Kingmaker or the Burgundian? Both could be thought of as more "elegant" than the Lancaster, and yet they still have a fair amount of rigidity. While I don't have, and have not handled, the Vassal, I do own a Soldat. My guess is that you will find the flex in the Vassal to be less to your liking. It won't have the rigidity of a sword like an XVII or XV/XV.a.


Hi Craig, thanks for the feedback. Yes, I've definitely looked at the Kingmaker and Burgundian. In fact, when I bought my Sempach, I nearly bought the Kingmaker instead. For some reason, this time it wasn't so much in the running, although I agree, the hollow-ground blade is more appealing to me than the Lancaster's flat diamond. A big part of my wanting a new sword is to have a one hander that is very lively, and a bit shorter (not in the Oakeshott's case). My understanding was that the Type XVIII's were a fair bit more stout, but I might be totally mistaken.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2019 2:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It depends upon the Type XVIII sword. You'll note the Kingmaker is not especially broad, which will make it more on the agile side. The myArmoury review by Mark Mattimore has this to say on it:

"The overall feel of this sword is much lighter and faster than others of its type that I've handled. The hollow-ground blade lightens the sword very effectively by removing mass from the blade's surface and thus adds a very noticeable quickness. This hollow-grinding makes the blade particularly stiff and thus an excellent thrusting weapon. The net effect is of a weapon that is fast, precise and eminently suited to a variety of battlefield situations."
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John Dunn




Location: Frankfort, KY
Joined: 15 Apr 2013

Posts: 101

PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2019 5:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I own both the Kingmaker and Burgundian. I also own the Lancaster.

All three are excellent swords. Well balanced, fast and nimble.

You could not wrong with any of them.


I prefer the Type XVIII swords over the Type XV so a slight preference on my part for the Kingmaker and Burgundian.


But of the three of your choices I would go with the Lancaster. This sword has grown on me over the years.

It is one of my favorites.
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Roger Hooper




Location: Northern California
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2019 10:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have an Oakeshott. It is a superior sword, with a beautiful blade. it handles quite well, though it isn't as fast as their 15th century singlehanders. The blade does have some flex, but it isn't excessive. My only complaint is about the grip. The diameter is a bit too skinny for it to be comfortable in my hand. Wearing a glove helps.
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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2019 11:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig and John, thanks for the insight on the Type XVIII's. With that in mind, maybe I should put the Kingmaker back in the running.

And Roger, I appreciate the feedback on the Oakeshott. It is a very attractive blade design, but it was good to hear your opinion on the grip. That's something I will definitely keep in mind. I think subconsciously I just sort of expected all single handed Albions would have roughly the same grip size, aside from some obvious differences like hexagonal vs oval, etc.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2019 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

D. S. Smith wrote:
Craig and John, thanks for the insight on the Type XVIII's. With that in mind, maybe I should put the Kingmaker back in the running.

And Roger, I appreciate the feedback on the Oakeshott. It is a very attractive blade design, but it was good to hear your opinion on the grip. That's something I will definitely keep in mind. I think subconsciously I just sort of expected all single handed Albions would have roughly the same grip size, aside from some obvious differences like hexagonal vs oval, etc.


Oh no. The grip shapes are quite different from sword to sword.
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Lloyd Winter




Location: Los Angeles
Joined: 27 Aug 2011

Posts: 176

PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2019 4:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Iím a big fan of the type XVIIIs but Iíll weigh in for the vassal from your original list.
I own a Vassal, a kingmaker and a Poitiers, which I think is the same blade as the Lancaster. I used to own a Burgundian

Rating the stiffness of 3 still in my possession Iíd say the Poitiers is the stiffest followed by the Vassal and the the kingmaker. But the kingmaker is my favorite one handed sword. As I recall my old Burgundian was a little stiffer than my kingmaker but it wasnít as nice in my hand.

Regarding the handling of the Soldat itís totally different than a double edged straight sword of comparable length and weight. I donít think I would use the word lively for the Vassal but it is a sweet sword.

Bear in mind that Albions will vary from piece to piece for the same blade type. My kingmaker is almost 8 ounces under weight compared to my Burgundian which pretty much was a perfect match for the published specs.
I have a custom Christian Fletcher for my kingmaker. Fits like a glove. My Burgundian, which theoretically has the same blade only fits about 1/3 of the way into the kingmaker scabbard and itís hitting the spine, not the edges when it stops.

Hope this helps.
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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2019 8:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lloyd Winter wrote:
Iím a big fan of the type XVIIIs but Iíll weigh in for the vassal from your original list.
I own a Vassal, a kingmaker and a Poitiers, which I think is the same blade as the Lancaster. I used to own a Burgundian

Rating the stiffness of 3 still in my possession Iíd say the Poitiers is the stiffest followed by the Vassal and the the kingmaker. But the kingmaker is my favorite one handed sword. As I recall my old Burgundian was a little stiffer than my kingmaker but it wasnít as nice in my hand.

Regarding the handling of the Soldat itís totally different than a double edged straight sword of comparable length and weight. I donít think I would use the word lively for the Vassal but it is a sweet sword.

Bear in mind that Albions will vary from piece to piece for the same blade type. My kingmaker is almost 8 ounces under weight compared to my Burgundian which pretty much was a perfect match for the published specs.
I have a custom Christian Fletcher for my kingmaker. Fits like a glove. My Burgundian, which theoretically has the same blade only fits about 1/3 of the way into the kingmaker scabbard and itís hitting the spine, not the edges when it stops.

Hope this helps.


Thanks Lloyd! I greatly appreciate hearing your comparison, but I fear you've made it more difficult, not less. It would be easy to rule out the Vassal due to being too flexible, but when I hear that with your particular models, the Vassal is at least as stiff as your Type XVIII, it sounds way more appealing to me.

And I'd be incredibly happy with a Kingmaker that was 8 ounces below the spec weight! That sounds like my dream sword. Laughing Out Loud I really love the looks of the Condottiere, but the length is what puts me off, at 33.5". It makes it barely shorter than my hand and a half, and my whole goal with a new sword is to have something more compact and "handy". Knowing that they have so much variance in the blades as your two Type XVIII's, maybe I could ask them to hack about 4" off the tip of a Condottiere. Laughing Out Loud

All joking aside, I think this thread made me add the Kingmaker back to the list. I'm liking what I'm hearing of it. And I think the Oakeshott is a bit too long in the blade. I've got to give it some more thought.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Lloyd Winter




Location: Los Angeles
Joined: 27 Aug 2011

Posts: 176

PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2019 10:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You canít have my Kingmaker! Razz
ahem..

I donít own a Condottiere but I do have a Machiavelli.
If a rigid blade is your primary requirement then Iíd have to say the type XIXs are not what you are looking for.

As I said in my previous post the Kingmaker is my favorite single handed Albion and I encourage you to give it some serious consideration.
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T.L. Johnson





Joined: 16 Sep 2005

Posts: 32

PostPosted: Mon 03 Jun, 2019 10:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lloyd Winter wrote:


Bear in mind that Albions will vary from piece to piece for the same blade type. My kingmaker is almost 8 ounces under weight compared to my Burgundian which pretty much was a perfect match for the published specs.
I have a custom Christian Fletcher for my kingmaker. Fits like a glove. My Burgundian, which theoretically has the same blade only fits about 1/3 of the way into the kingmaker scabbard and itís hitting the spine, not the edges when it stops.

Hope this helps.


I have two Regents that won't fit into each others' scabbards. The fact that they were made 14 years apart may have something to do with it.
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John Dunn




Location: Frankfort, KY
Joined: 15 Apr 2013

Posts: 101

PostPosted: Tue 04 Jun, 2019 5:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Lloyd! I greatly appreciate hearing your comparison, but I fear you've made it more difficult, not less. It would be easy to rule out the Vassal due to being too flexible, but when I hear that with your particular models, the Vassal is at least as stiff as your Type XVIII, it sounds way more appealing to me.

And I'd be incredibly happy with a Kingmaker that was 8 ounces below the spec weight! That sounds like my dream sword. Laughing Out Loud I really love the looks of the Condottiere, but the length is what puts me off, at 33.5". It makes it barely shorter than my hand and a half, and my whole goal with a new sword is to have something more compact and "handy". Knowing that they have so much variance in the blades as your two Type XVIII's, maybe I could ask them to hack about 4" off the tip of a Condottiere. Laughing Out Loud

All joking aside, I think this thread made me add the Kingmaker back to the list. I'm liking what I'm hearing of it. And I think the Oakeshott is a bit too long in the blade. I've got to give it some more thought.[/quote]

I have the Machiavelli and while a nice sword I like the Kingmaker/Burgundian and the Lancaster more.

The overall length of the Machiavelli is just around 1/2 inch longer than the Kingmaker. But it is more of a slashing blade than the others. Though both the Type XVIII and Type XV are both good cutters as well as thrusting swords.
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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Tue 04 Jun, 2019 7:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Gents, I appreciate it.

John, thanks for the info on the Machiavelli. If the XIX blade is flexible, and it sounds like it is, I'm no longer tempted by it. I figured with that length, and low weight, that it might be.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Jun, 2019 12:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would not call Albion's XIX blades flexible. Due to the nature of the hexagonal cross-section on Type XIX blades, they are quite stiff in my experience. This of course takes into consideration the relatively small profile width and thickness of the blades: for being narrow and thin, they're very stiff. I have owned the Machiavelli and currently own the Doge and they are amongst my favorite swords all things considered. I really love Type XIX blade dynamics. The design seems to be at the pinnacle of sword blade design and really creates a "Jack of all trades" type of weapon.
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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Wed 05 Jun, 2019 1:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
I would not call Albion's XIX blades flexible. Due to the nature of the hexagonal cross-section on Type XIX blades, they are quite stiff in my experience. This of course takes into consideration the relatively small profile width and thickness of the blades: for being narrow and thin, they're very stiff. I have owned the Machiavelli and currently own the Doge and they are amongst my favorite swords all things considered. I really love Type XIX blade dynamics. The design seems to be at the pinnacle of sword blade design and really creates a "Jack of all trades" type of weapon.


Thanks Nathan. I have to say that what draws me to the XIX's is their thin blade, from edge to edge. I love that they are only 1.5" wide. I think that blade width compared to grip width is a huge deal for me in terms of being aesthetically pleasing (which explains my complete lack of interest in Type XIV swords Laughing Out Loud ). That's what makes swords like the Condottiere so appealing to me. I don't like rapier-style thin...but only a little wider than the grip is a very nice look, in my opinion.

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Jun, 2019 3:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

D. S. Smith wrote:
Thanks Nathan. I have to say that what draws me to the XIX's is their thin blade, from edge to edge. I love that they are only 1.5" wide. I think that blade width compared to grip width is a huge deal for me in terms of being aesthetically pleasing (which explains my complete lack of interest in Type XIV swords Laughing Out Loud ). That's what makes swords like the Condottiere so appealing to me. I don't like rapier-style thin...but only a little wider than the grip is a very nice look, in my opinion.


You must mean rapier-style NARROW, yeah? Rapiers are narrow but not thin... they're generally very thick-bladed and more often than not, at least historically, pretty substantial weapons.

Back to the Type XIX: I agree with you about the aesthetics of them. For me, the bigger deal is their handling characteristics. They're very robust for their width, helped by the stoutness of the hexagonal cross-section of course but also the edge geometry being so sturdy. They really are an advanced sword design, coming much later in the years of sword development. They're very well suited for unarmoured or lightly armoured foes but robust enough to stand up to armour as well. To me, they don't seem like specialized weapons in any regard but really a jack of all trades study in compromise. They're super interesting in that regard.

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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

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PostPosted: Wed 05 Jun, 2019 4:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
D. S. Smith wrote:
Thanks Nathan. I have to say that what draws me to the XIX's is their thin blade, from edge to edge. I love that they are only 1.5" wide. I think that blade width compared to grip width is a huge deal for me in terms of being aesthetically pleasing (which explains my complete lack of interest in Type XIV swords Laughing Out Loud ). That's what makes swords like the Condottiere so appealing to me. I don't like rapier-style thin...but only a little wider than the grip is a very nice look, in my opinion.


You must mean rapier-style NARROW, yeah? Rapiers are narrow but not thin... they're generally very thick-bladed and more often than not, at least historically, pretty substantial weapons.

Back to the Type XIX: I agree with you about the aesthetics of them. For me, the bigger deal is their handling characteristics. They're very robust for their width, helped by the stoutness of the hexagonal cross-section of course but also the edge geometry being so sturdy. They really are an advanced sword design, coming much later in the years of sword development. They're very well suited for unarmoured or lightly armoured foes but robust enough to stand up to armour as well. To me, they don't seem like specialized weapons in any regard but really a jack of all trades study in compromise. They're super interesting in that regard.


Yes, correct, I'm using the wrong nomenclature. Laughing Out Loud I mean bade width, not thickness. And I agree with you about the appeal of a multipurpose blade. I think that's very cool as well. From what I'm hearing, the Type XVIII blades are similar in that regard; that although they are primarily a thrust sword, they also cut very well?

Brian Kunz was kind enough to clue me into the fact that there are likely to be a decent variety of Albions on display at Combatcon, in Vegas this summer. I think I might try to make it out there, at least for a day, to see if I can test the feel and balance of a few different styles. That might make my decision much easier. Wink

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Wed 05 Jun, 2019 5:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

D. S. Smith wrote:
Brian Kunz was kind enough to clue me into the fact that there are likely to be a decent variety of Albions on display at Combatcon, in Vegas this summer. I think I might try to make it out there, at least for a day, to see if I can test the feel and balance of a few different styles. That might make my decision much easier. Wink


Nothing beats hands-on experience so yeah, if you get that opportunity by all means take it! Plus... Vegas. I mean, really, like there's not a million other things you can do to have a good time there. Happy

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D. S. Smith




Location: Central CA
Joined: 02 Oct 2011

Posts: 231

PostPosted: Wed 05 Jun, 2019 5:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Robinson wrote:
D. S. Smith wrote:
Brian Kunz was kind enough to clue me into the fact that there are likely to be a decent variety of Albions on display at Combatcon, in Vegas this summer. I think I might try to make it out there, at least for a day, to see if I can test the feel and balance of a few different styles. That might make my decision much easier. Wink


Nothing beats hands-on experience so yeah, if you get that opportunity by all means take it! Plus... Vegas. I mean, really, like there's not a million other things you can do to have a good time there. Happy


Ha! So here's the funny thing. I just told my wife my plan of going to Vegas just to look at swords for a day...flying out in the late morning and back in the same afternoon. She asked, why not get a hotel, and have more fun time to spend there? I told her that the hotel would be almost as much as the flight, and that I was literally going there to look at swords...nothing else. I once flew to Seattle to buy a tent, and flew home the same day. Yeah, I'm that much of a nerd. Laughing Out Loud

Lo, they do call to me.
They bid me take my place among them,
In the halls of Valhalla!
Where the brave may live forever!
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