What's the best hand to hand weapon?

Dirty_Zulu

Diabloii.Net Member
What's the best hand to hand weapon?

I have this imported Katana. Very sharp, very deadly, and I've managed to cleanly slice apples thrown at me without self harm. However, I doubt it's the best weapon to use in a medieval times. It's very difficult to use one handed.

Suppose you're going to be fighting in an open field against thousands. The field is packed and you pretty much hit anything within your arm reach. What would be the weapon of choice? One hand+shield or two handed?

I would think a nice double bladed axe and a wooden shield would fair better than army with katanas.
 

jimmyboy

Diabloii.Net Member
Dirty_Zulu said:
I have this imported Katana. Very sharp, very deadly, and I've managed to cleanly slice apples thrown at me without self harm. However, I doubt it's the best weapon to use in a medieval times. It's very difficult to use one handed.

Suppose you're going to be fighting in an open field against thousands. The field is packed and you pretty much hit anything within your arm reach. What would be the weapon of choice? One hand+shield or two handed?

I would think a nice double bladed axe and a wooden shield would fair better than army with katanas.

It depends. Are we allowed to wear full plate armor? Knights pretty much got rid of shields when they finally got to wear full plate armor.

Is the enemy wearing plate too? Sort of difficult to penetrate plate with a sword.

Come to think of it, I prefer a long bow at about 100 yards. OK, I'm cheating. If you break it down to just hand-to-hand weapons, then I want something with reach. A Halbert probably.
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
Yes, for this kind of combat a katana would be fairly useless. You'd want a spear or pike for the main work, and then a good solid shortsword (nothing fancy) for close-quarters combat and a decent knife for emergencies. A big-arse shield too, that goes without saying.

Some javelins to toss and soften up the enemy are also a powerful asset.
 

PlagueBearer

Diabloii.Net Member
Dirty_Zulu said:
I have this imported Katana. Very sharp, very deadly, and I've managed to cleanly slice apples thrown at me without self harm. However, I doubt it's the best weapon to use in a medieval times. It's very difficult to use one handed.

Suppose you're going to be fighting in an open field against thousands. The field is packed and you pretty much hit anything within your arm reach. What would be the weapon of choice? One hand+shield or two handed?

I would think a nice double bladed axe and a wooden shield would fair better than army with katanas.
In the situation you describe any sword is superior to an axe: on a packed feild you'll be unable to get the needed momentum to make an axe-blow count, and the length of the blade (only along about 1/4 of the length of the weapon, as opposed to a swords 3/4 or so) becomes a liability when opponents are that close to you.

In that situation I'd go with a very short, thick sword, like a Gladius, and a small manuverable shield, wood but with a steel frame.

A larger sword would run into simmilar problems as the axe to a lesser degree, and a thin sword like a Katana would easily shatter during the battle, which as you describe, will take a long time to complete.

In most situations, though, I'd take a staff over about anything else.
 

PlagueBearer

Diabloii.Net Member
dondrei said:
Yes, for this kind of combat a katana would be fairly useless. You'd want a spear or pike for the main work, and then a good solid shortsword (nothing fancy) for close-quarters combat and a decent knife for emergencies. A big-arse shield too, that goes without saying.

Some javelins to toss and soften up the enemy are also a powerful asset.
See, you're just a Romaphile.
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
PlagueBearer said:
See, you're just a Romaphile.
True, but they did master this form of combat after all.

PlagueBearer said:
In that situation I'd go with a very short, thick sword, like a Gladius, and a small manuverable shield, wood but with a steel frame.
I wouldn't bother making the shield manoeuvrable, not if you're packed in with your fellow soldiers shoulder-to-shoulder like in most phalanx or cohort fighting. No room to move it anyway. In that situation you really want maximum coverage.

PlagueBearer said:
In most situations, though, I'd take a staff over about anything else.
In one-on-one combat, I agree. Or even many-on-one.
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
Hammers are only useful if you're built like the side of a house, and even then you need a lot of elbow-room. Not much good on a battlefield.
 

Kaysaar

Diabloii.Net Member
If I could enjoy the protection of plate armor, I'd probably go for a poleaxe. It was a weapon of about 1.5-2 meters in length, with an axe head on one side, a war hammer on the other side, and a nice spike on the top. By the time that plate armor came into prominence, the poleaxe became one of the favored weapons of the medieval knight. Imagine the versatility of a staff, but with the add versatility of punching through peasant and noble alike. If the battlefield was packed, then you could thrust with the pollaxe, or should you find yourself in a more spread out situation, the poleaxe could be wielded like a larger axe or hammer.

If I wore any other type of armor, I'd probably want something like a war hammer, or a flanged mace, with a shield of some sort. Both these weapons work effectively against any type of armor, while not be too heavy either.
 

PatMaGroin

Diabloii.Net Member
dondrei said:
Hammers are only useful if you're built like the side of a house, and even then you need a lot of elbow-room. Not much good on a battlefield.
Did you not see Troy? Ajax was built like all 4 sides of the house.

And Kaysaar, this is a D2 site. You don't have to explain what weapons are. This one of the few places where people know what halberds, zweihanders, and martel de fers are.
 

Ash Housewares

Diabloii.Net Member
PatMaGroin said:
And Kaysaar, this is a D2 site. You don't have to explain what weapons are. This one of the few places where people know what halberds, zweihanders, and martel de fers are.
honestly I expect his links to be to arreat summit
 

Kaysaar

Diabloii.Net Member
PatMaGroin said:
And Kaysaar, this is a D2 site. You don't have to explain what weapons are. This one of the few places where people know what halberds, zweihanders, and martel de fers are.
It's true, but extra clarity never hurts, especially when the extent of some people's knowledge starts with D2. Also, when going over the immense variety of medieval weapons, having a specific picture and/or description can help give the reader a better idea of what you're writing about.
 

bladesyz

Diabloii.Net Member
The short answer is: it depends.

Are you fighting on foot or mounted? Are you fighting in a battlefield or in a duel/skirmish? Are you fighting against armored or unarmored opponents?

The katana was designed to fight on the battlefield against opponents in lacquered mail. It is supposed to be wielded with two hands. It's sharp, but breaks easily, hence why kenjutsu focuses on attack maneuvers and few defensive maneuvers. The idea was to kill your opponent before he breaks your sword.
 

Dondrei

Diabloii.Net Member
PatMaGroin said:
Did you not see Troy? Ajax was built like all 4 sides of the house.
I know he was, I meant you...

Still haven't seen Troy though. But I know the legend.

PatMaGroin said:
And Kaysaar, this is a D2 site. You don't have to explain what weapons are. This one of the few places where people know what halberds, zweihanders, and martel de fers are.
A number of the names are wrong, if I recall correctly.

Ash Housewares said:
honestly I expect his links to be to arreat summit
I was thinking that too.
 
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