Various Newbie Questions

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gentling
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Various Newbie Questions

Postby gentling » Sun Aug 14, 2016 5:50 pm

Hello everyone, I'm a hobbyist game-maker and was meaning to ask some general questions about swordsmanship as part of my research for a game I'm making. I'm going to make a basic list of characteristics swords might have and allow the player to forge their own.

Do flamberge style blades really make your opponent's weapon vibrate more?

If so, why aren't more blades shaped like this? (If not, I assume this was usually applied as decoration.)

Could the "flamberge-effect" be applied with a curved or fairly light-weight blade. I'm aware swords in games are typically far heavier, and otherwise unrealistic, than they would be in real life. Please don't just say, F=MA, I'm talking about achieving this with typical human strength.

Where can I find a resource for general types of guards and their uses? I'd prefer something online.

I'd like to know what you call it on a single-edged sword when a blade widens near the point before tapering down again. Examples of this are some falchions, kukri, and falcata. Many such weapons are curved forward, but I'd like a term that doesn't necessarily indicate that.

Is a pommel any length of grip below the hand(s) holding the sword regardless of whether it's intended for striking? A potentially "pommel-less" sword would be the katana.

That's all my questions. Thanks for your help.

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KeithFarrell
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Re: Various Newbie Questions

Postby KeithFarrell » Tue Aug 16, 2016 9:40 am

gentling wrote:Hello everyone, I'm a hobbyist game-maker and was meaning to ask some general questions about swordsmanship as part of my research for a game I'm making. I'm going to make a basic list of characteristics swords might have and allow the player to forge their own.

Do flamberge style blades really make your opponent's weapon vibrate more?


That's not a theory I had heard before. I haven't used a wavy kind of blade before, but I don't imagine it would make much difference in this respect. What's the source of this suggestion?

gentling wrote:Where can I find a resource for general types of guards and their uses? I'd prefer something online.


When you say "guards", do you mean hilts? Or do you mean the positions in which people hold the sword while fighting? If the latter, then for which kind of sword are you enquiring? The positions vary quite significantly between different weapons, in some cases! Generally speaking, for inspiration about positions, you should look at the Wiktenauer.

gentling wrote:I'd like to know what you call it on a single-edged sword when a blade widens near the point before tapering down again. Examples of this are some falchions, kukri, and falcata. Many such weapons are curved forward, but I'd like a term that doesn't necessarily indicate that.


I'm not sure if there is a technical word for that. If there is, it's not one with which I am familiar.

gentling wrote:Is a pommel any length of grip below the hand(s) holding the sword regardless of whether it's intended for striking? A potentially "pommel-less" sword would be the katana.


I'm not sure what you are asking here. Can you clarify the question?
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gentling
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Re: Various Newbie Questions

Postby gentling » Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:21 pm

That's not a theory I had heard before. I haven't used a wavy kind of blade before, but I don't imagine it would make much difference in this respect. What's the source of this suggestion?


Thanks for your help. Here's where I got the information about the flamberge. I'd really just like to know if a flamberge does anything besides look cool. The piece on vibrations is in the second section under contents.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flame-bladed_sword

also here, in the third paragraph.

http://inheritance.wikia.com/wiki/Flamberge

When you say "guards", do you mean hilts? Or do you mean the positions in which people hold the sword while fighting? If the latter, then for which kind of sword are you enquiring? The positions vary quite significantly between different weapons, in some cases! Generally speaking, for inspiration about positions, you should look at the Wiktenauer.


I was speaking about the part of the hilt designed to protect the hand. Sorry for the confusion.

I'm not sure if there is a technical word for that. If there is, it's not one with which I am familiar.


Oh well, I'll make up something to call it.

I'm not sure what you are asking here. Can you clarify the question?


I'm asking what a pommel is exactly. I got a definition online, but it seems like you guys have your own, more precise, terms for a lot of things. The definition was, "a rounded knob on the end of the handle of a sword, dagger, or old-fashioned gun." Not all pommels are rounded right?

D. Posch
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Re: Various Newbie Questions

Postby D. Posch » Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:09 pm

An effective pommel is going to at least be partially rounded so it can be used as an extension of the grip.

Crossgaurd are all going to serve pretty much the same purpose, they protect the hand and can be used to "catch" you're opponents blade. Most will be straight or curved towards the point for these purposes. Most variations in crossgaurd appearance are purely decorative until you get into basket hilts, which almost completely cover the hang gripping the sword, providing more thorough protection.

As for the flamberge, the vibration thing makes no sense to me. Here are the pros and cons of such a blade as I see it;

Pros:
-makes blade grabs more difficult

-Adds a sort of serration to the blade.


Cons:
-Shortens the blade, or rather, requires more material to make the same length of blade, these adding more weight, without more length.

-Much more expensive to manufacture than standard straight blade

-if the vibration thing were true (which I sincerely doubt), then it would effect the user just as much (possibly more) as the opponent.

-a blade such as this is more likely to get caught on things than a straight blade.

Honestly I personally think the flamberge is more decorative than anything else.
"Save your anger for the enemy. Here it will do you no good; there, it can overcome fear. Use this time now to teach your sword what to do, so later it will do it without conscious thought."
-Richard Rahl
(Terry Goodkind, Faith of the Fallen)

gentling
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Re: Various Newbie Questions

Postby gentling » Sat Aug 20, 2016 4:19 pm

Crossgaurd are all going to serve pretty much the same purpose, they protect the hand and can be used to "catch" you're opponents blade. Most will be straight or curved towards the point for these purposes. Most variations in crossgaurd appearance are purely decorative until you get into basket hilts, which almost completely cover the hang gripping the sword, providing more thorough protection.


Would a rapier's knuckle guard be like a poor-man's baskethilt? What do you call that swooping-over-the-knuckles hilt a lot of sabers have? Are either of these things useful in a fight?

D. Posch
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Re: Various Newbie Questions

Postby D. Posch » Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:06 am

gentling wrote:
Would a rapier's knuckle guard be like a poor-man's baskethilt? What do you call that swooping-over-the-knuckles hilt a lot of sabers have? Are either of these things useful in a fight?


The hilts on rapiers have a name of their own (can't remember it at the moment). Not sure if saber hilts have a specific name (other than "saber hilt" that is). Both of these types of hilts would be useful because they serve a similar purpose to basket hilts (to a lesser extent) while generally being lighter.

Something I forgot to mention earlier are ring guards, which are cross guards with rings attached to the cross guard on the flats to provide additional protection. Then there's messer guards, which, as the name implies, are generally only on messers and serve the same purpose as ring guards, though only on one flat.

This, of course, is only representative to European sword guards as I do not know much about Swords from other regions.
"Save your anger for the enemy. Here it will do you no good; there, it can overcome fear. Use this time now to teach your sword what to do, so later it will do it without conscious thought."
-Richard Rahl
(Terry Goodkind, Faith of the Fallen)

Tea Kew
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Re: Various Newbie Questions

Postby Tea Kew » Thu Sep 08, 2016 5:26 am

In general, a more complete hilt will protect more. The downside is it will weigh more, cost more, and may restrict the actions you can take with the sword (for example, it's very hard to make a zwerhaw with a full basket).

A plain cross guard has almost no restrictions, low weight, and still gives reasonably useful protection. A full basket is heavy, constricting, but makes your hand nearly immune to attack. Everything else is somewhere in-between.

Pommels, as an aside, are generally defined as a piece of metal on the end of the grip which affects the balance somehow. You can manipulate the balance of a sword without a pommel (e.g. a thicker tang), and not all pommels are solely designed for balance purposes, but that's a pretty good working definition. Many knife-type weapons (e.g. messers) don't have a pommel at all, simply a small plate of metal that helps support the peen.


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