Luther Anderson

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    Luther Anderson, Teagan Paxton

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  1. It is also important to realize that the debate over the best blade cross section and method of use continues all the way to the modern day and it is clear that there is no clear answer. Context, as always, is King.
  2. As for why the Type XVI doesn't seem to have been as popular? Could be extremely regional. Might be only a few smiths thought they could do it well, since it would seem to be harder to forge. Could be something else entirely; it doesn't need to be a fatal flaw.
  3. I don't think he's minmaxing, merely asking a relevant question in light of the typology. XVI and XVII were indeed contemporary, but they are also different types (One handed vs two-handed).
  4. Arming swords were also carried by unarmored footmen. They just weren't afraid of bashing their teacup holding pinkies, unlike Munich swordsman who required a basket hilt.
  5. Medieval swordsmiths were incredibly skilled and talented at the spring tempering process, which was crucial to sword manufacture. It is possible that such a flaw was present, but it is also likely possible that such could be mitigated with a good temper. P.S. Arming swords are not for cowards. Munich swords are for cowards.
  6. It's hard to say. Since this is a modern categorical study system, it is difficult to discern from period sources what sort of sword is being used. Medieval people did not distinguish in their writing, and even looking at art, it can be impossible to say for sure. Most of the research comes from archaeological finds, and the artifacts themselves could have been damaged long after their use ended. There may have been some flaw in the Type, since most designs are compromising in nature. Whether you have identified it or not, I cannot say. As far as Elmslie goes, it is extremely new research, less than five years old and still being developed. Oakeshott, on the other hand, is more than 60 years old with all the development and revision that age brings. Falchions are also troublesome to study because so few of them survive (Possibly because of the thinness of their blades rusting away faster.), but they appear so frequently in period art, they seem to have been common in their day. Messers are easier, far more survive, since they come from a later period. Even still, the research is ongoing.
  7. Elmslie's TypologyWhile Oakeshott's Typology covers what we would consider the 'standard' sword of the Middle Ages, single-edged swords existed alongside them. These single-edged swords possibly evolved from the earlier Viking Seax, a large knife that could be as long as a shortsword, but it is impossible to know for sure. What is known is that these single-edged swords are well attested in period artwork. Few of them survive, but they are inescapably weapons that were the progenitor for other Early Modern swords like the Cutlass and the Saber. In some sources, they are called Falchions. In others, they are called Hangers. Still yet in others, they are called Messers. So what is the difference? Primarily, it is in the hilt-construction. In the earliest form, it is known as a Falchion, and has a hilt built like a traditional sword. That is, a cross-guard with a leather grip and a tang that runs through and is peened over a pommel. In Germany, it became more common to see very similar blades mated to a knife-like rived handle with no pommel and called a Messer. Later on in the Renaissance, single-edged swords, no matter their hilt, became known as a Hanger and would begin to inherit complex guards. An excellent researcher, Elmslie, has constructed a Typology to classify these single-edged blades by their shape, curve, and sub-type in a manner not unlike Oakeshott's, and we will discuss this below. It is important to note that the -only- thing that separates a Falchion from a Messer is the hilt-construction. They can, and often did, have the same blade styles mounted to them. Some are dedicated solely to the cut; others have cut-and-thrust blades. In the end, I am of the opinion that the Falchion and Messer were the embryonic form of the Saber that we would see in the Renaissance and Early Modern Period. Note that there are many misconceptions about these swords. They are -not- a mix of a sword and an axe, they are -not- anti-armor weapons. They often have exceedingly thin, razor-like blades and weigh no more than a typical sword of their period. What was the purpose of their design? We may never know for sure, but it is possible they were intended to be used against unarmored or lightly armored adversaries like peasant levies, bandits, or civilians in a self-defense role. Regardless, these can be -Knightly- weapons and many surviving ones are highly decorated. The Type 1 The earliest form is the Type 1, which appeared (As far as we can tell) in the 13th Century. These swords are undoubtedly cutters, since they tend to have cleaver-style blades with blunt or almost blunt tips. The Conyers and Cluny Falchions, in European museums, fall into this Type. The only real exception to the cleaver-style blade is Type 1D, which has a pronounced and reinforced thrusting spike added to the back of the blade. The Type 2 | The Type 2 is most similar to the Type 1D, except that it has a convex curve from the piercing spike instead of a concave one. The Type 3 The Type 3 introduces the clipped-point blade, something that is exceedingly common throughout history as a style and persists to the modern day in pocket and bowie knives. It is possible this was done to increase the thrusting capacity of the weapon. The Type 4 The Type 4 is characterized by stepping in the blade, either at the tip, at the base, or both. The Type 5 The Type 5 introduced what we would know as backsword blades and, with a little curve to them, would no doubt be called Sabers in another time period. The Curve Swords of the preceding Types can have almost any amount of curve to them and such curvature can be described as in the image above.
  8. The Type XXITime Period: 15th to 16th Century.Blade Cross Section: Hexagonal or Diamond.Average Blade Length: 30".Average Weight: 2.5 lbs.Use: Cut-and-Thrust. This Type developed out of the Italian Cinquedea, a sort of short-sword or long dagger with an exceedingly broad blade that tapered to an acute point relatively quickly. Many of the examples found are highly decorated and it seems to have been less popular with the average soldier or civilian. Overall, very few of this Type survives to the modern day. They have broad blades, acute tips, and no fullers. The Type XXIITime Period: 14th to 16th Century.Blade Cross Section: Hexagonal.Average Blade Length: 28".Average Weight: 2.5 lbs.Use: Cut-and-Thrust. Much as with the Type XXI, the Type XXII appeared in the Late Middle Ages and was no doubt inspired by the Italian Cinquedea. The primary difference is that this Type has a strictly hexagonal cross-section with short double fullers near the guard. And as with the preceding Type, this seems to have been a rare style overall and most of the examples found were highly decorated. By the 16th Century, swords were as much a fashion statement as they were a weapon of war, and this is reflected in the tendency of sidearms such as this to be more decorated.
  9. The Type XVII´╗┐ITime Period: 15th Century.Blade Cross Section: Diamond or Hollow Ground.Average Blade Length: 28".Average Weight: 2.5 lbs.Use: Cut-and-thrust. Another advanced form of the Type XV, the Type XVIII was an attempt to create the best balance between a cut-and-thrust blade. This was exceedingly popular, and examples from both common men and Kings have been found all over Europe. Existing in the time when plate armor was now the norm, it remained primarily a sidearm to a primary weapon like a pole-axe or pole-hammer. The Type XIXTime Period: 15th to 16th Century.Blade Cross Section: Hexagonal.Average Blade Length: 32".Average Weight: 2.5 lbs.Use: Cut-and-thrust. This progressive design began to supplant other Types during the end of the Late Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaissance. Indeed, the hexagonal, broad blade with an acute tip was useful for both the cut and the thrust. It is in this Type that the first complex hilts begin to develop: No longer would the hand be protected by simple cross-guards. Now, finger-guards, side rings, and knuckle guards begin to appear. The Type XXTime Period: 14th to 16th Century.Blade Cross Section: Double-fullered and Lenticular.Average Blade Length: 36".Average Weight: 3+ lbs.Use: Cut. The last of the true two-handed great cutting swords, the Type XX combined a double-fuller with a lenticular cross-section, giving massive cutting potential. This style of blade was most commonly married to an S-shaped crossguard, but was also used by so-called 'Claymore' hilts in Scotland. These swords would most commonly be used by in war by Knights guarding a unit's banner, by judicial champions in trial-by-combat, and by executioners for beheading.
  10. The Type XV Time Period: 14th to 15th Centuries. Blade Cross Section: Diamond or Hollow Ground. Average Blade Length: 28". Average Weight: 2.5 lbs. Use: Thrust. Continuing the trend of the earlier Type XIV, this sort of sword has edges that taper to a very acute point. Most notably, however, is the blade cross section. By having a diamond or hollow-ground cross section, the Type XV moves weight out of the blade and back towards the hand while, at the same time, rendering the blade more stiff and rigid. This makes this Type even more well suited to the thrust than the Type XIV, as it has a tip that is quick to move about and a triangular-edged, diamond-sectioned blade that would be extremely unlikely to bend when thrusting into mail armor. This is important, as in the period this was common, plate armor has surpassed mail as the primary form of protection and swords, while important, were now secondary weapons since they lacked the ability to do damage through plate. Instead, they would be used to attack gaps in armor that were still protected by mail, and a rigid thrusting sword was what was needed for this. The Type XVA Time Period: 14th to 15th Centuries. Blade Cross Section: Diamond or Hollow Ground. Average Blade Length: 32". Average Weight: 3 lbs. Use: Cut-and-Thrust. The Type XVA is a sub-type of the Type XV that was designed to be usable in two hands. This is the classic Late Medieval longsword, and the study of it's use persists into the modern day, as this is probably the most popular type of sword for use in HEMA. It was extremely popular in it's time and is a distinctive and aesthetically pleasing design. The Type XVI Time Period: 14th to 15th Centuries. Blade Cross Section: Compromise. Average Blade Length: 28". Average Weight: 2.5 lbs. Use: Cut-and-thrust. The Type XVI is -very- similar to the preceding Type XV with only a few key differences. The most notable one is that it has a compromise blade cross section: That is, it is fullered on the bottom half and diamond on the top half. This was an attempt to make the perfect Cut-and-thrust blade by combining a rigid and stiff tip with the blade presence of earlier lenticular swords. Whether it achieved the balance it desired or not, it was a popular design. The Type XVII Time Period: 14th to 15th Centuries. Blade Cross Section: Hexagonal. Average Blade Length: 36". Average Weight: 3 lbs. Use: Cut-and-thrust. The Type XVII is another example of a Bastard or Hand-and-a-Half Sword, but instead of being a cut-only type, it is a compromise cut-and-thrust style with an acute point and a hexagonal cross section that allows both presence in the blade and stiffness for use during the thrust. Many of these have been found, indicating they must have been popular choices for men-at-arms and Knights.
  11. Mission StatementHello! This guide is intended to give the new or uninitiated some basic information about Medieval-style swords, focusing on the Arming Sword, the Longsword, and (in rare cases), the Great Sword. This guide will essentially be an exploration of Oakeshott Typology, which is a system created by the Historian and Researcher Ewart Oakeshott. This man single-handed researched and cataloged thousands, if not more, artifact swords from places all over Europe and discovered that certain trends in design were popular at different times. In his system, he categorizes Medieval swords into different 'Types' based on their blade style, grip shape, length, and so on. This is useful for describing the general use and qualities of artifact swords, but is less useful in general usage. This guide should primarily be used for personal research into what type of sword YOUR character might use. There are thirteen different Oakeshott Types, starting with Type X. Types I through IX described Viking-period swords and were created by a different researcher, which I will not be covering. Special or rare sub-types in the Typology will also not be covered unless people ask, since that's...even nerdier than this is. SO MANY OPTIONS Certainly not every sword falls within Oakeshott's Typology. Even swords produced within the place and period that he cataloged could be wildly different than any of the described Types, and it would be false to assume swords produced in, say, the Middle East or East Asia could fall within this system. Blades within the system can be designated Cutting Swords, Thrusting Swords, or Cut-and-Thrust Swords. Even still, most Cutting Swords could still thrust and most Thrusting Swords could still cut. It was merely a way to describe their -primary- use. Cross section is an important thing to understand. Different cross-sections are good at different things, so understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each is important. A lenticular cross-section, for example, lends itself to greater weight in the blade, which is important for slashing and chopping. The Type X Time Period: 9th to 13th Centuries Blade Cross Section: Broad Fullered. Blade Average Length: 32". Average Weight: 2.5 lbs. Use: Cut. The Type X is also known as a Norman-style Sword, a Late Viking-style Sword, or an Early Knightly Sword. A truly transitional design, it was thinner and lighter than Viking swords with a more prominent tip to permit better thrusting. Even still, it would be fair to call this a primarily cutting sword. The blade typically had parallel edges for most the length. It could be used either mounted or on foot and was popular for an exceedingly long time frame, being popularly produced from the 800s AD all the way to the 1200s AD. The Type XI Time Period: 12th to 13th Centuries. Blade Cross Section: Thin Lenticular or Thin Fullered. Blade Average Length: 36" Average Weight: 2.5 lbs. Use: Cut. The Type XI was common in the early part of the High Middle Ages and had a blade that was both narrower and longer than the earlier Type X. This leads many to believe that this sword was primarily intended to be used while mounted, as the extra length gives the wielder reach, which is an important consideration when sitting atop a warhorse. The blade typically has parallel edges for the vast majority of the length.The thinner cross section meant that the blade was less stiff than the Type X, which made it more flexible and less useful in the thrust, but it would be a powerful cutting sword from the saddle. As armor increased in strength and plate became more common, this style of sword would fade in popularity. The Type XII Time Period: 13th to 14th Centuries. Blade Cross Section: Lenticular or Fullered. Blade Average Length: 32" Average Weight: 2.5 lbs. Use: Cut-and-Thrust. The classic Knightly Arming Sword, the Type XII had edges that tapered to a finer point from the base of the blade. This allowed it to be more effective at thrusting than the styles that preceded it, but the lenticular cross section still allowed it to have a commanding presence when it came to cutting. Next to the Type X, this has been the most commonly found sword in archaeological digs, despite it having a relatively short time-frame where it was popular. This would indicate it was mass-produced on a scale unlike previous swords. The Type XIIA Time Period: 13th to 14th Centuries. Blade Cross Section: Lenticular or Fullered. Blade Average Length: 36" Average Weight: 3 lbs. Use: Cut-and-Thrust. The Type XIIA is a sub-type of Type XII designed to be a two-handed sword; it was called a longsword or warsword in it's day, but is commonly known as a great sword in the modern world. The long, lenticular blade gave incredible cutting performance, especially when used in hewing motions. It could be used one-handed from the horse, but was most often used two-handed when on foot. These were popular sword designs in their day. The Type XIII Time Period: 13th to 14th Centuries. Blade Cross Section: Lenticular, Fullered, or Hexagonal. Blade Average Length: 30" Average Weight: 3 lbs. Use: Cut. Another example of a longsword or warsword, the Type XIII is most often today called a Bastard Sword or Hand-And-A-Half Sword. While the blade is slightly shorter than many single-handed swords, it was often wider and thicker overall. The qualities that make a sword a Type XIII are a relatively rounded tip, wide blade with parallel edges, and a grip that permitted two-handed use. This was a rare style overall and few examples survive today. The Type XIV Time Period: 13th to 14th Centuries. Blade Cross Section: Fullered. Blade Average Length: 28". Average Weight: 2.5 lbs. Use: Cut-and-Thrust. An extremely common and popular Type, the Type XIV truly begins the transition from cut-centric blades to cut-and-thrust styles. The edges taper more dramatically than swords before it to a very acute point, permitting blades of this type more ability to puncture through mail armor in the thrust without sacrificing too much cutting potentially. The wider blade at the base and serious tapering means that these swords are slightly shorter than other types, with most examples being 28" to 30" in blade length.
  12. Mission StatementHello! This guide is intended to give the new or uninitiated some basic information about the artillery of the Early Modern Period and how it can compliment your roleplay style. Obvious Warcraft is a fantasy universe, and fantasy elements are at play in nearly every aspect of the world, artillery included. This isn't intended to be a do-or-die, all-or-nothing guide to how you should roleplay in regards to armor. It is, however, intended to provide some ideas based on period artilery that can help you if you desire semi-realistic detail in your character's gear. While I am not a professional in this field, I am an avid historical enthusiast. This particular guide is intended for people who either command or have likelihood to come up against artillery. The Field and Siege GunsAppearing quite early, primitive field and siege guns first began to spread across Europe in the late 1300s. Yeah, that early. However, it was not really until the late 1400s that the technology, battlefield tactics, and industrial base to produce large numbers of them made them increasingly popular. By the early 1500s, field and siege guns were an indispensable part of the Renaissance arsenal and would continue in both popularity and development until the Modern era. So, what is a field or siege gun? Simply put, the classic cannon. Often called simply a 'gun', these are tubes of usually either cast iron, bronze, brass, or steel designed to fire solid stone or metal cannonballs. What is notable about this type is that they typically cannot elevate their muzzles past 35 degrees. That means that they can only be used in direct fire (They have to see what they are shooting at). A further note on design and purpose is that they typically have quite long barrels and require a relatively large charge of gunpowder to fire effectively. A field gun is a cannon mounted on a limber (Set of wheels, usually) and purposed to travel alongside an army and fire upon enemy soldiers, whereas a siege gun is usually a fixed mounting and used to defend or attack fortresses. So, to wrap up: A gun is a long barreled cannon used for direct fire with a relatively large charge of gunpowder. This distinction will be important later when we talk about howitzers and mortars. The choice of material for the cannon itself was important. Cast brass or bronze cannons were very expensive due to the need for tin, and the mass-production of them in the Tudor Period actually caused a world-wide shortage of it at the time. Cast iron cannons were MUCH cheaper, but they were brittle and prone to fracturing or even shattering explosively if handled improperly. As a result, the cast iron guns had to be made thicker and with reinforcing bands about it all the way to the muzzle, making them far heavier than brass or bronze cannons. Steel was neither castable nor easily produced in large quantities and was not common for artillery until the middle of the 19th Century. Guns were usually ignited with a length of burning rope called a linstock, a flintlock mechanism set into the breech of the gun called a gunlock, or a lanyard with an igniter at the end. The first two are rather self-descriptive, the lanyard is not so. On one end of the lanyard is a length of steel that has been notched to create little metal teeth. When this end is inserted into the breach of the cannon and pulled out suddenly, it scrapes against the inside of the touchhole and generates sparks which fall on to the powder inside the cannon. Linstocks were invented first (in the 14th Century), gunlocks second (in the late 18th Century), and lanyards later (in the early 19th Century). Guns were rated one of two ways. They were either classified according to the weight of their shot (A 12-Pound Gun shot a 12-pound cannonball) or the width of their shot (A 4-Inch Gun shot a 4-inch diameter cannonball). In the Tudor period there were often very creative names for different classifications of cannons and they were high decorated works of art. Guns were expensive, and some were in service for over a century due to the expenses in producing them. In the later period, the decoration on cannons was simplified as they became cheaper and easier to produce. Generally speaking, 12 pounds was on the upper end of field guns for the weight of their shot. Larger pieces, like 18 or 24 pounders, were primarily for sieges. Crewing a gun, whether for siege or for field, was an arduous task. While some guns could be loaded and fired with as few as 4 or 5 people, those crewmen would be exhausted extremely quickly and the rate of fire and quality of accuracy would suffer dramatically. For most cannons, 8 was considered the minimal crew and larger guns often had crews with as many as 16, depending on the size and difficulty in moving ammunition. It took large teams of horses to move guns and their ammunition carts (called caissons), typically 4 for a 'light' gun and 6-8 for 'heavy' guns. One difficulty in keeping field guns and siege guns supplied was the ammunition they needed was often NOT standard. Cannons were typically cast around a clay mold, which was then broken to get the new gun out. This meant that not every gun was the EXACT same. Often, cannonballs had to be made for individual cannons and as such, could not be used by other cannons. This dramatically complicated supply chains. This remained a common issue until the French perfected a new way of making cannons in the mid 18th Century. Reference Images: A German 1-Pounder Falconet on a Naval service mount. While light, such guns were common armament for small merchant vessels in the Age of Sail for their lower cost, smaller crews, and lighter weight. The gun and mount together weigh less than 500 pounds, making it handy but of limited firepower. Effective range: Around 5,000 feet. An English 5-Pounder Saker on a Field service mount. Much heavier than the Falconet at 2,000 pounds for the tube, but far more powerful. Often used by the English on their warships in the Tudor period due to the long range they offered. Effective range: Around 7,000 feet. A French 8-Pounder on a Field service mount. The French led the way in artillery development in the 18th and 19th Centuries. They perfected a system for producing lighter weight guns with better accuracy and standard sized cannonballs. This one weights about 2,000 pounds for the tube, the same weight as the smaller Saker above. Effective Range: Around 5,000 feet. A British 18-Pounder on a Naval service mount used for the defense of Boston. The British liked larger bore guns like this for coastal defense, as it gave them great power to control a seaport. The tube on this one weighs an astonishing 4,500 pounds. Effective range: PROBABLY around 5,000 feet.
  13. The SabreNo sword more exemplifies the Early Modern Period than the cavalry sabre. While initially a weapon primarily for cavalrymen, by the 18th Century, more and more infantry officers and sergeants started carrying sabres. This could be because they are extremely effective and versatile, or it could be because the cavalry had a certain flair and high status associated with them, so infantry started carrying sabres in an attempt to put themselves on par with the cavalry in terms of style and fashion. Either way, by the 19th Century, the majority of military swords were sabres, and they were considered important weapons until World War 1. The earliest sabres have been covered in the Medieval weapons guide. This post focuses on sabres designed between 1700 and 1918. A sabre is best defined as a sword with a curved blade and a complex hilt designed to be used from horseback. As noted, however, they eventually were adopted for infantry. While not technically sabres, a great many styles of straight bladed swords in this period emulated the hilt of the sabre and were sometimes even termed sabres. In an attempt to not be a purist, examples will be included here. We will begin our study with blades. Like so many things, this area is a continuum: There is no fixed value for how curved a sabre should be. There was a huge variety in style. Blade type is inexplicably linked with how they weapons themselves were used: sabres that were primarily designed for slashing attacks tend to have more dramatically curved blades, whereas sabres that were primarily designed for thrusting attacks had only slightly curved or totally straight blades. There were a great many varieties that were compromises: A medium-curved blade could both cut and thrust effectively. If your character has a Sabre, consider whether it is a thrusting Sabre, a slashing Sabre, or a compromise Sabre. Next, the hilts. The earliest Sabres we previously discussed had very simple crossguards, not unlike Medieval swords. By the Early Modern Period, however, men were no longer wearing gauntlets into battle. Hence, the sword hand had to be protected, and complex hilts became the standard. Initially developed were simple knuckle-guards. While they offered minimal protection, they were a popular style and remained relatively common. Many swords from World War 1 had simple knuckle-guards. Next were the so-called 'three-bar' or 'four-bar' hilts. These types provided much better protection and had branches of metal that covered both the knuckles and the back of the hand. Finally, the so-called 'dish guard' was developed in the 19th Century: This was like a cup-hilt Rapier in that it offered complete hand protection. Hilts were usually made of either brass or steel. Brass was less expensive, less prone to rusting, and could be cast in a mold, making them much easier to mass produce. Their drawback is that they could be cut through with a heavy enough blade, thereby lacking durability. Steel was much more durable, but also much more expensive. British sabres typically had steel guards, whereas French and German sabres tended to stick with brass. Reference Images: British 1796 Pattern Light Cavalry Sabre. This is one of the most famous designs and you can note its distinctive dramatic curve, simple steel knuckle-guard, and wide blade. Definitely a slashing oriented sabre with limited thrusting potential. French AN XI (1804) Light Cavalry Sabre. This is another famous design and inspired many other sabres. Brass three-bar hilt and a slashing blade with limited thrusting potential. Prussian 1811 'Blucher' Sabre. This is undoubtedly inspired by the British 1796 example above. The tip is a spear-point, however, allowing slightly better thrusting potential. Still primarily a cutter. Similar models were used as late as World War 1. Austrian 1845 Pattern Sabre. This is a compromise blade: A more moderate curve with a spear-point tip, allowing effective cuts and thrusts in the same design. French 1882 Pattern Sword. This is a thrust-centric sword with little slashing capacity and a four-bar steel hilt. Prussian 1889 Pattern Sword. Much like the preceding French design, a thrusting oriented sword. American 1913 Pattern 'Patton' Sword. Designed by Patton when he was Master of the Sword at Mounted Service School in Kansas. The final sword design used by the US military. Good example of a dish hilt on a thrust-only sword design.
  14. The Smallsword Probably developed from lighter types of Rapier, the Smallsword became the sidearm of choice for gentlemen and civilians in beginning in the mid 17th Century and remained popular into the early 19th Century. Swords by this point were as much fashion accessories and status symbols as weapons, and no sword exemplifies this as much as the Smallsword. They can be simple and utilitarian for a lower class man, and there are many other highly decorated examples of high-class society. As the name might suggest, it is shorter and lighter than other sword types to allow for ease of carrying. Many of the classical fencing systems were built around the Smallsword (Sometimes also called a Court Sword or Dueling Sword) and modern Olympic-style Epee fencing is based on the Smallsword. The Smallsword is typically very light, around 1 and 1/2 pounds! This made it very easy to carry, and equally made it a very quick and lively weapon. The blade was typically 28-30 inches long, though it could be as short as 24 inches or as long as 35 inches. Their hilts are much simpler than the Rapier or Sabre hilts that it shared a time period with, often with a simple knuckle guard and double shell to protect the hand. While their light weight made them very quick, it also put them at a disadvantage against heavier types of sword, and while sometimes carried into war, the Smallsword was primarily a civilian self-defense and dueling weapon. Also of note is that Smallswords often lack edges due to a unique blade shape. Their blades are often triangular in cross section, tapering strongly to a very acute tip. This makes them very rigid and deadly in the thrust, but the geometry often means they have little or no cutting capacity at all. They are, for all purposes, thrust-only swords. Reference Images: 17th Century Smallsword. This one is of a medium level of decoration, with silver guard, grip, and scabbard fittings. 18th or 19th Century Smallsword. This one is more utilitarian, lacking decoration and with a simple wooden grip. 19th Century Smallsword. This one was carried by Napoleon at the Battle of Austerlitz.
  15. Mission StatementHello! This guide is intended to give the new or uninitiated some basic information about the weapons of the Early Modern Period and how it can compliment your roleplay style. Obvious Warcraft is a fantasy universe, and fantasy elements are at play in nearly every aspect of the world, weaponry included. This isn't intended to be a do-or-die, all-or-nothing guide to how you should roleplay in regards to armor. It is, however, intended to provide some ideas based on period weaponry that can help you if you desire semi-realistic detail in your character's gear. While I am not a professional in this field, I am an avid historical enthusiast and do practice historical martial arts. This particular guide is intended for people who want their characters equipped in a post-Medieval fashion, say for example, they come from Gilneas or perhaps Kul'Tiras. I'll be discussing weapons popular between the late 16th and late 19th Centuries.The Side-Sword / Basket Hilt SwordEvolving directly from the Medieval Arming Sword in the mid 16th Century, first in Italy, and then spreading throughout the whole of Europe. Initially, it was intended primarily as a battlefield weapon, but became increasingly popular as a civilian self-defense sidearm. The Side-Sword was never fully replaced by the Rapier that followed it and remained in use throughout the Early Modern Period. They went by different names in different areas at different periods, as well. Initially the Side-Sword was simply an Arming Sword with a complex hilt. What is a complex hilt you ask? The answer is amusingly simple: A complex hilt has hand-protection greater than that offered by simple cross-hilts. Bars of steel or brass criss-cross the grip, encasing the hand in the hand in metal and offering a great degree of protection for the hand. This came about for several reasons, and there is great debate over the primary one. I am of the opinion that complex hilts evolved on swords to protect the hand because, by this period, the vast majority of soldiers were unarmored. If you're not wearing gauntlets, it is very easy to smash your hand in a swordfight, and a smashed hand makes you extremely vulnerable. Hence, complex hilts evolved to keep your hand unsmashed and in the fight. As stated, early Side-Swords had essentially the same blades as Medieval Arming Swords. However, by the later period of their use, a wide variety of blade shapes were known. These were true cut-and-thrust weapons. A development of the Side-Sword with a complete enclosure for the hand is a Basket Hilt Sword. Some had very broad blades, and were called Broadswords or Highland Claymores. They could be doubled edged or single edged (called Backswords). Basket Hilt Swords were very popular among cavalry units, as they offered wide and heavy blades for devastating slashing attacks. Typically, both Side-Swords and Basket Hilt Swords weighed around 3 pounds and had 30-35 inch blades. Reference Images: Early Italian Side-Sword. Note how the bars above the cross provide greater protection for the hand. 16th Century(?) Style Side Sword. Note how it includes a knuckle guard, offering further protection. Also note how the blade is a cut-and-thrust blade, unlike a later Rapier or Smallsword. 17th Century (?) English Basket Hilt Broadsword. Likely a cavalry trooper's weapon. 18th Century(?) Scottish Basket Hilt Broadsword. Basket Hilt Backsword. The RapierFirst appearing in the mid 16th Century in Spain, the Rapier became a very common weapon throughout Early Modern Europe. Used alongside the Side-Sword, the Rapier was used both on the battlefield and as a civilian weapon, though it probably shines more as a civilian weapon than a battlefield one. With a VERY long and slender blade optimized for the thrust over the cut, the Rapier experienced a shorter life-span than the Side-Sword or Basket Hilt Sword. They were almost completely absent both on the battlefield and as a civilian weapon by the early 18th Century, replaced by other weapons. While it was only popular for about 150 years, the Rapier is indelibly imprinted on our minds as the sword of the musketeers. There are some misunderstandings about the Rapier, however, and we must combat those. First of all, a Rapier IS capable of cutting. Though it is ideally optimized for thrusting, the Rapier retains a usable double-edge most of the time. As such, it can slash, though they will by no means be as effective as a thrust is. Further, a Rapier is NOT a light-weight weapon. Rapiers often weigh the same, if not more, than Medieval Arming Swords. They require great physical strength, dexterity, and technique to employ effectively and are NOT a weapon for those lacking physicality. With blades as long as 42 inches and weights typically 3 pounds or more, the Rapier is a serious piece of cold steel. They always have some form of complex hilt and, as discussed, are primarily used to thrust. It only takes two inches of penetration to deal a fatal wound, and the Rapier was exceedingly popular for its lethality and long effective range. Many regional styles of Rapier evolved. Some will be discussed in the reference images. Reference Images: Early Italian-style Rapier. Note how it has a complex hilt, but not a very evolved one. Swept-Hilt Rapier, a popular style in France and England. Pappenheim-Hilt Rapier, a popular style in Germany and Italy. Cup-Hilt Rapier, primarily a Spanish style.