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Old 02-10-2019, 08:44 AM   #21
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Dwarves and Axes

Even the women's axes?
Especially the women's axes.
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Old 02-13-2019, 09:55 AM   #22
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Default Re: Dwarves and Axes

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
A weapon can be culturally iconic without being universally used. Vikings have Danish axes. Franks have francescas. Saxons have seaxes. Japanese have katanas. Lakota have tomahawks. Turks have scimitars; Indians, tulwars. Dwarves have axes. That doesn't mean they only ever use that weapon. But they might well put it in their battlecry.
The amount of Vikings to use Daneaxes in battle may be exagerated. Surely the number to use axes in battle are not. Handy things to have around in any case so why not take one along if some Jarl comes round asking for likely lads?

Saxons surely had saxes for more or less the same reason.

Lakota may not have had tomahawks as often as painted being horse nomads. But surely Iroquois did. A hatchet would be something very useful to have in a forest primeval. Of course they would have gotten trade tomahawks when they could get them, not flint ones, being reasonably sensible about what directly concerned their survival. And trade tomahawks would not have been much different from what settlers did, and would be the ancestor of what the modern US Army uses.
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Old 02-13-2019, 02:06 PM   #23
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The amount of Vikings to use Daneaxes in battle may be exagerated.
As may be the number of dwarves to use dwarven axes. But that doesn't matter when it comes to the points like whether or not some axe styles are immediately recognized as "dwarven", whether dwarves are stereotypically, if not entirely correctly, thought of as fond of using axes, or have battlecries referencing an axe.

We seem to agree that dwarves can have iconic axes without every dwarf having to wield one -- or having special racial template bonuses for axes, or needing a real-world reason why axes are superior weapons in tunnels, any more than Danes needed a real-world reason why axes were necessarily superior weapons on board their iconic longships, thus forced to universally use them by implacable military logic, else failure and death).
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Old 02-13-2019, 05:32 PM   #24
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As may be the number of dwarves to use dwarven axes. But that doesn't matter when it comes to the points like whether or not some axe styles are immediately recognized as "dwarven", whether dwarves are stereotypically, if not entirely correctly, thought of as fond of using axes, or have battlecries referencing an axe.

We seem to agree that dwarves can have iconic axes without every dwarf having to wield one -- or having special racial template bonuses for axes, or needing a real-world reason why axes are superior weapons in tunnels, any more than Danes needed a real-world reason why axes were necessarily superior weapons on board their iconic longships, thus forced to universally use them by implacable military logic, else failure and death).
While Danes were more comfortable fighting shipboard then most they were really not particularly likely to be fighting on longships. While some of the dynastic quarrels between Kings and Jarls were fought that way, Vikings were just as likely to fight as dragoons and many of their most famous battles were fought that way. Certainly the Great Heathen Army fought mostly on land. The Russ interestingly enough, but inevitably adapted to cavalry after a few generations. A heavy war ax is most in tune for a very well trained infantryman of the sort that followed Harald and Harold in 1066.

An ax that is just an ax of course, was probably a fairly common weapon because it was a fairly common tool. A reasonably prosperous yeoman would almost certainly have one around and if he went soldiering for some reason, or went on a pirate raid, or simply was the recipient of piracy he might have it. If he took it while going a-viking he probably did not do so with an expectation of using it in a sea battle. The most profitable prey was slave raiding on shore settlements and the most probable resistance was a local lord or sheriff with a few carls. Or conceivably angry farmers wanting to nail your hide to the Church door.
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:06 PM   #25
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However, goblins don't make their ceilings very high at all and if you can't chase retreating goblins down that puts sharp limits on how much of a victory you can achieve.
Out-squeezing goblins is a losing game for Dwarves, eventually Goblins will find a crevice tight enough where there's no room for a dagger and they'll attack you with a kebab stick. Drarven Pride aside, the best weapon to deal with vermin is burning oil.
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Old 02-15-2019, 12:29 PM   #26
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Default Re: Dwarves and Axes

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An ax that is just an ax of course, was probably a fairly common weapon because it was a fairly common tool. A reasonably prosperous yeoman would almost certainly have one around and if he went soldiering for some reason, or went on a pirate raid, or simply was the recipient of piracy he might have it. If he took it while going a-viking he probably did not do so with an expectation of using it in a sea battle. The most profitable prey was slave raiding on shore settlements and the most probable resistance was a local lord or sheriff with a few carls. Or conceivably angry farmers wanting to nail your hide to the Church door.
An axe was, for centuries, The tool used in shipbuilding and ship repair. (Along with the adze, but not among viking carpenter apparently).
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Old 02-15-2019, 04:28 PM   #27
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An axe was, for centuries, The tool used in shipbuilding and ship repair. (Along with the adze, but not among viking carpenter apparently).
Drawknives are a standard for viking craftsmen, right alongside the Axe.
The Froe is, as well. (Note that a froe is, construction-wise, lose to a 1-handed drawknife or a straight-bladed sickle.)

Sadly, the Scandinavians in the Viking era were not known for writing about their tools, just using them, and occasionally burying them.

Toolmarks make it clear drawknives and froes were used in addition to the axe and wedges.

It's worth noting, as well, that two axes can be used in place of a wedge and mallet, and a drawknife on a smaller bit of wood in place of the froe, albeit being really hard on the sharp edge.
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:17 PM   #28
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Out-squeezing goblins is a losing game for Dwarves, eventually Goblins will find a crevice tight enough where there's no room for a dagger and they'll attack you with a kebab stick.
I just want you to know that this line had me in stitches.
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Old 02-16-2019, 07:11 PM   #29
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I recall Pratchett described the Discworld "dwarven axe" as "a pick on one side, to go prospecting with and an axehead on the other in case someone tries to dispute your claim". I could actually see a dwarven axe like that being iconic, but not what the dwarves use for warfare. You see them a lot because that's what dwarves travelling on the surface carry as a utility tool and expedient weapon - the actual dwarven military are equipped with more sensible kit, but very few people ever see them.
'The Other Side of the Tools' might be the single coolest cultural shorthand anyone has ever invented. In one paragraph, Sir Terry told us more interesting stuff about dwarven culture than most fantasy authors manage in a lifetime. He was truly unique. Long may He reign.
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Old 02-16-2019, 09:54 PM   #30
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An axe was, for centuries, The tool used in shipbuilding and ship repair. (Along with the adze, but not among viking carpenter apparently).
According to the Russian history Icon and the Axe, Russian peasants planed by laying the head on a plank and scraping with it. Scandinavians likely did that too.
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