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Old 07-16-2016, 11:16 AM   #1
DippyTTO
 
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Default West Point Cadet Sword

I have been looking at this sword online for a character of mine, but I can't seem to figure out how it would be classified in GURPS.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_P...adets%27_Sword

It's the sword issued to cadets at the US Military Academy.
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Old 07-16-2016, 11:32 AM   #2
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Default Re: West Point Cadet Sword

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Originally Posted by DippyTTO View Post
I have been looking at this sword online for a character of mine, but I can't seem to figure out how it would be classified in GURPS.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_P...adets%27_Sword

It's the sword issued to cadets at the US Military Academy.
It's a court sword or smallsword. The current version is very light, so it's probably a Dress Smallsword, and Cheap, but similar weapons manufactured as something other than jewelry might use the Smallsword or even Light Rapier statistics.
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Old 07-16-2016, 12:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: West Point Cadet Sword

It's a Spadroon, which they might have stats for in Low Tech, but IDHMBWM.

If not, I'd treat it as a Smallsword that can also do Swing-1 Cut, or as a Saber if you're feeling generous.
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Old 07-16-2016, 12:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: West Point Cadet Sword

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Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
If not, I'd treat it as a Smallsword that can also do Swing-1 Cut, or as a Saber if you're feeling generous.
Could it really survive a serious swing, or would it be more of a tip slash?
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Old 07-16-2016, 01:22 PM   #5
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: West Point Cadet Sword

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Could it really survive a serious swing, or would it be more of a tip slash?
All of the early specifications were for "cut and thrust" blades and even with the late one it was described as being sharp on both sides all the way to the guard.

By Skill description from Basic this should be covered by Smallsword but for specific stats you go to the "Light Edged Rapier" on p.229 of Martial Arts.

Unlike some of the chimeras on the weapon tables (i.e. blunt-tipped broadswords) Thrust-only Smallswords did exist. They were not necessarily the most common type though and were never issued by the military to my knowledge. Sir Richard Francis Burton says that they were difficult to temper and frequently bent.

I've never actually seen a "Dress Smallsword" and am uncertain of their reality. Maybe those bendy Thrust-only blades are what we should call Dress Smallswords.

If you're worried about the sword breaking that's Cheap Quality or worse if you want to make up rules for it.

At any rate the OP is unlikely to want his character to carry a Cheap replica so what he wants is that Light Edged Rapier. If you wonder, I've never seen a Thrust-only Rapier either.
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Old 07-16-2016, 01:35 PM   #6
malloyd
 
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Default Re: West Point Cadet Sword

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Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
Could it really survive a serious swing, or would it be more of a tip slash?
Probably not, these things are less than an inch wide and a quarter inch thick. And they're made of 13% chromium stainless steel, which isn't a horrible material (honestly even pretty bad modern steels are as good or better than all but the very highest end historical weapons were made of), but isn't especially good either.

For official statistics, the light edged rapier does get that sw-1 cut, but it's also 2.25 lbs, more than twice as heavy.

Edit: It rather depends on what you are asking though. There are some reputable looking places that will sell you something that probably qualifies as an actual sword rather than a piece of jewelry that they claim meets the regulations standards for dress uniforms. So no, your issue cadet sword isn't a real weapon, and probably should use the statistics for cheap dress smallsword, possibly with a damage penalty because it isn't necessarily even sharpened properly, but if you are willing to pay twice as much for it and live with an extra pound of encumbrance and a little bit more maintenance, you probably can have a good quality edged light rapier that will pass inspection.
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Old 07-16-2016, 02:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: West Point Cadet Sword

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyanW View Post
Could it really survive a serious swing, or would it be more of a tip slash?
Depends on a lot of things. I've done test cutting with a military issue spadroon (probably 50 years old, though), and it cut pretty well, except that particular sword didn't have much of an edge.

As other's have said, it's likely to be of cheap quality, but not necessarily. It's about as thick as a rapier, and those can certainly be used to deliver powerful cuts and survive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
By Skill description from Basic this should be covered by Smallsword but for specific stats you go to the "Light Edged Rapier" on p.229 of Martial Arts.
Yeah, this might be an appropriate stat-line. It's lighter and shorter, but would still qualify for reach 1.
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Old 07-16-2016, 02:45 PM   #8
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Default Re: West Point Cadet Sword

If the character is a cadet or former cadet having a family heirloom from back when the swords were still expected to maybe be used for real could justify a heavier version and still be official. Wearing great-great uncle Foo's sword is both the sort of sentiment that the school would appreciate and it was official issued just quite a while ago.
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Old 07-16-2016, 03:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: West Point Cadet Sword

The Wiki page does not have good photos and length/weight/cross section data, but starting with a Dress Smallsword would be one reasonable approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
It's a Spadroon, which they might have stats for in Low Tech, but IDHMBWM.

If not, I'd treat it as a Smallsword that can also do Swing-1 Cut, or as a Saber if you're feeling generous.
I don't think there are any official rulings about the stats for spadroons, but either of those sets of stats sounds fine depending on the weapon. Matt Easton finds that many spadroons are a bit too light to be good cutters and too flexible to be sure of thrusting through heavy clothing, but they make great swords for waving and saying "that way, follow me lads!" ... and the heavier versions might be a candidate for a real sword with the stats of the Sabre in the Basic Set.

He owns a lot of 19th century swords and practices 18th and 19th century fencing, so I respect his opinion.
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Last edited by Polydamas; 07-16-2016 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 07-18-2016, 08:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: West Point Cadet Sword

If you want a sword for a modern military background, Cold Steel makes a U.S. Army officer's saber that's a real sword, not a ceremonial one. Well, "real" in that it used decent steel, has a sharpened edge, etc. It's a sort of light saber. Well, not a Light Saber, but a saber that is not heavy.

Last edited by acrosome; 07-23-2016 at 01:37 PM.
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