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Old 07-13-2016, 11:38 AM   #41
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Default Re: Swords and plate

Quote:
Originally Posted by McAllister View Post
You'll want to give +1 damage to everything in the axe/mace family in this case, because RAW one-handed axes hit no harder than swords, plus they're unbalanced. And if you bring one-handed axes up to sw+3 cut, there's no reason in the world to use a mace with sw+3 cr, so that should be sw+4. It's up to you whether or not to adjust the swing damage of things like staffs and polearms in this case.

The Great Axe is sw+4 cut and the Maul is sw+5 cr, compared to sw+3 for two-handed swords, so maybe those don't need to be adjusted. But if two handed weapons are only dealing one more point of damage than the one-handed version, why bother?

This may seem like a lot of damage buffs to be handing out, but if you're buffing armor, it should balance out.
I dont think ill have to adjust the stats of any weapons

Heres why:

An axe doesnt suffer from my edged weapons rules BECAUSE its point of impact, like a mace, is far more concentrated. The Swing is heavier its damage potential is alot more focused.

A Sword by comparison has virtually no power behind it compared to an axe, just a design of the weapon.

....

So with a Sword you get :
A harder time getting that cutting injury modifier going
but its easier to target chinks, and you get balanced weapon thats better for defense.

With an Axe when it penetrates armor, its concentrated force actually does make cutting contact. But its unbalanced, and less defensive, It also has a harder time targeting chinks.

---- I'd say that is fair no?
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Old 07-13-2016, 06:21 PM   #42
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Default Re: Swords and plate

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Originally Posted by safisher View Post
I've explained that these weapons were used in armored combat. I pointed to fighting books from the period supporting that assertion. You still want evidence. I'm really at a loss as to what it is will satisfy your demands.
You effectively pointed to a whole shelf or a whole library of books and claimed the evidence was in there. IT would be more useful if you could at least point to a book, chapter or page.
Quote:
Originally Posted by safisher View Post
But, let me try. I'll give an example from history, the battle of Morgarten. This is an actual battle in the early 1300s involving peasants with halberds (that is, yes, swing cutting weapons) slaughtering knights in armor. There are many interesting bits about this battle, but for our purposes, here's the key information:
According to Low Tech and other GURPS books the halberd has two other damage types modes in addition to sw/cut.

Also the quote you supplied mentions mail armor, while the subject of this thread seems to be plate armor.
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Old 07-13-2016, 07:36 PM   #43
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Default Re: Swords and plate

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Compared to swords for versatility, picks and maces against armor, axes were horrible
Compared to maces and picks for versatility, and compared to swords against armour... this is not just me being silly, but referencing axe/pick combination weapons, or longaxes having their uses.

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
Polearms we're exceptionally versatile, and came with other advantages such as being cheap, relatively easy to drill with and allowed dense formations etc (although this later depends on what polearms and how they were used).

All of which is demonstrated by the fact that nasty things on the end of long sticks (which includes spears) were basically the pre-eminent battlefield melee weapon for thousands of years. However...



... the same can not be said of axes, despite their relative cheapness and wide spread use and availability outside the battlefield. The oft cited John II at Poitiers preference for an axe only goes so far in a wider context.
I was under the impression that purpose-built military axes persisted across centuries, at least during the medieval period – not to the same popularity as spears/polearms or swords, of course, but there's a lot of ground between “less awesome than spears/polearms” and “horrible.” I also get the feeling that purpose-building war axes would have faded away if they were clearly inferior weapons.

A grey area that muddies the waters further is axe-polearms, like pollaxes or halberds.
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Old 07-13-2016, 08:57 PM   #44
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Default Re: Swords and plate

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Originally Posted by Žorkell View Post
You effectively pointed to a whole shelf or a whole library of books and claimed the evidence was in there. IT would be more useful if you could at least point to a book, chapter or page.
So it's still evidence you need? (Since I was on my phone, I didn't feel the need to drill down the to the html level.) Very well.

I would suggest you review the fighting books of Camillo Agrippa, Di Grassi, Talhoffer. Most of these manuals will include pole weapon fighting, and many of them will include illustrations of men in armor fighting with these weapons. You tend to see something like this:
http://selohaar.org/VeritasSwordplayAcademy/index.htm

You will also find them using the hammer version:
https://talhoffer.files.wordpress.co...07/falkner.jpg

Isn't it weird that even a blunt weapon is being swung against armor to which it is impenetrable?

Again, I suspect the idea outside of tournaments was to batter your foe, knock down or knock away his weapons, and give a killing blow. That blow could be with the spike, or it could be with hammer or axe blade. They are all there for a reason.

The weapon stats in Martial Arts depict a fearsome SW+4 cut. That beats a lot of low-tech armor, and even the fighting style in Martial Arts suggests that you'd need heavy armor to resist their attacks.

Quote:
As you should know, being one of the authors of Low Tech the halberd has two other damage types modes in addition to sw/cut.
Co-author of High-Tech, and yes a contributor to Low-tech, I was lead playtester on the the first one, actually.

But the quote certainly makes clear they used the swing cut. You can't seriously be claiming the halberdiers didn't use the edge, can you? I whole unit of guys with massive two-handed axes, and no one strikes with them?

Quote:
Also the quote you supplied mentions mail armor, while the subject of this thread seems to be plate armor.
The rules apply to armor, and certainly some of those knights were in mail, and some were in plate, as could suspect in transitional harness (Dan Howard covers this in some detail in the French Chevalier in his loadout book). (And it sorta stretches the imagination a bit that the vanguard of duke's army is not armored knights.)

From the dissertation I cited earlier:

John of Winterthur described the appeal of the halberd when he explained what Duke Leopold was up against at Morgarten. He writes: “Also the Swiss have in their hands death weapons, which have been called in popular speech ‘Helnbarten,’ and are very frightful. These slice like a razor and slash into pieces such strongly armed opponents.”

Razor, slash. Hmm.

And just the next paragraph, it says:

"So, the iron halberd was the first versatile pole-weapon that put the foot soldier at a distinct advantage over the knight: it could crack through armor. An expressly offensive weapon, its value, then, was that it significantly decreased the protective appeal of plate armor. While it also left the halberdier vulnerable—it had to be carried with both hands, so those who wielded it had to give up the shield—its effectiveness was apparently worth it, especially for footsoldiers like the Swiss, who were lightly armed
anyway."

Now, I've given you primary source material and illustrations, and a doctoral thesis. Please do not tell me that I have not provided evidence that swing cutting weapons were used on the battlefield against plate armor.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:13 PM   #45
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Default Re: Swords and plate

Oh yes, the obligatory YouTube video as proof:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxWnnE3PzrE

Hehe.
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Old 07-14-2016, 03:40 AM   #46
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Default Re: Swords and plate

Quote:
Originally Posted by safisher View Post
Oh yes, the obligatory YouTube video as proof:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxWnnE3PzrE

Hehe.
What the one where when even swung at full force it manged to penetrate one corner* of the blade by what an inch at most? (Cue usual points about stationary rigid targets, lack of arming garments, quality of the armour being tested etc)


*so what half piecing / half cutting


EDIT: hang on I just watched it on full screen, it's a car hood!? He's hitting a car hood / bonnet, your point earlier point about youtube videos seems to stand.


Thinking about this video kind of summarises this discussion for me.

Yes we can get into a detailed conversation about what is meant by certain words used in historical quotes regarding "hewing" etc etc, and try inform our discussion from that.

And yeah if that's all we had and no other evidence than yes that what we'd be forced to do with all the usual issues of subjective interpretation, language use and contemporary context etc, etc.

But it's not all we have, we also have what we know about how this would actually work. Now while I suspect that you actually posted that video as a bit of a joke given your previous points about youtube video, and it can hardly be held up as a rigorously planned experiment. But at the end of the day it actually shows some chap swinging his halberd as hard as he can...


...and he just barely cuts through a braced car bonnet.

A car bonnet, now I can stab a screw driver through a car bonnet, that doesn't make me the bane of armoured knights.

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Old 07-14-2016, 03:44 AM   #47
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Default Re: Swords and plate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Railstar View Post
...

I was under the impression that purpose-built military axes persisted across centuries, at least during the medieval period – not to the same popularity as spears/polearms or swords, of course, but there's a lot of ground between “less awesome than spears/polearms” and “horrible.” I also get the feeling that purpose-building war axes would have faded away if they were clearly inferior weapons.

A grey area that muddies the waters further is axe-polearms, like pollaxes or halberds.

Yeah to be fair I think that purpose built axes for warfare we basically what would get grouped into shorter pole arms (well barring specific stuff like dane axes, and earlier dagger axes etc).

Axe blades on sticks appear a lot in different ways down the years. It's just the military versions didn't generally look much like civilian axes. So that said it's a bit unfair of me to say "axes weren't battlefield weapons, pole-arms were", because well in a lot of cases pole arms were battle field axes.

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Old 07-14-2016, 03:47 AM   #48
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Default Re: Swords and plate

I'm no expert which is why I wasn't commenting.

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Originally Posted by safisher View Post
Further, and this is also important and overlooked, is that bleeding probably also counts for FP loss, too.
You know, I can't quote myself since I'm not a doctor, but the reason for most deaths in injury is bloodloss.

"DO I LEAVE IT IN OR DO I PULL IT OUT!?"

My mother used to stuff my head with this (A registered nurse) quite often. You can survive with a certain percentage of bloodcells, but you can't survive without blood pressure. I remember I sliced a finger with scissors, the wound couldn't have been something you'd register as even a point of damage in gaming(Quarter to half inch), but I suffered so much from bloodloss in that small hole that I started getting sick. Blew my mind that could happen because at first I thought it was nothing.

Often when we're gaming we look for "How much flesh is cleaved?" But even looking back at that video with that sword, the guy thrusted a Thr+1 weapon with what's probably average or near average ST into steal armor and went through an inch. No, he didn't run the guy through, but an inch on a point like that is quite a bit! He probably did an all out attack to get that depth, and if you look at something between DR6 and DR9 for plate, that's probably accurate for damage where most would be absorbed and maybe 1 or 2 points of damage CAN get through (Not on average).

Things break down more when you are forced to classify things so rigidly into damage types. Take a mace for example. How do you quantify such a thing? Some with nobby spike, some with "Fins"... morningstars... they have +n damage, but they can only be cut, crush or impaling. Real life isn't so rigid.

Also, GURPS doesn't track things like bone bruising from strikes or skeletal durability. People sometimes focus on bleeding as an external phenomena too. They don't realize contusions can be as bad as lascerations! Bleeding inside your body is still bleeding! Blood vessels aren't the most sturdy parts of our evolution. Cracked bones and such can be debilitating!

Not to mention something rarely said is even if an attack doesn't get through armor, not every attack need be the killing blow. You get hit with a sword at full power and that will SUUUUCK. Not all of that is even more than jarring, but jarring injury is all it takes on a battlefield to leave you messed up. How many football players get concussions?

Most the videos I watched on this subject seem to show the blunt trauma and the features I don't think GURPS models well is what will do you in versus literal slicing through flesh.

Personally from every weapon I saw, it seems the best thing to use against someone coming at you in steel sheets is a warbow. Arrows seem to regularly piece plate armor quite a bit more effectively than I thought they would. I'd also like to mention, impaling attacks seem to get trapped in the armor quite a bit.

I guess at the end of the day, there's a point to make. If armor was useless they wouldn't wear it, and if weapons were useless against it, people with armor would win every time.
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Old 07-14-2016, 04:14 AM   #49
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Default Re: Swords and plate

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Originally Posted by safisher View Post
<sarcasm>It does? Why, I had no idea that the rules included hit locations! Thank you for pointing out the obvious flaw in my thinking.<sarcasm>.
It was your point, but yes I agree it seemed obvious.



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Originally Posted by safisher View Post
See it's this sort of pedantry that makes the conversation more difficult than it should be. .
If you don't want the points to be addressed don't raise them.


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Originally Posted by safisher View Post
.Armor piercing is not just the function of getting through armor in any way whatsoever, but in doing damage through the armor. So yes OF COURSE how much damage you do and what type matters very much. Is it likely that axes and so forth caused 12" rips in plate? No, I don't see support for that.

It seems obvious that the mechanism of injury would have been some combination of: 1) concussive damage to tissue, including to bones deep beneath the tissue struck, 2) tears or cuts in the tissue under the armored area, possibly including bleeding injuries sufficient to debilitate an armored man down over time, 3) mechanical damage to the armor, and or the musculature or skeleton system of the target sufficient to compromise mobility, 4) strikes capable of stunning or addling the target.

To what degree any of this is cutting damage in GURPS is not clear. Does it seem likely, *** for tat, that a blow from a hammer would do less damage than that of halberd? That's hard to say. GURPS makes those assertions. Reality does not.
Actually reality does make this distinction, more over so do we, and as you say so does GURPS to an extent



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Originally Posted by safisher View Post
That's actually not true. Getting through the armor is only part of the equation. The damage and DR are simplistic systems intended, of course, to be integrated with the injury system. Effectiveness, as a metric, has many variables.
For some one who dislikes pedantry you just cut a sentence in half and responded twice?

Anyway bleeding is very much going to more of a factor if the cutting edge / piecing point physically penetrates the armour and into the flesh far enough to hit blood vessels. Now yes blunt trauma can cause internal bleeding it's true. But hey we have rules for blunt trauma and bleeding, neither of which require cutting blades to cut through DR as they currently do.



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Originally Posted by safisher View Post
You've given your subjective conclusion. Thank you.
On the subject of how complicated rules are yes it's going to be subjective, only you have been arguing from position of objective fact. Note I pointed out that most of the tweaks are actually just the revisions of the existing rules so no more complicated that what already exists



Quote:
Originally Posted by safisher View Post
I've explained that these weapons were used in armored combat. I pointed to fighting books from the period supporting that assertion. You still want evidence. I'm really at a loss as to what it is will satisfy your demands.
Something that supports your specific claim, not the more general one which has not been contested.


Quote:
Originally Posted by safisher View Post
But, let me try. I'll give an example from history, the battle of Morgarten. This is an actual battle in the early 1300s involving peasants with halberds (that is, yes, swing cutting weapons) slaughtering knights in armor. There are many interesting bits about this battle, but for our purposes, here's the key information:

"The penned-in knightly forces could do nothing to protect themselves from the mad onslaught.95 Some of the confederates rammed their long halberd spikes right through enemy chain mail, mercilessly impaling knights on their iron tips; others swung the enormously heavy axes slashing apart body armor, and then splitting open the exposed flesh.96 Knight and horse fell together at the pitiless onslaught of the massed halberds. The rout was so complete that John of Winterthur felt:
It was not a battle, but a mere butchery of Duke Leopold’s men; for the mountainfolk slew them like sheep in the shambles; no quarter was given, they cut down all without distinction. So great was the fierceness of the Confederates that scores of the Austrian foot-soldiery, when they saw the bravest knights falling helplessly, threw themselves in panic into the lake, preferring to drown rather than to be hewn about by the dreadful weapons of their enemies.
"
So impaling vs. mail, not cutting vs. plate.

hewing into exposed flesh.

Slashing apart body armour is likely slashing apart the bindings thus exposing the flesh (or also chinks etc which we've discussed), all made easier because most importantly what's being described is not combat (as the quote is at pains to point out). It's very much the aftermath and all that goes with it.

But the thing is you are not arguing this in a vacuum, you're arguing this in a context of god alone knows how many threads where this assertion has been repeatedly shown to be wrong. Moreover when ever anyone does any serious experiments it again does not support your assertion.

More over, even daft stuff like 'deadliest warrior' gets this stuff right (to the surprise of their presenters I might add)





Quote:
Originally Posted by safisher View Post
You can read the dissertation about Swiss Halberds here.
https://etd.ohiolink.edu/ap/10?0::NO...:osu1244264028

Ultimately the Swiss will evolve from pikes and halberd formations, to longer and longer pikes. Nevertheless, they did use halberds and did defeat armoured knights in battle.

EDIT: OK cool had a quick look, OK the writers position in regards to halberds cutting through plate can reasonably be summed up thus:

"So, the iron halberd was the first versatile pole-weapon that put the foot soldier at
a distinct advantage over the knight: it could crack through armor. An expressly
offensive weapon, its value, then, was that it significantly decreased the protective appeal
of plate armor" (pg241)

Which is pretty unambiguous, however as the writer points out:

"According to Schmidtchen’s controversial thesis, the halberd was first created in
the Middle Ages as a response to the development of plate armor. But this is simply
inaccurate. Some sort of prehistoric halberd existed as early as the Bronze Age in SouthEast
Spain,464 and it is not exclusive to the West." (pg240)


So one wonders why if such a weapon existed (and had existed for such a long time), and was way cheaper to manufacture and equip than armour, why armour actually out lasted the halberd?


Don't get me wrong I don't think the writer is wrong, certainly in regards to the wider point about drilled Swiss halberdiers defeating armoured knights, just overstating the point regarding slashing through armour. And to be fair the dissertation is not focused on the minutea of armour penetration


In similar context there are various claims about how the Roman legions feared the Dacian Falx for it's ability to hew through legionary armour. And yeah I don't doubt that of the weapons they faced the heavy blade on a stick was better against armour than most (leaving aside the fact that some legion armour wasn't great). But again its all relative. The Falx did not revolutionise warfare, nor did it render body armour obsolete.



What I think we have is halbards of all slashing weapon are most likely to effect armour (but still not very likely) in GURPS terms a factor of their very high damage bonus (+5), and slashing apart or defeating armour doesn't necessarily mean in GURPS terms penetrating its full DR.



Quote:
Originally Posted by safisher View Post
Now, if you insist that we have a History Channel video, or some fat duffer on Youtube swinging a cheap reproduction halberd against an even cheaper reproduction armor as "proof," alas, I know of none.
No I'd like some actually proof of your assertion that such weapons regularly cut through plate, again that is not the same as saying did halberds or other pole arms that included amongst other things a heavy cutting blade get used against armoured opponents. The latter is not in doubt

Remember this thread is not concerned with the rules for targeting chinks, it's not talking about blunt trauma (directly), it's not talking about hooking, nor armed grappling, it's specifically talking about cutting through armour.

Now you linked to whole lot of manuals, but can you link to one where it recommends using a blade to cut through anything but the weakest bits of a foe's plate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by safisher View Post
I can only point to primary source material from the period to back my assertions that swing cut weapons were used in armored combat. That, sadly, ought to be enough to tender the suggestion without ridicule,
It's not because again we're talking about two different things. Also there's no ridicule, just a request that you support your specific assertion about blades cutting through plate (not that weapons that included blades were used in combat with armoured opponents again that is not in doubt)

Quote:
Originally Posted by safisher View Post
but I'm quite sure the medieval combat experts on these forums will have none of that, which is of course because so many on these forums are veterans of actual live steel medieval battles.
Well unless your claiming to be a veteran of live steel medieval battles that really does nothing to support you own claim.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 07-14-2016 at 06:58 AM.
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Old 07-14-2016, 04:24 AM   #50
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Default Re: Swords and plate

Quote:
Originally Posted by safisher View Post
So it's still evidence you need? (Since I was on my phone, I didn't feel the need to drill down the to the html level.) Very well.

I would suggest you review the fighting books of Camillo Agrippa, Di Grassi, Talhoffer. Most of these manuals will include pole weapon fighting, and many of them will include illustrations of men in armor fighting with these weapons. You tend to see something like this:
http://selohaar.org/VeritasSwordplayAcademy/index.htm

....
Again that is a picture of two men in plate fighting with duelling halberds, but such a thing is not in question.

It is not however a picture of a halberd cutting though either one's plate. Do you have a picture of that (in an actual fighting manual)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by safisher View Post
...

Isn't it weird that even a blunt weapon is being swung against armor to which it is impenetrable?...

No because blunt impact was more effective at transmitting damage through armour than cutting blades, but it's relative.

But the basic point is if you're facing someone in such armour you don't just give up and surrender, you rely on what tactics you have even if they're only reduce the disadvantage.




Quote:
Originally Posted by safisher View Post
But the quote certainly makes clear they used the swing cut. You can't seriously be claiming the halberdiers didn't use the edge, can you? I whole unit of guys with massive two-handed axes, and no one strikes with them?
No because the Swiss did occasionally fight people who were not completely encased head to toe in full plate (this was actually the majority of people on battlefields).

So quite likely faced situations where their cutting blades were very useful. That's one of the main features of such weapons, their versatility.

So yes they had great big axe blades, but they also had spikes, and hooks / hammer heads as well.



Quote:
Originally Posted by safisher View Post
...

And just the next paragraph, it says:

"So, the iron halberd was the first versatile pole-weapon that put the foot soldier at a distinct advantage over the knight: it could crack through armor...."
Which is a bit weird because the writer also rightly points out in the page before that the halberd was in no way invented by the Swiss, but had existed for a long time. Which means it had coexisted along side armoured warriors let alone knights for a considerable period of time in which the implications of that assertion does not seem to have followed through into reality?

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