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Real life combat vs combat in Baldur's Gate/D&D/other fantasy products

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  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    @meagloth‌ not an argument, just a friendly disagreement! I personally wouldn't take either... just give me a massive shield and maybe a crossbow. Or like... two massive shields

    As for your question about butterfly swords, they are predominantly a slashing weapon. Actually, only one side is actually sharpened (and the point of course). This is because the blunt side would be used for parrying, as mentioned before. It also has a baller crossguard that can trap an opponent's swords, which sounds pretty cool.

    @CrevsDaak‌ I would prefer a crossbow as well (easier to shoot) but it really doesn't matter... as long as I am away from all the psychos waving pointy things at me

  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512
    @DreadKhan‌ yay! Finally, somebody who doesn't believe that only the Japanese knew how to make swords, while Europeans just hit a bit of metal until it looks like a sword! (actually I know there are people who know this but 99.9% of films/tv shows that show swordmaking portray it as just pouring metal into a mould)

    Parrying with the flat was generally encouraged in most fighting styles. Many Talhoffer moves involve not meeting the blow edge-on-edge, but using the flat to divert the other person's weapon away. Edge-on-edge combat isn't generally encouraged for that very reason, though at a pinch, it's better to put a dent in your weapon's edge than your skull. ;-)

    As an aside, I have one of the Hanwei longswords for re-enactment, and the edge of that has been dented so many times, it looks a right mess now! I'll show you a picture later but I have to go to work now. :P

    booinyoureyes
  • TheGraveDiggerTheGraveDigger Member Posts: 336
    A hatchet in your main-hand with a dagger in your off-hand might be good. You could feint at their stomach with the dagger, and when they instinctively try to block it, you go for their neck with the hatchet. Though you'd still get buggered by anyone with a longer weapon.

    But wait... You could dodge that longer weapon and then counter-grab it. Then do a sideways wallop into their face with the hatchet. Job done.

    Ever been attacked by peasants with pitch forks? If you have gauntlets on you can easily grab one of their weapons after a dodge, then punch the stuffing out of them with your steel fist. A boxer with spiked gauntlets might just be the best way to "dual wield."

  • SouthpawSouthpaw Member Posts: 2,026
    In real-life, I always try to dual wield Bluff and Surprise.

    DreadKhanbooinyoureyesNimrantypo_tilly
  • The_Potty_1The_Potty_1 Member Posts: 427
    If I was in a one on one duel, rather than any sort of shield, I would prefer to have a set of full plate, with gauntlets that can double as a shield. Yes it has lots of moving parts, so this would drive your repair costs through the roof. On the other hand, it can't get knocked out of your hand during the fight. As for a main weapon, I would take something like a halberd, which sorts out cavalry, plus you can switch your grip to hold it in the centre as favored by Darth Maul, giving you a sharp and blunt side to hit people trying to get inside the halberd's reach, and as soon as someone came really close, they would find that I actually prefer close-in fighting, and favor greaves to the groin as my secondary weapon.

    Shields come into their own against archers, where you can get together with twenty of your mates and form an impenetrable structure, the 'tortoise' invented by the Romans. You just have to hope they don't have any siege weapons.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    Duelists in most cultures tend to wear little or no armour, as armour is not only heavy, it couldn't be discsrded like a shield. Even for a strapped on shield, you can just cut the straps to be unencumbered by a shield. 40-50lbs of gear would be a bad idea in a one on one fight. For example, you have no protection from concussion, and yet are less mobile, and thus more likely to be struck. A nice, light warhammer or pick would end you! Scary! Well, they do have to close, and even a shortish polearm has some reach.

    Strangely enough, a very tough, dense wooden stick would be among the most effective weapons for a duel... you can easily inflict mortal injury still, and the light weight of the weapon would make it faster than a steel weapon. Something like a big axe handle or sledge handle would be scary effective.

  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512



    But wait... You could dodge that longer weapon and then counter-grab it. Then do a sideways wallop into their face with the hatchet. Job done.

    Unless that person withdraws it before you grab it, then steps back before you can close the distance.

    But then, you can try to trap it with both weapons, then close the distance.

    Unless the person sees it coming, and uses the other end of the shaft to hit you before you can do that.

    So many variables...however, one thing I learnt is that a real fight is nowhere near as neat as it appears in films. You may have all the perfect moves in your head, but when it actually matters, instinct pretty much takes over, which is why the simple moves are often the best. Nobody's ever going to tell you what attack they're going to do, and give you plenty of time to dodge, unless you're doing theatrical combat.

    That doesn't mean you can't dodge and go for a grab...just that it isn't as easy as it looks in films. Incidentally, this is one reason why I can't stand the popular combat systems used in most CRPGs, and in D&D4e; these unrealistically contrived moves make fights look too neat, organised, and predictable, while a real fight is anything but that.

  • TheGraveDiggerTheGraveDigger Member Posts: 336
    @Squire
    But wait... I could throw sand in his eyes and then use the "five point palm exploding heart technique" on him!

    I agree, most fights always just boil down to wild swings and luck. All it takes is one lucky punch and even the biggest guys go down. Real fighting kinda sucks...

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    In agreement with @Squire‌ there is a reason many martial arts practice by going through the exact motions of the attacks and defences of their style, without any opponent to 'lean' on... by going through the motions ad nauseum, they can become more instinctual, and by shadow boxing, you learn to not over extend. Over extending vs a good opponent will end the match on the spot, often very painfully.

    Complex weapons could be very effective though, if you could use them. The family of chain weapons are the big standouts. Even a small weight on a light chain is VERY damaging if used properly, and is difficult to read in battle.

    Regarding European swords, the best smiths did very good work, but our knowledge of metallurgy was low until the quite recent, relatively speaking. In truth though, even the best metal workers relied more on tradition and intuition than the kind of science anyone can learn these days so easily. That said, concepts like work hardening, grain structure and the cost/benefit of certain impurities were remarkably well understood, and since most metal was very inconsistent composition-wise, things like tempering must have required immense skill.

  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,145
    Huh. I don't know how I confused what Boo had said, my Chaos is so strong it even confuses myself D:

    As for your question about butterfly swords, they are predominantly a slashing weapon. Actually, only one side is actually sharpened (and the point of course). This is because the blunt side would be used for parrying, as mentioned before. It also has a baller crossguard that can trap an opponent's swords, which sounds pretty cool.

    I'd rather rely on parrying rather than on the crossguard. Unless you are using fencing sabers, it's only use would be avoiding to get your hand cut when parrying a blow (which isn't very likely to happen anyway).

  • dunbardunbar Member Posts: 1,473
    edited October 2014
    Edit: Sorry, hit post instead of delete.

    CrevsDaaklolien
  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512
    CrevsDaak said:

    Unless you are using fencing sabers, it's only use would be avoiding to get your hand cut when parrying a blow (which isn't very likely to happen anyway).

    Actually, judging by the way guards developed, I'd suggest that it was likely to happen. Your weapon hand is, after all, the closest thing to your opponent, which makes it a target, and if your hand gets cut, you'll more than likely drop your weapon. I've had my fingers bashed a few times in a sword fight, and it bloody hurts, but more importantly, it often results in my not being able to grip my weapon anymore. That's with a blunted re-enactment blade, and against an opponent who isn't trying to kill me, so imagine what a sharp blade can do.

    But, yeah, that's its main function, though there are some moves where you can use it to knock an opponent's blade out of the way, or in German half-sword styles, to trap the other blade so that you can use it as a lever to throw your opponent. We practice a lot of moves that make use of the guard.

    CrevsDaak
  • MornmagorMornmagor Member Posts: 1,160
    edited October 2014
    @BelgarathMTH Exactly that.

    The point was to lock your opponent's main weapon with a fairly large of yours, preferably one that had the ability to lock, and stab through close range with a daggerish off-hand.

    Would be very hard to use against opponents with shields, but this style, and shield knights did not co-exist for long anyway so :p

    However, this is mostly for 1 vs 1 combat, or a duel, a small team scenario.

    In an actual battle where all hell broke loose, and you were in danger of dying even from friendly fire here and there, yeah not so much :p

    BelgarathMTHtypo_tilly
  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512
    Mornmagor said:



    In an actual battle where all hell broke loose, and you were in danger of dying even from friendly fire here and there, yeah not so much :p

    Yep. I learnt that in LARP (yes, I actually had a go at LARP once...my descent into geekdom is complete! XD ). In a duel, you can have all kinds of techniques and moves and such, but in a battle, all of that pretty much goes out of the window, and your tactics becomes "see bad guy, hit bad guy, hope everyone else kills him before he hits you".

    TheGraveDiggertypo_tillymeagloth
  • TheGraveDiggerTheGraveDigger Member Posts: 336
    Squire said:

    Mornmagor said:



    In an actual battle where all hell broke loose, and you were in danger of dying even from friendly fire here and there, yeah not so much :p

    Yep. I learnt that in LARP (yes, I actually had a go at LARP once...my descent into geekdom is complete! XD ). In a duel, you can have all kinds of techniques and moves and such, but in a battle, all of that pretty much goes out of the window, and your tactics becomes "see bad guy, hit bad guy, hope everyone else kills him before he hits you".
    It's worse than that. Panic attacks, freezing and hesitation can get just about anyone. Or just the sight of blood might make you dizzy and pass out. You might be doing fine, until you realize you've just shit yourself. It's crazy.

    "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face..." - Mike Tyson

    Squiretypo_tillymeagloth
  • typo_tillytypo_tilly Member Posts: 5,702
    edited October 2014
    Oh! :D I like topic!

    I'd prefer to wield a staff. Staff + head = death.

    In real life, it's probably the person who slips or is knocked over first who dies. Fall. Stomp. Stab.

    From what I've read, dual-wielding weapons is -- at best -- a style for one on one duels? With both people dual-wielding to keep it fair.

    We had a good natter in a thread from last year on fencing swords vs. other stuff. Got into armour and such there, too. :3

    booinyoureyesJuliusBorisovTheGraveDigger
  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    edited October 2014

    @meagloth‌ not an argument, just a friendly disagreement! I personally wouldn't take either... just give me a massive shield and maybe a crossbow. Or like... two massive shields

    As for your question about butterfly swords, they are predominantly a slashing weapon. Actually, only one side is actually sharpened (and the point of course). This is because the blunt side would be used for parrying, as mentioned before. It also has a baller crossguard that can trap an opponent's swords, which sounds pretty cool.

    @CrevsDaak‌ I would prefer a crossbow as well (easier to shoot) but it really doesn't matter... as long as I am away from all the psychos waving pointy things at me

    I think you'd be disappointed by how heavy and unwieldy the shield would bein one on one combat, though I'm really not sure. I would really like to try out and test all the different techniques being proposed to settle some of these disagreements once and for all. I've used metal bucklers with rapier and sport saber, and I prefer a dagger because it's so much lighter and faster. The bucklers weigh a good few pounds, and actually getting it in the way of the sword, especially with the completely mad speed of sport sabers. I'll be the first to admit I'm not the strongest guy out there, but I can't imaging how difficult it would be to actually move around with a 4-5' shield, which I assume is what you mean. I think it's been mentioned before that such shields where largely used for defensive formations.

    Post edited by meagloth on
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    meagloth said:



    I think you'd be disappointed by how heavy and unwieldy the shield would be, though I'm really not sure. I would really like to try out and test all the different techniques being proposed to settle some of these disagreements once and for all.]

    Considering how bucklers and smaller shields were used often in war, while dual-wielding was a rare skill used mostly in martial arts and some duels, I think this matter was pretty well settled by history :p

    CrevsDaakDreadKhan
  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806

    meagloth said:



    I think you'd be disappointed by how heavy and unwieldy the shield would be, though I'm really not sure. I would really like to try out and test all the different techniques being proposed to settle some of these disagreements once and for all.]

    Considering how bucklers and smaller shields were used often in war, while dual-wielding was a rare skill used mostly in martial arts and some duels, I think this matter was pretty well settled by history :p
    My bad. I was strictly referring to one on one combat. I should have mentioned that.

    booinyoureyesDreadKhan
  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    As I mentioned esrlier, not all military combat was pitched battle on an open field. Really good commanders use terrain and of course surprise to achieve their goals as necessary, and even guerilla warfare. In some of these more uneven situations, the value of heavier equipment plumets precipitously. Saxons had a heck of a time trying to fihht the Welsh, despite having clear advantages.

    Fighting with a large, heavy shield one on one isnt as one sided as you might think, some gladiator styles used VERY heavy shields for mstches, and were often delibrrstely put against more mobile enemies. Fighting with a hefty shield in a duel scenario, your strategy would likely be more about footwork to keep your shield between you and your enemy. Also, note legionaires and gladiators fighting with substantial shields tend to use relatively light weapons. This isn't a coincidence, nor is it only about tight formation fighting. The sturdy shield can handle enemy blows, and the light gladius or light spear can be used to counter attack, OR the heavy shield boss can be used to pummel an enemy with little risk, hopefully opening them up for a lethal stab to end things. You don't parry with a scutum, you use it as a barricade, cover, and club.

    Bucklers btw are pretty light, and often strapped to the forearm rather than being held directly. It'd be like having a steel wristweight. You could even hold a parrying dagger still, or backhand with the shield. Some styles do hold the buckler in hand, but this seems impractical, as @meagloth‌ noted as the weight is too far from your shoulder and applies more torque, making it awkward and sluggish.

    booinyoureyesJuliusBorisov
  • JuliusBorisovJuliusBorisov Member, Administrator, Moderator, Developer Posts: 19,752
    After making a small research, I'm ready to contribute to this topic, finally

    Although Miamoto Musashi's Hyoho Niten Ichiryu school teaches two-sword techniques, these are all advanced techniques that were usually only taught once a practitioner had learned a great deal of standard swordsmanship.

    In Japan everyone carried two blades; even before the uchigatana daisho (katana & wakizashi) was standardized in the late 16th / early 17th century, people usually wore a tachi and a tanto.

    But they rarely used two weapons simultaneosly: a katana was used in an open fight while a smaller weapon, a wakizashi or even a tanto were used in places like small rooms/corridors.

    In Japan, there were basic cutting techniques, and they didn't involve dual-wielding:

    image

    This is the most basic, yet fundamental Japanese sword training cut. From (1) an overhead position, with the sword perfectly horizontal (check in the mirror to make sure) it is (2) cast out, much like casting a fishing rod by pulling with the left hand at the bottom, much like a lever until (3) it makes contact with the head or shoulder of the opponent and then (4) simply drops down to stop horizontally again. The action should be done without ‘power’, allowing the blade to drop down.

    Check more here: http://www.sword-buyers-guide.com/japanese-sword-training.html

    It's also a simplification to state that Musashi taught two-sword techniques as his single technique; in Go Rin No Sho (the Book of the Five Rings) he essentially states that "to die with any weapon undrawn" is dishonorable (not the same as "always take out both blades at once").

    To quote the Book of Five Rings itself:

    "Students of the Ichi school Way of strategy should train from the start with the sword and long sword in either hand. This is the truth: when you sacrifice your life, you must make fullest use of your weaponry. It is false not to do so, and to die with a weapon yet undrawn.

    If you hold a sword with both hands, it is difficult to wield it freely to left and right, so my method is to carry the sword in one hand. This does not apply to large weapons such as the spear or halberd, but swords and companion swords can be carried in one hand. It is encumbering to hold a sword in both hands when you are on horseback, when running on uneven roads, on swampy ground, muddy rice fields, stony ground, or in a crowd of people. To hold the long sword in both hands is not the true Way, for if you carry a bow or spear or other arms in your left hand you have only one hand free for the long sword. However, when it is difficult to cut an enemy down with one hand, you must use both hands. It is not difficult to wield a sword in one hand; the Way to learn this is to train with two long swords, one in each hand. It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first. Bows are difficult to draw, halberds are difficult to wield; as you become accustomed to the bow so your pull will become stronger. When you become used to wielding the long sword, you will gain the power of the Way and wield the sword well.

    It is better to use two swords rather than one when you are fighting a crowd and especially if you want to take a prisoner."

    Miamoto Musashi was a genius, one of 1 million people. He could fight with 2 weapons but it was still more a one-off than an example of how warrions in Japan fought.

    There's a strong opinion that while dual-wielding, you give up leverage, acceleration, cutting & parrying power, and fine control when you remove your left hand from a long cutting sword. You split your attention between two blades, which requires some very rigorous training and quick thinking to make real use out of; as I said before, two-sword techniques are usually only taught as advanced training after competency with one blade is reached.

    http://www.thedailystar.net/dual-sword-wielding-39857 gives a good example.

    SchneidendTheGraveDiggertypo_tillyNonnahswriter
  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512
    edited October 2014
    That japanese attack looks very similar to a basic longsword attack, from Guard of the Hawk down to Iron Door. It even uses the hilt to pivot the blade in the same way the longsword does. One thing I noticed from re-enactment is that European, and Oriental, combat styles are often very similar. Many of the dagger defence presses we learnt are similar to a lot of Judo techniques.

    Also, carrying two weapons was standard for a long time (though normally they wouldn't both be swords). Greek hoplites would carry a long spear for phalanx fighting, then drop it and draw a sword when they got too close to use the spear. Saxons and northmen did the same, carrying spears and longaxes as well as shorter one-handed axes (or swords if you were rich). Besides, weapons break, and people can drop weapons. Having a spare is always a good idea.

    Speaking of spears, they are one of the most underrated weapons in RPGs, along with daggers and quarterstaffs. On a battlefield, a group of 100 spears is worth about as much, cost-wise, as a single sword, and is about 1000 times more useful - and against a polearm or a long axe, I know which I'd rather have. Quarterstaffs were also pretty good weapons for fighting against polearms in the renaissance period (if you don't have a polearm yourself), and daggers can be lethal for up-close. In RPGs, though, the quarterstaff is the generic wizard's weapon, spears are pretty much ignored (they're for ordinary soldiers who are all wimps compared to our hero), and the dagger is a crappy weapon that everybody carries but nobody ever uses because it's so fundamentally useless.

    meaglothtypo_tillyJuliusBorisov
  • KaltzorKaltzor Member Posts: 1,050
    Things like dual wielding and such, I think you would need very specific types of weapons to make it work, and blades feels like it would be just about the least effective in when dual wielded unless the person is completely ambidextrous... The second blade would most likely lack the power to do anything meaningful even if hit, and compared to a shield would offer limited effect in stopping weapons being swung at you.

    But other weapons being dual wielded...

    Two spears, alone this wouldn't do much, especially if someone got too close, but it could probably keep people at a distance and stabbing with a spear is easier than it is to swing a weapon so it would probably be easier to actually meaningfully hit a person while using two spears.

    Two blunt weapons, I could see it working if you can just get enough force into the swings for most typical blunt weapons, anyone trying to do something like dual wielding flails deserves everything they'd get... There's not gonna be all that many options to protect yourself while swinging, you just need to get in a good hit or two on someone and they're probably out of the fight...

    Two axes, with top heavy enough axes, they would chop through the armor and all... But then you'd need to pull them out... Which leaves you with no means of protecting yourself most likely...

    Carrying multiple weapons was normal practice but using multiple weapons at once was something left for stories because in reality, a one handed weapon and shield worked the best.

  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512
    Kaltzor said:

    Things like dual wielding and such, I think you would need very specific types of weapons to make it work, and blades feels like it would be just about the least effective in when dual wielded unless the person is completely ambidextrous... The second blade would most likely lack the power to do anything meaningful even if hit, and compared to a shield would offer limited effect in stopping weapons being swung at you.

    True, and also, something else that I only just thougt of: if you're rich enough to afford two swords, are you really going to want to damage them both? I think the other weapon would either be a dagger, or something like a one-handed axe or mace, and would probably be mainly used for parrying.

    Also something else I've just remembered: I think I read somewhere that it was done by some Roman gladiators (again, for duels, not on the battlefield).

    Dual-wielding grants you better mobility, and more offensive options, than using a weapon and shield (if you're good enough to make it work), but on a battlefield, it's not a good idea to not have a shield, unless you've got some pretty good armour.

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