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Sephronel
April 5th, 2003, 05:01 PM
Hello I've got a quick question.

I have a hero and a heroine fighting their way through a castle. My heroine uses a glaive...

I need a melee weapon for my hero. What's the best one to give him, considering his partner is using a polearm?

Thanks to anyone who can help me out with this! :p

~S

Bardos
April 5th, 2003, 06:10 PM
A large, double-bladed double-handed axe?...


Also -- not wanting to sound like I'm telling you what to do, but I think a woman would be a better fighter with a lighter weapon, such as a long sword, short sword, rapier, or long dagger. Don't know, the glaive seems too much, except if she's big, of course! ;)

Stewart
April 5th, 2003, 08:09 PM
Traditionally the heroes weapons are usually swords. It just seems much more heroic to see a hero with a sword rather than with a mace or such. But there are exceptions. Dwarves are commonly written to use axes or hammers. Elves have their bows or daggers. Humans are the ones that seem to have the wider range as I have seen them written to use just about anything. It depends more on their fantasy race and role in the story. Of course this is just traditionally, it is always fun to experiment.

pcarney
April 5th, 2003, 10:05 PM
Originally posted by Bardos
A large, double-bladed double-handed axe?...


Also -- not wanting to sound like I'm telling you what to do, but I think a woman would be a better fighter with a lighter weapon, such as a long sword, short sword, rapier, or long dagger. Don't know, the glaive seems too much, except if she's big, of course! ;)

Actually, in Japan, one of the few weapons that women were allowed to learn was the naginata (a japanese polearm).

Not sure that this would be the ideal weapon to use in a enclosed space anyway- it requires more room then the sword.

Bardos
April 6th, 2003, 03:05 AM
Actually, in Japan, one of the few weapons that women were allowed to learn was the naginata (a japanese polearm).

Hmm. But what had at the top, a spear or an axe? If it was used like a spear (or trident, or the like), it doesn't need so much muscle power, but if it has an axe-head at the end it's different... I think a glaive has an axe at the end; maybe I am wrong...? ...not 100% sure...

Anyway, I think you're right about the space in the castle. Indeed, not much space for a long weapon to be used properly, except if it is a spear, with which you thrust horizontaly.

Sephronel
April 6th, 2003, 04:09 AM
Thanks for the suggestions, guys.


Bardos: I hadn't thought of that! But thank God my heroine IS big after all.... I actually had to go back and check, haha.
Oh and I believe you are correct. The glaive is a polearm with a blade on the end. At least according to my research. If I'm wrong, someone let me know 'cause in that case I don't want it any more :p

Stewart: Yes, that's it exactly :) I'm trying to avoid the usual associations between race and weapon choice. I'm trying to experiment. I think my hero's tired of his sword. He wants to try something exotic - yet not so exotic that its description will use up too much of the precious 5000 words I've been allotted for my short story.

Any Suggestions?

pcarney: Thanks for pointing that out. I hadn't thought of the space issue either. I've moved my battle outdoors to the courtyard, accordingly ;)
(Much to attached to my polearms to move THEM.)

choppy
April 6th, 2003, 02:23 PM
Here's a few thoughts:

Weapons are chosen based on 1) what's most effective, and 2) what's available. In fiction we have the luxury of adding in a third criterion: what's cool.

As I understand it, pole arms are most effective in large infantry formations - ie. you have a bunch of guys line up shoulder to shoulder and the long weapons allow them a large reach. That way the guys in the second and third ranks can also reach the front and if they are facing a bunch of guys armed with shorter weapons, they can make a kill without coming very close.

If you're meaning the hero and heroine to fight together, you could try to set up some kind of system where the heroine stands behind the hero and use the glaive to reach around him. In this case I'd suggest giving the hero some kind of capability to pin down or block his opponent. Give him a large shield for example and make him the medieval equivalent of an offensive lineman. Couple that with something like a mace, or a hammer and you could have a pin-smash-poke technique. Or if you're looking for something even less traditional - what about some kind of entanglement device - maybe a whip?

pcarney
April 7th, 2003, 07:01 AM
Originally posted by Bardos


Hmm. But what had at the top, a spear or an axe? If it was used like a spear (or trident, or the like), it doesn't need so much muscle power, but if it has an axe-head at the end it's different... I think a glaive has an axe at the end; maybe I am wrong...? ...not 100% sure...

Anyway, I think you're right about the space in the castle. Indeed, not much space for a long weapon to be used properly, except if it is a spear, with which you thrust horizontaly.

It held a short, curving blade. Take a look-
http://www.scnf.org/mac.htm

as far as the use, I've never trained with one but the curved blade tells me it was used for a lot of cuts/slashes.

Jacquin
April 7th, 2003, 07:39 AM
A Glaive is a polearm with a simple blade as the head, the axe headed weapon you mention is commonly referred to as a Halberd.

There is no reason at all why a woman wouldn't be able to use a glaive well, some of the best polearm fighters I've trained with are women. As to a weapon to go alongside it I would probably go for a combination such as Sword and Buckler. This way you've covered all the options of any potential fight. The glaive has the reach to keep opponents at bay and if they manage to get past the point the run straight onto a sword. If however they are facing other pole weapons the buckler enables you to deflect the point and close to grapple.

J

wastra
April 7th, 2003, 10:41 AM
Well, the solution isn't so much what we think would be cool, buit what works with your story.

What's the hero's background? If he's not a professionally trained soldier, a polearm wouldn't be the best choice. Swords require a good bit of work if they're to be used in multiple melees, and unless he has a certain degree of money and skill, the sword would quickly erode due to wear and weather until it's little more than a blunt shaft of steel. How did he come across the weapon? If it's an heirloom, it's likely a sword, dagger, etc. Bows and axes with wood contruction didn't last long (actually, neither did swords, but modern fantasy has ignored the idea to the poitn where it doesn't really matter).

Bows are fine, but require immense amount of work and a great deal of resources (re-using arrows is not exactly a great strategy...they hit one bone, rock, or tree and they're worthless). They require great care and extreme training to be used in combat, and are worthless in close combat.

A polearm would work in small formations if the object is to simply keep the opponent at bay until an opportunity arises, or until another fighter can engage with a bladed weapon.

Clubs, Mace, etc are easy to maintain and require a minimal degree of training. Two-handed axes require a great deal of ROOM to use (you swing them back and forth to both sides, otherwise you need a double-bladed axe), but are fearful weapons against all but the most skileld opponents. The Saxons used them quite successfully against the Normans at Hastings, there just weren't enough and the normans had archers.

A shorter sword, or similar stabbing weapon might work as well.


By the way- if you've ever hoisted a long sword and swung it against a solid object more than a few times, you'd NEVER call it a light weapon. Swordsmen (using longwords) were pretty skilled and pretty strong.



All in all, a sword seems the best bet, although unless the character has frequent access to a blacksmith, it won't last long. Medeval steel was, 99% of the time, of horrid quality. Noblemen used swords as a sign of status (or spears if they had a war horse, an extreme rarity for most of the middle ages, and carried a sword as a second weapon). Common footsoldiers used polearms because they could be cheaply equipped. Archers were very expensive to maintain, and in England before the Norman conquest were virtually non-existant in combat (commoners weren't allowed to hunt deer, so they didn't use bows often), and from common folk in other parts. Continental Armies recruited achers from common folk in the later middle ages before gunpowder.