Boar Rider's with polearms

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Home Forums Age of Wonders 3 Discussions Boar Rider's with polearms

This topic contains 99 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Draxynnic 7 years, 6 months ago.

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  • #134380

    OK, Miss Universe and Mr. Bouh, get a room.

    As for the difference between Black Knights being the “best” cavalry, the above comparison showed them having a 3 Resistance less than a Boar Cav – which is an immense drawback. They might be the best cavalry, but they much more vulnerable to the likes of Berserk or Taunt(Still like the AoW SM effect better)

    Yeah, I dislike the new taunt as well. We’re not the only ones either lol.

    Anyway, don’t underestimate Boar Cav guys. If we look at their resistance, they might be the best Cav already, as in all round useful, but the best anti-cav are the Black Knights, which is as it should be.

    I had an idea, let me know what you think:

    Units with the pike square ability get damaged more by flanking?

    #134383

    Harleyquin14
    Member

    I thought the whole point of a pike square was to make the unit LESS vulnerable to flanking by making the unit imitate a hedgehog.

    That’s the impression I got from reading about the Battle of Hastings, so it might be wrong.

    #134384

    I thought it was introduced to distinguish them from Infantry…

    #134390

    Harleyquin14
    Member

    I thought it was introduced to distinguish them from Infantry…

    Right now, pike square makes associated units very difficult to kill using flying and mounted units. Regular sword-wielding infantry units don’t have the ability, so isn’t there enough of a distinction between pikes and infantry at present?

    Most infantry have the counter ability overwhelm, so infantry<pikes<cavalry/flyers<infantry is somewhat illustrated in this game.

    #134394

    I thought the whole point of a pike square was to make the unit LESS vulnerable to flanking by making the unit imitate a hedgehog.
    That’s the impression I got from reading about the Battle of Hastings, so it might be wrong.

    there was a shield wall at hastings, not a pike square.

    A pike square (or schiltron when it is a round formation) is a hyper dense formation of spearmen who project several layers of spear points out. Usually the first layer points at the riders, and the second at the horses. You will also see a variation where the first line actually has the spears flat on the ground, and picks them up to get the horses at the last second, while the second line points at the riders.

    The point is to either ward off short spear/sword infantry, or to break up the momentum of a charge, since horses won’t charge directly into spears, and it is difficult for many horsemen to press through the spears and engage (the wall should not be thought of as solid, as there is probably at least 3 feet between each person, more if they move when horses are coming at them).

    You can also stop a charge by just making the horseman fall off, or slow down/stop to try to bat aside the spear (sometimes spears would snap from the force of the rider/their armor and the moving horse).

    This formation, if it is a full square, is very hard for horsemen (or other troops with shorter weapons) to attack, but is very immobile (unless you are the swiss) and vulnerable to arrows.

    A shield wall, on the other hand, is more like a Roman Tetsudo, where foot infantry hold shields in front and overhead to protect from ranged attack, and make it difficult for enemy troops to bring their full numbers to bear.

    The normans were able to charge this formation, engage it, and retreat (while mounted), causing the shield wall to break down when Harold’s forces pursued. Then the horsemen (and others) turned back and killed the disorganized english.

    Anyway, both formations were vulnerable to flanking (unless in a true square) because the protection of the shields/long pikes was not available in the back. The game recognizes this by making both not apply to flanking attacks.

    Defending, which makes both apply to any attacker, but prevents the unit from running up to ranged units, is a fine representation of the stationary defense.

    #134396

    Harleyquin14
    Member

    <div class=”d4p-bbt-quote-title”>Harleyquin14 wrote:</div>
    I thought the whole point of a pike square was to make the unit LESS vulnerable to flanking by making the unit imitate a hedgehog.<br>
    That’s the impression I got from reading about the Battle of Hastings, so it might be wrong.

    there was a shield wall at hastings, not a pike square.

    A pike square (or schiltron when it is a round formation) is a hyper dense formation of spearmen who project several layers of spear points out. Usually the first layer points at the riders, and the second at the horses. You will also see a variation where the first line actually has the spears flat on the ground, and picks them up to get the horses at the last second, while the second line points at the riders.

    The point is to either ward off short spear/sword infantry, or to break up the momentum of a charge, since horses won’t charge directly into spears, and it is difficult for many horsemen to press through the spears and engage (the wall should not be thought of as solid, as there is probably at least 3 feet between each person, more if they move when horses are coming at them).

    You can also stop a charge by just making the horseman fall off, or slow down/stop to try to bat aside the spear (sometimes spears would snap from the force of the rider/their armor and the moving horse).

    This formation, if it is a full square, is very hard for horsemen (or other troops with shorter weapons) to attack, but is very immobile (unless you are the swiss) and vulnerable to arrows.

    A shield wall, on the other hand, is more like a Roman Tetsudo, where foot infantry hold shields in front and overhead to protect from ranged attack, and make it difficult for enemy troops to bring their full numbers to bear.

    The normans were able to charge this formation, engage it, and retreat (while mounted), causing the shield wall to break down when Harold’s forces pursued. Then the horsemen (and others) turned back and killed the disorganized english.

    Anyway, both formations were vulnerable to flanking (unless in a true square) because the protection of the shields/long pikes was not available in the back. The game recognizes this by making both not apply to flanking attacks.

    I’m rusty with the military history, so thank you for the detailed explanation.

    I didn’t know about pike square not functioning when the unit was flanked by flying or mounted units. Something new to learn about this game everyday.

    #134404

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Incase you were wondering why the Black Knight gets polearm, my understanding there is that polearm is being used to represent the tendencies of the Horses in question (who eat people, and thus presumably other Horses as well, and less about the weapon that Black Knights carry. I could be wrong ofcourse.

    My feeling is that it’s actually more about the length. Black Knight spears are pretty long – longer even than knight lances, IIRC. The Boar Rider halberds, on the other hand, are pretty short.

    Technically you could say they’re a polearm, but they simply don’t have the length that’s required for effective polearm use. The way I expect they’re actually used is as a kind of combination weapon – they can charge using the point, and then use them as axes without needing to change weapon after things have got in close like a Black Knight or regular Knight would need to.

    Elephant Rider at tier 1. Basically the Elephants of Golden Realms, with a Mahmout on top. Tough unit, can crush walls (no rams for Azracs), low resistance, ok defence, but very good attack.

    Tier 1 would be hard to justify since regular Elephants are tier 2. I’d probably be inclined to make them a replacement for a ram at tier 2, with greater fighting ability.

    This is wrong. Late medieval swords were thrusting weapons as much as cuting weapons, because cut was completely ineffective against heavy armors.

    And certain designs could be used as hammers, with the big primary hilt and a secondary grip on the blade itself. Late medieval two-handed swords were very versatile weapons, hence their popularity. However…

    As far as I know, hallberd were not anti-cavalry weapons. Pike were. Hallberds could be used for this job, but as much as any long weapon, and in particular I doubt a hallberd would be better at stopping a cavalry charge than a zweihander (they would both be bad IMO).

    Actually, halberds were designed as anti-cavalry weapons, and they definitely serve better than zweihanders in the role: you can ‘set’ a halberd by bracing the butt against the ground – you can’t really do this with a zweihander, and halberds could be made longer than zweihanders (eight feet was not uncommon). The point of the hook on the back of many halberd designs was theoretically for pulling horsemen off riders, in fact. Historically, it turned out the much greater length you could get with a pike was a much bigger advantage against cavalry, and halberdiers were shifted into a more ‘universal’ weapon (good against infantry, still reasonably good against cavalry in a pinch) and then phased out entirely as it was realised that genuine pikemen were still pretty good at killing other infantry.

    The important point to note here, though, is that length matters, as does being able to brace it against the ground. The Boar Rider weapons just aren’t that long, nor are they suitable for bracing from on top of a boar.

    Personally, if Boar Riders need something extra, I’d be inclined to give them an enhanced Charge to reflect that both mount and rider are well equipped for charging.

    #134405

    I didn’t know about pike square not functioning when the unit was flanked by flying or mounted units. Something new to learn about this game everyday.

    I just checked, this isn’t true. I suppose this is there as a counter to cavalry units with overwhelm. Anyway, it would be along bbb’s suggestion to make it so (and it would follow shield).

    #134423

    Bouh
    Member

    @epaminondas : Cool, another full post dedicated to insult me. Do you feel better now ? Can you try now to read what I write and think about it ? Or do you have too much anger just because you don’t like the tone of my words ? But I’ll just wait for a moderator to deal with your shitposting.

    @draxynnic : my mistake on hallberds then. I understood that the weapon just evolved to be as versatile as possible from a axe or spear by adding evreything they could : an axe blade to slash with strength, a pike because of armors, and why not a hook to grab horsemen ? But as horsemen had spears too, I thought it was only there as an additional tool, and that the weapon, because of its size, was more thought to just fight anyone more than countering cavalry, unlike pikes. I don’t see why though a very long sword couldn’t be used just as well as a hallberd against cavalry, in half-sword to hold it just like a lance but from the handle, so with quite some range too, and the size is comparable I think if you consider 2 meters sword + handle.

    Anyway, boar riders don’t have hallberds exactly : there is a pike on top, and an axe blade on one side, but the other side is a hammer, not hook. And the weapon is barely longer than the boar, unlike the long glaive of the orc black knights which might be close to three meters long.

    And anyway, as far as balance goes, giving the boar rider polearm would make them overpowered. Dwarves are already the toughest. They don’t need more. I think they only lack fancies for people to consider them eventhough they have mountaineering. Oh and they are actualy less expensive than unicorn rider or black knight, if only by one gold.

    #134437

    I just checked, this isn’t true. I suppose this is there as a counter to cavalry units with overwhelm. Anyway, it would be along bbb’s suggestion to make it so (and it would follow shield).

    Well my reasoning is that being in a tight formation (pike square) meant you were less mobile, and if said formation got disrupted then it was harder to reform.

    However, I don’t know if it is 100% needed, I just thought it would be good as Pikes seems to own Infantry imho. Doesn’t overwhelm work on shields, which Pikes don’t have…?

    Still, I think Archers tend to do the job of disrupting Pike formations fairly well, which is historical – pepper the slow moving schiltrom until gaps start to appear into which you now charge…

    #134441

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Actually, each part of the halberd was intended for giving infantrymen a weapon to deal with heavily armoured horsemen (ie knights and men-at-arms) – the heavy axe blade was intended to be able to reach the rider and smash through his armour, the hook to pull them off their mount, and the spearpoint so they can set against a charge.

    Few two-handed swords exceeded 6′ in length including the hilt, which could be up to a foot in length itself, so we’re not talking about two-meter blades here. Historically, the effectiveness of pikes in stopping a cavalry charge rests on being able to brace the butt of the haft against the ground (potentially also against the foot of the user) – you can do that with an 8′ halberd, but try it with the zweihander and you’re left awkwardly holding the blade in a spot higher up than even a sword designed with half-swording in mind was intended to be held, without that much reach left to actually fend off the attack – you could do it if the inside of your gauntlet was metal, but it would be awkward. You could use the ‘couched’ position you describe, but the problem is that an infantryman on foot is actually quite a bit less stable than a horseman with saddle and stirrups and such – you’re likely to just get yourself bowled over.

    Historically, zweihanders tended to be used by two groups: First, they were popular among knights and men-at-arms as a weapon to use in circumstances where they end up fighting on foot. In such circumstances, they’re generally not too worried about facing a cavalry charge from the enemy, since if it was good circumstances for fighting as cavalry, they’d probably still be mounted themselves. The other group was troop types such as the doppelsoldners, who typically acted in close coordination with pikemen – close enough that they could typically respond to a cavalry threat by seeking refuge among the pikemen.

    #134602

    Bouh
    Member

    Few two-handed swords exceeded 6′ in length including the hilt, which could be up to a foot in length itself, so we’re not talking about two-meter blades here

    I was talking about orcs greatswordmen swords. Description says their swords are longer than them, and an orc is not a short man.

    As for sword fighting, I saw a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvCvOC2VwDc). This video shows how armors did not actualy restrained movements, and how manuals tought sword fighting against armored oponent. Grabing the sword with a gaunltet is not a problem, even without a ricasso. As far as I know, no slashing strike would be able to cut through tempered steel armor with mail and gambeson under, and IMO slashing with a hallberd on a horseman would be more likely to result in a broken hallberd than to a perfored armor.
    Coincidentaly, the video also shows the very same weapons our boar riders have : a kind of hallberd but with a small hammer instead of a hook on the back of the blade ; the weapon is about 1,8m tall (the size of the man) so again I doubt it’s an anticavalry weapon.

    #134608

    UltraDD
    Member

    Pikemen do own infantry in the game if they are guarding, not thanks to pike square but because they have first strike. Overwhelm does hurt (+9 damage if 3 attacks) but if the pikeman is on defense infantry better wait or they’ll suffer a lot damage. Pikemen are still kinda bad at beating shielded infantry though. (ironically, especially if the shielded infantry is in guard mode)

    #134650

    As far as I know, no slashing strike would be able to cut through tempered steel armor with mail and gambeson under, and IMO slashing with a hallberd on a horseman would be more likely to result in a broken hallberd than to a perfored armor.

    The point of the blow is the concussive force, not cutting through it. Pikemen and halberds were together because the pikes could stop or slow the momentum of the charge. Then the halberdiers, who could rest their weapons on the ground to stop a charging horseman as well as fight in close melee, would then go up to the isolated horsemen, and knock them off their horses, or just kill the horses outright.

    The men at arms would be vulnerable when unhorsed, not because they were innately clumsy on foot, but because they fell off a horse with fairly heavy armor on!

    And the accusation of clumsiness is old hat: primary sources show that athletic knights would mount horses on the move in full armor.

    And you would probably try to knock off the guy with a hook/hammer, or just use the concussive power of the axhead, and then try to smash the helmet with it. Swords can’t cut through directly, of course, but some specialized arrows (with metal rings on) or long pikes/halberds with strong people could because of the leverage.

    Indeed, if you read malory (15th century), he always talks of the “buffets” and dents that the knights armor gets from repeated blows. Particularly the helmet, which would have to be fairly thin to be bearable.

    Coincidentaly, the video also shows the very same weapons our boar riders have : a kind of hallberd but with a small hammer instead of a hook on the back of the blade ; the weapon is about 1,8m tall (the size of the man) so again I doubt it’s an anticavalry weapon

    Well that one isn’t: halberds that are for dual horse and foot fighting tend to be 8 or 10 feet long, comparable to the shorter mounted lance weapons (especially as some of the length would have to be behind to balance).

    the featured weapons are more technically known as poleaxes, and are designed for foot knights.

    #134682

    Yeah I never got the clumsy idea.

    Knights would train for years and progress up to full armour. Hell, British Soldiers in Afghan had armour weighing 20 kilos when all the plates were put in, and you got used to that really quickly.

    I imagine full plate armour like in the video would weigh a bit more, but if you train for it, you get used to it pretty quickly.

    Great video Bouh.

    Anyway, apart from arguments over the graphics matching the unit, no one has come up with a convincing gameplay reason to give Boar Cav polearm. We’ve already established that Boar Riders are arguably either the best overall Cavalry for tier (i.e. general Cavalry), or the 2nd best at being anti-Cavalry.

    #134683

    Knights would train for years and progress up to full armour. Hell, British Soldiers in Afghan had armour weighing 20 kilos when all the plates were put in, and you got used to that really quickly.

    I imagine full plate armour like in the video would weigh a bit more, but if you train for it, you get used to it pretty quickly.

    Actually, that is about the limit of battlefield armor, although most would be a little bit lighter. The armor in the video ought to weigh about that. After all, you also have to carry weapons and such (although squires and servants would deal with a lot of the other stuff).

    The clumsy idea is in part a Mark Twain thing, but goes to broader Victorian (at least anglophone) ideas about history and such.

    There is also the fact that museum collections were not as accessible either to the public or even scholars. Most of the armor people saw would be specialized tournament armor, which was cumbersome and did weigh like 70 pounds.

    Later on, in the 20th century, you have the infamous “military revolution” idea about radical change in western European military practice, and endless versions of that.

    There is also some of the fallout from WWI, where British and American historians and blamed high casualties in part on outdated attitudes, like using cavalry.

    Anyway, apart from arguments over the graphics matching the unit, no one has come up with a convincing gameplay reason to give Boar Cav polearm. We’ve already established that Boar Riders are arguably either the best overall Cavalry for tier (i.e. general Cavalry), or the 2nd best at being anti-Cavalry.

    I concur.

    #134688

    20kg for the whole thing?

    That’s not much, at all.

    #134692

    20kg for the whole thing?
    That’s not much, at all.

    Well, ancient/medieval armor wasn’t very well designed from an ergonomic perspective.

    Tests have found that, even when you have athletic, well fed young people, it is really, really hard to breathe after marching in armor for a few hours. Add in trail dust, worse food, possibly lack of water and heat, and you have a really good way to get heat stroke or some kind of respiratory thing.

    #134694

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Grabing the sword with a gauntlet is not a problem, even without a ricasso.

    Yes and no. It’s safe to do so – it’s questionable whether even a zweihander swung at full force will get through plate, let alone the relatively small movement of a blade gripped within a gauntlet.

    However, it’s not a matter of safety, it’s a matter of how strong a grip you can actually get. Imagine trying to wield a two-meter metal ruler compared to a quarterstaff. With or without hand protection, I’d be willing to bet you’ll have a firmer grip on the latter… and if you’re trying to stop the momentum of a charging horse and rider, you want the strongest grip and most braced position you can get.

    When it comes to orc greatswords – between having completely unprotected hands and the design of the ‘jagged shards of steel’ they wield, they really don’t look like they’re planning to grip the blade anywhere above the hilt.

    #134710

    Bouh
    Member

    The point of the blow is the concussive force, not cutting through it. Pikemen and halberds were together because the pikes could stop or slow the momentum of the charge.

    I heard it was the case even for swords because mail armor were already effective at stoping cuting blow, so the blade was meant to break the bones under even if the mail stoped the cut. It seems to me that all weapons get a metal point at some point, and even the longsword born because of this : full plate armor prevent heavy damage under the plate, and if of course a strong enough strike on the helmet can knock the man, a point can go between plates and kill him outright.

    Then the halberdiers, who could rest their weapons on the ground to stop a charging horseman as well as fight in close melee, would then go up to the isolated horsemen, and knock them off their horses, or just kill the horses outright.

    This is about what I meant : the hallberd is not anticavalry weapon in itself, but it allow to grab the horseman and is far more practical for fighting than a pike which is more practical for formations but useless once the ennemy is too close. For me the dopplesoldner with zweihanders were in pike squares for the same reason : dealing with anything that got too close.

    However, it’s not a matter of safety, it’s a matter of how strong a grip you can actually get. Imagine trying to wield a two-meter metal ruler compared to a quarterstaff. With or without hand protection, I’d be willing to bet you’ll have a firmer grip on the latter… and if you’re trying to stop the momentum of a charging horse and rider, you want the strongest grip and most braced position you can get.

    The difference IMO would be in the balance : a sword is balanced on the guard while a polearm will be balanced on the middle or two third of the staff. Technicaly I’d easily see the sword handle on the floor, the blade horizontal, one hand under only to maintain the sword pointing at horseman height, and the other above ready to push to maintain the sword in place when something hit. Handle on a polearm would be better of course, but one does what he can with what he has when need be even if it’s not ideal. On the other hand, I think a sword swung by the blade to hit with the pommel should have more concussive power than a same length axe.

    When it comes to orc greatswords – between having completely unprotected hands and the design of the ‘jagged shards of steel’ they wield, they really don’t look like they’re planning to grip the blade anywhere above the hilt.

    Of course orcs are particularly prone to not do anything smart with their swords anyway.

    #134719

    Tests have found that, even when you have athletic, well fed young people, it is really, really hard to breathe after marching in armor for a few hours. Add in trail dust, worse food, possibly lack of water and heat, and you have a really good way to get heat stroke or some kind of respiratory thing.

    Been there, done that, can attest to it getting rather tiring after a few hrs.

    #134742

    Draxynnic
    Member

    I heard it was the case even for swords because mail armor were already effective at stopping cutting blow, so the blade was meant to break the bones under even if the mail stopped the cut.

    Correct, for one-handed swords anyway. Two-handed swords I’m not so sure of, but they certainly didn’t seriously get used against plate with the cutting edge – they were usually used with a half-sword technique to get the point into a vulnerable spot or, well…

    On the other hand, I think a sword swung by the blade to hit with the pommel should have more concussive power than a same length axe.

    This is something that was done, and can be found in serious martial arts texts of the time, with its own names (‘mordhau’ and ‘thunder stroke’).

    I don’t know about having more concussive force than an axe – I think the typical axe blade still has more weight behind the striking surface. Certainly, unlike swords, an axe blade was capable of getting through mail and at least denting plate – and it certainly isn’t as effective as a dedicated hammer or war pick.

    The difference IMO would be in the balance : a sword is balanced on the guard while a polearm will be balanced on the middle or two third of the staff.

    I had the nagging feeling that there was something else in this configuration that would make it less viable than a halberd or other medium-length polearm, and now that you say it, you’ve just hit what my subconscious was trying to tell me the whole time. Even if you could brace the pommel against the ground, the center of mass is close to the bracing point making it easier to be pivoted by an incoming force. Basically, the same thing that makes a sword an agile weapon for other forms of fighting works against it when used as a cavalry stopper where all you want it to do is stay in place despite being hit by about a tonne of galloping horse, rider and armour.

    You could do it if you had no better options, sure, but I wouldn’t say it’s nearly effective enough to allow them to be classed as a polearm troop.

    Also…

    Technicaly I’d easily see the sword handle on the floor, the blade horizontal, one hand under only to maintain the sword pointing at horseman height, and the other above ready to push to maintain the sword in place when something hit.

    Think about that configuration for a moment. To be effective at stopping a horse charge, you’re going to want the point to be roughly four feet above the ground. That means, with a six-foot sword, you’re holding the sword at a roughly 45 degree angle, which means three things:

    First, your point is not at a good angle to actually penetrate.

    Second, you’re only getting about four feet of horizontal reach out of it, and that’s from where you’ve dug the pommel into the ground… which is probably behind you, so you’ve only got two or three feet of blade between you and the oncoming horseman and his ten-foot lance.

    Thirdly, at that angle, an impact on the point is liable to push it up and back… and due to the previous observation regarding the center of mass, the sword is not going to have as much inherent resistance to this rotation as a polearm (with the weight more evenly distributed or even closer to the head) would have. With the hands arranged as you propose, I could see a risk of the sword being knocked out of the wielder’s hands entirely, and regardless of the grip I think it would be quite difficult to keep it steady.

    #134785

    Bouh
    Member

    I don’t know about having more concussive force than an axe – I think the typical axe blade still has more weight behind the striking surface. Certainly, unlike swords, an axe blade was capable of getting through mail and at least denting plate – and it certainly isn’t as effective as a dedicated hammer or war pick.

    I don’t know about the weight of a hammer or axe, but a sword swung like this would definitely be more effective than an axe or hammer of the same mass. The strength of the blow here is determined by the mass of the striking thing (the pommel, the blade of the axe or the head of the hammer) multiplied by the length of lever (blade length, or stick length). But the sword like this though would be less practical to manœuver, again because of the balance of the weapon. And I think axes or hammer tended to be heavier than swords.

    Even if you could brace the pommel against the ground, the center of mass is close to the bracing point making it easier to be pivoted by an incoming force.

    Here you are wrong though : the mass of the pike is not of importance during the impact. What matter is your grip on the weapon and how you can stop it from moving away. Here indeed you need a firm grip to hold the weapon as much as possible for it to absorb as much force as possible from the target you are stoping. Basicaly, it’s not the equilibrium of the weapon that matter, it’s that you need, as the soldier, as much as possible to absorb the force that is not directed in the weapon to the ground, and here a stick is better than a cutting edge I think. To me, the drawback of the sword will be his resilience on the flat side of the blade which probably makes it less robust than the staff of a polearm.

    But I’m not talking about longsword but about one the orc greatsword of about 2,5m long.

    But I’m curious about the description of boar riders in the english version : does it really talk about a hallberd ?

    #134796

    Gloweye
    Member

    ‘Dwarves chase the first boar rider to a wild dwarf girl named Ahnnha who had an unnatural love of boars. She survived in the mountain caves, raiding lowland villages then retreating on the back of her nimble-footed boar up the slopes so quickly that none could catch her. No animal traverses rugged terrain with such speed. Though legends vary, most agree she was captured by a clever and nameless Axeman who demanded she marry him. Together they started a family and formed a clan. Later rival clans started to include boar riders as well. Nowadays boar riders are common from many origins, and still they revere the nameless Axeman by wielding a poleaxe, and they spare no expense on the finest dwarven armor in honor of the love the wild dwarf woman had for her boar.’

    –Dwarf Society Made Simple, by Lord Milligan

    Lore entry for Dwarf Boar rider. mentions poleaxes.

    Typically, warhammers were used against heavy armor – you can’t cut it, which diminishes the use of swords and to a lesser extend axes, but with a warhammer you can afford a lot of mass on the hitting end – make the weapon harder to handle, but enables you to hit enemies with sufficient force to dent his armor, preferably in such a way that hinders his battle capabilities, or, in a best case scenario, completely disabling him, after which you can take our your dagger and put the blade in the slits of his helmet’s visor, or take the enemy captive(has been customary to take nobles captive because of the ransom fees it could make.). Swords cannot have a weight division like this, because you need to be able to maneuver your weapon in a complete different way. Axes could, but they don’t need to be sharp for this – and that gets you closer to a warhammer concept-wise.

    #134816

    This is something that was done, and can be found in serious martial arts texts of the time, with its own names (‘mordhau’ and ‘thunder stroke’).

    I don’t know about having more concussive force than an axe – I think the typical axe blade still has more weight behind the striking surface. Certainly, unlike swords, an axe blade was capable of getting through mail and at least denting plate – and it certainly isn’t as effective as a dedicated hammer or war pick.

    well, there are the things people have already mentioned, but the biggest advantage for axes, halberds, and poleaxes is one of leverage: polearms just allow you to hit things harder.

    So a big person with a big polearm could probably dent or split plate armor that wasn’t a helmet or thin piece. Swords are useful for fighting less armored people, hitting helmets, poking through weakspots, being used for the pommel’s murderstroke, and fighting without armor.

    The really big two handed swords wielded by the double soldiers (they get twice the pay) were used, as has been mentioned, for attacking pike formations, and could be used as short polearms.

    I’m not familiar with how one would use a greatsword as a polearm, but I think it would be mechanically similar to forming a “square against cavalry” with a bayonet on a musket.

    here is a nice picture for edification. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infantry_square#mediaviewer/File:Butler_Lady_Quatre_Bras_Array8Array5.jpg

    They were also used to defend standards: if some people got too close for pikes, then a big person with a large sword could keep people with shorter swords/polearms at bay.

    Here you are wrong though : the mass of the pike is not of importance during the impact. What matter is your grip on the weapon and how you can stop it from moving away

    actually, the mass is quite important, at least as concerns strength. Spears that are too thin and light tend either to have the sharp part deflected off the armor, or break entirely (one of the purposes of super heavy cavalry was to do this, disrupting pike formations).

    Anyway, a non polearm bonus poleaxe makes perfect sense for Dwarves: they are shorter than humans, and have a shorter mount, so it would work well as a cavalry weapon without really having a longer reach.

    If people wanted, they could get armor piercing on medal, to reference the anti armor ability of the poleaxe. This would have to replace crippling wounds, of course.

    #134841

    Draxynnic
    Member

    I don’t know about the weight of a hammer or axe, but a sword swung like this would definitely be more effective than an axe or hammer of the same mass. The strength of the blow here is determined by the mass of the striking thing (the pommel, the blade of the axe or the head of the hammer) multiplied by the length of lever (blade length, or stick length). But the sword like this though would be less practical to manœuver, again because of the balance of the weapon. And I think axes or hammer tended to be heavier than swords.

    It feels like you’re trying to have your cake and eat it here. Wood is lighter than steel – if an axe or hammer is the same length as a sword and has the same total weight, more of that weight is going to be concentrated in the head than anywhere else – and while I can’t get my hands on the figures easily, as you say, axes and hammers tend to be heavier than swords, amplifying this effect.

    Seriously, think about what you’re suggesting. For an axe-type weapon, what you propose might be true. For a hammer-type weapon – you’re proposing that a zweihander used for a mordhau is going to be more effective than the purpose-built weapon. This would raise the question of why the purpose-built weapon existed at all beyond a few experiments.

    Here you are wrong though : the mass of the pike is not of importance during the impact. What matter is your grip on the weapon and how you can stop it from moving away. Here indeed you need a firm grip to hold the weapon as much as possible for it to absorb as much force as possible from the target you are stoping. Basicaly, it’s not the equilibrium of the weapon that matter, it’s that you need, as the soldier, as much as possible to absorb the force that is not directed in the weapon to the ground, and here a stick is better than a cutting edge I think. To me, the drawback of the sword will be his resilience on the flat side of the blade which probably makes it less robust than the staff of a polearm.

    Nope, you’re the one who’s wrong here. Think of the physics of the situation. The total mass of the weapon doesn’t make a lot of difference – but the location of the center of mass does. You mentioned the leverage effect in your first paragraph – the further back the center of mass, the more the leverage effect is going to work in the disfavour of the wielder in this scenario. Thus, not only is the sword-wielder going to have a weaker grip on the blade than they would on a pole handle, they’re also fighting against a greater moment of impact (force applied in the direction of rotation multiplied by distance from the center of rotation, usually the center of mass) to keep the weapon steady.

    But I’m not talking about longsword but about one the orc greatsword of about 2,5m long.

    Then you’re talking about a weapon that clearly isn’t intended for half-swording at all. It comes to a point, but it’s not a good one. The wielders have no hand protection, so any sliding of their hand across the blade is going to slice their palm open, and this is only going to be made worse by the curve on one side of the blade. The only way it could be worse would be if it had an angled point like a scimitar (or no point at all). I don’t think either the blacksmiths who made them or the soldiers wielding them have ever considered halfswording as a possibility, instead buying into the idea that a two-handed sword is something to be swung wildly from below the hilt.

    Crushers are, of course, even worse.

    Of the three, human longswords are the only ones I can see even considering halfswording – they have good hand protection and a long, straight blade with a decent point. Even they, though, have a relatively crude design – the blade is thicker than most historical zweihanders (it’s more like a claymore, in fact), lacks any ricasso (let alone the secondary ricasso partway up the blade that some designs had – some even had an out-and-out secondary grip) or parierhaken as a secondary crossguard for half-swording.

    I’m not familiar with how one would use a greatsword as a polearm, but I think it would be mechanically similar to forming a “square against cavalry” with a bayonet on a musket.

    There is a significant length difference between a modern bayonet and a sword bayonet that needs to be accounted for here. Modern bayonets are relatively short – a sword bayonet was typically about three feet long mounted on a musket that could be about five feet long itself, giving a total of eight feet of length. The result would have the center of mass further forward than the zweihander, and that extra length pays major dividends in a braced position – you need a shallower angle to get it at a useful height, which means that you get more useful horizontal reach, and a higher proportion of the force of impact is going to be going down the weapon into the ground rather than going into rotating the weapon upwards.

    (It’s also interesting to note that the replacement of pike blocks with bayonet blocks also lead to a temporary revival of lancers – a lance couldn’t outreach a pike, but it could outreach a musket and bayonet combination, although charging into a square was still a painful process.)

    #134843

    Ericridge
    Member

    I just wanted to say that I am enjoying the discussion, even picked up some new stuff I didn’t know before. And I wanted to point out if we really need to test how effective poleaxes is for dwarves…. all we have to do is hire the dwarves that show up in lord of the ring movies and have them test the weapons while wearing armor for us.

    They’re very likely short enough although probably don’t have same physical strength as dwarves does, whether stronger or not is unknown.

    Getting boar mounts probably would be the hardest part.

    #134906

    Bouh
    Member

    Then you’re talking about a weapon that clearly isn’t intended for half-swording at all. It comes to a point, but it’s not a good one. The wielders have no hand protection, so any sliding of their hand across the blade is going to slice their palm open, and this is only going to be made worse by the curve on one side of the blade. The only way it could be worse would be if it had an angled point like a scimitar (or no point at all). I don’t think either the blacksmiths who made them or the soldiers wielding them have ever considered halfswording as a possibility, instead buying into the idea that a two-handed sword is something to be swung wildly from below the hilt.

    Actualy, I wasn’t asking for greatswordmen to get polearm ability. I was saying that if boar riders would get it, greatswordmen would have as many justifications as them to get it.

    Also, I read on the french zweihanders wikipedia page that this weapon could be used with the handle on the floor to stop cavalry charge, but the page shows no source for this and is mostly questionable.

    I precise that I don’t want to be right or anything, I’m only thinking and looking to understand. And I’m quite sure the balance of the weapon is of no importance to stop a horseman charging but my memories of mecanic are too old for me to get it right.

    #134913

    Epaminondas
    Member

    I precise that I don’t want to be right or anything, I’m only thinking and looking to understand. And I’m quite sure the balance of the weapon is of no importance to stop a horseman charging but my memories of mecanic are too old for me to get it right.

    Lies.

    You are needlessly prolonging this discussion, because you won’t ever admit you are wrong – indeed that you have no idea what you are talking about.

    But any neutral observer can see your game, and you look ridiculous with each new post.

    #134919

    Draxynnic
    Member

    Also, I read on the french zweihanders wikipedia page that this weapon could be used with the handle on the floor to stop cavalry charge, but the page shows no source for this and is mostly questionable.

    You could try it, but because of the mechanics that have previously been discussed, it’s not going to be as effective as a genuine long polearm. It may still be someone’s best option if they have a zweihander and they’re facing a cavalry charge, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be thinking ‘I wish I had a real polearm right about now’. Certainly, I don’t think it’s nearly enough to justify the polearm or pike square qualities.

    With that being said, I did say earlier in the thread that I don’t think boar riders should get it. To be fair, it does seem to be identical to the Deepguard weapon – however, you have different options even with the same weapon when mounted on a steed that’s inclined to charge at anything it sees as a threat than you do when on foot.

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