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It's been a while. Ask me anything about medieval arms and armor!

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BreweryYardRat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 04:46 PM
Original message
It's been a while. Ask me anything about medieval arms and armor!
I can also try to answer questions on Western Martial Arts, but no guarantees.

WMA= stuff like this Italian move with the poleaxe:

Get in past the opponent's guard, flip his visor up, and jab the poleaxe spike in his teeth. When he instinctively focuses on the agonizing pain in his mouth instead of self-defense, put the opportunity to good use.
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datasuspect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
1. what is opinion on using archers
against heavyily armored melee units?
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MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 05:00 PM
Response to Original message
2. what's the proper wood to use as a spear to repel a calvary charge?
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BreweryYardRat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Smartass.
Historically, ash was popular for most the shafts of most spears and polearms.
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MrCoffee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 05:09 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. awww, you noticed!
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 05:17 PM
Response to Original message
5. I would, but I don't think that you have ever seen Northern Exposure
I would want to ask you about a medieval siege weapon that was on the show.
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BreweryYardRat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 05:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. I remember you talking about that in the last thread.
Trebuchet of some kind. Wasn't your question about the throwing arm or something?
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 05:32 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. You have a good memory bro -
who used to use that thing?
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BreweryYardRat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 05:54 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Sort of.
"I have a jackdaw's memory for useless bits of information." -Harry Turtledove

The trebuchet was popular in the mid-to-late medieval period. As a general rule, siege engines were used by just about every nationality, since manufacturing one doesn't require anything more than plans (which are hard to suppress), money, wood, sinew, some small amount of metal, and good-sized rocks (or the occasional dead cow) to fling.

It's not like modern artillery, where a certain level of manufacturing capability is required to produce anything worth bringing to the battlefield.

However, obtaining all the things necessary to build a siege engine and organizing the labor/training the engineers to shoot the thing, requires a national government, a local (city-state or provincial) government, or an extremely wealthy noble or coalition of nobles. This is why peasant revolts didn't use siege engines (at least, I can't remember any instances of that). A coalition of nobles rising up against their king or fighting other nobles might be able to pull it off, although it'd be like herding cats to get various earls, counts, barons, etc... to work together like that.
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deucemagnet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 07:06 PM
Response to Reply #5
16. I think I know what you're talking about...
Edited on Thu Sep-21-06 07:07 PM by deucemagnet
...if you mean the device Chris used to fling a piano, it was a trebuchet.

On edit: I was beaten to it! Damn, you guys are fast!
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-22-06 06:18 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. thanks for the post
That is what I was talkin about...
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TheMightyFavog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 05:53 PM
Response to Original message
8. What's the difference between a guisarme and a bec de corbin?
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BreweryYardRat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 06:00 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Quite a bit.
Unless we're using different definitions...

Bec de corbin head :



Guisarme head (I had to look up the definition/image on Google to refresh my memory):

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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 06:21 PM
Response to Original message
11. A bunch of questions
1) Tell me about the evolution of protective armor for your average knight through the Middle Ages - meaning, from around 1066 AD through 1453. How did it change & evolve over time?

2) When did the halberd become common on the medieval battlefield, and how is it different than the bill?

3) This may be a bit odd, but I was thinking about it today (believe it or not) - but, please tell me if I'm right on how armies in Feudal Europe worked. King Whathisname would give land to various nobility in exchange for their loyalty & support. In turn, when the King decided he needed an army, he would call upon his Dukes to provide him with at least the number of agreed upon soldiers. The Dukes, in turn, would do the same thing to the nobility below them (Barons, Lords, etc)... and, after a certain amount of time, King Whathisname would have his army made up of men from all the different noble houses that were loyal to him. Maybe add in some mercenaries, and you have a complete army...An actual standing army was fairly rare during these times, though the King may have his own personal troops.

Thanks




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BreweryYardRat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 06:33 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. Okay, but I'm going to answer #1 in a seperate post, since it's long.
Edited on Thu Sep-21-06 06:39 PM by seawolf
2: Halberds became common in the 14th-15th century, and stuck around until the end of the period. This is a halberd head-specifically, the catalog photo of a MRL replica I own:



Variation is to be expected, though, as this Swiss halberd replica demonstrates (it's actually closer to "standard" design than mine is):


These are English and Italian bills from Arms and Armor:

English:

Italian:



3: Yeah, you've about got it. Standing armies didn't really start developing until the late medieval period. There's a wonderful example: When the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick (I) Barbarossa drowned en route to the Holy Land on a crusade, a lot of his nobles simply packed up their retainers and went home. They'd come because he called, not because of any religious fervor.
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Thanks
As a follow-up to #3, how was security handled in the various towns & cities? I know most people lived on farms, but there were towns and cities. Having played D&D for nearly 30 years (though, I've been more or less on hiatus since around 2001), I know they have your typical town guard or town watch that most people play like a police force. But, is that realistic to the times? How was order maintained in the streets of Paris or London, or other major cities in Europe?
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UrbScotty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
12. Why were the Dark Ages called the Dark Ages?
Because of all the Knights.
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Lisa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-21-06 06:33 PM
Response to Original message
14. I picked up a nice little close helm ...
Edited on Thu Sep-21-06 06:39 PM by Lisa
... from "Eisenape" in Arkansas, because he inadvertently made it a bit too small (but perfect for me!). I had been looking for an armet, but considering the craftsmanship, this was such a bargain that I couldn't say no!




Actually it looks quite a bit like the patterns posted at Craig T. ("Sinric") Nadler's site, and he dates it (the sparrow-beak visor, not the grill) to the early 1500s.
http://www.eskimo.com/~cwn/close.html
http://www.armourarchive.org/patterns/close_helm /

My question is -- approximately how long did this style remain popular for, in history, and what corresponding types of swords would go with it (length, blade dimensions, fullering, etc.)?

(p.s. sorry, this is more of a Renaissance-era question I guess, so feel free to pass if it's not your time period)
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