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(TFT) chances of doing very little damage

Here is a random first-hand reality check anecdote:

I have what TFT would call a broadsword. Good balance, modern steel, though not particularly sharp.

I have chopped up some very large cardboard boxes with it for fun and cathartic release, and noticed something interesting about the damage done:

Usually, it does horrific damage to cardboard boxes, making suitably impressive horrible gashes 2-3 feet long. However, sometimes it will not do much at all, or even just make a dent and bounce off the target, especially where there is tape or some other reinforcement, even though the basic swing seems about the same strength and accuracy. I think it would not do that much if the sword were sharpened... against cardboard and tape... but it leads me to believe that even if it were sharp, that it is quite possible to hit "wrong" and have a cutting weapon bounce off relatively light armor, sometimes.

I noticed a similar thing when chopping up a dead tree with an axe. Sometimes the axe would do a lot of damage, but other times it would just sort of bonk the wood and bounce off, and it seemed to have a lot to do with the angle of attack, and require a fairly high level of precision to reliably do the expected damage and not "dud out".

It makes me think I should re-think what an accurate damage formula would really look like.

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