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Re: (TFT) Spear vs. Shortsword maneuvers


>If you look at history the spear, halberd and even the pike were never th
>e dominate weapon in the field post bronze age (Greeks and Romans).  They
> aren't particularly hard to learn and they are cheap so that isn't the r
>eason they weren't more in use.  The fact is they just weren't as effecti
>ve as the cutting and bashing weapons in producing damage.  Cavalry may h
>ave been king, but many troops fought on the ground and only a small prop
>ortion used spears as primary weapons.

I do think you need to have another go at history.

Iron Age troops were nearly always armed with spear as their primary
weapon, and usually ax as a backup. Swords were for the rich, and more a
mark of status than a primary weapon.

If you look up items like the excavations at Wisby, you'll find that the
most deadly injuries are most likely not from swords, but from thrusts,
likely from spears. I say likely because a spear thrust does less damage
to the skeleton, so it's hard to tell the source. There's a lot of
examples of healed-up sword wounds from those digs. Guys who got thrust
tended to just die.

By the 1420's, single-handed weapons were considered nearly useless as
they couldn't penetrate the armour of the time, though that had been true
for a couple hundred years by that point.

And on the oriental side, the primary gunpowder weapon was the spear, not
the sword, even for the samurai. That had been so since the end of the
Heian, when the bow went out of fashion on the battlefield.

>Again history is against you on this, infantry could and repeatedly did b
>reak up pikemen with swords.  Pointy sticks aren't that dangerous after y
>ou get past the point.  Infantry would walk up and break thru pikemen.  S
>o if I move 4 feet in 5 seconds or so I am diving on to the spear, again
>that makes no sense.  A sword lunge has just a much force and a spear lun

Personally, I don't consider pikemen to be spearmen, nor the pike to be a
spear. The pike only works well in formation, the spear works anywhere.
Mostly the infantry that broke up squares were trained for the purpose. By
the time of the pike square, there really weren't guys out there with
sword and shield (no, the buckler guys don't really count). But
understanding the role of the pikemen vs. cavalry, etc. would take more
time than I have right now to explain. It's all rock, paper, scissors sort
of stuff that also has to deal with the changing nature of warfare during
the rise of the nation-states.

If you haven't actually been in armour against a spear, I'd encourage you
to not make statements that you have no first-hand experience of. I've
been on both sides of that equation. The only reason I'm not more
effective with the spear is that the rules I'm generally constrained by
don't allow me many useful maneuvers, like using the butt end of the
spear, or deliberately putting someone on the ground. Frequently I end up
engaged by someone with your attitude that once you're past the pointy
end, the spearman is toast. They get dissuaded quickly.

Also, the idea that a sword lunge and spear lunge are just as powerful
shows a woeful lack of knowledge. Again, unless you've done it, don't make
the statement. Even two handed sword thrusts aren't as powerful as a spear
thrust. Single handed weapons are only as strong as the single wrist on
the weapon. 2 handed swords are generally limited by hilt length (unless
you are half-swording, in which case the argument is moot). With the
spear, the 2 more widely spaced hands brace the weapon against glancing,
flexing, and having to rely on the strength of the single wrist. I can
assure you from direct experience that sword thrusts are not much compared
to a spear thrust.

Neil Gilmore

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