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Sticks and Stones #1
Crackpot Mailbox: Brutal Basics with Banjo Kane and James
Banjo has asked a question that spans ages and comes back to us every time we are called upon to exercise urgent means as men. Increasingly, as guns are outlawed, the man who cannot afford to hire a military contractor will have to commit suicide by SWAT or take care of business in the old way.

A guide to choosing the right weapon?
Fri, Jan 24, 3:50 PM
James,
I was recently at a museum looking at old armor and weapons. There were all sorts of variation of hand weapons but generally it seems like it could be broken down to:
1 handed swords
2 handed swords
pole weapons
axes
bludgeoning weapons (mace, flail).
Can you write an article about the fighting situation that would be ideal for each of the aforementioned groups and or another group that I have missed?
Also why would someone choose a rapier over a saber?
Why use a mace or a flail (if they were actually used) over a sword or spear?
Axes seem like they function the most as both tools and weapons and would be lighter to carry. This would incline me to guess they were used by groups that were maybe not specifically going to war or were traveling long distances...maybe the choice for a nomadic group or a more primitive group since the manufacture must be easier than that of a sword.
Spears seem like they would be ideal for an open battlefield and more easily learned than a sword (just learn to parry and thrust with a spear and off to the battlegrounds...). But those are just guesses as I have no knowledge of these things.
-Banjo

Before starting at the beginning and tracing the evolution of hand-to-hand weaponry, a quick answer for the specific points above:
1-handed swords either serve as:
a back-up weapon [sidearms]
to be paired with a shield [often as a side-arm]
to be used on horse back [often as a side-arm]
for use in a duel
2-handed swords are usually an adaptation to polearms, with the largest reaching the minimal size of polearms.
3-polearms are based mostly on the spear and are largely an adaptation to improved armor, influenced by the inclusion of agricultural workers into the infantry ranks, but also includes the horseman's lance.
4-axes are one of the oldest, most enduring, flexible and universal categories.
5-bludgeoning weapons are the very first category of the dedicated hand weapon and returns in the late medieval period to deal with armor. A French knight, armored in plate, is impervious to the arrows and swords of the English longbowman, who was best served by using his sledgehammer or pick or axe he used for building his hedge of anti-horse stakes and slamming Frenchy in the helm and breaking his fucking neck or knocking him out.
The rapier is a dueling weapon designed to stab the unarmored foe in the head before he can cleave you with his saber and is a terrible battlefield weapon, and is developed in response to firearms rendering armor obsolete. Swords have many designs and they all make sense in the context they were used.
I'll round out the discussion of the evolution of hand weapons and their most common purpose trends with:
#2 Sticks
#3 Stones
#4 Axes
#5 Spears and polearms
#6 Swords
#7 Shields, which bear on all of the above
This will not be comprehensive, but rather a brief survey intended for the modern hand-to-hand combatant whose world of weapons is limited to empty hand, sticks and knives, a world that will soon expand as anarcho-tyranny spreads.
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Add Comment
BanjoJanuary 30, 2020 1:25 PM UTC

Thanks James. I never thought about heavy bludgeon weapons use against an armored opponent. Very interesting.
responds:January 31, 2020 12:14 PM UTC

Like a stick against a mask, a club against a helmet.