Topic: Anachronistic swords  (Read 1749 times)


LasseFin

« on: October 06, 2017, 03:21:22 AM »
The armors right now have been rectified and now all armors seem to be historically accurate. But the swords are still very historically inaccurate!

Considering that the game takes place roughly in the 9th-11th century, the bastard sword (40-48 inches) is unlikely to exist. It's minorly plausible that some existed, but there doesn't seem to be any historical examples. Maybe this could be kept in the game and renamed to war sword and made much rarer. Broadswords should be renamed to simply sword.

The battlesword which weighs 8 lbs and is 48-60 inches in length would CERTAINLY not exist in this period. Weapons like these were used in the 16th century, which means they are even more anachronistic than plate armor.

But since giant swords are kind of cool, with its removal we should add some other cool weapon to fill the void. One plausible weapon is the glaive/halberd which some Viking sagas make reference to. Since the URW has contact to eastern peoples who historically DID use glaives, we could add this weapon. It would be a weapon of spear category that has very high attack bonus, 5 like Kaumolais spear since they're very long, but low defense bonus since they're front heavy. They would have high edge damage, medium high point damage. Njerpez should be glaive lovers since they come from the east.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 03:30:34 AM by LasseFin »

LoLotov

« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2017, 03:39:54 AM »
I didn't really want to say anything cause it seems quite an old elephant in the room, but this is part of avoiding swords as weapons for me... Halberds forever, heavy two-handed weapon using spear skill with better edge than point damage. Like 10 or 12 pounds, excellent attack bonus, somewhat poor defense bonus, and only available from foreign traders (maybe equipped by very rare and powerful Njerps). Alternatively to the halberd, a war hammer or great-club, any kind of large, traumatic, bludgeoning instrument. I like keeping bastard swords, they seem plausible as longer, Frankish-import Viking swords; very exotic weapons for the area indeed, but certainly not unrealistic for the (Viking) foreign traders to have. What else would they spend all of OUR furs on?

Edit: Addressed by OP, so I'll say that I only think they should be rare among Njerps due to their likely-quite-high value, and potential overall increase in the opponent's combat ability.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2017, 03:44:14 AM by LoLotov »
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LasseFin

« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2017, 03:52:39 AM »
10-12 lbs seems a bit too heavy for a weapon that's already so front heavy. 6-8 pounds seems to be how much historical polearms weighed.

LoLotov

« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2017, 07:31:51 AM »
That's fair, battle axes are ~5 or 6 pounds, so the extra shaft and spear point wouldn't be too much extra weight from that. I was going more from a 7 pound kaumo spear as the base for extra reach, with a very heavy woodsman axe type blade for the additional weight. I assume yours is more realistic, which is the point of this.

Worst comes to worst, this is probably a pretty easy mod, though I personally shy from such things. It'd be cool if someone made a package of interesting, in-timeframe weapons for one of the smithing set ups.
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koteko

« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2017, 10:00:56 AM »
I absolutely agree. I avoid swords completely because of this :(

Broadsword, bastard sword and battlesword definitely need to be reviewed. I would also check that the two-handed battleaxe is accurate. Is that supposed to be the Dane axe? From what I recall it weights too much for that. To have a glaive would be interesting, although the Kaumo spear is already close to that. No halberds though.

This is a good article on Viking swords. Seems like Viking swords never arrived to anything close to the "bastard sword" (very rarely up to 100cm, but more commonly less than 90cm) but I'm not sure about other cultures.

Silenia

« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 10:13:13 AM »
I absolutely agree. I avoid swords completely because of this :(

Broadsword, bastard sword and battlesword definitely need to be reviewed. I would also check that the two-handed battleaxe is accurate. Is that supposed to be the Dane axe? From what I recall it weights too much for that. To have a glaive would be interesting, although the Kaumo spear is already close to that. No halberds though.

This is a good article on Viking swords. Seems like Viking swords never arrived to anything close to the "bastard sword" (very rarely up to 100cm, but more commonly less than 90cm) but I'm not sure about other cultures.
Mwa. Battleaxe could be a Dane axe, weight-wise, albeit somewhat on the heavy side. It's 4lbs in-game and a Dane axe averaged 2-4lbs, from what I can find. Certainly not as off as the swords are, at least. (Even if 3lbs or so might be a bit more realistic)

koteko

« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2017, 10:31:30 AM »
@Silenia thanks for checking ;)

Dungeon Smash

« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2017, 03:14:21 PM »
It seems that every so often, a topic appears about anachronistic elements in URW.  To my mind, the creators have already addressed this issue adequately.  They have stated that URW is a fantasy game, and takes place in a fantasy world which is close to 9th-11th century Finland, but not identical.  I think this makes sense.  After all, the game already has spells and mystical spirits.  Surely longer and heavier swords does not stretch the imagination any further?

For the record, I was also fine with the "anachronistic" armor choices, but I don't mind them being gone, either.

koteko

« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2017, 05:38:36 PM »
From what I see, the game is continuously being tweaked to reach "perfection", wherever that is. It's a fundamental core of URW (for which it got a Guinness World Record recently :)). So there's nothing wrong in this topics, and they are not useless either - if you peruse the old forum, you'll see that over the years Sami has discussed and often straight out implemented suggestions from users.

Weapons and tools for example have been tweaked in the last release (and also some in the next, I believe). Sami already said that cloth stats need to be looked at, after a discussion pointed out that coverage and weight were off for many nettle/linen cloth pieces.

LasseFin

« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2017, 11:04:49 PM »
It seems that every so often, a topic appears about anachronistic elements in URW.  To my mind, the creators have already addressed this issue adequately.  They have stated that URW is a fantasy game, and takes place in a fantasy world which is close to 9th-11th century Finland, but not identical.  I think this makes sense.  After all, the game already has spells and mystical spirits.  Surely longer and heavier swords does not stretch the imagination any further?

For the record, I was also fine with the "anachronistic" armor choices, but I don't mind them being gone, either.

Sami has made efforts to remove all the anachronistic armors, like ring and plate armor. He made efforts to change the battleaxe from the double headed fantasy axe to something akin to the Dane Axe. It's clear that his design vision, on equipment at least, is meant to be grounded in reality. With mostly everything in place, the sword category stand out like a sore thumb and seems to be the inconsistency in the game. It just feels very out of place now that everything else has been corrected.

I wouldn't have made this suggestion if ring armor and plate armor and double headed axes still existed in this game. This suggestion was simply made to maintain that consistency.

spamgoose

« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2017, 01:13:58 AM »
I definitely like the idea of bringing weapons more in alignment with the historical period and place.

In university I specialized in early medieval military history (my thesis was on the "supply side" of the Carolingian slave trade, but I mostly was interested in the Eurasian steppe, making Finland somewhat peripheral). Certainly, sword use was no where near as important as historical dramas (and sagas) would have us belief, but held value as status items. That being said, I think swords as long as the bastard swords would not be completely out of place in Finland, but would be incredibly rare and costly (this is a bit late, but interesting: http://www.medievalists.net/2013/11/grave-of-12th-century-warrior-discovered-in-finland/). The battlesword is probably ridiculous.

Nowadays I look more at early North American history, but the story is always the same everywhere. Spears, spears and more spears. Not only would I like to see more spear types, but I think combat would be improved a lot if spears did things differently.

For example, an Ango ran through a shield should make that shield largely useless, but the ango itself would also be dropped by the user.  More variety in javelins as well, from hunting javelins, javelins designed for disarming shields (like the Frankish Angon, which is more in keeping with the traditional ango), longer range javelins meant to unnerve opponents, and short heavy javelins (darts) for bird hunting.

I don't know much about glaives, but generally long, heavy polearms were used in groups and designed to disarm and disrupt the enemy. It could fit, but like I say, I don't know much about it.

A lot of the difficulty is that in this period you had three major physical cultures happening. The coast had a lot of influence from Scandinavian designs and ideas (hence the viking burials and coin hordes), the north tended to avoid fighting if possible and focused on hunting tools, and the interior had a blend of the two. There's a saga where a Viking leader goes into the interior of Finland and is harassed by the locals (using bows primarily) until it got too annoying and left. At the same time there are artifacts from the interior that blend Scandinavian and local designs.I will say "physical" culture though, because there is lots of evidence that Finns joined and possibly led a lot of the Rus activity. So even things that seem too fancy, such as nice swords, crossbows, etc. are still likely to have been present (though rare) in what we call "Driik", "Reemi", etc.

A "weapon" I'd love to see, especially once there are horses, is the lasso. That, and nets, were the common armaments of slave raiders... the Njerps. Something about being run down and lassoed by a Njerp seems horrifying.

JEB Davis

« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2017, 01:13:28 PM »
Bringing swords into line with historical sources for is a great idea, and probably already in Sami's mind considering his recent weapon changes. Good posts.