[Ansteorra-rapier] Spears for heavy Rapier

Cathal SilAlmhain silalmhain at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 20 06:54:24 PDT 2009

I don't know how many on this list have been hit by a heavy spear (on the heavy field, of course) but as I have (frequently, sadly) this seems like the opportunity to add:

Back when I was fighting heavy often, I played florentine, and I was hit by spear a lot.  Most people knew how to control their shots, and most shots were legal.  However, a few people did not really know how to control their force, and I recevied many shots that felt like they were about to take my head off.  That was *with* a 14-16 ga. helm on.

I'll grant you that statistically speaking our rapier fighters are going to have a lot more "touch control" than most heavy fighters, by nature of our training and experience, however here is the problem: most of the excessive shots I received happened when 1. I dodged the first shot the spearman threw at me; 2. I began a charge as I ducked under the spear shot; 3. the spearman panicked as he saw the florentine blades closing in; 4. the spearman over-reacted and struck with more panic than control.

Now, how many times do we envision the rapier fighter dodging a spear shot and then charging under the shot?  I think this will happen almost every time.

Until you have been hit with a shot under those very plausible circumstances it is difficult to imagine just how much force can inadvertently be applied. 

On the other hand, it is all too easy to hit too light with a padded end.  Because the force is spread across such a wider area than we are used to feeling on the light field, there is also the risk of too many good shots going un-called.  This leads to escalation, and now another problem.

I personally do not consider transferring the heavy design across the field as a reasonable option.  Of course, that is only my opinion.  And that does not mean that I personally nix all padded designs, but as Tivar noted earlier, it is possible that the only way the pad design might work is when it looks more a lollipop than a pike.

I would love to see pike on the field.  I think that it would lead to a more realistic/plausible late period melee, especially if it were added to the C&T game.  My advocacy runs that direction: authorization for rapier, then heavy rapier, then C&T, and if you have all those, then you can try to authorize for pike.  Obviously, the design must be there, but I think that safe use comes back to training and experience.  The C&T armor won't hurt, either.


--- On Sun, 4/19/09, Patnton at cs.com <Patnton at cs.com> wrote:

> From: Patnton at cs.com <Patnton at cs.com>
> Subject: Re: [Ansteorra-rapier] Spears for heavy Rapier
> To: ansteorra-rapier at lists.ansteorra.org
> Date: Sunday, April 19, 2009, 8:31 PM
> Might I suggest we also borrow some from our heavy brethern
> and if we are 
> to have pikes, have them with padded ends, even the low
> profile type end?  
> I'm not sure about getting hit in the face with a pike,
> but I suspect a padded 
> pike would be better than a flexible blade. 
> Don Antonius  
> Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a
> little Temporary 
> Safety, deserve neither Safety nor Liberty. Attributed to
> Benjamin Franklin 
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