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Medieval Weapons and armor for video game designers

 

This section is an overview of many of the weapons and armor from the middle ages. It is a good reference for video game designers.You can get a look at the general style of a particular type of weapon. Of course this is only a starting point to get your imagination going.

 

 

The Medieval Axe was a fearsome weapon. It combined many different tactics into one weapon. The Main blade of course was something to be feared but there were other aspects that made it a formidable weapon. The Medieval axe often had a pick like weapon opposite the blade as in this example. Sometimes it had a second blade or even a hammer. It was a feared close combat weapon. Many of them also had some kind of tool at the bottom of the handle. This could be used to pierce and puncture. The one shown here has a metal spike. Product Page at Amazon

Double Bladed Renaissance Axe This is a good example of an Axe with blades on both sides. The bottom end (called the Pommed) doesn't have a spike but it is capped in steel and could be used to strike blows with. Product Page at Amazon

 

Executioners Axe This is a prototypical axe. One side has the vicious axe blade and the otherside has a very sturdy piercing and slicing blade. The handle also has a metal pommel for striking blows in close quarter action.. Product Page for the Executioners Axe at Amazon

 

The Claymore is a two handed weapon that was used between the 15th and 17th centuries. It was a particularly effective and feared weapon because it was large yet light. It was quicker and more effective then other two handed swords. Often times claymores had something called a Ricasso. This was a section of the blade above the handle that was wrapped or covered. This allowed the wielder to choke up on the sword and use it as a half sword. The claymore has been popularized in movies such as highlander and Braveheart. The claymore that Mel Gibson uses in Braveheart is configured with a Ricasso.Learn more about the Claymore shown here : Product Page at Amazon

 

The Club was an early Medieval weapon. It orignally was simply a heavy piece of wood. Over the centuries it changed with the changes in technology and the changes in Armor. There are many many variations of clubs. The one shown here has piercing blades on it. These would cause maximum damage to enemies and they would pierce armor. Learn more about the Club show here

--------------------DAGGERS---------------

Daggers are a weapon that naturally evolved from the changes in society and the advancement of technologies. They evolved many different styles all over the world. Here is an example of an egyptian style Kriss (Or waved blade) Product Page at Amazon

 

Over the centuries the dagger took on many roles and many shapes. When Firearms took the place of the sword the dagger still found use as a close quarter combat weapon. Many military forces still arm their soldiers with daggers and bayonets still adorn the ends of rifles. The commando dagger shown here is a good example of a modern military variation of a dagger. Product Page at Amazon for this commando knife

The dagger also has the added feature of being useful for things other than combat with an enemy. It is a standard issue item because it has many other uses including cutting, cooking, hunting, and throwing.

Throughout the centuries the dagger has also been a ceremonial weapon and daggers have been designed very ornately and given to members of organizations as a symbol of rank. The knights templar dagger shown at the left is a good example of this. Product Page at Amazon for this Knights Templar Dagger with Scabbard

 

Daggers have taken on a tremendous variety of shapes and sizes. This is an example of a very creative dagger that was designed for the movie The Chronicles of Riddick.The Claws of Riddick Product Page at Amazon

 

The Medieval Flail is not as varied as the Mace but it did have some interesting variations. The basic concept is a heavy weight that is attached to the end of a handle by a chain. When this is swung it generates enormous force - muc more force than the Mace could deliver. It also had the added advantage of being able to reach over or around armor and shields. The flail shown at the left is a single ball morningstar style. Product Page for the Single Ball Morning Star Flail at Amazon

This flail is a three balled morning star.It was particularly effective at going up and over, or around shields and armor to reach its target. Product Page for the Three ball morning star flail at Amazon

 

The Flamberge Product Page at Amazon

The Flamberge is an interesting weapon used in Germany and very popular around the 15th Century. Some of the finer points are the fact that it is a two handed weapon but it has something called a "Ricasso" that is the leather wrapped section shown at left that is between the handle and the blade. This allowed the wielder to choke up on the sword and get better control of it. The flamberge shown here also has the unusual Kriss style (wavy) blade.

 

------------------SWORDS-----------------

 

Medieval Swords changed drastically over the centuries of the Middle Ages. There were two major factors that affected these changes. The first reason for change was the change in the technology of metalworking and blacksmithing. As this art improved so did the weapons. The second factor that caused changes in Medieval swords was the changes in Armor. As armor got stronger and lighter swords had to adjust to find the weaknessess. The biggest response to the changes in armor was the thinning and lightening of the sword. It evolved from being a massive slicing weapon to a more razor sharp pointed weapon that could find and exploit weaknesses in armor particularly at the joints. The sword shown here in the first picture is representative of what we think of when we think "Medieval Sword". Product Page for this sword at Amazon

 

King Arthur's Excalibur Sword - This is also a sword in the very traditional high middle ages style. This is considered a classic style weapon. Product Page for Excalibur at Amazon

 

The Sabre - This is a good example of how swords progressed over the centuries. This sword would have been made with better metalworking skills than the previous two swords. The steel would have been harder yet more flexible. The blade is razor sharp on one edge only. A sword like this is much lighter and can be swung faster than the previous swords. The sharpness and durability of the blade would have made it a better weapon against armor. Less blunt force would be needed to slice armor. Product Page at Amazon

Rapier This weapon represented the peak of the battle between the advances in armor and the advances in swords. The rapier had a very thing blad and a very sharp point. It could be wielded extremely fast and could find the smallest of flaws in armor. This weapon marked the end of the sword period and it flourished during the Renaissance. It reigned supreme until the invention of the musket. Product Page at Amazon Description from Amazon: These classic favorites trace their origins to early 17th Century Europe, where sword play with the rapier was considered an essential part of a gentleman's education as well as resolving gentlemanly conflicts. Each rapier is equipped with a 36 1/2" stainless steel blade with a mirror finish. The wire wrapped grips are surrounded by twisted steel creating authentic appeal to each collectible. Includes leather blade sheath. 44" overall.

 

POLEARM WEAPONS

Lances

The lance is a relative of the spear but unlike the spear it was not meant for throwing. It is a much heavier weapon and much more durable. It was particularly effective in two different ways. A group of mounted knights could charge with their lances thus creating a very effective way of breaking through enemy lines. IT could also be used as an effective defense against mounted charges.

Lances were much longer and sturdier than their cousin the spear. Usually ranging up to about ten feet in length with the jousting versions sometimes even longer - as long as twelve feet or more..

Knight with  a lanceHow were jousting lances made safer? Jousting was a sport and a way for a knight to improve his skills with the lance. It wasn't desired to injure or maim an opponenet in a joust. The goal was to knock the opposing knight off his horse and the lance was modified to suit this purpose safely. Lances often were hollowed out so they would easily break or shatter on impact. They also often had a flared end or a ball shaped end. That way the impact could be made without actually piercing the opposing knight. The Knight shown to the left is a figure from the Knights collection you can learn more about it: Tournament Knight Figure, Taurus

What is that metal cone shaped object on the lance near where the knight holds it? That is called a Vamplate. It was designed to protect the knights hand and to stop his hand from sliding up the lance upon impact. These vamplates on jousting lances were often extremely large. This would also help in causing the opposing knights lance to slide away.

Halberd

soldier with a halberdHALBERDIER (Blue) by Schleich

What is a halberd? Put simply it is an axe mounted on the end of a large spear. So in effect it is a melding of two different weapons - the axe and the spear but it wasn't used for throwing like the spear, just for thrusting. .

It was an extremely effective weapon because it was very versatile. The spear point could be used to keep distance from the enemy and made it capable for foot troops to effective attack mounted soldiers. The slicing axe blade could cause vicious damage to armor because the halberd could generate very powerful slices with long swings. Also an effective part of the Halberd was the metal wrapping of much of the handle. This made it an effective tool for blocking an enemy's weapons, particulary swords. Many halberds also had hooks opposite the blade side. This allowed the wielder to hook into the armor of a mounted knight and pull him to the ground.

Medievla soldier with a spearSpears

FOOT SOLDIER WITH SPEAR Schleich

The predominant use of the spear was for throwing. But over the centuries they were adapted for the changing needs of hand to hand combat. It has been used in cultures throughout the world because it is inexpensive and easy to make and it is extremely effective. You can attack your enemy without getting too close. . Although there are some interesting variations. The Tribal spear shown at the top of the page is one of these variations. It could be used as a thrown weapon but because of the bladed and hooked end it was also a very effective halbard type weapon. And the spike on the bottom end was very effective at securing the spear into the ground to hold ground against an attack, particularly mounted attacks. The spike could also be used in close combat and when the melee got very confused and vicious. Here is a link to learn more about the spear shown above (It is over six feet in length). Product Page at Amazon

 

The Poleaxe

The poleaxe was exactly what the name refers to. It was an axe blade placed on the long handle of a pole. This served as a good hybrid weapon. It could be used to slice and chop and the enemy from a distance and was particular effective against mounted knights and for reaching over the shields of foot troops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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