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  1. #46
    Astonishing Member Shellhead's Avatar
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    The Black Company is sort of like Lord of the Rings, except that the protagonist belongs to a mercenary unit that works for a Nazgul-type at the beginning of the series. The first four (including spin-off book The Silver Spike) are definitely worth reading. Military veterans in particular find the series compelling. The next four books are weighed down by an excessive number of new characters and the plot wanders into a quagmire, but still feature some riveting scenes. The next two books are pretty interesting. There is a short story collection that I haven't read yet, and one final book on the way. According to IMDB, there is a Black Company tv show that has been stuck in pre-production since 2017.

  2. #47
    The Weeping Mod Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    Eeenteresting. I shall check it out.

    ...now I'll go hurt myself some more. :P
    Why Are We Here?, by Pendaran

    "...the Myths Transformed version of the legendarium, in which the Moon is Melkor's attempt to make his own Arda with blackjack and hookers." - Estrecca

    "...dropping an orca whale made of fire on your enemies is a pretty strong opening move." - Nik Hasta

    "[Kent] Nelson was nearly invariably presented as the guy who, barring the Spectre, made everyone else generally gasp and go "Doctor Fate don't shiv, he balls nasty.", even Superman." - Pendaran

  3. #48
    Astonishing Member Shellhead's Avatar
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    Spear vs Sword and Buckler:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8RWLxlzTiM

  4. #49
    Rumbles Limbo Champion big_adventure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpandpointies View Post
    The thing about spears in one-on-one is they actually have a gross advantage on swords in reach, because the grip varies. It isn't always 'one hand close to the middle'. With a six-foot spear - honestly, perfectly average for a 'fighting', twohanded spear - one can thrust with hands very close to one end while still maintaining control (the grip shifts a lot...even standing there, one hand at one end, the other hand close to the middle, someone skilled with a spear can change that grip in an instant by sliding the spear, and suddenly that already-large reach gains another foot or more on the thrust). The reach is far outside that of a sword, and it's dangerous on the retraction due to the cutting edges.

    There are things swords do a lot better than spears - defend, for example - but that reach advantage is quite hefty.

    And having done a LOT of weapon sparring with weapons of different length, I'll say that 'just' a reach advantage of a few inches is enough to make a difference. If it's a foot? You're looking at the only way to immediately threaten the other guy from outside of his reach is with a long, over-extended thrust which will could get you killed if it's avoided (and I like to assume the other guy holding the weapon isn't a tyro).

    Otherwise you need to move through the other guy's reach just to engage him.

    Which...is not ideal, barring you having some really good armor.
    It's that defensive edge you mentioned as to why a sword has some slight advantage in a one-on-one match-up with a spear assuming equal skill. You can avoid the whole over-extension issue by keeping the blade against the staff on your parry-approach, walking it in, and using your edge or even pommel as a strike. It's by no means conclusive as far as edges go. Mistakes are costly in fights with live steel.

    EDIT: I want to be clear that I'm specifically talking about an open, one-on-one setup. Introduce other things - a battlefield for instance, or walls, or limited movement, and that edge is going to leave and never write home.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpandpointies View Post
    No disagreement here.
    If you did, I'd call the Mounties or something to report an alien abduction.


    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpandpointies View Post
    If we're talking about 'fights Musashi supposedly lost', there were two that crop up in the mythos. Both apocryphal.

    1. Some dude who was the head of a staff-fighting school fought Musashi and lost. For some reason(?) Musashi spared his life (this part is actually a matter of record). The guy goes away and meditates on his loss. He has a dream which shows him something important. He cuts his bo staff down in size, birthing the jo. He fights Musashi again, and wins! And spares Musashi's life in turn.

    Now, given the second part of the story is completely unverified and only spread by that guy's martial art school as 'how jo-waza came to be', I'm rather skeptical.

    2. A ninja with a paper fan. 'nuff said.

    Note - this is not me saying 'Staffs suck'. They don't. They aren't as good as edged stuff, because 'edge'. But they don't stink.

    Put an edged point on one (a sharpandpointy?) and it becomes something a whole lot more dangerous.
    And that was my actual point - a sharpandpointy (this should be a real adjective) staff is a spear, and that's a badass weapon, especially if you haven't trained as much against that as you have against other swords.

    A funny story about that springs to mind: when I was young and dumb(er) and training relatively heavily in combat sports (including kenjitsu), I was at a friend's place and picked up one of his bokken. I don't know why he had three of them, he didn't actually train with weapons, but there it was. I waved it a bit at one of my friends, who absolutely did not train sword. But he was a REALLY good baseball player. He picked one up and proceeded, with extremely fast, extremely strong and completely non-stylish and non-precise strokes to absolutely murder my guard to the point that I basically turned and ran away to avoid getting injured.
    Last edited by big_adventure; 09-03-2020 at 02:05 PM.
    "But... But I want to be a big karate cyborg... ;_;" - Nik Hasta

    "Get off my lawn!

    ...on this forum, that just makes people think of Cyclops."
    - Sharpandpointies

    "...makes me think the Night King just says "Screw the rules, I have magic money" when it comes to physics." -Captain Morgan

  5. #50
    The Weeping Mod Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_adventure View Post
    It's that defensive edge you mentioned as to why a sword has some slight advantage in a one-on-one match-up with a spear assuming equal skill. You can avoid the whole over-extension issue by keeping the blade against the staff on your parry-approach, walking it in, and using your edge or even pommel as a strike. It's by no means conclusive as far as edges go. Mistakes are costly in fights with live steel.
    Not trying to be argumentative, here, just explaining stuff based on my own experience. One can do what you describe above (and is, in fact, a technique for use against all kinds of weapons including other swords), but that kind of thing is ridiculously difficult to maintain against a skilled spear user. Hollywood likes to show that kind of thing, and as a training tool sure, it's something that people will legit practice.

    But a skilled spear user won't allow someone to 'stick'. And will be utilizing footwork of their own to maintain reach stymie such things (and with a weapon, one CAN dance backward while attacking in a way that can be deadly - the advantage of pokey and sharp weapons is that one does NOT need body-weight behind them to seriously damage someone). This is the kind of thing that becomes apparent with actual sparring and fighting with weapons, versus practicing techniques; kind of like empty hand work, when one starts to realize that some (if not most) of the techniques they have practiced are rather...optimistic against a skilled opponent when it's actually unrehearsed, with resistance, or for real.

    Basically, the thing to remember about the sword user versus the spear user is that the spear user will ALSO be using footwork, and in conjunction with their superior reach in ORDER to keep that reach open.

    Also, to put it simply, I don't feel the sword's somewhat better defensive abilities outweigh the large reach advantage the spear gives.

    If you did, I'd call the Mounties or something to report an alien abduction.
    PLEASE don't call the Mounties, I don't really want them anywhere near me. O_o

    And that was my actual point - a sharpandpointy (this should be a real adjective) staff is a spear, and that's a badass weapon, especially if you haven't trained as much against that as you have against other swords.

    A funny story about that springs to mind: when I was young and dumb(er) and training relatively heavily in combat sports (including kenjitsu), I was at a friend's place and picked up one of his bokken. I don't know why he had three of them, he didn't actually train with weapons, but there it was. I waved it a bit at one of my friends, who absolutely did not train sword. But he was a REALLY good baseball player. He picked one up and proceeded, with extremely fast, extremely strong and completely non-stylish and non-precise strokes to absolutely murder my guard to the point that I basically turned and ran away to avoid getting injured.
    Yeah, there's a matter of 'having tons of actual interactive training' to be able to break through a situation where someone who is technically unskilled but coordinated and physically superior (a baseball player with a bat-like object, for example) is trying to cream you.

    Much as it can be with empty hands, which is why someone who just practices forms and compliant techniques collapses against an enthusiastic opponent.

    Nice story, I like it.
    Last edited by Sharpandpointies; 09-04-2020 at 08:05 AM.
    Why Are We Here?, by Pendaran

    "...the Myths Transformed version of the legendarium, in which the Moon is Melkor's attempt to make his own Arda with blackjack and hookers." - Estrecca

    "...dropping an orca whale made of fire on your enemies is a pretty strong opening move." - Nik Hasta

    "[Kent] Nelson was nearly invariably presented as the guy who, barring the Spectre, made everyone else generally gasp and go "Doctor Fate don't shiv, he balls nasty.", even Superman." - Pendaran

  6. #51
    The Weeping Mod Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    Funny thing - some HEMA guys did a 'spear versus sword' series of spars to test that fight out (I think it was HEMA).

    Spear overwhelmingly took the majority, and that was open-area duel situation between a couple of people who were skilled in their respective weapons.

    I should try to find that video again.
    Why Are We Here?, by Pendaran

    "...the Myths Transformed version of the legendarium, in which the Moon is Melkor's attempt to make his own Arda with blackjack and hookers." - Estrecca

    "...dropping an orca whale made of fire on your enemies is a pretty strong opening move." - Nik Hasta

    "[Kent] Nelson was nearly invariably presented as the guy who, barring the Spectre, made everyone else generally gasp and go "Doctor Fate don't shiv, he balls nasty.", even Superman." - Pendaran

  7. #52
    Astonishing Member Shellhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpandpointies View Post
    Funny thing - some HEMA guys did a 'spear versus sword' series of spars to test that fight out (I think it was HEMA).

    Spear overwhelmingly took the majority, and that was open-area duel situation between a couple of people who were skilled in their respective weapons.

    I should try to find that video again.
    Scroll up, I posted a link yesterday.

  8. #53
    Rumbles Limbo Champion big_adventure's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharpandpointies View Post
    Not trying to be argumentative, here, just explaining stuff based on my own experience. One can do what you describe above (and is, in fact, a technique for use against all kinds of weapons including other swords), but that kind of thing is ridiculously difficult to maintain against a skilled spear user. Hollywood likes to show that kind of thing, and as a training tool sure, it's something that people will legit practice.

    But a skilled spear user won't allow someone to 'stick'. And will be utilizing footwork of their own to maintain reach stymie such things (and with a weapon, one CAN dance backward while attacking in a way that can be deadly - the advantage of pokey and sharp weapons is that one does NOT need body-weight behind them to seriously damage someone). This is the kind of thing that becomes apparent with actual sparring and fighting with weapons, versus practicing techniques; kind of like empty hand work, when one starts to realize that some (if not most) of the techniques they have practiced are rather...optimistic against a skilled opponent when it's actually unrehearsed, with resistance, or for real.

    Basically, the thing to remember about the sword user versus the spear user is that the spear user will ALSO be using footwork, and in conjunction with their superior reach in ORDER to keep that reach open.

    Also, to put it simply, I don't feel the sword's somewhat better defensive abilities outweigh the large reach advantage the spear gives.

    I retract my point in the face of your superior knowledge. It's only my opinion in any case, which is likely biased given that I never really trained or practiced with a spear, and did with swords.
    "But... But I want to be a big karate cyborg... ;_;" - Nik Hasta

    "Get off my lawn!

    ...on this forum, that just makes people think of Cyclops."
    - Sharpandpointies

    "...makes me think the Night King just says "Screw the rules, I have magic money" when it comes to physics." -Captain Morgan

  9. #54
    The Weeping Mod Sharpandpointies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shellhead View Post
    Scroll up, I posted a link yesterday.
    Somehow I missed that.

    Nice stuff! It's not the one I was talking about, but it does illustrate the 'point' (hahahaha).

    As for my own training, it's not extensive with regards to pole weapons, but there is some training in there and some sparring. It can be an eyeopener.

    Hah! I found the video - quite hilarious in the usual British fashion.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afqhBODc_8U

    It starts off with sword against spear. Mostly not so great for sword people, though there's the occasional win. They give the sword people a buckler. Sword and bucklers do better, but still lose. They switch to longsword versus spear. That goes about as well, with the spears taking more. They keep switching weapons, and the spears keep taking more of the wins. At one point they even start giving the sword guys BIG shields...which one guy uses well and wins all of his, but the other sword and shield guys use less-well and get murdered.

    It's interesting that at one point someone tries to grab the spear. Note: one can see why this is a bad idea, because if one is grabbing at the spear, the non-sword-wielding arm is out in front, and the sword isn't (it's better to keep the sword BETWEEN you and your opponent for defence). Needless to say, the dude gets skewered.

    It's also interesting that out of the sword guys who win, it's almost always the same couple of people.

    Now, this is a varied group with different skills and experience, so some people are using stuff with which they aren't familiar, including some of the spear users! It's noted that everyone there had experience with swords, but many of the spear-users...weren't.

    But it's a fun watch and shows what and how a skilled spear-user might work.
    Why Are We Here?, by Pendaran

    "...the Myths Transformed version of the legendarium, in which the Moon is Melkor's attempt to make his own Arda with blackjack and hookers." - Estrecca

    "...dropping an orca whale made of fire on your enemies is a pretty strong opening move." - Nik Hasta

    "[Kent] Nelson was nearly invariably presented as the guy who, barring the Spectre, made everyone else generally gasp and go "Doctor Fate don't shiv, he balls nasty.", even Superman." - Pendaran

  10. #55
    Impulsive Nschornhorst's Avatar
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    Alright, it's been awhile since I saw the movies and never read the books, but I love making teams, so I'll give it a try.

    Ring Bearer: Tom Servo (Mystery Science Theater 3000)- He's forged a version of 'the one ring' and was not only completely unfazed, but also able to adjust it. Being a robot, he's also unlikely to be as corrupted and he can't fit in on his immobile fingers anyhow. If enemies are after them, Tom apparently can create clones of himself, but often forgets which one is the real one. I'd considered Crow, but I think Tom's slightly more responsible.

    Leader: Wonder Woman (DCEU)- Since she's not as powerful as her comic counterpart, I think the scaled up forces shouldn't immediately overwhelm the team. She's an effective warrior, leader, and has many skills that I think would benefit the team.

    Wizard: Albus Wulfric Brian Percival Dumbledore (Harry Potter)- While some would argue he's not as powerful as Gandalf, he's very clever and skilled. I think he knows how to play the long game and ensure success for the team.

    Archer: Huntress Wizard (Adventure Time)- While there's no shortage of great fictional archers, I think her stealth and other combat skills would give her an edge over many of them.

    Tank: T-1000 (T2)- I figure the T-1000 would be pretty unstoppable against the various factions of enemies and also be able infiltrate them fairly effectively.

    Swordsman: The Dread Pirate Roberts/Westley (The Princess Bride)- He's one of the best of the best and certainly hardy and clever.

    Sam: Squirrel Girl (Marvel)- While known for being unbeatable, she's also the glue who holds everyone together and can keep everyone focused and positive. She's also fairly incorruptible and could likely hold the ring for a time if needed.

    Pippin: Team Rocket's Meowth (Pokemon)- For Merry and Pippin, I chose two characters for comic relief who also happen to have skills unique to the team.

    Merry: Pinkie Pie (My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic)

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