Pacific weapons

The place to discuss the weapon stats provided in Codex Martialis.

Re: Pacific weapons

Postby Galloglaich » Mon Aug 06, 2012 2:30 am

Yes, I'm familiar with that video. I think it's also pretty informative when the completely inept swordsman and the guy with the macuhuitil make a very reckless test of striking the two weapons against each other, you see what happens to the machuitil even against that cheap wallhanger sword replica they are using.

Yes I'm well aware that obsidian can be very sharp, potentially even sharper than steel (though I think people severely underestimate how sharp a historical sword often was, though I'll leave Peter Johnnson to argue that point). The problem though is with this weapon that the obsidian, or as is more often the case in the pacific, sharks teeth which comprise the ample edge of the weapon, are embedded into a fairly wide piece of wood. This means in a percussive (axe-like) cut, the blade doesn't pass through the target anywhere near as easily as a steel blade can. For example, I am willing to bet you money that you would have a hard time cutting through a really thick (say 3") bamboo pole with one the way you can with say, a katana or I can cut easily with my Albion Constable.

I also think striking anything really hard, including any kind of iron or steel armor, or an iron shield rim or boss, or possibly even a skull or some ribs, will very likely damage the weapon.

What you can do well with it is a draw cut, a slice in the Codex rules, which is why I believe I gave the protosword S category for primary attack. This means that it's potential for damage (in a critical hit) is much more than it's base damage. Just like for a saber.

You are forgetting that base damage isn't as important in the Codex rules as in default DnD rules because of the way critical hits work.

If anything though I think I gave them a bit too much credit because they are very fragile weapons and i think likely to be damaged by contact with any ferrous weapon, armor, or shield.

The Spanish did praise these weapons, and it's true that small numbers had won battles against enemies armed with swords, but I don't know of too many cases where 500 guys including only something like 20 cavalry, 13 arquebusiers and 13 crossbowmen, 2 or 3 very small cannon, and the rest almost entirely rotolero's (sword and shield guys) equipped with textile armor, and a few halberdiers, wearing the same... to repeatedly fight over and over and over again against much larger numbers of enemies. And I'm just talking about their fight on their way toward Aztec territory.

As for blunt impact weapons, again I'm sorry but I disagree. We have done tests with baseball bats, my hickory maul handle, and a warhammer and a mace we had, and there is simply no comparison between the impact of a steel or iron weapon vs. wood. Admittedly I have not tested some of the extremely hardwoods they have in some places of the pacific, but I tried to allow some credit for that. I would give a baseball bat D4 damage in my system.

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Re: Pacific weapons

Postby drkguy3107 » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:58 pm

I misspoke, I don't disagree with your mace/club point at all, I was saying that the comparison is not appropriate because bludgeoning weapons work different and that a bludgeoning weapon would benefit from the increased hardness of being made of metal.

With regards to their battles, I was under the impression that the majority of their army would have been composed of Indians, so the cavalry would have been there to terrify their enemy.

As for the frailty of the weapon, I don't disagree with your point about contact against ferrous weapons or against bone.

As for the obsidian versus steel, properly prepared obsidian is just sharper than steel. It has nothing to do with swords being blunt, steel can't be as sharp as obsidian, there is just no comparison. Obsidian obviously isn't sharp unless it is knapped properly, but the same is true of steel.

As for the difficulty of wood passing through the cut, I agree. I think flesh though can be devastated quite amply, as demonstrated by the video I posted. That blow was just one cut and would clearly be more than lethal enough. Now I don't doubt that a metal sword will have a much easier time cutting through bamboo, or bone, but the weapons ability versus flesh is very impressive to me.

I understand how the critical rules work, but in my mind a blow to the neck, or stomach, or to any large body of muscle (thigh, calf, bicep) would cause such a massive loss of blood that one would be incapacitated instantly. While we are obviously abstracting this into hit points, to me it is much more than the 1d6 that a rondel dagger would confer. I was thinking that the two-handed maquahuitl should do 1d10, and the one handed should be 1d6 or 1d8. I understand the increase in damage that would be dealt by a primary S attack, so maybe that would be make up for the lower attacks, but critical hits are still pretty rare in my experience (unless someone puts 4 dice into it.) ~ The most enlightening community on the web.
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