Re: The basics of realistic medieval combat



  • First of all, I normally don’t post on forums and stick to reading only, but I could not pass on this post.
    I saw this game in the finals of IGotY and really loved the concept/implementation.

    So I registered just to counter this ridiculous statement. It seems quite educated on the first glance, but obviously for a person that studies the subjects covered it is complete nonsense. The educated tone only adds to the damage because it makes the impact greater.
    I do not claim to understand a great deal about all of the weapons/principles touched in this post. However I feel obliged to share my knowledge. I am a student of HEMA(Historical European Martial Arts) for more than a year now, specializing in the study of the longsword(in the Liechtenauer tradition). Thus I have a firm connection with the subject.

    I do not have the time nor the knowledge needed to discuss all of the inaccuracies, however I will touch the most obvious issues.
    First the most striking example - the statement that fighting techniques of 1 weapon are superior to another.
    A weapon of war was an instrument that the life of the man wielding it depended on. Furthermore, if he was a professional he studied it for many years. Now, if that weapon was known as being inferior to others, why would he use it?
    Every weapon serves its very specific purpose, and can only be judged in its historical context. A sword wielding man will win in an encounter with a similarly skilled in the use of his own weapon knife fighter. But his sword will be useless versus a man with a polearm.
    Furthermore - even the same weapons can provide an advantage or a disadvantage in different situations.
    Consider the following example. Our swordsman has now to dispatch an archer equipped with a short bow and a considerable amount of arrows. If the action takes place in the open field and they stand a couple hundred feet apart the swordsman is doomed. But if they are right next to each other, or are placed in an enclosed space the swordsman will probably top his opponent.
    That brings me back to my original point - without context, there is absolutely no way to measure a weapons strength/weakness.

    Next - the author of the topic makes assumptions about the way different arms operate in a manner that seems a little strange to me. For example:

    Verticle swipes do more damage but are slower. Horizontal swipes do less damage, but are faster and have more of a chance to get around a shield.

    Now I cannot possibly see a way someone can say such a thing without holding a sharp axe in his hand, and “swiping” it with full force and intent at a shield wielding person.
    I also cannot possibly see that happening. So this statement is completely useless in terms of creditability unless it’s backed up by historical evidence.
    The same goes for about 50% of the statements here.
    It makes me quite sad that people say all these things about double handed axes that

    cut through heavy armour and shields like butter

    like it’s a well established fact. It is plain wrong. You cannot cut through plate armor. Much like you simply cannot

    cut right through the sword

    ! At their best, axes could hack trough plate armor, or penetrate it with different kinds of spikes,though that too demanded a very specific angle for the hit.
    Last but not least - there is no such thing as

    plate mail armour

    !
    No such thing!
    Plate==Plate. Armor that consisted of curved(to make cutting hits slide on it) sheets of metal. Its use started in the High Middle Ages. It made all cutting weapons pretty much useless against itself, and simulated the change in warrior armament. For example the longsword became much more thrust oriented, so you could thrust between the plates. However this type of armor was very,very hard to make, and only wealthy warriors(mostly knight and royalty) could afford it. But before it another type of armor was used - chainmail.
    Mail==Chainmail. This type of armor was made out of metal rings connected together by various techniques. It was used as early as the Dark Ages by the Vikings, and protected to a cetain degree against arrows and cutting weapons. It could be penetrated by a well landed hit of a sword axe. Chainmail was worn under plate mail when the latter was used.

    For real education about the methods and tools of Medieval warfare I recommend the Knight series by the gentleman Ewart Oakeshott(deceased), a very known researcher of the arms and armor of that period.
    http://www.amazon.com/s/search-alias=bo … 0Oakeshott


  • Developer

    While the debate of historical facts and theories is very fascinating and certainly welcome on the forums, you must also understand that we are not aiming for 100% pure realism. Why you ask, because we are aiming to make the game as fun as it can be, and in many cases going overboard with realism would take away from that.

    For instance, having weak spots at the joints of armour sounds like it would be awesome and add a higher skill ceiling for master swordsmen. But then you go into a multi-player online environment and try to implement something like this and you quickly realize, if you hit those spots so precisely, you are more lucky than good and so the mechanic becomes confused. So when designing the game its not ignorance of historical fact that keeps us from doing certain things a certain way, its actually that we are aware of it and in most cases have tried it, and it doesn’t improve the game in the context that we’re working on it. There are many and more things we could do with precision strikes and pinpoint accuracy because our hit detection system allows for it, but the problem with that is we would have to slow down the pace of the game and lose the ferocity of the exchanges that we have now and we don’t want to do that. So many of the decisions we make are the result of compromises, of seeking the best alternative and really pushing our primary goal which is to make the best melee combat game of all time. Other things can hold us back from that such as lack of resources including money, team size and time, or true ignorance which is sometimes indeed the cause for seemingly lacking features. But I just wanted to spend some time to help you understand that its not always that the “developers are stupid and doing everything wrong?!?” because it’s not an exact replication of historical fact or of what you have in mind for a sword game. So maybe rather than depicting historical fact in excruciating details (which can always be debated) maybe it is more effective in helping the game and the community in discussing things in a way relevant to the game itself and how we might be able to adjust its design to accommodate some of these features or other neat ideas never before done in other games.



  • Well of course. I can’t speak of both of us, but I myself understand that very well, and the accuracy of the game mechanics as they are now(from what I’ve seen) is tremendous. The mouse-controlled attack feature is simply amazing, waited for that for a long time. I understand the difficulty accurate representation of a martial art poses for a video game developer. It’s impossible to get everything right - and it wont be fun that way either.
    So no demands for more historic accuracy from my side - just wanted to clarify some points.



  • Yea, op seemed weird to be true to me too but he has an educated tone to it so you’re like “Might he be correct?”

    Well, very few people can know how weapons react in a true encounter to be honest, and I’m sure EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM has it’s own use, and it’s not inferior to any other in combatibility.

    If the one is faster than the other, it’s shorter or lighter, if it’s heavier, it deals more dmg and it’s slower…

    You remove one atribute, you add to the other, like everything in life…

    Balance.



  • There are somehow more errors in your post than there are words.



  • Arrows, arrows… And a shit ton of more arrows. Followed by spears. Why anyone would even attempt to go into melee combat is beyond me.



  • Because its honorable !!



  • @IceIYIaN:

    Arrows, arrows… And a shit ton of more arrows. Followed by spears. Why anyone would even attempt to go into melee combat is beyond me.

    It’s this line of thinking that gave us crossbows and blackpowder weapons (now known as dakdakdak). Sidestepping into high fantasy for a moment, go green or go home (no shooting). :D



  • I think i need the witchking of angmar set of armour.



  • Think about the fact that Chivalry is mainly focused on siege battles. This means the layout of the map has a major influence on combat - and needless to say: horses are out. Analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each weapon based on armies facing each other on flat battlefield is fine, but it ignores the aspect of ambushing, limited fighting space, walls, choke points, etc.



  • Don’t forget it’s an fps… you’re not really going to march in formations are you :P



  • @PowerZ:

    Think about the fact that Chivalry is mainly focused on siege battles. This means the layout of the map has a major influence on combat - and needless to say: horses are out. Analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of each weapon based on armies facing each other on flat battlefield is fine, but it ignores the aspect of ambushing, limited fighting space, walls, choke points, etc.

    horses are also REALLY hard to program into the game and balance into the game.



  • Fowbow although your exposition is very interesting and engaging, i don’t know if i can believe it (i mean i WANT to believe it because i like this kind of history) but i just wanna see some citations, like where you got your information from, the other guy gave a certain book as his source so his argument was more believable.


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