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Re: [barsoom] Greatsword

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  • Hugh Singh
    On earth a sword is 1# per foot, a broad sword is therefore 3#. You don t want to try to swing a 21# weapon more than once, if you do a guy with a 3# weapon
    Message 1 of 9 , May 23, 2001
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      On earth a sword is 1# per foot, a broad sword is therefore 3#. You don't
      want to try to swing a 21# weapon more than once, if you do a guy with a 3#
      weapon will do you in.
      Spent 20 years swinging weapons, know a little about them.
      Hugh

      xenophile2002@... wrote:

      > This weapon is mentioned briefly in Princess. If it had been two
      > words (great sword), I'd've just figured that is was a reference to a
      > particularly ornate or high-quality longsword ("Whoa! Dude! That's a
      > great sword!"). But it is one word: greatsword. It is never
      > described in detail, and I don't recall JC either using one or having
      > one used against him. It seems to be rare. Below is my take on the
      > Barsoomian Greatsword. Please tell me what you think.
      >
      > The greatsword has an 18-inch hilt, a 78-inch blade (yes, that's
      > 2 metres, or six and a half feet!), and weighs 7 pounds (21 on Earth).
      > The greatsword is used with both of the intermediate limbs, one
      > intermediate limb and both arms, both of the intermediate limbs and
      > one arm, or, in unusual cases, all four hands. Note that the weapon
      > can be *held* in one hand, but that fighting with it requires two (if
      > intermediate) or three (if two are arms). A few are strong enough to
      > use the greatsword with one arm and one intermediate limb. The style
      > includes staff-like maneuvers.
      > The greatsword is a holdover from earlier days: days before
      > firearms, when armor was worn and Green warriors scattered across the
      > battlefields of Barsoom with great skill and courage, but little
      > discipline. These days, Greens fight in closer, more orderly ranks,
      > and armor is no longer worn. Also, Greens obtain most of their
      > weapons by warring with Reds (or with other Green hordes, who
      > themselves fight the Reds), and Reds (for obvious reasons!) do not
      > use this huge weapon. Rare and no longer practical on the
      > battlefield, the greatsword is carried as an emblem of authority by
      > high-ranking Greens. It is also used for duels, particularly
      > between chiefs or jeddaks.
      >
      > The staff-like maneuvers are included because it has been discovered
      > that zweihander and claymore included such maneuvers. A once-popular
      > weapon being reduced to 'special occasion' status seems reasonable, as
      > the same thing happened to big swords in Europe and to the naginata in
      > Japan. Also, I believe that the longswords and shortswords used by
      > Greens are the same as those used by Reds (JC uses them, and nothing
      > is said about them being especially large), and it seemed that they
      > *aught* to have something that matches their towering size. Of
      > course, the 40 ft. lance seems to fit this bill. o|_|o
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
    • xenophile2002@yahoo.com
      ... Well, silly, it s right there in chapter.... um.... well it s in chapter... chapter... Hold on a bit, would you? Thanks. OK. Had
      Message 2 of 9 , May 23, 2001
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        --- In barsoom@y..., Fredrik Ekman <ekman@l...> wrote:
        > > This weapon is mentioned briefly in Princess.
        >
        > In what chapter? I have no recollection of it, and I cannot seem to
        > find it in the electronic version of the novel. There is

        Well, silly, it's right there in chapter.... um.... well it's in
        chapter... chapter... Hold on a bit, would you? Thanks.

        <on-hold music plays>

        OK. Had to go look it up myself. CHAPTER 17 (XVII) - A COSTLY
        RECAPTURE

        And in my e-copy, at least, it is spelled with a hyphen. great-sword

        I don't remember the hyphen from before (which doesn't mean it wasn't
        there, of course). So, I wonder if that makes it less or more likely
        that the great-sword is a weapon unto itself, rather than another
        name for a blade more commonly called something else.

        > "broadsword" in Llana of Gathol, but that is of course another
        > thing entirely? (By the way, what IS a broadsword, by definition?)

        I tend to think of it as a sword with a wide blade. I've seen lots
        of things called broadswords, and couldn't tell you for sure.

        Xenophile (looking for a great sword, dude)
      • xenophile2002@yahoo.com
        ... Sounds like a reasonable rule of thumb. I suspect that a 3 1/2 foot rapier is lighter than a 3 1/2 foot broadsword, because the rapier has that skinny
        Message 3 of 9 , May 23, 2001
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          --- In barsoom@y..., Hugh Singh <hksingh@t...> wrote:
          > On earth a sword is 1# per foot, a broad sword is therefore 3#.

          Sounds like a reasonable rule of thumb. I suspect that a 3 1/2 foot
          rapier is lighter than a 3 1/2 foot broadsword, because the rapier
          has that skinny blade and the broadsword has, well, a broad blade.
          Still, it would seem that 8 to 12 pounds (Earth weight) is a better
          guestimate for my great-sword.

          > You don't want to try to swing a 21# weapon more than once,

          Well, 7# on Mars (though the inertia is the same), and the guys *are*
          pretty big. And they can bring more hands to bear. But if the thing
          is 12# (2# on Mars), so much the better.

          > if you do a guy with a 3# weapon will do you in.

          There must be *some* advantage to big weapons. Else why would they
          be developed? And I did point out that they aren't much used anymore.

          > Spent 20 years swinging weapons, know a little about them.

          Puts you about 20 years ahead of me.
        • Steve Wadding
          ... As opposed to John Carter, who is a great sword-dude. Ghak
          Message 4 of 9 , May 24, 2001
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            At 05:54 AM 5/24/01 +0000, xenophile2002@... wrote:
            >Xenophile (looking for a great sword, dude)

            As opposed to John Carter, who is a great sword-dude.

            Ghak
          • Steve Wadding
            ... Armor. Heavy armor. You need the big weapons to hack the heavy armor to bits, and also to just bash the heavy armor hard enough that the force of the
            Message 5 of 9 , May 24, 2001
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              At 06:44 AM 5/24/01 +0000, xenophile2002@... wrote:
              > > if you do a guy with a 3# weapon will do you in.
              >
              >There must be *some* advantage to big weapons. Else why would they
              >be developed?

              Armor. Heavy armor. You need the big weapons to hack the heavy armor to
              bits, and also to just bash the heavy armor hard enough that the force of
              the blow transmits through the armor even if the armor itself isn't
              damaged. If you use a light weapon against heavy armor, you have to look
              for gaps and aim real carefully, and dodge that great-big-sword as well.

              Ghak, whose experience with swords is mainly limited to a bit of fencing
              back in college
            • Hugh Singh
              The reason one practices with the weapon is indeed to get good and to be able to hit, where you want when you want. Hugh, who USED to be able to hit within a
              Message 6 of 9 , May 24, 2001
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                The reason one practices with the weapon is indeed to get good and to be able
                to hit, where you want when you want.
                Hugh, who USED to be able to hit within a finger's breath of where he was
                aiming.

                Steve Wadding wrote:

                > At 06:44 AM 5/24/01 +0000, xenophile2002@... wrote:
                > > > if you do a guy with a 3# weapon will do you in.
                > >
                > >There must be *some* advantage to big weapons. Else why would they
                > >be developed?
                >
                > Armor. Heavy armor. You need the big weapons to hack the heavy armor to
                > bits, and also to just bash the heavy armor hard enough that the force of
                > the blow transmits through the armor even if the armor itself isn't
                > damaged. If you use a light weapon against heavy armor, you have to look
                > for gaps and aim real carefully, and dodge that great-big-sword as well.
                >
                > Ghak, whose experience with swords is mainly limited to a bit of fencing
                > back in college
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
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