Weapon Details

May 26th, 2009

The following are a preliminary look are various weapons associated with the most dominant battle field roles throughout history, listed in order that they appear in the time-line advancing weapons technology.

Notes: This is put in as a place holder for now, for organisation purposes. It should be noted that in the Tactical Sphere these techniques are cut down and applied as a warrior would apply them, and the effects are ‘summerised’. This covers the modelling of the weapons the summery with be based on.


A club is a simple weapon, a short strong stick often with a weighted end. It is most effective when swung and inflicts blunt trauma types of injury. The impact face of the club is at the end of the shaft, and so the full reach of the weapon is factored into calculating the strength augment. Therefore a 2′ club confers a reach augment of +4 and a strength augment of +2. This can be written in short hand code as;

Club: Swing | 3P | +2
When the wielder takes a swing with this club it will confer a +2 bonus to reach, and should the strike land it will increase the impact energy by +2. The type of damage it will inflict is ‘blunt trauma’.

Notes: It should be noted that this is a design of club that would mimic the same power increase the impact as it the wielder was actually 2′ taller. This means quite a weighty head, often needing some metal to increase the weight. A lighter club without a weighted head would have a corresponding decrease in power, a police truncheon or baton, would be +1 or even +0. It still benefits from the reach, but is less likely to kill.

Thrust Attacks: A club could be used to make a thrust attack, but the wielder would loose the strength bonus in doing so. it can be used as a surprise attack (quick jab, and no not have to pull it back to take a swing), but has limited use in full combat. Such an option will be covered in the Technical Sphere (among others) but can be ignored in the Tactical Sphere.


A short stabbing weapon and it is lethal. It has the same power in a thrust as a sword has in a thrust, and a 2″ stab would to the solar plexus is fatal. The reach of the weapon when making a stab is the full length of blade, these is obviously no swing and hence no strength bonus, but what is important is the impact type: 1P or ‘Point’.

Dagger: Trust | 1P | R+2
When the wielder stabs with this dagger it will confer a +2 bonus to reach, and should the strike land it will not increase the impact energy (energy remains similar to a punch). The type of damage it will inflict is ‘piecing’.

Piecing: Unlike clubs that need quite a bit of effort to cause impact strong enough to kill, daggers need very little. It all to do with the impact head, the piecing effect. It is surprisingly easy to kill someone by stabbing them in vulnerable areas. However this depends on the areas and the blood vessels and nerves severed. It is entirely possible to stab someone in the skull and not nit a major vessel, and they will be (relatively) OK aside form a dagger sticking out of their head! However this is exceptionally rare: a fluke (and if playing a Role Play Game, could be fudged with ‘fate points’ or some other ‘luck’ mechanism). Most of the time the target goes down like a sack of shit.

Slash: A Dagger can be used to slash, but it is not as effective as actual stabbing. In a military, full combat sense, the Dagger is going to be used for stabbing. In a Technique duelling sense it could be used to slash. If used to slash it obviously looses it’s 1P impact type, and is replaced with 2P. normally there would be a strength modifier to accompany the reach bonus of +2, but the Dagger does not have the head weight to fulfil the parameters that would confer a +1 bonus.

Dagger: Swing | 2P | R+2 | S+0*
When the wielder slashes with this dagger it will confer a +2 bonus to reach. *Should the strike land it will not confer a bonus to strength as it is too light. The type of damage it will inflict is ‘edged’.

A Dagger used to slash is often used as range, and aimed at the arms of an attacker who also has a knife or is unarmed as part of defence, and used while dodging (not really options for trooper in a tight unit formation). The idea is to slash the arms, whether as a defence or quick attack, to ward of the attacker, or if causing significant damage: allow the slasher can move in a finish the job. This is much harder to parry the arm with a direct thrust, and is not given as an option (outside the technical Sphere).

Slashing attacks are fully capable of being lethal if targeting vital areas – such as the neck, inside upper arms and arm pits, inside upper thigh etc. However, a slashing attack is easily countered with almost any armour of worth, and mail armours are specificity designed to counter slashing attacks.

Spears (2-H)

Now we are getting to some serious hardware. The granddaddy of of two handed weapons. The spear is basically a dagger on a pole and just as lethal. Mounting the dagger on pole allows the wielder to make stab attacks from a safe range (if the target has a shorter weapon or no weapon). It also allows for quick movement, swings, set vs a charge, and if the target slips the point and closes it can be used pretty much as a ‘quarter staff’ (similar techniques). This makes the spear a highly versatile weapon and give a number of options.


Spear (1-H)


Pike (2-H)


Swords (1-H)


Quarterstaff (2-H)

This is often used as a training tool before moving onto other polearms. It is notes that it is used in a similar manner to a two-handed sword (inc. half-swording) as stated by George Silver. It also covers all the techniques use with a spear. In fact the principles of the Quarterstaff turn up all over the place.

Swing: Text

Thrust: Text

Grapple with Lever* (bind enhancement): This is a list of subcategories. I may have to define various categories for the type of grip. Bind enhancement, and allows ‘punch’ from bind, high leverage in escaping bind, etc. This translates as ‘bind’ bonus with extra options. In effect, it allows an override thanks to leverage;

Example: If a man with a sword binds a man armed with the Quarter staff, and the Quarterstaff wield makes their MA test to balance the bind, they will automatically overpower the swordsman – unless the swordsman switches to half-swording and it can be resolved as normal.

* Not a historically accurate term. This is used to sum up a range of techniques and alters the ‘bind’ combat loop.

Polearms (2-H)

Follow on from Quarterstaff.



Pole Axe (2-H)




Longsword (WarSword)

Using the terminology used by Talhoffer for describing the basis of various techniques: Thrusting, Hewing, Slashing, Half-Swording and Morte-Striking. Various techniques done by the given method are listed in brackets.

Thrusting: This is piercing with the point or ramming with the pommel (techniques: ortt, stich, hefften, stos, and stosse). Pommel strikes are moved to ‘pommelling’. Thrusting with the point uses the full length of the sword and inflicts a piecing impact.

Thrust | R+6 | 1P

Hewing: This is cleaving with the edge (techniques: schlachen, schlag, haw, how, hout, krump, and gayszlen).

Swing |

Slashing: This is raking with the edge (techniques: schnit, and fahen).

Draw |

Half-Swording: This is when one hand grips the hilt and the other hand grips the blade (techniques: brentshiren, gewauppet ort, and kurtzen Schwert).

Notes: Similarities to Quarterstaff. Improves accuracy of piecing strikes and leverage in ‘grappling at the sword’. So it also includes are grappling component, and therefore half-sword is covering more than one technique and way of doing things.

Half-Sword | *

*Half-swording is effective making a new weapon and if being as versatile as a quarterstaff with a point. Therefore all the options for a Quarterstaff become available. Half-swording can not be represented with one stat line and uses the same altered bind combat loop.

Morte Striking: This is when both hands grip the blade to smite with the pommel or crossguard (techniques: mortschlag, mordstreich, and tunrschlag).

Morte Strike |

(chain converts to hew, which converts to bludgeon, ie club attack)

Zweihänder (true 2-H Sword)

These weapons turn up during the Renaissance, and where used by soldiers such as the Landsknechts, who role was to hack (divert rather than cut the ends off) there way through pike formations that cavalry had trouble dealing with.

Category: Prototype Rules Page

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