(Fiction/theory) Fighting against the perfect sword

Discussion in 'General Weapons Discussion' started by Syeed Ali, Feb 14, 2021.

  1. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    Yes, and a little no.
    He explained a large person with training is always a question. And numbers would be something possible, but people would get hurt.
    Of course it was the 90's.
     
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  2. Syeed Ali

    Syeed Ali White Belt

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    Thanks for the thoughts everyone! It's useful for me to both understand what others would consider as obvious things which would have to be addressed, and to also get some more advanced hints. I now have a strong idea of how things might play out, and what I'll need to study to describe some things as best I can. More thoughts are welcome.


    I do already have a plan along these lines; though who knows about originality these days.


    I've actually been looking at stick fighting! There's some really interesting biomechanics happening which reveal the fundamental limitations of swords that I've already intuited. A sword like this one has specific requirements with facing and rotation which a stick does not. There is also a lost technique with regards to sword fighting that might shed light on why there are some incredibly stupid-looking swords in history. I might be able to invent something plausible and interesting for that.

    That clip does show some of the things I'd be considering. Hits to the flat of the blade, moving the blade (working against the wrist), stepping into large zones left by a poor swing, distractions, etc.


    I've kept Aikido in mind from the beginning; that and Judo. I'll definitely have to look into known techniques for work against a sword or its wielder, thanks.
     
  3. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    One on one dueling against a superior fighter armed with such a sword would be really tough. Your best bet would be fighting at range with a long spear, feinting one way to draw the parry then delivering a lethal thrust elsewhere. Note that unless your thrust is immediately lethal the swordsman might very well respond by cutting off the shaft of your spear, then running up to cut you in half before he dies.

    If I were the swordsman, I would wear armor and a shield to make such tactics much less likely to succeed. With the cover of a shield, it would become trivially easy to charge in and cut through any defenses with my magic sword. It's theoretically possible for the defender to zone out and parry the swordsman hand or the flat of the blade, but it would be very difficult and require a fair amount of luck. (As the swordsman, my armor would include gauntlets to protect against being disarmed by a lucky hit to the hand.)

    Mass attacks by a group offers a better chance of winning with an unseen attack from behind or the flank, although some of the group would probably die in the process.

    You might want to check out Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive series, starting with The Way of Kings. In the world of those books there exist swords like the one you describe, known as Shard Blades. Possession of one immediately elevates the wielder to the nobility and makes them a potent military force. The balance to the swords is Shard Plate, magical powered armor which gives super strength and can at least temporarily resist the blows of a Shard Blade. Someone who possesses both is nearly unstoppable except by another Shard wielder, magical powers, or a lucky shot through the visor eye slots in the middle of a melee.
     
  4. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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    To sell said novel....the plot, the swords, their blades, armor, magic, battles, wars etc mean next to nothing.

    Developing the characters so readers are intrigued and care about them is everything.
     
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  5. Syeed Ali

    Syeed Ali White Belt

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    Superior in arms and an excellent, but very restricted, skillset.

    I had thought of such things with a spear, and allowing secondary weapons so that there could be a recovery and a few more moments of desperate fighting.

    Elsewhere in this thread there was talk about relaying the real danger and speed of a fight. I intend to do much of that elsewhere to build this duel, but reinforcement of the real danger during the actual duel would be nice.


    Pushing tactics are a vital part of the techniques the wielder understands, but he's abnormally detached about combat and wouldn't charge. He doesn't care about a lot of basic defense and doesn't understand cover tactics. I'll definitely have to think more about armor, but he won't have a shield and likely no helm. Maybe I'll make the sword require two hands; I think that would give me some interesting mobility or technique constraints and partial-disarms. I wonder what would happen if I wrote that it required two hands to make it cut the way it does.

    Regarding shields: He's predictable about traditional tactics and would just slash through a shield (and its holder). I intend to use a shield as a purely visual cover and as bait for that response. He's strong enough that basic threats against his hands are meaningless, but he has not experienced any work against his joints or any significant unarmed combat.

    What I have so far in my mind is the hero using a shield as cover and bait, sacrificing the shield, attempting with the weapon, then the plan B being sacrificing the weapon as another bait and going for a snatch (or disarm then using the secondary weapon). I have much more than that to work with which I don't want to write here, but I have a few ways to get these ideas across to the reader: Training and preparation with strategies, possibly some introspection leading up to or within the fight (not sure how, or if I want, to write that), and the actual events.

    When I write, I think highly of my reader and want to reveal and address everything they think of. I want everything to be satisfying and not leave a reader with "oh they should have done x". Not that I expect more than a handful of participants, but also it's nice to learn when there are things I've thought of which haven't been mentioned here (yet?).


    I've wondered about this. He's interacted with enough people over enough time that it feels appropriate that this happened. I think I'll do some side-writing with a non-hero scene with this sort of thing just to see how it plays out on paper. From there I'll decide if it actually makes it into the book in some form.


    Thanks for the reading recommendation. I like that the more I ask around, the more near-but-inexact parallels people find. It helps me affirm that I'm writing something unique, and perhaps interesting to those readers.


    An immortal who, at a young age, is repeatedly reborn into his killer only knows lust and never love. With a photographic memory, can he ever let go of a betrayal? Does purpose heal a broken heart? Does it matter that retelling a story is inexact, if it still teaches? Which is more important, pursuing love or being a surrogate parent? How would a man without children mentor a god? Which is the better strategy, a single slim chance now, or possible multiple but even-slimmer chances later, and what if it was suicide either way?

    These are fragments from characters; I love them and they are what compel me to write at all. It pains me to threaten them, so I make them struggle hard against every bit of plot. I think that understanding combat will improve the training and planning scenes and their character interactions from a less social angle, adding balance. The plot makes sense* but needs more substance, and I hope that more physical and tactical things would help.

    Ultimately, the story is driven toward conflict as its resolution, and that hard-won satisfaction has to be there.

    -

    * (I think the major plot arc makes sense but is weak later on, so who knows where rewrites will take it.)
     
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  6. donald1

    donald1 Senior Master

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    You don't need a sword that can cut through anything. A sword that can cut through the arm or hand of the person holding the 'all powerful sword' will suffice. Avoid their attack, and strike the hand/arm holding the sword. If they drop the sword, now you can get their sword.123
     

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