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Thread: Mace vs Armor

  1. #1 Mace vs Armor 
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    A few friends of mine tested a mace vs actual, real armor. I am part of a medieval combat organization and this is a demonstration from my friend Erin, to you guys.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pi35vJVQrRc

    Erin is the one with the mace... Have fun.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D. Cat1981(England)'s Avatar
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    Excellent. Would it be possible for you to ask your friends to do the same demonstration but with a longbow?

    How do you think they would have fared if he was wearing plate armour? I would imagine that unless the attacker hit him square on, he would simply glance off the surface and become unbalanced.


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    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    Plate would have faired a bit better. If it was ribbed, it wouldn't have dealt much damage, if any. The longbow would have gone right through the armor... Besides. the longbow wasn't the strongest ranged weapon back then. I can't remember what it was right off. The english longbowmen had more renown though. Partly do to what they did to the french when the french attacked. (Which is where the middle finger came from) (The french use to cut off the middle finger of the longbowmen. When the french attacked. The english flipped off all of the french showing them that they still have their middle finger)
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  5. #4  
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    I have always doubted in the spiked mace as an authentic weapon, at least as a very widespread one. I bet most maces were either just plain solid balls of metal, or just had some studs on them.

    I like how the video shows why: the spikes come off or break in real combat. I mean, unless they were made in a way so that the weapon smith could easily replace broken spikes during the life of the mace, it would be kind of silly to have spikes even on them to begin with.

    Anyway, the video kind of confirms my suspicions. Apparently even leather armor is sufficient to stop a spiked mace. You think a purely blunt one might have had a different effect?
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  6. #5  
    The Doctor Quantime's Avatar
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    If you're out at night in the UK, wearing one of these would be excellent protection. Boyakasha! U can't touch this!
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  7. #6  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Plate would have faired a bit better. If it was ribbed, it wouldn't have dealt much damage, if any. The longbow would have gone right through the armor... Besides. the longbow wasn't the strongest ranged weapon back then. I can't remember what it was right off. The english longbowmen had more renown though. Partly do to what they did to the french when the french attacked. (Which is where the middle finger came from) (The french use to cut off the middle finger of the longbowmen. When the french attacked. The english flipped off all of the french showing them that they still have their middle finger)
    I like the story anyway, but I heard (well, snopes suggests) that the origins of the middle-finger gesture may not have come from that.

    The crossbow, which did exist at the time, had greater range, but a much lower rate of fire.

    Finally, from what I know, the arrows for the longbow were steel tipped and designed to penetrate regular plate armour.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I have always doubted in the spiked mace as an authentic weapon, at least as a very widespread one. I bet most maces were either just plain solid balls of metal, or just had some studs on them.

    I like how the video shows why: the spikes come off or break in real combat. I mean, unless they were made in a way so that the weapon smith could easily replace broken spikes during the life of the mace, it would be kind of silly to have spikes even on them to begin with.

    Anyway, the video kind of confirms my suspicions. Apparently even leather armor is sufficient to stop a spiked mace. You think a purely blunt one might have had a different effect?
    That armor was metal, not leather. If it was leather, the spikes would have gone through the armor and it would have stuck inside of the armor.
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  9. #8  
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    I'm not so sure, Verzen. Part of the problem is that most of the spikes are hitting the armor at an angle.

    IE. ---- > /\

    See a problem? The two spikes have to pull apart from each other in order to go any deeper than they are when they first make contact. They'd have to bend further sideways. It's only if you get lucky and a spike or two hit it straight on that you're really going to pierce anything, and then how deep a puncture is that going to make?

    Against bare flesh you can tear it, but with leather, it's not going to tear away. The only effect you have on the person wearing the armor is from puncturing alone.


    Quote Originally Posted by sunshinewarrior
    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Plate would have faired a bit better. If it was ribbed, it wouldn't have dealt much damage, if any. The longbow would have gone right through the armor... Besides. the longbow wasn't the strongest ranged weapon back then. I can't remember what it was right off. The english longbowmen had more renown though. Partly do to what they did to the french when the french attacked. (Which is where the middle finger came from) (The french use to cut off the middle finger of the longbowmen. When the french attacked. The english flipped off all of the french showing them that they still have their middle finger)
    I like the story anyway, but I heard (well, snopes suggests) that the origins of the middle-finger gesture may not have come from that.

    The crossbow, which did exist at the time, had greater range, but a much lower rate of fire.

    Finally, from what I know, the arrows for the longbow were steel tipped and designed to penetrate regular plate armour.
    From what I understand, Crossbows were only good for piercing armor at close range. I get the impression long bow arrows were larger overall, or something like that, so they might have retained their armor piercing abilities at longer range.
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  10. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    From what I understand, Crossbows were only good for piercing armor at close range. I get the impression long bow arrows were larger overall, or something like that, so they might have retained their armor piercing abilities at longer range.
    Things varied a lot from bow to bow and crossbow to crossbow. In general the strongest crossbows (that had steel spans and required a geared winch to draw) was more powerful than any bow. But there were certainly plenty of smaller crossbows that were weaker than longbows.
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  11. #10  
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    I think part of it depends on the size of bolt/arrow as well, and their aero-dynamic properties. A smaller bolt/arrow has to be traveling really fast in order to do damage, and air resistance hurts faster moving projectiles more than it hurts slower moving projectiles. (I mean the rate at which your projectile slows is proportional to the speed its already traveling)

    So my point is: a larger projectile might travel slower and yet do the same damage as a smaller projectile that travels faster, except: the large and slow projectile will be able to do so at greater range.
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    Forum Ph.D. Hanuka's Avatar
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    Um.. Ain't the recurve bow bettar than your standard english longbow?
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    I guess an axe would do the trick, but I don't think you'd want to kill you buddy.

    Ask for the mace, might be better to hit ennemies on the head or in the balls^^
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  14. #13  
    Forum Sophomore CShark's Avatar
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    Wouldn't you have to get up real close like, to use the mace ? I mean, the holes in an armoured helmet are small..difficult to get that spray can to aim just right.

    what...oh, THAT mace
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Plate would have faired a bit better. If it was ribbed, it wouldn't have dealt much damage, if any. The longbow would have gone right through the armor... Besides. the longbow wasn't the strongest ranged weapon back then. I can't remember what it was right off. The english longbowmen had more renown though. Partly do to what they did to the french when the french attacked. (Which is where the middle finger came from) (The french use to cut off the middle finger of the longbowmen. When the french attacked. The english flipped off all of the french showing them that they still have their middle finger)
    The crossbow had a longer range than the longbow. However it was handicapped by a much slower rate of fire.
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  16. #15  
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    I read somewhere that metal armour could be worse than clothing when smashed by blunt blows. Tiny chainlinks pierce the skin and get embedded like fish-hooks in the wound. Plate is really sheet metal so it tears sharp and jagged. An inwardly ruptured part will keep sawing away at the flesh with every movement. Therefore metal armours require leather linings as heavy as the metal itself.

    Imagine having a snug steel helmet made slightly snugger by a single mace-blow, and wearing that for the rest of the battle.
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  17. #16  
    Forum Sophomore CShark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathman
    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    ...Besides. the longbow wasn't the strongest ranged weapon back then. I can't remember what it was right off. The english longbowmen had more renown though. Partly do to what they did to the french when the french attacked. (Which is where the middle finger came from) (The french use to cut off the middle finger of the longbowmen. When the french attacked. The english flipped off all of the french showing them that they still have their middle finger)
    The crossbow had a longer range than the longbow. However it was handicapped by a much slower rate of fire.
    Not to be an *ss, but you don't have the 'middle finger' story quite right. Before the battle of Crecy French let it be know that any English (Welsh actually) bowmen captured would have their two draw fingers cut off (index and middle). The English responded by raising their hands in the air, displaying the two fingers ith the palm facing in). Although I am not British, I believe that sign is still used today to say something to the equivalen ot 'bugger off'.

    I had thought the range of the longbow exceeded that ofa crossbow, but I was wrong!!! Turns out a skilled archer could have shot an arrow nearly 400y, whereas a crossbow could easily double that...live and learn Of course, these figures are from modern replicas, as we have no idea what the actual range was of either of these weapons as used in the Middle Ages.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by CShark

    I had thought the range of the longbow exceeded that ofa crossbow, but I was wrong!!! Turns out a skilled archer could have shot an arrow nearly 400y, whereas a crossbow could easily double that...live and learn Of course, these figures are from modern replicas, as we have no idea what the actual range was of either of these weapons as used in the Middle Ages.
    The question is: how much killing power did it have at that range? I've mentioned this before on another thread, but air resistance slows an object more if it is going faster than if it is going slower.




    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_%28physics%29

    If your long bow is firing a heavier projectile at lower speed then its killing power will depend less on range than a crossbow firing a lighter projectile at higher speed. The fact the arrow is already going slow causes it's speed to diminish less with distance. I'm sure the crossbow can still deliver a bolt further than a longbow can deliver an arrow (because once the bolt slows down to the speed the arrow was originally going, .... it doesn't keep slowing down as rapidly as it was at first) but your target is getting hit by a lighter projectile that isn't going appreciably faster than the arrow its competing with.

    So... what I'm saying is that a crossbow's superior piercing power should be expected to disappear after it travels a certain distance. Just like how bullets from conventional fire arms slow down in water. (which mostly behaves like really thick air.) A spear gun has longer killing range in that setting specifically because it's a heavier projectile moving at lower speed.
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  19. #18  
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    IIRC arrows (in warfare) were mostly fired *blind* in an arc - over a wall, hedge, or the heads of friendly soldiers. The odd arrow of a volley would do some harm; reluctant peasants could be made to stand off and volley all day. High ground was strategic.

    Crossbow bolts were always fired line-of-sight. Therefore the shooter must target a man - "whites of the eyes" so to speak - and want to kill. That intent has seldom been so common as depicted. It is really easy on the conscience just to aim a bit to the side, knowing as a crossbowman one will never face melee anyway.
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  20. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    IIRC arrows (in warfare) were mostly fired *blind* in an arc - over a wall, hedge, or the heads of friendly soldiers. The odd arrow of a volley would do some harm; reluctant peasants could be made to stand off and volley all day. High ground was strategic.

    Crossbow bolts were always fired line-of-sight. Therefore the shooter must target a man - "whites of the eyes" so to speak - and want to kill. That intent has seldom been so common as depicted. It is really easy on the conscience just to aim a bit to the side, knowing as a crossbowman one will never face melee anyway.
    Good points. Also a cross bow can "cover" an area, because when it's loaded it's constantly drawn/ready to fire, whereas a bowman's arms would get very tired if he tried to keep his weapon at the ready for a long time.
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  21. #20  
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    Mace specialisation offers more dps, if you can get your hands on inevitable defeat or ironsoul go mace spec without a doubt
    Currently arms offers more dps than fury (applies to t7.5 geared warriors), since no one is full t8.5 yet there is no definitive answer as to whether arms will be better than fury when people have the best gear the game has to offer.
    http://www.ghdhairinuk.com/
    Armour penetration offers more dps than Crit, Str and Haste currently.
    I have both Betrayer of Humanity and Inevitable Defeat and despite the base damage of BoH being higher i was doing 400 more dps with a mace spec and a lower dps weapon.

    See tankspot for the maths behind it for clarification of my claims.
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  22. #21  
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    That is pretty funny. I think wuchun was listing video game statistics from some game that uses maces. And, why not? It's not like any weapon can always be expected to have exactly one result when it hits a given kind of armor in real life. (well... maybe in some cases...) Somehow, I think that real combat is just a lot more chaotic than that.

    Imagine if the US military thought in terms of a certain type of missile doing X amount of hit points of damage when it struck a certain kind of tank armor.
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  23. #22  
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    Very cool. Seems like the mace is rarely depicted in historical art or discussed in battles. It's primarily the longsword as the weapon of choice.
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