Medieval Weapons for Beginners

Medieval Weapons for Beginners
or, Cut, Stab and Smash (and Other Ways to Eliminate your Foe)

by Ben Roberts

Weapons Glossary
Weapon Analysis
Selecting the Right Weapon for the Job

Weapons have existed since the first hungry caveman picked up a large stick or stone with which to bludgeon his evening meal. Over the course of humanity's history, they have developed from simple stone and wooden tools to sophisticated implements of destruction guided by computer chips and laser-sighting. But perhaps no era's weapons spur the imagination more than those of the Middle Ages.

Weapons-smiths - every bit as much as their armorer counterparts - faced a dual task. They needed to create weapons that were tough and resilient, effective at their gruesome task, and yet well-weighted and balanced enough that the warrior using the weapon in question would not tire too quickly.

When involved in medieval combat re-creation, weapons present quite a quandary. Besides the obvious questions of whether the rules for combat accurately approximate the effect of a weapon striking either human flesh or the armor protecting it, concerns of weight, balance, and use all come into play as well.

In the Mercenaries Medieval Combat Guild, weapons are made primarily of closed-cell high-impact foam, surrounding a core of either plastic pipe or wood. The weapons used in combat have ranged from small throwing daggers to greatswords to pollaxes, and everything in between. Care is taken to fit the weight and measurements of each weapon as closely as possible to its historical counterpart. Often, a fighter will carry two or three weapons into battle, depending on which situations may arise.

This article will attempt to describe and analyze the different major types of weapons found in Europe between 800 and 1500 A.D. (the historical scope of the MMCG), as well as offering tips on how to choose which weapon is best for a particular.

Continue to Weapons Glossary




 Site Guide

    Captains -
      Ben Roberts
      Ben Holman