How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by NeoGoomba » 2017-01-12 12:49pm

Khaat wrote:More likely the head of one of their relatives, taken earlier in the blood-feud.
Hah true.
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Sidewinder » 2017-01-12 01:23pm

I imagine its usefulness is the same in 'Star Trek' as in real life: a POTENTIALLY useful weapon, but one which requires either gods-given talent to be effective, or EXTREMELY time-consuming (and thus, expensive) training and practice. Wielding one would thus serve as a status symbol: you're either blessed by the gods, or you're super-rich (and thus, have super-useful political connections).

A bat'leth wielder is thus comparable to swordsmen who wielded two swords at once in our world. For those who aren't blessed by the gods or super-rich, a simpler weapon is better, e.g., a traditional sword, knife or dagger, ax...
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Formless » 2017-01-12 01:56pm

Swindle1984 wrote:In reality, the overwhelming majority of historical melee weapons are practical and designed for a specific purpose or target; a katana is a two-handed slashing weapon mainly meant for facing unarmored peasants or samurai clad in lacquered leather armor (which may or may not be reinforced with metal), and contrary to samurai movies was disdained in favor of the bow. The broadsword, on the other hand, is intended for taking on opponents wearing chain mail or plate armor and is primarily intended for thrusting (to puncture the armor) or chopping (to gouge out chunks in a shield or leather armor) rather than slashing, and has a hilt that can double as an improvised mace for caving in a guy's helmet. Weapon designs are based on the context in which they were developed, and the bat'leth, in-universe, is a mythical weapon that probably was never used in actual combat when swords were the go-to weapon of choice.
This is off topic, but what you say about Japanese armor is a modern myth. Jump to 7:06 of this video; basically, by the 16'th century the samurai were wearing breastplates because, lets be frank, at the time the main infantry weapon that was taking over Japan was the matchlock arquebus. Breastplates are basically the only thing that could stop a bullet. And before the sixteenth century, the chainmail and lamellar armor in Japan was heavier than what was worn in Europe in the same time period. They wore as much iron (and steel, if you could afford it) armor as they could, and perhaps sometimes wood in earlier periods. Not leather. They well understood the importance of proper protection on the battlefield, especially when facing polearms.

Also, "broadsword" is a term that wasn't used in Europe until after chainmail was obsolete. In fact, its mostly a term you don't see until the 17'th century and later that was misapplied by Victorian period antiquarians who didn't understand the purpose of older sword designs. European swords were not used on the battlefield against armor as you describe when plate armor took hold. Plate armor could not be pierced by anything short of a pole hammer or musket (or at least not deeply enough to injure a man). Sources on fighting armored opponents all tell you to use a bludgeoning weapon if possible (including the sword hilt), and if you didn't have one you should stab at anywhere that was unarmored like the visor. Barring that, the only other thing you could do to someone in full harness was wrestle them to the ground.

Sorry, as a nerd for medieval combat and swordsmanship, I just had to point these things out.
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Swindle1984 » 2017-01-12 02:01pm

NeoGoomba wrote:Fun observation as the Bat'leth being a ceremonious, honorable kill-stick, when noble Worf goes to avenge his wife/side piece/whoever she was, he brings a Bat'leth to challenge dastardly Duras.

So noble, honorable Worf goes to Duras' ship and claims his honorable right at vengence, which Duras' crew actually allows. Dishonorable, dastardly Duras then accepts the duel by pulling a freaking Katana off the wall (noted dishonorable weapon used by the hairless ape Terrans) to fight him. So the Bat'leth having stronger symbolic, honor-bound meaning than military application seems pretty apt, whereas more jerk Klingons use whatever is actually useful.

It's like if I'm at war with my neighbors, I COULD throw a frag at them, but it would be so much more symbolic of my badass-ness if I threw the urn containing my father-in-law's ashes at them, right?

More like using an ancestral weapon, or a replica of a legendary sword like Excalibur, Durandal, Masamune, etc. The bat'leth is explicitly a reproduction of the sword of Kahless, and we know for a fact that the Klingons have a number of different sword designs available to them, including the one Duras used. Given Kahless' legendary status, it's possible that there is no historical basis for the bat'leth as we know it; it could be something that was added later as the legend grew, and someone came up with a fanciful design for a sword of Kahless and it became canon as far as the Klingons were concerned.

As you noted, use of a bat'leth would be more likely amongst the less pragmatic, more romantic Klingons, which Worf most certainly is; hell, Worf tries to be Klingon more than the majority of Klingons we see and was noted as going overboard with it by at least one Klingon in TNG (I've been marathoning the series and am in the middle of season five, so don't ask me which episode or even which season that was; probably the one where Worf's sugar momma is first introduced, or the episode Alexander is introduced). More practical/modern Klingons would use a more functional, less symbolic, weapon or just resort to a disruptor.

I suppose a modern example would be two 'gentlemen' agreeing to a duel under the Marquess of Queensberry rules and facing off with flintlock pistols, rather than taking a Glock and unloading on each other.
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Crazedwraith » 2017-01-12 02:06pm

Swindle1984 wrote: The bat'leth is explicitly a reproduction of the sword of Kahless, and we know for a fact that the Klingons have a number of different sword designs available to them, including the one Duras used. Given Kahless' legendary status, it's possible that there is no historical basis for the bat'leth as we know it; it could be something that was added later as the legend grew, and someone came up with a fanciful design for a sword of Kahless and it became canon as far as the Klingons were concerned.
Aahh. No. The real Sword Of Kahless was featured in a DS9 episode. It's a similar to the standard modely. Only with one long grip instead of three small ones and an addition spike in the center. The design minus some ornamentation was used for an ancient bat'leth in Voyager as well.

The Bat'leth is unwieldly for the same reason phasers are not Mausers with shiny things stuck on. Style over substance. It's an alien sword/futuregun; it can't look like a real one. Regardless of if it makes ergonomic sense.
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2017-01-12 02:17pm

Shroom Man 777 wrote:I don't know how sarcastic that is or how many layers of compound chobham explosive reactive irony you're using there. You (possibly) objecting to posters going on about killy thinggies is hellarious though. :P
I'm telling you to use more amazing brain skills to generate a compliant concept thought. The Bat'leth probably sucks so hard because 800 years before TNG some brilliant forgotten Klingon engineer who also invented the CANNON decided that having all his top gunners murdering each other in duels wasn't really cost effective when the replacement noobs wasted gunpowder, so he invented the shove-sword. Then used his ability to kilfuck everyone else with cannons to convince them that the Bat'leth was the way of the future for duels, because otherwise you got fired out of a cannon, and perhaps that duel need not be to the death, but only to first blood drawn, for which the small curved stabbing tip actually sense slightly, or being knocked out of the ring (both in RL historically common in all ages, as was banning death duels during military campaigns). For all this his shove-sword was ideal. Also it would be utterly expensive as fuck to hammer forge something that complex, so line his pocket with money and help control who was nobility in the process by limiting the 'honorable' weapon supply.

Kings of Europe used to control the nobility's independence by forcing them to spend all their money attending the court in rich style, so again, excellent precedent.

However no doubt after 400 years the original point was forgotten around the time the MACHINE GUN was invented, probably because Klingons enjoy burning libraries down even more then humans, but everyone did remember that the old master engineer was concerned about WASTING AMMUNITION, the ultimate sin of 19th century thought. So the Bat'leth starts to be taken more seriously then it should be, and by the time of the starship and the transporter everyone thinks they need to honor the past by using the Bat'leth and shooting as little as possible in combat. With the ability to beam into shove-sword range this meme would prove just viable enough to ensure that it does not go extinct from 100% Klingon casualties.

Actors have for ten thousand years safely used all sorts of less-stupid-looking prop weapons at each other, prop weapons based on total combat sauce thangs.
Well, theater productions were still executing actual people for murders scenes into the 15th century IIRC and as far as prop weapons go, you might really be surprised how often people get hurt. But that is a reason to use stunt doubles, and never let your prop guy make his own blanks.

Fuck it, why not use something like those preposterous Indian swastika-sword-daggers like the bad guys from OCTOPUSSY, along with BUZZSAW YOYOS! And a blunderbuss wielded by GOBINDA the ANGRY INDIAN.
I kinda favor the rocket propelled chainsaw with a metal cutting bladed circular saw bayonet myself. One saw for soft targets, one saw for cutting through tanks that will still gore people to death. Also this idea is very loud, and thus the enemy will flee before they can even see how badass you are, meaning by logic they'll DIE if they do see you.

SWORDGUNS like Final Fantasy bishies! Along with GIANT MOTORCYCLES. And lots of leather and styling gel and zippers!
All brain logic that favors motorcycles favors a MONOWHEEL even more, ideally one so big it doesn't move itself, but spins the planet under it. Also NON CIRCULAR wheels, like that one totally brilliant locomotive had.
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by NeoGoomba » 2017-01-12 02:23pm

Sea Skimmer touched on a random Klingon topic I had always wondered about: The Chancellor and the Houses. If the Klingons are a feudal state (which I think it seems like?), I always wondered how the Chancellor maintained prominence and control. Like Skimmer's example about the Royalty financially weakening the nobility, could it be that only the Chancellor's office controls shipbuilding/weapon designs, and then can thus weaken the power of the Houses by jacking up the price of Birds of Prey one year, then Attack Cruisers the next? Is there some historical precedent in human history along those lines?

Maybe thats why all those mook DS9 Klingons were using bat'leths in Way of the Warrior: Gowron wanted an epic conquest like the old tales and just handed out those crap blades instead of disruptors?
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Swindle1984 » 2017-01-12 02:33pm

Formless wrote: This is off topic, but what you say about Japanese armor is a modern myth. Jump to 7:06 of this video; basically, by the 16'th century the samurai were wearing breastplates because, lets be frank, at the time the main infantry weapon that was taking over Japan was the matchlock arquebus.
The medieval era ended in the 15th century, but your point is taken.

The two sets of armor at my university are an original 14th century set made of lacquered leather with bamboo reinforcement, and iron 'bars' across the shoulders and helmet, and a reproduction 16th century set that is, as you described, primarily thin-gauge steel. In the case of the helmet, steel over wood.

I am assuming, as most people don't know the difference, that we are including tachi when using the term katana.

And, the vast majority of opponents on Japanese battlefields were spear-wielding peasants with little or no armor, whereas in Europe the majority of troops had some form of armor, whether leather or steel.
Also, "broadsword" is a term that wasn't used in Europe until after chainmail was obsolete. In fact, its mostly a term you don't see until the 17'th century and later that was misapplied by Victorian period antiquarians who didn't understand the purpose of older sword designs. European swords were not used on the battlefield against armor as you describe when plate armor took hold. Plate armor could not be pierced by anything short of a pole hammer or musket (or at least not deeply enough to injure a man). Sources on fighting armored opponents all tell you to use a bludgeoning weapon if possible (including the sword hilt), and if you didn't have one you should stab at anywhere that was unarmored like the visor. Barring that, the only other thing you could do to someone in full harness was wrestle them to the ground.
Broadsword: we're using modern terminology, not explicit minutia and period-correct terminology; if we went with period-correct, we'd never get anywhere because we'd be too busy arguing over whether or not a bastard sword was a thing and where you drew the line between a great sword and a zweihander and whether or not zweihander was even the correct term for the period. :P And for the record, yes, I know what each term refers to and the time periods various names were given to the swords in question.

I had no difficulty penetrating a steel chest plate with a long sword by half-swording; it took effort, but I was able to do it three or four times. Wielding the sword as per normal, there wasn't any possibility of penetration except in a joint. Yes, as you state, a flanged mace was more effective, as was the war hammer. As per my commentary on swords, such weapons wouldn't have been used if there weren't a practical reason for them on the battlefield.

And, as you correctly state, a musket would blow right through the heaviest armor a man could practically wear, at least with the metallurgy of the period. I didn't get to fire it, but we did test that theory with a matchlock.
Sorry, as a nerd for medieval combat and swordsmanship, I just had to point these things out.
We're discussing an impractical 'sword' made by the prop department of a sci-fi tv series. Why are you apologizing for being a nerd? :P



Then used his ability to kilfuck everyone else with cannons to convince them that the Bat'leth was the way of the future for duels, because otherwise you got fired out of a cannon
That's it, we need an episode focusing on Klingons fighting a duel by being fired out of enormous circus cannons at each other and bashing their heads together in mid-air. For honor. Get Berman, Braga, etc. on the phone.

So the Bat'leth starts to be taken more seriously then it should be, and by the time of the starship and the transporter everyone thinks they need to honor the past by using the Bat'leth and shooting as little as possible in combat. With the ability to beam into shove-sword range this meme would prove just viable enough to ensure that it does not go extinct from 100% Klingon casualties.
To be fair, random gunfire isn't something you want inside a starship, as your phaser/disruptor can blow up computer terminals, potentially penetrate and explosively decompress the hull, etc. Thus, melee weapons do have some practical value in boarding actions.

Also, given that Starfleet dresses everyone in pajamas instead of any kind of body armor, doesn't issue melee weapons, and their idea of hand-to-hand combat involves clasping your hands together in a way that would shatter your hands on impact and then smacking someone, the bat'leth may be functional by virtue of the enemy being even more pathetic than it is.
Well, theater productions were still executing actual people for murders scenes into the 15th century IIRC and as far as prop weapons go, you might really be surprised how often people get hurt. But that is a reason to use stunt doubles, and never let your prop guy make his own blanks.
Killing your actors has been a proud tradition continuing well into the 20th century, with a general lack of fucks to give resulting in numerous deaths, particularly in the silent film era. 1928's Noah's Ark resulted in 3 deaths, multiple broken bones, and an amputated leg during the flood scene, for example.
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Lord Revan » 2017-01-12 02:36pm

another possibility is that you need the high council's premission to built ships or other war material, anyone who tried to bypass the system could be set upon by the houses who remained loyal to the council and it's also possible that certain materials are in an "imperial"(aka high council) stockpile and rare granted to the houses thru the whims of the high council.
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Sidewinder » 2017-01-12 03:11pm

NeoGoomba wrote:Maybe thats why all those mook DS9 Klingons were using bat'leths in Way of the Warrior: Gowron wanted an epic conquest like the old tales and just handed out those crap blades instead of disruptors?
A more likely explanation is the Klingon military expanded rapidly in preparation for Gowron's war of conquest. The lack of small arms is either because Klingon industries weren't capable of producing enough disruptors to equip everybody; or the rapid expansion filled the ranks with lots of young (and inexperienced) warriors who wanted to relive the old tales, and purposefully chose to wield blades instead of contemporary small arms.
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Formless » 2017-01-12 03:54pm

Swindle1984 wrote:Broadsword: we're using modern terminology, not explicit minutia and period-correct terminology; if we went with period-correct, we'd never get anywhere because we'd be too busy arguing over whether or not a bastard sword was a thing and where you drew the line between a great sword and a zweihander and whether or not zweihander was even the correct term for the period. :P And for the record, yes, I know what each term refers to and the time periods various names were given to the swords in question.
There is no modern terminology, and there is no lingering debate about the term "broadsword" (bastard sword, maybe). Unless you want to talk Oakshott typology, that is, and "broadsword" is not a term used in his categorization system. In fact, he foregoes all historical naming conventions for the sake of specificity. D&D's weapon categories are just as modern, and just as wrong, and "broadsword" is not found there either. HEMA practitioners are sticklers about terminology for a reason: misuse leads to misunderstanding of the weapon's form, function, and historical context, and its best not to spread misunderstandings. Broadsword never refers to a hand and a half sword until the 19'th century; the proper term for that is almost always longsword (with few exceptions such as kriegsmessers and estocs). One handed swords have many names, yes, although throughout history the most common was just "sword". But there is a major difference between an 18'th century Scottish or English basket hilt that is properly called a broadsword (due to weight distribution and the limitations the guard places on wrist mobility) and a 15'th century Italian side-sword (more of a proto-rapier with lots more point control and wrist mobility), and an even bigger difference again between them and a 9'th century viking sword (no hand protection at all because it was meant to be paired with a shield, and also far more blade heavy for true hacking motions).

I'm sorry, no one should be smug about being wrong, especially when you know its wrong. I don't care how laypeople misuse the word, in fact they are the most susceptible to spreading misconceptions. We use the specific names of oriental weapons, so why not give the European martial tradition the same respect? I don't consider this a matter of technicality, I think the term "broadsword" should never be used to refer to swords prior to the 17'th century as all evidence points to it originating when swords started appearing with a specific (and high) level of hand protection. Prove me wrong. Seriously. Try it.
I had no difficulty penetrating a steel chest plate with a long sword by half-swording; it took effort, but I was able to do it three or four times. Wielding the sword as per normal, there wasn't any possibility of penetration except in a joint.
How thick was the plate? How historically accurate the construction? How deep was the penetration, and how much force did you use? More than would be practical in a fight?

Look, I've seen manuals from the time period, and I've seen other people test this against reproduction plate with no success. No source material I know of tells you to attack the breastplate directly with a sword thrust, even when half-swording. Probably because it consistently failed, and no one in their right mind would gamble on their enemy buying cheap shitty armor. You train for the worst case scenario. And you would probably test any armor you bought before going into battle with it (as is indeed testified by the origin of the term "bullet-proof") to make sure you weren't being ripped off.
We're discussing an impractical 'sword' made by the prop department of a sci-fi tv series. Why are you apologizing for being a nerd? :P
Only because its off-topic for a science fiction discussion. If this were Fantasy I wouldn't apologize, of course. :wink:
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2017-01-12 07:29pm

Sea Skimmer wrote:
Shroom Man 777 wrote:I don't know how sarcastic that is or how many layers of compound chobham explosive reactive irony you're using there. You (possibly) objecting to posters going on about killy thinggies is hellarious though. :P
I'm telling you to use more amazing brain skills to generate a compliant concept thought. The Bat'leth probably sucks so hard because 800 years before TNG some brilliant forgotten Klingon engineer who also invented the CANNON decided that having all his top gunners murdering each other in duels wasn't really cost effective when the replacement noobs wasted gunpowder, so he invented the shove-sword.
OK, OK I can accept your saner but LESS AWESOME explanation, it makes sense that to preserve valuable people their honor duels turned into the equivalent of eskimo ear-pulling tournaments (referenced in METAL GEAR SOLID) and other such things that later on, centuries in the future, got cargo culted by nostalgic badasses so, as you say, "the Bat'leth starts to be taken more seriously then it should be, and by the time of the starship and the transporter everyone thinks they need to honor the past by using the Bat'leth and shooting as little as possible in combat. With the ability to beam into shove-sword range this meme would prove just viable enough to ensure that it does not go extinct from 100% Klingon casualties."

A lot of my ridiculous ravings beforehand aren't mutually exclusive to what you said, I just peppered it with more IMMORTANS and obscenities.
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2017-01-12 10:27pm

Sidewinder wrote: A more likely explanation is the Klingon military expanded rapidly in preparation for Gowron's war of conquest. The lack of small arms is either because Klingon industries weren't capable of producing enough disruptors to equip everybody; or the rapid expansion filled the ranks with lots of young (and inexperienced) warriors who wanted to relive the old tales, and purposefully chose to wield blades instead of contemporary small arms.
The later seems vastly more likely then the former. A lot of the Klingon's are probably thinking 'holy hell this is my ONE chance' plausibly to get everything I dreamed' and to do it knocking off a strategic space station that's primarily defended by Bajoran police and not say, Cardassian troops who are probably a lot more heavily equipped as they have extensive recent experience with large scale ground combat. The Klingon fleet showed no signs of having attack transports or anything with it, so a lot if not all of the boarding parties were probably taken from the ships own crews. Guys who may actually do long careers without anyone else to fight but other Klingons.

Shroom Man 777 wrote: A lot of my ridiculous ravings beforehand aren't mutually exclusive to what you said, I just peppered it with more IMMORTANS and obscenities.
It's always possible this had more then one path. Maybe the damn thing somehow became the only accepted way to genocide the non forehead ridged Klingons, because you had to honor your ancestors to ensure the the smooth head's soul went to hell instead of heaven. Depends on how 6th century you think the Klingons really are, and if that's AD or BC. Heck maybe the smooth heads had an EVEN WORSE weapon providing EVEN MORE HONOR, against which the Bat'leth actually did prove 100% superior until nobody was left.
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2017-01-12 10:46pm

My God. This is why Oliver Klingonwell and his smooth heads lost and the monarchy was restored.

Seriously I lost it at "you had to honor your ancestors to ensure the the smooth head's soul went to hell instead of heaven" :lol:
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-01-12 11:04pm

Sea Skimmer wrote:OBVIOUSLY the weapon totally wasn't designed to be something the actors could use safely to shove each other around. No sir, total combat sauce.
:D

Like I said, since the bat'leth did not exist, Hollywood was forced to invent it.
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2017-01-12 11:27pm

In the future, or in a future thing I will make, the sci-fi warrior race will make ritualistic use of TABLES, LADDERS and CHAIRS. In a hardcore match for... THE CHAMPIONSHIP BELT!
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Sea Skimmer » 2017-01-13 07:30pm

Ladder jousts while riding dinosaurs. The ladder can double as way to get on top of the animal for advanced space practicality, and even triple as a way to board the opponents dinosaur as a bridge.
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Q99 » 2017-01-14 06:57pm

Swindle1984 wrote: Probably the closest thing I can think of as a real-world equivalent to the bat'leth would be some of the crazier Indian weapons which, again, were almost never used in actual combat and were restricted to ceremonial use, one-on-one duels, and showing off.
There are also some *really* wacky Kung Fu weapons.

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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Chris Parr » 2017-01-14 08:47pm

Q99 wrote:
Swindle1984 wrote: Probably the closest thing I can think of as a real-world equivalent to the bat'leth would be some of the crazier Indian weapons which, again, were almost never used in actual combat and were restricted to ceremonial use, one-on-one duels, and showing off.
There are also some *really* wacky Kung Fu weapons.
Yeah, but based on martial arts exhibitions, we know those weapons work, right? At least in the hands of a well trained person.

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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by seanrobertson » 2017-01-15 04:12pm

Swindle1984 wrote:More like using an ancestral weapon, or a replica of a legendary sword like Excalibur, Durandal, Masamune, etc. The bat'leth is explicitly a reproduction of the sword of Kahless, and we know for a fact that the Klingons have a number of different sword designs available to them, including the one Duras used. Given Kahless' legendary status, it's possible that there is no historical basis for the bat'leth as we know it; it could be something that was added later as the legend grew, and someone came up with a fanciful design for a sword of Kahless and it became canon as far as the Klingons were concerned.

As you noted, use of a bat'leth would be more likely amongst the less pragmatic, more romantic Klingons, which Worf most certainly is; hell, Worf tries to be Klingon more than the majority of Klingons we see and was noted as going overboard with it by at least one Klingon in TNG (I've been marathoning the series and am in the middle of season five, so don't ask me which episode or even which season that was; probably the one where Worf's sugar momma is first introduced, or the episode Alexander is introduced). More practical/modern Klingons would use a more functional, less symbolic, weapon or just resort to a disruptor.
Swindle,

Agreed -- and FWIW, I believe you're thinking of an exchange between Worf and Kurn in the second half of "Redemption." Worf's incredulous as he watches Kurn chill out in a bar, chiding his brother for drinking with a guy who tried to kill them the previous day. Kurn reciprocates the sentiment, saying he's put off by how uptight Worf is ("Is there nothing in your heart but duty?!" he asks).

Of course, you might be thinking of the K'Ehleyr episodes, too :) She chides him for his traditionalism several times throughout. Then again, she was half-human and openly disdainful of many things Klingon; e.g., inculcating Alexander with the whole "Klingons are warriors!" ethos.
I suppose a modern example would be two 'gentlemen' agreeing to a duel under the Marquess of Queensberry rules and facing off with flintlock pistols, rather than taking a Glock and unloading on each other.
Absolutely. Like back in my powerlifting days, I never thought "raw" lifters like me were hubristic, and certainly not arrogant; we simply took pride in out lifting some of the dudes who were fully-equipped*.

*By that, I refer to things like excessive knee and elbow wrapping, squat suits and, above ALL else, so-called "bench shirts": ridiculously tight things of various thickness (single ply, double, triple ply) that effectively act like a giant spring on the lifter's chest, their use has allowed many top powerlifters to bench 800, 900 and, in a case or two, over a grand :shock:

Now, I ain't saying those guys aren't super strong, but the catch is how they perform sans the shirts and suits which, as you have already no doubt deduced, isn't as impressive :D. Take away the gear and suddenly those weights drop several hundred pounds.

I've no doubt some Klingons similarly enjoy winning most when starting a fight at a disadvantage. It's the equivalent of what I alluded to ... When I give someone a head start or initial advantage and I *still* win, I've all the more reason to appreciate the victory.
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Lord Revan » 2017-01-15 04:35pm

Chris Parr wrote:
Q99 wrote:
Swindle1984 wrote: Probably the closest thing I can think of as a real-world equivalent to the bat'leth would be some of the crazier Indian weapons which, again, were almost never used in actual combat and were restricted to ceremonial use, one-on-one duels, and showing off.
There are also some *really* wacky Kung Fu weapons.
Yeah, but based on martial arts exhibitions, we know those weapons work, right? At least in the hands of a well trained person.
They work is the carefully choreographed enviroment of a martial arts exhibition, as practical battlefield weapon, no the weapons used are often then not too thin and/or flexible to really be practical though some kung fu weapons are based on practical battlefield weapons but are modified for looking better in demonstration for crowds, they're the far eastern equilevant for the oversized 2-hand swords used for parades and ceremonial purposes in europe during the late middle ages (and in some cases even today).
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Q99 » 2017-01-17 11:52am

There's the flying guillotine for one example, basically a basket with a circular blade you were supposed to throw over the target's heads- the mythbusters tried and totally couldn't make it work as a battlefield weapon (though maybe an assassination tool, if an overly elaborate one at that).

I studied kung fu and we didn't have any that silly, all of ours were at least usable, but we did have a wall of weapons, some of which were only taught to high-ranking students. And some of those we'd look at and scratch our heads and/or be afraid of trying ^^

There's some polearms I've seen with fancy or heavy attachments where I just go, "... I would never use that over a gwan dao or spear." Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon even parodied this in a scene where a master tried and failed to use a heavy mace weapon.

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The 9 dragon trident here is usable, and being a polearm would beat many non-polearms 'cause reach, but just look at it, it's silly and excessive! It's hooks are supposed to be for disarming weapons, but I think the overly complex head is a strict minus compared to more sensible polearms.

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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Alferd Packer » 2017-01-25 01:31pm

NeoGoomba wrote:Sea Skimmer touched on a random Klingon topic I had always wondered about: The Chancellor and the Houses. If the Klingons are a feudal state (which I think it seems like?), I always wondered how the Chancellor maintained prominence and control. Like Skimmer's example about the Royalty financially weakening the nobility, could it be that only the Chancellor's office controls shipbuilding/weapon designs, and then can thus weaken the power of the Houses by jacking up the price of Birds of Prey one year, then Attack Cruisers the next? Is there some historical precedent in human history along those lines?

Maybe thats why all those mook DS9 Klingons were using bat'leths in Way of the Warrior: Gowron wanted an epic conquest like the old tales and just handed out those crap blades instead of disruptors?
The chancellor is appointed/chosen from on of the Great Houses that sit on the Council (or someone kills the chancellor and takes over--there appear to be many ways to ascend to the chancellorship), so presumably, the Chancellor continues to have the resources of his House available. I could see corrupt Chancellors using their power to weaken rival Houses, but I'm not sure it's strictly necessary, given the amount of infighting and blood feuding that appears to occur amongst the Great Houses. The Chancellor must gain control over the Imperial Navy, but he may be limited in what he can do with it (and what, by omission, he can allow to happen). If, for example, he neglects to order the Imperial fleet to protect a holding of one of his rivals in order to weaken that rival, he may lose the confidence of his supporters and his legitimacy as rule could be called into question.

As for the WotW, I suspect the Klingons who used bat'leths during the boarding action were bringing their own along for glory or to demonstrate their bravery. Like that Scottish soldier who made the D-Day landing wearing a kilt, and carrying bagpipes and a claymore (sword, not the mine).
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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Q99 » 2017-01-26 09:37pm

And in fairness, in the trek universe it's not like most foes will carry any sizable melee weapon at *all*. They'll still have a major edge even if it is not ideal for the task.

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Re: How good is the Bat'leth as a melee weapon?

Post by Prometheus Unbound » 2017-01-27 03:48am

The Jem'Hadar had some axe things in Sons and Daughters and To The Death. They also tend to carry knives around with them.

How viable were those in combat?

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