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"Swords of the Vikings?" Topic

13 Posts

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sneakgun12 Jan 2018 10:11 a.m. PST

Watched the latest episode of "The Vikings" and this one has a big battle. Anyway they are all happily chopping each other to bits with swords. Were they really that sharp? Was slicing and dicing their primary function?

PrivateSnafu12 Jan 2018 10:36 a.m. PST

No, no, not at all. Swords are only for decapitating.

I have some episodes to catch up on.

Mick the Metalsmith12 Jan 2018 11:03 a.m. PST

The skeletal remains from that time period has many indications of very serious cuts that reached bone.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Jan 2018 12:11 p.m. PST

I watched the episode and I enjoy the series with all its faults --my only question is -- how, in the midst of that big melee and battle would you know who friend or foe was????

Russ Dunaway

Mick the Metalsmith12 Jan 2018 12:35 p.m. PST

Units were pretty small and intimate often family members. Accidents might happen but I bet it was rare. Temporary badges such as wearing a bit of brush could also be used.

Also the battles were more likely to be lines that approach each other, not swirling individual duels as we have been shown on telly. As with later periods most forces usually took off and ran before actual swords crossed. If the shield wall was broken a force would not stand. Most dark age Viking battles involved armies of a couple of thousand in a really huge fight with a few hundred being more likely.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP12 Jan 2018 1:32 p.m. PST

I'm talking about the scenes in the TV show, not real life?
That is information I have known for 50 years.

Russ Dunaway

Mick the Metalsmith12 Jan 2018 2:34 p.m. PST

Rhetorical question…got it.

Benvartok12 Jan 2018 4:20 p.m. PST

Afraid that series has jumped the Viking ship…..

meh was enjoying it but the faults are now compounded by average acting from the second string.

Wee Davey12 Jan 2018 6:47 p.m. PST

What rules sets do people recommend for Viking/Saxon period larger battles please? I tend to prefer sets that reward players who use appropriate period tactics and formations. I also have a copy of Saga for small scale skirmishes, but would like a set to do battles of the scale of Ethandun, etc.

Mick the Metalsmith13 Jan 2018 8:44 a.m. PST

Art de La Guerre 24-36 stands or even larger forces if you desire. I think they do an excellent job in differentiating elements of shield wall armies in terms of weapons, expertise, impetuousness and armour.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2018 4:39 a.m. PST

This is why you need armour….

YouTube link

Grelber14 Jan 2018 7:55 p.m. PST

Thanks for the link. Their sharpened sword blow was very effective. It backs up some of the stories in the sagas, like the one where the guy's leg is cut off with a single blow. I understand a man would try to avoid being hit that way, and there were a lot of factors mitigating against this happening (angle of blow, sharpness of blade, movement by the defender etc.), but it was always a possibility one had to face.


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