>> > So the taboo is a reflection of the practicalities. A pitchfork
>> > or grain flail makes a much better weapon for a peasant than a
>> > sword.
>> Spears, man, spears. More reach than a sword, which means you can
>> gack a swordsman before he gets *you* in range. Spears are
>> relatively easy to learn, to. Pitchforks suck. As I understand it,
>> grain flails (nunchuks and larger cousins) also require a fair amount
>> of training. (Not to mention, the potential to whack yourself in the
>> head if you are either unfamiliar with the weapon, or clumsy or
There won't be many peasants in any grain producing area who don't have a lot of experience of using a grain flail. It also has the advantage of doing a fair bit of damage to an armoured man. The pitchfork is not that different from a spear. The head is less suitable but equally less likely to attract unwanted attention. Both that and the spear have the problem of needing group training to be much use. If the users can't put up a wall of sharp points the enemy will get in close and chop them up.
>Probably true but then the peasant would have to expend time and effort
>to make and train (in secret) with the spear. With a pitchfork or grain
>flail their masters would have to provide them and the peasants are
>familiar with their use. Just like I would arm smiths with the hammers
>of their trade - not the best weapons, but their arms know their weight
>and balance. In otherwise difficult circumstances something familiar
>would be of great comfort.
A smith isn't likely to join in a peasants revolt. He's a craftsman who will expect the local authorities to protect him from the rabble.
>If you want to arm them with bladed weapons then I'd suggest sickles and
The problem with these is that they are too specialised a tool to make good weapons. The sickle's angle of use is wrong and it is too short - the cutting part of the blade is only as far from the hand as a decent knife. The scythe is balanced to work efficently at ground level just in front of the user - not where the enemy is likely to be. I know scythes waving in the air is a common image of peasant revolts but I can't imagine it being effective used as a weapon in that manner. A simple club would be better.
-- Donald Oddy http://www.grove.demon.co.uk/
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