Weapon & Armor systems; Tactical Styles in Middle Earth

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Fencing definitely counts - fencing has a vocabulary (parry, thrust, etc) that describes motions with swords. Obviously, the style of fighting here is different, but again, what you're trying to do is to visualize the steps of the fight yourself, and then convey that in words or pictures. You can maybe get posable figures (artists use them to get anatomy right, but you can probably use any action figure that bends enough). Or you could find a video that shows the right type of fight, and then use timestamps to pull out individual moves. These are just suggestions, though - whatever works for you to convey your ideas is fine.

In the top series of images, we see a pitcher throw a baseball. The three poses convey the motion without needing steps in between to convey the idea of what is happening.



I guess these are meant to be 'super hero poses' or something but the idea here is that you could pose a figurine at any step in the process and show how they are fighting - especially if you had two figurines.



This series of sketches shows a bunch of different poses with a spear. Nothing about it is fancy or identifies the character (though some are taller, some heavier, etc). The important detail is the way the body is moving and how they are holding the spear. If you could find a similar series for sword and targe, you might be able to use those to tell your story.


To get the right vocabulary to describe something in words rather than visuals, looking at the manuals for this kind of fighting might be helpful.
http://egloos.zum.com/zairai/v/2079357
(Excerpt from 'Medieval Swordsmanship' by John Clements)
Yeah, I've been looking for treatises on sword and buckler so you could get a better handle on the forms. I haven't been able to find a good link, but you can get a PDF translation of Royal Armouries MS. I.33 easily enough.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Yeah, I've been looking for treatises on sword and buckler so you could get a better handle on the forms. I haven't been able to find a good link, but you can get a PDF translation of Royal Armouries MS. I.33 easily enough.

Ooo. This isn't particularly self-produced, but these guys do a fair job explaining sword and targe.
 
Last edited:

MithLuin

Well-Known Member
I particularly like the video that explains the challenges of a right-handed swordsman facing a left-handed swordsman in this style of fighting.

Generally speaking, choreography of a fight scene should convey something to the audience of the characters in their fighting style. Maedhros is flat out aggressive, throwing his whole self into his attacks. He's not cautious or defensive or overly careful. He is not playing a game, but fighting 'for real.' So, his attacks are delivered with full strength and total commitment (no hesitation).

Fingolfin is skilled. He's calculating. He might be surprised by Maedhros' style and left-handedness (at first), but he learns to compensate for it. He's not unemotional or anything like that, but he doesn't lose himself to anger or strike back in simple retaliation, either. He doesn't get frustrated, and he doesn't freeze or become useless, either. He...is very much enjoying the challenge of the match, and should have an economy of movement to convey his skill.

You don't have to take that sort of thing into account in planning the technical moves of their fight (that would be up to the actors and directors to convey), but I throw that out here in case it's helpful.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I particularly like the video that explains the challenges of a right-handed swordsman facing a left-handed swordsman in this style of fighting.

Generally speaking, choreography of a fight scene should convey something to the audience of the characters in their fighting style. Maedhros is flat out aggressive, throwing his whole self into his attacks. He's not cautious or defensive or overly careful. He is not playing a game, but fighting 'for real.' So, his attacks are delivered with full strength and total commitment (no hesitation).

Fingolfin is skilled. He's calculating. He might be surprised by Maedhros' style and left-handedness (at first), but he learns to compensate for it. He's not unemotional or anything like that, but he doesn't lose himself to anger or strike back in simple retaliation, either. He doesn't get frustrated, and he doesn't freeze or become useless, either. He...is very much enjoying the challenge of the match, and should have an economy of movement to convey his skill.

You don't have to take that sort of thing into account in planning the technical moves of their fight (that would be up to the actors and directors to convey), but I throw that out here in case it's helpful.

A couple more factors: Fingolfin is likely the stronger of the two by a fair margin, but Maedhros has more experience in actual combat to draw on.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
So this is my first attempt at fight choreography. It’s probably not as skilled as the likes of Bob Anderson, Peter Diamond and Nick Gillard (the main fight choreographers for Star Wars).

I’ll admit shields make things difficult for choreography.

Maedhros First Point: As the bout commences, Maedhros scores an attack 3 (right side of opponent) to the inside of Fingolfin’s sword arm.

Fingolfin’s Two Points: First an attack to the outside of Maedhros’ left arm, followed by parrying Maedhros’ blade with his shield and making a cut at Maedhros’ right flank.

[Exchange of parries and ripostes]
Note: this is easier to simulate with Fingolfin being a right-handed swordsman and I will mainly be working with the Sabre version of parries, so Attack 3 is to the right of the opponent, Attack 4 to the left, Attack 5 to the head, Attack 2 is the right lower body (rarely used).

So Maedhros will start this exchange with an attack to the weapon arm, Fingolfin parries, then ripostes to the head; Maedhros parries, then cuts to Fingolfin’s left, Fingolfin wards off the blow with his shield, then attacks Maedhros’ sword arm, but Maedhros parries and scores on an inside cut to Fingolfin’s sword arm. Point 2 for Maedhros.

Fingolfin Third Point: a straight out of the gate strike to Maedhros’ helmet. More speed than anything else.

Fingolfin Fourth Point: Parries an attack to his leg, then ripostes to Maedhros’ left leg. Point Fingolfin.

Maedhros’ Third Point: Drops (does not land on his knee), wards off an attack with his shield and scores an outside touch on Fingolfin’s knee. Follows up with an attack to the opposite side, but Fingolfin moves his leg back and Maedhros falls.

Follow up: Fingolfin scores last point on Maedhros’ outstretched arm.

Thoughts?
 
Last edited:

Darnok

Member
We might want to keep Wains and Chariot warfare something that is only used by the Easterlings of the Third Age. I think it would make their "style" of fighting more unique, and make it more impressive than if it had been used be people before them.
 

Haerangil

Well-Known Member
I agree.i also think the rough landscapes of Beleriand are far less suitable for chariot warfare than the flat plains of Rhun or Rhovanion...
 
Top