Records of mismatched weapon duels?

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Records of mismatched weapon duels?

Postby Corporal Carrot » 10 Apr 2006 19:04

Are there historical accounts of dueling with mismatched weapons? Not a random fight, but a proper, agreed upon duel. Beeing guilty of playing roleplaying games, this thought sometimes occur to me, since I often think of peoples combat skills beeing divided into proficiency with different weapons. The rule about both duelists having equal weapons seems to be there to make sure theyre fighting on equal terms, but wouldnt this in many cases heavily favour one of the fighters?

Like if a duel is to be fought with swords, wouldnt there be cases where one of the fighters would go: "Hey, waitaminute. I have never fought with a sword in all my life. I mean, I've practiced with one, sure, but during my days in the war, I killed millions of saracens with my axe. I'm bringing an axe, and thats final. You fight with your sword if you must. Girlieman."

Or is that the whole point of the rule about the challenged beeing given the advantage of choosing weapons potentially unfamiliar to the challenger, so that a would be challenger has to think twice before throwing down the gauntlet?
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Postby admin » 10 Apr 2006 22:48

There were such duels where the physical abilities of the combatants were very different - I'm sure you've seen the duels between a man and a woman in Talhoffer and Paulus Kal? The man had to stand in a pit and not get out, with a club, the woman could move around freely and had a rock in a sock! There was apparently a similar duel between a man and a dog (the man was the murderer of the dog's master). The dog had a barrel to hide inside and the man had a weapon of some sort (a club maybe?). The dog won justice for his murdered master :D. I know you're not a fan of canines Einar, but I totally am, so that makes me happy ;).
As for duels between men of more or less equal physical ability with mismatched weapons.. I'll think about it - I can't think of examples right now (but some bell is ringing in my head about an example of spear vs. pollaxe).

I like swords more than you.
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Postby Carlo » 21 Apr 2006 19:48

John Clements once produced an account of a sword VS pistol fight at the time of the first pistols, it seems the sword won. At the time I was discussing with him the role of the sword, since I was, and am, of the opinion that edged weapons should be backups for firearms, even in the wheel and flint lock ages.

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