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In a medieval (Europe) fantasy world where a race of humans have the ability to move on all fours-- what, if any, weapons would they use to fight?

They are human in every sense of the word. They can move on two feet. They can use their hands. They can sit in chairs.

But when they want to run, they drop down to all fours and sprint like felines. In that way, they have the quick twitch muscles of animals.

Would they carry weapons? What would they be?

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    $\begingroup$ You mean like gorillas? $\endgroup$ – Philipp Jan 27 at 17:23
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    $\begingroup$ Do they have opposable thumb or not? $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch - Reinstate Monica Jan 27 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, opposable thumbs. Not like gorillas, like lions. $\endgroup$ – Elm City Jan 27 at 17:26
  • $\begingroup$ What are those lion-humans supposed to use their opposable thumbs for then they can't stand on two legs? I think this question needs far more information about the body shape and capabilities of these human-like creatures. Can they stand on two legs? Can they fight on two legs? $\endgroup$ – Philipp Jan 27 at 17:29
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    $\begingroup$ If a sword is usable, all that would need to change is the design and strapping of the scabbard to prevent it from banging against the body during quadrupedal running. $\endgroup$ – GrumpyYoungMan Jan 27 at 18:15
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Everyone has listed good options, but I would like to add my own ideas to the mix. In my experience, every bit helps.

  1. Horns- Ram horns are a good idea, with some adjustment. Instead of facing backward and curving up and apart, have them face forward and curve inwards, to make them for feasible for weapon use. A rhino-like horn on the forehead could be a good option as well, if a bit unnatural looking, but hey that's okay right? (Seriously, when you picture people on all fours, it's clearly unnatural). If you like the horns idea, Estelle from Arknights may serve as inspiration.

  2. Fangs/jaws- Fangs and strong jaws not only fit the feline concept (jaguars are well known for their strong bites, which can crush turtle shells) but are dangerous weapons in their own right.

  3. Claws- Claws are great for traction, but using them that way leaves them dull; this is why cheetahs rely on suffocating bites and sharp dewclaws to kill prey. Retractable claws, on the other hand, are kept sharp for when you need them. I would suggest having both traction claws, likely at the fingertips, and combat claws, perhaps positioned on the knuckles? It's up to you.

  4. Spurs- Roosters can be absolutely lethal with their spurs, so these are definitely a viable combat option. The best positions would probably be on the back of the ankle, the sides of the wrist, along the spinal column, protruding from the joints.....

  5. Spikes- You ever see a Thorny Devil? I don't know exactly how to add pictures, but a quick search (just a glance, really) should tell you what I mean by spikes. Those things are walking weapons, really. Combine that with uromastyx tail armor, except all over the body, and you will have people literally made for melee.

  6. Tails- There's plenty of good reasons to add tails; they aid in balance, they stabilize maneuvers for more agile running (which is what cheetahs use theirs for, that's why their tails are so long) and they can act as weapons. Going off your feline preference, the tails in question would likely be slender but strong, think lean and whiplike. The end would likely have some sort of sting or "blade" at the end and/or spikes alongside the tip to increase its damage potential.

A stouter tail could act as a very good bludgeon, a long, prehensile tail could hold and wield its own weapon, grab and pull enemies, perhaps even throw objects. Prehensile tails aren't all that feasible for weapons usually, but you made it clear fantasy elements are involved in the OP.

Other great additions:

A. Rolling- Sonic and Samus both demonstrate how great rolling can be as weapons go; considering these people are already spiky and possess armor, rolling could be both a means of transport and a very nasty attack.

B. Kangarooing- Kangaroos are infamous for their 'double kick'; rearing back and using their tail for support, they lash out with both powerful legs. Jumping onto and/or kicking enemies with similarly powerful legs can be just as deadly; just ask ostriches or cassowaries.

C. Frenzy/psychological impact- If designed according to this answer, your characters will naturally have high damage potential; making them have a 'blood rage' like mortally wounded bears would make them even more terrifying. People who can (and do) go on all fours, not to mention bite and claw people, are so obviously unnatural that just seeing them on the battlefield should incite terror and panic. People will likely claim they are demons with that alone, add in the blood rage and people will likely do everything to avoid a fight with them out of superstition and fear of their martial prowess.

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They would carry retractable elbow swords for melee. They would run up to their opponent, lunge from their hind legs and deploy the weapons from their wrists mid air.

A range weapon would likely be built into their chest armor to keep their center of mass low, it would not likely be a backpack or shoulder strap weapon like a quiver. Perhaps shurikens or throwing daggers. If they have lightweight composite materials, they could consider shoulder-mounted rocket launchers which face forward, but aiming such a weapons would be nearly impossible. Stopping and standing would be the most accurate technique.

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    $\begingroup$ Rocket launchers? We're talking medieval Europe weaponry here, where on Earth did you get rocket launchers? Could they even have made rocket launchers back then? I know China had gunpowder and rockets, but we're talking about Europe here. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Jan 28 at 2:49
  • $\begingroup$ No weapon in medieval history was built with this anatomy in mind, I’m just doing what the OP asked for: a list of usable weapons. Obviously OP has to decide if the materials are available (I think I said that?) $\endgroup$ – Vogon Poet Jan 28 at 3:28
  • $\begingroup$ Good point; I didn't mean to criticize, sorry if I did, I just thought it was funny you mentioned rocket launchers. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Jan 28 at 4:24
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, and by the way, ever seen Mulan (the old version, not the new one)? Rockets are actually a really good idea, and so are your other ideas, +1 for that. $\endgroup$ – Alendyias Jan 28 at 4:25
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One weapon which would go very nicely with the whole feline motive could be gloves with metal talons. That would allow them to attack their enemies with ferocious jump attacks the way felines do.

When charging a shield wall, then their tactic might be to charge it on all fours and then use their superior twitch muscles to vault over the shield wall right into the enemy formation and then claw at anything that moves.

This could be combined with a second row of walking soldiers carrying regular weapons who attack right after. Now the enemy formation would have to deal with the dual problem of concentrating on fighting a formation from the front while being distracted by enemy fighters within their ranks.

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They could carry back-mounted horizontal blades that protriude from the side just like a human dragoon might slash with his sword and infantry as he rides by. You might be able to cook up a way where the blades in that position are actually holstered and can be removed for wielding in hand, but I do not think it would be practical due to lack of secure mounting.

I would also suggest something similar to a knight's lance but I think there is more to wielding a lance than just charging it into your enemy.

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Ezio style A.K.A Assassin's creed style

If running from rooftop to rooftop dropping down on people killing them with a stab on the throat with 2 hidden blades on his wrists is already deadly, imagine running faster than that on all fours and then jumping on people' throats, sounds pretty good.

Also, they could have some hidden blades on their feet too to be even more deadly.

Metal sharpened claws

They could also have some claws equipment allowing them to run even faster because of the claws on all fours giving them extra grip and also allowing them to do some pretty fast and deadly attacks.

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Rams horn helmets.

ram horn helmets

When these humanoids are in a fighting mood, usually they are fighting their own kind. And the people who want to fight are dudes, and they want to fight because they want to impress the ladies!

Rams have that all figured out. Rams fight duels. Your humanoids take a page from that playbook and wear blunt horned helmets for fighting. The horns are various shapes but they are not sharp. They are for getting up to speed on all fours and putting the bash on a (hopefully) lesser dude who will then stumble around comically and wet himself while the ladies laugh.

As with the rams, these helmets are for ritualized duels with conspecifics. The intent is not to kill or maim but to defeat and make your rival concede. You don't hate that guy. He is a good egg, and you are actually friends most of the year.

These quadrupedic humans might wear their ram horn helmets to battle because they own them and those helmets rock hard, but if they are fighting different human species they will use standard human weaponry. You can't fight a real duel with some wobbly 2-leg runner and their ladies are not very interesting.

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