Many settings feature creatures of vastly different heights; for the purposes of this question let 'giants' mean any humanoid creature that is significantly larger than a regular human. Let's say 'at least 2x taller'.

Such creatures are commonly given human-like weapons - typically clubs, if the giant is portrayed as stupid, otherwise swords. They will use these weapons regardless whether they are fighting other giants or regular humans.

This doesn't seem to make much sense to me. Especially swords seem to me to be ill-suited. Swords are meant to provide a balance between finesse and striking power. However a giant may only have to do fencing if fighting another giant. There is absolutely no way for a non-giant to parry a giant's attack, since the giant's strike will have far too much brutal power. All a giant must ensure is to actually hit their target. Swords seem poor at this job, since a sword is generally meant to strike at something of similar height, not something crawling on the ground. A giant may, generally, only strike a non-giant with a sword with the sword's point tip, but this might be relatively easy to miss.

Clubs seem to generally may more sense, since their striking surface is larger. However clubs are also ill-designed for hitting something crawling on the ground.

What would make most sense to me:

  • Tough boots. Greaves. Maybe cuisses. Just stomp these little things. There is probably nothing they can do, regardless of their armor or weapons, at least unless they bring artillery.
  • A sort of a war hammer on a long handle, with a head that is far wider and far flatter than that of a regular hammer. Essentially a really large fly swatter. Probably the head should be at an angle, so that it remains horizontal even though the giant's arm holding the handle and the handle itself will form an angle with the ground surface when the giant is trying to strike something on the ground. Because once something is at least 2x larger than a regular human, I guess regular humans are mostly like flies to that thing. All that needs to be ensured is that the human-fly is actually hit, there is no way the human could survive any attack. A wide fly swatter on a long handle should maximize chances of not missing the human, since its striking surface would be largest.

Am I correct that, realistically speaking, giants would only want to use swords, clubs etc when fighting other giants, but when fighting non-giants they would ditch such weapons and, rather, resort to stomping or using some sort of a fly swatter?

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    $\begingroup$ "Swords are meant to provide a balance between finesse and striking power": Swords come in two kinds: those very few types of swords which were intended to be used as actual weapons of war, e.g. the Roman gladius or spatha, the post-medieval Zweihänder, the early modern naval cutlass, or the modern cavalry sabre; and those which were by and large used as rank insignia or as masculine jewellery, basically all the other types of swords. Swords which were intended to be used as actual weapons of war did not give even the slightest consideration to finesse. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Jun 9 at 13:54
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    $\begingroup$ What do these creatures do for a day-job? If they're naturally conquerors - effectively dedicated thugs/soldiers, that's one thing. If they're subsistence farmers that grab what they can lay their hands on like any lay militia - that's another. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 9 at 13:59
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    $\begingroup$ WHat is a bigger threat ot a giant tiny humans or another giant? They are goign to carry weapons to deal with their biggest threat. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented Jun 9 at 14:19
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    $\begingroup$ If you were fighting German Shepherds would you rather have a sword, a club, or boots with tough soles? Corgis? What if those dog-sized enemies had human intelligence? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10 at 2:12
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    $\begingroup$ "Something crawling on the ground" - that seems very different from fighting something that is half your height. Any hand weapon that gave a bit of extra reach would be effective against someone with the relative height of a seven-year-old child. I'd worry more about enemy archers... $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10 at 5:25

16 Answers 16



enter image description here

(credit to Shadiversity https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iix5MdZiNQg )

For a giant, humans are low to the ground and not much of an individual threat. So they would want a weapon that is balanced and shaped for cutting lots of things low down. Saves back pain!

They'd also want thick boots and pants to prevent the nasty critters from biting, and for kicking away any that get too close.

An emergency back scratcher, kept in a pocket, could come in handy in case some enterprising human manages to climb the giant where he can't reach!

But really the giant's main concern when fighting little folk would be ranged attacks. Arrows could sting or blind, so they'd want thick clothing and a helmet with a face guard. Perhaps the face guard would be made of wicker like a mantlet. Cannon, trebuchets, and the like are more serious, for which the giant might equip a thick metal shield. They'd need to use a hand for the shield, though, which means they'd want a one-handed weapon - still curved like a scythe with an offset handle to make it easier to sweep along the ground.

A giant is heavy artillery themselves, of course. A staff sling (fustibalus) in the hands of a giant is effectively a trebuchet. If the humans have cannons, or offensive magic that could actually hurt, the giant would be better off pelting the humans with stones or arrows from a distance.

As relates to clubs and swords, the sword would be a better choice than a club because it can cut along its whole length, so it's better if the human gets inside the giant's guard. The giant might even want some sharp "mall-ninja" spikes on the side of his sword near the hilt, to deal more damage against humans close in.

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    $\begingroup$ When I read the question, I remembered a YT video I saw of Shadiversity, and he answered the same. I wonder if you are also aware. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10 at 8:41
  • $\begingroup$ @GeorgeMenoutis Yes youtube.com/watch?v=iix5MdZiNQg $\endgroup$
    – causative
    Commented Jun 10 at 8:47
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    $\begingroup$ I wonder if scythes are truly the best. After a certain size, sure. At the minimum 2x height I feel scythes are not at the right height, as well as lose a lot of range. You need at least 4x height you can offset both by sheer size. Even at 4x height humans are never low to the ground, nor are they 'not much of an individual threat'. As someone else mentioned, a child with a knife can still kill a fully grown man. The increase of size between a fully grown man and a 4x giant isn't that big to be nigh invulnerable. All humans need to be killed with some care, or sustain possibly deadly injuries. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Commented Jun 10 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ @Trioxidane True, I'm thinking a scythe would be best for giants on the larger side rather than just 2x. 4x would be plenty though. What do I have to fear against a melee enemy that only comes up to my knees, when my legs are protected by armored boots and pants that they can't pierce? It wouldn't even be as bad as a human fighting, say, a raccoon, because humans can't climb or jump nearly as fast relative their size as raccoons can. Even twenty such enemies at once wouldn't pose much threat, when my weapon twice outreaches theirs. (Assuming the 4x giant isn't crippled by square-cube). $\endgroup$
    – causative
    Commented Jun 10 at 16:01
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    $\begingroup$ This was my first thought too, but the big problem with a scythe is that it actually has a very narrow cutting range because of the design of the handles. It's designed to cut in wide arcs, yes, but if an enemy is just a bit too close or too far, the weapon becomes very hard to use. It also takes a very large and long motion to prepare your next attack. If a determined little person times his charge right, you will swing shy, give him an opening to get in, then when you want to attack again, the little people are too close and you have drop it and find something else to fight with. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Commented Jun 10 at 18:52

C. S. Lewis' giants in Narnia used great big spiky boots, backed up with a big club, when fighting humans. They were very large though... I don't recall the exact height, but certainly more than twice as tall as a human, and they were also portrayed as (mostly) rather stupid and so use of more sophisticated weapons or tactics other than "stomp, splat" was perhaps beyond them.

Unless they were much larger than humans, though, I'd suggest that trying to kick humans to death is a pretty good way to get stabbed in a large blood vessel and bleed to death. Armoring inner thighs is awkward at the best of times, and equipping giants with minimally bulky metal armor seems likely to be somewhere between incredibly expensive and impractical. Additionally, useful defensive items like shields (which are rather more practical to make in giant sizes) become increasingly awkward to use against large numbers of low-level targets, especially well-trained and organized ones.

The best weapons, then, would seem to be ones that can maximize the giant's height, reach and strength advantages whilst working effectively against a larger number of opponents. Two-handed polearms with bladed ends that can be used in a scything-style might be ideal here. There are plenty of real-world examples of the type, starting with glaives.

Sweeping motions keep enemies at a distance and require less precise strikes than a stabbing weapon would need, but also allow for more precision than a club when necessary, being more effective at fending, stabbing and making short slicing attacks than a blunt or unbalanced weapon. By way of a bonus these kinds of polearm were used historically against foes the same size as the wielder which makes them a multipurpose weapon against both human-sized and giant enemies rather than a specialist device like your flyswatters. Such weapons might also work to break pike shafts, reducing the threat of humans carrying such things, which would be serious for smaller giants.

What follows is just general commentary on your own observations.

There is probably nothing they can do, regardless of their armor or weapons

Human armor is going to be pretty ineffective againt giant weapons, but human weapons ineffective against giants? I'm not certain you can just shrug that off. Armoring giants is tricky, and there are a wide variety of less conventional weapons out there... poisons, greek fire, giant caltrops, and indeed artillery... plenty of interesting Greek, Roman and Chinese super-heavy-crossbow designs out there, which would have substantial armor-penetrating capabilities. As soon as you get into the gunpowder era (fire arrows available in the tenth century, hundreds of years before full plate steel armor in europe!) the balance of power tips sharply away from the uncommon but very large targets with extremely inconvenient logistical needs.

Because once something is at least 2x larger than a regular human, I guess regular humans are mostly like flies to that thing

A small child with a dagger could absolutely inflict a lethal wound on you. Lots of big blood vessels on your legs. Sure, you'd probably get your revenge but that's cold comfort and if you're significantly outnumbered by your opponents (and giants are going to have trouble competing with humans in numbers, unless they're fed and equipped magically) they cannot afford wars of attrition. You could armor yourself against a child, but where do the materials come from that the largest giants will use for their armor? How big a forge is needed? How many trees must burn to fuel it?

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    $\begingroup$ I would just like to add to your comment about how a small human could crush the feelings of a giant, that we used to slaughter mammoths with pointy sticks. A medieval pikeman could easily dispatch a 15-foot tall giant. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10 at 12:55
  • $\begingroup$ @LeonardoMDeus I wouldn't say easily. That being said, a giant should never consider anyone as a non-threat. Giants have great advantages in reach of their weapons and the power behind their strikes. Augmented further by fear of them and military tactics they can become terrifying foes. Yet as on any battlefield, a mistake can be costly, damaging them out of commission or even possibly kill them. Even a scratch can become infected and kill. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Commented Jun 10 at 14:58
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    $\begingroup$ @LeonardoMDeus an organized group of pike-wielders would probably do an excellent job, but even against an unarmed giant I wouldn't put good odds on a lone human. Against an armed giant, the human is probably SOL. Giants may or may not be much more intelligent than mammoths in various settings, but the OP suggests tool use, and tool-using humanoid things can be good at throwing and improvizing weapons in ways that mammoths probably are not. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 10 at 18:38
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    $\begingroup$ Humans ambushed mammoths yes, but on actual battlefields, thier armored elephant cousins were REALLY hard to deal with, the Romans had spears and ballistas and it still took them several very costly defeats before they could figure out how to effectively fight them. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Commented Jun 10 at 19:08
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    $\begingroup$ "I'm not certain you can just shrug that off." Clever human defeats giant using range weapon was written down 2500 years ago, so the idea is certainly much older. $\endgroup$
    – RonJohn
    Commented Jun 12 at 15:34

A big chain

A man inspecting a large chain on a ship; the links of the chain appear to be roughly six inches thick, and probably 1.5 to two feet long and wide. (CC0 Public Domain from https://pxhere.com/en/photo/1128647)

While at a 2x giant height to human height this might not be as effective, once you get into greater ratios of 3x or 4x and above a large chain like a ship chain might be an effective weapon. In a relatively open battlefield a giant would have a few options:

  • If surrounded, the giant could swing the chain in a larger circle near the ground; humans would be unlikely to be able to consistently jump or duck beneath it and quickly disabled or displaced, if not outright killed, by the momentum.
  • If the humans were attacking from a single direction, it would be a simply matter of swinging it back in forth in a sweeping arc near the ground for a similar effect. This could work even better in something like a village or city street, where human attackers would be funneled towards the giant along the road.

The only place this really fails would be in heavily wooded areas or arenas similar littered with obstacles, where swinging would be hindered by the lack of space. In this case, it could probably be held in such a way as to pinch off a section of the middle in a single hand, making it behave something like a club or swatter.

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    $\begingroup$ This brings to mind a flail, where you attach the chain to the end of a pole. This may be easier to wield, especially when you need to reverse the direction of the chain's swing. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 11 at 22:14


Let's compare it to real armies. One sword that was very effective against plate armour was the zweihander. Though it was a sword, it's effect was mostly a club. The edge sure could help and it could pierce as well, but generally you just wanted the reach of a big metal bar to club your enemy. Armoured or unarmoured, penetration or none at all, the one getting hit was generally dead or dying. These big weapons can be wielded by giants, indiscriminately whacking enemies. The reach and weight with the added edge should be able to kill anything. Though it can be said, if you use weight anyway, you can also just use a club.

Killing things lower than you can be compared to horseback. It is incredibly advantageous. To focus on the attack, it is easily head height. An attack also costs less of your power, as you can strike down. You can strike down against same height enemies as well, but the arc is less 'natural', as you need to lift above your head. So the giants can strike down with some of the most optimal and powerful arcs towards heads.

That being said, there is something even better. Spears or even a halberd or similar. One of the best things to have in a fight is reach. So a spear or any form of stick with an edge on top and/or side is great. If a big guy with a Zweihander comes at you, but you have 30cm to a meter more range it'll not work well for them. Even with a fully armoured enemy the giant can probably pierce or slash through with sheer weight and thrust, if not simply use the club mechanism that any weapon gets when large enough. The size difference becomes more and more an advantage, even if they are 'crawling'. Your spear type weapon simply has too much reach.

You might argue that the 'normal' people can then overwhelm them. While true, it'll be at great cost even if they do not lose the battle against fear. If you then add in giants that use military tactics like phalanx or even further developed like the Macedonian spearman they'll be an absolute force to recon with. Never invulnerable, but very difficult to deal with for normal sized humans.



You did not mention Tech Level - and so a Giant wielding a large pot of fuel on their back and using it like a Flamethrower is too appealing not to suggest.

Now, it does not have to be a modern Flamethrower, it could be something like a Medieval pot of boiling pitch or tar - but hear me out:

When you are fighting a numerically superior force that is smaller than you (and therefore harder to hit) then an area-of-effect weapon is the best choice - and what is better than a Flamethrower for this role?

Other factors:

  • Giants have a thicker skin so are less effected by Flame weaponary.
  • Their added strength means they can carry a lot of fuel, possibly even a pumping mechanism.
  • Rule of Cool. Flamethrowers are cool.
  • $\begingroup$ If you've got such flamethrowers, you probably have conventional weapons. These have more range and a giant has the capability to use weapons with much larger mags. However, it would almost certainly the doom of the giants. Flamethrowers and conventional weapons can be used against them just as well. An AK-47 will turn an elephant to red mulch, let alone a giant. Giants certainly have a better survivability when hit, but will be hit much more easily. Not to mention that giants are more likely to survive flamethrowers, but their ability to be useful as a soldier after is still practically zero. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Commented Jun 10 at 14:33

Frame Challenge: Little People Aren't Enemies, they are Pests

Weapon selection is about more than just what kills the best. There is also the cultural and psychological ideas to consider. The idea of "going to war" with little people might sound as ridiculous to a giant as the idea of humans going to war with rats. Yes we loathe them and we want to kill them, but you're not gonna call in the military to deal with a rat infestation. So, even if giants have the ability to create the ideal weapons and armor for this, the odds of little people ever having to face anything like that is slim. So, when little people do come into contact with giants, it's usually going to be a lone giant or small family of giants using improvised weapons as opposed to an organized military force. So, even though giants might be able to design some truly sinister anti-little people weapons, in most cases, the little people will just be facing farmers trying to drive the little people off thier property.

Fear prevents most fights from ever starting

Giants do not need to be "primitive brutes" for privative weapons like Clubs, Flails, and Pitchforks to be the norm. In most cases giants are just using what they have near by to deal with the inconvenience of little people. The fact of the matter is that if you ever see a 4m (or larger) monster rushing at you with a weapon of any kind, you will run, hide, and probably never go back there again. Giants are SCARY AS HELL. We know it, they know it. So, before any actual fighting starts, both sides can predict who is running from who.

The thing about little people is that the square cube law typically gives certain dexterity advantages to smaller creatures; so, if you are a little person, running where the giant can't go is going to be a very common, well practiced, and effective defence no matter how the giants arm themselves. Actually catching a little person to kill them in hand-to-hand combat will be very difficult for the giant; so, no point going to get the "good weapon" when you expect the little people to just scatter and get away anyway. I can't count the number of times I've personally chased rabbits out of my garden, but I've never once caught one, and once they spot me, they don't just stick around while I go get my rifle.

Most killing is done by traps and pets

Sometimes pests like little people get brazen and need actual killing, but they are so hard to catch you need a little help. So, your giants should deal with this the same way humans do. They set traps and keep thier pest's natural predators around.

So, just like cats are good at hunting and killing rodents, giants might like to keep smaller faster animals with good natural weapons as pets. While humans might be able to sneak past a giant just fine, that darn gryphon is almost impossible to get past. Or when a greedy adventurer comes along and finds a chest of gold tucked conveniently by the pantry: Poof! poison gas in the face. When you think about it, the stereotypical "dungeon" is not that different than a human home from the perspective of a rodent.

Infestations are dealt with using methods of mass extermination

On the very rare occasion that little people try to send an army against giants, it almost always ends badly for the little people. The last thing little people want is to make the giants call in the exterminators. Giants can easily make armor too thick for any human to pierce, and carry massive volumes of biological or chemical weapons. If they are angry enough, they might follow the little people to thier hiding places and fill their hideouts with toxic smoke or bury them alive.

So, even though the little people might hate and fear the giants, history as taught them well that thier best option is to not provoke the giants on any large scale; so, the need for such countermeasures would be relatively rare.

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    $\begingroup$ After I posted my own answer, I definitely started wondering if I had missed my chance to answer "a giant-sized broom" for a similar reasoning to your own here. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 11 at 19:53

I'm building on @Xenophile's answer

I upvoted @Xenophile's answer and you should too. Let's build on that answer a bit. Let's assume that the ratio between attacker and victim is much more than 2:1.

Would humans use clubs or swords to hunt rabbits?

The answer is "yes" if that's all that's available to the humans. But what if they're not? Let's exclude guns, they're obvious. So let's assume non-firearm weapons are our only choices.

Next, let's admit that small creatures tend (not always, but tend) to be more agile than tall creatures. They are often faster, too, in the short term. Have you ever chased a rabbit with a stick? Or a cat? Or a dog?

Yeah... it stinks.

Small creatures are trapped

Don't get me wrong, humans trap big critters, too, but swords and clubs are close-quaters weapons that are less effective against faster, more agile opponents. What do we use? Traps. We trap rabbits, cats and dogs. We net (another trap) fish, birds and butterflies.

So, why are giants often depicted with clubs?

Honestly, if you read through the literature, giants are often portrayed as sub-human, even animalistic. Lacking human intelligence and society, they obviously use crude weapons (a method of identifying their nature... stories are usually about the issue and not about the science, food for though). And nothing is more crude than a stick (aka "club").


You want something designed for whacking fairly small objects, fairly close to the ground, with plenty of force, from a reasonably safe distance? Consider the following:enter image description here

Now while playing hockey with your enemies sounds like great fun to me, note that it probably works only if the difference is a bit more than 2x. If it's only 2x taller, that's roughly equivalent to fighting a 3 or 4-year-old. A reinforced hockey stick could still be pretty devastating, but I think at that size differential, conventional longswords are still pretty hard to beat.

If you have to be concerned about your enemies' ranged weapons, then hurling rocks from a safe distance seems both simple and effective, but also kind of boring.


2 times the size?

We are giants compared to people or animals 2 times shorter than us... does it make sense to kill someone or something with a sword or club?


But keep in mind that someone shorter than you is closer your hips and and legs.

Someone taller than you is at closer striking distance to your head.

What weapons are good at chopping thru or destroying hips which are mostly meat and little bone? Sword and yeah sure swords can cut cleanly thru bone... but bone can bend, split , break and be chopped cleanly... if in the heat of the battle the bone might just break in a way or shape that jams your sword inside the victim instead of letting it pass cleanly.

What weapons are good at smashing heads and puncturing them? Spears and clubs

so giants use spears and clubs to kill humans, the same way humans used spears and clubs to kill shorter animals.

shorter people use slicing weapons to kill giants when forced melee... why ? cause if you stab your spear into a giant's leg he might just use that same leg to kick you into a smush as you try to get the spear out of the meat.

with a sword you can just slice at the hips or legs and run away, hit and run and hit and run hoping the giant doesn't stab you in the head with his spear or crush you with his club


If the giants are only about 2 times as tall as a human, then a club or even a sword makes sense in a fight. Its perfectly plausible to fight waist-high people with a club, you just gonk them on the head.

Swords are impractical for a different reason: the size and weight of a sword fit for a giant twice the size of a man would make the sword stupidly expensive, and very brittle/poorly forged.

The best solution if you want to keep it close to a club would be a curved club with sharp rocks embedded in it, like the Aztec macahuitl, but single edged and curved. The curve makes it easier to swipe it low and swing it back to another strike without sacrificing inertia.

The next best option is basically a giant hokey stick, with stones or iron spikes embedded in the tip. It would be more effective at a distance, but awkward to use if the humans run too close to you.

If you actually want the giants in your army, and use them the most efficient way though, I would suggest:

  • armor the giants with cheap,thick stuff, like layers of wood.
  • surround each giant with a a crew of human infantry, which would protect its legs, while the giant sweeps their weapon over their heads.
  • give the giant a staff-sling, a rope sling, a ballista-sized crossbow or even a 4meter tall warbow that shoots pike-sized arrows.
  • give the giant a 4x2 meter shield, which would cover both them and their human crew. This way a line of giant shieldmen becomes a movable fortification.
  • give the giant wagon-sized wheelbarrow with massive, reinforced wheel, and a bulldozer front to literally run over enemy infantry. The wheelbarrow could be filled with heavy infantrymen with lances, plus a few crossbowmen. A line of Wheelbarromen could literally plow into enemy infantry as far as they can, then spill heavy infantrymen into the chaos.

The Devil is in the Details:

Scale: How giant is your Giant? If we are insects to them, a flexible but flat weapon (think fly swatters) allows a relatively clumsy creature to carry out an area attack of modest damage to potentially multiple opponents. For mice-scale, a flat but hard tool (think frying pan) might work better to inflict more damage but still strike an area to reduce the speed advantage of small opponents.


If the speed advantage is less noticeable or the opponents really tough, a trident might be a good tool to provide reach (hitting rear troops like spell casters/missile weapon users), a broad area to strike, and the ability to pin small but tough opponents (adventurers?) for more thorough killing at a safe distance.


As enemies get closer to the giant's size, the giant still wants to take advantage of scale, but inflicting damage becomes more important. Something like a machete or scimitar operates a bit like a mower blade to dismember, decapitate, or eviscerate multiple enemies in a swipe. But a tetsubo-like weapon will similarly provide a broad swipe to strike multiple opponents with lethal force.


Terrain: Where the opponents stand becomes increasingly important. In a forest, hacking through cover like trees becomes increasingly important. spikes and hooks entangle on obstacles. You want a machete-like chopping blade OR a large but thin club to remove or ignore the presence of obstacles.

enter image description here enter image description here


A fly-swatter was indeed my first thought. I'll get back to this later.

A sword can still make sense against someone half your size, but who's going to forge such a large weapon? It takes an enormous amount of steel too.

A club would actually make sense, if it's a long one. You want to be able to smack things that are tiny without constantly having to bend over. Anything that smacks stuff and has a long handle, would work. Someone mentioned an ice hockey stick, for example. A long warhammer has been mentioned, although I think that's overkill; anything that a humongous giant is going to hit you with, is going to crumple your armour like a tin can. And weapons with a small, heavy head might get buried in the ground. I'd rather go with something broad. A fly-swatter.

So here's my suggestion: an up-rooted tree. Sure, primitive, mostly for the subhuman idiot giant, but very effective. Nobody wants to get hit by a tree. It can crush cars and houses. It can hit lots of targets at one. The extensive network of roots or branches (depending on how you hold it) basically works like a fly-swatter and can hit lots of people at once. Or hit the one that's fast enough to dodge a single point, but dodging a dozen branches is not so easy.

If you want your giant to be technologically more sophisticated than that, have them carve trees, or possibly even grow trees, into the ideal shape they want. Or have them forge complicated weapons that are to a club what a trident is to a spear. Tridents are a good analogy: people use them to catch fish, which are also much smaller than us. Multiple points give you multiple chances to still hit it if it avoids the main attack.


Tower Shield

If I'm a giant who might be only twice the height of a human, stomping seems like a bad strategy. We want to take full advantage of our greater reach. A sword or a club would be effective here. So would an axe or a spear or a hammer or just about anything else.

Our focus should instead be on protecting ourselves from the humans. What would be sensible weapons for a human to use? Since we seem to be in a non-modern setting, probably pikes and longbows. Greaves and boots might provide some protection from pikes, but not from arrows. Wearing plate armour to cover every part of our body would be ideal, but that's expensive even for humans - I'm going to assume that we don't have enough metal to do that for every giant who wants it.

A helmet and a big wooden shield would be sufficient to stop human arrows - especially if we group together in tortoise formation - and allow us to close the distance and enter melee combat, where we would have the advantage. Or we could shelter behind the shields while we use our own ranged weapons, pavise-arbalest style. (Throwing big rocks is the traditional giant way, but giant crossbows should also be possible.)


While @Causative has already mentioned the scythe, there are a selection of more suitable tools in similar style including among others:

  • Long handle billhook
  • Irish slasher
  • Long handled slasher
  • Brushing hook

These mostly being tools with a proportion of blade in line with the long handle and largely designed for clearing brush and heavier growth than a scythe, and all with a long history of being either modified into polearms or wielded as is in peasant revolutions

I'm going to give you a random shopping link so you can see how many variants there are of these things with handles long, short and medium, and how they remain tools in general use after thousands of years*: https://www.treemarker.co.uk/products/tag/hooks-slashers

*I hear it was the Romans who added the extra blade on the back of the double bladed billhook.


Clubs work. I have first hand experience being a giant and using a club to kill.

I was in a garden area with mice running around and I had a axe handle without the axe head - which is basically a club. It was very effective in killing the mice by using the "club" as a spear to mash the mice. I might suggest spears, but the wider end helped to ensure a quick death. Having a wider weapon area increased accuracy.


If we go with creatures ranging from 3 to 4 meters in heights, a spear or polearm seems superfluous considering a giant would already have an advantage in reach (their arm is twice the length of a human). Also consider that is we follow square-cube law, it means a giant is about 8 times heavier (about half a ton!), which is a lot of inertia and momentum.

They would also risk to have the enemy cut the distance and enter this large space where a polearm can't do much. What they need is to keep their natural reach advantage and be nimble, because humans have far less inertia than the giants and can be quicker.

On the other hand, you can bet that the humans are going to use spears against giants to fill the reach gap, and as much as possible face them in group. They will also wear a helmet because the giant can easily hit them from the top.

Considering this, if I were a giant I would primarily focus on proper armoring, at least up to the armpits and insisting on the groin because it's going to be a very obvious and tempting target. Anything at chest level and higher needs less protection because humans will have difficulty reaching that high. We can save weight by leaving the upper torso, arms and head unprotected. The hands, particularly the one holding the weapon, will also need protection like a gauntlet. The left hand can wield a large round shield like the viking ones, or a roman scutum to protect our shins.

Once properly armored, my weapon of choice would be a one handed warhammer. It's short, but our arm length gives us the necessary range and because it's short we don't have to fear humans closing the distance. If they get really close, we are armored up to about 2 meters so they can't do much, and wresle with them is child's play (almost literally so, we're twice their size and 8 times their weight).

The kinetic impact of the hammer allows us to nullify their helmets and dislocate their spear formations. We don't want to slice or pierce them, but take advantage of our huge momentum to crush the one we are hitting and destabilize the others next to him, so that we can crush them next.

Bonus impact if we are a group of giants, with a wall of scutums to protect us and one or two hitters delivering hammer blows from the top of this 2 meters high wall.

Hammers are also much easier to manufacture than giant swords. Giant armor can be tricky, but chainmail scales up nicely, and plates can be reserved to the most sensitive parts (chin, top of the foot, groin, belly, right hand).

The nice part is also that this set up in not over specialized towards fighting humans, we can face giants with the same material, or complete our set of armor by covering our chest, arms, shoulder and head, since other giants can easily aim for our upper body.


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