44 votes

If thrusting is the most practical way of hurting a foe, why wouldn't ancient armies use barbed weapons to inflict even more damage?

War is not a turn based game, where you can take all the time you need to make your move, nor is a movie or an anime where the enemies politely attack one at a time. Once you have hit an enemy with a ...
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25 votes

If thrusting is the most practical way of hurting a foe, why wouldn't ancient armies use barbed weapons to inflict even more damage?

The point (so to speak) of a thrusting attack is to concentrate as much force as possible on as small an area as possible. Greater concentration of force means it's easier to sunder armor, break bone, ...
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20 votes
Accepted

Would a spear ever out perform a bow when wielded by an insanely powerful person?

Interestingly (to me, at least), the most important thing is not so much strength but speed. If you could throw a little metal dart at 500m/s then you might well be able to drop someone in full plate ...
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20 votes

If thrusting is the most practical way of hurting a foe, why wouldn't ancient armies use barbed weapons to inflict even more damage?

Cripple versus Kill: Certainly if you only have one opponent, then barbed weapons are fine. But if you kill your opponent with a thrust, you gain no advantage from tearing at his insides. In war, you ...
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18 votes

Would a spear ever out perform a bow when wielded by an insanely powerful person?

Even without super strength a spear can outperform The question in the title is about out performing. The question in the description is about reaching father/harder. I would focus on 'out performing' ...
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13 votes

If thrusting is the most practical way of hurting a foe, why wouldn't ancient armies use barbed weapons to inflict even more damage?

The problem with a barbed weapon is that if the enemy is armored (very likely) or even just has bones (practically certain) the weapon may get stuck and be impossible to withdraw in a reasonable time (...
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11 votes
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How realistic would it be for the son of the emperor to go to college undercover?

Depends on the exact time, and society. You tagged this medieval. For most of the medieval time, colleges and universities where not quite what we think of today, and neither was society. In a way, a ...
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8 votes

How realistic would it be for the son of the emperor to go to college undercover?

Human children go through stages in their development. Early on, they are bonded to their parents. But teen years are where they break free from parents and bond with a tribe. In royalty, that is a ...
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  • 3,184
8 votes

If thrusting is the most practical way of hurting a foe, why wouldn't ancient armies use barbed weapons to inflict even more damage?

Real war Real wars tended to be 99% marching and 1% battles. Then it's just politics. A side breaks and flees, you hunt some, get prisons, and get a favorable agreements with the other state. GG. ...
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8 votes

If thrusting is the most practical way of hurting a foe, why wouldn't ancient armies use barbed weapons to inflict even more damage?

Good answers already. My addition is that barbed melee weapons take more training and skill to use. I train with Polynesian weapons which have multiple projections. They can catch on you or your own ...
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7 votes

How would a medieval army poise itself for invasion at a given moment?

How much money does the king have? That's crucial. The only way that you can keep soldiers on hand for invasion at any time is paying them. In medieval times, this calls for mercenaries. But they ...
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6 votes
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Would electric whips be good weapons in a medieval fantasy?

The Historic Martial Arts / Physicist Take I practice and study medieval manuscripts detailing how to use weapons, in a hobbyist capacity. Medieval masters of weapons, like Fiori, Lichtenauer, and ...
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5 votes

How realistic would it be for the son of the emperor to go to college undercover?

College undercover, with security also undercover. Your 7th son (of a 7th son!) goes incognito to school for the reasons you lay out. He plays the role of a real person whom he somewhat resembles; an ...
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  • 283k
5 votes

How would a medieval army poise itself for invasion at a given moment?

Inhabit the border lands with powerful warriors and their families. They'll feed themselves and defend their land, pay taxes, do some light raiding on their own behalf, plus be available at short ...
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  • 20k
5 votes

Would a spear ever out perform a bow when wielded by an insanely powerful person?

While not an expert in the subject, my common sense is telling me the answer is no. The bow is a force multiplier, using the coiled tension within the wood and string to deliver more power than the ...
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  • 1,181
5 votes

How fast can technology be brought from 11th century to 21st century?

I'm not sure it'll be that much faster than the thousand years it would've taken otherwise Scientific knowledge is only a part of what you need to get 21st century technology. Take the internet, for ...
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4 votes

How would a medieval army poise itself for invasion at a given moment?

Generally, they wouldn't You never need to be ready to invade at a moments notice, you only need to be ready to defend at a moments notice. Any time you invade someone, it is on your schedule. So, if ...
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4 votes

Would a spear ever out perform a bow when wielded by an insanely powerful person?

A spear or javelin would outperform in terms of sheer mass/energy, but they're not touching a bow on accuracy. That mighty javelin is nil if you can't hit your target with it! Or worse, you hit in a ...
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4 votes

Would a spear ever out perform a bow when wielded by an insanely powerful person?

"Is there a point where an insanely strong human could throw a spear further/harder than that same person wielding a bow?" Short answer: No. Longer answer: It's still very definitely no. A ...
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  • 7,838
4 votes

Would a spear ever out perform a bow when wielded by an insanely powerful person?

If your humans have space to carry them, there's a third solution - the atlatl, or spear-thrower. The atlatl is effectively a much older and much deadlier version of those plastic tennis ball throwers ...
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3 votes

Would a spear ever out perform a bow when wielded by an insanely powerful person?

Your question presumes it, but a spear doesn't have to be thrown. A phalanx of soldiers can march forward, spears bristling, and hold ground A spear can be used to stab with more force than a held ...
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3 votes

What's the fastest a medieval projectile could go, if it was powered by human muscles?

Empirical evidence: the whip. The crack of the whip happens when the whip tip reaches the speed of sound in air (about 330-340 m/s depending on air temperature). Massaging the equations seems to ...
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  • 52.4k
3 votes

How realistic would it be for the son of the emperor to go to college undercover?

I believe that in Shakespeare's play Hamlet (c.1599-1601) Prince Hamlet of Denmark has travellrd to Germany for education. However, a case has been made[4] that at an early stage in Hamlet—with its ...
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2 votes

How fast can technology be brought from 11th century to 21st century?

Your character would be up against some very difficult cultural problems that are not even apparent to most people today. Forget technology, in the eleventh century there would be difficult conceptual ...
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  • 32.1k
2 votes

How fast can technology be brought from 11th century to 21st century?

As I read the OP, my brain equated it to something like if someone with "something like" a copy of Wikipedia lived in the 11th century(without external links). I could see it may speed up ...
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  • 3,489
2 votes

Would a spear ever out perform a bow when wielded by an insanely powerful person?

Consider the materials science of your world. Perhaps spears are better because they are incapable of making a bow that taps the full strength. The bow breaks first. Either the cord or the bow ...
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  • 21.9k
2 votes

Would a spear ever out perform a bow when wielded by an insanely powerful person?

No. The bow accumulates the strength provided by the movement of the archer that lasts about a second (Two seconds if the archer is weak) and uses that power concentrating it in a fraction of a second....
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  • 2,728
2 votes

Would electric whips be good weapons in a medieval fantasy?

You're better off with a knife. You're not focusing on the biggest deficiency of the whip: It's wind up. Imagine a musket with shorter range, a minimum range, is more difficult to aim, and is weaker ...
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  • 8,558
2 votes

How realistic would it be for the son of the emperor to go to college undercover?

In medievalish setting, normally members of a royal family would be illiterate or at most, know how to read and write, taught by tutors. Book learning was the field of clerks, whom they would have at ...
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  • 21.9k
2 votes

How realistic would it be for the son of the emperor to go to college undercover?

The Emperor's son is a Bastard Although he is not the heir, he is like the seventh child. . . If you want to explain why he doesn't have private tutors, you are best making him an illegitimate child....
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