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67

Having thrown knives myself as a (casual) hobby when I was younger I can tell you that it doesn't take that long to gain both power and accuracy with well balanced knives. Give it a few months of everyday practice and you can hit a one inch target at a good few meters distance with a 90% success rate. Well balanced in this context means that the handle and ...


52

You can view this as a future-analog of knights wearing armor, and it that context it really depends on the circumstances of the fight, but traditionally the best melee weapons against hard-armor have been maces and mauls. Blades are designed to cut flesh and other soft material, and do not preform well against hard armor. They will simply blunt or become ...


43

Keep in mind that through most of human history knives were extraordinarily common tools. Every soldier, workman, hunter, field worker, tradesman, shepherd, shopkeeper, etc. carried a knife as a practical matter, because there was always something to be cut, shaved, sized, sliced or pried open. Learning to throw a knife was a pastime (e.g., mumblety-peg) as ...


41

Combat knives as side arms are falling out of favor across modern militaries. Why? Getting into a situation in which your main rifle and sidearm both are no longer viable and effective yet the knife is effective is rare. Knives are typically provided as tools foremost instead of weapons now. To this end we can make an axe easily work. Sure we can leave the ...


34

Historically throwing knives have been used mainly as a distracting technique, rather than an actual attack. They were used by what we commonly refer to as ninjas for example, and if I am correct they would be coated in feces or poison. Mostly these would be thrown when retreating, to distract the enemy and create an opening. And give them a nasty infection ...


30

Breaching I'm surprised no one has mentioned breaching. Urban combat is much more common than it used to be, especially with anti-insurgency suppression and targeted rescue/kill operations. An infantry company may all have to perform breaching or they may have a special unit for breaching, but in these scenarios an axe has much more utility and ...


28

An Explosive Polearm Historically, Polearms were a quick (and safe) method of killing armored opponents. You're given good range for a melee weapon, and the pointed spike at the end provides good armor penetration. Problem is, unlike a human a mech won't bleed out just because you put a hole in it. You need to damage its internals. This is where the ...


24

Fend off foes while diving (curious sharks and more aggressive monsters)? You don't. When there are large predators around, leave the water. This is fairly standard behaviour in hunter-gatherer societies. Big predators are exceedingly dangerous, and when your society lacks things like antibiotics, you absolutely don't mess about with the possibility of ...


21

When I think about climbing and melee weapons, I think of ice axes. (DMM Apex) Real-world ones are of course not designed for hitting people with, but lightweight one-handed axes and picks have existed as hand weapons for thousands of years (bronze aksines, pick axes, were used by the ancient Greeks and their neighbours, and were described by Homer). They ...


18

Daggers & Throwing knives When clambering up and down trees, rushing through the foilage and clinging to trunks, you don't want anything to snag on some twigs. You have to be sleek and slender. So, keep your weapons close to your body. A dagger on each hip, strapped to your thigh. One, or even two closely fitted belts with throwing knives, or maybe a ...


15

If possible, I want this armor to be effective against bullets, but much less against melee weapons and heavier projectiles like bolts, arrows or darts of any sort. Here's your problem: Whether or not it's possible to design armor that can resist bullets but not melee weapons or archaic ranged weapons, bullets that mimic the impact properties of bolts, ...


15

The Greeks had it right when they armed Poseidon with a trident. Because of the resistance of the water, any melee weapon that depends on a "swing" to do its work (swords used for cutting, axes, clubs) will be hampered, but those that depend on a "thrust," that is moving along the length of a linear sort of weapon, will be almost unhindered (this has to do ...


14

My first thought is mace, however it doesn't sound like it'd be too effective...in knight terms, a mace breaks bones regardless of armour and or shield. But your question goes around this...so next best weapons vs armour. Picks (think mining tool). To penetrate armour, you want to take the force of a blow and concentrate it on a single point that is as ...


14

It can't be done with a material, there is just nothing that does what you are looking for. Imagine a human wearing armor hit by an RPG. It doesn't matter how much the armor holds its shape, the shockwave and acceleration will kill you. What you need is some sort of reasonably cheap and efficient force-field generator that a person can wear. It would ...


14

Throwing knives, shuriken and other implements of the sort can be useful, but not as your main weapon. They can be thrown at an enemy to create an opening, because it will likely provoke a reaction, allowing the user to close in and attack with their main weapon. While it may be technically possible to achieve lethal hits with them, such as hitting eyes or ...


13

This kind of axe, light as it is (the example is 2.1lb according to its Amazon.com sales page) is about twice the weight of a large knife. This may well be too light to be really effective as a woodcutting tool: things labelled "tactical" for sale to the public often aren't practical military equipment. Soldiers always have too much weight to carry, and ...


12

In a word, symbolism. It's not as if combat knives are generally useful as weapons. In conventional war, if you're close enough that you have to use a knife rather than shooting the enemy, you know that things have gone irredemably tits up. Of course, soldiers do worry about this sort of situation, and there is something atavistically comforting about having ...


12

Guns, Tanks, Walkers et al are ranged weapons. These are really good for modern tactics that involve being as far away from the enemy as possible when engaging in combat. Thing is, even a modern assault rifle only gets you so far in close quarters combat. When the fighting gets up close and personal, large heavy equipment, especially if you have to stop and ...


12

Slashing: torque In the 3rd century before the common era there lived in Sicily a Greek physicist and mathematician named Archimedes; his name literally means Master Mind¹, and he was indeed the greatest physicist and mathematician of the Antiquity. ¹) For the literalists: it actually means Great Planner or Great Thinker. Among his greatest discoveries ...


12

As far as I know, throwing knives were never issued by any army or used on any sort of scale, unlike stones, hammers, axes, 'darts' and a variety of other missile weapons. Cleary they lack the range and lethality of any 'proper' thrown weapon. (Added explanation in response to question: it's a simple matter of kinetics. A manually-thrown weapon moves at ...


11

Since your species is highly mobile on trees, that means they have some quite good upper body strength. Their arms are probably quite strong, and so are their hands and fingers - when holding on a branch is a matter of life or death, a good grasp is essential. Let's capitalize on that! Those things enable us to make a very silly fantasy weapon actually ...


10

Spear bottom line is the critical weakness of an avian being is their wings. Their critical strength is also their mobility from their wings. Therefore they would prefer high reach melee weapons that take advantage of their speed whilst reducing their chance for injury. Under these conditions that would be the spear. The lance could be a runner up but its ...


10

Different Weapons for different classes of Infantry Probably 3 general use cases: Skirmisher Heavy Specialist Your skirmishers should be armed with ranged weapons - probably darts, as they are small, intuitive, and use gravity to increase their lethality. The skirmishers use light melee weapons - think short sword and buckler. This is the most mobile part ...


9

These are TOMAHAWKS. There is a long tradition of 'hawks as combat tools as well as a lot of utility in a hatchet over a knife/saw (if you could only carry one). Current soldiers are using 'hawks more for the utility aspect, especially in urban warfare where they can be used to chop through cables, doors, and even thin walls (if only to make a hole large ...


9

When I was reading this question I thought of the AT-AT walkers from StarWars. They were huge, heavily armored, and for their size and purpose, lightly weaponized. With this in mind, I think the best way to handle something with heavy armor and light weaponry is to find a way to immobilize it. For that reason, for the melee weapon, I'm picturing a giant ...


9

The best weapon is a technique. Simply, anything that knocks them over, or impairs the legs. In the cases of humanoid forms, getting back upright from a prone position is a process that involves lots of difficult, precise, balanced movements, compounded exponentially by the weight of limbs and bodies. Especially if there is a lack of something to brace ...


8

Your combat will be in trees; what does this mean? A fall might be just as, if not more, deadly than the opponents' weapons. Thus focus on keeping your, and disturbing their, balance. Blunt, possibly heavy weapons, so the enemy can be pushed, pulled or swept off. If you lose balance, you need to be able to catch yourself. Clawed gauntlets might do the trick ...


8

As with all weapons questions, make the weapon fit the fighting style and terrain. Since your critters are aboreal, that means they are going to be in trees. Unless it's a redwood forest, there is not going to be room for big swinging weapons. Anything too large or long is not going to be great because you need room to swing the weapon. How do you get ...


8

Fight Fire with Fire (Fight fish with fish) Historically, man’s strength in combat against nature has been brains, not brawn, and the same is true here. Domestication is an art that is (mostly) unique to humans. We protected our herds from wolves by making wolves into dogs, and our storehouses from pests by domesticating cats. We have also have ...


8

It might make sense as an attack of opportunity, not as a large scale mean of attack. Why? you can't carry that many knives on yourself every knife you throw becomes a knife you are giving to your enemy your arm alone can't deliver that much momentum, bows or slingshots work better at that and allow you to have a greater range


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