Starbreaker Faces

Rapier vs Longsword

I found a video from the Academy of Historical Fencing demonstrating rapier vs. longsword. This is relevant to my own interests, since I put a fair amount of sword-fighting in Starbreaker.

In particular, Morgan Stormrider wields a longsword against Imaginos, who favors the rapier when using a blade. Naomi Bradleigh, in the meantime, favors the side sword.

And while Imaginos learned his sword-fighting over thousands of years, and Naomi had experienced teachers, Morgan learned much of his technique from Renaissance fighting manuals like this one.

Two techniques from the longsword section in the Dresden codex
Two techniques from the longsword section in the Dresden codex

Sometimes it just isn’t enough to RTFM.

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About Matthew Graybosch

I realized when I was eighteen that I'd never be a great musician. I had read so much mediocre fantasy and science fiction by then that I was sure I could do a better job. I set out to prove it by writing Starbreaker, an epic sci-fi/fantasy hybrid inspired by the music of classic heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, the Blue Öyster Cult, and Queensrÿche. Without Bloodshed is my first published novel, but it won't be my last. Follow me if you dare.

18 comments on “Rapier vs Longsword

  1. Really enjoyable viewing for me. I don’t think everything that Mike and Nick did was strictly believable for “real” fighting. Especially when Mike reached to strike with only his BACK hand (the left), the resulting “hit” was obviously much more like “tag, you’re it” than a wound. But overall the remarkable reach advantage of the side-stance and ability of the rapier to at least partially deflect the longsword countered the weight and breadth advantage. One important consideration to bear in mind would be the chance for snapping a blade with all that on-blade blocking- advantage longsword there. And I think in terms of a “real” duel, you’re usually looking at zero time to wait around, feint, void, etc. It’s on- so most likely the rapier wins quick, or loses slow.

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