Q&A: Followup: Greatswords in Cramped Spaces

Have the fight in a narrow alley, a small room, or any other setting where it’s impossible to effectively swing a greatsword. You can grab a greatsword by the blade and shorten its arc, but that’s awkward at best and the knife will be more agile in that situation.

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This isn’t how you use a greatsword. Weapons like the Claymore and Zweihander were deployed in regimental formations. That means, greatsword wielders fighting shoulder to shoulder, which starts to illustrate why putting one in a tight alleyway is more beneficial for the sword wielder than your knife fighter. If the space is tight enough it becomes impossible to flank the swordsman unless you come at them from behind.

Similarly, the agility of the knife really doesn’t matter in this situation. I know it’s one of these David and Goliath scenarios that play really well in the romantic mind, but it doesn’t work in a fight. What will actually happen is more akin to the scene in Indiana Jones, where the swordsman comes out, demonstrates his skill with the blade and gets casually gunned down from a safe distance. More specifically, your knife fighter “has a more agile blade,” (whatever that means), but gets run through by the greatsword at a range where they never had a chance to attack their foe. Here’s the problem, your dagger may be more agile, but the dagger user doesn’t magically become more agile because they’re holding a knife.

It’s cute to think about situations where your character can duck under the blade, or climb the walls and drop from above. But, unless your character has superpowers, they won’t be nearly fast enough to execute those kinds of maneuvers. If your character were to try to dodge past the blade, they’d just end up with six feet of steel fatally perforating their body.

-Starke

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