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Everything posted by hylonomus

  1. I think most people advocating the overarm grip is misunderstanding the form. Just because you are holding a spear between your thumb and forefinger with shaft pressed against your forearm doesn't mean you can't attack over a shield wall. All you have to do is raise your elbow level with your shoulder and you can easily attack over a shield or ally's shoulder. In fact, now that you are using your thumb to intuitively guide your weapon, you deliver a sure thrust that can be driven home without being easily knocked away or parried. This method would effectively increase range and killing effecti
  2. You can master anything "in practice." That doesn't change physics. Just because you train to do something wrong, it doesn't make improper use of muscle and bone structure coupled with a complete disregard for physics suddenly effective.
  3. Good points. Sorry if things got heated, sometimes these debates get me excited. I personally still think that the overhand grip would be far too unwieldy in combat, and there is no real evidence of it being used outside of vase paintings. I don't believe art such as this has any merit toward historical accuracy, as artists tend to worry more about composition, heroic poses and symbolism.
  4. Control is always important, and you still disregard all the shortcomings of the overarm grip and ignore the many other benefits. And in practice, it's actually easier to deliver a clean, killing strike over a shield wall with an underarm grip. This method is much less likely to be parried by another spear or evaded.
  5. You still fail to disprove any of my points, instead simply claiming I am wrong without backing anything up. Holding a spear with your pinky facing the enemy severely limits range. You can't get full extension, and you can't defend against anybody using the same attacks against you. You basically get a single target, and you better hope he doesn't have a helmet and he's using the same stupid stance you are. Also, what if you are fighting an enemy slightly taller than you? It's physically impossible to hit a target higher then your own face, not to mention the strain on your shoulder and wrist
  6. You can block the guy directly in front of you in a heated battle. What gets you is the man you aren't paying attention to. Also, loose formations were just as common as tight phalanxes, and the notion of a clashing shield wall is up to debate as well. Squaring off with the enemy at spear range and skirmishing them with probing strikes was far more likely. Smashing your front line into the enemy ranks would put some of your most experienced troops at unnecessary risk. If you look at the above vase picture, you will notice there is plenty of room between shields to fit a spear at armpit-level.
  7. Xenophon, Anabasis, Book IV "Along the line the order had sped "to keep their spears at rest on the right shoulder until the bugle signal; then lower them for the charge, slow march, and even pace, no one to quicken into a run." Lastly, the watchword was passed, "Zeus the Saviour, Heracles our Guide."" You can easily attack over a shield from an underarm stance. In fact using the term "underarm" is misleading, what's important here is thumb placement. Imagine how a fencer holds a foil, this gives you the most control. You can still raise your arm above your head, but you'd be leading with your
  8. You never hold a weapon with your pinky facing the enemy, I don't care who you are. You get no stability, no control and no reach. When you hold a spear like that, you are taking away every advantage a spear has, and gain none. When held correctly, you grip the shaft between your thumb and forefinger and keep the counterweight flush with your elbow. This is more natural and allows you to deliver powerful thrusts, as well as more easily work around your shield without limiting your strikes to a single target. It isn't difficult at all to hold your weapon like this in a tight formation, in fact
  9. Care to elaborate? This is an ongoing debate. I don't believe that spears were ever held that way. The pose is depicted in art, but that's for the sake of composition. Many realistic period depictions of Greek warriors, (those showing things like tight formations and armor) actually show the underhand grip. Other than that, and the obvious javelin throwing stance, there isn't any real proof that is the way spears were held. Seriously, get some dowels and some fencing masks, get a trashcan lid or something as a shield, and then try doing some sparring. Try both grips and you will find that no
  10. Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe soldiers in any period held their spears like that. While commonly depicted in art, in reality holding a spear overhand is very cumbersome, and soldiers would instead grip the shaft underhand, with the non-business end braced against their forearm. Javelin throwing is another story, but no melee combatant would hold his spear overhand. Pick up a broom handle and give it a try yourself, you'll find that the overhand grip is very limiting. I understand if the animation looks better the other way, or if there is technical reason troops are depicted t
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