Manuals/historical fighting methods

does anyone know if they are basing any of the combat off manuals? I do WMA primarily following Fiore de Liberi, which was relatively close to the time period in question, but obviously other fightmasters would be welcome as well. first posting, did a quick search and didnt seem like this topic had come up before

I believe they are indeed using the historical fechtbuchen.

The two that would be most relevant to this period are the I.33 manuscript on sword and buckler (c.13th century) and Liechtenauer’s merkverse (longsword - both blossfechten and harnischfechten, wrestling, dagger and polearm) which is even closer to this setting (dated to around 1389). Fieore’s manuscripts are dated slightly later, though he was a contemporary of Liechtenauer, if not actually a student of the Master himself (there’s some debate on that).

Of the German manuscripts, the manuscript of Sigmund Ringeck probably reflects the closest to the art as taught by Liechtenauer himself, as it is a pretty close gloss of Liechtenauer’s verse (also, Ringeck was either a student of Liechtenauer, or a student of a student. It’s a bit unclear).

I think they were something else, personally:


I would SO pay to see that movie, lol.

1 Like

it true that they were published later, though i would point out that that was when fiore was in his later years. he lived through the period that this game is occuring in and died after, so he is very much a contemporary master. its also a little more combat based compared to german ( not an attack on germanic styles, they are extremely effective). also, his style was based on the myriad styles he had studied, from germanic to italian, and what he has seen work effectively. but im straying for the point, i was just wondering if and who they were using for sources
edit 133 is an excellent source for the arming sword, i would be very pleased if they went with that

I’m not sure what you’re meaning here. Liechtenauer had very little nice to say about tourney fencers and showmen (amusingly proving that the Nick Gilliards of the world have been plaguing serious practitioners for CENTURIES with their twirly foolishness), and outright stated his art was meant for serious combat, not showmanship.

This is something I really wish would die away. There wasn’t a “national” style of longsword. Compare the German, Italian and what survives of the English manuscripts and there’s not a whole lot of differences between them, and there’s as much variation between the “styles” of different masters from within the same geographic region as there is between the “styles” of the different geographic regions.

fair points, but he does have a significant amount more battlefield oriented portions to his style, at least compared to the original lichtenauer, seeing as he covers spears, poleaxes, longswords, as well as defensive weapons such as staffs, batons, abbrazare, and daggers. and i use germanic and italian as terms of convenience, i am well aware that there werent national styles. glad to see that there are many followers of the game that are well educated in the actualities of western martial arts

Liechtenauer also covered polearms (as I said in my original post). Oh and dagger, too. Also, staff would, once again, be fought in the same manner as the other polearms. Especially since staff was considered a training weapon FOR the other polearms.

And don’t forget that the quarterstaff is great for murdering people :wink:

my appologies, iv only seen his work on the Wiktenauer, and that only shows longsword, armoured, and mounted fencing. so does anyone know which fightmasters they are using for this? that was the main intent of my OP

You also have Hans Talhoffer, he has polearms, daggers (and longsword, shields etc) and wrestling in this fechtbuch. Though, his manuals are from 1450 and onwards

ah, ok, that makes a lot of sense

I’d stick with a combination of Ringeck and Fiore. Ringeck is slightly later (closer to 1440, IIRC), but his work is primarily a direct gloss of Liechtenauer’s verse, so would still be a good starting point for the condition of Western martial arts c.1400 (Ringeck is translating Liechtenauer directly, whereas Talhoffer is building ON Liechtenauer).

1 Like

I understand the hype about realistic sword-on-sword fights, but I personally am looking forward mostly to see all the other period weapons, especially in use against opponents armed with something else then the character.

I also understand that Dan has previously said he doesn’t want to have firearms in the game, but considering that they became one of the main reasons of Hussite victories just two decades later - together with wagon fort - it would be lovely to have some early firearms also available.

In my humble opinion, while advanced fencing materials and “star” fencing/fighting masters are pretty cool and hip and all, of course; yet I believe that strictly speaking these may be kind of off the limits for the - mainly social - setting of the KC : D, even if we could search for at least one source acceptably near in time and in location to the setting of the game. Which we can’t quite do right now as far as I know, even if this (the borders of generalization) is kind of subjective up to a point. (Let’s see the aforementioned I.33, the priest trains the student against the “vulgar fencers” if I remember correctly, about whom we do not know too much directly, but depicting the “standard”, common sword-and-shield fencer in the era might be more accurate as a “vulgar” fencer. Similar example in my country: We know only one (again: only one) single steel helmet from hungarian soldiers from the X. century, yet everyone and his mother uses the same exact helmet in reenactment armies like it was a common occurence. One by one, they are not wrong. Altogether, they are.) So yes, we know some materials we can work with, but can we really apply those to the game just for the sake of it? Will it be more accurate? Or less?
And what about playability? I am not sure how to implement any fencing system into a game wholly (and what’s the point in half-assing it?), where it stays accurate (up to our best current guess) and enjoyable, playable at the same time with a keyboard and mouse. Well, maybe with a Kinect. :smiley:
So, taking this all together, I would rather practice, discuss and research with my swords and pals complex techniques IRL and play a well designed, challenging, fairly looking and believable “casual” combat on screen, than the other way around.

fair points all, i suppose if we wanted a truly historical perspective on peasant fencing we would be running around with messers (god help us all) instead of longswords, which would be an interesting perspective as well

I’d be VERY careful citing a lack of evidence as evidence of lack. Some artifacts just don’t survive for various reasons. A simple steel helmet of the sort most likely to be used by common soldiers is also most likely to be simply discarded when it wears out. For example, a more modern comparison: Almost all of the surviving Kentucky longrifles dating from the American Colonial period are the really elaborate masterpieces with tigerstripe maple stocks and extensive gold and silver work. This does NOT mean that the majority of such weapons were similarly decorated; quite the opposite! These weapons were actually the EXCEPTION rather than the rule, there’s just more OF them because they were the guns that got hung on the wall for display purposes, while the plain guns that were ACTUALLY used daily – weather for hunting, sport or warfare – wore out and were discarded over time.

Using another closer-to-period example from one of the clothing threads, EVERYONE knows that what we’d recognize as a woman’s bra was first invented int he late-19th/early-20th centuries, right? And that was certainly the case until several 15th-century examples turned up in 2008. There was no evidence of them existing before that find; it certainly wasn’t the sort of thing that got depicted in Medieval artwork (the primary source on Medieval clothing since actual examples are incredibly rare). And because there was no evidence, everyone automatically assumed it didn’t exist at all.


Similarly, I would be VERY careful in assuming the lack of information over just how widespread formal training in the use of the sword was automatically means that the vast majority of swordsmen were “vulgar” fencers with only a handful of truly trained fencers. That is something that would rely heavily on written records, and written records of the period rarely survive as it is, not to mention this is still a period when very few people are literate so much of that evidence may never have been written down in the first place. There’s no known surviving French or Spanish manuscripts dating from this time period, does that mean the French or Spanish didn’t have fencing masters of their own?


When it comes to period sources from the place where the game is set, I would also add that following the defeat of Czech nobles at White Mountain in 1620s, the Catholization and Germanization efforts included not only large scale genocide (up to 2/3 of people either killed or expelled), but also purposeful destroying of any written records, books and manuscripts in Czech language.

Please note, that in my reply I used words like “may”, “as far as I know”, “too much” “more accurate”, “up to our best current guess” etc.
We can make educated quesses, but from the point of the formal logic, they will still be wrong. We have to inspect every other, connecting sources of informations, of course, since every issue is a different issue, but my example was simply about the logical fallacy of deduction rather than the exact helmet-problem (which still stands, but I guess I’ll not get you all bored with X. century hungarian burial customs since noone cares. :smiley: ).
Long story short: I never once said that the lack of evidence is the evidence of lack, but I do state that without basically any evidence you can’t make responsible statements.

We are not talking about “truly trained fencers”, we are talking about fencers trained in a specific manner, similar like the connection of La Verdadera Destreza and Escrima Vulgar. I do not see the world as bipolar, with complete morons on the one side and fencing masters on the other, but I do believe that at least before the advent of the cities fencing guilds, there may be more of Lichtenawer’s and Döbringer’s so called “corpse makers”, than “artists”. That is, now if I think about it, may be true in many aspects up to our time.

Then I’ll answer in the same manner: What will you put in a french game then, the material of a fencing book we have our current first copy from 1651 of Iberia? :smiley:
We were talking about very specific “manuals and historical fighting methods” in relation with Rattay of the early 1400s. Not else. With that said, I still think that implementing some specific technique is historically inaccurate, because it is more than a necessary hole filling deduction. The “This might be existed, you can’t prove the contrary” is not something we should dwell into, because it might lead as very, very far…

I think it’s a very safe hole-filling deduction, given the smiliarities in the art between the German, Italian and English manuscripts, that the French and Spanish taught the same or similar art. Thus my case is that there’s NO SUCH THING as “Italian Longsword” or “German Longsword.” It’s just “Longsword.” So in a French-set game c.1400 it would be completely appropriate to use Liechtenauer and Fiore as the basis for the fencing depicted.

1 Like