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Sickle Swords and Khopesh


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#1 BaronIveagh

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 10:13 PM

There seems to be some incongruity between Tome of Blood and Tome of Fate

 

 

First of all: a sickle sword and a khopesh are the same thing.

 

 

In Tome of Blood we have rules for Sickle Swords.  The description and function of these blades is an exact match to an Egyptian style khopesh (with the big hook on the end) so the in universe sickle sword matches the real world one, based on the description..

 

In Tome of Fate, we have some powersword versions of the khopesh.  Yet these have totally different rules... but the only difference is they have a power field.

 

Since a sickle sword and a khopesh are the same thing, why does it loose all it's other bonuses because it has a power field?  I can follow the logic behind the difference between the Castor and Pollux ones, since they did come in larger more axelike forms and smaller slashing blades, but the blade does not change shape, and it's the shape of the blade that is what lets you disarm people with it.



#2 BrotharTearer

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 02:27 PM

So what if a khopesh is technically a sickle sword? They're different mechanically (one is a power weapon! It would be strange if they weren't different mechanically), just as a bolt pistol is mechanically different from a boltgun or a combi-bolter. But they're still bolters.

 

If you want to draw real life comparison, the khopesh isn't the only sickle sword that has existed. There's different versions throughout history. Does that make them the same weapon? No, it does not.

 

Actually, I don't understand what the issue is. They're different classes of weapons. Do you want the khopeshes to be able to disarm people like the sickle sword can, or something?



#3 BaronIveagh

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Posted 09 February 2014 - 03:32 PM

If you want to draw real life comparison, the khopesh isn't the only sickle sword that has existed. There's different versions throughout history. Does that make them the same weapon? No, it does not.

 

No, the description of it makes it the same weapon.  The disarming hook at the end is distinctive compared to Canaanite and Assyrian versions, as well as the Mambele and Shotel.  Some Sumerian sickle swords have the hook, but it's not nearly as well developed as it is in the Khopesh.

 

It's be like having a snail drum sub machinegun with cuts compensator stamped M1928 and then try to insist it's not a tommy gun.

 

So what if a khopesh is technically a sickle sword? They're different mechanically (one is a power weapon! It would be strange if they weren't different mechanically), just as a bolt pistol is mechanically different from a boltgun or a combi-bolter. But they're still bolters.

 

Which is sort the point.  To use the same comparison, if bolt weapons had a specific rule, it would be strange to find bolt pistols did not have that rule, with no explanation.

 

I just find it strange that the power version does not get the disarm bonus.  I wanted to know if this was just an oversight or what was going on.


Edited by BaronIveagh, 09 February 2014 - 03:39 PM.


#4 BrotharTearer

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 01:00 AM

 

I just find it strange that the power version does not get the disarm bonus.  I wanted to know if this was just an oversight or what was going on.

 

 

Balance and/or fluff reasons and/or mechanical reasons and/or uniqueness factor and/or different writers.

 

Maybe power fields make it harder to disarm people. You wouldn't know, seeing how there's no real life comparison to draw.


Edited by BrotharTearer, 10 February 2014 - 01:00 AM.


#5 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 07:35 AM

The Kursian Sickle Sword is based on the sica more than the khopesh, and as it's used in gladatorial fights you can see why it does what it does.

BYE


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Matt Eustace. Contributing Author Credits: Church of the Damned, The Lathe Worlds, The Lathe Worlds - The Lost Dataslate, Only War Core Rulebook, Hammer of the Emperor, Shield of Humanity, Tome of Fate, Tome of Blood, Tome of Excess and Tome of Decay.

The views expressed in this post are my own. I do not speak for or on behalf of Fantasy Flight Games.


#6 BaronIveagh

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 10:56 AM

Balance and/or fluff reasons and/or mechanical reasons and/or uniqueness factor and/or different writers.

 

Maybe power fields make it harder to disarm people. You wouldn't know, seeing how there's no real life comparison to draw.

 

 

Power Fields: Yes, but we do know how a power field works in universe, because it's been explained many times in fluff, with, for 40k, pretty good consistency.  The only thing that a power field would do is increase the odds that the weapon being parried would be destroyed during the disarm attempt.

 

Fluff: There's no fluff that says that they're not the same style of blade.  Only that they're made in different places.

 

Balance: Questionable.  While an additional +10 to parry is good with a power field weapon, there are weapon upgrades that do something similar that it can take anyway. Further one of them is a flexible weapon that can block, an the other is Concussive.

 

Uniqueness Factor: The rules for the power weapon versions already make them unique.  One has Flexible but can also parry, one has Concussive and can perry a Flexible weapon.  The other problem is they have illustrations of the power sword versions, which while one lacks the hook (and is generally Assyrian in shape, rather than a classical Khopesh), the other had a clear, large and well developed disarming hook. 

 

Different writers.....  dunno, but I have a hunch.  See next post.

 

The Kursian Sickle Sword is based on the sica more than the khopesh, and as it's used in gladatorial fights you can see why it does what it does.

BYE

 

We went over that before on Dakka.  Neither the Sica nor the Acinaces, both of which you said it's supposed to be, end in hooks (usually, there may be one off exceptions or modern 'fantasy' swords that use the name and do), and neither one is even close to the shape of a sickle sword.  One is a straight thrusting blade, and the other has a slight curve to it.

 

Further saying 'well "gladiatorial weapon" is why it disarms' sort of directly conflicts with the description you wrote (I'm betting, since you're credited in both books), which states that the disarming hook at the end of the blade is why it disarms.

 

This is the problem: you named it a real world thing, gave it rules and a description that matched the form and function of that same real world thing, and then are trying to insist that it's not the same as the real world thing.  Despite the description and mechanics in Tome of Blood and the pictures of the real world thing next to the other version of it in Tome of Fate.

 

You could make an argument, based on the illustration, that the 'Polix' sword lacks the disarming hook.  However, the 'Castir' clearly not only has the disarming hook, it's very large and well developed (more so than the ones used by King Tut, even), and sharpened.  Just like in the description of sickle swords in Tome of Blood.


Edited by BaronIveagh, 10 February 2014 - 11:00 AM.


#7 Drachdhar

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:23 PM

The way I imagined it to look is more along the lines of http://www.games-wor...Id=prod1710090a the raptor on the bottom lefts chainsword.

 

Or basically like some of the Uruk-Hai swords in LOTR... Ie more of a spike-hook kinda deal at the tip of the blade facing inwards towards the cutting edge and not the back like the khopesh.


Edited by Drachdhar, 10 February 2014 - 08:26 PM.


#8 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 12:38 AM

Really not hard to find examples of what it is.

BYE


Matt Eustace. Contributing Author Credits: Church of the Damned, The Lathe Worlds, The Lathe Worlds - The Lost Dataslate, Only War Core Rulebook, Hammer of the Emperor, Shield of Humanity, Tome of Fate, Tome of Blood, Tome of Excess and Tome of Decay.

The views expressed in this post are my own. I do not speak for or on behalf of Fantasy Flight Games.


#9 Bore

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 10:26 AM

error.


Edited by Bore, 11 February 2014 - 10:34 AM.


#10 Bore

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 10:31 AM

As their names are different, and this is a fantasy game (re: not reality), does that statement hold up?

 

There is a blurb in a different role-playing game Called Legend of the Five Rings; that blurb says that the setting is Rokugan, not Japan. While Rokugan has many similarities to feudal Japan, it also pulls from other areas of asian myth, as well as creating some of its own. I have found it to be a most helpful blurb for people who cannot distinguish the difference between real-world history and fantasy history.

 

So while in real-life a sickle sword and a khopesh are the same thing, in this fantasy game they are clearly and distinctly not the same thing.


Edited by Bore, 11 February 2014 - 10:40 AM.

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#11 Drachdhar

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:28 AM

Well, Sica was my first thought as well... But "feature a sharp HOOK at the end" somewhat threw me off that initial thought as a Sica is basically an inwards CURVED sword. Just my thoughts though,



#12 BaronIveagh

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:35 AM

Really not hard to find examples of what it is.

BYE

 

And which one of those ends in a hook for disarming?  Not a one.  Some have some pretty extreme curves, but none is a match for what got written in the book. 

 

As their names are different, and this is a fantasy game (re: not reality), does that statement hold up?

 

So while in real-life a sickle sword and a khopesh are the same thing, in this fantasy game they are clearly and distinctly not the same thing.

 

Well, no, in this case it doesn't hold up.  To use your Rokugan comparison, It's like calling it a guard and calling it a tsuba, and having a description (and rules!) where one is the part of the katana that protects your hand, and then having a drawing of the other pointing out that it's the part of the katana that protects your hand.

 

If the sickle sword description did not get so specific describing not only a real world sickle sword, but the specific type of sickle sword the khopesh is, you're right, we could write this off.  When you do that though you have to make sure that the description and illustration make sure to outline they're very different from the real world thing, not exactly the same.  Rokugan (and Pathfinder) make it clear that expyJapan is not the same as realJapan, and anything that they change (like renaming something) they make clear that this is NOT the same as the real world object, not give an accurate description of the real world object and then make up an excuse if they get caught.



#13 Drachdhar

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 11:41 AM

Might be just beating a dead something or other... But what makes a Khopesh a sickle sword? A khopesh's cutting edge is on the outwards curve whereas a sickle has it on the inwards curve... rather the opposite. Personally, I find the Shotel to be more of a sickle sword than the khopesh.



#14 Bore

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 03:31 PM

 

Really not hard to find examples of what it is.

BYE

 

And which one of those ends in a hook for disarming?  Not a one.  Some have some pretty extreme curves, but none is a match for what got written in the book. 

 

As their names are different, and this is a fantasy game (re: not reality), does that statement hold up?

 

So while in real-life a sickle sword and a khopesh are the same thing, in this fantasy game they are clearly and distinctly not the same thing.

 

Well, no, in this case it doesn't hold up.  To use your Rokugan comparison, It's like calling it a guard and calling it a tsuba, and having a description (and rules!) where one is the part of the katana that protects your hand, and then having a drawing of the other pointing out that it's the part of the katana that protects your hand.

 

If the sickle sword description did not get so specific describing not only a real world sickle sword, but the specific type of sickle sword the khopesh is, you're right, we could write this off.  When you do that though you have to make sure that the description and illustration make sure to outline they're very different from the real world thing, not exactly the same.  Rokugan (and Pathfinder) make it clear that expyJapan is not the same as realJapan, and anything that they change (like renaming something) they make clear that this is NOT the same as the real world object, not give an accurate description of the real world object and then make up an excuse if they get caught.

 

Okay, clearly I need to go one step further here.

 

So there is a car; it has an eight cylinder hemi engine in it. Which car is it? It's got four wheels, front and rear lights, seats, a steering wheel, etc. Basically I could go on and on describing two completely different vehicles that run off of the same engine and you'd still have to guess which one I was talking about (re: the Crysler 300 or the Dodge Challenger).

 

But here is the difference; we can see the difference between the three swords in the stat-line, of which you're claiming are all the same, based off of a physical picture, the descriptions (which are different by the way), due to some arbitrary items.

 

Firstly, it does not matter how close something in a fantasy game is described as being to its real-world model because real-world models do not have "stat profiles".

 

Secondly, pictures are simply not a canon source of material. They help us visualize stuff, and I am not saying that you should just throw the pictures out the window, but at the end of the day, if a sword is described as having a hook that does W with X bonus, and the picture looks the same as another sword, where the hook does Y with Z bonus, well then something here has to be incorrect.

 

And it's not the stat-line; that remains correct. It must therefore be the picture by process of elimination. What this means is that you cannot cite a real-world item as being canonical within a fantasy game no matter how much the drawing looks like the real thing. I mean, at its base, the Castir Khopesh is bendy, and the Polix Khopesh can somehow negate the otherwise flexible nature of its Castir counterpart.

 

Now, I've stared at those pictures for a long time and I gotta say, there is not way I can see how one is flexible and how the other can counter that without otherwise changing shape. Meaning that these two blades are not only inherently 100% fantasy swords, but that they are also 100% different than the sword in Tome of Blood as well as their otherwise real-world counterparts.

 

Or, as I posted above, the setting is Warhammer 40K, not real-world Earth.


Edited by Bore, 11 February 2014 - 03:32 PM.


#15 Amroth

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 07:08 PM

If you really don't like the differences home brew it into something you and your role-playing troupe would prefer.... problem solved.



#16 BaronIveagh

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 07:50 PM

 

Okay, clearly I need to go one step further here.

 

So there is a car; it has an eight cylinder hemi engine in it. Which car is it? It's got four wheels, front and rear lights, seats, a steering wheel, etc. Basically I could go on and on describing two completely different vehicles that run off of the same engine and you'd still have to guess which one I was talking about (re: the Crysler 300 or the Dodge Challenger).

 

 

Yeah, that's nice, but in this case the description effectively includes 'CHALLENGER' in big chrome letters across it.

 

And bluntly of course the stats are different, (it would be stranger if it didn't) because it has a power field.  Remember that a powerfield alters the weapon's base stats and there does not seem to be any real consistency in how much they increase among melee weapons.  So claiming they're not the same due to different stats ignores the power field, which means that even if they were the same they'd have different stats.

 

 

Firstly, it does not matter how close something in a fantasy game is described as being to its real-world model because real-world models do not have "stat profiles".

 

You're clearly forgetting that stat lines exist as an approximation of something in real life, to create relative levels of power between various weapons the combat system simulates.  If Oakeshott Type XIII (the standard fantasy sword, and real life weapon) has base stats higher than being hit by a bus, then people are going to point out that something is wrong here, no matter how much you plead 'fantasy'. 

 

Further, the Castir is not actually flexible if you read the description, it was given that trait due to it being very difficult to parry.

 

Might be just beating a dead something or other... But what makes a Khopesh a sickle sword? A khopesh's cutting edge is on the outwards curve whereas a sickle has it on the inwards curve... rather the opposite. Personally, I find the Shotel to be more of a sickle sword than the khopesh.

 

The Romans termed them ensis falcatus or 'sickle shaped blade'.  The sword Harpe which was used by Cronus to castrate Uranus was a khopesh originally, though later as depicted as any number sickle style blades that the Romans began lumping under this general description.  (note that the actual name for the sword currently known as a 'falcata' was an espada.  Calling them a 'falcata' was coined by Fulgrosio in 1872)  The term has more or less stuck.

 

'Khopesh' itself just means 'cutting sword'  or 'sword' or even 'sword royal' depending on the connotations.   The style original arose in Abyssinia and Mesopotamia as an evolution of the ellipsis axe, which is why the blade is on the outer edge rather than the inner edge.  The Egyptians adopted the hook on the end because of the prevalence of shield walls in large scale warfare at the time.  The khopesh allowed them to tear away an enemy's shield or weapon, because they could hook it with the end of the blade.  The inner edge was left unsharpened to make the surface that you caught an opponents weapon with stronger.  You'd parry with the flat side, and either catch the enemies weapon with the hook, or slide up their blade in a difficult to avoid counter blow.  You could use it to deliver a slashing motion or a powerful crushing below, depending, which made it equally useful against armored or unarmored adversaries.  You could also use the flat of the blade to slide around an attempt to parry it.


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#17 H.B.M.C.

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 04:17 AM

Might be just beating a dead something or other... But what makes a Khopesh a sickle sword? A khopesh's cutting edge is on the outwards curve whereas a sickle has it on the inwards curve... rather the opposite. Personally, I find the Shotel to be more of a sickle sword than the khopesh.

 

Well the Khopesh is was developed from axes, not sickles, so who knows?

BYE


Matt Eustace. Contributing Author Credits: Church of the Damned, The Lathe Worlds, The Lathe Worlds - The Lost Dataslate, Only War Core Rulebook, Hammer of the Emperor, Shield of Humanity, Tome of Fate, Tome of Blood, Tome of Excess and Tome of Decay.

The views expressed in this post are my own. I do not speak for or on behalf of Fantasy Flight Games.


#18 Bore

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 12:30 PM

 

 

Okay, clearly I need to go one step further here.

 

So there is a car; it has an eight cylinder hemi engine in it. Which car is it? It's got four wheels, front and rear lights, seats, a steering wheel, etc. Basically I could go on and on describing two completely different vehicles that run off of the same engine and you'd still have to guess which one I was talking about (re: the Crysler 300 or the Dodge Challenger).

 

 

Yeah, that's nice, but in this case the description effectively includes 'CHALLENGER' in big chrome letters across it.

 

And bluntly of course the stats are different, (it would be stranger if it didn't) because it has a power field.  Remember that a powerfield alters the weapon's base stats and there does not seem to be any real consistency in how much they increase among melee weapons.  So claiming they're not the same due to different stats ignores the power field, which means that even if they were the same they'd have different stats.

 

 

Firstly, it does not matter how close something in a fantasy game is described as being to its real-world model because real-world models do not have "stat profiles".

 

You're clearly forgetting that stat lines exist as an approximation of something in real life, to create relative levels of power between various weapons the combat system simulates.  If Oakeshott Type XIII (the standard fantasy sword, and real life weapon) has base stats higher than being hit by a bus, then people are going to point out that something is wrong here, no matter how much you plead 'fantasy'. 

 

Further, the Castir is not actually flexible if you read the description, it was given that trait due to it being very difficult to parry.

 

As far as descriptions go, 'Challenger' would be the equivalent of 'Polix Heavy Khopesh' in the scheme of things. As for a powerfield "altering the weapons' base stats", well yes, but it is only one part of the whole. As far as the stat-line was concerned, I was speaking more of the unique properties these weapons have, like the Castir sword being flexible and the Polix sword being able to counter the Castir sword's flexible property specifically; the power-field didn't do that; that is a statline property outside of the powerfield.

 

And as for "clearly forgetting that stat lines exist as an approximation of something in real life", I would then like for you to show me a real-life power weapon, flexible khopesh, the khopesh that can counter a flexible khopesh, etc.

And because I know you can't, I will now point out that you have clearly forgotten that stat lines do not always represent "something in real life".

 

While it is genuine to question the differences between various similar items, you have to realize that not everything has a real-life approximation, and that though it may be called the same and described the same as something in real-life, there comes a point where a person needs to be able to separate fact from fantasy.

 

Instances of such are occurring here, in this thread; these weapons are not their real-life equivalents. I mean for one, you're forgetting material composition of the swords; the real-life khopesh or sickle-sword was never made from nor produced in the fashion these weapons were, which can make all the difference in the world.



#19 BaronIveagh

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 11:09 AM



As far as descriptions go, 'Challenger' would be the equivalent of 'Polix Heavy Khopesh' in the scheme of things.

 

Yes, but in this case it has 'Challenger' written across it and all the traits of a Challenger, and yet people are insisting it's a Chrysler 300.  http://tvtropes.org/...lASmeerpARabbit

 

 

 

As far as the stat-line was concerned, I was speaking more of the unique properties these weapons have, like the Castir sword being flexible and the Polix sword being able to counter the Castir sword's flexible property specifically; the power-field didn't do that; that is a statline property outside of the powerfield

 

 

Yes, but they also explain why the two swords have those special rules, and that they have them because those specific swords are slight variants.  They also helpfully nullify one another 'special' traits for being variants, so we can see a power Khopesh's 'base' stats.

 

1D10+4E 4Pen Balanced, Powerfield.  Running it backwards through Stars of Inequity's rules for adding the Power Field Trait to a weapon ([Removes 2 pen and changes E to R] and making the assumption that the +4 Damage is coming from the Power field [because despite what's in RT, Power Weapons written by FFG seem to gain 4 to 5 Damage over their base weapon])...

 

1d10R Pen 2 Balanced 

 

 

 

And as for "clearly forgetting that stat lines exist as an approximation of something in real life", I would then like for you to show me a real-life power weapon, flexible khopesh, the khopesh that can counter a flexible khopesh, etc.

And because I know you can't,

 

 

Well, other than the power weapon, actually.... yes, I can. (Given what the two rules actually mean in this case).  You can't seem to grasp that all the power field is in this is an energy field that destroys matter.  It does not inherently change the blade or how a given blade works, it just makes it more damaging.

 

 

 

 

I mean for one, you're forgetting material composition of the swords; the real-life khopesh or sickle-sword was never made from nor produced in the fashion these weapons were, which can make all the difference in the world.

 

 

Because form follows function in a blade.  A khopesh forged in the heart of a star of unobtanium would still be used in exactly the same manner as one made of bronze. 

 

Going back to the rules in my initial question: they have to do with how the blade is used and it's shape. NOT what it's made of.  These blades are shaped the way they are because of how they're used.  Since we know that in warhammer 40k, a khopesh is shaped the same as it is in real life, it follows that the techniques in using one also are the same.


Edited by BaronIveagh, 13 February 2014 - 11:12 AM.


#20 BaronIveagh

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 11:09 AM

Double Post


Edited by BaronIveagh, 13 February 2014 - 11:10 AM.





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