05-04 Question Evasion Skills, Activate!
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05-04 Question Evasion Skills, Activate!

Thu, 19th Dec, 2019

BMR on Thu, 19th Dec, 2019

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So, you know how I said that knives spin when you throw them? Well, there are a few techniques that can be used to throw a knife so it doesn't. That still doesn't make it a great weapon though, as most of my previous points still stand.

But the first time you figure out how to do a no-spin throw? Oh man, does it feel great. After learning how to throw knives without spin, I tried my hand at bo-shuriken. Those are loads of fun to throw. What's a bo-shuriken? Well, a shuriken is basically a throwing star. A bo-shuriken is a throwing spike. It's just a long pointy piece of metal that you throw. It's not thrown like a dart, but rather closer to how you'd throw a knife. Oodles of fun.

I should, perhaps, point something out that I failed to mention before. Throwing knives and throwing stars? Utterly garbage weapons for killing someone. However, if in a fight, some dude throw a sharp piece of metal at your face? You're going to try to get out of the way. So, while they're trash at inflicting the sort of instant-kills you see in Hollywood, they can still be useful to distract an opponent, giving you an extra second or two to either strike with a non-garbage weapon, or to run away. Even then though, it's still probably better to focus your training on your spear or sword or whatever.


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Thracecius on Thu, 19th Dec, 2019

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Isn't throwing the knife without a spin something about proper wrist movement? I've never had that chance to try throwing knives (that I recall, anyhow), but I'm sure I've seen it done before...somewhere.

If you want to *kill* someone with a thrown object, it's probably better to learn how to throw a javelin or use an atlatl. Then again, a well thrown rock can do a heck of a lot of damage too, so I wouldn't discount them either.

BMR on Thu, 19th Dec, 2019

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There are... I think... three? maybe four? common ways to do the no-spin knife throw. I'm only really capable of doing one of them, so that's the one I stuck in the comic. The one I'm familiar with does indeed require some proper wrist movement. When throwing a regular knife, your wrist is locked so that you don't impart too much spin, making it so you can reliably predict it. With the method I know, there's a bit of a whip-like movement with your wrist, but not overly much. Also, a central part of it is your index finger, which brushes the knife ever so slightly as it leaves your hand, basically imparting a counter-spin which will (in theory at least, it takes a lot of practice) cancel out the spin imparted by your arm. If all goes well, it flies through the air without any spin.

And yeah, there are so, so very many other thrown weapons that are great at killing people. Javelins are indeed great, and (as far as I know from history) in some cultures, the atlatl was indeed a major game-changer for some cultures. If you can reliably kill the other guy from a distance far enough that he can't even scratch you, then you're sitting pretty. Oh, and speaking of throwing rocks, have you seen those demonstrations by guys who are proficient with slings? Holy crap, the accuracy and power of those guys. Now there's a simple throwing weapon that's utterly devastating. And depending where you are, ammunition is endless. I'd love to learn how to use one, but the last time I tried I wound up smacking myself in the shin, heh. Not ideal =p

Thracecius on Fri, 20th Dec, 2019

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Yep, a mass of slingers were a feared opponent, even for armored adversaries like the Romans. I believe that most of the Celtic tribes used them, and sometimes to devastating effect, but ultimately they were overwhelmed by superior training, technology, tactics and numbers. The Romans weren't masters of the Mediterranean and Western Europe for no reason.

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