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|Nov 16 2010, 1:14 PM EST (current)||Akerris||1 word added, 1 word deleted|
|Nov 14 2010, 7:36 AM EST||Akerris||5 words added, 7 words deleted|
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An Old Weapon for a New Foe
When most people think of a weapon to combat zombies they rarely consider a warhammer. This is mostly due to the perception that wahammers are heavy medieval sledgehammers and the fallacy that medieval warriors carried weapons so heavy the average person today couldn't lift them properly. This is an erroneous assumption indeed since the most effective weapons were ones that were lightweight enough to not tire out its wielder in a long battle. The average survivor generally would rather take weapons that have been pop-hyped in movies or fiction like machetes, katanas, and baseball bats. Since the war hammer in its historical form, to my knowledge, has never killed a zombie in any movie, or TV shows, it lacks the pop-culture hype of flashier weapons. Only with the advent of Assassin's Creed II has the historical warhammer come into video game vogue, and it must be mentioned that Ezio Auditore di Firenze wouldn't be the type to carry around a massive unwieldy weapon. Needless to say, it has been minimally exposed to the general public.
It is a general assumption that to kill a zombie one must kill the brain, a role that the warhammer performs excellently. Warhammers were designed to cause terminal brain damage to warriors wearing steel helmets either with blunt force trauma with the hammer head or by penetrating and cracking the skull with the sharp spike. It is safe to assume that a weapon that can effectively negate a steel helmet will effectively damage the brain of an unarmored skull with ease. Looking at these facts it is clear that the warhammer will perform admirably against the undead.
The combat effectiveness of the warhammer against zombies cannot be understated. Unlike bladed weapons the hammer head offers a striking surface that is very unlikely to lodge itself in the opponent, while the spike allows for precise skull penetration that few blades can offer. Blades also require precision strikes in order to chop effectively. In contrast, the warhammer can deliver lethal blows as long as the mass of the hammerhead connects effectively to the cortex. It should also be stated that unlike most swords, which have balance points closer to the hilt, the weight of the warhammer is mostly at the hammer head. This puts the greatest amount of momentum behind each blow allowing a great deal of force from a weapon whose head is comparable in size to a common household hammer. Unlike the common hammer, warhammers are mounted on hardwood or metal hafts anywhere from 46cm (18 inches) to 3m (~9 feet) in length allowing for multiple uses in combat and greater leverage behind each swing. Though the warhammer is often shorter in reach than other weapons, this allows for it to be used in closer quarters and makes transporting it easier than weapons of longer reach. In short the warhammer was designed for combat, a factor that should never be overlooked when taken into battle.
Despite its obvious combat applications, the warhammer can be used in passive situations as well. The warhammer can be used to break windows or other soft barriers like fiberglass and drywall. The hammer and spike can be used to break through ice either for ice fishing or gaining access to water in a frozen lake. The spike can also be used to open a can or other large liquid filled container, or at least punch a usable hole in it.
While some of these weapons may be of less weight or greater reach than the standard warhammer, none of them has the skull penetration ability of the warhammer. Though comparing blades to bludgeons is like apples and oranges people tend to underestimate the difficulty of decapitation versus a simple overhead swing. This chart shows how the warhammer has middle of the road stats in weight and length for an unsurpassed ability in combat effectiveness against zombies.
|Warhammer||1kg (2lbs 4oz)||67cm (26.5")|
|KaBar||.3kg (10oz)||30cm (12")|
|Mace||1.8kg (4lbs)||60cm (24")|
|Katana||1.2kg (2lbs 10oz)||101cm (40")|
|Longsword||1.4kg (3lbs 4oz)||115cm (45.5")|
|Machete||.5kg (1lb 2.3oz)||75cm (29.5")|
|Baseball Bat||.8kg (1lb 12oz)||79cm (31")|
|Chainsaw||4.7kg (10lb 5oz)||40.5cm (16")|
|Sledgehammer||3.6kg (8lbs)||86cm (34")|
|Kukri||.6kg (1lb 6oz)||43cm (17")|
|Handaxe||.9kg (2lbs)||49cm (19.25")|
DLOWTHEMAD: Just want to call attention to the two classes of warhammer: footmans & horsemans hammers.
In the drawing above, the heavy cavalry-man is carrying a shorter version of the warhammer, this is the horseman's hammer. While the one in the photo, is longer, the difference comes from the footmans need(at the time) to over come cavalry. The dimensions above are for a horseman's hammer, footman's hammers measured out more like this: Length 32" plus--- weight 3lbs 8oz.