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Melee Merits? (Read 423 times)
Captain_Twine
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Melee Merits?
Jun 20th, 2020 at 9:44pm
 
One thing that we as slingers have to be aware of when we're practicing is our surroundings, for all but obvious reasons. The specifics depending on your individual style, slinging always involved the inherent danger of swinging a hard object about one's body at high velocities, which is liable to cause injury.

But has this liability ever been used in ancient warfare... on purpose? And would it even be practical?

The primary function of a sling is to essentially extend the throwing arm - It's a ranged weapon. But I wonder if the sling has any merit as a melee weapon as well (Say, for instance, being used as a flail?) Are there accounts recording this kind of tactic by some ancient force? I was pondering the question earlier, and wondered if there was any precedent that the community knew of.
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“For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation, 'tis necessary that it should be observed and explained; and... a reason should be given, for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it. ..[V]ice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of objects, nor is perceived by reason.”
 
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JudoP
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Re: Melee Merits?
Reply #1 - Jun 20th, 2020 at 9:54pm
 
It would certainly do some damage, but one hit and you are pretty likely to lose the stone.
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WojtekimbieR
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Re: Melee Merits?
Reply #2 - Jun 21st, 2020 at 4:44am
 
My guess would be that ancient slingers likely carried whatever meele weapon they could own (a spear, an axe, a knife, or even a stick/bludgeon) so that they wouldn't be hopeless facing anyone up close. Someone might have been hit with a sling in meele the way you describe. I think someone was, and it's just not the type of usage I would expect to end up recorded in any source. If it did, it would be more interesting to know why someone back then thought it was important.
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Sarosh
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Re: Melee Merits?
Reply #3 - Jun 21st, 2020 at 5:08am
 
maybe the rope dart is what you are looking for.
I don't see how a skirmisher would want to fight in melee any number of troops.
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joe_meadmaker
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Re: Melee Merits?
Reply #4 - Jun 21st, 2020 at 10:41am
 
A melee hit was one of the indoor challenges we posted during the COVID isolation.  It's really difficult to keep a projectile in your sling and get any kind of power with a melee hit.

I did a test by tying a sling in a knot around a ball so it was held in the pouch.  That actually worked pretty well as a flail-like weapon.  As long as you have a cupped pouch.

Here is my melee hit video in case you're interested.  Although this was more for fun that an actual test.

https://youtu.be/vFIQMolDArI
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Captain_Twine
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Re: Melee Merits?
Reply #5 - Jun 21st, 2020 at 1:14pm
 
JudoP wrote on Jun 20th, 2020 at 9:54pm:
It would certainly do some damage, but one hit and you are pretty likely to lose the stone.

A good point - The only way I can think of to get around that (Off the top of my head anyway) would be to tie the stone into the pouch, which is arguably the most foolish thing you could do with a sling, ha ha. It'd be like using a bola on yourself. I wonder if there's a way you keep it secure in the pouch... Or maybe design a projectile that's designed to leave the pouch and stick to the target after you whack it, almost like a burr? Who knows. Smiley

WojtekimbieR wrote on Jun 21st, 2020 at 4:44am:
My guess would be that ancient slingers likely carried whatever meele weapon they could own (a spear, an axe, a knife, or even a stick/bludgeon) so that they wouldn't be hopeless facing anyone up close. Someone might have been hit with a sling in meele the way you describe. I think someone was, and it's just not the type of usage I would expect to end up recorded in any source. If it did, it would be more interesting to know why someone back then thought it was important.

I imagine it'd probably be more likely for a slinger to be injured by the melee aspect of his fellow slinger's sling than that of the enemy, given that they're probably much closer to their friends than any enemy slingers. Maybe such an account (Of someone being hit by their buddy's sling, that is) would show up in a war safety manual or something, if such a thing existed then? At any rate, it would definitely be more convenient for a slinger to have a true melee weapon on his person should a close-quarters combat situation arise.

Sarosh wrote on Jun 21st, 2020 at 5:08am:
maybe the rope dart is what you are looking for.
I don't see how a skirmisher would want to fight in melee any number of troops.

That's a good point as well - If slings were mainly used in a hit-and-run context, it would probably never get into a situation where it could be used that way in the first place.

I guess there's probably much better weapons for accomplishing what the sling does when it's spinning, ha ha. I looked up some flail weapons and came across a short Wikipedia article on the Chinese "meteor hammer," which is basically a metal ball on a chain. It kinda reminded me of the Ball and Chain item in Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess; it's like a rope dart and a sling had a baby. Which, now that I think about it, gives me an interesting idea...
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“For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation, 'tis necessary that it should be observed and explained; and... a reason should be given, for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it. ..[V]ice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of objects, nor is perceived by reason.”
 
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Kick
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Re: Melee Merits?
Reply #6 - Jun 21st, 2020 at 3:40pm
 
One thing I could maybe see happening is a group of slingers, who are already engaging and releasing shots, being surprised with a counter attack. If I was there slinging and I was winding up and judging the distance and suddenly someone rushed out from cover at me, I would probably whip the sling round just because it's already at hand. I think this would also be a good way of getting some use out of the ammo before dropping it and then going for your sidearm which would most likely be a small sword or dagger.

Captain_Twine wrote on Jun 21st, 2020 at 1:14pm:
I guess there's probably much better weapons for accomplishing what the sling does when it's spinning, ha ha. I looked up some flail weapons and came across a short Wikipedia article on the Chinese "meteor hammer," which is basically a metal ball on a chain. It kinda reminded me of the Ball and Chain item in Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess; it's like a rope dart and a sling had a baby. Which, now that I think about it, gives me an interesting idea...

NooneOfConsequence makes a mean paracord monkey fist/meteor hammer. I should know, I own one Cheesy I am absolutely not an expert, I wouldn't even say beginner, in using one offensively, but even I can whip it round pretty fast and most of the time not hit myself. When I have hit myself, I've definitely known about it.
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Captain_Twine
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Re: Melee Merits?
Reply #7 - Jun 21st, 2020 at 9:43pm
 
joe_meadmaker wrote on Jun 21st, 2020 at 10:41am:
A melee hit was one of the indoor challenges we posted during the COVID isolation.  It's really difficult to keep a projectile in your sling and get any kind of power with a melee hit.

I did a test by tying a sling in a knot around a ball so it was held in the pouch.  That actually worked pretty well as a flail-like weapon.  As long as you have a cupped pouch.

Here is my melee hit video in case you're interested.  Although this was more for fun that an actual test.

https://youtu.be/vFIQMolDArI

Woah. I watched it, that was pretty freaking cool Grin When the plastic container apocalypse happens, we all know who's gonna survive, ha ha!

Kick wrote on Jun 21st, 2020 at 3:40pm:
NooneOfConsequence makes a mean paracord monkey fist/meteor hammer. I should know, I own one Cheesy I am absolutely not an expert, I wouldn't even say beginner, in using one offensively, but even I can whip it round pretty fast and most of the time not hit myself. When I have hit myself, I've definitely known about it.

I can imagine hitting yourself would NOT be very pleasant at all.
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“For as this ought, or ought not, expresses some new relation or affirmation, 'tis necessary that it should be observed and explained; and... a reason should be given, for what seems altogether inconceivable, how this new relation can be a deduction from others, which are entirely different from it. ..[V]ice and virtue is not founded merely on the relations of objects, nor is perceived by reason.”
 
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NooneOfConsequence
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Re: Melee Merits?
Reply #8 - Jun 22nd, 2020 at 1:18am
 
If you want to use a mass on a string as a weapon and you don’t want to formally study kung fu (rope dart, meteor hammer, 7-segment whip, etc all have many similarities in technique), I recommend at least reading this short book:

http://www.philelmore.com/download-beamartialist/street_chucks.pdf
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“My final hour is at hand. We face an enemy more numerous and cunning than the world has yet seen. Remember your training, and do not fear the hordes of Judas. I, without sin, shall cast the first stone. That will be your sign to attack! But you shall not fight this unholy enemy with stones. No! RAZOR GLANDES!  Aim for the eyes! May the Lord have mercy, for we shall show none!“  -Jesus the Noodler
 
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NooneOfConsequence
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Re: Melee Merits?
Reply #9 - Jun 22nd, 2020 at 1:24am
 
And don’t forget that the meteor hammer inspired a (mostly useless) new slinging style:

http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1581643296/14#14
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“My final hour is at hand. We face an enemy more numerous and cunning than the world has yet seen. Remember your training, and do not fear the hordes of Judas. I, without sin, shall cast the first stone. That will be your sign to attack! But you shall not fight this unholy enemy with stones. No! RAZOR GLANDES!  Aim for the eyes! May the Lord have mercy, for we shall show none!“  -Jesus the Noodler
 
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slingingrocksforfun
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Re: Melee Merits?
Reply #10 - Jun 22nd, 2020 at 5:25am
 
I would imagine that in a melee situation slingers would also have sheilds, spears and/or short sword for close combat.
That, or else retreat behind sheild walls or similar when enemy advances closer.
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