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Prussian Spada

A Spada Lunga

Heavy weapons are a class of mêlée weapons that rely on sheer force to inflict bone-breaking damage. Though slow and unwieldy in the wrong hands, they compensate for this flaw through the tremendous power they deliver. The great strength demanded by such weapons ensured that they were historically fielded to specialized heavy soldiers such as Brutes and grenadiers rather than units of lesser build.

DescriptionEdit

As it name suggests, a heavy weapon is any large weapon whose considerate weight requires an average human to wield with both hands to use effectively. While cumbersome, its great size and weight ensures that successful attacks can be devastating to its targets. Heavy weapons are designed to overwhelm through its mighty power and force, smashing through the defenses of its enemies. When swung with sufficient strength, they are able to break through attempts to parry with smaller weapons, and opponents caught under the full weight of the blow may drop their weapons or collapse to the ground entirely.[1][2][3]

Their major drawback lies in their immense weight which generally results in slower swings that can more easily be evaded by lighter and more agile opponents.[4][1][5] Nevertheless, certain professional warriors, such as the poleaxe guards of the Ming dynasty of China, have been able to overcome this usual setback with their training and strength.[6]

HistoryEdit

Heavy weapons have been utilized by warriors throughout history. During the Third Crusade, Crusaders such as the Templars Basilisk and Haras and the Hospitaller "Lazy Eye" favored greatswords in combat.[4][7][8] In the first case, the Templar leader's reliance on his gargantuan weapon proved to be his undoing, as his adversary, the Master Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad defeated him in single combat three times by exploiting his sluggish maneuvers.[4] The Cypriot religious zealot Moloch, an ally of the Templars, more uniquely wielded a heavy flail in his mortal duel against Altaïr at Kantara Castle in 1192, but he too was felled by the Assassin's superior mobility.[9]

Centuries later during the Renaissance, heavy weapons were a staple of Italian armies, particularly mercenaries. Soldiers specifically trained for the use of heavy weapons were known as Brutes. The legendary Italian Assassin Ezio Auditore da Firenze for much of his life found it challenging to slip through the defenses of opponents wielding heavy weapons using a conventional sword.[1][10] Instead, to execute counter-attacks against such foes, he was often, but not always,[10] forced to rely on his Hidden Blades—which his enemies were generally not trained to defend against—heavy weapons of his own, or polearms of superior reach. He was, however, exceptionally adept at disarming Brutes with his bare hands.[1][2] Late in his life, during his time in Constantinople, his skills had been refined to such a degree that he no longer struggled to counter enemies employing heavy weapons with a short sword or dagger.[7]

In the 18th century, grenadiers, specialized soldiers in charge of lobbing grenades and leading assaults, were regular units of European armies. Given their muscular stature—as they were invariably chosen from among the strongest of soldiers—they were commonly equipped with heavy weapons. By this period, greatswords had become obsolete, and most heavy weapons took the form of giant naval axes. Grenadiers generally wielded Hessian axes or a variant thereof which were designed for the dual purpose of combat and felling trees. As such, they were also heavily favored by frontiersmen during the European colonial period of America. The enormous strength of typical grenadiers and frontiersmen meant that they were able to wield these great axes with one hand in combat.[5]

Though their methods and combat arts heavily favor agility, swiftness, and evasion and brute force combat is discouraged, the Assassins throughout history did not actively shun heavy weapons, and some of their agents wielded greatswords and giant axes as their main weapons.[2][7][11]

Combat techniquesEdit

Brute die

Ezio killing a Brute with an axe

Italian soldiers, be they Brutes or mercenaries, were trained to perform a technique commonly called a Smash Attack, so called because the goal of this move was to overwhelm an opponent through the brutal force of a powerful swing. To perform this technique, one has to wind up his weapon with two hands, channeling his strength, before releasing the attack in one fell swoop with all his might. Upon impact, the enemy should buckle under the massive blow, possibly even loosing grip of his weapon or his balance. However, the long build-up time for the proper execution of this maneuver, as well as the wide sweeping swing, ensures that a combatant preparing for it would render himself highly vulnerable to being interrupted by an enemy strike.[1][2][3]

In this respect, the Smash Attack closely resembles the Strong Attack, a generic name for a slow, but powerful, strike with any melee weapon of any size.[11] However, the Smash Attack differs in its emphasis on crashing through an enemy's defenses entirely and stunning them,[1] an objective more akin to a Staggering Blow.[11]

The Smash Attack was taught to Ezio by his uncle Mario Auditore though he would rarely rely on it given his preference for medium weapons instead.[1] During his time in Rome and Constantinople, Ezio was apt to use a different technique with heavy weapons entirely: that of throwing them directly at targets from as far as ten meters away.[2][7]

StatisticsEdit

16th centuryEdit

RomeEdit

Name Damage Speed Deflect Cost Availability
Bearded Axe 2 3 4 7000ƒ Sequence 2
Bastard Sword 3 4 3 12400ƒ Sequence 6
Stocco 3 5 5 17000ƒ Sequence 7
Spadone 5 4 4 26100ƒ Renovate 10 blacksmiths
Bartolomeo's Axe 3 2 5 N/A Complete all Mercenary guild challenges
Spada Lunga 4 5 3 N/A Complete Blacksmith shop quest

Constantinople and DerinkuyuEdit

Name Damage Speed Deflect Cost Availability
Bearded Axe 2 3 4 8050 Akce Sequence 2
Merovingian Axe 1 5 5
French Bastard Sword 3 4 3 14260 Akce Sequence 4
Condottiero Axe 3 2 5 23460 Akce Sequence 6
Prussian Longsword 3 5 5 30015 Akce Sequence 7
Broadsword 5 4 4 N/A Complete all Mercenary Guild challenges
Almogavar Axe 5 5 5 N/A Complete "The Champion, Part 1" memory

18th centuryEdit

British Colonial AmericaEdit

Name Damage Speed Combo Cost Availability
French Naval Axe 2 3 3 £750 Sequence 6
Hessian Axe 2 1 4 £3650 Sequence 6
Pirate Boarding Axe 5 4 2 N/A Sequence 7
Naval Axe 4 4 2 N/A Sequence 9
Boarding Axe 3 4 3 £7000 Sequence 9

French Colonial AmericaEdit

Name Damage Speed Combo Chain-kill Cost
Naval Axe 4 2 4 2 10620 écu
Boarding Axe 5 3 3 3 27040 écu
Obsidian Axe 5 2 4 2 16310 écu
Macuahuitl 4 3 3 2 17000 écu

TriviaEdit

  • The maximum amount of combo hits with a heavy weapon is three. [citation needed]
Assassin's Creed II
  • Heavy weapons are not sold in stores, and Ezio Auditore cannot truly equip them. He may wield them by wrestling them from enemies or looting them off their corpses. However, he will lose a heavy weapon as soon as he performs a counter-attack as the weapon would become embedded in the enemy's corpse. Moreover, he will automatically drop it any time he enters high-profile.
  • Ezio Auditore can disarm a weapon from Brutes in the first attempt, whereas it can take several attempts to disarm Elite or Leader guards.
  • Taunting is an effective method to disarm tougher guards such as Brutes or Papal Guards, as it makes them attack faster and gives Ezio more chances to disarm them.
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
  • Unlike in its prequel, heavy weapons are available for purchase at the shops of blacksmiths. They therefore can be equipped as primary weapons.
  • A heavy sheath, purchased from a tailor, is required for Ezio to equip heavy weapons as his primary weapon.
  • Upon wielding a heavy weapon, it replaces the space normally assigned to his medium weapon, requiring Ezio to return to a blacksmith or the Assassin hideout on Tiber Island to replace it.
  • Although Ezio can no longer perform the Smash Attack, enemy guards still can.
  • Assassin recruits below the rank of Assassino can wield heavy weapons, and although these are described as axes in the recruit's training interface, they can manifest themselves as two-handed swords as well.
  • Occasionally, whenever a heavy weapon is thrown at a guard that was in mid-air, through freerunning after pickpockets, it will stay in their head, and they will stand still. From then on, the guard will appear dead and won't attack Ezio, but when the Assassin removes his heavy weapon from the body, the weapon will fall to the ground and can be retrieved as usual.
  • Heavy weapons lack the ability to counter-attack other heavy or long weapon users, except during an execution or counter-kill animation. Despite this, long weapons retain the ability to counter other long or heavy weapons.
  • Heavy weapons no longer becomes lodged in enemies when counter-killing them, allowing Ezio to keep using them for the duration of the battle, unless they are thrown.
  • When attempting to throw a heavy weapon at Cesare Borgia at the memory Pax Romana, it will automatically miss since the player is required to destroy his armor and kill him by combat and using a medium, short, or a ranged weapon.
Assassin's Creed: Revelations
  • Unlike in previous games, medium weapons can be used to counter heavy weapons.
  • Although listed as a heavy weapon, the Broadsword is wielded like a medium weapon. However the sound effects in kill animations is a mix of both medium and heavy weapon sounds.
  • Counter-steal cannot be performed while wielding a heavy weapon.
Assassin's Creed III
  • Heavy weapons, in the form of giant Hessian axes, are only wielded by grenadiers and frontiersmen, who cannot be countered or grabbed. Their regular attacks are slow and similar to Smash Attacks and cannot be countered; Connor will instead automatically dodge them when the command prompt for countering is pressed. This type of soldier can only be harmed when disarmed.

GalleryEdit

AppearancesEdit

SourcesEdit

ReferencesEdit

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