Swords and maces were weapons used by military units, guards, and members of the Assassin Order to engage in open combat against armed opponents, and usually acted as primary weapons alongside a short blade or pistol. Swords could be either one or two-handed, though the latter was mostly classified as a heavy weapon.
Swords and maces both had a long reach, great power, and a quick attack rate, though not as much as long weapons, heavy weapons or short blades, respectively. As such, they could be seen as the most balanced weapons available.
Aside from attack, a sword or mace could also be used to block or counter an enemy, or break through their defense. They were also the only weapons that could be used from horseback.
In the High Middle Ages, guards used no other melee weapon but swords, and the guards of Masyaf regularly practiced swordplay in the courtyard, stressing how important it was to wield a blade. Maces were uncommon at the time, and the sword was a mainstay in any arsenal, even for archers.
The sword became available to an Assassin upon reaching the second rank, with more powerful, better quality swords being presented to him as he progressed. Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad began with a dull-gray sword that lacked a guard and had a curved hilt. His second sword resembled the first, though it possessed a silvery sheen and a distinct pommel.
His third sword was his personal weapon, which was constructed of a hand guard that was shaped like an eagle's wings, along with an eagle's head at the pommel.
Altaïr's very last sword was the Syrian sabre. It had a curved blade, a characteristic of Arabic swords, and indicated a very high status, as the hilt and sheath were covered in gold. Al Mualim, the Mentor of the Levantine Assassins, also used this sword.
Come the Renaissance, maces had become equally as popular as the sword, and matched them in use and availability. The first sword Ezio Auditore da Firenze obtained came from his father, and was stored in a chest hidden in the Palazzo Auditore. However, he quickly lost it when he was disarmed in his attempt to save his father and brothers from execution.
Swords and maces continued to be a central part of combat in Rome. Around this time, Ezio was more aggressive in his fights, and used a variety of new attacks against his enemies.
Additionally, Ezio learned to dual-wield his Hidden Gun with his primary weapon, in order to kill an enemy from a distance, or perform an instant double kill with both his sword and gun during a kill-streak.
In Brotherhood, the Scimitar, Maul, Flanged Mace, Channeled Cinquedea, and Florentine Falchion were used by the guards, but were not purchasable from the blacksmiths. However, they could be acquired by disarming a guard while Ezio did not have a weapon equipped.