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  #51  
Old 05-14-2016, 08:19 AM
GoodOmens GoodOmens is offline
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I'm tempted to go simple and go with a length of PVC pipe, 2, maybe 2 1/2 feet. I don't know if it has the durability for a killing hit but it's enough to knock someone silly, and after that things should be easy. It's also lightweight, which is a benefit because I plan to run away, a lot, from my opponent if he's carrying any heavier.

Or a long screwdriver, basically a shiv.

Quercus probably has the right of it, in that the most efficient choice is probably a machete. I don't think I've ever seen one at my local Home Depot, but I've also never gone looking. When I was in Santa Fe, a small village in Panama, a local store was selling really nice carbon steel machete for the equivalent of about 2 bucks. I really wanted to buy some but figured that getting those past security might be a hassle.
  #52  
Old 05-14-2016, 10:49 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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The machete linked upthread said "Pickup today" so it must be in store.

In case you don't like the machete but still want to the obvious weapon route, there's gardening knives you could buy. Probably beats trying to stab someone with a screwdriver.

I'm guessing stuff like this is disqualified. Otherwise... bingo!

Last edited by Jophiel; 05-14-2016 at 10:53 AM.
  #53  
Old 05-14-2016, 10:56 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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Actually, that knife set (and others I found) aren't sold in stores and thus violate the "found in a well-stocked Home Depot rule". Oh well. Back to the gardening implements.
  #54  
Old 05-14-2016, 12:45 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Originally Posted by Ike Witt View Post
I think I'd dual wield axes. A smaller hatchet that could be used for ranged attacks and larger, heavier one for CQC.
While it's a good idea it violates the rule that you may have just one item.

I'll also have to rule on Jophiel's knife set as being disallowed, even if you can find it in store. A "set" of items violates the spirit of the one weapon rule (as would, say, a two for one deal on axes.) You can choose that set and bring in one knife from it, though.
  #55  
Old 05-14-2016, 01:03 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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Pitchfork.
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  #56  
Old 05-14-2016, 08:32 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Y'know, on thinking about it... They might not sell forklifts, but the Home Depot near me does rent out pickup trucks. A 30' by 30' room is too small to use a truck to its full potential, but it'd provide a lot of protection from most of the weapons mentioned so far, and you'd only need to get one good hit to crush your opponent against a wall.
  #57  
Old 05-15-2016, 04:11 AM
russian heel russian heel is offline
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I propose the 30x30 room closes 5x5 feet every 5 minutes, preventing stalling.

A lot of the weapons proposed use wooden handles, Id be afraid of the stems breaking during combat; fiberglass handled weapons would much more trustworthy.

As for my nail gun not being powerful enough, I know someone that disagrees with RickyJay!

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  #58  
Old 05-15-2016, 04:35 AM
Jragon Jragon is offline
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A bucket of sand. I mean, a machete is great and all, but pretty much whatever the opponent picks I can fight dirty with a bucket of sand.
  #59  
Old 05-15-2016, 03:09 PM
Nefario Nefario is offline
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
However, every week "Home Depot Thunderdome" will feature the Thursday Joust, a single bout where the contestants must wield their weapons of choice while driving a Hyster H80-120FT fork truck.
HeeHee.....I engineer these! Serously! And we have SPED - the Special Products and Equipment Design department. We can build some INTERESTING stuff!

Last edited by Nefario; 05-15-2016 at 03:10 PM.
  #60  
Old 05-15-2016, 03:55 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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I was gonna go with the hornet spray, but maybe the pressure washer would be better. I dunno--getting sprayed in the face with either would be pretty uncomfortable. The hornet spray would give me a little more time, as I could run backwards spraying at the opponent's face, whereas the pressure washer makes me immobile most likely.

If someone gets poison to the face, they're going to have a hard time fighting effectively. Keep up the spray, and eventually whatever weapon they chose becomes my weapon instead. If they can get to me before I can get a good shot at their eyes/nose/mouth, though, I'm hosed.
  #61  
Old 05-15-2016, 04:11 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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As for people who say the machete is better compared to a pressure washer, isn't this the classic "don't bring a knife to a gun fight" scenario? I'm not sure at what distance a pressure washer (say, this 4200 PSI model) can incapacitate, but if it's at a greater range than a machete can, it seems to be a better bet.
  #62  
Old 05-15-2016, 04:13 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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That's unwieldy and not much use when your opponent steps inside the radius. I'd go with the machete or the billhook.
  #63  
Old 05-16-2016, 06:02 PM
Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor is offline
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That's unwieldy and not much use when your opponent steps inside the radius. I'd go with the machete or the billhook.
No love for the Pitchfork?
  #64  
Old 05-16-2016, 06:14 PM
Lobohan Lobohan is offline
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Assuming I can't get water for that pressure washer, I'd use this: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Fiskars-X...6935/202681680

I'm pretty strong, and to be honest, I've always wanted to chop someone into mushy pieces.
  #65  
Old 05-16-2016, 06:35 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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I appreciate the creativity of the pressure washer, wasp spray, and blowtorch.

The pressure washer has the disadvantage that I'm not sure how it works or, more importantly, what range and effective it is, so lack of familiarity would prevent choosing it.

Wasp spray is interesting, and it makes a great emergency home pepper spray for push in robbers. However, I think a motivated person could put up a hand to help block the eyes, hold their breath, and charge in fast to close for the kill. You'd have to maneuver hard, and then you run into the problem that you quickly fill the room with hornet spray, becoming secondhand effect on your own breathing. Not ideal.

The oxy blowtorch is scary, but in a death match, I'd be willing to risk closing to cut the lines.

I don't really like the polearm options, because of unwieldiness. Too easy to get inside the pointy bit.

The 6 foot schedule 40 pipe is just going to be a nightmare to handle.

I haven't handled the nailgun, but I'm told you can hold the pressure plate down and it will fire. Might be hard to hold, though, and no real time to rig a catch.

The chainsaw seems scary, but I've had enough fun with throwing blades that it might be a risk, and gas chainsaws tend to be a bit heavy. One good sweep and then maneuver inside, especially with a metal tool to help block.

Sledgehammer is right out. I mean, in the 1632 books, it totally makes sense when one of the characters promises that if he's ever challenged to a dual, that's going to be his pick of weapon. He's a football player who can bench press a car (okay, that isn't actually stated, but that gives you an idea of his description). Whereas for me, it's got the same unwieldiness issue.

The steel security door is not going to be much use if it doesn't have straps to help hold it. While you're approaching me with your door, I strike at your fingers that you have wrapped around to hold it up.

The chain has promise. It can entangle your opponent and their weapon, you can bunch up a knot and use it as a flail, and a length of it can block. Or wrap around an arm to make a quick shield. But you might not have the prep time.

The long knife from the knife set is tempting. Long enough to be useful blocking, light and short enough for quick reactions.

Like Chronos, I have some experience with a 6 ft closet pole. But it's not really my first choice. Unless you really train, it's difficult to actually strike with it. Too easy to pull the strike, or block yourself.

I'm hard pressed to beat the machete. Simple, effective, long enough to reach around some objects, short enough to work in close and not get pinned out. Maybe not balanced the best, but still pretty effective.
  #66  
Old 05-16-2016, 06:40 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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A couple of the "pole arms" have a shaft of 3' or so which seems like something you could choke up on if necessary. The big tree pruners would be right out.

I think our next step is to get our hands on a bunch of those gel torsos they used on "Deadliest Warrior" and a Home Depot charge account.
  #67  
Old 05-16-2016, 08:16 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Like Chronos, I have some experience with a 6 ft closet pole. But it's not really my first choice. Unless you really train, it's difficult to actually strike with it. Too easy to pull the strike, or block yourself.
This is certainly true, but then, I suspect that it's probably true of all melee weapons. Given the choice of a quarterstaff that I'll instinctively pull my strikes on, or a machete that I'll instinctively pull my strikes on and don't even theoretically know how to wield properly, I'll take the staff.

Which is not to say that I'm an expert at bo fighting, or anything of the sort. My training is really quite minimal. But something is better than nothing.
  #68  
Old 05-16-2016, 08:29 PM
lisiate lisiate is online now
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I use a six pound splitting axe to chop firewood. It'd make a terrible weapon. Sure if it connects it'll do a lot of damage but once you start a swing you're committed to it, and if you miss it'd be easy for your opponent to knock it out of their way and go to town on you. The billhook looks a lot lighter and may be more viable, but I think I'd go for the machete.
  #69  
Old 05-16-2016, 08:39 PM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is online now
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I'm going to hire one of the guys hanging out in the parking lot to do my fighting for me.
  #70  
Old 05-16-2016, 09:12 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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After going to the Home Depot and swinging some metal around (don't worry, I had a legitimate need to be there -- this just made bathroom repairs easier to swallow) I'm going to go with either this axe or this one. The machetes felt okay but they were also heavy and a bit unwieldy. The first axe gives me most of the benefits of the machete's chopping action but with less weight. The second axe would make it easier for me to just flail back and forth.

Let's face it: I'm not going to be parrying and shit like a pirate with my machete-cutlass. I need something I can just hack effectively with without throwing myself off balance.

Unfortunately, my local Home Depot lacked the bill hook or scythe-looking brush tool so I couldn't get a feel for those.
  #71  
Old 05-17-2016, 04:34 PM
FasterThanMeerkats FasterThanMeerkats is offline
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Garden netting and a hoe for the gladiator trident and net combo

Or grab a trash can top for a shield and hammer.
  #72  
Old 05-17-2016, 07:39 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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This is certainly true, but then, I suspect that it's probably true of all melee weapons. Given the choice of a quarterstaff that I'll instinctively pull my strikes on, or a machete that I'll instinctively pull my strikes on and don't even theoretically know how to wield properly, I'll take the staff.
I have some experience with basic bo, including teaching.

I also did some playing around with a buddy using padded swords, and we made up a bo version.

My experience using the bo was that I blocked myself with my arms and such and couldn't even get the strikes to land, even without the opponent blocking the strike. Theoretically, I should have been able to hit one side and quick reverse to the other to out maneuver the sword. In practice, it wasn't that easy.

Which is not to say a machete against a machete would go smoothly for me. He and I were fairly well matched, he had a bit more experience from days in SCA, but not so much that I couldn't keep up. A lot of times were double eliminations.

Those hatchets are interesting. Small enough to wield quickly. Still, I like the machete.
  #73  
Old 05-18-2016, 05:58 PM
Uosdwis R. Dewoh Uosdwis R. Dewoh is offline
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Most tools seem to be made of fiberglass or similar light weight materials. I think weight is the key component when dealing damage. A sledgehammer or a steel shovel for digging gravel are the best choices.

I once heard a story from a WW2 veteran where he had been ambushed when digging a trench with a folding shovel. Cut the other guys arm clean off with it.
  #74  
Old 05-19-2016, 05:03 PM
Grestarian Grestarian is online now
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From most of the posts I've been reading, I'm thinking most of you are making the classic blunder of treating your repurposed DIY tool as THE thing that you'll be using for all of your attacks and defenses.

Wrong!

To misquote River Tam: I can kill you with my brain.

More to the point, it's important to be able to think beyond the weapon and understand that everything -- even the floor and walls of our 30x30 room -- can be used in combat even when there's a "weapon" in your hands.

And if we're allowed to get anything that Home Depot sells, we should think beyond tools.

So go ahead and choose your garden variety pole-arms and hand-weapons, your chainsaws or backpack sprayers, even your steel door. I'll spend some time keeping my distance or dodging or moving erratically while you lug your stuff around and/or expend ammunition. I'll have to rely on my glasses to avoid direct hits from that sprayer, and I guess I'll just use my long sleeve to wipe away any chemical that hits my face. Just to piss you off, I might get daring once in a while and slip inside your zone to give you a feeble tap behind the knee or clout on the ear, maybe a punch to the shoulder or a whack to the back of your head. You can bet I'll rip out the hose on a backpack sprayer sooner or later, but my main objective is to get you pissed-off enough to commit yourself to your attacks.

After dragging your stuff around and/or flailing wildly at me for a while, you're bound to get weary. I'll keep things going a while longer just to make sure you're tired and not just faking it.

At that point, I may or may not disarm you. It depends on just how weary you appear to be and which side of you I can approach and what you're using.

Then I'll apply this, which I'll purchase as a 25-foot length, separated into two ten-foot coils and a five-foot straight section, then take up 18 to 24 inches on either end of the straight section to wind around my coils. That should leave me with about 12 to 18 inches of straight section between two coils that I can use as handles. Furthermore, I can twist those coils to reduce their diameters so they'll fit not-too-uncomfortably on my wrist, semi-concealed up my sleeve. That will leave my hands (and feet) free to deal with you and your shenanigans for a while and the whole thing will be relatively light. To employ it, I really only need to pull one of the coils off my wrist at the proper moment. The other coil can stay on my wrist; I don't need it to be in-hand to gain leverage.

If we're very unlucky, the worst case is that I'll loop my weapon around one of your limbs, tighten tremendously, and drag bits of muscle off the bone. I might have to repeat that a couple times, because the TV audience will probably get bored with watching you bleed to death. If we're lucky, I'll loop around a joint and the tightening effect will go through cartilage, as well. I might have to do the loop, drop the coil, step on that dropped coil, and use my whole body to pull the line straight. In either of those cases, the show's producers will want to zoom in on your face at the crucial moment. If we're very lucky, I will be able to be merciful and the joint I find will be between C3 and C6 of your upper spine...

--G!
  #75  
Old 05-19-2016, 05:20 PM
Dante G Dante G is offline
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Pitchfork

Stabbing, reach, blocking and disarming all in one.
  #76  
Old 05-19-2016, 05:22 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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What about the case where you try to dodge the initial attacks, but get clobbered on the noggin on the first swing? What about the case where you try to loop your cable around someone's limbs, and they instead just yank on it and pull you off balance? What about the case where you just can't get it around anything?

There's a reason why armies equipped their soldiers with swords and polearms for thousands of years, and why none of them ever equipped them with cable.
  #77  
Old 05-19-2016, 05:43 PM
eschereal eschereal is offline
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Thing about the door is that it is 6 feet in length: you are not required to hold it vertically, you can use it like a ram of sorts. But the 75lb model might not be the best choice, I would go with a slightly less heavy door that would be easier to swing around.

But I am disqualified because I do not go to Home Depot.
  #78  
Old 05-19-2016, 11:15 PM
Kobal2 Kobal2 is offline
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I'll go with a fireaxe. Can't go wrong with a two-handed axe. If it's good enough for a Viking, it's good enough for me.
  #79  
Old 05-20-2016, 10:32 AM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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Nineteen razor blades on a long stick. I know I've seen one with an aluminum handle, too, which I'd rather have than wood.

Last edited by Max Torque; 05-20-2016 at 10:32 AM.
  #80  
Old 05-20-2016, 11:04 AM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
There's a reason why armies equipped their soldiers with swords and polearms for thousands of years, and why none of them ever equipped them with cable.
Yeah, have fun pretending that you're just going to nimbly avoid axe/machete/hammer blows as you cuff people's ears and tire them out. Only takes one hit to end that in a hurry
  #81  
Old 05-20-2016, 11:39 AM
Edward The Head Edward The Head is offline
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I would think something like a wrecking bar would be good. It has length, weight and sharpish. It might not be that easy to hold though.

I really wanted to go classic cartoon style and use an anvil, but they aren't sold in stores.

Having never been in a fight I don't think any weapon would much help me. The machetes I've always bought were quite dull, I don't think an off the shelf one would be that great. Then again I could have just gotten unlucky with the ones I've bought.
  #82  
Old 05-20-2016, 12:52 PM
eschereal eschereal is offline
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There's a reason why armies equipped their soldiers with swords and polearms for thousands of years, and why none of them ever equipped them with cable.
Yes, but does it make sense to compare a martial battle with 2->1 hand-to-hand combat? In a battle, there are thousands of them and thousands of you, and the generals do not give a leap about what happens to you personally, or even what happens to any of them. A battle could in theory be won with no fatalities on the other side, as long as the losing army is left unable to fight.

As to the cable, it does have definite advantages. You have two ends you can swing, meaning one blow could be immediately followed by another with no backswing delay. It renders the chainsaw inoperable pretty quickly, leaves the long-tool fighter struggling to hold on to their weapon, whips around the door, and could damage the pressure washer before it can slice you to ribbons. And it can do some really nice lacerating, what with that square-cut end.
  #83  
Old 05-20-2016, 01:20 PM
Snarky_Kong Snarky_Kong is offline
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Probably a length of ~#4 rebar. Jab to the face or a swing is easily going to disable. Easy to defend with, light enough to not be extremely fatiguing.

I think that anyone fighting with a sledge is going to get murdered really easily. Super hard to defend with and if you don't maim with your first, lumbering, swing you're open to a counter attack.

A pressure washer is pretty interesting. I'm not sure how quickly it'd disable though. If someone with a machete or pitchfork or whatever charges you, is that really going to stop them before they hack you? Sure, they might lose a nice chunk of flesh, but if you're impaled that's no consolation.
  #84  
Old 05-20-2016, 01:38 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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At that point, I may or may not disarm you. It depends on just how weary you appear to be and which side of you I can approach and what you're using.

Then I'll apply this, which I'll purchase as a 25-foot length, separated into two ten-foot coils and a five-foot straight section, then take up 18 to 24 inches on either end of the straight section to wind around my coils.
I would have to agree with others that this is an absolutely terrible idea and you are probably going to die (I mean, granted, by default we start at a better than 50% chance of any contestant dying, but I'll put your chances at 98%.) As has been pointed out, thousands of armies across as many cultures throughout history have sought to arm fighting men for melee combat prior to the invention of machines and gunpoweder, and I cannot think of a single example of one eschewing polearms, swords, or maces for... a rope.

Remember that the person you are fighting is the same age, gender, and general physical capability as you, and if you have the fighting skills of River Tam, which I am guessing you do not, you will be matched against a person who also has extensive skill in martial arts. They are also presumably not especially stupid, When you move in close to bop them on the ear or try your rope trick, they're going to be trying to hit you with a hammer or an axe.

As eschereal points out there are differences between fighting in a large group and fighting individually; in groups the spear and polearm has always been the main weapon of melee combat. But in cultures and situations were individual combat was a valuable skill, people still didn't go for a metal rope; it usually ended up being a sword.

QUOTE=Edward the Head]Having never been in a fight I don't think any weapon would much help me. The machetes I've always bought were quite dull, I don't think an off the shelf one would be that great. Then again I could have just gotten unlucky with the ones I've bought. [/QUOTE]
I don't think a machete really needs to be very sharp to serve an an good weapon. If you hit someone if the head full on with a "dull" machete, they will, at best, be very badly hurt; you will certainly cause a very bad cut, stun them, and possibly fracture the skull.
  #85  
Old 05-20-2016, 03:23 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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I could see steel cable as a whipping weapon but I'm skeptical that it would wrap around anything in the same manner as a leather whip would. It's listed as "semi-flexible" which reinforces my belief. So you'd pretty much just have a distance slashing weapon and, once someone got inside it, you'd be screwed. Not much use for binding weapons unless you want to get in kissing range of the business end and try to wrap cable around it.

Trying to wrap the limb of someone close to you with it is just anchoring someone next to you... who is holding a machete/axe/hammer/etc.
  #86  
Old 05-20-2016, 04:13 PM
Incensed Incensed is offline
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Originally Posted by Snarky_Kong View Post
...A pressure washer is pretty interesting. I'm not sure how quickly it'd disable though. If someone with a machete or pitchfork or whatever charges you, is that really going to stop them before they hack you? Sure, they might lose a nice chunk of flesh, but if you're impaled that's no consolation.
A pressure washer is very intriguing to me. One on hand, I can see it being epically hard to charge, because you're going to be in pain any time you're within 10 or 12 feet, and extreme pain as you get closer. Plus a point blank shot to the eyes would probably blind you and possibly kill you.

On the other hand, it would be pretty easy to disable if you got inside, but damned if I'd wanna pay that price. Even if you won, you'd look like you'd been flayed alive.

Other thoughts-

The wasp spray idea would be effective, but dangerous, since you'd have limited 'ammo' and would have to strangle someone out by hand if you did score a hit. Depends on how debilitating it would be if someone took a face full of it. My guess is it would be extremely debilitating and they would lay there and beg you to kill them. Probably a winner, provided you don't waste it. This actually might be the thread winner, because chasing someone around a small room while they sprayed poison in your face would fucking suck.

A length of towing chain would be intimidating, with excess length coiled around your off forearm to provide a shield. Its probably a loser, but again, damned intimidating.

To go along with the door/defensive ideas, how about a set of chain saw safety clothing. Pretty lame, but you get a helmet, face shield, goggles and cut proof chaps. I guess it depends how much clothing you get to start with as to how big of an advantage it would be. Probably a loser, but it would flip the script against a lot of cutting/spraying weapons.

30' x 30' isn' really a big enough arena for thrown weapons; if it were 60' X 60' or larger, I personally would be inclined to go with 30 lbs of cute white beach pebbles or a 50 pack of circular saw blades. I know you're not going to cut someone's head off with a thrown circular saw blade, but damned if dodging/parrying a bunch of death frisbees wouldn't get the old pulse pounding. Plus if you open the bag of rocks correctly, you get a free hillbilly mace.

Machetes are too short/light and aren't even good for stabbing in a clinch; axes and sledges are too head heavy for quick recovery. A big framing hammer or hatchet is intriguing, but again, it would hard to play defense with one. A chainsaw would obviously be scary as hell, but I'm thinking its pretty easy to dodge and a shot to the blade/bar with anything heavy would disable it pretty easily...

Rules being what they are, I'd go with either 3' or 4' piece of good old galvanized pipe, probably 1/2" diameter, on the theory that it gives you the best chance against the field.

Good offensive weapon, balanced so you'd recover from misses fairly quickly, big enough to parry the longer arms and get inside, but still small enough that you'd get at least one good shot in against any sort of bull rush. The biggest weakness would be against the sprayed/torch weapons, but everyone is going to a pay a price to charge those, and something smallish would let you cover the ground quickly...

It was Incensed, in the Thunderdome, with the pipe...
  #87  
Old 05-20-2016, 04:22 PM
Jophiel Jophiel is online now
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Originally Posted by Incensed View Post
The wasp spray idea would be effective, but dangerous, since you'd have limited 'ammo' and would have to strangle someone out by hand if you did score a hit.
My original thought was to buy a 12-pack, which is for sale at Home Depot, which would give you enough wasp spray to drown you both if you wanted. But I don't know if that's allowed any longer (the 12-pack, not the drowning). I wouldn't want to just have a single can.
Quote:
Machetes are too short/light
I felt the opposite when I was in Home Depot -- the machetes felt like they'd throw me off balance with a miss. I liked the brush axe I linked because it seemed to give me the benefit of the machete without the additional weight. Felt like I could swing it for a while but not so light that it wouldn't inflict some real damage.
  #88  
Old 05-20-2016, 04:55 PM
Kearsen Kearsen is offline
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
I should have pointed this out, but a few other rules of Home Depot Thunderdome, (which airs every night on FOX, 8 PM sharp) are

1. If you refuse to fight or attempt to leave the Thunderdome without defeating your opponent you're burned at the stake. So sorry. You must fight.

2. Every winner wins a million bucks. If both contestants die of wounds sustained during the fight before one can exist the Thunderdome alive, the winner is either

2a. The contestant who clearly killed the other one first, or
2b. If it is unclear who died first, the contestant who fought the best, as voted upon by a panel of celebrity judges.

If the winner dies before being able to sign the paperwork to receive their winnings, the money is awarded to a party they designate prior to the bout.


Some call it a sling blade, I call it a Kaiser blade.
In the era of "everyone gets a trophy" maybe we should have everyone that participates get a million bucks
  #89  
Old 05-20-2016, 07:05 PM
Incensed Incensed is offline
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Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
...I felt the opposite when I was in Home Depot -- the machetes felt like they'd throw me off balance with a miss. I liked the brush axe I linked because it seemed to give me the benefit of the machete without the additional weight. Felt like I could swing it for a while but not so light that it wouldn't inflict some real damage.
I wonder how much size plays into this? I'm (male) 6 feet, 215 lbs (unfortunately), and I've never lifted a machete that inspired any confidence. Most of them seem to come in around/under 24" and fairly flimsy.

A 3 ' piece of 1/2" galvanized pipe weighs about 2.33 pounds and is roughly the size of a large baseball bat or a small sword. I think I'd gladly choose that over this machete that comes in at 24" and 1.4 pounds.

It just seems like a machete isn't good for anything to me. I've never liked the things. They're designed for slashing, but are too short/light to stay on the outside and do that versus similar HDT weapons.

For another comparison point, this is what I grew up calling a brush ax (actually a Kaiser Blade! Who knew?) The smallest one I've ever seen was roughly 5' long, and I'd be inclined to choose it over at least one of the axes you linked.

Of course, all of this is theoretical; I might jump to the other side of the fence (for a smaller/quicker weapon) in short order if there were a way to try this out without, you know, dying.
  #90  
Old 05-20-2016, 08:16 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Originally Posted by Uosdwis R. Dewoh View Post
Most tools seem to be made of fiberglass or similar light weight materials. I think weight is the key component when dealing damage. A sledgehammer or a steel shovel for digging gravel are the best choices.

I once heard a story from a WW2 veteran where he had been ambushed when digging a trench with a folding shovel. Cut the other guys arm clean off with it.
First off, while weight is very useful for damage when it connects, it is very disadvantageous for scoring that striking blow, and hugely disadvantageous if that blow misses. Plus, if the other me is carrying a sledgehammer and I'm carrying a machete, I'm pretty confident I can wear him down a bit before we actually move in for battle.

Also, the folding shovel story directly contradicts your weight is key component argument. Folding shovels, while not exactly light, are not particularly heavy either. They are intended for backpacking, so they are made as light as possible to still be sturdy and reasonably cheap.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grestarian View Post
From most of the posts I've been reading, I'm thinking most of you are making the classic blunder of treating your repurposed DIY tool as THE thing that you'll be using for all of your attacks and defenses.
No, I'm aware that running and slamming my opponent into the walls are options. Heck, so are fisticuffs. But if I get to pick a tool to use to aid me in my survival, I'm going to use what I know to get something the most effective for my survival. That includes protection as well as attacks.


Quote:
Then I'll apply this, which I'll purchase as a 25-foot length, separated into two ten-foot coils and a five-foot straight section, then take up 18 to 24 inches on either end of the straight section to wind around my coils. That should leave me with about 12 to 18 inches of straight section between two coils that I can use as handles. Furthermore, I can twist those coils to reduce their diameters so they'll fit not-too-uncomfortably on my wrist, semi-concealed up my sleeve. That will leave my hands (and feet) free to deal with you and your shenanigans for a while and the whole thing will be relatively light. To employ it, I really only need to pull one of the coils off my wrist at the proper moment. The other coil can stay on my wrist; I don't need it to be in-hand to gain leverage.

If we're very unlucky, the worst case is that I'll loop my weapon around one of your limbs, tighten tremendously, and drag bits of muscle off the bone. I might have to repeat that a couple times, because the TV audience will probably get bored with watching you bleed to death. If we're lucky, I'll loop around a joint and the tightening effect will go through cartilage, as well. I might have to do the loop, drop the coil, step on that dropped coil, and use my whole body to pull the line straight. In either of those cases, the show's producers will want to zoom in on your face at the crucial moment. If we're very lucky, I will be able to be merciful and the joint I find will be between C3 and C6 of your upper spine...
I'll join the chorus of the others to suggest your plan of running around and then scampering in for a quick strike is flawed. It has some merit against someone lugging around a door or polearm, but you can't count on them not getting a blow in that doesn't come from their main weapon when you run in. They swing their axe, you then race in to bop them on the ear and the kick you in the knee. DOH!

Also, steel wire is not as flexible as you seem to think. You need some significant weight on the end to make it into a flailing tool that can wrap around anything. Pulling it tight to make your handles will also require some way to tie it off.

And we never got a call on how much prep time we're given with our tool. What if you get your one 25 ft length, but have to do all the cutting and coiling once you're in the room and the attack has commenced?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Torque View Post
Nineteen razor blades on a long stick. I know I've seen one with an aluminum handle, too, which I'd rather have than wood.
While that would be a bit scary, I'm reasonably confident I could defeat it without a tool of my own, nevermind if I get a tool, too.

Look, I'm not saying a lot of these ideas wouldn't be useful as a last ditch, impromptu defense against a zombie attack. But I get a few moments to strategize, and I get to pick what I think is most effective, not just what is handy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eschereal View Post
Yes, but does it make sense to compare a martial battle with 2->1 hand-to-hand combat? In a battle, there are thousands of them and thousands of you, and the generals do not give a leap about what happens to you personally, or even what happens to any of them. A battle could in theory be won with no fatalities on the other side, as long as the losing army is left unable to fight.
Instead of thinking of grand melee, or regimental fighting, think about duels. Think what knights used or duelists used.

Although there is a slight complication in that people didn't have the ability to make steel wire when those combats were commonplace. Steel wire is better than a mere rope. For one thing, assuming you make a good handle, it can be used as a blocking tool against a blade. Just stretch tight between your hands.

Certainly it could be useful in tangling a chainsaw blade, but I don't think you're going to get good wrap around for tying up or disarming someone with a blade, axe, or polearm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snarky_Kong View Post
Probably a length of ~#4 rebar. Jab to the face or a swing is easily going to disable. Easy to defend with, light enough to not be extremely fatiguing.
While I appreciate the simplicity, I feel any option where a piece of rebar will work there are other, better options.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Incensed View Post
The wasp spray idea would be effective, but dangerous, since you'd have limited 'ammo' and would have to strangle someone out by hand if you did score a hit. Depends on how debilitating it would be if someone took a face full of it. My guess is it would be extremely debilitating and they would lay there and beg you to kill them.
Like I said, it's probably like pepper spray, in that if you get it in your eyes they are going to be stinging like mad, and if you're not used to fighting through pain, that can distract and disorient you long enough for your opponent to get the upper hand. Breathing it in would not be great, either, as it will cause a coughing fit, which tends to be disabling. Try doing something effectively the next time you get in a coughing fit.

However, if you commit to running in at speed and not breathing, you might get through the zone and into range of your own weapon, at which point you finish them off, then cough your self silly and cry your eyes out to your hearts' content, knowing you survived.

Maybe if I knew my opponent was going to use the wasp spray, I would pick safety goggles - the chemical kind.

Towing chain is too heavy to carry long.

Machetes aren't ideal as weapons, they tend to have thin flat blades. But you're not really expecting to take an axe strike straight down on the blade. It doesn't take a very sharp blade to do significant damage when swung hard. And all machetes have at least a bit of a point, certainly enough to impale someone. A bar of rebar can impale someone when used properly.
  #91  
Old 05-20-2016, 08:25 PM
Grestarian Grestarian is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
What about the case where you try to dodge the initial attacks, but get clobbered on the noggin on the first swing? What about the case where you try to loop your cable around someone's limbs, and they instead just yank on it and pull you off balance? What about the case where you just can't get it around anything?
OP did not prohibit use of my extant training -- 38 years of martial arts including Tai Chi, Judo, Iaijutsu, Jojutsu, and Tang Soo Do (including miscellaneous weapon training) not to mention some Western arts that won't be applicable here. I know very well how to stay just out of reach -- which will be part of the antagonistic strategy -- and I'll take my time to be extra sure my opponent is truly fatigued. The cable will just be the last gruesome coup de gras. If I don't see a way to easily get it looped around something, I won't make the mistake of trying.

My point is that I'd rather use something light, easy to carry, and not very obvious. And I don't want to get caught up in focusing on the tool rather than the fight. Regardless of what weapons I do or don't possess, the fight is against a person -- and primarily his/her mind; the contents of my opponents hands are just an extension thereof.

To be sure, though, a 1/16" cable is definitely not a blocking weapon.

--G!
  #92  
Old 05-20-2016, 08:40 PM
Grestarian Grestarian is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grestarian View Post
OP did not prohibit use of my extant training -- 38 years of martial arts including Tai Chi, Judo, Iaijutsu, Jojutsu, and Tang Soo Do (including miscellaneous weapon training) not to mention some Western arts that won't be applicable here. I know very well how to stay just out of reach -- which will be part of the antagonistic strategy -- and I'll take my time to be extra sure my opponent is truly fatigued. The cable will just be the last gruesome coup de gras. If I don't see a way to easily get it looped around something, I won't make the mistake of trying.
--G!
I did forget about the premise that I'd be fighting my doppleganger. That would seriously suck; he knows my strategy! I was writing with the premise that I'd be up against one of the prior responders and their chosen weapons.

--G!
  #93  
Old 05-20-2016, 09:27 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
Like I said, it's probably like pepper spray, in that if you get it in your eyes they are going to be stinging like mad, and if you're not used to fighting through pain, that can distract and disorient you long enough for your opponent to get the upper hand. Breathing it in would not be great, either, as it will cause a coughing fit, which tends to be disabling. Try doing something effectively the next time you get in a coughing fit.

However, if you commit to running in at speed and not breathing, you might get through the zone and into range of your own weapon, at which point you finish them off, then cough your self silly and cry your eyes out to your hearts' content, knowing you survived.
I'd think the wasp spray strategy is to aim for an eye shot at 15-20', and at 10' dodge out of the way and run around like a freakin coward for thirty seconds or so. If you get a face shot in, that person is going to have to start hacking up a lung within a few seconds, which is gonna slow them down; I don't think it's the sort of thing that you recover from quickly. Once the person's head comes up, give them another squirt or two. Try to get their weapon from them, and then they're unarmed and coughing, and you've got a weapon in your hand.

This article on Snopes casts some doubt on the efficacy of wasp spray, however.
Quote:
The active ingredients in most wasp sprays are pyrethrins, compounds derived from a species of the chrysanthemum plant which penetrate the nervous systems of insects and kill them. Since wasp sprays are not formulated to be used directly on human beings, some critics maintain, they should not be relied upon as a form of non-lethal self-defense, as their safety and effectiveness for this purpose has not been sufficiently tested, and the toxic effects of pyrethrin could potentially be much more harmful or less effective than expected.
It's IOW unclear what the effects would be. Other articles advise against its use as a substitute for pepper spray, but generally the evidence that it's illegal is stronger than the evidence that it wouldn't work.
  #94  
Old 05-20-2016, 09:29 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grestarian View Post
I did forget about the premise that I'd be fighting my doppleganger. That would seriously suck; he knows my strategy! I was writing with the premise that I'd be up against one of the prior responders and their chosen weapons.

--G!
Someone who didn't know your strategy, but had your same fighting chops, would have no problem taking you down if all you had was a not-very-flexible rope. I advise you to get a sparring partner of equal skill, and see if they can bop you on the noggin with a 3' stick before you can wrap a length of knitting yarn (or the substitute of your choice) around their arm.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 05-20-2016 at 09:29 PM.
  #95  
Old 05-20-2016, 09:44 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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And even if you weren't fighting against your doppelganger, even against an inferior opponent you'd be better off with a decent weapon than with an inferior one.

Did we get a ruling on my choice of a pickup truck, or does the fact that they're only rented, not sold, disqualify them?
  #96  
Old 05-20-2016, 10:10 PM
Incensed Incensed is offline
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Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
Like I said, it's probably like pepper spray, in that if you get it in your eyes they are going to be stinging like mad, and if you're not used to fighting through pain, that can distract and disorient you long enough for your opponent to get the upper hand. Breathing it in would not be great, either, as it will cause a coughing fit, which tends to be disabling. Try doing something effectively the next time you get in a coughing fit.

However, if you commit to running in at speed and not breathing, you might get through the zone and into range of your own weapon, at which point you finish them off, then cough your self silly and cry your eyes out to your hearts' content, knowing you survived...
But the beauty of the Bee Spray thing as that you have great range and defensive capabilities with unlimited mobility.

You act as if you just bull rush through to the Sprayer and end the fight, but the Sprayer would be staying away from you AND spraying poison in your face every time you even tried to look them.

It would be a damned nightmare, so long as it lasted.

On preview, what Left Hand of Dorkness said...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
...
Towing chain is too heavy to carry long...
The size I linked weighs 0.8 pounds per foot. A large man could carry 10 feet very easily, with 6 or 8 feet in play and the rest wrapped up in brass knuckle fashion.

Not a weapon I'd choose, but not one I'd want to face either.

Last edited by Incensed; 05-20-2016 at 10:12 PM.
  #97  
Old 05-21-2016, 10:32 AM
Uosdwis R. Dewoh Uosdwis R. Dewoh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
Also, the folding shovel story directly contradicts your weight is key component argument. Folding shovels, while not exactly light, are not particularly heavy either. They are intended for backpacking, so they are made as light as possible to still be sturdy and reasonably cheap.
Well, I didn't fight in WW2 so I think I would need a little more heft behind my attacks than a battle hardened soldier in his physical prime.
  #98  
Old 05-21-2016, 03:45 PM
eschereal eschereal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
... Maybe if I knew my opponent was going to use ...
Well, this is pretty key, really. If your opponent picks first, you get the chance to choose the ideal counter-weapon. So, it must either be go in blind, or the first half of the battle involves the two of you shopping side by side, trying to fake/psych each other out. That would certainly be an interesting twist.

Quote:
... Machetes aren't ideal as weapons, they tend to have thin flat blades....
However, if your opponent is going to try to pressure-wash you to hamburger, that flat blade is useful: you can use it to divert or break up the spray (held at an oblique angle for agility and less pressure to fight). A shovel might work for that as well. The bigger problem is that once the the sprayer is exhausted of fluid, now the two of you are standing in 900 square feet of water (or mud).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kearsen View Post
In the era of "everyone gets a trophy" maybe we should have everyone that participates get a million bucks
Well, sure. You get a million bucks to buy one thing at the hardware store. Whatever is left over you get to keep for the rest of your life, perhaps.
  #99  
Old 05-21-2016, 05:51 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
I'd think the wasp spray strategy is to aim for an eye shot at 15-20', and at 10' dodge out of the way and run around like a freakin coward for thirty seconds or so. If you get a face shot in, that person is going to have to start hacking up a lung within a few seconds, which is gonna slow them down; I don't think it's the sort of thing that you recover from quickly. Once the person's head comes up, give them another squirt or two. Try to get their weapon from them, and then they're unarmed and coughing, and you've got a weapon in your hand.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Incensed View Post
But the beauty of the Bee Spray thing as that you have great range and defensive capabilities with unlimited mobility.

You act as if you just bull rush through to the Sprayer and end the fight, but the Sprayer would be staying away from you AND spraying poison in your face every time you even tried to look them.

It would be a damned nightmare, so long as it lasted.
I'm well aware of the strategy. I still argue that charging is your counter strategy. Unless you think you can get them to fire off and miss multiple times without closing in?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
This article on Snopes casts some doubt on the efficacy of wasp spray, however.

It's IOW unclear what the effects would be. Other articles advise against its use as a substitute for pepper spray, but generally the evidence that it's illegal is stronger than the evidence that it wouldn't work.
I'm not convinced by they arguments it is illegal. It is a self defense situation, and you are not trying to poison the person, you are trying to use the same kind of irritation that the pepper sprays provide.

However, the lack of effectiveness argument is pretty strong. Video shows a guy take a blast of pepper spray in the face and its effect, then a blast of wasp spray and its effect. Compare for yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Incensed View Post
On preview, what Left Hand of Dorkness said...
The size I linked weighs 0.8 pounds per foot. A large man could carry 10 feet very easily, with 6 or 8 feet in play and the rest wrapped up in brass knuckle fashion.

Not a weapon I'd choose, but not one I'd want to face either.
I've handled chain like that. While it is easy to carry, it isn't as easy to twirl to make a weapon. For a length of 8 feet, try twirling and see 1) how fast you can spin it, and 2) how long you can keep it up.

Plus, all I have to do is block a swing with my machete out toward the end of your range, then grab the chain. Now you can't swing it at me, and while you have a loop around your fist as a brass knuckle, you have to contend with my machete. Plus, you can't run away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uosdwis R. Dewoh View Post
Well, I didn't fight in WW2 so I think I would need a little more heft behind my attacks than a battle hardened soldier in his physical prime.
But that's the point - the more heft to the tool, the harder it is to put on target and to recover from a missed strike. You commit yourself to an all out swing, I lean out of range, then dive in before you can get the motion moving the other direction.

And yes, I have practiced that kind of thing in martial arts class against an attacker with a stick, using a lightweight training "stick"* to boot. Even without a machete, I'm going to get the upper hand. With a machete, you are toast.

-----
*Basically a 2 foot length of foam piping insulation or a pool noodle. Even without the momentum of a heavy club to control, I can get my opponent to commit and then close and pin their arms or whatever.
  #100  
Old 05-21-2016, 07:07 PM
Left Hand of Dorkness Left Hand of Dorkness is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishman View Post
However, the lack of effectiveness argument is pretty strong. Video shows a guy take a blast of pepper spray in the face and its effect, then a blast of wasp spray and its effect. Compare for yourself.
I'm definitely leaning toward thinking it's not super-effective--but that video is made by a pepper-spray company, and may not be the most reliable.
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