Difficult to know whether this should be here or GQ but since it is inspired by watching the movie…
You are an immortal. You will be involved in un armored sword fights for the rest of your life where your opponent will try to lop off your head. This is the only way you can be killed so any other injuries are unimportant. Your enemies will have a variety of weapons and styles of attack.
What should be your weapon of choice? What style of swordfighting would be to your advantage. What would make you decide that an opponent’s sword/style would suit you better (since if he beats you, you’re dead). There was this previous thread that touched on what would be the best sword but that seems to assume that your opponent will be similarly armed.
Depends on what (if anything) you’re familiar with, and what weapons education is available to you. Seems that the MacLeod boys spent a good deal of their time learning as many different styles and weapons as they possibly could (it was demonstrated via flashback that Duncan learned as much as he possibly could, stands to reason that Conor would be as careful). So, I suppose the correct answer would be…
I’d try to learn as many weapons and styles as I possibly could, in order to tailor my technique for the opponent faced and the weapons available.
Personally, however, I think a 12-ga shotgun and a hatchet would work just fine…
I’m a fan of heavy weapons myself. No one said that the head had to come off because of a sword cut. I would think an RPG would do the job just fine.
I also wondered why more immortals didn’t wear some sort of body armor and/or gorget to protect their necks. Similarly, I wonder why more vampires in Buffyverse don’t wear some form of chest protection. Obvious weakness… obvious solution.
Having studied several different sword fighting and fencing styles to differing degrees, I’d have to echo what Kilt said. As with any other martial art, if you study one style only, even if you master it, any opponent who has studied the same style will know pretty well what your next move is, possibly before you do. This, obviously, is a disadvantage when trying to keep your head on your shoulders.
As for weapon of choice, I’m a katana man myself. It offers the best compromise between versatility, weight, speed and design strength. Claymores and other two-handed swords are too heavy; rapiers and “fencing swords” are too light; cutlasses and sabres are too awkward against lighter swords, etc. A katana can be wielded effectively one or two handed, can be used for either quick parries or powerful, body-cleving blows with equal effectiveness and works very with helping keep the swordsman in balance.
Swords? In this day and age? Try a chainsaw. Or a shotgun. One shot to the knee knocks him down, one close range blast to the neck decapitates. Or napalm. May not take off the head, but try sword fighting when all your muscle mass has been converted to carbon. Bonus points for unbelievable agony without killing, too. How come you never saw evil Immortals with flame-throwers?
Am I the only person who feels Highlander II was basically a faithful sequel to a really stupid movie?
I suspect that no mortal style of swordplay would really be appropriate for an immortal. Your goals and targets are completely different. As an immortal, both you and your opponent will be emphasizing decapatating attacks. You want a style which emphasizes delivering and defending against such attacks, at the expense of all else. In any mortal style whatsoever, if someone gets in a good thrust to, say, your liver, you’re going to try to either block or dodge it. In an immortal sword fight, you’d just let him stab you, and take advantage of the fact that his sword is momentarily stuck in your bowels to finish him. Yeah, you’ll be a little impaired for a while, but you’ll get over it. The other guy won’t.
As for weapons, there may be better choices than a sword, but a chainsaw sure as heck isn’t one of them. Man, those things are heavy! How fast can you swing that saw? Compare that to how fast I can swing my sword. And you can just forget about blocking with it. High explosive also has its downside: Remember, you really don’t want to call attention to yourself. Start leaving large craters in a city, and the cops will figure out your weakness sooner or later. Besides, isn’t there a code of conduct against letting the world know about immortals?
Best weapon? Probably a lightsabre :D. Quite effective at decapitation, and one block and your opponent’s sword is suddenly a very poor dagger.
So, you wear a good steel collar and let the other guy whack away with his fancy thousand year old sword, while you gradually saw off hunks of flesh. And parrying a chainsaw with a katana is going to do some nasty things to that priceless antique.
And the code of conduct thing was always dumb. Who the hell is going to enforce it? The only other people who know about the “code of conduct” are people who are already trying to kill you anyway. Screw 'em. Jump the losers in a church and vaporize them with a minigun. What are they going to do about it?
I always figured that the rules were enforced in some supernatural way. Not too far-fetched, considering the whole premise of the show. On the other hand, it’s not like we saw every immortal; there very well could have been immortals running around with grenades or sharpened pogo sticks or whatever.
I’m right there with you on the minigun thing, but as I seem to recall that the only known instance of two immortals fighting on holy ground took place in Pompeii on the day of the big volcano problem, you might want to avoid the church.