If a character had low level super strength (they can lift 1-2 tons) what would be the best real world weapon (besides a firearm) for them to use in fights assuming lethal force isn’t an issue and the weapon won’t break when used?
Would an edged weapon (sword, machete etc) or a bludgeon (crowbar, sledgehammers etc) work best?
I would surmise something like a 5-foot long, quite thick bat of solid metal with an extra weighted part on the tip.
That length would give you excellent range in any hand-to-hand combat, yet isn’t so long as to be too cumbersome. One hard blow to your opponent’s head and he’s done for; even a powerful whack to the knees would cripple him. And if he’s holding up some shield, your strength and bat would just smash right through it.
It might depend on where and who they’re fighting, right? If they’re fighting in the open vs. someone with guns, the best weapon might be a solid sheet of steel for them to hold in front of them to bull-rush opponents. If they’re fighting in narrow twisty corridors against folks without guns, metal gauntlets might do the trick. If they’re fighting in the open against someone wielding melee weapons, I’d imagine a big freakin’ poll that they can swing around real fast, keeping opponents from getting close, would do wonders. If it’s just the rule of cool, I’d have them switch up between weapons as they get in different kinds of fights.
Well, with that no longer an option, I might suggest something like a pickaxe or war hammer, preferably with an all steel (or stronger) construction, including the handle. Something that could match the force applied to it.
Alternatively, as a ranged weapon (perhaps even superior to a firearm in some uses), I might suggest an enlarged/reinforced longbow, with a selection of arrows designed for varying degrees of range (standard arrows, but proportioned appropriately given the size of the bow) or penetration of armored targets (something like the arrows used to take down a dragon in the Hobbit movies).
Based on ASL’s suggestion, a very heavy draw-weight crossbow that would normally require using a lot of leverage (like through a Windlass or Craneqiun) to reset for each shot. The main problem with such heavy draw weight crossbows is that it takes a lot of time to reload, so they were only really useful in sieges. If you could refire them quickly, they’d not be all that bad compared to firearms - they’d certainly punch through just about any wearable armor.
I’ve watched a couple of youtube sites where they take ancient weaponry fairly seriously, Lindeybeige and Shadiversity, and both generally come to the conclusion that a nice spear is the most useful weapon.
With your super strength you could use a heavier spear and still be nimble with it. Think of the bludgeoning you could do in addition to the stabbing!
With swords, strength isn’t really a major factor. Once you exceed the minimum strength needed to lift and swing it effectively, more strength doesn’t add much to its lethality. In fact, whenever I’ve done actual cutting with a group of people, the biggest problem is that most newbies use too much strength, rather than using technique to cut.
Some sort of bludgeon would be better. Far less technique needed, and since its whole means of causing damage is pure impact, it lets you maximize the benefit of your strength, up to the structural limits of the weapon itself. And even the structural limits can be increased. A thicker handle is stronger, but might be too heavy for most people to wield effectively, which would be less of a consideration for someone super-strong. As long as it was sized/designed so you could actually get a decent grip on it, you can make it as robust as you like.
Maybe a combo weapon, like a hammer/axe combo? Still relies mostly on strength and impact, but gives you a chopping edge as well for the instances where you need to up your game just that little bit more.
But you’d need great accuracy. A lot of people are phenomenally bad at throwing things accurately beyond even, say, 20 feet, and the more fear or panic you are in, the worse your accuracy.
And you’d have to retrieve the objects each time. Plus, you would also run out of them once you deplete them all, whereas with something like a big metal bat you could batter your opponents an unlimited number of times.
This would be my suggestion. The spear is also a good choice but even a splitting maul from home depot would be very effective in pretty much all cases. If you wanted to get something custom made adding a metal handle and bumping up the head weight would allow for some catastrophic damage.
If a normal person could swing a 4 lb axe all day someone who was 10x stronger could easily wield a 40 lb maul.