Premise[edit | edit source]

The premise of this weapon type is highly dependent on which weapon you choose to use. The battle axe, war hammer, and great sword are the weapons that typically fall into this category. They offer more damage, but also leave you vulnerable more often. The greats word excels at striking multiple enemies, and is more maneuverable and thus more likely to hit. The Battle Axe on the other hand is a slightly more bulky than the great sword, thus making it less maneuverable; however what it lacks in agility it makes up for in carnal damage. Finally, the war hammer, the heaviest weapon in this category, is by far the most damaging weapon in the lineup. What the war hammer lacks from the other two weapons, it makes up for in raw destructive power. The bulkiness and sheer weight of this weapon makes it very slow, and very unreliable for extended use. The choice of weapon will heavily depend upon your anticipated foe. While focusing on a single weapon will give you a far better understanding of that weapon’s capability, each one of these can be interchanged giving the Two-Handed Armsman much more versatility in combat.

Physical Fitness and Conditioning[edit | edit source]

Physical fitness is as important to a Soldier as is their armor and weapons. A daily workout routine consisting of a number of different cardio and weight training exercises using weighted practice weapons and armor is necessary to build the strength needed to perform at the levels required of the weapon type.  Weapon drills can also be a great form of physical conditioning, but should be incorporated into a rigorous workout routine, not used as a substitute for one.


Introduction[edit | edit source]

The Guards[edit | edit source]

There are three types of guards, or the ready position, for these two handed weapons.  Ideally there is no difference in the three, other than the obvious relationship of weapon placement. However, the guard determines the flow of movement of the weapon, so understanding of these basic guards not only aids in your own attack, it also will give someone insight into how their opponent may be attacking. The Three Guards are listed below:

The Low Guard:[edit | edit source]

Also known as the Fools Guard is achieved by lowering the tip of the weapon with the hands. In this guard either leg may lead. The weapon is held head down, usually between the legs rather than outside of or next to them. The position is deceptively open and allows for quick counter strikes.

The Middle Guard:[edit | edit source]

Also known as the Plow is achieved by lowering the weapon to the middle. Either passing or making a single small step of the foot in transition is useful here. The point should aim at the opponent's chest or throat and the hilt should be held more off to the side in front of the hip joint rather than dead center between the legs. Note that depending on which leg leads in the Plow Guard, the hip the pommel is in front changes.

There are a few variations of this position such as pulling the hilt further back near or even past the hip. Some fighters say that on the right side, the stance is held with the long edge down but that on the left side it is held long edge up. This "long Plow" (for lack of a term) permits a quick attack from behind as well as allowing better downward thrusts. To achieve this the left hand should simply keep a looser grip to allow it turn while the right maintains normal grip pressure. The long edge down position permits quick slices and upward thrusts. Overall the plow protects and covers very well while permitting all attacks.

The High Guard:[edit | edit source]

Also known as the Guard of the Hawk is achieved by raising the weapon up with the shoulders (held at roughly 45-degrees, not horizontal). Passing the foot is useful in transitioning here. The position is both threatening and warding. It easily lowers to any other stance or guard. 

The Guard of the Hawk may also be placed over the (generally right side) shoulder rather than over the head. The hilt can be above or in front of the collar, but not down in front of the chest. Note the weapon is neither angled behind the head, nor held horizontal, nor resting on the shoulder. Some armors prevent holding the weapon above the head, hence the side version. More stable than held above the head, the position still permits a variety of threats and counters. This position easily turns around into the Ox or drops down to the Plow.

When held over the shoulder strikes are quicker and more deceptive but have somewhat less range and strength. Note that depending upon the angle and prior action, the stance can appear as if the weapon is held behind the head or neck, when in fact, this is just an illusion created by a turn of the waist.

The Guard of the Ox:[edit | edit source]

A fourth guard to mention, specifically, for the two handed sword, is the Ox. The Guard of the Ox is essentially assumed by drawing the weapon up and to the outside. The point may aim somewhat downward or upward but typically aimed at the opponent's face or throat.

Note the blade alignment by observing the angle of the cross guard, the blade is neither vertical nor horizontal but slightly diagonal, in fact, the natural position achieved by cutting upward. In this position, note the short (back) edge aims not upward or downward but toward the fighter, while the thumb is under the blade, not on top of it. The hilt is held just in front of beside or the head at temple level, but may be also held just above it. The Ox position, although not as stable as others, protects well, allowing a direct threat with its straight thrust, turn to cut diagonally downward, or pull back to cut from underneath.


Stance[edit | edit source]

When using a weapon of any kind, the way you stand, and eventually move, is referred to as your stance. It is vital in determining how much control you have, how fast you can move and how soon you will tire. 

The basic form of any stance: Stand with feet shoulder width apart, leading foot slightly forward, i.e. almost square on to your opponent. You should be relaxed and 'springy,' on the balls of your feet with knees slightly bent. This position is easy to hold and keeps your center of gravity low and central, which will in turn keep you balanced when moving and/or wearing heavy armor.


Striking Techniques[edit | edit source]

Head attacks are performed as a vertical strike downwards on to the head.

Shoulder attacks also come from above and at an angle of about 45 degrees. It's preferable to aim for the upper arm, rather than the collarbone, for this attack.

As a note: downward strikes make it less likely that these blows will bounce or be deflected upwards back into the face.

Torso attacks can be angled down or horizontally.

Leg attacks can be angled down or horizontally also, but will usually be angled downward.

Thrusts should not be angled be angled across the target's body, instead aim the tip of the weapon and push through. Note: A thrust with the point has considerable penetrating power even with a blunt tip.


Parrying and Evading[edit | edit source]

When it comes to the defense of this style of fighting, it is lacking. While not completely defenseless, two-handed Armsmen are more about pressing the attack and less about defending. Parrying, is the preferred method of defense with this weapon type. That is to deflect your opponent's attack with your weapon by pushing it away from you in any direction. Many strikes can be achieved immediately after a parry as the action alone can expose the attacker to a counter attack.

Evading is also a basic, but reliable tactic for the two-handed Armsman, simply side step or back step away from the opponent's attack to avoid it, one can also bend at the waist to avoid an attack.


Progression[edit | edit source]

 Tier one Armsman (Two Handed Armsman)[edit | edit source]

Basics and Fundamentals

Physical Fitness Test

Combat Trial

Tier two Linebreaker (Aspirant Ducal Guard)[edit | edit source]

Advanced Training

Ducal Guard Rites

Physical Fitness Test

Combat Trial

Tier three Two handed Arms Master (Ducal Guard)[edit | edit source]

Final Rites

Master Training

Physical Fitness Test

Combat Trial


Stormwind Army Combatives Manual
Fundamental SkillsArmed Combat FundamentalsShielded Arm TechniquesPolearm TechniquesTwo-Handed Arm Techniques
Know Your FoeRanged WeaponsCombat Formations

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.