Interested mainly in medieval era heavy armored combat, and the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two classes of weapon, both on horseback and on foot. Valid topics include application, quality/cost and maintenance, weight, learning curve, etc. Considerations vs other expected weapon types, wielded by mounted and unmounted opponents.

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    Since the point of contact will most likely be towards the tip of the weapon, I'd expect the mace to be superior, since it is designed to generate most force exactly there. They've both been used as mere slashing weapons, so learning makes not much of a difference. I lack the historical knowledge to give an expert answer, though. – Philip Klöcking Jul 9 at 20:30
  • @PhilipKlöcking I noticed in Knight Fight that although the European swords used in the melee seem to be used exclusively for hacking/bashing, maces and hammers are specifically disallowed. This is highly suggestive. Swords, however, would typically have more range, be more versatile in defense, and can be used to penetrate gaps in armor, or pierce the armor of a prone foe that has been unhorsed, without much leaning that could potentially expose the combatant (compared to leaning in to bashing a prone, armored opponent on the ground repeatedly.) – DukeZhou Jul 9 at 20:39

A sword was much more expensive than a mace. A simple mace is a lump of iron strapped to the end of a stick. A sword needs high quality steel tempered competently. That's why longswords emerged only at late Medieval period - steelworking needed to be sufficiently advanced so they don't snap.

A mace is designed to combat armor - chainmail without gambeson is useless and even a fine fullhelm can't protect from knocking the person out.

A sword is lighter thus can be made longer - awesome for slaughtering villagers and archers.

A mace is clumsy to fence with thus to block another horseman's blow.

As always in war, a spear would defeat both in a duel.

I have obviously never tried to kill people with a mace while on horseback. But have 2 years of Filipino stick fighting and half an year of German sword fencing.

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