Created By: ccoa on March 5, 2012 Last Edited By: StarSword on June 21, 2013
Troped

Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age

A character uses a weapon that should be obsolete by the setting's tech, but is treated as just as effective, if not more so, than modern weapons.

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"I mean Jedi, as I've always said before, well they've chosen a sword in a time of, you know, laser guns, so they'd better be damn good with it."
-- Nick Gillard, stunt coordinator for the Star Wars prequel trilogy, Attack of the Clones DVD featurette

There's a certain amount of cultural and symbolic weight to most historical weapons, accurate or not. They invoke a feeling of the Good Old Ways, and may be seen as more honorable, elegant, interesting, or simply cool. They're also traditional in many settings, especially for those that have roots in Medieval European Fantasy, such as Role-Playing Games.

However, even in settings where these weapons should be obsolete and out of place, they often show up and are shown to be just as effective, if not more so, than weapons that are modern to the setting.

This occurs with extreme frequency in Eastern RPGs, probably due to genre's origins in Dungeons & Dragons. Even in Steampunk and Urban Fantasy settings, you will find swords, axes, spears, katanas, and all other manner of anachronistic weaponry. It also appears in settings with Schizo Tech. It's even possible the character uses this because s/he Doesn't Like Guns.

It's also Truth in Television to an extent. While it's true that the modern battlefield is dominated by guns, hand-to-hand and melee weapon combat training will likely always be a part of military curricula: guns can be cumbersome in close combat and melee weapons are much quieter, so the humble dagger and its modern derivatives will never go out of style.

The Straight and Arrow Path and Anachronistic Swordsman (note: still in YKTTW at this time) are subtropes. Compare Rock Beats Laser, Older Is Better, and some forms of Improperly Placed Firearms.


Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
  • In Gintama, aliens have conquered samurai-age Japan and brought over many of their technological advancement. Most of the main cast sticks with katanas.
  • Justified with the Gunmen in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. In the second half of the story Gunmen were being decommissioned in favor of the Gunparls. When the Anti-Spirals attacked however, the Gunman fared far better, because while the Gunparls were the more advanced machine, the Gunmen had been designed specifically to fight that particular enemy.
  • In Sword Art Online, there is a game where guns are the primary weapon. There is a sword available, but it is largely regarded as a joke weapon. Kirito, being the hero, picks it and manages to slice bullets in half.
  • A Certain Magical Index: Justified considering the usage of history as artifacts. We have Curtana, Durandal, and Hrunting. Whether Saint Peter's Cross counts as a weapon In-Universe is up for debate.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
  • Star Wars has always had the lightsaber as the primary weapon of the Jedi and Sith in an era where Frickin' Laser Beams normally rule the day, and they get away with it because the wielder has limited precognition and the blade reflects blaster fire and goes through nearly anything without slowing down. However almost nobody else uses them and for good reason, as it really does require superhuman reflexes to avoid turning cutting oneself into pieces, never mind blocking blaster fire. Melee weapons are more commonly vibroweapons and may even be alloyed with cortosis to fight lightsaber-wielding Force users.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
  • In Animorphs, Ax notes at one point that human firearms are no match for the energy weapons of the Yeerk and Andalites, but still do a good job of blowing large, messy holes in you.
  • In Dune personal shields block projectile weapons and lasers trigger nuclear explosions when they hit them, but a slow-moving blade can slip through.
  • In The Forever War the first stasis fields slow down anything faster than 16.3 m/s, forcing people fighting within them to use melee weapons or bows and arrows.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
  • Subverted in Star Trek. The Klingons love their Cool Swords like the bat'leth, but Deep Space Nine makes a point of mentioning that an old lady with a phaser is worth a dozen Klingons with melee weapons.
  • Stargate SG-1 plays a little with this with Goa'uld personal deflector shields. Energy weapons and bullets have no effect on them but they can be penetrated by slower-moving objects, a fact exploited by SG-1 on two occasions (for instance, Jack O'Neill throwing a rifle bayonet through Heru'ur's shield and through his hand in "Secrets"). In most other cases though, guns, regardless of form, rule the day.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
  • World War II:
    • Owing to short-sighted defense cuts between the wars, the Royal Navy entered WWII with only obsolete biplane fighter-bombers to equip its aircraft carriers. Yet the Swordfish, a biplane more suited to the previous world war, managed to catch most of the Italian Navy in its home port of Taranto, causing widespread destruction in an attack the Japanese studied and emulated at Pearl Harbor. A year or so later, it was a carrier-launched Swordfish biplane which fired the torpedo that crippled the Bismarck, leaving Germany's most modern battleship wide open for the surface fleet to catch up with her.
    • Both Great Britain and Russia had obsolete heavy machine guns left over from World War I. The Russian Maxim and the British Vickers were effectively the same weapon, but one which required two or three men to transport, emplace and fire. It was also water-cooled, so if no water was available the weapon would overheat and become unworkable. The German MG42 was air-cooled, had a faster rate of fire, could be emplaced in seconds as opposed to fifteen minutes, and used by one man. Both Britain and Russia eventually hit on massing these weapons together to minimize these weaknesses and to provide saturation firepower, effectively using them almost as emplaced artillery and not as tactical infantry MG. British machine-gun battalions proved destructively efficient in Italy, where multiples of 64 Vickers MGs fired together at one section of German front to soften it up for an attack, allowing the attacking infantry to get as close as they could whilst returning fire was suppressed.
    • Close combat in the Burmese jungle often pitted Japanese officers and noncoms armed with swords against machete-armed British soldiers. Or kukri-armed Gurkhas. Or Sikhs with the traditional tulwar sword. Or African troops with native swords from Nigeria, Kenya, etc. Bladed weapons could be silent, deadly and ultra-effective in close quarters jungle fighting and ambushes, and sword fighting in combat happened even in 1942-45. Also, tribal units and natives fighting alongside British Fourteenth Army and on Borneo used native weapons, such as blowpipes and bows and arrow, to deadly effect in close-quarters jungle fighting.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
  • In the MechWarrior RPG, swords are described as still being a preferred weapon aboard starships because combat will invariably be close quarters and the blade won't rupture the ship's hull as opposed to firearms.
  • Warhammer 40,000 gleefully mixes melee weapons like swords and warhammers up with Frickin' Laser Beams, Tank Goodness, and dueling starships among other things. Of course, the old-school weapons are almost invariably updated with current technology (it's not just a sword, it's a chainsword or power sword).
  • The Imperial Marines of Traveller have a things for cutlasses, as they don't ricochet in cramped spaceship corridors and hit sensitive equipment like bullets.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
  • The Final Fantasy series loves this trope since VII, with guns often being weaker than melee weapons like swords and spears.
  • In Makai Kingdom, there are loads and loads of weapon types. There are modern weapons like rifles, bazookas, or flamethrowers available, but also classical weapons like swords and spears. Or silly weapons like UFOs, Pies, Syringes, or Paper Fans. Heck, there are even giant mechs available to ride. Being one of the creations of Nippon Ichi somewhat justifies it; they love their Widget Series.
  • In the Metal Gear series (and even more so, Metal Gear Rising), most of the elite cyborgs favour swords and other melee weapons over guns (in Rising, Mooks use guns, but the Elite Mooks use giant hammers and most of the UGs have some form of melee weapon or other). It's justified by explaining that bullets don't have the energy to get through cyborg armour, while HF Blades and other advanced weapons do.
  • The Persona series frequently displays this trope, having gun-wielding characters fighting alongside those with swords, spears, boxing gloves, fans, and folding chairs.
  • The Star Ocean series really likes this trope:
    • In the first and second games, this is justified by the protagonists being on planets protected by an Alien Non-Interference Clause.
    • The third game has the same justification, but halfway through the game you return to "civilized" space, and yet many of the protagonists continue to use anachronistic weapons.
  • In Team Fortress 2, one of the Sniper's weapons, alongside a host of various rifles, is a bow-and-arrow set called "The Huntsman". It can be very effectively. Also, the various melee weapons, from the Spy's butterfly knife, the Pyro's "axetinguisher" or the Demo's huge host of broken bottles and swords call all be very useful.
  • In World of Warcraft, Hunters and Warriors can choose among rifles or bows. The competence and damage difference is negligible. That's of course, when they aren't using axes, swords or hammers...
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 had the Beam Katanas, a special ability for the basic infantry for the Empire of the Rising Sun that changed their rifles into beam katanas. The Red Alert series runs almost entirely on Rule of Cool, and in the scenario the sword is an old idea but still scores one hit kills (assuming they get near enough for it and clear garrisoned buildings to boot).
  • Lampshaded in Mass Effect 2 with the M-96 Mattock semiautomatic rifle, which has the highest base damage of any assault rifle in the game despite being relatively outdated in-universe. The "Firepower Pack" DLC that adds it to your inventory in 2 comes with an e-mail from the Illusive Man saying that EDI had told him "we may be overlooking older, proven technologies in an effort to provide you with the state of art."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
  • In Terra, set in the 24th century, Catella Myrha dual wields a pair of scimitars against people armed with assault rifles. It helps that her armor contains a deflector shield generator that No Sells small arms fire. Melee attacks can penetrate it but she's good enough that this usually isn't an issue.
[[/folder]]

Indices: Speculative Fiction Tropes, Weapons and Wielding Tropes

Community Feedback Replies: 81
  • March 5, 2012
    JonnyB
  • March 5, 2012
    nitrokitty
    Related to Rock Beats Laser.
  • March 5, 2012
    ccoa
    Could work cropped. Demotivators aren't allowed by Word of Admin.
  • March 5, 2012
    pawsplay
    Truth In Television: The humble dagger will never go out of fashion.
  • March 5, 2012
    fulltimeD
    Farscape: D'argo's Qualta Blade.
  • March 6, 2012
    Stratadrake
    ^^ There's a reason daggers/knives are still in use today when swords aren't -- not only are they easy to conceal, but you can generally acquire them far more easily than you can handguns or firearms.
  • March 6, 2012
    pawsplay
    Plus, at arm's length, there is basically nothing more dangerous than a dagger.
  • March 6, 2012
    zarpaulus
    Also knives have a lot of non-combat uses.
  • March 6, 2012
    Treblain
  • March 9, 2012
    ccoa
    Wouldn't that make the name longer?
  • March 9, 2012
    JobanGrayskull
    Why not go with Anachronistic Weapon? It's short and to the point, and relates to Anachronistic Swordsman as mentioned.
  • March 9, 2012
    moocow1452
    Could have sworn we had a They Dont Build Them Like They Used To trope...
  • March 9, 2012
    Treblain
    ^^ I think "anachronistic" is being avoided because anachronism could mean using a laser gun in medieval times; this trope is only for the opposite.
  • March 9, 2012
    jbrecken
    Hawkman is a flying alien policeman superhero, who carries a mace.
  • March 9, 2012
    ccoa
    Yep, Treblain is correct. Anachronistic Weapon has the potential to be confused for when a weapon is too advanced for the setting, which is not this trope.
  • March 12, 2012
    TBeholder
    23. I will keep a special cache of low-tech weapons and train my troops in their use. That way even if the heroes manage to neutralize my power generator and/or render the standard-issue energy weapons useless my troops will not be overrun by a handful of savages armed with spears and rocks.
  • March 15, 2012
    Generality
    See also Elegant Weapon For A More Civilized Age, which is about a small elite using archaic weapons, and is a mouthful.
  • March 15, 2012
    PacificMackerel
    Also related to Doesnt Like Guns.
  • April 12, 2012
    Mauri
    • Star ocean the last hope international ends up explaining why in a certain planet they end up using the sword and bow combo. However they still keep the same weaponry when they get to an advanced planet.
    • Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 Had the Beam Katanas (a special ability for the basic infantry for the Empire of the Rising Sun that changed their rifles into beam katanas)needless to say in the premise scenario it is pretty much an old weapon idea but still scores one hit kills (assuming they get near enough for it and clear garrisoned buildings to boot)
  • April 12, 2012
    zarpaulus
    Justified examples:

    Literature
    • In Dune personal shields block projectile weapons and lasers trigger nuclear explosions when they hit them, but a slow-moving blade can slip through.
    • The Forever War the first stasis fields slow down anything faster than 16.3 m/s, forcing people fighting within them to use melee weapons or bows and arrows.

    Tabletop Games
    • The Imperial Marines of Traveller have a things for cutlasses, as they don't ricochet in cramped spaceship corridors and hit sensitive equipment like bullets.
  • June 1, 2012
    DracMonster
  • June 20, 2012
    nathandoe2016
    We already have this Awesome But Impractical
  • June 20, 2012
    Bisected8
    No, ABI is when something's flashy but not that effective compared to alternatives. While an archaic weapon could be an example of such, it doesn't have to be (it could be useful for the situation or quite boring).
  • June 20, 2012
    ccoa
    Awesome But Impractical requires the weapon (or whatever) to be practically useless. The requirement for this trope is that it be just as effective, if not more effective, than a modern weapon. In other words, the opposite of useless.
  • June 21, 2012
    Arivne
    Surprisingly Effective Obsolete Weapon, to make it clear what the trope is about?
  • June 21, 2012
    ccoa
    I'll make an alt titles crowner. Honestly, none of them are jumping out at me right now.

    Crowner
  • June 21, 2012
    MiinU
  • June 22, 2012
    Noaqiyeum
    What distinguishes this from Rock Beats Laser?
  • June 28, 2012
    elwoz
    ^ Rock Beats Laser is a bit of a mess, but it seems to be about the case where people who only have rocks beat a different group of people who only have lasers. This is (AFAICT) the case where the same group of people have both rocks and lasers and it turns out that both are effective.

    E.g. Samurai Seven (the anime) is an example of this, but not of Rock Beats Laser. Contrariwise, Arthur C Clarke's Superiority is an example of Rock Beats Laser and not of this.
  • June 28, 2012
    kjnoren
    I like Modern Age Old Weapon. Classy structure, easy to spell.
  • June 28, 2012
    ElCheViva
    The word in the title should be "Depreciated" rather than "Deprecated", surely?
  • June 28, 2012
    falver
    To Aru Majutsu No Index: Justified considering the usage of history as artifacts. We have Curtana, Durandal, and Hrunting. Whether Saint Peter's Cross counts as a weapon In Universe is up to debate.
  • June 28, 2012
    RJSavoy
    Modern Age Old Weapon suggests to me a weapon that is functionally old but is changed to fit into the more modern setting in some way; lightsabers, say, or a catapult made of modern steel. Surprisingly Effective Obsolete Weapon is more indicative, but a little clunky as a phrase.

    We should note this is a subtrope of Schizo Tech.
  • June 29, 2012
    kjnoren
    ^^^ Appears both are established spellings now, according to my dictionary. However, the trope uses the word incorrectly here. Depreciation would imply there was disapproval against the weapon (like the Catholic church expressed against using crossbows against fellow Christians), not that it was obsolete.
  • June 29, 2012
    kjnoren
    ^^ Ah, you're right, the comma in Modern Age, Old Weapon carries meaning. Strike that then (non-wikiwordable characters in tropes is just asking for trouble).

    Though I see that Sixteen Thirty Two manages to have a different trope name than the wikiword. Wonder how that is managed?
  • June 29, 2012
    Chabal2
    Ghost In The Shell: Togusa is the only member of the team who doesn't have extensive cybernetic enhancements and uses an old revolver, though he's as competent as the rest of the team.
  • June 29, 2012
    ccoa
    The custom titler allows using commas in trope names without difficulty. If you like it, it's in the crowner.
  • June 29, 2012
    elwoz
    Deprecate: express disapproval of, or discourage the use of, something. Depreciate: reduce the paper value of an asset.

    Two very similar but completely unrelated words.

    (And IMHO what we want here is neither.)
  • July 6, 2012
    Noaqiyeum
    We're using a version of the second definition of 'deprecate' here - the computer jargon. "To declare something obsolescent, i.e., to recommend against a function, technique, command, etc, that still works but has been replaced."
  • July 6, 2012
    kjnoren
    Except that there is no reason for that version or interpretation here, since "deprecated" there means exactly "discourage the use of" something. With obsolete things, there is not necessarily someone doing the deprecating - it's more that everyone knows there are better alternatives around. No discouragement needed.
  • July 6, 2012
    TBeholder
    > This is (AFAICT) the case where the same group of people have both rocks and lasers and it turns out that both are effective.

    "...but you can never tell, so just in case we'll pack a few rocks" can be seen as "Rock Beats Laser, Invoked". Tropes Are Flexible.

  • July 6, 2012
    LittleLizard
    Video Games
    • In World Of Warcraft, Hunters and Warriors can choose among rifles or bows. The competence and damage difference is neglible. That's of course, when they aren't using axes, swords or hammers...

    For a name: Traditional/Classical always works ????
  • July 7, 2012
    Arivne
    ^^^^ How many people reading the trope name are going to realize that it's using the second, less common definition (declare something obsolescent} and not the more commonly used first definition (express disapproval of or discourage the use of}?

    Assuming that they will do so violates the first rule in Clear Concise Witty.
  • July 9, 2012
    ccoa
    Instead of cluttering up the comments arguing, how about just voting on the crowner?
  • July 10, 2012
    TBeholder
  • July 16, 2012
    ccoa
    They could overlap, but I don't see how they're that close. Elegant Weapon For A More Civilized Age is specifically about an elite group that uses a weapon that used to be common, but isn't anymore. It does not require the weapon to be obsolete by the setting's standards (in fact, it can be objectively better - Green Lantern rings, for example).

    Could really use more crowner votes here.
  • July 16, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
  • August 8, 2012
    ccoa
    ^ That seems to be describing a slightly different trope, where all weapons can be found. Hmmm.
  • August 14, 2012
    ccoa
    Does anyone have a better name suggestion, because nothing on the crowner is particularly popular?
  • August 14, 2012
    troacctid
    I feel like Surprisingly Effective Obsolete Weapon and Adequate Antiquated Armament just can't possibly be serious name suggestions. >_>
  • August 14, 2012
    Treeckosawesomeness
    Light Sabers in the Star Wars series might count, as a melee weapon would be rather useless in a realistic setting where blasters are being used.
  • August 14, 2012
    lucmorgenstern
    Hawkeye in the Avengers. Bow and arrow versus guns and lasers is win, obviously.
  • August 15, 2012
    lu127
    ^^^ I just had a headache trying to pronounce those. -__-
  • February 15, 2013
    StarSword
  • February 15, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    I like No Such Things As An Obsolete Weapon in the crowner, although it can be shortened to No Weapons Are Obsolete imo.

    • In Makai Kingdom, there are loads and loads of weapon types. There are modern weapons like rifles, bazookas, or flamethrowers available, but also classical weapons like swords and spears. Or silly weapons like UF Os, Pies, Syringes, or Paper Fans. Heck, there are even giant mechs available to ride. Being one of the creations of Nippon Ichi somewhat justifies it.
    • In Gintama, aliens have conquered samurai-age Japan and brought over many of their technological advancement. Most of the main cast sticks with katanas.
  • February 15, 2013
    IsaacSapphire
    Truth In Television and a surprisingly popular way to do in people in regions with strict gun control.
  • February 27, 2013
    Ironeye
    Taking inspiration from Elegant Weapon For A More Civilized Age, how about Archaic Weapon For An Advanced Age? Yes, it's pretty close to being a snowclone, but there's a certain poetic appeal to that phrasing.

    (I'm avoiding "modern" because that could give the impression of the trope only relating the settings with current technology, when the trope actually also applies to futuristic settings using what we'd now consider modern.)
  • February 27, 2013
    sgamer82
    • Justified with the Gunmen in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. In the second half of the story Gunmen were being decommissioned in favor of the Gunparls. When the Anti-Spirals attacked however, the Gunman fared far better, because while the Gunparls were the more advanced machine, the Gunmen had been designed specifically to fight that particular enemy.
  • March 6, 2013
    thewriter
  • March 7, 2013
    Chernoskill
    Tabletop Games

    • In the Mechwarrior RPG, swords are described as still being a preferred weapon aboard starships because combat will invariably be close quarters and the blade won't rupture the ship's hull as opposed to firearms.
  • March 7, 2013
    jatay3
    The Imperial Marines in Traveller don't use cutlasses as a weapon of war primarily, Zarpaulas. They use it as a ritual weapon. At least in the Gurps version.
  • March 8, 2013
    AgProv
    Real Life: owing to short-sighted defence cuts between the wars, the Royal Navy entered WW 2 with only obsolete biplane fighter-bombers to equip its aircraft carriers. Yet the Swordfish, a biplane more suited to 1914-18, managed to catch most of the Italian Navy in its home port of Taranto, causing widespread destruction in an attack the Japanese studied and emulated at Pearl Harbor. A year or so later, it was a carrier-launched Swordfish biplane which fired the torpedo that crippled the Bismarck, leaving Germany's most modern battleship wide open for the surface fleet to catch up with her.

    Both Great Britain and Russia had obselete heavy machine guns left over from WW 1. The Russian Maxim and the British Vickers were effectively the same weapon, but one which required two or three men to transport, emplace and fire. Water-cooled, if no water was available, the weapon would overheat and become unworkable. The German MG 42 was air-cooled with a faster rate of fire, could be emplaced in seconds as opposed to fifteen minutes, and used by one man. Both Britain and Russia eventually hit on massing these weapons together to minimise these weaknesses and to provide saturation firepower - effectively using them almost as emplaced artillery and not as tactical infantry MG's. British machine-gun battalions proved destructively efficient in Italy, where multiples of 64 Vickers MG's fired together at one section of German front to soften it up for an attack, allowing the attacking infantry to get as close as they could whilst returning fire was suppressed.
  • March 8, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Inversion: According to an urban legend (which I can't find now, and don't know whether or not it's true) the US's super-advanced, super-expensive stealth airplanes - which "can't be seen" by radar - were discovered to be quite able to be seen by radar. The problem was, the US was testing against their own state-of-the-art radar equipment whereas any enemies they might be used on will use much older equipment with a different system.
  • March 15, 2013
    Knight9910
    Perhaps justified in that, in terms of the size of a wound it leaves, a sword or axe IS more powerful than the average gun. (Would you rather have a tiny hole in you or have your body chopped in half?) The only advantage a gun has is range, though granted that's a very significant advantage.
  • March 16, 2013
    zarpaulus
    ^ Range and ability to pierce traditional armor (kevlar vests aren't very good against blades). Also note that longbows have a faster rate of fire than early guns did and have better range but require a lot more training.
  • March 17, 2013
    Knight9910
    Let's also not forget the stealth factor. A gun is extremely loud, even with a silencer. (In real life a silencer on your average pistol will cut the sound by about half - still very loud. A silencer on an assault weapon will do basically nothing.) A bow, on the other hand, is almost perfectly silent, making it an excellent stealth weapon, which is something a lot of first person shooter games exploit.
  • March 20, 2013
    PrinceofSavoy
    Outdated Weapons are Better, could work, I think.
  • March 20, 2013
    m8e
  • March 20, 2013
    Bisected8
    • In the Metal Gear series (and even more so, Metal Gear Rising), most of the elite cyborgs favour swords and other melee weapons over guns (in Rising, Mooks use guns, but the Elite Mooks use giant hammers and most of the UGs have some form of melee weapon or other). It's justified by explaining that bullets don't have the energy to get through cyborg armour, while HF Blades and other advanced weapons do.
  • March 29, 2013
    thewriter
    Pmub

  • March 29, 2013
    InsanityPrelude
    Since the crowners are broken, I'd just like to second the suggestion of No Weapons Are Obsolete. It's a little less clunky than the longer version, to my eye anyway.
  • April 1, 2013
    Bisected8
  • April 1, 2013
    CompletelyDifferent
    In Team Fortress 2, one of the Sniper's weapons, alongside a host of various rifles, is a bow-and-arrow set called "The Huntsman". It can be very effectively. Also, the various melee weapons, from the Spy's butterfly knife, the Pyro's "axetinguisher" or the Demo's huge host of broken bottles and swords call all be very useful.
  • April 2, 2013
    AgProv
    Close combat in the Burmese jungle often pitted Japanese officers and NCO's - armed with swords - against machete-armed British soldiers. Or kukri armed Gurkhas. Or Sikhs with the traditional tulwar sword. Or African troops with native swords from Nigeria, Kenya, et c. Bladed weapons could be silent, deadly and ultra-effective in close quarters jungle fighting and ambushes. Sword fighting in combat hsappened. Even in 1942-45. Also, tribal units and natives fighting alongside British Fourteenth Army used native weapons, such as blowpipes and bows and arrow, to deadly effect in close-quarters jungle fighting.
  • May 20, 2013
    SeptimusHeap
    OK, can we launch this?
  • May 20, 2013
    Unknown Troper
    Another possible Real Life example: A pump-action shotgun, if used effectively, can be just as deadly as a semi-auto shotgun, with the advantage of a user-defined fire rate.

  • May 20, 2013
    nitrokitty
    In Animorphs, Ax notes at one point that human firearms are no match for the energy weapons of the Yeerk and Andalites, but still do a good job of blowing large, messy holes in you.
  • May 20, 2013
    FantasyLiver
    Make sure that you put that it relates to Elegant Weapon For A More Civilized Age
  • June 16, 2013
    StarSword
    Webcomics:
    • In Terra, set in the 24th century, Catella Myrha dual wields a pair of scimitars against people armed with assault rifles. It helps that her armor contains a deflector shield generator that No Sells small arms fire. Melee attacks can penetrate it but she's good enough that this usually isn't an issue.
  • June 19, 2013
    StarSword
    Anyone mind if I take this over?
  • June 21, 2013
    StarSword
    Crowner called. Archaic Weapon For An Advanced Age declared the winner by mod hat (more total votes, despite Still Using Swords having a larger margin).
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=80pvfswbym3fwu5b68sdjtcb&trope=ArchaicWeaponForAnAdvancedAge