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Author Topic: What is a 'Glaive'?  (Read 1600 times)

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Offline SeekingOne

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What is a 'Glaive'?
« on: December 18, 2017, 03:25:06 AM »
Recent post by Bca11 about converted Autarchs led me to one odd question:

What is a 'Glaive'?!

I guess this is a question mostly for native-speakers. For some reason I always thought that the word 'glaive' refers to some kind of polearm. This is partially reinforced by the Dire Avenger Exarch wargear options that list one of his weapons as 'power glaive' - and it definitely looks like a polearm. However, just a few minutes ago I consulted a dictionary, and it seems to suggest that this word can also mean just 'sword'.

So, the question is - from WYSIWYG point of view, what sort of look would you expect from a model's weapon if it is listed as a 'glaive' on paper?
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Offline Blazinghand

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Re: What is a 'Glaive'?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2017, 03:42:18 AM »
It's a polearm. Here's how I made mine:

. I originally planned to model this with a Dire Avenger Exarch power glaive arm, but a power glaive is a pretty wimpy weapon compared to a spar-glaive. How can I model the more powerful spar-glaive?

It actually turned out to be pretty easy. I took a ghostsword from an Eldar Wraithblade, cut the blade off of it, and put it in the place of the blade from the Dire Avenger power glaive.



I used these little alligator clip guys to hold it in place while the glue dried. That's a pretty big glaive! Compared to the old power glaive, it's huge:



Here's how the Autarch is looking with the new weapon:




So at this point I consider most of the conversion and modeling work done.



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Offline Partninja

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Re: What is a 'Glaive'?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2017, 05:38:24 AM »
I always thought a glaive was more defined by having a broad curved blade. Less so defined by it's handle situation. They are normally depicted as having long handles, but necessarily a polearm.

Offline Fenris

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Re: What is a 'Glaive'?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2017, 07:37:55 AM »
Glaive is a word from ancient french, a version of it remains in Swedish "Glav" and means "stångvapen".
There is no good translation for the verb "stånga" in English but the closest is "head-butting" but it's not as specific as doing it with the head.
So it's a weapon-butting weapon or simply a butting weapon.
While it technically is a polearm, it's not specifically a polearm, it's a weapon with an extension for range, but usually with a handle so it can be used as a short reach weapon like a sword, an axe, a dagger, a hammer, a mace an so on... as well.
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Offline bca11

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Re: What is a 'Glaive'?
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2017, 12:49:02 PM »
I also was under the impression it could be a sword. Does anyone know of a place where the star glaive is explicitly pictured / described?

I do find it annoying when GW doesn't issue a model with mandatory equipment, or no model at all (anyone remember 3rd edition wave serpents?).

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Re: What is a 'Glaive'?
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2017, 01:38:23 PM »
The dire avenger box comes with a glave for the exarch.

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It's the bladed spear melee weapon. You can see the model armed with it in the gallery for the box.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 01:41:44 PM by Killersquid »
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Offline magenb

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Re: What is a 'Glaive'?
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2017, 03:23:13 PM »
In the 40k universe its a pole with a decent sized blade on at least one end.

hellion Hellglaive have a blade on either end.
Harliequin Zephyrglaive have a sword blade at one end.
CWE Dire Avenger's Power Glaive is a sword blade on the end of a pole, it is the go to conversion items. You could also use the banshee executioner

Offline Iluvhir Strafermeyer

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Re: What is a 'Glaive'?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2017, 03:02:21 PM »
Glaive is a word from ancient french, a version of it remains in Swedish "Glav" and means "stångvapen".
There is no good translation for the verb "stånga" in English but the closest is "head-butting"

Acturally, there is. In this case, the word "impale". "Stångvapen" probably translates best to "impaler weapon". An example would be: "the bull impaled the matador", which in Swedish correctly translates to "Tjuren stångade matadoren".

A glaive is just that: a weapon that is meant to impale a target rather than to hack and slash at it. The main difference between a lance and a glaive is that a glaive is a large blade at the end of a pole (a sword on a stick, basically), whereas a spear is pretty much only sharp at the very end. It's usually a short metal spike mounted on a long pole. A spear couldn't be used to hack and slash at someone, while a glaive could. Historically, some glaives only had one sharp edge (on the outward curve), like a katana, suggesting they were designed to be able to slash with as well as impale. A double-edge is better for impaling.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 03:14:41 PM by Iluvhir Strafermeyer »
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Offline laucian_meliamne

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Re: What is a 'Glaive'?
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2017, 05:52:02 PM »
Broadly-speaking, the term "glaive" can be used to describe any mid-to-large sized cut-and-thrust blade mounted on the end of a long pole, intended to be used in two hands. The blade is typically curved and single-edged, sometimes with hooks or bars on the back-side to assist in parrying.


Some common shapes for glaive blades

The Japanese naginata can be considered a type of glaive, resembling a katana-shaped blade on a pole. Similarly the Chinese pudao looks like a dao on a pole.

Similar weapons include Partizans, which tend to be more spear-like; polaxes, which tend to be more like large axes, sometimes with thrusting points on the end; and halberds, which are also large axe-like things, typically featuring more thrusting points and hooked blades on the back.

For Eldar purposes, any kind of sword-sized blade on the end of a pole would suffice to be a glaive.  But it should be a polearm or at the very least a sword with a very long handle.

Offline SeekingOne

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Re: What is a 'Glaive'?
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2017, 08:48:10 AM »
That's some excellent feedback! Many thanks to all who responded with explanations.

So, it can be considered a settled matter that a 'glaive' should look like a polearm with a sword-like blade at the end for the purposes of WYSIWYG. And this leads us to the point already mentioned by Bca11:
I do find it annoying when GW doesn't issue a model with mandatory equipment, or no model at all (anyone remember 3rd edition wave serpents?).

In fact, it would seem that in pretty much all other instances GW has updated all wargear options to specifically match the options available in the corresponding sets. That's why, for example, Autarch with wings has no options other than fusion pistol and power sword - those are the only weapons available on a standard model! In fact, they seem to have been meticulous enough to even remove the Forceshield from the wargear list of an Autarch Skyrunner - indeed, unlike all other autarchs, jetbike autarch doesn't have the shield sculpted on his left arm.

Now, we also have a codex entry of an autarch on foot armed with a melee weapon referred to as 'star glaive' and not even having a shuriken pistol. Seeing how meticulous the GW designers were with all other HQ entries, I think it would be unreasonable to suggest that in this particular instance they suddenly decided to design a (pretty weirdly equipped) character that has no model to support it at all. Rather, it seems that this entry does relate very closely to one specific standard model - that of Prince Yriel.

Indeed, technically Prince Yriel is the one and only standard model of an Autarch on foot that is still in official production. Also, he's armed with a very glaive-looking polearm, and has no sign of a pistol holster anywhere on him. Coincidence? I don't think so. In fact, now that I saw some great explanations and illustrations on the subject of glaives, I'm 99.9% sure that the 'Autarch' entry in our current codex is but a designers' cunning trick meant to enable the new Eldar players to buy the model of Prince Yriel and use it without any conversions to represent a generic Autarch on foot in any Craftworld.
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