Here are a few photos of my first Dacian warband with figures by Warlord Games and Foundry. I recently came across an interesting article and interview ‘Forging into history’ in the July/August 2011 (pp.50-52) issue of Minerva magazine. It is available as a free app and download in the iTunes store.
David Sim is an experimental archaeologist and blacksmith, who specialises in the study of Roman weapons and armour, including the metallurgy and forging techniques used by the Romans. He has recently written a book - Roman Imperial Armour: From the First to Second Centuries AD by D. Sim and J. Kaminski, Oxbow Books, 2011.
The Romans, instead of using wrought iron to make weapons, used a method that produced no slag, resulting in an alloy with similar properties to steel. There are photos in the article of replica weapons and armour he has forged himself, including some particularly wicked looking examples of the falx. He says that the most lethal weapon the Romans ever had to face was the falx.
‘If you strike someone on the helmet with it, there is so much energy in the weapon that it will force the brain into the spine. I carried out a series of laboratory experiments with the falx using high-speed cameras, and found that when the point of the falx hit the reinforced crown of the helmet, it turned blue. That only happens at 700 ̊C. It appears that the falx generated so much energy that it transformed the tip of the blade to plasma.’