D&D is the game where you can have an Elizabethan elf, Thundarr the Orc in a loincloth, a half-dragon wizard in a bathrobe, some kind of dirty child with a cockney accent, and two human knights in different eras of armor about to fight a dragon after going through tunnels.
You start mixing dudes in mail, conical helms & kite shields with fucking high gothic plate harness, landsknecht, and other folks in tights and puffy clothes. Of course D&D combat makes no sense. It's shit far less people have experience with than boxing, wrestling and other unarmed martial arts, which is why grappling systems are such messes throughout the editions. Which is also why D&D has far more rules about combat than everything else. Sorry that is thing that got missed and then buried. It's easy to see how it's always been about combat, and pushing exp into killing monsters didn't help.
And it's a fucking anachronistic mess. Like actually pick a time period as the baseline, and I mean more narrowly than "middle ages" became that shits like the crusades through to Italian renaissance, but folks include shit that happened in early modern England.
But no-one gives a fig about overly broad swords, everything being back-scabbarded, or potatoes in Fauxrope.
Don't get me wrong. I fucking love that D&D is a fucking anachronistic mess, but I also grew past my "must make D&D model combat as realistically as possible phase."
I'm pretty sure that if you get rid of proliferation of weapons and armor, simplifying them back to three classes of armor (filing the names off of leather, mail, and plate), made maybe 2 types of shields, and got rid of all the fucking million weapons.
I fucking hate rapiers in D&D, its fans are just as bad as weaboos.
It's a fucking sword. But folks act like only in the renaissance are folks walking around without armor and have to defend themselves with a single bladed weapon.
A rapier is a fucking sword. It should do sword damage and not have some bullshit "finesse" tag. All fucking weapons need finesse, that's what the fucking improving attk bonus, thac0, matrix or whatever is for. That's fucking skill.
Like even the fucking context weapons and armor get used is different in the same time frame. Do really think some jack hole is going to dungeon crawl or march overland in a full harness?
I'm even that guy who is playing the fully armored knight with a shield in a dungeon because that is what works I'm the context of the game. D&D gets a lot of shit wrong about combat and arms & armor. But so does every game.
And then the big examples of weapons associated with that, rapiers and katana, got these fucking fans are agitate for "but it's an elegant weapon that defeats armor by getting into the gaps and I should get my dex mod so I can dump str"
"But the point requires all that dex" I vaugly gesture at spears and all other pointy swords.
And I fucking hate "but historical accuracy" with D&D and then no guns because magic? Which is it buddy? If you have fucking rapiers where are your fucking flintlocks? Oh you have guns but they need to so much deadlier than everything because you watch too much history channel?
We got fucking dragons and wizards shooting lighting but you need to have 3d10 with exploding damage on a pistol that ignore armor?
Use a fucking 0-1 lvl soldier as the baseline for deadliness. Is the weapon's average damage the same as or greater than the average soldier's hp? Congrats the weapon is deadly enough.