I was looking over my copy of "From Stone to Steel" today--a book for d20 about armour, weapons, and history. It has a plethora of details about all kinds of historical armour and weaponry through the ages, for 3E.
I was then thinking about AD&D, and the standard list of weapons and armour. At a glance--they do seem quite simplistic, and very generalized. However, while on one hand, a sword, is a sword is a sword, so to speak--aside from shortsword, longsword, scimitar, bastard sword and two-handed sword--that about covers things pretty well. Virtually any number of historical models do not chiefly perform in any different capacity from such base models. Thus, there doesn't really seem to be a mechanical representation of too much more variety than that. Plus, we keep in mind the fine pleasure of keepings most things fast, simple, and easy to deal with.
Ok--having said that, there is that nagging thought back in my head that says AD&D *doesn't* approximate the details in that effective a manner--even with the rough simplistic standards being essentially correct, accurate, and sufficient. The point of contention is, there *were* in fact a variety of weapons that seemed to be similar to their legions of lesser brethren, but in fact, their individual weapon performance and characteristics were often quite superior.
Mongolian Composite Bows--these were superior to other types of composite bows.
Roman Gladius--while plenty of other shortswords existed, the Roman Gladius was superior for a variety of reasons, from raw effectiveness in battle, to weight, and ease of manufacture, as well as strength and durability.
And on and on.
How so, then, would you handle such a challenge?