The European style Mace Flail is highly effective as an offensive weapon but difficult to use in defense. The basic concept is a heavy weight that is attached to the end of a handle via a chain. The weapon was primarily used for bludgeoning an opponent – when swung, it generates enormous force and has the advantage against opponents wearing plate armor, also reducing the effectiveness of their shield by reaching over or around it. Both Knights on horseback and foot soldiers used flails. Multiple chains and balls were later attached to the shaft making the weapon even more formidable.