A matter of weapons
There were other weapons used back then too, such as axes, polearms, missiles, spears, and blunt implements. To an extent, these weapons have been somewhat represented in fiction - Saint Cuthbert from Greyhawk carried a cudgel and apparently whacked non-believers with it. David killed Goliath with a sling. The Greeks and Romans preferred thrusting weapons like spears and javelins and I believe used swords as a fallback when their primary weapon was unavailable. A barbarian tribe called the Franks used a cool throwing axe called a Francisca to break up an enemy's shield wall before charging. During the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance periods, pikes became a mainstay of European armies until they were replaced by bayonets.
I guess if I had to tack a point onto this post, it would be to consider alternatives when creating a character for a fantasy story or an RPG. It'll certainly add a level of uniqueness that will set your character apart from others.