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Author Topic: A Question about Armor  (Read 15472 times)
Lyrax
Member

Posts: 268


« Reply #30 on: August 09, 2002, 10:27:59 AM »

Quote from: Sir Eldaen

Wrong. Plain wrong. There'll be no rash. Chain feels cool and smooth on skin. The only problem is hair. If you wear a chain hood and your hair isn't trimmed at least as short as half an inch, you might experience severe problems with the hairs tangling in the rings of the mail. Body hair is different, however - there are none or almost none such problems.


What if a single link gets damaged?  It will dig into your skin and MAKE YOU BLEED.  What if ten links, or thirty, or more, are damaged (which is the entire purpose of armor, to get damaged instead of you)?  You need a gambeson to protect you from your own armor.  Perhaps you are right, and there will be no rash.  But, if you ever fight and take any kind of hit, you will have an inordinate amount of bloodloss -- even more than you normally would.  Metal can be very sharp.

Quote from: Sir Eldaen

Quilt gives no protection?! Allright, tonight we have reenactment training session - I'll go and tell the ones who wear only quilt. I suppose we'll all die laughing. Why on earth should someone then wear quilt under his chainmail and not... silk, for example?! 'Cause it looks so cool when shining through the mail? Crap, I say!


Because it protected the person from the armor and was much cheaper than silk.  The combination of usefulness, price and availibility made the gambeson the choice of undergarment for armor-wearing individuals.  As for those wearing only quilt?  You stand over there with your quilt, I'll get my sword, and we'll see whether you want any more armor.

Quote from: Sir Eldaen

HA!!! Come on - give it a try! Try putting on a chain hauberk that is closed in the arm pits and then try to lift your arm... Shoulder height is the limit! ALL chain mails were open in the arm pits. And most quilt tunics were, too. But that's not mainly because of movements but rather because of temperature.


The gambeson worn underneath a suit of plate armor (which is what I was referring to, BTW) has chain on the armpits and other vulnerable areas.  This is history, not reenactment, so it has some more weight than anything we do today.  Yes, it isn't a full suit of chain.  Yes, it is quilted in most places.  No, no knight would ever, in his right or even his left mind, go out into battle wearing only the gambeson.  It would do almost nothing versus a sword, warhammer, flail or polearm.  Probably a little against a maul, but not much.

Quote from: Sir Eldaen

But that limits your options as a player what to wear underneath... where's the details?


What, do you want to try wearing silk?  Only the gambeson?  This is suicidal.  Neither one will protect you enough to save your life.

Quote from: Sir Eldaen

Try it with bare skin and then compare again... :-) Believe me, I did both and there are differences. Not too much for cloth and leather, I agree, but quilt? Most definately yes.


Leather (boiled plate, not soft) is actually a pretty good armor.  woodenswords.com sells a high-quality leather buckler that can deflect a hand, a waster, or even a small-caliber bullet with no difficulty.
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Lance Meibos
Insanity takes it's toll.  Please have exact change ready.

Get him quick!  He's still got 42 hit points left!
Durgil
Member

Posts: 306


« Reply #31 on: August 09, 2002, 12:01:25 PM »

Are you trying to tell me that the quilted gambeson was only worn for comfort?

Look, Medieval padding was not quilted in the modern sense; it was typically tubes of linen, wool, or fustian and stuffed with a variety of materials such as horse hair, linen, or wool-this applies both to helmet padding and to gambesons or arming coats.  They didn't do this out of a love for tubular styled clothes; they did that to protect themselves from the impact of their metal plates hitting their flesh.  Hasn't anyone here ever played crochet?  When the two balls are side by side, you stick your foot on top of one of them and whack it.  The other ball goes flying off as if it has been hit because it essentially has been hit.

The ideal protection against any force is to absorb most or all of it with padding, but in our situation with cutting and piercing weapons, just padding alone would end up getting chopped to bits.  So, you put a metal skin over it.  In the early middle Ages, due to their limited technology, mail was the metal skin over their padding.  Later, they were able to attach metal plates to the mail; think of them as miniature metal shields.  Later still, technology advanced so that they were able to connect a lot of these little metal shields in such a manner that it didn’t considerably restrict movement and could therefore get rid of, at first, some of the mail, and as time went on most or all of the mail.

Now if you want to say that the values in the book reflect the multiple layers, than that’s fine, but don’t try to tell me that the only layer that mattered to defense was the outer layer or the best protective layer.  If that’s the case, then you might as well go back to using hit points IMHO.
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Tony Hamilton

Bob Richter
Member

Posts: 324


« Reply #32 on: August 09, 2002, 03:01:47 PM »

Quote from: Durgil
Are you trying to tell me that the quilted gambeson was only worn for comfort?

The ideal protection against any force is to absorb most or all of it with padding, but in our situation with cutting and piercing weapons, just padding alone would end up getting chopped to bits.  So, you put a metal skin over it.  


That's not the ONLY reason for the metal skin. Padding, by itself, won't stop blunt-force trauma. The foam padding inside a football helmet, for example, would be almost worthless in stopping a hammer-blow (while the helmet does well enough.) Thus the thin layer of plastic outside. It has two major functions:
1) It will deflect any blow that is less than square (reducing the force of the blow,) a function padding can not perform.
2) It distributes the force of the blow over a larger area, reducing the pressure of the blow.

And the gambeson WAS worn for comfort. Chain and Plate mail are not comfortable. They will cause chafing with extended use. While it has some function in absorbing blunt shock (something it still doesn't do at all well,) its PRIMARY purpose is to protect the wearer from his armor (whether discomfort or potential lethality.)
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Durgil
Member

Posts: 306


« Reply #33 on: August 09, 2002, 07:52:39 PM »

Quote
While it has some function in absorbing blunt shock (something it still doesn't do at all well,) its PRIMARY purpose is to protect the wearer from his armor (whether discomfort or potential lethality.)

I've got historical experts such as David Edge, John Paddock, Brian Price, and Alan Williams whose writings contradict this so called PRIMARY purpose of yours.  Why don't you try to take a look at what some in the ARMA group say about this very subject, you might just be surprised.

And by the way, I played 9 years of football with a couple on the collegiant level, and if the discomfort of just the hard plastic against you skin was the only reason to put the pads underneath, then why not something lighter and less bulky, like a medium thickness cloth shirt and a bandana underneath you helmet?  Both the hard, rounded surface and the pads are neaded to prevent serious injury on the battle field and the playing field.
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Tony Hamilton

Lance D. Allen
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Posts: 1962


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« Reply #34 on: August 10, 2002, 01:00:39 PM »

Okay gentlemen, sounds to me like this argument is getting a little heated. Let's not give Ron or Jake a reason to chastise when they come back, eh? Keep it civil, keep it unemotional. Or else, find each other, put on armor, and beat each other in an effort to prove your points upon the body of your opponent. It's not only stress-relieving, but it's fun, too.

Quote from: Durgil
And by the way, I played 9 years of football with a couple on the collegiant level, and if the discomfort of just the hard plastic against you skin was the only reason to put the pads underneath, then why not something lighter and less bulky, like a medium thickness cloth shirt and a bandana underneath you helmet?

  In response to:

Quote
That's not the ONLY reason for the metal skin. Padding, by itself, won't stop blunt-force trauma. The foam padding inside a football helmet, for example, would be almost worthless in stopping a hammer-blow (while the helmet does well enough.) Thus the thin layer of plastic outside. It has two major functions:

  and:
Quote
While it has some function in absorbing blunt shock


Seems to me that the protective role of padding isn't ignored, just underrated. It also seems to me that direct personal experience will probably be the only way to resolve this issue. So unless you're willing to get into armor and give it a try (which I am in a position to do, and am willing to do, myself) then I think the point is moot.

Durgil: I'll concede your point about medieval quilting being considerably different than what we consider quilting today. I have to admit some amount of historical inaccuracy is in order due to WHERE I have seen the fighters... Phoenix, AZ is not the place for heavy, heavy layers, especially under armor.

I will however say that soft-leather has almost no value in absorbing blunt-force trauma. It will protect the skin itself from being smashed open by the impact, but it will not prevent heavy bruising, broken bones or other such injuries. The reason I even mention soft-leather is that it is used in conjunction with various types of plate, such as in the brigandine I wear. It is not cuirboulli that I'm using, so it's not a leather "plate" protecting me.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls
Bob Richter
Member

Posts: 324


« Reply #35 on: August 10, 2002, 01:20:12 PM »

Quote from: Durgil
Quote
And by the way, I played 9 years of football with a couple on the collegiant level, and if the discomfort of just the hard plastic against you skin was the only reason to put the pads underneath, then why not something lighter and less bulky, like a medium thickness cloth shirt and a bandana underneath you helmet?  Both the hard, rounded surface and the pads are neaded to prevent serious injury on the battle field and the playing field.


*sighs, shakes his head*

That's exactly what I was saying. Try reading what I type next time.

The padding's there to stop the plastic from giving you a concussion, the plastic's there to stop whatever's OUTside it from giving you a concussion. Neither is particularly valulable alone, thus why buying armor in layers is silly.
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So ye wanna go earnin' yer keep with yer sword, and ye think that it can't be too hard...
Mokkurkalfe
Member

Posts: 340


« Reply #36 on: August 10, 2002, 01:25:24 PM »

Quote
The padding's there to stop the plastic from giving you a concussion, the plastic's there to stop whatever's OUTside it from giving you a concussion.


Nicely put. You've convinced me.
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Joakim (with a k!) Israelsson
Mokkurkalfe
Member

Posts: 340


« Reply #37 on: August 10, 2002, 01:46:44 PM »

Um, wasn't the question wether plate and chain shoud accumulate their AV's or not?
Since every armour, without exception, has quilt beneath it, this discussion is pretty pointless in a tRoS point of view.
Still interesting, though...
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Joakim (with a k!) Israelsson
Lyrax
Member

Posts: 268


« Reply #38 on: August 10, 2002, 06:38:57 PM »

Yes, and we decided that armor is bought in sets (gambeson + plate or chain) because it's suicidal to use one without the other.
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Lance Meibos
Insanity takes it's toll.  Please have exact change ready.

Get him quick!  He's still got 42 hit points left!
Durgil
Member

Posts: 306


« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2002, 06:50:26 AM »

I believe this is how the subject started which, in turn, brought out these other related points, questions, and observations.
Quote from: Sneaky Git
Vhord von Drieder, our intrepid Stahlnish knight-errant, is kitted out in full mail and a plate cuirass.  I would assume that this would give him an AV of 10 for those locations protected by both.  Yet, the model character sheet only gives him an AV of 6.

In a world where characters may very well find themselves scavaging for parts and pieces to argment or repair their own defenses, I personally prefer a system that individually accounts for the different types of protection which exist.  This, in turn, allows each individual GM to determine which combinations of armour he or she will allow.

If anyone is interested, I've started on some House Rules that account for different layers of armour.  I will try my best not to alter the overall flow of the system or unbalance the affect of armour, but it's going to take me some time.  If you agree with at least part of what I've been saying in this post or what to make any suggestions, just send me a message to the address below, and I'll get you a copy when I complete them.
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Tony Hamilton

Lyrax
Member

Posts: 268


« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2002, 09:45:27 AM »

The way I see it, metal armor doesn't "layer" very well.  Armor scavenging, however, is likely to make a person armored in some places and unarmored in others.  See the "armor" table in Book IV: The Codex of Battle in The Book for some information regarding what individual armor parts have what armor values.
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Lance Meibos
Insanity takes it's toll.  Please have exact change ready.

Get him quick!  He's still got 42 hit points left!
Jake Norwood
Member

Posts: 2261


WWW
« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2002, 09:16:15 AM »

Yikes!

Look what happens when I'm gone...

Referring to the use of attacking plates over various places on a suit of chain, such as disks over the pecs, and plate on the elbows, etc., make the DR 6 on those spots (or maybe 5 on the chest spots), and call it good.

Armor rules in TROS are simple for a few reasons:

While I know lots of stuff about Blossfechten (unarmored fighting) and about how to kill a guy in armor, I know little other than academic information and SCA experience with armor...which I will admit is very little. What I do know is that armor both deflects and disperses the force of a successful attack. Because in TROS damage comes from both force and sill, a single armor rating is sufficient and quick. Part of TROS's claim to fame in the "realistic combat" sense is that, like combat, it's fast and based on a participant's decisions.

I'm curious to see those house rules.

And remember, whatever our sources, we know *jack* about real armor in a fight. The fight interpereters at Royal Armories in Leeds know more than any of us do or probably will, and even they aren't in the habit of stiking at one another with intent to kill. Techniques with a sword are easier to re-create and understand. Armor is hard, and if we get into complicated rules we enter into a pretention that we know something that a bunch of gamer can't possibly understand beyond acadamia and pretentious claims from SCA/Boffer fighting/test cutting against stationary objects (which is the best of the 3, but still not enough).

Jake
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"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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Jaif
Member

Posts: 327


« Reply #42 on: August 12, 2002, 09:23:16 AM »

I honestly believe many of you are overthinking the situation.  Basically, the rules allow for an AV of up to 6 in any given spot.  Do you disagree, and believe that's too weak given the strength of the weapons?  I believe that AV 10 is way, way out of line.

-Jeff
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Lyrax
Member

Posts: 268


« Reply #43 on: August 12, 2002, 05:01:37 PM »

Not to be totally contrary, but high-quality armor can get up to 7 or 8 in armor value.  Any more though, and I agree that magic would need to be involved.
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Lance Meibos
Insanity takes it's toll.  Please have exact change ready.

Get him quick!  He's still got 42 hit points left!
Durgil
Member

Posts: 306


« Reply #44 on: August 26, 2002, 04:34:41 AM »

If anyone here is interested, I've submitted some house rules that are heavily influenced by HarnMaster at this website http://www.shadowharn.net/viewtopic.php?t=884&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=.  Please, let me know what you think.
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Tony Hamilton

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