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14 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

The typical sword strike against a man in mail and aketon is probably going to bounce off harmlessly. At least until some of the mail links give way.

Having done SCA fighting in mail and (thick) gambeson, I would have to disagree (and we only use rattan "swords"). A hard blow on a bony part of the body (joints, clavicle, hip bone, ribs) would probably break something, even if the mail wasn't penetrated.

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9 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

Nope. 1 pt (soft leather). 2 pt was hard leather, which you cannot use as padding.

You are correct about Soft Leather and padding. I mis-remembered (though I think we were playing it as 2pt.). 

That though would be the level that I would consider an Arming Doublet or Aketon. I still maintain that a Gambeson (proper 30 ish layers of linen, possibly surfaced with leather or "canvas") would be two to three points greater.

This is a similar argument as has been had in the past for Linothorax and how it should be portrayed.

And to show how variables effect things, a little oil for the campfire:

Bolts vs armor

SDLeary

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22 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

Having done SCA fighting in mail and (thick) gambeson, I would have to disagree (and we only use rattan "swords"). A hard blow on a bony part of the body (joints, clavicle, hip bone, ribs) would probably break something, even if the mail wasn't penetrated.

I doubt it. Mail and Gambeson soak up a lot of impact. Telling strokes tend to be on exposed areas and weakpoints. Most strikes tend to be partially defelcted or glacing blows rather than good solid hits.When I used to do it, most of the strikes that we felt were on the hands -the opponent's weapon would tend to slide down the blade and clip the knuckles. It usually didn't do any real damage, but did lead to people dropping their weapons and being exposed.Toss a shield into the mix and a solid hit becomes very unlikely. 

Remember, if mail didn't work it wouldn't have been used for so long. 

 

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19 hours ago, SDLeary said:

You are correct about Soft Leather and padding. I mis-remembered (though I think we were playing it as 2pt.). 

That though would be the level that I would consider an Arming Doublet or Aketon. I still maintain that a Gambeson (proper 30 ish layers of linen, possibly surfaced with leather or "canvas") would be two to three points greater.

I agree. The thing is that the armor in RQ/BRP is addidtive, but in real life armor doesn't always work that way. For instance, a weapon that can penetrate plate is almost certainly going to have enough energy left over to penetrate whatever is underneath. 

19 hours ago, SDLeary said:

This is a similar argument as has been had in the past for Linothorax and how it should be portrayed.

It's worth 3 points in RQ.

 

BTW, this whole conversation is very similar to what is in Phalanx Games Medieval Magazine #1. Phalax are the folks behind Orbis Mundi, and the magazine is devoted to armor. In the back section the author revises weapon and armor ratings for several RPGs to better match up with current data. One of the games cover is D100/RQ6/Mthras The values are interesting. 

The author has an aketon (padding) as worth 6 points, a gambeson at 8, and secured mail at 7. But the aketon and gambeson both add +1 to the value of the mail if worn underneath (aketon) or over (gambeson) the mail, for a total of 9. Something like a coat of plates would be worth 9 as well, or +2 if worm over mail. Partial Plate is worth 11. 

 

I'm not sure if I entirely agree with the values chosen, but it is an interesting take, especially with some of the changes in weapon damages. Many weapons will need a strong arm, high die roll, and/or a special success to get through armor.

 

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11 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

I agree. The thing is that the armor in RQ/BRP is addidtive, but in real life armor doesn't always work that way. For instance, a weapon that can penetrate plate is almost certainly going to have enough energy left over to penetrate whatever is underneath.

Definitely.

With random armor, I think I'd let the player roll dice for both armor types, and chose the best result.

With non-random, I'd let the least effective armor type add a bonus to the most effective, based on the difference between their AP, or perhaps just half the value.

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I doubt it. Mail and Gambeson soak up a lot of impact. Telling strokes tend to be on exposed areas and weakpoints. Most strikes tend to be partially defelcted or glacing blows rather than good solid hits.When I used to do it, most of the strikes that we felt were on the hands -the opponent's weapon would tend to slide down the blade and clip the knuckles. It usually didn't do any real damage, but did lead to people dropping their weapons and being exposed.Toss a shield into the mix and a solid hit becomes very unlikely. 

Remember, if mail didn't work it wouldn't have been used for so long. 

 

We can agree to disagree on this one. As for me, I'd hate to think what would have happened to my elbows if I hadn't been wearing steel cops (not to mention fingers, we used basket hilts thankfully). However, some thoughts, since we're deep into historical speculation (which is a risky business):

1. Mail over gambeson obviously *was* effective for the kinds of situations it was designed to be used in, that is confused melees, preferably mounted against poorly armed peasant levies (if we're talking the High Medieval period), where it's hard to get a good shot in, not SCA type duels on foot or tunnel fighting during dungeon crawls. So I agree with you on this point. 

2. It's also possible they wore rigid protection under the mail. That kind of thing wouldn't show in the illuminations, but there are hauberks depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry that show a square patch on the chest which is sometimes interpreted as a reinforcement (although I think the most common explanation is as a kind of aventail. 

3. That crossbow video is fun! It's interesting that his gambeson/aketon samples are so stiff, much more so than the gambesons I've seen and worn. I guess that's what you might get if you have 20-30 layers of linen with wadding, sort like a padded linothorax. That plus mail would certainly be effective (if a bit inflexible to move in). Still, those knees and elbows, man...

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11 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

We can agree to disagree on this one.

Fair enough. THere really isn't enough data from testing yet to show things definitely. Most of the exsisting tests tend to be flawed in some way. Either the armor lacks padding, or the target isn't free standing, or the arrowheads are too high qaulity, etc.

11 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

 

As for me, I'd hate to think what would have happened to my elbows if I hadn't been wearing steel cops (not to mention fingers, we used basket hilts thankfully). However, some thoughts, since we're deep into historical speculation (which is a risky business):

Yeah, joints are weak spots, the underarms are a big target especially if in plate. ,Just wondering but did your padding extend to your elbows? 

11 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

1. Mail over gambeson obviously *was* effective for the kinds of situations it was designed to be used in,

Not to mention gambeson over mail over an aketon. The idea is that the padding soaks up most of the impact force and the mail prevents cuts or punctures. Plus most medevial mail tends to be better made that a lot of the stuff we see today, since modern mail often isn't rivited.  

11 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

that is confused melees, preferably mounted against poorly armed peasant levies (if we're talking the High Medieval period), where it's hard to get a good shot in, not SCA type duels on foot or tunnel fighting during dungeon crawls. So I agree with you on this point. 

Yeah, one on one duels are a bit different -especially when it comes to targeting. Obviously in a one on one a warrior can target the places that are the most vulnerable to attack. 

11 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

2. It's also possible they wore rigid protection under the mail. That kind of thing wouldn't show in the illuminations, but there are hauberks depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry that show a square patch on the chest which is sometimes interpreted as a reinforcement (although I think the most common explanation is as a kind of aventail. 

It's possible. The thing is a good arming doublet under the mail was quite effective. 

11 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

3. That crossbow video is fun! It's interesting that his gambeson/aketon samples are so stiff, much more so than the gambesons I've seen and worn. I guess that's what you might get if you have 20-30 layers of linen with wadding, sort like a padded linothorax. That plus mail would certainly be effective (if a bit inflexible to move in). Still, those knees and elbows, man...

Yes, a lot of the ones worn were actually prestty resistant to cutting too. It's kinda like trying to slash someone behind a pillow.

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13 hours ago, Mugen said:

Definitely.

With random armor, I think I'd let the player roll dice for both armor types, and chose the best result.

With non-random, I'd let the least effective armor type add a bonus to the most effective, based on the difference between their AP, or perhaps just half the value.

Pendragon halved the value of most armors if not worn with padding. So a suit of mail (10 points in Pendragon) would be worth only 5 points without the padding.

The tricky but with adding values is that we want to make sure that we don't leapfrog superior armor. For instance a coat of plates,over mail, over an aketon shouldn't be better than full plate. 

 

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6 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Yeah, joints are weak spots, the underarms are a big target especially if in plate. ,Just wondering but did your padding extend to your elbows? 

Minimum standard for the SCA is "rigid material" plus padding, and we always used 1.5 mm steel cops. So yes, I had padding there but that in itself would never have sufficed for the kind of full contact sparring we did. For example, when I started back in the 80s, I and many others wore hockey gloves (the horror) for hand protection, and every now and then someone had a broken hand or finger from an unlucky hit (you're not allowed to intentionally target the hands).

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9 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

Minimum standard for the SCA is "rigid material" plus padding, and we always used 1.5 mm steel cops. So yes, I had padding there but that in itself would never have sufficed for the kind of full contact sparring we did. For example, when I started back in the 80s, I and many others wore hockey gloves (the horror) for hand protection, and every now and then someone had a broken hand or finger from an unlucky hit (you're not allowed to intentionally target the hands).

Ow, yeah, that's what used to happen with us. We were using Shinai (bamboo Kendo swords) with winter gloves and quite a few of our blocks and parries ended up sliding down the blade, over the tsuba, and right across the knuckles. Arms and hands got hit way more often than any other party of the body. We got quite a few head hits too, and we were deliberately avoiding head strikes. 

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Evolution of armor wasn’t only to make it better. It was also to make it cheaper and especially to make it lighter. 
 

Articulated Full Plate Harness are not necessarily a better armor value as Mail + Gambeson + Coat of Plates - but it’s lighter and more flexible.  

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12 hours ago, Lorka said:

Evolution of armor wasn’t only to make it better. It was also to make it cheaper and especially to make it lighter. 

It ware more the evolution of manufacturing that made it cheaper. Once the could stamp out plate it became much faster to produce than mail and required less labor, making it cheaper.

As far as lighter goes, well, not so much. A lot of the time the armor got heavier due to the need to "proof it" against crossbow bolts and firearms. 

12 hours ago, Lorka said:

Articulated Full Plate Harness are not necessarily a better armor value as Mail + Gambeson + Coat of Plates - but it’s lighter and more flexible.  

Uh, no. Testing shows that plate aborbs and defects attacks better than mail+gameson+ coat of plate. And mail is more flexible than plate, and often lighter. 

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It certainly got lighter for the same protection. Overlapping rings are more metal for the same protection as a thin plate. Sure there was gun proof plate that was heavy, and tournament plate that was heavy as well. But actual battle plate as worn by many was in fact much lighter than the combination of mail, gambeson and coat of plates.

And I have seen no test proving that plate is better than the above combination. Sure as articulated plate, got more articulated, so the speak, there was less and less vulnerable points, and that should probably be worth a point more in armor value.

And yes an articulated plate is much more flexible as the combination mentioned, of course a simple mail shirt thrown over a tunic is both lighter and more flexible, but we are talking of an evolution, articulated plate replaced mail (including padding) under gambeson under a coat of plates. You try wearing 3 winter jackets and then bend your arm, see how 'flexible' that is.

If you are covered in metal, you are more or less invulnerable to edged attacks, turning swords into clubs.

One interesting thing you could do if you wanted more 'realistic' armor is increase armor values of metal armor by about 100% versus edged weapons, but and at the same time look at what the damage would be if it was blunt instead, then take the higher of the two as damage, more stuff to do, making combat take longer, but more 'realistic'. Depending on what rules you use for better success and/or combat hit roll modifers you can also let some armors have more or less vulnerable spots to hit. Also if the edged weapon penetrate armor, maybe reduce the armor value by one.

Notice I don't mention piercing/impaling damage types, since that's a whole kettle helm full of worms ;)

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8 hours ago, Lorka said:

It certainly got lighter for the same protection. Overlapping rings are more metal for the same protection as a thin plate. Sure there was gun proof plate that was heavy, and tournament plate that was heavy as well. But actual battle plate as worn by many was in fact much lighter than the combination of mail, gambeson and coat of plates.

Yes, it could be, but only if it was a fitted suit of plate. 

Quote

And I have seen no test proving that plate is better than the above combination. Sure as articulated plate, got more articulated, so the speak, there was less and less vulnerable points, and that should probably be worth a point more in armor value.

Plate was superior in the sense that it was less cumbersome, though not necessarily lighter. Also, the plate protection extended to the limbs; whereas the combination of mail, gambeson, and coat of plates (or brigandine) was primarily core (torso and upper arms) coverage. Mail and Gambeson could, of course, extend to the wrists, but often did not.

Articulated plate, beyond basic spaulders, couters, and poleyns, could reduce vulnerable points at the cost of weight (added metal) and movement. Rather than an extra point of armor, you should probably reduce the chance of a critical hit. On a critical, require a second roll to solidify the roll. Under a certain number (50%, skill, half skill, etc) the roll is a critical, above a regular roll or special. 

If using variable armor values, then reduce the minimum damage allowed through. So if Plate is, say 1d10, then Plate and Leather could be 1d8+2, Plate and Chain 1d6+4, and so on until you reach full articulated, which could be just a straight 10 points.

Quote

And yes an articulated plate is much more flexible as the combination mentioned, of course a simple mail shirt thrown over a tunic is both lighter and more flexible, but we are talking of an evolution, articulated plate replaced mail (including padding) under gambeson under a coat of plates. You try wearing 3 winter jackets and then bend your arm, see how 'flexible' that is.

If you are covered in metal, you are more or less invulnerable to edged attacks, turning swords into clubs.

Yes and no. While articulated plate is more flexible than the gambeson, mail, brigandine, trifecta... articulated plate is not as flexible as plate, or plate and leather, or plate and chain. More coverage (filling in the vulnerable points) always comes at a cost in terms of weight, movement, and coin.

Quote

One interesting thing you could do if you wanted more 'realistic' armor is increase armor values of metal armor by about 100% versus edged weapons, but and at the same time look at what the damage would be if it was blunt instead, then take the higher of the two as damage, more stuff to do, making combat take longer, but more 'realistic'. Depending on what rules you use for better success and/or combat hit roll modifers you can also let some armors have more or less vulnerable spots to hit. Also if the edged weapon penetrate armor, maybe reduce the armor value by one.

Notice I don't mention piercing/impaling damage types, since that's a whole kettle helm full of worms 😉

Fiddly. You could just as easily say that Plate is immune to swords and spears, but I would only do this if you are using locations and fixed armor values. This could force players to look for other options when faced with a heavily armored foe.

You could also modify Chain. It counts it full value against swords for the purposes of cuts and thrusts, but allows half its damage through as blunt. Also, allow all damage through as blunt unless "padding" was worn... so none of this "I'll put this on over my tunic and I'll be fine".

SDLeary

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7 hours ago, Lorka said:

It certainly got lighter for the same protection. Overlapping rings are more metal for the same protection as a thin plate.

Not necessarily. Remeber there is space between the rings. A typical suit of plate is usually heavier than mail.

7 hours ago, Lorka said:

 

 

 

Sure there was gun proof plate that was heavy, and tournament plate that was heavy as well. But actual battle plate as worn by many was in fact much lighter than the combination of mail, gambeson and coat of plates.

Can you provide some documentation for that? Most of what I've seen indicates the opposite. Plate typically takes more pieces to provide coverage, but distributes the weight much better. It's not all hanginig from the shoulders as with mail.

 

7 hours ago, Lorka said:

And I have seen no test proving that plate is better than the above combination. Sure as articulated plate, got more articulated, so the speak, there was less and less vulnerable points, and that should probably be worth a point more in armor value.

GO watch just about any youtube video on longbows, crossbows or even javelins. Arrows will penetrate mail, even mail protected by a coat of plates (which has small plates and lots of gaps) but won't penetrate plate armor.

 

7 hours ago, Lorka said:

And yes an articulated plate is much more flexible as the combination mentioned, of course a simple mail shirt thrown over a tunic is both lighter and more flexible, but we are talking of an evolution, articulated plate replaced mail (including padding) under gambeson under a coat of plates. You try wearing 3 winter jackets and then bend your arm, see how 'flexible' that is.

Sorry, but no. "Articulated" plate is really multiple pieces of overlapping plates worn over a gambeson with gossets of mail to give some protection to joints and other areas that couldn't be protected with plate. It just ins't as flexible as mail- no other armor was. That's why full plate armor still needed mail to protect flexible areas such as joints. 

7 hours ago, Lorka said:

If you are covered in metal, you are more or less invulnerable to edged attacks, turning swords into clubs.

Not really. Arrows ans spears could penetrate mail, and big heavy weapons could break links or even bones through the armor. Plus all armor has weak points where the armor is thinner or completely lacking. The armpits were always a good target.

7 hours ago, Lorka said:

One interesting thing you could do if you wanted more 'realistic' armor is increase armor values of metal armor by about 100% versus edged weapons, but and at the same time look at what the damage would be if it was blunt instead, then take the higher of the two as damage, more stuff to do, making combat take longer, but more 'realistic'. Depending on what rules you use for better success and/or combat hit roll modifers you can also let some armors have more or less vulnerable spots to hit. Also if the edged weapon penetrate armor, maybe reduce the armor value by one.

I'm not sure if it would be all that more realistic. All metal armors are worn over gambesons/aketons/arming doublets that absorb a lot of the impact. In fact this is yet another way in which plate protects better than mail, even mail with a coat of plates. Solid plate will spread oput the impact area, whereas mail will give, making plate much better against weapons such as hammers, greatsword, halbards, flails and maces. 

To be more realstic you would probably need different armor values for pieceing, cutting, and blunt weapons, similar to what Harn does. Or else speical weapon vs. armor bonus, like what Pendragon does.

 

7 hours ago, Lorka said:

Notice I don't mention piercing/impaling damage types, since that's a whole kettle helm full of worms 😉

Indeed it is, but it's also a kettle that helps to disprove your argument about mail being equal to solid plate. A breastplate and placard are far better protection against a lance than mail with a coat of plates.

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RQ3 (which forms the basis of BRP) has a pretty good solution: flexible armour protects at half value against blunt weapons. And then you have impale, which accounts for point attacks. 

If not that, I would take a page from Harn with separate armour values for edge, blunt and point. 

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41 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Sorry, but no. "Articulated" plate is really multiple pieces of overlapping plates worn over a gambeson with gossets of mail to give some protection to joints and other areas that couldn't be protected with plate. It just ins't as flexible as mail- no other armor was. That's why full plate armor still needed mail to protect flexible areas such as joints. 

I think what he is referring to as "Articulated Plate" is what came to be known as Maximillian Armor and/or the higher-end styles of Gothic Plate, ie the classic end-game to "knightly" armor. Heavily fitted, overlapping bits of metal. Seriously expensive and something that you would never see a "common" soldier wearing.

SDLeary

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40 minutes ago, Barak Shathur said:

RQ3 (which forms the basis of BRP) has a pretty good solution: flexible armour protects at half value against blunt weapons. And then you have impale, which accounts for point attacks. 

If not that, I would take a page from Harn with separate armour values for edge, blunt and point. 

In fact, BRP derives from RQ2, and RQ3 derives from RQ2/BRP. But the rest of your point is perfectly correct.

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Just now, Kloster said:

In fact, BRP derives from RQ2, and RQ3 derives from RQ2/BRP. But the rest of your point is perfectly correct.

Sorry, I should have been more clear. I was assuming that we are talking about the Big Gold Book, which is essentially RQ3 in its core mechanics, plus some niceties from other BRP-games.

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