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Idle thoughts on armour


Barak Shathur

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55 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Yeah, but it probably wouldn't impale a target who was well armored.

Sorry. My fencing experiences don't cover much armor, and I have never shoot a bow (or seen a bow shot) on an armored target (except aforementioned car). But I think that if a target arrow shot by a light standard bow (I don't remember the pull, but as it was during an outdoor activity in a vacation spot, it should not have been a lot) can pierce a car body work, an ancient war bow should be able to pierce a not-too-thick (to be wearable)  pre-industrial sheet of metal.

Edited by Kloster
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50 minutes ago, Kloster said:

Yes, because the protection would be penetrated, whatever, but the shield is at least 10 cm away from you, which means the arrow has to penetrate at least 15 cm to do heavy damage, as the plate almost touches your body, and 3 cm are sufficient to do damage.

No, because it is much easier for an arrow to penetrate 25mm of wood than 4mm of steel plate. Note I used mm not cm. 

The distance the arrow has to travel isn't really a factor here. If the arrow can reach the shield it can reach the armored warrior, and if it has enough energy to penetrate the armor, then it certainly has enough to punch through the wooden shield and still penetrate an unarmored warrior.  

 

50 minutes ago, Kloster said:

For the BRP aspect, I'm sure I don't want that level of complexity in any RPG.

It's not necessary that complex. Steel Plate actually protects better that a wooden shield, and more likely that not the arrow is going to break off of the armor rather than penetrate it. .

The problem for armored warriors is that when there tends to be more than one arrow the chances of an arrow finding a gap in the armor, or a fragment of a shattered one finding a gap becomes more of a threat. A volley of arrows that hit a group of armored warriors can send splinters of wood in all directions. It's almost like shrapnel.   

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24 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

No, because it is much easier for an arrow to penetrate 25mm of wood than 4mm of steel plate. Note I used mm not cm. 

The distance the arrow has to travel isn't really a factor here. If the arrow can reach the shield it can reach the armored warrior, and if it has enough energy to penetrate the armor, then it certainly has enough to punch through the wooden shield and still penetrate an unarmored warrior. 

I both agree and disagree. I for sure agree that penetration on wood is better than on steel plate. The few time I practiced archery on wooden targets, it was less than 10 mm (see, I've remembered) plywood, and the arrow never went deeper than 100 mm through the target. The only experience I have with shield is roman reenactment. The scutum is 6 mm thick pine wood, and is carried around 150 to 200 mm away from the body. That means an arrow that penetrates 100 mm will not touch the soldier behind, even without armor. What I said is that if (and that is a big if, I agree with you) an arrow pierce the plate, even by 10 mm, there will be a wound, and not with a shield.

24 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Steel Plate actually protects better that a wooden shield, and more likely that not the arrow is going to break off of the armor rather than penetrate it.

On this we agree.

24 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

The problem for armored warriors is that when there tends to be more than one arrow the chances of an arrow finding a gap in the armor, or a fragment of a shattered one finding a gap becomes more of a threat. A volley of arrows that hit a group of armored warriors can send splinters of wood in all directions. It's almost like shrapnel.

Agreed, but here, we are in the domain of period generals and current historians, not of standard roleplayers. I'm perfectly happy with crunchy, but simple rules, where a plate armor or a shield protects you from a single arrow, whatever the real physics are. On that matter, RQ3 rules are almost perfect for me.

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1 hour ago, Kloster said:

I both agree and disagree. I for sure agree that penetration on wood is better than on steel plate. The few time I practiced archery on wooden targets, it was less than 10 mm (see, I've remembered) plywood, and the arrow never went deeper than 100 mm through the target.The only experience I have with shield is roman reenactment. The scutum is 6 mm thick pine wood, and is carried around 150 to 200 mm away from the body. That means an arrow that penetrates 100 mm will not touch the soldier behind, even without armor. What I said is that if (and that is a big if, I agree with you) an arrow pierce the plate, even by 10 mm, there will be a wound, and not with a shield.

What sort of bow/arrows were you using? 

 

1 hour ago, Kloster said:

Agreed, but here, we are in the domain of period generals and current historians, not of standard roleplayers.\

I disagree. How armor and shields work against an attack are entirely within the realm of standard roleplayers. Case in point, Pendragon is a RQ based game but uses different damage values for weapons as well as different armor and shield values. 

1 hour ago, Kloster said:

I'm perfectly happy with crunchy, but simple rules, where a plate armor or a shield protects you from a single arrow, whatever the real physics are. On that matter, RQ3 rules are almost perfect for me.

Except on that matter a shield is much better than plate armor. A typical arrow does 1d6+1 and a typical longbow arrow does 1d8+1. Both can impale, making plate not all that effective against them. In most fights involving archers the plate is probably going to get penetrated at least once before the warrior can close the distance. 

 

I'm a bit RQ3 fan too. It's probably my favorite iteration of the BRP rules. But it certainly could stand a few tweaks in some areas. 

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13 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

A typical arrow does 1d6+1 and a typical longbow arrow does 1d8+1. Both can impale, making plate not all that effective against them.

A self bow is 1D6+1 (max 7, average 4.5, max impale 14, average impale 9), a long bow and a composite bow is 1D8+1 (max 9, average 5.5, max impale 18, average impale 11).

A bronze (don't forget armor value in RQ3 are for bronze) is 8 AP, 9 with padding. An iron plate is 12 AP, 13 with padding.

That means a self bow can not pierce a bronze (or worse, iron) plate without impaling.

That means that a self bow that impales has 'only' 42 % of piercing a bronze plate + padding and 0% of piercing an iron plate with padding.

That means that a composite bow that does not impale can not damage a target protected by a bronze plate with padding.

That means that a composite bow that impales has 44 % of piercing a bronze plate + padding and 9 % of piercing an iron plate with padding.

It seems to me that those number are not far from what you want: Having someone protected by steel plate immune or almost from arrows, because he will be wounded only by9% of impales.

Of course, we don't speak of criticals, because they ignore armor.

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2 hours ago, Kloster said:

A self bow is 1D6+1 (max 7, average 4.5, max impale 14, average impale 9), a long bow and a composite bow is 1D8+1 (max 9, average 5.5, max impale 18, average impale 11).

A bronze (don't forget armor value in RQ3 are for bronze) is 8 AP, 9 with padding. An iron plate is 12 AP, 13 with padding.

That means a self bow can not pierce a bronze (or worse, iron) plate without impaling.

That means that a self bow that impales has 'only' 42 % of piercing a bronze plate + padding and 0% of piercing an iron plate with padding.

That means that a composite bow that does not impale can not damage a target protected by a bronze plate with padding.

That means that a composite bow that impales has 44 % of piercing a bronze plate + padding and 9 % of piercing an iron plate with padding.

It seems to me that those number are not far from what you want: Having someone protected by steel plate immune or almost from arrows, because he will be wounded only by9% of impales.

Of course, we don't speak of criticals, because they ignore armor.

And, the Plate being modeled in this case is not the more advanced plate from the later Middle Ages/Renaissance. In fact, the more advanced plate might be more vulnerable from angles other than the front... Tod hasn't run those tests yet.

SDLeary

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12 hours ago, Kloster said:

Standard recurve fiberglass training bow and steel tipped fiberglass arrows, 18 meters range, 40 cm targets (straw or plywood). I don't remember the exact pull, but it was around 20 pounds.

So it would be lighter that what we'd see on a battlefield, with considerably lighter and thinner arrows. 

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7 hours ago, Kloster said:

A self bow is 1D6+1 (max 7, average 4.5, max impale 14, average impale 9), a long bow and a composite bow is 1D8+1 (max 9, average 5.5, max impale 18, average impale 11).

Yup, although some versions of BRP do have some heavier bows. 

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A bronze (don't forget armor value in RQ3 are for bronze) is 8 AP, 9 with padding. An iron plate is 12 AP, 13 with padding.

It's only for Bronze in Glorantha.

If you look at Fantasy Earth, the values are for standard iron and steel armor and weapons. RQ3 Vikings, and Land of the Ninja show that. 

 

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That means a self bow can not pierce a bronze (or worse, iron) plate without impaling.

Yes, but that comes up quite often (1/5th of the time). Of coruce magic changes this quite a bit too, but that's not something we can compare with real arrow performance. At least I haven't met an archer who knows speedart yet.

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That means that a self bow that impales has 'only' 42 % of piercing a bronze plate + padding and 0% of piercing an iron plate with padding.

In Glorantha, yes, expect that in Glorantha there would be magic that could alter that, such as speedart or protection.

In other settings, the armor values are not for bronze.

 

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That means that a composite bow that does not impale can not damage a target protected by a bronze plate with padding.

Yup.

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That means that a composite bow that impales has 44 % of piercing a bronze plate + padding and 9 % of piercing an iron plate with padding.

Yup, again assuming Glorantha.

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It seems to me that those number are not far from what you want: Having someone protected by steel plate immune or almost from arrows, because he will be wounded only by9% of impales.

Those number's I'm fine with. It's the 20% impale chance that I find suspect. With two arrows per round, an archer has a very good chance of getting an impale before an opponent can close the distance. This makes missile weapons (and other impaling weapons) much more effective against armor than in real life.

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Of course, we don't speak of criticals, because they ignore armor.

Yeah, and pretty much automatically take out the hit location struct. Which probably kills the target half the time, and probably takes out a limb the rest of the time. Not that there is much someone can do about them.

Edited by Atgxtg

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8 hours ago, Kloster said:

A self bow is 1D6+1 (max 7, average 4.5, max impale 14, average impale 9), a long bow and a composite bow is 1D8+1 (max 9, average 5.5, max impale 18, average impale 11).

As a sports archer who has shot a variety of bows, any personalized self bow will have different ranges and penetration, and damage will depend on the type of arrow you shoot, too. Non-personalized bows are generally only shot by bloody beginners or people who lost their personal weapon somehow. It is an experience comparable to walking in rubber boots two numbers too small for your feet. Can be done in a pinch, may save you from not having any at all, but is annoying and potentially painful in a number of ways.

Target arrows or the multi-purpose leaf-bladed arrows probably are some sort of standard. Then you may have dedicated hunting arrows with pronounced and wider blades to cut as many blood vessels as possible in the prey, and you may have arrow points designed to puncture weaker armor, or fitting into chainmail loops.

 

8 hours ago, Kloster said:

A bronze (don't forget armor value in RQ3 are for bronze) is 8 AP, 9 with padding. An iron plate is 12 AP, 13 with padding.

Nope. Armor in RQ3 is for (everyday carbon) steel. Glorantha uses the same values.

 

8 hours ago, Kloster said:

That means a self bow can not pierce a bronze (or worse, iron) plate without impaling.

About right. Any glancing hit can be re-rolled to see what it hits next, provided enough of the arrow survives the impact. The good news is that they aren't reflected back to the shooter, at least not from a single impact.

 

Missile weapons are the eternal step children of crunchy combat systems. Done realistically, they take out too much of the "fun" exchanging blows in melee. 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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5 hours ago, SDLeary said:

And, the Plate being modeled in this case is not the more advanced plate from the later Middle Ages/Renaissance.

Mmm, maybe. While Glorantha certinaly set it up that way, the stats for 8 point plate have found there way into most of ther BRP games that have medevial plate, so it's probably as close to official as we have.

That said, I'd probably consider reverse engineering armor values from Pendragon for a start (so about half Pendragon), then maybe adding a point or two to the metal armors to match up with RQ3 values.

THus is mail is worth 10 points in Pendragon, it would start off as 5 in RQ, and have 2 added to it to reach the 7 listed for RQ3. THat would make Plate (16 in KAP) 16/2=8+2- 10 point, Gothic Plate 18/2=9+2= 11 which might be good. 

 

 

5 hours ago, SDLeary said:

In fact, the more advanced plate might be more vulnerable from angles other than the front...

It might. It depends on the style of armor. Some forms of plate over covered the front, especially on the legs, and could be quite vulnerable from the sides or back. Some of the latter suits of armor had optional pieces too, and a soldier might decide to leave out certain bits to reduce his weight.  A mounted soldier is more likey to get hit in the legs than a footman, and doesn't have to worry about the weight of the armor as much. Plus once firearms started to get good, the armor became less useful. Unlike in RQ with lineal damage, in real life a bullet that penetrates armor probably has enough energy left over to inflict a serious wound.

5 hours ago, SDLeary said:

Tod hasn't run those tests yet.

Give him time. He is still getting the hang of his crossbow that shoot longbow arrows. :)

 

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2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Target arrows or the multi-purpose leaf-bladed arrows probably are some sort of standard. Then you may have dedicated hunting arrows with pronounced and wider blades to cut as many blood vessels as possible in the prey, and you may have arrow points designed to puncture weaker armor, or fitting into chainmail loops.

And arrows with harded tips designed to punch through plate. 

 

2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

 

Nope. Armor in RQ3 is for (everyday carbon) steel. Glorantha uses the same values.

Not quite. In Glorantha (only) Iron is considered to protect 50% more. This is in Book 5: Glorantha on page 16 under Rune Metals.

It seems to be Glorantha specfic though, as the increased vlaues were never used in any RQ3 or BRP supplement, notable Vikings and Land of the Ninja, both of which would be using iron and steel.

 

2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

About right. Any glancing hit can be re-rolled to see what it hits next, provided enough of the arrow survives the impact. The good news is that they aren't reflected back to the shooter, at least not from a single impact.

That can be risky. Unlike modern arrows, older ones are made of wood, and might not be safe to use again depending upon the forces imparted on them by thew bow, or by striking the target. It is possible to have an arrow be weakened enough to break apart if reused. Note that I'm talking about wooded arrows being fired from high draw weight bows and striking hard targets. 

2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Missile weapons are the eternal step children of crunchy combat systems. Done realistically, they take out too much of the "fun" exchanging blows in melee. 

Maybe. Maybe not. Most current data indicates that arrows couldn't penetrate plate armor and that the longbow's performance doesn't live up to it's reputation. That said, the chance of an arrow finding an eyeslit, mount, or other unpleasant spot can't be ignored.  

 

I suspect the real danger of bows is in mass. One bowman probably won't kill an armored knight, but a couple of dozen are probably going to ruin somebody's life. 

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13 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Not quite. In Glorantha (only) Iron is considered to protect 50% more. This is in Book 5: Glorantha on page 16 under Rune Metals.

Yes - standard iron (for any of the Alternate Earth settings) would have the same values as bronze in Glorantha, as the standard offensive material would be bronze, too.

Gloranthan iron is a magical (or rather anti-magical) metal, and fantasy and myth is full of such magical materials. Mithril, Wayland's steel, modern alloyed steels, beryllium bronze - take your pick.

 

13 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

That can be risky. Unlike modern arrows, older ones are made of wood, and might not be safe to use again depending upon the forces imparted on them by thew bow, or by striking the target.

The same applies to modern arrows. Wooden shafts can be stress-tested with less danger to the archer than can be carbon composites.

13 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

It is possible to have an arrow be weakened enough to break apart if reused. Note that I'm talking about wooded arrows being fired from high draw weight bows and striking hard targets. 

It doesn't take that high draw weights to get such effects. Even a straw target with the straw oriented at an angle different from that of the incoming arrow may cause enough shearing damage to an arrow to cause a break - presumably on an already weakened arrow.

 

13 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Maybe. Maybe not. Most current data indicates that arrows couldn't penetrate plate armor and that the longbow's performance doesn't live up to it's reputation. That said, the chance of an arrow finding an eyeslit, mount, or other unpleasant spot can't be ignored.  

If we take the second crusade as the beginning of the age of the longbow, armor wasn't that proof yet. Agincourt may have been won as much by the wooden stakes planted by the archers in their target area as by the arrows showered on the French chivalry.

 

13 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

I suspect the real danger of bows is in mass. One bowman probably won't kill an armored knight, but a couple of dozen are probably going to ruin somebody's life. 

I suspect that killing or seriously wounding the horse will have been a major factor in fatalities.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Yes - standard iron (for any of the Alternate Earth settings) would have the same values as bronze in Glorantha, as the standard offensive material would be bronze, too.

Gloranthan iron is a magical (or rather anti-magical) metal, and fantasy and myth is full of such magical materials. Mithril, Wayland's steel, modern alloyed steels, beryllium bronze - take your pick.

Yup. I did on something a long time ago where I have multiplier for various metals, real and legendary.

2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

The same applies to modern arrows. Wooden shafts can be stress-tested with less danger to the archer than can be carbon composites.

Yes, but aluminum  fired form a light bow is a lot more forgiving than a war arrow fired form a 150 pound warbow. My point being that medieval archers would probably be a little more reluctant to reuse a war arrow than a modern archer would with a target arrow.

2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

It doesn't take that high draw weights to get such effects. Even a straw target with the straw oriented at an angle different from that of the incoming arrow may cause enough shearing damage to an arrow to cause a break - presumably on an already weakened arrow.

Yup. Again, it why reusing an arrow in combat (or even on a hunt) is probably not the best idea. I mean if you didn't have any other options, it would be better than getting killed, but it's a last resport.

2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

If we take the second crusade as the beginning of the age of the longbow, armor wasn't that proof yet.

No, it wasn't. Mail could be penetrated. Plate not so much. Usually with plate the arrow had to find a spot that plate didn't cover. Such spots always existed as the wearer had to be able to move, but armorers did their best to try an minimizes the exposed areas over time.

2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

Agincourt may have been won as much by the wooden stakes planted by the archers in their target area as by the arrows showered on the French chivalry.

Not to mention the mud. Or the French belief that victory was their is only they were Chivalrous enough. 

2 minutes ago, Joerg said:

I suspect that killing or seriously wounding the horse will have been a major factor in fatalities.

Yeah, even the best armor isn't much help when your horse falls on top of you. Even minor wounds and scratches are going to make the horse (or people for that matter) very unhappy, and more difficult to control. And the mount gets to see and hear what's happening around it, too.

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On 4/16/2021 at 9:27 PM, Atgxtg said:

So it would be lighter that what we'd see on a battlefield, with considerably lighter and thinner arrows. 

Yes, correct, much lighter.

 

On 4/16/2021 at 9:28 PM, Atgxtg said:

Those number's I'm fine with. It's the 20% impale chance that I find suspect. With two arrows per round, an archer has a very good chance of getting an impale before an opponent can close the distance.

On this, we agree.

 

On 4/16/2021 at 9:28 PM, Atgxtg said:

This makes missile weapons (and other impaling weapons) much more effective against armor than in real life.

This, I don't know. My only experienc (much limited) of real combat is with 80 mm mortars and assault rifle.

 

23 hours ago, Joerg said:

Nope. Armor in RQ3 is for (everyday carbon) steel. Glorantha uses the same values.

My mistake. Thanks.

23 hours ago, Joerg said:

Missile weapons are the eternal step children of crunchy combat systems. Done realistically, they take out too much of the "fun" exchanging blows in melee.

Right, and as RPG are games, the fun is important.

23 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I suspect the real danger of bows is in mass. One bowman probably won't kill an armored knight, but a couple of dozen are probably going to ruin somebody's life. 

Completely agree here. But this is what I described as the problem of period generals and current historians (I should have added wargamers), not of standard RPGers, that are much more concerned by the individual efficiency than by massed fire.

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32 minutes ago, Kloster said:

This, I don't know. My only experienc (much limited) of real combat is with 80 mm mortars and assault rifle.

Bioth of which are somewhat more efficient that arrows. 

32 minutes ago, Kloster said:

Right, and as RPG are games, the fun is important.

Yes, but just what is considered to be "fun" can vary. A player who is player an archer with Bow 90% is probably going to have lots of fun peppering the bad buys with arrows before they can exchange blows in melee. 

32 minutes ago, Kloster said:

Completely agree here. But this is what I described as the problem of period generals and current historians (I should have added wargamers), not of standard RPGers, that are much more concerned by the individual efficiency than by massed fire.

Yeah, but individual efficiency is probably a bit higher in RQ than is probably should be. Conversely, individual efficiency is probably too low in games like D&D, where an archer could literal empty his quiver into a tough opponent before dropping them. Since bows typically get two attacks per round and can impale they give an archer a significant edge against melee fighters.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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7 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Bioth of which are somewhat more efficient that arrows.

Agreed. This is probably why french military stopped using them several centuries ago.

9 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Yes, but just what is considered to be "fun" can vary. A player who is player an archer with Bow 90% is probably going to have lots of fun peppering the bad buys with arrows before they can exchange blows in melee. 

Agreed.

9 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Yeah, but individual efficiency is probably a bit higher in RQ than is probably should be. Conversely, individual efficiency is probably too low in games like D&D, where an archer could literal empty his quiver into a tough opponent before dropping them. Since bows typically get two attacks per round and can impale they give an archer a significant edge against melee fighters.

Also agreed. Bows are a stapple of RQ combat since RQ2 because of this.

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