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barry70

Shields... Bronze....or plated?

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As a newcomer to Glorantha,I had the impression (supported by various pieces of art) that many shields used were of Bronze.

However upon creating a character it seems shields are made of other materials and I cannot find Bronze shields.... Am I missing something?

Thanks in advance for your help

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It depends on the game system you are using: I don't remember for RQ2, RQIII had bronze (or more properly bronze plated) shields and RQG is using hide, wooden and wicker shields. I don't know for Heroquest.

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1 hour ago, barry70 said:

As a newcomer to Glorantha,I had the impression (supported by various pieces of art) that many shields used were of Bronze.

However upon creating a character it seems shields are made of other materials and I cannot find Bronze shields.... Am I missing something?

Thanks in advance for your help

Purely my opinion: despite being given as hide, wicker or wood, as in terrestrial history, most shields are of composite construction, and the type given is actually the main component.

For example, in our world, a hoplite shield  often consisted of a thin sheet of stressed bronze backed with a thick core of wood a glued-on leather lining, and a bronze rim; sometimes reinforcing bronze plates were added to the inside.

In RQ terms, is this a wood, hide or bronze shield?

Probably a large wooden shield because the wood is the primary defensive component. It has a bronze surface, which you can either shine up to look really impressive, or have painted.

Having a shield where the primary defensive component is bronze is a contentious topic in this world, where there are ongoing debates about whether Bronze Age bronze shields were purely decorative high status objects (they certainly were high status) or practical shields (as some display signs of battle damage and repair, some were used in combat). 

So the safest take would be that your wooden shield can have a thin bronze surface - it just isn't going to add to its hit points in game terms. Similarly, your hide or wicker shield might have nice looking bronze studs etc. but they aren't going to add anything to it in game terms.

Edited by M Helsdon
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I don't have much else to add to M Helsdon's comment, but I just thought I'd mention that The Illiad makes a big deal out of the number of hides that are stretched out over the wooden shield frame (I think I remember seven and more, but I haven't read it since middle school, so I might be off, and I don't know whether it's historically accurate or just exaggeration for narrative purposes), and mention them being covered with what seems to be a bronze "finish", as it were. 

Edited by Sir_Godspeed

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19 hours ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

The Illiad makes a big deal out of the number of hides that are stretched out over the wooden shield frame 

There are several such laminated shields in the Iliad: seven layers is a popular number, but they were also faced with bronze... The most famous was the shield of Ajax, which was probably a tower or body shield as no specific shape is given for it: his shield probably weighed in at >10kg. Interestingly, tests using a lamination of seven layers of hide show it gives excellent protection. 

If I recall correctly, there are two construction methods given for the various seven-layer shields: a metal worker makes the facing first and stitches the layers of hide to it, whilst a leather worker laminates the leather first, then adds the facing.

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