Friday, September 12, 2008

New armor format

This is basically my take on how armor should be formatted. In the end tables can't convey that much information and it shouldn't be a shopping list. Really, no one can shop for armors in those times, they are mostly made on demand and surplus comes in the form of battle field salvage.

One of the thing that has profoundly change my view on armor is the Strategikon. It states that armors should not extend to the feet like leggings, instead it talks about marching and how soldiers should sacrifice armor to conserve energy.

Thats when Hauberks began to make so much sense to me. Hauberks are armors that extend to half skirts, associated with Vikings. Vikings were footmen and this was the heaviest armor they fought with. Dopplesolders and other 15th century elite footmen did not wear leg armor. There was so much evidence from the varieties of armor that basically said: Footman wore the least armor and depended more on their shield. Footmen's armor were at most Hauberks and at the least (in terms of metal armors) Vests of metal armor (scale, mail, or plates) worn to protect the belly and the rib cage. Everything else was secondary, NOT because the soldiers could not afford it but the weight of everything bore down to much when you consider that marching was the most frequent exhausting thing soldiers did.

It was then I began to be aware of the difference of Frontal Protection, Leg Protection and Ranged Weapons. Infantry Hauberks were slit on the sides for flexibility, Cavalry Hauberks were slit in the front to allow the wearer to ride. The slit in the front made the cavalry man more vulnerable to targeted attacks when fighting on foot. Also, the Cavalry Armored Skirts (to include the variety of very long hauberks) had tassels to tie it the ankles and knees of the cavalry man. This was an Avar (Turkish) practice the byzantines followed and no doubt many other nomads used. It isn't hard to imagine that Cavalry skirts would have some tassels to make it modular for riding and fighting on foot.