[Runequest] Armor Question in RQ3

Tony postmaster at runequest.za.org
Sun Aug 2 04:31:28 EST 2009


I am finding this conversation fascinating and educational. It has already
shattered some of my romantiscised (asterix type) ideas of armour:) Out of
curiosity, and because I have as yet been too lazy to read it, what did
Julius Ceasar document himself wearing in Alesia in his Galica
autobiography?

Oh - to keep with the topic, IMO for RuneQuest, bearing in mind that RQ3
was said to be for Bronze/Iron age type play, I would go with the moulded
bronze as plate, but also house rules wise my group tends to assume the
rules values mean iron (when armour is metal or course) so if its bronze
we take off a point. Steel add a point, so bronze plate would be 7, steel
plate would be 9. Extrapolitaing further and notwithstanding certain
gladiatoral healms, assumption here is that the average healm would have
been a Roman etc type with an open face. Not sure how that would translate
n protectionpoints should a character wear a Basinet (I think! The full
knights helmet that looks like a bucket with a eye slit).


Tony


Sven Lugar wrote:
> Thank you Pete for your response:
> The shaped body armour you are referring to is called a Musculatta & was
> generally parade armour & yes it was sometimes made in bronze. There is
> archaeological evidence for hammered iron plate musculatta & decorated
> courbouli versions. The only bronze ones we find are ones that were
> obviously not meant for combat but merely to look good. I've never heard
> of any that were made for combat, but who knows, maybe someday, they'll
> find one. Combat armour (bronze, iron, or steel) tends to be fairly
> smooth so blows are more likely to glance off it. Besides it's cheaper
> that way.
>
> The gladiatorial helms you refer too are very much like modern Hollywood
> armour - designed to look good & fail dramatically for the audience. In
> 50 years of being a sword jock, I have yet to strike sparks off of a
> blade or armour despite having been in thousands of fights & witnessed
> even more. Armour rarely fails gloriously like it does in movies,
> usually you just notice it later on as in "Gee!, when did that plate
> fall off?" The less armour has to catch, the better it lasts & the
> better it protects. Anything to keep the blow from "sticking", LOL.
>
> Skal,
> Sven
>
> Pete Nash wrote:
>>
>>     As to the molded cuirass of the Roman General it was Cuir Bouilli
>>     because it was impossible to manufacture that level of complex
>>     curves & decoration in a heavy metal plate at that time. They
>>     could arguably do it in very light metal similar to gold leaf.
>>     Even if they cast it it would be decorative only due to
>>     brittleness. (Coor-boo-lee)
>>
>>
>> I'd disagree with you here. The moulded cuirass was a holdover from
>> the armour of the early Republic, and commanders wore it out of a
>> sense of tradition. You can get all the curves and decoration you can
>> imagine if it is /cast in bronze/, like the originals.  You should
>> also look at some of the exquisite gladiatorial helmets of the 1st
>> Century AD which are full of moulded details, yet even at that time
>> were still being made of bronze.
>>
>> Of course that's not to say that wimpy commanders wore gilded leather
>> versions for sake of comfort, after all most officers avoided direct
>> combat by the Imperial period... but personally (in the context of the
>> times) I'd see it as a sign of weakness, undermining their Roman
>> virtues and send warnings to the legionaries under their command! :)
>>
>> Pete
>>
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