[Runequest] Unarmoured Combatants

Styopa styopa1 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 7 03:53:19 EST 2014


The root of the difference is armor's ability to protect against the
unanticipated.  Where the unexpected is unlikely, armor would be less
needed.

I'd argue first that the context of one-on-one combat is ENTIRELY different
from the context of a medieval battlefield (and IMVHO) that while SCA
combat certainly encourages the use of armor (because it flippin' HURTS to
get whacked) even that doesn't go far enough in actually representing the
cost-benefit calculus facing a medieval warrior.  Ie: if your SCA armor
sucks, it can be really painful.  IRL: you're *dead*.  So to someone whose
LIFE was on the line, that "protect against what I didn't see coming" takes
on a much larger value.

A 1:1 combat, with no chance of other combatants would suggest to me a
situation that would most *likely *favor the least armor.  One could focus
on a single opponent and the defense against them to the exclusion of
everything else.  It seems to me that armor in such a circumstance would be
likely inversely proportional to skill - someone really good at martial
combat could probably be confident enough in their defenses that the
freedom of movement would provide an advantage (perhaps a critical one, vs
another skilled opponent).  Me, being a big doofus with little to no skill,
would probably want to armor up as far as possible to provide at least SOME
'second-tier' defense for all the things my clumsy parrying wouldn't stop.
On a melee battlefield, where there's a significant chance you're going to
be attacked from an unexpected direction, I'd say that armor would be
absolutely required, even for the most-skilled combatants, regardless of
what constraints it put on movement.*
*for that matter, the few pieces of plate I've worn were actually not
constricting at all; comparable to modern-day American football pads, they
were amazingly well designed to provide protection AND movement.

IANAAMW (I am not an actual medieval warrior), of course this is all just
speculation.



On Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 10:19 AM, Stephen Posey
<stephenlposey at earthlink.net>wrote:

>  What an interesting thought experiment! At first blush I'd suppose that,
> all other things being equal, the benefits of armor would win out.
>
> But then I thought since it's the same warrior, being unencumbered and
> knowing how the armor will restrict his doppelganger's perception and
> movement might give a tactical edge to the unarmored version, if he's fast
> and smart enough.
>
> He'd also be familiar with the armor's weak points and perhaps be able to
> exploit them.
>
> At what point in that kind of equation does armor become a liability?
>
> This actually dovetails into an argument I've been having with myself on
> whether it makes sense that there should be an "armor use" skill or skills
> to reflect an experienced warrior's knowledge of his/her armor and how best
> to use it in combat.
>
> Obviously anybody can put on any old armor and probably get SOME
> protective benefit; but if you've never worn armor before or it's an
> unfamiliar type or it's ill-fitted, it seems to me that the benefits
> shouldn't be as great as accrue to someone who knows the armor and how to
> interpose it usefully in combat to absorb or deflect blows (at least the
> ones they can see coming).
>
> Not being a re-enactor I don't know whether this makes real-world(tm)
> sense or not, any SCA-ers care to comment?
>
> Stephen Posey
> stephenlposey at earthlink.net
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Sean Foster
> Sent: Feb 6, 2014 5:50 AM
> To: runequest at rpgreview.net
> Subject: [Runequest] Unarmoured Combatants
>
>   Who would win:
>
>
>
>
>
> An Elite Viking Warrior vs himself, one fully armoured and one not, both
> with sword & shield?
>
>
>
> I always pictured that the non-armoured would have an evens or better
> chance, but what do SCA people think?
>
>
>
> Would the shield make a difference?
>
>
>
> Anybody investigated this as a physical rather than mental musing exercise.
>
>
>
> Thanks
>
>
>
> Sean
>
>
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