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Khaine's Plate Armor Guide

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Deus Khaine

Deus Khaine

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Mistakenly believing oneself to possess the correct information on something is a brilliant way to make sure one doesn't learn the correct information on something. The way to avoid this for anyone is to continually strive to improve one's abilities and intellect, and not falling into the trap of believing one already knows what is needed to be known.

In this case, plate armor is the thing in the light of knowledge: greatly misinterpreted, even roleplayers who have roleplayed for years carry common misconceptions about these kinds of armor with them, believing themselves to be at a sufficient level in roleplay ability in the process. They say one is heavily restricted by plate armor, made much heavier and slowed down. Others will even believe the plates to be rather thick, when the plates are 1mm thick for thin plate, 2mm thick for regular, and 3-4mm thick for thick plate. The ignorant refuse to accept the notion that the man whom wears a platebody could move their legs and use their hips to turn to face them while gathering momentum for a powerful strike, saying it's impossible to perform such a turn so quickly in such armor. They claim that someone in plate armor could not possibly transverse the meter between their characters and cut them down while they are charging a spell. They are the ignorant, the uninformed. If you happen to be one of those people, please read this guide. If you happen to wish to increase your knowledge to even further levels, then you should still read this guide. Ignorance is a harmful folly to a roleplayer and only makes one a worse roleplayer, so why not acquire more knowledge through some quick reading?
Herp-a-derp

10-Oct-2012 23:41:56 - Last edited on 26-Apr-2014 16:21:55 by Deus Khaine

Deus Khaine

Deus Khaine

Posts: 3,133Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Plate Armor
If you think that plate armor restricts mobility and is rather heavy, then you're the person who can be described by the opening sentence of this guide. On the contrary, plate wasn't all that heavy or restricting of movement and provided excellent protection. (Use your brain. If plate armor really was restricting, heavy and made you incredibly slow, would such have seen the light of day on the battlefield? Not at all!) A blade's edge applied through either slashing or hewing was worthless against the plates of plate armor, the plates could literally take /hundreds/ of such blows before breaking from a stress fracture. Thrusting attacks, arrows, bolts and the like would glance off the plate if near a heavily curved section, but a solid hit into a more flattened area (or direct hit into a curved area) would allow the object to pierce, but more often than not the object would not injure the wearer. This is due to the presence of the gambeson (the combat jacket of the day) underneath, which was essentially a shirt of thick fabric. Unlike the promoted notion, plate armor didn't provide poor protection against blunt trauma, it actually provided moderate protection against blunt trauma.

Later plate armor designs featured mail welded over the gaps between the plates for further protection by reducing the weak points while not adding much weight to the design. Two very notable designs of plate armor appeared as well, and certainly merit attention:
-Gothic plate armor: Gothic plate armor was made with the plates having flutings, ridges and engravings running along parts of the plates, depicting Gothic art in the process. Not only was such armor quite artistic, it showed itself to actually be lighter, less restricting and more durable than normal plate armor designs. It also involved mail being welded between the gaps between plates, making the weak points less effective targets.
Herp-a-derp

10-Oct-2012 23:42:05 - Last edited on 26-Apr-2014 16:23:39 by Deus Khaine

Deus Khaine

Deus Khaine

Posts: 3,133Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
-Maximillian plate armor: This is what was considered to be an evolution of Gothic plate armor, mostly in terms of cosmetic appearance. The flutings, ridges and engravings no longer were kept to certain sections of the plates but now covered all of the plates, and the design was made more rounded for better appearance and resistance to thrusting attacks. Very few sets of these were made, and like the Gothic plate armor, chainmail was welded over the gaps between plates.

One now may have much to fear about plate armor: incredible protection, lightweight, only slightly restrictive of mobility (yet using one's full body in movements could easily overcome this) but there is a reason why one does not have to fear a sudden storm of plate-wearing assassins and rabble-rousing whippersnappers coming to their character looking for a fight: plate armor was something that the wealthy could afford, a few of the middle class, and none of the lower class. Plate armor is custom-built for the wearer, and thus came with a very hefty price tag. Generally the higher knights, lords and nobles would have plate armor, with the subordinates having mixes of mail and leather. In other words, most of the roleplayers whose characters have plate armor actually /shouldn't/ be having plate armor. Understanding this, it is perfectly legitimate to ask a roleplayer how their character obtained plate armor. To hear them say “I took it from someone else” or “I looted it from a dead body” would mean their armor would be greatly misfitting and less effective, or illegitimate (and worthy of a temporary blacklisting) if they refused to acknowledge this, because the chances of the body measurements being that similar between the two are nearly non-existent.
Herp-a-derp

10-Oct-2012 23:42:14 - Last edited on 26-Apr-2014 16:24:09 by Deus Khaine

Deus Khaine

Deus Khaine

Posts: 3,133Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
Just as plate armor design evolved, so did weapon design and techniques for countering it. Fighting someone who has plate armor will demand a different approach, one would be slaughtered long before their strikes began to do much if they fight a plate-wearing person the same as an unarmored enemy. The obvious weak points were the parts covered in mail. There are also weapon types which excellently counter plate armor, which will be listed below.

-Poleaxe/Halberd: The sheer force of the weight on the end provides enough blunt trauma to overpower plate armor's defenses and actually leave the wearer severely wounded, with plate armor dented into them. If one has their plate armor dented into a wound on their person, the plate armor will have to be removed from the body to have a healing spell properly heal the person without the metal interfering. By that time, the injured may already be dead, though this is rare.

-Nail-headed crossbow bolt: note that a crossbow bolt fired from the ''generic'' crossbow will need to be fired from a close range to pierce plate. To pierce through the combat jacket beneath without being stopped by the combination of the two, crossbow users would put small, rounded discs just before the tip so that while the tip would be in front of the disc, the disc would collide with the rounded sections of the plate and provide the blunt trauma to get through the plate in combination with the tip, and get through the combat jacket beneath. Similar to having a nail as the head. Normal crossbow bolts will pierce when fired at close range, but will not make it through the combat jacket as well. On rare occasion the bolt (also known as a quarrel) might even get past this, but roughly an inch then into the skin at best. Simply put, a normal crossbow bolt impacting plate armor is like a very hard punch to the gut. Unless you expand yourself to other crossbows.--
Herp-a-derp

10-Oct-2012 23:42:23 - Last edited on 26-Apr-2014 16:26:05 by Deus Khaine

Deus Khaine

Deus Khaine

Posts: 3,133Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
--(But most roleplayers don't include the effects of the combat jacket, or even have their character include such. Thus, they would be pierced, injured and possibly even killed by normal crossbow bolts.) It should be noted that a bolt fired from specialized crossbow styles such as a recurve crossbow will indeed pierce through with injuring capacity routinely.

-Bodkin arrows: these will work against plate armor with almost unnatural, gruesome efficiency when fired from a longbow. These are arrows whose heads have been made long and thin to pierce both the plate and combat jacket, but not too thin to break upon impact. These will pierce through and injure the plate user, even kill on many occasions depending on where the arrow hits. A nation lost the great, vast majority of its 2,000 best knights this way to this sort of arrow in a single battle, many of them dying before they even reached a place where they could fight back.

-Greatsword: Also known as the two-hand sword, this weapon weighs roughly 2.2-3.6 kg/4.8-7.9 ibs. in weight and was roughly 152.4-177.8 cm/60-70 in. long. As one may realize from reading these measurements, such was not unwieldy, heavy or awkward to use (once again, such most certainly would not have seen the light of day on the battlefield), contrary from what one may have earlier believed. While use of this weapon often demands special training to use in the battlefield (not to mention that most people cannot adequately or properly roleplay its use in the battlefield) it could actually dent plate armor repeatedly, and send victims who were not in a guarded stance off-balance and vulnerable. In Medieval armies, use of this weapon often got one extra pay if they could use such with skill. This weapon could hurt plate armor without the use of the half-swording and morte-striking techniques.
Herp-a-derp

10-Oct-2012 23:42:34 - Last edited on 26-Apr-2014 16:27:32 by Deus Khaine

Deus Khaine

Deus Khaine

Posts: 3,133Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
-Half-swording and Morte-striking: These are sword techniques to remedy a sword's ineffectiveness against plate armor, and they work quite well. Each of these are most ideal when done with a long sword/hand-and-a-half sword or a long blade.
--Half-swording: the bearer leaves on hand on the handle of the weapon, and puts the other hand on the false edge (the blade edge aligned with the handle-gripping hand's fingernails) while making a cutting or thrusting motion for a massive increase in power. For slashing and hewing, one slides their hand down to the crossguard of the sword as the true edge (the blade edge aligned with the handle-gripping hand's knuckles) comes down upon the opponent's plates. This will dent the plates in the impacted areas. For thrusting, this makes it so that a thrust will not glance, but pierce, and force an opponent to step out of your attack radius if they wish to avoid this as trying to dodge it otherwise will not work due to how much control one has over their weapon in this state.
Likewise, this is excellent for slicing the armor straps on plate, and for mixing wrestling in the process - floored in full plate is a bad situation.
--Morte-striking: one grips both the false edge and true edge of the sword closer to the midpoint of the blade, and swings while using the crossguard, handle and pommel as a sort of maul, denting the plate armor.

-Mace: The mace, although having a short range compared to other melee weapons, could provide enough blunt trauma through a heavy stroke to extensively dent plate armor, overcoming plate armor's moderate resistance to blunt trauma.

-Battleaxe: A battleaxe, when given a heavy, full-powered stroke, could use its weight and cutting edge to crumple sections of plate armor. However, if such a blow misses or is negated enough to stop the damage, the wielder of the battleaxe will more likely than not be open to attack, not being in a guarded stance.
Herp-a-derp

10-Oct-2012 23:42:43 - Last edited on 26-Apr-2014 16:29:50 by Deus Khaine

Deus Khaine

Deus Khaine

Posts: 3,133Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
-Warhammer and Maul: these weapons are rarely seen being used in roleplay, but when heavy strokes are given, can routinely and consistently dent plate armor to horrid extents while not leaving as much of an opening from the user as the battleaxe.
Flail: a very self-hazardous weapon, the flail is able dent the plates of plate armor and reach over an opponent to his their back and sides much more easily, as the metal in these parts are slightly thinner than the front. Indeed, using such a weapon can let one wreak havoc on the wearer of plate, but remember: you'll often injure yourself as well.

-Meathook: A meathook, unlike what you're thinking upon reading the word, is not a small, thin fishing hook. (If you wish to see what such looks like, then go look up an image for a meathook on the internet. Simple as that.) This is excellent for snagging the chainmail between gaps, and getting between the plates to throw an opponent down and then finish them off with a bloody finish. Not to mention, hooking someone with this and then pulling out the hook will cause incapitating pain if the hook got a solid grip inside their body, or even around a tendon.

-Molotov: The molotov is a glass bottle filled with a flammable liquid that is first applied into the bottle, followed by a rag hanging on the inside and outside of the bottle. A molotov may be carried around like this very easily. Then, one normally lights the rag and hurls it against the armor, causing the plates to be covered in flaming liquid (and possibly you, depending on how close you are, how hard you threw the bottle, etc.) as the person is burnt inside, it's common sense the combat jacket beneath will catch fire and fuel the fire. A bucket of water will not suffice in putting out this fire. Unless what smashed the glass of an unlit molotov isn't flaming already, you do not need to worry about an impromptu pyrification or an attack igniting the molotov and harming you.
Herp-a-derp

10-Oct-2012 23:42:52 - Last edited on 26-Apr-2014 16:31:29 by Deus Khaine

Deus Khaine

Deus Khaine

Posts: 3,133Adamant Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
I leave you, from this point on, to think of and remember other counters to plate armor. If you read through this with studious intent, good job. If you read through this without studious intent, read through it again with such. There's a difference between reading and studying, and the studying path helps one become a much better roleplayer.

BONUS

A quick ''chart'' of thrusts, cuts, slices and blunt attacks against various metal armor, presented upon request. If you want a better version of this, make it yourself or go yell at me until I make a better one.

''Generic'' mail:
Undescribed mail used by roleplayers who think of mail being closer to larger metal rings than what they actually are. Reduces blunt trauma greatly, great defense against slashes, and absolutely horrible against thrusts. Perfect against slices.

Butted mail:
Forceful thrusts will cause the rings to break, if not thin enough to fit through. Especially true for weapons adept at thrusting. Good protection against cuts, but heavy cuts (especially from weapons such as the zweihander, and say hello to death from axe-headed polearms and their friends) will cause the rings to break. Perfect against slices. Doesn't entirely negate internal injuries (ruptured organs) from blunt trauma, and can cause the mail rings to break.

Riveted mail:
Forceful thrusts will cause the rings to break, but very few weapons will fit between the rings. Nice against blunt trauma until the smaller ring size causes them to shatter, and as with other mail, will have broken rings upon heavy cuts. Perfect against slices.

Segmented plate:
Nice protection against cuts, and holding up against blunt trauma until we say hello to the flail, greatsword, halberd and other heavy-hitting weapons. Direct stabs will find their way in more easily, but better mobility.

Plate:
See the posts above.

Other metal armor:
I'm lazy. Go look it up from a credible source for now.

Source for this post: original RP Help & Guide by Rai
Herp-a-derp

10-Oct-2012 23:43:00 - Last edited on 02-Aug-2014 03:21:38 by Deus Khaine

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