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Marcus M Smith




Location: Australia
Joined: 18 May 2009

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2009 12:13 am    Post subject: Shield form and design - help!         Reply with quote

Hi

I'm a medieval and fantasy wargaming enthusiast, and Im just wondering about sheild designs. Please see the attached picture

Can anyone suggest for what sensible reason would crescent shaped holes be made in the top of shields? For archers etc?

I'm using the Umbo of these shields as 'Crux Saltire', but wondering how to divide the shields into various divisions in an army (eg Polearm, Archers, Sword infantry, etc)

Any suggestions would be great!

Bowing to your knowledge...



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C-W-SHIELDS.jpg


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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2009 12:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Uh. How would an archer hold such a shield? How would a guy with a polearm hold a shield? It makes no sense.

The form and shape of a shield is dictated by the method in which it was used.

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Marcus M Smith




Location: Australia
Joined: 18 May 2009

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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2009 12:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The metal is lighter than steel. it is fantasy...

BTW - Im a little Dyslecix - Shields i and e... WTF?!

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Marcus M Smith




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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2009 12:26 am    Post subject: To clarify         Reply with quote

I'm thinking crossbows for the archers, not bowmen.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2009 12:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think you understand. Weight has nothing to do with what I asked.

How does a person who is using a polearm hold a shield? The answer is that they cannot.

How does a person who is firing a bow use a shield? The answer is they cannot.

Crossbowmen used particular types of shields that are free-standing in which to hide behind. They look nothing like the shield forms you show above. How does a person use a crossbow and hold a shield? They can't.

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Marcus M Smith




Location: Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2009 12:29 am    Post subject: To Clarify II         Reply with quote

The polearms Im thinking are not long swiss-style Pikes, but more the shorter halberds and really about the length of short spears with blades at the end, to still be used in formation
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Marcus M Smith




Location: Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2009 12:32 am    Post subject: Crossbowmen         Reply with quote

Did Crossbowmen shields have some sort of stand?

Im wondering if its possible to pick up the shield to use in skirmish, flip out a leg and put it down, secure, to crouch and fire from behind?

(Im quite naive about the real history of some of these weapons)

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2009 12:33 am    Post subject: Re: Crossbowmen         Reply with quote

Marcus M Smith wrote:
(Im quite naive about the real history of some of these weapons)


Do some reading. I suggest myArmoury.com as a starting point Happy Wink

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Marcus M Smith




Location: Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2009 12:34 am    Post subject: Or - to ditch the whole archer or polearm idea         Reply with quote

Is there any good military reason for those holes you can think of?
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2009 12:37 am    Post subject: Re: Or - to ditch the whole archer or polearm idea         Reply with quote

Marcus M Smith wrote:
Is there any good military reason for those holes you can think of?


Why don't you start by reading our article:


The Shield: Its Use and Development

An article compiled by Patrick Kelly

And read this topic: 15th Century Pavises.

The shields shown above in your first post are fantasy items, as you say. There is only one of them that vaguely resembles something from history. However, it really isn't like the real thing at all.

Shields like these were made for the tournament and have cut-outs for the lance:


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Marcus M Smith




Location: Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2009 12:41 am    Post subject: Thanks         Reply with quote

Ive just borrowed some books and thanks for the website so Im going to do some reading but its just nagging me about those crescent holes so if you can think of anything that would be great.

Gotta get back to work

Cheers

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2009 3:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Archers and polearm-men can have shield hanging on guiges around the neck, in the same fashion as mounted knights, who have this kind of suspension so that they can have one hand free for the reins.

This works ok for polearms, but probably not very vell for archers. I have fought quite a bit with polearms and a shield on the shoulder, but for archery it would probably be to much in the way. (though arab horsearchers would carry shields, as far as I remember)

As for the question of cutouts, they are mostly found either on anticent hoplite-style dish-shaped shields, or on small tournament shields.
On the hoplite shields these are probably to compensate for the "exessive" width of the shield. In order to cover you propperly in a shieldwall, a shield has to be about 90 cm+ tall, but only 60 cm wide.The "excess" width can be in the way when for instance using a one handed spear, so a cutout would compensate for this. (so would an oval or, later, kite/heater shaped shield) The shields you show are "infantry heaters" and as such would not need a cutout.

The other kind is the small tournament heater. In this case my guess is that the cuttout is simply a view slith. The shield is attatched to the upper arm, and when the arm is raised, it covers the side of the head. However, this blocks your view. Unless you have the cutout...

Overall, the kind of shield you show CAN be supsended on the shoulder, but would not need cutouts.
But then you are a filthy chaos worshiper, and do no belive in logick. (and, sooner or later, Sigmar will strike you down...no matter the shape of your shield.)

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2009 5:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't think they're for vision. I think they are a place for the lance to go. In fact, the article linked aboveby Nathan says:

Quote:
Towards the end of 14th century the top-right corner of the heater shield was notched. This allowed the shield to be used to guide the lance during mounted charge, likely during tournament jousting, but perhaps also on the battlefield.

Happy

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Werner Stiegler





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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2009 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hungarian rider Tartschen had them sometimes. They were used as lance rests by their light cavalry.
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Marcus M Smith




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PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 1:52 am    Post subject: Thanks         Reply with quote

Thanks guys

Vision is the best idea, but use for lances and spear rests in ashielfd wall coudl also work.

:-) Sigmar is a corruption of men's freedom. Only Chaos offers liberation..

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 5:47 am    Post subject: Re: Thanks         Reply with quote

Marcus M Smith wrote:
Thanks guys

Vision is the best idea, but use for lances and spear rests in ashielfd wall coudl also work.

:-) Sigmar is a corruption of men's freedom. Only Chaos offers liberation..


The lance holder (for lack of a better term) is the accepted purpose of those notches in published works on the subject. I doubt those notches would do anything for vision--in fact I'm pretty sure that thinking of them as vision aids is wrong. Those shields don't really go in front of the eyeslits on helmets when jousting. The vision slit is above the top edge of the shield.

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Sean Belair
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PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2009 10:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

is this for a chaos army or are you using the shields for conversions? i used to work for GW (RIP GW upper west side) and a compulsive converter.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Sat 23 May, 2009 1:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling Polden wrote:
(though arab horsearchers would carry shields, as far as I remember)


Not exactly "Arab," perhaps--the Arabs did use shields, but their native horsemen were mostly archers. The ones most likely to carry shields were Central Asian Turkic heavy horse archers and the Mamluks and ghilman formations modeled after them, and then mostly because these horse archers were expected to be able to set their bows aside and engage the enemy with lance, sword, or mace.


Quote:
As for the question of cutouts, they are mostly found either on anticent hoplite-style dish-shaped shields, or on small tournament shields.
On the hoplite shields these are probably to compensate for the "exessive" width of the shield. In order to cover you propperly in a shieldwall, a shield has to be about 90 cm+ tall, but only 60 cm wide.The "excess" width can be in the way when for instance using a one handed spear, so a cutout would compensate for this. (so would an oval or, later, kite/heater shaped shield) The shields you show are "infantry heaters" and as such would not need a cutout.


I'm afraid this view doesn't really hold water, since the twin-cutout "Dipylon" shields (extensively pictured (here mostly came from the period before the rise of hoplite tactics. The later Argive shield that we normally associate with hoplites don't have such cutouts at all. The Persians made use of shields similar to the Dipylon design but the cutouts were so small that they hardly made any difference to the overall width of the shield.
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Nat Lamb




Location: Melbourne, Australia
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PostPosted: Sat 23 May, 2009 2:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also, that particular symbol is the intelectual property of Michael Moorcock, if you are gonna produce anything with it on, you should gain his permission first. And btw, just because about 10 different games companies have been ripping it off for years does not make it any less the intellectual property of its origionator.

On the cutout, would it be feasable (not talking "is there any historical evidence" just is there a physical impedimment to) for a phalanx of polearm/spearmen to "lock" the spears into a cutout, and brace them a bit for a "pointy shield ruch" en masse? I have done a bit of 1h spear and shield in viking re-enactments (like, tried it on 2 different days) and I could see the spear was good for use against loose-ish formations of swordsmen, poking the guy 1 man over etc, but didnt feel like it would be that great in a real "push". A shield with a notch would allow you to at least brace it. Then again, the fact that there is no evidence of this being used probably means there is some reason it won't work. Just giving some "left field" theorizations
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Mon 25 May, 2009 2:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette: Well, if it was a GOOD idea, they would have gone on using shields with cutouts. I'm only stipulating why they would want cutouts in the first place. Obviously, it was not deemed to be worth it in the long run.

Seems I was wrong about the late heater cutouts, though they would have that function as well. The shields in question where not only used for jousting, but also in certain kinds of foot tournament featuring fully armed and armoured men, with spear, longsword, shield and dagger. This kind of fighting is depicted in Gladiatorial and Codex Wallerstein, at least.
It appears that they where equipped with a very flexible strap arangement, allowing them to be worn on the shoulder, under arm or held in a central grip (gathering the straps in one hand) as the situation called for.
I have been using a convensional shape heater on a cavalry suspension when fighting with a polearm on foot, and the idea of vison slits came from this. When standing in high guard with the spear, the shield (beeing strapped to your upper arm) covers your face.

-----
Come fight me like MEN !-Unknown Chosen Champion of Kohrne, no longer mounted on barded chaos steed
We don't have to! We're not 18 yet! -Liebhardt Albert Victor Freiherr von Macholt-Steilitz, Imperial Pistoller Corps



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"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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