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Chris Jaskie





Joined: 27 Jan 2009

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PostPosted: Sun 20 Sep, 2009 12:59 pm    Post subject: An armors effect on attack speed?         Reply with quote

I apologize in advance if there was another post regarding this subject, but i could not find any related info using the forum search.

My question is relatively simple though i expect that the answer will undoubtedly be more complex. Would armor have a substantial effect on the number of "quality attacks" an individual could execute in a set amount of time.

1) Lets assume we are talking about a properly trained individual, using a quailty weapon like a longsword.

2) Lets also assume this individual is attempting accurate blows against a dummy and not just slashing about wildly.

3) And last lets assume all the high medieval period suits of armor (leather, maile and plate) were tailored for this individual.
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Christopher VaughnStrever




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Sep, 2009 6:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

well a sword cannot cut through or pierce armour. So the attacker would need to stab through the lames of armor or the slit of the visor or penetrate the maille with the tip of the sword. Which brings us to the half swording style of fighting. and the man suited in armor would not stand still while being attacked.

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Would armor have a substantial effect on the number of "quality attacks" an individual could execute in a set amount of time


with a dummy target. No the armour would be ineffective seeing as one could stab the dummy through the visor and lames of the armor and he could thrust his sword as fast as he wanted. I could half sword and hit a target as fast as I could move my sword.

Experience and learning from such defines maturity, not a number of age
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 20 Sep, 2009 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the original poster means "is a person wearing armour noticeably slower than he would be without it?"
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Chris Jaskie





Joined: 27 Jan 2009

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PostPosted: Sun 20 Sep, 2009 7:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Correct Chad. In essence im trying to find out just how much an effect different types of armor (in this case: leather, maile and plate) would have on the speed or number of attacks an individual might be able to perform say within 10 seconds.

Im guessing the heavier the armor the less flexible it was, ultimately resulting in slower attack speeds. Or did it? Was armor, which was tailored to individuals, really that good that it had no effect on attack speed?
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Ben P.




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PostPosted: Sun 20 Sep, 2009 7:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I guess that would depend on how long you were moving/fighting in it. Even though Armour isn't that heavy and it's spread out over the body and the person wearing it is a knight (assuming said person is a 'Knight' I don't like to use the term but just for grins . . . ) but after several hours I would think that it would get pretty old although adrenaline is an amazing thing.
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Sep, 2009 2:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In the scenario described, armour would not have all that much influence.

However, combat is not about making a rapid series of attacks, but making an attack that is good enough without getting killed in the proces.
In this scenario, armour improves your efficiency rate tremendoulsy, as even a light, fast attack can cripple or even kill an unarmoured man.

In practical combat, an armoured man would efficently be "faster" than his unarmoured foe, because he does not have to spend his time on defence, and can go straight for the kill.

"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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Aleksei Sosnovski





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PostPosted: Mon 21 Sep, 2009 3:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A lot depends on weight of the armor and weight and type of the weapon.

Let us assume that our "knight" is well trained, wears a relatively light armor (let's say 55 to 60 pounds for a complete harness) and is not tired (just put on his armor and took his weapon).

If we give our knight a god relatively heavy spear (which means that most strikes will be short straight thrusts and parries are also relatively short) he will be just as fast as an unarmored man.

If we give our knight a pollaxe, which is relatively heavy, he may be just as fast as an unarmored man (if using mainly thrusts) but may also be slightly slower if he has to perform strikes that require the whole body to move (for example a passing step in armor is slightly slower than a passing step without armor).

If we give our knight a smallsword which is really light... Well, you got the idea.
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Steven H




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Sep, 2009 6:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The short answer is no - the knight will not attack any slower due to armour. This assumes, as you do, that the fighter is sufficiently trained which I take to include conditioning.

I have started practicing in armour. My first few attacks are fine for speed. But I slow down considerably sooner while wearing armour. Because I need to do more conditioning.

Cheers,
Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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David E. Farrell




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Sep, 2009 9:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steven H wrote:
The short answer is no - the knight will not attack any slower due to armour. This assumes, as you do, that the fighter is sufficiently trained which I take to include conditioning.

I have started practicing in armour. My first few attacks are fine for speed. But I slow down considerably sooner while wearing armour. Because I need to do more conditioning.


amen! I've heard so many folks (typically from an environment like the SCA - though that seems to be becoming less) take the route of modern 'performance' armour rather than good-old fashioned conditioning and sound tactics. Personally, I'll go for a near-historical harness and a good conditioning regimen.

That said, will the weight of harness slow down how fast you can move? It really isn't a well defined question. Sure, the added weight will affect some aspects of motion, but likely in way only obvious over the long term. How long is long depends on the level of fitness of the individual and their conditioning in armour.

But to fight well, I don't have to move as fast as I can at all times... that's just a waste of effort even without armour.

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Steven H




Location: Boston
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PostPosted: Mon 21 Sep, 2009 9:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks David.

To follow-up as I've thought a bit more about this. Having a few pounds of steel on my arm will reduce the max speed that I can attain. If we divide the max Force (F) that I can produce by a larger mass (m) then we get a lower acceleration (a) from F=ma.

But I'm not trying to swing as hard as I possible can under normal circumstances. Good form and tactics are much better than just strength.

But the extra weight means that I need to use a larger percentage of my max effort to achieve the same speed - which is why I tire more quickly.

Cheers,
Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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Chris Jaskie





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PostPosted: Mon 21 Sep, 2009 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing all your info, thoughts and experiences.

I guess with that being said, it would appear that the weight of a weapon had much more to bear on attack speed than what one was wearing. More specifically, it would seem armor raised the bar for a fighters endurance, especially when those armors become heavier. The more weight one had to contend with while swinging, the more toll it had on the body, consequently leading to slower, less accurate swings from fatigue.
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Bill Tsafa




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Sep, 2009 12:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, the amount of armor you have on effects your speed. Especially as the fighting progresses. I spent 6 hrs in armor yesterday. Custom made and fits like a glove. Every single piece of additional armor makes a difference. My whole kit weight about 30 lbs. Just taking off 2 lbs makes a difference when fighting. You will feel it even more if the armor in question is on the arms. The lower down your arms the armor is the heavier it feels. There is a cost-benefit compromise that must be made between protection and speed. That even applies to modern body-armor and armored-vehicles. You can't get away from that.

Beyond that, even the same armor will feel different as it gets worn in. Sometimes for better... sometimes for worse.

No athlete/youth can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows: he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack... then he will be ready for battle.
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