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Would you prefer to play computer game that is...
Historical with realistic combat mechanics
51%
 51%  [ 46 ]
Historical with simplified (arcadey) combat mechanics
4%
 4%  [ 4 ]
Fantasy with realistic combat mechanics
36%
 36%  [ 33 ]
Fantasy with simplified (arcadey) combat mechanics
1%
 1%  [ 1 ]
Some other kind of computer game...
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
I don't want to play computer games
6%
 6%  [ 6 ]
Total Votes : 90

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Walter S




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 12:16 pm    Post subject: Looking for Opinions about Fantasy Armor Design         Reply with quote

I'm designing armor/equipment for a fantasy footman - a female monster slayer (somewhat similar to The Witcher/Wiedzmin by A. Sapkowski). Setting is similar to high middle ages. Being fantasy, armor doesn't have to be historically accurate, however it is meant to have believable/historical feel, rather than fantasy feel. So realism is desired as long as it doesn't conflict too much with good looks. Please, tell me what do you think about the design (both its looks and realism).

Drawing by Lenka Slukova (http://lenka-slukova.deviantart.com)

Primary weapon is a 170cm/67" long two-hander. Monsters that need slaying can be quite large, hence need for powerful cuts. Poor effectiveness against armor isn't a concern as monsters are not armored.

Back-up weapons are two 50cm/20" long large daggers/shortswords and small 15cm/6" dagger (in right boot).

She wears:
Short chemise
Linen hoses and shirt
Tall leather boots and gloves
Metal greaves, knees, vambraces and spaulders
Maille coif
Armored surcoat
Belt with dagger scabbards and pouch
Partial scabbard for two-hander (on back)

Damn attachment thingy doesn't show any preview?


Last edited by Walter S on Mon 26 Apr, 2010 11:20 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Werner Stiegler





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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 12:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The mail shirt appears to be rather short. I don't think they actually made much mail cut like a vest.
From what I've heard, marching with leg armour's really stenous too. One would probably opt for a longer mail shirt that would protect the abdomen, arms and the tights, some decend gauntlets and a helmet rather than leg armour.

And if you must go for Highheels...at least make them Chopines.
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Colt Reeves





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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I'm reading his description right, that is not a vest or anything, just the coif dropped down off her head.

My ten cents (two adjusted for inflation):

Coif should have a padded cap under it (you may just have not shown it here).

Armored surcoat? No offense but the picture does not make it look like armor of any sort. Is it supposed to be padded armor of some kind or something else?
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Bram Verbeek





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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd say use one arming sword as a backup, better then a pair of short swords.

Also, if the baddies are large, they will probably have long reach, you might want to use a polearm to keep them at bay instead of a closer encounter with the twohander.

The twohander can not be carried around on the back if you actually want access to it on short notice.

The mail would extend a bit lower, but maybe a brigandine might be more in keeping with the rest of the picture.

Also: a helmet, your life depends on it. I'd say a bascinet would work well with the rest of the fit.
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Werner Stiegler





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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

>If I'm reading his description right, that is not a vest or anything, just the coif dropped down off her head.

wouldn't one just use the bishop's mantle+breastplate combination then and drop the shoulder armour?
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James Arlen Gillaspie
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 3:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The lack of leg armour among infantry usually had more to do with cost than anything. Heavy infantry wore full leg harness. Keep in mind, though, such infantry typically traveled on horseback, even though they did not fight mounted. It looks to me as though her thighs are not armoured, which doesn't make a lot of sense unless you use a big shield. Leaves a problem with suspending the legharness, too.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 3:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I realize this is a fantasy character, and that's totally cool... but even fantasy has to be based on some sort of logic, even when "other-worldly". This configuration doesn't really have a lot of logic behind it. Remember that armour design, like all other design, must have two things combined: form and function. This means that aesthetic choices must also serve a functional role in armour else it would not exist, in any world. For me, that's a differentiator between good fantasy and bad fantasy.
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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 4:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting design you have there, but to be honest - I'd add a full mail hauberk (which covered the thighs), some type of helm, a fantasy-inspired kite shield, and a really, really wicked polearm. I'd echo using a single arming sword as a back up. Happy
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Walter S




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 5:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies, I value them greatly.

I was suspecting some of the issues you pointed out. A lot of them come from trying to balance practicality with looks - and perhaps failing. In fantasy, armor of women more likely than not comes in form of chain brassiere. I definitely didn't want to go that way. However I was already told the character doesn't look enough womanly, so I'm worried about her looking like tin-man (in plate armor) or michelin-man (in padded clothes). That is why she doesn't have a helmet, even though I'm fully aware that a helmet is the part of armor one should have before anything else.

I will most likely change the design to include full maille hauberk (or maybe brigandine) and get rid of the illogical greaves. One of the issues is that this is player character for some computer game and certain things are problematic from game design viewpoint. Among other things - if she had a lot of armor, she would be pretty much impervious to monster attacks, as monsters can't engage in armored combat (no thrusting weapons). I don't want to use the cop-out solution used in most games where armor offers zero protection and character gets injured by any attack as if he was unarmored.

Other things, no chopines - if I had to change the high heels, it would be to regular shoes. The surcoat isn't armored, I wrote that by mistake. I know sword would be better backup than daggers, I just thought dual daggers are cooler than a katzbalger >.<
She most likely won't travel on horse... I guess she should be more like light infantry.

Now to the primary weapon:
She won't be fighting in closed formation. One of reasons I chose two-hander is that texts say it's the best weapon for individual soldier (particularly when fighting outnumbered) - as opposed to polearms which work well mostly in formation. I thought single soldier with polearm would be liable to getting the rather clumsy polearm getting knocked aside, rendering him very vulnerable until the polearm is brought back to bear. Polearm + kite shield - don't (most?) polearms require both hands?

For comparison, this is Geralt of Rivia as he appears in computer game The Witcher. His weapon is a longsword.
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Norbert Keller




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 10:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi there,

If I were you, I would think about more plate armour in it. More lighter than chainmail. and a breastplate still lets you move free.
If the person -who will wear it- will be on foot, leave the greaves. It's uncomfortable for walking all day, and she won't get too much strike there. Kneecaps and maybe cuisses are useful though.
Good plate armour won't make it look tin-man Happy There are a variety of breastplates, even fit for women. Or brigandine would be good, it looks like a jacket, but protects well.
I also highly recommend a helm. Try google for: milanese helm, bascinet, armet, or even zischagge. No helm=instant die Happy
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 10:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A hauberk need not be too bulky or " Michelin Man " if the maille is made of very fine small rings and the arming coat/gambison/acketon ( whatever one wants to call it ) can be lightweight and not overly padded. ( Lonsleeved also protects the arms ).

The high boots would be fine and maybe the knee cops could be kept as they do protect the vulnerable knees and with a hauberk just above the knees the thighs are reasonably protected.

A coif with a wide bishops mantle give good extra chest/shoulder protection and using a close fitting cerveliére ( very compact close to the head skull cap. The coif can be worn over the cervelère and this combination gives better protection than just a padded cap under the coif. The coif can be worn off the head and behind the neck as shown. The cervelière can be shown still on the head or worn by itself.

A small cervelière is also easy to carry in a backpack or some sort of carrying bag or horse saddlebags. ( I assume that if your character is travelling alone she at least has some mode of carrying her extra kit, food, blanket, extra clothes etc ....

A horse gives some extra carrying possibilities for extra or spare weapons. Having at least one " armed " servant with a few packhorses might be useful when travelling.

An on the back carry system for the twohander is O.K. as a means of carry but useless if one has to draw it quickly.

Oh, and a long polearm is not clumsy in the hands of someone trained to use one and one doesn't swing it wildly leaving oneself open to attack due to slow recovery unless the polearm is ridiculously overweight.

A spear, a glaive or partisan can be very fast and the longer weapon has a built in range advantage. A polearm can be used offensively and defensively in many different ways: It has two ends and a middle that one can block with or attack with.

A medium sized sword or a very long dagger could be better used with a buckler and a large rondel dagger is very good for dealing with armour. The small dagger is more a last ditch backup or even used for small cutting daily chores.

A navaja styles folding knife could also be a backup or utility knife.

Anyway, just a few general ideas, and this being fantasy some styles inspired from different periods can be mixed as long as they are functionally compatible and don't look " goofy " together. Wink ( Like I wouldn't mix a kite shield with a morion helmet on the same character ).

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Werner Stiegler





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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 11:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Walter S wrote:
Thanks for the replies, I value them greatly.

I was suspecting some of the issues you pointed out. A lot of them come from trying to balance practicality with looks - and perhaps failing. In fantasy, armor of women more likely than not comes in form of chain brassiere. I definitely didn't want to go that way. However I was already told the character doesn't look enough womanly, so I'm worried about her looking like tin-man (in plate armor) or michelin-man (in padded clothes). That is why she doesn't have a helmet, even though I'm fully aware that a helmet is the part of armor one should have before anything else.
Yes, gender does become sort of blurry when somebody's crossdressed in armour made to imitate male fashion...which is pretty much every single historic piece we've got.

Quote:
I will most likely change the design to include full maille hauberk (or maybe brigandine) and get rid of the illogical greaves. One of the issues is that this is player character for some computer game and certain things are problematic from game design viewpoint. Among other things - if she had a lot of armor, she would be pretty much impervious to monster attacks, as monsters can't engage in armored combat (no thrusting weapons). I don't want to use the cop-out solution used in most games where armor offers zero protection and character gets injured by any attack as if he was unarmored.
I do believe what you could do is to add more of a feminine touch to it all...get it out of the crossdessing territory, so to say. One possibily would be to add more feminine elements.


Maybe take that red hat for Lucas Cranachs Judith? Fashion was pretty brash back then, female fashion is extremely brash in modern days. People would probably have an easier time identifying that character as female if it was not dressed so sombre and workman-like. You could very well have her show off her expensive stuffed sleeves under a pair of fingerless hourglass gauntlets too.



Another small thing you could use would be a waist belt that actually rides high on the waist instead of the usual "gunslinger" low belts like the one Geralt wears. Those cowboy gunslinger-belts have come to be associated with a certain type of masculinity and I'd say you'd do yourself some service if you'd try to avoid them.


Such a high belt could be rather easily combined with elements of 16th century arming belts. Alternatively belts from the periode between 1550–1600 would be an option too. Honestly, ultimatively this is about balancing what existed back then with what people today can read as feminine.

Quote:
Other things, no chopines - if I had to change the high heels, it would be to regular shoes. The surcoat isn't armored, I wrote that by mistake. I know sword would be better backup than daggers, I just thought dual daggers are cooler than a katzbalger >.<
The chopins/tengu geta-look works well enough for those japanese swordsmen and I would think video game consumers these days are familiar enough with the trope.

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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Apr, 2010 11:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Light mail might be ideal for anti-monster armour (depending on the monsters, of course). Consider modern anti-shark mail. If one can assume that a monster fights like an animal, then the ideal armour is not the same as ideal battlefield armour. Good protection for arms and hands (and legs), a relatively open-faced helmet could be good. No arrows or spear thrusts, so who needs a visor? Some bars across the face should stop most.

Walter S wrote:

She won't be fighting in closed formation. One of reasons I chose two-hander is that texts say it's the best weapon for individual soldier (particularly when fighting outnumbered) - as opposed to polearms which work well mostly in formation. I thought single soldier with polearm would be liable to getting the rather clumsy polearm getting knocked aside, rendering him very vulnerable until the polearm is brought back to bear.


A two-handed sword is a sword-shaped polearm, not a sword, especially when gripped on the ricasso. Doesn't have the extreme reach of long polearms, can outreach short polearms. Much more versatile for cutting in in-fighting, since it has 3.5-4.5 feet of double-edged blade vs a much smaller cutting edge on a typical polearm. Much less effective against armour compared to a serious anti-armour polearm. Taken together, these two suggest it's a better choice against monsters. Worth choosing on aesthetic grounds - it's a very elegant weapon in use.

Very long or very heavy polearms might be clumsy, but a polearm of reasonable weight and good length (perhaps Silver's "perfect length") is not. With the wide-space grip comes great leverage.
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Ken Speed





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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 6:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Walter,


Most of the guys here know way more about armor than I do so I'll leave that to them. I think you need either a bigger women or a smaller sword! Your character from the illustrations looks like she'd weigh about 120 pounds and swords like that weigh roughly five pounds. I don't know how much reality you want but she wouldn't be able to use that for very long without being totally exhausted. I think the suggestion that she use a pole arm of some sort are well meant and good suggestions. I'd suggest something naginata like for her. Also you say she's a "footman", if you literally mean she travels and fights on foot, she should have different shoes, the heels are nice looking but again she wouldn't last long in a march or melee in them.

Good luck with your story,

Ken
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 7:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nothing clumsy about a polearm, especially something like a cuteau de breche (a.k.., "glaive") or boar spear. It would weigh the same or slightly less than that large sword, and with twice the reach and greater agility. Glaives were favored by elite guards for a reason, and they weren't fighting in formation.

Arms: Boar/Bear spear and messer. The spear was the weapon of choice for bear, and that was the biggest game for Europeans. Take their advice. The messer is the quintessential hunting sidearm, with its short, sturdy blade and by-knives. She's a huntress, right?

Armour: mail standard, jack, wasp-waisted light Gothic breast, "jack chains" and steel cap. There'd be no mistaking her for a man but she'd still be armed and armoured in an historically approved fashion.

Something like this fellow. His combinations of arms and armour are a slightly different (mail shirt rather than standard and breast, relatively short sword instead of messer) but to the same effect. He's not using a boar/bear spear. His weapon is lighter than that. Bear spears are shown in the Triumph of Maximillian. Very, very intimidating weapon, if you're a monster.



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36ursu06_jack.jpg


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Joshua R




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 8:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As others have mentioned, I would look to how humans have hunted the real "monsters" of our world: Bear, wild boar, leopard, lion, tiger, buffalo, bison, hippo, and elephant. The general consensus seems to be to use a spear and either a relatively short-bladed sword or relatively long-bladed dagger. Or traps, in the case of bison and elephants. Armor would be of some use against the predators, but of limited use against the herbivores, as the herbivores might gore you to knock you down, but they will trample and crush you once you're on the ground (elephants are particularly dangerous in this, not merely because of their great size, but also because of the great glee they seem take in crushing things smaller than themselves into sticky, pink paste).

Armor would probably be most useful to guard against lion and tiger, as once one has some experience against bear and leopard, the likelihood of being mauled drops dramatically. A predator's favorite place to strike is at the head, neck, and torso. Given the flailing (and imprecise attack placement) that's liable to occur in such an encounter, it would probably be wise to armor the arms, hands, and thighs, as well. Maille would probably work well for the body, as would plate (although maille offers the opportunity for the critter to get their claws stuck in the maille... which can be good or bad), lamellar, or pretty much any other steel or iron armor. Nothing more than maille would really be needed for the arms or thighs, although I would suspect that plate gauntlets would work better than maille mitts. The helmet should be of fairly heavy gauge and full-face, as the last thing one wants is one's helmet crushed onto their skull or the teeth or claws of the critter they are in mortal combat with going into their face (primarily because it is difficult to see with your own blood in your eyes). Perhaps some facial scars would be appropriate?

Just my two yen.

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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 8:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Walter S wrote:
I was already told the character doesn't look enough womanly, so I'm worried about her looking like tin-man (in plate armor) or michelin-man (in padded clothes).


There are plenty of examples of women in armour that still look womenly. Some examples:

Eowyn in Lord of the Rings: http://www.medievalfantasiesco.com/knights/Eowyn_RotK_20.jpg
The girl in the movie "Shroud": http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB2/viewto...ght=shroud
Margot in the "girl armour" thread on this forum: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=19313
The new Alice in Wonderland: http://www.movieline.com/2009/07/tim-burtons-...rwocky.php
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Werner Stiegler





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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 8:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Arms: Boar/Bear spear and messer. The spear was the weapon of choice for bear, and that was the biggest game for Europeans. Take their advice. The messer is the quintessential hunting sidearm, with its short, sturdy blade and by-knives. She's a huntress, right?
The messer became the typical sidearm as part of a royal hunter's accouterment pretty late, I think. Depending on the region, hunting sabers or longswords are apparently fine too.



A sash though, that's apparently something that hunters wore ever since the early modern periode. The gloves here might works as something...more interesting that what she's currently wearing too.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Werner Stiegler wrote:
The messer became the typical sidearm as part of a royal hunter's accouterment pretty late, I think. Depending on the region, hunting sabers or longswords are apparently fine too.


I'm thinking especially of the chamois and bear hunters of the Triumph of Maximilian, ca 1510. The socketed chamois spears/messers, in particular, have a certain fantasy panache.

But another option is the boar sword, also shown in the ToM. It combines the longsword, lance and spear in a single weapon that might be just the ticket for a fantasy huntress.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Apr, 2010 8:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In fact, Werner posted those images here some time ago. Here are bear hunters (spears/messer sets,) boar hunters (boar swords) and chamois hunters (socketed messer sets/light spears).


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bear.gif


 Attachment: 213.6 KB
boar.gif


 Attachment: 189.32 KB
chamois.gif


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