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Kyle S




Location: Ohio
Joined: 02 Mar 2014

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2014 5:49 am    Post subject: HMB/BOTN Varangian Guard         Reply with quote

Hail, good folk! I have a few questions, and I've been unable to find detailed answers elsewhere on the net, so I figured I'd ask here. I've recently discovered the world of HMB/BOtN, and as I've been into swordplay for the majority of my life (larping, a wee bit of sca, and mostly Dagorhir), this is something I'd really love to participate in. This of course means that I need to make some armor (I know some folk will suggest that I buy it, but I'm a craftsman at heart, and lack the funding to buy a full suit anyway, so saw your fingers on that point ((I may purchase a helm, but the rest I aim to make myself)) ).
The armor/weaponry type that interests me the most is that of the late period Varangian Guard. The potential issues I see with this would be that the HMB/BOTN organizations seem to require mostly full plate, which doesn't fit the period I'm aiming for. What I have in mind (mind you, I'm not sure how well this would fit the rules) would be lamellar armor for my torso/shoulders/thighs/upper arms, splint armor for my forearms and calves, and a helm like the one pictured (bars underneath the chainmaile I think would fit the rules). What I'm drawing a blank on, would be gauntlets and sabatons. Not sure where to go with those.
As for the fighting itself, I'd be aiming primarily for the group battles (5v5, 21v21, etc.), but wouldn't be at all opposed to fighting 1v1. If it helps narrow things down, I'm from Ohio, us.
Thanks in advance for any help ^.^

~Vascar



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Vascar Anlaoch

"Oh shit, Vascar brought his bow!"
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Kyle S




Location: Ohio
Joined: 02 Mar 2014

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2014 5:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That helm or this one

Any help is appreciated folks



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Vascar Anlaoch

"Oh shit, Vascar brought his bow!"
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Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 1,265

PostPosted: Wed 12 Mar, 2014 4:24 am    Post subject: HMB/BOTN Varangian Guard         Reply with quote


Nice helm!
I actually have never encountered any reproductions of Varangian Guard helms before.
The drawing below shows the equipment used by the Varangian Guards, with 2 different types of helms among them, one from about 1066 (without chainmail) and the other from about 1230 (with chainmail):

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
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Michael Ekelmann




Location: Seattle Metro Area, USA
Joined: 01 Nov 2006
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 92

PostPosted: Sun 16 Mar, 2014 10:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have you talked to any of the folks from the Armored Combat League? They're the US version of HMB/BOTN. Many of the participants also post on the Armour Archive www.armourarchive.org and could give you specific recommendations. I will say that I have watched some of the BOTN videos and there are Russian armours that are not full plate and are pretty close to later period Varangian/Byzantine armor.
“Men prefer to fight with swords, so they can see each other's eyes!" Sean Connery as Mulay Hamid El Raisuli in The Wind and the Lion
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Victor Sloan




Location: North Carolina
Joined: 15 Feb 2014

Posts: 69

PostPosted: Wed 19 Mar, 2014 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: HMB/BOTN Varangian Guard         Reply with quote

Shahril Dzulkifli wrote:

Nice helm!
I actually have never encountered any reproductions of Varangian Guard helms before.
The drawing below shows the equipment used by the Varangian Guards, with 2 different types of helms among them, one from about 1066 (without chainmail) and the other from about 1230 (with chainmail):


I have never seen these illustrations before! I like them a lot!

Looking to start HEMA!
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,197

PostPosted: Wed 19 Mar, 2014 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The illustration is entirely speculative. Nobody has any clue what the Varangians wore. It is more likely that they wore the same gear as their Scandinavian cousins (i.e. mail) rather than the munitions armour of the Byzantines. (i.e. lamellar).
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Robin Smith




Location: Louisiana
Joined: 23 Dec 2006
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 746

PostPosted: Wed 19 Mar, 2014 5:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
The illustration is entirely speculative. Nobody has any clue what the Varangians wore. It is more likely that they wore the same gear as their Scandinavian cousins (i.e. mail) rather than the munitions armour of the Byzantines. (i.e. lamellar).

And to further Dan's point, there are several problems with the illustration even for the gear they likely did use. Take for example the separate coif and mail bib on the "early" depiction. Separate coifs seem to be rather rare to non-existent in the 11th C, as integrated coifs are the typical method of construction at this time. Depicting the mail bib as a reinforced rectangle is a rather old interpretation. The modern interpretation of this feature is that it is a form of ventail that is lowered. The axe heads are wrong, the tunic is too long for the period, etc... So, point being don't put too much stock in this illustration.

A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine
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