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Matthew Rhame




Location: Doggerland
Joined: 08 Oct 2015

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu 08 Oct, 2015 4:12 pm    Post subject: Ideal Warrior Concept         Reply with quote

Hello everyone, I recently created an account for myArmoury.com, because I've been curious to see different peoples' ideas as to what makes an ideal warrior. I know that many people are very opinionated on what is historically accurate, what armor is best, and what sword is the best, but honestly I'm not sure that there is a "best", but rather different "tools" for different "jobs", so to speak... my point is that I would like to see the different combinations of weapons, armor, ideologies, training, etc. that people can come up with and meld together in different combinations to create their ideal warrior. So for anyone willing to respond if you would list the time period that your warriors would exist in, the weapons they would use, the armor they would wear, the context in which they would be most advantageous, etc. it would be highly appreciated and most intriguing. Also try to keep in mind cost relevance, materials available, etc.
Just remember to be creative and have fun! Feel free to include pictures. Happy

So without further adieu here is mine:

My ideal warriors are comprised primarily of Germanic influences, especially the Varangians and Normans, but there are other influences as well; even some that aren't of European origin. Some of the "attributes" are manifestations of my own thoughts or their closest equivalents, for example: I've tried countless times to find helmets that have a neck guard, visor, and face/nasal protection from antiquity or early medieval times, but the closest that I've found are the Hussar lobster tail style helmets which come much later on in history. Also one thing that I've never really seen are European swords with handles close to the approximate length of the blade, which to me would makes sense, because you can both shorten the blade to conserve steel, wood weighs less than steel, and a longer handle gives you a varying range of fulcrum points, but I've only seen a select few Chinese and Asiatic swords like that.

Warrior build:
Time period: Approximately late Antiquity to Mid Viking era
Warrior Class: Swordsman

Armor:
~ Gambeson or padded tunic (possibly optional)
~ Riveted chain mail armor (possibly optional)
~ Lamellar armor (d-plates)
~ Splinted bracers
~ Miscellaneous clothing like leather boots
~ Hussar styled helmet

Weapons:
~ Sword with shortened arming style blade, but elongated wooden handle (full tang and pinned)
~ Seax
~ Neck knife

Shield:
~ Lenticular shield or flat round shield

Fighting style:
~ Possible early Cossack style hand to hand combat

~Veritas Vincit~
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Pieter B.





Joined: 16 Feb 2014
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 577

PostPosted: Fri 09 Oct, 2015 1:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This question depends heavily on context and time frame. Is the said warrior part of a larger army or is he alone, will he encounter firearms or difficult terrain?

Without providing some more context it's really hard to answer this question and without specifics my answer could be anything from U-boot commander to Jedi Knight Wink
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,306

PostPosted: Fri 09 Oct, 2015 7:48 am    Post subject: Re: Ideal Warrior Concept         Reply with quote

Yeah, too many variables, combined with a couple possible misconceptions. For starters, I think that some deeper study will reveal that many of the best-equipped warriors through history WERE the "ultimate warriors" for that particular time and place. Their armor and weapons evolved in concert with their tactics, social setting, infrastructure, and fashions. They could generally afford anything they wanted, so the cost of a few inches of blade was never a consideration.

Matthew Rhame wrote:
...I've tried countless times to find helmets that have a neck guard, visor, and face/nasal protection from antiquity or early medieval times, but the closest that I've found are the Hussar lobster tail style helmets which come much later on in history.


Have you missed the Valsgarde helmets, including Sutton Hoo?





Plus a number of Late Roman helmets, Eastern European types with eyeguards or faceguards, etc.


Quote:
Also one thing that I've never really seen are European swords with handles close to the approximate length of the blade, which to me would makes sense, because you can both shorten the blade to conserve steel, wood weighs less than steel, and a longer handle gives you a varying range of fulcrum points, but I've only seen a select few Chinese and Asiatic swords like that.


Well, a couple thousand years of sword development tells me that those were not major considerations! Early on, there are unusual or very culture-specific weapons such as the rhomphaia and the falx, but those never spread beyond their place of origin. It's another thousand years or more before polearms become popular, and regular swords were still the sidearm of choice.

Bottom line, what makes sense to us did not always make sense to the people fighting for their lives back then!

Matthew
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Matthew Rhame




Location: Doggerland
Joined: 08 Oct 2015

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri 09 Oct, 2015 12:28 pm    Post subject: Context         Reply with quote

Pieter B, in regards to the context and variables; the whole point is that you make that up using your imagination. lol
~Veritas Vincit~
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Matthew Rhame




Location: Doggerland
Joined: 08 Oct 2015

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Fri 09 Oct, 2015 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply to Matthew Amt         Reply with quote

I don't believe I made any misconceptions nor do I think that being a better equipped warrior means you'll be the "ultimate warrior" or what have you. Thank you, for including those pictures of the Sutton Hoo helmet replicas, I've seen the Sutton Hoo finds before, but I wasn't aware that the helmet had a neck guard (maybe I forgot lol). Also I was hoping for a more Viking like nasal/face guard style rather than a full face mask style of guard.
On another note; to me if something makes sense and is based on logic then it makes sense regardless of what time period you're in, because logic and facts are unwavering and constant, thus is the reason why we still refer to works and writings that are thousands of years old like Plato's. Theoretically, if I had the ability to tell a Roman commander that we could produce a more cost effective, durable, and versatile sword what do you think he would say? Humans are humans and typically they want the most bang for their buck, you know?



 Attachment: 20.98 KB
vendel helmet.jpg
*vendel helmet*

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I feel as though helmets with face guard some what like these would provide both sufficient protection maximum air flow/respiration.

*gjermundbu helmet*
[ Download ]

~Veritas Vincit~
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Pieter B.





Joined: 16 Feb 2014
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 577

PostPosted: Fri 09 Oct, 2015 1:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Context         Reply with quote

Matthew Rhame wrote:
Pieter B, in regards to the context and variables; the whole point is that you make that up using your imagination. lol


Well then I'd go with the Jedi Knight, but to be on the safe side I would have him wear Maximilian armor with a mirror polish, that should be enough to diffuse the opponents lightsaber and kill anyone in a twenty feet radius.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,306

PostPosted: Fri 09 Oct, 2015 7:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Reply to Matthew Amt         Reply with quote

Matthew Rhame wrote:
I don't believe I made any misconceptions nor do I think that being a better equipped warrior means you'll be the "ultimate warrior" or what have you. Thank you, for including those pictures of the Sutton Hoo helmet replicas, I've seen the Sutton Hoo finds before, but I wasn't aware that the helmet had a neck guard (maybe I forgot lol). Also I was hoping for a more Viking like nasal/face guard style rather than a full face mask style of guard.


There are a good dozen different Valsgarde/Vendel helmets, all with varying face and neck protection.

Quote:
On another note; to me if something makes sense and is based on logic then it makes sense regardless of what time period you're in, because logic and facts are unwavering and constant, thus is the reason why we still refer to works and writings that are thousands of years old like Plato's.


But the point of view, setting, and experience are all completely different. Plus, we do not always know what all the relevant facts are, or rather, *were*, nor how much importance any particular factor had. So we constantly see the ancients doing things which can seem illogical or nonsensical to us, but were perfectly reasonable at the time.

For instance, you said in your first post that a weapon with a blade and handle the same length "made sense" to you, but clearly it did not make sense to anyone in Europe after the 2nd century AD, and only to a few people in a very limited area before that. For one thing, swords were all meant to be used in conjunction with a shield (until the 13th century), and grips were made to fit the hand closely to prevent undue movement and give good control. Your misconception is that they wanted to do things with a sword that they didn't actually want to do.

Quote:
Theoretically, if I had the ability to tell a Roman commander that we could produce a more cost effective, durable, and versatile sword what do you think he would say? Humans are humans and typically they want the most bang for their buck, you know?


Happened all the time, because everything changed in various ways over the years. But saving metal on blades was just not a priority--blades were made the length they wanted and needed. When the Romans started marching farther and campaigning longer, their swords got shorter and lighter, possibly just to be easier to lug around (but we don't know for sure!). A two-handed blade would have been seen as a great liability on a battlefield full of javelins. Also remember (and I realize the discussion isn't about just Romans!), the Romans spent 3 centuries putting brass hinges and decoration on grunt-issue armor. In fact the hinges and decorations got *larger* and more complex over time. Wanna know how many reenactors *like* those bloody fragile hinges? Zero! Back then, they couldn't get enough of them. Logic doesn't seem to apply!

Matthew
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Pieter B.





Joined: 16 Feb 2014
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 577

PostPosted: Sat 10 Oct, 2015 7:20 am    Post subject: Re: Reply to Matthew Amt         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
the Romans spent 3 centuries putting brass hinges and decoration on grunt-issue armor. In fact the hinges and decorations got *larger* and more complex over time. Wanna know how many reenactors *like* those bloody fragile hinges? Zero! Back then, they couldn't get enough of them. Logic doesn't seem to apply!

Matthew


I'd wager it's either the bling bling factor which is meant to intimidate or impress the enemy or works better than steel or iron one. Either because it's cheaper to mass produce or it's the fact that brass doesn't rust like steel or iron. I definitely wouldn't want those eeny weeny tiny hinges to rust a few hundred miles from the closest smith able to fix it.
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: NykÝbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 800

PostPosted: Sat 10 Oct, 2015 8:16 am    Post subject: Re: Ideal Warrior Concept         Reply with quote

Matthew Rhame wrote:
Hello everyone, I recently created an account for myArmoury.com, because I've been curious to see different peoples' ideas as to what makes an ideal warrior. I know that many people are very opinionated on what is historically accurate, what armor is best, and what sword is the best, but honestly I'm not sure that there is a "best", but rather different "tools" for different "jobs", so to speak... my point is that I would like to see the different combinations of weapons, armor, ideologies, training, etc. that people can come up with and meld together in different combinations to create their ideal warrior.


I would think that the ideal warrior is one that has acquired extensive martial training and has an ideology/cosmological view that doesn't make them afraid of combat, injury or death!

For instance vikings did not in any way have better weapons or armour than the anglo-saxons or franks!
So what caused all the fear!
It's all about attitude. It is very very hard to defend yourself against an opponent who doesn't fear death, but actually embraces it!
In HEMA duels it can be shown that even a fearless beginner can get a "double kill" even against a skilled opponent (though in real combat such fearless beginners would be rare, but young people can be hotheads)! In later rapier duels, double kills were actually quite common, because when honour was at stake it made certain people less thoughtful of their own survival!

Trained warriors with no regard to their own lives would be a terrible opponent to meet on the battlefield.
What do you do, when you see guys approaching you gleefully with eyes delighting over soon being in Valhalla, while you are trembling at the shield wall in natural fear of combat? - even if you mortally injure one of them, you most likely die yourself as people rarely die directly in combat, but can fight on for maybe up to 30 seconds before going down spreading havoc around them!

Martial training is often a conditioning to preventing the body from shutting down into shock when hit hard!
A trained conditioned warrior can often keep fighting unto death, while a non-conditioned fighter often will go into shock and be paralyzed/fainting if hit.

So the combination of attitude and training will make you an ideal warrior if you weapons & armour are at least fairly equal to your opponent.
WW1 French cavalry attacks in 1914 full of …lan (= throwing yourself forward with vigour and manliness - what French soldiers were supposed to have more than other people) meant nothing if you charged German machine guns and thus can't even get close to the opponent!
So attitude and training is not enough if you charge mindlessly against someone whose weapons easily penetrates your armour!
The Vikings in fact mostly resorted to hit-and-run tactics and very rarely mindless combat charges! The were actually quite difficult to get to fight (the Franks often had that problem), as only when utterly cornered, they entered into shieldwalls OR if they felt they had a significant advantage over the opponent.

Conclusion:
So an intelligent guerrilla style (hit-and-run) warrior - who are trained to fight in pitched battles as well - with extensive martial training and conditioning, who choses the right time to fight and when not to, not being afraid of dying and has the weapons and armour around equal to the opponent would be the ideal warrior in my book.

Armies that can only fight guerrilla style or only pitched battles would be at a tactical disadvantage against an opponent who can do both!
Not being afraid of dying can easily end in glorifying mindless assaults taking huge casualties; so the ability to chose your fights carefully and still have soldiers not being afraid of dying is a tricky balance.
Failure to chose the right time when to fight have cost numerous armies through time to waste manpower on tactically crazy attacks (American civil war, WW1, Russian and Japanese in WW2)!
The men were very brave and their commanders stupid (and/or uncaring about casualties).
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Ronald M




Location: vancouver bc canada
Joined: 06 Oct 2015

Posts: 65

PostPosted: Sat 10 Oct, 2015 6:46 pm    Post subject: Re: Context         Reply with quote

Pieter B. wrote:
Matthew Rhame wrote:
Pieter B, in regards to the context and variables; the whole point is that you make that up using your imagination. lol


Well then I'd go with the Jedi Knight, but to be on the safe side I would have him wear Maximilian armor with a mirror polish, that should be enough to diffuse the opponents lightsaber and kill anyone in a twenty feet radius.


id go with some anime character

smiley face 123? no? lol yeah well im here cause i like...swords and weapons and stuff obv
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Matthew Rhame




Location: Doggerland
Joined: 08 Oct 2015

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat 10 Oct, 2015 9:39 pm    Post subject: Another reply to Matthew Amt         Reply with quote

Another reason why none of those helmets fit my parameters for an ideal helmet is, if you'll notice I mentioned a visor as one of the aspects I would like to have as a part of what I think an ideal helmet would be. None of those helmets have one... unlike the Hussar helmets. lol


 Attachment: 60.59 KB
polish_winged_hussar_helmet_by_bordon-d5uymbr.jpg
*Hussar Style Helmet Depiction*

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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2015 6:17 am    Post subject: Re: Another reply to Matthew Amt         Reply with quote

Matthew Rhame wrote:
Another reason why none of those helmets fit my parameters for an ideal helmet is, if you'll notice I mentioned a visor as one of the aspects I would like to have as a part of what I think an ideal helmet would be. None of those helmets have one... unlike the Hussar helmets. lol


Have you tried wearing a helmet with visor? Visored helmet is not a universal, allround helmet anyone would be happy to have on a battlefield. If your battlefield role will involve skirmishing or archery, you don't really want it. Actually, you have to have veery high fitness level to be able to fight on foot in one for a longer period of time. It's easier if you are meant to hold the line and not charge over a field or up a hill. Big Grin
If I had to choose a helmet for all my fighting, I would choose a viking or vendel helmet with spectacles and mail aventail or a norman nasal on a coif with a flap covering for face. If I was on a horse or in a tight line with a lot of projectiles coming my way, I might choose a more protective helmet.
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Matthew Rhame




Location: Doggerland
Joined: 08 Oct 2015

Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2015 9:18 am    Post subject: Response to Luka         Reply with quote

I don't really see any draw backs to having a visor on your helmet; even for archers. Didn't archers often wear things like kettle helmets, which have a rim on them? The pros would be keeping the sun off your face, it helps you to stay cool, and it helps to keep the sun out of your eyes and on the battlefield if you can't see even for a moment you're a sitting duck, so to speak. Not to mention that's an additional few inches of steel between your noggin and some guy's sword.


 Attachment: 143.19 KB
Kettle_hat.jpg
*Kettle Helmet*

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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Oct, 2015 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Rim on a kettle hat is not a visor. I agree rim is good to have and doesn't bother you.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2015 6:51 am    Post subject: Re: Reply to Matthew Amt         Reply with quote

Matthew Rhame wrote:
Theoretically, if I had the ability to tell a Roman commander that we could produce a more cost effective, durable, and versatile sword what do you think he would say? Humans are humans and typically they want the most bang for their buck, you know?


This strongly suggests that you've never served in any real-world military force. There are a myriad of reasons why an army might refuse to adopt a better and cheaper weapon. For one thing, the cost of retraining the soldiers in the new weapon's use -- or of restructuring the force's logistics to take advantage of the new weapon's lower cost -- might be higher than the savings. And in many cases new weapons need new doctrines to become truly effective -- the machine gun had been around since the 1870s or so, but what we now understand as the proper tactics for their use were only developed under the pressure of World War I (and as a matter of fact the organisation of infantry units were still not optimised to take advantage of the machine gun until the 1920s and 30s). Of course, an army doesn't really need any good logical reason to turn down a new weapon -- pure conservatism would do and, given the emphasis placed upon the mos maiorum in Roman cultural values, I'm pretty sure any Roman commander would have viewed any proposal for new weapons with a considerable degree of skepticism (whether warranted or not).
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
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PostPosted: Tue 20 Oct, 2015 7:15 am    Post subject: Re: Response to Luka         Reply with quote

Matthew Rhame wrote:
I don't really see any draw backs to having a visor on your helmet


Well, visors that really protect the face tend to restrict the wearer's field of vision to some degree, especially peripheral vision. This makes the wearer more vulnerable to enemies outside the scope of his/her central vision -- not really a big issue in close-order formations where there are other people protecting his/her flanks, but it could easily become a serious hindrance for more active skirmishing where the warrior needs more situational awareness. Visors also make the helmet heavier and thus less convenient to wear for long periods. And while I don't think visors physically restrict or impede breathing, they do restrict ventilation and make it easier for the head to overheat during physically intense activity (including combat). The loss of peripheral vision may also make the wearer feel stuffier and thus believe that his/her breathing is being impeded when in reality it isn't -- and in a fight perception is often as important as reality.

Many of these issues can be alleviated to some degree with a visor that can be opened or lifted up, but that brings its own share of problems. The visor hinge is always a weak point in the helmet and combat damage may deform it so much that the visor either gets knocked off (though this doesn't really happen all that often) or becomes jammed in place and impossible to open without a blacksmith's intervention (which happens pretty often in full-contact armoured combat groups today). Moreover, an opened visor changes the helmet's point of balance; this could make the helmet either less comfortable to wear since it presses upon the head asymmetrically, or much easier to tip over (whether deliberately or by accident) into positions that would be inconvenient or even dangerous to the wearer.

It's worth remembering that the word "visor" in an armouring context normally refers to parts or features that physically cover the wearer's face. I don't think I've seen it being used to refer to the horizontal feature akin to a baseball cap's visor -- there doesn't really seem to be a universal armouring term for it, and I usually prefer to call it a "bill" or "partial brim" rather than a "visor" since the last term could lead to confusion with actual face protection.
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