13th Century Irregulars
Hi guys I was wondering if you could help with ideas on irregular type kits for the 13th century. For example mercenaries, rebels, outlaws, armed peasants basically those with some of the more ad hoc type kits / harnesses.
I guess it depends on the origin, social status and wealth of the individual... It might be anywhere from a peasant with a club, spear or bow to a full knightly armour.

Maybe you can take a look at Osprey's "Italian Militiaman 1260-1392" for a starting point?
OK thanks that sounds like a book I will need to pick up:)
The 13th century is still in the socalled "age of mail", which would be more correctly termed "the age of shield", as this was the primary defence of most infantrymen.
The spear was the primary weapon of war, either one handed or combined with armour and/or a shoulder slung shield.
Skirmishers and brigands, however, might make do with a spear, backed up by a hand weapon (club, mace, axe, sword) and buckler.
A mercenary who expected to do some figthing rather than running around torching stuff would get a shield.
(the mentioned italian militamen used large shields well into the age of plate)

Armour is not yet as common as it would be in later periods, so a low level figther would probably not have any. If he does, his first priority would be a helmet, followed by an sleeveless aketon, a sleeved arming jacket, mail shirt, mail coif and mail leggings as he could aford it. (in order of cost efficiency)
Really it seems it could be any mix depending on what they could get from the dead in battle and by trade or make much like you said. For example in a peasant revolt after they killed a knight they would have stripped him and divided up the armor etc. And I would think mercenary armies would have done much the same after a battle they won. So it seems there could be some really interesting combinations of kit:)

[ Linked Image ]
be careful when using sources like this. that painting was done much later and the armour is of the period in which it was painted, not that of the subject mater
Good point. But really I was just showing it as an illustrations of peasants beating down a knight haha:)
The 13th c kit is overall pretty uniform. It mostly a question of which parts of it you've got.
Spears are easy to make, and cost efficient. Bucklers likewise. Any village with a smithy has the capacity to produce such items, if not of the best quality.
Metal armour is, unlike later eras, not universal even among the pros. Rank and file men-at-arms would most likely wear a aketon and helmet.
Organiced companies and regular forces had rules for the spliting of loot, since (as everybody that has played D&D knows) disagreements on the division of loot is a potentially greater post-battle killer than gangreene.

This picture shows 13th c. "ruffians"; note the civilian clothing, and diverse range of weapons.
basically what everyone here has already said.
personly, and with a combination of safety and historical accuracy in mind, I'd go:
Kettle-helmet (chapel de fer)as it's the best all rounder for infantry.
An aketon/cotun/gambeson/what-the-hell-ever that comes down to about mid thigh and elbow (with a nice padded collar). A kite-shield (as opposed to a cavalry heater-shield [btw, it looks the same as one, just bigger]).
Some butted 'double maille' mittens (6 in 1 and all that).
A spear/glaive thingo that can be used either one handed or two.
And finally a simple buckler and hand axe/mace/big dagger/knife for when it starts to get heavy :lol:

 Attachment: 196.83 KB
These guys have got it right methinks :P [ Download ]
OK thanks guys. :)
OK thanks for the information guys. If I find any interested related images or text I will post them for future reference.
Patrick Lawrence wrote:
OK thanks for the information guys. If I find any interested related images or text I will post them for future reference.

You mean something like....


Sam Gordon Campbell wrote:
Attachment: 196.83 KB, Downloaded: 40 times
These guys have got it right methinks :P [ Download ]

very interesting. at least half of the knights in the upper picture have bascinets with visors. or are they sugarloafs? anyhow does anybody know a good smith that makes repos of these helms?
Hey Boris,
the closest I could find is this: http://reenactorswarehouse.com/ReenactorsWarehouseHelmets.htm
And within that the model 'RW100 - Visored Sallet' looks sort of like it.
Hope that helps to some degree, otherwise custom work is the way.
thx Sam, altough its not a Sallet at all, the helmet is very nice
The picture is from the Holkham bible, which dates to the mid 14th century, so the bacinets are no surprice.

In the 13th c, especilally the earlier parts, there where simply less kinds armour items in use, so the diversity would be less obvious. (there's cloth armour, in various lengths and with and without sleeves, mail shirts, in similar variations, and mail hose.
From mid century, knights COULD have simple iron knee protectors, and some variety of coat of plates. In the last quarter, such things as elbow guards and espaldons start to show up, but the main differnce between top notch 1200 knigth and a midd level 1300 knigth would be the helmet and the size of the shield.

In contrast, the diference between the 1300 and 1400 knight is huge.

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