Nature of combat Gothic armour developed in 15th century. At this time, warfare was in fact highly complex, professional (with few exceptions) and varied. As such, soldiers had to cope with a significant variety of threats. Especially mounted knights and men-at-arms – the only ones to use full Gothic armour (though infantry wore half-plate) –... Continue Reading →
Contents overview Basic principles and philosophy of protectionArmour and societyNature of warfareWeapons, shields and armour interactionTerminology Philosophy of protection Armour is supposed to protect the wearer. This protection however can never be absolute, and its extent varies depending on technology, available materials, threats faced, climate and so on. Thus, priorities are necessary. This list of... Continue Reading →
Equipment Armour Knights have surcoats over armour. George Martin has stated that armour tends to later styles as one goes south – North uses mostly mail, while Lannister troops use plate armour. Ned Stark's guards wear steel caps and shirts of mail, but Jory – captain of the guards – wore plate armour. One Stark... Continue Reading →
Weapons and armour historically interact in rather consistent ways. But fantasy often completely ignores this. It should be noted however that it is usually armour development – itself a result of development in metallurgy – that forces emphasis on a certain type of weapons; weapon development rarely drives armour development up until the appearance of... Continue Reading →
Overview After Roman hull-first construction techniques were abandoned and replaced with ribs-first construction, battering ram became useless as a weapon. As a result, naval action came to depend on missile exchange and boarding – only introduction of cannon saved galley as a ship of war in the Mediterranean (see "Galley vs sailing ship" post). In... Continue Reading →
In much fantasy, authors opt to use either galleys, sailing ships, or even both, without understanding how these two configurations interact. This post looks at that question.
I had spent time thinking about whether to introduce gunpowder weapons to my otherwise-technologically-Renaissance setting or not. This article is result of that thinking. End result is: better not, unless you have a very good way of preventing any further developments of gunpowder-based weaponry
In historical fiction and fantasy, authors often make some assumptions about ideal weapons for a given body type. The idea that many subscribe to is very basic: close combat = large and muscular, ranged combat = skinny/lithe. That is why women (and elves) are given bows, while men (and dwarves) use a variety of close-combat... Continue Reading →