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Old 10-12-2015, 02:43 PM   #11
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central Europe
Default Re: Catastrophic failure of armor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anders View Post
So if I understand things correctly, armor tends to protect very well or suffer catastrophic failure and protect very badly. If that is correct, wouldn't a good model be that DR either protects fully or (if any damage penetrates) gives DR 1 or 2 if it fails. Would that make sense?
The evidence for this seems to be mostly for bullets with their vast range of masses and energies.

Any historian or armoured fighter can give you a dozen examples of low-tech armour which partially failed against a muscle-powered attack, leaving the wearer wounded but less badly than if he had been naked. So I don't think it works well as a general rule, and I certainly have not seen any experiments which suggest it for muscle-powered weapons versus felt and cloth and raw fibres and leather and plate.
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Old 10-12-2015, 03:08 PM   #12
Polydamas
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Central Europe
Default Re: Catastrophic failure of armor

Its probably also worth pointing out that there is very little evidence for how the resistance of low-tech armour varies with weight. About the only model I have seen is Alan Williams' formula for the performance of iron plate armour against bullets as its thickness varies, and that formula is definitely a 'rule of thumb' rather than the result of a broad scientific consensus. There is almost no evidence for how the penetrating ability of hand-held weapons scales. And we have a physics professor who thinks that the GURPS penetration model is more wrong than it needs to be. I lack the skills to evaluate his argument.

So proving that any alternative to the GURPS model of damage and wounding were more accurate than the old model would not be easy.

Edit: Or from another perspective, reworking the model to fit firearms and modern body armour better could easily make it fit edged weapons and low-tech armour worse ... so it might not be a good idea except in games where muscle-powered weapons rarely face armoured opponents.
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Last edited by Polydamas; 10-12-2015 at 04:56 PM. Reason: Afterthought
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