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Old 06-08-2016, 10:31 AM   #1
Rasna
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
Default Low-Tech Armor - Proposal for some modifications

Hi everybody!

First of all, I'm sorry for my poor English. I will be glad if you want to correct me.

I think GURPS Low-Tech is an excellent work, but I'm not completely satisfied with the Armor table. I've added some modifications to my Home Rules and a few new armor typologies, all lighter or heavier versions of current armor typologies.

One thing which disappointed me is the bad efficiency of some metal armors in the table like Scale and Segmented Plate.
According to the current table, Heavy Layered Cloth is better than Medium Scale (both 28 lbs for torso armor, but Medium Scale has DR 4 [DR 3 vs. crushing] and Heavy Layered cloth has DR 4 vs. all damage) and Segmented Plate is two times less efficient than solid Plate armor. So I propose some changes:

Scale, Light as the table (DR 3/2, 16 lbs, 320 $, Don 30, Holdout -3)
Scale, Medium with these modifications (DR 4/3, 24 lbs, 480 $, Don 30, Holdout -4) [+50% weight and cost]
Scale, Heavy with these modifications (DR 5/4, 32 lbs, 640 $, Don 30, Holdout -5) [+100% weight and cost]
Scale, Very Heavy (DR 6/5, 40 lbs, 800 $, Don 30, Holdout -6) [+150% weight and cost]

Lamellar or Chinese Mountain Scale armor removes -1 DR vs. crushing. +1 CF in TL 1, +0.5 CF in TL2 and early TL3, +0 CF in late TL3 and TL4.

Segmented Plate, Light with these modifications (DR 3, 12 lbs, 600 $, Don 45, Holdout -3) [as plate armour but 50% heavier instead the current 100%]
Segmented Plate, Medium with these modifications (DR 4, 18 lbs, 900 $, Don 45, Holdout -4)
Segmented Plate, Heavy with these modifications (DR 5, 24 lbs, 1200 $, Don 45, Holdout -4)
Segmented Plate, Very Heavy (DR 6, 30 lbs, 1500 $, Don 45, Holdout -5)

Layered Leather, Medium with these modifications (DR 3, 25 lbs, 220 $, Don 30, Holdout -2)
Hardened Leather, Heavy with these modifications (DR 3, 24 lbs, 250 $, Don 30, Holdout -4)

New Armor types

Horn, Light (as Horn but with lesser thickness, like a human skull): DR 2, 18 lbs, 125 $ Don 30, Holdout -3, TL 0

Straw, Light (as Stray but with lesser thickness): DR 1*, 12 lbs, 30 $ Don 30, Holdout -6, TL 0, Combustible

Wood, Light (as wicker greaves): DR 2, 18 lbs, 50 $, Don 30, Holdout -5, TL 0, Semi-ablative

Mail and Plates, Light (small rows of lamellae combined with fine mail rings, which is pretty unusual but it can be found in some armors from the Indian subcontinent, especially from Sindh region): DR 4/3*, 15 lbs, 1000 $, Don 15, Holdout -2, TL 3)

Mail and Plates, Heavy (as the indo-persian tanure, which had bigger and thicker plates than joushan): DR 6/5, 25 lbs, 1500 $, Don 30, Holdout -4, TL 3)

Other modifies

Modifies on weight (Single-Piece Helmets, Fluting, Expert Tailoring and others):
-10% weight = +1 CF
-15% weight = +2 CF
-20% weight = +3 CF
-25% weight = +4 CF

Banded mail doesn't only remove -2 DR vs crushing but gives an extra +1 DR vs. cutting only and has Don 30 instead of having Don 15. With this rule, a mail collar (Mail, Light) has DR 3 (DR 4 vs. cutting). +50% for cost and weight.

Two-piece helmets (as some late antiquity Sassanian and Roman ones): -10% weight, +1 CF.

That's all for now. I'll wait for your opinions.
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:53 AM   #2
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Low-Tech Armor - Proposal for some modifications

Segmented plate is much less efficient for good reason. It's an enormously less efficient design than simple continuous plates. The only reasons to use it are when you cannot make the iron plates (TL3 and lower, for breastplates) or when the ability to bend is required. As noted on LT102-103, solid plate is not appropriate for the abdomen.

I'm not sure why Scale is so bad. It is slightly cheaper, but that's a pretty poor tradeoff.
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Old 06-08-2016, 10:59 AM   #3
Rasna
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
Default Re: Low-Tech Armor - Proposal for some modifications

Segmented plate was used to make complete plate harnesses. Some components such as faulds and sabatons were often made of segmented plate. Even some entire breasplates from XVII century.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...27f3d11664.jpg

Fauld and thigh defences are Segmented Plate. Segmented Plate is rounded like solid Plate and in this case there is no leather backing. The twice of weight for the same DR it seems to be excessive IMHO.

Here is a Polish breastplate made of segmented plate

http://www.polishhussarsupply.com/si...e2-258x351.jpg

Last edited by Rasna; 06-08-2016 at 11:11 AM.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:19 AM   #4
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Low-Tech Armor - Proposal for some modifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasna View Post
Segmented plate was used to make complete plate harnesses. Some components such as faulds and sabatons were often made of segmented plate. Even some entire breasplates from XVII century.

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com...27f3d11664.jpg

Fauld and thigh defences are Segmented Plate. Segmented Plate is rounded like solid Plate and in this case there is no leather backing. The twice of weight for the same DR it seems to be excessive IMHO.

Here is a Polish breastplate made of segmented plate

http://www.polishhussarsupply.com/si...e2-258x351.jpg
Faulds have to be made of segmented plate or other bendable form of armor, as I specifically pointed out.

I don't know why they made the thigh protection segmented there, as human anatomy doesn't allow most of that to bend...

...What I really can't explain is why Brigandine is dramatically better than Segmented Plate and only slightly worse than regular plate, considering that as described it seems to be segmented plate.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:21 AM   #5
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Low-Tech Armor - Proposal for some modifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasna View Post
Here is a Polish breastplate made of segmented plate

http://www.polishhussarsupply.com/si...e2-258x351.jpg
Are you sure that it actually is? Because I have to say that picture is not selling it as anything more than surface styling.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:33 AM   #6
Rasna
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
Default Re: Low-Tech Armor - Proposal for some modifications

I don't think that is surface styling. This was called "anima" armour. There are several surviving examples. If segmented is so bad why they still used it for breastplates and thigh armor at TL4?

http://pics.myarmoury.com/anime003.jpg
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:49 AM   #7
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Low-Tech Armor - Proposal for some modifications

I'll preface this by noting you might want to pick up the armor design Pyramid articles, which take a slightly different approach (and have more materials) from Low Tech. "Low Tech Armor Design" is in Pyramid #3/52, while "Cutting Edge Armor Design" (for TL 6-9 armors) is in Pyramid #3/85.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasna View Post
One thing which disappointed me is the bad efficiency of some metal armors in the table like Scale and Segmented Plate.
According to the current table, Heavy Layered Cloth is better than Medium Scale (both 28 lbs for torso armor, but Medium Scale has DR 4 [DR 3 vs. crushing] and Heavy Layered cloth has DR 4 vs. all damage) and Segmented Plate is two times less efficient than solid Plate armor.
I hadn't notice the scale issue. Yeah, that's a bad one. The armor design articles I linked above actually have scale being markedly better than cloth of equal weight (DR 4/3 scale made of good iron would weigh 18.5 lb for torso, while DR 4 layered cloth would weigh 28.5 lb for torso), but actually makes scale better than segmented plate both in terms of weight (DR 4 segmented plate made of good iron would weigh 24.4 lb) and cost (that scale costs $370, while the heavier segmented plate costs $915). Reversing the given CW* (but not CC) values would give you something more logical - DR 4 layered cloth is 28.5 lb, DR 4/3 scale is 24.4 lb, DR 4 segmented plate is 18.5 lb, DR 4/2* mail is 15.1 lb, and DR 4 plate is 13.5 lb. Interestingly, the scale and segmented plate values actually match up pretty darn close to what you've suggested (although they scale up and down a bit differently, due to Low Tech and the article using different assumptions).

*CW is Construction Weight, CC is Construction Cost; these are modifiers that the article uses to determine an armor's weigh and cost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasna View Post
Modifies on weight (Single-Piece Helmets, Fluting, Expert Tailoring and others):
-10% weight = +1 CF
-15% weight = +2 CF
-20% weight = +3 CF
-25% weight = +4 CF
That's really quite generous. The values in LT are meant to be fairly realistic representation of the difficulty of making (and thus the rarity of) such pieces. Your prices are still high enough that better base designs (upgrading from brigandine to plate, for example) are preferable to using the lesser design and tacking on weight reductions.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:54 AM   #8
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Low-Tech Armor - Proposal for some modifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
...What I really can't explain is why Brigandine is dramatically better than Segmented Plate and only slightly worse than regular plate, considering that as described it seems to be segmented plate.
Brigandine is basically Segmented Plate+ - it's a much better design than what you see at Segmented Plate's TL2. Technically, I think the evolution starts with the armored surcoat (TL2), this gets improved to the coat of plates (TL3), and that finally gets perfected as the brigandine (TL4), with segmented plate as the retarded cousin nobody likes to talk about. I could be wrong, however, in which case segmented plate is probably somewhere between the armored surcoat and the coat of plates. Regardless, I feel that "segmented plate" at TL4 should typically use brigandine stats, regardless of what it looks like (unless it's cheap stuff, in which case use the segmented plate stats).
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Old 06-08-2016, 12:09 PM   #9
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Low-Tech Armor - Proposal for some modifications

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasna View Post
I don't think that is surface styling. This was called "anima" armour. There are several surviving examples. If segmented is so bad why they still used it for breastplates and thigh armor at TL4?

http://pics.myarmoury.com/anime003.jpg
I don't know. The first answer that comes to mind would be suggesting that they were incompetent to produce actual full-size plate, but based on a bit of searching that's demonstrably not the case.

This thread on the subject seems to be unable to come up with any advantage of this sort of design other than fashion. (EDIT: Actually, it later suggests the possibility that it's easier to produce hardened steel in the strips rather than a unified breastplate.)

It also points out (as I noticed in the first picture) that breastplates in this style are often not actually flexible. They're made in strips, but the ends of the strips are attached to a rigid structure. For portions constructed that way, you might just use Plate stats, since it's not really featuring any of the extra articulation and overlaps characteristic of actually-flexible types like Segmented Plate.
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Last edited by Ulzgoroth; 06-08-2016 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 06-09-2016, 03:14 AM   #10
Tomsdad
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brighton
Default Re: Low-Tech Armor - Proposal for some modifications

On anima construction

Ok given how wide spread it was I think I'm going to assume there was a functional rationale rather than just the purely fashionable rationale (although these are not mutually exclusive rationales, both may have run along side each other as well as each being more relevant at different times and places).


So the idea that at some point it was easier to produce hardened smaller pieces than hardening larger single pieces, seems plausible. Although I imagine that at some point the ability to produce larger hardened single pieces caught up*)


So What would this look like in GURPS terms?

Make hardening slightly cheaper, but with slight increase in weight**?

I think availability would be a thing to, but the TL system lacks the granularity to specifically define this.

Ultimately I think the hardening rules in LT raises some questions. In general I prefer the rules for different steels in the pyramid article, but also think there's some merit in considering that is some situations that not all plates within entire suits were or could be made with exactly the same steel, i.e the ability to produce hardened steel doesn't automatically mean you can produces uniform hardened steel of what ever size and thickness you like.


EDIT: maybe another game relevant point to make about anima style armour is to give bonus on targeting weak spots, as the construction method would seem to have potentially have more of them


*but as ever technologies don't advance universally at the same rate everywhere, it may well have been for in some places the former situation lasted longer than in other places (if the hypothesis is true of course)!.

**A similar effect to Spangenhelms vs. Single-Piece Helmets as per LT, but not so extreme.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 06-09-2016 at 07:54 AM.
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