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Author Topic: Armor  (Read 11783 times)
Limbo
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Posts: 9


« on: January 22, 2003, 10:57:17 AM »

I've been playing around with the combat simulator a bit and my impression is that armor may not be such a good thing.   The problem seems to be that fully armored fighters have their combat pool nickled and dimed bad enough resulting in hardly any CP dice left over for an effective attack.   I was wondering how others here feel about the negative combat pool modifiers when using armor?   Realistic?   Too severe?   Shouldn't a fighter’s strength also lesson the negative effects?
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Shadeling
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Posts: 314


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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2003, 11:01:34 AM »

Quote from: Limbo
I've been playing around with the combat simulator a bit and my impression is that armor may not be such a good thing.   The problem seems to be that fully armored fighters have their combat pool nickled and dimed bad enough resulting in hardly any CP dice left over for an effective attack.   I was wondering how others here feel about the negative combat pool modifiers when using armor?   Realistic?   Too severe?   Shouldn't a fighter’s strength also lesson the negative effects?


Strength realistically doesn't help you when you have stuff on your body. Armor penalties are like a form of encumberance.

I haven't had problems in my game though...Had Gol Captains wearing some heavy armor and they still kicked butt.
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toli
Member

Posts: 313


« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2003, 11:08:25 AM »

The armor penalties depend a bit on whom you are fighing and how.  Remember that if you are heavily armored, you don't have to worry about your defense as much.

Assume you are wearing full plate.  If the other guy doesn't have a  bastard sword (and is halfswording), pole axe or other similar weapon, you can almost ignore his attacks.  He his very unlikely to penetrate your armor.  In this case I usually just attack regardless of what my opponent is doing.  It is an easy way for a knight to wreak havok on a bunch of poorly armored foot soldiers.

It would seem reasonable, however, for high STR to cancel out some of the CP penalty.  

NT
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NT
Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2003, 11:36:10 AM »

Quote from: Limbo
I've been playing around with the combat simulator a bit and my impression is that armor may not be such a good thing.   The problem seems to be that fully armored fighters have their combat pool nickled and dimed bad enough resulting in hardly any CP dice left over for an effective attack.   I was wondering how others here feel about the negative combat pool modifiers when using armor?   Realistic?   Too severe?   Shouldn't a fighter’s strength also lesson the negative effects?


Actually, it's funny you should say that, because I had exactly the opposite experience. I believed that armor gave too much penalty for the benefits UNTIL I tried it out in the combat sim, and discovered just how amazingly good armor is.

Try this:

Take two identical warriors, lets say with 12CP or so each. Give them whatever weapon you like (again, the same per fighter) but dress one in full plate to all locations and a full helm. Now fight them a few times. I'll guarantee you that the armored guy wins more than half the time. The times he loses, it's likely to be extreme luck on the part of the unarmored guy, or because the unarmored guy has evaded a lot until fatigue has screwed the armored guy's CP. See, the armored guy can concentrate on attacking, but the unarmored guy has to balance attacking with enough dice to get through the other guys armor, but keeping enough dice to defend his bare flesh with if he loses initiative. Nasty.

Think of it like this: Full plate with a helm costs you 5CP per round (6 in the combat sim because I had to simplify the penalties by location a bit. At some point I'll reprogram armor), but it effectively gives you +6 defensive dice per exchange. There are 2 exchanges per round, so you've lost 5/6 dice to gain 12 defensive dice.

The sounds like a bargain to me :-)

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Brian Leybourne
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Posts: 1793


« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2003, 11:41:16 AM »

Oh, and for the record - a high strength mitigating the CP penalty might be something you would put in from a gamist point of view, but it's entirely wrong historically. Armor wasn't the rediculous heavy "I can't move much" thing it's usually portrayed as in films (jousting armor was a bit heavier but certainly not battle armor). It was extremely well designed and fitted, and used straps and counter-weights to distribute the load evenly across the body. Knights in full plate could fight, jump around, even do cart-wheels with relative ease.

The main problems were those of deftness (i.e. it's hard to operate when you're covered in solid plates that restrict your movement) and heat, but strength didn't really enter into it at all.

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Bob Richter
Member

Posts: 324


« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2003, 01:01:01 PM »

Quote from: Brian Leybourne
Armor wasn't the rediculous heavy "I can't move much" thing it's usually portrayed as in films (jousting armor was a bit heavier but certainly not battle armor). It was extremely well designed and fitted, and used straps and counter-weights to distribute the load evenly across the body. Knights in full plate could fight, jump around, even do cart-wheels with relative ease.


All true, but none of it proves your point.

I wore Football Armor for a number of years. It's similarly lightweight and well fitted.

It's also heavy enough to slow you down, change your balance, and make strength an issue.

So were medieval plate armors.

*I* can do cartwheels despite being 300lbs. I can do this because I have sufficient strength. Add 50lbs to a 98lb weakling and see how well HE cartwheels. Strength matters to armor encumberance.
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Limbo
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2003, 01:15:38 PM »

I'm just starting to learn the fighting rules and all subtleties but for now, I'll say that Mr. Gol Grunt with pike and no armor is kicking ass almost anything I'm throwing at him.  For example, Max Steele with full plate, helm, and shield only has 6 die left which simply isn't enough especially if you throw in a -2 cp modifier for the weapon length differences.   Even a maneuver like Beat for Max doesn’t seem to help.   This is just one example but I think it’s representative of the problems I’m finding with armor.  Max needs more dice to be able to handle the all-out 10 dice thrust to the chest from the Gol.  That is, he needs less armor!   I’ll experiment more later--just my initial thoughts here.

With regards to weight, I’ll take it that strength wasn’t as important as I originally thought but I find it hard to believe that a strong 220 pound man would not handle wearing plate armor better than a 130 pound weakling.   I believe the heavier man isn’t going to be slowed down as much.  Strength must play a role in overcoming the inertia of the armor.   Mass is coming into play here too, not just strength—the armor should be relatively lighter for the heavier man.   If I’m wrong then please let me know…I find this stuff interesting!

[I wrote this before before seeing Bob Richtor's which essentially says the same.]
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Shreyas Sampat
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Posts: 970


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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2003, 01:31:29 PM »

It seems to me here that you're operating in a different situation than Brian is - your warriors don't have the same weapons, and it turns out that your unarmoured warrior is in a situation to exploit his opponent's armouredness.  Brian's comment about the effectiveness of armour applies specifically to the same person and weapon without armour.  When you start adding other variables, the comparison stops being useful.
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2003, 01:33:20 PM »

Quote from: Limbo
I'm just starting to learn the fighting rules and all subtleties but for now, I'll say that Mr. Gol Grunt with pike and no armor is kicking ass almost anything I'm throwing at him.  For example, Max Steele with full plate, helm, and shield only has 6 die left which simply isn't enough especially if you throw in a -2 cp modifier for the weapon length differences.   Even a maneuver like Beat for Max doesn’t seem to help.   This is just one example but I think it’s representative of the problems I’m finding with armor.  Max needs more dice to be able to handle the all-out 10 dice thrust to the chest from the Gol.  That is, he needs less armor!   I’ll experiment more later--just my initial thoughts here.


Very true, but you're comparing apples to oranges. Max Steele unarmored isn't going to do any better against a high toughness opponent with a CP of 16 and a hugely long weapon than Max Steele with armor.

Instead, try putting Max with armor against Max without armor and you'll see why armor is so much a benefit. Then, put a Gol grunt against another gol grunt but give the second one armor and he'll kick the first one's ass, even with a smaller die pool.

Quote from: Limbo
With regards to weight, I’ll take it that strength wasn’t as important as I originally thought but I find it hard to believe that a strong 220 pound man would not handle wearing plate armor better than a 130 pound weakling.   I believe the heavier man isn’t going to be slowed down as much.  Strength must play a role in overcoming the inertia of the armor.   Mass is coming into play here too, not just strength—the armor should be relatively lighter for the heavier man.   If I’m wrong then please let me know…I find this stuff interesting!


The armor WAS light, that's my point. Weight was mostly a non-issue. Yes, obviously a 98-pound weakling wouldn't do well, there was a practical lower limit as to how strong you would have to be to fight effectively in armor, but any extra strength over and above that limit would mean very little. Bob's example of football armor isn't really applicable because he even uses the words "it's heavy enough to slow you down [...] and make strength an issue". Well made medieval armor wasn't heavy enough to slow you down, it slowed you down by hindering your movement because of it's bulkyness instead of it's weight (that "well made" is important though, I must admit) and beyond the minimum strength needed to operate in it, more strength wont make it less bulky. OK, obviously Strength helps a little, but not as much as you would think.

And hey, Strength already directly affects you in combat - two identically skilled guys in the same armor have the same CP penalty, but the stronger one hits harder thus needing to put fewer dice into the attack to get the same damage, so you could say that his strength is mitigating the armor penalty somewhat. Making strength even more efective against armor penalties wouldn't be realistic IMO.

Bob, I'm not ging to respond to you directly. You and I obviously can't discuss anything without ending up at each others throats and I'm not interested in a repeat of the last time.

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2003, 01:37:29 PM »

Quote from: four willows weeping
It seems to me here that you're operating in a different situation than Brian is - your warriors don't have the same weapons, and it turns out that your unarmoured warrior is in a situation to exploit his opponent's armouredness.  Brian's comment about the effectiveness of armour applies specifically to the same person and weapon without armour.  When you start adding other variables, the comparison stops being useful.


Shreyas,

Looks like we posted basically the same comment at the same time. Great minds thinking alike and all that :-)

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Valamir
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Posts: 5574


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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2003, 01:46:16 PM »

I'd back you on the strength and armor issue Brian.  Its a curve that starts out very steep and quickly gets very flat.  

In the real world strength really didn't become much of an issue for armor primarily because the guys wearing alot of it were all basically the athletes of the day.  Knights were pretty fine physical specimens for their time (keeping in mind that all of the super buff and cut Mr. Universe physiques are possible only with modern strength training equipment and techniques).  Even the guys who might look like tubs would actually be quite strong (like those guys on the Worlds Strongest Men competitions).

Basically strength wasn't an issue because it was the strong guys who had high protein diets who were wearing it.  Take a monk who spent the last 20 years fasting and praying a flagellating himself and put a suit of armor on him and its a no go.  In the real world the monk would never even attempt it.  However, in the game world players will try anything.

It would not be amiss to assign a minimum strength to armor, below which you take double or treble the CP penelty.  Above which you can use without penelty.  But I agree that how far above you are quickly become immaterial.
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Limbo
Member

Posts: 9


« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2003, 02:11:45 PM »

Hmmm...ironic...that's what I've done for a living is to lecture to students the importance of controlling for different variables and here I am getting lectured on the same topic myself!   I should have explained myself better--I didn't mean for my example to be a definite proof.   I was just saying that it's hard to do hardly any serious damage with 4-6 CP dice against almost any opponent of roughly similiar combat skill and abilities.  I will experiment with Max versus Max and report back! :)
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Bob Richter
Member

Posts: 324


« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2003, 03:42:22 PM »

Quote from: Brian Leybourne
[Bob, I'm not ging to respond to you directly. You and I obviously can't discuss anything without ending up at each others throats and I'm not interested in a repeat of the last time.

Brian.


Responding to me indirectly is worse. It's insulting.

What happened last time was that our personal philosophies clashed and you went for MY throat provoking me to go for yours. Noone wants a repeat of last time. Just don't assume I hold the same beliefs you do, and we'll get along splendidly from now on.

I will be glad to have a friendly conversation with you on the subject of armor.

As it happens, I agree with you: there is a minimum threshold for wearing armor, whether football armor, excellently made steel plate armor (which is a little heavier and FAR less encumbering,) or even modern flak jackets (which are quite a bit lighter but more encumbering,) beyond which your strength doesn't matter much, but it takes a fairly strong man to lug that stuff around all day, plus a shield, plus field gear. Ye gods. A man wearing platemail ain't going to have a STR of 3, let me tell you what.

I'd actually advocate ADDING points of penalty for weaklings, rather than reducing them for the strong.

Though the shield penalties should be a little more STR-dependent, IMHO.
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Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2003, 04:49:39 PM »

Quote from: Bob Richter
What happened last time was that our personal philosophies clashed and you went for MY throat provoking me to go for yours. Noone wants a repeat of last time. Just don't assume I hold the same beliefs you do, and we'll get along splendidly from now on.


Alright, I can accept that and bury the hatchet. Your recolection of the event is clearly a little different from mine, but at the end of the day it's in the past and not important. I apologise.

Quote from: Bob Richter
I'd actually advocate ADDING points of penalty for weaklings, rather than reducing them for the strong.


You're just arguing semantics now. Penalising weaker people isn't any different from rewarding stronger ones, you're just shifting the midpoint. I will concede though, that from a "realism" point of view I find the penalty for lower str to be more palatable then a reward for higher str, even though they mean the same thing :-) Having said that, I think that as Seneschal I would be more inclined to simply tell a weak character that they can't use plate, rather then trying to apply extra penalties.

Quote from: Bob Richter
Though the shield penalties should be a little more STR-dependent, IMHO.


Shields? Actually, I disagree with both you and the current system. I don't think a shield should provide a CP penalty at all because by training in Sword&Shield rather than in just Longsword, for example, you know how to incorporate the shield into your attacking and defending style thus your CP shouldn't be reduced. However, shields are heavy and you get weary holding them (regardless of how strong you are), so I may think about incorporating shields into the fatigue rules.

Normally, you lose 1CP every EN rounds if you have over a certain level/weight of armor, and every 2EN rounds if it's under (that level not being clearly defined, but somewhere around a full suit of chain or a breastplate with chain leggings or thereabouts). Maybe small shields reduce that number of rounds by 1 while large shields reduce the number by 2. This way shields don't make you fight worse, but they make you tire out quicker, making you fight worse. Seems more realistic to me, but slightly more book-keeping. How does that sound?

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
655321
Member

Posts: 7


« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2003, 05:58:23 PM »

Brian, I agree with your call on armor and strength but I would feel uncofortable telling a player he could not use plate. However, I think the system works as it stands. A weak monk, say with a 3 ST, can put plate on but will not be able to fight in it, as he is not likely to have a CP of note (It seams likely that his CP will be just his REF). I can think of a lot of funny (from a third person point of view) /scary (from a first person point of view) situation in which said monk might find himself in full harness. Why remove the possibility. Also, I totally agree that ST helps the armored character with regard to damage, and thus combat effectiveness in armor.

As for shields, I disagree. They hamper your defness as much, if not more, then armor. You are right, shields do not "make you fight worse"; however, a shield limits certain options and vision (tho not in a way that would cause a PER penalty). For example, you will not be able to make cuts from the low side your shield is on, AND your foe will no this. Shields are incorperated into the style by using that great DTN and allowing you such wonderful options as Sim/Block Strike, Block Open, and Bind. I agree they need to be a part of the fatigue rules. I for one count heavy shields as heavy armor, causing the lose of 1Cp every EN rounds.
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