Does Size Matter?

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seelowe41
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Does Size Matter?

Post by seelowe41 »

Here's a question for the lard collective.
We were chatting through shield sizes at our virtual club yesterday and if you had two groups of warriors one armed with Roman style shields and the other with round shields (think Viking style) at what point would light armour saves become medium?
Indeed should a shield automatically make you light armoured?

The adoption of armour Leather, chain mail, scale is easy to break into the saving classes, but would shield size make a difference if all combatants were unarmoured apart from their shield?

What if the barbarian added a helmet?

I would welcome everyone's thoughts.

Cheers

Stu
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Captain Reid
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Re: Does Size Matter?

Post by Captain Reid »

I think it's a subjective thing.

Why is a Roman auxiliary with mail and a large flat oval Shield medium armour when a legionary in mail with a curved shield in Heavy Armour?

So I don't think it's as easy as helmet plus armour type plus shield (possibly size dependent) equals armour type
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Waterhorse
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Re: Does Size Matter?

Post by Waterhorse »

Its a not a simple matter of size, its also technique.

Right that's the cheap laughs out of the way. 😮

Seriously though, fighting styles and training would make a lot of difference. Romans of all kinds were trained to fight as a unit, Barbarians were trained to fight. When most of your training and actual combat experience is drawn from fighting other tribal groups, you will fight in a loser style. The evolution of shieldwall tactics to try and take the sting out of a wild charge was reaction to that, for non permanently organised armies.

After that, the size of the lump of wood on your arm might make some difference but if you gave a round shield to a Legionary, I'm willing to bet he would use it like a Scutum.

For what its worth, we are playing that units with no body protection and a shield are Light Armour, on a rational of what would be the point in carrying one if it didn't give you some protection? So naked screaming loonies carrying nothing but a sword and tasteful body paint, are Unarmoured but a shield always gives Light, Mail and a Shield always gives Medium and "real armour" and a Shield is Heavy.

You can always sub-categorise these things and it may well be that Infamy over simplifies but where you are trying to group up man to man combat you can end up with WRG 'X' Edition in the blink of an eye. Along with the old idea that hitting someone in the face with a lump of metal is much the same in any age, so we can fight a game of Achaemenid Persians v Normans, just because we can!

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Captain Reid
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Re: Does Size Matter?

Post by Captain Reid »

Waterhorse wrote:
Thu Jul 30, 2020 3:42 pm
Mail and a Shield always gives Medium
Except of course legionaries in mail with a shield are Heavy while identical auxiliaries are medium. Given the weight of their gear was basically identical, I can only presume that the shape of the shield is making the difference. Or, more likely and fair enough in its way, that there 'needs' to be an in-game difference between legionaries and auxiliaries in terms of their armour
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Munin
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Re: Does Size Matter?

Post by Munin »

Part of shield drill in organized formations involves using your shield to protect not only yourself but the people next to you. So yes, it's more than just size. ;)

Peter
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Re: Does Size Matter?

Post by Peter »

So more effective in close order.

seelowe41
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Re: Does Size Matter?

Post by seelowe41 »

Glad to see it was just us on this subject :-)
So if we were to expand this subject further and if it were linked to drill and training it could be for instance that two groups of warriors with identical sized shields could be different armour classes.
e.g. Inferior Warriors with a large shield could be lightly armoured, whilst Warriors with a large shield could be classed as medium due to drill, training and experience.
That approach would certainly enhance the better training troops defensive capabilities as you say Captain it's rather subjective so what works for all on the day.
Cheers
Stu
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Waterhorse
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Re: Does Size Matter?

Post by Waterhorse »

Except of course legionaries in mail with a shield are Heavy while identical auxiliaries are medium. Given the weight of their gear was basically identical, I can only presume that the shape of the shield is making the difference. Or, more likely and fair enough in its way, that there 'needs' to be an in-game difference between legionaries and auxiliaries in terms of their armour
Shield shape makes a lot of difference. The curve on a Scutum was developed to add protection but also because it made fighting in close order easier. Individual Shields being likelier to slide past each other rather than catching behind the one next to them in the cut and thrust of it all.

The change to a flat oval for everyone came as fighting techniques altered with the opposition faced, along with the eventual replacement of the pilum by spears.

I would imagine money and production facilities had something to do with it too. With its triple laminated construction there must have been a good deal more to the manufacture of them than making an oval out of a few planks of wood. Hence Legions get the best fit for the job until that can't be afforded for them either.

As for Mail clad legionaries being Heavy. I'd rationalised that on the basis of training and technique for Close Order fighting. Those Barbarians with mail and shields being similarly discriminated against, along with the Auxiliaries. When your rules revolve round D6s you have to make those fine adjustments where you can. OK, the Auxiliaries can and did fight in Close Order but they have to lose out to the legionaries or there would be no point in having them. Besides, they have other advantages.

The adjustment range provided on a D6 is never a crowd pleaser. I'm pretty unimpressed that I only get 4-6 hits for pilum over javelins 5-6. So much for the dreaded volley of pila ! It may be 50 % chance of a hit but that's not allowing for my dice throwing!

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