Author Topic: The lords and knights of Westeros  (Read 60764 times)

Agent Griff

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Re: The lords and knights of Westeros
« Reply #45 on: May 22, 2008, 12:54:13 am »
Be that as it may, you must remember that THK takes place almost a hundred years before the events in ASoIaF and that means there was no full plate whatsoever, merely plate defences for the limbs with protection for the torso being a mail hauberk, usually with a heraldic surcoat worn over it. Compare it to to the difference in equipment between the years 1450 and 1350 and you will see that, whereas 1450 knights wear full plate armour, knights in 1350 wore mainly mail with some plate defences, a breastplate and some protection for the arms and legs at most.

Here are some examples:

An earlier knight, somewhat like the ones featured in THK.


A later knight, fit with what you would see during ASoIaF.

Nahadiel

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Re: The lords and knights of Westeros
« Reply #46 on: May 22, 2008, 06:47:38 am »
You have to remember, my lord Umber, that the Balckfish isn't 20 or 30 years old any more. He's almost 50 years old by the time the books begin, and that is very old considering the age-limits of that age.
I forgot about that, I thought he was 10 years younger than Lord Hoster. Knowing that I'd said that he should have good skills (tactics) and weapon-proficencies and just mid-level combat skills (not in riding, a knight spents half of his life on a horse).

The same should go for Robb. At least, he should have a really hight tactics skill, and even some spotting or tacking (granted by his direwolf). If not hard-to-kill, I'd make him a decent fighter.

This discussion, though, is pretty much a moot point since if all these heroes will be wearing proper plate armour (which is what they should be wearing) then their health won't matter that much, the armour in question making them hard to kill indeed, with or without very good skills.

I don't think so. First, some hard to kill characters (like Bronn) prefer a chainmail rather than a plate mail. Vargo hoath and many Northern people (Dacey, Umbers, Robb himself, Karstark are good examples) take their chainmails to war. Others, as Brynden, wore chainmail too, didn't him? And not to talk about Dornish characters, very fea wear plate armor. And I think a lot of characters used to wear hybrid (hope Ron would correct me if I'm wrong) armor, a mix of chainmail covered with a breast plate armor or leather. Only great lords and Kingsguards seem to use plate armor (and not always a full suit). I'm sure it is mentioned somewhere in the novels that a full plate suit is relly expensive and is custom-made for each wearer.

Moreover, the standard armor for nighwatch (who hold large numbers of knights in the past) is a black chainmail. The same about goldcloaks and redcloaks.

Second: with RCM a good armor is important, yes, but also Ironflesh matters. Taking a blow of a two-handed axe (high raw piercing damage) will kill you even if dressed in full plate armor... only a high Ironflesh could save you. I think it would depend on how many troops will carry two-handers and/or piercing weapons with the new troop trees.

Still, that doesn't mean certain heroes like Jaime Lannister or Loras Tyrell shouldn't have above-average skills in some areas, like polearms or one-handed weapons (Loras' preferred weapon in war was a morningstar, not a sword; he himself admits his older brother is better with a sword).

That's the kind of details we would need to customize each character. Time ago Sparehawk asked me to gather those details. I said him I'd prefer first to get the characters for each faction and customize them after. Those details, not only about how they look like, but which ones were they preferred weapons and armor, are what would come next.

Night Ninja

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Re: The lords and knights of Westeros
« Reply #47 on: May 22, 2008, 07:49:36 am »
@ Agent Griff: That's not quite true. In the graphic novel version of 'The Hedge Knight', there are a lot of instances of full plate being worn.

Admittedly, some of those might be tourney suits, but this shows that the Westerosi had the capability to make full plate in the time of 'THK'. Also, in 'The Sworn Sword', I distinctly recall that one knight (think it was Ser Duncan's opponent) was clad in full plate.

EDIT: Interestingly enough, I think Albion Swords has a replica of sword no. 7 on that picture of an English knight's panoply.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 07:53:00 am by Night Ninja »

Offline Ron Losey

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Re: The lords and knights of Westeros
« Reply #48 on: May 22, 2008, 08:05:12 am »
Interesting you should mention heavy armor and health.

In RCM mods, like in real life, physical toughness matters most when you are wearing heavy armor.  A few "hit points" - inherent resistance to pain and shock from injury - will keep you on your feet when you are suffering MINOR injuries ... like the kind you get when being hammered through heavy armor, or in a sport boxing match.  Such physical toughness won't really do crud if your armor is light - without armor, nobody is tough enough to take more than a couple of good hits even from a heavy kitchen knife. 

GreatJon

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Re: The lords and knights of Westeros
« Reply #49 on: May 22, 2008, 08:08:23 am »
You have to remember, my lord Umber, that the Balckfish isn't 20 or 30 years old any more. He's almost 50 years old by the time the books begin, and that is very old considering the age-limits of that age. Well, we do get to see even older people like Lord Frey or Aemon Targaryenbut they're exceptions that confirm the rule. Whatever tournament victories he may have won, those are now behind him. Besides, the Blackfish really won his renown during the War of the Ninepenny Kings, in which the last of the Blackfyre pretenders were defeated.

Except he was strong enough to lead Robb's scouting party. And strong enough to swim away from Riverrun. You can't just say "oh he is old now, he mustt be a pushover". Martin painted him as character with great renown with great combat skills. We aren't talking about an old and sickly man here.  Besides that, if Jaime Lannister was complimenting his ability, that is very telling no matter how you want to spin it. To solidify my point see Barriston the Bold who is just as old or older than Blackfish and he still showed great ability with a simple staff.

As for Robb Stark, I don't really see why you're comparing him to Jon Snow, since I don't find Jon as a phenomenal swordsman. Of course, if you compare him to what scum the Watch was recruiting when he was around, then of course he comes out as being a great swordsman. But put him next to a real fighter like Qhorin Halfhand and you can get a fine measure of his worth.

Martin painted Jon Snow as a very skilled swordsman who will only get better. He is the best sword in the Watch (say what you will, but the watch fields the same type of ilk as people like Bronn who would give any noble a run for his money).  

This discussion, though, is pretty much a moot point since if all these heroes will be wearing proper plate armour (which is what they should be wearing) then their health won't matter that much, the armour in question making them hard to kill indeed, with or without very good skills.

Thats fine. The discussion is moot and fairly pointless but we should not sell the Blackfish short. He deserves excellent combat skills and in general, he should get some points in pathfinding/tracking/spotting just like Loras should have an excellent lance based on what we know from the books.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 08:12:40 am by GreatJon »

Agent Griff

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Re: The lords and knights of Westeros
« Reply #50 on: May 22, 2008, 09:47:04 am »
Actually, if an opponent gets a good hit from a two-handed axe on you then Ironflesh isn't going to save you, even if you're wearing good armour. Plate just might save you, but even then you can't be sure it. Thus, I hardly spend much points if any in the Ironflesh skill when playing an RCM mod, since Ironflesh is pretty useless with RCM. Your armour is your health, not the other way around. And as Ron said, lots of health is mildly useful when you're being pounded on in heavy armour, and many hits count for only two or three points of damage.

And regarding THK, there is no mention made in the book itself about plate armour. The comic may show what it will, since it's a comic and I don't it's meant to be that true to the book, but in the book itself, no mention is made of full plate. Merely breastplates and mail along with surcoats, similar to the earlier knight in the picture below.

And I never said that the Blackfish was old and sickly, merely that he should be a much better planner and tactician than a fighter, since he doesn't actually fight anyone in the books. And I would say that the fact he leads the scouts and escapes from Riverrun is more of a testament to his cunning.

And Bronn is a mercenary, a travelling sellsword who will fight for any who pay him, unlike the men of the Watch who are mostly convicted criminals and murderers who had no choice but to join the Watch or hang. Jon himself says that the training methods of the Watch are antiquated, catering for times when 1 Sworn Brother of the Watch in 10 was a knight, not 1 in 100 as it is now. Besides, would you compare people like Chett or Pyp to the likes of Bronn?

And Bronn preferred mail to plate only in the instance when he duelled Ser Vardis in the Eyrie because he knew he had an advantage both in height and manoeuvrability against the older knight. As for the Northerners, well they preferred mail because they are somewhat less developed when compared to the much richer and sophisticated South and in many cases, they weren't exactly preparing for battle. For simply travelling about and manoeuvring I'd say mail was more comfortable and quicker to equip and un-equip and that is why characters such as the Blackfish wore mail on campaign, because he was mainly scouting and not dealing with heavy-duty fighting.

For battle, however, I'd say most of them wore plate armour simply for the safety it provided. Tyrion did, and so did many others, from hedge-knights to full-blown knights.

Nahadiel

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Re: The lords and knights of Westeros
« Reply #51 on: May 23, 2008, 05:29:07 am »
As you said this:

This discussion, though, is pretty much a moot point since if all these heroes will be wearing proper plate armour (which is what they should be wearing) then their health won't matter that much, the armour in question making them hard to kill indeed, with or without very good skills.

That's why I replied that in my opinion health matters cause not everyone of those heroes is going to use plate armor.

Actually, if an opponent gets a good hit from a two-handed axe on you then Ironflesh isn't going to save you, even if you're wearing good armour. Plate just might save you, but even then you can't be sure it. Thus, I hardly spend much points if any in the Ironflesh skill when playing an RCM mod, since Ironflesh is pretty useless with RCM. Your armour is your health, not the other way around. And as Ron said, lots of health is mildly useful when you're being pounded on in heavy armour, and many hits count for only two or three points of damage.
Plate would save you against a two-handed axe if it's swung by an opponent with power strike <2 or around. If you get hit by an opponent with power strike 4 plate armor isn't enough, you need ironflesh. I know just few troops have that power strike skill, but my character had power strike 6 and a Valyrian Stell two hander and I need 2 hits against enemies dressed in full plate and good ironflesh.

So on, NPC's Ironflesh should be granted by what we know about them: people like Gregor, Sandor, Rorge, Umbers... seem to be able to keep fighting even when severely wounded.

About Jon&Bronn, Jon was trained by Winterfell master-at-arms, bu he is just 14. Bronn is elder (around 25-30?) and has spent all his life living by the sword. Though, Jon still has his whole life before him to develop his swordmanship.

And Bronn preferred mail to plate only in the instance when he duelled Ser Vardis in the Eyrie because he knew he had an advantage both in height and manoeuvrability against the older knight. As for the Northerners, well they preferred mail because they are somewhat less developed when compared to the much richer and sophisticated South and in many cases, they weren't exactly preparing for battle. For simply travelling about and manoeuvring I'd say mail was more comfortable and quicker to equip and un-equip and that is why characters such as the Blackfish wore mail on campaign, because he was mainly scouting and not dealing with heavy-duty fighting.
Bronn used his chainmail along his travel on the mountains. He hadn't a plate armor in his backpack cause he didin't wore one against the wildlings. I think he kept his chainmail in the battle that followed his return from the Vale, the Blackwaters one and I think he even kept it when he was knighted.

For Northerns: whatever reasons made them to use chainmail, the fact is that they use chainmail along the campaign. Knowing that a plate armor is expensive and custom-made I think is a bit wierd to use a "backup" chainmail when travelling, scouting, scorting people or resting in the castle. Even more if you have to waste time switching from mail to plate when you go to battle. Ok, it wouldn't be a waste of time with hybrid ones (they just have to put the breast plate over the chainmail), but then would be stupid to travel/scout etc without it.
Blackfish: If I recall it right, he wore chainmail at the meeting with Jaime. IMO, leading the garrison at a siege is a heavy-fighting duty.

For battle, however, I'd say most of them wore plate armour simply for the safety it provided. Tyrion did, and so did many others, from hedge-knights to full-blown knights.
Tyrion wore an armor made from single pieces to fit his shape :green: and himself said it was a bit ridiculous.
Maybe the detailed description of Brienne's pretenders (Mullendore&CO) would help with this: the kind of armor the Westorosi knights wore in a campaign (the heaviest knights as they were Tyrell's).
The same would apply for Ser Saadrick and other hedge-knights.

Night Ninja

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Re: The lords and knights of Westeros
« Reply #52 on: May 24, 2008, 01:13:03 am »
IMHO, I think that it is very hard to find an armourer good enough to turn out decent sets of plate armour consistently and at a reasonable pace. These suits would probably cost more than what the average minor lordling could afford.

Agent Griff

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Re: The lords and knights of Westeros
« Reply #53 on: May 24, 2008, 01:49:00 am »
I'd say that plate armour was like a pair of designer jeans. Yes, they are expensive, and yes, not everyone can afford a pair but are they as rare as their price-tag merits? No, you can see someone wearing a pair almost every time you go outside. Even more so if you frequent places that cater to people with overflowing wallets. I think that was the case as well with plate armour. Anyone who was someone, even the minor lordlings, must have had a suit of plate armour lying around. Tywin Lannister does mention the attempts of his family over the years to buy a Valyrian steel blade from some of the minor noblemen of the Westerlands, but he also mentions their stubbornness when it comes to parting with their swords. Well, if they can afford to keep a Valyrian steel blade, they must afford a suit of plate armour.

Of course, I never said that everyone had the original thing. Just as nowadays you can see counterfeit jeans that merely pretend to belong to a famous brand, you must have seen cheap pieces of plate armour back then. After all, mercenaries might not have used plate armour as their main defence, but they surely must have had a few pieces of plate defences, like a neck-guard or greaves to protect the legs.

No one said that plate was cheap and easy to maintain, but then again it wasn't that rare either.

Of course, this is all my opinion pertaining to plate armour as it is presented in the books.

Nahadiel

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Re: The lords and knights of Westeros
« Reply #54 on: May 24, 2008, 04:57:45 am »
Well, if they can afford to keep a Valyrian steel blade, they must afford a suit of plate armour.
Valyrian steel weapons are inherited generation by generation. There aren't new Valyrian weapons, so, due its relative scarceness they refuse to sell those prized itmes.
There is no relation between selling a Valyrian steel weapon and owning a suit of plate armor, or at least that's what I think.

After all, mercenaries might not have used plate armour as their main defence, but they surely must have had a few pieces of plate defences, like a neck-guard or greaves to protect the legs.

Maybe, M&B combat system only allows to give an overall armor value for body, head and legs. This forces the modders to create a piece of armor (full plate, full mail or a mix of them) and give it a number. A way to do it could be to give full plate armor only to few Lords and characters who wore that in the books and leave that mixes:
-from hybrid armor (full chainmail covered with a breastplate).
-to chainmail covered with few plate pieces (slightly better than simple chainmail).

Maybe it wouldn't 100% loyal to the books descriptions, but if Martyn had descrpited every simgle detail for every character's armor, those books would been 1500 pages each. But this way some variety is added and renowned NPC like Umbers or Northerns aren't forced to wear only chainmail.