Selecting the Right
Armor / Armor Resources
Armor has played an important role in combat throughout all
recorded history - from the basket-woven shields and toughened animal
hides ubiquitous in early civilizations to the synthetic-fiber
high-impact body armor worn by riot police today. It is one of the
most visually captivating aspects of medieval combat re-creation, and
often a major element in separating the living from the dead at
Armorers throughout history have been saddled with the impossible;
create tough, comprehensive protection for the wearer without
sacrificing mobility and speed during combat. Thus, all armor is a
balance between defense and dexterity for the wearer.
When involved in medieval combat re-creation, armor presents one
of the biggest problems. Besides the obvious questions of whether the
rules for combat accurately approximate the effect of armor against a
striking weapon, questions of use and authenticity can become
concerns, as well as cost.
In the Mercenaries Medieval Combat Guild, armor is separated into
two categories based upon its reaction to a normal strike. Any
material that flexes under pressure is defined as “light” armor
(regardless of actual weight). Any material that remains rigid under
pressure is defined as “heavy” armor. Obviously, “heavy” armor is
more effective in protecting against strikes than “light” armor.
This article will attempt to describe and analyze the different
major types of armor found in Europe between 800 and 1500 A.D. (the
historical scope of the MMCG), as well as offering tips on how to
choose which armor is best for you and providing further resources
for both making and purchasing armor.
Continue to Armor Glossary