A Gondor book?

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Glorelendil
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Re: A Gondor book?

Post by Glorelendil » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:47 am

feld wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:20 pm
No. Not at all. The level of metallurgical skill required to make single relatively flat plates of metal to resist striking pressure from melee weapons is a different order of magnitude of difficulty than the ability to make closed cylindrical barrels and chambers that can survive internal explosions.
Except form-fitting plate armor isn't single relatively flat metal plates.

More importantly, armor (like weapons) is forged from high-carbon steel, whereas for a long time cannon were cast from bronze or iron. Humans were casting bronze for thousands of years before they started forging steel. Different technology? Sure. "Different order of magnitude of difficulty?" Not even close.

What a lot of people don't realize is that earlier formulae for gunpowder burned much more slowly than modern gunpowder (which is really cordite). It made a helluva lot more noise and smoke, but didn't generate the pressure forces, or recoil, that modern ammunition does. (Or, to be more accurate, it spreads the recoil out over a longer time, lessening the sensation of 'kick'.) So cannon didn't have to withstand the stresses that modern artillery does.

Not that I really care, vis a vis Middle-earth. Just sayin'.
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Indur Dawndeath
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Re: A Gondor book?

Post by Indur Dawndeath » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:07 pm

Why would anyone want to make a heavy plate armour, when a chain corslet, that is as light as a feather and as strong as dragon scales exists.
So clearly, the most skilled armourers would focus on those kind of amazing armours.
On the same note. If the most skilled elven smith can make a headband able to protect its bearer, as if wearing plate mail, then why would you even try to develop that sort of monstrosity!

ME is a world, in which magic exists, so different rules apply in regards to realism.
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Re: A Gondor book?

Post by Glorelendil » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:51 pm

Indur Dawndeath wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:07 pm
Why would anyone want to make a heavy plate armour, when a chain corslet, that is as light as a feather and as strong as dragon scales exists.
So clearly, the most skilled armourers would focus on those kind of amazing armours.
On the same note. If the most skilled elven smith can make a headband able to protect its bearer, as if wearing plate mail, then why would you even try to develop that sort of monstrosity!

ME is a world, in which magic exists, so different rules apply in regards to realism.
Awesome answer. Yes. If 14th century European smiths could have made mithril chain, they might never have invented plate. And maybe they would have. We'll just never know.
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Re: A Gondor book?

Post by Tolwen » Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:30 pm

Indur Dawndeath wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:07 pm
Why would anyone want to make a heavy plate armour, when a chain corslet, that is as light as a feather and as strong as dragon scales exists.
The most important protective function of articulated plate armour (i.e. historically about from the mid-14th to early-16th century) is that it protects way better against almost all types of muscle-powered weapons (firearms are an entirely different matter). This was the result of it being not flexible but stiff and hard (plus angled design in advanced types to deflect hits away to the side). One main advantage of chain is its flexibility. Against edged weapons (e.g. sword cuts) it protects very good. It performs less good against pointed weapons (e.g. arrows or spears), as the point can get within a ring and force it to expand, thus penetrating the armour. Against blunt weapons, chain's flexibility is even a main disadvantage: Even though the hit from a club or other blunt weapon does not penetrate the armour, the armour bends and the force of the impact is still is transmitted and may easily break bones or cause blunt trauma behind the - intact - armour.

At times, you can see that Tolkien was aware of such things and he used it in his stories: When Frodo is hit by the spear in Moria, the spear does not penetrate the armour (due to its superior quality), but it causes a bad bruise since even the mithril chain gave way and let some of the the blunt force impact on his body.
Also Nár is hit by Azog in the Battle of Azanulbizar with an axe on his mail aventail. The armour is not penetrated, but the blunt trauma breaks the Dwarves' neck, killing him nonetheless.

The choice of armour is always a trade-off between protective quality and mobility/easy of wearing. In the real world, you generally had to make decision what aspect is more important (or what you could afford). In a world with magic, this is moderated somewhat, but still the basic principles still apply (at least in a fantasy world such as Middle-earth).

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Indur Dawndeath
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Re: A Gondor book?

Post by Indur Dawndeath » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:49 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:51 pm
Indur Dawndeath wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:07 pm
Why would anyone want to make a heavy plate armour, when a chain corslet, that is as light as a feather and as strong as dragon scales exists.
So clearly, the most skilled armourers would focus on those kind of amazing armours.
On the same note. If the most skilled elven smith can make a headband able to protect its bearer, as if wearing plate mail, then why would you even try to develop that sort of monstrosity!

ME is a world, in which magic exists, so different rules apply in regards to realism.
Awesome answer. Yes. If 14th century European smiths could have made mithril chain, they might never have invented plate. And maybe they would have. We'll just never know.
Thanks :D
I think we can argue for and against plate armour depending on the setting we want to create. Personally I don’t mind if it is included in a Gondor region guide, but if it’s not, then that is ok as well.
Already my players are preferring leather over chain, because of encumbrance. So there is no need in my campaign.
If however there were some new battle rules, where plate could be worn during battle and jousting turnaments, then I would welcome it.
But travelling in plate armour, i think, has no historical, realistic or practical use.
To cross the Misty mountains or track the Werewolf through the Heart of Mirkwood clad in Full Plate, is just plain fantasy!
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Indur Dawndeath
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Re: A Gondor book?

Post by Indur Dawndeath » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:26 pm

Tolwen wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 8:30 pm
Indur Dawndeath wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:07 pm
Why would anyone want to make a heavy plate armour, when a chain corslet, that is as light as a feather and as strong as dragon scales exists.
The most important protective function of articulated plate armour (i.e. historically about from the mid-14th to early-16th century) is that it protects way better against almost all types of muscle-powered weapons
Hi Tolwen, I fully understand the benefits of Plate in battle and turnaments, and as symbols of status for nobles.
But if the ultimate armour is a Mithril chain hauberg, then that is what the Kings and nobles will want to wear, if they can afford it.
My point is, that it is a fantasy setting where leather armours can be made to deflect piercing blows and be warded against Undead creatures. Why use massive amounts of time and materials to invent platemail that will prevent you from escaping.
When there is magic involved, reality change.

If C7 introduce Platemail, then I’m sure they will have come up with a wonderful way to do it. But until then...
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Re: A Gondor book?

Post by Glorelendil » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:50 am

And I'm not adamantly opposed to plate armor in M-e. It's not "Tolkien didn't write about it therefore it didn't exist."

I just object to "this is how it happened in Europe, and therefore it (probably) would have happened in Middle-earth the same way...."
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Enevhar Aldarion
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Re: A Gondor book?

Post by Enevhar Aldarion » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:24 am

Glorelendil wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:51 pm
Indur Dawndeath wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:07 pm
Why would anyone want to make a heavy plate armour, when a chain corslet, that is as light as a feather and as strong as dragon scales exists.
So clearly, the most skilled armourers would focus on those kind of amazing armours.
On the same note. If the most skilled elven smith can make a headband able to protect its bearer, as if wearing plate mail, then why would you even try to develop that sort of monstrosity!

ME is a world, in which magic exists, so different rules apply in regards to realism.
Awesome answer. Yes. If 14th century European smiths could have made mithril chain, they might never have invented plate. And maybe they would have. We'll just never know.
If the Romans had access to mithril, we would all be speaking Latin today, probably. Though it may still have collapsed at a later date from the same interal issues. And considering all the armor types the Romans created and used, Middle-Earth versions of any of them, in mithril or not, would be acceptable to me. Think of the hammered bronze cuirass or breast plate of ancient Greece and Rome, but made of mithril instead. It is not full plate by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a start.

Glorelendil
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Re: A Gondor book?

Post by Glorelendil » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:59 pm

Enevhar Aldarion wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:24 am
Glorelendil wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:51 pm
Indur Dawndeath wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:07 pm
Why would anyone want to make a heavy plate armour, when a chain corslet, that is as light as a feather and as strong as dragon scales exists.
So clearly, the most skilled armourers would focus on those kind of amazing armours.
On the same note. If the most skilled elven smith can make a headband able to protect its bearer, as if wearing plate mail, then why would you even try to develop that sort of monstrosity!

ME is a world, in which magic exists, so different rules apply in regards to realism.
Awesome answer. Yes. If 14th century European smiths could have made mithril chain, they might never have invented plate. And maybe they would have. We'll just never know.
If the Romans had access to mithril, we would all be speaking Latin today, probably. Though it may still have collapsed at a later date from the same interal issues. And considering all the armor types the Romans created and used, Middle-Earth versions of any of them, in mithril or not, would be acceptable to me. Think of the hammered bronze cuirass or breast plate of ancient Greece and Rome, but made of mithril instead. It is not full plate by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a start.
Nuh-uh. If any culture would have dug too deep, it would have been the Romans.

Therefore we can conclude that if the Romans had had mithril, we would all be speaking Black Speech.

("Ok, besides mithril armor, magic longswords, and moon runes...what have the Romans ever done for us?")
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feld
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Re: A Gondor book?

Post by feld » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:01 pm

Glorelendil wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:47 am
feld wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:20 pm
No. Not at all. The level of metallurgical skill required to make single relatively flat plates of metal to resist striking pressure from melee weapons is a different order of magnitude of difficulty than the ability to make closed cylindrical barrels and chambers that can survive internal explosions.
Except form-fitting plate armor isn't single relatively flat metal plates.

More importantly, armor (like weapons) is forged from high-carbon steel, whereas for a long time cannon were cast from bronze or iron. Humans were casting bronze for thousands of years before they started forging steel. Different technology? Sure. "Different order of magnitude of difficulty?" Not even close.

What a lot of people don't realize is that earlier formulae for gunpowder burned much more slowly than modern gunpowder (which is really cordite). It made a helluva lot more noise and smoke, but didn't generate the pressure forces, or recoil, that modern ammunition does. (Or, to be more accurate, it spreads the recoil out over a longer time, lessening the sensation of 'kick'.) So cannon didn't have to withstand the stresses that modern artillery does.

Not that I really care, vis a vis Middle-earth. Just sayin'.
Your point is well taken. I now don't understand why Saurman didn't make cannon either.

Though, in some of the versions of the tales in the History of Middle Earth, Numenorean ships are said to be made of metal...

ah well.
Last edited by feld on Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:34 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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