[MUD-Dev] Mud Games

Travis Casey efindel at io.com
Sat Sep 13 18:00:59 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
> "Travis S. Casey" <efindel at io.com> said:
> >On Thu, 11 Sep 1997 clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:
> A standard attack method for an unarmoured man against a plate
> armoured knight on horseback:
>   1) Charge at knight.
>   2) Slide in ground under horse.
>   3) Grab girth strap.
>   4) Hang on.
>   5) Gut horse.
>   6) Run.
> Variation:
>   1) Charge at knight.
>   2) Nip around back of horse.
>   3) Hamstring horse.
>   4) Run.
> Both tend to leave the knight thrown and fairly possibly injured or
> stunned, and quite likely disarmed,  

Not if the knight's alert.  The horse can move as well -- as soon as 
the man starts charging, the knight can simply spur his horse into
motion.  If the knight isn't facing his opponent, this is effectively
a dodge.  If the knight is facing his opponent, it can become an
attack -- an attempt to trample, lance, or both.

> This would have to have been from the very heavy plate armour period
> when even the visors were _bolted_ shut.  Otherwise it would have been
> too trivial to flip the visor up and perforate his cranium.  

Of course.

> I'll also note that a man waring such heavy armour is easily
> exhausted, and thus easy to knock off his feet.  Once he's down you
> can do all sorts of nasty things to him...

Well... that armor isn't as heavy as many people think it is.  Even
the heaviest plate armors that were actually used in battle rarely
went over forty-five pounds (~18 kg).  Armors that were built specifically
for jousting or for parades were often heavier, but those were not 
worn for other purposes.  In comparison, the standard load that an
infantryman in the US army is expected to carry is 80 pounds (~32 kg).

Plate mail was actually heavier than full plate; because of its 
method of construction, chain is heavy for the level of protection
it gives, and plate mail consisted of plates worn over chain, where
a full plate suit only had chain under it in a few areas, such as
the joints, where it was needed to protect gaps in the plate.

Legend today has it that knights were lifted onto their horses with
cranes, and that they couldn't stand up if they were knocked down.
Neither of these is true -- or rather, they might be true of parade
and jousting armors (which sometimes weighed 100 pounds or more), but
not of battle armor.  Indeed, in France, one of the tests required to 
become a knight was to be able to mount a horse while wearing full 
armor, without using the stirrups!
       |\      _,,,---,,_        Travis S. Casey  <efindel at io.com>
 ZZzz  /,`.-'`'    -.  ;-;;,_   No one agrees with me.  Not even me.
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