[MUD-Dev] Mud Games

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Wed Sep 17 14:03:44 New Zealand Standard Time 1997

In <9709132203.AA01324 at epic38.dep.state.fl.us>, on 09/13/97 
   at 03:05 PM, "Travis Casey" <efindel at io.com> said:

>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

Watch a horse moving from rest.  They don't accellerate well.  A fit
human can easily outrun a standing horse for quite a respectable

>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.

Horses are also significantly less mobile and agile than humans.  Even
an extremely well trained horse will tend to rear if you dive at its
front legs.  Slap the rear of their hocks and any horse in mostion
will almost instincively move their legs away.

>> 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).  

The problem wasn't so much the total weight of the armour, but its
poor distribution as compared to the strengths and leverage poitns of
a human frame.  

>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).

The difference is that the infantry man has his load very well spread,
leaving his limbs free, unweighted and unencumbered, and the load well
balanced over his legs.  A plate armoured man has a disproportionate
amount of weight on his limbs, especially at their extremities.  The
weight concetrated on his thorax and especially over his legs is
fairly minimal compared to the muscles which need to handle that
weight for the rest of his body.

>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.  

It was certainly true that the cranes existed, and that armoured men
were lifted onto horses with them (enough documentary and paintings
showing it, let alone actual crane remains).  Everything I've read
concurs that the use was limited to parade and joust armours.

>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!

I recally that this was significantly prior to the full plate/plate
mail period, no?

J C Lawrence                           Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                           Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------------(*)               Internet: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
...Honorary Member Clan McFUD -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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