How important is armour in battles?

I have a friend who has done a few events but is looking to change nations as the guys he normally plays with are shifting nations a and he doesn’t want to be a Billy no mates but one of his key arguments for not wanting to change nations is his lack of armour for the proposed new nation so as a new player I was wondering just how much of an impact does armour play in battles is it better to be quick and nimble in light armour or solid and robust in heavy armour!

Depends on how your friend likes to play. There are niches where you can get away without armour, but they are just that- niches.

My wife and her group regularly take the field without armour, but they are all ritualists whose nation do a great job of trying to protect them (plus they are all pretty nifty on their feet and experienced battle fighters).

If your friend is actually planning to get stuck into a fight, armour is pretty essential. Without it they will likely get chewed up very quickly, with the possible knock-on effects that other people have to risk their lives saving them. Plus they could be a massive healing sink (a seven hit fighter may not need healing after every little ding, but a three hit one is looking shaky after a scratch).

If they already have some form of armour, just how specialised is it? My more useful suggestion would be to try and find a way for them to dress up their armour to be more appropriate for the new nation, then they can rock on.

Which armour is best for you is going to depend on your character.
At the most basic Heavy armour gives the wearer a safety net of extra hits and protection from calls at the cost of expense and weight, light armour is (can be) cheaper and doesn’t weigh you down.
To get the most out of light armour you need to have the freedom to move and specifically to disengage, so if your character is a “never leave your side in battle” / “bodyguard your mates” sort then you probably want a shield as well to make up the difference (at the trade-off of expense and weight of carrying the thing).
Both sorts are going to demand endurance to get the best use out of them. In light you have to run about to get your advantage and to get clear of scrapes. In heavy you don’t just have to slog it about but you end up in high intensity combat for longer and since you’re a little bit slower you end up at the rear of retreats more (which can be desperate).

In the big line-fight type battles it hasn’t made a lot of difference to me, there’s usually the opportunity to step back out of the line for healing and a light wearer just has to be more cautious about that. In skirmishes it has made more of a difference, more in protecting from cleaves than in the hits.

An archer needs less armour for the hits (but can sure use the protection from impales when counter shooting barbarian bow-orcs). A lot of the most important people on the field are battling without armour, “the payload” so to speak, the mage ritualists who the warriors are escorting to fix/break the objective of the day. Similarly a lot of the exorcists are clothies.

Ultimately the sort of armour you wear is going to influence your experience, but what’s best for you is going to depend on a whole bunch of stuff including how your current character wants to fight. I’ve seen plenty of people borrow armour from other PC’s so if you can find some friendly people you could maybe try out some heavy and see if it’s for you?

His problem is his armour if 15th century plate and a coat of plate and his friends are moving towards wintermark

personally for me id love to wear my plate but i also have the leather to make myself a sit of leather armour was however considering adding steel plating to cover the vitals and possiby move the leather into the medium / heavy armouthough i doubt i can afford chain

im more than likely going to be in the thick of it when fighting

I’ll echo Tim’s comment and ask what kind of armour is it and where are you heading? If you’re worried about say going into Highguard with light armour rather than heavy there is a space in the brief for that. And likewise in a bunch of other nations as well.

He has been playing league with a coat of plates and plate legs and arms for heavy armour

the other people he was playing with are movibg from league to wintermark

i could easily do heavy armour for dawn highguard marchrs and league as i have a full suit of armour from reenactment but if the people im coming along with move to wintermark ill need to make myself something appropiate but would still be aiming for heav armour as i think ill likely be in the thick of fighting

It feels pretty much essential to have at least medium armour and reasonable coverage for a front line fighter, you only need to listen to the complaints of battlemages to realise the problem. Even as playing a support type character, who probably shouldn’t be getting into fights, the difference between robes and chain was sufficient to turn me into a reasonable fighter.
If they would be happy with one of the more support oriented roles on the battlefield, it shouldn’t be a problem, they will be fragile but it shouldn’t matter if they are nimble till everything goes south. Excorist, healing mage, physik, ritualist are all possibilities.

Although they are looking at battlemages again, and they might be more fun by the next event.

If LARP combat is something they really enjoy, and a key part of their event, they might be better off taking a gamble and see if they can find a befriend a group they get on with in play. It’s a daunting step, but if they find a group they are happy with they might enjoy the game more. I know numerous people in Dawn who basically rolled up a solo knight errant, and are happily in a group now. Besides they have a safety net to fall back on if it doesn’t work. I made a similar decision when I was playing Maelstrom getting away from the only group I knew to play something I wanted to and definitely didn’t regret it.

The other option is monster for both battles, and make an artisan/ritualist.

[quote=“Necris”]He has been playing league with a coat of plates and plate legs and arms for heavy armour

the other people he was playing with are movibg from league to wintermark


Get a Wintermark looking helmet and wear that with the coat of plates and you’ve got heavy armour hits wise and the coat of plates should be “anonymous” enough to not look out of place, especially if the kit on arms and legs is pretty Wintermark - plus if there is something over the torso armour it will also help. Not to forget that shields are very Wintermark and often catch the eye much more than armour so a suitable shield and helm should get the right look in battle for most spectators and they won’t notice the (currently) not quite right bits.

A coat of plates strikes me as being fine for Wintermark: with the usual disclaimers about ‘its LARP not re-enactment’, coats of plates represent a style of armour that is well-evidenced in the cultures which inspired Wintermark.

If I were in your friends’ shoes, I’d be inclined to wear the coat of plates over a thigh-length tunic, which in turn would cover the top part of the plate leg armour (making it look instantly more like a Wintermarker in plate than a Leaguer or Dawnish). They could either wear the plate arms or ditch them in favour of medium-grade (3mm) leather vambraces, which wouldn’t give as much protection against cleave/impale as full plate arms, but would make the whole rig look more Winterborn. Especially if they could manage any embossing on the leather.

Coat of plate is rarer but not unusual in Wintermark, just like Varushka they have prevalent armour but it isn’t the only armour. Plate is fine mixed with iconic Wintermark things, e.g. an appropriate round or kite shield, a helmet, a cloak.

The term ‘coat of plates’ can be quite all encompasing and open to many interpretations. For example there are some that call a Brigandine a Coat of plates. I don’t think that would be suitable in wintermark. If you want valuable advise then i’d post photos of the items in question and people can then offer specific advise on what would be most suitable for Wintermark.

As regard to how useful army is on the battlefield - depends on what char

There’s always the option of wearing suitably themed Wintermark garments layered over the top of the armour, hence gain the benefit of wearing the armour without looking too out of place in terms of the nation dress.

Alternatively provide/roleplay a character backstory that encompasses wearing something from another nation (e.g. won in a fight/bet or pillaged off a dead corpse, traded with appropriate nation, parentage from that area etc).

I think people understand that heavy armour and the like can be a serious investment so you’ve not always got the perfect kit for your nation, but the ideas above about adding Wintermark kit on top of and around it are good. Like Michael said adding a round or kite shield, plus a leather helm and a cloak can help you get the right silhouette.

If the character is changing nations, rather than him rolling a new one, then it takes some time for the Egregore magic to make them a Wintermarker and it may take a year before the Egregore will take their vow anyway. So this gives plenty of time to add to / take away elements to fit in.

If it is a new character then the advice above is spot on. The chest equivalent of a shield cover over the coat would be the quickest and cheapest solution. Ideally something like a thin leather tapered (V shaped) tabard with a hall symbol on the chest would cover all sins. Add fur mantle etc. as keen allows. This allows full battle benefits of your ‘hard fat’ layer.