Mix n Match armour


A fighter wears a gambeson, which counts as light, and accessorises with heavy plate helmet, gorget, greaves, pauldrons, and gauntlets.

How many global hits do they add through armour?

Are they protected from cleave and impale in the locations with heavy armour?


2 and yes.

The suit counts as light armour, and thus grants 2 hits.

The other bits count as heavy armour (but not enough to raise the whole suit to Heavy), and will thus block a CLEAVE or an IMPALE call if it hits that piece of armour.


They would not have any of the benefits of heavy armour as for armour to count, it must cover the torso and one other area such as both legs, both arms or the head. Your example doesn’t cover the torso. When you do have the heavy armour bonus, you are only protected from impale and cleave on the areas that are covered with the heavy armour.

If you wear two sets of armour, you only get the benefit of the heaviest armour. That means if you wear light and heavy, you only get the four extra hits.


To be clear, Geoff is correct. They will have two hits, but any cleave or impale calls which hit the heavy components of their armour will be blocked as always. You do not require the four hits from full heavy coverage to get the locational coverage of any piece of heavy armour.


Well it looks I have learnt something from the two of you. I thought you had to wear the full armour before you got any of the bonus. It sort of makes sense that it would work like that so I should’ve known.


so not a ref but i think i can answer this one. according to the Armour rules


you need to cover your torso and one other location to get the extra hits the Armour provides. though the heavy armour covers 3 locations :two lower legs form greaves = 1 leg.
two lower arms and shoulders from pauldrens and gauntlets = 1 arm

                                       the helmet  one fully covered head = 1 head location

total of three locations but none of them are the torso. (the gorget doesn’t cover enough of your torso to count as a locations sadly)

the gambeson should cover some of the arms and legs as well as the torso giving the minimal coverage required for light amour so 2 HP in total for the whole assembly. remember its the torso plus one other location that gives the hits.

additional benefits however include the fact that if you are hit on any of the locations covered in metal you will have protection form both cleave and impale on those locations. both those things will still affect you if they hit you on the gambeson however.

hopethat helps


It is a slightly strange thing, as your hits are global, the armour granted hits are global as long as sufficent locations are covered, and the damage reduction is locational depending on the size and position of the phys-reps…

Still, given other armour systems (ablative, subtractive, multi-type, locational) I’ll stick with this one :slight_smile:


To be fair, he did say he will get things rong :laughing:


So… Heavy can count as medium or light and medium can count as light when working out the heaviest type which covers enough locations? I.e. if I have a steel breastplate on with thick leather on two other locations, can I claim medium and ignore impale to the chest?



When working out the hits from a suit of armour, you add up the (minimum) coverage and go for the lowest. This is usually but not always the torso piece…

Harry the Marcher: Steel breastplate (but not backplate), padded leather on both arms and both legs. Suit is light armour, +2 hits, with a bit of CLEAVE and IMPALE immunity on his chest. Because he isn’t wearing enough heavy on his chest to count 1 location, let alone 2.

Argent the Dawnish knight: Aluminium scale armour (medium) on whole of torso, heavy leather helm (medium), plate greaves and vambraces (1/2 arms + 1/2 legs, heavy). 2 locations covered, but only enough armour for a medium suit (+3) with a lot of CLEAVE immunity but IMPALE immunity only on the greaves and vambraces.

Petrius the League Pikeman: Steel curiass (breastplate and backplate, heavy), left arm and leg in plate armour (steel, heavy), right arm and leg in padded leather (light) and a fancy hat with a feather in it. Because he fights in a side-on stance, that’s why. Torso and 1 location (1/2 legs + 1/2 arms) in heavy, rest in light. He gets +4 from the heavy and CLEAVE and IMPALE immunities on his torso, left leg and left arm. He hopes no-one gets behind him.

Your example is accurate, steel breastplate (heavy but only on front), thick leather (medium, depending) on say the rest of your torso, head and legs… medium armour suit (+3 hits) immunity to CLEAVE (on the armour) and IMPALE (but only on the breastplate). It’s a pretty good set.

Note that CLEAVE and IMPALE hits still do 1 hit, you just ignore the extra effect. A guy (2 hits) in full plate armour (+4 hits) should fall if you hit him 6 times with arrows.


I’m envious I need more metal in my costume. Elsewhere on the forums people recently discussed this mail shirt - for £80 you’d be in heavy armour- and have a stylish mail shirt.

(my mail is considerably smaller, although its riveted, and cost £230)


At least you will have proper armour ready for if the French invade. I hope you have been practising your archer every Sunday.


Does a breastplate on its own not count as enough coverage to count as a torso location? I’ve been told otherwise but I might be wrong.


I’m uncertain. Given that it isn’t coverage of the whole torso, I’d say no. Given that previous examples and ruling have been “whole location covered” on legs with tappets and greaves, so only front of the legs covered… I’d say yes…

When I’ve been wearing chest armour, it’s been front/back/sides, so my personal experience is no help here…


The specific wording is “if it covers the majority of the torso”, definitely not the whole torso. If you have a breastplate and a mantle then you’d definitely be there, but it depends on if you classify the back as being part of the torso, or like… if the breastplate folds over your shoulders or around your chest, at which point it becomes the majority.


The way I think about the hits from mix-and-match armour in Empire is by taking it off: if you take off all your light armour, then all your medium armour, then all your heavy armour, there is one piece of armour which is the ‘tipping point’ when you’re no longer wearing enough armour for hits. The type of that piece is the number of hits you get from the armour you were wearing.

So, say you have a long-sleeved light gambeson (light full torso plus arms) with a steel helmet (heavy head) and an aluminium mail vest (medium torso). When you start taking it off, the first thing to come off is the light armour. After that you still have torso + head coverage, which is two locations. Then you take off the medium armour, after which you only have head coverage - this isn’t two locations, so the tipping point was medium armour. Thus you get three hits from this set of armour.

By contrast, imagine you wore aluminium plate legs with your steel helmet and padded gambeson. Now after you take off the gambeson you have no more torso armour, and torso coverage is required for full armour - so the tipping point is light and you get two hits from the armour.

Regardless of the hits you get, each specific piece of armour provides its resistances against any blows which hit it.

(Re breastplates, generally a full breastplate probably with a gorget would be fine, a plackart or similar which is only partial front-of-torso coverage wouldn’t be enough, but you can only get a canonical answer for your specific armour setup from the refs at an event)


I always thought that a full breastplate without a backplate still counts as a location, but I’m basing this on the fact that the PD modular monster armour is comprised of a poly breastplate, bracers and greaves (though you rarely see the last two items used), and that counts as Medium.

Obviously, worth checking with a ref.