1. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    Plate Armor vs Flail

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Rassidan, Dec 1, 2011.

    Just curious if anyone knows how a flail would have been used against plate armor. I am sure you would use it to attack the weak spots like the joints of the armor itself but it seems unlikely that it would have been used to directly strike the breastplate.

    Another question I have is what would happen if a flail actually struck the visor of the helmet. I would imagine this part of the helmet was a weak spot but to be honest I have never held one so could be wrong about that.

    While on the topic of thew helmet any guesses as to how much force it would take to make the impact against the helmet itself cause serious damage to the person wearing the helmet. I heard that the impact of some blunt weapons could cause concussions but is it likely that a person could cause enough of an impact to kill the person.
     
  2. tsuki2000
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    tsuki2000 New Member

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    It would be difficult to strike at vulnerable areas with a flail because they're not very precise weapons. Flails originated as agricultural tools that peasants modified into weapons when they were forced into wars.

    That being said, a flail specifically designed as a weapon could still do quite bit of damage to someone in armor. Properly weighted, the striking part of a flail could deliver enough force to cause concussions. If one did manage to hit a target at thinner parts of the armor, it could conceivably cause internal bleeding or broken bones depending on the strength of the persons winging it around.

    To answer your second question, it would definitely ruin someone's day (or life).
     
  3. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Blunt weapons are the superior weapon against full plate as sharp edges tend to get blunted against it. So a good solid blow with a flail or a hammer could crack even good steel plate or push it in delivering damage to the person inside. Some flails also had pointed bits, so they became piercing weapons as well, google a morning star.

    As for a knock to the noggin. Yes you could easily give someone a concussion. Old style helms don'thave padding in them to cushion blows, so the impact could simply drive the steel of the helm into the guy's head. But you'd also do significant damage to the guy's neck as he has to support the impact through it.

    Cheers.
     
  4. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    pscho pretty much covered it.

    A sword hit to the head could kill without cutting at all. Basically a steel rod hitting a metal plate against a bone.
    I believe the hinge of the visor would be a weak joint, thus a strike to it would destroy or lock the visor in place.
    But the force of the attack would still cause damage to the wearer. The head bouncing off the helmet walls.

    Basically weapon hits helmet, helmet hits skull, skull hits brain, brain hits skull, skull hits helmet and more then likely body hits ground.

    I believe the padding in helmets was horse hair, not a good shock absorber.
     
  5. Rassidan
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    Rassidan Senior Member

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    Interesting I always assumed the padding in the helmet was leather or linen but horse hair I would never have guessed.
     

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