Thursday, February 17, 2011

Armor Styles

Games Workshop's Empire and Bretonnian ranges each have a distinct style to them, influenced by different periods in history.  The Bretonnian range is influenced mainly by European armor from the period of the Crusades through the Hundred Years War.
Grail Knight (Image copyright Games Workshop)

For example, the helmets tend to be primarily Great Helms for knights, and lots of mail.
Bretonnian Lord (Image copyright Games Workshop)

Peasants, for their part, would usually wear a mail coif, chapel-de-fer, or cervelliere.  (although admittedly peasant equipment didn't change all that much with time)
Bretonnian Men-at-Arms (Image copyright Games Workshop)

The Empire, on the other hand, has a distinct Renaissance style to it.  This guy, for example has a cuirass with tassets and a sallet, but other than that, does not wear much leg or arm armor.
Empire Captain (Image copyright Games Workshop)

The Empire Greatsword is the same way--sallet helm, breastplate with tassets, but that's it. 
Empire Greatsword (Image copyright Games Workshop)

By the the time of the Renaissance, guns were having a larger role on the battlefield.  Full-plate armor still existed and would continue to do so for a while, of course, but less often would you see the fully armored man-at-arms in battle.

Both of these styles are just fine...what irks me is that both styles bracket the time period that I think has the coolest armor.  Personally, I think that the time of the Wars of the Roses had some of the coolest looking armor in history.  In this conflict, which spanned from 1455 to 1485, the "Transitional Period" of armor development (that is, from mail to plate) was essentially complete.  Full plate armor had come into its own by this point.

Michael and Alan Perry, whose day jobs are with GW, also have their own independent miniatures company.  They've done some excellent miniatures from the period of the Wars of the Roses. 
(Image copyright Perry Miniatures)

(Image copyright Perry Miniatures)

Now this armor is pretty awesome looking, if you ask me.  Too bad GW doesn't have any (or many) miniatures that look like these guys.  Seeing as the Perry Brothers also do GW minis, I imagine that the miniatures that they make on their own would fit well alongside GW's Warhammer minis.  (although not perfectly, of course).  I'm really tempted to pick up some of them.

Adventures In Miniature Gaming did a review of a box of plastics done by the Perrys that's worth checking out as well.

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