Military equipment through the ages

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Military equipment through the ages

Post by Destructionator » Fri Jun 27, 2008 6:21 am

A reenactor wears an approximate replica of circa AW 2200 A'millian Knight gear. Most old Knights in reality also wore a helmet and shield.

...And now:
Publicity photo of an A'millian Royal Asturian, circa AW 3800

Over the years, the equipment His Majesty's men wear into battle has changed drastically to keep up with new technology, new threats, and new paradigms of war. [As a quick note, I'll be doing a similar naval post later.]

In this special, we'll look at the standard A'millian fighting man's gear from eight eras, from the medieval feudal period to the modern day.

AW 0000

Before the unification, the typical A'millian soldier was barely a soldier at all. In actuality, he was more likely a peasant with a decorated farm implement loosely organized into a fighting block than anything resembling a well equipped professional.

Usually, what was considered a large army was actually only a few hundred people, and he with the more disciplined looking and/or larger army would win a battle without really fighting at all. They would parade to the place they wanted to conquer, present themselves, and then one side would promptly surrender.

Thus, equipment wasn't actually important beyond what it looked like it could do. Due to the poor state of technology and the lack of wealth present in these armies, this meant you would see nothing more than things like singly colored flags and capes to make the army look bigger and more uniform. The capes, of course, also served the practical purpose of helping protect the wearer from the harsh A'millian winters.

Noblemen, due to having greater wealth, were able to equip themselves a bit better and usually even afford to ride an expensive war trained Chocobo, but since actual battle was unlikely, they still generally favored cheap show over expensive functionality.

AW 1000

While the unification meant battles became more rare, they were not completely eliminated, nor was the fear of invasion from the mainland. Thus, military technology continued to advance to take advantage of increased wealth and general knowledge.

Thanks to increasing technology, they were now able to afford a professional army (to be known as the Royal Knight Service) rather than the conscripted farmers of old, and thus each man was better trained and better equipped.

The emphasis moved away from pure show to part show and part overwhelming strength. Specialized weapons of war such as the sword became standard, and with them, armor technology was improved.

While the weapons and armor of this era had several disadvantages compared to their successors, it is a misconception that they were poorly made or unwieldy in design. It was indeed very similar to the equipment worn by the warriors of the First Interstellar War, and weighed less than full modern day battle armor!

AW 2000

While by this point, most people on A'millia felt that war was obsolete, the Knight's equipment still got updates as materials engineering advanced, allowing them to be lighter, stronger, and just generally have more utility, while maintaining the traditional look.

A'millian soldiers have worn capes or cloaks throughout almost all of recorded history to protect themselves, and their expensive equipment, from the weather and to give the warrior a distinctive symbolic look. But, it wasn't until the tail end of Queen Anna's reign that this staple of the uniform got a real overhaul.

The old cloaks were generally made of whatever material the wearer could afford, then dyed to help waterproof it and to give it a consistent look for the army. The new cloaks, of which there were two varieties, one for summer and one for winter, were made of whole new manufactured and/or treated materials.

The new cloaks were both waterproof, and the winter one was well insulated and wind resistant, making it ideal for the cold Lesalian winters. The summer cloak would let the wind through and absorb sweat and radiated heat from inside to help keep the wearer cool and comfortable. They were in fact feats of modern engineering despite their modest outside appearances.

"It's amazingly comfortable. There's a reason we wear them so often."
-Sir Adam, circa AW 2500, talking about the Royal Knight duty uniform to an incredulous human soldier.

Some interesting stats: the standard battle sword of this era, made primarily of high quality steel with a hint of laco*, weighed in at slightly under three pounds, despite having a blade that was almost three feet long, Nevertheless, it was able to withstand varying abuse ranging from combat to being used in cold, wet environments without significant risk of damage or breakage.

The standard steel and laco armor was made of thin covered chains that weighed in at about twenty pounds for the whole suit and offered excellent mobility, though had to be custom fitted for best results. The chains protected well against most weapons, but a strong hit from the blunt end of a sword could carry enough force to still injure the wearer, or a stabbing thrust of sufficient strength could potentially, but rarely, break through the chains. The standard sword was designed to be able to exercise all these options if used correctly, and its blade could be used against unprotected flesh with deadly efficiency.
  • * Note: laco is a material that is nearly irrelevant in the canon as presented here, since its properties are actually related to the fantasy magic system (consider it the magical technology analog to steel), which isn't present in this continuity. But nevertheless, we can always just pretend it is some other kind of relatively mundane alloy. It would still be perfectly accurate to say 'laco is both heavy and expensive, but it helps strengthens the sword, even in small amounts'.

And interesting note is that by this time, the A'millians were using magnetic accelerators and chemical rockets to launch payloads into space, yet they did not apply this technology to equip ground armies.

"Well, basically, the reason is that we never even thought of anything else. As far as we saw it, the niche of ground army weaponry was already filled, and since we had no real pressure to change before the war, no one questioned that assumption. The sword was just how battles were fought."
-King Adam of A'millia, who was a Royal Knight and astronaut in the AW 2200's, answers the question of why he and his comrades carried swords into an interstellar war

AW 2400 - Earth troops

Telepresense, guns, and orbital laser bombardment from the Knights supplemented pikes, swords and bows from human armies in the (then) newly annexed territories for this strange part of history.

While French and A'millian armies came in with relatively high technology, most the rest of the world was far worse off, with their infrastructure unable to support a modern army. So instead, they were organized into something that the A'millian Knights were trained for and thought was obsolete: hand to hand infantry armies.

bed time, will be completed later

AW 2500

The invention of the Holtzmann-Langston shield provided yet another improvement to the old method.

bed time, will be completed later

AW 3000

With the collapse of the old kingdom, the old traditions of the Knights pretty much died too, with the new Royal Army being formed from the old Territorial Milita.

bed time, will be completed later

AW 3500

Powered armor, integrated shields, laser pistols and seeker bullets?! Oh my, how things have changed.

bed time, will be completed later

AW 4000

Little has actually changed in the last five hundred years; it seems that ground military technology may have peaked. ed. note: I might change my mind on this later
His Certifiable Geniusness, Adam D. Ruppe (My 'verse)
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Lucca: Ain't it the truth! ... Oh, um...I mean...
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