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New world challenge for an antiquity army?

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From Adventum Conquistadores series

  • Difficult to carry heavy armors.
  • Difficult to deploying formations and other tactics.
  • Segmented armor are very bad at very wet rainy forest. They can be ruined easily and quickly by wet conditions.
  • The leather would rot quickly. and are useless by the sweat of warrior.

Little segment innenglish but very interesting.


Full suits of armor were uncommon among the Spanish conquistadors for a number of reasons. The supply of metal armor, especially in the early stages of the conquest, was limited to the weaponry brought from Europe. And most of the soldiers could not afford full plate armor, particularly the infantry. Many foot soldiers, meanwhile, preferred to fight without full armor for greater freedom of movement.

For those in possession of full armor, the hot and humid climate of the New World posed a new obstacle. Not only did the humidity promote rust, heavy full plate armor was also uncomfortable and energy-sapping in the heat. Most foot soldiers were content with sleeveless chainmail vests such as the Jacqueta de Mala or longer Cota de Mala, which left the limbs largely exposed.

Due to both armor shortages and practical considerations, it soon became common for conquistadors to adopt and adapt the native style of armor as used by Aztec and Inca warriors. In Mexico, Cortez had quilted cotton jackets made for his men, copying the standard form of Aztec body armor. This thick cotton armor was surprisingly effective against both projectile and close-range weaponry, while being light-weight and perfectly suited to the climate. Leather jackets were also used as basic protection for the torso.

As for the cavalry, the Spanish conquistadors who could afford horses could generally afford high-quality full-plate armor, too. Conquistador knights, relying on their horses for both mobility and speed, could bear the weight of heavy armor without it sapping their strength or stamina too quickly.

For most mounted conquistadors, being heavily armored was vital in order to successfully charge the enemy under a hail of arrows, stones and spears. Not all mounted soldiers were equally protected, but most would have worn more armor than found on a standard infantrymen. Steel breastplates were preferred over chainmail alone, and many knights would protect their limbs with further sections of plate or chainmail armor.


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