Segmented Plate Armour
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Basic Information


Segmented Plate Armour is, as the name implies, armour comprised of multiple sections of metal plate linked together to form a given element. The most famous application of this concept - especially in torso armour - is the Roman lorica segementa of the Augustan period and early to mid Empire. Other applications exist, whether in the banded arm protectors of several Indo-European cultures or the faulds of late period plate armours. "That RPG" and its imitators tend to describe the sort of armour as banded mail.

Distinct from lamellar armour due to the size and layout of the plates (much easier to show than to describe), segmented plate benefited from being easier to manufacture for cultures without the ability to produce large single castings of iron or steel, required less labour to make than mail and was generally adjustable enough to be a convenient form of munition plate (which certainly appears to be the way the Romans used it). Its utility as overall protection may be inferred from the fact that even the Romans never fully phased out other forms of loricae, even at the peak of segmenta usage and that those who could afford other forms of armour often opted to do so. For more advanced users (typically those deploying late period plate), segmented plates were used to obtain a compromise between ridgid protection and freedom of movement.

1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • Besides uses in limb protection and what have you (such as faulds, tassets and other accessories) an obvious alternate history/fantasy application might be to use segmented plate instead of the coat of plates and/or in the evolution to plate mail, with a segmented cuirass being worn over a mail hauberk.
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