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When I say medieval it’s more like a fallen world that went barbaric really quickly. Firearms and combustible fuels have been commonplace so society is still advanced in a way, but is more tribal/feudal in nature. There are a few advanced nations, but they are at war almost every five seconds with the more... uncivilized groups around them.

One of the nations has an armed order called the Iron Guard. They wear really heavy iron armor to prevent getting shot by said firearms, but they can’t move very well... almost at all.

The movement part is fine because they only fight defensively (they hide behind high walls/high ground, rocks and or small children) and shoot with their guns from a safe distance away.

There is however a catch: the tribal barbarians that they fight have a bit of a fire bug and love setting fire to said high walls/high ground, rocks and or small children with their crude flamethrowers and fire bombs; to them the Iron Guard is just soon to be roasted meat in a can.

The fuel that they use is like petrol but a bit more sticky it burns at 247–280 °C; the flamethrowers are a bit like bellows that spit oil out of a long pipe a few feet ahead on there target then have a open touch/flint igniter that lights the fuel (far from safe). the fire bombs are flammable paste that you mix together with gun powder they use Molotov cocktails as well. the Iron Guard cant use shields because they are sharp shooters and a shield would hinder them.

So I did a bit a research (fun fact iron doesn’t protect you from fire that much) and I did come up with a couple ideas:

  • Leather (has a lower burn rate then a lot of materials and is easy to come by, well sort off)

  • Asbestos (is very fire resistant but maybe too advanced for any of the nations to build... and it kills you slowly)

The Question is this: What Amour Designs and Materials do I use to not turn my Iron Guard into Crispy Critters

The Rules:

  1. The amour has to stand being totally engulfed with flame for at-least a half a minute (time to kill the attacker and move/put out the flame)
  2. The materials that you use will have to go underneath the iron plating; only a coating can go over the iron (can’t have them lose their name, can we?)
  3. The materials you use can’t be out of time period so no future tech or modern designs only medieval
  4. Can’t be anything too rare or hard to mass produce
  5. You can use combos or use mutable designs in your answers

To the people that will point out that if they have firearms and a fuel source why are they medieval or why can’t I use modem designs when they are ruining around with flamethrowers (you know who you are)

  1. I will just say that there are people that keep them at a low tech level but want them to be combat effective
  2. The fuel like source is like a gift of sorts they are not the ones making it.

As always if you want any more detail don't hesitate to ask.

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  • $\begingroup$ We need to know better about veapons they need to stand up against, those "crude flamethrowers and fire bombs". So far it sounds very modern, like firethrowers with 100m+ range and napalm. $\endgroup$ – Alexander May 25 '18 at 4:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Alexander the flamethrowers are a bit like bellows that spit oil a few feet ahead on there target then have a open touch/flint igniter that lights the fuel (far from safe) i did use the term crude to its full effect. the fire bombs are flammable paste that you mix together with gun powder (not going into detail but i know that it works) and Molotov cocktails behind a shield wall or cover...or run up-to them like a crazy person point black range works too $\endgroup$ – Creed Arcon May 25 '18 at 4:52
  • $\begingroup$ All of the methods that you mention do not have a long range and do not present particular danger to defenders unless they are hit directly. In case they are hit, I suggest the best course of action is just to take off the piece of armor that caught fire and throw it away until fire is quenched. $\endgroup$ – Alexander May 25 '18 at 5:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Alexander that's all well if heavy armor worked that way but most of amours of that type could not be taken off by the wearer and even if they could taking amour off mid combat did not end well both in time and protection $\endgroup$ – Creed Arcon May 25 '18 at 5:33
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    $\begingroup$ @JBH I think the specifications in the two questions are sufficiently different as to make the questions not duplicates. 5 sec at high temps with the additional danger of claws and teeth against 30 seconds and no shields possible since you have to shoot a gun. $\endgroup$ – kingledion May 25 '18 at 13:25
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Asbestos cloth has existed since antiquity, it was just somewhat rare and moderatley expensive. Its said that a reocurring party trick for a few nobles and royalty throughout history was to clean thier mess with a napkin and toss it into the fire, then pull it out totally unharmed to demonstrate that the fire in fact did not only fail to harm the napkin, but also cleaned the food crumbs from it.

I mean asbestos isnt terribly rare, its just that until industrialization people really didnt have a practical use for it on a large scale. It was just considered a neat and somewhat pricey oddity, or was used for other things besides cloth like using the asbestos fibers to strengthen or color ceramics (a particular form of asbestos is brilliantly blue.) So in conclusion, an asbestos liner for your armor would do the trick wonderfully and the tech to produce asbestos cloth existed at the time period. Its rare for that period, but not "unobtanium," just run of the mill expensive.

Mesothelioma (particulate contaminant caused lung scarring/cancer) isnt fun but on the bright side you usually only get it from powdered/fractured asbestos and in its cloth form asbestos is not very harmful. Also mesothelioma takes like 40 years to develop, assuming average medieval lifespan thats well into ripe old age for the era anyways.

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    $\begingroup$ Like this idea a LOT - would think a Surcoat made of Asbestos - along with the Breathing Masks suggested elsewhere would be just the ticket. Link to quite a nice explanation of the Surcoat - which has been suggested as a Thermal insulation for the Crusaders in the heat of the Middle Eastern sun defenderofjerusalem.com/crusader-clothes.html $\endgroup$ – kiltannen May 25 '18 at 10:24
  • $\begingroup$ Romans mined asbestos, using unflavoured slaves (who died quickly). It comes out of the ground looking like wool, and it was used in textiles and buildings across the ancient world. The Chinese fire rat robe, thought to have been asbestos, is mentioned in 10th C en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tale_of_the_Bamboo_Cutter Charlamagne had an asbestos textile item, in the 9th C $\endgroup$ – CriglCragl May 25 '18 at 12:43
  • $\begingroup$ Romans mined asbestos, using unflavoured slaves (who died quickly). It comes out of the ground looking like wool, and it was used in textiles and buildings across the ancient world. The Chinese fire rat robe, thought to have been asbestos, is mentioned in 10th C en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Tale_of_the_Bamboo_Cutter Charlamagne had an asbestos textile item, in the 9th C $\endgroup$ – CriglCragl May 25 '18 at 12:43
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    $\begingroup$ @CriglCragl unflavoured slaves? $\endgroup$ – Kreiri May 25 '18 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ Not even the bargain brand sriracha ones? $\endgroup$ – TCAT117 May 25 '18 at 16:31
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Ag, this difficult, but I really want to see this questioned answered. A lot of people on this site deal with flame attacks in the medieval ages, after all.

Right of the bat, a smoke hood could keep fire out of the Iron Guard's lungs and eyes, which they would probably appreciate. Their also easy to make, just an airtight leather sack and with a hose that trails to the ground behind the wearer. The idea is that the hose would allow for the air underneath the smoke to be inhaled instead of the smoke itself. Its not much, but it cheap and better than nothing.

The other idea I had was a wearable mop (kinda). Basically, soaking some burlap or other durable cloth in water is an easy way to take the edge off extreme heat. Wet burlap masks used to be used in the engine of coal powered ships to keep shovelers' face from being burned. This breaks the rule of going over the Iron Guards trademark armor, but I though it might be worth mentioning nonetheless. Plus they would have to keep spraying themselves with water and that might not be viable in the heat of combat.

Lastly, some kind of broad, lightweight shield might be good just to keep burning fuel from getting on the Guardsmen. I know they will want heavy iron things, but lightweight wood or leather stretched over a frame would be best (one of these bad boys).

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Medieval siege were carried out with fire, too. To protect them from boiling oil, aggressive chemicals and fire, the troops used shields covered with leather and moisturized with vinegar.

Your troops can do something similar. A double walled metal shield, with the outer face covered with leather and kept wet with vinegar.

The double wall, or better the air inbetween, will help insulating from the heat. The leather will slow the combustion. And the vinegar will protect the bearer from nasty tricks involving alkaline substances like Calcium Oxide.

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  • $\begingroup$ in fact i have the walls built in a similar fashion but when the attackers beach the wall or get into close quarters is when the Defensive would fail that's why i need fire protection for the Iron Guard as well the shields would hinder there gun fire but could be changed if in melee $\endgroup$ – Creed Arcon May 25 '18 at 5:37
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So to survive the being fully engulfed in flames there is going to need to be some sort of insulation and a breathing apparatus so they don't just breath in pure CO2 and start to choke. For the breathing apparatus, I imaging it would be some kind of facial mask made out of leather and using a hose make out of some god forsaken animals intestines. Those are long and tubular and you can choose to run them inside the armor, or outside (but you will probably need to treat it so it becomes leather like? and won't just cause smoke straight away).

Since metal is an excellent heat conductor, you will need to pad the inside with leather or maybe thick wool so that it isn't in contact with the skin and wont just melt into their flesh. You might just make all the underlying padding a Iron Guard have to wear be built out of this anyway so they are walking super insulated and stuffy coffins.

You can also give them a cape made out of thick wool which is pretty fire resistant. They would use this as a fire blanket or as flexible shielding against the sticky fuel and just discard it after.

Other than that, you could also have buckets of water nearby that the Iron Guard douse themselves in once they know there will be fire involved. If their clothes and armor padding are all made out of wool, it should be able to soak up a lot of water and help fend off the heat. Of course it would make them incredibly heavy and uncomfortable after a few minutes.

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