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Snakemen are absolute beasts in combat when you factor in all of their snake qualities. One of the ways they would be practically unstoppable is if they fought using constriction (credit goes to Shadiversity for this idea). Or even just in general combat if they were to wield polearms and use their height advantage against humans. And if they fought this way they would angle forward and upwards to make the person they are fighting unable to get at them. Add that to the fact that snakes are able to use the full strength of their muscles for about 1/2 an hour at a time, meaning their bow shots would be more accurate, and they could hold up heavy polearms for an extended period of time, they would be very hard to beat.

But the thing is they have to wear full armor along the length of their snake body. Otherwise, they would be incredibly vulnerable in a battlefield setting where there are many opponents that would come at them from all sides. Or if they were to use their constriction ability, they would need protection so that they could get up close and personal without getting stabbed and hacked to bits.

And the type of armor it would have to be is chainmail with gambeson underneath. It would provide the most protection you could get (which is a good bit of protection.) and still have the flexibility needed for the snake person to move.

But there is a problem, wear and tear. Unlike humans, they have to move by slithering on their belly. And the armor has to cover their belly. So it will be repeatedly be exposed to mud, grime, water, etc, and get rusted and broken, therefore reducing its integrity and weakening it. And the chain links would rub up against the gambeson constantly. This would fray away at it and reduce its thickness and protection.


Is there a way to minimize/eliminate this problem? Perhaps with alternate types of armor that I missed? Or different materials? Or is this problem not as bad as I think it is?

Edit: This is snake people against humans. Not S vs S.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't see any reason that the situation is different than for normal humans wearing armor. Just research current protective clothing and that should get you a pretty good idea. $\endgroup$ Aug 13 at 16:24
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    $\begingroup$ You overthink it. Just add armor sole - some wear resistant, flexible enohgh sheet of cloth soaked with idk rubber, fat, whatever, there are othe roptions as well - do not forget to grease the armor and problem solved, not a big deal $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Aug 13 at 16:40
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    $\begingroup$ Taking a look at how soldiers bypass this problem when having to crawl around might be worth it. The first thing that comes to mind would be to have a large number of leather patches under the armor, akin to soles of a shoe. $\endgroup$ Aug 13 at 17:42
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    $\begingroup$ Your snakeman is immobilized, regardless. MAYBE that works in single combat, but not in a battle. They stop moving and are a sitting duck (to to other warriors). Not to mention that the human is not cooperating with this. And as a human, I might very likely add some spikes to my armor, so anything that wide would inevitably "get spiked." Sorry, I just see so many vulnerabilities for this in battle. I'd stick to weapons. $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Aug 15 at 18:38
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    $\begingroup$ Added clarification and additional points. @MolbOrg $\endgroup$
    – Firestryke
    Aug 15 at 19:39
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The problem is not wear and tear. Snake slithering is heavily dependent on the skin. This means that wrapping the underside in armour wouldn't work, and that wear and tear would be a more minor issue. In light of this, normal considerations can be used for the armour of the back of the tail. They would need straps to hold it on, but wear can be avoided by the snakeman being careful to keep them off the ground. The specific armours to use would be gambeson, mail, brigandine, or anything else held together by flexible material. This is so that the entire tail armour can hold together, reducing the number of straps needed. The ideal armour would probably be a coat of plates with an outer layer of denim, leather, or some other strong material. The plates would be paired, and go from the mid-line to the edge of the belly. The paired plates should allow it to hinge open and closed, allowing it to be taken on and off. The plates would also have to be narrow and overlapping, to allow the snakeman to bend. There should also be a gambeson underneath, both to keep the plates off the skin, and to protect against any strikes that make it through the coat of plates. The armour would be attached using a tough belt near the human end, and a few straps. The straps could be held off the ground, but would still end up being scraped on the floor, and so the straps would need to be easily replaceable. This armour, despite its weak spot on the belly, should protect during constrictions, as snakes (or at least some of them) constrict with the sides of their body, which can be armoured.

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  • $\begingroup$ Huh, never realized snakes needed their skin for slithering. If you could provide a more detailed and researched solution for how the armor would work, then I could accept this answer $\endgroup$
    – Firestryke
    Aug 15 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ This is great, traction is more important than armor, there is a reason the bottom of armored boots are still normal leather boots. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Aug 16 at 2:20
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  1. Snakeman armor is naval brass.

brass

source

It is corrosion resistant and also super styling!

  1. Gambesons are made of rushes and plant material. Whatever is handy, and which the snakemen stuff under the armor. If it is prickly that does not matter to them because their scales are hard. When the plants wear out, they stuff in more.
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  • $\begingroup$ Actually, Gambeson doesn't work like that. Gambeson is layered fabric, not stuffed fabric. $\endgroup$
    – Firestryke
    Aug 13 at 23:32
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Multiple canvas layers would not be as effective as a metal armour, but they can provide some protection and can be produced quickly in bigger numbers. They have been used often in the past.

The most effective solution is a conventional armour with a canvas belly that can be replaced easily. Not single use, bot close to.

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No. Their inability to wear gauntlets is legendary. Only partial armor is possible.

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    $\begingroup$ Thankfully ttrpg or video-game armor rules don't seem to apply here, meaning they probably can. $\endgroup$ Aug 13 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ I actually laughed out loud at this, but I think this is more fitting for a comment than an answer. $\endgroup$ Aug 15 at 21:33
  • $\begingroup$ @TheSquare-CubeLaw My bad. Yes, this isn't the correct way to nudge someone that their question isn't suitable for the site. $\endgroup$
    – John O
    Aug 16 at 13:22

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