A Plague Tale: Innocence

Discussion in 'PC Games' started by Fortigurn, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

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    A Plague Tale: Innocence. Looks very promising.



    Since this game is aiming for historical accuracy (fourteenth century Europe, during the time of the Black Plague), let's go all medieval on it. My comments here are based on the media released so far. Originally I was just going to make a few comments, but I became quite carried away; the TL;DR version is "Good effort, could be better".

    1. Image two. Authentic Gothic architecture cathedral in the background. House at right shows historically accurate wattle and daub construction. House at left has wattle and daub on the first floor, but the walls of the ground floor are made from highly worked stone which is not accurate to the period in either construction method, quantity, or aesthetic. The lookout basement on the other hand, is ok.

    The soldier in the foreground is holding a fauchard of a design found in fourteenth century manuscripts. However, he's holding the fauchard in his right hand and a lantern in his left. This is completely impractical because he cannot possibly use the fauchard with one hand, and if he puts down the lantern he loses visibility. This is why night watchmen (and other night patrols), didn't wander around alone; if you have at least two people, one person can hold the light.

    He is using the lantern wrongly, holding it out in front of him as if it's a torch. In reality this is just going to destroy his night vision; he needs to hold it slightly behind his body, or beside or above his head, as seen in this fourteenth century manuscript. The lantern is also the wrong shape, being short and blocky with far too much glass; fourteenth century lanterns were typically long and thin, and had walls made of metal to reflect the light forwards and away from the eyes, so that the lantern could actually be used more like a torch, as seen here. In other screenshots (and in some gameplay video), guards hold lanterns correctly, on long poles, higher than their head. This would preserve their night vision.

    He is also armed with a single handed sword on his left side, meaning he is right handed, but of course he can't use the sword unless he drops the fauchard. Again, this is why he shouldn't be alone. The sword looks like a Type XVII (Oakeshott Typology), which is surprisingly accurate to the period.

    This image doesn't show us his armor very clearly, but from what we can see (and from what identical soldiers are wearing in other images), it's clear he's wearing a surcoat over mail, (which is historical to the period), supplemented by spaulders (also historically accurate, though the spaulder design isn't; more on that later). However, he's also wearing a sallet of the English-Burgundian style, which didn't appear until the middle of the next century. Additionally, he isn't wearing a bevor, which renders his sallet downright dangerous.

    The cart on the right hand side has a wooden spoked wheel, which is fine, but it isn't ironshod. It should have iron strakes fitted (iron plates along the rim), which were used to reduce wear.

    The heater shield shaped sign hanging from the building (top centre), seems to be hanging by only one chain, which is a little odd given it's hanging horizontally as if it is supported by two chains. I wonder if that's a graphical glitch.

    2. Image three. Fantastic Gothic architecture, totally inaccurate lantern as described previously.

    3. Image five. Much clearer image of what the soldiers are wearing. The fauchard in the right hand is fine, as are the Type XVII swords, and the surcoat over the mail. However, the English-Burgundian sallets are a century too early, and they're being worn with a mail aventail (which doesn't even seem to be fitted to the helm), instead of a pelerine and bevor. The gloves are probably leather, and definitely way over the top, far too long and bulky; they should be smaller, and made from steel, with an hourglass cuff. The couters on the elbows are horrible; it's clear they're not properly fitted to the elbow, and they actually stick out past the elbow on both ends. The spaulders are too complex for the period, and have protective ridges on them which typically aren't seen until the next century, often with Milanese armour.

    The swords seem to be a Type XVII (Oakeshott Typology), which is accurate to the period. In the video we see soldiers wielding their swords with one hand, which is accurate for a Type XVII and for the time period (the two handed sword did not become standard until the following century). The leg armor looks bulky and strange; the knee protection in particular.

    The windmill doesn't have any windows and maybe not even a door, which is unusual; they usually had at least one window (and a door), on the front.

    4. Image six. Nothing new here, the fauchard is fine (though it's being used in one hand and oriented in a manner which is useless), the English-Burgundian sallet is unhistorical and being worn without a bevor, and the leg protection is weird. Use of the sling is completely historical however, and a good touch; the sling was a formidable projectile weapon during this period, and a slingstone had a higher velocity than an arrow.

    5. Image eight. Nice to see an aqueduct in this image, you typically don't see them in medieval era video games, which is highly unhistorical.

    6. Image nine. An accurately depicted trebuchet dominates the image. The girl's couters (elbow protection), are accurate, though the rondel looks too small (maybe it's just the angle). However she's standing next to the body of a man wearing that unhistorical English-Burgundian sallet (without a bevor, which is probably why he died). He is also wearing gauntlets which have the long tapered cuff of the German Gothic gauntlet of a century later, so this is unhistorical. The fourteenth century gauntlet had an hourglass cuff.

    In this image, and some of the other images, you can see corpses impaled on very thick wooden stakes. These stakes were placed in the ground at an angle to block cavalry charges, and it's difficult to imagine how a man wearing a mail shirt would become impaled on it, even if he fell off his horse, since the tips wouldn't be able to pierce the mail.

    Now for the video.

    1. At 3:14 one of the children finds what is described as "an English shield". It shows (in heraldic terminology), "gules a lion rampant or" (a gold lion standing, facing to the left, on a field of red). This was very likely on the arms of Richard I, but that was in the twelfth century; by the fourteenth century the royal standard was "quartered azure semé de fleur-de-lys and gules three lions passant guardant" (scattered fleur-de-lys in the top left and bottom right corners on a field of blue, with three gold lions aligned vertically on a field of red, facing right, in the other corners). We see this shield again at a couple of other points in the video (including 14:48).

    The shield is a heater shield (a nineteenth century term), which is unusual since by the mid-fourteenth century this shield was almost never seen on the battlefield, having become replaced by more advanced armor. By contrast, in the video the heater shield appears frequently on the battlefield, which is unhistorical.

    2. At 8:46 (and several times throughout the scene at the battlefield), we see a soldier wearing a kettle helm. This is accurate to the period, unlike the English-Burgundian sallet we see worn by some of the other soldiers.

    3. At 9:36 we see a very large siege tower. It has many arrows stuck in the front, all the way down to the bottom of the tower. It's difficult to consider this accurate. Medieval depictions of siege towers in battle do not show them covered in arrows, most likely because the defenders know full well that firing arrows at a siege tower was a complete waste of time until its upper drawbridge was open and the troops were ready to emerge.

    Later we see the interior of the siege tower, and the ground floor is neatly kitted out with barrels of goods, piles of swords and fauchards, and even a writing desk with paper and books. This seems highly unusual. The siege tower was not a mobile office or storage facility. It was a highly utilitarian mobile war platform built in the last stages of a siege when the attackers had been unable to overcome the defenders using more effective methods, such as trebuchet bombardment and undermining. The siege tower is also equipped with internal lanterns, which also makes no sense since you did not use them at night.

    For some reason the siege tower is very far away from the castle, making it even more strange that it has been hit with multiple arrows; you don't waste good arrows on a closed siege tower which is so far away it's almost at the limits of your archer's effective aiming range.

    4. At 10:25 we see several heater shields in the siege tower. The arms they bear are unusual; in heraldic terminology, "quartered argent and gules three lions passant guardant" (white field in the top left and bottom right corners, with three gold lions aligned vertically on a field of red, facing right, in the other corners). This was not the royal English arms of the era, and I haven't found an analogous coat of arms during this period.

    5. At 14:48 we see an felled siege tower with several heater shields mounted on the wall inside (for no particular reason). As with some of the shields seen previously, these shields have a curious coat of arms; "gules a lion rampant or" (a gold lion standing, facing to the left, on a field of red). See my note 1.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  2. DangerMaus

    DangerMaus Member

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    Interesting write up.

    Can I ask your source for slings having a higher initial velocity than a bow?
     
  3. hawpinghaxbag

    hawpinghaxbag Member

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    Looks like a typical late night walk along Pattaya beach
     
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  4. OP
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    Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

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    Sling stone velocity and impact is discussed in detail in this paper; up to 70m/s. Medieval arrow speed is discussed here; up to 55m/s.
     
  5. DangerMaus

    DangerMaus Member

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    Did you read the first link? It suggests 30-45m/s typical, there is no source for a 70m/s throw and only an estimate at a 65m/s throw based on a record distance.

    55m/s for a bow on the other hand is fairly typical as it's the point of diminishing returns for non composite bows. 60m/s+ was possible with some bows but it relies heavily on the arrow type and weight. Some people claim ~90m/s for turkish and mongol type recurves but I can't find any modern chrono testing that is much above 65m/s for a traditional build.

    Still wouldn't want to be hit by a rock at 30-35m/s.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  6. OP
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    Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

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    Yes I read the first link. The first few pages describe how sling stone speeds have been under-estimated. Did you see the table on page 119, with the note "For velocities 20-70 m/s, I give the hypothetical maximum range in meters"? Another source says this.

     
  7. DangerMaus

    DangerMaus Member

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    Yes I saw the table, the 70m/s is a hypothetical top end of the table showing possible damage and distance. The primary source in that link suggests 30-35m/s, as stated right under the table on page 119. Slinging.org and their videos show that anything above 40m/s is very hard to achieve.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2018
  8. OP
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    Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

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    Yes it's a hypothetical top end, and I described 70m/s previously as at the top end, not as typical. Yes he cites a primary source suggesting 30-35m/s, but his own research, in that article, demonstrates that this was by no means the maximum speed. He credits the Guinness World Record of 65m/s, and then says that the stone slung on that occasion must actually have been traveling even faster.

    The issue discussed in the section in the table is whether or not a sling stone can break bones and shatter a skull. Earlier the author notes that not only do ancient sources records sling stones breaking bones and skulls, not only do ancient sources mention doctors describing how to treat skulls broken with sling stones, but there is archaeological evidence of people whose skulls had been broken by sling stones.

    Having established the fact that sling stones could actually break bones and shatter skulls, the author then goes on to calculate how fast the sling stones must have been traveling in order to generate the necessary force. Using the table to match injuries to velocities, we know that there is archaeological evidence of sling stone injuries requiring velocities of 55m/s and over. We also know that lead bullets fly faster than stone bullets, and they also hit with much greater force.

    That depends a lot on the length of the sling and the weight of the bullet. This guy from slinging.org managed 50m/s (x 3), 52m/s, 53m/s, 56m/s (x 2), 58m/s, 59m/s, 62m/s, and 69m/s, which is an impressive 11 high speed slings out of 43 attempts. This is not incredibly surprising given that on slinging.org there are videos of stones slung at 60m/s, recorded with radar guns, with plenty of throws over 55m/s.
     
  9. DangerMaus

    DangerMaus Member

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    You're repeating what I've already said regarding the 65m/s, the damage is irrelevant as I'm not disputing the ability of slings to cause injury and death. The 65m/s is not a verified speed and he says himself that the source could be better. Can you show me the forensic study of bone damage caused by a sling bullet with the actual bullet used including the math to show 55m/s + or is it more heresay and speculation? The last two videos are suspect to say the least, the first one has a high margin of error given it's not a high speed camera, the second is using a cheap radar instead of a chronograph. They are still impressive, but so are 96m/s recurve shoots with semi traditional bows.

    If you want to cherry pick unverified results then Turkish bows can easily achieve 65m/s and according to some sources 90m/s with 845m ranges :p.

    Now to change the subject do you have a good reference so I can learn the difference between a fauchard, glaive, guisarme and other polearms?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
  10. OP
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    Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

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    The point is that in order to cause certain injuries, the sling bullet must be traveling at a certain velocity.

    I think that's placing spin on what he says, to make it say the opposite of what he means.

    As I said, in the article you'll find a description of specific injuries found in the archaeological record and subjected to forensic studies, and specific calculations (with citations), explaining how we know what velocities are required to produce such injuries. This is not heresay or speculation. If you think the calculations are wrong, or the forensic evidence is being misinterpreted, just quote the relevant sections of the article and explain why they are wrong.

    I think that's really reaching. You need to explain why they're unreliable results, and demonstrate it by assessing the evidenc. On slinging.org there are multiple posts about recording velocity, using numerous methods (radar, high speed cameras, audio triggers), and multiple accounts of velocities over 50m/s. On that site, velocities of over 60m/s are not treated with skepticism. If you think the community is in error, you'll need to front up to them with some good hard evidence, because your views don't match up with their experiences.

    But these aren't cherry picked. We have a large range of recorded velocities from multiple sources, using multiple methods, demonstrating that sling bullet velocities can reach 60m/s.

    Sure. Here's a handy image for quick reference, and Wikipedia has a good article.
     
  11. spootmonkey

    spootmonkey Member

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    I bet you're a hoot at parties.
     
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  12. DangerMaus

    DangerMaus Member

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    So you can't provide any credible source for the injuries requiring velocities of 55m/s?
    They are cherry picked. If you average the speed from the first suspect video he's outperforming a bog standard longbow maybe 5% of the time.

    If I cherry pick bows then you end up with something like this

    Which is similarly suspect but stupidly impressive and arguably historically accurate.

    I've already seen that polearm image and read the wiki, was hoping for something more in depth, even if it's a physical book. nm I'll keep looking myself.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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    Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

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    As I mentioned, his source is actually in the article; Finney (2006). He bases his table of practical sling bullet velocities on Finney's work on impact energy and physical trauma. He also mentions another source, Dohrenwend (2002), and explains the deficiencies in Dohrenwend's conclusions.

    There are too many samples from too many people, to claim cherry picking. Remember I'm talking about the upper limit, not the average. There's very consistent evidence that the upper limit of sling bullet velocity easily exceeds 55m/s.

    Yes, if you average the speed. But that doesn't change the truth of the statement I made; that sling bullet velocities can outperform longbows.

    If you want a book, then this is what you need. It's published by Brill, one of the premier academic houses, so naturally it costs silly money (US$255 for the electronic version).
     
  14. DangerMaus

    DangerMaus Member

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    You didn't specify european longbow, you just said "and a slingstone had a higher velocity than an arrow" but I'll accept the bow type given the context. For the sake of argument a practiced slinger can sometimes achieve a higher velocity than anyone picking up any european selfbow of the period if they have no regard for accuracy :p.

    Thanks for the PM and book suggestion and sorry for derailing the thread, I enjoyed your write up but took umbrage at the velocity comment.

    Have you done a similar write up for Kingdom Come Deliverance?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2018
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    Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

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    I know when to keep my mouth shut at parties. :)

    Ok! :D

    Cheers. :)

    Nah, started one but there's a huge amount to cover. That game has a lot of depth, so you have to look at clothing, weapons, armor, lifestyle, a whole lot of stuff. Might get to it one day. :)
     
  16. Spyder6052

    Spyder6052 Member

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    KCD ending was terrible, seemed like the game was only half finished, this game looks good
     
  17. OP
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    Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

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    I did make some comments on the historical accuracy of the swordsmanship, here. For context, I'm a member of a Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) club, and I train in German longsword (as well as Italian sidesword and rapier); HEMA looks like this (this is my club).

     
  18. OP
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    Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

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    There's a useful review here.

     
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  19. power

    power Member

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    love me a good ACG review.
     
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  20. Sankari

    Sankari Member

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    Love the art style. Hope the gameplay does it justice.
     

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