The Gazette’s traditional April Fool’s fare begins today with this article advising fighters on their choices of armor for SCA combat.

All you new and aspiring fighters out there have been drooling over online images of medieval armor, right? C’mon, admit it. It’s only a question of your bank account that’s holding you back.

The Æthelmearc Gazette is here to tell you that you can have the armor of your dreams. Just be careful what you wish for.

German Jousting armor

16th century German jousting armor

Pros: Looks way cool and protects you from virtually all kinds of blows

Cons: Heavy and kind of pretentious; lousy visibility through helmet means opponents could sneak up on you and you’d never know it until you’re dead.

Japanese Armor

15th century Japanese armor, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2405226

Pros: lightweight and easy (if time-consuming) to build

Cons: may cause the growth of profuse unwanted facial hair

Maximilian armor

Late period Maximilian armor with Maltese cross

Pros: Looks waaay cool, provides great protection, holes in faceplate improve breathing and provide some visibility.

Cons: costs eleventy bajillion dollars


15th century German close helm with animal snout.

Pros: Provides good protection, could scare your opponent silly or at least make them laugh so hard you can easily stab them to death.

Cons: The faceplate is unbalanced and has small eye slots providing limited vision, which could cause you to fall face first into the mud and drown.

Ottoman armor

16th century Ottoman Empire armor

Pros: a cross between chainmail and plate, lightweight while still reasonably protective

Cons: could result in an onset of brooding silences and a proclivity for combat archery

Maciejowski chainmail

13th c. chainmail from the Morgan Library’s Maciejowski Bible

Pros: lightweight and flexible, looks pretty cool

Cons: Not all that protective if you prefer that your intestines remain inside your body.

Coat of Plates

13th century German coat of plates, statue of St. Maurice at Magdeburg Cathedral

Pros: lightweight and comfortable

Cons: Apparently turns you into a Rottweiler

12th C Chainmail

12th century chainmail armor from the Walters ms. ” Gloss on The Lamentations of Jeremiah”

Pros: Comes in several festive colors, flexible and easy to move in, shows off a white belt to good effect.

Cons: Open-faced helmet makes it likely you will be stabbed in the face repeatedly

Sutton Hoo helmet

7th century Anglo-Saxon/Germanic “Sutton Hoo” helmet

Pros: You will be considered the coolest guy in your unit.

Cons: You won’t be able to afford to buy any other armor after you’re done paying for the helmet.

Fantasy armor

Fantasy armor

Pros: Looks pretty cool to modern eyes.

Cons: Nope, Nope, Nope. Stick to video games, dude.

It’s Arianna’s fault.  Happy April Fools’ Day!