This week we're taking a bit of a detour to critique some video-game armor, in this case the armor of Baldur's Gate III. I have been meaning to do a general critique of the Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition armor system from a historical perspective for a while, and the massive outsized success of BG3 … Continue reading Collections: The Gap in the Armor of Baldur’s Gate and 5e
This week we're going to take a bit of a detour to talk about how we should imagine the warriors of Gallic/Celtic armies were equipped and fought. I wanted to write about the topic because the YouTube algorithm served me up a video on it, which isn't ever fully wrong but struck me as importantly … Continue reading Collections: Who Were ‘the Celts’ and How Did They (Some of Them) Fight?
This week we're going to return to Amazon's Rings of Power, as promised in the first post there were a plethora of smaller believably and realism issues with in the show that I wanted to discuss but which didn't rise to the storytelling problems of those major issues. These are the sorts of small issues … Continue reading Collections: The Nitpicks of Power, Part I: Exploding Forges
This series is now available in audio format. You can find the playlist here. This is the fourth part of a four part (I, II, III, IV) look at the Dothraki from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and HBO's Game of Thrones. We're looking at, in particular, if Martin's claim … Continue reading Collections: That Dothraki Horde, Part IV: Screamers and Howlers
We're going to be a bit silly this week (in part because the ending of this compressed semester has left me with little time) and talk about the recently released historical action-RPG computer (and console) game, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla, set in 9th century Norway and England. And, as with the last time we did this, … Continue reading Collections: Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla and the Unfortunate Implications
This week, we close out our four(and a half)-part (I, II, III, IVa, IVb, addendum) look at pre-modern iron and steel production, although I ought to note that there will be at least one addendum discussing pre-modern cast iron and crucible steel (Wootz) production. Last week, we looked at the processes used to create steel … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVb: Work Hardening, or Hardly Working?
This is the sixth part of a series taking a historian’s look at the Battle of Helm’s Deep (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII. VIII) from both J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson’s 2002 film of the same name. Last time, we looked at Saruman's siege tactics and found them badly … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VI: Is This a Good Sword?
This is actually a neat kit review to pick up with after the last one, since this is essentially a more successful effort to construct a fantasy panoply for a plate-armored common infantryman. Today we're looking at the Gondor Heavy Infantry from Peter Jackson's adaptation of Return of the King. Compared to the Lannister armor … Continue reading Collections: Gondor Heavy Infantry Kit Review
Dear readers! Alas, no regular post this Friday, for it is conference season. In particular, this is the weekend of the Joint Annual Meeting for the Society of Classical Studies and Archaeological Institute of America (Classics represent!), where I will be giving a short paper detailing some of my current research. One function of these … Continue reading Miscellanea: SCS-AIA Conference, 2020!
This week, the part you have all been waiting for - we're going to look at how the Spartans fought. This is part six of our series (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, Gloss., Retrospective) looking at Sparta and its place in cultural memory. As we discussed briefly before, there are two core myths … Continue reading Collections: This. Isn’t. Sparta. Part VI: Spartan Battle