O gambesons, fine protection bound by stout cloth,
Thou whose cloak shakes the cold of the night.
You sit, welcomes in worlds aplenty and times amany,
By the eyes and the forms of thousands.
Yet, by your prevalence you are not diminished,
Stand alone as a soldier – together as an army
The body, comforted by your arrival in ways many,
Will shrug the hard hit or mundane blow.
So say my able Commander, this weave will be your best investment,
And I declare: he spoke true.
So after a weekend of falling on my ass, running into trees and being a berserker it occurs to me gambesons is indisputably the best kit ever.
The long and the short of them:
- A gambeson is a padded jacket.
- They come in all colours, shapes and sizes. Long or short sleeved.
- They can be laced or buckled.
- They can have addition panels for tasset or just be really long.
- They go under Armour and protect you from it. If you’re thinking of plate for the love of God invest here first.
- In a lot of systems they count as Armour.
- They make me look this happy
Why do I love them so?
- Great kit: they mean you don’t have to worry about your top half.
- Reusable: I am currently on char 6 with it – just keep laying new colours on the top and it will be some of the most versatile kit you buy.
- Great protection: if you’re into combat they are physical padding so shield you from hard hits
- Much cooler than you’d think: so real knights used to wear these. It isn’t glamorous but you sweat them through (Or just pour water on them) and they become a great heat sink
- An extra layer for the night: Best. Blanket. Ever.
- Good value: cheaper than pretty much any store bought armour.
- Group look: easiest way to build an army? Get 10 blokes, 10 sashes and 10 gambesons.
Before my first big larp system my old Commander said it’d be the best investment I ever made. For our weapon practices and time in a field it has proven my most trusty of allies and I’d really recommend.
(And for you poetry people that is a Horatian Ode: aka the ‘do what you want’ Ode)