Arms and armor during the Three Kingdoms period.

Jul 2015
89
Australia
I am looking at the new game 'Total War Three Kingdoms' and this is how the soldiers are depicted in the game:



Most of the units are only wearing some type of a robe and they don't have metal helmets (they have some type of leather/cloth helmet?). For the units which do have armor, the chest armor they wear is some type of 'apron' lamellar? armor I guess which doesn't protect the sides.

Is this historically accurate?

Thanks.
 

HackneyedScribe

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
6,494
The following video is a good summary, although I don't agree with everything it says:


Anyway, long story short, there's a lot of inaccurate equipment in the game, but it's better than Dynasty Warriors by a long shot.
 
Last edited:
Jan 2016
591
United States, MO
The following video is a good summary, although I don't agree with everything it says:


Anyway, long story short, there's a lot of inaccurate equipment in the game, but it's better than Dynasty Warriors by a long shot.
Just out of curiosity, which parts do you not agree with?
 
Jul 2015
89
Australia
In the last few newest comments of the first Youtube video there is a comment by user '1Korlash' which contains a link to another forum which describes the Three Kingdoms historical arms/armor and soldier types in a lot of detail and is very interesting.

(I don't think we can provide link's to other forums here?).
 

Dan Howard

Ad Honorem
Aug 2014
4,754
Australia
The armour depicted on the Terracotta Warriors of the lower-ranked soldiers was probably made from rawhide and not metal. There were a dozen lacquered rawhide cuirasses found in a tomb dating just a little earlier. When assembled they exactly resembled the armour on the T.C. warriors. Details are in a paper written by Albert Dien but I can't recall which one.
 
May 2019
3
Macao
The Repeating crossbow in the game is the Zhuge crossbow invented in the 14th century.,
The Repeating crossbow used by the Han Dynasty should be a double-shot repeating crossbow invented in the 4th century BC.
Zhugenu-springautumn.jpg
This is how it works:


According to the description of contemporaries and the literature of future generations,
The model invented by Zhuge Liang in the Han Dynasty should be a Shooting 10 Arrows at One's multiple bolt crossbows.Called yuan rong crossbow
The length of the arrow is about 18.5 cm(7.3Inches )
 
Jan 2019
106
Southeast Asia
Considering that leg armor become more common during the Jin Dynasty, when did leg armor start to appear?

Did it appear during the Han Dynasty when thigh armor is listed Donghai Commandery inventory?
 

HackneyedScribe

Ad Honorem
Feb 2011
6,494
The earliest leg greave in China was excavated in 2013, dating to the late Shang-early Zhou period:



Terracotta warriors of the first Han emperor did have something worn on both their legs, not sure how protective they were.



^Those were hand-picked for the Beijing History Museum, I assume because their colors were preserved better than that of the other terracotta warriors. Here's a closer up look at some of the others: :



As for the "thigh armor" mentioned in the Donghai Commandery list, I always assumed they were these brigandine-looking flaps on their thigh of mostly cavalry:



Note that there's a 200 year difference between the time of the first Han emperor and the time of the Donghai Commandery list, and thigh armor could have changed given how the terracotta warriors throughout this time period certainly did change.

I'm beginning to think that Three Kingdoms Total War just copied what they saw in the movie Red Cliff. Which fortunately is more accurate than the vast majority of Chinese entertainment, but still not even close to perfect. Notice the ahistorical round rattan shield in this scene which was also depicted in the video game, I can't trace where else the video game could have gotten that from:

 
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