ThatOneKid

Shardplate against bullets?

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How well could shardplate hold up against bullets? It only takes a few good whacks with a shardblade to totally shatter a piece, so I think that a bullet could penetrate, but this could be due to shardblades somehow being better equipped to fight shardplate. Also, would the bullet just make a hole (due to tiny impulse) or does shardplate always shatter when it fails? Thoughts?

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I'd imagine it would sustain damage, and the bullet would be ricochet off the armor.

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I imagine a couple of shots would shatter a plate, but you'd probably need another bullet once it's shattered to actually hit the Shardbearer, it seems to absorb momentum pretty well so I don't imagine the bullet would actually pierce it.

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Depends on the calibre, I think, but enough bullets would get through

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Let's expand a bit the "depends on caliber" thing:

a crossbow can get a significant dent in a shardplate. I googled to a crossbow shop, and I see that a good crossbow has a power a bit short of 200 joules, which is in the same range of a small caliber handgun. So, a shardplate could take a small caliber pistol with relative impunity - although the fact that you can shoot a pistol much faster than a heavy crossbow still means it will hold less long.

a high caliber handgun has a kinetic energy over 2000 joules, over ten times as much as the smaller gun; that would certainly put a large crack in the plate, and i doubt it could take more than one or two hits in the same area. rifles are a bit over that, but not by much; that kind of energy is more than enough to penetrate a human body at range, so it's enough for most guns. but a high-caliber anti-materiel rifle (the kind one would use against a shardbearer) can have an energy upwards to 50000 joules. that's about the limit of what you can shoot with a rifle without shattering your shoulder with the recoil, and it should also be enough to punch through a plate with the first shot. I would be extremely surprised if a shardplate could take more than one bullet from such a weapon.

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Granted, a high calibre bullet would kill the shardbearer, but I think that the novelty of being charged by a man in plate armor would be enough to stop most attacks.

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Seems like a bloody good reason to continue attacking to me

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Granted, a high calibre bullet would kill the shardbearer, but I think that the novelty of being charged by a man in plate armor would be enough to stop most attacks.

I think being charged by a man in plate armour makes it even more likely that you'd attempt to shoot them.

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Also keep in mind that Kaladin shatters some Plate just by lashing himself repeatedly and falling into it (albeit at the price of his own legs.)  Plate is really just not super-effective against kinetic energy weapons, and guns are superb at this kind of attack.

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Also keep in mind that Kaladin shatters some Plate just by lashing himself repeatedly and falling into it (albeit at the price of his own legs.)  Plate is really just not super-effective against kinetic energy weapons, and guns are superb at this kind of attack.

well, as for that, the kinetic energy of a human body falling can be surprisingly high. let's assume that kaladin hit the plate with the speed he would have if he had fallen 5 meters, because 5 meters (earth gravity) is the kind of fall that will break your leg but likely not kill you. the kinetic energy of that is equal to the potential energy, which is M*g*h=70*9.8*5=3500 joules. more than a bulllet, although the bullet has a greater penetration power because it concentrates the energy on a smaller impact surface. the steel armor of a middle-age knight would be crushed by such an impact. in fact, maces were quite effective at crushing armors, and they had nowhere near the same kinetic energy.

 

Overall, I would say that plate is much more effective than a steel armor, but it only seems supernaturally effective because there is a lack of advanced weaponry on roshar. swords and arrows are good against unprotected flesh, not to deal with armored targets. when pitted against modern weaponry - especially anti-armor weaponry, which is made to pierce thick plates of advanced material - shardplate is probably not so much better than kevlar.

It would be like the shardbearers were driving world-war-2 tanks, and were slaughtering infantry armed with swords and spears, and so we'd ask 'wow, those tanks are really powerful, but could they hold up against modern weaponry?'.  well, of course, because they are weapons of this time and therefore we have made guns specifically to deal with them.

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Broadly speaking, in testing a modern military grade bullet should punch right through. I think it would vary in "real life" combat though.

 

Kevlar stops bullets by drawing out the kinetic energy of the round over a distance. A thin sheet of kevlar won't stop anything but a couple of centimetres will happily stop a couple of bullets. Interestingly enough so will a standard box of A4 paper through the same principle. Bullets penetrate steel armour because it is too thin to lengthen the time period over which the kinetic energy is imparted from bullet to plate. That and steel is brittle. Shards tend to damage differently than steel though. Anyway, thicker armour = less dead. 

 

In a real life situation though you've got to take into account the everything though.

 

German tanks in WW2 had the roughly same thickness (sorry it's late here) to their armour as the American ones. Same German tanks routinely destroyed the Americans with ease. This is (partly) because the German armour was slanted and caused the American shells to bounce off. The other part was tactics and training but thats irrelevant here. Modern shooters are trained to lean forward to slant their armour so that incoming rounds have a good chance of bouncing away from the head and chest by the same theory.

Bullets bounce at every chance they get. Its annoying as hell. 

 

The other thing to consider is that studies show that most firefights happen at one hundred meters or less. At this range, moving at speed, it would be difficult to hit a shard bearer. Even more so if they just happened to fall out of the sky on top of you. Even if you did hit one there is a good chance the bullet would simply bounce off the "graceful curves" of the plate. 

 

Even bullets aren't a magic bullet when it comes to killing things. Everything comes down to the operator at the time and the conditions he's placed under. 

 

TLDR - Yes in theory. Your mileage may vary in action. 

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I think high powered guns would quickly cause tactics to change. I mean, after a couple shard platers are sniped....

 

On the other hand, shoot a shard blade, reform it in your hand, then shoot it again. Seems like guns would get people thinking along those lines. Do we have any idea how far away Dalinar's shard blade was when he summoned it against Amaram?

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Would be interesting to see if radiants with shardplate could mold it and adapt. So if they are charging a gunner position, weaken the back plates making the front flow and overlap, much like the kevlar is described. Or maybe the orders that can change molecular bonds could strengthen them in response. 

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Shardplate appears to have an extremely high hardness, likely similar to tungsten carbide or boron carbide. It responds like a magical metal/ceramic hybrid. 

This means that individual standard bullets from small arms will be largely ineffective against shardplate, but repeated firing will cause cracks, and then failure of a section of plate. 

 

In more detail, charged Shardplate seems to respond as ablative armour  - I doubt any small arms fire, even a heavy anti-materiel bullet, would one-shot a shardbearer as the armour would ablate away in a blast of stormlight before being penetrated; this is what we see with fully-charged shardplate: the stormlight protects the user by having the armour ablate away in a pseudo explosion. (See nearly every fight with shardplate, it breaks apart into pieces of molten metal and light - the armour section is broken first and then the person can be killed). This absorbs and redirects the kinetic energy and the projectile used to shatter the section of plate. 

 

The exception is with depleted shardplate: When depleted, shardplate acts somewhat like a cross between a metal and a ceramic. It cracks and shatters instead of bending and deforming, and it doesn't ablate nearly as well. Likely an anti-materiel rifle with a heavy duty, high hardness round (tungsten or depleted uranium, that kind of thing) would both break AND penetrate the plate, killing the shardbearer. Most high-powered weapons, however, would simply damage or shatter the plate under most circumstances.

Shardplate, from the way it's described and used, is a cross between personnel armour and armoured vehicle armour. So I'd be curious as to how it would respond to anti-tank munitions (like WWII Era AP rounds, HEAT rounds and APFSDS rounds). How well would the bearer survive the impact? Certainly any heavy duty anti tank round would shatter the plate, but how well would a fully charged plate ablate the impact? How well will it strengthen the bearer to survive the shockwave?  

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Would be interesting to see if radiants with shardplate could mold it and adapt. So if they are charging a gunner position, weaken the back plates making the front flow and overlap, much like the kevlar is described. Or maybe the orders that can change molecular bonds could strengthen them in response. 

or, radiants could just adapt by picking up a rifle themselves. a shardplate would still give huge advantages over even modern battle gear - stronger than a bullletproof vest, covers the whole body, offers superior protection against explosions too, you never tire in it... a soldier with rifle and shardplate is much better off than the soldier with just the rifle. really, deciding to charge with a sword at a guy with a machine gun is pretty much the only way you can lose the advantage of plate. just because jedis prefer to get killed charging dozens of soldiers on open ground rather than simply carrying a ranged secondary weapon and shoot them from cover, it is no good reason for radiants to do the same.

the shardblade won't be much use, except maybe in urban fighting (where you can even disable a tank if you can hide in the buildings to sneak close enough), but you can tell your spren to form a shield. apparently a shardblade is much stronger than a shardplate, since plate shatters after a few blows from a blade, but a blade can take any amount of punishment from another blade. as far as we know, a shardblade-turned-shield could even survived a direct hit from a cannon - though you'd surely at least shatter your arm from the blow.

 

all things considered, i can still see a shardbearer with modern equipment being superior to a platoon of regular soldiers, as long as he uses his advantages in a smart way.

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or, radiants could just adapt by picking up a rifle themselves. a shardplate would still give huge advantages over even modern battle gear - stronger than a bullletproof vest, covers the whole body, offers superior protection against explosions too, you never tire in it... a soldier with rifle and shardplate is much better off than the soldier with just the rifle. really, deciding to charge with a sword at a guy with a machine gun is pretty much the only way you can lose the advantage of plate. just because jedis prefer to get killed charging dozens of soldiers on open ground rather than simply carrying a ranged secondary weapon and shoot them from cover, it is no good reason for radiants to do the same.

the shardblade won't be much use, except maybe in urban fighting (where you can even disable a tank if you can hide in the buildings to sneak close enough), but you can tell your spren to form a shield. apparently a shardblade is much stronger than a shardplate, since plate shatters after a few blows from a blade, but a blade can take any amount of punishment from another blade. as far as we know, a shardblade-turned-shield could even survived a direct hit from a cannon - though you'd surely at least shatter your arm from the blow.

 

all things considered, i can still see a shardbearer with modern equipment being superior to a platoon of regular soldiers, as long as he uses his advantages in a smart way.

Isn't that basically a Terminator space marine?

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Good point, Shard plate is basically powered armor, sort of like in e.g. the Fallout games.  I wonder if we might see something like mecha at some point in the distant future.

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Broadly speaking, in testing a modern military grade bullet should punch right through. I think it would vary in "real life" combat though.

 

Kevlar stops bullets by drawing out the kinetic energy of the round over a distance. A thin sheet of kevlar won't stop anything but a couple of centimetres will happily stop a couple of bullets. Interestingly enough so will a standard box of A4 paper through the same principle. Bullets penetrate steel armour because it is too thin to lengthen the time period over which the kinetic energy is imparted from bullet to plate. That and steel is brittle. Shards tend to damage differently than steel though. Anyway, thicker armour = less dead. 

 

In a real life situation though you've got to take into account the everything though.

 

German tanks in WW2 had the roughly same thickness (sorry it's late here) to their armour as the American ones. Same German tanks routinely destroyed the Americans with ease. This is (partly) because the German armour was slanted and caused the American shells to bounce off. The other part was tactics and training but thats irrelevant here. Modern shooters are trained to lean forward to slant their armour so that incoming rounds have a good chance of bouncing away from the head and chest by the same theory.

Bullets bounce at every chance they get. Its annoying as hell. 

 

The other thing to consider is that studies show that most firefights happen at one hundred meters or less. At this range, moving at speed, it would be difficult to hit a shard bearer. Even more so if they just happened to fall out of the sky on top of you. Even if you did hit one there is a good chance the bullet would simply bounce off the "graceful curves" of the plate. 

 

Even bullets aren't a magic bullet when it comes to killing things. Everything comes down to the operator at the time and the conditions he's placed under. 

 

TLDR - Yes in theory. Your mileage may vary in action. 

The difference being that Shardplate is completely brittle, deflecting bullets off at an angle is going to be just as problematic as taking them straight on, the force still hits the plate which will still crack it. Shardplate doesn't get pierced it gets shattered.

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The difference being that Shardplate is completely brittle, deflecting bullets off at an angle is going to be just as problematic as taking them straight on, the force still hits the plate which will still crack it. Shardplate doesn't get pierced it gets shattered.

actually, deflecting bullets by a small angle takes less energy than simply blocking them, because it needs to alter their speed less.

take the case of a bullet moving at a speed of 100 m/s hitting an armor and stopping. the bullet is accelerated by 100 m/s, and for the principle of action and reaction that force is imparted on the armor. actually a bit more than 100 m/s, since the bullet is not just stopping, it is bouncing back; if it bounces back at fulll speed  (completely elastic situation) then it will be accelerated by 200 m/s.

Now think of the bullet being deflected at an angle of 30 degrees. That equates to changing its speed components from one completely along the x axis to one that is partially along the y axis too, which translates to imparting an acceleration along the y axis. if my calculations are correct (they may not be, my trigonometry is rusty) that can be accomplished by redirecting 37 m/s of speed along the x axis on the y axis, so that the bullet would only be accelerated by 74 m/s. therefore the armor would need to impart much less acceleration to deflect a bullet rather than to stop it, aand that equates to less force being applied to the armor. 

my numbers may be a bit wrong, but the principle is sound nonetheless.

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It sounds like that if shard plate is kind of stuck formed the way it is that eventually the equivalent to kevlar for the armor itself would be developed.

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actually, deflecting bullets by a small angle takes less energy than simply blocking them, because it needs to alter their speed less.

take the case of a bullet moving at a speed of 100 m/s hitting an armor and stopping. the bullet is accelerated by 100 m/s, and for the principle of action and reaction that force is imparted on the armor. actually a bit more than 100 m/s, since the bullet is not just stopping, it is bouncing back; if it bounces back at fulll speed  (completely elastic situation) then it will be accelerated by 200 m/s.

Now think of the bullet being deflected at an angle of 30 degrees. That equates to changing its speed components from one completely along the x axis to one that is partially along the y axis too, which translates to imparting an acceleration along the y axis. if my calculations are correct (they may not be, my trigonometry is rusty) that can be accomplished by redirecting 37 m/s of speed along the x axis on the y axis, so that the bullet would only be accelerated by 74 m/s. therefore the armor would need to impart much less acceleration to deflect a bullet rather than to stop it, aand that equates to less force being applied to the armor. 

my numbers may be a bit wrong, but the principle is sound nonetheless.

If you're talking about bouncing it off of a surface nearly parallel to the bullets flight path then yeah that's true, but what's being discussed is more likely to bounce it off maybe at a 90 degree angle at the most. Bouncing it off any less than that just result in the bullet bouncing off the armour and into the person inside it :P

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If radiant shardplate can change shape and/or size like their blades can, they could just redesign their plate to deflect the bullet or provide more stopping power.

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Shardgun! Totally a thing.

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Haha for a second i thought this thread was labeled "Shardplate against Bullies." Regardless i'd give the same answer. Effective.

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another thing that may help is that you could strap a kevlar armor over shardplate. I mean, shardplate gives you enhanced strenght, and the limitation to how much armor you can wear normally depends on the fact that it is heavy and you are supposed to move around. if you can wear 50 kilos of kevlar over youur shardplate, you really become near impervious.

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