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Topics - irontide

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I've been trying to get my head around how smoking food has changed in 3.63. The question I have is how large a fire is required in order to keep the process ticking along.

At first I thought that we would need to have a continuous fire for a few hours in order to fully heat up the fireplace, and I erred on the side of overdoing it. I tried various combinations of firewood and branches to get the fire to the level of either 'burning for a few hours' or 'burning for several hours'. The smallest combination in my haphazard trials was 5 firewood and 20 branches or thereabouts. I had no meat spoilage doing this, even if I missed a day (I would then make a larger fire, e.g. 80 branches, to make up for that).

Since I had no spoilage, I thought I was overdoing things, and this is a significant amount of firewood to go through in midsummer. Also, as far as I can tell the fireplace heats up even with the minimum fire (16 branches, or 5 firewood and 1 branch). So now I'm trying to see what happens with the minimum firewood. Now I'm getting spoilage. At first I thought it was that I had misjudged the boundaries between days and inadvertently missed one, but I get more spoilage the more that a batch of meat has been smoked during my 16-branch fire regime. The bits that were mostly with my large-fire regime and only a few days of 16-branch fires only had a little spoilage; my last batch that was entirely done during the 16-branch fire regime had ~40% spoilage. So, something is going wrong.

Is it that the 16-branch fires are too small? Or is it something with the timing of the checks, and my pretty haphazard schedule of lighting fires (while trapping, active hunting, building a cabin, long trips, etc.) means that the small fires doesn't have the margin of error for smoking that a larger one does? I've frequently lit a fire in the morning, left my settlement, and come back and lit a fire at night the next day. Perhaps this is now a no-no without lighting large fires. I presumed that the game would do a check at 8am each morning whether the fireplace was heated since the last 8am check. But that is just a presumption.

Another issue is that I don't understand the details of how heating a fireplace now works. It may be that 16-branch fires are too small to properly heat the fireplace. Maybe there is now a continuum of how hot a fireplace gets, and my ~40% spoilage is because a 16-branch fire only gets to ~60% of the necessary heat. In this case, the question is 'how large a fire is needed to fully heat a fireplace?'. A wrinkle here is that the game describes as a 'heated room' a room with even a minimum-sized fire that has just been lit, which is what emboldened me to try 16-branch fires.

I would need to do more systematic testing to come to any kind of conclusion. In the meantime, I thought I'd ask the other players, you, what your experiences and meat-smoking regimes have been.

Off-topic / Iron age shield made from bark discovered in England
« on: May 30, 2019, 07:14:46 PM »
There has been a very significant find of martial a shield made from bark, rather than metal or timber as previously known examples from the period. The find is dated to the early iron age (~350-250BC) in England, used by Celtic warriors. This is especially rare and significant because a material like bark doesn't normally survive the centuries. I have no idea whether something like this would have been used in Finland, but of interest to people here nonetheless I'm sure.

The discovery reveals that the ancient Britons used the same lightweight shield-making material used at least in more recent centuries by Aboriginal Australian warriors.

It is likely that the Leicestershire shield was actually used in at least one battle. It has two probable spear impact marks and two probable blade marks, potentially made by metal swords.

Each blade impact mark gives a fascinating clue as to the defensive properties of bark shields.

Read more
Crusades fighters ‘had families with locals and recruited offspring’
Bark is more resilient than metal or wood – so sword blows (and arrows) tend to fully or partially rebound off them.

In the case of the blows which caused the blade impact marks on the Leicestershire shield, the blade had quite literally bounced off and back onto the surface, thus producing parallel five centimetre long repeat impact marks, just a few millimetres apart.

It demonstrates the almost rubber-like deflective nature of the shield’s bark composition.

But to make the bark behave in that extremely effective way, the shield’s Iron Age makers had to employ some very sophisticated manufacturing techniques, researchers have discovered.

First, they had dried the bark in such a way as to give it an inbuilt rubber-like weapon-deflecting “bounce” capacity.

They achieved this by inducing tension in the bark, as it dried, by deliberately bending it in the opposite direction to its natural tree-surface curve.

This enabled the inner face of the bark to become the outer impact-absorbing “business” face of the shield.

It is this deliberate curve-reversal-induced tension which gave the shield its protective qualities – and it was the ultra-lightweight nature of bark (as opposed to metal or ordinary timber) which would almost certainly have allowed the warriors to fight more agilely and for longer.

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