So, you’ve spec-ed to ‘heavy armour’. That means wearing metal. Metal’s heavy, really heavy, but then again, it’s called ‘heavy’ armour for that exact reason, so put up and shut up, right? Wrong. Thanks to great advances in chain making technology since the 1400s, chain mail doesn’t have to mean carting around a second you on your back, and Nick Muir of the Armuiry works full-time to bring your the best ‘ally-neo’ chain that he can with him hands and two border collies cheering him on.


Nicknamed ‘cheat chain’, ally-neo actually means aluminium and neoprene, making it cleaner, and immensely lighter than full aluminium chain suits, which due to the number of rings, means more of it is in contact with your skin, turning your skin slowly silver over the course of a weekend. You may not have intended to come away from an event looking like a silver golem and the Tin Man had a child, but if you don’t wear a layer under it, you’ll come away with a sheen. Because there are less rings, ally-neo chain doesn’t rub off quite so badly, and its biggest draw is its weight. An average suit is about 2kg in weight. Let that sink in. Two. Kilos. A baby weighs more than that. A shield is about that.


Personally for me as a female LARPer, finding armour to fit across the woman’s peaks and child-bearing hips is difficult at best, and because of the neoprene rings used to link the suit together, there is a degree of stretch in the suit itself, meaning I can run around like the barbarian I am, fall over, roll around, and I don’t have to worry about suddenly losing my breath or exposing myself, as the suit moves with me. It also means that the suits can be more tailored to your actual body shape, creating a fitted look rather than baggy on the waist as would be the natural way of things.


It’s not all cheery in the world of ally-neo, though. Some systems don’t regard the chain as ‘real’ heavy armour, meaning that in certain systems, your heavy armour is demoted to medium, so unless you’ve seen it on the field before at any system, double check what level of armour they will consider your cheat chain to be. However, I can’t recommend the chain enough for cosplayers and players whose systems allow it. It’s light, looks the bog’s dollocks, and actually fits to the person it’s meant for. Get your quote below at: