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A shield is a broad piece of personal armor carried on the arm or in the hand. Throughout human history, it was widely utilized by soldiers to defend against attacks in close combat or to intercept projectiles.

Description

Historically, the shield was generally intended to act as a defensive complement to a handheld weapon. While it may vary widely in construction, shape, and size, its general profile is the same: a broad, sturdy disc of wood or metal which may provide some cover to its wielder. Unlike other types of armor which are worn, it is carried on the offhand, most often with a band or handle underneath by which it may be held. Designed for close quarters combat, it can be effective at intercepting projectiles, such as arrows, and blocking the blows of swords and other weapons.[1]

Aside from personal protection, large shields could also be used to erect barricades by forming a line with shield-bearers. This tactic was employed by Crusaders during the Third Crusade in an attempt to prevent the escape of enemies or to force them to partake in personal duels against their commanders. Even so, they were not immune to being forcibly broken through, as demonstrated by the Assassin Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad in 1190 during his duel with the Templar leader Basilisk.[2]

History

Raining Pain

Shields being used to block arrows during the Battle of Monteriggioni in 1454

A basic yet efficient means of defense, shields have been used throughout much of the history of human warfare. They were standard service in the army of the Roman Republic and widely common among warriors of contemporary societies such as Egypt and Greece. The Medjay Bayek who eventually founded the Assassin Brotherhood favored the typical combination of a sword and shield.[1]

Shields gradually faded in prevalence over the course of next two millennia. At the time of the Italian Renaissance, guards did not genuinely rely on shields[3][4] although they continued to be an invaluable asset of field armies as protection against arrow volleys. Italian metal shields of this era [5]

With the advent of firearms, shields, like swords, began to be phased out entirely in state militaries such that by the 18th century, they were unheard of among European soldiers.[6][7][8][9]

Shield statistics

Ptolemaic Egypt (1st century BCE)

Name Rarity Quality (Max Level 40) Damage (Max Level 40) Attributes Availability
Aegean Shield Rare 87 903 Ranged Resistance I

Adrenaline on Parry II

Blacksmith, Loot
Alexander's Shield Rare 90 903 Melee Resistance IV

Fire Resistance II

Complete the quest Plight of the Rebels.
Antigonus Shield Rare 87 882 Ranged Resistance II

Fire Resistance II

Complete the quest Conflicts of Interest.
Auxiliary Shield Tribal Pack
Bird of Prey Rare Melee Resistance II

Fire Resistance II

Uplay
Bronze Shield Common 84 882 Ranged Resistance I Blacksmith, Loot
Compendium Legendary 94 903 Ranged Resistance IV

Damage Absorption Rate III

Bleeding on Block

Complete the quest The Good Roman
Djoser's Pride Legendary 93 924 Melee Resistance II

Damage Absorption Value III

Sleep on Block

Blacksmith, Loot
Kush Shield Rare Melee Resistance I

Ranged Resistance III

Uplay
Madu's Shield Common Melee Resistance I Blacksmith, Loot
Medjay Shield Common Melee Resistance I Default, Blacksmith, Loot
Medusa's Gaze Legendary Ranged Resistance III

Damage Absorption on Block III

Sleep on Block

Nomad's Bazaar
Metal Shield Common 85 861 Melee Resistance III Blacksmith, Loot
Moonlit Shield First Civilization Pack DLC
Phalangite Shield Legendary Ranged Resistance II

Adrenaline on Parry III

Poison on Block

Blacksmith, Loot
Phalanx Shield Rare Melee Resistance II

Damage Absorption Rate II

Blacksmith, Loot
Reinforced Shield Legendary 93 903 Melee Resistance IV

Ranged Resistance II

Damage Absorption on Parry I

Blacksmith, Loot
Remission Rare 89 882 Melee Resistance III

Ranged Resistance III

Savannah Rare 87 882 Ranged Resistance III

Fire Resistance I

Tribal Pack DLC
Scorpio Legendary 91 882 Ranged Resistance III

Damage Absorption on Parry II

Poison on Block

Helix Store, Nomad's Bazaar
Shield of Hilarus Rare Melee Resistance III

Damage Absorption on Parry III

Complete The Champion
Snakes on a Shield Legendary 93 903 Adrenaline on Parry III

Damage Absorption Rate III

Poison on Block

Desert Cobra Pack DLC
SPQR Legendary 91 882 Ranged Resistance III

Damage Absorption on Parry II

Bleeding on Block

Helix Store, Nomad's Bazaar
Sun and Moon Legendary 92 903 Ranged Resistance III

Fire Resistance II

Bleeding on Block

Horus Pack DLC
Tomb Protector Legendary 94 924 Melee Resistance III

Ranged Resistance III

Sleep on Block

Complete Trial of Sekhmet
Vincit qui Patitur Legendary 92 903 Melee Resistance III

Adrenaline on Parry II

Health on Parry

Roman Centurion Pack DLC
Wooden Shield Common Melee Resistance II Blacksmith, Loot
Worn Shield Common Ranged Resistance II Blacksmith, Loot

Trivia

PL shield 1

A shield from Project Legacy

  • In Assassin's Creed: Altaïr's Chronicles, shields are used in two areas by Crusaders as a means to block the exit of the player, thereby forcing a duel with a particular enemy. Once the fight has been won, the player must use the skill Shield Bash to break through the barricade by directly charging through it.
  • In the crafting system of Assassin's Creed: Project Legacy, one shield is made from four bars of copper, two bars of tin, and one set of pine logs. This suggests that the metal plating of the shields are forged from bronze, yet they appear to be iron. Two shields and one shield in turn are used to train one group of swordsmen and one Roman sentry respectively.

Gallery

Shields

Concept art from Assassin's Creed Origins

Appearances

References

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