Originally Posted by inexorabletruth
What are the strategic disadvantages to wearing gauntlets while fighting hand to hand?
I've worn sparring gloves (but not metal gauntlets) and found them to be easy enough to grab with and punch with, but intricate finger dexterity was a bit of a challenge, so attacking nerve clusters, or grabbing small items or smooth items was a bit of a challenge, and not really feasible in combat. And anything that required finger and hand sensitivity was right out.
Would you say it's the same, more so, or less so for steel gauntlets?
The thicker and the stiffer the gloves, the less manual dexterity you have; plate mittens, for instance, radically reduce the possible hand movements, but, if well designed, should not reduce the ability to grip small rounded objects too much (you do lose out on different finger placement though).On the other hand, even badly fitted work gloves tend to make any precise movements difficult, or even impossible; however the added grip somewhat makes grabbing smooth objects easier.
From my experience, any gloves that are thick enough to give some protection to the fingers reduce your ability to perform precise grabbing techniques (such as grabbing the collar bone or applying pressure on the metacarpus), and mittens make they all but impossible; however, in combat, especially with a trained opponent, those techniques are of little value (and all but useless if he is also wearing armor). Most grappling should still be doable with anything but the heaviest of gloves (talking boxing gloves here), and most precision based finger techniques (eye gouging, ear ripping, stabbing thumbs between the ribs, etc.), should still be easy to do, although may be hampered by the extra thickness.