It's a question of technological levels. Iron and low grade steel means metal armour is more rare and of lower level. Heroes and nobles have good gear, but the common soldier is lucky to have a helmet to go with his spear and shield (with a lick of paint). Cavalry is mostly light and medium cavalry, with heavy cavalry being few in numbers but very effective if the foe will stand and fight.
I also like the look much more:
[The stuff below is a bit too high-tech, but I use it for inspiration for high end stuff]
European medieval stuff has been overused from D&D onwards. I prefer Faris to knight when it comes to Gloranthan west: http://crusades.suite101.com/article.cfm/faris_medieval_muslim_horsemen
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