Originally Posted by Chevalr1c
It is perfectly possible to play through the game on RM Hardcore without armour, as long as you don't Rambo through and use stealth. By being careful I recently managed to avoid a fight with Lurkers in the former playground (did not realise I could before, and engaged in order to get them down quickly). Using stealth during "Frontline", "Black Station" and in the bandit stinkhole soon after leaving Riga was actually obvious to me. It may lead to less stashes being plunderable (so you won't be able to get all Mil. ammo, I suppose) but overall it will be better. The only time I went "Rambo" during "Frontline" was when I tried to get the "Hedgehopper" achievement. After I aquired it, I restarted the level in order to get through it "normally".
I have not come across any armor and I am well past the chapter where you climb the tractor to get to the top of the building (that is the route I took anyway). Am I missing something?