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Old 11-29-2008, 01:16 AM   #137
nik1979's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Philippines, Makati
Default Re: Low-Tech Missile Weapon Range and Accuracy

Originally Posted by Icelander
Absolutely. That's why archers weren't trained, they were recruited from people who had been shooting all their lives.

In the real world, drawing heavy bows is at least partially dependent on bone structure, not muscle strength. These things are all subsumed under one ST number, but in reality, it's possible to be very strong but not have the specific bone structure that allows for comfortable use of the great warbow.

This bone structure does build with practice, though. Any normal man who receives enough nutrition and practices enough will become able to draw a warbow. It's just that few people did so historically and today only a few eccentrics bother.
Surprisingly, Maurice's Strategikon wanted EVERYONE in the army trained in archery. This must be from the fact that most of their enemies had a logistical challenge arming enough of them with metal armor.

Here is something strange that should be considered. Against regular idea of the "roman" army, the typical byzantine unit would have heavy infantry in the outer layer of the block and archers (1st and last 2 rows) in the inner troops are all archers.

Now what is weird is that (acc. to the strategikon) talks about how ranks of bodies add to the force of melee, which is a standard classical method. I get the idea that the archers in the middle are meant to push and fight with the infantry given the method of the training (IDHMBWM but I can't recall if part of the light infantry training included spears). Since the heavy infantry is mentioned to be fully armored (at least the front ranks) and are trained in 1 on 1 combat and not just the regular drills. I think long range engagement is the only tactic usable with archers with the intent to Kill, but more of the intent to harass and allow an ally to move into an advantageous position. Given that there are 2 messengers per unit I bet they coordinate in a way like modern cross fire works. From Procopious' the Byzants focused on RoF compared to their Persian counter parts. I guess it makes more sense if your tactics works with classical army organization and coordination and suppressive fire tactics.
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