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Old 11-28-2008, 09:51 AM   #131
JAW
 
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Default Re: Low-Tech Missile Weapon Range and Accuracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydamas
Archbishop Latimer (whom Queen Mary burned) delivered a famous sermon on archery. He describes his father giving him a series of bows as he grew up and got stronger. Part of this was that no eight-year-old was going to use a six-foot longbow, but its fairly clear that stronger archers selected stronger bows. Perhaps this didn't happen when getting a fresh bow from storage in an emergency, but under most circumstances an archer could try several and pick the one he liked. I think the Strategikon also suggests that better archers should use stronger bows.

I don't know of any reference to using a partial draw on a heavy bow, although it might work in emergencies. But a bow suited to the archer's strength would be more practical. The English were very proud of using a full draw on heavy bows, but if you look at the sources the idea of archers who only draw to the chest seems to be a myth.
Well no eight year olds has ST 11...

Could be a job for mythbusters.. Somebody of fairly normal strength and little archery practise should just pick up a longbow and shoot at a target drawing it to "chest" - or to where he can draw it (probably to nose instead of ear or something).. IF drawing he bow fully was something people were proud of - it could be something not everyone could do..

But I agree that there were probably bows of different weight. But 100 to 150 lbs range would likely cower nicely strengths 10 to 18 or so.. Or at least form ST 11 to 17 - If that was the range of bows actually taken to battlefield.
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:54 AM   #132
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Default Re: Low-Tech Missile Weapon Range and Accuracy

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Originally Posted by JAW
Well no eight year olds has ST 11...

Could be a job for mythbusters.. Somebody of fairly normal strength and little archery practise should just pick up a longbow and shoot at a target drawing it to "chest" - or to where he can draw it (probably to nose instead of ear or something).. IF drawing he bow fully was something people were proud of - it could be something not everyone could do..
We know that drawing a 150lb longbow is something not everyone could do. That's why longbows of lighter draw weights existed.

On the other hand, no one who could not draw at least a 100lb warbow fully had any business on a battlefield. Since his arrows wouldn't penetrate the armour of the day, he'd be an encumbrance more than an asset.

No one is arguing that any Englishman could draw a 150lb warbow. We are, however, arguing that the pool of men who were potential military archers mostly could.
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Old 11-28-2008, 10:12 AM   #133
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Default Re: Low-Tech Missile Weapon Range and Accuracy

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Originally Posted by Icelander
We know that drawing a 150lb longbow is something not everyone could do. That's why longbows of lighter draw weights existed.

On the other hand, no one who could not draw at least a 100lb warbow fully had any business on a battlefield. Since his arrows wouldn't penetrate the armour of the day, he'd be an encumbrance more than an asset.

No one is arguing that any Englishman could draw a 150lb warbow. We are, however, arguing that the pool of men who were potential military archers mostly could.
After quite a lot of training though..

OK - here's somebody shooting a 123lbs warbow - not being able to fully draw it - and it looks painfull and apaprently accuracy is not that good.. As he hits when changing to 90 lbs one..

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zLlBNnQg6Bs

So yeah - 100 lbs is likely min ST 11 - and familiarity penalties if one is not accustomed to the correct technique for longbow. The guy looks at least ST 11..
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:34 PM   #134
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Default Re: Low-Tech Missile Weapon Range and Accuracy

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Originally Posted by JAW
After quite a lot of training though..
Absolutely. That's why archers weren't trained, they were recruited from people who had been shooting all their lives.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAW
OK - here's somebody shooting a 123lbs warbow - not being able to fully draw it - and it looks painfull and apaprently accuracy is not that good.. As he hits when changing to 90 lbs one..

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=zLlBNnQg6Bs

So yeah - 100 lbs is likely min ST 11 - and familiarity penalties if one is not accustomed to the correct technique for longbow. The guy looks at least ST 11..
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.
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Old 11-28-2008, 12:54 PM   #135
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Default Re: Low-Tech Missile Weapon Range and Accuracy

Long thread (interesting, though).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander
In design for GURPS 4e, the decision was made for playability and heroism to allow low-tech missile weapon some pretty impressive stats. Bows have a very long range and exceptional accuracy, slings do Swing pi damage at very long range and for strong men they can strike harder than 9mm bullets, crossbows are more accurate than pistols and muskets, etc. (...)
I can't evaluate the issue myself. So I would like to ask: was this the official thinking behind the RAW regarding low-tech missile weapons? Is official that low-tech missile weapons are unrealistically "empowered", or the issue is subject to debate, still moving between different opinions?
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Old 11-28-2008, 01:15 PM   #136
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Default Re: Low-Tech Missile Weapon Range and Accuracy

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Originally Posted by demonsbane
Long thread (interesting, though).


I can't evaluate the issue myself. So I would like to ask: was this the official thinking behind the RAW regarding low-tech missile weapons? Is official that low-tech missile weapons are unrealistically "empowered", or the issue is subject to debate, still moving between different opinions?
The actual quote (to be found here) says that low-tech ranged weapons retained their full 3e Acc bonus to make fantasy games 'playable and fun'.
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Old 11-29-2008, 12:16 AM   #137
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Default Re: Low-Tech Missile Weapon Range and Accuracy

Quote:
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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Old 11-30-2008, 02:13 PM   #138
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Default Re: Low-Tech Missile Weapon Range and Accuracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglasCole
that would give us roughly this:

Code:
Draw 	Points	Dice
36	2.5	1d-1
70	3.5	1d
113	4.5	1d+1
170	5.5	1d+2
197	6	2d-1
273	7	2d
354	8	2d+1
One last: the max range is also proportional to sqrt of draw weight, all other things being equal (which they're not, but in games one must make simplifications).

[EDIT: Icelander provided a historical max range for the 150lb bow, which cause a recalculation of sqrt(Draw)x20 to x30 for Max Range. ]

So, if we assume a 150lb bow shoots in the 350yd range, then a bow of arbitrary draw might shoot sqrt(Draw) x 30yds.

Or, with the above table:

Code:
Draw 	Points	Dice	Max Range
36	2.5	1d-1	180
70	3.5	1d	250
113	4.5	1d+1	318
170	5.5	1d+2	391
197	6	2d-1	421
273	7	2d	495
354	8	2d+1	564
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Last edited by DouglasCole; 11-30-2008 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:51 PM   #139
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Default Re: Low-Tech Missile Weapon Range and Accuracy

Douglas, are we sure we want a strictly proportional relationship?

It is my impression that the curve flattens out somewhat at the extremes, where more energy is lost accelerating the heavier bowlimbs.

That would depend on the material used, of course, but for normal wood and normal bow design, I'd say that the middle of the human range yields a better efficiency than the top.

In other words, the GURPS method of adding a flat modifier based on bow length to thr damage might not be that far off (except that thr damage for higher ST is too high).

The range in the basic rules is a proportional relationship, of course.

The methods for measuring range given in sources I've come across vary enough to make it problematic for me to get any sort of feeling for them. The top ranges with 'flight' arrows are very high, but that has zero relevance for combat use. Except that in some cases, the arrow termed 'flight' arrows are probably lethal enough (even if not as good as proper broadheads) and in other cases they are purely sporting arrows.

I've seen sources which claim that bodkin arrows achieve better range than Type 16 broadheads. I'm not sure how much of a difference there is.

The extreme range for a 150lb longbow in experiments for The Great Warbow was 357 yards with a war arrow. If that's a ST 15 bow in GURPS terms, the ranges given aren't too far off.
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Old 11-30-2008, 09:28 PM   #140
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Default Re: Low-Tech Missile Weapon Range and Accuracy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander
Douglas, are we sure we want a strictly proportional relationship?
It makes for a reason for people to carry personalized bows tuned to their ST given the granularity of GURPS damage. Bows, using realistic penetration values, are pretty flat in terms of damage (not a bad thing). A hunting longbow (70lbs) does 1d, a warbow 1d+1, and a strong warbow 1d+2. So having range scale basically with draw weight, and therefore with ST, makes some degree of sense.

Quote:
It is my impression that the curve flattens out somewhat at the extremes, where more energy is lost accelerating the heavier bowlimbs.
Would make sense; the true range scales with velocity, not force. There may be a practical maximum for such things, given bow and arrow materials properties and the basic physics. Still...what we might do is suggest a tech-level based limit to bow draw and efficiency, which is currently subsumed into a constant of value 1 not explicitly in my formula. Efficiency would always be relative to our reference 150lb medieval warbow.

Quote:
That would depend on the material used, of course, but for normal wood and normal bow design, I'd say that the middle of the human range yields a better efficiency than the top.

In other words, the GURPS method of adding a flat modifier based on bow length to thr damage might not be that far off (except that thr damage for higher ST is too high).
Could be...what I have above is a scaling for the longbow; we'd need to come up with vague estimates for the velocity of appropriate war arrows with bows of different construction, efficiency, and draw strength. We can then finagle constants that restate the draw vs damage and range equation. Really, is all we're doing is basically giving, for example, a shortbow a lower efficiency than a longbow, and composite bows higher...which is sort of the same as a thrust plus flat modifier.

Still, I think our calcs with the warbow show damage a lot more flat in the human range than I'd have thought...and I consider that a good thing. Most numbers for arrow velocities seem to fall in the 40-65m/s range, which won't be that much of a spread in penetration.

Quote:
The range in the basic rules is a proportional relationship, of course.
Quite so.

Quote:
The methods for measuring range given in sources I've come across vary enough to make it problematic for me to get any sort of feeling for them. The top ranges with 'flight' arrows are very high, but that has zero relevance for combat use. Except that in some cases, the arrow termed 'flight' arrows are probably lethal enough (even if not as good as proper broadheads) and in other cases they are purely sporting arrows.
We'd fudge this, likely, with range modifiers (higher) and armor divisors and damage reduction (I'd probably slap on a -1 damage and [0.5] armor divisor, plus an appropriately large range multiplier to account for the feats observed with flight arrows). So long as the results are believable and playable, it's a win.
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