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Old 01-13-2018, 03:51 PM   #61
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Default Re: Countering archers and bows?

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
The Sengoku Period (1467-1603) proved the effectiveness of firearms against Japanese samurai (and Japanese archery), which is one of the reasons why the Tokugawa Shogunate banned firearms for over two centuries. If Nobunaga Oda had survived long enough to establish an Oda Shogunate, I do not doubt that the Japanese would have replaced archery with marksmanship within a generation.
I was in no way questioning the overall effectiveness of early firearms, just saying that bows were better in some areas, and the example here is one of the places bows do well. Firearms are useful because their high power has a better chance of penetrating armor and it is much easier to train musketeers than archers. In this case, you already have trained archers firing at lightly or unarmored foes so their high rate of fire is a big advantage. (At least to my reading of the situation the PCs are lightly armored. I could be wrong there.)

Also my point still stands that if a pirate crew of swashbucklers found them selves in Japan in 1660 or so, they would most likely be facing off against bowmen. Thus the idea that putting bowmen against the swashbuckler is somehow ahistorical is untrue. It might not have been a common match up historically, but still quite possible. I am sure some Spanish conquistadors with rapiers came under arrow fire in the New Word at some point.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:39 PM   #62
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Default Re: Countering archers and bows?

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Originally Posted by a humble lich View Post
I am sure some Spanish conquistadors with rapiers came under arrow fire in the New Word at some point.
Rapiers in that case were side arms, primarily useful as civilian carries. These guys also wore plate harness.

The image of the swashbuckler as fictional archetype tends to confuse civilian weapons and dress with military weapons and armor.

Certainly bows, crossbows, plate armor, rapiers, pikes, halberds, and firearms all were in significant use during the same period. Plate armor, rapiers, and firearms are all roughly contemporary developments, so it certainly isn't true that firearms made plate armor obsolete right away, or that rapiers existed because there wasn't any armor. Rapiers have very little to do armor at all, except for the popularity of concealed or concealsble armor like brigadine and fine mail. The expected use of a rapier was self-defense against a unarmored assailant or in duels, also unarmored.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:49 PM   #63
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Default Re: Countering archers and bows?

Also the vast majority of historical rapiers were not the super slender obscenely long epee looking weapons most games portray them as.
Those puppies weighed about the same as thick "broadswords", but just spread out in length a bit more.
As cool as swords are, they simply weren't primary weapons in war except in a few historical cases.
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Old 01-15-2018, 06:05 AM   #64
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Default Re: Countering archers and bows?

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In short, a setting with a large armed civilian/urban population would likely develop something like a rapier with or without the invention of gunpowder.
Or possibly it didn't, or did but the broadsword & buckler out-did rapiers as the fashionable choice. Perhaps there was a trend for highly decorated bucklers, and while they became very small, they never quite went away, and a heavier cut & thrust sword remained the popular complement to your decorative buckler (though it's entirely possible that both become nearly useless dress accessories for normal wear, and you have to send someone home to get the real weapons if you end up in a duel).

Then there's what happens if wearing a fine light mail undershirt is something that's simply considered prudent for a gentleman, rather than cowardly. That would tend to make for either duels to 'first blood' with very light fast weapons, aiming for hits to the limbs, or to lethal duels to the death with fairly heavy weapons suitable for chopping limbs off and/or smashing bodies and heads.
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Old 01-15-2018, 01:51 PM   #65
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Default Re: Countering archers and bows?

Fashion can push for some rather weird side weapons.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cinquedea
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