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Old 12-03-2009, 01:47 AM   #81
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Originally Posted by Johnny Angel View Post
Is it possible that a good way to explain the ability to draw a heavy bow could some sort of specialized version of Arm ST? Perhaps gained via a Special Training perk?
Yes, indeed.

Martial Arts postulates that dedicated archers can take the Stronbow perk, which adds up to +2 ST for the sole purposes of drawing a bow and additionally three levels of Special Exercises (Arm ST), which allows up to +3 more.

This allows people who might not be freakishly big or otherwise strong, but who can draw a very heavy bow. Such as the people now practising with yew warbows.
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Old 12-03-2009, 02:22 AM   #82
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Mostly, yes. Bows range from maybe 1 lb to 3 lbs. Anything a PC would be using is probably 2-3 lbs.

There are heavier bows, but these suffer greatly in performance.



You draw in one motion. If you didn't, you probably couldn't draw at all and you certainly couldn't hit anything.

Depending on the breaks, people probably draw about 2.25-2.5xBL. An average person, ST 10, uses something between 40-50 lb. The strongest bows are 200 lb.

Drawing a bow is not precisely the same as lifting stuff, so realistically, we can't expect an exact match. But it's far closer to 2xBL than 4xBL.

Bow penetration is far too high at high ST scores, off course. But that, as Douglas Cole noted earlier, is something only a completely revised damage system for GURPS could fix.

I was assuming 1 motion, but if one were to measure the action it would be more than 1 Mississippi long. If that was the case then wouldn't the draw be equal to double 2 arm BL? In B15 it says you can take 2x the time for double the weight.

I agree with the limiting damage to thr+2 btw. The bleeding rules, sapping FP? and HP, characters wounded would lose FP quickly and more likely to suffer the 1/3 FP penalty.

History of War by Procopious (available in Project Guttenberg) notes the style difference of Byzantine vs Savaran Kataphrakts. Particularly the Draw time, the Byzants focusing on Power and Accuracy and the Sassanids focusing on Rate of Fire. This could be also interpreted to different Bow Doctrines. Since the Byzantines expect armored horses and kataphracts to their Imperial Peers, they may be going for heavier draw weight for a greater threat range. Reading up on Nomad Horse Archery doctrines, noting there was really 2 difference schools regarding Rate of Fire. Particularly when historians discuss about Horse Archer doctrines upon the arrival of the crusaders in the 11C were different from the "lighter" and less disciplined compared to their "older doctrines" there is reasonable evidence to greater than 1 second draw time.
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Old 12-03-2009, 04:16 AM   #83
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Well, it would give you some perspective of how hard some things actually are to do.
No it gives some perspective how hard some things are actually to do for a TL8 nerd couch potatoe.

(No insult to anyone intended)
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:06 AM   #84
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Yes, nice story but the Forests of middle europe donīt support large numbers of ponies and horse archery, german knights had slaughtered magyars and fought in the rusades, as well as frankish etc, the mongols were a long way from home without reliable support,

If everything was forest,where did those german knights come from?

Mongol armys had best support of all contemporary ones and besides they needed less support than any contemporary one.


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they couldnīt feed their ponies in this lands and their lines must be overstretched, that was a raid in both cases not an invasion

They could feed them in:

Deserts of Mongolia and China.
Mountains of Himalayas.
Jungles of India,Burma....
Frozen Siberia

...but they couldnt in temperate European climate ???

Besides you could compare their ponys to goats.Western horses were better in every aspect to their ponys except food requirements.they compensated lower quality of their ponys by bringing 5+ remounts to have always fresh horse for battle.
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Old 12-03-2009, 06:55 AM   #85
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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I'm not at all sure about 'most' and 'large'. Missile weapons were useful, certainly, because they allowed a degree of control over the battlefield and the enemy's movements.

But apart from horse archers (who won by harrying until the enemy force was routed), the bow was not usually a battle-winning weapon. Rome certainly didn't field significant archer contingents (yes, I'm aware that they fielded archers, but as a percentile of their total strength, hardly important).
It is true that the Romans did not field many archers, but ranged combat with javelins and slings was still a very important part of their strategy.
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Old 12-03-2009, 07:56 AM   #86
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Yes, indeed.

Martial Arts postulates that dedicated archers can take the Stronbow perk, which adds up to +2 ST for the sole purposes of drawing a bow and additionally three levels of Special Exercises (Arm ST), which allows up to +3 more.

This allows people who might not be freakishly big or otherwise strong, but who can draw a very heavy bow. Such as the people now practising with yew warbows.
Three? Not two (levels of Arm ST)? For some reason, my brain had it as two.
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:45 AM   #87
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Three? Not two (levels of Arm ST)? For some reason, my brain had it as two.

... Sleep deprivation. Occupational hazard of fatherhood! :)

Best,

-P.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:34 PM   #88
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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It is true that the Romans did not field many archers, but ranged combat with javelins and slings was still a very important part of their strategy.

Although that all changed around 5C -9C doctrine. around Justinian and Maurice's time archery was expected from every soldier. Check out the startegikon, the war veteran emperor was overly zealous about almost all his troops being archer capable. If you look at the formation notes, Most unit inside a block can shoot arrows. All units on the formation perimeter were heavy infantry.


XXXXXXX
XOOOOOX
XOOOOOX
XOOOOOX
XXXXXXX

just a quick "sketch" everyone inside were light infantry but, their definition of light infantry was synonymous with archers. In mentions about the equipment and training appears to confirm it. I would guess around 4cp archers (weapon bond, proficiency, and fast draw).

There was mention of tactics that used range attacks for harassment and allowing other units to close in. There was no mention of how these tactics were supposed to inflict losses and the amount of archery practice each soldier had was not comparable to dedicated archers. The tactics discussed seems more about softening up opponents when they can be pinned down with effective coordinated flanking and fire.

Imagining of the more organized roman units coordinating their fire from two different direction, which spread the enemy's defenses thinly. then signaling to one another which one should move to engage when the enemies moral or organization wavers. with just proper timing, they can break their enemy with a well executed successive charge, and not need to give chase if they are against superior no. by just finishing them off at ranged.

On can even use the same in small unit tactics.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:47 AM   #89
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I'm not at all sure about 'most' and 'large'. Missile weapons were useful, certainly, because they allowed a degree of control over the battlefield and the enemy's movements.

But apart from horse archers (who won by harrying until the enemy force was routed), the bow was not usually a battle-winning weapon. Rome certainly didn't field significant archer contingents (yes, I'm aware that they fielded archers, but as a percentile of their total strength, hardly important).
It doesn't matter whether bows were battle-winning weapons. If a bow was intended for use in war, then its a warbow; the important criteria is "did a past culture consider it suitable" not "could it do what I think a military bow should be able to do". But Bronze Age Egyptian and Mesopotamian, Iron Age Persian, and Medieval Byzantine/east Roman armies all included large contingents of infantry archers (say 20% or more of a typical army's infantry).

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Originally Posted by Icelander
When you say Scythian bows, do you mean actual TL1 designs or just variations of that shape? Because early composite bows were nowhere close to the quality of later ones.
I mean actual composite and sinew-reinforced wood bows which look like Scythian ones in art and the one or two reliable finds, firing replicas of surviving arrows. But again, all it takes to dispove "all warbows had draw weights of 100 lbs or more" is one culture which didn't do that, and I cited two: TL 1 Egyptians and TL 2 Scythians (and their Greek, Persian, etc. neighbours who used similar bows and arrows). I'll track down that book by Karpowicz some time.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:57 AM   #90
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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But again, all it takes to dispove "all warbows had draw weights of 100 lbs or more" is one culture which didn't do that, and I cited two: TL 1 Egyptians and TL 2 Scythians (and their Greek, Persian, etc. neighbours who used similar bows and arrows). I'll track down that book by Karpowicz some time.
I should, I admit, have said 'warbows at mature/late TL2+'. Before that, you got all sorts.

But my point was that a bow useful for what Molokh is asking for here (killing armoured point targets) and not just area harassment, would be a warbow and it would be of a heavy draw. That lighter bows were used in warfare is certainly true, but not for anything that would actually serve the purposes of a small band of PCs trying to kill foes.
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