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Old 07-26-2010, 06:00 PM   #111
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Originally Posted by DanHoward View Post
Actually one aspect of early Samurai warfare was to ride out in front of the line, issue a challenge to someone, and then have a brief exchange of arrows with them. Though, this type of archery is irrelevant to the subsequent pitched battle.
However, so are PC group skirmishes for the most part, so relevance to the pitched battle is fairly irrelevant for core GURPS purposes. If these exchanges indicated effectiveness as a person to person weapon, that could be interesting despite bow-sniping not being a battlefield tactic.
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Old 07-26-2010, 06:13 PM   #112
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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If these exchanges indicated effectiveness as a person to person weapon
They don't. Their armour at the time was specifically optimised for these exchanges. It was rare for someone to be badly injured. It was a ritual, not a valid military tactic. You see similar rituals in many cultures that have a military class.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:21 PM   #113
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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The stories about 'noble warriors', whether samurai or others, tend to focus on behavior that is neither practical nor actually present in real warfare.
True enough. On the other hand noble warriors tend to be more interested in glory than military discipline which is why they so often get soundly trounced by bourgeois and commoner soldiers when the later are well drilled. If volley fire had been preferred in Japan, the bow would have been a commoner's weapon, not a Samurai.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:30 PM   #114
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

The samurai used the bow for "duelling" with opponents before combat began. When in battle they used a pole arm followed by the sword, not the bow.

Horse archery seems to have more varied tactics in some cultures. One tactic involved riding closer to the target, shooting a few arrows (possibly at selected targets) and then retreating while shooting more arrows as they withdrew. This is the only realistic example that I can think of that might be performed in a typical RPG.
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Old 07-26-2010, 10:16 PM   #115
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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They don't. Their armour at the time was specifically optimised for these exchanges. It was rare for someone to be badly injured. It was a ritual, not a valid military tactic. You see similar rituals in many cultures that have a military class.
Valid military tactic is not the point. PC tactics are not the same as military tactics, and the weapon, not the (non) tactic is what's in question.

I'm not saying bows could be effective weapons for shooting at individual men, but your argument here would apply just as well to jousts as a proof of the uselessness of lances.
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:25 PM   #116
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Valid military tactic is not the point. PC tactics are not the same as military tactics, and the weapon, not the (non) tactic is what's in question.

I'm not saying bows could be effective weapons for shooting at individual men, but your argument here would apply just as well to jousts as a proof of the uselessness of lances.
For the matter of that real tactics are not the same as optimal tactics.

One must not assume victory is a warriors highest priority. In point of fact a samurai has little interest in his Daimyo's political status. His cause is samurainess.
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