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Old 04-17-2012, 03:25 PM   #91
The Colonel
 
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Default Re: Why short bow instead of long bow?

In terms of arms control, there was a point in English law where it was illegal not to own and train with a longbow if you fitted into a given social slot. Oh how the mighty have fallen...

As this implies, training (as already mentioned) is the major issue, that and whether your home nation actually makes longbows. Many RPGs assume that any weapon that exists is available anywhere ... in pre-modern times this was very definitely not the case. IIRC the Creteans used to be prestigious mercenary archers in the ancient world at least partially due to their superior bows - if Cretean bows were freely available worldwide this would have been much less the case. Much the same applies to the Anglo-Welsh warbow - various combinations of factors prevented any of the neigbouring nations from developing it as a military weapon. I think the Burgundians might have used it to some degree, but I'm not sure whether they trained their own or hired English or Welsh bowmen.
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Old 04-17-2012, 04:04 PM   #92
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Default Re: Why short bow instead of long bow?

The weapons were available everywhere. Cretan bows were nothing special. Yew longbows have turned up all over Europe since the neolithic. Finding trained men was the problem.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:40 AM   #93
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Default Re: Why short bow instead of long bow?

Using the spread sheet, my SM+1 archer gets the same realistic damage from a short bow as a long bow even after tweaking them something fierce.
ST 24 but using only 2XBL to drop the shooting speed a full second, and draw length 45 inches or so.

So only those wanting to pay out the backside for a +1 accuracy and a hair more range would be running around with them.
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:59 AM   #94
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Default Re: Why short bow instead of long bow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Using the spread sheet, my SM+1 archer gets the same realistic damage from a short bow as a long bow even after tweaking them something fierce.
May indicate a problem with the spreadsheet then, depending on how it defines a short and long bow. Or it might just be an issue of resolution -- at fixed draw weight, a longer bow only gives a significant advantage if it allows a longer draw length, and even if it does, a 50% increase in bow length gives maybe a 10-20% increase in GURPS damage.

Last edited by Anthony; 04-18-2012 at 01:13 AM.
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Old 04-18-2012, 02:14 AM   #95
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Why short bow instead of long bow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
May indicate a problem with the spreadsheet then, depending on how it defines a short and long bow. Or it might just be an issue of resolution -- at fixed draw weight, a longer bow only gives a significant advantage if it allows a longer draw length, and even if it does, a 50% increase in bow length gives maybe a 10-20% increase in GURPS damage.
The "realistic" scale for damage is pretty flat in the regime of interest, and does scale with the square root of KE. Even in my article, I did basically what Flyndarin did . . . a shorter bow (regular vs longbow, I think) that had the same damage as a longbow (both ST 16 with 28-30" draw). I believe I mostly had to tweak out the bow shape, because the longbow wasn't approaching any sort of design limit (but the shorter bow was).

For a true shortbow, I suspect he had to work pretty hard. Very wide, thin limbs, maybe a non-working handle to get draw length up while keeping efficiency reasonable, and perhaps tweaking out material selection. Usually REALLY short bows can only reach design draw targets equivalent to 30" on a human by using the miracle-materials: horn, sinew, or modern composites.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:50 AM   #96
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Default Re: Why short bow instead of long bow?

Years ago I made a "pistol" crossbow and spent months trying out different woods for a 15" prod. Nothing worked at a length that was short enough. I had to use steel and fibreglass.

Last edited by DanHoward; 04-18-2012 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:23 AM   #97
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Default Re: Why short bow instead of long bow?

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Originally Posted by DanHoward View Post
Years ago I made a "pistol" crossbow and spent months trying out different woods for a 15" prod. Nothing worked at a length that was short enough. I had to use steel and fibreglass.
Playing with the spreadsheet for my SM-2 and SM+1 guys really shows how important draw length is. Far more than I ever would have guessed in my complete ignorance of bows.
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