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Old 06-13-2022, 06:11 PM   #91
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
It's possible to have a quite dangerous slingshot, but elastic materials with the right properties aren't particularly available before TL 6.
Coiled steel springs are late TL4 (used for clocks, etc.), although heavy duty steel springs are TL5.

A slingshot/hand catapult based on springs rather than elastic bands is heavier, noisier, and bulkier, but quite functional.
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Old 06-13-2022, 06:27 PM   #92
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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Originally Posted by Pursuivant View Post
A slingshot/hand catapult based on springs rather than elastic bands is heavier, noisier, and bulkier, but quite functional.
I wouldn't call it a slingshot unless the primary elastic medium is the strap, rather than the arm.
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Old 06-13-2022, 06:57 PM   #93
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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Originally Posted by Prince Charon View Post
I suspect that they meant something like 'TL1 or TL2.' I do agree that this is one of those areas where GURPS standard TL notation causes issues, though.
Yeah, I meant TL 1 or TL 2 (Bronze Age or Iron Age); I forgot about that oddity in GURPS TL nomenclature.
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Old 06-16-2022, 09:14 AM   #94
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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Be careful with that one. In English language a slingshot refers to the children's toy thingy with two forked sticks which is probably more accurate but hasn't enough impact to be a weapon except against small game. A sling is the spinning round the head thingy. A lot of Americans who have not researched the matter get confused.

I remember at least one time someone asked how David could have killed a professional duelist. Of course there is nothing unusual about the whole story except Goliath's size which was within possibility for a human with a growth disorder. As long as you remember that David was using a sling not a slingshot and he was probably as used to it as people in American small towns are used to firearms.
Of course with the term "slingshot" I meant "sling bullets", not the modern Y-shaped elastic band slingshots. In a number of archaeological papers and in the search system of the British Museum "slingshot" is a synonym of "sling bullet", hence my use as such of the term.
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Old 06-16-2022, 09:40 AM   #95
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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I for a long time wondered if heavy infantry didn't sometimes use slings as small arms. They probably did although an inexpert man couldn't aim a sling (most infantry ranged weapons are fired at To Whom It May Concern anyway). There were few occasions to use them in a shield wall however.
The main issue is that in order to make a good slinger, the soldier must be trained extensively for many and many years in using the sling, very like a bowman using heavy war bows or a knight must be trained for years in their respective skills, requiring quite a lot of time in order to truly master them. Heavy infantry using slings as secondary weapons was deployed by Romans and Eastern Romans, but with not very brilliant results. Usually, good quality slingers came from pastoral non-steppic contexts (where a sling was more functional than a bow in order to both control the cattle and repel predators) or from medium-to-small size islands (where suitable wood for making bow and/or arrow shaft was scarce or absent). A lot of farmers could be mediocre slingers, having practiced with the weapon for repelling birds and stray animals from the harvest, but only few of them developed enought skill to be comparable to truly professional slingers.
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Old 06-16-2022, 11:09 AM   #96
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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The main issue is that in order to make a good slinger, the soldier must be trained extensively for many and many years in using the sling, very like a bowman using heavy war bows or a knight must be trained for years in their respective skills, requiring quite a lot of time in order to truly master them. Heavy infantry using slings as secondary weapons was deployed by Romans and Eastern Romans, but with not very brilliant results. Usually, good quality slingers came from pastoral non-steppic contexts (where a sling was more functional than a bow in order to both control the cattle and repel predators) or from medium-to-small size islands (where suitable wood for making bow and/or arrow shaft was scarce or absent). A lot of farmers could be mediocre slingers, having practiced with the weapon for repelling birds and stray animals from the harvest, but only few of them developed enought skill to be comparable to truly professional slingers.
While this is true, in the Anabasis Xenophon writes of a portion of the hoplites being trained as slingers (by a few experts they had). Their slingers were repeatedly mentioned as being effective. So a useful enough level of skill must be learnable in a relatively short time.

Of course they won't be experts, but they would be battle field useful.
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Old 06-16-2022, 11:38 AM   #97
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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While this is true, in the Anabasis Xenophon writes of a portion of the hoplites being trained as slingers (by a few experts they had).
Does he mention how they picked men for sling training? In GURPS terms, you'd pick the ones with higher DX who weren't urgently needed for other tasks.
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Old 06-16-2022, 02:05 PM   #98
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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Does he mention how they picked men for sling training? In GURPS terms, you'd pick the ones with higher DX who weren't urgently needed for other tasks.
I can't remember, but given that they were Greek Hoplites and therefore gentlemen, there's a good chance they were selected on the basis of who would volunteer to learn a lower-class skill.
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Old 06-17-2022, 04:36 AM   #99
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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Does he mention how they picked men for sling training? In GURPS terms, you'd pick the ones with higher DX who weren't urgently needed for other tasks.
And in the Greek context, you’d probably pick ones who had spent time minding goat when they were boys.
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Old 06-17-2022, 04:41 AM   #100
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Default Re: (Basic Set; Low Tech) Slinging things

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I can't remember, but given that they were Greek Hoplites and therefore gentlemen, there's a good chance they were selected on the basis of who would volunteer to learn a lower-class skill.
Hoplites weren’t as gentrified as hippeis. They ranged down to men who worked their own land (though perhaps not without slaves).
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