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Old 02-05-2021, 07:58 PM   #11
bocephus
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Default Re: Horseback Bow?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
I could be wrong, but that seems contrary to the facts of Japanese samurai archery.
For me a "Long Bow" is a thing from Wales. To be perfectly honest, other than knowing they exist and having seen some demonstrations of them, I know positively nothing about the Japanese (China, Korea, Taiwan, etc) bows.

Horse bow to me is something like the mogolian ones that are generally represented around 48" and I think they were composite as well, an English Long Bow is 70+inches.

So you could be correct. I do not believe they are referred to as Long Bows. But its far enough outside of my expertise that short of being specific about the region, time and genre I will default to what I would practice at my table, based on my experiences.

btw I should say "I have tried something similar to this at my archery club. A saddle mounted on a pivot being rocked by someone whose behind you some distance. I cant hit crap in this situation, and that's on a range without an actual horse head near the field of fire and without the targets changing distance or location. " It was a just for fun thing, but lemme tell ya... after that experience I definitely impose full penalties on mounted archers in any kind of 'realistic' game setting. Oh and I was only able to make it work at all using a 40inch youth bow. I would be very skeptical of anyone using anything more than a short bow.
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Old 02-05-2021, 08:29 PM   #12
Ulzgoroth
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default Re: Horseback Bow?

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Originally Posted by bocephus View Post
For me a "Long Bow" is a thing from Wales. To be perfectly honest, other than knowing they exist and having seen some demonstrations of them, I know positively nothing about the Japanese (China, Korea, Taiwan, etc) bows.

Horse bow to me is something like the mogolian ones that are generally represented around 48" and I think they were composite as well, an English Long Bow is 70+inches.

So you could be correct. I do not believe they are referred to as Long Bows. But its far enough outside of my expertise that short of being specific about the region, time and genre I will default to what I would practice at my table, based on my experiences.
They are, in fact, referred to as longbows (at least sometimes, obviously that's not the original name) and more than 2 meters long...though I am not completely sure that those particular Japanese bows are the ones used on horseback.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bocephus View Post
btw I should say "I have tried something similar to this at my archery club. A saddle mounted on a pivot being rocked by someone whose behind you some distance. I cant hit crap in this situation, and that's on a range without an actual horse head near the field of fire and without the targets changing distance or location. " It was a just for fun thing, but lemme tell ya... after that experience I definitely impose full penalties on mounted archers in any kind of 'realistic' game setting. Oh and I was only able to make it work at all using a 40inch youth bow. I would be very skeptical of anyone using anything more than a short bow.
Real world testing is cool...but note that the Basic rule is that mounted archery uses the worse of Riding and Archery. And that's before looking for any further penalties. So if you don't have Riding to begin with, completely ineffectual is the expected result.
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Old 02-06-2021, 12:17 AM   #13
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Default Re: Horseback Bow?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
They are, in fact, referred to as longbows (at least sometimes, obviously that's not the original name) and more than 2 meters long...though I am not completely sure that those particular Japanese bows are the ones used on horseback.

Real world testing is cool...but note that the Basic rule is that mounted archery uses the worse of Riding and Archery. And that's before looking for any further penalties. So if you don't have Riding to begin with, completely ineffectual is the expected result.
Parthian archers were the Persian equivalents of knights, for their day. They started to ride as small children, and to shoot as soon as they could draw a child's bow.
As the sons of wealthy families, the Parthian archers had spent 10 years doing both, by the time they reached their late teens.

The Mongols, whom the Samurai patterned their horse archery after, rode before they could walk.

The samurai, themselves, trained their whole lives.

So, yeah. Nobody not born into that life would ever get any better than mediocre.
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Old 02-06-2021, 03:21 AM   #14
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Default Re: Horseback Bow?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
They are, in fact, referred to as longbows (at least sometimes, obviously that's not the original name) and more than 2 meters long...though I am not completely sure that those particular Japanese bows are the ones used on horseback .
No, that class of bows was, as far as I know, used by specially trained foot troops. People in earlier times were shorter and the horsebow therefore too. I watched some historical docus, and the unstrung japanese horsebow was around the size of the archer, with the grip at 1/3 that makes it barely useful on a horse.

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Crossbows include a stirrup to assist in loading, so you can probaby reload it on horseback without any issues as long as the horse is not moving faster than a walk. It would be amusingly difficult while galloping away from the enemy, a -4 to Riding rolls and any Fast-Draw rolls. Of course, shooting at an enemy behind you while on a galloping horse is quite difficult, so you need to be exceptional anyway.
Crossbows for use on horseback, never used a stirrup, the common reloading method was bracing the butt against saddle or belly and pulling the string back with the arms. Even if you can stay mounted while using the crossbows stirrup, you would need at least a riding roll to stay in balance, and to make full use of the crossbows stirrup you need both arms, what is really difficult, even if the horse is walking. Mechanical reloading help like a winch is complete impossible. The typical combat method was riding towards emeny, fire the bolt, retreat, reload and again. Since a still standing rider is a nice target.
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Old 02-06-2021, 03:41 AM   #15
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Default Re: Horseback Bow?

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Originally Posted by Willy View Post
....

Crossbows for use on horseback, never used a stirrup, the common reloading method was bracing the butt against saddle or belly and pulling the string back with the arms. Even if you can stay mounted while using the crossbows stirrup, you would need at least a riding roll to stay in balance, and to make full use of the crossbows stirrup you need both arms, what is really difficult, even if the horse is walking. Mechanical reloading help like a winch is complete impossible. The typical combat method was riding towards emeny, fire the bolt, retreat, reload and again. Since a still standing rider is a nice target.
I take your point about any reloading system that involved a crossbow stirrup (including windlass)

But if you can brace against the saddle or your torso and use a two handed draw, in theory you could use a goats foot or cranequin on horseback* I'd have thought?

Especially the smaller ones for hunting (cross bows for warfare using mechanical drawing systems tended to be quite big and heavy so not the best thing to juggling be about on horseback with).


*at some gaits anyway!
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Old 02-06-2021, 08:56 AM   #16
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Default Re: Horseback Bow?

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Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
Parthian archers were the Persian equivalents of knights, for their day. They started to ride as small children, and to shoot as soon as they could draw a child's bow.
As the sons of wealthy families, the Parthian archers had spent 10 years doing both, by the time they reached their late teens.
Just a nitpick: From what I understand, Parthian nobles fought as cataphracts, while the horse archers were lower status parthians or allied or mercenary tribesmen, often steppe nomads. This is similar to other Steppe Nomad military formations, which had higher status(and wealthier, so able to afford more equipment) horsemen as heavy cavalry, with armored rider and horse, and often using lances, swords and maces for shock action, with a larger light force of mounted horse archers from lower classes.

Just wanted to elaborate that little point, I think the over-all gist of what your are saying is still correct: it takes a lifetime of training to develop the skills and physical capabilities to develop archers, especially mounted archers, for military uses.
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Old 02-09-2021, 11:27 AM   #17
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Default Re: Horseback Bow?

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Originally Posted by Verjigorm View Post
Just a nitpick: From what I understand, Parthian nobles fought as cataphracts, while the horse archers were lower status parthians or allied or mercenary tribesmen, often steppe nomads. This is similar to other Steppe Nomad military formations, which had higher status(and wealthier, so able to afford more equipment) horsemen as heavy cavalry, with armored rider and horse, and often using lances, swords and maces for shock action, with a larger light force of mounted horse archers from lower classes.

Just wanted to elaborate that little point, I think the over-all gist of what your are saying is still correct: it takes a lifetime of training to develop the skills and physical capabilities to develop archers, especially mounted archers, for military uses.
I double-checked, and you're right. The Parthian nobles fought as armored cataphracts, and the archers were light cavalry.

Interestingly, neither used stirrups, at the time.
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Old 02-09-2021, 12:01 PM   #18
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Default Re: Horseback Bow?

My research seemed to indicate that in some periods the cataphracts were archers as well as heavy lancers. Though they were certainly separate from the light horse archers.
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Old 02-09-2021, 04:16 PM   #19
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Default Re: Horseback Bow?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
My research seemed to indicate that in some periods the cataphracts were archers as well as heavy lancers. Though they were certainly separate from the light horse archers.
I wonder if what differs "cataphracts" from "knights" is the presence of stirrups?
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Old 02-09-2021, 04:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: Horseback Bow?

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I wonder if what differs "cataphracts" from "knights" is the presence of stirrups?
The distinction is that cataphract is a Greek root and knight is a German root.
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