PDA

View Full Version : Longbows are no good



Pages : [1] 2

Sonny WiFiHr
12-08-2006, 04:29
Pavise Xbows are better.2/3 rate fire with beter att/def stats.
I attack 1 PXbow Milanese with 2 longbow and my general save the longbowman from total destruction.
My englis troops act like they are from stone age not blodbath medieval.
Stonebow English good at harasing chicken

Lord Condormanius
12-08-2006, 04:38
This has not been my experience at all. If you get a bunch of longbowmen (3 or 4) in your army and concentrate their fire, they cut infantry and cavalry (from a distance) to ribbons.

pevergreen
12-08-2006, 04:40
Pavise Xbows are better.2/3 rate fire with beter att/def stats.
I attack 1 PXbow Milanese with 2 longbow and my general save the longbowman from total destruction.
My englis troops act like they are from stone age not blodbath medieval.
Stonebow English good at harasing chicken

First of all, proper sentance structure is always a nice change.

Longbows are incredibly powerful. But so are Crossbows. Remember citizens with a few hours crossbow training could kill a knight who had trained for his entire life.

Look at the armour difference for Close Combat. Milanese have the best pavise crossbowmen for a start, wearing chainmail.
Longbowmen are archers, not meant for combat, wearing leather...not even padded. Retinue Longbowmen can handle themselves, but skirmishers/archers arent meant to fight. they are meant to shoot. Pavise Crossbowmen are meant to win any archer fights, they have armour and HUGE SHIELD on their back.

Sonny WiFiHr
12-08-2006, 04:48
I'm not talkig about sitting ducks.I'm talkig abut distruption in the force.LB fire much faster (historicly) pierce almost like Xbow.But now they are slow have same range as Xbows and they have less damage.This is not a shock troop as should be.Need some balancing.

sabremookie
12-08-2006, 04:54
Pavise Xbows are better.2/3 rate fire with beter att/def stats.
I attack 1 PXbow Milanese with 2 longbow and my general save the longbowman from total destruction.
My englis troops act like they are from stone age not blodbath medieval.
Stonebow English good at harasing chicken


I agree with you entirely, the balance between pavise x-bows and longbows seems incorrect.

ScrapTower
12-08-2006, 05:04
Its the rate of fire that is imba... The pav xbows should die slower, but also fire much slower them longbows...

sabremookie
12-08-2006, 05:05
Its the rate of fire that is imba... The pav xbows should die slower, but also fire much slower them longbows...


Yes, that is exactly the problem, and we are not sure yet if it can be modded easily :(

Sonny WiFiHr
12-08-2006, 05:19
Guy archers (Sherwood) can beat pavise. If you like fantasy side of the game.I will test them against panzer elephants.

Sonny WiFiHr
12-08-2006, 05:28
Correction. Guy archers (Sherwood) can't beat pavise.

BigTex
12-08-2006, 05:32
Guy archers (Sherwood) can beat pavise. If you like fantasy side of the game.I will test them against panzer elephants.

As a scarry side note to this. Apparently CA intended to put rocket armed elephants in the game. The unit is in the export_descr_unit.txt file but apparently never made it into the game, bless their hearts.

Never ran into problems with the Longbows. Of course pavasive armed crossbowmen should always win against another archer unit, they have a massive shield. But the longbows are generally cheaper, and far easier to train en-mass. They can also use wooden stakes, something that shouldnt be under valued. Their fully capable of going toe to toe with other heavier armored units due to their armor piercing mallots. They might not be the best 1 to 1 infantry but their support value for an army is something to be awed by. As england you can easily pump out dozens of these units, while even milan has trouble producing a couple pavasive genonese crossbowmen each year.

ScrapTower
12-08-2006, 05:35
The Retinue Longbowsmen have swords. The next longbows below them use mallets.

Lochar
12-08-2006, 05:40
The one thing I dont understand was I always thought the english longbow was by far the best range bow avail?

I always thought the xbow was a hard punch weapon but not the same distance.

But as the english I never see the advantage of longbowmen except to basic milita archers. The other crossbow troops at least get those shields to hide behind.

Sonny WiFiHr
12-08-2006, 05:44
I found this.

historically, the longbow had longer range and a dramatically higher rate of fire than a crossbow. the only advantage of a crossbow is its simplicity and ease of training (hence crossbow militias), and the fact that it could be carried cocked and ready to fire.

a crossbow militia in the game should represent civilian tradesmen, merchants and farmers garrisoning a city/town with crossbows. english retinue longbowmen are elite archers whose sole purpose in life is archery and war.

a well trained professional crossbowman (without assistance) could fire 3 shots per minute. a militia crossbowman probably less.
a professional, experienced longbowman was expected to shoot 20 shots per minute.

in the game, crossbowmen have about 2/3 the firing rate of longbowmen (wtf!). set up at max range, militia pavise crossbowmen will (most of the time) inflict more casualties on retinue longbowmen - even with their slightly slower rate of fire. when the retinue longbowmen run out of arrows the crossbowmen still have about a third of their arrows left, which they can use to inflict even more casualties. the only way the retinue longbowmen win is if they close to very close range and/or if they charge the crossbow militia. this is unrealistic.

even with 2 servants and 2 crossbows (one to hold the pavise, and one to reload the second crossbow), a professional mercenary crossbowman can hope for up to 8 shots per minute. the pavise crossbowmen in the game have no servants, are militia civilians, and only have one crossbow.

in the least, crossbowmen need a nerf on their firing rate. its rediculous that not only do they have much better defense, the armor piercing stat, free upkeep, low upkeep when not garrisoned (100), and the ability to be recruited from just about any city, but that at range they can inflict more casualties than the professional, elite english longbowmen. either that or professional english longbowmen need to have their attack speed doubled.

from Ambrosiuss (tw center)

sabremookie
12-08-2006, 06:07
Yeah, we had a 10 page discussion over this at twcenter :) I think it will never end.

ScrapTower
12-08-2006, 06:11
I agree that the pavs fire too fast relative to longbows. I play multiplayer so thats the only reason I care. I dont play factions with pavs and the AI needs all the help it can get.

Kraxis
12-08-2006, 06:28
a professional, experienced longbowman was expected to shoot 20 shots per minute.
I think the number you are looking for is 12. 20 = an arrow every three seconds. That is seriously fast. Not only is it fast but it would drain the poor archer very fast as well.

Oaty
12-08-2006, 09:02
Don't have all your archers fire at once, if you pay close attention you'll notice they drop like flies when they are firing but are near impossible to kill while they are reloading. They are probably the only unit in the game that gets a bonus for being shot in the back.

Kralizec
12-08-2006, 09:27
I assume crossbows still fire in a straight arc like in MTW original, yes?

That was one considerable advantage (IMO) of longbows in MTW. To use crossbows you always had to put them in fornt of your other troops*. Longbows could be positioned safely behind a wall of spears.

(*the exception would be if you're defending from a steep hill)

Daveybaby
12-08-2006, 09:51
Actually, crossbows now seem able to fire in an arc over other units heads. Dont know if this affects their performance any worse than it does for longbows though.

dopp
12-08-2006, 10:41
I prefer the more reasonable estimate found in John Keegan's commentary on Agincourt that trained archers could volley fire one shot every ten seconds, as opposed to how fast it is physically possible to fire the bow. Compare this to 15 seconds for a musket, 15 seconds for a "light" crossbow (drawn back with a claw rather than a windlass) and 5 seconds for a modern bolt-action rifle. Remember also that they only have about 24 arrows apiece (30 in M2TW) so they cannot waste them firing all once. At least part of the longbow's (or any other missile weapon's) effectiveness is the delivery of well-timed volleys to break enemy morale, so they must wait and fire all at once. This cuts their RoF dramatically. Ingame the longbows I use have a RoF almost twice that of the crossbowmen, so I really don't see the problem.

Not all crossbow units are equal. There are steel_crossbow_bolt and normal crossbow_bolt. Pavise and all other professional crossbowmen (Aventuriers, Peasant Crossbows, Genoese) have steel ones and their range is 160, same as all longbowmen. All militia and cavalry crossbows are 120, along with arquebusiers. Muskets pwn them all with 180 range.

Crossbows will fire directly if there is a clear line of fire, indirectly if not. Not sure if it matters. Gunners just stand there blankly if a single tree blocks their vision.

JFC
12-08-2006, 11:06
I think the number you are looking for is 12. 20 = an arrow every three seconds. That is seriously fast. Not only is it fast but it would drain the poor archer very fast as well.

But looking historically Kraxis my friend, this 3 seconds IS what the Longbowmen were expected to do, but that's all expected. Looking at historical accounts of Agincourt et al, you find quotes of 'Clouds of Arrows' cutting down Knights every 6-12 seconds.

I know 3 second loosing would be a bit wrong for 'A Game'(might as well play company of heroes), but the Longbow is supposed to be the English Medieval Machine Gun! Even in the startup, the English are prized for Infantry (bugged) and the Longbow.
My issues are also the rate of fire and the power of the arrows which should have the BODKIN Armour piercing heads. I had 4 units of retinue Longbowmen letting loose at about 40 Kyote Priests.
That's 480 top notch Arrows being fired at 40 padded americans armed only with 2x4s with a bit of sharpened gravel stuck in the sides.
That's basically 12 arrows per man.
You should expect first shot, even with arrows falling short/going too far/missing, to be goodbye fellas right? We ALL know it should have. Wrong. It took a good 7 shots to whittle them down.
That's 3360 Arrows.
84 Prime Enlgish Arrows for each of those yodelling Wolf-men.
Something that should have taken less than a minute. Which we ALL know didn't.

Wrong, just wrong.:wall: PLEASE CA! Patch me up good style!

De Montfort
12-08-2006, 12:17
I agree that the rate of fire for the longbow should be significantly greater than crossbow units.

English longbowmen spent years (from childhood) practicing their art, and could loose anywhere between 13-18 arrows a minute... and these were aimed and accurate (distance-wise). The range of the longbow would have caused chaos at a distance (and death for lighter armed troops) and utter slaughter at closer range.

The crossbow was largely useless at long range. It couldn't fire effectively in an arc which meant it was only really effective at less than 100 yards.

Both the longbow bodkin and the crossbow bolt were lethal at close range, but the skill and accuracy of the longbowman combined with his rate of fire would mean a longbow unit would make mincemeat of a crossbow unit - pavice or otherwise.

If M2:TW was more accurate, it would cost more to build longbow units (to reflect the training required) but their upkeep would be low.

Crossbow units would be cheaper to build, but cost more in upkeep.

In a standoff fight the range of the crossbow would be at least 2 times less (probably more) and the rate of fire at least 3 times less.

The Longbow is the English superweapon. While it's useful in M2:TW it wouldn't instil the same level of fear that the real weapon did.

dopp
12-08-2006, 12:35
But looking historically Kraxis my friend, this 3 seconds IS what the Longbowmen were expected to do, but that's all expected. Looking at historical accounts of Agincourt et al, you find quotes of 'Clouds of Arrows' cutting down Knights every 6-12 seconds.

Erm unless graphics lag affects real-life battles, 3 seconds between volleys should not stretch to 6-12 seconds between casualties falling over.

All troops take significantly more hits to kill in M2TW. Peasants can take several musket balls through the chest before dying. So don't be surprised if your longbows are not mowing people down in droves. Unless of course you contend that bodkin arrows are more powerful than heavy caliber musket balls fired at point-blank range.

Handel
12-08-2006, 12:35
The croosbows have the same range as longbows which is unaccurate. But I guess it is made for balance.
But the retenue archers are much better for castle defences because they can keep on their own long enough the help to arrive.

FactionHeir
12-08-2006, 12:54
My issues are also the rate of fire and the power of the arrows which should have the BODKIN Armour piercing heads. I had 4 units of retinue Longbowmen letting loose at about 40 Kyote Priests.
That's 480 top notch Arrows being fired at 40 padded americans armed only with 2x4s with a bit of sharpened gravel stuck in the sides.
That's basically 12 arrows per man.
You should expect first shot, even with arrows falling short/going too far/missing, to be goodbye fellas right? We ALL know it should have. Wrong. It took a good 7 shots to whittle them down.
That's 3360 Arrows.
84 Prime Enlgish Arrows for each of those yodelling Wolf-men.
Something that should have taken less than a minute. Which we ALL know didn't.

I noticed that especially in M2TW (more than in RTW even), the smaller a unit becomes (ie less troops), the harder they become to hit. Realistic? Kind of, not totally, because it also means that your archers should have only one target to worry about instead of a lot of targets. I'd expect maybe 30% reduced rate of hitting a target when a unit is down to say 1-10 men, but not 90% miss rate!
As an example, there were 2 crossbow militita (non pavise) left standing. I had 5 mercenary crossbows (all experience 3+) fire at them and it took 2 volleys to take one of those 2 down and another 4 for the last guy. Thats just sad.

dopp
12-08-2006, 13:10
Does the game model physics accurately when calculating hits or does it just "roll a dice"?

Kobal2fr
12-08-2006, 13:16
All troops take significantly more hits to kill in M2TW. Peasants can take several musket balls through the chest before dying. So don't be surprised if your longbows are not mowing people down in droves. Unless of course you contend that bodkin arrows are more powerful than heavy caliber musket balls fired at point-blank range.

Quoted For Truth.:yes:

Game balance trumps history.
Besides, I think TW missile "impotence" account for the fact that a connecting bolt/arrow hit (or musket ball hit, I guess), bodkin or not, is not an instant, automatic death warrant. Sometimes, it just makes you angry :laugh4:

SMZ
12-08-2006, 13:20
The ranges are correct. The effective range of a longbow isn't any more than a steel crossbow. Steel crossbows are powerful weapons. The penetrating power is mostly correct. Crossbow bolts hit harder than arrows. Don't forget that the longbows share the armor piercing ability just like the crossbows, but unlike other bows. The Retinue Longbowman should however probably see his Missile Attack bumped up to 9 or 10, it makes no sense for him to share the same stat as the previous Yeoman Archer. The firing rates are pretty close as well. A slight bump to speed up the Longbowmen, and maybe a slight bump to slow down the Crossbowmen could balance things nicely, but both are close to being accurate. Currently the Crossbowmen are operating on the high side of possibility, Longbowmen on the low side... the realism is fairly accurate in this aspect however.

All of which means, the units are pretty close to being accurate - only the slightest tinkering could be considered necessary. It is important to remember the good points of longbows: they fire in an arc - alleviating friendly fire issues greatly and allowing you to shoot over walls etc, they lay down fire more quickly than a group of crossbowmen would, they can use fire arrows to panic the enemy and burn siege engines, and they can deploy stakes to injure cavalry charges and break up infantry advances. Don't forget that you can place the stakes wherever you want during deployment, and then move your archers after the battle begins... the stakes will still be useful.

Now yes, you may see Crossbows firing a parabola shot at times... however what you won't see is them getting any kills that way. If you see your own Crossbowmen doing that, stop them - they're just wasting their ammo. Crossbows must be fired with direct line of sight in order to be effective.

-----------
Especially in Western countries a mythology around the longbow has developed. While it is a powerful weapon, it is not the weapon to end all weapons that it is often portrayed to be. Steel crossbows are extremely powerful weapons as well; modern crossbows are not considered primitive weapons by state hunting authorities... this should tell you something. Longbows are. Each has it's own points and effective uses however.

Composite bows in Eastern lands of antiquity outranged longbows. Penetrating power was still plenty good... there's a reason heavily armed and armored Western powers were continually slaughtered wholesale at the hands of Eastern horse archers. Technically speaking, some of the horse archer units could have the long range ability as well... but as good as they are already, this would greatly imbalance the game. However IRL, they were greatly imbalanced... horse archers had no match until the advent of gunpowder... but that wouldn't make a very fun game, people complain about the power of the Mongols enough already. In short, the game is pretty accurate - learn the units abilities and use them... that's what makes an effective commander. Don't just spend your time looking for the Magical Unit of Ultimate Smashing +5.

GFX707
12-08-2006, 13:23
Stonebow English good at harasing chicken

LOL, I am glad I read this thread for that last line alone.

econ21
12-08-2006, 13:24
I don't see much wrong with longbows per se. They are lethal in SP - perhaps a tad slow, I don't know. I prefer their rate of fire to MTW anyway, where they were out of ammo within a minute or so.

The issues seem more to do with the pavise crossbows than the longbows. Here, there are two aspects - the crossbow and the pavise. If the crossbow really is 2/3 the rate of fire of the longbow, I am pretty sure that is inaccurate and should be fixed. Even 1/3 sounds optimistic.

But the pavise itself should be a massive advantage in a firefight. It's hard to imagine longbowmen beating crossbow men who can fire behind that enormous cover. IIRC, the French also gave the pavise to some spearmen to counter English longbows towards the end of the Hundred Years War. In one battle, the pavise spearmen were able to drive off the longbows with virtually no loss. Sounds plausible to me.

Carl
12-08-2006, 13:30
@SMZ: Most Cavalry archers used composite Bows as far as i'm aware, and composite bows are highly comparable to Longbows overall. So trying to say the eastern faction power shows somthing is a bit dumb. It's also the case that the shorter length and lighter weight of a quarral compared to a longbow arrow would leave it much less accurate and with much less power at maximum range. Could a steel crossbow reach longbow ranges? Quite possibly, it just wouldn't do any good IMHO.

Also the hunting thing means nothing. in hunting you need a lot of piower per shot, but not a high fire rate. A longbow had all the penetrating power necessery at range, it also fired faster. It just hasn't got the penetrating power of a Crossbow at shorter ranges and is more unweildy.

geala
12-08-2006, 13:31
The English "long"bow is by far the most overrated medieval weapon. Comparing it to a machine gun is not very wise. Even thousands of archers were not able to stop an enemy and repulse an attack what is what a machine gun can do. As one example you can take the battle of Towton when the Lancastrians had wasted their arrows and were free targets for the Yorkist archers. The arrow showers forced the Lancastrian army to attack but were by no means devastatious to them.

"Long"bows were simple powerful self-bows, nothing special compared with asian composite bows but used throughout Europe since the stone ages. Special were in case of the English only the men who draw the bows because they were very experienced and well trained and could therefore draw very strong bows up to 160 lbs. But even then the bow was no wonder-weapon. The French f.e. won a lot of battles against English armies with strong numbers of bowmen during hundred years war. It depended on situation.

Bows proved rather bad against plate armour. They helped indeed much to win battles against bad equipped foes or in certain special situations (Crecy, Agincourt). But at least from 1450 on the best time of the bow was gone.

Puuh. That said I concur with the assertion that longbowmen are too weak in some aspects in M2TW compared to crossbowmen. The powerful crossbows capable to punch through some forms of armour (crossbows were poor performers against plate, too) had steel bows with pull weights of 500 to 1000 lbs. and were not easily drawn. If you give a longbowman 10 arrows per minute (which would be rather fast and exhausting shooting) a crossbowman should be capable to fire max. 3 bolts per minute. The longbow should have more reach than crossbows, similar to that of muskets. The performance of bolts and arrows in M2TW is generally too high but with the abundance of plate armour in late game it would be unfair to lower it. So mod the forementioned two things and you can be satisfied.

By the way: the Aztecs are unrealistically strong compared with old world units. But that is for fun, otherwise it would be boring.

JFC
12-08-2006, 13:35
Erm unless graphics lag affects real-life battles, 3 seconds between volleys should not stretch to 6-12 seconds between casualties falling over.


Sorry Dopp, :smash: think you mis-read what I put down... The Longbow 'Man' was expected to fire at a rate of one every 3 seconds. But usually let loose an arrow every 6-12 seconds.

dopp
12-08-2006, 13:36
Especially in Western countries a mythology around the longbow has developed. While it is a powerful weapon, it is not the weapon to end all weapons that it is often portrayed to be.

Just to be fair, the crossbow also enjoys an exaggerated reputation as a handheld ballista that can skewer two or three men in a row and pick off coins at 200 yards. People like to credit ancient weapons with impossible feats, like the katana cutting clean through sheet steel. Even the musket is supposed to be able to blow a man completely in half. It all sounds like a bunch of war veterans grumbling about how soldiers these days are weedy and effete... a "take those longbowmen, now THOSE were real men" kind of deal.

SMZ
12-08-2006, 13:37
If the crossbow really is 2/3 the rate of fire of the longbow, I am pretty sure that is inaccurate and should be fixed. Even 1/3 sounds optimistic.
I posted some links about this before, when the issue was RTW... lol. I'll see if I can find them. I guess perhaps the best solution would be to give the Longbows a Barrage Fire ability like the Monster Ribault has. The Longbow can be fired as fast as once every 3 seconds, a Crossbow takes somewhere between 9-15 seconds to fire a new salvo on average, depending on the cocking mechanism.

Buuuuut, a more average figure for firing with a longbow would be 5-7 seconds. When you're talking 100 pound or more draw weights... well, that's a hefty workout. It can be done - but it wouldn't be the usual, and it would leave the men tired afterwards. A steadier pace would usually be more effective.

JFC
12-08-2006, 13:40
Just to be fair, the crossbow also enjoys an exaggerated reputation as a handheld ballista that can skewer two or three men in a row and pick off coins at 200 yards. People like to credit ancient weapons with impossible feats, like the katana cutting clean through sheet steel. Even the musket is supposed to be able to blow a man completely in half. It all sounds like a bunch of war veterans grumbling about how soldiers these days are weedy and effete... a "take those longbowmen, now THOSE were real men" kind of deal.

Love it! Trafalgar: When Ships were made of Wood and Men were made of Steel! Not like nowadays eh?!

SMZ
12-08-2006, 13:44
@SMZ: Most Cavalry archers used composite Bows as far as i'm aware, and composite bows are highly comparable to Longbows overall. So trying to say the eastern faction power shows somthing is a bit dumb. It's also the case that the shorter length and lighter weight of a quarral compared to a longbow arrow would leave it much less accurate and with much less power at maximum range. Could a steel crossbow reach longbow ranges? Quite possibly, it just wouldn't do any good IMHO.

Also the hunting thing means nothing. in hunting you need a lot of piower per shot, but not a high fire rate. A longbow had all the penetrating power necessery at range, it also fired faster. It just hasn't got the penetrating power of a Crossbow at shorter ranges and is more unweildy.
There were cavalry archers in the western lands... they didn't use composite bows. Composite bows were for the most part, an eastern thing. It has to do with the available materials. Wood was plentiful in the west, so they used that. In the east it wasn't, so they got inventive and it happened to end up being something better. If you think that's dumb... well I guess history's dumb then.

A Steel Crossbow can fire a good ways with a straight shot. It is only when fired with an arc that the Crossbow loses its power. Crossbows are for the most part primitive guns, they operate on the same basic principals. Remeber, bullets are much much lighter and shorter than either... and are by far the most deadly. The size of the ammo isn't as important as the power that's throwing it. Snapping pieces of steel aren't as strong as exploding gunpowder, but they're plenty strong and can fling a bolt plenty far.

The hunting comment was illustrating the power of the Crossbow, I don't know how you connected that to rate of fire. I already said that Crossbows are slower... everyone knows that.

geala
12-08-2006, 13:54
Just to be fair, the crossbow also enjoys an exaggerated reputation as a handheld ballista that can skewer two or three men in a row and pick off coins at 200 yards. People like to credit ancient weapons with impossible feats, like the katana cutting clean through sheet steel. Even the musket is supposed to be able to blow a man completely in half. It all sounds like a bunch of war veterans grumbling about how soldiers these days are weedy and effete... a "take those longbowmen, now THOSE were real men" kind of deal.


Hihi, very well said.

But to be "fairer" one have to tell that also modern weapons are often credited to do wondrous things. Let it be the shotgun of the hero sending men on a flight against the next wall or the lonesome cowboy blasting holes in thrown coins with his incredible six-shooter. Or the opposite, a hero hiding behind a car door or a desk when a villain shoots at him with an assault rifle. Brrr.

Thats all media world, Robin Hood against Billy the Kid against Rambo against The last Samurai. It forms our brains more than we expect.

dopp
12-08-2006, 13:56
Love it! Trafalgar: When Ships were made of Wood and Men were made of Steel! Not like nowadays eh?!

Reminds me of a Trafalgar account where the French captain Infernet asks his colonel of marines, "Colonel, do you think I am sheathed in metal?". They were getting raked and the fellow was trying to shelter behind him.

JFC
12-08-2006, 13:59
Reminds me of a Trafalgar account where the French captain Infernet asks his colonel of marines, "Colonel, do you think I am sheathed in metal?". They were getting raked and the fellow was trying to shelter behind him.

Can you IMAGINE the Carnage if Longbows and Crossbows were used at Trafalgar??!! OH THE HUMANITY!

Edit: AND AT THE SOMME!!?? I can't take it!

Kobal2fr
12-08-2006, 14:35
There were cavalry archers in the western lands... they didn't use composite bows. Composite bows were for the most part, an eastern thing. It has to do with the available materials. Wood was plentiful in the west, so they used that. In the east it wasn't, so they got inventive and it happened to end up being something better. If you think that's dumb... well I guess history's dumb then.

A Steel Crossbow can fire a good ways with a straight shot. It is only when fired with an arc that the Crossbow loses its power. Crossbows are for the most part primitive guns, they operate on the same basic principals. Remeber, bullets are much much lighter and shorter than either... and are by far the most deadly. The size of the ammo isn't as important as the power that's throwing it. Snapping pieces of steel aren't as strong as exploding gunpowder, but they're plenty strong and can fling a bolt plenty far.

The hunting comment was illustrating the power of the Crossbow, I don't know how you connected that to rate of fire. I already said that Crossbows are slower... everyone knows that.

Hmmm composite bows weren't made of wood ?! News to me :laugh4:. It's not the wood, it's the glue. Couldn't be used in more humid climates, composite bows lost their power and even outright broke sometimes when they were brought further west.

A crossbow bolt has just as much power fired in an arc as an arrow. Why would it suddenly lose any ? There not a special realm of physics for crossbows :laugh4:. The problem with firing a crossbow (or a rifle, for that matter) in an arc is not loss of power, only it's absolutely impossible to aim that way. The bolt is too small and flies too fast to be seen easily, so you have no idea where it lands if you don't fire straight at the target, whereas you can follow the flight of your arrows and correct your aim accordingly. That's the whole point of modern tracer rounds BTW.

I wholy agree that the longbow is widely overrated though. They certainly weren't the ultimate laser rays of doom you guys seem to accept they were. Fire far ? Sure. Fire fast ? Why not. It's still a simple bow and arrow, not a mortar shell. Ah, but I forget the fiendishly ingenious bodkin head ! Like nobody but the English ever figured broadheads didn't work as well on armor...

Yeah, yeah, Azincourt, right. The way it went down, terrain, weather and command-wise, the Welsh could have fired slingshots and still slaughtered the French cav.

crpcarrot
12-08-2006, 15:07
i'm with SMZ

i just dont understand why anyone would be in a situation where hes charging longbows at xbows? soundds like bad genralship to me.

and someone ssaid the 3 seconds per shot should be right cos there were kinghts dying evern12 seconds?? did u considere that the longbows may have been stagering their fire so that there was one guy firing every 3 seconds? that would be a much more efficient way of keeping a constant barrage of arrows with much more accuracy


longbows were not precision weapons. probably very affective as units firing a cloud of arrows to cover areas rather than singling out specific targets to take down. specially over longer distances.

Carl
12-08-2006, 15:12
@SMZ & Kobal2fr: First I never said the Longbow wasn't overated. just to say that the crossbow was supiriour just dosen't add up to me.

First the Crossbow does carry les well over range, it's somthing i got from a discussion about modern 7.76mm rounds vs 5.56mm rounds. They both have the same momentum (and thus impact power), but the Light weight, high velocity 5.56mm round losses momentum over distance FASTER than he low velocity high mass 7.76mm round.

Crossbows are low mass high speed, whilst Longbows are high mass low speed weapons. In addittion gravity drop of the quarral will force you to fire it in an arc at greater ranges. Couple that with the aiming issues one of you mentioned and a crossbow really shouldn't be able to shoot to longbow ranges with any accurracy or power, even if you do take into account the higher velocity of the quarral, and it's greater overall launch power.

As to the Composite bows. My comments where based on a documentry i saw about Mongal (the big eastern faction that was enountered by the west). these used composite bows made of wood, animal bone, and animal sinew if i remeber the documentry right. they also combined this with the bow being bent a funny shape, (hard to describe and i don't know the proper name~:().

Also, as noted the fire rate and general better training of the longbowmen would make the supiriour to all crossbowmen anyway. I just don't belive a crossbow could match the range of a Longbow, whilst still having a useful accurracy and penetrating power.

crpcarrot
12-08-2006, 15:15
"Hmmm composite bows weren't made of wood ?! News to me ."

hmm i think you should read before u laugh at somebody else. in fact there were some composite bows made completly out of bones and sinew but i dont think thats what SMZ meant anyways.

Carl
12-08-2006, 15:18
hmm i think you should read before u laugh at somebody else. in fact there were some composite bows made completly out of bones and sinew but i dont think thats what SMZ meant anyways.

I think i just said somthing like that~:p.


longbows were not precision weapons. probably very affective as units firing a cloud of arrows to cover areas rather than singling out specific targets to take down. specially over longer distances.

Thats exactly how they where used. But I doubt ANY weapon of that era was accurate at that range. I don't know of any anyway.

Bongaroo
12-08-2006, 15:29
From what I've read, I think the weather and the longbowmen being unarmoured is what gave the English victory. I think a lot of French died when they landed face first in the mud and suffocated. Pretty easy for a dude with leather on to wade through some mud to stab a man in the joints of his armour if he's stuck in the mud.

Husar
12-08-2006, 15:49
I think ranged units get more accuracy with experience, so while real longbowmen might have been an elite unit, the game won't let you recruite them as gold-chevron units, you have to get them to that level by gaining combat experience. That's why this is called a game, otherwise you could just watch a movie where the victory is shown without you adding anything to it. You are supposed to develop your own Łber-elite-ownage longbows instead of the game giving them to you. Almost every unexperienced unit is prone to dying or running in the game and there are not many freshly trained units that can beat anything. My halberd militia for example should be able to win quite a few fights, but due to their low morale, they often run way too early and thus lose fights they could win with higher morale. I am pretty sure longbowmen with high experience kill more units per volley because they are more accurate. I've seen some highly experienced arquebusiers, every volley of them killed about the entire front row of an enemy formation, maybe even more, a newly trained unit is a lot less accurate.

Kobal2fr
12-08-2006, 16:01
I wasn't laughing at him, just clumsily pointing a funny logical flaw in what he was saying.

Of course there were horn+sinew and horn+silk composite bows, only not because there wasn't any wood available. The Mongols also used spears, remember ? Long, wooden spears ? Also, try making an arrow out of bone and sinew :inquisitive:. Horn packs more tensile strength than wood is all, so it was more efficient to use it.

My point was that it is and was perfectly feasible to make wooden composite bows, even wooden recurve bows (if that was the word you were looking for). The Chinese did. The Japanese did.

What the English lacked was the composite tech itself, or rather they couldn't make it work back home on account of the glue problem, so their solution to increase draw weight was a simple increase in bow size.

Their longbows were made of wood instead of horn because there weren't any dinosaurs left in England anymore (save for Nessie of course), so no huge 2m long ribs for them to use either.

Cos3
12-08-2006, 16:14
It has already been proven with the use of modern technology, that longbows wern't as good as legend has played them out to be.

There was a documentary about the Battle of Agincourt, a legendary English win against a vastly superior French Army. Legend always said that it was the longbow that won it for the English, when in fact the longbow and bodkin arrow would have had very little impact against the more modern (1415) armour of the time.

A combination of terrible ground conditions, wet, soggy soil/mud and the vast numbers of Frenchmen in a relatively small area created a massive wall of men all trampling over themselves, many dying without even reaching combat.


So in reality the longbows in the game are probably more true to life than many people would think.

SMZ
12-08-2006, 16:39
hmm i think you should read before u laugh at somebody else. in fact there were some composite bows made completly out of bones and sinew but i dont think thats what SMZ meant anyways.
actually that's exactly what SMZ meant

the point was that wood was not as readily available as bone, horn and sinew... the point was not that the Mongols had never heard of the amazing substance known as wood - far enough back in history, everybody used self bows, the idea was that you get something springy and it will propel an arrow.... it wasn't until later that people began figuring out that substances which were hard to bend made even better devices for propeling missiles


It's not the wood, it's the glue. Couldn't be used in more humid climates, composite bows lost their power and even outright broke sometimes when they were brought further west.
true, but proper care of the weapon could and did prevent such untimely mishaps... some soldiers let their swords rust too... that didn't make the English go back to bronze weapons - early firearms were very difficult to operate in wet conditions, that didn't make the English stick with their longbows - your point is nonexistent


A crossbow bolt has just as much power fired in an arc as an arrow. Why would it suddenly lose any ? There not a special realm of physics for crossbows
You don't need special physics. Normal ones will suffice. The force of the weapon is expended in the upward flight, once it starts coming down, you're just using gravity. A steel crossbow has much greater intial force than a longbow, we can agree on this. However, by firing up into the air you waste all of that extra force. Once the missiles begin coming down, they are going to be gaining momentum and velocity at the same speed... if there was no air resistance. However, an arrow which is sharply pointed, long, slim and very aerodynamic will experience much less resistance than the short, rather blunt and fat crossbow bolt. All of which means, the arrow can attain enough force while falling to be lethal, while the tumbling bolt will be largely ineffective.

-----

They both have the same momentum (and thus impact power)
That's why your illustration is a little off... steel crossbows and longbows do not give the same momentum. Yes, the crossbow loses momentum faster over distance, but it starts out with significantly higher momentum to begin with... thus averaging out about the same in the end.


general better training of the longbowmen would make the supiriour to all crossbowmen anyway
And pardon me picking on this, but I see this mistake often. Sure, longbowmen generally speaking were far better trained than crossbowmen... but that's not as much of a difference as people think. Crossbowmen don't NEED as much training to be just as deadly as longbowmen. I can train in dart throwing for 25 years, but a guy who's trained with a pistol for just 2 years will still be more deadly.

dopp
12-08-2006, 17:10
My source for this is uncertain, since I read it years ago. They made a replica of plate armor and fired bodkins into it. The arrows penetrated the arms and legs fine (about 1mm sheet steel), which would be fairly disabling but hardly fatal. The chest armor could only be penetrated some of the time (2mm sheet steel) and the arrows were unable to penetrate deep enough to kill. The helmet and shoulders were about 3mm and totally immune to arrow fire. In battle the practice was to hunch over and present the thickest parts of the armor (helmet and shoulders) to the incoming arrow storm. Only at very short range would the arrows start coming in horizontal and thus potentially hit weaker spots. In full plate, the armored man felt safe enough to do away with the protection of a shield, which he would not have done if longbows (and crossbows) could easily penetrate his armor.

No mention was made of the test armor's design. Plate was often specially designed to deflect piercing weapons like arrows. Since the armor was strapped over a dummy standing upright, the arrows could hit it dead-on at the best angle of impact for penetration.

The range for the test was 15 yards. 15 yards and perfect angle of impact, yet the longbow struggled to penetrate the armor. I doubt it would kill knights at 300 yards (although it might wound the horses).

The longbows ingame have the same penetration as crossbows and muskets. The composite and simple bowmen of various sorts do not. I think that's about good enough. I do not expect to see them pierce steel breastplates at 200 yards like in LOTR.

While longbowmen were mostly experienced soldiers, crossbowmen also boasted elite mercenary bands. Why would they be any worse? If the crossbow was easier to learn to fire, they might even be better. There would certainly be more of them. Mastery of a more difficult weapon does not automatically make you a better warrior than those who master easier weapons. It would depend on the potential effectiveness of the weapons in question. If your chosen weapon is merely on par or inferior to easier weapons, you might even be a bit of a retard to have wasted all your time on it...

Mega Dux Bob
12-08-2006, 17:26
Worth keeping in mind about longbows is the English used a lot of them. A typical late 14th to 15th century English army would be in MTW2 The general, two to three units of bill men and the rest longbows. 16 units of longbows verses 5-10 of crossbows is going to be a crossbowman massacre.

As for being the uber weapon of doom the later battles in the 100 years war make it very clear that if the longbowmen couldn't set their stakes they were meat on the table for the French mounted men-at-arms. At one battle (Vernuil, I think) the French had hired Italian mercenaries in the latest plate armor and the longbow was absolutely useless against it. That is retinue longbows verses gothic knights in game terms.

Carl
12-08-2006, 17:58
That's why your illustration is a little off... steel crossbows and longbows do not give the same momentum. Yes, the crossbow loses momentum faster over distance, but it starts out with significantly higher momentum to begin with... thus averaging out about the same in the end

I am aware of this BTW, the problem here is that as speed increases, the rate at which momentum is lost increases exponentially, (momentum is mass X velocity if you didn't know), as a result it's going to lose momentum even faster. yes in direct fire the crossbow WILL carry further, and it WILL retaining power better at short ranges. However, as the range increases then the longbow starts to get closer to and then surpass the crossbow. This doesn’t necessarily have to come before the longbows max range, but I’d be inclined to believe to would. Just a hunch based on my, (limited), science knowledge BTW.

@dopp: Do you know if you can find this anywhere, or anything similar? It sounds a touch dodgy considering I’ve seen a longbow go through fairly thick chain mail. Sure the plate is a lot better, but considering the relative thickness differences, it sounds odd. For that matter the suits of Historical Plate I’ve seen at the Royal Armouries in Leeds (UK), look a LOT thicker then 3mm everywhere. Not saying your wrong, rather it sounds very odd.

Kraxis
12-08-2006, 18:18
3mm is very thick... and quite heavy.

You can't compare mail, as it is particularly weak against arrows with a chisel point. Point get into ring, expands as it moves and breaks the ring from the inside. Simple enough, and the main background behind the bodkin.
With good padding the problem becomes much less, but still the arrows would penetrate the rings themselves. As the account of the 1st Crusade knights that had lost their horses and were peppered by horse archers until they looked like porcupines, yet they felt no ill effects themselves. Obviously the enemy arrows penetrated the rings (they stuck to the man), but not the padding beneath.

So whenever you see tests against mail, make sure there is padding and something behind the padding to simulate the person. And make sure the mail is stretched out and generally fairly large (or else the mail will just move with the force into the target creating a falsly strong impact, but this is more regarding melee).

Also, I have seen people try to argue for the longbow's 1337'ness with tests made against plate that was then penetrated, but not told people that it was in fact darkened aluminium. Talk about closing your eyes and wanting things to be true.

Carl
12-08-2006, 18:31
3mm is very thick... and quite heavy.

I know that, just that the stuff I’ve seen up close looks a LOT thicker, probably half a cm+. Of course most of these WHERE famous suit, or based on famous suits, so maybe they where unusually thick?


Also, I have seen people try to argue for the longbow's 1337'ness with tests made against plate that was then penetrated, but not told people that it was in fact darkened aluminium. Talk about closing your eyes and wanting things to be true.

Of course, by the same token, when doing it against proper steel you need to bear in mind the type of steel used in both the plate and the arrow head. If the plate is too good a quality (we can make much better quality steel today), it could have knock on effects on the accuracy.


You can't compare mail, as it is particularly weak against arrows with a chisel point. Point get into ring, expands as it moves and breaks the ring from the inside. Simple enough, and the main background behind the bodkin.
With good padding the problem becomes much less, but still the arrows would penetrate the rings themselves. As the account of the 1st Crusade knights that had lost their horses and were peppered by horse archers until they looked like porcupines, yet they felt no ill effects themselves. Obviously the enemy arrows penetrated the rings (they stuck to the man), but not the padding beneath.

The test was against a model of a Boar draped in Mail, (it was a publicity piece for Time Team). Don't know for sure what the boar was made of, probably wood based on the impact sound. Also a 15 yard test I think, (I can't remember the distance given I’m afraid). It defiantly went through the mail and buried itself firmly in the boar, and this longbow only had 60lb of draw supposedly.

Also thanks for the Mail explanation, I knew it was at a disadvantage vs. missiles, but didn't know the exact cause.

My biggest reason for being a touch disbelieving of the test mentioned is the fact that the English DID use Longbows extensively prior to gunpowder, and apparently won often, yet the enemy would often have been wearing plate, so it has to have been useful against it or they would have switched to crossbows.

Kobal2fr
12-08-2006, 18:34
actually that's exactly what SMZ meant

the point was that wood was not as readily available as bone, horn and sinew... the point was not that the Mongols had never heard of the amazing substance known as wood - far enough back in history, everybody used self bows, the idea was that you get something springy and it will propel an arrow.... it wasn't until later that people began figuring out that substances which were hard to bend made even better devices for propeling missiles

Aaaand we're back to the bone+silk spears, then. If there long pieces of wood weren't readily available, they must have been using those, innit ?

In ancient times they started using wooden composite bows because they were better pound for pound, and easier to handle (and make) than longer plain bows, especially on horseback. They switched to bone ones when they realized those worked even better. I agree that the first bone bows must have sprung up out of necessity rather than bow field efficiency research, but they stuck overtime because of said efficiency, I think.


true, but proper care of the weapon could and did prevent such untimely mishaps... some soldiers let their swords rust too... that didn't make the English go back to bronze weapons - early firearms were very difficult to operate in wet conditions, that didn't make the English stick with their longbows - your point is nonexistent

It's not a "misshap" when it just doesn't work. If the glue cannot hold and react the right way, you're left with a silly looking bow that is even less powerful than a plain bow of the same size.
Early English firearms didn't work in the rain, that much is true, but firearms didn't work in the rain for the French either.
On the other hand, if you can't use your funny bows in the rain, yet the enemy can use his normal, less powerful bows just fine, I imagine your enthusiasm for them funny bows is somewhat dampened (excuse the pun).

The English (and French, and Italians etc...) certainly knew about composite bows. The Huns had invaded Europe centuries earlier and used composite bows. The Magyar tribes who became the Hungarians also did. Why would Christendom pass up on usable superior tech ?


You don't need special physics. Normal ones will suffice. The force of the weapon is expended in the upward flight, once it starts coming down, you're just using gravity. A steel crossbow has much greater intial force than a longbow, we can agree on this. However, by firing up into the air you waste all of that extra force. Once the missiles begin coming down, they are going to be gaining momentum and velocity at the same speed...


Won't an arrow shot upwards behave exactly the same ? Factoring air resistance out, anything thrown up will come back down with exactly the same amount of force it had going up.

To hit the same spot with a bow and a crossbow in an arc, the crossbowman will have to use a much steeper angle, and that means more friction, a loss in accuracy (due to wind and tumbling) and a change in the target's aspect making him even harder to hit.

The bolt sure will lose much of its original power/momentum to friction, but that won't make it any harmless. Less powerful, sure. Won't pierce metal anymore. But the terminal velocity of a crossbow bolt is not that far from that of an arrow, and is probably still downright dangerous, if only you could get it to hit anything reliably :shame:

Kraxis
12-08-2006, 18:48
Also gunpowder weapons can easily be shielded from the nasty effects of rain (less so with fog, but then again who fights set piece battles in dense fog?). A composite bow just needed a damp environment. It dealt fine enough with rain as long as it was dried and kept dry afterwards.

Zenicetus
12-08-2006, 20:56
The crossbow was largely useless at long range. It couldn't fire effectively in an arc which meant it was only really effective at less than 100 yards.

This is not true. There are human remains recovered from battles that have bolts sticking through the top of the skull and the front at a 45 degree angle. One woodcut from the period shoes crossbowmen firing up at a 45 degree angle, and bolts falling down vertically on the enemy's heads like rain (source and image: Strickland & Hardy, "The Great Warbow" page 283).

Crossbowmen may have preferred to fire at closer range in a flatter trajectory for maximum penetration, but it's a ballistic weapon (no such thing as a truly "flat" trajectory), and they would have been well aware of how one could gain more range with elevation. Also remember that a crossbow bolt (especially one of the larger ones) is heavier than an arrow, with less fletching to slow it down. Now think about firing that in a high arc, and letting bolts fall down near-vertically on the enemy. Sure, it's not as effective as a close range, "flat" shot, but it's going to have some effect... if the recovered bolts piercing the roof of unfortunate soldier's skulls mean anything. If you had time to reload for a second or third shot before the enemy closed on you, and plenty of bolts, then why wouldn't you try an arcing shot first?

Now, whether or not CA has implemented it that way is another story. I can see where they might restrict the range and incur friendly fire casualties if placed behind your own troops, mainly for gameplay reasons... i.e. forcing different tactics for different units.

Zenicetus
12-08-2006, 21:06
My source for this is uncertain, since I read it years ago. They made a replica of plate armor and fired bodkins into it. The arrows penetrated the arms and legs fine (about 1mm sheet steel), which would be fairly disabling but hardly fatal. The chest armor could only be penetrated some of the time (2mm sheet steel) and the arrows were unable to penetrate deep enough to kill.

My understanding is that most (if not all) of those tests are flawed, because they were done at "modern" longbow replica pull weights of around 80lbs. The bows recovered from the Mary Rose (and also skeletal deformation of archers of the time) suggest that longbows of the period were actually used at 150-160 lb. draw, which very few modern archers can manage. Do those same tests at 150 lbs. with a full draw on the arrow, and you get very different results (source, again: "The Great Warbow - from Hastings to the Mary Rose)").

It doesn't make the longbow a superweapon, and it did ultimately fail to keep up with developments in better armor as the crossbow could, and later gunpowder weapons, since it was "capped" at a certain draw strength by the limits of the human body.

SMZ
12-08-2006, 22:33
It's not a "misshap" when it just doesn't work.
I'd call that the worst type of mishap. Once again, just like you can protect powder from getting wet, oil your sword and sand your armor... if you had a composite bow in a damp area - you could prevent it from falling apart, as long as you took care of it. If they knew how to make the things, and had the materials, they would've.


If there long pieces of wood weren't readily available, they must have been using those, innit ?
On the steppes who used a bow? Everybody who wanted to eat. On the steppes who used a spear? Wealthier equivalents of nobility. I trust you see the connection.


The English (and French, and Italians etc...) certainly knew about composite bows. The Huns had invaded Europe centuries earlier and used composite bows. The Magyar tribes who became the Hungarians also did. Why would Christendom pass up on usable superior tech?
lol... being killed with something does not translate into knowing how to make it. The U.S. had fun blowing up Afghanistan with the aid of "smart bombs".... why doesn't Afghanistan just build it's own?


Won't an arrow shot upwards behave exactly the same?

However, an arrow which is sharply pointed, long, slim and very aerodynamic will experience much less resistance than the short, rather blunt and fat crossbow bolt. All of which means, the arrow can attain enough force while falling to be lethal, while the tumbling bolt will be largely ineffective.

Kobal2fr
12-08-2006, 22:34
My biggest reason for being a touch disbelieving of the test mentioned is the fact that the English DID use Longbows extensively prior to gunpowder, and apparently won often, yet the enemy would often have been wearing plate, so it has to have been useful against it or they would have switched to crossbows.

Of course it's usefull against plate, but not the way you think. It did break through mail, but it never did "punch right through" plate, bodkin or no bodkin.

The crossbow had supplanted the bow in the first place because it surpassed it in practicality (easier to use, can be carried loaded) and most importantly range (except in the specific case of the longbow), even though it lost in firing rate. But when you can outshoot the enemy, and/or carry a pavise, speed doesn't really matter. Range is what it was all about, not killing power.

The advantage the longbow had over the crossbow wasn't in killing power either, but in sheer volume of fire. If you fire 10 arrows per minute, even if most of them are wasted you're statistically bound to hit something vulnerable overtime, like armor joints, helmet slits, horses and so on. Spray and pray, if you will.

The reason the English stuck to their longbows for so long was simply because *they* had men available who had trained enough in bowyery and who could handle bows huge enough that their range was roughly equal to that of the crossbow (a little more, a little less, it doesn't really matter), while firing faster. The other nations did not, nor did they care to train their folk for years and years when two weeks and a crossbow was good 'nuff.

But in any case, the reason why longbows garnered such fame for their efficacity in battle doesn't have anything to do with the weapon's qualities.
It is because the English pioneered the tactical use of missile troops as the battle winning, "kill" units.

The other western kingdoms considered missiles mainly as harrying tools (force the enemy to move), and siege tools (keep the enemy away from the walls, be he sieger or siegee). The knights were the "kill unit", both out of social structure and past experience. But the English had realized in their battles against the Scots that knights could be beaten by "clever rabble", in contradiction to prevalent assumption, and had the ingeniosity to turn to their own missile rabble as their main strength, in much bigger numbers than their enemies did.

It's not really that English longbowmen were superior to French crossbowmen : there were more of them, and they were used in a completely different tactical role.

Going back to the longbow vs crossbow debate itself, I think things are modelled accurately in the game :

- terrain and situation aside, crossbows will beat regular archers because they can get a couple solid volleys in before the archers can even get in range, and if you micromanage your Xbows, archers won't even have a chance to fire. But longbows will destroy un-pavised crossbows through their rate of fire.

- Longbows are better than crossbows, pavise or not, at killing things in a timely fashion. Crossbows will kill just as many soldiers as longbows in the end, but it will take them much, much more time - kill about as many with each volley, much slower volleys. More volleys shot in a "tired" state too. XBows are perhaps firing a little bit too fast, I'll grant you that. And then again, that's iffy.

- And pavise win archer duels because that what pavises were about in the first place. Ride those jokers down, see how they like them apples.

TheFluff
12-08-2006, 23:36
Correct me if im wrong, but isent the reason why "use fire" is avalible to arches and xbows is to make them more versitile and able to kill armor and conserve ammo for archery duels and seiges and fighting armoed/pavise units?

PaulTa
12-08-2006, 23:48
I think what made the longbow a significant part of how we see medieval english armies today is not necessarily the quality of the bow, but the quantity. Archery training was as common as fast food in medieval england, and sunday was even a day dedicated to nothing but longbow training?

Side note- On the ringmail, the rings worked really well at stopping a slashing sword attack, but the rings were prone to not necessarily break apart, but part when something pierced instead of slashed. So against a sword cut, the ringmail was effective, but against a bodkin arrow? Not at all.


I think the solution for the English is to increase ROF for longbows. If you take it in a historical sense, a large portion of the english population were trained as opposed to able. In a game mechanics sense, the English are the retarded cousins of the French, who have everything the english have and then a whole bunch more (like an effective crossbow unit, better cannon selection, better cavalry, and better spear infantry, a good pike unit, and Scot's guards which are retinue longbowmen with armor plating... Not to mention horse archers.)

If English bowmen had a higher rate of fire, then an english army that was primarily made up of bowmen (which seems historically accurate) would give a french army a run for their money. This is what england needs in my opinion.

Kobal2fr
12-09-2006, 01:14
I'd call that the worst type of mishap. Once again, just like you can protect powder from getting wet, oil your sword and sand your armor... if you had a composite bow in a damp area - you could prevent it from falling apart, as long as you took care of it. If they knew how to make the things, and had the materials, they would've.

Like Kraxis said, it's not just rain - it's atmosphere. The glues behaved differently in colder and damper climates just by *being there*. The problem is not really the thing falling apart overtime, but one piece of the complex composite "machine" not behaving correctly, changing physical properties which were essential to its working properly.
Rust you can whitle away, it's still hard steel underneath. If a steel sword melted in the desert heat, you'd have a decent analogy there.


lol... being killed with something does not translate into knowing how to make it. The U.S. had fun blowing up Afghanistan with the aid of "smart bombs".... why doesn't Afghanistan just build it's own?

The Magyars/Hungarians weren't killing Italians/Germans/French were they ? Nor were western cultures always at war with cultures which used composite bows either - prior to the Fourth Crusade they had good relations with Byzantium for example. The Venetians traded a fair bit with Eastern people too, and so on...

Besides, that example is just plain silly. When you kill a Hun, his bow doesn't explode does it ? And it's not exactly a product of cutting edge rocket science either. Over-time, everybody around the med started to copy Roman tech found on dead Romans, everybody learnt stuff from the foes they fought, why would composite bows be any different ?
Composite tech has litteraly been around since the dawn of times. It's absurd to think it was any kind of big, closely kept secret...

dopp
12-09-2006, 01:34
3mm on the helmet, 2mm breastplate and 1mm everywhere else doesn't sound awful, in fact it's a little thin. You are maximising the armor on the surfaces that receive the incoming fire, which is really sensible and similar to how tank (and battleship) armor is distributed today. In fact, replica battle armor is often 1mm thicker on average, and tourney armor is unbelievably thick at around 4-5mm. Armor like that would weigh around 40-60lbs, considerably less than what a modern paratrooper would carry into battle. Furthermore, penetration alone is not a true gauge of a weapon's effectiveness. Even though the thinner breastplate was pierced a fair number of times (about 50%), the arrow did not penetrate deeply enough to cause a lethal or even disabling strike.

Placing a 3mm steel plate bought from a hardware shop and shooting stuff at it at 90-degree angles doesn't really test the bow's power. Your angle of impact is perfect and the flat plate does not offer the glancing surface that true armor would provide, which increases the effective thickness of the armor manifold.

The bow used was a replica based on weapons recovered from the Mary Rose, fired by some bloke borrowed from the Yeomanry and thus a little bit more skillful than the average college professor with his 30lb hunting bow. I do not recall the exact poundage, but I think it was 90lb-110lbs. A respectable test weapon, considering that there is some debate over the poundage of the Mary Rose bows and how representative they were of English longbows. Your 150-160lbs is a little generous, since most estimates range from 90 to 160lbs. This fascination with the uber longbowman who was able to draw 200lb bows sounds to be yet another manifestation of the "those were real men" attitude. Despite being a professional mercenary soldier (which in those days usually meant he was a criminal or a never-do-well, hardly the sort of material to produce uniformly elite soldiers) suffering from malnutrition and inadequate healthcare, the longbowman is still regularly depicted as handling bows too powerful for champion Olympic shooters, rigorously selected, well-fed and honed to athletic perfection, to even draw, and scoring hits on individual targets at three times the range.

Gaius Terentius Varro
12-09-2006, 01:46
I actually wonder if pavise's shield bonus is applied differently from other unitsl (front/left hand side) while they are engaging in melee or just standing around and laughing at incoming arrows.

Barry Fitzgerald
12-09-2006, 01:54
If you dig into the history books on longbows/crossbows...it is clear that there is some inbalance in the game.

The main advantage of the longbow was it's fast rate of fire..and range. Remember we are firing at massed units...showering arrows on an enemy with fast rate of fire will work..and did work. With regards plate armour...well not all plate is equal..apart from that there are areas not covered with plate..so a longbow whilst less effective than the crossbow...would do damage..in numbers. Agincourt proved this.

It is also incorrect to suggest that the English abandoned the crossbow 100%...they did not. Due to the heavy norman influence in warfare...in this period it is most certain that both units were fielded...in numbers..though with a preference for the trained longbowmen, after the welsh invasion (pembroke etc)

The plus for the crossbow is sheer power..able to penetrate armour..even good quality plate..with the disadvantage of a much slower rate of fire...and less range than the longbow.

Back to the game...well longbows rate of fire doesnt reflect what was reality..by some margin...some suggest that a rate of fire from 15-20 volleys a minute..is reasonable. Remember these were highly trained soldiers...specific skills in bowmanship.

A normal crossbow rate of fire would be 3/4 volleys a minute...with teams for reloading (as used by Richard the Lionheart) ROF could be double that...but still outclassed by the longbow.

Damage wise the crossbow is champ..
Range ROF wise Longbow has the edge

Some balancing needs to be done here...

cassiusdio
12-09-2006, 01:56
Knights may have been well protected, protected to such an extent that being killed by an arrow was more down to the archers luck than a certainty. What is often overlooked is that the majority of soldiers were not knights, and were not protected to the same degree.

A feudal Levy dictated that a knight answer a call to battle and bring along a certain number of men at arms. these soldiers were maintained at his expense and were always availiable. since a suit of good quality plate armour was very expensive, he would equip his men either with older armour, or with armour of a lesser quality.

so in battle, a unit of 'knights' on foot or horseback, would have been made up of a number of well armoured knights, and their more numerous, and not so well armoured men at arms. Arrows were far more likely to kill the men at arms than the knights, which is why so many knights were captured by the english, the men at arms generally had arrows sticking out of them.

as to the claim that longbows are no good IG. well i feel i must disagree, i am of the oppinion that one should maximise your strengths, and the english ability to field longbows is one of them, so instead of having a fairly conventional 3-4 units of them, i take 10-12. in that quantity they are quite, quite lethal, certainly lethal enough that my fairly outnumbered heavy infantry can adequately deal with any enemy that get through, and they have the added advantage that you can make your battle line fairly horse proof

regards

Gaius Terentius Varro
12-09-2006, 02:09
Wouldn't the trajectory play a role here?

Barry Fitzgerald
12-09-2006, 02:14
Nah longbows are not good in the game...reasons being..

Range is not long enough
Rate of fire is too slow (not at all like they were)
No. of arrows/ammo is too low...least 50+ is needed (for al bowmen)

Even taking into account the problems in the game..and of course less effective against plate armour..(compare to crossbows)..

Simply put you were getting shots in and much more of them...well before the enemy can wield his crossbows normal archers to bear on your forces. That is why...and the only reason why they worked so well.

Not to suggest crossbows are useless...far from it...you simply need to engage faster..and if we look at why crossbowmen became armoured..well the reason is above.

Needs fixing

CBR
12-09-2006, 03:04
The main advantage of a composite bow is that the use of tendons and bone means you can have a lighter bow compared to a selfbow of equal draw weight. It also means a shorter bow which is easier to use on horse back.

A lighter bow means an arrow will be sent off at a higher velocity, as it represents a higher proportion of the combined arrow/bow limbs/string weight that are all moving forward when letting it loose.

Fast arrows are great for horse archers shooting at other horse archers racing back and forth at shorter ranges. The faster the arrow the easier it is to hit a moving target.

But overall a self bow and a composite bow is near identical when it comes to potiential power: a 100 pound composite drawn to the ear would be the same a 100 pound longbow also drawn to the ear. The longbowman would just need a heavier arrow to get the same power: say 70 grams compared to 40 grams for the compostite bow.

The lighter arrow would have better max range because of its higher velocity but also have lesser power at that range (lighter arrow means worse ballistic coefficient) and long range shooting in general doesnt do much anyway.

IIRC some Italian city states had composite bows in their navies in late 15th century, of course along with arquebus and crossbows. The construction was certainly not a secret to European countries as they afterall used composite crossbows. But as a weapon for the masses there was not much point in having composite bows as they were more expensive and didnt give any significant advantages for a foot archer.



You don't need special physics. Normal ones will suffice.
When shooting at max range you need an angle of about 45 degrees. When the missile has reached halfway(actually bit more than that) it has reached its maximum height and will start falling down. It doesnt do that because it has expended all its energy, but because gravitational acceleration has picked up enough speed to counter the missile's upward speed. When it finally reaches its target only a small part of its velocity has come from gravity.

Arrows might be more slender than a bolt but there are few more elements to consider. Sectional density (total mass/frontal area) is important. The shape and fletchings produces drag too. A crossbow bolt is AFAIK considered to have a better ballistic coefficient than arrows but I think they are still very close to each other.

The heavier crossbows had a higher max range than longbows anyway: tests with a 150 pound longbow using a 86 gram heavy bodkin arrow gave a max range of about 250-260 yards. A 1200 pound crossbow with a bolt of similar weight had a range of about 450 yards. Another crossbow of perhaps 800 pounds had a max range of 380 yards. A more ordinary crossbow, using belt and hook to load, would perhaps be 3-400 pounds and I guess a range of 250-300 yards yards would not be too far off. Lighter flight arrows from that longbow would of course produce better max ranges of 350-400 yards but the lighter they are the less energy(penetration) they have


CBR

Grifman
12-09-2006, 05:33
While longbowmen were mostly experienced soldiers, crossbowmen also boasted elite mercenary bands. Why would they be any worse? If the crossbow was easier to learn to fire, they might even be better. There would certainly be more of them. Mastery of a more difficult weapon does not automatically make you a better warrior than those who master easier weapons. It would depend on the potential effectiveness of the weapons in question. If your chosen weapon is merely on par or inferior to easier weapons, you might even be a bit of a retard to have wasted all your time on it...

The problem is that history is against your analysis. English longbowmen consistently shot up the mercenary xbowmen hired by the French. The longbow had a higher rate of fire that the xbowmen just could not match.

Grifman
12-09-2006, 05:41
As for being the uber weapon of doom the later battles in the 100 years war make it very clear that if the longbowmen couldn't set their stakes they were meat on the table for the French mounted men-at-arms. At one battle (Vernuil, I think) the French had hired Italian mercenaries in the latest plate armor and the longbow was absolutely useless against it. That is retinue longbows verses gothic knights in game terms.

According to wiki the only thing the Italian knights charged was the English baggage train. Not much of a contest there, I think. From what I've read, the French were only able to defeat the English bowmen if they could get at them while they were unprepared - they did defeat them in a couple of battles when they caught them wrongfooted. But if they were set up and staked out, the French usually failed.

dopp
12-09-2006, 06:52
Basic tactics would say that ANY force in a strong defensive formation, set up and staked out, would have an advantage, all things being equal. It only proves that the English were able to get the French to attack them more often, not that the English archers were especially invincible. They may well have been, but their success in fixed positions alone does not prove it.

The problem is that history is against your analysis as well, since there are only a handful of battles where the English shot up crossbowmen. Crecy, where the Genoese had left their pavises behind and got run over halfway by impatient knights, is the only notable example, and not a very good one at that. At other battles, such as Agincourt, the crossbowmen never got to fire at all. It was the English being on the defensive that gave them the advantage in those battles. The crossbowmen were thrown forward hastily to "prepare" the way for a cavalry or infantry attack with a few brief volleys of bolts, found themselves fighting an archery duel for which they were unprepared (having left their pavises behind), and run over or pushed aside by the "real" fighting men who wanted to get on with things. Things would have been more even if both sides had come intending to fight an archery duel. Yes, I know that crossbows fire slower than longbows, even with separate loaders. That's why you pay someone to carry a big wooden board in front of you or wear it on your back. It doesn't matter how fast the other guy can fire or how accurately (shoot really, you can only 'fire' a gun) if he only hits your shield. Unless you believe that bodkins pierce thick pavises too?

Actually, I wouldn't be surprised if longbowmen also used pavises too when facing enemy archers. In their case it would be held by someone else and raised to cover them when the enemy volley arrived (you can see it coming). The OP's issue was that pavise crossbowmen are protected against longbowmen but not vice versa, which is why longbows are at a disadvantage in archery duels. But making them more uber as a means of overcoming just one type of unit unbalances them against everyone else. Maybe the English need to bring Pavise Crossbowmen too to "tank" the hits while the rest of the longbows DPS. After all, the pavise in M2TW is not completely immune to arrow fire like it should have been IRL.

SMZ
12-09-2006, 07:17
But as a weapon for the masses there was not much point in having composite bows as they were more expensive and didnt give any significant advantages for a foot archer.
Considering you just listed greater range, faster rate of fire as well as lighter and less cumbersome weapon... it seems rather odd to conclude by saying that there were no significant advantages.

A 9 foot spear may be "only" 1 foot longer than an 8 foot spear... but to the two guys trying to poke one another with them, I'm pretty sure they'll consider that difference a little more important than an item of academic debate.

CaptainSolo
12-09-2006, 08:46
I dont buy most of the opinions of the forum about the impotence of the Longbow.If it were true then the French armies must have been truly inept if on home soil with numerical advantage they couldnt,for the most part,defeat the primarily longbow dominated armies of the English during the early period of the hundred years war.
The simple fact is the longbow was a battle winning weapon for the English and one that changed the face of the traditional medieval battlefield forever.No longer were armoured knights the kings of the battlefield.

If the Longbow was as overated as some suggest then why:

Were they so sought after as mercenaries?

Why were the French prepared to cede one third of their territory to the English rather than face them in a large scale battle such as Crecy?

Why did the French King alter his tactics at the battle of Mauron and fight dismounted in three large colums?

Why did the numerically stronger French army allow the English to march with sight of Paris without engaging them? Wise it has to be said but much to the disgust of it's inhabitants.

Why did the French king allow hundreds of his people to starve to death,inside and out of the city,at the siege of Calais despite having marched to relieve them? Presumably they could have just waded in and slaughtered the overated and impotent longbowmen drawn up out side the city.

The list goes on and on and i havent even mentioned the psychological effects of being under a storm of arrows.I didn't think that would bother them as they would have all being wearing the highest quality platemail that everyone seems to think was so commonplace on the medieval battlefield at that time.

As for Agincourt,saying that adverse weather conditions,muddy fields etc etc etc were the sole reasons for the defeat is a bit like the French saying they lost at Waterloo because Napoleon had piles...No wait,hang on a sec,they did say that !!

Back on topic.....The fact that even regular crossbowmen can compete with quality longbowmen in game shows me that some balancing needs to be done.I'm all for nerfing the longbow in favour of game balance but please don't confuse that with reality.

CaptainSolo
12-09-2006, 09:49
The crossbow had supplanted the bow in the first place because it surpassed it in practicality (easier to use, can be carried loaded) and most importantly range (except in the specific case of the longbow), even though it lost in firing rate. But when you can outshoot the enemy, and/or carry a pavise, speed doesn't really matter. Range is what it was all about, not killing power.

Firearms supplanted the longbow and other ranged weapons due to practicality but it dosent mean they were better weapons.The British Baker rifle used in the Peninsular war outranged the musket.The Musket had more killing power due to their numbers and volley fire when in optimun range.Killing power is what it's about at the end of the day.


The advantage the longbow had over the crossbow wasn't in killing power either, but in sheer volume of fire.Spray and pray, if you will.

Do you imagine an arrowshaft would do any less damage to a man than a crossbow bolt? The ability to kill a man as well as do it faster = more killing power to me.Your 'spray and pray' quote is just ignorant.Longbowmen were extremely accomplished archers in their own right.Against densely packed targets there was no need to pick individual targets though they were more than capable of doing so.


The reason the English stuck to their longbows for so long was simply because *they* had men available who had trained enough in bowyery and who could handle bows huge enough that their range was roughly equal to that of the crossbow.The other nations did not, nor did they care to train their folk for years and years when two weeks and a crossbow was good 'nuff.

They may also have stuck to them as they were hugely successful.:inquisitive: The reason the other Western European nations did not follow the English in fielding large numbers of quality bowmen is simply because they couldn't.As you say it took years to master the longbow,not to mention the physical strength needed to use one.No other country in this region had that capacity.It was purely a phenomonon taken up in many counties in England and Wales,the majority as a sport,that led to a ready supply of skilled archers for use by English kings.Your quote on the Crossbow being good e'nuff certainly dosent stand.It certainly wasn't good e'nuff for Captain Grimaldi at Agincourt who was in command of several thousand crossbowmen who were sent reeling back down the hill with horrendous losses.


But in any case, the reason why longbows garnered such fame for their efficacity in battle doesn't have anything to do with the weapon's qualities.
It is because the English pioneered the tactical use of missile troops as the battle winning.

I'll agree with your second point but it was purely down to the weapons qualities.Ridiculous to say otherwise.If the English had used the tactics you describe but with crossbows they wouldnt have been half as successful so therefore the weapon played a huge part.


The other western kingdoms considered missiles mainly as harrying tools (force the enemy to move), and siege tools (keep the enemy away from the walls, be he sieger or siegee). The knights were the "kill unit", both out of social structure and past experience. But the English had realized in their battles against the Scots that knights could be beaten by "clever rabble", in contradiction to prevalent assumption, and had the ingeniosity to turn to their own missile rabble as their main strength, in much bigger numbers than their enemies did.

I assume when you say 'clever rabble' you are refering to the highly skilled and highly disciplined men who formed the backbone of the army? The Yeoman who already had an important role in society and who were recruited on their own terms of pay rather than by being pressed in?


It's not really that English longbowmen were superior to French crossbowmen : there were more of them, and they were used in a completely different tactical role.

Laughable.The English at Crecy,cut the Genoese to ribbons,who were the masters of the crossbow never mind the French.The Longbowmen were superior in every way,training,discipline,experience etc etc etc.Also because they were much more respected as soldiers by their commanders they could act on their own initiative without direct orders.I Have no doubt that the French soldiers could have been very formidable had their commanders seen their true worth rather than viewing them as second class citizens.The Longbowmen were much more valued than their French counterparts.


As a sidenote,Pavise crossbowmen's main function was to encroach upon entrenched defenders,such as ones defending walls,and pick them off from behind their shields.They were in no way created as an out and out counter to archers on a large battlefield.If the French king had listened to Grimaldi's pleas before being uncerimoniously sent to certain death up the hill at Crecy maybe things would have been different.

geala
12-09-2006, 10:35
Hmm, CaptainSolo, why were the English kicked out of France, leaving them only with Calais after 1453, when they had the uber-longbow arms ready? Why were they reduced to small parts of France during du Guesclins war after 1360? Why were they defeated in the Battle of Bannockburn which saved Scotlands independence for several hundreds of years? Such arguments are not very convincing.

It is very difficult to count a victory in battle to a special weapon. When you read about Crecy, Poitiers or Agincourt you see that a lot of fighting took place at close quarters. So the men-at-arms took the brunt of the attack and fought it out in good defensive positions.


What dopp told about performance of arrows against plate I can confirm. We tested it with a 500 lbs crossbow and an 80 lbs bow. Later tests were also made with a 750 lbs crossbow. All were bad performers.

Tests were made from 20 m distance. Below that distance the arrow has not stopped its initial bending and is not able to get reliable penetration power.

Crossbow and bow were relatively weak (although most modern people including me wouldn't be able to shoot with an 80 lbs bow :laugh4: ). But: penetration power doesn't grow with the power of the crossbow/bow in a direct relation. A 160 lbs bow gives not double power and energy to an arrow compared with an 80 lbs bow. And the stronger the draw power the greater other disadvantages for the user of the weapon (speed, burden etc.)

The actual draw power of English bows is a matter of debate. Mostly it seems to be estimated to be in a normal range from 80 lbs to 120 lbs. 160 lbs would be awful to shoot. One argument in the late 16th century debate in England about the abandoning of bows as weapons was that performance of archers under the conditons of war (exhaustion, hunger, disease etc.) was not very impressive and decreased much faster than that of arquebusiers.

The most impressive experiences from testing for me were: First how easily an arrow or bolt was deflected by plate armour. Only if it hits near 90 degree there was even a chance to punch a hole. Second that neither arrows nor bolts could punch through a gambeson made of over 20 layers of linen cloth. That form of armour was frequently used among the more simple soldiers and may have done a very good job against missiles.

Barry Fitzgerald
12-09-2006, 11:41
I think people are getting way off topic....

As for the English in france..well we know the story there....fact is England had lots of interests going on at that time...and a lot of armies and lands being occupied....you can only stretch forces so far...but..back to reality.


IMO the longbow isnt represented properly in the game..at the moment...up to people themselves how they feel about it!

CBR
12-09-2006, 13:14
Considering you just listed greater range, faster rate of fire as well as lighter and less cumbersome weapon... it seems rather odd to conclude by saying that there were no significant advantages.

There is no greater rate of fire, where did I write that? Greater range when using comparably lighter arrows that also has less kinetic energy at max range. It's not important for a foot archer if a bow has a length of 4 or 6 feet.

AFAIK Arab manuals from the 15th/16th century put 160 yards as the max effective range. Sure they could shoot longer but the chance to hit anything is considerably reduced as well as having less power. Shooting at max is just harrasment, the real killing power is at a much shorter range.

Your example with a longer spear is flawed as there is no difference in chance to hit nor in power.

IIRC The French king at one point even employed a "Saracen" for building composite crossbows. We can only conclude that the knowledge and materials certainly where available but the added cost for bows just wasnt worth it. The extra cost for more powerful crossbows was worth it and they used it.


CBR

dopp
12-09-2006, 13:24
They may also have stuck to them as they were hugely successful.:inquisitive: The reason the other Western European nations did not follow the English in fielding large numbers of quality bowmen is simply because they couldn't.As you say it took years to master the longbow,not to mention the physical strength needed to use one.No other country in this region had that capacity.It was purely a phenomonon taken up in many counties in England and Wales,the majority as a sport,that led to a ready supply of skilled archers for use by English kings.Your quote on the Crossbow being good e'nuff certainly dosent stand.It certainly wasn't good e'nuff for Captain Grimaldi at Agincourt who was in command of several thousand crossbowmen who were sent reeling back down the hill with horrendous losses.

Laughable.The English at Crecy,cut the Genoese to ribbons,who were the masters of the crossbow never mind the French.The Longbowmen were superior in every way,training,discipline,experience etc etc etc.Also because they were much more respected as soldiers by their commanders they could act on their own initiative without direct orders.I Have no doubt that the French soldiers could have been very formidable had their commanders seen their true worth rather than viewing them as second class citizens.The Longbowmen were much more valued than their French counterparts.

As a sidenote,Pavise crossbowmen's main function was to encroach upon entrenched defenders,such as ones defending walls,and pick them off from behind their shields.They were in no way created as an out and out counter to archers on a large battlefield.If the French king had listened to Grimaldi's pleas before being uncerimoniously sent to certain death up the hill at Crecy maybe things would have been different.

Now just to clarify, was Grimaldi at Agincourt or at Crecy? There's the matter of about a century or so between the two battles. There is also the little matter of the Genoese lacking some essential equipment (pavises) and not intending to have a missile duel in the first place, so the Crecy example isn't good enough either.

Of course the crossbow and the longbow are not the same weapon using different mechanisms. They have different characteristics and properties. The crossbow is a powerful weapon but takes longer to load. Nobody disputes that. How much longer to load is perhaps a little iffy, since you could have someone else load one crossbow for you while you fired the other, and since volley fire would have reduced the practical (as opposed to theoretical) rate of fire possible with the longbow. Regardless, crossbowmen, being sensible people, would account for the weakness in their rate of fire by bringing something thick enough to shelter behind while they reloaded. It's playing to the strengths of your equipment. Thus protected, they would have largely nullified the strengths of their longbow opponents. Pavises would be no more bulky a piece of battlefield equipment for stationary missile troops as defensive stakes, in fact the Persian archers used them extensively centuries before. Battlefield fortification of all sorts was common (war wagons anyone?) and not limited to sieges, nor to crossbowmen alone. The Genoese at Crecy fought without their pavises and got routed. This does not make them inferior troops, because they lacked an essential piece of equipment. You could not conclude that Italian riflemen are inferior to Ethiopian warriors just because they were issued the wrong ammunition for their weapons on one occasion and beaten to death in melee.

I'm pretty sure that longbows were effective weapons. Large, powerful bows like that, wielded by superior, professional soldiers, used in way that complemented their strengths and covered their weaknesses. So were a lot of other weapons. Maybe even crossbows. Maybe even muskets. Powerful weapons, wielded by professionals and played to their own particular strengths. I can see how the pavise deal is a problem in archery duels, mainly because the longbows don't have that option themselves. But the pavise armor bonus ingame can still be pierced easily by longbows with their AP, so the crossbows only have a minor advantage compared to what they might have IRL if they had pavises and the longbows didn't. The longbowmen get a unique ability to plant stakes, something that every unit should be able to do (the Flemish dug holes around their pike formations to channel the attacking knights at their weapons) but only they can ingame. They get indirect fire in a rather improbable way (who's spotting for them?), whereas the crossbows firing in an arc is a bug that kills nothing. They can fight knights in melee with AP weapons. Their rate of fire is twice that of crossbows and four times that of muskets, a high-end troop that requires 15 more turns and 27k more florins to produce than retinue bowmen. They are quite uber.

Carl
12-09-2006, 13:38
The heavier crossbows had a higher max range than longbows anyway: tests with a 150 pound longbow using a 86 gram heavy bodkin arrow gave a max range of about 250-260 yards. A 1200 pound crossbow with a bolt of similar weight had a range of about 450 yards. Another crossbow of perhaps 800 pounds had a max range of 380 yards. A more ordinary crossbow, using belt and hook to load, would perhaps be 3-400 pounds and I guess a range of 250-300 yards yards would not be too far off. Lighter flight arrows from that longbow would of course produce better max ranges of 350-400 yards but the lighter they are the less energy(penetration) they have

This sounds really odd, not because a crossbow bolt of the same weight is reaching a greater range than a Longbow arrow, if it was as heavy, or heavier it would reach greater distances. What stands out as odd is the idea that crossbow bolts where as heavy. They where much shorter and much thinner than a Longbow arrow, that alone tells us they should be lighter. At which point that entire comparison goes out the window.

Of course they could have used a solid metal quarrel, but I’m 80% sure that wasn't the norm through much of history anyway so it's not really a viable comparison in that case.


Placing a 3mm steel plate bought from a hardware shop and shooting stuff at it at 90-degree angles doesn't really test the bow's power. Your angle of impact is perfect and the flat plate does not offer the glancing surface that true armor would provide, which increases the effective thickness of the armor manifold.

Well the test isn't remotely fair anyway as plate armour steel would have been of lower quality anyway, so in affect that 3mm modern steel plate is rather too strong to be representative anyway.


Arrows might be more slender than a bolt but there are few more elements to consider. Sectional density (total mass/frontal area) is important. The shape and fletchings produces drag too. A crossbow bolt is AFAIK considered to have a better ballistic coefficient than arrows but I think they are still very close to each other.


Indeed that’s true, the Quarrel would have much less drag, but as noted really should be a lot lighter than a Longbow Arrow which cuts it's power significantly.


But overall a self bow and a composite bow is near identical when it comes to potiential power: a 100 pound composite drawn to the ear would be the same a 100 pound longbow also drawn to the ear. The longbowman would just need a heavier arrow to get the same power: say 70 grams compared to 40 grams for the compostite bow.

Not just the faster movement, whenever a Bow fires an arrow, some of the force your exerting to pull the bow back is actually used up in trying to stretch the string, a shorter height bow, (and especially recurve bows), put less energy into doing this anyway, so they get better velocity out of their arrows.


Hmm, CaptainSolo, why were the English kicked out of France, leaving them only with Calais after 1453, when they had the uber-longbow arms ready? Why were they reduced to small parts of France during du Guesclins war after 1360? Why were they defeated in the Battle of Bannockburn which saved Scotlands independence for several hundreds of years? Such arguments are not very convincing.

This ones easy: Joan of Arc, she gave the French a nearly unshakable morale. And history often teaches you one thing, an army that will fight a longer and harder than their opponents tends to win. It doesn’t matter if your a bit better, (a LOT better would mind), than your opponents, if the enemy just won't back down they can win through sheer determination.

Also this quote adds some extra stuff:


As for the English in france..well we know the story there....fact is England had lots of interests going on at that time...and a lot of armies and lands being occupied....you can only stretch forces so far...but..back to reality.


Whilst I don't agree with everything CaptainSolo had to say, he raises the basic point, Longbow HAD to be SIGNIFICANTLY better than crossbows in the way the English used them, or they would have switched to Crossbows as they don't require the lifetime training.

Orda Khan
12-09-2006, 13:50
Threads like this amuse me highly, so many armchair historians have put forward all kinds of theories, so many tests have been carried out. How many of them were actually present at battles like Agincourt? The best they can do is guess.
I have read accounts over the years and the Longbow has been reduced from a weapon of mass destruction to a mere annoyance.
The Asiatic Composite falls apart in damp weather.......LOL!!! It's hilarious. The Huns never saw rain then? How on earth did Chingis and Jamuka manage when they met in a snowstorm?
Who are these people who claim these things?
Speak to Hungarian bowyer Csaba Grozer, I have. Ask him about his composite bows and rain, I have.
All but torrential rain is fine.(and torrential rain only spoils the finish)

Bodkins.
Why were these heads used when they did nothing? More precisely, why did the bodkin evolve from the needle bodkin that could pierce and cut through chainmail into the short bodkin? What do we hear from armchair historians? "Only effective at 60 metres or less.
Kassai Lajos was able to pierce a military helmet with the technology available to the Huns.
What was the standard of plate armour? Were all Knights and Men-at-Arms covered completely with 'top of the range' armour? Was every part of the body totally enclosed?

.......Orda

Carl
12-09-2006, 13:56
@Orda Khan: That more or less my stance on it, Iíll argue the Science behind it for the fun of it. But in the end these weapons where used and battles where won and lost on their effectiveness. Thus, they had to be workable effective weapons that did their job regardless of anything else. The rest is just interesting details for us to tire ourselves out arguing over:bounce:.

CaptainSolo
12-09-2006, 14:39
Hmm, CaptainSolo, why were the English kicked out of France, leaving them only with Calais after 1453, when they had the uber-longbow arms ready? Why were they reduced to small parts of France during du Guesclins war after 1360? Why were they defeated in the Battle of Bannockburn which saved Scotlands independence for several hundreds of years? Such arguments are not very convincing.

I'm talking about the impact the Longbow had in the early battles of the 100 years war and the English armies undoubted superiority over the French at that time.What your'e asking is why the English were eventually driven out of France,as in the campaign as a whole.There are many reasons and situations that led that to occur though i'm not going to write huge passages on that here but it certainly wasn't because the Longbow became a bad wepon overnight.
The Germans appreciation of the tank and Blitzkrieg was an undoubdedly massive factor in Germany's conquests in the early part of the second world war against opponents who were no where near as forward thinking,disciplined or as well led as the Germans.Why then were they eventually defeated when they still had it? Things change and a myriad of other factors led to their eventual defeat but it dosent alter the fact that it was a battle winning weapon and strategy at that time.Credit where it's due.
Bannockburn was a terrible defeat for the English but Edwards generalship was insane and thats being polite.The Scots under Bruce realised in the bedlam that was the forming English army that this was one chance where his pikemen could dominate proceedings and they did so admirably.Credit where it's due.
In every other situation against the Scots where the English applied the tactics tried at Falkirk then they were victorious.Look at the battle of Nevilles cross,near my home as it happens.




It is very difficult to count a victory in battle to a special weapon. When you read about Crecy, Poitiers or Agincourt you see that a lot of fighting took place at close quarters. So the men-at-arms took the brunt of the attack and fought it out in good defensive positions.

Absolutely they did,but that of course was by design,hence they always fought dismounted.When you look at the composition of the English armies the vast majority were made up of longbowmen.The first French cavalry charge at Crecy was further disordered by warbow fire and had taken many casualties by the time they eventually closed with the English,with no forward momentum they were easily surrounded and driven off with heavy loss by the Men at arms.The second conroi was much better assembled but were again hampered by longbow fire and the obstacle of the remnants of the previous charge.The men at arms weren't responsible for driving off Grimaldi's Genoese either.
The fact that Philip,arguably the most powerful Western European Monarch,had in effect lost an entire army at this engagement should tell you something.A conservative estimate of 10,000 casualties in such a short space of time which was a huge amount for the time and type of battle would lead me to deduce that the Longbow was more effective than you give it credit for.



What dopp told about performance of arrows against plate I can confirm. We tested it with a 500 lbs crossbow and an 80 lbs bow. Later tests were also made with a 750 lbs crossbow. All were bad performers.

I have no complaints with that but check the casualty figures above.It would seem obvious to me that there would have been very few who would have worn such armour.In the case of mounted armoured Knights the chain trappers over the chargers would not have been impervious to arrow fire.



The actual draw power of English bows is a matter of debate. Mostly it seems to be estimated to be in a normal range from 80 lbs to 120 lbs. 160 lbs would be awful to shoot. One argument in the late 16th century debate in England about the abandoning of bows as weapons was that performance of archers under the conditons of war (exhaustion, hunger, disease etc.) was not very impressive and decreased much faster than that of arquebusiers.

Well of course there would be a variation.The Longbow wasn't a government issued weapon.It was nearly always made by the user to his own preference and liking and would have been used in everyday life for many.That is why there are no surviving examples today.They were simply a tool for the people who used them.
The main reason that the longbow faded from use in the English army was purely down to the fact that as a sport/pastime it was no longer followed in sufficient numbers for it to be effective.
An elite company of archers would have easily defeated a company of Wellington's best line troops in a 1 on 1 situation,of that there is no doubt.The longbow faded despite gunpowder weapons not because of it.


I'm a big history fan as are many others on here and as such i'am interested in the facts.You must give credit to the French for recovering when at many times all seemed lost.By the same token credit must be given to the Longbow because it's achievements were indeed great.

Darkmoor_Dragon
12-09-2006, 14:42
/em yawns

Frankly its all rather boring blather from people using google as their primary historical research tool whilst claiming some intimate and highly personalised version of historical facts that they actually dont have a clue about whatsoever. (And most of it is little more than broad sweeping statements infused with modern prejudices and hollywoodisms)

The ISSUE remains one of balancing a set of units in the game.

And in that respect the only pertinent information we require is how we believe the unit should perform IN THE GAME.

All the rest of the tosh about invincible pavise-men and their shields of doom, uber forearms-of-schwarzenegger english archers and so forth is just hot air and rather irrelevant.

It's also very boring as its a clone of 10,000 other identical threads elsewhere.

If all the armchair experts stopped blowing up hot air balloons and stopped to look at the game issue instead, you might get somewhere.

e.g. Should longbows have a higher rate of fire than any other bow unit IN THE FRIKKIN GAME? yes/no

Make a short list and get over trying to prove everybody else is an idiot and you a genius.

dopp
12-09-2006, 14:45
Threads like this amuse me highly, so many armchair historians have put forward all kinds of theories, so many tests have been carried out. How many of them were actually present at battles like Agincourt? The best they can do is guess.
I have read accounts over the years and the Longbow has been reduced from a weapon of mass destruction to a mere annoyance.
The Asiatic Composite falls apart in damp weather.......LOL!!! It's hilarious. The Huns never saw rain then? How on earth did Chingis and Jamuka manage when they met in a snowstorm?
Who are these people who claim these things?
Speak to Hungarian bowyer Csaba Grozer, I have. Ask him about his composite bows and rain, I have.
All but torrential rain is fine.(and torrential rain only spoils the finish)

Bodkins.
Why were these heads used when they did nothing? More precisely, why did the bodkin evolve from the needle bodkin that could pierce and cut through chainmail into the short bodkin? What do we hear from armchair historians? "Only effective at 60 metres or less.
Kassai Lajos was able to pierce a military helmet with the technology available to the Huns.
What was the standard of plate armour? Were all Knights and Men-at-Arms covered completely with 'top of the range' armour? Was every part of the body totally enclosed?

.......Orda

Of course, the best we can do is guess. Even if we were all practicing soldiers (all historians are armchair theorists, you mean armchair generals surely), the tactics and weapons of the time are too far removed for us to really know for sure. The problem is that the longbow has been elevated to an almost divine status, connected with the image of Anglo-Saxon national superiority and collecting attributes that are sometimes quite ridiculous. I think CA has gone for a balanced view that makes the longbowmen superior missile troops with unique abilities, but not supreme. They may need a little tweaking, but arguing for them to outshoot everyone else on the basis of flimsy historical accounts calls for a response.

Nobody said the heads did nothing. 60m effective range is still considerably further than the reach of a mounted knight, plus the horse would be vulnerable at any range. There were weak points that could be pierced, the face/visor and shoulders being the most vulnerable to plunging arrow fire. Even if the plate was not penetrated, potentially lethal arrow fire was extremely unnerving, even to seasoned troops. Armor was evolving as well, and seems to have kept pace with the new armor-piercing arrows. To turn your argument around, why was the armor still worn if the arrows could penetrate it so easily? Shouldn't they have started reducing the amount of armor and increasing its thickness by Agincourt, like they tried to do against firearms a century later?

Although there is some debate over whether man-at-arms is synonymous with knight, they were the social elite, trained and bred for battle and relatively few in number compared to the professional state armies that replaced them. They would have been able to afford the very best. They were not regulars equipped with some army-standard bargain-rate equipment, they were rich (though deadly serious) warriors that commissioned their weapons and armor from master smiths. At least one historian (John Keegan, whose account of Agincourt I have on hand as I type this) considers it likely that most of the men-at-arms facing the English at Agincourt were fully armored in plate. He doesn't consider the longbow a mere "annoyance" either, since the knights were obviously dissuaded from approaching the archers and took casualties from them. But the image of English archers scything down waves of charging knights at 300 yards with a continuous stream of arrows like some WWI trench assault needs some gentle correction.

Longbows do have a higher rate of fire in the game. They already do. Watching crossbows reload is like watching grass grow. Watching muskets reload is like watching a bunch of circus clowns play soldier.

Lukasa
12-09-2006, 14:46
A side point: if you're firing at a massed AI army with enough longbows you can cause enormous casualties. I fired at a 1000 strong Milanese army who (for no apparent reason) had all bunched together. I had 7 units of Yeoman Archers (for those who love numbers, they were at full strength, making 420 longbows). By the time the Milanese thought it prudent to retreat, I'd killed 680 men for no casualties. And I wasn't even halfway through my arrow supplies. I'd say that's pretty powerful, actually.

Barry Fitzgerald
12-09-2006, 14:47
Well said Darkmoor_Dragon. I think we have had enough armchair history mildly interesting it was..but it has now become a technical argument.

I agree the focus should be on their implementation in the game and one of unit balance issues...

Please no more England V France Wikipedia stuff! lol

CaptainSolo
12-09-2006, 14:59
Now just to clarify, was Grimaldi at Agincourt or at Crecy?

Of course i meant Crecy :oops:


There's the matter of about a century or so between the two battles. There is also the little matter of the Genoese lacking some essential equipment (pavises) and not intending to have a missile duel in the first place, so the Crecy example isn't good enough either.

I have to disagree dopp.I think it shows the superiority of the Longbow quite well.The pavise aside for one moment,when comparing the two weapons side by side the Longbow is far superior.If the pavise was created for large scale battles then why would they be necessary if the crossbow was comparable in performance to the Longbow?
The Genoese would have much preffered to have the Pavisises,as i would,and yes maybe things would have been different but i suppose we'll never know now.

As far the game goes i have found the longbow in large scale battles to be awesome.I just dont think the 1 V 1 in a custom battles shows them in a good light.
Regardless of history i'd take a balanced game over a historically accurate one every time.

dopp
12-09-2006, 15:10
As far the game goes i have found the longbow in large scale battles to be awesome.I just dont think the 1 V 1 in a custom battles shows them in a good light.
Regardless of history i'd take a balanced game over a historically accurate one every time.

I think that about sums up my feelings as well.

CaptainSolo
12-09-2006, 15:20
Well said Darkmoor_Dragon. I think we have had enough armchair history mildly interesting it was..but it has now become a technical argument.

I agree the focus should be on their implementation in the game and one of unit balance issues...

Please no more England V France Wikipedia stuff! lol

Agreed Barry,

Whilst Darkmoor's assumptions,presumably about me,are somewhat wide of the mark i do agree with the sentiment of his post.

I'll now graciously bow out of this discussion having said my piece.

Barry Fitzgerald
12-09-2006, 15:35
Back on target! lol

If you look at the stats for both longbows and crossbows..they seem perfectly reasonable...akak longbows do less damage..more range..vice versa.

In practise...if you look at the longbowman animation...there is a long delay 7/8 seconds with the bow drawn..and nothing..then fire...too long IMO...

Also the crossbowmen seem rather casual on reloads..no hurry lads....take your time..

Despite the stats suggesting longbows are "long range" IMHO..they are not long range enough in the game.

So to CA...speed up longbowmen firing a bit..and increase the range a bit more..and sorted....

No desire to be a slave to historical facts...this is a game..but something "near" to the truth would be nice. CA have always been a bit coy about getting things factual..but IMO this is exactly the direction they need to head into...it need not put off more casual gamers...

CBR
12-09-2006, 16:00
Crossbow bolts were not thinner. What makes you think that? Bolt weights vary a lot as there were lots of variance in crossbow draw weights. 60-80+ grams appear to be common and most likely thats for the smaller hook and belt crossbows as they were most common. There are also lighter bolts like the Dale bolt used used in Sweden in later 15th century of 35-45 grams. AFAIK some bolt heads have been found that had a weight of around 70 grams, so that would be a 100-110+ gram projectile.

Its actually impossible for bolts to be thinner than arrows, especially for the real heavy crossbow as the bolt would splinter when shot. Bolts generally need to be strong and sturdy.


...Longbow HAD to be SIGNIFICANTLY better than crossbows in the way the English used them, or they would have switched to Crossbows as they don't require the lifetime training.
Just remember that crossbows and bolts cost 3-4 times more than bows and required mechanical skills to produce and maintain. In general crossbows can be considered a weapon for city militias as cities had the skills and industry for such weapons. Crossbows required training too and from all what I have read they trained whenever they could. One example is a Swedish town where they practised every sunday and holy day (IIRC a total of 80+ days a year)

When France built up there own missile troops instead of just relying on mercs they ended up with both crossbows and archers. If we are to believe one Agincourt source they had 4000 archers and 1500 crossbows at that battle. The armies of Burgundy also had both missile types and actually started having many handguns too already back in 1420-30s IIRC.


When I heard about the new recruitment system used in M2TW I actually thought it would be done in a way so England had access to lots of archers. But it appears the available numbers are the same as crossbows and archers for other factions. In MTW archer reload were nearly 4 times faster than crossbows so it certainly felt very different than M2TW. MTW also had different armour penetration for each missile type whereas M2TW AP is an on/off effect AFAIK.

Personally I would remove the AP but increase their ROF and let higher skill/range be the main difference between the best longbows and normal archers.


CBR

Darkmoor_Dragon
12-09-2006, 16:06
Agreed Barry,

Whilst Darkmoor's assumptions,presumably about me,are somewhat wide of the mark i do agree with the sentiment of his post.

I'll now graciously bow out of this discussion having said my piece.

To be honest Cap' I didn't really read the thread (didn't need to, its all been said before: as soon as you see the multiple "quotes" you know what's being said and what's going on), I just skimmed a few posts: so it wasn't directed toward anybody in specific.

Darkmoor_Dragon
12-09-2006, 16:14
In game terms:

Increase longbow range by 15%
Increase rate of fire 20%
Increase ammo by 40%

Obviously one might want to scale those by unit type, so that their is a range upwards from the basic unit up to retinue longbow men.

I'm not familiar with the "eastern" archer units but the longbow shouldn't out range the better (non-peasant) infantry based composite bow units. (I'd have to leave any idea of game balance on mounted eastern archers to Orda)

Although its all rather a moot point only until the patch is out as it's difficult to fully access current balance right now.

Carl
12-09-2006, 17:48
Crossbow bolts were not thinner. What makes you think that? Bolt weights vary a lot as there were lots of variance in crossbow draw weights. 60-80+ grams appear to be common and most likely thats for the smaller hook and belt crossbows as they were most common. There are also lighter bolts like the Dale bolt used used in Sweden in later 15th century of 35-45 grams. AFAIK some bolt heads have been found that had a weight of around 70 grams, so that would be a 100-110+ gram projectile.


Generally I’m going of TV evidence as the royal Armouries at Leeds don't have much in the way of actual ammo for the missile weapons, (probably a safeguard in case someone tries nicking anything). They just look thinner on TV.

My main point of contention on this though was that a Longbow arrow is a LOT longer than a crossbow bolt and also has a chunk of metal at the front, this usually looks much bigger than the comparable pieces on Crossbow Quarrels, (at least to me, you might know a bit better). Thus, it follows that the Longbow arrow should really be heavier, (IMHO). Even if it isn’t thinner.

Knowing a bit about ballistics (not much mind, and certainly not the formula), from reading discussions on it on the web and in books i know a Heavy projectile will carry better, (in both max range and penetrating power), for the same momentum, than a lighter one.

Of course a Crossbow can and will make up for this somewhat with it's much better power. Indeed a sufficiently powerful Crossbow could well outstrip a longbow in terms of max range and penetrating power at the longbows max range. The power required would be pretty hefty to do it mind though, and really would take far too long to reload as it would have to be a hefty winch job for sure.

In effect I just don't believe any Crossbow able to match a Longbow in lethatality at that range would be a practical battlefield weapon due to the reload time being so great that a lower range, lower draw crossbow would be able to get more volleys in despite it's shorter range.

Your point about Crossbow manufacture and training is well made, but at the same time, if the Crossbow was really better than the longbow in overall killing ability, they would have switched, the very fact that they didn't tells us they felt the crossbow was inferior. Of course that would have required a switch in manufacturing centres, but so too did muskets so...

As an aside, am I the only one who thinks gunpowder weapons are too long ranged, (considering they couldn't hit the broadside of a barn at 100 yards in the American civil war, I doubt they could at the time periods represented here).

p.s. I'm not saying you ARE wrong, it just seems odd when I try and look at things in the light of logic and science, thats all.

resonantblue
12-09-2006, 18:06
Rate-of-fire.

Longbows outperform when killing enemy troops (as opposed to dedicated anti-range enemy troops).

Raxxius
12-09-2006, 18:21
Gunpowder units are overpowerful in this game.

I doubt longbows are underpowerd, as have been stated several times, the crossbow is a much eaiser weapon to use, thus needing less training. English Longbows were very very highly trained.

I've used longbows to decimate enemy formations and given that they can fight somewhat in H2H they can make backup shock troops to plug any hole that the enemy might be forming.

Only thing for me is, I feel the Longbow unit should be a City based one, with the more elite (Yeoman and Retinue) as Castle based.

Retinue in 1 v 1 have for me, beaten every other missile (not gunpowder) based unit in the sandbox. Hardly uneffective.

Slicendice
12-09-2006, 18:49
I hope some of you weren't hoping this game would reflect reality in some way?

Xbows and Longbows are balanced. Longbows have wall of stakes and xbows have a shield which will slow them down when the English Cavalry comes.

Sounds fair to me.

You weren't playing the game without using a variety of troops were you?

Grifman
12-09-2006, 19:45
Hmm, CaptainSolo, why were the English kicked out of France, leaving them only with Calais after 1453, when they had the uber-longbow arms ready? Why were they reduced to small parts of France during du Guesclins war after 1360? Why were they defeated in the Battle of Bannockburn which saved Scotlands independence for several hundreds of years? Such arguments are not very convincing.

You're right, your argument is unconvincing. There's a lot more that goes into victory or defeat in war than one weapon. The English lost in France for a number of reasons - lack of resources (2 million Englishmen vs. 14 million Frenchmen for one example), French avoiding English strengths on the battlefield by making the war one of sieges, etc. One could argue that the English were only able to do what they did because of their proficiency with the long bow.

And if the longbow wasn't so great there's alot you have to explain. Why the ratio of longbow men to men-at-arms was 3 to 1 up to 5 to 1. Why the French sought their own longbowmen, why the English won so many battles, why the French started dismounting their knights, etc.


It is very difficult to count a victory in battle to a special weapon. When you read about Crecy, Poitiers or Agincourt you see that a lot of fighting took place at close quarters. So the men-at-arms took the brunt of the attack and fought it out in good defensive positions.

But why did the outnumbered English armies win, especially since so many of their men were longbowmen? That means their men-at-arms were even more outnumbered! Why did the French seek out to create their own longbow companies? Why copy such an ineffective concept if English longbowmen weren't all that great?


What dopp told about performance of arrows against plate I can confirm. We tested it with a 500 lbs crossbow and an 80 lbs bow. Later tests were also made with a 750 lbs crossbow. All were bad performers.

Tests were made from 20 m distance. Below that distance the arrow has not stopped its initial bending and is not able to get reliable penetration power.

Crossbow and bow were relatively weak (although most modern people including me wouldn't be able to shoot with an 80 lbs bow :laugh4: ). But: penetration power doesn't grow with the power of the crossbow/bow in a direct relation. A 160 lbs bow gives not double power and energy to an arrow compared with an 80 lbs bow. And the stronger the draw power the greater other disadvantages for the user of the weapon (speed, burden etc.)

The actual draw power of English bows is a matter of debate. Mostly it seems to be estimated to be in a normal range from 80 lbs to 120 lbs. 160 lbs would be awful to shoot. One argument in the late 16th century debate in England about the abandoning of bows as weapons was that performance of archers under the conditons of war (exhaustion, hunger, disease etc.) was not very impressive and decreased much faster than that of arquebusiers.

The most impressive experiences from testing for me were: First how easily an arrow or bolt was deflected by plate armour. Only if it hits near 90 degree there was even a chance to punch a hole. Second that neither arrows nor bolts could punch through a gambeson made of over 20 layers of linen cloth. That form of armour was frequently used among the more simple soldiers and may have done a very good job against missiles.

There are a number of problems here. If xbows and longbows were so ineffective, then why were they used? People don't use weapons that don't work - that gets people killed. English armies consistently had 3 to 4 times the number of longbowmen to men-at-arms. Why if longbows weren't effective? And how did very badly English men-at-arms win with a bunch of useless longbows doing nothing at their flanks?

Secondly, to what extent was plate amour used during the Hundred Years War? And what was it's quality? And what protection did non-noble men-at-arms have - probably not nearly as much plate as the nobles/knights had. Sure plate armor was at least somewhat effective against armor - but obviously at Agincourt the French were worried, because they attacked head/shoulders down, presenting the thickest and roundest part of their armor to the longbowmen - could it be that they knew something we don't?

Lastly, what you are missing is sheer volume. 6,000 longbowmen with 30 arrows means 180,000 arrows coming at you. That volume/rate of fire is going to produce hits - throw visors, weak points in armor, joints, etc. Even a 5% rate means 9.000 hits - either wounds or death. That's nothing to be ignored.

Here's a link to an interesting article disputing your position regarding the longbow:

http://wih.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/5/2/233

If that doesn't work, then search for "The Efficacy of the Longbow" as that is the title of the article.

Orda Khan
12-09-2006, 19:50
(all historians are armchair theorists, you mean armchair generals surely)
No I don't. Too many 'historians' write accounts based on hearsay

......Orda

todorp
12-09-2006, 22:53
I'm not talkig about sitting ducks.I'm talkig abut distruption in the force.LB fire much faster (historicly) pierce almost like Xbow.But now they are slow have same range as Xbows and they have less damage.This is not a shock troop as should be.Need some balancing.

Absolutely! LB has to have 3 times higher rate of fire, when in MTW2 bows have the same rate of fire as crossbows :(. How it can be adjusted?

Kobal2fr
12-09-2006, 22:54
You're right, your argument is unconvincing. There's a lot more that goes into victory or defeat in war than one weapon. The English lost in France for a number of reasons - lack of resources (2 million Englishmen vs. 14 million Frenchmen for one example), French avoiding English strengths on the battlefield by making the war one of sieges, etc. One could argue that the English were only able to do what they did because of their proficiency with the long bow.

So... when the English lose, it's not a proof that the longbow is an average weapon and you have to see the big picture and all of these other considerations, but Azincourt and Crecy alone prove it's outstanding and that it and only it won the day ? Pschaw.

Azincourt and Crecy prove jack diddly. If anything, they prove that a fortified, missile-heavy defensive position on high ground defeats a head-on, undisciplined assault. Gee, what a surprise ! Must be them longbows !

I stand by what I said : the way it went down the English could have fired slingshots and still won.

Like dopp said, whenever the English did not have such flagrant terrain advantages, and did not have time to fortify their archers' positions (with stakes, ditches etc...), the French rode their ultimate longbows down without a hitch.

Victories or losses have little to do with the weapons used, and everything to do with the way the commanders make use of the relative strengths and capacities of their forces viz the strengths and capacities of their enemy. Thinking "it's all in the longbow !", that's shoddy, easy thinking.

Take WW2 for example : The RAF won with planes that were strictly inferior to the German ones. No, it wasn't the Spitfire. The Afrika Korps was bested by somewhat inferior British tanks and absolutely crummy American ones. No, it wasn't the Challenger. And so on, and so forth.


And if the longbow wasn't so great there's alot you have to explain. Why the ratio of longbow men to men-at-arms was 3 to 1 up to 5 to 1. Why the French sought their own longbowmen, why the English won so many battles, why the French started dismounting their knights, etc.

You're thinking backwards. The English didn't field huge numbers of longbows because those won battles, the English won battles because they fielded huge numbers of longbows, and used them in an atypical fashion.

And they didn't switch to crossbows because England had a strong archery tradition, and tradition means : we do what we have always done, because we have always done things that way. Doesn't mean it's the absolute best way.

I'll say it again : the tactic of using large numbers of missile units to kill superior knights is what is important to consider.
And it was a shock tactic too, one that the French really had a hard time getting to grips with. It went against the whole social system, and totally clashed with their beliefs. Which is also probably why they took so long to change their tactics too : they stubbornly wanted to prove that the feudal system wasn't broken, that knights and chivalry still held the military power, hence the political one as well. If military power was in the hands of the mob, why would the mob need knights in the first place ?

And yes, I don't care what a yeoman is, to the French nobility, longbowmen were "the mob", "rabble". They were footmen, using dishonourable weapons anonymously, without armour etc... They didn't fight fair, and they were nameless. Plus, they weren't nobility, so they didn't have the social "right" to kill nobles.


There are a number of problems here. If xbows and longbows were so ineffective, then why were they used? People don't use weapons that don't work - that gets people killed. English armies consistently had 3 to 4 times the number of longbowmen to men-at-arms. Why if longbows weren't effective? And how did very badly English men-at-arms win with a bunch of useless longbows doing nothing at their flanks?

Nobody said longbows were ineffective and useless. They weren't instant killquicks either.

Barry Fitzgerald
12-10-2006, 00:43
Kobal2fr...maybe time to let it rest a bit.

This England v France thing is getting out of hand...

I am Neutral on this...( non anglo saxon english! lol)

So back to the game lol!

Marquis of Roland
12-10-2006, 01:06
Crossbows can fire in an arc in the game, but does far less damage when it is fired this way. Sure, a pavise crossbow unit can kill a longbowmen unit 1 on 1, but that never happens in the game or in real life for that matter. In practicality, I rather have a long range unit protected by an infantry line than have them stand in front.

SMZ made a good point; mongol composite bows may outrange longbows by up to 20% of the longbow's max range. I really want to fight the mongols and timurids with long range missiles; does anyone know how to change the mongol units to have long range missile capability?

CaptainSolo
12-10-2006, 03:34
Honestly Kobal2Fr your'e just making yourself look a bit daft with all these nonsensical posts to be honest me old fruit.I'm not trying to be nasty or anything but some of the stuff your writing is hilarious.


Azincourt and Crecy prove jack diddly. If anything, they prove that a fortified, missile-heavy defensive position on high ground defeats a head-on, undisciplined assault. Gee, what a surprise ! Must be them longbows !

Agincourt and Crecy prove Jack Diddly? .... Yet they prove that..ok read the rest.
Must be the longbows? Well considering that was the main weapon they used on those days theres a pretty good chance it was.


Take WW2 for example : The RAF won with planes that were strictly inferior to the German ones. No, it wasn't the Spitfire. The Afrika Korps was bested by somewhat inferior British tanks and absolutely crummy American ones. No, it wasn't the Challenger. And so on, and so forth.

Were those the same Spitfires that were faster and had a much tighter turning circle than the ME109's?
The Afrika Korps were bested due to the fact they were starved of supplies and material.Rommel being sent home due to illness also didnt help.After El Alamein the Germans were so heavily outnumbered in terms of manpower and armour there was only ever going to be one winner.Look at the opposing forces arrayed against each other for operation lightfoot.

I think you mean the Sherman..If Wavell or Montgomerie had had challenger in WW2 they would have only needed a couple to rout every bit of armour the Germans possessed.


You're thinking backwards. The English didn't field huge numbers of longbows because those won battles, the English won battles because they fielded huge numbers of longbows,

Sorry but thats hilarious.


For the love of Jesus someone close this thread,it's going to go on for an eternity.My sides are splitting,i cant take any more :wall:

Kobal2fr
12-10-2006, 03:34
@Barry : What, you think I'm biased ?

It's not a France vs England thing. If it is, I don't know who's playing France :laugh:. It's a common sense vs myth thing. I was just trying to plant a seed of doubt in a rather dogmatic vision of history, just as I was trying to knock down the silly yet prevalent dogma that a crossbow cannot be dangerous when fired in an arc before. Doubt is always good :bow:.

I'm not being judgemental or a nationalistic idiot when I say the French nobles considered English archers as rabble, the French nobles were.

I myself honestly don't give a rodent's bottom about France's pride or The Greatness Of French Military History (capital letters sold separately :]) or any of that silly flagthink. Or English pride for that matter. The French military minds were by and large self-deluded, full of themselves morons back then if you ask me. Most still are to this day.

Besides, I would have thought saying "it's not the bow, it's the English military savvy" wouldn't be construed as English-bashing.

Going back to the game, I really believe that longbows are modelled OK. You can certainly re-do Azincourt with them - the stakes are a very, very nice addition, go a long way into making them superior archers, and allow for proper, 4-to-1 stacks (as opposed to MTW). They cut the French to shreds allright :laugh:.

CBR
12-10-2006, 03:54
They just look thinner on TV.
The numbers I have seen for arrows are 10-12mm in diameter (55-95 gram weight) Bolts are of 12-16mm.


In effect I just don't believe any Crossbow able to match a Longbow in lethatality at that range would be a practical battlefield weapon due to the reload time being so great that a lower range, lower draw crossbow would be able to get more volleys in despite it's shorter range.
Actual battlefield performance(rate of fire in particular) of missile weapons is of course a bit difficult to get a really good estimate of. But one simple way of looking at it as the heavier draw weight the slower overall rate of fire.

Its interesting to note that one of the guys who actually can use these 170+ pound monster longbows, doesnt like to shoot more than 6 shots/minute. Then compare to experienced archers who can do 20+ shots/minute with 50-60 pound bows or whatever they are using. Not that such fast shooting is very accurate, but nonetheless from what I understand its not that difficult to achieve such fast ROF. Although the ROF is very different both archers would actually be delivering about same amount of energy in one minute.


Your point about Crossbow manufacture and training is well made, but at the same time, if the Crossbow was really better than the longbow in overall killing ability, they would have switched, the very fact that they didn't tells us they felt the crossbow was inferior. Of course that would have required a switch in manufacturing centres, but so too did muskets so...
Yes but remember that an arquebus/musket was cheaper to make than a crossbow.

Im not saying that crossbows were superior weapons but why do we see crossbows used so much other places. I see the bow as a cheap weapon for the masses, a weapon that could not be replaced with crossbows as the masses didnt have the money, nor did kings have the money to buy replacement weapons and bolts for so many men. It took more wealthy cities and towns for production and use of crossbows.

The heavy draw weight longbows seem to be comparable in power to strong belt and hook crossbows and Im not so sure such longbows had that much greater ROF compared to these lighter crossbows that afterall was the most commenly used crossbows. Maybe the ROF of long range AP longbows in M2TW, compared to crossbows, is more true to history afterall heh


CBR

Kobal2fr
12-10-2006, 03:58
@Solo : No, the Sherman is the absolutely crummy American one :) but you're right, I was mixing up Challenger with Crusader, sorry.

dopp
12-10-2006, 04:16
Why not everyone check out the test thread on longbow vs pavise crossbow?

Buck naked basic longbowmen with significantly poorer (on paper) stats score quite a few more kills than pavise crossbowmen with high attack, heavy mail and big shields. And that's allowing the crossbows to shoot off all their ammo long after the bows have finished their supply. Anything more than that unbalances the game. The OP's premise is a little unfounded.

Reapz
12-10-2006, 07:35
Originally posted by Sonny WiFiHr
Longbows are no good

Oh yes they are (http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showthread.php?t=74553)

Orda Khan
12-10-2006, 12:04
The numbers I have seen for arrows are 10-12mm in diameter (55-95 gram weight) Bolts are of 12-16mm.
What arrows are you talking about, CBR? Some shafts for those heavy War bows were more like 15mm

Nobody can complain about the range of any archer in this game, incuding HA. I was quite shocked when I saw the range that archers start firing. What I would complain about is the range of Javelin units, now that IS extreme

......Orda

pevergreen
12-10-2006, 12:18
Don't just spend your time looking for the Magical Unit of Ultimate Smashing +5.


Someone's a fellow D&D player...

Carl
12-10-2006, 12:47
@CBR: Thanks for the reply and you raise many good points, (I though winch drawn crossbows where more common later on TBH, but Iíll take your word on it). I'm also surprised at Muskets being more expensive to manufacture as they both use steel and wood, except that the Musket used more metal. Again Iíll take your word on it, but it does sound weird again.

Your right on similar draw Crossbows having similar fire rates, maybe a bit lower due to the awkward nature of pulling them back compared to a bow. However as noted before, Iím not convinced the shorter quarrel would have been as heavy, which would have reduced range.

On top of that a Crossbow typically has a shorter distance backwards draw, this actually cuts power as well, (it's a bit complex why, I can explain it if you want).

@Everyone (Especially Kobal2fr): I strongly suggest you read the PDF linked to in this here (http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showpost.php?p=1341112&postcount=101). It never claims Longbows where Uber Weapons (and they werenít), but at the same time it makes clear they where nasty and did a lot of damage, it uses quotes from the time period to back it up, and some of these come from neutral or enemy sides of the story (i.e. no interest in promoting England). This makes it actually quite believable,. as apposed to the fantasy claims some people spout about it being an uber weapon that can kill a moder tank at 5 miles:smash: .

Finally, for me this is NOT a France vs. England argument. For me it's just an interesting discussion that giving me something to do:bounce:.

@Orda Khan: Many thanks for taking the time to reply, you clearly know what your talking about~:).

Shahed
12-10-2006, 12:58
So... when the English lose, it's not a proof that the longbow is an average weapon and you have to see the big picture and all of these other considerations, but Azincourt and Crecy alone prove it's outstanding and that it and .......

Very nice... myth bustin there. :yes:

CBR
12-10-2006, 13:15
What arrows are you talking about, CBR? Some shafts for those heavy War bows were more like 15mm

......Orda
The arrows tested in "The Great Warbow"

110+ gram arrows would have a bigger diameter and 15mm might have been what they were using.


CBR

CaptainSolo
12-10-2006, 13:32
[QUOTE=Sinan]Very nice... myth bustin there. [/QUOTE

Hardly,Grifman was pointing out the fact that the Longbow as a wepaon was decisive in the battles he mentions but were not the reason the English failed in the 'campaign as a whole' in France,where there were so many other reasons for their eventual loss.I thought he was quite clear about that.
The French eventually did learn to cope much better with the Longbow but to say it was the only factor is a bit daft really.
It's like saying the only reason the Germans lost to the Russians on the Eastern front was due to the Russians learning to cope with the German Armour whilst taking no account of supply,manpower,morale,air superiority.

Kraxis
12-10-2006, 16:06
CaptainSolo, now you are just being contrary.

You agree that longbows were the main weapon right? Good. It was the main weapon in victories and losses alike? Good.

Now how can it be that the losses do not count? So the French adapted? Well, they left their horses and began to use arty. That was about it. If you really want to, you can also include attackign the English when they were unprepared, but that can hardly be called adapting, that is just common sense.

So when the Englsish didn't have time to use their stakes and good prepared defensive positions, it was a hard struggle. They won at times anyway (bravo!), and seemingly won in melee (as the stakes and unprepared longbowmen leaves little other option).
So how can it be the longbow itself that is the victor, and not the tactics and strength of men-at-arms? I'm not saying that these things were what solely won it, but I think the longbow has been far overrated.

Seemingly on an even battlefield the English didn't pwn the French. They won and they lost. If the longbow had been such a wonderweapon the French would have lost decidedly regardless.

Besides he wasn't claiming that longbow was the reason for the English losses, just that it wasn't anything more than most other weapons. I do not agree with that, but I still think the longbow has been overrated.
Placement, tactics, training and a predictable enemy gave them the needed time and room to get their smaller difference to tell. In war it is often the little difference that does the most difference in the end, and I think that applies here.

Kobal2fr
12-10-2006, 17:11
Pfew, thank you Kraxis, I was beginning to think I was just being my usual unclear self and nobody understood what I was trying to say :sweatdrop:.

And to clarify things even more, and even though I know I've been playing devil's advocate a fair bit here (I like to believe I didn't go as far as trolling, may be wrong), I really do believe longbows were exceptionnal bows, and English yeomen were indeed very good soldiers as well. But they were still mere bows, and mere men, which is what I've been saying all along.

What frankly bothers me in that kind of "it's machine X" thinking (which applies to many, if not all other fields of history as well) is that it's devaluating, sometimes even downright insulting the men behind them, and the individuals who made them succeed.
Plus it opens the door to the horrible horrible metaphysical concept that history went down the way it did because there wasn't any other way it could have gone, that winners won because they couldn't have lost and victory proves the winner was superior and, basically, that luck, individual value & beliefs, individuals themselves mean nothing.
So, at last, brave Romans, I'll say this : predestination can kiss my bum : warriors make their own destiny ! CHAAAAAARGE ! :charge:

CBR
12-10-2006, 18:52
I'm also surprised at Muskets being more expensive to manufacture as they both use steel and wood, except that the Musket used more metal. Again I’ll take your word on it, but it does sound weird again.
Firearms were cheaper because they were more simple to make. The metal tube and fire lock mechanism were simpler to make than crossbow prods and locks/trigger.


..I’m not convinced the shorter quarrel would have been as heavy, which would have reduced range.
Remember that the shaft is only part of the weight. The metal point does add considerably to the overall weight of a bolt. The balancing point of a shorter bolt is about 1/3 of the overall length from the tip, but needs to be 1/4 for a longer arrow. If you ever have seen pics of a bolt close up you will note how the metal tip respresent a much bigger part of the overall length than when comparing to arrows.

"European Crossbows: A Survey by Josef Alm" provides details on crossbows and bolts and gives us weights and length of different types of bolts: 38-40 cm long with most having a weight between 70-79 grams (the most common bolts from the museum in Bern)


On top of that a Crossbow typically has a shorter distance backwards draw, this actually cuts power as well.
IIRC in simple terms work x distance = power and one can get a general idea of energy stored in the bow with: draw weight x draw length /2. Of course one would have to lower the result a bit (maybe 5-6% for bows and 10-20% for crossbows) as the power stroke is shorter(the actual distance the string is pulled back)

Stuff like that just makes it all even more complicated as we cant just compare draw weight but have to know the actual draw length. Even for bows there would be a difference as a tall archer might have longer arms so "drawing to the ear" would be different than for a shorter archer.


CBR

Carl
12-10-2006, 19:30
Firearms were cheaper because they were more simple to make. The metal tube and fire lock mechanism were simpler to make than crossbow prods and locks/trigger.

Good point about Crossbows having complex firing mechanisms. I was thinking more in the difficult of casting the tube to withstand the pressures without blowing itself to bits.


Remember that the shaft is only part of the weight. The metal point does add considerably to the overall weight of a bolt. The balancing point of a shorter bolt is about 1/3 of the overall length from the tip, but needs to be 1/4 for a longer arrow. If you ever have seen pics of a bolt close up you will note how the metal tip respresent a much bigger part of the overall length than when comparing to arrows.

Good points TBH, I really need to dig out some pictures of Crossbow Bolts and Arrows as I always figured the greater "height" of an arrowhead would make up for any differences in head length. The quoted length for Crossbow bolts is also a lot longer than I thought, (I was figuring two-thirds to half that TBH). So the Bolts gain a lot of weight over my estimation there.


IIRC in simple terms work x distance = power and one can get a general idea of energy stored in the bow with: draw weight x draw length /2. Of course one would have to lower the result a bit (maybe 5-6% for bows and 10-20% for crossbows) as the power stroke is shorter(the actual distance the string is pulled back)

Stuff like that just makes it all even more complicated as we cant just compare draw weight but have to know the actual draw length. Even for bows there would be a difference as a tall archer might have longer arms so "drawing to the ear" would be different than for a shorter archer.


Indeed, also a longer Draw might need longer arrows, (possible if unlikliy), which would only increase the problems.

CaptainSolo
12-10-2006, 22:18
CaptainSolo, now you are just being contrary.

I was merely pointing out that the factors that determine the result of a single battle are not always the same as the factors that determine the result of a campaign as a whole.I can't see whats so hard to understand about that?


So the French adapted? Well, they left their horses and began to use arty. That was about it. If you really want to, you can also include attackign the English when they were unprepared, but that can hardly be called adapting, that is just common sense.

If the French had done what you suggest after Crecy then i would agree with you when you say it was common sense.But to carry on in the same way with the same horrendous results for so long? Having no option but to change is not common sense.They changed their tactics solely to combat the Longbow,of that there is no doubt.


Seemingly on an even battlefield the English didn't pwn the French. They won and they lost. If the longbow had been such a wonderweapon the French would have lost decidedly regardless.

Of course they won and lost as they did in Scotland but that dosen't alter the fact that the Longbow was the decisive factor in most of their major victories.(Crecy/Nevilles Cross)


So how can it be the longbow itself that is the victor, and not the tactics and strength of men-at-arms? I'm not saying that these things were what solely won it, but I think the longbow has been far overrated.

I don't have an issue with you thinking that the longbow has been overrated,that's your opinion.The problem i have is that on these boards many have vastly UNderrated it's importance.
To the English campaigning in France it represented their best chance of victory in large engagements and looking at the composition of those armies and the relatively small numbers of other troop types ( men at arms,cavalry) compared with the huge numerical advantage at times of their enemy it's hard to doubt their effectiveness.

Kraxis
12-11-2006, 00:47
The point I was trying to make was that when the English didn't have their near perfect setup in a battle, it was decidedly harder for the longbows to make an impact. If they had been superbly great, mowing down charging Frenchmen (be it knights of mailclad men-at-arms), would the same results not have applied to the battle where the longbows DIDN'T get to do their little setup? Ok, not the same results, but similar results (more losses and harder fighting but generally the same events).

That wasn't what happened. So the point Kobal was making was that the longbowmen could have been superbly trained shortbow archers, and the difference in battles would be slight. It came down to how these archers were used, rather than the weapon they carried.
These longbowmen were so good that shortbows would still ahve left the French flabbergasted in battle.

The longbow was undoubtedly better than the shortbow. *duh*
But the difference might have been quite a bit smaller than often asumed. So when these great guys did their little show of sending French knights facedown in the mud, it was their achievement, not the bows'. They could have done only slightly less with shortbows, but I firmly believe that the French would still have lost Agincourt had the longbowmen been shortbowmen, but the longbow added that little extra that made the battle so astoundingly odd...

CaptainSolo
12-11-2006, 05:18
The point I was trying to make was that when the English didn't have their near perfect setup in a battle, it was decidedly harder for the longbows to make an impact. If they had been superbly great, mowing down charging Frenchmen (be it knights of mailclad men-at-arms), would the same results not have applied to the battle where the longbows DIDN'T get to do their little setup? Ok, not the same results, but similar results (more losses and harder fighting but generally the same events).

Every weapon type will have conditions and situations which will allow it to excell and others where it is at a disadvantage.For the English as you say it was a prepared position,for the French mounted knight it was a flat field free of hedges and stone walls.Thats not to say either is useless in other situations of course.


That wasn't what happened. So the point Kobal was making was that the longbowmen could have been superbly trained shortbow archers, and the difference in battles would be slight. It came down to how these archers were used, rather than the weapon they carried.
These longbowmen were so good that shortbows would still ahve left the French flabbergasted in battle.

Now here's where we disagree,though i agree that their deployment and numbers played a large part in their success.Taking a look at a few of the casualty figures for some of these battles Kraxis and they are very high,even for a big medieval battle.Fatalities from melee fighting even in large battles were not always as big as people may imagine.

Anyway i'd just like to thank you.You are the first person that has disagreed with me but has still acknowledged the quality of the archer.The man behind the bow if you will.I always stayed out of the technical discussions as thats not my field and thats why when talking about the longbow i always tried to say Longbowmen,as in the man and the bow as one.
Whether you feel the warbow as a weapon is overrated/underrated i suppose is immaterial at the end of the day.Theres no doubting that the English archer and his warbow had a massive impact on the Medieval battlefield at the time though.

Kraxis
12-11-2006, 14:17
I can only agree with yout last point.

However when the French failed in battle it was often a bloody mess. At Courtrai the Flemish militias managed to pulp the French nobility in a similar fashion, yet they had no archers, save a few crossbowmen that retreated to the main line (and dropped their crossbows, supposedly to impeed the charge) as soon as the French began to move out.

The battle of the Bouvines which was a decisive French victory was also very bloody in melee, as both the French and German/English/Flemish forces suffered heavily among their infantry, without there seemingly being any obvious routs (other than the knights on the flanks).

Heavy losses in melee were not usual, but they were not so unusual as well. Espcially when you get almost surrounded while being quite compressed(Agincourt when the longbowmen charged the French in the flanks).

Oleander Ardens
12-11-2006, 15:25
Some good points here, but I might add that every weaponsystem or launcher/missile combination was tuned to the environment. This environment consisted of a huge amount of interlocked factors, such as your own and your enemy's resources, strategy and tactics, the economic, social and military landscapes and the climate and geography.

Let's take the example of the Scythian composite bow. Scythian culture and weapontechnology and their way of war swapped over the Danube around 500 BC colliding with the Hallstatt culture. It was an area where the long warbow was along with javelins the dominant missile weapon, and where the wealth was centered, according to the funeral gifts on a few individuals. This individuals quickly adopted Scythian culture and arrowtechnology and most likely also their bows, given that one is strongly connected to each others. Trilobate arrowheads substituted the leafshaped ones.

However some 200 to 300 years later archery seems to play no more role on the battlefields of Mitteleuropa, the scythian heritage seems to forgotten or just restricted to a few. The ways of war have changed, closecomat with spear, shield and sword rule the fields, javelins are usually sufficient for ranged combat while large shelfbows are mostly used as siegeweapons. Composite bows leave no traces of their existence.

After another 200-300 years Rome occupies the regions close to the Danube, Pannonia and Noricum where once the Scythians composite bow sang, bringing with them archers of the east with their trilobate arrowheads, introduced by the Scythians and readily adopted and spread in the Middle East, where they roamed. The composite bow gets used more and more by the Romans and the Germanic people as they great migrations take place.
The Goths adopt the steppe technology and ride into the battle also with the Hornabogn, a bow made of horn a word which still exists in many germanic tongues. Their nobler men are increasingly fond of horsecombat and have to defend themselves against the new masters of mounted combat the Huns. To do so they copy what they deem fine.

So do the Langobards, the Franks as one finding and some religious motifs show as. But Europe is still for the most part heavy forested and yew is quite plentiful. Cheap good yew can easily turned into cheap good bows and good bows can help to win battles. So frankish footsoldiers have to carry a warbow and 12 arrows into battle. The composite bow is restricted to the elites which use him more for hunting than for warfare, as it is difficult to make without the broad technical knowledge available in the steppe. And when did men just by shooting arrows ever win battles in Central and Western Europe? Not in men's memory.

Even when the Magyars raid a great part of the old frankish reich with their old steppe tactics does their main weapon get a solid foothold in Central Europe. Otto wins against them with cavalry, good leadership and much more luck, focing them back to Hungary. It seems that Europe is bad country for the composite bow and the philosophy and technology surrounding it....

Seems that his clear advantages in efficiency (power for size and power for draw) are not enough to replace the combination of well known and widely available shelfbow and the "new" crossbow, while almost everywhere else the composite bow ruled supreme...

To be continued.

geala
12-11-2006, 16:33
I wrote a long text but killed it because the discussion seems to go over and over and over...:laugh4:

So only one last thing: I like the mentioning of blitzkrieg some posts before. Because it reminds me that blitzkrieg also is a very legendary affair that did not exist in the way many persons thought (prior to the last great research that was done about it in the last years, made surely by armchair historians). Of course one can also trust old stories, mostly they must be true. Same for the longbow.

Orda Khan
12-11-2006, 18:07
IIRC in simple terms work x distance = power and one can get a general idea of energy stored in the bow with: draw weight x draw length /2. Of course one would have to lower the result a bit (maybe 5-6% for bows and 10-20% for crossbows) as the power stroke is shorter(the actual distance the string is pulled back)

Stuff like that just makes it all even more complicated as we cant just compare draw weight but have to know the actual draw length. Even for bows there would be a difference as a tall archer might have longer arms so "drawing to the ear" would be different than for a shorter archer.


Indeed, also a longer Draw might need longer arrows, (possible if unlikliy), which would only increase the problems.

I don't like the idea of comparing crossbow strength with bow strength, they are too different in technology. The bolt is short and is set in a guide and though the 'draw' may be short, it usually requires a machine to draw the string which itself is like a rope compared with a bowstring.
The bows of the time were nothing like todays takedown recurves or compounds, they did not have a riser allowing 'centre shot'. The archer had to find a way to overcome the archers paradox. When loosing an arrow, its natural path would be central, in line with the string, however this is not possible. The Mediterranean 3 finger draw requires the arrow rests on the back of the bow hand and the paradox is the means by which the arrow contorts its way around the bow. This requires an arrow of correct spine be used otherwise it will not fly well and/or will not be accurate. The correct spine weight will also be determined by the length of the arrow.

For example, using modern shafts.
40lb spine at 32" length. Cut that down to 28" and the spine has effectively been increased to 48lb. Likewise a bow with draw weight of 40lb at 28" is lighter or heavier depending on draw length, it equates to approximately 2lbs per inch.
Of course, the cast of the arrow will be greatly affected by the weight of the arrowhead and the size of fletchings. Even then there may be some slight adjustment that will perfect the cast.
My own draw length is roughly 28" and my bow is 45lbs. After years of experimenting, I get best performance from 29" arrows, 5/16" diameter, 100 grain piles (points), 5 1/2" low profile fletchings (5" normal fly just as well but not in cross winds) and the spine is 40lbs.
By using a lighter pile of say, 63 grains, the arrow becomes stiffer and will fly left.
It goes without saying that the correct nocking point on the bowstring has to be located to prevent 'porpoising' of the arrow.

Given the heavy weight of the old Warbows and the bodkin heads and the fact that these archers drew to their shoulder, the arrows can almost be mistaken for broom handles

.........Orda

Carl
12-11-2006, 18:34
I don't like the idea of comparing crossbow strength with bow strength, they are too different in technology. The bolt is short and is set in a guide and though the 'draw' may be short, it usually requires a machine to draw the string which itself is like a rope compared with a bowstring.
The bows of the time were nothing like todays takedown recurves or compounds, they did not have a riser allowing 'centre shot'. The archer had to find a way to overcome the archers paradox. When loosing an arrow, its natural path would be central, in line with the string, however this is not possible. The Mediterranean 3 finger draw requires the arrow rests on the back of the bow hand and the paradox is the means by which the arrow contorts its way around the bow. This requires an arrow of correct spine be used otherwise it will not fly well and/or will not be accurate. The correct spine weight will also be determined by the length of the arrow.


I'm not an archery expert okay so let me check if I understand this bit right:

What your saying is that because you have to rest the arrow on your hand you can't have the back of the arrow in the perfect position so you have to have the arrow size and weight, (as well as fletching and head), just right to stop the arrow bending and veering left or right as it leaves the bow.

That what you where trying to say?

Thanks for butting in as it's nice to have a real expert on archery, who uses it rather than just theorises, in here correcting us as necessary.

Carl
12-11-2006, 18:40
Since i can't Edit:

I presume Spine and Spine weight refers to bow Weight?

Whilst length refers to the draw distance?

Sorry about the add-on.

Orda Khan
12-11-2006, 18:57
Sorry Carl, I tried to give the information without the post going on and on.
First off
Spine/Spine weight refers to the arrow shaft in other words how flexible it is.
Draw length refers to the distance from bow to the string at full draw.

So if you buy arrow shafts, they usually measure 32" and are spined accordingly. If you shorten them you also stiffen them, thereby increasing the spine weight.

Imagine holding a bow with the arrow nocked on the string and resting on the back of your hand (index finger knuckle). The arrow will point slightly to the left due to the thickness of the bow. Correctly spined arrows are essential and this is known as the 'archers paradox'. That is the arrow must bend around the bow before continuing on its course.

Another point that I did not mention was the tillering of bow limbs. The lower limb is stiffer because the arrow is not fired from a central (top to bottom) position on the bow.
Hope this helps

......Orda

Carl
12-11-2006, 19:56
I get you now Orda. Many thanks for the explanation, makes sense now, you need an arrow that is flexible enough to "bend round the bow to make up for the fact that it's offset. Get it too flexible however and it will bend too far.

As I say, it's nice that we have someone on these forums who actually knows something about bows and Arrows and can thus give us this kind of information.

Kraxis
12-11-2006, 23:44
Ahhh... I just thought that archers learned how much offset there would be and aimed from that.

When I tried a bow (a longbow as it happened), I continually sent the arrows far to one side (the side it was nooked on of course). I simply couldn't understand that as I did exactly as the instructor told me... I ended up sending four arrows deep into a wood, never to be found again.

After that I have not touched a bow as I feel cursed.:sweatdrop:

Carl
12-12-2006, 00:35
@Kraxis: Well at least you've used a proper good old fashioned Longbow, All I’ve got to use was one of those plastic ones that with the bit of plastic to rest the arrows on. The Instructor had a Proper Bow and the leather guard though. She looked to be pretty good with it too, no robin hood, (or should that be Maid Marian :smash:), but better accuracy than anyone else, (Duh).

Curse you and your luck Kraxis:smash:.

Carl
12-12-2006, 00:41
EDIT: Should have been:

Curse you Kraxis :smash:. I wouldn't care if I did so bad if I was getting to have a go with the real thing, I’d just love the chance to have a go, regardless of how well I did.

Sonny WiFiHr
12-12-2006, 01:25
Longbows are good . Increasing fire rate could inbalance THE GAME.
After playing a lot VH/VH .
To easy to win.

Kraxis
12-12-2006, 20:36
@Kraxis: Well at least you've used a proper good old fashioned Longbow, All Iíve got to use was one of those plastic ones that with the bit of plastic to rest the arrows on. The Instructor had a Proper Bow and the leather guard though. She looked to be pretty good with it too, no robin hood, (or should that be Maid Marian :smash:), but better accuracy than anyone else, (Duh).

Curse you and your luck Kraxis:smash:.
Well I have always felt that should I try a bow, it must be 'traditional'. None of these weighted, balanced and all other kind of things, bows. Pure and 'clean'.

It was fun to try, and I felt that I was a bit stronger than I expected. However I quickly found the reason for the bracers. Damn my forearm was sore. GAH!

Carl
12-12-2006, 22:03
Ouch, yeah, theres a damm good reason to have one, the instructer i had had one too when she was using hers.

The time i got to try it was at a medivial arts and crafts fair at pontfract castle, (or the ruins of it at least anyway).

Carl
12-12-2006, 22:14
Damm no EDIT: So since it was an arts and crafts they where letting everyone shoot 10 arrows at a target, couldn't have been more than 20 meteres, good fun but it only made me wish I could have had a proper go~:(.

Orda Khan
12-13-2006, 17:12
Carl & Kraxis,
Have you ever considered taking up archery? At any of these fayres you are only ever going to get to try one of these cheap bows, or at best one of a club's training recurves. The arrows will probably not be matched and any good shot will be more luck than judgement so don't be hard on yourselves.

Field Archery is the most exciting, target archery may offer longer distances but you basically stand at one end of a field and aim at a target the other end, collect arrows and repeat.
A traditional archer shoots distances ranging from 5 to 50 metres in field archery and there are usually 24 targets per course. The course is shot over 2 days, one marked (so you know the distance) and one unmarked. The course will take in many natural features to help add to the difficulty so expect to be trekking through the woods, aiming uphill and downhill, fighting for footing etc. It really is a great way to spend a weekend; tiring, sometimes wet and cold or hot and sticky but always great fun, in fresh air and you feel alive. Also making arrows is very rewarding.

If Longbow is your preference you are lucky, there is a seperate Longbow class. With my Hun bow I have to compete in 'traditional' which puts me at the disadvantage of having to compete against people who use modern recurves (they only have to use wooden arrows to be considered trad :thumbsdown: ) Be aware that the Longbow we see today is unfortunately NOT the bow of Mediaeval times, it is a Victorian design. When strung it resembles a shallow 'D' shape, the Mediaeval Warbow was more of a crescent ... )
Because very few people use Asiatic reflex bows it will be difficult to get to try one out but trust me when I say that their performance is far superior to a Longbow of the same draw weight. So if it's 'pure and clean' that you seek, you should really consider one of the bows of the steppe.
Take a look here....www.eastern-archery.com

The bracer. Did you get a nice blue forearm? :laugh4:
Imagine what 40lbs draw would do to you. My wife had to kneel to shoot one target but raised the wrong leg. The end of the bottom limb caught her thigh!!
Anyway, the bracer saves your arm which may get string slap due to the Mediterranean draw, the string is released towards you. If you tried the thumb draw there is no need because the string travels away from the arm. With experience you will find your technique will improve and the bracer is there just in case. I don't use one.

So there you go. Why not give it a try? Do a Google search for GNAS (grand national archery society) and look for a club in your area. In September 2008, the World Field Archery Championship will be held in South Wales (at my club Pentref Bowmen) so you have plenty of time ~;)

OK apologies for going off topic

.......Orda

mor dan
12-13-2006, 18:02
History Vs. Balance


Why does everyone think Balance is more important than history? Are you really playing a Real Time Sim if your choice of player has been watered down so they don't beat the pants off of every enemy? Can you really call it Historical Strategy if one country's units have been beefed up so they can compete for "world domination"? Let's take a look...


Let's say we are playing Alexander the Great. How realistic is it that it should be simple for you to FAIL to conquer the known world? When I read the history books I don't read about a general who struggled and fought from behind and won the battles because his will was greater, no, I read about unmatched training and armies. When I read about Temujin, who would become Genghis Khan, I don't read about his prowess at outsmarting his foe. Like the German Blitzkrieg of World War II, Khan's armies were like a blunt force instrument. They just hit you so hard that you couldn't stand against them. Taking any of these three countries and turning the game into a matter a military genius instead of military prowess automatically removes the historical accuracy of the game, thus you are playing a strategy game based on historical places and people, not historically accurate battles. In all three situations, the game should be pretty boring, because it should be relatively simple to reproduce the results of history. Is that a game you would want to play?

Let's say you are playing a colonization war game. You are the American's driving the Indians across the plains as you systematically usurp all of their lands. Their bows and shields are no match for the weapons of Gunpowder. SO, you load this game up, and the first village you scout has 120 natives in it, all hunter/warriors, armed with a spear, a shield, and a hatchet for after they've thrown their spear at you. Your basic starting units all have muskets, basic armour, and a sword. You take four musket units in the numbers are 240 muskets to 120 warriors. Your muskets have a slow reload time, they are untrained, and you're routed by the enemy warriors as less than 20% are taken out with your initial and second round of musket fire. they're on you and that's the end since they are much more highly trained with their hatchets. Are you shrugging that you should have brought a bigger army, or are you pissed that a bunch hatchets buried your musket troops with almost no effort? They toned your muskets down and beefed up the native stats to "balance" the game. We all know that the muskets should tear the natives apart. We know it because historically it's true. We know it because logic tells us Guns Vs. Swords starting at 200 yards range equals a bunch of dead guys with swords in their hands still about 50 yards shy of the gunmen.

We may not like it, but you just can't have a game play out like that. Countries are balanced for their overall army, not just one unit versus one unit. It's really not looked upon as though you are going to fight many battles with one unit of Crossbows against two units of Longbows. It is expected that their will be cavalry, swordsmen, and spears in their as well. It is expected their will two or three lines marching towards each other just like in the feudal days. In history versus balance, you have to play the balance card to issue challenge to the players. Don't pick apart the fact that one unit doesn't measure up to what you know they were while another is stronger. Change the stats and you'll see devastating results. At first you'll kind of laugh at how those long bows rip to shreds the opposing army. After that, though, it'll start to lose its enjoyment because now it's too easy.

Example:

Play the expanded scenario mod and use the use the Timurids. Edit the descr_strat_unit.txt file and remove the "can_run_amok" line from the elephant units. I promise, you'll stop training any unit other than elephants. It's pointless to use anything else. Line 'em up in a straight line across the map and rush your enemy. They'll break every time.

Now beef up your Longbows to where you think they should be in comparison of the other bow units ingame. It won't take long for you to realize that all you need are 12-15 Longbows. Their AP along with the added strength you gave their arrows will cut down any army from such a distance their own bows never get a chance to take aim at you. You'll marvel at all the dead bodies and how you didn't eve have to engage them, and then you'll turn the game off. No challenge, no fun, no interest.


Balance sucks because someone always loses. Their's a unit we enjoy the history of that has to be changed for the balance of army Vs. army. You just have to learn how to use them effectively. Unless you are a master editor who really understands combat balance, and I've played quite a few of the Rome and Medieval Mods so i can tell you, someone or something is always out of balance, it just doesn't pay to start messing around with single units. There's always unit or a move, or a tactic that is "overpowered". That's every combat game from strategy to fighters to jedi knights. You either learn to live with it, or you just stop playing. In the battle of Balance Vs. Historical Accuracy, balance always wins, even though there is always SOMETHING that could be improved upon.

Lord_hazard
01-14-2007, 11:55
I'm not talkig about sitting ducks.I'm talkig abut distruption in the force.LB fire much faster (historicly) pierce almost like Xbow.But now they are slow have same range as Xbows and they have less damage.This is not a shock troop as should be.Need some balancing.

Totally agree the english longbowmen arent nearly powerfull enough. In rl they had the huge advantage of range, they dont in this game, and rate of fire, again taken away in this game.
The english longbowmen were the the most powerfull ranged units in the world until the rifled gun arrived, just simply just took to long to train to be as cost effective as crossbows and gunpowder units of that time.
The longbowmen needs to be upgraded to match history.
And elite units like the scots guard needs to be number limited or removed as they were never used in any great numbers.

zstajerski
01-14-2007, 12:24
Actually If yiou use FLAMING MISSILES you will take care of pavise crossbowmen as their shield on the back catches fire very quickly ;)

So still the best missile units are retinue longbowmen ( specially because of the sharpened satkes only english longbowmen can use!!!!

Lord_hazard
01-14-2007, 16:41
Actually If yiou use FLAMING MISSILES you will take care of pavise crossbowmen as their shield on the back catches fire very quickly ;)

So still the best missile units are retinue longbowmen ( specially because of the sharpened satkes only english longbowmen can use!!!!

The english longbowman should be supperior just because they can use stakes, but because they are superior arhcers. A longbowman could hit a target 300m away well beyond the reach of a crossbow, and since the longbowmen didnt use quivers, instead they put their arrows into the ground infront of them to increase rate of fire, did could fire about 20 arrrows per minute alot faster, then any other archer. And the english longbow, which should be made of yew in the game as it was in rl, was far superior to smaller bows as they typically had draws greater than 65 kgf (143 lbf)).
Its stupid that only the notthingham archers in the game use yew bows when infact that was what most english longbows were made off.

rosscoliosis
01-14-2007, 18:02
I see this has been discussed to death, but I'd like to throw in my support to this ridiculousness as well. I had loved using archers to dwindle down enemy numbers before attacking in the previous Total War games, but I've long since gotten to the point in M2TW (playing as England) that if I see an enemy army has crossbowmen, I don't even bother bringing archers to attack. There really doesn't seem to be much point when crossbowmen fire faster, with about the same range, (or will run up to be within range anyway) and then will rape your archers. So, I usually just start running my infantry at the melee units behind the crossbowmen as soon as they start receiving fire, and chase down the fleeing crossbowmen with cavalry. Thus, with almost all of Europe having crossbowmen, my previously loved archers end up being relegated almost entirely to garrison duty. At least there they're still pretty effective, just for some reason seemingly not as effective at destroying rams and siege towers as they were in Rome...

Lord_hazard
01-15-2007, 09:46
I see this has been discussed to death, but I'd like to throw in my support to this ridiculousness as well. I had loved using archers to dwindle down enemy numbers before attacking in the previous Total War games, but I've long since gotten to the point in M2TW (playing as England) that if I see an enemy army has crossbowmen, I don't even bother bringing archers to attack. There really doesn't seem to be much point when crossbowmen fire faster, with about the same range, (or will run up to be within range anyway) and then will rape your archers. So, I usually just start running my infantry at the melee units behind the crossbowmen as soon as they start receiving fire, and chase down the fleeing crossbowmen with cavalry. Thus, with almost all of Europe having crossbowmen, my previously loved archers end up being relegated almost entirely to garrison duty. At least there they're still pretty effective, just for some reason seemingly not as effective at destroying rams and siege towers as they were in Rome...

Sad isnt it~:mecry:

Ring_Master\
01-15-2007, 10:20
I see this has been discussed to death, but I'd like to throw in my support to this ridiculousness as well. I had loved using archers to dwindle down enemy numbers before attacking in the previous Total War games, but I've long since gotten to the point in M2TW (playing as England) that if I see an enemy army has crossbowmen, I don't even bother bringing archers to attack. There really doesn't seem to be much point when crossbowmen fire faster, with about the same range, (or will run up to be within range anyway) and then will rape your archers. So, I usually just start running my infantry at the melee units behind the crossbowmen as soon as they start receiving fire, and chase down the fleeing crossbowmen with cavalry. Thus, with almost all of Europe having crossbowmen, my previously loved archers end up being relegated almost entirely to garrison duty. At least there they're still pretty effective, just for some reason seemingly not as effective at destroying rams and siege towers as they were in Rome...


This is very interesting, because in my game experiences I've never had to resort to these role-dwindling practices concerning the archer's role...
The most I'll say to that though is that it's dead true that Pavise cross-bowmen dominate any other archer unit..no doubt in my mind over that...:no:

Carl
01-15-2007, 12:02
But then again, Pavise Crossbowmen really should when you think about it. Only Muskets would have the power to go through that sheild. Allthough their are ways around it I imagine.

econ21
01-15-2007, 12:43
... I've long since gotten to the point in M2TW (playing as England) that if I see an enemy army has crossbowmen, I don't even bother bringing archers to attack. There really doesn't seem to be much point when crossbowmen fire faster, with about the same range, (or will run up to be within range anyway) and then will rape your archers.

Crossbowmen do not fire faster and they don't "rape" archers. This thread is a little misleading, as it has no test results and goes off on a tangent out history. But in-game testing tends to match my experience that longbows are fine:

http://forums.totalwar.org/vb/showpost.php?p=1341532&postcount=1

From a historical realism point of view, I agree with Carl, pavise crossbows should win - that enormous shield minimises exposure to enemy fire. So M2TW is a little generous to the longbow in giving them near parity. More than a little generous, given that the longbows can unrealistically make the pavise explode into flame, killing the crossbowmen.


Sad isnt it

Nothing sad about it. An English army with 3-5 longbows is a powerful force in the SP campaign. Yes, if you faced 3-5 pavise crossbows (e.g. the Milanese), you should not shoot it out but instead charge them. However, against most AI armies, I find the longbows are extremely useful. I find they are excellent at shooting up the few peasant crossbowmen etc, then softening up the heavy enemy units prior to my assault. Now that the passive AI bug is largely gone, they shine more in the offense (or siege defence) than in a defensive field battle (when the AI will rush to close with you). But the stakes are nice for the latter - especially given the weakness of spears in the game.

AussieGiant
01-15-2007, 14:28
Hell of a read.

Lord_hazard
01-16-2007, 14:23
From a historical realism point of view, I agree with Carl, pavise crossbows should win - that enormous shield minimises exposure to enemy fire. So M2TW is a little generous to the longbow in giving them near parity. More than a little generous, given that the longbows can unrealistically make the pavise explode into flame, killing the crossbowmen.


In reallife the archers and crossbowmen who used a pavis would not have it on his back, they would put it into the ground or for the larger pavises have a groom carry and hold it.
But that dosnt change the fact that crossbows have a much shorter range then the yew longbow that the british used and its slower to fire.
The crossbowmen would be cut down from afar unless they were willing sacrifice speed for protection by only moving behind a big pavise carried by a groom, but it this game they carry it on their back, whats up with that?
The english longbowmen if compared would be miles ahead the crossbowmen in every regard other then not being as cost effective as a crossbow.
The english longbowmen in this game are underpowered and sadly just like any other archer unit. Not only historically incorrect but also a game ruiner when playing england (for me anyways).

econ21
01-16-2007, 14:56
But that dosnt change the fact that crossbows have a much shorter range then the yew longbow that the british used ...

I don't believe that is a fact. Most sources I have read indicate rough parity in effective range. (It will, of course, depend on the bow - both longbows and crossbows can vary a lot.) Also the longbow's lethality was mainly at the shorter ranges.

Here's about the first hit google throws up on "longbow crossbow range":

http://www.thebeckoning.com/medieval/crossbow/cross_l_v_c.html


The english longbowmen in this game are underpowered ... a game ruiner when playing england (for me anyways).

Who are you fighting? Against Venetian massed stacks of pavise crossbowmen, I can see you being disappointed although I doubt anyone would seriously try to duke it out with them. But against anything else I've encountered, my longbowmen do great. A unit of longbowmen will pretty much destroy a stationary unit of knights, dismounted or mounted, let along pikemen and more lightly armoured troops. The trouble comes when the enemy is not stationary...

Von Nanega
01-16-2007, 14:59
I usually run 6 to 8 longbow units in a full army. This many arrows from the mighty bows have routed many of Englands enemies in my game. They are definatly worth the price IMO. In one battle four of my longbows marching to reinforce an army were attacked by a french army. They deployed stakes and managed to wreck the french full stack before charging and routing the rest. Good battle and amusing too. One just has to use them with an eye to terrain and the present tactical situation considered.
:2cents:

Lord_hazard
01-16-2007, 15:33
I don't believe that is a fact. Most sources I have read indicate rough parity in effective range. (It will, of course, depend on the bow - both longbows and crossbows can vary a lot.) Also the longbow's lethality was mainly at the shorter ranges.

Here's about the first hit google throws up on "longbow crossbow range":

http://www.thebeckoning.com/medieval/crossbow/cross_l_v_c.html



Who are you fighting? Against Venetian massed stacks of pavise crossbowmen, I can see you being disappointed although I doubt anyone would seriously try to duke it out with them. But against anything else I've encountered, my longbowmen do great. A unit of longbowmen will pretty much destroy a stationary unit of knights, dismounted or mounted, let along pikemen and more lightly armoured troops. The trouble comes when the enemy is not stationary...

The crossbow has a better punch then a longbow but a normal crossbow cant accurately hit a target 300+ meters away.
True that there are many different types of crossbows and they all varied in strength and effective range. But theres only two types of longbows the ones made of yew(the english longbows) and those not made of yew. But normal crossbows had inferior range and all the variations had a very low rate of fire. And that homepage isnt very scientific.
The way english longbowmen used their bows wasnt straight fire, as you would do with the crossbow, but they all fired into certain areas to carpet that area with bodkin arrows. But the bodkin arrow wasnt made to combat platemail as the platemail wasnt really widespread at that time, instead it was made to pierce chainmail, so the crossbow bolt with its greater energy would easily pierce most types of armor within its effective range.
The main difference is that the longbow has a better rate of fire then the crossbow.

The reason i said the longbowman wasnt better then alot of the other archers in the game, is based on their stats. Ofc you will rule the battlefield with longbowmen when fighting against the AI. But i havent tried mp yet, so its mostly based on the stats of the units which are pretty much identical.

eddiethebastard
01-16-2007, 16:33
There are a number of issues with these comparisons, firstly there are no recorded instances (as far a I know) of generally successful indirect fire from crossbows, the Longbow works superbly in indirect and very long range fire because of the length of the projectile, this gives the arrow immense stability and, comparatively high accuracy.

Secondly, the old saw about the power of composite horse bows is a joke, draw weights for elite longbowmen reached as high as 200 lbs, even for an immensely strong man there is absolutely no way that any horse bow could be usable over the 100lb mark, add in the projectile weight and bodkin head and you have a weapon that, like the steel crossbow is actually usable against armoured men, at least when not facing troops wearing face hardened steel armour on both man and mount. I haven't seen tests of higher grade steel for the bodkin, but that would be interesting. There aren't any accounts of men with a pin cushion of longbow arrows sticking in them and still wandering around.

Thirdly the available wood, Yew is an absolutely superb material to make bows out of, it absolutely rocks, a lot of modern composite bows use pulleys to gain an edge, this would not have been an option for period eastern archers

Musashi
01-16-2007, 16:40
Secondly, the old saw about the power of composite horse bows is a joke, draw weights for elite longbowmen reached as high as 200 lbs, even for an immensely strong man there is absolutely no way that any horse bow could be usable over the 100lb mark
Erm, draw weight is draw weight. A 100 lb composite bow is no harder to draw and use than a 100 lb longbow.

Carl
01-16-2007, 16:50
Most true and most HA could draw back furthar. The Recurve ows also transfer energy to the arrows more efficently resulting in a higher still power. A decent Composite Recurve bow should vastly outperorm a Longbow.

Lord_hazard
01-16-2007, 17:53
Most true and most HA could draw back furthar. The Recurve ows also transfer energy to the arrows more efficently resulting in a higher still power. A decent Composite Recurve bow should vastly outperorm a Longbow.

"The traditional construction of a longbow consists of drying the yew wood for 1 to 2 years, then slowly working the wood into shape, with the entire process taking up to 4 years. (This can be done far more quickly by working the wood down when wet, as a thinner piece of wood will dry much faster.) The bow stave is shaped into a D-section, from a half cross section of a tree or branch. The inner side of the bow stave consists of rounded heartwood and the outer of sapwood with a flat back. The heartwood resists compression and the outer sapwood performs better in tension. This combination forms a natural 'laminate', similar in effect to the construction of a composite bow. Longbows will last a long time if protected with a water-resistant coating, traditionally of "wax, resin and fine tallow"."

Lord_hazard
01-16-2007, 18:13
I think its important to distinguise the different crossbows. Most types of crossbows were inferior to the longbow in everything but the punch, some later and bigger models were superior in range, accuracy and by far a greater punch.
But these crossbows, like the arbalast were heavy and took a very long time to reload which left the crossbowman very vulnerable unless he had an pavise infront of him, werent as common as the more "normal" crossbows.
If you want proof that the longbow could and did defeat a "modern" crossbow just look at the battle of agincourt were the british archers totally outclassed the french archers and crossbowmen, whos blots fell short of the longbowmen.
"The French artillery, reduced to a position of impotence by a lack of a clear field of fire, and the archers and crossbowmen, outclassed by the faster, longer and more accurate rate of fire of the longbow, had been pushed out of position by the men-at-arms."

If CA wants crossbows that are better then the longbow then they should call them by their rightfull name, just like they did in MTW, and not just call them crossbows.
The biggest problems with the longbow is that it hasnt a near fast enough rate of fire in this game. I can live with normal crossbows having the same range as the english longbow, just barely live with it.

CBR
01-16-2007, 18:48
The crossbow has a better punch then a longbow but a normal crossbow cant accurately hit a target 300+ meters away.
Only heavy crossbows had a better punch. Belt hook crossbows of 300-400 pound draw weight would be similar to heavy longbows in power.

And no one could hit anything accurately at 300+ meters anyway. At that range bolts and arrows would be dropping down at 45 degrees or so depending on power of the weapon. That means if the shooter misjudges distance by just 2 meters he would miss no matter how accurate the weapon is.


But normal crossbows had inferior range and all the variations had a very low rate of fire.
The most common crossbows used were belt and hook crossbows. I have not seen any data to suggest they had inferior range to heavy longbows when using heavy bolts. Only when bows used light flight arrows would they have had better range, but such arrows were in a minority and have less energy compared to heavy war arrows. All in all they had similar effective range.

A belt and hook crossbow can do 8-10 shots/minute max compared to 20+ shots/minute for light bows. Heavy crossbows using a windlass or crannequin would be more like 1-2 shots/minute max. As I described in an earlier post in this thread, one archer (Simon Stanley) who can use longbows of 170+ pound draw weight doesnt like to shot more than 6 shots/minute when using such monsters.

Now obviously the fast firerates are really just light draw weight tests to see how long it takes to perform the whole loading proces. Weapons of heavier draw weight would require more work to use and if one wanted a bit of aiming it would slow down too.

I dont think there was that much difference between the belt hook crossbow and heavy longbows.



The way english longbowmen used their bows wasnt straight fire, as you would do with the crossbow
Missile troops would use direct "fire" if at short range and use indirect at long ranges. There would be no difference between bows and crossbows. Obviously troops in the rear ranks would still use high trajectory shooting even at short ranges.


firstly there are no recorded instances (as far a I know) of generally successful indirect fire from crossbows
Skeleton remains from Visby shows bolt wounds from both short range direct fire as well as wounds from bolts that came down nearly vertical. There are illustrations of crossbowmen using crossbows at around 45 degrees. Of course shooting at near max range is never very effective but that is the same for bows.


Erm, draw weight is draw weight. A 100 lb composite bow is no harder to draw and use than a 100 lb longbow.
Technically thats not entirely true. The force-draw curve of a composite is different than a self bow. A self bow has a slight rise (meaning the gradual increase in draw weight becomes bigger for each inch. A composite is more linear (although depends on design)

Basically it means that a composite bow has more energy stored in it if we assume same brace height, draw lenght and draw weight (and even the recurve design might not make them completely identical but nevermind that). But the more energy stored also means more work for the archer. A longbow archer who can shoot a 150 pound bow might prefer a 140 pound composite bow or less.

It is my understanding though that horsearchers did not use as heavy a draw weight as footarchers but TBH I dont have much information on that.


CBR

Lord_hazard
01-16-2007, 19:22
Most crossbows were harder hitting then the english longbow.
Longbowmen would choose areas wich they then showered with arrows, which means they mostly fired in an high arch. The crossbow wasnt used in this way and was fired in a more leveld arch of fire to try and land precise lethal shots. Which means archers used indirect fire crossbowmen didnt(for the most part).
Only the heavy crossbows had a better range then the longbow, but bear in mind that the two weapons were mostly fired differently.

gardibolt
01-17-2007, 17:59
Longbowmen are pathetic in this game. Their range is so small they only get off a single volley before they're charged by infantry. I was expecting something like the RTW Forester Warband, with real killing power, but longbows are next to useless except in defending sieges.

Brythoniaid
01-18-2007, 00:15
I have to agree, they are not very good at all.

After reading this thread, Im really disappointed by the amount of "english, english, english" At the battle of Agincourt the longbow men were WELSH, And at the battle the WELSH fought under their own banner and not under the banner of "england", But of course the welsh dont get any credit because England has and always will be the main producer of british history, Seeing as they play only a role of pain and death they have to make it sound a hole lot better.

Also the welsh were using Longbows as early as 633AD when the King of Northumbria was killed by a Welsh Longbow man, And indeed the vast majority of longbow men used by the English during the middle ages were WELSH because its one of their transitional weapons, But today stolen and claimed as being english.

Moah
01-18-2007, 11:10
I have to agree, they are not very good at all.

After reading this thread, Im really disappointed by the amount of "english, english, english" At the battle of Agincourt the longbow men were WELSH, And at the battle the WELSH fought under their own banner and not under the banner of "england", But of course the welsh dont get any credit because England has and always will be the main producer of british history, Seeing as they play only a role of pain and death they have to make it sound a hole lot better.

Also the welsh were using Longbows as early as 633AD when the King of Northumbria was killed by a Welsh Longbow man, And indeed the vast majority of longbow men used by the English during the middle ages were WELSH because its one of their transitional weapons, But today stolen and claimed as being english.


Hear hear! One of my bugbears too! The English only developed any sort of longbow culture after Edward 1 conquered Wales. They used Welsh Archers and it was generations of Welsh "ex-pats" and welsh influence that led to the English counties developing it for themselves (although tbf they did in the end). So, for the history buffs, the English shouldn't be allowed any longbows until the late 1200s!

Of course I'm a scot. It's easier to admit our armies were slaughtered by the Welsh than the English.....And Culloden was the lowland scots beating our own. Flodden Field was purely because James IV refused to let his artillery open fire out of chivalry!!! Falkirk was the Welsh archers and the treachery of scottish nobles (cavalry)...Prestonpans was..erm...eh..a bug! Yes that's it. The AI was broken!

Orda Khan
01-18-2007, 14:04
Secondly, the old saw about the power of composite horse bows is a joke, draw weights for elite longbowmen reached as high as 200 lbs
Only in somebody's imagination.

Thirdly the available wood, Yew is an absolutely superb material to make bows out of, it absolutely rocks, a lot of modern composite bows use pulleys to gain an edge, this would not have been an option for period eastern archers
Yew is very good due to the combination of heartwood and sapwood. The Asiatic composite uses horn and sinew to achieve the same effect. However the materials used are 4 times better than wood. A longbow will eventually 'follow the draw' and become weaker, plus they have a tendancy to break when least expected.
The cams you talk about are a feature of modern 'compound' bows which are a 20th Century design and neither Asiatic composites nor longbows will compete with one of those

......Orda

Carl
01-18-2007, 14:08
Ahh, sanity returns. I was waiting for you to turn up Orda. As soon as i saw your name I knew sanity was back. Thanks as he has tottaly worn my patience to the limit.

Oleander Ardens
01-18-2007, 15:20
Ahh, sanity returns

YUP

Lord_hazard
01-18-2007, 15:37
I have to agree, they are not very good at all.

After reading this thread, Im really disappointed by the amount of "english, english, english" At the battle of Agincourt the longbow men were WELSH, And at the battle the WELSH fought under their own banner and not under the banner of "england", But of course the welsh dont get any credit because England has and always will be the main producer of british history, Seeing as they play only a role of pain and death they have to make it sound a hole lot better.

Also the welsh were using Longbows as early as 633AD when the King of Northumbria was killed by a Welsh Longbow man, And indeed the vast majority of longbow men used by the English during the middle ages were WELSH because its one of their transitional weapons, But today stolen and claimed as being english.

Hehe true, didnt want to say anything because it would make an already complex game even more complex. But your absolutely right.

MadKow
01-18-2007, 16:26
Hehe true, didnt want to say anything because it would make an already complex game even more complex. But your absolutely right.

CA are well aware of that. The proof is that in the previous installment, the original MTW, Wales could raise +1 Longbowmen, thanks to the nice feature of regional units, lost in the RTW engine.

Lord_hazard
01-18-2007, 16:43
CA are well aware of that. The proof is that in the previous installment, the original MTW, Wales could raise +1 Longbowmen, thanks to the nice feature of regional units, lost in the RTW engine.

Ive almost forgotten about the regional bonuses, oh how i would love to see this feature to reappear.

Lord Fluffy
01-18-2007, 22:26
CA are well aware of that. The proof is that in the previous installment, the original MTW, Wales could raise +1 Longbowmen, thanks to the nice feature of regional units, lost in the RTW engine.

Has anyone ever used the Welsh longbowmen mercenary unit? Are they as bad as their stat would suggest?

Regarding the 200lbs longbow remark, there's actually a guy in England right now that has been videotaped shooting a 200lbs longbow. It was for an ad for backtop material. Interesting draw method, he really has to draw with his entire body, no clasical T form there.

Ulstan
01-18-2007, 22:34
I see everyone has their own pet bow type that should be able to rock any other bow type :p


But that dosnt change the fact that crossbows have a much shorter range then the yew longbow that the british used and its slower to fire.


Where are you getting the shorter range from? I see no reason to believeve in a shorter range, either from the authors I have read, or just thinking of the physics behind it.

The harder an object is thrown, the farther it will go. Barring some great aerodynamic difference between crossbow quarrels and the bodkin arrows english archers used, I see no reason to believe one would travel farther, when shot with the same force at the same angle.

Now, the question becomes, which bow is capable of generating more force? Obviously the later crossbows win here, where they used mechanical advantage to pull the 'string' tighter than would be possible by sheer brute force alone (and english longbowmen were quite strong).

Of course, there are all kinds of crossbows: belt hook, lever, winch, crappy string crossbows where the crossbowmen would simply pull the string back with his arms, etc. Some of these would have farther range (and thus more penetrating power) than longbows, some less.

All would take far longer to shoot.

Reapz
01-18-2007, 22:41
The reason i said the longbowman wasnt better then alot of the other archers in the game, is based on their stats. Ofc you will rule the battlefield with longbowmen when fighting against the AI. But i havent tried mp yet, so its mostly based on the stats of the units which are pretty much identical.

Crapalot you can't rely on unit stats. The fact is that in-game testing shows that longbowmen are very powerful and handily beat pavise militia crossbowmen.

Carl
01-18-2007, 23:05
@Ulstan: Firing power is also related to draw length, which would typiclly be longer for a bow than a crossbow, theirs also things like efficciancy of transfer. Draw weight dosen't tell you everything as it raerly remains constant over the whole draw.

Secondly. The weight of the projectile matters a LOT. To use a modern example, the 5.56mm bullet vs. the 7.76mm bullet.

The 5.56mm bullet has a higher exit velocity, greater total kenetic energy and less surface area for drag to act upon, yet it carries over rifle ranges no better than a 7.76mm bullet and has worse penetrating power over most ranges. A 7.76mm bullet also carries much better over Machine Gun ranges.

Thus depending on weather Orda's belif furthar back in the thread is correct, (about the size and thikness of arrows that high draw bows would have needed), it could well be that the Longbow would have had a much heavier projectile than the Crossbow and thus carried better. As a general rule, a heavy projectile with a low velocity will carryu better than one with a high velocity and a low mass. Of course if the velocity diffrance is high enough, that goes out the window.

Lord Fluffy
01-18-2007, 23:34
@Ulstan: Firing power is also related to draw length, which would typiclly be longer for a bow than a crossbow, theirs also things like efficciancy of transfer. Draw weight dosen't tell you everything as it raerly remains constant over the whole draw.




Draw weight is never constant over the whole draw. Depending on how the limbs are made it can have a smooth increase or it can stack like crazy. But agreed on the whole draw length or power stroke effecting the energy of the arrow.

This is why a 150lbs modern crossbow fires their bolts at about the same speed as a 30lbs recurve(depends on the archer's draw length).

craziii
01-19-2007, 03:22
The one thing I dont understand was I always thought the english longbow was by far the best range bow avail?

I always thought the xbow was a hard punch weapon but not the same distance.

But as the english I never see the advantage of longbowmen except to basic milita archers. The other crossbow troops at least get those shields to hide behind.

the composite bow is the best in range, not the fantasize longbow. dunno why so many ppl are stuck on how longbows should own every other bow units, especially units that have giant shields for protection.

Oleander Ardens
01-19-2007, 08:43
The weight of the projectile is extremly important, because it influences so much in archery.

A) Usually you match the weight among other things to the type and draw weight of the bow. Different bows of with different draw weights react in different ways to different proj. weigths.

Historically the easter composite bows were far better then the western warbows (longbows) at throwing light arrows with high speed over huge distances. The efficiency gap here is quite huge.The heavier the projectile the narrower this gap becomes even if at any reasonable proj. weigth the composite bow is more efficient.

Medieval Crossbows are generally very bad at shooting light bolts, due to short draw lenght and the short mechanical steel arms. Their efficiency increases quite drammatically the heavier the bolt becomes. Of course there are practical limits to it's weight.

Ancient Crossbows and Manuballistae should have been more efficient with lighter bolts due to rather long composite arms. They are also more efficient with heavier bolts, but are more difficult to produce, harder to maintain than Xbows with steel arms. They also simply canot reach the incredible draw weights of certain late medieval Crossbows.

B) A lethality study was done in Africa, by an american doctor and bowhunter whose name escapes me. In any case after a great deal of testing there seemed to be conclusive proof that the formula matching the data was not Ekin= 1/2 m V² but the Impuls I= m [mass] V [velocity}

This makes huge sense when looking at all the arrowweights used in history. They are infact usually a good deal heavier than the ones which should in theory produce a higher kinetic Energy.

Cheers
OA

Orda Khan
01-19-2007, 11:12
Regarding the 200lbs longbow remark, there's actually a guy in England right now that has been videotaped shooting a 200lbs longbow. It was for an ad for backtop material. Interesting draw method, he really has to draw with his entire body, no clasical T form there.
Yes I've seen it. A local archer I know has also used a longbow (that he and a friend made) of 182lbs. He used it in a flight competition and achieved a distance of 385 metres.
There are many composite Turkish bows upwards of 160lbs being used and their flight ranges are ridiculously long.
What we have to realise is these are very much the exception rather than the rule. Longbows of that time were nearer 80 - 120lbs and Asiatic composites of the horseback archers 50 - 80lbs.
On a side note, the Welsh certainly inspired the English use of the longbow and large numbers of Welsh bowmen took part in English campaigns but there were also large numbers of English bowmen as well

......Orda

Lord_hazard
01-19-2007, 11:24
Ive been wondering about the difference between english and welsh archers, how big was the difference? Was the difference minimized as time by? Or was the welsh archers the elite archers of their time? As far as i know they both used yew bows, but did the bow types differ?

CBR
01-19-2007, 11:36
What we have to realise is these are very much the exception rather than the rule. Longbows of that time were nearer 80 - 120lbs and Asiatic composites of the horseback archers 50 - 80lbs.
......Orda
Are the horsearcher draw weights based on examples of bows or any sources?


CBR

CBR
01-19-2007, 12:31
B) A lethality study was done in Africa, by an american doctor and bowhunter whose name escapes me. In any case after a great deal of testing there seemed to be conclusive proof that the formula matching the data was not Ekin= 1/2 m V≤ but the Impuls I= m [mass] V [velocity}

This makes huge sense when looking at all the arrowweights used in history. They are infact usually a good deal heavier than the ones which should in theory produce a higher kinetic Energy.

Cheers
OA
Im sure you must mean this (http://www.tradgang.com/ashby/Momentum%20Kinetic%20Energy%20and%20Arrow%20Penetr ation.htm) But on his site (http://www.tradgang.com/ashby/) there are some other articles where he states (after describing some tests he did) that KE and Momentum ".. do not correlate with penetration in real tissue" He even has two graphs which shows that higher momentum generally produces higher penetration and a graph with kinetic energy that produces a similar result!

Heavy arrow weights means more kinetic energy not less. The difference in KE can be up to 30-40% more KE for the heavy arrow.


CBR

JCoyote
01-19-2007, 14:14
The 5.56mm bullet has a higher exit velocity, greater total kenetic energy and less surface area for drag to act upon, yet it carries over rifle ranges no better than a 7.76mm bullet and has worse penetrating power over most ranges. A 7.76mm bullet also carries much better over Machine Gun ranges.
Off topic but your details are slightly wrong here. The 5.56 NATO round has a muzzle velocity slightly higher than 7.62 NATO, but not significantly so, and only out of a 20" or longer barrel. (Barrel length is tremendously important to small caliber assault rifle bullets remaining effective.) The muzzle energy though, is generally around half that of 7.62 NATO, that is the kinetic energy. The lower ballistic coefficient also means the 5.56mm sheds its energy into the air much faster, which is why it loses range. Ballistic coefficient is directly related to sectional density; the smaller bullet actually has more surface area per weight/inertia for the air to act upon compared the 7.62.

The reason for the military changeover from 7.62 was the reduced recoil of the 5.56mm (again, less kinetic energy), making it easier for soldiers with less training to use accurately, and the lower weight, allowing more rounds to be carried. Along with a lighter weapon. The loss of range wasn't considered important because most infantry engagements happen within the shorter range of the smaller round. Also, platoon level mg's and sniper weapons were still maintained at 7.62 for better range and power. The hitting power against personnel at usual rifleman ranges with 5.56mm was found adequate though, but mostly due to a tendency for 5.56mm to break up due to thin jacketing and cannelure, Anti-material use was found wanting, and that's why the bullet weight went up from 55 grn to 64 grn and a steel penetrator was added under the tip. Cover penetration is still lacking though, because like air the 5.56mm sheds energy into surrounding material faster (good to go into your target, not good when it stays in the drywall between the two of you), hence things like 6.5 Grendel have some interest.

However, as compared with arrows, the mechanics of bullet terminal ballistics are quite different.

Also, a medieval person had to deal with penetration issues involving tissue, bone, mail, and plate pieces. Effectiveness at punching metal and at damaging whats behind it at the same time is a tradeoff, be it arrows or bullets. Modern tests against game do not reflect the realities of a medieval battlefield... a faster arrow against a soft tissue might penetrate deeper, but against metal would almost certainly be less effective than a heavier but slower arrow of the same energy. And, once arrows are fired parabolicly at longer range, the penetration issue changes to the terminal velocity of the arrow, not the initial velocity.

Carl
01-19-2007, 14:41
@JCoyote: i was saying the bullet stuff based on figures and claims in a book i've read. I don't have the book anymore as it was a libriary book. But the figurwes it claimed for unamed 5.56mm rounds and 7.76mm rounds where the following:

5.56mm 7 grams, 1400m/s velocity
7.76mm 10grams 1000m/s velocity

I don't know exactly what type of 7.76mm/5.56mm it was, it may not have been NATO rounds, but those where the figures. The 5.56mm does have better KE under those figures.

Thanks for clarification though.


But you still backed up my point that a heavy arrow would typiclly have hit harder and lost velocity slower. Even assuming the same coefficnt of drag to weight ratio it should still go furthar if i'm remebering my science classes correctly. Of course a heavier arrow does tend to have reduced velocity so...

Your point about parabolic fire is well made also. But in general the highier the arrow goes at the top of it's arc, the greater the range and the greater the terminal velocity. Depending on the coefficents yu mentioned this might be eithier a light or heavy arrow. A sufficently heavy arrow would produce a lower range and hitting power under parabolic conditions, but somwhere their should be a perfect weight that produces the best range. This probably wouldn't be a lightweight arrow IMO, but i'm sure Orda will tell us soon enough~;p.

JCoyote
01-19-2007, 15:14
Well they were probably comparing the AK's shorter 7.62x39 round, which is assault rifle class. But it's not really used in any honest machine gun, just a few SAWs. Compared to 5.56mm, it has generally lower accurate range, lower anti personnel ability (but mostly because it doesn't breakup), but better cover penetration. That's a bit generalized but... I'm not sure offhand how the sectional density compares, but I do know it maintains better energy at range, although as it starts out somewhat marginal for an FMJ to be fully effective thats a questionable advantage. (With hollow and softpoint though 7.62x39 is very effective, though outside military usage.)

The accuracy issue between the two is a point of contention... most AK type weapons aren't of terribly precise manufacture, and lack accuracy in general compared to 5.56mm weapons. So it's a bit hard to compare, but 7.62x39 can be pretty accurate, just most things that fire it aren't. (In fact, some of the most accurate cartridges in precision shooting are modifications of the 7.62x39 case, such as 6mm PPC and 6.5 Grendel.)

Though of course, increasing velocity increases total energy faster than increasing weight in any item. This is a bit more straightforward with a firearm though, in a mechanical spring tension apparatus, like maybe you know a bow, the relationship is less direct. Because there is a certain amount of energy transfered to anything shot from a bow. Increasing bullet weight in a firearm for a given charge intrinsically reduces velocity, but changing arrow weights in a bow, the effect is less profound. Then again, I've never had a bow blow up because it shot too heavy an arrow. :clown:

I keep thinking I misstated something here, but I'm too tired to figure out what it is. LOL

Lord_hazard
01-19-2007, 17:48
:focus:

Varyar
01-19-2007, 17:59
I think most of us can agree that if there's something that should be modified it's the rate of fire, either an increase for archers or a decrease for most crossbowmen. Once that has been tested, I'd think that longbowmen would be as useful as most would like.

Moah
01-19-2007, 18:09
I think most of us can agree that if there's something that should be modified it's the rate of fire, either an increase for archers or a decrease for most crossbowmen. Once that has been tested, I'd think that longbowmen would be as useful as most would like.

Except I thought someone on another thread pointed at with the animations (instead of just stats) the rate of fire of archers is much faster than xbows, so don't need fixed.

Varyar
01-19-2007, 18:28
Except I thought someone on another thread pointed at with the animations (instead of just stats) the rate of fire of archers is much faster than xbows, so don't need fixed.

They are faster, but not fast enough. I admit to not having tested this extensively, but in my experience archers fire roughly twice as fast as crossbowmen. I'd much rather see that they are at least 3 or 4 times faster.

Lord Fluffy
01-19-2007, 18:32
Your point about parabolic fire is well made also. But in general the highier the arrow goes at the top of it's arc, the greater the range and the greater the terminal velocity. Depending on the coefficents yu mentioned this might be eithier a light or heavy arrow. A sufficently heavy arrow would produce a lower range and hitting power under parabolic conditions, but somwhere their should be a perfect weight that produces the best range. This probably wouldn't be a lightweight arrow IMO, but i'm sure Orda will tell us soon enough~;p.

Not sure about studies done for combat purposes. But in the olympic style archery, there has been extensive study on arrow weight versus speed. The conclusion matches with your prediction. The perfect arrow, if there is such a thing, is somewhere in the heavier range.

To give a little background, olympic style archery uses carbon arrow with sizes ranging from 1000 to 380(these are spine measurements, so the smaller number makes the arrow heavier). The perfect arrow doesn't have such a high initial velocity, but retains most of it downrange. It has been found by the Koreans that an arrow size of 450 shot from a 44-46 lb bow will give you this perfect combination.

JCoyote
01-19-2007, 18:54
The only issue with olympic style archery is that it is purely interested in precision. Material and tissue penetration are of no interest, nor are terminal ballistics.

And it is true, generally heavier projectiles are more accurate, with better ballistic coefficients they retain energy better and are less sensitive to wind drift and other environmental factors.

However, in the particulars of this game, we are talking about effects on skin, muscle, bone, leather, mail, and plate, in various combinations. Sending an arrow into a knight at 300 yards is all well and good, impresses your archery buddies, but if it bounces off his surcoat it didn't make any difference.

Carl
01-19-2007, 19:10
Thanks for that Sextus.

If people want to understand the science behind it, it's pretty simple.


1. a thicker shaft will likely increase mass significantly, however it will likely add much less to drag of the arrow. So you get a heavier arrow with only slightly more drag.

2. A heavy and a light arrow might have the same energy in them when they leave the bow. But because the Heavy Arrow is heavy, it takes a much longer time period before drag of a given value slows it down by the same amount as with a light arrow.

This means that whilst the light arrow starts with a high velocity, it doesn’t keep travelling at that high velocity very long. A Heavy arrow might start out at a medium velocity, but maintains that medium velocity for a fairly long time. As a result the Heavier arrow will at longer ranges have a higher velocity than the light arrow as it maintains it better.

3. The ultimate limit on max range is totally down to gravity. Gravity causes both heavy and light arrows to slow down in upwards flight by the same amount, (even an arrow travelling flat has an upwards velocity from a scientific point of view, hell, even one dropping towards the ground has an upwards velocity, it's just a negative velocity). Thus if the arrows velocity is too low it will hit the ground before it can take full advantage of it's extra velocity retention.

4. In general, against armour with modern bullets, (and a few other applications of similar nature too BTW), momentum means more than KE on impact. I imagine against medieval armour the same would still be true. Also, mass seems to matter more in the momentum calculation than velocity apparently. So heavier arrows with slightly lower momentum might have been as good at getting through armour as high velocity, light arrows with slightly higher momentum.

In other words a Longbow, (which could more easily accommodate a heavier arrow than a crossbow could a heavy bolt do to projectile length), could have easily matched the range, and penetrating power of a higher draw crossbow with a lighter round, even discounting draw length and draw power consistency over the whole draw. Their are limits of course, (a 2000LB crossbow would easily have outdone a 200LB Longbow of the same consistency and draw length, no matter what weight the arrows where).

Lord Fluffy
01-19-2007, 19:24
This is true about our interest in precision, but precision also comes with a more energetic arrow down range. If your arrow has lost most of its energy by the time it gets downrange, then it'll be thrown around by the wind. So anyway, point is, a heavier arrow will retain its energy better.

Not sure about what you meant earlier by changing the arrow weight wouldn't make a major impact on speed though. When I changed my arrows from one model to another, a difference of 40 grains roughly, my speed drops about 15fps. That's a 7% drop roughly.

Lord_hazard
01-19-2007, 22:06
They are faster, but not fast enough. I admit to not having tested this extensively, but in my experience archers fire roughly twice as fast as crossbowmen. I'd much rather see that they are at least 3 or 4 times faster.

Crossbows should realisticly fire 1-5 bolts per minute depending on the type of crossbow (small crossbows could prob fire about 5 and arbalst only 1).
An english/welsh longbowmen could fire 10-20 arrows per minute.
But there is one concern about lowering the crossbowmens rate of fire as the time it takes for an enemy to reach your front lines is considerably less then it would have been in reallife so your now slower firing crossbowmen would be able to fire even fewer volleys before the enemy closes in.
So potentional modders should be careful not to lower the rate of fire too much. But i still agree that there should be a bigger rate of fire difference between longbows and crossbows, twice as fast simply isnt good enough.

Carl
01-19-2007, 22:09
I'd say upping Archer fire rate is best as Crossbows are allready limited to 2/3 volleys at approching units as it is. Any less and they'd be pointless. Lonbows currently manage 6-7.

Zenicetus
01-19-2007, 22:28
Increasing archer fire rate might look better (although personally it doesn't bother me that much), but it would be unbalancing. If you double the fire rate, you're sending twice as many arrows into the enemy and causing twice as much damage. It would be like doubling the number of archer units you have on the field, with the vanilla fire rate.

So unless you really want them to be uber death machines, you'd have to decrease arrow damage by an equivalent amount. And this would require follow-on rebalancing of armor etc., so the reduced arrow damage wouldn't fall underneath the point where you're causing no kills at all, or too few kills. It ain't as easy as just increasing the fire rate for visual effect.

JCoyote
01-19-2007, 22:28
Not sure about what you meant earlier by changing the arrow weight wouldn't make a major impact on speed though. When I changed my arrows from one model to another, a difference of 40 grains roughly, my speed drops about 15fps. That's a 7% drop roughly.

I'll explain that a bit more. You see, in a firearm, when I increase bullet mass by a similar percent, I'll see a larger percentage drop in velocity. With a bow, there are mechanical issues like bowstring acceleration, etc, that are to a certain degree (more) static with regard to the arrows. Hence, compared to developing loads for a rifle, with a bow arrow weights will fall within a narrower percentage change in velocity compared to altering firearm cartridges. Basically, if I took a cartridge and changed the bullet weight by a similar percentage to what you did with your arrow while keeping the powder the same, I'd pretty likely see a larger drop in velocity.

Anyway, the issue is, the medieval bows were weapons of war. Usually in projectiles it seems that lighter and faster projectiles do more tissue damage, while heavier but slower projectiles often penetrate harder materials like wood and metal better. However, as I've said in another forum, if the tissue damage drop isn't that great, I'll lean more towards better material penetration. That was applied to the contemporary battlefield with increasing usage of body armor from all corners; but given the increasing prevalence of armor on the medieval battlefield it was likely equally valid then as well. Because if it doesn't go through the armor at all, it doesn't matter how much or little damage it can do to tissue.

Orda Khan
01-19-2007, 23:00
Are the horsearcher draw weights based on examples of bows or any sources?
CBR
Estimates based on the materials found, especially the earlier horse archers like Huns, Avars, Magyars, where evidence was more fragmentary. Some later examples have survived quite well.
www.atarn.org has some very interesting features on archaeological finds.


Ive been wondering about the difference between english and welsh archers, how big was the difference? Was the difference minimized as time by? Or was the welsh archers the elite archers of their time? As far as i know they both used yew bows, but did the bow types differ?
Basically, the English saw the potential of the longbow as a very effective weapon during their campaign in Wales. Welsh bowmen featured alongside English bowmen and it would be wrong to suggest that either was better, that would depend entirely on the individual. By the time of the 100 year war, bowmen were all elite; maybe not by merit of birth but they plied their trade for a wage and many enjoyed 'freeman' status

........Orda

Lord Fluffy
01-20-2007, 00:13
Anyway, the issue is, the medieval bows were weapons of war. Usually in projectiles it seems that lighter and faster projectiles do more tissue damage, while heavier but slower projectiles often penetrate harder materials like wood and metal better. However, as I've said in another forum, if the tissue damage drop isn't that great, I'll lean more towards better material penetration. That was applied to the contemporary battlefield with increasing usage of body armor from all corners; but given the increasing prevalence of armor on the medieval battlefield it was likely equally valid then as well. Because if it doesn't go through the armor at all, it doesn't matter how much or little damage it can do to tissue.

That would be a function of the tip though wouldn't it? A bodkin will pierce armor much better but won't do much to the flesh, while a broadhead would bleed the target to death but would have no luck against armor.

I also say, with regards to the game, that longbowmen should be made to shoot a bit faster.

NightStar
01-20-2007, 01:59
@Carl

I think you mean 7.62 mm rounds, and what you forget in that regard is the powder charge is bigger, that is why the 7.62 mm round goes farther than 5.56 mm


But onto other things. The Horn bow existed and was used in the Icelandic climate, and that is a fact.

The Icelandic Parliment which started around 930 A.D had a law that no one was allowed to bring a bow within a 500 yards (or 480 meters to be exact) of the Parliment (which was held outdoors) because that was the range of the horn bow.

Horn bow ( Horn bogi in icelandic) is what the vikings called the composite bow. As to where the vikings got the composite bow? Probably from Byzantium, as many vikings went there to trade or became Vśringjar (varangians)

So there we have a source that states that a composite bow had a range of aprox. 480 meters. Of course there is not a chance in hell that anyone could hit at that range

JCoyote
01-20-2007, 03:05
That would be a function of the tip though wouldn't it? A bodkin will pierce armor much better but won't do much to the flesh, while a broadhead would bleed the target to death but would have no luck against armor.
Yeah the tip is the other part of the equation, but not all of it. Tissue damage is closely related to velocity, because it's a fluid medium. That's the kicker, a modern competition arrow has to deal with gaseous medium and then stick, a hunting arrow has to deal with a gaseous medium and then a fluid medium, but a medieval war arrow had to deal with a gaseous medium followed by a solid followed by a fluid... it's really hard to get ideal balance when that's going on. However, the real magic number in velocity for tissue damage is about 1200 fps; once a projectile passes this threshold there is a geometric increase in damage. I don't think any bows can do that, but there might be some crossbows that could. At any rate, 1200 fps probably wasn't reached by any medieval weapon of any type.


I also say, with regards to the game, that longbowmen should be made to shoot a bit faster.
Agreed. More professional archery units should have a speed advantage over peasant/militia archers as well as in accuracy. The same goes for more professional gunpowder versus conscripts. With those era of missile weapons, well trained soldiers made significant difference in firing speed. It's too bad we can't mod missile firing speed to be dependent on experience level; that would be perfect. Have it so every level the unit goes up, their time between volleys drops by 5% or something. It would give you a good reason for wanting to develop your missile teams. But I wouldn't make levels absolute; for example, I would have it arranged so a top level militia archer team could outpace entry level longbowmen by just a little bit.

Lord Fluffy
01-20-2007, 06:12
1200 fps would make it super sonic, the fastest crossbow today can barely reach 350fps. Perhaps a tad higher with super light arrows.

JCoyote
01-20-2007, 07:01
1200 fps would make it super sonic, the fastest crossbow today can barely reach 350fps. Perhaps a tad higher with super light arrows.

Well I didn't mean in anything usable in the field, but I know experimenters that have gone well above that with test models. They were very long draw and not shoulder fired though... things mounted on tables. Very long, slim prods. The "fastest crossbow" you are referring to involves production hunting bows, a field where you don't get many people willing to work a winch to ready their bow.

But truth be told, at bow levels I'm not sure if velocity gains would make that much difference. It's a big deal with bullets, but "energy wounding" doesn't seem to be in much effect with most bow driven weapons.

dopp
01-20-2007, 13:28
I don't recall ever seeing or reading about a supersonic crossbow or bow, which is what Sextus is getting at here. Are you suggesting that modern hunting bows today are for wusses, and that REAL MEN who used windlasses to span their Medieval arbalests could produce supersonic shots? Or is this something that only modern materials and extremely specialized design can accomplish?

Please, this 20 shots per minute claim really needs to be supported by more evidence, it's really stretching things a little. A magazine-fed bolt action rifle handled by expert, professional troops during the First World War from the comparative safety and stability of a trench line managed 15 aimed shots per minute, max. The effect was to force everyone to adopt trench warfare, because the weight of firepower was rapidly becoming suicidal to anyone in the open. If this impressive firepower is 25% less than that of the almighty longbow, which, it is claimed, pierced all armor, shot out beyond 200 yards, and was deadly accurate, then people who faced it must have been really brainless not to start digging trenches themselves. Oh, but I forget, those opponents were knights, and French, so they were pretty brainless by definition.

So, unless we have conclusive proof that trench warfare was indeed invented in 1415, or that the IQ of the average French noble was around the single digits, I would suggest that either:

1. The longbow's rate of fire under battlefield conditions, firing in timed volleys to maximise overall effect, has been vastly exaggerated.

OR

2. The longbow's ability to hit individual targets and penetrate the armor of the day at long range has been vastly exaggerated.

The happy and comforting idea that longbowmen were few in number and hard to train also doesn't work. 7000 longbowmen at Agincourt accompanied 1000 dismounted knights and men-at-arms. Few in number? Compared to what, knights?

And even if the number of longbowmen declined drastically because the REAL MEN were replaced by wusses who 'cheated' by using firearms, you would expect to see at least a few specialist, sharpshooter longbow regiments serving alongside the musketeers if the longbow was really the Medieval machinegun it is claimed to be. This didn't happen. I wonder why. Maybe the average IQ of the Englishman post-gunpowder was also in the single digits, to completely abandon such an effective weapon for noisy, inaccurate bangsticks that took 150 seconds to reload?

Moah
01-20-2007, 13:40
Please, this 20 shots per minute claim really needs to be supported by more evidence, ?


http://www.historicalweapons.com/bowandarrow.html

http://www.pomian.demon.co.uk/longbow.htm

http://www.historic-uk.com/HistoryUK/England-History/TheLongbow.htm

That's from a two minute web search.

Yes, 20 is an extreme case. My understanding was that to sign up you had to hit a man sized target with 12 shots in a minute (can't remember the range, don't think it was too far). The reason for the test - longbowmen were paid TWICE the salary of other infantry. Therefore you had to prove you were worth the cash.

That's 12 shots/min MINIMUM. Presumably the better archers could manage more (which is why estimates are 12-20). I've seen this at a re-enactment. Five guys (well 4 guys and 1 girl, with a lighter bow) were timed by the crowd. All but 1 loosed off 12 (they only got 11 and would have been sacked!) and the head guy managed 17! Although NOT all of them hit the target. Now his life wasn't on the line and it was only a hobby, not his livelihood...

However in battlefield conditions you would expect slightly fewer, which seems to be 8 according to the consensus in sites above. 5,000 archers. 8each/min. 40,000 arrows a minute. Hell, who needs to aim....

JCoyote
01-20-2007, 14:35
I don't recall ever seeing or reading about a supersonic crossbow or bow, which is what Sextus is getting at here. Are you suggesting that modern hunting bows today are for wusses, and that REAL MEN who used windlasses to span their Medieval arbalests could produce supersonic shots? Or is this something that only modern materials and extremely specialized design can accomplish?

Please, this 20 shots per minute claim really needs to be supported by more evidence, it's really stretching things a little. A magazine-fed bolt action rifle handled by expert, professional troops during the First World War from the comparative safety and stability of a trench line managed 15 aimed shots per minute, max. The effect was to force everyone to adopt trench warfare, because the weight of firepower was rapidly becoming suicidal to anyone in the open.

No I was not disparaging modern hunters, the point was that modern hunting crossbows are NOT designed with absolute maximum possible velocity in mind. There's no need for it. Just like not everyone who uses an assault rifle over a battle round is a wuss; some people just don't NEED the extra power. But with increased draw weight that would require mechanical assistance, higher velocity than 350 could obviously be achieved IF you think about it. I never said supersonic either, I was establishing that the greatest gain in velocity increase when it comes to damage is around 1200 fps, something I DOUBTED any crossbows could do outside some possible impractical lab models. Hence driving for extra velocity in a crossbow is less useful. I just said over 350 is something I know has been broken, but I don't have the reference so I can't say by exactly how much. I want to say 700, but that's probably wrong. Simply put though, hunting crossbows are not the measure by which you can tell the absolute limits of possibility, just like hunting rifles don't tell you that for firearms. They are compromises made for marketability.

And 15 shots a minute from a bolt action maximum? Even considering that's 2 reloads on a 5 round gun, and still taking 2-3 seconds a shot, that's a bit slow. And you've obviously never seen anyone decent with an Enfield, with mine I could shake your belief structure introducing you to australian bolt technique. The one that convinced the Turkish with Mausers that the Australian had machineguns (which they didn't). I'm not the best, but even I can make people think I'm tapping off a semi-auto by firing like the ANZAC.

And for the record, machine guns and breechloading artillery forced trench warfare, bolt action rifles were a small part of the adoption of trenches, if they had been the only change it's likely they would have still had field battles.

Also, having a little experience in archery, I have no doubt the best longbowmen could have made 20 a minutes. That wouldn't be precisely aimed shots, but instead bracketed parabolic fire at long range... which is aimed, but not in the way a point target is.

Lord Fluffy
01-21-2007, 02:12
@dopp Regarding the rapid fire longbow shots, 20 per minute is extreme I can see an individual doing it but I doubt you can gather 5000 men and have em do it all at once. But I can see it get close to that number, the reason people don't develop trench warfare back then is a question of lethality.

Arrows shot from longbows at a target 200m away is really meant more to cause panic and injuries rather than outright kill. Wounded soldiers are as good as dead anyway. Imagine 5000 men firing arrows at say a 5 second interval. That's a lot of arrows, some will hit unprotected areas. You got an arrow stuck through your wrist or your foot and you won't be able to fight as well. By the time the two sides engage in melee the side with arrows stuck in them will be easily defeated.

All the tests I've seen of longbows vs armor were conducted at very close ranges(20m), granted these are only 80lbs bows. But even doubling the poundage won't help to increase that lethal distance 10 fold.

Also keep in mind longbowmen don't really "aim" the way riflemen do. Specially when making the longshots. They already know how it feels to make their max distance. So the only delay in the shot really comes from nocking the arrow. Once the arrow is nocked it only takes a second to raise the bow and shoot. Maybe an extra second to synchronize with your buddies. This is very similar to clout shoots nowadays. Clouts are shot at a distance of about 185yards. Most participants have to raise their bows at a 45 degree angle. At that angle you can't really see what you're shooting at.

dopp
01-21-2007, 03:01
I'm of course referring to the professional BEF in the First World War. I think they would qualify as pretty decent shots. 12-15 shots per minute with bolt-action carbines, aimed (as opposed to getting the maximum rate of fire on a peaceful practice range), is the official record. And how much faster do you think you could shoot than that, given battlefield conditions? Even at 20 rounds per minute, you have only just equalled the supposed 'average' performance of a longbowman. 30 rounds per minute maybe? 45 rounds per minute?

No, no, the record says something quite different. Machineguns and shrapnel definitely added to the firepower in the Great War, but the move towards static warfare starts in the American Civil War, where both weapons were still in their infancy. The mass adoption of breech-loading and lever-action rifled weapons, still relatively slow-firing, already sees everybody using cover and skirmish tactics already, even digging trenches and barricades to fight behind. The longbow fires more than twice as fast, is just as lethal and nobody thinks to duck? Not likely. Machineguns were rated at around the firepower of 40 riflemen. You would get only a few machineguns in a battalion of 800 riflemen. What are all those riflemen doing, soaking up bullets for the machinegun crew? 800hp Maxim machinegun, sounds like a game of WH40k to me. I think you will find that riflemen were contributing quite a bit more firepower to the storm that was sweeping the WWI battlefield clear than you give them credit for.

Incidentally, the 7,000 or so longbows at Agincourt firing at just half the touted 20 shots per minute would be putting 70,000 arrows into the air in the first minute alone. If you count the French at 25,000, that's 3 arrows per man. They should all have been dead at that point, yet all the accounts of the battle are clear that they reached the English line in such numbers that they couldn't even use their weapons properly due to the press. And that was just the first line, there were two others following it, so it's not likely that all 25,000 French were attacking together. More like 10,000 in the first line, so 7 arrows per man. Not a very impressive display of the longbow's killing prowess against armored men. If they were shooting at 20 rounds per minute, it gets even worse with 140,000 arrows failing to stop around 10,000 men in the first wave. That's 14 arrows per target. The results need explaining. Maybe half the longbowmen all picked the same target and he got like 2,000 arrows in the first volley? And let's not forget the cavalry charge at the beginning of the battle, where around 1,000 mounted knights charged 7,000 longbowmen, made it into contact with the stakes, and then survived long enough to wheel around and retreat. If they were 4 times faster than the infantry, that's still around 34 arrows per man before they charged home.

My points are really simple, actually:

1. If the longbow was truly the 'machinegun of the Medieval age', then we should expect to see the results of so much firepower; ie trench warfare. The historical record suggests otherwise.

2. If the longbow was truly the 'machinegun of the Medieval age', then nothing should have survived their arrow storm in the opening minute alone. The historical record suggests otherwise.

3. If you wish the devs to change the game and use history to support your points, then I will question some of your claims. If you wish the devs to change the game because you want more coolness factor from using your longbows, then present it in those terms. If you want to mod the game to suit your preferences, then I have no quarrel with you at all really.

cal_guy
01-21-2007, 03:02
What's overlooked is that in many crossbow corps only a small portion of the men were involved in firing while the rest reloaded the crossbows. This gave a group of crossbowmen a much better rate of fire.

JCoyote
01-21-2007, 05:07
@ dopp : I think you are confusing yourself between maximum rates of fire and sustained rates of fire. Trained British soldiers could hit around 30 a minute maximum, but ammunition supply and fatigue, etc, generally demands a lower rate. Official reports usually involve numbers useful to a higher level; ie, "We can expect our troops to fire an average of 15 rounds a minute if they move on us, general". Which, for the calculations at that level, is appropriate. But at the trench level, a force might make fire on the enemy at anywhere from a couple shots a minute to 15 under normal circumstances, but a german platoon could expect the British rate of fire to climb to around 30 per minute once they hit close range. Also, in some cases there is confusing between the rate of fire of emptying a magazine, or the rate total including changes. 30 can be done with changes. A great example of the speed achievable in just emptying a magazine was Applegate, he could hit 600 rpm with a double action revolver... that's 0.6 seconds for those keeping score, but naturally at pistol range into human size target with point shooting.

That's also an issue, at what range are we talking about? 30 a minute with normal cycling is not at all unusual with an Enfield, in trained hands, and close enemies so the shooter just goes from target to target without site adjustment. A quite different matter than a longbowman who isn't focusing on individuals but on a formation. In a lot of ways, a longbowman's longer range shooting style is much more comparable to a mortar team than any rifle. There, you basically held your bow at angle, found the right draw length for the range, and the kept drawing arrows against your bow. This did work better from prepped positions, so the longbow arrow quivers could be placed off the shooter and on the ground. 20 is optimal, it means a properly prepared firing position and an enemy conveniently hanging around waiting for you to see how many he can absorb. Most don't do that. I sincerely doubt they were hitting 20 but at particular moments.

Just like a machinegun... many can fire at 600-1200 rpm, but never fire that much in an actual minute; even with a belt feed you need to conserve ammo and avoid barrel wear. The same applies to these cases; the highest rate of fire is only going to be used for brief periods of opportunity or desperation.

(Oh, and, carbines with the BEF in WWI...?)

dopp
01-21-2007, 12:24
I think you may be arguing what is theoretically possible with what is practically possible under battlefield conditions, whereas I am pointing out the practical rate of fire. I am well aware that revolvers and bolt-action rifles can be fired as fast as automatic weapons given proper technique and concentration. I have also read accounts of Japanese archery masters exceeding 20 shots per minute and maintaining that rate of fire for hours, let alone minutes. I have even fired such weapons myself and see no reason why such records should be questioned. Nevertheless, these impressive totals drop drastically in combat situations where the enemy is shooting back or charging at you, even for hardened professionals. Unfortunately, I have never been in a combat situation with a non-automatic weapon, so I have to trust historical accounts when it comes to evaluating rates of fire. Historical accounts are often riddled with errors (casualty figures spring to mind here), but 12-15 rounds per minute seems to be the consensus regarding the remarkable rate of fire displayed in 1914 by the BEF during the early battles, set against a somewhat slower 8-10 rounds for green troops. This was enough to force trench warfare. In fact, a much slower rate of fire with rifle muskets was enough to force trench warfare and open formations during the American Civil War (I don't think anyone can argue for 30 rounds a minute with a musket). We see nothing like this for longbows (or crossbows), even though supposedly they also penetrated all armor, shot just as far, and twice or thrice as fast. Something is being exaggerated here.

I refer to the SMLE as a carbine. This is not entirely accurate, since I think there was a shorter weapon officially designated as the carbine, but I think it was the general trend in infantry rifles to get shorter around this time (while the bayonets get correspondingly longer).

Carl
01-21-2007, 13:01
3 points dopp:

1. your overstating the accurracy of the Lonbows in Parabolic firing. A riflemen could probably get 2 or 3 times as many hits as they longbowmen could with the same number of shots.

2. Your overstating the lethatality. Furthar back in this thread is a link to a document on Longbows by a Historian in which he quotes sources on the enemy/nuetral sides who tend to agree on the Longbows having a fairly fast fire rate, (I can't remeber the figures, but fast), they even agree it will go through armour. However it clearly wasn't allways lethal if it did. One enemy king had 3 arrows go through his helm. One got stuck in his eye, the other two in his skull. yet he went on to live a longish life afterwards, even with the ones in his skull still their as they couldn't get them out. Longbow hits would tend to incapacitate with minor injuries more than they tended to kill.

3. The persons in charge at the time where people who wanted to show how brave they where. hiding in a trench dosen't look brave. charging through a storm of potentiolly deadly arrows does. It was this same "i'm better than them" attitude that led to the mass adoption of firearms over everything else. being able to say you had the most guns was what made you the "big man". Think about it for a moment. Longbows easilly outranged American Civil War unrifiled guns by a factor of a least 3-1, (and probably more for napoleionic era stuff), and would have been shooting faster than the enemy, AND would be beter in melee (armour and possibly sheild), and the enemy is unarmoured making them vulnrable to the arropws. Did I mention the supiriour cav defence provided by stakes? Yet Longbows where never used despite the fact that an old english Longbow army would probably have massacred Napoleons forces in the feild with ease. It was because the Longbow had been dropped as a militiary weapon because it wasn't cool enough. effectivness had nothing to do with the matter.

Moah
01-21-2007, 13:12
3 points dopp:

3. The persons in charge at the time where people who wanted to show how brave they where. hiding in a trench dosen't look brave. charging through a storm of potentiolly deadly arrows does. It was this same "i'm better than them" attitude that led to the mass adoption of firearms over everything else. being able to say you had the most guns was what made you the "big man". Think about it for a moment. Longbows easilly outranged American Civil War unrifiled guns by a factor of a least 3-1, (and probably more for napoleionic era stuff), and would have been shooting faster than the enemy, AND would be beter in melee (armour and possibly sheild), and the enemy is unarmoured making them vulnrable to the arropws. Did I mention the supiriour cav defence provided by stakes? Yet Longbows where never used despite the fact that an old english Longbow army would probably have massacred Napoleons forces in the feild with ease. It was because the Longbow had been dropped as a militiary weapon because it wasn't cool enough. effectivness had nothing to do with the matter.

:laugh4:

I'm not sure even the stupidest general or government would ditch an effective weapon just because it wasn't cool!

Was it not because bullets went straight through armour and longbows didn't? Sure if you fired enough you'd find a few cracks and joints, but the musket ball went straight through, no? So to be accurate firearms should ignore army (unless they already do?) meaning your armoured knights might as well be wearing smocks....

dopp
01-21-2007, 13:42
1. No I'm not, I'm just pointing out that either the longbow fires slower than imagined, or the individual shots are unaimed (in the sense of picking out individual targets, not that the longbowmen closed their eyes and shot wildly). All evidence points to the fact that in massed volley fire, only a small percentage of shots hit their targets, although it is still far more effective than aiming individually, yet there are still people who insist that longbowmen had their cake and ate it too (ie fired volleys but could hit with every shot).

2. Waaay back I made the claim that plate armor provided reasonable protection against arrows, allowing the knights to survive the arrow storm. Even arrows that penetrated would not necessarily cause fatal or even disabling wounds. Unfortunately, someone then started talking about 200lb longbows and how they could pierce 2 inches of steel plate...

10 or even 6 shots a minute is already blazing fast compared to crossbows and muskets. I never claimed that longbows were slow as molasses, I just disagreed on how fast. 20 shots per minute is really pushing it when military historians are talking about 6-10.

3. So you do believe that the average French gentleman had an IQ somewhat lower than room temperature? Oh dear.

People don't tend to be too stupid, especially not those who live and die by their mistakes. If archery was as lethal as the myth of the longbow claims, the storm of arrows would not be 'potentially deadly', but 'guaranteed deadly'. After the first few wannabe heroes buy it, the survivors will generally come up with better ways to wage war than charging straight ahead.

And my point was that the longbow would have remained in service at least as specialist sharpshooters alongside muskets if it could really massacre Napoleonic forces with ease. I sincerely doubt that it could, even though the musketeers were completely unarmored in most cases.

So the 'cool factor' made armies abandon a superweapon for a dud? Armies are incredibly resistant to change and are much less likely than most to fall for the 'shiny factor' of new weapons. Your life is quite literally on the line when you abandon a tried and true weapon for something new. If the new guns were not at least competitive with longbows in battle, they would have been abandoned by the wayside.

Carl
01-21-2007, 14:42
1. No I'm not, I'm just pointing out that either the longbow fires slower than imagined, or the individual shots are unaimed (in the sense of picking out individual targets, not that the longbowmen closed their eyes and shot wildly). All evidence points to the fact that in massed volley fire, only a small percentage of shots hit their targets, although it is still far more effective than aiming individually, yet there are still people who insist that longbowmen had their cake and ate it too (ie fired volleys but could hit with every shot).


Nobody sensibile has been claiming that longbows where getting good accurracy at range, the contemproery historical accounts from the apposing side ceartinlly don't. That was my point. Your saying somthing has to be out from what your saying and i'm saying that the genuine accounts say it is.


2. Waaay back I made the claim that plate armor provided reasonable protection against arrows, allowing the knights to survive the arrow storm. Even arrows that penetrated would not necessarily cause fatal or even disabling wounds. Unfortunately, someone then started talking about 200lb longbows and how they could pierce 2 inches of steel plate...

10 or even 6 shots a minute is already blazing fast compared to crossbows and muskets. I never claimed that longbows were slow as molasses, I just disagreed on how fast. 20 shots per minute is really pushing it when military historians are talking about 6-10.


I agree with that too, my point was mearly that you tried saying people where making the Longbow out as an uber weapon. It wasn't, it was probably the best missile weapon avalibile prior to rifled guns, but thats about as uber as it gets. At range it lacked the power to kill, (though it could maim). It also Lacked accurracy. 8-12 shots a minute is much more resonable IMHO.



3. So you do believe that the average French gentleman had an IQ somewhat lower than room temperature? Oh dear.

People don't tend to be too stupid, especially not those who live and die by their mistakes. If archery was as lethal as the myth of the longbow claims, the storm of arrows would not be 'potentially deadly', but 'guaranteed deadly'. After the first few wannabe heroes buy it, the survivors will generally come up with better ways to wage war than charging straight ahead.


Tell that to thefrench knights during and after the hundred Years war. Or all the knights killed by crossbows. Or all the idiots on horses in napoleonic times that got killed by muskets, the british army at the end of the 1800's when it was shown that the then current rifle had the wrong type of rifiling, (the best sharpshooters of the day could only peirce a coin at 100paces with the current rifle. Queen Victoria did it at 300 paces with the new rifle), yet they didn't adopt it for over a decade. likewise, today many SAW's are 5.56mm despite the fact that it's well known that a 7.76mm one is far better on the battlefeild where it matters. Just because it's not the best weapon for the job dosen't mean it won't be used. If they think it's better or they just don't want to fight that way then you'll see infiriour weapons feilded.

I mean the Knights even considered missile weapons cowardlly for war and tried to get rossbows BANNED, (thats like Fighter Piolts trying to ban AAA and SAM systems because they are unsporting). People WERN'T sensible or smart back then when it came to some thing, they had preconcived notions of honour and what was right and didn't want to shift from them.


And my point was that the longbow would have remained in service at least as specialist sharpshooters alongside muskets if it could really massacre Napoleonic forces with ease. I sincerely doubt that it could, even though the musketeers were completely unarmored in most cases.


No offence dopp, (because i respect you), but you displaying a total lack of common sense here.

The Lonbowmen have longer range, faster fire rate, equal ability to knock each other out of the fight and the longbowmen are better in melee. Theirs no way in hell those musketeers should have any chance whatsoever, and where basing much of the above off common sense and known abilities of bows that we could replicate today. So wheer not even relying on hped up accounts from the english side here. The rules of ranged combat have been the same for years, if you effective range is better than your opponnent, and your fire rate is better than your opponent and you have similar lethatality then you'll beat your enemy sensless.

Whats the diffrance between a Crossbowmen, (one with the earlier non-aerbelst style ones BTW), and a Musketeer? The usketreer has even shorter range, less armour and somewhat better lethatality against heavilly armoured foes (but about the same vs. people without much armour on). Most sane people agree that the Lonbow could beat a shorter ranged non-pavise crossbowmen. Considering all the advantages even the crossbowmen has over the Muskuteer in terms of range and armour, (helps in melee), it seems utterly stupid to suggest anything OTHER than the musketeer getting wioped out.


So the 'cool factor' made armies abandon a superweapon for a dud? Armies are incredibly resistant to change and are much less likely than most to fall for the 'shiny factor' of new weapons.

Modern armies are rsistant, old armies arn't they did what god own appointed ruler of the land (the King), tells them to do. Also, when I say cool" I mean Cool as in "It's High-Tech so it's cool, and because it's High-Tech it must be the best". High-Tech dosen't allways equal the best as the USA finds out reguarly. Britans cave tripwire detector in afghanistan is excellent proof of that.


Your life is quite literally on the line when you abandon a tried and true weapon for something new. If the new guns were not at least competitive with longbows in battle, they would have been abandoned by the wayside.

The problem is dopp that that isn't how it works. I highly doubt once the musket showed up and everyone thought it was cool to have (because it's High-Tech and High-Tech is better), that many archer vs. musket duels happened outside seiges. The few that did where probably dismissed as flukes. remeber, England was the only big user of long range bows that i know of. So once they did a mass switch to muskets it wouldn't have been obvious as most shorter ranged Boxw and Crossbows of all kinds wouldn't show the defecit up very much. It's the unique combination of range and the training to fire somewhat accurratly to that range at high ROF that would have made the lonbowmen so good.

JCoyote
01-21-2007, 14:51
I refer to the SMLE as a carbine. This is not entirely accurate, since I think there was a shorter weapon officially designated as the carbine, but I think it was the general trend in infantry rifles to get shorter around this time (while the bayonets get correspondingly longer).

It was shorter than the previous rifle, but it wasn't a carbine. Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield. (Which leaves some people asking what happened to long magazines...) Previous to it was a longer rifle, but a shorter carbine for cavalry troops. They created the SMLE on the same action but with a barrel around halfway between the original rifle and the carbine. Hence "Short", but it was technically a Short Rifle, few people even then considered a 25" barrel a carbine. Post muzzle loading, barrels had to start getting in the low 20" range or less to be called carbines. But ultimately, carbine usually meant shorter than similar rifles, but in this case there actually were officially designated carbines so I would avoid referring to the Enfield rifles as such.

Well what I was talking about was battlefield conditions, but a matter of unit level calculus. In short periods of time the firing speed for the British shooters could go as high as 30. But because they were brief intervals they were averaged out into the numbers fed to headquarters. To that officer in charge of the front, the fact that platoons can crank it up that fast for a couple minutes was statistically insignificant when he's dealing with tens of thousands of soldiers on a front. But if you are in that platoon... or the german one that just closed on it... it suddenly becomes very important in that moment. :laugh4:
But of course the officers back at both HQ's would say "What's a platoon here or there?"

(And people wonder why communism took off during that war...)

But anyway, the point is numbers at different levels of command aren't the same. Back then, "Official Reports" were pretty universally written by and to the general staffs of militaries. Each level smooths out the lower levels into broader averages over longer periods of time. As an interesting side note though, while the mauser based armies like Germany and the US all became intensely interested in developing submachineguns, with the US adopting shotguns to compensate and Germans making long hi capacity pistols, there seems to have been a lot less interest among the British military in doing so until much later. They didn't feel a pressing need, likely because their faster rifles gave them the edge when it got close.

ANYWAY... I think perhaps one of the biggest problems here is in the engine. The TW system has no "wounded" condition in regard to the battlefield. It's all alive and 100% or dead. That's not only not accurate, it's especially inaccurate the more armor soldiers are wearing. For all the lives armor saves, a good part of the balance of that is made up of injured soldiers. Really, an army fielding a lot of armored troops is going to have a lot more injured soldiers fighting compared to an army with no armor at all where many just plain died. Missile units, particularly archery ones, tend to injure more than kill. And it is important. A "wounded" condition might be ideal, so that soldiers in a unit who get it take an ability hit. It could perhaps be added as a single bit to each soldier... just plain wounded or not, only one level of injury would make a huge difference. Incapacitating injuries and death can still be handled the same. But it would make a lot of sense to have a level where someone's just "hurt". Instead of slaying whole groups of knights, rendering them combat ineffective would be pretty cool. This could allow for some missile units to be more accurate while less effective but still very useful. Also, it could lead to another good distinction between bows, crossbows, and firearms... at each level, lethality goes up, even if accuracy and firing speed do not. Having muskets not necessarily be any more accurate than crossbows in that age, but having the soldiers they hit more likely to die than be injured, would be a great realistic distinction.

AussieGiant
01-21-2007, 15:22
Chaps,

We need to be clear on something and it`s a shame there is no "historical" post thread where everyone can read "the story so far", as we have gone over this before.

As a weapon, the longbow was superior in every way to a musket and even a rifle up until the early 1800`s.

Crazy as it may seem if a longbow army was to be deployed in the Napoleonic era it would have probably won the war.

Just so I`m not going gaga...

can you all imagine marching in one big French column, in your nice faded Blue coats (some 4 to 5 thousand of you) knowing that at 300 yards there are 1000 longbow men able to fire 10 shots a minute at you, and you know going to take you 2 minutes to close the distance??

This didn`t happen for a number a major reasons.

Longbows were a product of a particular set of characteristics in Feudal Great Britain. Stolen from the Welsh who they conquered, it was something they had that was only really seen in other Eastern empires in the form of compound bows. The rest of Europe never really got to grips with it therefore it has probably been overstated in its effectiveness due to the pounding the English generally gave the French for many centuries.

But, it did allow a normal fellow from England to be drafted into an army, be equipped far cheaper and paid far less and be able to, in effect, take out (kill, maim, what ever you prefer) Knight`s and Men at Arms who were some 10 time more costly to train and maintain than a Longbow man. The reason it was available to English Kings was because there are a social mechanism in place to train these fellows in large enough numbers to make them very effective.

It was law to train with the Longbow in England for many, many decades. The Yeomanry of England became essentially professional fighters who were physically large enough and strong enough to wield 100 to 160lb bows and fire arguably up to 15 shots a minute. No one else had the social mechanism in place to match this.

I`m not going to get into a lethality competition but it`s suppression fire capabilities are impressive. And suppression is all you need to have when 5000 long bowman are firing at 5000 knights or 5000 MA to win a battle. It gives you the edge and that is all a good general needs. It will kill plenty, maim many and render not a small number of the oppositions BEST and MOST expensive fighters useless for that particular battle.

Ironically it is the same type of social and economic process that made the longbow a weapon of advantage that lead to the musket (even though an inferior statistical weapon) to dominate leading up to the 1700 and 1800 hundreds. You certainly have a transitional time around the 1600`s in which the English Civil war was played to see the different technologies at work.

Heavy Half Plate, open faced helmets, dueling pistols, pike and shot to summarize the period.

But once the industrial revolution got into full swing by the early to mid 1700`s the process of making a musket could be reproduced at a staggering rate and far faster than longbow`s and all other forms of weapons, both ranged and melee.

On top of this, it took ONLY a few months to grab a bunch of thieves or conscripts and have a number of veteran Sargent's bully them into firing 2 or 3 shots a minute while standing in a great big line. The musket didn`t fire as far, or as fast and was only really more lethal at point blank range than the longbow, BUT it allowed a nation to field not 10 000 longbowmen, but 80 000 musket men (for arguements sake). Put a bayonet on the end of it, and there you have the end of the sword as a weapon of choice except the aristocracy and officers who could still afford them. A bayonet was more than enough, and when "the point beats the edge" in this era of hand to hand combat you have yourself a winner.

If your leading a nation at the time, which weapon are you going to choose gentlemen?

dopp
01-21-2007, 15:22
Well what I was talking about was battlefield conditions, but a matter of unit level calculus.

ANYWAY... I think perhaps one of the biggest problems here is in the engine. The TW system has no "wounded" condition in regard to the battlefield. It's all alive and 100% or dead. That's not only not accurate, it's especially inaccurate the more armor soldiers are wearing. For all the lives armor saves, a good part of the balance of that is made up of injured soldiers. Really, an army fielding a lot of armored troops is going to have a lot more injured soldiers fighting compared to an army with no armor at all where many just plain died. Missile units, particularly archery ones, tend to injure more than kill. And it is important. A "wounded" condition might be ideal, so that soldiers in a unit who get it take an ability hit. It could perhaps be added as a single bit to each soldier... just plain wounded or not, only one level of injury would make a huge difference. Incapacitating injuries and death can still be handled the same. But it would make a lot of sense to have a level where someone's just "hurt". Instead of slaying whole groups of knights, rendering them combat ineffective would be pretty cool. This could allow for some missile units to be more accurate while less effective but still very useful. Also, it could lead to another good distinction between bows, crossbows, and firearms... at each level, lethality goes up, even if accuracy and firing speed do not. Having muskets not necessarily be any more accurate than crossbows in that age, but having the soldiers they hit more likely to die than be injured, would be a great realistic distinction.

I'm sorry, but unless you can prove that the official account is solely derived from watered-down AARs, in a time before AARs were even invented, I think that doesn't work either. Please note, 12-15 rounds per minute was considered legendary already, and you're proposing something twice that. Maybe I should have used Civil War riflemen instead of yet another British wonderweapon as my example.

As to lethality... the original MTW had varying levels of lethality. It is not known if RTW still works this way, but I think it still does to some degree. For example, a bow had accuracy 0.68 and a lethality of about 0.5, so 70% hit and I think maybe 50% kill if not stopped by armor. An arquebus (no muskets in MTW) had accuracy 0.03 and lethality 4. 3% chance of a hit, but it would kill you dead about 4 times over if it ever did hit, especially useful against jedi generals with lots of hp. Of course, the fact that it almost never hit made the insane killing power rather worthless (you could get more hits if fired at extreme close range, I think, but still less kills than any other missile unit). Crossbows were extremely accurate, about 0.75, and had a lethality of 1. Longbows were slightly less accurate, about 0.62, but fired noticeably faster than normal bows. There were no composite bows, unfortunately, except for the mounted ones.

As for the above post, I'm not sure what to make of it. Perhaps I should point out that firearms were considered so dangerous and disruptive to society that the manufacture of muskets and gunpowder was monopolized and strictly controlled by the state? Perhaps I should also point out that until the logistical and conscription miracles of the Napoleonic era, armies remained rather small? Larger perhaps than feudal armies, but not to the order of 8-10 times larger. Perhaps also that the musket could stop infantry and cavalry charges through firepower alone, rather than having a messy pileup at the stakes and fierce melee combat between the knights on both sides?

And if numbers win battles despite inferior weapons, then 10,000 native warriors with spears will easily defeat 1,000 Redcoats with muskets. I don't think so.

Moah
01-21-2007, 15:32
Chaps,



On top of this, it took ONLY a few months to grab a bunch of thieves or conscripts and have a number of veteran Sargent's bully them into firing 2 or 3 shots a minute while standing in a great big line. The musket didn`t fire as far, or as fast and was only really more lethal at point blank range than the longbow, BUT it allowed a nation to field not 10 000 longbowmen, but 80 000 musket men (for arguements sake). Put a bayonet on the end of it, and there you have the end of the sword as a weapon of choice except the aristocracy and officers who could still afford them. A bayonet was more than enough, and when "the point beats the edge" in this era of hand to hand combat you have yourself a winner.

If your leading a nation at the time, which weapon are you going to choose gentlemen?

Hear hear! THe Longbow is an historical anomaly. Only teh English had teh culture and it was superios not only because of the weapon, but the users. The musket meant you could mass produce and mass train. And if you lost a battle you didn't have to wait 5 years for the stock to replenish just rustle up your next group of peasants and teach them to stand still, load and point.

Musashi
01-21-2007, 16:28
See Carl, some people are claiming the longbow was a superweapon medieval nuclear warhead.

Carl
01-21-2007, 16:33
I said no one "SENSIBLE" is doinmg so~;p. Yes their are silly people who claim it was firing nuculear tipped arrrows, but most people with 2 brain celss to rub together are not:smash:.

Lord_hazard
01-21-2007, 16:36
Chaps,

We need to be clear on something and it`s a shame there is no "historical" post thread where everyone can read "the story so far", as we have gone over this before.

As a weapon, the longbow was superior in every way to a musket and even a rifle up until the early 1800`s.

Crazy as it may seem if a longbow army was to be deployed in the Napoleonic era it would have probably won the war.

Just so I`m not going gaga...

can you all imagine marching in one big French column, in your nice faded Blue coats (some 4 to 5 thousand of you) knowing that at 300 yards there are 1000 longbow men able to fire 10 shots a minute at you, and you know going to take you 2 minutes to close the distance??

This didn`t happen for a number a major reasons.

Longbows were a product of a particular set of characteristics in Feudal Great Britain. Stolen from the Welsh who they conquered, it was something they had that was only really seen in other Eastern empires in the form of compound bows. The rest of Europe never really got to grips with it therefore it has probably been overstated in its effectiveness due to the pounding the English generally gave the French for many centuries.

But, it did allow a normal fellow from England to be drafted into an army, be equipped far cheaper and paid far less and be able to, in effect, take out (kill, maim, what ever you prefer) Knight`s and Men at Arms who were some 10 time more costly to train and maintain than a Longbow man. The reason it was available to English Kings was because there are a social mechanism in place to train these fellows in large enough numbers to make them very effective.

It was law to train with the Longbow in England for many, many decades. The Yeomanry of England became essentially professional fighters who were physically large enough and strong enough to wield 100 to 160lb bows and fire arguably up to 15 shots a minute. No one else had the social mechanism in place to match this.

I`m not going to get into a lethality competition but it`s suppression fire capabilities are impressive. And suppression is all you need to have when 5000 long bowman are firing at 5000 knights or 5000 MA to win a battle. It gives you the edge and that is all a good general needs. It will kill plenty, maim many and render not a small number of the oppositions BEST and MOST expensive fighters useless for that particular battle.

Ironically it is the same type of social and economic process that made the longbow a weapon of advantage that lead to the musket (even though an inferior statistical weapon) to dominate leading up to the 1700 and 1800 hundreds. You certainly have a transitional time around the 1600`s in which the English Civil war was played to see the different technologies at work.

Heavy Half Plate, open faced helmets, dueling pistols, pike and shot to summarize the period.

But once the industrial revolution got into full swing by the early to mid 1700`s the process of making a musket could be reproduced at a staggering rate and far faster than longbow`s and all other forms of weapons, both ranged and melee.

On top of this, it took ONLY a few months to grab a bunch of thieves or conscripts and have a number of veteran Sargent's bully them into firing 2 or 3 shots a minute while standing in a great big line. The musket didn`t fire as far, or as fast and was only really more lethal at point blank range than the longbow, BUT it allowed a nation to field not 10 000 longbowmen, but 80 000 musket men (for arguements sake). Put a bayonet on the end of it, and there you have the end of the sword as a weapon of choice except the aristocracy and officers who could still afford them. A bayonet was more than enough, and when "the point beats the edge" in this era of hand to hand combat you have yourself a winner.

If your leading a nation at the time, which weapon are you going to choose gentlemen?

Your absolutely right, the longbow was NOT a cost effective weapon when compared to the crossbow and gunpowder weapon.
I personally think that longbowmen should be have a higher rate of fire then they have now but they should also have a higher cost and upkeep.

JCoyote
01-21-2007, 16:43
@ dopp: The current system's varying lethality doesn't achieve what I am talking about, because it still only leads to 2 possible outcomes: pefectly fit or dead. Did you even read what I wrote? The true trick of varying lethality would be to have units becoming combat ineffective while still on their feet. To have a group of 47 men at arms moving in, but the rear 15 of them are walking wounded and hampered in their stats. That's much closer to reality, especially with armor. Currently, whatever doesn't kill you doesn't slow you down at all... Well, I guess it's not like injuries are a significant issue on a battlefield. :laugh4:


BTW 12 per minute was expected sustained fire by a trained new recruit. Just FYI. It's not legendary at all. And that is sustained, NOT maximum.

Funny how no one has made any connection between economics of munitions and the transitions between weapons. From a financial standpoint, the price per projectile between arrows and cast lead balls and cheap powder is a no brainer. Per shot costs with muskets were a fraction of sending swarms of arrows at an enemy, especially when most shots in a volley miss anyway. Not all weapons change are made because of pure battlefield advantage. Just look at weapons from WW1 and 2, as things wore on many item's production quality dropped, to save money. These things can happen over long term too.

The urbanization of Britain also made it harder and harder to maintain a "longbow culture". Large amounts of range to practice on, training ranges, hunting land, etc were becoming less and less available as the isles became more and more crowded and the population became more and more centered and dense. While battles themselves didn't necessarily involve significantly more people than the middle ages, the armies themselves were much larger overall. In the middle ages a single battle could involve a large fraction, even majority, of a nation's military. As colonialism grew though, armies became more spread out as more soldiers were needed to maintain order far from home. The overall size of the British army during colonialism was MUCH larger than any prior point. Populations now being more urban centered than before, and urban areas being the preferable point for recruiting non-necessary workers (still have to feed the nation, using farmers)... it just wasn't practical for England to maintain longbowmen as a primary force anymore. Training a longbowman from childhood just wasn't feasible in urban recruitment areas, it was just easier to have them spend a few weeks with a musket.

This is part of what Franklin was commenting on when he made the not-entirely-in-jest suggestion of the American militias using bows. Involved in this was the realization that the larger tracts of land and far less urbanized colonial population was potentially capable of making longbow culture feasible again. But it would have taken 15 years or more to train up a generation of longbowmen. And by that point in time, if you really wanted to to hit something far away, precision rifles were starting to be made that could match the range of a longbow... with precise enough shots to pick out single targets with ease. Then the Hawken rifles were becoming common enough before the civil war, with which you could kill the horse out from under someone at 500 yards or more. Another point to firearms: far superior at killing horses. Up to the First World War, there people still dreaming of being able to sweep the field with cavalry charges. But while bows and crossbows dominated missile weapons, those charges still crushed armies. After muskets were introduced, cavalry had to be protected and used much more carefully... even after pikes were abandoned. Think about that... it's another piece of that whole puzzle. A longbow was ineffective at any real range against a horse itself, and horse move fast enough to complicate long range arrow fire a little. The much greater ability of muskets to kill a cavalryman's horse was not unnoticed in the equation.

pike master
01-21-2007, 18:37
i havnt read this thread before because its been dicussed so much on .com but i will dispell one myth. arquebuses and muskets were not cheap to make the were complex machines while it may have been labor intensive to make a longbow after reading an article on or someone telling me how i could make one.

it required a lot of labor, no how and more forged iron or steel than what you would need to make a great sword or any other large metal weapon. the barrel must be trued to be well aligned. the matchlock mechanism required forging, shaping and fitting the stock even if crude still had to be carved out for the barrel channel, trigger slot and so forth.

a soldier using a firearm although not having to develop the strength to use the longbow had to be more technically trained so he didnt shoot himself or his comrades. it required some training and skill to use even a primitive firearm as easy as guns are to use today they still require training and discipline to use properly. to me if i was given a matchlock musket or arquebus i would be flabbergasted by all the things you would have to keep in mind when loading and firing it wasnt as easy to use as a percussion muzzleloader or flintlock you had a constantly adjust the burning match that you had to keep adjusted by loosening and tightening a clamp screw.

plus you would have to make sure you didnt set the thing off while you were loading because you constantly had a flame burning near to the powder.

if firearms were so complex to make and so complex to operate then if they replaced the longbow on the battlefield it must have been because they caused more dread and death than what people give them credit for.

longbows were simply not more expensive to make then a firearm period. and firearms actually took a specialist of technical expertise and metal working skill to make. gunsmiths at one time were some of the highest paid professionals around.

JCoyote
01-21-2007, 19:36
longbows were simply not more expensive to make then a firearm period. and firearms actually took a specialist of technical expertise and metal working skill to make. gunsmiths at one time were some of the highest paid professionals around.

The bows were not more expensive, the economics of maintaining the users was. How many ways do we need to describe that?

There was some talent in using firearms. Even today people will tell you that. But it's of a different nature than archery. We're talking about an athletic talent vs a technical skill.

Not only does a longbowman take years to train, they had to maintain that training. This is almost an identical situation to a professional athlete these days. And just taking a break for a few months and training back up wasn't much of an option for these guys. It's not just skill and talent, it's musculature and fitness. For a short career. Imagine if for defense we needed to take all of our high school athletes in football and basketball across the country... and start training them at 7. Then, we had to keep them in training at that competitive level until they are 30. We have to pay not just for equipment, but for the coaches and pay for the athletes themselves and maintenance of training facilities for them to use the 3 days a week each spends in training. It really adds up. Now, using today's economics, it would easily become economically competitive to train them once for a few months to use a $100,000 dollar weapon instead, even if the result wasn't quite as good.

Compare with even an early firearm. Complicated? To a degree, but it's very linear as far as skills go even so. And let's say it takes months to learn to use... (really, I could easily have any of you shooting one well enough within a day or two, if not very fast) it's a matter of a rote assembly line procedure. Once you have learned it, it takes very little time or effort to maintain. Once someone learns to use a firearm, the skill sticks very easy, unlike an athlete who if he trains and exercises none for a year will have lost the large part of his ability. You've played TW, you know it's the maintenance costs that eat you alive. :wall:

Gunsmiths were very highly paid. And they were able to make large numbers of guns and maintain large numbers. Not really much different from a bowyer, though a bowyer had to season his products a long time... though that doesn't really figure into production as much. The thing is, the biggest expense in firearms is the initial infrastructure... once that gets in, production gains figure in much easier. The upfront costs of industry required to make the things is the hardest part, but after that guns were pretty smooth in the making.

And it did not require more forging than a sword. A decent sword took a LOT of very precise metalwork and careful heat treatment. Many firearms were made from much lower grades of steel or iron, and neither hardness nor resilience were significant in a firearm like they are in an edged weapon. The quantity of metal was the issue, but metal was becoming much more common anyway; hence the very presence of armor these things were handier at punching through.

sir bob a lot
01-22-2007, 01:15
yes i see that to:dizzy2:
the crossbow as the same range as the longbow:furious3:
but thy can fire over thing to like the longbow to
the only defends is longbow add fire and put down stakes
but m/ crossbow save arrows more that longbows if you look at the amino line of them both the longbow go down quicker than the m/crossbow
this how line my achers up
//////////
--------- longbows ------
----------crowbows------
---------p achers -------
--------h/ inf-----------

dopp
01-22-2007, 01:33
I'm impressed by your conviction, but I really think I'd rather believe the historians on the 1337 5ki115 of the BEF, especially since even the most patriotic of them accepts that 12-15 rounds is already phenomenally fast. You have provided no reason so far to doubt them on a simple technical observation, as opposed to something complicated like how many people died.

I hope you're not suggesting that archery is more elite than say mounted cavalry skills. Heavy cavalry survived into the 20th century. Longbows did not. Heavy cavalry was an even more exclusive club than archery, at a 10:1 ratio or more. These were the fellows for which an entire social and economic structure was maintained to support, who trained their whole lives for war and whose entire existence depended upon their battle prowess. I think they might qualify better than longbowmen for your 'athletic warriors'. The new guns rendered them obsolete, because a fresh recruit could now kill someone many times his superior in melee combat, yet cavalry persisted despite the cost, which would have been vastly greater than that of a longbow corps. Horse, armor, weapons; just the man-at-arms alone would have been enormously more expensive to maintain than any archer. I'm not sure how anyone could claim otherwise when he had the equivalent of an entire farming district just for his support.

Yes, urbanization in the 16th century. Metropolitan London eating up all the land already, huh? No more space for the 600-yard archery ranges, everybody just has to practice indoors with muskets. When they talk about a revival of town life in the Early Modern period, they don't mean instant New York City, they just mean you start getting cities larger than five extended families again. I don't think you could consider the Roman Empire excessively urbanized in the modern sense, and the reviving cities of Early Modern Europe had quite a ways to go before they could even equal Rome at its height. Don't confuse the 19th-20th century urbanization with the 16th.

Interestingly, English nobles raising armies for the Civil War (the one that gets Charles I beheaded) reported that a significant number of their yeomen were still reporting for duty with longbows. Due to a general shortage of matchlocks (so much for the joys of mass production), many of them had to serve with the older weapon for a while. They don't seem to have been particularly effective. They weren't the professional soldiers of two hundred years before, but they could use their weapons. Given the massive advantages that some people claim the longbow had over the musket, and given also that their targets were much less armored than before (average was padded, with the cavalry in half-plate), you would have expected a better showing from them.

pike master
01-22-2007, 03:23
well if you are looking for something easy to learn to use, cheap to manufacture and accurate the crossbow and arbalest were there and the arbalest was more powerful and more accurate than a bow and quicker to reload than a firearm so why go through all the trouble and expense to make a gun.

and remember assembly lines werent developed until the industrial revolution each part was hand fabricated you couldnt just crank out a bunch of parts and expect them to all match up each parts had to made and fitted for that specific gun.

i think some are kinda thrown off because of stw where the samurai * felt any technology greater than the disciplines of traditional combat was lowly for a warrior to embrace so they let the peasants use the guns. but in europe arquebusiers were a step up from lowly peasants and admired for having a complex weapon that took a brain to use. the three musketeers story (not sure when it was written suggest they were people of middle class or merchant class standing.)well trained in the use of firearm and sword.

Stlaind
01-22-2007, 06:13
I think anyone concerned that retinue longbowmen are underpowered needs to set them up behind some spikes with skirmish off and watch them route a unit of gothic knights.

Lord_hazard
01-22-2007, 07:30
I think anyone concerned that retinue longbowmen are underpowered needs to set them up behind some spikes with skirmish off and watch them route a unit of gothic knights.

Think it has already been said that, that is not what makes a missile unit a good missile unit.

sir bob a lot
01-22-2007, 09:36
i also find out tho that the longbows
when you fight {h/inf}
with longdbows you put them on fire arrows and hurts them !
but thy cant block them {ow i got hot }
but with crossbows thy block the arrows i seen it in the game
i zoom up and look !
i rember this tv promgam that the longbow was then like now {bum bum rounds of that time }
but there was one armour that shield form longbow arrows was the kngiht was head to toe full armour / full plate/and housse

AussieGiant
01-22-2007, 10:13
@ mad cat mech and to most in general on this thread:

My comments are only designed around the flintlock muskets.

mad cat mech comment;

"it required a lot of labor, no how and more forged iron or steel than what you would need to make a great sword or any other large metal weapon. the barrel must be trued to be well aligned. the matchlock mechanism required forging, shaping and fitting the stock even if crude still had to be carved out for the barrel channel, trigger slot and so forth.

a soldier using a firearm although not having to develop the strength to use the longbow had to be more technically trained so he didnt shoot himself or his comrades. it required some training and skill to use even a primitive firearm as easy as guns are to use today they still require training and discipline to use properly. to me if i was given a matchlock musket or arquebus i would be flabbergasted by all the things you would have to keep in mind when loading and firing it wasnt as easy to use as a percussion muzzleloader or flintlock you had a constantly adjust the burning match that you had to keep adjusted by loosening and tightening a clamp screw.

plus you would have to make sure you didnt set the thing off while you were loading because you constantly had a flame burning near to the powder.

if firearms were so complex to make and so complex to operate then if they replaced the longbow on the battlefield it must have been because they caused more dread and death than what people give them credit for.

longbows were simply not more expensive to make then a firearm period. and firearms actually took a specialist of technical expertise and metal working skill to make. gunsmiths at one time were some of the highest paid professionals around"

Matchlock and early firearms in the late 1500, 1600's and early 1700's are what I term the transition period. It was in fact a transition period because of the all the things mad cat mech mentioned above. Cost, training, skill requirements were no where near as complete. Hence the continued existance of pikes, swords, plate armour and halberds.

I would however argue strongly that by the mid 1700's these characteristics are all resolved in favour of the musket. I mean we are really talking about 200 years of transition.

From about 1550 to 1750 range weaponry went from Bows to muskets and from swords to bayonets. As dopp mentions, once the social structure for producing archers waned they became obsolete. Equally the social structure for "knights" remained as was still seen in the Napoleonic wars. Heavy Cavalry was still around because the "Landed Gentry" and Aristocracy was still in place to pursue there preferred method of fighting. The only difference between 1550 cavalry and 1750 to 1850 cavalry was armour.

Funny hey. I won’t even go into the paper rock scissor war far of Napoleon. Cavalry still played an important part.

Stlaind
01-22-2007, 13:33
Think it has already been said that, that is not what makes a missile unit a good missile unit.

One might think so.... However all this thread is really talking about is the pros and cons of one missile weapon compared to another. To consider any bow/crossbow/firearm with out it being in the context of an actual combat is quite the fallacy.

Really, what makes a missile unit worth having around is whether or not it can do the job effectively. The longbowmen are quite capable of putting some pretty severe hurt on just about anything, and realistically an english army would be swarming with them.

If you really truely think longbows are underpowered, put some modding where your mouth is.

pike master
01-22-2007, 14:44
they have a high rate of fire which boils down to more projectiles per minute. i mean even today a soldier prefers the lighter less recoiling m16 over a bolt action or 10 rd semi automatic .50 cal because of the rate of fire and fire superiority which is what keeps the enemies head down so i can understand why some preferred the bow over the gun even after it was obsolete.

but as i said one time when you are shooting at an approaching army of units in close order in a .com thread when shooting a longbow at range the arrow plummets and does generate a good bit of power coming down but it only has one chance to hit someone and then its in the ground and when it does it may richochet of a rounded or conical helmet or rounded shoulder plates or even raised shield will stop the projectile.

with an arquebus or musket fires get shoots a flatter trajectory which carries it into the ranks and if it fails to hit the first men in the ranks it has good chances of hitting someone else further back if the enemy unit is in close order.now one will argue that the balls do not just fly horizontally but many go over or below the target formation. but if it goes low it richochets of the ground and therefore has a chance to hit someone. if it flies high it may shoot over that formation but will drop in trajectory further away and have a chance of hitting formations further back.

the longbow would have a similiar effect if you fired at an enemy at close range. in this you could call when the projectile is firing flat enough that you wouldnt have to raise the weapon to compensate for drop point blank range. therefore an arquebus or musket has a greater point blank range than a longbow. so this may explain why the firearm superseded the bow.

with the crossbow if you overshot you might have the same effect as a musket ball when it drops but when a bolt or arrows hits the ground when it is shot at close range instead of richochet it tends to slide along the ground like a torpedo making it wothless plus the firearm generated more power behind the projectile and even if it didnt penetrate the armor it would cause significant trauma.

just recently i read an article where they are wanting to improve body armor so that when a soldier gets hit there will be a casemate construction in the armor that will give and absorb the shock of the impact. it appears that even if body armor stops a bullet the situation for someone can still be life threatening.

AussieGiant
01-22-2007, 17:10
they have a high rate of fire which boils down to more projectiles per minute. i mean even today a soldier prefers the lighter less recoiling m16 over a bolt action or 10 rd semi automatic .50 cal because of the rate of fire and fire superiority which is what keeps the enemies head down so i can understand why some preferred the bow over the gun even after it was obsolete.

but as i said one time when you are shooting at an approaching army of units in close order in a .com thread when shooting a longbow at range the arrow plummets and does generate a good bit of power coming down but it only has one chance to hit someone and then its in the ground and when it does it may richochet of a rounded or conical helmet or rounded shoulder plates or even raised shield will stop the projectile.

with an arquebus or musket fires get shoots a flatter trajectory which carries it into the ranks and if it fails to hit the first men in the ranks it has good chances of hitting someone else further back if the enemy unit is in close order.now one will argue that the balls do not just fly horizontally but many go over or below the target formation. but if it goes low it richochets of the ground and therefore has a chance to hit someone. if it flies high it may shoot over that formation but will drop in trajectory further away and have a chance of hitting formations further back.

the longbow would have a similiar effect if you fired at an enemy at close range. in this you could call when the projectile is firing flat enough that you wouldnt have to raise the weapon to compensate for drop point blank range. therefore an arquebus or musket has a greater point blank range than a longbow. so this may explain why the firearm superseded the bow.

with the crossbow if you overshot you might have the same effect as a musket ball when it drops but when a bolt or arrows hits the ground when it is shot at close range instead of richochet it tends to slide along the ground like a torpedo making it wothless plus the firearm generated more power behind the projectile and even if it didnt penetrate the armor it would cause significant trauma.

just recently i read an article where they are wanting to improve body armor so that when a soldier gets hit there will be a casemate construction in the armor that will give and absorb the shock of the impact. it appears that even if body armor stops a bullet the situation for someone can still be life threatening.

What do you think is the effective range of a flintlock musket?

Accuracy is lost over 50 metres and if you are hit at anything over 100 metres it might not even take a solider out of the fight.

How flat do you think a 160lb bow trajectory is at 50 or 100 metres? It's pretty damn flat. Maybe 10 to 15 degrees. If you don't hit the guy you aimed at then based on your own admission it's going to hit someone else when fired at mass formations.

On the bows behalf, you can start your high trajectory fire at 250 to 300 yards, while your muskets are going to wait a hell of a long time before firing themselves.

I'm not sure what the point is at this moment. But still, I'm just talking away.:beam:

Carl
01-22-2007, 17:31
I'm not sure what the point is at this moment.

I'm not sure anymore eithier. I think talking away is all anyones doing at this point as where all as confused as hell:smash:.

Stlaind
01-22-2007, 17:42
All I want to see is people quit talking and put some mods out with what they think XBOW/Longbow/Gun balance should be.

Really the only change I would make is to add a Longbow militia to english cities, but that's just a personal preference.

gardibolt
01-22-2007, 17:42
Okay, so the only people whom the medieval English conquered were the Welsh....who were using the longbow.:idea2:


So explain to me why I should be so impressed by the longbow? :laugh4:

Lord Fluffy
01-22-2007, 20:23
talk is good...no?

Anyhoo, a couple of things...longbowmen are not as tuned as athletes now adays. You don't need accuracy with those things rather than brute strength. Most of us archers nowadays need to train a lot because our day to day chores don't require the use of the archery specific muscles required to draw back the heavy poundage bows. But I do know one archer who is also a rock climber. Lo and behold this guy can be absent from archery for years at a time and return with his form intact, well at least 70-80% intact, while the rest of us can't be off the bow for 2 weeks and expect to do the same. So it could be the case that back then these people are most likely doing a lot of manual labor on a daily basis.

I remember reading that it was a requirement for everyone to shoot right after church every Sunday back in those days. Now I'm thinking, that's not nearly enough practice by today's standard. These days, the elite archers train 7 days a week for 10 hours a day. If you do a lot of rowing or a lot of work like trying to pull a cart up a steep hill or such, you are working those archery specific muscles. This is why also, I see these 2 construction workers that comes by every other months or so at the range and shoot 110 lb longbows. They shoot like crap, but they don't seem like they're straining that much pulling those bows back.

@AussieGiant: that's true, at 100m an arrow trajectory that would hit someone in the chest will probably hit the guy behind him in the crotch. But it's nowhere near as flat as trajectories of bullets. Keep in mind, while it's 160lbs it's also shooting very heavy arrows.

Did the welsh field as many longbows as the english did later on though? I don't think the longbows are super weapons, but it's no slouch either. Good enough to create chaos and panic in the opposing line.

Stlaind
01-22-2007, 20:31
Talk is good, however there is a point at which you need to put some modifications in and prove to people that what you are saying actually does improve the game.

AussieGiant
01-23-2007, 13:57
@AussieGiant: that's true, at 100m an arrow trajectory that would hit someone in the chest will probably hit the guy behind him in the crotch. But it's nowhere near as flat as trajectories of bullets. Keep in mind, while it's 160lbs it's also shooting very heavy arrows.

Did the welsh field as many longbows as the english did later on though? I don't think the longbows are super weapons, but it's no slouch either. Good enough to create chaos and panic in the opposing line.

Thanks for the information SextusTheLewd. How heavy are arrows actually?

Orda Khan
01-23-2007, 16:43
Okay, so the only people whom the medieval English conquered were the Welsh....who were using the longbow.:idea2:


So explain to me why I should be so impressed by the longbow? :laugh4:
Maybe because it took them 200 years to do so? Or that in order to do so required calling upon English interests in France to bolster their army? Even then they relied heavily upon loyal Welsh troops from mid Wales. And finally more castles than any other country in order to keep the Welsh in place. All this for a nation of fairly easy going people.

The cast of an arrow depends on how the bow is being used. It is true that the cast follows a parabolic but the arrow can also be aimed higher so that it falls downwards. Obviously the range is affected but 100m plus is easily achieved even with a fairly light bow

........Orda

pike master
01-23-2007, 16:57
i read an article yesterday that said they weighed a 1000 grains or roughly a little over two ounces so if you multiply them by what i figure the velocity of a longbow shot an arrow out (280 fps).

280*280*1000/450,240=174 ft lbs

that did surprise me i didnt expect that they would have that much power.

of course that is at the moment of release and although an arrow is designed to fly straight because the feathers catch air and stabilize it like a mortar round they are also have more drag. there has to be a trade off the bigger the feathers or whatever would be used the more drag but the better accuracy. so by the time the arrow has traveled say 50 yds it has probably lost quite a bit of speed but when elevated when the arrow reaches the peak of its descent it begins to accellerate as goes downward but will have to be less than 32 fps per second because of the wind drag.

but at close range say within 20 to 30 yds that would explain why the arrow could be so destructive against armor.

in comparison i would say that an early firearm used something close to a two ounce slug which would balance out to about 880 grains and mean velocity could be anywhere between 600 to 1200 fps so if we use the low figure.

600*600*880/450,240=704ftlbs

1200*1200*880/450,240=2,814ft lbs

i sure hope it aint the lower figure but i figure myself it would be between 600 to 900 fps.

but as you can clearly see your talking about a lot more power from a firearm and a lot more trauma plus superior velocity and force would outweigh projectile shape from a lower velocity weapon when penetrating.

but it did surprise me about the amount of force from a longbow if it is 280 fps. some state of the art compound bows in the 85 lb range are shooting at 340 fps but that is because of gradual acceleration due to the cams, a dropping arrow rest and lighter arrows. compound bows are much more efficient than traditional bows. but sextus may have shot his through a chronograph so it would be nice to know what the velocities actually are from the longbows they shoot.

174 ft lbs is superior to just about any 22lr cartridge except the stinger and velicotor from cci.

Doug-Thompson
01-23-2007, 16:58
Re: Conquering Wales and why we should be impressed with the longbow.

Edward I was very impressed with the longbow after his Welsh campaigning. So impressed, he started using and training them in mass.

CBR
01-23-2007, 17:08
Heavy war arrows would be 90-110 grams. The velocity would be 50-55 m/s for such heavy arrows and using 150+ pound draw weight bows.

At 100 meters range such arrows would have a drop of around 16 cm per meter.


CBR

pike master
01-23-2007, 17:39
55 ms would translate out to 181 fps. 110 grams would translate out to 1707 grains so 181*181*1707/450240=124ft lbs

Von Nanega
01-23-2007, 17:58
Re: Conquering Wales and why we should be impressed with the longbow.

Edward I was very impressed with the longbow after his Welsh campaigning. So impressed, he started using and training them in mass.


Maybe because it took them 200 years to do so? Or that in order to do so required calling upon English interests in France to bolster their army? Even then they relied heavily upon loyal Welsh troops from mid Wales. And finally more castles than any other country in order to keep the Welsh in place. All this for a nation of fairly easy going people.

The cast of an arrow depends on how the bow is being used. It is true that the cast follows a parabolic but the arrow can also be aimed higher so that it falls downwards. Obviously the range is affected but 100m plus is easily achieved even with a fairly light bow

........Orda
Sense and thought from these two gentlemen! Hear hear!!!

Lord Fluffy
01-23-2007, 18:23
I find it hard to believe longbows can shoot arrows at 280fps. The fastest recurve today using lightweight carbon arrows(spined for the bow of course) maxes out at around 230fps. Compound bows can reach around 280fps and beyond.

Now that other figure of 181fps sounds more like it. The flight of those heavy arrows would probably approximate heavy weight aluminum arrows, I've seen those shot at tournaments. At 90m those will parachute down at quite a steep angle. Specially since they won't have mylar vanes back then, I would think these war arrows used feathers.

The flatest flight I've seen is of a carbon arrow shot from a 65 lb bow. This guy was just going for speed, initial velocity of the arrow was 227fps. Shot from 70m the arrow dropped about 2 bale thickness in the last 35m, that would translate to about 3cm per m. Now keep in mind these are super light weight arrows with mylar fletching. Put feather on it and it will parachute.

CBR
01-23-2007, 18:38
In "The great warbow" some tests are described using a 150 pound bow with authentic arrows. 95 grams arrows did on average 53 m/s and had a max range of 235 meters. Drawlength was 30 inches.

edit: impact velocity was 43 m/s

CBR

stev666
01-23-2007, 18:46
I find that far from being "no good" longbows do take a bit more skill to use effecitvly. Which in a way sort of emulates how they were in life as in reality longbows did take more skill to use. Not only that they can be invaluable in sieges with the flaming arrow ability, many's the time my towers have failed to take out a ram and left it to me to get the job done. Sherwood archers for example even as oddly balanced ( strange that their melee is higher than their missle attack, alot higher in fact) as they are can quickly decimate enemy forces if used well.