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Wonder weapons

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Rozwi_Game10
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Re: Wonder weapons

Post by Rozwi_Game10 on Sun Jul 24, 2016 2:02 pm

Light [skirmish] cavalry armed with javelins (though not necessarily thrown, used instead as a light cavalry spear).
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Jason
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Re: Wonder weapons

Post by Jason on Sun Jul 24, 2016 6:56 pm

A good suggestion, thanks Smile
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Rozwi_Game10
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Re: Wonder weapons

Post by Rozwi_Game10 on Mon Jul 25, 2016 9:47 am

Using javelins as I suggested probably won't be allowed, I've since been thinking. [going on my own recent experience with Rozwi shields]

Javelins won't be long enough to thrust with, as a spear, arguably, so a true light cavalry spear may need to be created. If that's an old technology no longer used, would it need to be rediscovered / invented through an academy?

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Re: Wonder weapons

Post by Kingmaker on Mon Jul 25, 2016 1:21 pm

I have often wondered if it is worth investing in horse archers again to attack the flanks of line inf. I mean they have no armour like the old days, they can ride in fire a few volleys and be off again before the line can reform or used with traditional cav while the inf form squares they pop up and rain arrows down on the square while the ordinary cav keep the square formed...


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Rozwi_Game10
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Re: Wonder weapons

Post by Rozwi_Game10 on Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:32 pm

I like the idea of the horse archers.
Eastern European horse, Chinese horse, Indian, Native American, possibly some Africans, arguably they could use it. Obviously light cavalry predominantly, but in the case of the Mongols they also armed their heavier horsemen with bows too.
Something else for me to think about.


It might be an interesting experiment to test flintlock musketry against a bow fire.

Off the top of my head here's a few things that would be interesting to compare between them (thinking foot infantry in this case)

Accuracy - Smooth-bore Muskets are known for inaccuracy so would a bow be better at medium to long range?
Frequency of fire - How many shots a minute?
Skill needed to use - Ignoring the English long bow, how difficult would it be to train a new recruit with a bow instead of a musket?
Stance needed to fire - You can kneel, or fire a musket prone. Bow fire is normally done stood up, and not from the hip.
Adverse weather condition issues - Wet weather effects black powder, gun metal and bow strings, which weapon fairs better though?
Stealth weapon ability - Bows can be fired without the tell-tale gun smoke or noise giving away the firers position. Guns can't.
Close Combat - Muskets can be fitted with bayonets, or used as a club. Bows can prod people.
Psychological effect - Mass volleys of musketry, gun smoke, tongues of fire, crashing noise.
Mass volleys of arrows, darkening the sky and raining down from above.
Direct / In-Direct Fire - You can shoot arrows to land over the top of some obstacles or onto rear ranks of troops.

But the big question I suppose would be; Would the soldiers / officers accept bows instead of muskets? Irregular troops might.
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Re: Wonder weapons

Post by Kingmaker on Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:26 pm

I think you would have to either hire or recruit from people that have the ability rather than scratch build, I fear it would go badly wrong say asking Prussian recruits compared to some Cossack or Khanate recruits.

As I say It was an idea I toyed with 3 units of horse archers = 450 bows raining 3 or 4 arrows before retiring is quite a lot of damage I would imagine, so each army or what ever could have a contingent. Also imagine having the horse archers behind other cav as they charge and firing over them into enemy cav......


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Re: Wonder weapons

Post by Stuart Bailey on Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:54 pm


In the hands of a skilled archer a proper composite bow is a superior weapon to the flintlock musket on foot and vastly superior to mounted firearms in terms of effective range and firepower. Its only real disadvantage is in terms armour penetration and scareing horses and elephants with loud bangs and since by 1700 Armour was not that common in many area's that may not always be a disadvantage.

HOWEVER please note the key words SKILLED ARCHER & PROPER COMPOSTE BOWS:

1) Many bows used in Africa & America are simple bows of use for hunting small game or used with posioned arrows from ambush........they are not to be compared with Japanese or Turko-Mongol War bows which could take up to two years in the hands of a skilled craftsman to make.

2) The skill and more important particular physical build to use a war bow effectively has to be built up from child hood. The average man today can barely pull the type of long bow bow brought up from the Mary Rose let alone use it effectively and the skill required for mounted archery is much greater again.

Basically you can produce reasonable musketeers in large number in a matter of months. Skilled horse archers are either Steppe born and raised or the are trained professional Troops from a very young age like the original English Longbowmen & the Original Mamlukes of Egypt (who were purchased boys from the Steppe rather than locals).

The difficulty of retaining the mounted archery skill but its great value can I think be seen with the Hungarians, Ottomans & Mogul forces. All originally steppe horse archer armies who lost the skill when they settled down but continued to import and hire horse archers for generations. The Tarter Horse Archers from the Crimean Khanate being some of the best Ottoman Cavalry up to the 1780's.

To produce effective horse archers in game I think you either need to a) Hire them from the Khanates or b) Develop a system like the Royal Mamlukes or the original Janissary system to geared to produce Professional Horse Archers/trained troopers or c) Include Riding & Archery in School classes.

In G2 Rumelia both hired horse archers & gave pensioned off veterans posts in rural schools so kids in Albania etc grew up learning the three R's plus how to ride, shoot musket & bow......also that Iskander Kruppa was really nice and the Pope, Venetians & the Janissary Corp are evil foes who need to be wiped out. Then the best in class were then recruited into the Saphi.

Richard never seemed to agree to the rebirth of the multi function Lancer/Horse archer like Mongol & Byzantine Cavalry. The super troop type able to do multi jobs just does not seem to exist in Richard's world view. Rumilian Cavalry remained on the list as either Lancers, Horse Archers or Mounted Arnuats (Dragoons with Rifles acting as Lt Infantry) but I can confirm that horse archery is a good way to disorder and annoy the hell out of hostile cavalry esp if they dont have own skirmish screen. Also that charging after evading horse archers with heavy cavalry is bad for health of said cavalry if you then get hit by Lancers while disordered and on blown horses.

To avoid this type of problem Agema NPC and some players adopted tactic of putting cavalry in a square of Infantry (sometimes with artillery and field defenses as well). This works but really slows up operations and provides a very good target for artillery and light infantry.

Which rather confirm's view that super troops/wonder weapons do not really exist in game (with possible exception of Swedes) and its more a game of paper, rock, sissors.

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Re: Wonder weapons

Post by Stuart Bailey on Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 am

Rozwi_Game10 wrote:Light [skirmish] cavalry armed with javelins (though not necessarily thrown, used instead as a light cavalry spear).

If Jason is interested in weapons and equipment as well as other info on the Anglo-Scots border horse prior to our period I suggest he has a look at a book called the "Steel Bonnets" by George MacDonald Frasier (same writer as the Flashman books but a historical work).

As well as Spears, Swords, Daggers and Firearms they also seem to have favoured several other staff type weapons like the Jeddburgh Stave (or axe) which could be used mounted.

Considering the habits of these "Gentlemen" spears and other staff weapons would seem to offer a lot of advantages:

a) You can prode stolen cattle etc to get them to move faster.

b) On a wet night in Scotland firearms probably have a good chance of a miss-fire.

c) If the bloody thing goes off it could inform people were you are including people who you dont want to know (Cattle Owners, Wardens and the like).

Oddly this type of Lt Cavalry with Spears/mixed weapons, Shields, Leather armour etc seem to have remained popular in other cattle breeding areas with fairly weak laws in other areas long after the tradition had faded in Spain (the Genators) and Scotland (Border Reivers etc).

Spanish border horse (The Cuera Cavalry) on their Northern frontier in the America's continued to use Spears, Shields and Leather armour (handy V Indian Arrows) long after it had fallen out of use in Spain.

While the Light Lance or Cavalry Spear remained in use on the "wild plains" of the Ukraine with Cossacks, Moldavians (who strongly favoured it) and Tartars.

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Re: Wonder weapons

Post by J Flower on Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:48 pm

In Hungary the Hussars still carried an axe to claim the head of their fallen opponent, they also held the theory that a good light cavalryman with a sabre was better than lancer, basically after initial contact the lance is a hindrance in close combat. Making them easy taking for light cavalry,

Shape of Sword is also an important consideration for your cavalry do you go for the thrust( French doctrine) or Slash ( English doctrine) Thrust proves more often fatal but is harder to administer.

Having a good cavalry sword design also helps, the English heavy cavalry sabre was considered good for cutting wood for the bivouac but little else.

Infantry can protect themselves to some extent from cavalry attack, prior to battle the order to "roll Greatcoats" was often given, the rolled coat then passed over the shoulder & tied off, giving a degree of protection from sabre cuts.

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