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VorianGR

Question about armies

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but can you shoot and HIT your target?

EDIT: let me rephrase that

The range of the medieval weapon is unknown' date=' with estimates from 165 to 228 m (180 to 249 yds)

The longbow had a long range and high accuracy, but not both at the same time. Most of the longer range shooting mentioned in stories was not marksmanship, but rather thousands of archers launching volleys of arrows at an entire army.

An archer could hit a person at 165 m (180 yards) "part of the time" and could always hit an army.

wikipidea[/quote']

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Depends what I'm shooting at.

If you were standing all by your little self in the middle of a field, probably not.

If you and a dozen of your mates were standing there I would expect to be able to hit one of you, or at the very least cause you to jog aside sharpish

If you and 50 of your mates were standing there I could drop enough of you to start the rest thinking about home and mother. :cool4:

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which is where the second part of my rant comes in, they only had 40 men, less so if count only those who can fight and casualties, plus those who are manning the seige weapons and those who drug ammo and not dead from exhaustion (how much time can you shoot none stop x Repeat several days) plus we got the huge range(thou gravity would help) wind and dont forget the shooting angle you have a much smaller spot to hit... overall I say BS, just paint some abs and give them a catch phrase :rolleyes: somethings should be left to the Imagination, it is fantasy after all and nothing can compete with our imagination.

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Ah well, this is another bit where that Wiki article you quoted gets it wrong.

This business of creating an arrow storm - dropping thousands of shafts on to an army sized target - is a very tiring business, because you're not going for accuracy at all but rather trying to shoot off a whole sheaf in the space of a minute. That does take an awful lot of muscle power especially if the bow is heavier than the 60lb one I use.

On the other hand dropping single shafts at intervals over a period of time can be done for as long as the arrows last and moreover you can do it with a fair degree of accuracy because by spacing the shots instead of whanging off as many as you can as quickly as you can you can correct your aim.

Whoever wrote that article doesn't shoot traditional longbow.

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so you are saying that if i put you at the window of a 70 store building, you can pick out the crowd with your longbow any better than I would by throwing fist sized stones?

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why not, after all we are in the fantasy business, thou I suggest you check out the rest of arguments as well e.g. wind uplift against buildings at high altitudes, the trajectory or their available man power. if they had 25 fighting men/women overal it would be a miracle, amongst them most are green boys, whose training before JON included sowrds not bows, plus someone need to man the trebuchets, drop oil, stones be at the gate bellow, man the cage etc, not rest food and doing the leg work to prepare the wall for the nest assault...

I think that you just romanticize the longbow effectiveness against few thousand wildlings (even if the rushing very conviently at the gate)

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Nonsense - 700 feet is 233 yards or thereabouts, lets say 250 yards. I can cheerfully shoot a 60lb longbow at large targets at that range and beyond - and that's despite the fact I don't do anything like as much practicing as I should do. :cool4:

Whoa. I'm impressed. :bowdown:

I wish I had the space to practice! I'm decent with a recurve bow (wouldn't call it a longbow, it's only 60", and only 35lb draw weight), but 250 yards plus is pretty amazing.

Sorry, just sayin'.

All this info about middle ages/medieval armies/levies/conscription is fascinating. Thanks for all the awesome posts, everyone!

ETA: I'm with BlackCrow. I shoot a bow as a hobby, and they're far more accurate than people believe. That's why people still use bows (usually compound bows, which I think is cheating, but that's just me) in hunting today, and why the firearm didn't completely overtake longbows for a several hundred years.

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Long years of practice :cool4:

I shoot with a recurve indoor and save the longbow for outside - apart from anything else at 5 -8 metres it drives the shaft too far into the boss to get it out again without resorting to foul language :devil:

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they left, we got 3 whores, 3 boys and stable boy.

And that is less than thirty greenboys(none had years of practice or real bow practice for that matter) not 40, here I made a quick manpower account Talk:Battle_of_Castle_Black (click on the page tab for the actual battle account).

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Returning to the purpose of the thread it might be worth expanding a little on mediaeval archers and where they fit in to the armies of the time.

First things first:

There are three basic types of bow; the longbow, the recurve, and the crossbow.

The longbow is straightforward enough, its cut from a single piece of wood approximately six feet long, and when drawn back to the chin or ear will have a draw-eight of upwards of 100lb, sufficient to carry a shaft 250 yards or so and to drive one through plate armour at close range.

The recurve bow may be more familiar these days being used in most competition - and by Theon when he saves Bran's life in AGoT. They are much shorter than longbows, so that they can be used on horseback and in order to achieve a similar draw weight to the "simple" longbow needed to be made of a composite of wood and horn laminates, hence sometimes being called compound bows.

The crossbow, again is pretty familiar, a bit more complex to build but extremely powerful when it comes to sending armour pirecing bolts through plate armour. Its disadvantages were that it's not as accurate or so versatile as a longbow, and much slower to reload. The advantage is that mechanical and assisted loading tools mean it can be loaded and shot by people who are not bred up as archers, and is handier to use in confined spaces.

Now as to usage:

Horse warriors such as the Dothraki will use recurve bows, primarily to lay down arrow storms rather than pick individual targets.

In Westeros crossbows would tend to be carried by professional soldiers, particularly if employed as garrison soldiers.

Longbows will be used by all of the armies (and indeed unless someone is specifically mentioned as carrying a crossbow it can safely assumed that all archers are longbowmen) and will be a useful element of that army. What's important to recognise though is that the English longbowman was pretty well unique in that his commanders, starting with the first Edward had managed to work out the optimum balance between archers and men at arms and to use them in a complementary fashion. Other armies such as the Scots (for our purposes the Northmen) learned to use archers to support their spearmen, but never quite managed the decisive balance and nor did the French and Burgundians. Therefore while archers will form a significant element of Westerosi armies they don't have the same effect as English archers did at say Agincourt, not because they have inferior weapons, but because the English armies were unique in the way they employed their archers.

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Horse warriors such as the Dothraki will use recurve bows, primarily to lay down arrow storms rather than pick individual targets.

we know that Dothraki was horse riding nomads and they had bows, but do we know that they actually used this tactics or borrowing from historical parallels? because I recall one of the early Dothraki downfalls was because they just went head long into a "phalanx" like idiots, when using arrows would have made sense. they do have those code of honor about armor why not about rules of engagement.

In Westeros crossbows would tend to be carried by professional soldiers, particularly if employed as garrison soldiers.

Longbows will be used by all of the armies (and indeed unless someone is specifically mentioned as carrying a crossbow it can safely assumed that all archers are longbowmen) and will be a useful element of that army.

we know that Dothraki bows outrange those of the Seven Kingdoms, so maybe longbow isnt so common in the seven kingdoms?

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we know that Dothraki was horse riding nomads and they had bows, but do we know that they actually used this tactics or borrowing from historical parallels? because I recall one of the early Dothraki downfalls was because they just went head long into a "phalanx" like idiots, when using arrows would have made sense. they do have those code of honor about armor why not about rules of engagement.

Perfectly true, but what I'm explaining is how they would use their bows rather than when they would use their bows. Cavalrymen have always had a depressing tendency to charge straight in rather than think about what they're doing - as evidenced by the old injunction to let the horse do the thinking as it has a bigger brain than the rider.

As to the longbow, it all depends what you reckon to be common. Judging by various references to the numbers being brought in by various leaders archers are present in reasonably high numbers, but still a minority by comparison with the spearmen and men at arms, which given the time needed to train a good archer is reasonable enough. As I said in my earlier post its important to appreciate that the English armies from the Edwards onwards were untypical in that having worked out how best to co-ordinate archers and men at arms they also fielded a far higher proportion of archers than their contemporaries

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Agreed, if you have the chance you may want to look at the wiki http://awoiaf.westeros.org/index.php/Armament stub, it sure can benift from much of this. we still have many sections that need improvement or just list facts. (just remember real world padding works as long as it's anchored in ASOIAF facts.)

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Gunpowder (and I've no reason to believe the maesters or perhaps even the pyromasters are incapable of discovering it) is overrated as an innovation. It appeared in Western Europe in the 14th century which is consistent with current Westerosi military technology, but only started to become important on the battlefield at the beginning of the 16th century. Whilst a lot of theorists tied themselves up in knots comparing the gun with the longbow, in tactical terms it directly replaced the crossbow rather than the longbow, which actually declined partly because good archers were too expensive to train up from boyhood at a time when the size of armies was increasining exponentially due to the rise of the pike, and partly because while longbow arrows with bodkin heads were very good at penetrating mail, they were less effective than crossbows at penetrating plate armour. Where the bow still had the edge over the crossbow was in the speed of shooting, but once handguns developed to the stage of having a proper trigger mechanism they could shoot faster than the crossbow and probably had superior armour penetration.

So far as Westeros goes, that's in the future. Even if gunpowder is introduced the associated hardware technology won't be advanced enough for it to have a significant impact on warfare in the months remaining to us before the last page.

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