Author Topic: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise  (Read 1812 times)

Anton

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Re: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise
« Reply #30 on: June 18, 2020, 12:58:31 PM »
I prefer a game that gives a flavour of what the important factors were considered to be at the time.  These can of course be successfully abstracted but for me a bit of period feel is lost in the process.  Horses for courses I suppose. 
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Re: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise
« Reply #31 on: June 18, 2020, 12:59:38 PM »
I can be very arch

Say it's not true!

What I am gathering is that massed missile fire will affect poorly-protected troops far more than well-protected ones, not only because the former are more vulnerable, but also because they slow down when shot at in order to huddle behind their shields and hence are exposed for longer. If we abstract out a movement penalty for getting shot at then we will have something like a factor of 1 against armoured targets but 3 or 4 against unarmoured ones. Does that sound about right?

PS: a bit off-topic.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 01:02:02 PM by Justin Swanton »
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Re: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise
« Reply #32 on: June 18, 2020, 02:20:59 PM »
What I am gathering is that massed missile fire will affect poorly-protected troops far more than well-protected ones, not only because the former are more vulnerable, but also because they slow down when shot at in order to huddle behind their shields and hence are exposed for longer.

The crossbowmen at Browershaven whose retreat plays a part in this conclusion were probably quite well armoured - urban militia usually were - but may have lacked shields. I say "may" because, as has been discussed in another thread, Low Countries urban crossbowmen usually had pavises carried by attendants.

- If they did have such pavises, then in this case the crossbowmen legged it rather than merely slowing down, despite having shields they could huddle under.
- If on the other hand they hadn't broought pavises for whatever reason, this suggests that the presence of big shields is the key distinction between "unarmoured" and "lightly armoured" infantry. 

It would be interesting to know if the original source mentions either pavises or their absence.
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Re: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise
« Reply #33 on: June 18, 2020, 02:45:51 PM »
Quote
It would be interesting to know if the original source mentions either pavises or their absence.

No mention of them or their absence in the battle account.  Urban militia were usually well equipped - there were regulations and no town wanted to send a sub-standard contingent.  I've not seen anything specific on the militia of Holland but helmet, aventail, brigandine or mail, armour for the arms and possibly leg armour would be typical. 

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Re: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise
« Reply #34 on: June 18, 2020, 03:27:29 PM »
Quote
It would be interesting to know if the original source mentions either pavises or their absence.

No mention of them or their absence in the battle account.  Urban militia were usually well equipped - there were regulations and no town wanted to send a sub-standard contingent.  I've not seen anything specific on the militia of Holland but helmet, aventail, brigandine or mail, armour for the arms and possibly leg armour would be typical.

Which leads to the question of how effective pavises were against longbow arrows, and was the steel plating of MMA the only truly effective protection against English archers.
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Andreas Johansson

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Re: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise
« Reply #35 on: June 18, 2020, 03:39:20 PM »
Regarding "dangerous" v. "annoying", it seems to me the idea would combine well with the DBX split between "close combat" and "distant shooting", where the former includes both hand-to-hand combat and short range shooting. Distant shooting would definitionally be at annoyance range and rather than inflict game-mechanically relevant casualties would impose other penalties, such as a morale penalty or movement limitations.
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Re: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise
« Reply #36 on: June 18, 2020, 04:06:53 PM »
Quote
Which leads to the question of how effective pavises were against longbow arrows, and was the steel plating of MMA the only truly effective protection against English archers.

We know the answer to the first part - pavises were very effective.  For example, at the small battle of Nogent-sur-Seine in 1359

This infantry were nine hundred men, and, being armed with lances and large shields, broke through the line of the archers and flung them in disorder ; for their shields were strong, that the arrows made no impression on them.


There are a number of other examples.  We might note the Scots carried pavises in the front ranks at Flodden

The said Scots were so surely harnessed with complete harness, German jacks, rivets, splents [forms of body armour], pavises [large wooden shields], and other habilments, that shot of arrows in regard did them no harm

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Re: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise
« Reply #37 on: June 18, 2020, 04:50:40 PM »
Quote
Which leads to the question of how effective pavises were against longbow arrows, and was the steel plating of MMA the only truly effective protection against English archers.

We know the answer to the first part - pavises were very effective.  For example, at the small battle of Nogent-sur-Seine in 1359

This infantry were nine hundred men, and, being armed with lances and large shields, broke through the line of the archers and flung them in disorder ; for their shields were strong, that the arrows made no impression on them.


There are a number of other examples.  We might note the Scots carried pavises in the front ranks at Flodden

The said Scots were so surely harnessed with complete harness, German jacks, rivets, splents [forms of body armour], pavises [large wooden shields], and other habilments, that shot of arrows in regard did them no harm

OK, so why do the crossbowmen run for it at Browershaven?
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Re: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise
« Reply #38 on: June 18, 2020, 05:30:30 PM »
Quote
OK, so why do the crossbowmen run for it at Browershaven?

1. We have no record of them having pavises, so they may not have done
2. The other two examples are close combat infantry - their expectations of combat and their ability to disengage when the going gets hot were both different to shooters.
3. They were inexperienced and their introduction to fighting longbowmen came as an unpleasant shock.  Note that the Genoese crossbowmen ,who were also used to a different way of fighting, behaved in a similar way at Crecy.

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Re: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise
« Reply #39 on: June 18, 2020, 06:31:25 PM »
There seems to be a tendency to ‘shoot off’ enemy missile troops before turning archery onto a melee target.

What few readings I did on this seemed to suggest that whenever the possibility of being shot at emerged, archers focussed on shooting them away before looking at any other tactics.
It also seemed that when you had reason to expect massed shooting from an enemy, you attempted to recruit more of your own to ensure you would win the shoot off.

I found many more examples of that sort of thing than I did of melee troops being slowed down by archery incoming.
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Re: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise
« Reply #40 on: July 08, 2020, 10:20:53 AM »
Whilst not directly comparable, it is maybe salutary to consider rifles in WW2 for instance. Whilst maximum range was probably well over a kilometre, the 'theoretical' accuracy 'of the weapon' was probably significantly less than this. In the hands of an normal trained infantryman, it was probably ineffective to shoot at a moving target at ranges much beyond 2 or 3oo yards (unless sniping at a stationary target) and in fact, in 'normal' combat situations (say Normandy) there probably wasn't a very high chance of hitting a target until ranges dropped to a 100 yards or less (5 to 10% of the theoretical maximum range).

In my humble opinion therefore, 'Short range' for Bows (incl. longbows), defined as having a reasonable chance of hitting a single, identified target figure in 'normal' combat situations is probably more like 50 yards. Aiming at a single figure with a fair chance of hitting isn't though probably the most representative of normal battlefield conditions where individual, 'volley' and/or 'clout' shooting  against 'massed' targets was probably more representative of the typical situation to  consider but even in this case, I really can't see there being much chance of 'effective' shooting at ranges much above 100 yards under 'normal' battlefield conditions. Against stationary targets with good visibility and a fair wind, then maybe, clout shooting could have been effective at ranges maybe double this but how often did those conditions occur (Hastings)? 
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Re: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise
« Reply #41 on: August 02, 2020, 03:07:09 PM »
Concerning Longbow range

This depends on the weight of arrow, assuming a standard fletching and head of broadly similar shape.

In particular, if I assume that the two types of arrow ordered by Edward III in 1356 were distinguished by more than the hardness of steel in their heads, namely: 240,000 'good arrows' and 24,000 'best arrows' (Strickland and Hardy 2005 p21):

  * With the term 'good arrows' relating to the quarter-pound arrow for which Charles II lamented 'no one is left to shoot' (Strickland and Hardy 2005 p26) that would fly at least 240 yards without losing a critical amount of their initial velocity (57 yards per second conveying 146 joules of energy at that velocity), with a loss of 15 - 30 % of that initial velocity (with the capacity to deliver c. 100 - 120 joules at the target) from a 150 lb Yew Bow of the 'Mary Rose' sort at 240 yards (Strickland and Hardy 2005 p 31), and;
  * The term 'best arrows' applying to the 'Westminster Arrow', which unlike the Mary Rose Arrows is 'bob-tailed' and thought to come from the early C15th (Strickland and Hardy 2005 pp 32 - 33), with an assessed range of 300 yards (Strickland and Hardy 2005 p 31), which I take to be capable of delivering the 100 joules at the target judged to be critical to their success as a weapon.

Reference

Strickland, M,. & Hardy, R. (2005).  From Hastings to the Mary Rose: The Great War Bow.  Sutton Publishing.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 03:13:11 PM by Paul_Glover »
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Re: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise
« Reply #42 on: August 02, 2020, 05:14:56 PM »
I think we have to be careful with some of the figures in the Great Warbow.  The technical appendix (pp408-14) gives a different set of figures.  The energy of the best arrow in this sequence dips below 100 J at 100 yds.  We should perhaps note 100 J would be marginally effective against a combination of mail and jack at this range according to William's figures.  Impact energy, however, was not the only criterion when dealing with complex armour combinations - impact angles, arrow head types and even arrow sharpness play a part.

Probably, though (as already said above) , the tricky bit is working out not the theoretical capabilities of the weapons but how their users assessed their most effective use and used them.   
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Re: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise
« Reply #43 on: August 02, 2020, 09:57:41 PM »
Old School Home Made Rules with a Systematic Twist

I concur that a thematic analysis geared at producing 'fast play rules' of the form the discussion above starts to surface is useful.  For example the thinking around the example from Le Livre de Trahisons, a Burgundian chronicle, describing the Battle of Browershaven in 1426.  This provides the possibility of a 'middle out' approach to rules building based upon the 'objects' (E.g. troop types and weapons in the example as quoted) in the discourse of the medieval chroniclers.

It would be good to work on surfacing a sufficiency of examples and working to publish a 'transparent' rules set based upon such observations, making clear what we have closely interpreted from the Chronicles, what we have interpolated from the information available to us along with the logic chain and where we used some degree of artistic interpretation in order to fill gaps in our knowledge (making clear where we have done so).

It would then be good to cross-check the emergent rules against replays of the battles from which they were derived to see if we have succeeded in producing rules that are not only 'transparent' in their foundation but also useful, such that they are capable of supporting us in surfacing putative new 'knowledge' about the engagements, while catching instances in which there appear to be 'obvious' gaps in our understanding requiring re-working of the rules.  It would be brilliant to do all of this along with 'publication' of successful and unsuccessful experiments transparently.  It feels to me that this would fill a massive weakness in prior rules sets which with a few exceptions have failed to share emergent understanding in this way.

Bounding our understanding of the response space

Part of bounding this understanding is to in some sense to understand what the weapons can do.  As you correctly point out, I worked out my figure concerning what was being asserted to be lethal from the evidence provided in the main text, which I estimated as an impact KE of 100 Joules.  Thank you for referring me to the Appendix where I see the benchmark figure for lethal trauma  (which I presume is to be understood as the energy conveyed to disrupt the rhythm of the cardio vascular system) as 80 Joules (Strickland and Hardy 2005 p411), so I had over-estimated the required energy for an arrow wound on an unarmoured person to be highly likely to be lethal by 20%.  Here I use the term highly likely because a glancing blow, even on an unprotected person would produce a wound to be dealt with but not necessarily death, while a sufficient cut that breaks a major artery can prove lethal in perhaps 10 - 15 seconds.

You mention that you distrust the figures in (Strickland and Hardy 2005 pp 408-14) because they appear to be different between the appendix and the main text.  What I would note here is that all of the arrows in the appendix are lighter than the 'quarter pound' arrow that the figures in main text are baselined against, with Arrow 2 and 5 being closest to that arrow, but actually only c.75% of the mass (Arrow 5) or c.80% of the mass (Arrow 2).  They would therefore be expected to convey less energy than I calculated.  If I assume the transfer of energy for a 'good' hit (a hit that is not deflected) to an unarmoured person at the quoted ranges of c. 250 yards then I get a scaled up transfer of energy of c. 108K Joules using arrow 2 as my figure to scale from and c. 106 K Joules using the lighter arrow 5 as my figure to scale from (thus my original estimate of 100K Joules against an unarmoured target at 250 yards could be playfully refined to c. 106 - 108K Joules.  A range which (for a 1/4 pound arrow) suggest some excess killing capacity that could kill a lightly armoured person at c. 250 yards outright from a single hit.

I then note the useful discussion on parvises and from the main text of (Strickland and Hardy 2005) also large shields, plus the heuristics offered for the average differences in performance between troops on the range, on exercise and on the battlefield from the Swedish Home Guard.  Taking this all together and drawing on the analogy offered by SimonW concerning range perfect clout shooting which to fill out the details might be with perhaps a modern c. 90 lbs longbow at a range of 180 yards to hit a 6' diameter circle, which I suggest equates to the accuracy to be expected from a c. 150 lb longbow at c. 240 yards.  I suspect there is actual data on this from the Longbow Society.

To cut to the chase, to manoeuvre crossbow armed troops within 250 yards of longbow archers is to take a risk, if lightly armoured then one 'good' hit and they are dead.  Which then either paints an image of them cowering in under their parvises while under fire or perhaps moving very slowly, or better armoured and manoeuvring with what I might describe as circumspect respect.  They could if armoured close visors and move into a world of a much higher rate of heat induced fatigue and very limited ability to communicate or perhaps maintain a greater functional ability to manoeuvre because communication is easier if they make up for the risk in what is I would suggest very clearly a killing area through the use of parvises.  Either way, incoming 'area' fire from longbow would very quickly make exposed presence in such a killing area too hot to handle (either due to imminent heat exhaustion) or the risk from an arrow getting a 'good' hit on an exposed body part.

I also accept the observation by SimonW that an aimed killing shot has to be at a point c. 100 yards or less; technically the limit is at a point where the longbow archer has a direct as opposed to an indirect shot on the target, again the Longbow Society could probably help refine this range for the quarter pound arrow.  You will also realise the value of putting out range markers prior to a battle, such that they are obvious from ones own lines but camouflaged from the point of view of the opposition.  Error in range estimation is I would suggest a key driver in hitting an intended target (just have a go at 'field archery' where the range to the targets has been carefully concealed through well judged optical illusions playing with our internalised heuristics as to how far away a target is, if you doubt me).

Fear then plays a major part in correctly judging or reading target distance and the necessary target offset if the target is moving.  The key then becomes dominating the fire space so that the opposition is the side struggling to act or judge the situation through the fear they experience, so initially dominating the fire space such that the actions of the opposition are less effective than ones own; with a solution to the implied requirements of logistics draw to maintain that fire then starts to shape the battle space.  A small change early in ones favour could produce a big difference a little further on, if the dynamics of logistics matters have been adequately attended to.

I am not suggesting staying at this level of complexity, but am instead noting that for a rules system to be considered valid it needs to pass a number of cross checks and sanity checks where by it appropriately explains how these complexities have been simplified and on what basis.  In other words to show that it has an adequate end to end representation of the battle process with no key parts missed out.  On range markers for example, there is clear advantage to being the side to choose the battlefield and have the time to put range markers out and explain them to the archers.  The side choosing the battlefield would then tend to get a shooting advantage for this reason.

Arrows 1, 3 and 4 in the appendix (Strickland and Hardy 2005 pp 408-14)

The three other arrows are lower than the ideal weight for the bows used in the experiment by the following amounts:

1) Arrow 1  c. 50%
2) Arrow 3  c. 65%
3) Arrow 4 c. 50%
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Re: Missile weapon ranges in WoR Terry Wise
« Reply #44 on: August 02, 2020, 11:37:58 PM »
I also accept the observation by SimonW that an aimed killing shot has to be at a point c. 100 yards or less; technically the limit is at a point where the longbow archer has a direct as opposed to an indirect shot on the target, again the Longbow Society could probably help refine this range for the quarter pound arrow.

I believe that when Simon said c. 100 yards for an aimed shot he was referring to WW2 rifles. The distance he gave for an aimed long bow shot was 50yards. (Apologies to Simon if I misunderstood).

Even that seems generous to me.