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Composite bows and Arquebus

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Composite bows and Arquebus

Post by starkadder on Tue Jul 15, 2014 1:12 am

I am having difficulty understanding the rationale for the firing factors of composite bows and arquebus.

Point Blank (5U)  
Comp Bow   Arquebus
A  3/5         4/5
B  2/4         3/4
C  1/2

Short Range (5-15U)
A  0/1          1/2
B  0/1          1/2
C  -2/0

To a point, I understand the drop-off in effectiveness although a composite bow can outrange a long-bow and with a much higher rate of fire. I can give a whole range of references if anyone's interested.

It's the arquebus that is intriguing me. Even an optimist wouldn't rate an arquebus over 100 metres and the rate of fire is appalling. They just seem way over-powered and over-accurate compared to composites.

It's not an issue when comps are fighting comps or arquebus are against arquebus. It becomes quite stark when they run up against each other. Does this mean that I shouldn't be playing such battles?

I'm happy to be shown the error of my ways. I get that a lot.
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Re: Composite bows and Arquebus

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Tue Jul 15, 2014 9:53 am

I'd suggest it is a game mechanic to reflect the improved weapon tech that the arquebus represented.

If it didn't have any form of superiority then it would never be taken.

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Re: Composite bows and Arquebus

Post by starkadder on Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:01 am

It wasn't a technical improvement so much as a training improvement.

An arquebusier could be trained in a day. Bowmen required years (particularly long-bowmen) and were hard to replace. It was a low-bid option that only replaced crossbowmen, initially (another expensive intricate device).

The technology eventually caught up but not until the 19th Century could a musket outrange a bow. And its rate of fire was still a lot lower.

I don't much care about changing it. I just want to know the rationale.
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Re: Composite bows and Arquebus

Post by Granicus Gaugamela on Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:08 am

Maybe the rationale is a larger number of rapid trained arquebusiers are represented by a single stand than the equivalent stand of archers?

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Re: Composite bows and Arquebus

Post by starkadder on Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:53 am

That was about the only thing I could conclude, GG.

Then I thought about my happy-go-lucky born in the saddle lads (Anatolian Turks as you know).

The idea of being outshot automatically by a small bunch of fops in floppy hats seemed rather nonsensical. These composite bows had a longer range than longbow (true, tested and all). I had a hard enough time dealing with them in the Yorkists. It was when the blokes with the fizzy guns kept doing it to me that I found it strange.

We tend to view through the lens of "what happened next" and assume an inexorable and inevitable change. Society and technology don't always work that way. Or we would have had stainless steel Puckle guns in the 17th Century.
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Re: Composite bows and Arquebus

Post by Aurelius on Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:02 pm

I'm reminded of a BBC television production, about 2/3 years ago, where a reproduction arquebus / caliver, based on the finds from the Elizabethan "Alderney Wreck" was test fired. It was an awesome weapon. If I remember correctly it destroyed the armoured target. You could see immediatley why firearms had replaced bows of any description. Rates of fire were low, but you only needed to be hit once... The psychological effects were also significant.

The artefacts from the Alderney wreck are probably beyond the date range for most Impetus armies, but the English were very slow at adopting the technology. Continental armies adopted firearms much earlier, and it would seem with good reason.

Some interesting quotes and discussion at http://www.alderneywreck.com/

TD

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Re: Composite bows and Arquebus

Post by Gaius Cassius on Tue Jul 15, 2014 2:46 pm

Composite Bow B and C represent bow armed cavalry so including them in the comparison isn't completely relevant. The whole effect of bow armed cavalry is shown in the ability of CL to move around the table at will, ganging up on individual units and evading nasty attacks. The use of Composite Bow B makes them very effective in delivering this effect. So while the rating is slightly inferior to Arquebus on the table the overall tactical is still very powerful in Impetus.

The Ottoman Janissaries moved from Composite Bow to Arquebus very early on (the last quarter of the 15th century.) The shift to the arquebus must have been done because the weapon system was considered superior to composite bow as these were professional troops who trained full time.
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