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    Default Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    This thread is a resource for getting information about real life weapons and armor. Normally this thread would be in Friendly Banter, but the concept has always been that the information is for RPG players and DMs so they can use it to make their games better.

    As far as I can tell, the previous threads don't exist any more, except Version V and Version VI. This is Version IX.

    A few rules for this thread:

    This thread is for asking questions about how weapons and armor really work. As such, it's not going to include game rule statistics. If you have such a question, especially if it stems from an answer or question in this thread, feel free to start a new thread and include a link back to here. If you do ask a rule question here, you'll be asked to move it elsewhere, and then we'll be happy to help out with it.
    Any weapon or time period is open for questions. Medieval and ancient warfare questions seem to predominate, but since there are many games set in other periods as well, feel free to ask about any weapon. This includes futuristic ones - but be aware that these will be likely assessed according to their real life feasibility. Thus, phasers, for example, will be talked about in real-world science and physics terms rather than the Star Trek canon. If you want to discuss a fictional weapon from a particular source according to the canonical explanation, please start a new thread for it.
    Please try to cite your claims if possible. If you know of a citation for a particular piece of information, please include it. However, everyone should be aware that sometimes even the experts don't agree, so it's quite possible to have two conflicting answers to the same question. This isn't a problem; the asker of the question can examine the information and decide which side to go with. The purpose of the thread is to provide as much information as possible. Debates are fine, but be sure to keep it a friendly debate (even if the experts can't!).
    No modern real-world political discussion. As the great Carl von Clausevitz once said, "War is merely the continuation of policy by other means," so poltics and war are heavily intertwined. However, politics are a big hot-button issue and one banned on these boards, so avoid political analysis if at all possible (this thread is primarily about military hardware). There's more leeway on this for anything prior to about 1800, but be very careful with all of it, and anything past 1900 is surely not open for analysis. (I know these are arbitrary dates, but any dates would be, and I feel these ones are reasonable.)
    No graphic descriptions. War is violent, dirty, and horrific, and anyone discussing it should be keenly aware of that. However, on this board graphic descriptions of violence (or sexuality) are not allowed, so please avoid them.


    With that done, have at, and enjoy yourselves!


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    Last edited by Thiel; 2011-09-30 at 01:40 AM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Back to the lamellar question a bit:

    You can find nice lamellar doc. after typing

    visby armor 25 to Google.

    Here dude reconstructs them based mainly on Birka and Balyk Sook finds. Can't find much about accuracy, but some nice pictures.
    Last edited by Spiryt; 2011-10-02 at 04:47 AM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Very cool images.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    I need to know what a mongol warrior would have looked like in the 13th century. If it pleases you, could someone find me some accurate image references? What would the Genghis Khan have worn and wielded during war? How could I create something similar with household materials? (I'm asking this because Halloween is also Historical Costume Day for my history class.)

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurien View Post
    I need to know what a mongol warrior would have looked like in the 13th century. If it pleases you, could someone find me some accurate image references? What would the Genghis Khan have worn and wielded during war? How could I create something similar with household materials? (I'm asking this because Halloween is also Historical Costume Day for my history class.)
    Not my forte, but generally it obviously depends on personal wealth and status/function in the horde.

    Your mundane warrior from the Horde would have bow, and at least two horses, as his precious, most important equipment, wearing mostly leather clothes, with some elements of textile armor, helmet, and so on. Some more or less simple melee weapon, as well. Spear, plain sabre, club.

    Some period stuff in Wiki for example

    Rich, or veteran soldiers would be able to equip themself with mail, lamellar scale and other stuff basically from all over the Asia, there were ridiculous amount of very unique material cultures and stuff over vast steppes and mountains of Central Asia.

    Heavy cavalry and other heavy hitting forces would obviously use variety of full armors , lances, swords etc.

    Big boss like Genghis would probably own some crafty, often ornate combination of lamellar, mail, scale, I guess.



    Can kick in some modern drawings that look roughly plausible to me.

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    Whoever makes shoddy beer, shall be thrown into manure - town law from Gdańsk, XIth century.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    This isn't a strictly historically oriented question, so I'd like to invite some wild speculation...

    How might a human society evolve differently if it developed in isolation with agriculture, complex religious and political systems, metallurgy, and all that good stuff we associate with high medieval civilization, but somehow never developed a missile throwing device?

    I mean no bows, no crossbows, no guns, no slings, no atl-atls. The most advanced way to kill someone at range would be to throw rocks at him.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Re: the mongol warrior question

    I read once ( and wikipedia says so too) that mongol warriors wore silk undershirts under their leather, so that when an arrow pierced the outer armour, even if it then pierced the skin, it would carry the silk with it. Because of the strength of the silk, it wouldn't break, so would wrap the arrowhead, preventing the barbs from catching, which made removing the arrow much easier, and raised the rate of recovery from arrow wounds vastly...

    Not really an answer to your question in any way - just something I thought was interesting...

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    then the premier ranged weapon would be the javelin.

    on a more serious note, missle weapons have often acted as a great leveller, allowing a smaller, weaker person to effectivly fight agianst a stronger, better trained melee warrior.

    in practice, having no mechanical method of throwing a missle means that missle weapons would still be around, but be things like javalins, and throwing axes, etc.

    it would be nearly impossible to storm a castle, as without siege engines, the only way to take the damm place is climb the walls, breech the gate or undermine, all very difficult things to do. any position that had good stocks of food and water would be effectivly impregneable.

    now, you'd think knights would be even more effective on a battlefield with no archers, but actually, they need the archers fire to disrupt formed infantry. without the harrassing fire of archers to screw thier formations, footsoldiers would be able to recieve every charge properly formed and ready, so knight style "shock" cavalry would not dominate, instead most cavalry would likey stay in the older, roman, model of javalin armed skirmishing cav, with (comparitivly) limited numbers of heavy cav for exploiting a badly disrupted enemy.


    footsoliders would remain the leading arm, without the shift form "world conquoring roman legionire" to "downtrodden medieval cannon fodder" that happen historically. while the cavalry arm would still attract the richest/noblest, the would likey still be a resonable number of professional, full time, semi noble soldiers who fought purely on foot, like the saxon Huscarls.


    armour would evlove differently as well. without the need to protect agianst long range, semi random archer fire (i.e. shots that could hit anywhere), i think full body armour would be very slow to develop, as people would trade the increased protection for mobility and ligher armour (or rather, be unwilling to trade mobility and endruance for higher protection). closed, face concealing helmets would not elvove, as thier is no need to gain protection at the cost of situational awareness. their'd be less emphasis on leg armour for foot troops, as the major threat would be another man attacking you, who'd aim at your torso arn arms, not your legs (most of the time. certainly, you'd need some leg armour, but it would be lighter and less extensive than in real would armours.) Horsemen would still need leg armour as well, though only on the outside of the legs*

    battle tactics would naturally change to reflect the lack of firepower. battlefields would be "narrower" in the sense that a unit could be closer to the enemy without being in range of him, so reserves would be kept right up close to the front lines. The center of the battle would be the linfantry lines clashing and have a good old fashioned all day melee. the flanks would be dominated by cav fights as the two sides sought to turn a flank and get a clear charge at the rear of the infantry.

    one thing i'm in two minds about is the changing value of terrian. high ground, in particular, i'm not to sure about. without missle weapons, it loses a lot of its advantages, but it's still a better place to be.


    now, a decreased importance of cavalry would need to a less strictly feudal socity, as the material requirements for being an effective warrior are much lower. fully armoured knights were massivly expensive, which was why the feudal system went to such lengths to create a class of super-wealthly warriors. A major part of that expense was the warhorse, who could pretty much cost as much as the rest of the knights equipment combined. However, in a bowless world, the need for such super expensive horses is much less. A warrior can be a effective fighter with just the armour, or a (less expensive) horse and a few javelins. So, depending on how you look at it, either the noble classes grow considerably, or you get a earlier creation of the middle classes. that last one would have quite sweeping ramifacations, as a large middle class, with both the desire to weild polticical power and the military might to back it up, would lead to a democratic system, with a limited franchise, centuries before this became common in the real world.

    the above is all my own opinion and open to debate, challenge and ridicule.


    *you will note that quite a few suits of real world full plate armour have no plates covering the inner thighs or the arse, and often the groin as well. this is becuase its nearly impossible to hit a mounted knight in those locations, due to a large amount of horse being in the way.
    Last edited by Storm Bringer; 2011-10-04 at 06:18 AM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Infantry could more often be placed in very close formations, too, without the fear of becoming a tempting archery target.

    How about shields? I mean, if you don't have to worry about missile fire, how effective are large shields? Would a smaller shield do the same or a better job in melee?

    And phalanges. How would anyone ever defeat heavily armoured pike squares?
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Infantry could more often be placed in very close formations, too, without the fear of becoming a tempting archery target.

    How about shields? I mean, if you don't have to worry about missile fire, how effective are large shields? Would a smaller shield do the same or a better job in melee?

    And phalanges. How would anyone ever defeat heavily armoured pike squares?
    formation density would largey be a matter of how close you can pack the troops before they start to get in each others way.

    shields, i think would shrink somewhat, but thiers still the threat of javelins, thrown weapons and such, plus a large shield is good for covering the legs, and gaining distance.

    phalanxes would need to be delt with via a mix of fast javelin troops and good terrian management. harrass and disrupt with javelins, draw over terrian unsuitable for pike blocks, then flank and crush.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Infantry could more often be placed in very close formations, too, without the fear of becoming a tempting archery target.
    Actually *very* close formations are not that tempting archery target. Or at least can be it all depends.

    Look at Roman cohort- a lot of guys standing close, but they have large shields, helmets, armor.

    They have a lot of uncovered body, but if they stand in nice tight formation, it's really hard for arrow to hit angle at which it could hit shin or palm without encountering helmet or mail of a guy in front instead.

    So close formation in general is pretty vital for heavy infantry to last on a battlefield, resistance to arrows is much more individual thing.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Oh, right. Javelins. I didn't think of javelins, I took the premise as "nothing ranged at all".
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Phalanxes were being beat simply with maneuvering on large scale on battle, but simple virtue that even most disciplined and fine phalanx can't do much if it's surrounded and cut off.

    In fact the importance of bow, sling, and similar long range armaments over many years of Ancient period was pretty small at times - especially in Roman Army. So looking at those examples is pretty good way of imagining it all.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Oh, right. Javelins. I didn't think of javelins, I took the premise as "nothing ranged at all".
    well, I think Vitruviansquid discounted Javelins and simmilar thrown weapons form his premise as well. I think he just didn't think about them either. however, he does explictly mention throwing rocks, and its a very werid situation where you can pick up a pebble and throw it, but you can't throw your spear, dispite the spear being able to travel as far and do more damage. So, i assumed they were "in".

    In fact the importance of bow, sling, and similar long range armaments over many years of Ancient period was pretty small at times - especially in Roman Army. So looking at those examples is pretty good way of imagining it all.
    true, but remember we are supposed to be talking about a high medieval civ here, one with something like 600-1,000 years of techological progress over the romans (depending on which dates you pick as "roman" and "medieval". 600 years would roughly be the fall of the western empire to the battle of hastings.).

    thiers a lot of changes. steel armour, stirrups, lances, Thoroughbred warhorses, vast improvments in architecture(a gothic cathredrals wide open spaces requires a understanding of how weight is disributed in a building that is far beyond that of the romans). mathamatics (the concept of "0", for example), and pretty much every other area of science and techology.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm Bringer View Post
    true, but remember we are supposed to be talking about a high medieval civ here, one with something like 600-1,000 years of techological progress over the romans (depending on which dates you pick as "roman" and "medieval". 600 years would roughly be the fall of the western empire to the battle of hastings.).

    thiers a lot of changes. steel armour, stirrups, lances, Thoroughbred warhorses, vast improvments in architecture(a gothic cathredrals wide open spaces requires a understanding of how weight is disributed in a building that is far beyond that of the romans). mathamatics (the concept of "0", for example), and pretty much every other area of science and techology.
    Lances were used in antiquity as well, kontos and similar stuff employed by cataphracts and other heavy riders, partiuclarly of Middle East cannot be really called differently.

    Steel armor likewise was pretty widely used, from scales of such guys to Roman segmentatas.

    All in all, I'm not sure what different culture, mathematics and all really change in this hypothetical setting.

    In many battles of antique, ranged weapons played quite marginal role.

    So if you imagine some impossible, theoretical world, were they don't exist at all, taking examples from antiquity is good idea.

    "Details" like, if this world have steel or, even wheel, or feudal system, or something like Spartan realm, are important, but we can't really take them all into account anyway.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Speaking of the East, how would steppe warriors fight? Horse Archery seemed to have been fairly normal. Lances, I guess?
    "You raise your baton. The glass kettle drums pound out the the overture. Your vision clouds with blood. You wipe it away and continue. The xylophonist's hair bursts into a violet flame, but he continues playing. He's either a consummate professional or very drunk indeed..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Speaking of the East, how would steppe warriors fight? Horse Archery seemed to have been fairly normal. Lances, I guess?
    There is maddening amount of steppes in Asia, and trough the history there were many civilizations over there.

    But generally indeed whole lotta of horses was important for any serious military. No marches, forests, rocks, one can pretty much ride forward changing horses. Necessary to cover hundreds, and hundreds of miles and still be able to provide living for the whole tribe.

    As far as sheer fighting goes, then it's all up to to the details - what was the material culture of the tribes, type of armor, availability of some serious heavy elite cavalry and so on.

    Undoubtedly, both reflexive bow and sabre were part of traditional arms of many steppe nomads.

    Seljuks pretty much popularized sabre among the Middle Eastern world after they established their dominance in Anatolia and so on.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Actually...I disagree, ranged weapons in antiquity were very important, especially slingers.

    There are several accounts of armies being defeated due to not having slingers and some in which infantry picked up slings to stop their side from loosing badly since they needed it.

    Slings were the super weapon of their time and lasted actually a lot longer in an effective manner then a lot of people assume.

    A trained slinger would outrange an archer with a normal bow and tends to be more effective against softer types of armours as in that they did not need to penetrate to cause lethal wounds.

    I am sure we have gone over this in at least two of the previous threads :).

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Hard to say exactly how important ranged weapons were in antiquity given the usual time and space considerations [i.e. the vast amount of it]. However, I think Spiryt may well be right that there was less emphasis on ranged weapons because there was more emphasis on getting footmen quickly into contact and less on disrupting the enemy to execute a cavalry charge. Interesting subject, though, definitely something worth thinking about.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    With no offense, the very name of "super" weapon is something that I don't like at all, and certainly not something I would call a sling.

    Time after time, new "super" antique weapon emerges, and people from whatever reason try to 'hype' it up as something otherworldly compared to other stuff.... From katana to longbow "best ranged weapon up to Am. Civil War" and recently sling...

    Sling in the hands of skilled user was undoubtedly a fearsome weapon, as historical descriptions, as well as Roman tools to extract bullets from wounds etc. tell us.

    But it was by no means anything "super" - it required tremendous skill, concentration to use, and yet it still would be prone to rather great randomness due to the very way of aiming.

    For comparison - target in sling competition is such large stuff from just 30 meters.

    In case of pretty equally hobbyist archery, targets can be way smaller even at 100 yards.

    They're also of limited use in formation, obviously.

    A trained slinger would outrange an archer with a normal bow and tends to be more effective against softer types of armours as in that they did not need to penetrate to cause lethal wounds
    What exactly would be a "normal" bow though? Non composite? Non reflexive ? 70 pounds, or slightly different.

    As far as range with weights of projectiles and their effects, there's not much good data unfortunately.

    What's certain is that both bow and sling can launch pretty damn varied projectiles as far as size and shape go - over different distances.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Speaking of the East, how would steppe warriors fight? Horse Archery seemed to have been fairly normal. Lances, I guess?
    Proper lances are for dedicated chargers, not the kind of light cavalry steppe warriors typically fielded. More importantly, it's hard to carry a lance and a bow, because you can't sheath the lance when you don't need it. Well, you sort of can if you have the right kind of harness — but it's more awkward than sheathing a sword or knife. You can find javelins or spears used for charging anywhere, of course, but that's a slightly different story.

    The mongols preferred the one-handed saber, and they spread it all across Eurasia, because it's incredibly versatile. You can fence with it on foot or horseback, draw it quickly, and combine the curved blade with your horse's momentum to do quite a number on infantry.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vitruviansquid View Post
    How might a human society evolve differently if it developed in isolation with agriculture, complex religious and political systems, metallurgy, and all that good stuff we associate with high medieval civilization, but somehow never developed a missile throwing device?

    I mean no bows, no crossbows, no guns, no slings, no atl-atls. The most advanced way to kill someone at range would be to throw rocks at him.
    You could certainly make a case that such a society would never get past hunting and gathering. Ranged weaponry is really, really important to the slow increase in effort/food acquisition that allows people to settle down.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    Proper lances are for dedicated chargers, not the kind of light cavalry steppe warriors typically fielded. More importantly, it's hard to carry a lance and a bow, because you can't sheath the lance when you don't need it. Well, you sort of can if you have the right kind of harness — but it's more awkward than sheathing a sword or knife. You can find javelins or spears used for charging anywhere, of course, but that's a slightly different story.
    But Mongols had dedicated chargers.

    Just like most other steppe people, pretty much any more powerful state would sooner or later have some elite, expensively equipped noble guys for heavy fighting.

    The mongols preferred the one-handed saber, and they spread it all across Eurasia, because it's incredibly versatile. You can fence with it on foot or horseback, draw it quickly, and combine the curved blade with your horse's momentum to do quite a number on infantry.
    Well, actually before them Avars and Seljuks brought a lot of sabers to Eurasia. Some sources suggest that they might have become quite popular in Rus or Hungary in Middle Ages.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    But Mongols had dedicated chargers.

    Just like most other steppe people, pretty much any more powerful state would sooner or later have some elite, expensively equipped noble guys for heavy fighting.
    And once they were a powerful state, they weren't exactly steppe warriors anymore.

    The Mongols did indeed diversifiy and branch out once they were better established, but even after that light cavalry necessarily formed the core of their fighting force when it was on the move because they moved impossibly fast.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Just about all the steppe tribes did have a powerful, rich elite. And that elite, generally, would fight in more armour, with a bigger bow, and a bigger sword. Some of them would instead have a HUUUUGE lance, so big that they had to be used with both hands: 4 metres long or higher.

    The vast majority of the army, however, would have probably had a bow, and the very poor ones javelins.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Quote Originally Posted by Storm Bringer View Post
    i think full body armour would be very slow to develop, as people would trade the increased protection for mobility and ligher armour (or rather, be unwilling to trade mobility and endruance for higher protection). closed, face concealing helmets would not elvove, as thier is no need to gain protection at the cost of situational awareness.
    I don't know about this. Folks certainly wore full armor in individual combat where ranged weapons weren't a factor. Source vary on the desirability a lowered visor, but at least some chose to fight that way.

    their'd be less emphasis on leg armour for foot troops
    There wasn't much to begin with, depending on which period you're talking about.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Quote Originally Posted by Spiryt View Post
    With no offense, the very name of "super" weapon is something that I don't like at all, and certainly not something I would call a sling.

    Time after time, new "super" antique weapon emerges, and people from whatever reason try to 'hype' it up as something otherworldly compared to other stuff.... From katana to longbow "best ranged weapon up to Am. Civil War" and recently sling...

    Sling in the hands of skilled user was undoubtedly a fearsome weapon, as historical descriptions, as well as Roman tools to extract bullets from wounds etc. tell us.

    But it was by no means anything "super" - it required tremendous skill, concentration to use, and yet it still would be prone to rather great randomness due to the very way of aiming.

    For comparison - target in sling competition is such large stuff from just 30 meters.

    In case of pretty equally hobbyist archery, targets can be way smaller even at 100 yards.

    They're also of limited use in formation, obviously.



    What exactly would be a "normal" bow though? Non composite? Non reflexive ? 70 pounds, or slightly different.

    As far as range with weights of projectiles and their effects, there's not much good data unfortunately.

    What's certain is that both bow and sling can launch pretty damn varied projectiles as far as size and shape go - over different distances.
    Fair enough, it is inaccurate, historical records obvious must be wrong since modern day hobbyists do not have the same level of accuracy and if a historical text talks about slings it must be all exagerations and fables.

    Bows available for over two third of the archeaological finds when spread across a time period going back to ancient Egypt are NOT composite, NOT reflexive and very rarely over 4 foot long.
    I am assuming that given the largest time period has not got these innovations then that what is used in the longer time period (and afterwards still pops up from time to time) is to be considered a normal bow.

    I am sure that any data from historical records for archery if they were even HALF as quickly thrown out for lack of 100% certifiable results as slings, that we would see bows as quirky useless items.

    When you have training distances for bows and for slings used in contemporary armies and the slings are set at higher targets then obviously the sling is less accurate and shorter ranged then the bow...
    You checked the link out from slinging.org, I am assuming you also read the historical data before pouncing on what the hobbyists do in a country that barely does any real slinging anymore despite their history with slings.

    If slings were ''yet it still would be prone to rather great randomness due to the very way of aiming'' as per your quote then it would NEVER have lasted as a military weapon and even JAVELINS would have surplanted slings rather quickly.
    Ancient slingers were good enough to target individuals at 400 paces and according to some records ( I am assuming that there is some liberty here with the range because it is rather impressive) able to hit specific parts of the targets face.

    The Roman military historian Vegetius (ca 400 BC) recommends a practising range of 180 m for archers. This says something for the armourers of the day, considering that even a modern bow and arrow are not acceptably accurate beyond a range of about 200 m. Yet even in King David’s time slingshots were accurate at ranges of 250 m. Xenophon reports a range of 400 m, but one must keep in mind that at that range a slinger probably aimed at a group of soldiers and the slingstone did little damage at impact.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    I have a question: Do thrusting motions (as opposed to swinging motions) have an inherent advantage at piercing armor, or is the prevalence of thrusts to be used against amor solely a consequence of weapon design (piercing points generally sitting at the long end of weapons)?
    The more I think about it the more I suspect it's just a feature of design, considering weapons like a horseman's pick being able to penetrate armor on a swing by placing the pointy end accordingly. But I'm not sure, so I guessed I'd ask the experts.
    So, is the motion relevant or is it just the form of the weapon which hits the armor that lets it penetrate or not?
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Quote Originally Posted by Deadmeat.GW View Post
    Fair enough, it is inaccurate, historical records obvious must be wrong since modern day hobbyists do not have the same level of accuracy and if a historical text talks about slings it must be all exagerations and fables.
    Of course, most of them are exaggerations, and one has to treat them carefully, just like with any sources - from bow launched using feet from Anabasis to Devilic vapors of Mongols

    Bows available for over two third of the archeaological finds when spread across a time period going back to ancient Egypt are NOT composite, NOT reflexive and very rarely over 4 foot long.
    Well, of course, but what's the point?

    Bows used by Roman army were pretty much always reflexive composites, the same with Egyptians or Greeks.

    Not to mention that those construction details don't tell us much of as good or 'rangy' is bow, even though 130 cm selfbow is indeed pretty much bound to be not very efficient at all.

    I am assuming that given the largest time period has not got these innovations then that what is used in the longer time period (and afterwards still pops up from time to time) is to be considered a normal bow.
    Still, those find are pretty much scarce, and nothing really tells us about performances of those bows, fair and accurate replicas are still rare and it's always hard to gain good data.

    Still, it's pretty obvious that rich and varied bowyers tradition existed in Europe from a very long time.

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    When you have training distances for bows and for slings used in contemporary armies and the slings are set at higher targets then obviously the sling is less accurate and shorter ranged then the bow...
    You checked the link out from slinging.org, I am assuming you also read the historical data before pouncing on what the hobbyists do in a country that barely does any real slinging anymore despite their history with slings.

    If slings were ''yet it still would be prone to rather great randomness due to the very way of aiming'' as per your quote then it would NEVER have lasted as a military weapon and even JAVELINS would have surplanted slings rather quickly.
    Historical stuff is pretty much not the 'data'. Bow distances I refereed to are also "hobbyist in the country", no point in comparing to some serious archers.

    Comparisons to javelin is really pretty pointless - like you mentioned slings are, among other things, pretty long rage weapons, while javelins are relatively large, short range throwing stuff.

    So it's apples and oranges, and randomness of sling shot launch is in no way connected to the fact if javelins can "supplant" it or not.


    Ancient slingers were good enough to target individuals at 400 paces and according to some records ( I am assuming that there is some liberty here with the range because it is rather impressive) able to hit specific parts of the targets face.

    That has a whole lot liberty, how do you even imagine it?

    Assuming liberally, that 400 paces is ~ 250 meters here, this is the distance from which your average shooter will have problems to target face from modern carbine, with it's accuracy, and ability to aim trough muzzle etc.

    Targeting the face, let alone specific parts, with something that swings above you eyes in the moment of launch, is pretty much abstraction....


    All in all, slings were impressive weapons, and it's usage with great results though whole a lot of time is undeniable, but they weren't really any sort of "super" weapons, just like longbow or whatever is not. Thus I don't get why many people seem to get annoyed when anybody states that, simply...
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    Quote Originally Posted by Partysan View Post
    I have a question: Do thrusting motions (as opposed to swinging motions) have an inherent advantage at piercing armor, or is the prevalence of thrusts to be used against armor solely a consequence of weapon design (piercing points generally sitting at the long end of weapons)?
    The more I think about it the more I suspect it's just a feature of design, considering weapons like a horseman's pick being able to penetrate armor on a swing by placing the pointy end accordingly. But I'm not sure, so I guessed I'd ask the experts.
    So, is the motion relevant or is it just the form of the weapon which hits the armor that lets it penetrate or not?
    Piercing advantage comes from pretty simple concentration of energy caused by one's motion.

    When you do piercing, energy is focused on very small area of, say, armor, and it can do the work against pretty much limited amount of material - just layer of it, in one place.

    Motion mechanics are pretty secondary, because they can very varied.

    They are naturally extremely important, but obviously can differ even in the case of one and the same weapon, so they're not decisive for this case.
    (piercing points generally sitting at the long end of weapons)?
    Katars and similar punching daggers, could be, AFAIU, very effective at penetrating stuff without being long at all.

    It came from the piercing motion, of course, and form the fact that punching motion can generate a lot of impact - and transversal hold allows to transfer it well - as opposed to "normal" grip which is bound to be not very efficient.
    Last edited by Spiryt; 2011-10-05 at 08:31 AM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon or Armor Question? Mk. IX

    What I meant was: does the armor piercing only stem from the concentration of force on one point, i.e. the weapon being somewhat pointy at the part used to attack (horseman's pick's beak, sword's point, halberd's spike etc.) and the form of attack doesn't matter (sword thrusts when using the point, pick is swung when using the point etc.)? Or does a thrusting motion aid the penetration as opposed to a swinging motion (which generally has more power behind it)?
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