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 Crossbows and rain

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Saeros
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PostSubject: Crossbows and rain   Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:27 pm

I want to share something I recently found out.

There are basically two kinds of bows: the self/monolitic bow (ex. English longbow) and composite bows (ex. the Mongol). Self bows are made from a single piece of wood, while composite bows need horn and other animal parts (sometimes even metal).

Now, composite bows are very weak against humidity because it deteriorates the animal glue and probably also due to different dilatation rates of the different materials from which it's built. Putting it under water ruins it completely and almost immediately, and I suppose that so does constant rain.
This wasn't a problem for Mongols, since the steppes are an arid region. But Englishmen did better in perfecting their self bows - which are very resistant against humidity. The same is true for pre-Colombian civilizations, since it's also very wet there.

This is all okay.

The problem is that European crossbows have a similar principle as composite bows, and thus the same weakness. Using them under rain practically ruins them forever. I've obviously never tried it, but I guess they would break apart after one shot - since all the pieces would be displaced and wouldn't resist the tension and resulting impact.

This thing with crossbows and rain was bugging me since the old M&B, but it turns out it wasn't a mere game balacing strategy!

Engineers and material specialists, please feel free to contribute.
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Kamos
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PostSubject: Re: Crossbows and rain   Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:02 pm

I like to kill things.
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Iskar
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PostSubject: Re: Crossbows and rain   Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:13 pm

To give an example, look at the battle of Crecy. The French had hired Genuese mercenary crossbowmen, while the English fielded their usual longbowmen. Shortly before or even during the battle there was heavy rain, which rendered the crossbows almost useless, and the Genuese mercenaries were routed after some initial volleys from the longbowmen with their fully functioning bows, leaving the longbowmen safe from counter-fire, so they could concentrate on killing French knights.

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Saeros
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PostSubject: Re: Crossbows and rain   Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:26 pm

Yes, quite stupid to use crossbows outside castles. No wonder the gauntlets specialized in city defense.



Also: I like to kill things.
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SimplePlan96
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PostSubject: Re: Crossbows and rain   Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:05 pm

I used to be a crossbowmen, until my crossbow took the rain to the.........nevermind.
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Sir Celdiur Moriendor
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PostSubject: Re: Crossbows and rain   Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:41 am

SimplePlan96 wrote:
I used to be a crossbowmen, until my crossbow took the rain to the.........nevermind.

For the love of God, dont start that joke here. PLEASE!
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Aldric of Marleons
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PostSubject: Re: Crossbows and rain   Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:34 am

SimplePlan96 wrote:
I used to be a crossbowmen, until my crossbow took the rain to the.........nevermind.

......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mSDfxde8fSg

......

I've been using this link a lot lately.
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Sir Aranor
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PostSubject: Re: Crossbows and rain   Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:53 am

And this is why I prefer my character to use a long bow instead of a crossbow.


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SimplePlan96
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PostSubject: Re: Crossbows and rain   Fri Jan 06, 2012 1:17 pm

Aldric of Marleons wrote:
SimplePlan96 wrote:
I used to be a crossbowmen, until my crossbow took the rain to the.........nevermind.

......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mSDfxde8fSg

......

I've been using this link a lot lately.

That Viking Will neeeeeeeeeevvvvvvvvvvaaaaaaaaa pop into my house.

*Noooooooooooooooo~*
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Saeros
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PostSubject: Re: Crossbows and rain   Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:22 pm

Still on topic, I found this on wikipedia:


Social importance [sc. of bows in England]

During the reign of Henry III the Assize of Arms of 1252 required that all "citizens, burgesses, free tenants, villeins and others from 15 to 60 years of age" should be armed. The poorest of them were expected to have a halberd and a knife, and a bow if they owned land worth more than £2.
This made it easier for the King to raise an army, but also meant that the bow was a commonly used weapon by rebels during the Peasants' Revolt.
From the time that the yeoman class of England became proficient with the longbow, the nobility in England had to be careful not to push them into open rebellion. This was a check on the power of the nobility of England which did not exist on the European continent.

It is conjectured that the common practice of planting yew trees in English churchyards was for the purpose of having readily available longbow wood.
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Iskar
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PostSubject: Re: Crossbows and rain   Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:29 pm

Yep. during the 100-years-war the English nobility established regular archery competitions as a common sport in order to improve the proficiency of the people to make them better soldiers when recruited. These competitions however became so popular among the common folk that the nobility got scared and called the whole thing off after some years. Smile

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DrSane
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PostSubject: Re: Crossbows and rain   Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:34 pm

Kamos wrote:
I like to kill things.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
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Mordred
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PostSubject: Re: Crossbows and rain   Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:51 am

They also banned football and other sports so that the yeomanry would focus on archery.
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