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Stalwart Pikeman

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About Stalwart Pikeman

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    Phoenix, Arizona, USA
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    Military, Nautical and Aviation History, Science Fiction, Geology, Space, Politics, Skepticism, The Outdoors

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  1. It looks like it either has a wheellock or a matchlock. Since I posted that the devs have confirmed that the guns will be wheellocks. I like your Dalek sig by the way.
  2. Well, here's a test that found some difficulties in penetrating maille with a midrange crossbow: http://www.historiav...beschuss1-e.htm When they used the right bolts it worked out alright. There isn't any well documented test of a heavy crossbow versus properly hardened steel and padding that I know of. (One of the reasons I'd like to do a serious test some day) The closest I've seen is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO1J7ku70P4&feature=youtu.be Which is a video of a test that unfortunately has lost its documentation. It's a video I've had for awhile and uploaded to YouTube to help answer your question. I'll just paste the video description here to explain it: "This is a video which has appeared on several Medieval forums. It is supposedly the testing of a 900-950 lbs crossbow at short range against a properly heat treated chestplate and another piece of properly heat treated metal. I say supposedly because all of the accompanying documentation has vanished, and I located a solitary claim that it was in fact a 500 lbs crossbow. It's always possible that the first shot was from a 900lbs crossbow and the latter was from a 500lbs crossbow. In any case, both the plate and steel sheet are in the upper range of thickness of armors actually found from the Middle Ages. The manner of securing (wood behind the plate and some sort of firm securing for the chestplate), as well as the lack of proper padding likely negate the advantage of the thicker armor, however." Remember also that crossbow power is frequently overrated. They had much greater draw weights than bows, but that force was applied over a much shorter distance, greatly reducing the energy transfer. Crossbows didn't actually have a whole lot more "umph" than heavy bows, at least according to some tests that have been done (which I referenced on my post on page 2). Oh certainly. When I speak of the accuracy of a weapon I'm referring to its inherent accuracy, not the user, although firearms do have the benefit of being easier to train people in shooting accurately because of the flatter trajectories. Provided this forum's even still around when I do it, I shall. At the moment I have very little cash. Testing the accuracy mainly requires gathering together some decent replica weapons and owners who are willing to help. Testing penetration would require the purchase of multiple heat treated breastplates likely costing upwards of $400 each. And this would be destructive testing, so it's not like I could sell them afterwards.....
  3. From what I can tell, this assertion is very controversial, even among professional historians, and the exact point when it became true is unclear. I prefer the more moderate "better against man-sized targets in armor who are moving" to avoid longbow and crossbow enthusiasts from jumping down my throat. I've perused the evidence as best I can, and while I'm not a professional, I am a published amateur. After my post earlier where I went into a breakdown of the details I've decided to do a bit more research into it, and while there aren't many reliable sources to go by I've become more and more convinced that the historical bow and crossbow are both highly overrated. I come down firmly on the side of the gun being more accurate, especially when we're talking about the typical battle distances of about 20-200 yards. What I'd really like to do is find someone with a genuine replica crossbow and someone else with a genuine arquebus and do some testing, with the proper meal powder, etc. Unfortunately, this is proving to be difficult for someone without any budget to speak of....
  4. Good point about the matchlock odor. If you read my incredibly long post on page 2, I go into why an arquebus would have the advantage in accuracy. Long story short, it mainly has to do with the increased projectile drop of the bows and crossbows requiring you to aim significantly above the target, thus breaking your line of sight. Plus, when fire is plunging down it's easier to miss by aiming just a little too high or too low. With the flatter trajectory of a gun you can just aim straight at the person's head and still hit their body over quite a distance. Guns would not be used fot sharpshooting in this time period. While they have flatter trajectories their accuracy was poor due to the fact that the bullet would leave the barrel in an unpredictable direction, meaning that the ball wouldn't head in the direction you were pointing. Thats why they would fire in blocks, since then you don't need to aim. Sharpshooters only came about with the invention of rifling the barrel (where the name rifle comes from) which allowed accurate shots but the early ones had the problem of becoming fouled. They were not common and most people used smoothbores, which could not be used for sharpshooting. You wouldn't use an arquebus for sharpshooting as it was a smoothbore. When did I say that smoothbore guns were used for "sharpshooting"? It's not that these guns were used for sharpshooting, since they weren't super accurate. They were just more accurate than the bow/crossbow. Sharpshooting didn't exist until the rifled barrel. (If you want to be technical, "sharpshooting" didn't exist until the Sharps Rifle was used in the American Civil War, but that's just being pedantic). Crossbows and bows are not more accurate than a smoothbore gun. They have similar deflection-at-origin problems (not traveling in a perfectly straight line from the barrel/stock/bow when fired). In addition to this, the higher angles of fire and slower projectile trajectories make accurate shooting of bows and crossbows more difficult.
  5. Good point about the matchlock odor. If you read my incredibly long post on page 2, I go into why an arquebus would have the advantage in accuracy. Long story short, it mainly has to do with the increased projectile drop of the bows and crossbows requiring you to aim significantly above the target, thus breaking your line of sight. Plus, when fire is plunging down it's easier to miss by aiming just a little too high or too low. With the flatter trajectory of a gun you can just aim straight at the person's head and still hit their body over quite a distance.
  6. Devil's advocate: There's an argument for lack of technological/intellectual advancement when readily available magic accomplishes many of the same goals as tools do for real humans. If you can town portal/teleport your ass anywhere you like there's not much call for planes, trains and automobiles. My own opinion: I want to see magicless, wholly tech-oriented, advanced civilizations/races go to war with magic-reliant, technologically inferior races as a broader theme in a game some day. Or, the existence of magic a the hands of only a small number of people spurs on the rest to search for ways of evening the odds......
  7. Unless my history text last year was wrong... Maybe he only popularized it, but the Swedish Invasion during the Thirty Years War brought its first widespread use. The idea of firing missile weapons in a volley existed long before firearms. Gustavus Adolphus' contributions to military history mainly had to do with using more maneuverable formations and more mobile artillery, and training and treating his men well. If you're interested, look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustavus_Adolphus_of_Sweden#Legacy_as_a_general
  8. Not to mention the fact that making a bolt or arrow is a craft which requires skill, while anyone with a mold and a fire can produce many musket balls, and anyone can be taught to mix black powder.
  9. Most importantly, it's probably a matter of game balancing. I prefer guns to be balanced rather than game breaking. Then our real world is one thing, the engineers in PE might not have developed their guns as well as we have. From a game perspectives it would be more about overlapping weapon. Penetration against heavy armour (plate) is about equal, reload speed is about equal. Damage against unarmored targets probably favors the arguebus (bullets tear the target while the bolt cuts through it). User-friendliness (ease of aiming etc.) should also favor the arquebus from what I have read. Ultimately the potentially unbalancing weapon would be the longbow. Given that the training factor (by far the main disadvantage of the longbow) is not really relevant (we can assume the pc knows how to use the weapon effectively) it would by far win over the other weapons. I once found an article that stated that the longbowmen Henry V had at Agincourt more than matched the muskets used by the russian soldiers during the crimean war in rate of fire, penetration power and range. There is a long-standing argument amongst historians about how effective the longbow actually was against plate armor. A big part of this debate is that we don't really know how powerful the things were. A particular point to keep in mind is that an arrow loses a large amount of its velocity over range, while a musket ball doesn't lose as much (the arrow has more drag due to its surface area). I did some quick research into weights and velocities of muskets vs an English Longbow. It seems like a 75 pound draw longbow could shoot an arrow weighing one ounce at around 185 fps. This gives us an initial energy of 45 joules. A more powerful bow (100 pounds) is estimated to shoot a 1.5 ounce arrow at the same velocity, for an initial energy of 68 joules. If we totally abandon the evidence, and increase the longbow's numbers to some of the most ridiculous claims (2.5 ounce arrow at 250 fps), we still only get 206 joules. An arquebus ball of .80 caliber weighed about 1.77 ounces and traveled between 650 and 750 fps. That's an initial energy of between 987 and 1315 joules. (calculator used: http://billstclair.com/energy.html) As you can see, there's just no comparison in the punch of the longbow and the arquebus. Even if you ramp up the English longbow's numbers to the level of the most absurd claims, there's still no competition. Now let's look at crossbows. An important thing to remember about the crossbow is that while many of them had impressive draw weights of 1000 pounds or so, the distance across which they applied that force to the bolt was much shorter than a bow, so the transfer of energy wasn't nearly as efficient. They applied greater acceleration, but over less distance (and therefore time). I found one test of a powerful crossbow that provided both bolt mass and fps. It was a 780 pound draw arbalest, firing a 4.5 ounce bolt at 159fps. this comes out to an initial energy of 150 joules. Again, this is far weaker than the arquebus. Even if we give a more powerful crossbow very generous numbers (I chose a 6 ounce bolt at 200 fps), we still only get 317 joules, which is less than a third of the lower estimate for the arquebus. Regarding accuracy: It is difficult to find reliable accuracy data for medieval bows and crossbows. However, there are a few points of info that will help us get a crude idea. According to a couple of bowhunting sites I looked at, hitting a deer at 100 yards with a modern crossbow (far superior in terms of accuracy) is considered a shot only for very talented crossbow hunters. This is not actually that bad when compared with an arquebus, and when firing at a mass of men the point becomes moot. An important fact to consider is that the slower your projectile is traveling, the higher angle it has to be fired at in order to prevent it from hitting the ground. Projectiles fall towards the ground at the same rate no matter how fast they're traveling horizontally. If you fired the crossbow I mentioned above, from eye level (~5'6" for a 5'11" person) at an enemy's head 100 yards away, but you didn't elevate it at all, the bolt would strike the ground less than halfway to the target. (This is disregarding air resistance, which would make it fall even faster, but is hard to calculate) The longbow fired in the same situation would go slightly farther, but still fall pathetically short. The lower range arquebus shot fired in the same circumstances would still be about three feet from the ground, and impact the poor sod in his dangly bits if it flew true. Also, increased velocity makes it easier to hit a moving target, since the target won't have as much time to get out of the way. (Projectile drop calculations from http://hyperphysics....e/grav.html#bul) Let's look at the specific angles you would need to shoot to hit a person's head with these three weapons. To make that shot with the crossbow, you must elevate to 11.2 degrees. With the longbow, it's 8.2 degree. With the low end arquebus, it's only .65 degrees. (calculations from the section titled "angle of launch" at http://hyperphysics....traj.html#tra16) Greater projectile velocity = a much flatter trajectory = a much easier shot. Also, a steeper angle of shot means the projectile will spend much more of its flight above the height of your enemy, giving you less wiggle room in estimating the range. Basically, the steeper the angle, the less you can afford to be wrong by. Also, when the angle gets really steep, people become smaller targets. A projectile traveling fairly flat has a much larger target to hit than a projectile plunging downwards, because people are much taller than they are wide. Alright, I think that's about enough of this. It's 5:25, and I've had my fill of math for the week. Later. Not going to argue about longbows penetrating a well made suit of plate armour, there is no point. It has limited success against those. I know that and I agree it will not work well against those. However remember the armies that the longbowmen went up against, by far the majority of soldiers did not wear a nice well-crafted suit of steel plate armour. Basically the medieval army consisted of the core elite (knights etc.) with some support from men-at-arms and maybe mercenaries, however the majority of the army was made up of levied peasant troops. Yes the longbow will have a limited success against the plated knight on a horse, but maybe 90% of the army, the peasants, will be eaten alive by the arrows. Even the men at arms, which most likely wear mail etc. will have much fun out of the arrows as they can penetrate mail at a decent range. Here rate of fire is what matters as a hit is likely to take the combatant out of the fight or at least slow him down and that is very much in the longbows favor. As for the knights in plate they can then continue the charge after the peasants have broken ranks and half the men-at-arms have fallen down bleeding. At that point the battle is pretty much over. Only the guy in full plate will have a good chance of being fairly immune, but then again he is also going to have a decent chance against a crossbow or arquebus except maybe at point blank range. However both weapons will have a problem with their reload times and definitely do not get more than one chance at point blank range against a knight on a horse if they even get that. Considering that the majority of the enemies the PC will face in PE is very unlikely to wear a suit of gothic plate armour (after all if the brigands could afford that they could also afford a life in comfort) I will still say that the rate of fire would make the longbow far more deadly than a crossbow or arquebus against light to medium armoured opponents, which should be the majority. It depends on which part of the Middle Ages you're talking about. You're probably thinking of the time of the Hundred Years War. By the time firearms first came around armies had mostly shrunk down to a corps of professional soldiers, most of whom were well supplied with armor. Look at the War of the Roses for a good example. By that point peasant levees had no place in battle anymore.
  10. I think you've missed the point.. I mean literally - a flint or other sharp head arrow (or crossbow for that matter) is applying its energy over a much smaller area than round shot is. Hence the ability to punch through plate if you fluked the loose and didn't have too much wobble in the arrow. Not so much good against chain mail however - you'd use bulbous tips for that to try and expand the rings and break them - shot would be perfect for that however. Not that it matters a jot for PE Oh yeah, I know it doesn't matter for PE, but the poster I was responding to got me thinking, so I went off on a tangent. Doing that sort of thing with history is sort of my hobby. I didn't mean to exclude the point, I just forgot to type that bit up. Basically, if an arrowhead is going to punch through a piece of plate armor and all the padding underneath it, deep enough to kill, the shaft has to penetrate at least partially. According to the longbow stats I used, the shafts were 3/8th of an inch wide. 68 joules distributed across a shaft 3/8ths of an inch wide equates to roughly 483 joules per square inch. 987 joules distributed across a musket ball .8 inch in diameter gives you 1542 joules per square inch, and that's with the lower numbers for the arquebus. You still have more force relative to the area of the projectile that is trying to pass through the armor.
  11. Most importantly, it's probably a matter of game balancing. I prefer guns to be balanced rather than game breaking. Then our real world is one thing, the engineers in PE might not have developed their guns as well as we have. From a game perspectives it would be more about overlapping weapon. Penetration against heavy armour (plate) is about equal, reload speed is about equal. Damage against unarmored targets probably favors the arguebus (bullets tear the target while the bolt cuts through it). User-friendliness (ease of aiming etc.) should also favor the arquebus from what I have read. Ultimately the potentially unbalancing weapon would be the longbow. Given that the training factor (by far the main disadvantage of the longbow) is not really relevant (we can assume the pc knows how to use the weapon effectively) it would by far win over the other weapons. I once found an article that stated that the longbowmen Henry V had at Agincourt more than matched the muskets used by the russian soldiers during the crimean war in rate of fire, penetration power and range. There is a long-standing argument amongst historians about how effective the longbow actually was against plate armor. A big part of this debate is that we don't really know how powerful the things were. A particular point to keep in mind is that an arrow loses a large amount of its velocity over range, while a musket ball doesn't lose as much (the arrow has more drag due to its surface area). I did some quick research into weights and velocities of muskets vs an English Longbow. It seems like a 75 pound draw longbow could shoot an arrow weighing one ounce at around 185 fps. This gives us an initial energy of 45 joules. A more powerful bow (100 pounds) is estimated to shoot a 1.5 ounce arrow at the same velocity, for an initial energy of 68 joules. If we totally abandon the evidence, and increase the longbow's numbers to some of the most ridiculous claims (2.5 ounce arrow at 250 fps), we still only get 206 joules. An arquebus ball of .80 caliber weighed about 1.77 ounces and traveled between 650 and 750 fps. That's an initial energy of between 987 and 1315 joules. (calculator used: http://billstclair.com/energy.html) As you can see, there's just no comparison in the punch of the longbow and the arquebus. Even if you ramp up the English longbow's numbers to the level of the most absurd claims, there's still no competition. Now let's look at crossbows. An important thing to remember about the crossbow is that while many of them had impressive draw weights of 1000 pounds or so, the distance across which they applied that force to the bolt was much shorter than a bow, so the transfer of energy wasn't nearly as efficient. They applied greater acceleration, but over less distance (and therefore time). I found one test of a powerful crossbow that provided both bolt mass and fps. It was a 780 pound draw arbalest, firing a 4.5 ounce bolt at 159fps. this comes out to an initial energy of 150 joules. Again, this is far weaker than the arquebus. Even if we give a more powerful crossbow very generous numbers (I chose a 6 ounce bolt at 200 fps), we still only get 317 joules, which is less than a third of the lower estimate for the arquebus. Regarding accuracy: It is difficult to find reliable accuracy data for medieval bows and crossbows. However, there are a few points of info that will help us get a crude idea. According to a couple of bowhunting sites I looked at, hitting a deer at 100 yards with a modern crossbow (far superior in terms of accuracy) is considered a shot only for very talented crossbow hunters. This is not actually that bad when compared with an arquebus, and when firing at a mass of men the point becomes moot. An important fact to consider is that the slower your projectile is traveling, the higher angle it has to be fired at in order to prevent it from hitting the ground. Projectiles fall towards the ground at the same rate no matter how fast they're traveling horizontally. If you fired the crossbow I mentioned above, from eye level (~5'6" for a 5'11" person) at an enemy's head 100 yards away, but you didn't elevate it at all, the bolt would strike the ground less than halfway to the target. (This is disregarding air resistance, which would make it fall even faster, but is hard to calculate) The longbow fired in the same situation would go slightly farther, but still fall pathetically short. The lower range arquebus shot fired in the same circumstances would still be about three feet from the ground, and impact the poor sod in his dangly bits if it flew true. Also, increased velocity makes it easier to hit a moving target, since the target won't have as much time to get out of the way. (Projectile drop calculations from http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/grav.html#bul) Let's look at the specific angles you would need to shoot to hit a person's head with these three weapons. To make that shot with the crossbow, you must elevate to 11.2 degrees. With the longbow, it's 8.2 degree. With the low end arquebus, it's only .65 degrees. (calculations from the section titled "angle of launch" at http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/traj.html#tra16) Greater projectile velocity = a much flatter trajectory = a much easier shot. Also, a steeper angle of shot means the projectile will spend much more of its flight above the height of your enemy, giving you less wiggle room in estimating the range. Basically, the steeper the angle, the less you can afford to be wrong by. Also, when the angle gets really steep, people become smaller targets. A projectile traveling fairly flat has a much larger target to hit than a projectile plunging downwards, because people are much taller than they are wide. Alright, I think that's about enough of this. It's 5:25, and I've had my fill of math for the week. Later.
  12. Um, in our world the first firearms were invented in the 1100s, while the printing press wasn't made until 1440. If you can make a sword, you can make a musket. It actually requires less metallurgical knowledge if you're willing to put up with extra weight from a thicker barrel. All you really need is the basic concept. When Portuguese merchants introduced the musket in Japan in 1543, the Japanese easily figured out how to mass produce them.
  13. It is far from certain that something akin to blackpowder can even be made in a given fantasy world, just like electricity does not necessarily exist. All you need is sulfur, charcoal, and bat ****. (Or you could use ammonium nitrate derived from pig ****) All of these ingredients are either prevalent (native sulfur, ****) or easily made (charcoal) Cavemen could have made black powder if they'd known how. Frankly it's surprising we didn't have black powder much sooner.
  14. So I was wondering what you all think about how we should get our initial equipment at the start of the game....
  15. I'm looking forward to firearms. Personally, I'd prefer matchlocks to flintlocks, since they fit better alongside bows and swords. Can't tell from the concept art which kind of lock it has though: I'd like to see them either as one shot per combat or with an incredibly long reload time. Either way, they should have insane levels of damage and armor penetration. EDIT: I'd also like to see firearms useable as melee weapons when unloaded. A pistol could double as a one-handed club. A musket could either be used as a two-handed club, or as a spear when you attach a plug bayonet:
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