Re: Smuggling weapons from Prax to Whitewall?

From: Joerg Baumgartner <joe_at_...>
Date: Mon, 4 May 2009 15:19:07 +0200 (CEST)

Jane Williams caught me in one of the rare weeks away from the computer...

>>I may have an idea, but I'd like to run it past Joerg(anos) in
>> particular.
>>Bows. Those rather lovely animal-nomad recurves that I assume are a lot
>>like a Skythian or Mongol bow. Just what you want for shooting down from
>>a wall.

>>Does this make any kind of sense?

For massed defensive actions, self bows or composite bows with shorter staves might be preferable for shooting down fortifications. If some maniacs really climb impossible walls, the best missiles still are rocks from directly above. Archery can cover from the sides if there are platforms or towers sticking out of the wall line.

There's nothing to ruin your shot (or bow) like having one of the bows arms hit an obstacle. Such as a crenellation you are careful not to lean across (in order to avoid enemy arrows).

This leaves massive volleys as in clout archery. Given the elevation of the wall, the defenders may have an almost unholy range if they get sufficiently powerful bows.

>> Assuming what Cults of Prax describes as "comp. bow" is that type.
>> The Impala, Zebra and Unicorn tribes are described as using them.

> Yes, those bows.

I'd hate to shoot an Impala bow, personally... I guess the Zebra, Unicorn, Sable and Pol Joni bows will be ok. Especially the latter, given the number of Grazer recruits following Derek into the Praxian Marches.

Pol Joni own Pentan cattle, Sables have their own tribal beasts. Both would be prime sources for horn for bows.

>> How many do you think they could produce in a season?

> I have no idea.

Their normal quota. If they start working on additional bows as soon as Fazzur sets off, they might have some ready a year later. Drying the material (and the laminate) takes time or climate control, and the Praxians have more time than they have climate control.

There might be a side scenario bringing a huge stock of horns into the dead place for rapid drying, though...

Getting a huge supply of Sable horns would be fun, too.

Even if all of this venture ends as "too little too late", I see a lot of fun potential here.

>> Then there's the issue of training, you don't train archers quickly
>> and even retraining existing archers to use the new weapon will
>> take some time.

> Not if you stick to the standard draw, not the horse draw. I've tried
> switching from longbow to recurve to one of those: it took under 1/2 hour
> to decide that I did not want to change back.

Given my extreme draw length, I prefer the 6 foot self bow (I don't own a longbow reaching up to the top of my head) to the 4 foot horse bow for lateral stability.

>> >The armour, incidentally, I can only explain by thinking of exotic
>> >hides. Rhino-hide armour, that sort of thing.

>> Again how much of this is there going to be? The Rhino tribe is
>> one of the smallest and rhinos take a fair time to grow to maturity.

> Dunno. Probably not enough.

Bison hide is quite tough, too, if you leave the fur on (and make it into felt padding). It would make good ballistic hangings to top the crenellations.

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