A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #271
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    A fair bit older, and not a saber, but the Swedish http://www.kultofathena.com/product....85+Sword]M1685 might be a good fit. 17th century, but produced in the hundreds of thousands.

  2. - Top - End - #272
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I was thinking of something Danish, Prussian, or Swedish.
    Officer sabers tend to be a bit fancier, but without really being anything special. Here are some Danish officer swords:

    https://www.militariaweb.dk/stor-dan...svaerk-klinge/

    https://www.antique-swords.com/B71-D...-officers.html

    An online search for "Danish saber" should bring up plenty of examples. Most seem to be from the 1800s.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    There were a crapload of sabers produced throughout the late 18th early 18th century, because of Napoleon. Most are pretty serviceable, and most European swords look fairly similar.

    The iconic 1796, which was British, but the Prussians modeled the Blucher saber after it

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patter..._cavalry_sabre

    A German trooper's sword

    https://www.militariahub.com/german-...roopers-sword/

    This would work nicely because it's a mass produced trooper model, not a custom officer's sword

    A Swedish saber. It's a straight blade, but I've seen a few Swedish sabers that are straight, so maybe that's a Swedish thing.

    https://sbg-sword-forum.forums.net/t...rs-sabre-m1864

    I'd just Google "Danish Saber" until you see one you like
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  4. - Top - End - #274
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Oh, the horror.

    Oddly specific question time with way more historic accuracy than practically needed:
    Is there some kind of standard issue 19th century military saber that could be found relatively easily and inexpensively in Denmark, but also looks decently nice and well made?
    I got an NPC who deludes herself to be one of the world's best saber fencers and prides herself in her authentic antique sword that was handed down through the generations, but really isn't anything special.
    Some things that would help.
    1) era. Early, mid or late 19th century?
    2) history. Is the sword attached to any specific battles or events? Is it Danish issue or possibly captured by the Danes or some gift from a friendly foreign service?
    3) type of service. Cavalry? Naval? Engineer? Artillery? Infantry?
    4) design. More curved or more straight?

  5. - Top - End - #275
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Doesn't really matter. I just need something that looks impressive to the untrained eye, but really isn't. Something that any Danish collector or antiques store might have gathering dust somewhere in the back.

    I think I might go with an 1811 Blücher saber from the first Schleswig War. Second Schleswig War would fit more nicely with the backstory, but the new Prussian service sword from that time doesn't look as impressive. The 1796/Blücher looks nasty. Much more choppy than later military swords.



    And you need to be an expert to see that this is mass produced. One source says that 13 years after a new sword was introduced, they still had 70,000 of these in the armory inventory. Something that looks fancier would have been neat, but the character is completely delusional, so it doesn't matter that her ancient family heirloom looks factory made.

    Side question: What are those metal protrusions near the tip of the scabbard? I remember them always being drawn very exaggerated in Lucky Luke comics. I always assume they were to make the scabbard more blunt and not irritate a horse getting poked in the side all the time, but those on this image wouldn't do anything for that purpose.
    Last edited by Yora; 2021-01-01 at 05:29 AM.
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  6. - Top - End - #276
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    There was a Saxon contingent in the 2nd Schleswig war and Saxons had some very nice swords. They probably would fit the not obviously a mass issue sword but not too fancy criteria you are looking for.

    Here is a link to a slightly later period saxon uhlan officer’s sword.
    http://www.sailorinsaddle.com/product.aspx?id=804

    Another example
    https://www.warrelics.eu/forum/imper...-saber-586857/

    NB the “wings” at the bottom of the scabbard are the scabbard drag, and they do exactly what the name says, they drag on the ground and protect the main scabbard from damage.
    Last edited by Pauly; 2021-01-01 at 03:46 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #277
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Thanks all.

    Some time ago I was looking for real world research information on spotting distances in order to translate them to a game. Well I finished that, mostly through US military basic research documents from the 60s and 70s.

    My conclusion is interesting and not something I've seen in any RPGs. Details vary but all the final graphs I needed had the same basic shape, a sort of stretched out Z. While the exact percentages and distances depend on many factors everything from spotting people in the jungle, to jets in the air, to trucks in the desert from a jet, all ended up having that sort of stretched Z shape. The first 1/3rd to a bit more of the zero to whatever distance it goes from 100% down to 80% or 75%, then in the last 1/2 to 1/3rd of the distance it's going from 25% or 20% down to 0%, and in the middle there's something that generally looks like a cliff.

    Anyway, thanks for the initial direction of searching. Partial bibliography to follow and then the typed up data I used in a spoiler for the morbidly curious. There's a pile of handwritten notes too but I'm not transcribing those.

    AD-753 600 TARGET DETECTION AND RANGE ESTIMATION
    James A. Caviness, et al
    Office of the Chief of Research and Development (Army)
    November 1972

    https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/AD0438001.pdf
    RESEARCH MEMORANDUM, MOONLIGHT AND NIGHT VISIF1LITY
    by Thomas F. Nichols and Theodore R. Powers, USAIHRU, January 1964

    Dobbins, D.A. et al. Jungle Vision IL: Effects of Distance, Horizontal Placement, and
    Site on Personnel Detection in an Evergreen Rain forest, U.S. Army Tropic Test Center,
    Fort Clayton, Canal Zone, March 1965.

    Louis, Nicholas B. The Effects of Observer Location and Viewing Method on Target
    Detection with the 18-inch Tank-Mounted Searchlight, HumRRO Technical Report 91,
    June 1964.

    ASTIA, Report Bibliography on Target Detection and Range Estimation by
    Humans, Armed Forces Technical Information Agency, Arlington, Virginia,
    November 19 60.

    Louis, Nicholas B. The Effects of Observer Location and Viewing Method on Target
    Detection with the 18-inch Tank-Mounted Searchlight, HumRRO Technical Report 91,
    June 1964.

    Spoiler: raw data stuff
    Show

    open terrain 95%
    middle terrain 88%
    heavy foliage 55%

    100m 90%
    200m 90%
    300m 55%

    AD-753 600 TARGET DETECTION AND RANGE ESTIMATION
    James A. Caviness, et al
    Office of the Chief of Research and Development (Army)
    November 1972

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    https://apps.dtic.mil/sti/pdfs/AD0438001.pdf
    RESEARCH MEMORANDUM, MOONLIGHT AND NIGHT VISIF1LITY
    by Thomas F. Nichols and Theodore R. Powers, USAIHRU, January 1964

    TABLF 4
    VISIBILITY AT NIGHT
    Moon Age Ground and Background
    Object SingleSoldier(meters) Patrol Unit
    Starlit Night
    Level, Grassy Ground
    25 30 40
    Level, Rare Ground
    30 40 45
    Dark Background
    10 10 15
    Silhouetted Against Sky
    35 55 80

    12th Day from the Full Moon (Crescent)
    Level, Grassy Ground
    30 60 75
    Level . Bare Ground
    30 45 50
    Dark Background
    10 15 20
    Silhouetted Against Sky
    130 140 180

    7th Day from the Tull Moon (Half)
    Level, Grassy Ground
    60 70 80
    Level, Bare Ground
    35 50 55
    Dark Background
    10 15 20
    Silhouetted Against Sky
    140 170 230

    3d Day from the Full Moon (3/4)
    Level, Grassy Ground
    70 75 120
    Level, Bare Ground
    40 50 70
    Dark Background
    15 20 25
    Silhouetted Against Sky
    160 220 280

    15th Day of the Moon (Full)
    Level, Grassy Ground
    75 100 150
    Level , Bare Ground
    50 80 100
    Dark Background
    15 20 25
    Silhouetted Against Sky
    180 250 300
    50

    1. Patrol is three or four men. Unit is a platoon in column. The above figures show the visible range when the object is not in motion. It is easier to Identify an object in motion especially when it is moving crosswise.
    2. This experiment was conducted on clear nights during January and February, [t can be assumed that the brightness is practically equal for two or three nights before and after each age of the moon in the chart.

    IDENTIFICATION of person size object
    FULL MOON %% NO MOON
    20m 95%
    40m 90% 5m
    55m 80% 12m
    60m 70% 15m
    70m 60% 18m
    85m 50% 27m
    100m 40% 33m
    110m 30% 40m
    120m 20% 50m

    TABLE 7 -- moonless & cloudless
    RECOGNITION RANGES (YARDS) FOR THE
    M-48 TANK AND THE 2-1/2-TON TRUCK
    recognition = identification
    paths 1=60m, 2=60mstraight, 3=50m, 4=125m, noise/no-noise
    drive towards observer, 'no noise' = white noise covering
    PATH TANK TRUCK
    4 111/210 86/77
    3 126/192 100/95
    2 184/155 83/108
    1 152/173 91/97

    TABLE 8 -- moonless & cloudless
    VISIBILITY RANGES FOR TARGETS GROUPED ACCORDING TO SIZE
    "Large" targets included such things as a 2-1/2-ton truck, "medium" targets included such +hings as a jeep, and 2-man tents and similar size material were grouped as "small" targets.
    detect / recognize
    Large Targets 73/45
    Medium Targets 43/24
    Small Targets 16/11

    TABLE 9 -- full moon & 2minute time limit
    VISIBILITY RANGES FOR HUMAN TARGETS
    dist, stand, walk
    250, 25, x
    180, 50, 25
    130, 75, x
    100, 90, 45

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Dobbins, D.A. et al. Jungle Vision IL: Effects of Distance, Horizontal Placement, and
    Site on Personnel Detection in an Evergreen Rain forest, U.S. Army Tropic Test Center,
    Fort Clayton, Canal Zone, March 1965.

    TABLE II
    Detection thresholds and 25-75% range at
    each of three evergreen rainforest sites.
    25% 50% 75%
    82 62 47 - dim (50% others), wild palm, stilt palm, maquengue palms, *Geonoma decurrens*
    92 80 55 - wild fig, stilt palm, wide leaf palm, *wide-leaf palms*
    95 76 59 - Scheelea zonensis, broadleaf evergreens, Str6manthe lutea, *panama hat palm*
    90 72 56 - averaged

    %% feet time
    95% 40
    80% 50 25s
    70% 60 33s
    60% 68 34s
    50% 75
    40% 80 39s
    10% 100 61s

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Louis, Nicholas B. The Effects of Observer Location and Viewing Method on Target
    Detection with the 18-inch Tank-Mounted Searchlight, HumRRO Technical Report 91,
    June 1964.

    Probability of Detecting Targets & observer distance from searchlight
    yards time %%
    0 10 .14
    0 20 .23
    10 10 .23
    10 20 .35
    20 10 .29
    20 20 .37
    40 10 .21
    40 20 .35
    80 10 .40
    80 20 .54
    160 10 .33
    160 20 .41

    Probability of Identifying Targets
    dist %%
    0 .20
    10 .26
    20 .26
    40 .25
    80 .37
    160 .36

    Performance on Targets Viewed
    From 80-Yard Position by Observers Using Binoculars
    type 655yd 780yd 900yd 1055yd
    detect
    tank 87 89 74 54
    apc 96 83 81 60
    jeep 90 66 59 32
    ID
    tank 84 72 46 39
    apc 84 56 49 21
    jeep 70 28 35 21

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  8. - Top - End - #278
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    I am working on a Vampire the Masquerade campaign set in Germany, and part of the concept is that the city is very efficient at hiding its crimes and supressing the true amount of corruption and criminals from the public. So even though it's the World of Darkness, guns won't be any more common than they really are. This means vampires are not supposed to have them or get reprimanded by their elders for shooting, because it will draw heavy attention from the police, and vampires are trying to stay secret.

    Does anyone know anything about what kinds of weapons are commonly seized from criminals in Germany (or even central Europe in general)?
    The only thing I was able to find is that there are about 5.5 million registered guns, of which 3.6 million are long guns. But no indication if this is for hunting rifles and shotguns, or also includes sport shooting rifles.

    I guess handguns would almost all be 9mm pistols, which in game terms are all the same thing. Maybe drop some well known German brand names for local color, and that's good enough.
    Wealthy clan leaders having stocks of hunting guns to equip their minions for extraordinary situations would also seem very plausible, as they would raise few eyebrows to get all the legal paperwork to make them completely legit. But I don't have the slightest clue what kinds of rifles and shotguns European hunters commonly use. Probably not World War 2 Mausers or double barrel shotguns. Any suggestions for generic hunting gun models would be helpful.
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  9. - Top - End - #279
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Well, Benelli and Beretta are both Italian companies with substantial recreational gun lines, and Steyr has a few flagship models for hunting and target guns as well. In terms of pistols, Glock is in fact an Austrian company, and SIG Sauer does European production. There’s also a smattering of crappy Russian companies, but they wouldn’t be your hunting and skeet crowd. H&K is also over there as has “civil” product lines, but they are very much black guns.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Maybe drop some well known German brand names for local color, and that's good enough.
    The problem is when you have the likes of Heckler & Koch, SIG Sauer and Walther as well known local German brands (plus there's Glock just over the border in Austria), it's very hard to get a sense of local colour.

    There's a Wikipedia page on German firearms manufacturers which would help on random colour: link.

    I've found this global report on gun trafficking, along with breakdowns for Europe on page 26 (link), where they breakdown the number of seized firearms as 35% pistols, 27% rifles, 11% revolvers, 22% shotguns and the remaining 5% divided up between SMGs, MGs and other unclassified firearms.

    As for what model and brands, it's a mix of pretty much everything, from looking at reports on busts on firearms traffickers: 2020 raids, 2017 raids.

    For what weapons a German hunter might have, you could check the stock of local gun shops - here's one I found with a quick google search: link.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Does anyone know anything about what kinds of weapons are commonly seized from criminals in Germany (or even central Europe in general)?
    Criminals almost universally use handguns for the actual crimes, if even that. Bottom line is that they are concealable, and that's all that matters, because honestly, why would you need an SMG to rob a house? Some occassional hunting weapons for long range assassinations, Kennedy-style, if you want to be really gung ho.

    Thing is, Europe has the gun laws it has, and that means it's extremely hard to get a non-registered firearm to the market. The serial number will be recorded somewhere, and if the cops catch you with a stolen gun, it's curtains. This registration of firearms holds even when it comes to private trades, so there's no way for the guns to fall into the cracks the way they can in the US. Even things like smoothbore muskets tend to have at least a duty to inform the police you have one around here.

    A lot of the more prominent crime world members will actually have a legal gun, as a self defense carry, because if someone jumps them, it's perfectly legal to use it, and they don't do roberries any more, they organize things. Sure, such a gun could get "lost" and make its way to hands of someone, but if he does any sort of crime with it, it will bring massive scrutiny to you.

    So, yeah, most common weapon siezed from criminals is nothing, followed by knife, followed by a pistol. Well, from an organized criminal, because remember, crime does include domestic disputes and crimes of passion, where numbers one and two are axe and kitchen knife.
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  12. - Top - End - #282
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Mike Loades on weapons and combat in video games.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFFs_LW7iOM
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  13. - Top - End - #283
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    I've found this global report on gun trafficking, along with breakdowns for Europe on page 26 (link), where they breakdown the number of seized firearms as 35% pistols, 27% rifles, 11% revolvers, 22% shotguns and the remaining 5% divided up between SMGs, MGs and other unclassified firearms.
    Those are some great numbers. I was already thinking about not including revolvers at all. To my knowledge, military and police phased out revolvers in the 19th century. To normal people they would seem really exotic. (Though I don't know about gun nuts.)
    At the very least, I see no need to have anything but "pistol" on the weapons list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Greywolf View Post
    Thing is, Europe has the gun laws it has, and that means it's extremely hard to get a non-registered firearm to the market. The serial number will be recorded somewhere, and if the cops catch you with a stolen gun, it's curtains. This registration of firearms holds even when it comes to private trades, so there's no way for the guns to fall into the cracks the way they can in the US. Even things like smoothbore muskets tend to have at least a duty to inform the police you have one around here.
    Guns do fall through the cracks all the time. Of course still nowhere near as much as in the US, 20 to 30,000 registered guns are reported lost or stolen in Germany every year. And there are no customs checks in central Europe. Once a gun enters the EU in Latvia, Romania, or Bulgaria, it can get all the way to Portugal with nobody ever going to check a car.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Those are some great numbers. I was already thinking about not including revolvers at all. To my knowledge, military and police phased out revolvers in the 19th century. To normal people they would seem really exotic. (Though I don't know about gun nuts.)
    At the very least, I see no need to have anything but "pistol" on the weapons list.
    Revolvers remain super popular. You're correct that military and law enforcement use is fairly spotty (although way, way off on the date - police use of revolvers was still common in many places through the 1980s), but the civilian market loves the things. There's several advantages to them, particularly in the very small super-concealable range of things where you aren't getting more than 6 shots anyway.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    I assume that's in the context of the American market?
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Capacity matters a lot more there, but most of the European gun people I'm in contact with are revolver fans as well.


    EDIT: Note that the German gun store page linked features more than one revolver quite prominently.
    Last edited by Gnoman; 2021-01-07 at 07:17 PM.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    Mike Loades on weapons and combat in video games.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFFs_LW7iOM
    Mike Loades is one of those people who pioneered a lot of things way back when and then absolutely refused to move with the times. With this video:

    KCD - minor nitpick, but alchemy wasn't ever used to make swords.

    Dark Souls - ignores vastly improper use of shield.

    Dark Souls - you do not ever block with the sword... except for all those many, many time when period treatises explicitly tell you to block.

    Dark Souls - okay, did no one explain DS twohanding to this guy? Two handing a sword does increase your reach and damage. The block animation is a little potato, though, but you can't do much better with tech limitations.

    For Honor - single edged blades need just as sophisticated temper as double edged ones do, they just need less of it.

    Mordhau - why would you throw away a sword? Well, a plethora of reasons, but as a historian, that's not important. What is important is that we have treatise with explicit instructions on how to throw a sword, so we know for a fact it was done. The technique is very different from the spinny throw in the vid, though.

    Chivalry - neck is definitely not one of the first areas to get protected. Roman to Carolingian to high medieval shows progression of head first, torso second, arms and legs third, neck fourth. It's one of the last areas to get protected, only followed by hands.

    For Honor - flamberge blades can be grabbed, about the only thing wavy blade does is bind slightly better. Overall, not worth the hassle.

    For Honor - blade decorations are sometimes done on high status weapons, though not to that extreme. Behold!

    Spoiler: Sabre of Charlemagne, 10th century Hungarian make
    Show


    For Honor - pollax vs pole axe is pointless sophistry. And there is no one end of a pollaxe you do all your fighting with, otherwise Fiore, among others, would have mentioned that when he was telling us how to use one.

    Mount and Blade - the game has a third person mode, and you can see how the crossbow is loaded, it's a simple stirrup. That rate of fire is entirely achievable in real life by, among others, me.

    Leather bracers in archery - were not used by military archers because they were redundant on account of armor. They seem to be rather rare throughout.

    Defeating spears - well, that's utter BS. It's hard to get past a spear point unless you have a shield, and you definitely, absolutely can't easily cleave the spear head off. People tried, and failed. Even once someone's inside a spear's point, it's still useful as a lever, and can be used to shove a large man downhill when he decides to rush you.

    Maces and morningstars - both can be one or two handed, distinction is based on how the head looks. Morningstar is a later thing, though.

    Flail - pardon me? We have no evidence it was ever a real weapon... except for all of those flails in Hussite museums, or all those flail heads Czech metal detector hobbyists still dig up to this day (pro tip: google "remdih", that's the Czech word for it).

    Spoiler: Or this Russian example from 14th century
    Show


    KCD - taking over a village: shows a clip of attack on a small castle. Okay, there was a village under it, but still.

    KCD - Armies of that size could still sneak up on you, but it did take some doing.

    KCD - You need 30 men to pillage a village, but that is a castle with three layers of wooden walls and one earthwork or stone one, my man. Why the hell is cavalry charging the walls, though? And that is a pretty shoddy gate, but then again, small castle village, so eh.

    Bannerlord - depending on what he means by lance bebing a one use weapon, he may be wrong. Only some late military lances break upon first impact. But he may have meant the charge-disengage-charge cycle, one use in a sense of "you're not supposed to stay in melee with this".

    Kite shield - lasted considerably longer, but only in niche cases, there are IIRC some 14th century examples from Byzantium.

    Targe - does not have more mobility than viking round shield on account of being strapped to your arm. Hell, it's not even lighter than them. It's also not really meant against arrowstorms, because it's small. And was used against bayonets, at which point shield against arrowstorms was rather pointless.

    Buckler - Don't punch with a buckler and for the love of God, don't try to punch an incoming strike away with it. Where does that dumb idea even come from?

    Mordhau - Armor gives you as much protection as possible, unless it doesn't. We have numerous counts of people forgoing more protection for more mobility, stamina or vision.

    Spoiler: Observe a king in a kettle hat he opted to wear, likely because of health problems, c1350
    Show





    In conclusion, about third of the video is legitimate facts, a quarter is silghtly questionable or not telling the whole story and the rest is complete BS. All in all, rather disappointing from a professional historian, but nothing we're unaccustomed to.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    There are references to military archers wearing bracers in the 16th century.

    https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A1...;view=fulltext

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I assume that's in the context of the American market?
    The standard firearm issued to uniformed Japanese police officers is a 5 round revolver, the New Nambu M60.

    The security forces and police assault teams carry 'modern' firearms much like western police forces, plus the JSDF carry weapons on par with any NATO military.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    EDIT: Note that the German gun store page linked features more than one revolver quite prominently.
    I think that's because they're primarily an importer of American firearms, so I should have found a better example for Yora.

    That said, they wouldn't be importing revolvers if there wasn't a client base for it.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by rrgg View Post
    There are references to military archers wearing bracers in the 16th century.

    https://quod.lib.umich.edu/e/eebo/A1...;view=fulltext
    And much like the flail, the existence of a thing and its widespread use are two different things. From what you will see today, you'd assume bracers and gloves are necessary for heavy bow archery, but the historical evidence doesn't support it.

    First clue is that seeing these tools is extremely rare, to a point there are hundred depictions without them for every one with. Even if you discount some depictions with insufficient detail to tell one way or another, you are still left with overwhelming amount of no bracers or tabs, even in settings where you would expect them.

    Spoiler: Low status archers, 1370
    Show

    Detailed enough to show different hair styles nad undershirt poking from under upper clothing


    Spoiler: Low and high status archers, 1370
    Show

    Details include individual horse teeth and belts differing from string to leather to leather with studs


    Spoiler: Military archers, 1150
    Show

    Shows some people having leg wraps and some not


    Spoiler: Cuman archer, 1340
    Show

    Unusual amount of detail, as expected of Codex Manesse, and nomadic archer depiction is, for once, accurate, since it managed to capture both the ethnic clothes and quiver of Cumans


    Spoiler: Rare bracers, 1420
    Show


    Spoiler: Even rarer tabs, no date given
    Show


    Furthermore, we have numerous graves from pre-Christian cultures in Europe, and especially in eastern Europe, pre-Christian can mean up to 13th century. Cuman, Avar and so forth graves are easily identifiable because they packed them with all the tools of the trade of the deceased, to give them to him in the afterlife. That means warrior graves give us warriors with their full military equipment, from which tabs and bracers are almost universally absent. That not only further supports their rarity, it also rules out the possible explanation of "it was worn under the clothing".

    The reasons why depend on which bit of equipment we're talking about.

    For tabs, the reason is surprisingly that people were "tougher". You can see something similar even today - find someone who does a lot of manual labor without gloves on, maybe someone like a carpenter, and you will notice that the skin on their palms is pretty rough. You can see the same things with people who do manual farming, and can often read descriptions of someone having leathery palms in older books. A hand like this not only has a much greater resistance to splinters, to a point where you can get splinters and not notice as long as they're relatively small and shallow, but also gets you a protections normally reserved to gloves. That's why we rarely see leather gloves worn outside of hunting or dressing up in medieval illuminations, they just weren't as necessary as they are for our hands.

    The bracer is a matter of git gud. If you shoot enough, with proper form, there is no need to wear it because you get the string slap only very rarely, if at all. Add to that the mitigation offered by three to six layers of clothing worn every day, and it was probably thought of as a learning experience, and not worn militarily most of the time because gambesons made it redundant.

    To sum up, wearing tabs and bracers is not, strictly speaking, ahistorical, and you can get away with it in your kit, but it was not common in the period.
    That which does not kill you made a tactical error.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Greywolf View Post
    To sum up, wearing tabs and bracers is not, strictly speaking, ahistorical, and you can get away with it in your kit, but it was not common in the period.
    From a personal perspective, I'd still want a bracer, although not to protect me, but to protect the string.

    If you're wearing a mail shirt with long sleeves, any burrs or edges on your links can potentially cause your string to fray - you're unlikely to get a nice calm full draw every time in the middle of combat, so you'd want to prepare for eventualities and even if you're perfectly calm and can hit a perfect draw every time, the bowman next to you might not be.

    The other issue is that bracers are generally made from leather, making their finds highly unlikely in graves as they will simply decay. Even with thumb rings for Middle Eastern and Far Eastern archery, only the more durable metal/horn/bone part of thumb rings have been found, with no trace of any possible leather part.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    From a personal perspective, I'd still want a bracer, although not to protect me, but to protect the string.

    If you're wearing a mail shirt with long sleeves, any burrs or edges on your links can potentially cause your string to fray.
    Thing is, does this really matter in a combat archery enviroment? You will likely be shooting at crowds with poor-ish armor about 100-200 meters away, or at heavuly armored targets under 50 meters, at that distance, you don't need competition grade accuracy.

    As for string actually breaking, that's almost impossible to happen. Keep in mind you will have abundant spares on campaign, so you can swap it between actions. In battle, you are likely to shoot less than 30 arrows.

    And even then, this is only a problem if you have long mail sleeves, and disappears with short sleeves or plate armor, which seems to be what most, though not all, archers chose to wear.

    That said, for modern reenactment, go for bracer over mail. We need to take safety of anyone around us, especially the spectators, a lot more seriously. If the string snaps and manages to whip someone in the eye back in the period, it's a one in a million act of God on an already deadly battlefield. If it happens today on a family outing, it's a potential lawsuit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    The other issue is that bracers are generally made from leather, making their finds highly unlikely in graves as they will simply decay. Even with thumb rings for Middle Eastern and Far Eastern archery, only the more durable metal/horn/bone part of thumb rings have been found, with no trace of any possible leather part.
    This is brought up regularly, but it's a misunderstanding of how archaeology works. While it is true, in general, that leather decomposes much easier, it is not a universal thing.

    In the end, it comes down to what the local conditions are - weather, climate, type of soil, acidity and salinity are the most important. That means there are numerous regions where you will not find leather artifacts, but there are also severral where you will.

    Furthemore, all of the above factors also dictate if the leather decomposes partially, completely or completely but while leaving a trace of leather-infused soil behind. Sometimes, even things you'd think cannot possibly be preserved, are.

    Spoiler: Cuman chieftain from 13th century
    Show

    the black line across the torso that looks like the spine a bit, 10, is the central hem of kaftan, an overshirt, entire left side of which is still there as 11
    there is also a leather quiver at his left knee

    these remains were well-preserved enough to identify original embroidery



    We have several of these grave goods available, and as I said, they all lack bracers and tabs, and sometimes have thumb rings.
    That which does not kill you made a tactical error.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Greywolf View Post
    In battle, you are likely to shoot less than 30 arrows.
    I find this rather surprising, given how long battles last and how quickly archers can shoot. Do you know why this was the case?
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    While I defer to martin if he knows better, I seem to recall the average archer only carried two dozen or so arrows - addittional ammunition would be carried in the trains, though in a few famous English battles they broke out the stocks to give the archers two or three “basic loads” after the battleground was picked and everyone was relatively static.

    If I had to guess a combination of weight/bulk and resource constraints.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KineticDiplomat View Post
    While I defer to martin if he knows better, I seem to recall the average archer only carried two dozen or so arrows - addittional ammunition would be carried in the trains, though in a few famous English battles they broke out the stocks to give the archers two or three “basic loads” after the battleground was picked and everyone was relatively static.

    If I had to guess a combination of weight/bulk and resource constraints.
    If I remember correctly, physical exhaustion was also a problem. Rapid fire from a powerful bow quickly fatigued the archers. I suspect that in most lengthy battles, there would be rest periods where they could be resupplied and recover some of their strength.

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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleBison View Post
    I find this rather surprising, given how long battles last and how quickly archers can shoot. Do you know why this was the case?
    How quickly? I was under impression that with serious war bow the answer is "slower than you think", or at least slower than I thought. There is an oft-quoted "12 arrows per minute" for an English longbowman. Even if it was minimal qualification instead of average it's still slow enough.

    Andyes, in any case however fast you can shoot it definitely will be tiring.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Amount of arrows archers carried

    It varies. A lot. A humongous lot. At the extreme ends, we have as little as 3-4 arrows per archer, although this is mostly either "you get surprised and have to go shoot RIGHT NOW" or for purposes of hunting, where you have a guy to carry your arrows for you. At the extremely large end of spectrum, you have about 200, carried in several quivers on horseback, done sometimes by nomads.

    The most common amount is somewhere between 20 and 30. We know medieval English archers had sheafs of arrows numbered at 24 per, with one sheaf per standard quiver. They sometimes carried multiple of these (2 sheafs at Agincourt, where they had pre-prepared static position), but 24 seems to be the standard for when you have an archer that will have to move, for example as part of a hedgehog formation or on a plundering raid (chevauchee, if you need to be French or fancy about it). Arab source, Book on the Excellence of the Bow and Arrow from 1500, gives one quiver size as 25-30, while saying an archer should not limit himself to this number in battle - probably meaning you should carry more if the circumstances call for it, but again, 25-30 is the standard.

    This seems like less than you can fit in a quiver, but keep in mind that most of these quivers had a leather bit with spaced holes for easy and quick access to arrows if you needed to shoot quickly.

    Byzantine sources gives slightly higher numbers, with the provision that these are Roman-ish style armies - this is not necessarily combat load, but rather marching load. Strategikon says 40 in one quiver, Praecepta militaria gives monstrous 40+60 in two quivers, both for foot archers.

    As for why, well, they are unlikely to need more. See below.

    Rate of fire limitations

    There are several of them. Best English warbow archers were required to shoot more than 10, probably up to 20, arrows a minute. Which means one sheaf lasts you about a minute and change of shooting, and you get two of those at Agincourt. This is a bit of an artificial limit to your rate of fire, though, since it disregards things like people (or yourself) resupplying you, and it's not that hard to carry more arrows.

    Second limiter is physicality. The best thing to do if you want to have an idea about it is to go to anyone in your local club who has one and draw it a few times. I have a 60 lbs bow and if I rapidly draw it, I can go for maybe 30 reps before my forearms and back decide to take a break (over about 2 minutes? I never actually timed it). It's a physical activity, on par with lifting weight of the bow's draw weight, and quickly at that. You can train yourself, sure, but 1) people tend to slack off as much as they can and 2) only up to a point. You are also wearing armor, on campaign, maybe had to march for a few days, maybe had dysentery and so on.

    Your physicality also limits you based on how quickly you shoot, not just how many times. Belting out those 20 arrows per minute will destroy you, but doing 20 arrows over five minutes can give you more arrows shot before you need to take a break.

    Third limiter is targets. There is little point in shooting all of your quiver into a single guy, especially if there are two of your frineds targeting him as well. Since you are a person and not a robot, you will probably shoot him until he's out of the action, either due to death, pain or exhaustion. There are several targets you have at any given time, but making a judgement call on every one of them, picking a good one, aiming and shooting him all take time, which limit your practical RoF.

    Fourth factor is the what if - what if you shoot quickly now, become exhausted, run out of arrows and then, when you need it the most, there comes a dedicated enemy charge right at you. If you see your enemy is routing, you may wel opt to stop shooting and let them and save breath and arrows for when you really need them.

    Length of battles

    I don't want to get rambly, so I'll keep this short. Just because a battle takes from dawn till dusk doesn't mean one archer will have enemies in effective range all the time. The amount for which he will have them will be extremely short, because the melee enemy will endeavour to cross the distance where he's getting shot at as quickly as possible. Most medieval battles tend to take at most 3 hours, with only rare expections - those exceptions can drag, though, like battle of Mohi/Sajo, where Hungarian and Mongol armies had some for of continuous action going on for over a month, or Richard the Lionheart's pincushion march.

    More arrows is not more good

    Let's establish this real quick - you want to carry as few as you can, because it's less weight and less chance of accidental breakage - baggage train tends to have less knocking around than a quiver, and those numbers add up. The ideal situation is you expend every single one of your arrows and need not one more.

    How does one restock

    I wish we knew. There is the obvious solution of just going to the cart with arrows yourself, but there is also possibility of squires or hired help of some sort doing dedicated resupply. Or maybe the new guy would get the job if a major battle happened?

    So how does one archer in battle?

    In general you have four modes of action in battle as an archer.

    Mode 1: Nothing is in reach, you either march around or wait.

    Mode 2: Something is in reach at your long range and it may or may not shoot at you. In this case, you can answer with long range harassing, skirmishing fire - but only if your army has enough ammunition. Sometimes, you're better off hiding behind the closest guy with a shield. This kind of shooting tends to be slow, because there is no need for speed.

    Horse archers especially love this mode, and they may opt to have 100+ arrows on them or rapidly circle back to their resupply to continue it, or both. You want former if you are drawing enemy to chase you with a false retreat and the latter if the enemy is stationary and you want to keep up harassing fire.

    Mode 3: Oh **** mode. Enemy infantry or cavalry charges, enemy archer formation moves into effective range and opens up. It's essential for you to expend as many arrows as possible to take them out, and take them out quickly. This is where those 20 arrows per minute over a minute comes in, and where it shines. This is also the exact situation at Agincourt.

    In this mode, you shoot only when the enemy is at the distance where you can take direct, aimed shots into their weaker armor bits (armpit gap, face, groin, horse) - it tends to be at about 50-60 meters. You can sprint that distance in about 10 seconds in clothes and 20 seconds in armor, but if you need to keep cohesion, you will be slower. Probably more than twice as slow, which gives us 40+ seconds, which is about a minute. Which means the English knew what they were doing, which is not surprising.

    The thing about this mode is, once the melee begins, you revert into a sort of mode 2 - you can take point blank aimed shots, but only at a more measured pace, because you really don't want to accidentally spike a friend of yours into the back of his head.

    If you have a very good terrain advantage and have elevated bank or something, you can still keep going at it full pelt, but consider this: you still want to take out as many of them before the lines clash, to make your infantry's life easier and disrupt enemy lines. It's better to go pedal to the metal and then be at 1/3 capacity than to go half and half, even in this somewhat rare ideal case.

    Mode 4: Either something went FUBAR or you want to finish off a routing enemy. It's time to gently put down the bow, draw that falchion and buckler you have and have at it.




    With this in mind. If there is a battle, organizing those dedicated charges takes time. In that time, you cen be resupplied. So, even if, and that's a very big if, there is a battle so big against a foe so disciplined there will be multiple main clashes, you can restock.

    For one clash, you will likely only have a minute to shoot at them effectively, and in that minute, you will be able to expend 10-20 arrows. If there is no skirmish phase, you only need that much. If there is a skirmish phase, you may need more than that, so carrying some reserve is not necessarily a bad idea, but skirmish phases tend to be slower-paced, and therefore give you the option to resupply.

    So, after that wall of text: you only carry 20-30 arrows because that's all you will likely need, and you will almost certainly have some time to restock in battle.

    All that said, I'm absolutely positive there was at least one guy at Agincourt who ran out of arrows, just as the French charge came, because he was plinking at distant targets. I would dearly like to go back in time to take a picture of his face at that moment.

    Edit: typo
    Last edited by Martin Greywolf; 2021-01-11 at 07:15 PM.
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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Greywolf View Post
    Most medieval battles tend to take at most 3 hours, with only rare expections . . .
    And it's not likely that an archer would be engaged (i.e. with targets to feasibly shoot at) for all three hours continuously. Battles tend to have an ebb and flow with different forces engaged at different times for different durations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fusilier View Post
    And it's not likely that an archer would be engaged (i.e. with targets to feasibly shoot at) for all three hours continuously. Battles tend to have an ebb and flow with different forces engaged at different times for different durations.
    Which is why that paragraph goes:

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Greywolf View Post
    Just because a battle takes from dawn till dusk doesn't mean one archer will have enemies in effective range all the time. The amount for which he will have them will be extremely short, because the melee enemy will endeavour to cross the distance where he's getting shot at as quickly as possible. Most medieval battles tend to take at most 3 hours, with only rare expections - those exceptions can drag, though, like battle of Mohi/Sajo, where Hungarian and Mongol armies had some for of continuous action going on for over a month, or Richard the Lionheart's pincushion march.
    That said, there are exceptions once again, even with regards to individual archers fighting. Agincourt saw English archers being in action pretty much for the full duration, and battle of Marchfeld/Morava field had action by cuman horse archers from dawn until noon. However, there are, once again, factors that made restocking possible and not a major issue.

    Agincourt was mostly static, at least for English infantry - every archer got two sheafs of arrows, and there was probably a quite lively effort to resupply. Marchfeld was done by cavalry archers, who had little trouble in withdrawing and restocking.
    That which does not kill you made a tactical error.

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    Default Re: Got a Real-World Weapon, Armour or Tactics Question? Mk. XXIX

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Greywolf View Post
    Which is why that paragraph goes:
    . . .
    Wasn't arguing with you. I was just reiterating that point for the original question.
    Last edited by fusilier; 2021-01-11 at 11:24 PM.

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