aspqrz
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[ALPHA] Crossbows are NOT Super weapons compared to Bows

Sat 28 Nov 2020, 22:21

Crossbows as a 'super' weapon?!?

Crossbows are mishandled by pretty much every RPG because designers read the 'pounds' (or kilos) draw weight and compare it to the same for regular bows and say 'whoo-hoo! Super weapon!'

The problem is that that ignores basic physics. The Longbow with a typical 120-140 lb draw weight has a range and damage capacity pretty much the same (maybe 5% difference in range and minimal difference in damage) to a Crossbow with 5-10 times the draw weight ... for the simple reason that the Longbow is drawn back to the ear and the crossbow only 3-4 inches. So the power actually delivered by this shorter stroke is pretty much the same.

The main advantage that a Crossbow has over a Longbow is that it requires less training to become accurate, can be cocked and aimed for long periods and can be fired prone.

Medieval reports indicate that English Longbowmen *on campaign* lost about 20% of their draw power (so less range and less damage) within a week or two of leaving home ... constant practise was needed to maintain it and, on constant move in campaign mode they couldn't do that.

Damage, Crit and Range should be the same for both ... the only advantage should be, as noted, that it can be aimed for several rounds and can be fired prone.

Phil McGregor
========
Author: Space Opera (FGU); Rigger Black Book #1 (FASA); Orbis Mundi 2, The Marketplace, Ithura & Porthaven, Fantasy Europe (PGD); Road to Armageddon & Supplements, Displaced, Audace ad Gloriam, Farm, Forge & Steam (PGD).
 
AEB
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Re: [ALPHA] Crossbows are NOT Super weapons compared to Bows

Sun 29 Nov 2020, 06:02

Longbows may be manufactured by civilians to hunt with but are unlikely to be anywhere like the draw weight of a medieval bow that required practice since childhood to draw the warbows.

What there would be are sporting and hunting bows that are different in both materials and operation that a old school self-bow.

In many respects the arrowhead / bolt is more important in causing damage than draw weight. A properly sharpened high-density broadhead can cause massive internal bleeding that is hard to stop (which is why big game hunters favour them) while a standard point target arrowhead would do far less damage.

It comes down to how crunchy you want to get.
 
aspqrz
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Re: [ALPHA] Crossbows are NOT Super weapons compared to Bows

Sun 29 Nov 2020, 06:24

Longbows may be manufactured by civilians to hunt with but are unlikely to be anywhere like the draw weight of a medieval bow that required practice since childhood to draw the warbows.

What there would be are sporting and hunting bows that are different in both materials and operation that a old school self-bow.

In many respects the arrowhead / bolt is more important in causing damage than draw weight. A properly sharpened high-density broadhead can cause massive internal bleeding that is hard to stop (which is why big game hunters favour them) while a standard point target arrowhead would do far less damage.

It comes down to how crunchy you want to get.

There's some argument as to what the Draw Weight of medieval Longbows actually was. Many sources suggest 120-140 lbs, but others (more recent in most cases) suggest that the range was much wider - 90-140 lbs - and that the functional differences on the Battlefield were minimal.

A lot of recent practical research has suggested that the main benefit of the extensive years of training English bowmen undertook was in the strength needed to draw and hold the Bow at full nock for an extended period to allow aiming. This was of less importance than might be expected on the actual battlefield as the English Bowmen were trained to use massed area fire rather than individual aimed fire and it was the former which allowed victories at Agincourt and Crecy (and other places).

Against unarmoured targets, yes, the type of arrow or bolt head is probably (definitely, I'd say), more important than any nominal draw weight ... they're going to penetrate if they hit and the broadhead is going to do massive damage.

I prefer high levels of crunch, so the 'sameness' of Bows and Crossbows as regards range and damage is important to me ... but maybe not to others!

Phil McGregor
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Author: Space Opera (FGU); Rigger Black Book #1 (FASA); Orbis Mundi 2, The Marketplace, Ithura & Porthaven, Fantasy Europe (PGD); Road to Armageddon & Supplements, Displaced, Audace ad Gloriam, Farm, Forge & Steam (PGD).
 
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Re: [ALPHA] Crossbows are NOT Super weapons compared to Bows

Mon 30 Nov 2020, 10:24

As for the differences between bows and crossbows, especially pertaining to modern ones: the basic physics of draw weight (i.e. force) and draw length (i.e. stroke) boil down to a v0 (somewhat simplified); factor in mass of the arrow/bolt, and you get a "muzzle energy". That's the simple part.
Then it gets complicated: the form factor of the projectile affects its aerodynamic properties, and its penetration. In general, a "longer" or "narrower" projectile (i.e. greater length/diameter ratio) is better than the opposite. Medieval quarrels were very short and stubby; modern ones are longer overall; compound crossbows have relatively speaking very long bolts.

In general I'd say a crossbow can do slightly greater damage but has slightly shorter range than a hunting bow (i.e., again, a modern compound bow).

Medieval longbows and crossbows are hardly relevant in context.
"Self" (improvised) bows are by comparison to any of the above ... rather inefficient.
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Re: [ALPHA] Crossbows are NOT Super weapons compared to Bows

Wed 02 Dec 2020, 23:31

Longbows may be manufactured by civilians to hunt with but are unlikely to be anywhere like the draw weight of a medieval bow that required practice since childhood to draw the warbows.

What there would be are sporting and hunting bows that are different in both materials and operation that a old school self-bow.

In many respects the arrowhead / bolt is more important in causing damage than draw weight. A properly sharpened high-density broadhead can cause massive internal bleeding that is hard to stop (which is why big game hunters favour them) while a standard point target arrowhead would do far less damage.

It comes down to how crunchy you want to get.
QFT

Some old longbows have been tested with standard of 28" draw of >180 lbs. Mind you, these are late medieval wooden longbows, and the curators stopped the testing there, People capable of firing them have discernable on X-ray/CT/MRI changes to the muscle attachments. Modern archers are not capable of firing them at full power.

Modern longbows are both shorter (typically 4' to 5' vs 5-6' in medieval longbows), and almost invariably recurved, made of laminated wood, and under 180 lbs. The official record for modern is 90 kg (198.4 lbs) at 82.5cm (32.5"), surprisingly, it's NOT a recurve, but is a joined wood bowstave. I've seen video of the guy pulling if further back than his record, too.
Note that a 180 lb @ 28 inches can go through a spanish breastplate (manufactured specifically for the testing by a reenactment smith) if the hit center on with an iron bodkin.

Modern sport hunting bows are typically under 100 lb draws. Serious archery hunters get into the 125 to 150 lb range, but most cannot draw anywhere near 150 lbs.
Typical youth bows are 20 lb to 30 lb draws, typical adult target shooting is 50 to 70 lb.

Compound bows also have disproportionate force transfer compared to longbows.

Fundamentally both come down to energy:impact area. And impact area is ALL about the head.
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aspqrz
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Re: [ALPHA] Crossbows are NOT Super weapons compared to Bows

Thu 03 Dec 2020, 09:05

Fundamentally both come down to energy:impact area. And impact area is ALL about the head.

Not entirely true. My understanding (from re-enactment experiments) is that the shafts of both arrows and crossbows actually made it more difficult to penetrate medieval armour (padded cloth through to plate) deeply enough to cause a certainly lethal wound. Sure, they might penetrate, but usually only 2-3 cm, and it didn't matter what the arrow or bolt was tipped with (except, if used against plates, it had better be steeled iron or actual steel ... iron arrowheads and bolt tips tended to shatter more often than not).

Against Kevlar with or without Ceramic or Titanium inserts the same problem - penetration depth, and some Kevlar is likely to still be around. And, of course, how many Armour Piercing arrowheads or bolt tips are there likely to be by 2000?

Yes, according to another post by one of the FL team, they assume that no opponent will have Body Armour, and their random encounter characters are set up that way ... which is really tipping the scales by placing their thumb firmly on it.

Against unarmoured opponents, it makes no difference, a Broadhead will penetrate deeply and you will bleed out quite quickly regardless of whether its fired from a Bow or Crossbow.

Phil McGregor
========
Author: Space Opera (FGU); Rigger Black Book #1 (FASA); Orbis Mundi 2, The Marketplace, Ithura & Porthaven, Fantasy Europe (PGD); Road to Armageddon & Supplements, Displaced, Audace ad Gloriam, Farm, Forge & Steam (PGD).

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