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Thread: Horse Archery

  1. #1
    Corporal Melons's Avatar
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    Horse Archery

    Horse archery has been talked about elsewhere and not much is known about horse archery other than we are able to fire longbows from horseback. In light of this I feel that it warrants a discussion.

    First of all for anyone interested the horse archery itself can be seen here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnNrHdihGSY at 10:29

    Some evidence of horseback gunnery in 15th century europe:
    Possible evidence for English horse archers:

    A couple of thoughts that I had are:

    1.We can fire longbows from horseback, will we also be able to fire crossbows and flintlocks among other weapons from horseback?
    2.With regards to balancing will mounted archers have an accuracy penalty?
    3.Will there be any mounted archery and or gunnery perks?
    4.Will archers and gunners be able to spawn with a horse or will a horse archer only become possible if a spawned footman archer comes across a stray horse?

    Pros and cons of horse archery:

    Pros:

    1.Gameplay? some people enjoy playing as a horse archer (the devs had said themselves that they want accuracy but also want a fun game).

    Cons:

    1.Historically innacurate- English bowmen were known to use horses for mobility but fought dismounted (If anyone has evidence to prove otherwise share it!).
    2.Would require balancing.
    3.Accuracy on horseback would need to be tweaked
    4.A class limit or other method may need to be used to stop it becoming war of the mongols instead of war of the roses.
    5.Warband-Khergit syndrome: many people find horse archers unfuriating to fight against and this could detract from gameplay and the fun-factor.

    Personally I'm against WoTR having dedicated horse archers and perks so for anyone interested (for or against) we can discuss it here. I'll update the OP with any answers to the questions or any points people want to make.
    Last edited by Melons; 14-06-2012 at 19:24.

  2. #2
    I doubt that horsearchery has been common during the wars of the roses :/

    Regarding warband: Horsearchery is really annoying and game-destroying


    Just a question for those people who shoot bows in their freetime: Is it possible to shoot a longbow from horseback? Please only answer those who have tested it or know those who tried. No answers from guys who think it might/might not work, we have enough of wannabe-professionals in game forums -.-

  3. #3
    General Bloodmerchant's Avatar
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    The longbow is at least 6 ft long, nobody is going to ride on a horse and carry a 6-foot bow while drawing the bowstring to the cheek. And plus, longbows were used for volley fire and surprise attacks.

  4. #4
    Sergeant Ragni's Avatar
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    It is indeed possible to do so, Mike Loades (that awesome, bald historian) has done on it. As far as I know, however, archers did quite often posses horses, but they only used them as a means of transportation (the English ones that is).

    If there's one faction I always hated back in good old Warband t'was the Khergits. Bloody cowards! :P

    Here's a link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcpHB-flwJQ

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    Sergeant Ragni's Avatar
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    Odd. We just came up with the exact same link.

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    Field Marshal Destraex's Avatar
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    In the hundred years war at least their were definently a lot of mounted archers. However they always dismounted to fight for obvious reasons.

  8. #8
    Wouldn't a long bow hit the ground on horseback though? Or at least the main body of the horse would restrict where and how you could hold it. Which is why the Khergits had those little quick draw smaller ones, so they could aim and fire quicker?

  9. #9
    Illustration from Dictionnaire raisonné du mobilier français de l'époque carlovingienne à la renaissance, By Viollet le Duc. Itself based upon an illustration from Mainland Europe in the 1460's or 70's, I recall.





    Note of course that this is slightly.... uncommon.
    but not impossible.
    And I expect that accuracy would be limited to a range of about 6 feet, at best.
    "We had two bags of books, seventy-five PDF files, five sheets of high-resolution linework, a hard drive half-full of photographs, and a whole galaxy of armour, swords, pollaxes, maces... Also, a quarto of latin texts, a quarto of manuscripts, a case of swords, and two dozen fechtbuch. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious history collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    The only things that really worried me were the fechtbuch. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of a history binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon."

  10. #10
    Wouldn't a long bow hit the ground on horseback though?
    Only if you're riding a shetland pony.
    "We had two bags of books, seventy-five PDF files, five sheets of high-resolution linework, a hard drive half-full of photographs, and a whole galaxy of armour, swords, pollaxes, maces... Also, a quarto of latin texts, a quarto of manuscripts, a case of swords, and two dozen fechtbuch. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious history collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    The only things that really worried me were the fechtbuch. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of a history binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon."

  11. #11
    Corporal Melons's Avatar
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    That gun looks........fiddly to say the least . I'll update the OP with the picture and a little description. I'm assuming this means that freely mobile flintlocks (like the ones the footmen use in the videos) weren't used from horseback until later? and I know that crossbows were used from horseback in some western armies (Germans,Italians etc) but were they used in the British isles at all?.

  12. #12
    Flintlocks werent developed till the 17th century. the most advanced firearms in the 1470's are the very first generation of arquebus, with a lever-lock mechanism. pretty much a S-shaped lever that is used to push the slow-burning match onto the pan. Around 1460 the pan starts to slowly migrate from on top of the gonne, as it was on cannon, to the side away from the firer's face, where a depression (the pan) is sited. by about 1480-1490, you've got the first arquebus with a snap-lock mechanism, with spring and trigger (often a lever or a button at that date, the same as on crossbows.).

    I honestly cant imagine that the tiller-stocked gonne could be practically reloaded by a rider, certainly while on the move.
    Though in fairness, medieval guns are an area that I've not been lucky enough to try out myself...

    yet.
    "We had two bags of books, seventy-five PDF files, five sheets of high-resolution linework, a hard drive half-full of photographs, and a whole galaxy of armour, swords, pollaxes, maces... Also, a quarto of latin texts, a quarto of manuscripts, a case of swords, and two dozen fechtbuch. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious history collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    The only things that really worried me were the fechtbuch. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of a history binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon."

  13. #13
    Corporal Melons's Avatar
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    Thanks for the clarification . I'm starting to think that if the devs were to be 100% historically accurate archers would use horses for moving around the battlefield but not as a firing platform. Mounted crossbowmen-there is evidence for them in central european armies in France,Germany and Italy but I'm not sure if the weapon was loaded on horseback or if they dismounted and fought on foot. With the guns I think if we combined your logical argument with the lack of any solid proof for english mounted gunners, we come to the conclusion that they just aren't viable from horseback.

  14. #14
    would more be a case that horses were used to travel to the battlefield, be it 10 miles, 100 miles, whatever, and they were then kept with the baggage and munitions, while the soldiers would then advance on foot for the last mile or so during battle.

    only reason the archers would still be mounted would be if a company were ambushed enroute.
    "We had two bags of books, seventy-five PDF files, five sheets of high-resolution linework, a hard drive half-full of photographs, and a whole galaxy of armour, swords, pollaxes, maces... Also, a quarto of latin texts, a quarto of manuscripts, a case of swords, and two dozen fechtbuch. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious history collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    The only things that really worried me were the fechtbuch. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of a history binge, and I knew we'd get into that rotten stuff pretty soon."

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Kal_Zakath View Post
    Horsearchery is really annoying and game-destroying
    It was "annoying and game-destroying" in real life too. Just ask good ol' Crassus and his poor legionaries.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodmerchant View Post
    The longbow is at least 6 ft long, nobody is going to ride on a horse and carry a 6-foot bow while drawing the bowstring to the cheek. And plus, longbows were used for volley fire and surprise attacks.
    Well the first thing that came to mind was the Japanese samurai, which made a habit of firing their equivalent bows (the Yumi) from horseback. So It's certainly not just possible, but practical. The question to me is, did they actually do this in Europe at the time? If not, I see no reason to add a potentially unbalancing element like this.
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    Second Lieutenant tha_jeez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stauffenberg13 View Post
    It was "annoying and game-destroying" in real life too. Just ask good ol' Crassus and his poor legionaries.
    ^agreed, the mongols didn't conquer a third of the world by tickling toes and eating cookies, nor by fighting like real men do

  18. #18
    Corporal Melons's Avatar
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    I found this picture depicting the battle of Blanchetaque in 1346 during the hundred years war. The picture depicts English mounted longbowmen on the left bank and the french on the right bank. There are several problems though; the picture depicts events 100 years prior to the war of the roses and it is not known whether the horsemen used the same longbows as the footmen or a special type created for them.

    Click image for larger version

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    Source: http://archive.worldhistoria.com/eng...ost426742.html

  19. #19
    Captain Digu21's Avatar

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    Well have heard about just that battle, but it was mainly that battle. Otherwise longbowmen would ride horseback onto the battlefield then dismount when firing their bows or somewhat more like that.. So Im actually against Horse Archery.
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Kal_Zakath View Post

    Regarding warband: Horsearchery is really annoying and game-destroying
    I think the same; i dont care about if horse archers are or not historical, i just think they are too unbalanced to a game like this, they can run away while firing you mortal arrows, and the only thing you can do is wait until they shoot all their arrows.

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