Goth Army Builder: Archers included?

  • I am super excited for the Goth army builder set, such a genius idea! Will the army builder set include archers? 

  • Good question, and I don't know.

    The upcoming (non-Army-Builder) Goths set was previewed a few weeks ago, and does, it seems, include at least enough bits to make 3 out of 5 of the figures archers, or 4 out of 5 into slingers.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I tend to end up with so many extra archer arms and arrow quivers from buying boxes of these sorts of figures for spare parts, that I just give them away, and otherwise repurpose them for other uses (shield arms, for example) by trimming the bows from hands if needed.  If the army builder doesn't include archer bits, I'll be surprised if it isn't easy to find some second-hand!


  • From what I recall of FB discussions both they and the romans were planned to have archers in the AB or as separate ABs even though in the Roman case at least that is almost on par with having a black riflemen AB for Nappy British.

    (Real war bows are generally well above 100 lb draw weights, so only freakishly strong and well trained bow warriors used them, in fact most modern sports and hunting archers would likely not be able to use them let alone normies since the highest draw weight bows in current use are 80lb with the typical range bows being 40lb-60lb).

  • @Brian Van De Walker think archers were far more common in a late Roman army than black Napoleonic rifleman! They deployed them behind the spear armed infantry so they could shoot  over their heads

  • Archer were very common in Late Roman Armies. The numbers of Archers were increasing during late Antiquity.

  • @Steffen Seitter yep. they also used the recurve composite bow, which could produce a lot of power with less draw weight and size.

    by the 6th century, the Strategikon of Emperor Mauriceactually states that the ideally trained infantryman is a bowman first and foremost, yet also trained to use shield, spear, and sword in shieldwalls as the frontline. with the formation of ranks of archers in the back ranks being a standard by that time. and recommended drilling the infantry in all of these skills frequently, particualrly in archery, with emphasis on both power and speed of fire. (stating that even if well aimed, a slow rate of fire is useless in a battle) emphasis was also put on being able to put the bow away quickly to take up spear and shield (presumably to fill the line of the foreward ranks if the others fall)

  • @Simon Boulton   @Steffen Seitter

    Well I guess I might be exaggerating a bit with that comparison  but archers would still be fairly uncommon and elite type unite in most of Europe even through Dark Ages and Middle ages, maybe not as rare as the black riflemen but they would be at most about as common as mounted knights  in full suits of armor normally in most armies (and I do mean blueblooded mounted knights, not mounted men at arms) and armies with AB level needs of  archers would be fairly exotic (England and its long bowmen was a weird back water army compared to the rest of Europe).  

     All war bows, without exception (ie the mentioned recurve bow included) should have had 80 lb+ draw weights at least and in practice they often went above 100lb with some claims out of East Asia of even going so far as 240 supposedly.  Meaning they are much harder draw than the puny modern bows you see nowadays including many of  the so call "replica war bows" you can buy online that tend to be at most around 60lb (normally 30-60lb). Anything less than 80lb draw weight is not all that effective at taking down big targets at a distance like humans, so I am fairly skeptical about your collective claims.

    The only one of you with a decent counter argument source wise is @Mithril2098 since the core force (not the bulk but the core) of a Roman army might be able to get away with that since it was a full time army part, but I would kind of want to look over the original source as well as a follow up report about how that actually worked out for them before building 60 archers since  this is  war bows we are talking about not your 30 lb archery range bows or 60lb hunting bows.


  • Yeah. 30-60 lb bows are for target practice and sport in any era. 80-100 lb draw is about right.

    But can I just clarify one REALLY important point about bows. Physics dictates energy out cannot exceed energy in. A recurve stores the energy in the limbs and string not so much more efficiently, but more smoothly. A longbow rated at the same poundage per draw length as a recurve stores the same energy as a recurve of the same rating. Recurves do allow for shorter bow limbs at a given power level (very important for horse archers), but are historically much more labour intensive to make, and don't do as well in wet climates where they tended to delaminate (not such an issue for modern ones, but historical ones were composites of wood, bone and sinew).

    And it IS misleading to discuss bow poundage without also mentioning the draw length, in much the same way it's misleading to discuss how much weight you can lift without discussing how far off the floor you can lift it. Optimal draw length varies from person to person and comparing a 120lb longbow drawn by a 6' guy with a 120lb recurve drawn by a 5'6" one can be tricky. Especially since there's also differences in draw style (draw to the cheek, draw past the ear, finger draw vs thumb draw etc). Arrow weight also has a big part to play. Typically, Eastern arrows are lighter than western ones and that plays a big part in effective range. The medieval longbow was inteded to smash armour at medium ranges; the Mongol composite one was used against lighter armoured targets and range was more important.

    Most modern bow hunters use compound bows, which use pulleys and are a totally different kettle of fish. You cannot compare the rating of a compound bow with that of a self or recurve easily. 

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