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Alexis Bataille




Location: montpellier
Joined: 31 Aug 2014

Posts: 95

PostPosted: Thu 27 Nov, 2014 2:05 am    Post subject: Ranged weapons         Reply with quote

Hello folks !
in my gaming project i need point blank shot range of various weapons
what i mean by point blank shot range : maximum comfortable (90% or more chance of hitting) range to hit a static standing men without any armour
The shooters is an elite shooter heavily trained for each weapon.

weapons / range

longbow 50 m
Turkish composite bow ?
Mongol riding short composite bow ?
hunting short bow 30 m
Norman crossbow (11th century) 40m
heavy crossbow (15th century) 60m
sling 25m
Greek light javelin 20m
Roman pilum 15m
throwing axe (francsisca) 10m
throwing knife 4 m



I know most ranged weapons was used like artillery.


Correct me plzz
cheers
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,302

PostPosted: Thu 27 Nov, 2014 6:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not to be squabbling, I'm honestly curious--has the term "point blank" been redefined recently? I always understood it to mean basically just past arm's reach, or the moral equivalent. A foot or less for a firearm, 50 feet for a battleship gun, that sort of thing. What I'm seeing in your list are basic effective battlefield ranges, almost long ranges (though hardly extreme) for the javelins.

In the old days it was D&D that gave us all kinds of, um, novel terminology, so I'm guessing some currently popular game might be an influence, here.

Thanks!

Matthew
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Alexis Bataille




Location: montpellier
Joined: 31 Aug 2014

Posts: 95

PostPosted: Thu 27 Nov, 2014 6:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

sorry replace "point blank shot" with "close shot" . or " effective battle range".
20 m for javelin is too extreme ? 10 m is better ? Or even 8 meters ?
so Roman pilum is more 5 meters like and francisca 3 meters ?

thanks Happy
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Sancar O.





Joined: 04 Mar 2014

Posts: 30

PostPosted: Thu 27 Nov, 2014 7:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's a useful link for range info on Turkish composite bows:

http://www.turkisharchery.info/?p=competitions
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Alexis Bataille




Location: montpellier
Joined: 31 Aug 2014

Posts: 95

PostPosted: Thu 27 Nov, 2014 11:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

nice info for Turkish bow, nothing to say about the other ranges ?
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,302

PostPosted: Fri 28 Nov, 2014 4:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey, it was Thanksgiving yesterday, and they wouldn't let me throw things in the house!

All seriousness aside, I'm sure there are a couple threads on javelin ranges somewhere. The pilum is the only thing I have much experience with, though I'm hardly trained or athletic! And I'm sure I've done some measuring of the throws me and my fellow Romans can accomplish, but I just don't remember the results very well. Pacing off some distances in the office here, I'm pretty sure I can throw a pilum 10 to 15 meters. And I'm sure the Romans could throw much better than that! So call that an "effective range", with a "maximum range" of maybe 25 or even 30 meters? Lighter javelins could logically go farther, not that all javelins are necessarily lighter than the pilum.

I'd guess that an *effective* range for a thrown axe would be rather less than for a javelin, even if the *maximum* range isn't much less. Actually getting it to hit with the edge adds difficulty. Even worse with thrown knife or dagger. Tomahawk throwers that I've seen always pace off from the target to their optimal throw distance, to be sure the axe is hitting blade-first when it gets to the target. On the battlefield, all you can really depend on is axes bouncing and flying everywhere, great for distraction but not quite as lethal as javelins.

So just to continue the terminology discussion, I'd say "point blank" is basically "in your face". Short range is just that, an easy throw that is likely to be pretty accurate. "Effective range" is about as far as one can be expected to throw *in battle* with any hope of putting it where you want it. "Maximum range" is as far as you can throw on a practice field or in optimal conditions, without trying to really aim, just going for pure distance. Just remember that with thrown weapons on a battlefield, "effective range" can change to "point blank" VERY quickly! That makes for a strong influence on accuracy and effectiveness.

Matthew
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Alexis Bataille




Location: montpellier
Joined: 31 Aug 2014

Posts: 95

PostPosted: Fri 28 Nov, 2014 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ok, that's short range that interest me the most actually.
Pilum short range can be 8 meters for a Roman legionary ?
thanks !
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,302

PostPosted: Fri 28 Nov, 2014 8:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That sounds reasonable. They were certainly better than me!

Matthew
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Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 28 Nov, 2014 9:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far ranges as described in the original post go, consider the few records we have from 15th- and 16th-century crossbow competition. In one 1458 event in Nuremberg, contestants shot a target that was under 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter at a distance of nearly 300 feet (91 m). The winner hit 11 times out of 50 shots. 22% accuracy hitting a target roughly the size of somebody's face at 91 meters isn't bad. The winner of later contest in Zurich hit 13 out of 24 shots at similarly sized target at 70 m (76.5 yards). That's 54% accuracy.

Given the tiny size of these targets, I imagine the shooters would have done much better if aiming at an entire person. 50-70 meters sounds about right to me for a 90% chance to hit a figure standing still, but the crossbow as a rule should outperform the bow here. So whatever the range of the self-bow or composite bow, the crossbow's range should be somewhat more.

Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
Joined: 24 Jul 2011

Posts: 328

PostPosted: Sat 29 Nov, 2014 3:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Point blank range is the distance within which the point of aim is the same, or nearly so, as the point of impact. With some modern rifles point blank range can be measured in hundreds of yards.

This is actually very relevant if you want realistic game mechanics for obsolescent weaponry. For instance with a bow you're going to have a minimum and a maximum point blank range. If you're shooting a bow at a close target you have to aim below it and if you're shooting at a distant target you have to aim above it, both of these require more skill than aiming at the desired point of impact. A close range shot could be slightly penalized, a long range shot could be more significantly penalized.
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Alexis Bataille




Location: montpellier
Joined: 31 Aug 2014

Posts: 95

PostPosted: Sat 29 Nov, 2014 4:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great ! you all help me a lot Happy.
Thanks
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sat 29 Nov, 2014 5:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike's right. For a bow, point-blank means the range at which the arrow will hit the target when the arrow's point is superimposed upon the target in the archer's vision. This could vary significantly with the weight of the bow, the draw length, the weight of the arrow, and all that stuff, but the most significant factor would be the archer's style, especially with regards to the position of the hand that draws the string. If this drawing hand is at about eye-height (quite uncommon), the archer would effectively be sighting down the arrow and the point-blank range would be quite short. If the drawing hand is tucked under the chin (as in modern sport archery), this would be at a significantly longer range, or rather two bands of ranges; there'd be maybe two or three meters in front of the archer where the arrow would hit a man-sized target if aimed point-blank, then a long interval in which the arrow rises above the height of a man, and then maybe three or four meters out at the range where the arrow falls back down to be at the right altitude to hit a man somewhere between the head and the foot. This longer-distance range band would be quite some distance away -- about 40 meters for one of my old bows, probably some 55-ish meters for my current sport bow (haven't had the chance to shoot it over long distances). Now I hope you get the idea of how complicated the idea of a "point-blank range" for many missile weapons is.

And yes, it doesn't answer your question, because I'm afraid I don't think it can be meaningfully answered as it is.
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Gary T




Location: Missouri
Joined: 10 Mar 2014

Posts: 40

PostPosted: Sat 29 Nov, 2014 7:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you are looking at it from a gaming perspective, the biggest issue I generally see is with movement. A moving target is much more difficult to hit than a stationary one.

Quote:
In one 1458 event in Nuremberg, contestants shot a target that was under 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter at a distance of nearly 300 feet (91 m). The winner hit 11 times out of 50 shots. 22% accuracy hitting a target roughly the size of somebody's face at 91 meters isn't bad. The winner of later contest in Zurich hit 13 out of 24 shots at similarly sized target at 70 m (76.5 yards). That's 54% accuracy


Quote:
Given the tiny size of these targets, I imagine the shooters would have done much better if aiming at an entire person. 50-70 meters sounds about right to me for a 90% chance to hit a figure standing still, but the crossbow as a rule should outperform the bow here



Ben's examples above make very good sense.

However, make this a moving target, and I think at best you see 50% of the accuracy you do on a stationary target.

You also have to realize in the above, it's an expert archer, a contest winner.

Now make both target and archer moving, and an accurate shot would be relatively impossible at any decent range. Though whether the archer is "moving" or not takes into account how long a turn is. An archer can run a few yards, loose an arrow and run again. You don't need more than a few seconds to accurately draw and loose an arrow.
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Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

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PostPosted: Sat 29 Nov, 2014 6:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Moving targets certainly make things more difficult, especially how slowly - compared with modern bullets - arrows and bolts travel. Even at a solid initial velocity of 60 m/s, at target at a mere 30 m would have more than half a second to get out of the way. So it's at least theoretically possible an aware target at 30 m could dodge after the bolt/arrow left the bow/crossbow. While this seems extreme, folks do dodge/catch/cut paintballs travelling around the same speed. Move that out to 60 m and the target has a full second plus. And we do have various period accounts of dodging arrows/bolts/etc. Based on all this, I suspect hitting moving, aware targets in a skirmish situation was quite difficult beyond 30-40 m.
Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
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Alexis Bataille




Location: montpellier
Joined: 31 Aug 2014

Posts: 95

PostPosted: Sun 30 Nov, 2014 4:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

bow/crossbow hunting is limited to 30-40 meters not only because of accuracy, many archers can have solid hitting stats above this.But because of animal dodging, wild animal are aware all the time and they react fast to loud sound like bow release.
So yes if the target move fast and unpredicabily on right or left accuracy is dropped of course :3.
Anyway at 60m/s and a reaction time of 0.2 sec i think you can't perceive and dodge below 30 m Razz better to run before the shoot x)
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Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

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PostPosted: Sun 30 Nov, 2014 8:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Theoretically dodging 60 m/s projectile at 30 m and closer should be possible at least for the exceptional. Human reaction times get as low as 0.1 seconds. Assuming an acceleration of 10 m/s, a person could move 15 cm (nearly 6 inches) in 0.175 seconds according to this calculator. That's enough distance to avoid many if not most shots assuming perfect application. I don't really know how fast humans can accelerate for quick movements like dodging, but 10 m/s is doable if only by falling. But even an acceleration of 5 m/s gets you 22.5 cm (almost 9 inches) at 0.3 seconds. So 0.2-second reaction time plus 0.3 seconds of movement can happen within the 0.5+ seconds it takes a projectile moving at 60 m/s to travel 30 m. (I write 0.5+ seconds because the projectile slows down slightly as it travels.)

Folk rarely mention this, but I think one of the gun's many advantages over the bow/crossbow/sling was that it's high projectile velocity prevented dodging and made hitting moving targets easier. Your basic arquebus probably managed 400+ m/s with a decent charge, thus traveling 30 m in less than 0.1 seconds. In a skirmish or siege, that's huge.

Read my historically inspired fantasy fiction in here. I walk along a winding path set by Ludovico Ariosto, William Morris, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Ursula Le Guin.

Out of doubt, out of dark to the day's rising
I came singing in the sun, sword unsheathing.
To hope's end I rode and to heart's breaking:
Now for wrath, now for ruin and a red nightfall!
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Alexis Bataille




Location: montpellier
Joined: 31 Aug 2014

Posts: 95

PostPosted: Sun 30 Nov, 2014 10:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another advantage of late crossbow, faster bolt = easier to shoot on moving targets, harder to avoid.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2014 7:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've successfully dodged arrows shot from as little as 18 meters (20 yards) away in a rather irresponsible experiment with my archery club. We used modern target bows and light arrows, of course, not warbows and war arrows built to historical dimension, but the arrow was fully drawn and released at full speed (for that given combination of bow and arrow) so I'm pretty confident that dodging a single arrow from approximately that distance isn't that hard if the dodger can see the archer at or before the moment of release. If the would-be dodger only notices the arrow when it's already on its way, then he has my condolences.

That's for just one arrow, though. Dodging two arrows at once is several times more difficult (I tested it several months later -- in a much less irresponsible experiment with slower rubber-tipped arrows -- and got nailed pretty often), and trying to dodge three arrows (with an emphasis on trying) is as good as suicide. And of course this assumes that the dodger has unlimited freedom of movement -- not stuck in a formation or impeded by obstacles.

(Forgot to mention that all these experiments had a standing start, so I was a stationary target right up to the moment of release. So no, I didn't have to start as an already-moving target to have a good chance of dodging a single arrow.)
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