What type of Bow should my MC use????

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by WeilderOfTheMonkeyBlade, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. Just thinking about a fps fantasy, the main character will be an archer, what sort of bow should he use and why.
    LONGBOWS are out people :( because, much as I love them, the mc hasn't had ten years of his childhood practising constantly, and the bow isn't good for a horse mounted mercenary, to long, cumbersome, and armour isn't as extensive as 14-15th century full plate.
     
  2. Bpeter

    Bpeter Acolyte

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    Well if you want an archer on horseback a shortbow would be best.
     
  3. What about a hornbow?
     
  4. Butterfly

    Butterfly Auror

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  5. Tom_Bombadil

    Tom_Bombadil Acolyte

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    A recurve bow is also what I was thinking. It has good range and is not as large as a longbow.

    Another choice would be the Composite Bow (Composite bow - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) which was used in many ancient cultures to great effect: the Parthians, Ancient Egyptians, Ming Chinese, Scythians, and many others used it. It was often used on horseback (especially by the Parthians) so it might be of use for your hero.
    Hope I was of service.
     
  6. Addison

    Addison Auror

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    A compact bow, although I don't know what they'd look like, or if they exist, in your chosen time period.
     
  7. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    A composite (laminated) recurve shortbow like those used by the Mongolians. They fall within the 45-80 pound draw weight range and tend to shoot shorter and flatter than a longbow, but are incredibly effective on horseback.
     
  8. So what is the longest length a bow could be, and still be feasibly used on horseback?? Also, how much moisture does a composite bow have to be subject to before it falls apart ( and I do know about using bark as protection)
    thanks for all the comments!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    :)
     
  9. Addison

    Addison Auror

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    I think the best woods used for bows were....elm. Or something. They cut the wood from only a few inches of the outside where the bark/outside was dry and sturdy but the inside was moist and pliable.
     
  10. A. E. Lowan

    A. E. Lowan Forum Mom Leadership

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    MY first 2 thoughts are -

    How tall is he?

    What is the tech level of your world?

    This can change many things.
     
  11. TheokinsJ

    TheokinsJ Troubadour

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    First of all- long bows were certainly the best weapon for taking out mounted men on horseback- because the arrowheads could be custom made to pierce plate and horse flesh, so that doesn't really come into a factor as to why your mc doesn't use them. Longbows were also the least cumbersome ranged weapon there was, crossbows were the next best thing- much heavier, much more cumbersome with a very long reload time which came at the cost for increased accuracy. Recurve bows are a type of longbow, they are shorter than longbows with a better range (Depending on size and style) and certainly they were light and easy to handle. Other than that, there aren't any other types I know of.
     
  12. Kahle

    Kahle Minstrel

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    I think what he was saying is that he wants a bow that can be used from horseback, not against mounted opponents. Plus, as he points out, effectively using a longbow as an individual weapon and building up that sort of strength takes a significant amount of time. However, MonkeyBlade, using any bow as an individual weapon will take some time. The longbow takes longer due to its draw weight (building up enough muscle) and learning to judge the distance. Both can be done by the time someone reaches about 18 yrs of age. As Tom mentioned, look to Mongolian horsebow-composite materials so you're not limited to a geographic region so to speak, shorter for easy maneuvering, and recurved for extra power. I believe some Mongolian bows could get up to 120 lb draw weight. If you're willing to go out on a limb here, take a look a the Japanese Yumi bow. It was a longbow that could be shot from horseback due to its radical design. Other longbows you would have to dismount to use, while crossbows can be operated from horseback with the use of a hand crank/winch. Granted there's the training time factor, but just a different idea.
     
  13. Tom

    Tom Istar

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    The best woods for bows are yew and hickory--both very hard and dense, but still flexible. For horseback archery, I'd say the bow would have to be a yard to five feet long. Anything longer would be cumbersome to use when you're bouncing around in the saddle.

    Many archers in the middle ages had canvas cases to slip their bows in when not in use; these were generally waterproof. Wood can absorb an incredible amount of water before becoming weak enough to snap or fall apart.
     
  14. Kahle

    Kahle Minstrel

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    You also have to consider the string. While the bow stave would weather the damp to some degree, the bow strings were rather fragile, even if you waxed them. Hence why archers kept extra strings protected and coiled under their hats. Cases-for riders at least-could be framed with wood and covered with oiled canvas or leather. Larger bows could not be kept strung b/c of the constant strain it would put on the string-not at great a problem with the smaller horsebows and shortbows.
     
  15. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

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    The best mounted bows weren't made from a single piece of wood, they were composite bows made of different pieces of wood and horn meant to "spring back" at different angles that all contribute to the overall power. (Yew makes great single-piece bows because the wood's layers have different composition, so it all springs back hard when bent. Wonder what a Mongol bow made partly of yew pieces would do...)
     
  16. He is quite tall, maybe six 1 or 2 ish. The tech level is high, at the highest end are rifled flintlock muskets ( but super expensive and rare and VERY FEW AROUND) going through normal flintlock muskets ( rare and expensive), matchlock muskets (common ish) and then standard weaponry. It is a mix of rensaciance and preindustrial period ( but only really had this idea a few days ago, and still working on something else, just thought I would write the first few pages to stop it bugging me. There is also magic.
     
  17. Kahle

    Kahle Minstrel

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    if you're mixing medieval and industrial (firearms), take a look at the last years of feudal Japan. There was a definitive clash of culture and technology, old vs. new.
     
  18. THE DECISION HAS BEEN MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    THE BOW WILL BE........................
    Mongolian bow. If they were good enough to conquer an empire from China to Europe, my MC should be happy to have one:)
    Also allows me to fit in to the back story training at a school for horse archery run by a type of native American/Mongolian type of people.
     
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