Do Parthia need a boost?

Field of Glory II is a turn-based tactical game set during the Rise of Rome from 280 BC to 25 BC.
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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by JorgenCAB » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:31 am

The major reason for why you don't see or hear about these types of troops actually using their bows to any measurable effect is that it is more or less impossible to use a bow while armoured to the teeth unless you armour are specifically designed for it.

If you take the Samurai in medieval Japan they used heavy armour and were horse archers quite capable to charge infantry in melee too. Their armour was specifically designed around this concept but also was less heavy than the typical knight armour.

In my opinion the heavy armour of the Cataphracts were not designed for archery in mind. So even if they could use their bows and occasionally did they were not very effective and that is why we also don't see stats for them in most games or at least reduced efficiency when they are allowed to use them.

As mentioned some Cataphract units had armoured archers as part of the formation. These had armour specifically made for using the bow and were less heavy than those armed with the lance for melee combat.

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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by Cheimison » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:43 pm

JorgenCAB wrote: As mentioned some Cataphract units had armoured archers as part of the formation. These had armour specifically made for using the bow and were less heavy than those armed with the lance for melee combat.
It would be nice to see this, then - maybe lower Protection than a full cataphracted cavalry unit, but with the ability to shoot (more weakly than a pure archery unit, obv.)

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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by NikiforosFokas » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:51 pm

jomni wrote:Regarding facing, I am also for the 360 degree shooting capability.
Mongols actually shoot arrows sideways and not head on... I suppose Parthians do the same thing.
Oh yes they did. in byzantine military manuals this kind of shoot was namimg the "parthian shooting".
For Byzantium!!

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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by Cheimison » Thu Oct 26, 2017 6:13 pm

NikiforosFokas wrote:
jomni wrote:Regarding facing, I am also for the 360 degree shooting capability.
Mongols actually shoot arrows sideways and not head on... I suppose Parthians do the same thing.
Oh yes they did. in byzantine military manuals this kind of shoot was namimg the "parthian shooting".
The Parthians used a different style of pull, though.
Westerners in general use the method that everyone in the West is taught, which is pretty crap but easy to learn. Parthians and most Aryan steppe tribes used a weird two-finger pull that is more powerful, faster, and allows you to keep more arrows in your hand. The Mongols and many Turkic tribes use a thumb pull, often assisted by a thumb ring, which is more powerful than even the Parthian pull but doesn't allow for holding additional arrows or shooting quite as fast.

What astounds me is that anyone is still taught the 'Western' method of draw, as it's distinctly inferior in power and thus undercuts accuracy (faster arrows shoot straighter and arc further). Especially since nobody but nerds bother to learn archery, anyway, may as well teach them one of the good methods. Actually, the same goes for the 'Western' method of horse riding. You'd think we'd bother to learn from the Goddamn steppe people who do this 24/7.

These categories are a bit loose, Romans used a thumb draw and lots of steppe Aryans did, too; but of the several variant methods the Mediterranean is the weakest on all counts except for requiring less physical strength and practice.

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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by JorgenCAB » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:38 pm

What many people don't know is that many horse archers often dismounted to use their bows since they could shoot much further and accurately that way. In fact I would not be surprised of most horse archers preferred to do that if able to.

The problem with sitting on a horse and shoot is that you don't get as much power out of the bow.

There could be a special ability for some horse archer to fire from either their front or back, but any shot not in their immediate front wound be at reduced efficiency, so not that useful in my opinion but also not expensive points wise either.

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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by jomni » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:14 am

JorgenCAB wrote:What many people don't know is that many horse archers often dismounted to use their bows since they could shoot much further and accurately that way. In fact I would not be surprised of most horse archers preferred to do that if able to.

The problem with sitting on a horse and shoot is that you don't get as much power out of the bow.

There could be a special ability for some horse archer to fire from either their front or back, but any shot not in their immediate front wound be at reduced efficiency, so not that useful in my opinion but also not expensive points wise either.
Because the mongols do it so well.

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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by Cheimison » Fri Oct 27, 2017 1:25 am

JorgenCAB wrote:What many people don't know is that many horse archers often dismounted to use their bows since they could shoot much further and accurately that way. In fact I would not be surprised of most horse archers preferred to do that if able to.

The problem with sitting on a horse and shoot is that you don't get as much power out of the bow.

There could be a special ability for some horse archer to fire from either their front or back, but any shot not in their immediate front wound be at reduced efficiency, so not that useful in my opinion but also not expensive points wise either.
Some of the composite bows were much higher pull for their size, and were effectively as powerful as much larger bows, even when used from horseback. Mongols were also very good at shooting while riding, firing only when all four of the horse's feet were off the ground. Persianids were also known for firing from horseback, though they're not quite the gymnasts that the Mongols are (they like body armor too much!)

Something that's somewhat reflected in this game but not in many games/histories is how basically all steppe people had cataphracts, which is how the Great Khan himself fought. Far from wearing the 'skins of field mice' these barbarian princes were decked out like steel peacocks on an acid trip.

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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by JorgenCAB » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:55 am

I know all about the different types of bows, but bows when shot from horseback still had limited use of that draw weight, you needed lighter arrows and used much less energy to fire from horseback. This is why they preferred to dismount to fire their bows. These bows were relatively ineffective against armour due to many different factors even if their theoretical draw weight was pretty darn impressive.

The number of horsemen in the Mongol army that had cataphract type armour were so few they could probably be ignored. That is more like a Gallic tribes leader being armed yet the majorit of their units was not armoured.

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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:40 am

JorgenCAB wrote:I know all about the different types of bows, but bows when shot from horseback still had limited use of that draw weight, you needed lighter arrows and used much less energy to fire from horseback. This is why they preferred to dismount to fire their bows.
I'd be really interested to see the basis for that claim. It really doesn't match what I've read about horse archers be they Huns, Romans, Persians, ghilman, Turks, Mongols, Chinese or whomever. Dismounting certainly happened from time to time, but usually from what I can see in relation to specific things like tackling enemy in bad terrain and wasn't routine.

As for the bows as long as you can draw it fully you get the same amount of energy in it whether on foot or mounted, surely. Sanding on the ground can't put more energy in. Arrows weight will certainly affect performance, however, I cannot see any reason why you need lighter arrows per se when on horseback. It may well be a choice for reasons, but I do not think it is a necessity - why would it be?
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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by Cheimison » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:42 am

JorgenCAB wrote: These bows were relatively ineffective against armour due to many different factors even if their theoretical draw weight was pretty darn impressive.
All bows are pretty ineffective against armor, especially solid armor. Obviously you can hit someone in an unarmored section, but unless a shot is at very close range the arrows tend to be deflected. The Mongols were known, however, for riding very close to enemy infantry and shooting them basically at point blank, then riding off again.
The number of horsemen in the Mongol army that had cataphract type armour were so few they could probably be ignored. That is more like a Gallic tribes leader being armed yet the majorit of their units was not armoured.
From what I have read it the indication was that every Mongol army that was put into pitched battles had some of these. Though as a part of their overall force, which was mostly Turkic, it was probably quite small. It was a different story with the Aryans of the classical period, though, who REALLY liked body armor.

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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by MaxDamage » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:10 pm

Mongol composite bows were a mile ahead of their european equivalents. being smaller and appliable from the horseback it produced much more energy for the arrow still.

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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by Jabster » Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:14 pm

Speaking as a newbie and putting the historical part to one side. I've played a few of battles both against and with them and it adds to the variety of gameplay.

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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by Cheimison » Fri Oct 27, 2017 4:50 pm

MaxDamage wrote:Mongol composite bows were a mile ahead of their european equivalents. being smaller and appliable from the horseback it produced much more energy for the arrow still.
Hungarians had some similar bows, but Western Europeans had neither the bows nor the archery technique to match the steppe people, especially not the Mongols or Persianids.

Aside from being fragile as Hell, modern compound bows can really knock the tar out of steppe bows, though.

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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:11 pm

Cheimison wrote: Hungarians had some similar bows, but Western Europeans had neither the bows nor the archery technique to match the steppe people, especially not the Mongols or Persianids.
The composite bows were technologically wonderful, but not suited to the damp climates of a lot of western Europe as they tend to come apart :shock:

Western Europeans compensated with "brute force and ignorance" heavy longbows and crossbows. May have lacked some elegance and not so good on horseback ( :P ), but effective enough.
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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by Cheimison » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:22 pm

nikgaukroger wrote: Western Europeans compensated with "brute force and ignorance" heavy longbows and crossbows. May have lacked some elegance and not so good on horseback ( :P ), but effective enough.
The crossbow is also like the primitive firearm, in that it's a lot easier to use and aim. From what I recall there were knights in the Languedoc and Occitan regions that used crossbow from horseback, though probably not while spinning around in the saddle ala Mongols.

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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by nikgaukroger » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:05 pm

Cheimison wrote:
nikgaukroger wrote: Western Europeans compensated with "brute force and ignorance" heavy longbows and crossbows. May have lacked some elegance and not so good on horseback ( :P ), but effective enough.
The crossbow is also like the primitive firearm, in that it's a lot easier to use and aim. From what I recall there were knights in the Languedoc and Occitan regions that used crossbow from horseback, though probably not while spinning around in the saddle ala Mongols.
Small numbers of mounted crossbowmen were used across western Europe, especially in Italy IIRC. Agree that they probably weren't as good on their horses as the steppe types :D
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Re: Do Parthia need a boost?

Post by JorgenCAB » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:59 pm

nikgaukroger wrote:
Cheimison wrote: Hungarians had some similar bows, but Western Europeans had neither the bows nor the archery technique to match the steppe people, especially not the Mongols or Persianids.
The composite bows were technologically wonderful, but not suited to the damp climates of a lot of western Europe as they tend to come apart :shock:

Western Europeans compensated with "brute force and ignorance" heavy longbows and crossbows. May have lacked some elegance and not so good on horseback ( :P ), but effective enough.
Yes... I did read somewhere that composite bows was not used in Europe for this very reason, they were very difficult to maintain. That and the culture to use them did not really exist. There did, on the other hand, exist other types of bow which were more like the English Longbow (later period) but these bows needed much more physical strength to use and could not be very effectively used from horseback.

The use of lighter arrows are, from what I have understood, from the fact that you didn't need that much armour penetration. 90% of the troops these archers faced did have little or no armour. You don't need to kill those 10%, the pros of lighter arrows was more ammunition and greater range which obviously was more important. I do feel the frustration of the horse archers who harassed the crusading knights with these light arrows who did almost no damage. The only worries the knights seemed to have from these horse archers was when they attacked the reserve horses and supplies in the rear who were unprotected. But, in ancient times quality armour and covering enough parts of the body was so rare it was negligible.

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