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Discussion of topics concerning life in the middle ages around the world, including architecture, history, and warfare.


Postby Velliscig » Tue Aug 07, 2007 4:11 am

Have you ever noticed, in like all the moves (Braveheart, King Arthur, etc.) the archers just line up and the enemies on the other side just sit there and wait for the volley? i'd say its a little fishy. The lining up part, sure. But why stand there and wait to be shot!? Why not run away and call up cavalry or something. Confusing.
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Postby ottoatm » Tue Aug 07, 2007 7:20 am

I'm by no means an authority here; all the knowledge I have in this area is based on Hollywood movies, which is to say worse than no knowledge at all.

However, my guess has something to do with the fact that the reason they did not retreat is because it would cause something like mass chaos.

Living here in Asia has taught me one thing... when a lot of people are going this way and that, and another large group are doing nothing at all, and another large group can't decide if they want to go somewhere or not, and which way to go if they do indeed decide to go somewhere... it just leads to the worst bit of chaos you've ever seen... :wink:
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Postby Aliencat » Tue Aug 07, 2007 3:56 pm

I think ottoatm is right, and I think it's also an issue of loyalty. You either stand your ground or run away, and if you're ordered to stand your ground, leaving your position is the same as fleeing from battle.
Also a group of soldiers form a banner, which is to stay in one group in one formation. Better to stand your ground and use shields to block the volley of arrows, chaos is the last thing you want on the battlefield.
Also the more discipline the soldiers have, the less likely they are to run away. I think a group of untrained peasants would run in the sight of the incoming arrows, whereas a formation of disciplined soldiers would stand their ground unless ordered to do otherwise.
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Re: Archers

Postby Tedward » Tue Aug 07, 2007 6:28 pm

Velliscig wrote:But why stand there and wait to be shot!? Why not run away and call up cavalry or something. Confusing.

Because the moment you turn to run away the battle is lost and you are either dead or dropping all your armour and weapons and loot to run faster. 8)

See, usually the other side has cavalry as well. The point of artillery (archers) is to break up infantry formations (aka cannon fodder) so cavalry (knights and men-at-arms on horseback) can ride individuals down and kill or capture them. A body of armed and trained men that stands its ground is not vulnerable to horses unless gaps can be created in the formations by maneuver or attack from artillery.

When facing archers you can try to wait them out with if they have a short supply of arrows and/or you have enough cover (shields/terrain) or you can attack them with your own cavalry (fast moving=good) or infantry (slow moving=bad).

But in any case, to win the battle you have engage the enemy. Armoured infantry cannot retreat in good order any faster than archers can advance so your suggestion they they "run away" is not possible as if you back up slowly they simply follow and keep shooting. If you actually run at speed you have lost the battle and the best you can hope is to rally your troops far enough away that your enemies will not have followed.
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Postby Velliscig » Wed Aug 08, 2007 3:59 am

Ah yes, Very good points. That does make some good sense, to stand your ground and not cause chaos. But if you look at it simply, it just doesn't make sense to sit there and take your potential death instead of moving and trying to avoid it. Running=Desertion, so yes that makes sense though. Kind of sad. Just getting mauled by archers. :(
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Postby Patron of the lego » Thu Aug 09, 2007 2:44 am

Probably depends on thier general. Position also matters.
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