Sunday, 30 August 2015

Mass Targets

I've just come back from a week's holiday in the Lake District with no Internet Connection, so to satisfy my cravings I'm going to address Leland's questions in the comments on archery versus mass targets. Here's the first:
I concur with Delta's analysis about treating range as reducing target size, but I think this falls apart somewhat when firing at long-range dispersed targets. I think of the dispersed target as a big area that the archer is just trying to drop an arrow into somewhere. The target is quite large, so it's not hard to hit the area. But what's important here is, how much of the target area actually has a target in it? And also, what's the effect of angle of incidence -- what you really want is the projection of the actual target area into a plane orthogonal to the arrow's direction of flight (also allowing for potential overlap/shadowing of individual targets). If (to choose a simple example) the target area is 50% real target and 50% empty space, then it's simple in your system: just apply an additional -3. So I think you're baking in some assumptions about density of the massed troops. Personally I think 50% density is a bit high, but that's probably because we have different mental images of the targets.
Firstly I'll recap with the help of some illustrations. If you shoot at a target which is twice as far away, then that is the same apparent size as a target which is half the size (which is a quarter of the area):
The further warrior is twice as far away as the near warrior and the warriors are about the same area as the targets. The further target (twice as distant) is the same apparent size as the nearer central green section, which is only 4 studs instead of 8. Hence hitting more distant targets is simply like shooting a smaller target.

The distribution of shots is a bivariate normal distribution (i.e. both x and y are a bell curve), so 1000 arrows shot into a target would look like this:
As you can see, once you get into the four central squares, the distribution is even. If you hit one of these four central squares, whereabouts you hit is completely random. If we highlight the best 50% of shots you can see that the distribution of these is completely random:
For shooting at massed target shots there is the chance of hitting the area with the target in, and then the chance of hitting something within that area. If you have less than a 50% chance of hitting the target area, then all you need to know for hitting an actual target is what proportion of the area is filled with target and add in the appropriate penalty. My eldest son described it as being like "shooting at a target with holes in it". If half the area is empty, then that's a -3 penalty.

I don't have any armies to hand, so I was going to take photos of miniatures (Lego figures are not proportionate) but it's tricky to see as my figures are all on painted bases, so I've taken this approximation of people as x 9.5'' x 1'6'' x 5'9'' and made stacks of Lego bricks with the same proportions. I've given a gap of 2 studs - 1'6'' - which seems pretty close when you're holding a sword. According to Wikipedia this is the spacing of a tight phalanx.

Viewed head on, only the front rank can be seen:

However, from a distance, arrows will come in at an angle, so present a target something like this:
For a maximum range shot, you're shooting at approx 42 degrees, and the arrows are coming down at approx 48 degrees, and from this angle the troops look like this:

At this angle a 5'9'' man only presents the same size target as a 4'5'' man, but as the angle has increased the amount of overlap has reduced to almost zero. The area to hit has gone up from 95 sq ft to 131 sq ft. Half range would be shooting at 12.5 degrees, coming down at 14 degrees, and at this angle the area would be 114 sq ft. Hence shooting at range has actually increased the target area.

In contrast let's consider the ultra tight synaspismos formation the phalanx adopted when under "extra pressure, intense missile volleys or frontal cavalry charges". This is no spacing between figures, and only one stud between rows. At 48 degrees there is now only 112 sq ft presented to the arrows of the enemy, this might result in a small -1 to hit penalty, but overlapping shields would result in a more significant advantage.

Now a phalanx is tighter than you'd expect - if the spacing between troops was doubled as per a loose phalanx, then the troops would occupy four times the area, and when the arrow comes down onto the phalanx three quarters of the area would be empty. This would apparently give a -6 penalty to the archer, but on the other hand the troops would cover a much larger area.

For comparison, Here's loose, tight, and ultra-tight formations together in a single photo:
My assumption is that the area the archer is shooting into is either in loose order, so the whole of the target area is occupied by troops, but only one quarter of the area has a person in it (from the arrow's perspective), or it is in tight order and the troops cover only a the central quarter of the target area.

That is we either have loose order:
Or we have tight order:

And either way, assuming the archer has less than 50% chance to hit, the troops cover a quarter of his target circle, and hence -6 is a good penalty.

Mass Targets or Individual Targets?
Leland also asked:
I guess one question is, where do you transition from shooting at an individual target, vs. at an area that is n% full of targets?
Due to the logic behind how I derived mass target shooting, I'm limiting archers to a minimum of 11  needed to hit mass targets (i.e. minimum of 50% chance to hit). Hence at close range it can become better to switch to individual shooting.

The chance to hit is the best of individual shooting (with range penalty) and mass shooting (-6 fixed penalty, min 11).

For example, at 120' range a +11 archer only needs 7 to mass hit troops with a parry of 12. This is below the lower limit for mass target shooting (11), so they need an 11. For individual shooting it would be a -12 distance penalty (-3 per range category), so a 13 to hit. Hence they stick with the 11 target.

If the troops were 80' away the archer only needs a 10, so they can now switch to individual shooting. 

Hitting Important Targets
A third question was:
Another thought that occurs -- you could have archers shoot at one individual target in a mass, and if they miss by, um, not very much (depending on the density and other modifiers) you could rule that they hit SOMEBODY, just not the guy they were aiming for. 
Now imagine that one of the targets is a special target, an important NPC perhaps. Determine the number of troops around him and roll to see whether he is targeted. E.g. if he is one of 20, a 1 on a d20 would pick him. I'd say one in a hundred maximum. If he is selected then we can see that the rest of the troops are now irrelevant and you simply make your attack roll against him. If it misses him it misses everyone. It he is not selected then you make the attack roll against the normal troops.

This same method can be used for mounted troops - fifty fifty chance of targeting the mount (depending upon the size of the mount).

Field Experiments
Now back to considering Crossbows. My youngest is keen to to do some field experiments with his toy Crossbow...
We're only shooting an apple juice carton, and the biggest danger is loosing the bolt in the hedge!

Thursday, 20 August 2015

On Throwing

Today I'm turning from Archery to a far easier topic - Thrown weapons – and I’ll start with the easiest - throwing rocks.

The aim, as before, is to derive some simple rules for range and damage for different missile weapons. The core motivation comes from me not being able to decide the rules for Halflings and Giants, and realising that I was making entirely arbitrary decisions with no firm basis.

Throwing Rocks
I found a very useful study into throwing objects of differing masses. The conclusion is that for weights much heavier than your (hand + forearm) kinetic energy is constant, for weights much lighter than your (hand + forearm), velocity is constant.

The rationale given is that there is a maximum velocity that you can achieve with a throwing motion, and at the point of throwing only your forearm and hand are in motion, so if the object is much lighter than this it doesn't slow down this motion, whereas if it is much heavier than this it becomes more a question of how much ene
rgy you can put into the throw.

For our purposes we want to simplify this to have an "ideal throwing weight" for your size. Above that weight kinetic energy is constant, so you lose velocity and range (+1 weight = -1 range) and below that weight you have constant velocity but lower weight reduces kinetic energy and damage (-1 weight = -1 damage). Hence you'd always be best off throwing a stone of that ideal weight, and we’ll assume that’s what you do.

We'll further assume that the speed you can throw is independent of size, it's the size of what you can throw that varies.

The world record (unofficial) for throwing a golf ball is 170ys = 510'. A golf ball is fairly light (1.6oz) so we can derive from this the maximum range of a thrown stone. We'll take the max range as the category lower (480’) as the golf ball is dimpled and thus has lift.

This is a world record, but not in a proper sport, so we'll take it that the thrower had a Power of 6 (max STR of +3, level 3 Athletics) and that this gives a range of 480'.  Hence when Power=Size max range is six categories less, which is 60'.

Next we take the world record for the shotput: 23.12m = 76 ft. It weighs 16.01 lb. Now that's a Power 7, Size 0 athlete getting +1 range, so they must be throwing +6 weight compared to the ideal. This puts the ideal weight for size 0 to be 2lb.

With arrows the drag length (the distance over which you get -1 on damage) was very important. The lightest rock being considered is Halflings, which are Size of -3, hence their ideal weight is 3/4lb. The drag length for a 3/4lb rock turns out to be 409m. Hence the drag length for rocks is not significant except in outlying cases, so we'll assume no effect of drag.

This gives us the standard rock (for Size 0, Power 0) is 2lb, range 60'. Each +1/-1 size makes the rock +1/-1 bigger. Each +1/-1 power on top of that makes the range +1/-1 range category. (We do not bother with the size of the stone).

Throwing Spears/Javelins
Javelins are thrown at slightly less than 45 degrees (between 35 and 40) because biomechanics allow you to throw the Javelin faster at that angle, which more than makes up for the range lost (this lower angle only reduces the range by about 5%).
In addition, drag reduces the range of a javelin by about 5%, but this is counteracted by lift. Javelins are thrown pointing slightly above the direction they are thrown in, this causes lift, like an aircraft wing. The lift is sufficient that it not only makes up for the drag, the javelin actually goes further than it would if thrown in a vacuum! The lift also meant that often javelins used to hit the ground almost horizontal, so they altered the centre of gravity to make them stick in the ground and be both safer and easier to measure.

Modern javelins are between 2.6 and 2.7 m (8 ft 6 in and 8 ft 10 in) in length and are 800 g (28 oz) in weight. The world record for a Javelin throw (with the old style Javelin) is 104.8m = 344ft

If a Javelin was made of wood, then approx. 800kg/cubic metre would give a diameter of 2.22cm, giving a drag length of 382m = 1253ft. This is far in excess of the distance you’re throwing a Javelin, so drag can again be ignored.

I'll assume like stones there's a most efficient weight for a Javelin, and I'll take that to be the weight of the modern Javelin, 2lb for Size 0, which is one size less than the stone (it is reasonable to assume there's a different ideal weight for different throwing methods).

World record athlete is power 7, range 320ft, so when Power=Size range is 30', also one less than with a stone.

The ideal length of a Javelin I’ll take to be two sizes longer than you're tall – so races that are short for their weight would have thicker javelins.

This gives us a standard spear to be 8' long, 2lb, range 30’.

Throwing Knives
Knives are difficult to throw – they spin end over end in the air, and the distance must be judged just right else the knife will not hit end first. It is often claimed that thrown knives are not only ineffective due to their weight, but also due to wind resistance. You throw the knife in an overarm action, releasing the knife quite early, when it is perpendicular to the ground.

For throwing knives, the biggest I can see is 12'', 18oz. So I'll assume 1lb is ideal. Data is sparse but here states that initial speed has been measured up to 61kmph = 16.94m/s. With no drag that would be range 29.28m = 96ft. Also on that page is a link to the results from the World Knife Axe Throwing Championship which has a long distance competition. In that competition the max distance is 19.7m = 64ft.

This reduced distance (only 64ft instead of 96ft) could be due to drag, or (more likely) due to the mechanics of knife throwing not lending itself to a high angle throw. Because of how you throw knives, the higher the angle you throw at, the earlier you have to release the knife, so the slower the speed it has attained. Hence, like Javelins, there's an ideal angle to throw at, and it's likely not to be that steep an angle. A throw at 21 degrees would give you a range of 64ft, and it seems reasonable to assume that the lack of distance is due to this being the maximum effective throwing angle.

This maximum angle doesn't actually affect our calculations, only later when calculating the damage for the knife, we have to note it was thrown at a velocity for a range 2 categories higher, so this will give us an extra +2 damage.

We’ll make the same adjustments as before, but assume these records were from power 6 individuals (it's not a high profile Olympic sport). Reducing range 60' by 6 categories is 8'.

This gives us a standard knife to be 1' long, 1lb, range 8'.

Throwing Hand Axes

I'm basing Hand Axes on the Francisca, used by the Anglo Saxons in England in the Middle Ages, and similar to a Viking Axe. It averages 1.5lb weight, 1'6''. This is a very similar axe to the Viking Axe and the Tomahawk. Again we'll assume this is the ideal weight for throwing, which is one category less again than the Javelin, one more than the knife.

The physics of throwing are similar to the knife, hence we'll assume that it's the same rules as a knife - no drag and +2 kill for reduced throwing angle. The long distance competition on the knife throwing website has 27.35m = 90ft, which is +1 range compared to a knife.

This gives us a standard hand axe to be 1'6'' long, 1.5lb, range 10'.

So now our rule for thrown is: The length, weight and range are taken from the table below. Your size alters the length and weight. Your power minus your size alters your range. The kill is always a fixed amount added to your Power.

For comparison I've included details for the standard Longbow and arrow (Height 0, Power 0), but how that varies with the archer is different so should be on a Bows table

0.5oz (Arrow)
0 Knife, Rock
2 Axe, (Bow)
1' Knife
8' Knife
10' Axe
4 Spear
5 Lead
1'6'' Axe

30' Spear


60' Rock

2'8'' (Arrow)
1lb Knife

1.5lb Axe

2lb Rock, Spear (Bow)





7' (Bow)
900' (Bow)

8' Spear






Coming up: Slings, Composite Bows, Crossbows, Effect of height, Trebuchets.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

On Archery II: Longbows

In my last post I talked about to-hit penalties due to range, but left the subject of damage penalties due to range to this second post as investigations were proving a little more complicated. Well, that was two weeks ago and I thought I'd nearly got it cracked, but it seemed the more I thought about it the more questions I had. The sites on competitive archery are helpful but mostly concerned with accurate target shooting, then there are sites on historical archery which contain lots of fascinating information such as making replicas of the bows and arrows found on The Mary Rose, and then there are the hunting websites (all American) - all I'll say is I'm a Vegetarian and I'm on the side of Cecil the Lion!

The aerodynamics of arrows are simple (once you've got the data) but the mechanics of a bow are tricky, and not many sites consider what would be an ideal bow for a Halfling!

This post is all about Longbows – bows made from a single piece of wood (typically Yew). They are termed Longbows as they are typically taller than the archer.

I’ll start with a summary of the rules my investigations lead to:
  • The ideal Longbow is one size longer than the height of the archer, arrows are six sizes shorter.
  • The kill bonus with a Longbow is your Power (STR+ATHL+SIZE) plus a fixed +3 for Longbows (as per other weapons).
  • Your power affects the draw weight of your bow - how stiff it is (note this doesn't affect the actual weight of your bow).
  • The range for all sizes of Longbow is 900’, but...
  • If your power is less than 2+HEIGHT you get -1 range per -1 power ( due to over weight arrows).

If you're not interested in long range shots or encumbrance, you don't need to bother with the remaining rules:

  • Bows have a "drag length" which is the length of the bow * 64. You get a -1 kill penalty per this amount of range. For example, a 3' bow has 192' drag length gives -1 kill at 192', -2 kill at 384' etc.
  • A 7' bow weighs 2lb and shoots 2'8'' arrows weighing 0.5oz. Use the standard sizing tables to vary this.
  • If your power is greater than 2+HEIGHT you have +1 weight arrows per +1 power.

Note that most of the rules just go off your height and size categories - for humans either 6'/180lb or 5'/125lb. All 5' humans shoot a 6' longbow, weighing 1.5lb, with a drag length of 384'. Strong humans get heavier arrows, weak humans get a range reduction.

Arrow Aerodynamics
In A level maths I learned about projectiles, and learnt that the furthest range is achieved by launching the projectile at 45 degrees. The projectile loses velocity as it climbs into the air, converting kinetic energy into potential energy, and then reverses this conversion as it falls, striking the ground at the same velocity it was launched with.

This simplification ignores air resistance, which causes drag and slows down the projectile. This means the impact velocity and kinetic energy at impact are reduced, which in game terms means that the projectile does reduced damage. Damage of projectiles is linked to the Kinetic Energy – half the mass times the velocity squared; doubling the velocity of a missile (which quadruples the range) is as effective as quadrupling the weight. In Explore either of these gives you a +4 on kill.

A drag force acts upon the projectile which is proportional to the square of the velocity, and also proportional to the drag coefficient which depends on the shape of the projectile (for example it is 0.47 for a smooth sphere, 2.1 for a brick). If you know the drag coefficient and either the launch velocity or the distance it travels, then you can calculate the motion of the projectile through the air. Conversely, knowing the launch velocity and the distance travelled you can calculate the drag coefficient. (This is just an approximation but it’s good unless you’re near the speed of sound). Although the equations are simple, deriving equations of motion are not - there are several examples on the internet of derivations which are unhelpful over simplifications which assume that drag force is proportional to the velocity instead of the square of the velocity, so I wrote a simple simulation program. Here's a graph for the flight of a projectile with drag launched at 45 degrees:

One consequence of drag is that the furthest distance is achieved at an angle below 45 degrees. For example, if we reduce the angle in the last graph from 45 degrees to 37.6 degrees it goes a little further:

Note though that despite the quite different trajectory, the difference in overall distance isn’t that much!

To apply these principles to longbows requires some real world data. Unfortunately finding data for arrows fired from a longbow proved tricky, until I stumbled across the book "The Great Warbow" by Matthew Strickland and Robert Hardy. The appendix for this contains some great data - the launch velocity of arrows fired at 45 degrees and the length of flight. From this they calculate the drag coefficient and the impact velocity and impact kinetic energy. Of key importance to me is the fact that I can check that with these inputs I get the same calculations from my program!

Here are my calculations with the data, matching the calculations in their appendix almost exactly (It's a replica of bows from The Mary Rose - a 150lb bow with 32inch draw length. I've taken air density to be 1.2, and also note there was a tail wind of 9m/s).

Arrow #
Mass (g)
Initial Velocity
Range (m)
Drag Coefficient
Final Velocity
Initial KE
Final KE
Final KE / Initial KE







The arrows weighed between 53.6 and 95.9 grams, the range of the shots was 228.6m to 313.8m, the launch velocities 52.28m/s and 64.65m/s, but the computed drag coefficient for the five different styles of arrow was quite consistent, between 1.8 and 2.1.Now given a fixed drag coefficient and launch velocity we can plot the impact velocity at various distances due to altering the launch angle:

As you can see, raising the angle gradually from zero increases the range, but the impact velocity reduces roughly linearly - until you get to maximum range - then increasing the launch angle further starts reducing the range all the way back to zero (whilst the impact velocity stays flat).
For the first half of this graph (before it starts doubling back on itself) we now plot the kinetic energy at impact as a percentage of the original:

This is reducing exponentially, as is clear when we plot the log of the curve and get a roughly straight line:

Hence we calculate that for the arrow with the furthest range (and fastest initial velocity) in the experiment, kinetic energy is reduced by root 2 approx every 140.6m (461 feet), which in Explore means a -1 on damage per 448 feet (nearest length category) – this is our drag length for the bow.

Now the drag depends upon the arrow, so to proceed we need to know what sort of bow and arrow would be used by smaller or larger, weaker or stronger archers.

Draw Length
When you loose an arrow you should draw the string back to your ear. The distance between that and where you are holding the bow - which is slightly shorter than the length of the arrow - is your "draw length". You should always shoot at your natural draw length. It is approximately your arm span (which is approximately your height) divided by 2.5.

Arrow Weight
If you shoot a slower arrow, then not only is the range reduced, but also you have to fire the arrows higher into the air, thus hitting the target is more difficult. In addition against a moving target you'd want your arrows to be as fast as possible.

Given a bow and a fixed draw length, it fires light arrows at a particular velocity. You can increase the weight of the arrows until the velocity drops. You should fire the heaviest arrow which can be fired at that maximum velocity. Heavier arrows have the same kinetic energy and hence the same damage, but you want arrows at that ideal weight.

Unfortunately you can't make good arrows of the correct length below a certain weight, so you can be forced to fire heavy slow arrows. In Korea they used a bamboo "overdraw" to shoot short lightweight arrows, but we're not doing an Oriental game at the moment.

Draw Weight
The force required to draw a Longbow increases linearly from zero to a maximum at full draw, the Draw Weight.

Bow Efficiency
As the force drawing a bow is linear, the potential energy put into the bow is half the draw weight times the distance the string is pulled back through. Longbows are about 70% efficient, which means that 70% of that potential energy gets converted into kinetic energy for the arrow. The loss is mostly through the weight of the string, which is still moving at the point the arrow is loosed. Note that if you use the draw length to calculate efficiency of a bow (as I did) you'll think that longbows are only 50% efficient, but that's because the bow starts out bent and you only pull it back 80% of the draw length.

Optimum Bow Length
In "Primitive Technology 2: Ancestral Skills" by David Wescott, page 110, he measured the speed of arrows launched for a variety of length bows all with the same draw length and draw weight. The fastest ones were 66 - 67 inches for a 28 inch draw. He says that this ratio of draw length to bow length should be constant for small bows. Hence the optimum bow length should be roughly 67/28 = 2.4 times the draw length. Note that this together with the draw length calculation would make longbows shorter than the archer, so I'm going to keep with these principles but adjust these ratios slightly to match historical bows.

Arrow Speed
From World Records in Flight Archery we can see that the world record for an English Longbow is 339.65m, which is only a little further than The  Great Warbow  experiment's best shot (313.8m).
At Greenman Longbows we find the launch velocity of a range of longbows with different draw weights and see an English Longbow of only 47lb draw weight (one third of the one in The Great Warbow experiments) which fires at 177fps = 53.9m/s, which again is only slightly less than The Great Warbow's 64.29m/s, and is likely to be due to too-heavy arrows (see below).

From these two sources we see that increasing the draw weight of the bow has not increased the maximum launch velocity, only the weight of the arrows it can fire at that speed. Hence it is reasonable to assume that the maximum possible velocity for bows is the same for all draw weights, and is with a well-made bow of the optimum length for your draw length.

Short Archers
Note that smaller archers have shorter arms, so a reduced draw length (shorter arms). If you halve the draw length you’d expect the Potential Energy in the bow to be halved and hence the Kinetic Energy of the arrow to also be halved. This would result in additional penalties for Halflings - in addition to the -3 penalty to strength from their size they'd get an additional -2 penalty. If this was the case, however, you'd find that archers with long arms had a big advantage - and they don't. In fact it is the reverse - people say that long arms are a disadvantage. When you look at how you draw a bow the reason for this is clear - everything is stationary except for your upper arm which you rotate backwards to draw the bow. If you double the length of your arm, then you double the length of the leverage the bow force has on your shoulder  - you would only be able to draw half the weight.  That happens to exactly counteract the gain you made by doubling the draw length! Hence the potential energy that an archer can put into a bow, and the kinetic energy they get out, is derived from their strength with no further component from their size.

Drag for Lightweight Arrows
If you reduce the weight of an arrow by reducing the diameter, then the drag force reduces proportionally with the mass, and the drag length of the bow remains constant. Hence all arrows fired from the bow retain the same drag length. Below a certain point you cannot reduce the diameter of arrows anymore, so beyond this point you start losing velocity, which means -1 range per -1 strength (but the same drag length).

If you reduce the overall size of the arrow (as per a shorter bow length and draw length) then that increases drag. We'll reduce the size of the arrow as per my standard sizing methods, so a half length arrow is one sixth the weight and root one-third diameter. The increased drag has two effects - firstly it reduces the range slightly, but we'll ignore this as you need -7 weight categories before you get -1 range category. Secondly it reduces the drag length, which is important. According to calculations through my simulation program, each -1 weight category on the arrow loosed reduces the drag length exponentially, so that -5 weight categories has halved the drag length.

Statistics for Longbows
I'm choosing The Great Warbow as a starting point for sizing. It's 32 inch draw length, so that should be a 6'5'' bow, which it appears to be from the photos. We'll assume that it could only be fired by a strong archer (+3) with some strength training (+3 athletics) so power 6. The arrows were 53.6 - 95.9g so 1.9 - 3.4oz., but the ideal weight for speed is clearly the 1.9oz arrow. The Greenman longbow tests used similar length arrows with 0.75 - 1oz arrows. I doubt you can get much smaller then this, I'll assume that 0.5oz arrows are the lightest you can have as that'd be 5mm diameter and the narrowest I can find is one quarter inch, which is size -4. Bows of this length appear to weigh about 2lb. According to the introduction to The Great Warbow, the draw weight of a bow is proportional to the fourth power of the diameter, hence draw weight has very little effect on the overall weight of the bow.

So our base statistics will be: 7' bow weighing 2lb for a 6' archer with 2'8'' arrows, weighing 0.5oz, drag length = 64*bow length =448ft, power 2. Below power 2 the arrows are over weight and get -1 range per -1 power. Above power 2 the arrows get +1 weight per +1 power.

Now let's have a size -5 bow, one half length: 3'6'' bow, weighing 6oz, for a 3' archer with 1'8'' arrows, weighing 1/12th oz, drag length = 64*3.5 = 224ft, power of 2 + size = -3.

Note that you can calculate the draw weight of a bow, and it's the amount your character can lift * 2 / bow length. So a 6' man with power 5 can lift 500lb, so has a bow with draw weight 500*2/6 = 167lb.

Halflings are SIZE -3, but are short and fat so HEIGHT -5, hence they get a -3 on kill and increased drag penalty at range, but on the other hand they only get -3 versus missile attacks due to their size, hence it is not surprising they prefer bows to hand-to-hand combat.

In particular, they shoot 3'6'' Longbows, and I would advise you not to refer to them as Shortbows unless you want an arrow in the back.

Next time I'm going to cover Javelins and Sling shots (both about ten times simpler than Longbows) then move on to Crossbows, Composite Bows and the effect of elevation.