Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

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junoslord
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Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

Post by junoslord »

Something that has always bothered me about Wesnoth is the way in which crossbows are depicted. Which is to say: poorly.

For example the Orcish Archer has a bow and a 5-3 attack, the Orcish Crossbowman has a 8-3 attack. While at the same time the Dragoon and Cavalier both have crossbows and do 12-1 and 20-1 respectively. The problem with this, from a historical point of view is this: A crossbow, even in the hands of a experienced user takes a long time to reload (as compared to the relative ease of reloading a bow).

So the Dragoon and Cavalier have realistic crossbows while the Orc (and others) have highly unrealistic crossbows. My suggestion would be to change any unit with a crossbow to a single attack: The Orc would get a 24-1 crossbow, not an 8-3 one. This would make things much more realistic. To compensate for the change it would probably be necessary to adjust the HP the crossbowman gets by adding a few points to make up for the fact that many attacks would miss. Making sure that the crossbowman would maybe get one extra turn to attack, counter attack.

The whole point of this is to say that it is nearly impossible for anyone, even an Orc, to get off as many shots with a crossbow as someone with a regular bow. There, of course, may be exceptions to this: a particularly strong race may be able to get 2 shots in, and level 3 units may get a second attack but that should be about it-- and even this can be unrealistic in certain cases.

The crossbow was a poor man's weapon, a way for a serf to kill a knight. But it wasn't a super weapon, just a very powerful, very slow to fire one... and I think Wesnoth should reflect that better.

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Iris
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Re: Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

Post by Iris »

junoslord wrote:A crossbow, even in the hands of a experienced user takes a long time to reload (as compared to the relative ease of reloading a bow).
Perhaps orcs use repeating crossbows of some sort?
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Crow_T
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Re: Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

Post by Crow_T »

The bigger inaccuracy is that plate armored troops are strong vs impact, maces were designed to break bones and damage enemies through platemail.

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Pentarctagon
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Re: Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

Post by Pentarctagon »

The HI line is pretty accurate at least, since it only has 10% resistance, which makes sense since even if it was designed against plate armor its still better than no armor.
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Re: Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

Post by HomerJ »

Really? Nobody? Ok then...

WINR

Multiplayer is supposed to be balanced, a change like that would have dramatic impact.

Now back to you guys...

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Re: Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

Post by Sapient »

HomerJ wrote:Really? Nobody? Ok then...

WINR
I was thinking more RIPLIB.[1]
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Re: Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

Post by ancestral »

When it comes down to it, stat changes of any kind are considered major, and possibly game-changing. The only other approach is to rename units, at the expense of making sure it still fits in with the atmosphere and culture of Wesnoth.

So… I’m not sure there’s any good solution to the unrealisticness.
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Re: Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

Post by Drakefriend »

shadowmaster wrote:
junoslord wrote:A crossbow, even in the hands of a experienced user takes a long time to reload (as compared to the relative ease of reloading a bow).
Perhaps orcs use repeating crossbows of some sort?
So another indication that "(all) Orcs are stupid beasts who cannot make weapons themselves!" is propaganda!
(Besides being the only faction having burning arrows and poisoned weapons -that even are quite accurate-, and all of it in normal recruits)
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Re: Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

Post by Boldek »

Drakefriend wrote: So another indication that "(all) Orcs are stupid beasts who cannot make weapons themselves!" is propaganda!
(Besides being the only faction having burning arrows and poisoned weapons -that even are quite accurate-, and all of it in normal recruits)
Tolkien says goblins were good at mining, and "delighted in making contraptions that make large flashes and kill many people at once" or something, which I think would agree with Wesnoth's orcs. Just because orcs have lousy grammar doesn't mean they are masters of machines and technological warfare. Assassins, crossbows, fire arrows all indicate an amount of cleverness and ruthlessness. Note that the orcish crossbow doesn't do half as much as the human one, so maybe it isn't as strong, and takes a shorter load time?
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artisticdude
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Re: Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

Post by artisticdude »

Alternatively, the orcish crossbows may be made to fire more than one quarrel at once. That's how I've always considered it.
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Re: Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

Post by Simons Mith »

Multiple bolts?? But that's preposterous.

Wearing my writer head for a moment, I'd much rather spin it the way Drakefriend and Boldek have it. OTOH, given that a turn in Wesnoth is hours long, you should be able to get a reasonable fire rate in game terms out of even a crossbow, so for reasons of 'realism' I'd ignore it, and as far as flavour text is concerned I'd consider the orcs not to be getting the credit they deserve for something they /are/ good at.
 

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artisticdude
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Re: Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

Post by artisticdude »

Simons Mith wrote:Multiple bolts?? But that's preposterous.
Perhaps, but I don't see it as such. As has already been pointed out in this thread, WINR, so a multitude of possible explanations exist.
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Re: Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

Post by Insinuator »

junoslord wrote:For example the Orcish Archer has a bow and a 5-3 attack, the Orcish Crossbowman has a 8-3 attack. While at the same time the Dragoon and Cavalier both have crossbows and do 12-1 and 20-1 respectively. The problem with this, from a historical point of view is this: A crossbow, even in the hands of a experienced user takes a long time to reload (as compared to the relative ease of reloading a bow).

The whole point of this is to say that it is nearly impossible for anyone, even an Orc, to get off as many shots with a crossbow as someone with a regular bow. There, of course, may be exceptions to this: a particularly strong race may be able to get 2 shots in, and level 3 units may get a second attack but that should be about it-- and even this can be unrealistic in certain cases.
First of all, as has been pointed out by a couple of people already, Wesnoth doesn't need to be realistic or accurate. Only balanced. It's a game. There is as much reason to take issue with this as there is with Skeletons being able to function without sinew or muscle. Or any of a hundred other silly things.

However, what is more important to your particular issue is the fact that Wesnoth is a turn-based game. Just as the size of units is ambiguous and open to debate, so is the amount of time that elapses in a turn or an attack. This is no need for a direct correlation between speed and number of attacks. For instance, does it really take so long to fling a rock that the Troll Rocklobber only receives one attack? Or, more likely, is it to emphasize the huge, ponderous nature of the Troll? Plus to preserve balance. Does a Great Mage really need to send out four disparate fireballs? Why not one steady stream of flame? But that can't be represented in a balanced manner in Wesnoth. Warlike concepts in Wesnoth are oft generalized and muddied in attack mechanics.

In the same manner, the intricacies of crossbow usage can't be transmitted with 100% accuracy to Wesnoth. Nor should we expect them to. You can't transfer the ease of training archers that the crossbow brought about. If you reduced their cost, you must reduce their number of attacks. If you reduce their attacks you must make them a level 0 unit. If you make them a level 0, you must compensate in other units to avoid cluttering the battlefield. That opens a whole, unnecessary can of worms for a history that is only marginally related to Wesnoth! Last I checked, there aren't any French serfs in Wesnoth taking potshots at the local feudal knight gang.
junoslord wrote:Thanks for reading, let the whining and 'your momma' insults fly.... :whistle:
You're welcome. You would do well to realize, however, that you are the one who is whining, not us. But for the sake of equanimity:
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Ivir_Baggins
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Re: Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

Post by Ivir_Baggins »

Where do the Orcs get their corssbows and slurbows from, anyway? No-one else seems to use them.

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Re: Historical Inaccuracy: Crossbows

Post by Insinuator »

They make them.

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