Harkovast- the forum

Slings
harkovast at 10:30AM, April 6, 2010
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Okay, there have been a lot of comments that you cant send a stone right through a person with a sling, so I am going to address this topic here.

Slings are the Rodney Dangerfield of weapons, they just don't get no respect!

Becuase of Dennis the Menace and Bart Simpson, modern people have come to see sling shots as an amusing childrens toy, used for pranks.

Slings used in ancient times were lethal weapons of war, requiring great skill and strength to use effectively.
In the ancient world slings were very common in armies. The romans made use of sling troops, so they were clearly no joke.

A sling stone flies with tremendous force and impacts on a small area, giving it a great deal of armour penetrating ‘punch’ (don't forget that early guns fired round balls, and early cannons often fired stone cannon balls.) The Conquistador Cortez described the natives slings as having a similar ability to penetrate armour as a gun, and when you consider that his men were wearing steal helmets and breast plates, that is pretty impressive!

So slings are a lethal and dangerous weapon in the right hands and a the Tsung-Dao are very skilled with their slings and physically very strong.

Now I will admit, punching right through someone may be a bit exaggerated, but lots of the battles in Harkovast are pretty over the top (limbs and heads being lopped off in a single swing etc), so while it may be exaggerated, it is not nearly as wildly off the mark as some in the comments section seem to believe.
Certainly sling stones would have more than enough force to penetrate a Junlocks body, even if they probably couldn't go all the way through.

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Renard at 3:11PM, April 6, 2010
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I'm pretty sure the French special forces/counter-terrorist folks still use slingshots, albeit better made and with solid steel balls. It is pretty much silent yet can still get skull penetration; and I though the Russians were hardcore scary.
Sweat save blood, blood saves lives, and brains save both. -Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
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harkovast at 4:30PM, April 6, 2010
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Oooh that is cool trivia! I will have to learn more about that.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Renard at 5:26PM, April 6, 2010
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If ever you want to know about small-arms and other weapons feel free to give me a jab (especially if it's Eastern Bloc kit, I love that stuff)!
Sweat save blood, blood saves lives, and brains save both. -Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
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RED_NED at 5:30AM, April 7, 2010
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French counter-terrorists use slings? Hahah. What do they use instead of grenades? water balloons? :D Maybe thats why we didn't catch Osama bin Laden, cos the french were chasing him on their BMX's. :P
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harkovast at 9:53AM, April 7, 2010
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Red-Ned, do not underestimate the power of someone riding a BMX!

Admittedly, it isn't as good as the ability to summon a horde of angels…

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Product Placement at 5:05PM, April 12, 2010
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I didn't doubt that in skilled hands, a sling would be pretty devastating. After all, that's how David took down Goliath. Just found it odd that it could punch through a person clean like that and think that it's more likely that the pellets would get stuck in the tougher tissues and bones.

But like you said, this comic does feature exaggerated fights and my comment wasn't meant to be a serious criticism.
Those were my two cents.
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harkovast at 10:49AM, April 13, 2010
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Another possibility is that Tsung-Dao can use their life magic to perform martial arts feats that appear super human (such as Chen-Chen caving in a grown man's skull with her fist), so this would account for the slingers sending their missiels with super human power.
Cant believe I didn't think of that sooner really…

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confusedsoul at 12:25PM, June 27, 2010
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harkovast
Another possibility is that Tsung-Dao can use their life magic to perform martial arts feats that appear super human (such as Chen-Chen caving in a grown man's skull with her fist), so this would account for the slingers sending their missiels with super human power.
Cant believe I didn't think of that sooner really…

That sounds like a saving throw there Hark :D

I quite like finding out the true facts about weapons, although often it makes them a whole lot worse than films make them out to be. I'm never looking at arrows the same again.
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harkovast at 3:26PM, June 27, 2010
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It was a saving throw with a natural 20.

Confused Soul in some ways arrows are under estimated in a lot of films, where the hero takes an arrow in the arm and just snaps it off and continues.
But in many ways, yes, they are are over the top.
Firing two arrows at once is as impossible as Kevin Costner doing an English accent!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 11:11PM, June 27, 2010
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This talk of bows has me thinking about horse archers, like the Huns, Mongols, or Manchus used. This seems to be something that I haven't noticed in Harkovast yet. I wonder if there ever will be…

As far as bows and slings go… most decent armour, particularly plate, will turn almost any arrow. They are still particularly deadly though. How do I know this? I'll admit to watching a TV show called Deadliest Warrior. Not the most accurate or scientific (terrible in this department) but it takes two “warriors” and tests their weapons, puts the results into a computer, and decides who would win in 1000 battles. The neat part for me it the weapon's testing. Ever wonder what a sling would really do? Well, the sling is almost always the kiss of death for a warrior (as in, that warrior will lose) in the long range department, arrows are much better. Something interesting I learned from that show, though, was that a flintlock pistol (lead shot) will not penetrate heavy plate mail that a knight (or Darsai knight) would wear; a blunderbuss with iron shot will (but it's terribly prone to jamming). Also a Spartan shield makes an awesome blunt weapon as well.

Alan Rickman was the best part of that movie. He actually made up for Costner's terrible acting. I hope we're talking about the same movie (Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves).
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harkovast at 7:05AM, June 28, 2010
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Yes, I was talking about Robinhood- Prince of Thieves.
A fun movie, but wiht some shockingly glaring flaws!
The worst for me is this…
How come early on Marrion in a suit of armour gave Robin a tough fight when she wanted to kill him, but at the end when Robin is fighting the sherrif she jsut stands there and screams like a pathetic damsel in distress.
She could at least have thrown someting at the sherriff to distract him. Her jumping in and clubbing the guy at a key momment would have swung the fight easily.
If I was Robin I would be wondering why if she hates the sherriff so much, she wasn't willing to help, while she was perfectly happy to kick Robin's butt!

Deadliest warriors is a lot of fun but often about as scientific as two bloks arguing in a pub.
The best bit is when they demonstrate the armour and the damage the various weapons can do to it. Very educational stuff!

As for horse archers, you dont see them much in western media (because they were never a huge aspect of western war fare) but in armies of eastern europe, the middle east and asia these warriors were extremely lethal and mobile troops.
While I cant promise how soon they will show up, these types of units are central to the armies of many races in harkovast, especially in Jaydia and the White Kingdom. In the White Kingdom the blood thirsty warriors of the Masked Horde are masters of this fighting style and hold a fearsome reputation for the skill in using it, and the savagry with which they deal with those they defeat.

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM
Canuovea at 12:49PM, June 28, 2010
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Eh, in defense of Marian, well, she was in a suit or armour when she fought Robin (who was not). That has to lend some kind of courage there. But I still agree, she seemed to get more pathetic as the movie went on. Costner's acting must have made her want to kick Robin's butt, goodness knows it annoyed me enough.

Deadliest Warrior is really only worth seeing the testing, and even then you have to wonder sometimes. “Lets put the Spetsnaz grenade in a washing machine, and the Green Beret grenade in a phone booth (or whatever it was).” Sometimes mock science is worse than none at all.

Horse archers may have been the most deadly means of ancient warfare. They embody the very essence of Sun Tzu's “Art of War” simply due to their maneuverability. So I am looking forward to seeing them portrayed here, and am glad to know they will be. I have to say that I have been most impressed by how this comic represents ancient warfare in a fantasy setting.

That all being said, I'm a fan of infantry. Especially Roman legionaries. I've always wondered who would win in a proper fight between the two. Atilla doesn't count.
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harkovast at 2:18PM, June 28, 2010
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I would have let Alan Rickman kill Robin…in fact I would have clubbed Robin with a chair.

Roman Legionaires you say? Well then you might be in luck later on…

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Canuovea at 2:25PM, June 28, 2010
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I would have let Alan Rickman cut Robin's heart out. With a spoon.
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harkovast at 5:07PM, June 28, 2010
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Keep an eye out for the Ivos, that's all I am saying…

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Canuovea at 5:18PM, June 28, 2010
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Ivos are the Roman-like fellows, boars I think, though I can't recall for sure. Nymus are Greek-like fellows, but with wings. I am trying to remember this stuff as I read it some time ago. Greek and Roman have been accused of being very similar, particularly when it comes to fighting methods, giving one side wings mixes things up a bit (even if the wings don't let them fly per se). Though, I don't actually agree with that accusation, and I am looking forward to seeing how their forces work in battle.

Will an Ivos fellow cut someone's heart out with a spoon? I don't think that I have ever actually seen that in a movie or comic (one would think after RHPOT came out and made the line popular that someone would do it) too bad. Closest was Magua in LOTM, but that was a knife, not a spoon; plus I know you hate that movie.
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Renard at 7:27PM, June 28, 2010
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Slings and bows are fine, but I still like the crossbow (for hunting at least). It doesn't have nearly the same draw weight of a good bow (and therefore doesn't have nearly as much range or power) but it does allow you to keep a bolt at the ready for long periods of time, and you just need to pull the trigger to make it work, making it a great weapon for ambushes.

As for Deadliest Warrior, they may not be very accurate but I have to agree about their judgment on the Spetsnaz; those guys are straight up frightening, they have an even looser code of ethics then the already scary American special forces, and they have Russian accents (which are scientifically proven to make anyone with a gun just that much more bad ass).
Sweat save blood, blood saves lives, and brains save both. -Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
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Canuovea at 12:53AM, June 29, 2010
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Crossbows are good for closer quarters and ambushes, bows better for open field battles, particularly as area denial weapons (as used in Agincourt apparently). Crossbows just don't have the range in those situations.

I quite liked the Spetsnaz. They'll never put the SAS on the show though, because we all know the SAS would beat everybody; and if the show said otherwise it would be a travesty.

As for the accents I'd say that Russian, German and Scottish are some of the most awesome three (in no particular order though). Hearing “Lets get the bastards” in almost any of Scotland's regional accents (as well as the stereotype) is just great.
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harkovast at 5:38AM, June 29, 2010
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I am glad to report that in Harkovast, most of the weapons being described will get a look in at some point.
I like all kinds of different fighting styles and weapons so I will feature a very very wide range as the story continues.

Canuovea- Yikes! You remembered who the Ivos are? You really HAVE been paying attention!
I better be more careful what kind of information I casually throw around. I never realised anyone would actually remember any of it!

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Tempest Fennac at 11:09PM, June 29, 2010
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I thought crossbows often had better range then bows and arrows? At Agincourt, the advantage Welsh Longbows, which may have had a better effective range then the Swiss Mercenarie's CBs at the battle, was their rate of fire, and the fact that the French Knights insisted on charging the English troops rather then letting the CB-weilding Swiss guys they hired handle it (there were about 6000 English soldiers, including 5000 Longbowmen) vs 30,000 or so French troops, including 10,000 mercenaries, so even with the CB's 20 second reload time (longbows could, theoretically, be fired 6-10 times/minute), the French army would have probably still won if they used decent tactics. Admittedly, 1 drawback to the Welsh Longbow is that it took years of practice to master it due to them typically needing 100 Lbs. of pressure (I think) to draw. (This was pretty much why Henry V banned all sports except for archery on Sundays).

Harkovast, that Robin Hood movie almost sounds as bad as this Robin Hood “drama” the BBC produced over the last few years; Maid Marion basically had Ninja abilities and was capable of holding her own against the 2 main antagonists (namely the Sheriff of Nottingham and the Guy of Gisborn), as well as several redshirts diapite lacking any weaponry (her opponants were fully armed), the antagonists are the only ones who can act and it has laughable over-the-top fight scenes (I was thinking that it would be fun to make an Abridged Series of it, if I could voice act and I had the time, and access to all the episodes, to do it).
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Canuovea at 1:05AM, June 30, 2010
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I think it may depend on the type of crossbow perhaps, but I was under the impression that Longbows had a greater range, maybe a smaller direct fire range, but I was certain that indirect fire was far longer. And yeah, most crossbows take forever to reload. but, if you were using a ballista or something, then yes, it would definitely have a longer range; but a hand portable crossbow? I don't know, I'm no expert on long ranged weapons and am only stating my opinions… actually I wouldn't really call myself an expert with any weapon, though I have fenced before.

But on the Deadliest Warrior episode tonight… a European crossbow bolt (Vlad the Impaler's ranged weapon) was stopped dead by Leather armour (Sun Tzu's armour). The bolt literally bounced off. I did not expect that. It doesn't make sense to me. Also, the fellow said that the crossbow's effective range was 150 meters. Though I don't trust that show with those kind of numbers, but still. Leather armour! And Sun Tzu's gattling crossbow thing kinda got through the chainmail (if not a lot).

Is that BBC show the one where they kill off Maid Marion after the first season? And Friar Tuck is African American-English (I have no problem except for historical accuracy as I find it unlikely, at least in England. Correct me if wrong)? Then again, I think in the second season the new Sheriff was both female (historically unlikely? Again correct me if I'm wrong) and wore, leather. Black leather, and these giant high heeled, leather, shoes. I doubt that historical accuracy was an important factor here. I saw about two episodes of this thing randomly. Painful. Oh and Guy of Gisborn is related to Robin and ends up as a good guy later. I'm told the first season was better, then it jumped the shark, but I'm not so sure.
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harkovast at 5:09AM, June 30, 2010
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Interesting thing about armours; Despite what dungeons and dragons teaches, leather armour is not a waste of time.
Different armours offer differetn benefits.
Chainmail is particularly ineffective against arrows, a powerful bow will punch right through like its not there. But it offers great protection against slashing weapons, so it is useful, just not agaisnt that particular attack.
Leather armour is also not just like a modern leather jacket as many people think, its hardened to be stiff and solid (in a process that involves rubbing feces on it…no really!). So the fact that leather armour is more effective agaisnt some attacks is not as surprising as you might think.

As for the Robinhood show….
Dear lord that show was lame!
Marrion wasn't just a ninja either. She was super tough and new karate when she wore her mas k(ie when she had her stunt double) but when she took it off she was pretty useless.
Also she was only good at fighting when it wasn't important to the plot. The rest of the time she was a useless damsel getting captured constantly. The bad guys only had to grab her upper arm and she was instantly helpless!

But I have to draw attention to the phrase “African-American English” as it is the funniest thing i have heard all day!
Black people from England are not African American! I know that is the PC term over there, but if you apply it to foriegners the results are hillarious! Imagine- African-American Africans.
In England a black guy would be called….a black guy (I guess black bloke if you want to make it sound extra english?)
That reminds me of an exchange on the Venture brothers-

“I'm a Blackula Hunter”
“You mean you hunt african american vampires?”
“No, sometimes I'm in England, and they dont have African Americans in England.”
“Oh yeah…I guess not.”
“Look, I hunt black vampires, I dont know what the PC term for that is!”

Historically, a black man in England is possible, people did travel back then so, while unlikely, I can let the idea slide. For a single character, it could happen. Remember that Othello is about a “moor” so a moorish character in Robin hood I can accept.
The fact he was less like friar tuck and more like a Shaolin monk…that is harder to explain!

God damn did that show sucked balls.

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Renard at 5:17AM, June 30, 2010
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An English longbow can require up to 200lbs to draw it back (modern ones can take even more)! The big thing to remember is that a crossbow needs a much higher draw weight to get the same results as a traditional bow with a much lower draw weight, this is because the actual bow part of it isn't drawn back as far

A good archer with an English longbow will have superior range and maybe even rate of fire, and the accuracy of his arrows won't degrade as much over distance (mind you, he can't aim it like a crossbow). But charge uphill at 5000 archers with longbows? I'd rather stick my head in a cement mixer!

Also, Harkovast, you said that most of the weapons being discussed will be appearing, I don't suppose if I started rambling about the Springfield M1873 carbine the Golta (or Ano-Che (!plot twist!)) would suddenly have a pile of them?
Sweat save blood, blood saves lives, and brains save both. -Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
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Tempest Fennac at 6:13AM, June 30, 2010
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That is the show I was referencing, Canuovea (Marion died at the end of series 2 rather then 1 though). I've only seen afew episodes so I didn't know Marion was useless a lot of the time (I still think she resembled a ninja due to her Night Watchman outfit and her fighting style).

I never knew the draw strength was that high, Renard (I got the “100 Lb” stat from a museum I went to years ago. Admittedly, it was on about a longbow from Henry V11's reign, which was when muskets were starting to become more popular so it probably wasn't a traditional Welsh Longbow.

I remember seeing 1 documentary which suggested that chain mail wasn't that good at protecting bones from being broken (bones are probably stronger then the wooden T-shaped thing they used to hold the chain mail up but sufficient force could still probably break bones dispite chain mail).





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Renard at 6:46AM, June 30, 2010
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You're right about mail; it helps stop penetration from blades and projectiles, but because it's made of metal links it doesn't cushion the blows that much, so broken bones or severe bruising are still likely (same thing with most soft Kevlar ballistic vests). Although the choice between gaping wounds (which would likely become infected) and broken bones is pretty easy.
Sweat save blood, blood saves lives, and brains save both. -Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
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harkovast at 7:20AM, June 30, 2010
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That would be why they often wore padding under the chain mail to protect against those types of blows.

It is interesting that on tv shows nad films, chicks often get bows, when actualy a bow is a weapon that requires massive upper body strength to be really effective.
The main advantage of a crossbow is that it is really easy to use. As long as you can lift the thing and work a simple winch you can use it effectively.
The easy with which you can train and equip soldiers with it is a huge advantage when preparing an army.
Also, Longbows requires particular conditions for the wood in the trees to develop correctly (conditions found in Britain but not in continental Europe). So our rainy climate came in useful after all.

And Renard you have found my weakness. Any weapon mentioned here has to be used in the comic. Its a whacky honour code I love by.
Next week Quinn-Tain and Scatterpod get machine gunned by a couple of Darsai packin' submachine guns!

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Canuovea at 7:54AM, June 30, 2010
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Harkovast, glad I could be amusing. I personally find the term African American somewhat ridiculous, even on that same continent. Though I'll admit I used “African-American English” partially from ignorance as I've never been to England to know what words are used for “black” people. But I also was trying to be somewhat funny.

Every time I hear “black” used to describe people I get annoyed. Are they actually black? Not likely, probably more of a golden brownish to dark brownish colour. Same thing with “white” people; white? More like a kind of pinkish pale colour or so, or maybe redish due to sunburns. I suppose I'm at least a little bit crazy.

Somehow Othello slipped my mind. Silly of me.

As far as armour goes, I still want to know how dangerous a longbow is against someone wearing full plate mail (including the stuff beneath it).
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Renard at 8:47AM, June 30, 2010
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Depending on the arrowhead it could very well go right through plate armor of a moderate thickness. I know a girl who's father made bows, including English longbows, and I asked him that very question. He said that at a decent distance it put an arrow through armor and then whatever was beneath it (cloth, leather, flesh).

Also: Ha, YES! Now lets all discuss the MG42, the Gewehr98, and perhaps the SVT-40! Harkovast, you don't say stuff like that to a gun enthusiast, if I wanted to be knob about it this comic would be on short and slippery slope from swords and muskets to the entire arsenal of the Red Army and the Wehrmacht :)
Sweat save blood, blood saves lives, and brains save both. -Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
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harkovast at 11:36AM, June 30, 2010
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Renard, yes, on the next page the Golta will send out a battalion of sherman tanks to crush the enemies of the Golta nation in the name of the Black Protector…oops! Sorry! The African American Protector! (Sorry Canuovea, I couldn't help myself!)

Back to weapons that might actually appear in the comic-
I like to keep things realistic to a point, like I want to know about the weapons and armour I depict, but also the fighting is always going to be very fantastical.
I've tried to get away from the hollywood cliche wear if you get hit you die and armour never does anything.
In Lord of the Rings, the characters all seem to wear 100 pounds of chainmail, but it never does a damn thing. Everyone still dies one hit. The only time someone is saved by armour is when its magic mithril armour they make a huge deal about before hand.

Hmm, that sounds familiar…I think I had a rant about that elsewhere!

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last edited on July 18, 2011 10:18AM

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