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POLL: Bows vs Shields

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GeoffQRF writes:

This is the second comment from Nick Harbud that seems wildly clear of the mark.

It does depend on the bow (and the arrow) and the shield there's the oft quoted example of a longbow arrow going through armour and pinning a rider's leg to their saddle.

This is from Gerald of Wales, whose description of the Anglo-Welsh wars reads:

"In the war against the Welsh, one of the men of arms was struck by an arrow shot at him by a Welshman. It went right through his thigh, high up, where it was protected inside and outside the leg by his iron cuirasses, and then through the shirt of his leather tunic, next it penetrated that part of the saddle which is called the alva or seat, and finally it lodged in his horse, driving so deep that it killed the animal"

Of course Gerald may have been exaggerating. ;-)

He also refers to the attack on Abergavenny Castle (1182) thus:

The arrow… "…penetrated an oaken gate which was four fingers thick, in memory of which deed the arrows are still preserved sticking in the gate, with their iron piles seen on the other side"

Gerald was there some six years later. Anyone been to Abergavenny Castle? Is the door still there? (Cant find any reference to it, other than lots of books all quoting the same source).

Would a shield stop an arrow? Depends on the range, but even at quite close range it could deflect an arrow that doesn't hit it pretty much square on, and when sharp pointy sticks are flying anything between you and them is good.

Contrary to popular belief, bows do not "fire" they shoot.

You fire a gun, you shoot a bow.

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other (explain)
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no opinion
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agree - shields have no protective power against bowfire
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disagree - shields protect against bowfire
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Writing in Slingshot, Nick Harbud concludes:
…with the exception of pavises and similar heavy shields, the protective qualities of a shield are questionable and… much smaller than that afforded by the archer's inability to hit his target.
Do you agree that rules should generally not consider shields as having a protective factor against bowfire?

Poll set up by Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian, based on this pre-poll discussion.