Re: An oldie, but a goodie
On the subject of crossbows - and I realize I'm off topic here but I feel a rant coming on -
This guy is a massive dickwad. He sees crossbows as empowering the peasantry? In fact, they achieved the exact opposite. The crossbow disarmed peasants, put skilled archers out of work and fixed powere even more firmly in the hands of feudal lords.
As the author states, any bellend can be reasonably certain of hitting their target with a crossbow. This means you can round a bunch of brainless thugs and use them rather than pay money for soldiers who've spent years learning how to shoot properly with a longbow. Nice, right? Suddenly the people are free?
Not exactly. Think it through.
Compared to a longbow - which is, when all is said and done, a stick - the crossbow is a fiendishly complicated bit of machinery. You need to make steel arms for it. You need a rolling or winding trrigger. You need a cocking mechanism that can actually bend those steel arms without shattering them or ruining them. You need some seriously hardcore cable to be able to cope with the release strain.
What a crossbow actually is, is "seriously fucking expensive".
And any cretin can use one. But only the nobles can afford one.
So you get rid of your skilled retainers, hire a bunch of thugs, issue them with crossbows for the duration of any time spent in missile combat and then collect them all up again afterwards. Nobody else has one. Nobody else can afford one. You can easily make them illegal in your demesne and have your thugs with your crossbows kill anyone who bought their own.
Or anyone who has a longbow because hey, outnumbered!
The crossbow was not an instrument of anyone's freedom but an iron boot on the neck of the peasantry.
I am unwilling to read this pdf any further because Chuck Hammill is clearly an idiot.