Gerald of Wales, a churchman and scholar of mixed Norman and Welsh parentage was accompanying Baldwin, the Archbishop of Canterbury on a preaching tour of Wales to drum up support for the Third Crusade and wrote of the men of Gwent,
“The bows they use are not of horn, nor of sapwood, nor yet of yew. The Welsh carve their bows out of dwarf elm- trees in the forest. They are nothing much to look at, nor even rubbed smooth, but left in a rough and unpolished state. Still, they are firm and strong. You could not only shoot far with them, but also they are powerful enough to inflict serious wounds in a close fight.”
How could I resist giving my longbowmen some special treatment. Unhappy with the quite uninspiring performance of longbows in L’art de la Guerre ( too many heavily armoured knights), I decided to rebase for Simon Miller’s totally addictive To the Strongest.
Eight units of longbowmen for roughly 1350- 1450 were produced. Most are from Gladiator with two bases of Damion’s Donnington New Era. I think all those games of Field of Glory are having an effect on me; every unit gets a standard!
The sheer volume of firepower from massed archers is well reflected in To the Strongest by the option to shoot twice in a bound and each each veteran unit gets eight shots! Enough to dent any French Lord martial ardour!
Much has been written about whether the longbow could have held up against early firearms? Was the English love of football responsible for the lack of time in the archery butts? Three bases of Tudor archers completes this week’s projects.
Not a bad haul for a week’s work but I hadn’t finished. Those stars at Terrain crate are producers of ready painted items and with minimal extra work we have an objective for SAGA.
It’s been such a mad week in this news and I’m reminded of the old Welsh saying, “ if you keep prodding a bear, don’t be surprised when he bites……“