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Author Topic: Shower shooting  (Read 684 times)

AlecJH

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Shower shooting
« on: November 22, 2023, 05:00:00 PM »
I thought I would ask this question out of curiosity, and admittedly total ignorance of Sassanid Persia, but why is "Shower shooting" restricted to the Sassanid Persians?

Were they the only nation to ever develop what appears to be the best shooting technique in history, one which appears to have died out with their demise? I thought the English & Welsh longbowmen were pretty good at that sort of thing too for example, I'm sure they would have been most grateful for a technique that added additional slowing effects to foes charging towards them.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire

nikgaukroger

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Re: Shower shooting
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2023, 05:14:50 PM »
Former Yan in the Xianbei Kingdoms list also have Shower Shooting - but other than that, yes it is limited to Sasanids; I did ask earlier this year whether anyone could suggest other candidates but I don't recall any being forthcoming. You'd be looking for troops who used exceptionally rapid bursts of shooting, probably not always at full power for candidates (a reason longbowmen possibly wouldn't qualify - foot archers as a whole may need something similar but combined with restrictions on falling back; think RJC has mentioned this before).

It may have featured in ghilam/mamalik tactics as well, but I'd be concerned that adding it to them may distort interactions.
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AlecJH

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Re: Shower shooting
« Reply #2 on: November 22, 2023, 07:14:20 PM »
I'm afraid I'm not well versed enough in ancient history to be able to comment on which other troops may qualify.

The only thought that occurs to me is that to acquire such an exceptional skill worthy of qualifying I would assume (perhaps wrongly) that it would only be by constant drilling in the art of rapid bowfire, which would imply it should only be available to those troops that spent significant amounts of time doing so as a unit?

Interestingly those Sassanid Asavaran in the list with the characteristic are formed but not drilled which rather contradicts this, shouldn't such troops also be drilled?
Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. Voltaire

SteveO

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Re: Shower shooting
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2023, 10:15:09 PM »
Nik, I think you are correct about the longbowmen. I believe the current wisdom is that Laurence Olivier’s Henry V version of the English firing masses of arrows in high arcs is artistic license. The shooting was apparently more deliberate, aimed and ‘flat’.

nikgaukroger

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Re: Shower shooting
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2023, 06:20:13 AM »
I'm afraid I'm not well versed enough in ancient history to be able to comment on which other troops may qualify.

The only thought that occurs to me is that to acquire such an exceptional skill worthy of qualifying I would assume (perhaps wrongly) that it would only be by constant drilling in the art of rapid bowfire, which would imply it should only be available to those troops that spent significant amounts of time doing so as a unit?

Interestingly those Sassanid Asavaran in the list with the characteristic are formed but not drilled which rather contradicts this, shouldn't such troops also be drilled?

Drilled is really about the movement capability of the troops as a body and not shooting/combat which are covered by those categorisations. The Shower Shooting capability is reflecting their training in that area.
"The Roman Empire was not murdered and nor did it die a natural death; it accidentally committed suicide."

LawrenceG

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Re: Shower shooting
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2023, 06:40:13 AM »
Former Yan in the Xianbei Kingdoms list also have Shower Shooting - but other than that, yes it is limited to Sasanids; I did ask earlier this year whether anyone could suggest other candidates but I don't recall any being forthcoming. You'd be looking for troops who used exceptionally rapid bursts of shooting, probably not always at full power for candidates (a reason longbowmen possibly wouldn't qualify - foot archers as a whole may need something similar but combined with restrictions on falling back; think RJC has mentioned this before).

It may have featured in ghilam/mamalik tactics as well, but I'd be concerned that adding it to them may distort interactions.
Phil Barker seems to think it does.

FWIW it would make sense for Turks imported into Persia for training in cavalry warfare by converted ex-Sassanian Persians would be trained in the techniques of those Persians.

How much it would distort interactions remains to be seen from playtesting.

Not sure what you mean by "foot archers need something similar" as they don't get a -1 in charge combat for having shot.


nikgaukroger

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Re: Shower shooting
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2023, 07:32:21 AM »
Former Yan in the Xianbei Kingdoms list also have Shower Shooting - but other than that, yes it is limited to Sasanids; I did ask earlier this year whether anyone could suggest other candidates but I don't recall any being forthcoming. You'd be looking for troops who used exceptionally rapid bursts of shooting, probably not always at full power for candidates (a reason longbowmen possibly wouldn't qualify - foot archers as a whole may need something similar but combined with restrictions on falling back; think RJC has mentioned this before).

It may have featured in ghilam/mamalik tactics as well, but I'd be concerned that adding it to them may distort interactions.
Phil Barker seems to think it does.

On the basis that for once he listened to somebody who knew what they were talking about  ;D


Quote
FWIW it would make sense for Turks imported into Persia for training in cavalry warfare by converted ex-Sassanian Persians would be trained in the techniques of those Persians.

Would rather depend on how much Sasanid archery tradition survived in the area in the c. 200 years between the fall of the Sasanids and the start of the ghilman/mamlik system under the 'Abbasids. Transmission via the Turks themselves is also possible.
"The Roman Empire was not murdered and nor did it die a natural death; it accidentally committed suicide."

lionheartrjc

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Re: Shower shooting
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2023, 08:52:34 AM »
Another suggestion is that more static techniques of horse archery developed in areas where they had fewer mounts.  A typical Hun or Turk had multiple mounts so could keep moving and not tire out their ponies.  In other areas, horses were in relatively short supply, so each warrior might have only one mount.  Against a mobile opponent with multiple mounts, you would soon be fatigued.  By standing still and shooting in volleys, the advantage of being more mobile was negated.

Another factor at a campaign level is the more horses that you have, the more water the army needs.  In dry areas, this could be a major factor.

Richard