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*Mini Crossbow Video* Real Life Assassin's Mini-Crossbow: The Balestrino

WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 811
edited May 2015 in Off-Topic
Behold an interesting Mini-Crossbow called a Balestrino! Perhaps within Advanced Dungeons and Dragons one could treat it like a tiny sized heavy crossbow or have -1 damage and or reduced range or something but it could be used as a 'one handed' weapon with a shield or something for even with a shield this cool 'gadget' could be successfully drawn and then loosed. Mayhaps since the Balestrino is so small that it cannot shoot 'regular bolts', so it shoots darts instead?


Hey it exists within real life! I think that it should have ten times more priority than say some random fictional theoretical stuff in Dungeons and Dragons. As an example: proficient use on a battlefield with double ended weapons dealing double damage even though one's strike is hampered by swinging around a blade or something pointing towards oneself and losing potential energy when transitioning the weapon's ends one after the other like using a kayak paddle.. Further discussion about 'Impractical Double Weapons' can be found here:

P.S. How would it be to say, intercept 'Dan the [would be] Assassin' from assassinating a high ranking noble on the road to go to a city and when you found Dan he would shoot your party with a super deadly poisoned dart and then enter 'ninja combat' and then after that epic battle you find a neat 'cute' little unique Balestrino (Assassin's Crossbow) +1 and a Ninjato of the Walking Garden something?

Post edited by WithinAmnesia on
JuliusBorisovDreadKhan

Comments

  • WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 811
  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 4,484
    They're called "Hand Crossbows" and are a racial weapon of the Drow ever since AD&D second edition first appeared... or perhaps even before that. R.A. Salvatore also included a fair amount of them in his books if I remember correnctly. That being said, even if they are one handed you still need two hands to reload them. Well, with the exception of the Repeating Hand Crossbow perhaps.

    AdsoWithinAmnesiameagloth
  • YannirYannir Member Posts: 595
    Hand Crossbows are a real deal but they do have a multitude of problems. First of all is their lack of force. That bolt will not penetrate any armor, even a heavy cloak is sufficient protection against them, as it happens a lot in Salvatore-books. You need a volley of those bolts, and hope one hits flesh, to have any effect on your adversary. (that's actually what usually happens in the books)

    Secondly, their range is tiny. 50 m is probably the biggest number you will get. Compare that to a longbow (300 - 500 m, depending on make and source), a crossbow (about 200 m) or a horse bow (150 - 250 m).

    That ties into their third problem which is that the reload takes forever. 10 seconds (which is happening in the video there) is a long time to reload a weapon as weak as that. Comparing them with longbows, an english archer-platoon during the Hundred Year War could fire off 20 arrows a minute, and that wasn't even the maximum speed. They fired the arrows in volleys every 3 seconds, the captain or sergeant shouting the pace.

    That doesn't mean they wouldn't have their uses. A Ballestrino can be concealed easily enough, and it would be a good assassins tool. In a crowd you could easily fire one of those without anyone noticing anything. With a poisoned arrow tip it may even end up killing your mark. But you still only get one shot with it since the reload takes too long to use in actual combat. And you have to get really close since the range is poor.

    Personally I would just take a normal crossbow, and shoot my bolts from a rooftop somewhere. With a standard crank-type crossbow the reload also takes only a few seconds.

    PS. Not related to crossbows but about archers. A properly trained english longbowman could actually fire 3 arrows in 2 seconds into a target (and while moving as well) which makes Legolas or Arrow look like amateurs. Hunnic or Mongolian horse archers could do the same on horseback but with a smaller bow. For any disbelievers, I can provide video upon request.

    WithinAmnesiaJuliusBorisovAdso
  • Brer_RabbitBrer_Rabbit Member Posts: 159
    edited May 2015
    @Yannir, I'm a fan of medieval weaponry. I'd love to see vids of English longbowmen shooting arrows that fast for kicks and giggles, please. :) [unless @WithinAmnesia considers this too much derailing?]

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,569
    As noted, physics is not friendly to tiny, easily drawn back crossbows. Unless you have some pretty intricate and heavy gearing, you can only compress a spring so much (the bow is a spring btw). Note, if you DO have sufficient gearing and a really tough spring, you could make a very small crossbow that could shoot incredibly hard, but you'd almost have to use a winch/windlass anyways for safety. The obvious problem would be recoil then, if you've got 5000lbs of tension unleashed instantly it might be unsafe for single handed use. :wink:

    For a very small crossbow, a different bolt design would help, one designed only for penetration in place of wound size as most are designed... a very, very sharp with a really tappered point might puncture more easily. You wouldn't be lethal likely, but could deliver a toxin.

    @Yannir Mongolian archers could shoot accurately at full gallop, backwards. If cavalry could do that with a gun, they wouldn't have been outdated until tanks.

    Double swords are pretty dumb, unless you have trained ridiculously for the benchpress, and even then, a longsword and a much shorted blade is less silly, but the shield was only something a warrior liked losing the use of if they got serious reach (claymore), or had an agile weapon with enough power to guarantee any decent strike being very damaging (ie a katana).

    A good halberd user wouldn't hesitate to whack with the butt of his weapon, and those could easily be reinforced with metal, as quarterstaffs often were.

    I think the dire flail from 3rd ed is about the most unwise weapon I've heard of... a heavy spiked ball on a long chain on each side of the handle?? Yeah, the average trainee would be dead/maimed in minutes.

    WithinAmnesiaBrer_RabbitJuliusBorisov
  • WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 811
    edited May 2015
    My friends I feel that you could learn greatly from this video. A Danish Man can loose 10 arrows in 4.9 seconds.


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Also a Balestrino is not a Hand Crossbow. Here is why that is the case:

    Hand Crossbow:
    image
    Notice that the mechanism to draw the bow string is made so that the hand can fully draw it into the locking mechanism.

    Balestrino:
    image
    Notice that the mechanism to draw the bow string is made so that only a torque screw mechanism can successfully draw the bow string into the locking mechanism. Also note that the the designer saw it fit to use leverage to assist in the operation of the 'drawing screw'. I presume this for a Balestrino is not a Hand Crossbow because a Balestrino has a much higher draw weight than a hand operated "Hand Crossbow".
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    TL;DR @Kamigoroshi 's classification is wrong, a Balestrino is akin to a 'one handed' Heavy Crossbow while a Hand Crossbow is a kin to a 'one handed' Light Crossbow. This is the reality for a Balestrino cannot be drawn by hand unlike a Hand Crossbow.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    JuliusBorisov
  • YannirYannir Member Posts: 595
    @Brer_Rabbit I may have misinterpreted a bit. I think this kind of speed-shooting isn't really possible with the longbow but with shorter bows it's a manageable feat.



    You may have seen this one. Most of Lars's claims have been criticized and a certain degree of scepticism is welcome in this case. Generalisations usually aren't as simple as they seem. I warmly recommend seeing the response videos as well.

    The fact is that he really does this stuff, and I can imagine that people in history had more time on their hands to practice archery, since archery was an actual profession back in the day. Or bow-hunting was, anyway.



    Here's another video specific to longbows. Kevin Hicks is doing a speed test here but I see a few problems with it. He isn't actually using any speed-shooting techniques, which an english archer would use. After all, it did take years to train an english archer, strength-training wasn't the only thing they did.

    WithinAmnesiaBrer_RabbitJuliusBorisov
  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512
    Kevin Hicks!! My mate knows him! I think he used to work at Warwick Castle. I've heard Kevin Hicks' name mentioned a few times during gaming sessions.

    Lars Anderson is very good, but bear in mind a lot of what he does is trick-shooting, which are specially constructed shots and probably 100,000 takes that you don't see. Also he uses modified nocks, not the usual slotted ones, and he shoots mainly at close range. I can't believe that the English were so stupid that they've been doing it wrong for 500 years, so the standard "left side of the bow" technique must have had some advantages that suited their style of shooting. I would guess that it was more accurate at longer ranges, or lets you pull more poundage, but I can't verify this.

    As for the double-bladed sword...I did once look for examples of one, and the only thing I could find was some LARP style shop selling one as a "ronin sword", with nothing to say who used it, how, where, and why, leading me to believe that it didn't exist outside of D&D3e. I think a weapon like that would be better with a longer shaft and shorter blades - more like a double-ended spear/glaive. Double ended weapons aren't a new thing, most pollaxes had a spike on the bottom.

    Finally, you can shoot with a hat like that! I've done it! ;)

    WithinAmnesiaJuliusBorisovYannirAdso
  • YannirYannir Member Posts: 595
    Squire said:


    Lars Anderson is very good, but bear in mind a lot of what he does is trick-shooting, which are specially constructed shots and probably 100,000 takes that you don't see. Also he uses modified nocks, not the usual slotted ones, and he shoots mainly at close range. I can't believe that the English were so stupid that they've been doing it wrong for 500 years, so the standard "left side of the bow" technique must have had some advantages that suited their style of shooting. I would guess that it was more accurate at longer ranges, or lets you pull more poundage, but I can't verify this.

    This is precisely why I recommended seeing the response videos. Especially Lars's response to responses. Scepticism is welcome and many of his claims are simply not true but he's unquestionably the best at what he does at the moment.

    I also don't think there ever was a standard to which side of the bow you knock your arrow on. Artistic depictions are what they are, mostly not accurate. Especially since accurate depictions weren't particularly popular before the 20th century. Accurate depictions only came into being by request of scientists. I bet many artists picture archers knocking on the left because their eyes are on that side of the bow and that makes sense to them. That may or may not be true in regards to archery.

    After all, it's common knowledge these days that the best way to aim is using both eyes, not just one. Atleast in military circles. It's not unfathomable that the archers of yore may have known this as well.

  • WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 811
    @Squire
    Squire said:

    ...I can't believe that the English were so stupid that they've been doing it wrong for 500 years...


    Start @ 7:02.

  • SquireSquire Member Posts: 512
    Yannir said:


    I also don't think there ever was a standard to which side of the bow you knock your arrow on. Artistic depictions are what they are, mostly not accurate.

    That's possible, however, I also own one of these: (the hand guard not the tab).

    http://www.philfraser.com/archeryhandguard.htm

    Assuming this is accurate - and I have no reason to believe it isn't, since Phil Fraser generally does period accurate stuff - this hand guard is designed for shooting on the inside of the bow, since it protects the left finger (or the right finger if you're using it left-handed) from grazing. If all shooting was done on the outside, these wouldn't exist, and instead there'd be thumb guards. So some shooting must have been done on the inside, and there must have been a reason to develop that style of shooting.

    Incidentally, I have tried shooting on the right side of the bow once or twice, but I can't get it to work.

    @WithinAmnesia sorry but I'm not sure what your argument is here.

  • WithinAmnesiaWithinAmnesia Member Posts: 811
    edited June 2015
    @Squire I must have posted it around 2 or 3 in the morning while my brain was 'mush'. I think what my 'zombie brain' was trying to say is that English were using simple cross guards for along time and thus 'were doing it wrong' for ~500 years with their swords. Or something like that. I don't know, free hugs and take care friend.

    I do not want my fellow friends here (including you and I) to become pedantic though.

    Pedantic Definition: "Like or of a person who is excessively concerned with minor details and rules or with displaying academic learning."

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