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Winterfell
28-12-2010, 01:20
So I really am aware that this is a game first and foremost but on the subject of command units in a long range unit how accurate is the inclusion of musicians and standard bearers?

I am a fan of history but certainly not a professor on the subject(hopefully one of you are) and I can't ever remember hearing about standards or musicians being used in units of bowmen.

So realizing that this is indeed a game does anyone have any issues with command groups in archer units for fluff purposes?

Those with little regard for fluff Im sure will not but for those who do what is your opinion and am I wrong and were standards and music commonly used to inspire units of archers on the battlefield?

The Marshel
28-12-2010, 01:33
i think its entirely possible that banners could have been used to signal to archers when to fire, and similar for musicians, but i am no history buff so this is really just a random thought

wilsongrahams
28-12-2010, 08:24
The biggest difference with history and warhammer where archers are concerned is that in most cases in history, archers were conscripted for the battle and not a permanent regiment so didn't have standards. Warhammer has these units as regular army units so they are therefore correct having standards in this way. The musician thing is different because until the 17th century musicians weren't appointed singularly, but often many senior figures and anyone that happened to have one, had say a horn, and could pass a message on. This was usually for when to launch an attack etc rather than formation changes - this type of official musician role with commands was a much later invention than what most of warhammer represents (gunpowder era).

CrystalSphere
28-12-2010, 14:07
Historically banners and musicians were not used to "win combats" but to arrange, move, and coordinate the army. In warhammer you enjoy an enviable top view of what is going on in the battlefield, you donīt need command models for anything else other than they look good and help you win the combats. But if you were a general, your whole strategy and planning would be based around those command units (officers, banners, and musicians).

All units, archers included (for example in the roman army), had to do manouvers, had to receive signals to know where to fire, the general had to see where each regiment and battalion was, had to maintain a certain marching pace (coordinated generally by the sound of the drums), or had to listen to the horn indicating retreat/advance etc.

Battles were total chaos, and flags and instruments helped to coordinate the different part of the armies, not only in battle, but also while marching or in the camp. There were armies more organised than others (like the roman, compared to the so-called-barbarians), and thus the more "tribal" armies with less organisation were generally uncapable of releasing several manouvers in the battle (even basic ones), simply because they lacked the means and discipline to make the orders be received at the adequate times.

Even in armies like the roman, many times the soldiers in one flank didnīt know what was happening at the other side, if they believed their comrades were routing they could rout as well. Many times officers had to act throught their "gut feeling" because they simply didnīt know if the right wing had succeeded or failed, or why it was taking so long etc. You can understand why banners and instruments were key to maintain the armyīs coordination between itīs parts.

ColShaw
28-12-2010, 14:24
Also, historically, regimental banners were a way to rally troops who had been broken and scattered. That's one reason the loss of a unit's standard was so catastrophic; given the chaos of a battlefield, it might not even be possible to collect the survivors of a unit whose standard had been lost or captured. Oddly, I would argue that in WFB it would make more sense to switch the rules of standards and musicians; a standard should give +1 to rally.

DeathlessDraich
28-12-2010, 14:48
Lets not overstate the impact of Standards and Musicians - the fact that modern armies don't use them confirms their small worth.
"Badges? - we don't need no feelthy badges!":D

Sir Lambard
28-12-2010, 14:56
Modern armies don't have musicians or standards per say, but they do have communications and rally points. Radios and designated fall back positions replace the horns/drums to convey orders, and the fall back points are known from modern communication, not wherever the standard bearer ended up.

Col. Dash
28-12-2010, 15:23
I dont know about musicians, but banners have traditionally been something to rally around and a means of communication. I do re-enactment and in our battles, often you cant see too far since you are fighting folks in front of you but you can see a big distinctive banner fluttering and know the leadership is there. Usually in our small scale stuff, (2k fighters or so) the unit leaders have a plan and work to carry out the plan. You definately can see the confusion of battle when the plan goes astray and individual commanders start giving their own orders, then all you can do is rally around your own commander. My own unit doesnt have a standard bearer but my unit has very bright tabards and my knight himself has a drapery thing on the back of his helm in our colors so he can be easily identified by us ans rally to him. Same purpose of a banner in other words. You also notice a weird quirk in melee battles, someone starts giving orders like they know what they are talking about and people start listening even if they are higher rank but not in the chain of command.

Archers, by the way, typically were not conscripts. Archery literally takes years to get to a battlefield standard and a good bow is expensive. The conscripts were the poor shmucks pulled off their farm, given a spear and a cheap shield and told to march that way and poke those guys. Early middle ages this was typical. Later more professional armies became the standard as feudalism took off and what used to be conscripts were kept on the farm to support the professional fighters so they could train and fight. Even more so many fighters realized their worth and became mercenaries and bandits, thus the phrase 'Robber-Knights' and they then preyed on other 'robber-knights' serfs. The Pope then organized the crusades to syphon this pent up fighting skill and put it towards a purpose useful. Capture the Holy Land and protect the serfs so the HRC can prosper and grow, two birds with one stone. Except the Polish who had their own concerns, not the least being the Holy Land had no mead(no really, that was the excuse the Polish king gave for not joining the crusades)

UberBeast
28-12-2010, 15:50
The biggest difference with history and warhammer where archers are concerned is that in most cases in history, archers were conscripted for the battle and not a permanent regiment so didn't have standards.

There weren't many permanent regiments of anything really, and I wouldn't say that archers were typically conscripted because many were recruited. There are plenty of historic records from the 14th and 15th century showing that archers (at least in england) were paid a good deal more for their services than many other troops and many of them during the Hundred Years Wars and Wars of the Roses served under a captain for a period of time. There would deffinately have been some form of unit identity and at some points in history they would be expected to wear livelry and possibly carry a heraldry showing their allegence.

So you would have to ask yourself, are your archers professional troops or did your lord go down to the local tavern and offer anyone who could draw a bow money for the next battle?

ColShaw
28-12-2010, 17:41
Even more so many fighters realized their worth and became mercenaries and bandits, thus the phrase 'Robber-Knights' and they then preyed on other 'robber-knights' serfs. The Pope then organized the crusades to syphon this pent up fighting skill and put it towards a purpose useful. Capture the Holy Land and protect the serfs so the HRC can prosper and grow, two birds with one stone.

Also, the primogeniture structure of inheritance meant there were a LOT of younger sons of nobility bouncing around who'd been trained for war, but wouldn't inherit the family property, so needed to support themselves and became some of those robber knights. The Crusades gave them the promise of their own estates in the Holy Land, and helped (temporarily) solve the problem. Monasteries were another way of siphoning off surplus younger noble sons, but a less violent one.

wilsongrahams
29-12-2010, 11:06
There weren't many permanent regiments of anything really, and I wouldn't say that archers were typically conscripted because many were recruited. There are plenty of historic records from the 14th and 15th century showing that archers (at least in england) were paid a good deal more for their services than many other troops and many of them during the Hundred Years Wars and Wars of the Roses served under a captain for a period of time. There would deffinately have been some form of unit identity and at some points in history they would be expected to wear livelry and possibly carry a heraldry showing their allegence.

So you would have to ask yourself, are your archers professional troops or did your lord go down to the local tavern and offer anyone who could draw a bow money for the next battle?

I was thinking more in the broader sense from 11th century til 17th really, and also throughout all of Europe and not just England.

In England especially, every man in the times you stated was trained as an archer from childhood, and armies were generally drawn up from where the battle was to be fought. In Warhammer I play Elves and they used a form of the territorial army and so are professional soldiers when called up at least. Other races may be different.

In the earlier times (which represent Bretonnians I guess) Lords had their own professional soldiers which would have been your permanent soldiers, and then the rest of the army was militia, which are just civvies again.

A Lord's bodyguard could consist of many hundred troops and would have had a standard of their own - though perhaps this is actually better represented by the Battle Standard.

Even today army regiments have standards, just they tend not to be taken to the field. Not since Napoleon times have musicians and standards been regularly on the battlefield.