Welsh Faction thoughts and accuracy

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Robert Hardy seems to be creditable, apparently the archaeologist responsible for raising up the Mary Rose consulted him and he is a member of the Society of Antiquaries of London. That group has a Royal Charter and you have to know your **** to get into it, I doubt they would let a fraud become a member. Anyways this if good enough for me to make a case for game unit. What do guys think about some of the other things in the OP like the horse tails for some Welsh helmets, mounted Teulu, and the lack of a Dragon banner?
He's also famous for being an actor. Anyway: I - for some unknown reason - actually have the book and it's not a scientific one, he neither cites his sources nor lists them (all) in his bibliography. The relevant passage with the part before and after it so you can classify his overall style in this part of the book. There are no footnotes.
About AD 490 Clovis, king of the Franks, put the Salic Laws in writing. In them there is a mention of a fine of 2,500 dinars for anyone shooting a poisoned arrow at a man, whether he hit or miss, and a fine of 54 solidi for cutting off the fingers of the hand a man would use to draw the bowstring.

In the midst of these dark, and so little recorded times, there is suddenly evidence of the utmost importance. In the eighth century in Germany longbows of yew wood were in use — eight were found at Lupfen in Wurtemburg — shaped so that the tensile sapwood was used on the back. It had been discovered again, or perhaps it was a knowledge never quite lost, that within a yew-log, rightly cut from the tree, are the natural components of a 'self-composite' weapon, the perfect natural material to resist tension, the sapwood, lying next to the perfect natural material to resist compression, the heartwood.

Not long after the Romans had gone from Britain, but before the Danes had really begun their main incursions into the country, in 633, Offrid, the son of Edwin king of Northumbria, was killed by an arrow in battle with the Welsh and the Mercians. We cannot be certain that the arrow flew from a Welsh bow, but since the inland races in Britain do not seem to have been addicts of military archery this may be the first reference in recorded history to the bow in the hands of the people who for centuries have been credited with introducing the longbow to the British islands and with being the first exponents of its general military use, which, taken up by the English and their Norman rulers some hundreds of years after Offrid's death, led to the great archer armies of the 14th and 15th centuries.

If the Welsh did not have bows yet, it cannot have been long before they adopted the weapon from the raiding Danes, but it is more than likely that, however they first came by it, the Welsh, among all the tribes in the British Isles, either retained the use of the bow from much earlier times, or invented it for themselves long before there could have been any chance for them to have learned of its use from the Scandinavians.

By 870 the Danes were in many parts of Britain. In battle against the Anglian King Edmund, they defeated him, captured him, tied him to a tree and shot him to death. In the early 1900s the stump of the tree, which tradition said was the one to which Edmund had been tied, was torn and twisted in a violent storm. Deep in the wrenched trunk were found ancient arrowheads. Sadly, there is no report of any of them surviving today, or of their being examined for type or date.
No one's saying Hardy is a fraud, but he could well be mistaken. His spelling "Offrid" for an original "Osfrið" suggests to me he was using an early Modern English source with a long s, such as this one. Note that source, published in 1759 by author Tobias George Smollett, gives the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (or possibly Bede) as the primary source, but unless he was using a now lost manuscript that's not where he got the story of Osfrið's death.
ejnomad said:
hrotha said:
Yes, but that's the same secondary source (Hardy). We still haven't seen a primary source.

I imagine Hardy must have included a footnote or something like that.

A book can be a primary source. Considering he could be an expert in the field he could be the person with direct knowledge of a situation. Considering the reviews talks about high level of detail, the dryness of the book and the straight to the point facts it's not exactly a pleasure read and thus leads me to suspect he's more an expert.
Caesar commenting on the conquest of Gaul in DBG is an example of a primary source. A contemporary historian using the commentaries to evaluate Roman attitudes towards Celtic peoples is very much a secondary source. Likewise, Hardy making iffy claims about the use of a purported longbow 1,500 years ago is also secondary.
I really dislike the feel of the Welsh army atm, they pretty much get slaughtered by every army on equal terms and have no real strengths. I would at least make the Teulu mounted or better yet add a mounted version, as far as archers go I would still add a hunter unit with a bow just to give the army a little more to work with. I have always loved this guys version of the Teulu, I know it is a bit too Romano-British for this period but some of the helmets would work. They could just take some of the current helmets and add a few horse tails/tassels to them. Brytenwalda had these and it would be a great way to add a little distinction between the the Welsh and Irish armies.   

As someone who generally prefers historical realism, I'm going to say they were much too conservative.  History as a field of study is subjective.  It seems the burden of proof for weapons, armor and tactics in this game has been too high.

I say this not in regards only to the Welsh but the whole approach.  From what I've read foreign weapons and armor were quite popular among the Vikings.  Yet the selection of these, tactics and troop trees are a bit disappointing. 

Its a fun game for sure, but I think their should be more diversity with bowmen and the troop trees in general.
The long bows in this DLC sucks.. they are way to thin and dark, and they are very weak.. i shot 6 or 7 arrows (arrows had 2+ damage) in the chest of a priest.. and he still running against me.
i was shocked.. he almost scared the **** out of me :grin:
In the blog he states they are from the transition period (Rheged) if your are referring to the teulu.

I'm still trying to wrap my head around how if there's only one bow model in the DLC, then how is it that certain bow-wielding troops have actual, big, long bow-sized long bows and yet I'm left with this odd thin little twig thing that looks more appropriate for roasting marshmallows on...  :???:
reiksmarshal said:
In the blog he states they are from the transition period (Rheged) if your are referring to the teulu.


I don't think one should be overly restrictive with the research of weapons and armor. I'm rather sure the Welsh used "longbows", because that was the usual simple wooden self bow used all over the north of Europe. Tells us nothing about an especially powerful bow however.

Concerning Robert Hardy I would be a bit reserved. A primal source should be given. I have the book "The Great Warbow" by Hardy and Strickland, and the difference between the usually well founded and differentiated approach of Strickland and the more enthusiastic manner of Hardy is rather obvious. Hardy loves longbows and lacks a little bit the distance to the topic.
The thirty six bows found in the Danish bogs of Nydam are from 170 to 185 centimeters length, and almost all made from yew wood in a D section. They are dated in the third century and almost identical to the Dark Age and medieval longbows and even the ones found in the Mary Rose, an English ship sunken in 1545 (their average length is 1.98 m). In the late Middle Ages, the longbow began to be massively used by the English and Welsh and maybe this is the main difference with the Viking Era, but the weapon seems to remain without changes.

However, there was a problem with the bows in VC. A customer pointed the bows were very thin and we realized there was a problem of scale in the 3D models,because the bows have to be between 150 and 200 centimeters, as this is the range of the archaeological finds. We have included this error in our list of corrections and improvements.

The military historians specialized in archery insist in the importance of the training in the use of a longbow with more than 80 pounds-force in order to get a good shooting rate. Since the 13th century, the kings of England encouraged the practice of archery and that is the reason why they could raise great units of longbowmen. During the Hundred Years' War these forces were decisive in great pitched battles like Crécy or Agincourt, deployed primarily on the flanks and sometimes to the front, to create a rain of arrows, but their effectiveness in sieges and skirmish seems to be not so great.

In my opinion, during the Viking Era archers were a small percentage of the infantrymen and this could be the reason of their secondary role, although the weapon itself was almost identical than the ones of the period when the longbow was dominant (1250–1450 AD).

As the Angles and Saxons emigrated from around Jutland, the A-S shared the Norse archery tradition (longbows), as proofs one archaeological find from the Isle of Wight. Writing in 1188, Gerald of Wales foreground the importance of the archery in Gwent, but he is talking about his times.  I think it is very hard to determinate the cultural diffusion of the archery in Britain around the 9th century.

reiksmarshal said:
Helmets - There really needs to be a bit of a distinction here, why not add a Welsh helmet variation with a horse tail in the mix like Brytenwalda had. Maybe an elite one for Lords too.


The helmet of the Angus McBidre's ilustration is the one from Deir el-Medineh. This Egyptian helmet, dated between the 3th and the 5th centuries, it’s a ‘hybrid’ of a spangenhelm and a ridge helm of Berkasovo type. I think it’s a too early design for the Viking Era and therefore we have stablished the Wollaston/Coppergate type as a ‘regular’ helmet for the Britons, as it seems to be depicted in the Pictish stone of Aberlemno, dated in the 9th century.


Excuse me for the delay in the answer and happy new year!
Thanks for the reply to the topic, I'm glad you guys are looking into fixing the longbow model. As for the helmets what about a noble version of the Wollaston/Coppergate with a horse tail attached? If you look at the helm on the right which is close to the period there could of very easily been a horse tail attached to it and would be to add a little distinction for the Briton nobles.     


As for the the whole bow thing I agree the information is very limited, though I think this is where gameplay would out weight the very little/lack of information. I would still include a Helwyr (Hunters) troop option with a bow. This list is very unbalanced atm and can not win battles on equal terms, out of all the custom battles I played they were only able kill able 25% of the opposing army while losing 100% of theirs. They do a little bit better against the Irish and Picts but were still soundly beat every time. After this discussion these would be my final thoughts on improving the Welsh faction:

  • Briton Noble Helmet with Horse Tail (Wollaston/Coppergate)
  • Add a mounted Noble unit - Make the Uchelwr (nobles) mounted
  • Add a Helwyr (Hunters) unit with a bow to the roster

Thanks for the time and consideration hope these changes can be considered.

Nice response Yeyo.

I don't want bows to be prominent but I agree with others that an archery unit would be a nice addition for the Welsh.
Because slings are utterly useless and they barely fire, besides this unit is suppose to be an upgrade unit and you already have a sling spam from all the lower tier troops. It is not like you will have many of these anyways they might as well be some use if you put the effort in to train them.   
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