It's the battle of the ancient world's long-ranged specialists! High volumes of fire against the steeled nerves of the first great war machine! Innovation against tried-and-true precision! When it comes to killing at a distance before gunpowder, there were many who excelled with thrown projectiles, but the bow changed the advent of warfare, and we're here to look at the two greatest archers of all time! The Chinese Chu-Ko-Nu archer, and the Persian bowman! Arrows will fly, and when the dust settles we'll find out who is the deadliest warrior!
Chu-Ko-Nu:The creation of the Chinese Chu-Ko-Nu "repeating crossbow" is attributed to Chinese strategist Zhuge Liang, and it is recognized as one of the great unique innovations of history. Used during the Three Kingdoms period in China, the Chu-Ko-Nu functions much differently than was shown on the TV show Deadliest Warrior - although it does fire in a much faster than a traditional crossbow, it does not fire several bolts in rapid succession like a modern-day automatic weapon would. Instead, it fires several crossbow bolts with one pull of the trigger. One "magazine" of the Chu-Ko-Nu crossbow could contain from 10-15 crossbow bolts, usually allowing anywhere from 4-5 shots before the magazine would become exhausted and reloading would need to occur. The effective range of this weapon is around 60 m, although it can be fielded at a distance of 120 m. The bolts could be dipped in poison due to the low penetrating power of the arrows.
Persian Bow:The Persian Bow is a traditional composite bow used on foot by many of the soldiers of the ancient Persian army. Around 4 feet in length, the bow offered deeper penetrating power than most of its time since it was recurved, meaning that the bow was bent opposite to its natural curve, giving it more tension and force to each draw. The Persian foot archers would carry their quivers at their hips as opposed to on their backs, allowing for a much quicker draw after each shot fired. The bow is accurate but only at a short distance, as the Persians would fire the arrows en masse, achieving kills through sheer number of arrows fired as opposed to individual targets being picked out. The effective range of this weapon is around 40-50 m, although it can fire as far as 450 m, losing accuracy drastically the farther the arrow is shot.
|Ammo||75 crossbow bolts|
|Armor||Leather lammelar breastplate, bronze helmet|
|Armor||Overlapping bronze scales, gerron wicker shield|
Persia, after its glorious defeats against Greece, has turned its eye eastward to unconquered China. In a massive military operation, they have smashed through Western China and threaten several of the warring states's capitals. In the midst of this, confusion and disorganization reigns on both sides, and our simulation begins here.
A lone Persian bowman walks with a companion down a Chinese road, alert for bandits. The birds chirp and the sun is bright, but this peaceful mood is offset by Chinese corpses lining the road. The two men walk silently, trying to find their way back to their battalion.
Down the road a Chinese Chu-Ko-Nu crossbowman is walking, when he spots the two distracted Persians. Quickly, he readies his Chu-Ko-Nu and pulls the lever up and down repeatedly, sending a flurry of bolts down the road. The Persian bowman looks over in confusion and pulls his wicker shield in front of him as the bolts speed down the road, embedding themselves in his shield. His friend takes several bolts into his stomach and doubles over, incapacitated. The Persian bowman backs up, drawing an arrow and firing, but the arrow flies high and disappears off to the roadside. He turns, sprinting into the woods lining the road, and disappears.
The Chu-Ko-Nu draws his Jian and slowly walks toward the injured Persian, who is crawling away on his stomach, leaving a long trail of blood behind him. The Chinese man shakes his head and continues into the forest, leaving the wounded man to his fate. He pushes cautiously through the thick undergrowth, squinting as the focused sunlight breaks through the tops of the trees into his face. He stops moving and hears the crack of a branch, right before the Persian archer jumps out with his Sagaris axe, swinging down onto the Chinese man's head. However, it's a glancing blow off of the side of the helmet and the Chinese man grabs the Persian mid-strike and throws him over. The Chu-Ko-Nu thrusts downward with his sword but the Persian rolls sideways, and the blade only pierces the soft grass. The Persian swipes with his axe but the Chinese archer jumps back and with a quick slash cuts the Persian's wrist.
The Persian bowman drops the Sagaris and kicks the approaching Chu-Ko-Nu in the breastplate, knocking him back and tripping him over a tree root. As the Chu-Ko-Nu flounders to get back up in the bushes, the Persian leaps for the Sagaris and scrambles over to the Chinese archer, but is kicked himself. When he recovers, the Chu-Ko-Nu is gone.
The cacaphony of animals in the forest resumes as the clash of metal on metal has ceased. The Persian shakes his wrist and sends the slippery blood flying to the green lush all around him. He tucks his Sagaris back into his belt and slowly draws an arrow as he spots movement up in a tree. Notching the arrow on the bowstring, he pulls back the string and aims, but hesitates and realizes that it's only a type of bird, rustling around in its nest. Quick footsteps alert the Persian again and he lets loose an arrow that flies through the forest and impales the Chu-Ko-Nu in his thigh. The Chu-Ko-Nu shouts in pain and stumbles back, firing his Chu-Ko-Nu blindly in the general direction of the advancing Persian. The Persian ducks back in shock but recovers, his wicker shield allowing him to advance. He props the shield against a tree and ducks behind it, readying his bow.
The Chu-Ko-Nu's magazine has run out, and he reaches down into his belt to take out more of the poison-tipped arrows. As he opens the compartment to drop the bolts into, he hears a slight twang and looks up to see an arrow shoot through the forest and hit his neck. The force of the arrow sends him staggering back and the back of his head hits a tree trunk, knocking his helmet off of his head. Blood bubbles sickly from the neck wound and leaks into his armor and shirt. The Persian archer doesn't check to see if he has killed his opponent; victory is escape in itself. After wrapping his injured wrist in a tight cloth, he grabs his shield and skirts off down the forest back to the road, to perhaps find his injured friend and certainly to find allied forces.
The Persian archer triumphed over the Chu-Ko-Nu because although the Chu-Ko-Nu had innovation and a surprise factor in an automatic weapon, his armor couldn't protect him from the punishing blows of the Persian Sagaris up close, and at a distance his repeating crossbow wasn't sufficient to hold the precise Persian bow at bay. This, combined with the Persian wicker shield allowing a safe approaching under fire, gave the Persian archer the win.