"[He] made ready for combat; and he took forth the arrow that was given to him of the Simurgh, and he let it fly towards his enemy."
— Ferdowsi, Shahnameh
In game[edit | edit source]
Medium ranged infantry unit with medium-powered range, able to take out slow-moving melee targets with good hitpoints and armour but slower than normal archers.
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Strong versus heavy infantry.
Overall strategy[edit | edit source]
These warriors are clad and armed in the Eastern style: outfitted with a combination of metal and leather armour, composite bows and with their superb tactics, these men can easily put to shame on the slower crossbowmen of other factions. As with the Caucasus Huntsmen, Composite Bowmen are sufficiently heavy to resist cavalry strikes, although their armour, bows and bravado will avail them little against heavy lances, and as such can be counted on only for taking out light to medium-power enemies. Bear in mind too that these men are somewhat slow in their movements due to the weight of the armour they wear.
Unit summary[edit | edit source]
- When the Going Gets ... — Composite Bowmen are of a strong disposition at the cost of mobility, thus they often can be used for defensive frontline duty. This addition of hitpoints works especially well in the favour of Poland and Serbia which recruit slow-training but strong Slavic "meat shield" units.
- Under Heavy Fire — Added durability means that Composite Bowmen are ideal as counter-archery units.
- Counter Fire — Thus, use only fast-moving units with sufficient armour such as heavy cavalry, or ranged units that can outrange normal archers such as longbowmen or even siege weapons to take them down.
History[edit | edit source]
The composite bow was a stronger kind of bow which was commonly associated with Middle Eastern and Asian cultures. Although Western Europe had the self bow, which was made entirely out of wood, the composite bow's advantage over the self bow was that it was stronger and thus had more draw weight, making it a more powerful weapon despite its size. The only problem was that it was more complex: composite bows were not a simple thing to make and so were used mostly by the richest and most warlike cultures.
The Arabs were originally not great enthusiasts of archery — most warriors preferred javelins over bows — until they became masters of the Middle East and Spain, and had a sufficiently effective economy which could provide sufficient resources for mass production. Composite bows were also used by a variety of nations which had access to them, most notably the Italian city-states which traded extensively with the Muslims.