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Close-quarters ballista

 
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Mediaeval weapons generally fall into two classes. On the one hand, you have projectile weapons such as the bow, crossbow, and ballista. On the other, you have close-quarters weapons such as swords, pikes and angry Glaswegians. This idea combines the drawbacks of the first with the disadvantages of the second.

The close-quarters ballista vaguely resembles a conventional ballista or siege catapult, but is somewhat larger. Instead of a receptacle for a rock, it bears a large padded cup. By means of this cunning weapon, it is possible to launch a sword- or pike- wielding soldier directly into the massed enemy, from a distance of over 200m.

MaxwellBuchanan, May 25 2019

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       // Mediaeval weapons ... angry Glaswegians. //   

       Firstly, Glaswegians are prehistoric, not mediaeval ; secondly, "Glaswegian" implies "angry".   

       // This idea combines the drawbacks of the first with the disadvantages of the second. //   

       A bright future awaits you in the off-world colonies ... sorry, awaits you as a professional designer of military equipment.   

       // launch a sword- or pike- wielding soldier directly into the massed enemy, from a distance of over 200m. //   

       Why not launch a drunk, angry Glaswegian girl ? Or do the Geneva Convention s forbid that ?
8th of 7, May 25 2019
  

       A close-quarters barista would be useful.
xenzag, May 25 2019
  

       //Glaswegians are prehistoric// No, I can assure you that they are an extant species. The Intercalary has an impressive set of scars and dental absences (which would spoil the looks of anyone else, but subtly ameliorate his) to prove it. He's not the most streetwise when he's drunk. Sturton, on the other hand, is grea' pals wi ma wee Glasgae lads, and is in fact something of a legend in Glasgow.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 25 2019
  

       Sp. Glesga (as in "Glesga Toon")   

       Carry on.
pertinax, May 26 2019
  

       Sp. "media evil"
notexactly, May 27 2019
  

       I'm not sure "wielding" is something you can do with a sword or pike while being launched from a ballista. "Sword-clenching", possibly?   

       Would the soldier be allowed to deploy a drag-chute prior to impact?
pertinax, May 28 2019
  

       Obviously, they'd be trained in mid-flight wielding techniques. As for a drag chute, the problem is that can result in your descending vertically and slowly onto an enemy that presumably has its own set of pikes.
MaxwellBuchanan, May 28 2019
  

       What you need is a drag device whose drag is inversely related to speed, rather than squaredly related. It would slow you down at a gradually increasing rate as you slowed down. That might enable a flattish trajectory with a fast approach but still a soft landing.
notexactly, May 28 2019
  
      
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