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Month Index: July, 1995

From:     Skreyn@???.com
Date:     Mon, 17 Jul 1995 23:10:36 -0400
Subject:  Re: Trebuchet, physics, and trebuchet
> If you look in one of the books in the Spelljammer Boxed Set, you find
that a
> trebuchet is either a heavy catapult or ballista. I can't remeber which it
> is.

     A trebuchet is similar to a catapult in that it uses a large level arm
to fire a stone (or a bunch of shrapnel, as you desire).  More info below.

> Further, unless SJ physics are really weird, an unannounced roll could
> be bad for unsecured ships weapons, ie, weapons that have to be manhandled
> into position and aren't secured into their firing arc.

     SJ physics _are_ really weird.  Remember when I said that a helm
accelerates every single thing within the air envelope, thus no drag on any
of the parts from the stress?  The same effect goes for turning - all things
are turned about the axis at the same angular velocity.  People standing on
the deck do not feel any pull to one side or the other (recall in the novels
when Teldin was standing on deck and the helmsman spun to orient a different
way - he merely saw the canopy of stars whirl above his head, but didn't
brace himself or fall over.

> A trebuchet is _not_ a ballista or a catapult.  It may be _aimed_ similar
> to a catapult, but it is a gravity powered sling, not a spring powered one.

     Let's see, when I think of a trebuchet, I think of a lever arm like a
catapult, but instead of being attached to a spring, withthe axis at the end
of the arm, the axis is the middle of the arm, and the far end of the arm
has a bunch of ropes for the users to pull upon (I just finished reading a
story in which someone improvised a primitive trebuchet after seeing a
catapult in action; he has ten men holding ropes, and they'd pull them down
to swing the lever arm and fire; the book is "The Hammer and the Cross," by
Harry Harrison, and it is a good read).  Later versions would use
counterweights attached to the lever arm instead of manpower, which wasn't
consistent from throw to throw (manpower would, however, be used to pull the
arm back into position against the wieght of the counters).
     Trebuchets _are_ powerful, and they are definitely _not_ catapults -
the DMG1 lists them with a much greater range, damage, and crew requirement.
 A trebuchet is also much more expensive - while the DMG1 lists a heavy
catapult for 200gp, a trebuchet is listed for 500gp.  Youch!
Sean K Reynolds   a.k.a. Veggie Boy  skreyn@??????.com  skreyn@???.com
"Later, alone, Belial will curl himself up undere the mountains and
remember Seraphiel, and archangel who fell by his side, who was one of
few Belial had considered a friend."

Previous Message: Ships tactics...
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Month Index: July, 1995

SubjectFromDate (UTC)
Re: Trebuchet, physics, and trebuchet    Skreyn@???.com    18 Jul 1995 03:10:36
Re: Trebuchet, physics, and trebuchet    Eugene Shumu1insky    18 Jul 1995 20:40:27

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