Search SJML Archives! (Powered by Google)

Previous Message: Nilespace war
Next Message: Spelljammer www pages
Month Index: July, 1995


From:     Eugene Shumu1insky <static@??.???.????.edu>
Date:     Tue, 18 Jul 1995 16:40:27 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:  Re: Trebuchet, physics, and trebuchet
In our last episode, Skreyn@???.com said:
>     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's right, Trebuchets are not catapults.  They're also impractical
on a ship.  Small trebuchets had a twenty foot long arm, not counting the end
with the counterweight, which was usually smaller.  A real one I saw, which
had a twenty foot arm, could throw a ceramic toilet bowl about 200 feet.  It
was 10 feet tall and used (I believe) a one ton mass as the counter weight,
though it could have been more.  There was talk of building one with a
hundred foot arm which could throw small cars.  The counter weight on this
thing would be something like 5 tons (or more)!  It would be a total of
around 125 feet long and close to 40 feet tall.  Trebuchets similiar to
this big one were used by sieging armies to throw dead horses within the
castle walls.  (The corpses would attract vermin unless burned right away,
which wasted oil and stuff.)

	The point of all that is that trebuchets are *way* to big to mount on
ships, except maybe something in the 100 ton range.  They're also not very
accurate, especially against moving targets.  And I really doubt they could
fit on a rotating turret.

	That's it for my little lecture.  Hope it was useful... (:

--
  Static       |                     This life is a test.
    on the     |       Had this been an actual life, you would have been
      silicon  |            given instructions and told what to do.
        web.   | --==<< http://k2.CWRU.edu/~static (RPG, MtG, and more) >>==--


Previous Message: Nilespace war
Next Message: Spelljammer www pages
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

[ SPJ-L@Cornell.edu ] [ Spelljammer@Leicester.ac.uk ] [ Spelljammer@MPGN.com ] [ Spelljammer-L@Oracle.Wizards.com ]