Before humans produced metal-bladed spears as infantry mass weapons, bows with wooden arrows had become an economic choice for warfare. Bows and slings that have been used since 10,000 BC are the embryos that shape the role of archers on the battlefield. In the development of technology, blacksmiths introduced javelins and metal arrows with various shapes that made the bow even more deadly. Aside from that, if you also love to use bows and arrows to hunt animals, but you don’t like the traditional bows, perhaps you need to buy a crossbow and you must check out some of the finest crossbow scope reviews too.
The most common role of archers in the military in ancient times was as a supporter of infantry forces by delivering indirect fire. Large archer formations are usually positioned behind the main body of the army – infantry. In such circumstances, the archers deliver their shots by raising arrows in the salvo. Of course, the shot delivered in this way does not provide great damage or high accuracy. Salvo shot tactics are only effective if the opponent they face does not have protective clothing and shields.
The reason why ordinary archers are placed behind and launch bounced shots lies in their operational nature. The bow is a weapon whose use requires two hands. Therefore, archers in ancient times did not bring equipment such as shields that could protect themselves.
When archers are positioned next to the main body of the force to deliver far more accurate and deadly direct hits, they are vulnerable to attack by other archers, cavalry or infantry. Without shields or other forms of weaponry, archers in ancient times were very vulnerable to counter-attacks from other archers or intense direct melee attacks.
It is not surprising that some people use the analogy of the rock-paper-scissors game to explain the dynamics of cavalry, infantry, and archers. Archers can deliver deadly attacks on infantry with limited movement speed, but they are very vulnerable to a quick counterattack. Unfortunately, some historical descriptions are less accurate if we look at the role of archers throughout history. In order to understand the role of archers more realistically, we need to look at examples of archer use cases in real scenarios.