The purpose of this page is to explain the rationale behind the Lords4 specific ci unit.

     The purpose of ranged weapons is to kill the enemy before they get close enough to melee. Slinging rocks and throwing spears helps, but the range of a bow is far superior to either.

     The short bow has existed since Mesolithic times (TL 0); the oldest evidence of their use in Europe dates to between 9,000 and 8,000 BC. War bows were used by the Assyrians and Egyptians, and are referenced in Indian epics of the same age.
     The short bow has an effective range of about 50 yards and a maximum range of about 150 yards. We'll assume that the combat and seige ratings for units in the Basic Lords UBC (Unit Build Chart) units take that into account, i.e. historically some percentage of infantry and cavalry were armed with short bows and the ability to kill the enemy begins at the 150 yard mark.

     Therefore, IMHO the only ranged non-gunpowder weapon worth adding to a campaign is one able to kill at an even greater distance than 150 yards, thus reducing the numbers of the enemy before the resolution of "regular" combat.

     A weapon that handily outranges the short bow is the crossbow.
     Crossbows (aka arbalests) have a maximum range of 350 to 400 yards. As with any ranged weapon, effective range is significantly less, about 90 yards - but still much farther than a short bow's effective range.
     However, the rate of fire is a crossbowman's weakness. Shooting two bolts a minute is very good, with one bolt a minute being average, compared to 6 to 10 arrows a minute for archers at the top of their game. To protect themselves while reloading, crossbowmen crouch behind a heavy shield (pavise) to avoid incoming enemy fire. So while crossbows are able to take a toll of an enemy armed only with short bows, they aren't weapons of annihilation.

     In Lords4, crossbowmen are represented by ci ("crossbow infantry") units, prerequisite being at least TL 6. They may be used aboard ships. In Lords4 combat, all crossbowmen exchange fire and casualties are deducted prior to "regular" combat resolution.

Unit Type Cost
(Gp, Nfp)
(Cbt / Seige)
Max Range
Additional Capabilites
(Compared to Regular Infantry)
Infantry ( i )
3, 1
1.0 / 1.5
150 n/a
Crossbow Inf ( ci )
3, 1
0.5 / 0.8
400 fires before regular combat;
also fires before muskets

Version 2.1 - February 2009