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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » Town's Crier » Got my trebutchet working
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Topic Subject:Got my trebutchet working
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Wyo_Daniel
Squire
posted 07-15-08 06:50 PM CT (US)         
29 concrete blocks.
A twelve foot long 2x4 board.
A round tree trunk.
A crapload of rope.

All these items came together to form the coolest thing that has ever graced my "backyard" (I use the term "backyard" rather liberally, since all of the 8 acres I live on is technically my backyard). The counterweight for this thing is about 80 lb - 2 concrete blocks, and several smaller concrete bricks. The arm is 12 feet long. The ropes leading to the sling are an additional 8 to 9 feet. The rocks I used as ammo are about the size of my fist - heavy enough that I couldn't chuck them farther than 25 feet without blowing out my arm. And how far does my awesome trebuchet throw these rocks? About 150 ft! It took me a while to get the firing mechanism set up so that it releases just as the rock (still in the sling) is at the apex of its arc, but I worked it out! =D

Now, I know you don't care about that, and want to skip straight to the video and pics, so here are the links :

The Photobucket folder containing all the still pics I took

The first of several low-quality, no sound video clips I took. Just skip down to the video responses to see the rest of the video clips, in the appropriate order. Bear in mind that the video was taken on a low quality digital camera. I expect to be borrowing a high quality camcorder from a friend later this week, at which point I'll have a much better, long-term video up.

Tonight, I'm going to get the supplies for a much more *fun* type of ammunition than rocks. *Cough* dry ice bombs *cough*

I can't wait til I get the full video up. =)

"I mean, imagine someone screaming 'MAH PANTS' with no pants. Wouldn't that be a truly comical sight?" ---Quaazi
"HOLY CRAP WYO YOU'RE FAT!!!" ---Quaazi
AuthorReplies:
Evil Tailor
Squire
(id: Other White Meat)
posted 07-18-08 05:50 AM CT (US)     26 / 40       
compared to gunpowder artillery they were mediocre.
I'd say that until the 16th century gunpowder was pretty useless, but I get your point. What annoys me in AOK is how the bombard cannon is in fact pretty sucky compared to trebuchet, in my experience. Or maybe it's just because of the subjective viewpoint? Kind of, when I own the BC's they seem weak and powerless (no reference to A Perfect Circle intended) but when the other guy has them they're oh so powerful?
ANYWAY, yeah the main point about a trebuchet is throwing stuff over the walls, and throwing corpses or stuff was pretty marginal but they still did that sometimes. If you wanted to simulate a siege accurately in AOK you'd have to research sappers, then imagine the villagers digging under the walls while throwing stuff over the walls with a treb.
Does this sound like a good idea? Y/N
> Y

Possu don't mind about OT'ing it's fairly normal except in Splash Splash.

"While I'm profaning I might as well do the whole f*cking thing."
-- Christopher Hitchens
http://soundcloud.com/adult-entertainment - Intriguing music! Made by me! (It's excellent!)

[This message has been edited by Other White Meat (edited 07-18-2008 @ 05:52 AM).]

Porsas
Squire
posted 07-18-08 08:32 AM CT (US)     27 / 40       
Porsas, did you happen to chat in QNet channel #ageofempires (or #ageofempires.fi) ?
That was some other Porsas :P

What we need is methane-fueled elephant flamethrowers.
Kor
Busschof Happertesch
(id: Derfel Cadarn)
posted 07-18-08 08:45 AM CT (US)     28 / 40       
I'd say that until the 16th century gunpowder was pretty useless, but I get your point.
Believe you me, I've studied gunpowder and 'wooden' siege artillery in some detail, and gunpowder was well superior to trebuchets and the like by 1400, at least in areas where it had properly developed, most notably north-western Europe (Low Countries, France, northern Italy). Only 'melee' siege weaponry, such as ladders and rams, had similar or greater effectiveness, depending on the situation. In the 16th century gunpowder artillery became even more effective as it became more useful on battlefields due to easier and faster loading techniques and proper carriages, and while this also increased effectiveness versus city walls it does not take away the fact that gunpowder artillery had long been superior to trebuchets and the like.
If you wanted to simulate a siege accurately in AOK you'd have to research sappers, then imagine the villagers digging under the walls while throwing stuff over the walls with a treb.
Undermining walls was not as common a technique as one might believe. Many castles were built especially in areas where undermining was impossible, either naturally (cliff faces, soggy ground) or artificially (moats). Also, it would take a considerable time to do successfully, and required expertise unavailable in areas where mining was uncommon (and it should be stressed that, at the time, many resources were simply stripped off the surface; actual mining only occurred in very resource-rich areas, like southern Germany, Bohemia, north-east Wales, etc). Usually, to capture a city or castle, the attackers would launch a night attack and hope to take the place through escalade even before a siege had begun. If that failed, a city would be invested. During the investment anything would be done to overwhelm the defenders. Undermining was one of those things. It was, however, by no means the dominant or decisive form of attack. The most accurate representation of a siege in AoK would probably be a load of guys sitting outside a castle waiting for the garrison to surrender.

Kor | The Age of Chivalry is upon us!
Wellent ich gugk, so hindert mich / köstlicher ziere sinder,
Der ich e pflag, da für ich sich / Neur kelber, gaiss, böck, rinder,
Und knospot leut, swarz, hässeleich, / Vast rüssig gen dem winder;
Die geben müt als sackwein vich. / Vor angst slach ich mein kinder
Offt hin hinder.
Wyo_Daniel
Squire
posted 07-18-08 11:17 AM CT (US)     29 / 40       
Oh, and incidentally, I did try the dry ice bomb thing. It was... interesting, if not entirely successful.

I got the sling all pulled back and ready to fire, and then I held it there while I combined the dry ice and water. I must have taken too long getting the bomb rigged correctly in teh sling... I stepped back and released the arm, and HALF A SECOND before the water bottle would have been released from the sling, it exploded, still wrapped in the sling. I'm not sure how the force of the explosion 24 ft in the air managed to affect the rest of the trebuchet structure, but it did. Two of those 1/8 of a ton pillars of concrete blocks just... toppled straight over. It was fantastic. Oh, and the explosion of the dry ice bomb was deafening. I could hear it echo across the entire 100-odd acre valley I live in. The piece of denim I was using for a sling was ripped beyond belief.

Not what I was trying for, but it was still cool. =D

"I mean, imagine someone screaming 'MAH PANTS' with no pants. Wouldn't that be a truly comical sight?" ---Quaazi
"HOLY CRAP WYO YOU'RE FAT!!!" ---Quaazi
Evil Tailor
Squire
(id: Other White Meat)
posted 07-18-08 01:22 PM CT (US)     30 / 40       
Believe you me, I've studied gunpowder and 'wooden' siege artillery in some detail, and gunpowder was well superior to trebuchets and the like by 1400, at least in areas where it had properly developed, most notably north-western Europe
Mm, okay I believe you, but weren't they usually equally dangerous to the people handling them?
The most accurate representation of a siege in AoK would probably be a load of guys sitting outside a castle waiting for the garrison to surrender.
Okay, I meant, kind of, if you wanted to simulate a siege ATTACK or something? I just thought that usually they'd try to build a ramp for a ram for attack, but you could imagine the ramp as well as the sappers digging at the walls, now that I think about it.

"While I'm profaning I might as well do the whole f*cking thing."
-- Christopher Hitchens
http://soundcloud.com/adult-entertainment - Intriguing music! Made by me! (It's excellent!)
Kor
Busschof Happertesch
(id: Derfel Cadarn)
posted 07-18-08 02:43 PM CT (US)     31 / 40       
The disasters were spectacular and memorable, but usually there were no problems, or the problems were caused by human error (firing the cannon too fast, resulting in overheating, or just careless handling of fire). But already in the very early 15th century multiple cannons could fire hundreds of projectiles at cities or castles without any self destruction. Professionalism was achieved quite early because first cities and then royal and ducal courts started employing artillery masters who made a living working with gunpowder and cannons and who went a long way perfecting both the artillery pieces and the mixture of gunpowder itself. By 1400, cities like Ghent and Bruxelles had siege trains of over a 100 cannons.
Okay, I meant, kind of, if you wanted to simulate a siege ATTACK or something? I just thought that usually they'd try to build a ramp for a ram for attack, but you could imagine the ramp as well as the sappers digging at the walls, now that I think about it.
That'd depend on the situation/location. If the defenders were at least somewhat forceful (and they would be if they could), building a ramp would be pretty hard to achieve, so the attackers would just storm the ditch/moat surrounding the walls prior before the attack, if possible under the cover of pavises, and dump as much rubbish into it as possible. This was the fastest way of achieving a crossing and led to the shortest exposure to enemy fire (though of course a poorer quality crossing).
Great constructions by engineers, such as the siege towers on boats used in, I believe, the siege of Acre during the crusades, or such as pontoon bridges to surround a city, were at times successful, but the more complicated the structure the larger the chance it would be successfully destroyed. Like the siege tower at Maastricht (1408), the pontoon bridges at the Menai Straits (1282), surrounding Paris (1357?), surrounding Grave (1388), surrounding Neuss (1475) etc, the hard work seldom paid off. The defenders typically concentrated firepower against either the engineers or the structure, and if that wasn't successful a simple sortie with torches often did the job. Because any attack was therefore very costly in lives the 'attackers' would typically resort in doing nothing for the majority of the siege. Reading about the siege of Neuss (1475), for example, it can only baffle the reader to find out that, during almost a year long siege, only a few major attacks were launched, despite a massive (and high quality) army being present.

Kor | The Age of Chivalry is upon us!
Wellent ich gugk, so hindert mich / köstlicher ziere sinder,
Der ich e pflag, da für ich sich / Neur kelber, gaiss, böck, rinder,
Und knospot leut, swarz, hässeleich, / Vast rüssig gen dem winder;
Die geben müt als sackwein vich. / Vor angst slach ich mein kinder
Offt hin hinder.
Julius999
Imposter
posted 07-18-08 02:46 PM CT (US)     32 / 40       
Frankly, Kor could tell me that the Bohemians used goulash as their primary siege weapon in the 13th century and I'd believe him.

1010011010
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Member of Stormwind Studios
Jatayu
Squire
(id: Sword_of_STORM)
posted 07-18-08 05:49 PM CT (US)     33 / 40       
I made a battering ram for my metallurgy project last year. Can't seem to dig up any pics though. It was a small model, about a foot long.

,
Jatayu O===|¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯/
`
Battle of Saraighat, 1671|Atlantis, the Lost Realm|AOE Roman Modpack|My profile
ि
StormWind Studios
four hundred babies
Squire
(id: Lord_Fadawah)
posted 07-18-08 11:24 PM CT (US)     34 / 40       
The most accurate representation of a siege in AoK would probably be a load of guys sitting outside a castle waiting for the garrison to surrender.
Really? Judging by the guys I've played online, Castle Blood is the most accurate representation of medieval warfare so far.
Jatayu
Squire
(id: Sword_of_STORM)
posted 07-19-08 07:07 PM CT (US)     35 / 40       
hey Fadawah, I tried Stick Arena from your sig. It's cool.

,
Jatayu O===|¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯/
`
Battle of Saraighat, 1671|Atlantis, the Lost Realm|AOE Roman Modpack|My profile
ि
StormWind Studios
Scud
Primus inter pares
posted 07-19-08 07:28 PM CT (US)     36 / 40       
Menai Straits (1282)
I thought the Menai used to be shallow enough to cross by foot (or take cattle to and from Anglesey or so I've heard) and only in more modern times has it been dredged out.

I could be wrong, and it would be interesting to hear more about these medieval pontoon bridges.

¬_¬ Scuddles: Rhymes with huggles© ¬_¬
"Scud: the man who could even make God feel foolish." - A Banned User
"Anyway, Scud's not mean, it's not in his nature...he is a bit eccentric though!" - Anastasia

[This message has been edited by Scud (edited 07-19-2008 @ 07:30 PM).]

Mr Wednesday
Cavalier
(id: matty12345)
posted 07-19-08 10:49 PM CT (US)     37 / 40       
Kor is pretty bang on in describing the futility of siege equipment. In the siege of Acre, Ambrose wrote of nearly 300 pieces of siege firing around the clock near the end. Coupling that with the rather famous mining of the accursed tower, large siege towers (burnt with greek fire), and nearly constant ladder attacks.

Eventually the predictable happened, the garrison surrendured due to losses, starvation and exaustion.

As for this treb, I have often toyed with the idea of making one. There is a yearly pumpkin capapult comp for the engineering dept at my school. I may have to give this a try.

"And Matt is a prolific lurker, watching over the forum from afar in silence, like Batman. He's the president TC needs, and possibly also the one it deserves." - trebuchet king
Kor
Busschof Happertesch
(id: Derfel Cadarn)
posted 07-20-08 06:18 AM CT (US)     38 / 40       
I thought the Menai used to be shallow enough to cross by foot (or take cattle to and from Anglesey or so I've heard) and only in more modern times has it been dredged out.

I could be wrong, and it would be interesting to hear more about these medieval pontoon bridges.
Perhaps the straits sanded up in later times, but in the 13th century it could not be crossed on foot. During the Second Welsh War, Edward I used his fleet to occupy Anglesey and then built a pontoon bridge where the strait was narrowest. Meanwhile, Edward himself stayed in north-east Wales (Conwy castle, I think) while his allied marcher lords were massing to the south of the modern Principality of Wales (formerly Gwynedd).
The idea was to launch three simultaneous attacks on the Gwynedd heartland, which is perfectly protected by the Snowdonia mountains and therefore was often problematic. Edward also made sure trees were felled along the planned route, so ambushes would be less likely.
However, the general in command of the pontoon bridge on Anglesey, Luke de Tany, decided to raid Gwynedd well before the official attack was to commence. He crossed the bridge and went east, but his army was ambushed and pretty much massacred. Fleeing troops ran onto the pontoon bridge and, due to the tension, it collapsed and was destroyed, drowning pretty much everyone on it. Luke de Tany himself also died.

Consequently, Edward had to build a new pontoon bridge. >_>

So, not crossable in the 13th century. And I doubt it was crossable before. But it could have happened afterwards.
As for this treb, I have often toyed with the idea of making one. There is a yearly pumpkin capapult comp for the engineering dept at my school. I may have to give this a try.
Another HGer, TK vanBraun, made a few different trebuchets. This is his third:


This is another one, built by Uwe Strack near the German castle Lichtenberg (in the vicinity of Hildesheim).
Very professional, and built after thorough research:



I can imagine it must be awesome to build your own! (And, especially, to try it out )

Kor | The Age of Chivalry is upon us!
Wellent ich gugk, so hindert mich / köstlicher ziere sinder,
Der ich e pflag, da für ich sich / Neur kelber, gaiss, böck, rinder,
Und knospot leut, swarz, hässeleich, / Vast rüssig gen dem winder;
Die geben müt als sackwein vich. / Vor angst slach ich mein kinder
Offt hin hinder.
VonCorgath
Squire
posted 07-21-08 06:58 AM CT (US)     39 / 40       
Too right it is! I actually built one a couple years back during the summer holidays. Spent a week building it, many of the specs similar to Wyo's though a little different in design

Unfortunately, it's spent the rest of it's life out in the weather, and is a little worse for wear. I'll probably never fix it up, just build a better one.
[JPEG, (644.50 KB)]
[JPEG, (154.44 KB)]

Counterweight - 40kg + bucket (30kg)
Trestle height - 5'5" approx.
Main Arm - 13' approx
I think the pivot point was about 2'6" from the end.
Max range I acheived with 1kg projectile about 120m.

I always wanted to do something cool with it like what you did with the dry-ice bomb Wyo, or a Molotov cocktail or something, but I didn't really want any glass or the like on the pad I was firing at.

I think I have some more photo's or a video if anyone is interested.
Wyo_Daniel
Squire
posted 07-21-08 07:01 PM CT (US)     40 / 40       
a Molotov cocktail or something
*Chortles* I hadn't thought of that one, although a Molotov cocktail would have interesting results where I live. In my pics, you can see the dry, greyish grass covering the landscape, and I know fro personal experience that the stuff lights up alarmingly easily. =D
I think I have some more photo's or a video if anyone is interested.
Absolutely.

"I mean, imagine someone screaming 'MAH PANTS' with no pants. Wouldn't that be a truly comical sight?" ---Quaazi
"HOLY CRAP WYO YOU'RE FAT!!!" ---Quaazi
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