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Broken Crescent 2.02
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155. Toxotai
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Toxotai
Toxotai
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Class and category missile infantry
Soldier ere_archer, 60, 0, 0.75
Mount
Engine and Ship
Attributes sea_faring, hide_forest, can_withdraw
Formation 2, 3, 2.5, 2.5, 2, square
Hit points 1, 0
Primary weapon 5, 1, arrow_l, 180, 12, missile, missile_mechanical, piercing, none, 25, 1, no
Secondary weapon 4, 1, no, 0, 0, melee, melee_blade, slashing, axe, 25, 1.2, no
Primary armour 3, 3, 0, flesh
Secondary armour 0, 0, flesh
Heat and ground effect 0, 1, -2, 1, -1
Mental 3, low, untrained
Cost 1, 141, 58, 78, 47, 141
Unit Description
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Toxotai Coming from the militia of the themata which remained in the Empire, after the Turkish onslaught post Manzikert, those former hunters apply their trade well in the service of the E. Roman army. They don’t have any armor to speak of, just their clothes, a cotton cloth gambeson and a basic helmet if that is available. A bit better equipped than Peltastai, Toxotai wear a basic “bambakion”, ¾ inch cotton cloth gambeson. Their training wasn’t so much in target practice as in synchronized shooting, aka shooting all at once at the general direction of the enemy. They are closely interlinked with the spear and sword units of the Roman army as all are interdependent. Spearmen and swordmen would be arrow bait without them, and the Toxotai would be slaughtered outright if left unprotected from even one flank. The Roman Empire's battleplan always relied on foot archery as a way to relieve the Horse Archer pressure on the spearmen and swordmen who comprised its infantry. They might also kill enough of the enemy to cause a rout. Historically, even if some regions of the empire were great at archery (Trebizond), archery wasn’t as developed in E. Roman Empire as much as in its eastern neighbours. Roman Empire’s dire straits substituted its once regular archery training by using bow hunters. We know surprisingly much on the Roman bow hunters, including that they had 8 arrowheads for different game. Anna Komnene in the final chapter of the Alexiad, describes her father “teaching the troops use of spear and bow”, clearly showing the Romans were trying to reestablish a good archery training regiment. The typical strategy was to protect the archers as much as possible with spear and sword units in front of them to shield them from heavy units which would be the Toxotai undoing. Toxotai, in turn with massed volleys could out shoot the Horse archers which were the bane of E. Roman forces, and be generally more precise in their fire. They are also very good at breaking up the charge of enemy infantry. Not as good as the archers of neighbouring nations, the Toxotai are what the Romans have as their native bowmen. On the battlefield they should be protected properly.

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