Bevren discovered that he was learning a lot about the effectiveness of slings and stones in combat. As slings were cheap to make but time-consuming to master, the captain’s instructors at the officer’s academy had dismissed them as a primitive weapon used by backwater nations. The bullets from the slings were about as big around as a cat’s eye and sculpted as close to perfectly spherical as possible. The tiny stones were punching holes in shields and armor better than any projectiles he’d ever seen.
—Excerpted from First Empress
Light skirmishers for First Empress: slings and javelins. Female slinger and male javelin skirmisher. Any feedback is welcome!
Light skirmishers are generally recruited from the lowest parts of society, generally peasants and former slaves. Slings are made from hemp or leather, and a competent slinger can fling a cat’s-eye-sized bullet at shield-crunching speeds. Javelin skirmishers generally carry 3-6 heavy javelins for wounding infantry or suppressing cavalry. These light skirmish units have generally lacked armor and in some armies consider themselves lucky if they have shields or sidearms. Side arms may include daggers, simple short swords, hatchets, or even clubs.
Javelins are pretty much universal in Tollesian, Venarri, Gannic, and most other armies across the Vestic and Tornis Seas—more common than bows and slings put together. Slings are more common among Tollesian islanders than on the mainland. Both can be found aboard light, skirmishing warships in most Tollesian and Venarri navies.
Though Queen Viarra has pushed to equip all of her soldiers with at least a leather brigandine or cuirass, some of the light ranged units remain unarmored.