Unit Information Game Strategies History

The Scorpion was a large crossbow-like weapon that was said to have been first created by the Greeks (and possibly introduced independently in China during the Warring States Period) and could be used to fire projectiles that outshot most light missile weapons such as crossbows or slings. The benefit of this weapon was that it could be used to devastate enemy formations well out of bowshot, and could be used to damage light fortifications as well.

Even so, it was difficult to construct and equally costly to maintain owing to the need to keep the torsion of its cables intact over long-term use, and so it was eventually replaced by the cheaper and more effective Springald. Owing to the great cultural and military dominance of China throughout the pre-modern period it is not implausible to imagine that the Koreans would have been familiar with this sort of weapon, however it is not the "flaming arrow" which the mediaeval Koreans were most famous for.

In actual history, "flaming arrow" referred to the sort of ammo used in two different Korean-designed war machines, being the Singijeon and the Hwacha. They were not, as depicted, fired from scorpions, but were in fact a derivative of the Chinese huoqiang or "fire lance". Singijeon referred to a multiround rocket launcher, consisting of a rack-like contraption from which flaming arrows would be arranged before ignited and fired, the rack being able to be cantilevered to allow firing of rockets at an angle (the Hwacha or fire-cart was its light wheeled variant). Singijeon were used extensively by the Late Joseon dynasty to repel the Manchurians on land, and the Japanese at sea. While it was a most imnpressive weapon with immense psychological impact, it was difficult to build and hard to use — by the time the first American and Russian expeditions arrived in Korea, these rocket launchers had fallen out of use, replaced by cannon and arquebuses.


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