What medieval weaponry to authentically hunt cat-sized mosquitos?

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Shipyard Locked

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Imagine you lived in authentic medieval times and yet (merciful heavens) you had to regularly fight against aggressive mosquitos roughly the size of cats. Keeping in mind that they are airborne, agile, thin, and quick to react, what weapons would you select to combat them? What equipment would you bring along for best results? What combat techniques would you employ?

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TJS

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I think the big question is how tough the cat sized exoskeleton is?

I think if they're vulnerable to a slash from a sword than something relatively light and maneuvrable like a longsword might be your best best, but if they're not you'd need something else.

But obviously that's only if they've been able to get close. Again, if they're not to difficult to penetrate some kind of mongol style fast reloading composite bow might be your best bet at range.
 

Telok

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Things about mosquitos:
1. The wings & legs are more delicate than the other bits. They're (thankfully) also a misson kill if busted up.
2. The suckers have to land and have a stable place to stand to bite. Because what the really have is a sharp straw to poke in and broken straws are crap to work with.

Sorry interrupts, but cat siz is better. Closed doors & shutters work plus a broom or rake to swat with
 

Agemegos

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The huge weaknesses of mosquitos the size of cats are (1) their eggs make splendid omlettes, and (b) their wrigglers are easily trapped like lobster, and are excellent either boiled or grilled with a tangy dipping sauce. Thus this delicacy of the past is disappearing, going the way of the giant monitor lizard Varanus priscus, the giant python Morelia riversleighensis, and Quinkana terrestrial crocodiles — simply not a viable build in a biome with hunter=gathers.

The adults can be hunted like other waterfowl. Nets, throwing-sticks, and light bows are standbys for such fowling. If you lack a suitable boat, a strong retriever or spaniel is invaluable.
 
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Raleel

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Spear with a barbed point. One hit impale and leave it. Can’t fly anymore, darty on the ground. Bolas, tangle wings, murder. Net, tangle wings, murder. Flail or chain, entangle, murder. Lasso, entangle, murder. Arrows with turkey broadheads on them - these are designed to slice through thin areas, remove a wing or a proboscis. An oar, musashi style - broad blade, doesn’t have to be overly heavy, swat them down. Urumi, the thin, flexible sword from India.

its Only cat sized. It may react quick, but it has to move a lot of body.
 

Agemegos

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A bit of pottering around on the Internet suggests that mosquitos are about 5 mm long and mass about 5 mg. Cats are apparently 460 mm long which I'm going to round to 500 mm, so that I get a nice easy factor of 100 in linear scale. A mosquito scaled up to the length of a cat works out be one million times the volume of a normal-sized mosquito and to mass 5 kg — it's about the size of a goose.

All I can say is that whoever wrote the Internet seems to be happily unfamiliar with Aedes alternans, the Hexham grey mosquito. According to reports, a Hexham grey once landed on the tarmac at Williamtown RAAF base, where the erks mistook it for one of the Navy's ASW helicopters, and pumped 500 litres of avtur into it before they realised their mistake. That killed it, of course, and for nearly fifteen years they kept the remains as a trophy, slung from the ceiling in one of the less-used hangars. Then, sadly, some air commodore went to look at it who didn't believe that "no smoking" signs applied to him. This amazing specimen was lost in the ensuing fire.

That brings me around to the only way that I can think of to make cat-sized mosquitos a worthwhile challenge to PCs in a fantasy RPG — have them breathe fire.
 
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Raleel

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ings me around to the only way that I can think of to make cat-sized mosquitos a worthwhile challenge to PCs in a fantasy RPG
They are effectively stirges from 1e. Swarms should do. Fireballs are effective. Glue bombs, etc.
 

Sharrow

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The huge weaknesses of mosquitos the size of cats are (1) their eggs make splendid omlettes, and (b) their wrigglers are easily netted like shrimp, and are excellent either boiled or grilled with a tangy dipping sauce. Thus this delicacy of the past is disappearing, going the way of the giant monitor lizard Varanus priscus, the giant python Morelia riversleighensis, and Quinkana terrestrial crocodiles — simply not a viable build in a biome with hunter=gathers.

The adults can be hunted like other waterfowl. Nets, throwing-sticks, and light bows are standbys for such fowling. If you lack a suitable boat, a strong retriever or spaniel is invaluable.
Do you have any good use for the tumblers?
 

AsenRG

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I was going to say "urumi", but that also means you don't want to be close to the other PCs...and that opens up your back.
So, a mix of a cho-ko-nu and a prod should do the trick. If they get close, big nets followed by trampling.
And for up-close, a shield and a saber or sica. Shield bashes into a swarm could cripple several of the buggers at once:thumbsup:!
 

Spartan

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After an admittedly shallow dive into the nearest real world equivalent (Meganeuropsis permiana), I'm starting to think that literally anything would do. That dragonfly was the largest insect ever, and weighed about a pound, which means it wasn't a tank made out of chitin. I could not find information on the thickness of its chitin, but given it had to fly (otherwise it would be a dragoncrawl, not a dragonfly) I can't imagine that it would pose any kind of obstacle to man-made sharp and pointy tools. The problem is that they wouldn't have a lot of mass for hand weapons to have a lot of purchase on them: imagine trying to crush a floating feather with a hammer as opposed to one lying flat on a table. Look up sword "ribbon tests". Developing skill at those kinds of cutting feats would have an excellent in-world justification with large, hard to effectively cut insects out to exsanguinate you.

You could make up all kinds of accompanying superstitions such as "if you actually hit a mosquito with your crossbow, you'll never hit anything with it ever again" (adapted from a local superstition about crows and rifles where I grew up). If there's in-world magic, enchantments would be useful to hit the damn things, they're so fast, except after they've fed. Perhaps their large size has increased their intelligence and they use pack tactics. What diseases would they spread? What cults would spring up around giant blood-sucking insects? Are they tasty? Are they used like carrier pigeons? Do people keep them as pets? If they're disease carriers, how would they be used in siege warfare?
 

Necrozius

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Nets for sure, or baskets. Big, light, easy things to toss at them, hopefully breaking their legs and wings in the process. Tridents (pitchforks) seem practical too.

Light wicker shields covered in twigs, spikes and antlers.
 

Shipyard Locked

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I was going to say "urumi", but that also means you don't want to be close to the other PCs...and that opens up your back.
So, a mix of a cho-ko-nu and a prod should do the trick. If they get close, big nets followed by trampling.

Illustrations for those who don't want to go google those weapons:

Urumi
NHLDBMG.jpg


Cho-ko-nu
 

Moonglum

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Can't seem to figure out a correct illustration for one. Do you have a link?
Google image search 'medieval stone bow' (an alternate name for the same thing). Basically looks like a crossbow but with a little dip in the stock between the bow and the trigger mechanism, so that the bullet doesn't have to slide along a groove over the whole distance of its acceleration.
 

VisionStorm

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Yes, I'm confident in a spear for whacking and stabbing. I wouldn't throw it.

As confident as I am of the superiority of the spear against human opponents and large animals, it wouldn't be my first choice to fight overgrown fast flying insects. Nets (as several have mentioned) would be my first choice, as well as some shield/weapon (likely club or mace) combo. Maybe some bolas as well.

Shields in particular seem like they should be able to bash a darting mosquito right out of the air pretty easy, making it almost a better option than nets for pure defense/offense if you get swarmed by them. Net should be better initially to take some of them down quick. But once they start closing in it's shield bashing time! Then squash them with a club.
 

Toadmaster

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More seriously that gladiator set up with the net and trident wouldn't be a terrible choice. Get them on the ground with the net then stick them with the trident. The broader head of a trident vs spear, sword etc also has more fly swatter effect to break up pack attacks.

Most flying critters are pretty delicate so I wouldn't expect the need for armor busting weapons.
 

aia

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Imagine you lived in authentic medieval times and yet (merciful heavens) you had to regularly fight against aggressive mosquitos roughly the size of cats. Keeping in mind that they are airborne, agile, thin, and quick to react, what weapons would you select to combat them? What equipment would you bring along for best results? What combat techniques would you employ?

qZB57Tu.jpg
Fireballs... you can't get wrong!
 

lategamer

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Firstly I'd use something like a tennis racket, with sharp strings for close quarters.

At range, I'd use Bats the size of Bears. Now this might seem like an arms race and bats the size of bears do bring their own problems (just in the quantity of guano alone, but bat guano has a lot of interesting properties.) But as an effective bio-control and the added advantage that they can be domesticated into FLIPPING AWESOME STEEDS, I don't even know what you're complaining about. (Probably the stench of the guano).

But long term, you want magic that will not only drive them away, but will cause their snouts to become droopy so they can't feed. It's the females who bite so as soon as they starve, no problem.
 

Agemegos

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Do you have any good use for the tumblers?
They're not easy to trap like the wrigglers because they don't feed. But if you do catch a few I'd suggest either wrapping them in banana leaves or encasing them in clay, and then baking them in the coals.

Ahem... I said "authentically medieval"... except for the giant mosquitos
:tongue:
See reply #25, by TristramEvans.
 
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Fenris-77

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So the first step is to smoke them out of their underground burrows...
 
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