I'm worldbuilding a medieval fantasy which I try to keep as realistic as possible. In my world, fantasy races are subspecies of the humans, which I define as compared to humans:
- Humans (same as us)
- Orcs: much stronger, much taller, less intelligent, worst dexterity
- Elves: smartest, better dexterity, better eyesight, somewhat weaker
- Dwarves: somewhat stronger, somewhat shorter, worse dexterity,worse eyesight
- Gnome: best dexterity, best eyesight, weakest, shortest, least intelligent
I assuming level of technology something akin to early middle ages. There is no gunpowder. Metal is expensive.
Armor varies from heavy padding for the poorest levies, leather for the richer, plate for the knights, and cuirasses for the elite. Full plate has not been invented and metal is very expensive anyway.
My story is about human commander in a remote outpost who due to lack of human troops wants to hire gnomes, which are cheap and plentiful.
Gnomes have excellent eyesight and could be taught to be very accurate. However they could only use recurve bows with draw weights fit for hunting, unlike heavy warbows used by stronger races, due to their weak upper body muscles. Could their accuracy compensate for their lack of strength and make them effective on the battlefield?
The commander plans to use them as mounted cavalry, mostly for scouting, harassment & hit and run tactics.
Hunting bows are usually lower draw weights, because you are mostly stalking the prey, warbows use larger draw weight because they need to penetrate the armor. My assumption is that gnomes could use draw weights which is half of human draw weight. To put some numbers humans would use draw weights of ~120lbs, Orcs ~200lbs, Elves ~100lbs, Dwarves ~140lbs.
Gnomes would use small ponies something like Shetland Ponies, which are relatively cheap and are not well suited for adults of other races.