What are giants

Giants are close cousin of humans, with only a few distinguishing features: first and foremost, their size. All of them are above 3 meters tall, with some nearing 4 meters - and with a very large build: their strength is the limit of what biology would allow.

They are definitely duller than men, to get into warfare they need a human to stick with them to be sure they follow the battle plan and don't just run and smash what's the closest to them in a straight line.

As for their motoric ability, it is good, maybe not as good as a human, but as long as the object is to their scale they can operate it

The technology

We are at a point where the longbow is taken as old and slings, while not completely phased out are still on the way out. (Think end of the Hundred-year war, around that time.) But despite many attempts nobody has managed to craft a bow that would use the strength of the giants without exploding under the pressure. The only successful attempts are giant-loaded machines of siege that remove the mechanical advantage in the loading mechanism. Those contraptions are not portable even for a giant.

The actual question

Would it be possible to make a sling for giants? Are there size limitations to the projectile/ropes? And would it make for a good weapon, or would they be more useful as living battering ram?

  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Don't sell bows short. The author Terry Pratchett gave his trolls hand-held ballista rather than crossbows. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Feb 6, 2023 at 5:46
  • $\begingroup$ i rulled out bow mostly because i didn't want them in the storry. obviously giant sized onagre would be insanely deadly $\endgroup$
    – shas
    Feb 6, 2023 at 16:36
  • $\begingroup$ Ah! Remember to add restrictions like that to your questions. It helps to know what we can and cannot do. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Feb 6, 2023 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ I see no reason an super sized atlatl wouldn't be an effective weapon. Or a rock thrower, instead of throwing a large boulder throw a number of "smaller" stones. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spear-thrower $\endgroup$
    – Gillgamesh
    Feb 6, 2023 at 17:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ King David disapproves of the giants wielding slings. $\endgroup$
    – user86462
    Feb 6, 2023 at 21:55

2 Answers 2


Yes, trebuchets are a proof of concept for this. Trebuchets operated through the use of a counterweight or traction (these are sometimes called mangonels) to move a large wooden arm that had a long sling at the end big enough to hurl large boulders weighing hundreds of pounds. This is essentially a gigantic mechanical sling staff. emphasized text


Slings would be the perfect weapons for giants (at least according to Shad from Shadiversity). Trebuchets show that it is possible to use sling (well, sling-like device) to launch boulders instead of rocks. So upscaling a sling to giant size shouldn't be an issue. And it would make a devastating weapon. It should outrange any human-sized bow. So you would have a medieval period rapid fire artilery.

Giants would be wasted as a living battering rams. Considering their size it is unlikely you can raise a giant in a few years, so any loss would have an impact for an army. And having them in melee would result in loses, as defenders would develop techniques to put them down. But using slings from a massive range... The only defence against that would be an attack against artilery, I mean giant position. And good luck with charging an enemy that is shooting boulders at you.

As for bows/crossbows: it would be possible to make them giant-sized. Either out of wood, or out of metal. But it would be way more expensive than slings. And even worse, amunition would be an issue (an expensive one), while boulders are ubiquitous!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The Romans built what amounted to crossbows, both with a spring prodd like scaling up a common crossbow and with torsion bundle spring -- which could fire a six to eight foot long spear more than a quarter mile, accurately enough to reliably hit a single man,. $\endgroup$
    – Zeiss Ikon
    Feb 6, 2023 at 13:39

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