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-   -   Role of archers in low-tech parties? (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=64647)

The Wrathchild 11-27-2009 07:48 AM

Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?
 
The role of the archer is to shoot at the opposition before it closes to melee range. After that the archer goes into melee just like the others. Sometimes he might be able to swing keeping his distance and firing every 2-4 turns or so, depending on him having Fast-Draw or not. Fast-Draw does make a difference here, in those 100-150 pointers. One of the main challenges is the fact the Ready-ing that archers do a lot allows "only" Stepping - thus, if the archer needs distance he has to spend even more time getting that distance.

But attacking at a distance IS an advantage. You can reach just about everyone on the field, and in spread-out affairs, the archer can easily end up dominating while the tanks stomp around forever.

As in all things GURPS the value of points spent depend on the game providing the conditions under which those points come into play.

In tight places, with opponents coming from all directions, the archer will be sad.

In open, free-range battles he is much happier.

In bottlenecks where he can be elevated, and safe behind frontline fighters - he's estatic. Especially if the opponents have no missile users of their own ;-)

edit: Sniping is of course also an opportunity.

Setting is all - and the role varies with the setting.

Ah, Ninja'd - several times ;-)

DouglasCole 11-27-2009 09:12 AM

Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Collective_Restraint (Post 888854)
Depends. The fact that you can ready your bow before having a comrade open a door where you will get to shoot anything behind it at whatever distance it is makes it pretty useful.

My players used ST16 xbows for that, and as "fire and drop" initial salvo.

chris1982 11-27-2009 09:47 AM

Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?
 
Our archer likes to climb on trees etc to get a good shot without the enemy closing in easily on him.

Kale 11-27-2009 12:10 PM

Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chris1982 (Post 888919)
Our archer likes to climb on trees etc to get a good shot without the enemy closing in easily on him.

That's a good plan as long as the enemy doesn't have any archers. Your guy can't dodge very well if he's sitting in a tree! On the other hand the branches and leaves might count as light concealment, and if he has camouflage they might not spot him for a couple shots.

Rocket Man 11-27-2009 12:15 PM

Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kale (Post 888981)
That's a good plan as long as the enemy doesn't have any archers. Your guy can't dodge very well if he's sitting in a tree! On the other hand the branches and leaves might count as light concealment, and if he has camouflage they might not spot him for a couple shots.

Especially since there's no flash of light or hint of smoke to mark his position, as there might be with a firearm.

sir_pudding 11-27-2009 12:18 PM

Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?
 
Don't discount the historical primary purpose of archery: survival. If the party is traveling being able to hunt is often a life saver.

Kromm 11-27-2009 12:20 PM

Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?
 
The archer wins fights before melee ever happens if the GM is being fair about starting fights at long distances some of the time. If every fight happens at spear range to grappling range, or at most at one second's sprint, then archers are limited. If hostilities open at 50-100 yards a good deal of the time, though, then archers are too valuable to ignore. The key thing as the player of an archer is to let the GM know you expect this. And if, as a GM, you don't intend to do this, you have an obligation to warn the players before they create their PCs, so that nobody creates a PC who's useless in the situations the campaign portrays.

Those saying that "archer" isn't necessarily a dedicated role also have a very good point. I've never actually seen a pure archer. I've seen plenty of PCs whose best skills were Bow and Fast-Draw (Arrow), but who also had a Melee Weapon skill and its Fast-Draw specialty, and who could switch to hand-to-hand rapidly. In fact, I've never seen a pure melee warrior. Even the shortest-ranged of these could chuck axes or spears, and the majority were good with atlatls, bows, crossbows, slings, etc.

chris1982 11-27-2009 12:58 PM

Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kale (Post 888981)
That's a good plan as long as the enemy doesn't have any archers. Your guy can't dodge very well if he's sitting in a tree! On the other hand the branches and leaves might count as light concealment, and if he has camouflage they might not spot him for a couple shots.

Well, he isn't doing that after combat has started. He woul scout the enemy, use carmouflage skill and get 2 shots before they even spot him ;-)

Kaldrin 11-27-2009 01:57 PM

Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chris1982 (Post 889012)
Well, he isn't doing that after combat has started. He woul scout the enemy, use carmouflage skill and get 2 shots before they even spot him ;-)

Having recently shot a bow I can honestly say he'd better have a lot of gear tying him to that tree or a) his shots will be horribly inaccurate or b) he'll fall out of said tree.

chris1982 11-27-2009 02:37 PM

Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kaldrin (Post 889033)
Having recently shot a bow I can honestly say he'd better have a lot of gear tying him to that tree or a) his shots will be horribly inaccurate or b) he'll fall out of said tree.

You got 16 bow skill and 12 climb skill?


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