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Old 01-10-2018, 11:52 AM   #1
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Default Countering archers and bows?

Hey there, I am playing a swashbuckler and I have been struggling a lot, against archers and their bows. They are in the hills, then far away behind rocks, then we have those heroic archers that run away and shoot.

Normally it is 3-8 archers, against a party of 4.
None of us has ranged attacks (this setting was for testing purposes; however, it got fun and then this happened).

I need to something to stop this, but I would not like to employ a bow (bows are nice, but I don't want to employ bows).

What can I do?
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Last edited by Hide; 01-10-2018 at 12:04 PM.
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Old 01-10-2018, 11:59 AM   #2
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You have two options. Either the party needs to get really good at Stealth and get close to the archers before they get a chance to turn you into pincushions, or, you need to convince your GM to do something besides try to turn you into pincushions as you spend the entire game just trying to catch an archer.
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:00 PM   #3
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Hey there, I am playing a swashbuckler and I have been struggling a lot, against archers and their bows. They are in the hills, then far away behind rocks, then we have those heroic archers than run away and shoot
Are you a party of one or do you have support? Generally, a single melee fighter against a group of archers, starting at range, is not going to go well for the melee fighter. Sounds like a firing squad.

If you have a typical DF party, a Wizard or Cleric could use spells like Shield, Missile Shield, Deflect Missile, etc. to protect you, a Knight could use Shield-Wall Training and a large shield to Block for you, a Scout could fire back at the enemy, a Druid could summon animals to stand in front of you and soak attacks, etc.

If you're alone, you'll want Acrobatics (to make Acrobatic Dodges), a high Basic Speed (for a good Dodge), a shield (for the DB, and so that you can Block as well as Dodge), enough FP to use Extra Effort for a Feverish Defense whenever you're allowed to, Acrobatic Stand (to get up quickly after a Dodge-and-Drop), a high Move (to close distance quickly and also to potentially increase effective range for the archers if your Move is 10+), and a decent HT (so that you make your knockdown and stunning rolls when you're inevitably hit).
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:16 PM   #4
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There's no sensible way for an obligate melee guy to be advantaged against multiple shooters starting the engagement from good positions. That's a fight you have by all rights lost before you draw your blade.

You could try going hard into Parry Missile Weapons, though.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:05 PM   #5
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You could try going hard into Parry Missile Weapons, though.
This would be my suggestion as well. Or alternatively pick up a big shield and block the shots.

...possibly both.



Also note that it takes 3 turns to fire an arrow. You can advance at half-speed using All Out Defense: Dodge. And run when they are reloading. So they can't really run from you AND shoot at you.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:20 PM   #6
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Also note that it takes 3 turns to fire an arrow. You can advance at half-speed using All Out Defense: Dodge. And run when they are reloading. So they can't really run from you AND shoot at you.
A bunch of Heroic Archers aren't likely to spend time reloading that way.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:37 PM   #7
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Magic or not? Cinematic or realistic?
Shields are an option, ranged counter attacks are a better one.
If you dont want to use bows, how about spears or slings? Heck, if their close enough even throw rocks and sticks hoping to mess with their aim.
Evasive maneuvering and cover can help too.
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Old 01-10-2018, 02:59 PM   #8
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Magic or not? Cinematic or realistic?
Shields are an option, ranged counter attacks are a better one.
If you dont want to use bows, how about spears or slings? Heck, if their close enough even throw rocks and sticks hoping to mess with their aim.
Evasive maneuvering and cover can help too.
Magic exists, but it is not widely employed right now; the campaign is more or less cinematic. Considering I would need to take at least 2 enemies, would a dragon pistol work or crossbow work against 2 heroic archers? (TL4).

I must be faster than them.

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Old 01-10-2018, 03:03 PM   #9
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Magic exists, but it is not widely employed right now; the campaign is more or less cinematic. Considering I would need to take at least 2 enemies, would a dragon pistol work or crossbow work against 2 heroic archers? (TL4)

- Hide
If your good enough. Swashbucklers would tend towards a high DX so that helps. The problem with those weapons reloading times.
However if you present a credible threat that can spoil their AIM maneuvers.
If there is cover where you can reload safely all the better, especially if you can move fast.
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Old 01-10-2018, 05:21 PM   #10
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Bring your buckler and let their arrows swash against it.

Seriously, a single shield cuts the effectiveness of archery tremendously. A high skill archer can trade-off skill for penalties on the target's Dodge roll, but he can't do squat about a shield.

Run up to them while their arrows bounce off your shield, shield-slam them to take away their mobility, and then engage in a sword-versus-bow contest at point blank range. You should probably win.

As a dedicated melee-ist, you're probably not going to beat a dedicated archer at range. I don't advise messing around with crossbows - a Heroic Archer has a much longer effective range than a high DX swashbuckler who dropped a few CP in Crossbow, and a much better rate of fire. He's happy to take shots at 50 yards; you can't hit (even if you aim) much past 30 yards.

Get fast, bring a shield, chase down those archers, knock off them over, and melee them to death. Bows have all kinds of advantages, but they're terrible for parrying.

Also, some of your allies should get ranged attacks. Eventually you'll deal with flying foes, or foes on the other side of a river, or something that you can't reach, and then your group will want ranged attacks. Heck, it's perfectly sensible for you to carry a pistol or a pistol crossbow for those situations. But a swashbuckler generally does better against archers on the ground by bringing a shield and running them down.
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