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Old 01-13-2018, 05:02 AM   #51
hal
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Default Re: Countering archers and bows?

First wave a white flag asking for a parley. Ask them why they’re shooting at you. Maybe take the mage with you and see what can be discerned. If that fails?


Got a backpack? Maybe filling it with stuff might act as an improvised breast plate when worn on your chest. Also, try waiting until dusk or later? A crouch also enhances your defensive odds.

Remeber: a bow without arrows is useless. Taunt the archers saying “you wussies, can’t hit me here! I’ll move a little closer if need be. Which of you *sneering tone* archer wanna bes, are the best shot?”

Remeber: range 50 yards is -8. Crouching adds a further -2. Dusk adds a further -2 to that. If they are using at best, composit bows, the accuracy is only +3. Toss in the other modifiers, and they aren’t likely to score a hit.

With luck, you can get the enemy to waste their arrows. Eventually, they’ll start to run low in arrows and stop firing at you.

Then, (or before you start to taunt them) split the party into two groups. Have one group work their way around so that the archers have to decide which group is a worse threat - maybe split their fire such that it becomes 3 to 2 odds instead of 8:1 against YOU.

You might also LOUDLY tell the party mage to cast his summon Demons spell once you’re within 30 yards of the archers. Remember - it isn’t what you can do that matters, it is what THEY fear you can do that counts. If you want? Yell “NO QUARTER!” as you advance, and have the rest of the team take up the chant as well. If the enemy aren’t sure of themselves, they may break ranks. Otherwise, you may find yourselves doing your own charge of the light brigade sans brigade. ;)

Frankly? Why do you even have take these one string gutarists on in the first place? Maybe you can bluff them by saying “Our mage just contacted reinforcements, we’ll just wait for them to show up and put paid to you heroes.”

Without knowing what your resourses are, can’t really offer better ideas. Maybe drink some wibe as if it were a pition and yell “now your puny arrows are wothless” and run like hell towards them. How long does it take to run 50 yards?

;)
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:16 AM   #52
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Default Re: Countering archers and bows?

OK, I will (again) start with Earth history. Rapiers developed when muskets and similar rendered armor less useful. Prior to that, sharp, pointy weapons for melee were spears and daggers. A swung sword is just too good for dealing damage. So, where did your rapiers come from, and who taught you to use them? It sounds like your GM had an idea and did not really consider the implications of the technology. Not that doing so is common, a lot of writers and RPGers don't.

As far as the situation as described, I say to avoid the fight. If you get ambushed, run away and find another way to get where you are going. Eventually, your GM will get the hint and change the situations so that it is more fun for you players.

Or, charge. Not only do you increase the odds of not getting hit, by moving faster, you get to where the archers are faster thereby reducing the number of arrows fired at you. You don't have to reach the archers to make them stop firing, just be close enough so that you will be in melee the next round or two. The archers will either flee or have to change weapons.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:20 AM   #53
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Default Re: Countering archers and bows?

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Originally Posted by gruundehn View Post
OK, I will (again) start with Earth history. Rapiers developed when muskets and similar rendered armor less useful.
Just to be clear, rapiers didn't appear directly because armor disappeared. Rapiers appeared when it became fashionable for wealthy burghers to carry a sword for self-defense. The situations where a rapier was intended to be used were generally in facing foes that would never have been armored in the first place.

At the time the rapier appeared, the heaviest and most elaborate battlefield armor (Maximillian-style) was still in the future, and the battlefield was dominated by pointy sticks (Tercio formations of pikemen backed up by arquebusiers).

In short, a setting with a large armed civilian/urban population would likely develop something like a rapier with or without the invention of gunpowder.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:35 AM   #54
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Default Re: Countering archers and bows?

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In short, a setting with a large armed civilian/urban population would likely develop something like a rapier with or without the invention of gunpowder.
There is some other factor at work there, because there are plenty of cities throughout history with armed populations that carry something else. But yeah, rapiers aren't replacing broadswords, they're replacing belt knives and cudgels.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:03 PM   #55
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Default Re: Countering archers and bows?

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Not the bees!
Bravo sir! Bravo.
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:24 PM   #56
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Countering archers and bows?

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Originally Posted by malloyd View Post
There is some other factor at work there, because there are plenty of cities throughout history with armed populations that carry something else. But yeah, rapiers aren't replacing broadswords, they're replacing belt knives and cudgels.
Mainly improvements in steel working, like the blast furnace, made blades with high length to width ratios possible. Note these also made full plate harness a possibility too, so gruudehn's thesis is almost entirely backwards.
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Old 01-13-2018, 02:33 PM   #57
a humble lich
 
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Default Re: Countering archers and bows?

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Originally Posted by gruundehn View Post
OK, I will (again) start with Earth history. Rapiers developed when muskets and similar rendered armor less useful.
Although on Earth, the rapier was developed after the musket, bow were still quite widely used. While muskets are easy to use and have quite a bit of power, bows still have many advantages (as this example shows). Mostly bows can have a much higher rate of fire than early firearms.

Martial Arts says that the Italian school of rapier fencing was developed in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 16th century in England, the longbow was still quite popular. Its use was declining in favor of firearms, there were many laws during this period requiring possession or practice of longbows. The Mary Rose, a English shipwreck from which most of our examples of historical English longbows come, sank in 1545. Although uncommon, longbow were used in the English Civil war (1642) by various militias. Later, longbows were still used long after they were not military weapons for hunting or recreation, and PCs could easily encounter longbow wielding bandits.

Outside of the British Isles, archers had widespread military use until much more recently. Indians in the New World, Samurai in Japan, horsemen in Central Asia, and many others all used bows in warfare throughout the swashbuckler period. Many of the people could easily be met by a pirate ship full of swashbucklers. Also, swashbuckler doesn't necessarily mean European; a Chinese xia with a jian could reasonably be described with a swashbuckler template in GURPS.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:25 PM   #58
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Countering archers and bows?

The Sengoku Period (1467-1603) proved the effectiveness of firearms against Japanese samurai (and Japanese archery), which is one of the reasons why the Tokugawa Shogunate banned firearms for over two centuries. If Nobunaga Oda had survived long enough to establish an Oda Shogunate, I do not doubt that the Japanese would have replaced archery with marksmanship within a generation.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:33 PM   #59
Tom H.
 
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Default Re: Countering archers and bows?

Regarding the topic of countering the ranged enemies:

It just occurred to me that smoke screens may be a simple solution.

If you can generate them quickly and in quantity through magical or other means, then the enemy archers could be assessed steep visibility penalties.

Fire. heh. heh.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:48 PM   #60
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Default Re: Countering archers and bows?

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Originally Posted by Tom H. View Post
Regarding the topic of countering the ranged enemies:

It just occurred to me that smoke screens may be a simple solution.

If you can generate them quickly and in quantity through magical or other means, then the enemy archers could be assessed steep visibility penalties.

Fire. heh. heh.
On a similar vein, hunker down and wait for darkness.
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