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Old 11-30-2009, 12:32 PM   #31
martinl
 
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

Historically, cheap(ish) good armor and shields made archers valuable auxiliaries rather than a primary military arm. (Most of TLs 2 and 3.)

GURPS is actually pretty forgiving here - I'd estimate GURPS archers do better against metal armor and med+ shields than historical archers did. Now I'm curious about a GURPS open field battle between 100+ reasonable heavy inf and reasonable archers...

However, that is the military viewpoint. From the viewpoint of typical RPG "parties" (a mix of commando, bravo, and bandit), the archer is for ambushes, for having a response to inaccessible enemy missile fire, and attrition of known enemies who start out far away.
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:30 PM   #32
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

Shooting from a tree is hard, some covered above but you also have a limited arc of fire since you typically cant move much and you alos have limbs in the way. Big impact on your rate of fire.
However modern deer hunters sometimes shoot from tree stands which are basically canvas seats. A harness could also be used and gives me an interesting idea to add to an Elven Archer style.....
You could make a rope harness that is pretty comfortable and suspend yourself from a tree so you brace yourself against the tree rather then have to hold onto it. And a knife or quick release and your out in an emergency. Maybe acrobatics to land better too.

One thing about ranged combat I was thinking of while reading the Agincourt.
there is an Irish story/myth about a warrior named Cuchalian who delayed an army with a sling. He would kill a few in camp or on the march from cover each day and this delayed the army and lowered morale. Then they went to an honrable combat one on one fight in order to get him to stop. One fight each day until he lost and the army wouldnt move if he would stop killing them. Gave his army time to mobilize and meet them IIRC.
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Old 11-30-2009, 01:40 PM   #33
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Originally Posted by Kaldrin View Post
The character should have a penalty for firing out of a tree regardless of skill. And 16 or 12 aren't so spectacular that they would guarantee success in that situation.
Well you said that you recently shot a bow and couldn't do it so our char can't really do it.

Guess what? I have another char that can fly... ;-)
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Old 11-30-2009, 02:07 PM   #34
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Originally Posted by chris1982 View Post
Well you said that you recently shot a bow and couldn't do it so our char can't really do it.
Guess what? I have another char that can fly... ;-)
Err... he just said shooting a bow is hard. Having also done this myself, fairly extensively, I concur. (I used to have a composite Turkish recurved bow) I also imaging trying to shoot one while perched in a tree would be even more difficult. That said, proper preparations like the aforementioned tree stand and a good climbing skill (which is mainly what we probably lack) would offset this a lot.
There's also the matter of how realistic you want to be as a GM. If you're more a 'rule of cool' GM then let your PCs go for it. Personally I think it helps the archer be more useful, so I'd let him get away with it at a token penalty, improved if he has more time to prepare. Your style may vary. @:-)
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Old 11-30-2009, 06:35 PM   #35
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Originally Posted by Molokh View Post
Greetings, all!
It is no big secret that the role of an archer in High Fantasy is different from a role of an archer in normal fantasy/low-tech games. Notably, HF archers are scary R-DPS machines with a RoF exceeding that of some TL5 rifles, and comparable damage. With the proper build, they also have huge range.
However, what about the games with normal point ranges (100-150 or below)? What are the roles of archers in those parties, especially given that learning Bow is a lifetime investment?
Thanks in advance!
Well I think others have covered most of the points I would have made, so I just have a few minor observations.

First off, as other have noted, taking fire from an archer in an advance generally slows you down, either from you trying to avoid getting hit or getting hit and having to deal with it.

Another thing is that a bow (or any missile weapon) has a certain amount of intimidation factor. My rule has always been:

"There's a reason you can hold off 20 people with two rounds left in your gun...no one wants to be numbers 1 & 2."

I think a factor in the "intimidation" is partly that in earlier centuries, a deep puncture wound (impaling) is generally harder to treat and keep infection out, so some of that fear is justified in the period, as you might not die from the initial wound, but you might wish you had.

I once saw an archer (In SCA Light combat) hold off 6 opponents at short (10') range, simply because no one wanted to be the one to take the arrow.
(Author's note: I showed up, assessed and obliquely charged the archer, parried the arrow - into my leg - and the other 6 guys pounded him like a tent peg before he could bear on them.)

DF of course, generally you're going to get opponents that are going ignore casualties, but in a historical setting, animals and other creatures as well as "people" are going to not like the fact that you can reach out and touch them first.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:11 PM   #36
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

I normally think of something like a WWII infantry tank concept, so my lower point archers tend to be practically immobile from weight of armor, but able to stand and trade blows

Except they trade blows at range

A backup melee weapon is still essential though
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Old 12-01-2009, 12:41 AM   #37
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Originally Posted by Agramer View Post
actually default 2$ war arrow is barbed arrow.
You're right, of course. I meant the really really evil ones, but as I just realised those are classed as broadhead arrows, like the one in the image, plus barbs. Stick that in a horse's side and the rider will be making control checks from now till christmas...

http://img.alibaba.com/photo/5062683..._Arrow_Tip.jpg
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Old 12-01-2009, 02:31 AM   #38
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Originally Posted by Phoenix42 View Post
Since you mention Agincourt:

One might also want to mention that fantasy and low-TL campaigns tend to include horses or similar mounts. This comes in two versions: A mounted archer can laugh his enemy in the face because he can use his crossbow or shortbow and can dictate his range;
reloading a crossbow is not an easy task mounted if at all possible and a shortbow is a lousy weapon for combat use
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if he's any good and the fight is in an open field, he can also circle his enemies and shoot from behind, negating his enemies' dodge rolls.
do you really believe that the Warriors wouldnīt change front and stand like toy soldiers in show formation?

Quote:
If Don't forget that this is essentially what took the Mongols all the way from Mongolia to Austria
i thought they ended in hungary looked at central european country seeing the woods, no place to feed their ponys said thank you and went home.

Quote:
and what brought the Huns from the Black Sea to the South of France.
nd getting themselves butchered by the Goths as well as the Magyars were butchered or better annihilated by the germans and the turks beaten by the crusaders.
Using a composite bow to īve a decent chance to do damage you must go so close to havy cav that one slight miscalculation or a well timed and calculated counterattack ist pure disaster.

Wheras as slid medium foot can encircle themselves and shoot at you at greater range with long and crossbows, in combination with cav who sally at the right moment.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:18 AM   #39
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Originally Posted by Sword-dancer View Post
reloading a crossbow is not an easy task mounted if at all possible and a shortbow is a lousy weapon for combat use
do you really believe that the Warriors wouldnīt change front and stand like toy soldiers in show formation?
Point is in formation..turning around whole formation makes it stop in spot and it aint advancing anymore toward your lines.

You can use longer bows from horsback,or recurved ones.
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i thought they ended in hungary looked at central european country seeing the woods, no place to feed their ponys said thank you and went home.
Actually,Khan Died and they went back home to elect new one,as their custom was.Meanwhile they got into quarrels and Europe was saved.

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and the turks beaten by the crusaders.
If not counting few battles,it was Europeans being beaten by Turks ;)

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Using a composite bow to īve a decent chance to do damage you must go so close to havy cav that one slight miscalculation or a well timed and calculated counterattack ist pure disaster.
Horses werent armoured as much as men were.Though yes..Archers without protection would get stomped by cavalry.
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:30 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Agramer View Post
Point is in formation..turning around whole formation makes it stop in spot and it aint advancing anymore toward your lines..
i didnīt meanīt turning around the whole formation only to redirect the last lines zo form a shieldwall, Karree, testudo etc

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You can use longer bows from horsback,or recurved ones.
phoenix42 wrote shortbow or crossbow


Quote:
Actually,Khan Died and they went back home to elect new one,as their custom was.
which is a nice story but the timeline isnīt supporting that,


Quote:
If not counting few battles,it was Europeans being beaten by Turks ;)
not by by the sejuqs later by the Ottomans, Outremer hold for a long time.
Quote:

.Though yes..Archers without protection would get stomped by cavalry
i was answering to mounted archers
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