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Old 07-17-2015, 08:01 AM   #11
brianfb
 
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Default Re: [Combat]: Do you bow, bro?

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Originally Posted by weby View Post
If you have the range a bow is superior weapon as you can soot on the go, an archer running away can still do move and attacks at a penalty without the 9 skill cap, but the melee is forced to 9- attacks at best. At lower skill levels that does not help a lot since bows have large bulk, but once your skill is closer to 20 the difference is huge.

Also a funny thing is that if you allow the multiple rapid strike option and both heroic archer and weapon master bow.. the archer becomes equal to a semiautomatic weapon..,
This assumes a high point game where a skill close to 20 is achievable in a reasonable timeframe. I dont have the books with me, but I am pretty sure rapid strike is only for melee weapons, and I think you can only quick draw once per second.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:03 AM   #12
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Default Re: [Combat]: Do you bow, bro?

I've seen bows used in two cases

1. All in Heroic Archer, Strongbow, Weapon Master, Tons of Striking ST Bow (or lifting ST), DWA types who are all bow, all the time, and decidedly lethal at it

2. Brawny and dextrous fighter or thief sorts who drop a point or two in it because, eh, why not? Bows are light and cheap, and if you've got a good DX maybe it will be good

Type 1 archers can bring the pain up there with meleeists, Type 2 archers do it just to add another trick to their toolbox
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:06 AM   #13
DouglasCole
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Default Re: [Combat]: Do you bow, bro?

Another tactic I've seen used where you only have one bowman is the fire-and-forget uber-heavy crossbow.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:10 AM   #14
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Default Re: [Combat]: Do you bow, bro?

I once did a combat senario where a single unarmored PC archer tried to do a hit and run assassination attempt against a target gaurded by 4 soldiers in the woods.

The PC had move 6, bow -14, and I don't remember what fast draw was.

The soldiers had move 4, armor, sword-12, and crossbow -12 (or 11, it was a while ago).

The PC left two soldiers down, the mark gravely wounded, and got away with maybe a 2-point injury.

Bows are awesome if you use them right.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:14 AM   #15
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Default Re: [Combat]: Do you bow, bro?

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Forget his example. For the same amount of points it takes to make a viable archer, you can make a BOSS swordsman, that I think I,what he I getting at. In low point games having an attribute over 13 and a skill over 14 can be very expensive I terms of opportunity cost in character points. In the games I run and play in, it might take years of playtime to reach a skill of 20 in anything.
At low skill point levels, if you have range the archer will win most times as the swordsman cannot do anything at range until he can close in on the archer and the archer gets multiple shots at fairly good skill and the swordsman's defenses are just bad against it and after a single hit by an impaling weapon going 1d+1 damage low point characters are most likely slowed. After being slowed the archer can just then alternate running away a bit and then aiming and shooting.

A skill 14 archer with aim for 1 second gives effective skill of 17, thus hitting well out to 10-15 yards and if the swordsman is starting at further out by aiming beforehand can do a shot first at 20+ yards.

Remember that in GURPS combat at low points a single 1d+1 impaling attack hit is really really bad unless you have a heavy armor.

If you are in heavy armor then you likely move slower in low point games, and then the archer can just run away a bit and shoot and repeat. And while heavy armor forces the archer to use Bodkin Points reducing the damage multiple to 1x and thus forcing really 2-4 hits instead of 1-2, the archer gets those things for free while the swordsman is running around..

It is in higher point games that the archer gets in trouble unless you allow predictive shot and/or multiple rapid strikes with weapon master/heroic archer. As at those games the archer speed advantage is less as the swordsman can carry heavier armor before being encumbered and parry missile weapon skill or just plain high dodge makes the attacks ineffective.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:29 AM   #16
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Default Re: [Combat]: Do you bow, bro?

I should note that your swordsman is sprinting at 40 miles an hour. Why are you throwing an amateur archer up against a superhuman speedster?

That said, using a bow requires high skill, some patience, and range. The big advantages are that an arrow cannot be Parried (without cinematic abilities), which is typically the foe's best defense, and that you can actually reach out and touch your foe without getting close enough for them to strike back. Let's start our opponents only 50 yards apart (a more likely engagement range) and make our swordsman be sprinting at only Move 6 (appropriate for a character with Move 5 and No Encumbrance). The first round, our archer is at -8 to hit (you typically don't count human-scale movement for Speed penalties, and personally I think only lateral movement should really matter there anyway), so he'd need Bow 17 and go All Out for a 50% shot (Bow 21 for the general "safe" 91%). Instead of shooting, he Aims, for +3 to hit. Next round, he's still at -8 for Range, but now Skill 14 would be enough for a 50% shot (Skill 18 for 91%). Let's assume he continues Aiming - next round he's at -8+4 (13/17), then -8+5 (12/16). He won't get further bonuses for Aiming, but he can wait for his target to get a little closer, getting +1 for Range on each of round 5 (26 yards out), round 7 (14 yards out), and round 8 (8 yards out), then completely negates the penalty on round 9 (2 yards out). Probably his best bet is to take a shot (with an All Out Attack) on round 4 (at net -2 to skill), reload on rounds 5 and 6, Aim on round 7, then make an All Out Attack on round 8 (at net -1 to skill), and finally draw a melee weapon on round 9. If he doesn't have very good melee skill, or if his foe looks more likely to Slam than attack on round 10 (in which case Parry probably isn't an option), he may be better served holding his second attack until his foe is 2 yards away and using a normal Attack, which will be at a net +4 to skill.

Of course, a single foe charging a single archer isn't the usual place you'll see a bow in use. A good archer will position himself where he's difficult for the melee foes to reach (high ground - which also functionally reduces range to targets - or behind a wall of rubble or defenders), allowing him to rain death with relative impunity. Archers are also useful when the enemy has a ranged unit in a similar situation - it's a lot harder for a swordsman to take out the archers standing on top of the city walls than it is for the archer. Bows are also useful for sneak attacks, as you don't need to get nearly as close before making your attack (and you've got better exit options if things go poorly). In cinematic settings, Heroic Archer can also be of use, as it allows you to, amongst other things, skip Aiming for the bonus, rapid fire your bow (with Heroic Archer and good skill in Fast Draw and Bow, you can attack every round - twice a round if you string two arrows at once for a Dual Weapon Attack).
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:31 AM   #17
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Default Re: [Combat]: Do you bow, bro?

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Originally Posted by brianfb View Post
This assumes a high point game where a skill close to 20 is achievable in a reasonable timeframe. I dont have the books with me, but I am pretty sure rapid strike is only for melee weapons, and I think you can only quick draw once per second.
GURPS Martial Arts clarifies a lot of this, and makes Heroic Archer far more interesting (and better for your cinematic/legolas/D&D-style archer)

And, yes, if you want a cinematic archer, you need cinematic point totals. Historically, some guy with a bow was not generally a match for some guy with a sword unless some guy with a bow had either 200 friends, including a line of spearmen in front of him, or he was on walls or behind palisades.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:36 AM   #18
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Default Re: [Combat]: Do you bow, bro?

So first Lesson Learned for me is not to try complicated mathy-posts at 6am...

As I was driving in to work, I realized several factors I missed that I likely wouldn't have at the game table, including the damage multiplier for imp. Also, I was wondering why his Move was so fast... I read and re-read B354 more than once and it seemed pretty clear that Move multiplied... when I went back and re-read it, I realized that I ran into two familiar annoyances with GURPS: there's a box in the middle of the page I should've read past, instead of moving to the top of the next column and, for some reason, they're repeating information on an Advantage (Enhanced Move) in the general rules on Sprinting.

Anyways...

A couple of things you guys pointed out that I definitely missed:
  • I've been doing Acc wrong and I'm not sure why. I see now if you've performed an Aim Maneuver, you get the full Acc bonus to hit on your next action (assuming it wasn't interrupted). And another +1 or +2 for additional seconds spent aiming. That helps too!
  • The Move and Attack Maneuver for the Archer would definitely be a bonus. Not quite as useful in inside spaces, but still useful.
  • I was indeed screwing up how the Size and Speed/Range Table. I haven't been adding speed and rage together _before_ applying the modifier, I'd been figuring the modifier for each and adding them together.

Very much appreciated, folks. When I've time, I may try to re-work the scenario a bit (and include slightly higher skill levels so that my two combatants are indeed at that 'competent' level). Admittedly, I'm not really looking for examples in the 20+ range, I'm more thinking about fights between 'normal' folks.

Thanks, all!
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:38 AM   #19
Mailanka
 
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Default Re: [Combat]: Do you bow, bro?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noctifer View Post
As I was driving in to work, I realized several factors I missed that I likely wouldn't have at the game table, including the damage multiplier for imp. Also, I was wondering why his Move was so fast... I read and re-read B354 more than once and it seemed pretty clear that Move multiplied... when I went back and re-read it, I realized that I ran into two familiar annoyances with GURPS: there's a box in the middle of the page I should've read past, instead of moving to the top of the next column and, for some reason, they're repeating information on an Advantage (Enhanced Move) in the general rules on Sprinting.

Anyways...

A couple of things you guys pointed out that I definitely missed:
  • I've been doing Acc wrong and I'm not sure why. I see now if you've performed an Aim Maneuver, you get the full Acc bonus to hit on your next action (assuming it wasn't interrupted). And another +1 or +2 for additional seconds spent aiming. That helps too!
  • The Move and Attack Maneuver for the Archer would definitely be a bonus. Not quite as useful in inside spaces, but still useful.
  • I was indeed screwing up how the Size and Speed/Range Table. I haven't been adding speed and rage together _before_ applying the modifier, I'd been figuring the modifier for each and adding them together.
GURPS is a great game, but it has a learning curve. For learning the game, you're doing it right: Try it out, screw up, figure out what you did wrong, try again. I'm still making mistakes.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:49 AM   #20
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Default Re: [Combat]: Do you bow, bro?

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More importantly, greater skill with the bow increases effective range. A person with a skill 10, without aiming, has a 50/50 chance of hitting someone 2 yards away. Someone with skill 20, without aiming, has a 50/50 chance of hitting someone 100 yards away.

Swordsmanship skill does not generally increase effective range.

At skill 10, what you have is an average guy who spent a little time at the archery range vs a guy who spent a little time at fencing school, and the results will be a rather hilarious romp in the heath as the sword guy chases after the ineffective bow guy for awhile until they get tired and the bow guy falls over and the sword guy hits him a lot, or the sword guy gets tired and gives up.

At skill 20, you have an elite sniper vs a masterful swordsman (who will probably die, unless he has parry missile weapon, in which case all bets are off)
Already at skill 15 you get nice effects as archer where you can attack at 50 yards with full aim time at reasonable skill, you do not need 20 skill for that. The 20 just makes it easier and faster. 15+5(aim)+1(all out)-8 range for 13-
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