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Old 12-02-2009, 10:35 AM   #61
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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An enemy escaping by the skin of his teeth, with campaign ending news/information is certainly a situation to try even if you have a 1% shot of success. (enemy is -12 to be hit or 200yrds and galloping at 9yrds/sec on horseback -4, possible with an arching shot).
At that range, you don't aim for people. Or horses.

Aim for the army and then hope for a good result. If you hit the right hex, you have a 9 or less chance of plugging whomever is in it.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:40 AM   #62
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

Manchurian Foot archers with their Composite Warbows of 210lb pull.

I tried to take up archery to, Its not just the arms its the back and the conditioning. If you didn't take it up when you were young, you won't develop the right bone and joint strength to make those specialized actions.

Given the stiff penalties, severe discipline, and the dedicated income describing the life yeomen archers the no. of hours that make up being an archer the equivalent of modern day special forces training. Because they were the archaic version of "special" forces.

And stance is a big deal in archery, even bad footing could give a -1 to -2 penalty.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:57 AM   #63
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Ahem, the whole point of the thread was exploring the role of an archer in a low-tech game at 100-150pts and no superscience/magic/cinematics. Think of a group of bandits or bounty hunters in medieval/ancient England/Egypt/Rome/Babylon/etc.
The most important things to make a good archer in GURPS imho are:
- Start the fight from as far away as possible
- Try to shoot people while they are unaware of you or from behind
- Use the terrain to your advantage
- Attack people that don't have a shield first
- When in melee range, stop using the bow and switch to a melee weapon
- After melee, shoot people that try to run away if you want
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:15 AM   #64
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I have time at the moment, so I will write a bit about how I imagine a great archer for a low fantasy campaign.

Erol is usually dressed in colors that merge well with his surroundings. He has keen senses and is stealthy, so he usually acts as the party's scout and moves 100 meters before the party.

At the moment Erol is tracking a group of four bandits that have a bounty on their heads.

Erol spots the bandits in the forest. He immediately mimicks the sound of an owl to alert his party that he found their prey. Observing them carefully, Erol moves into a position between the woods where he can't be seen easily and still gets a good aim at the bandit's leader.

Erol aims for 3 seconds and then strikes true with his bow. The leader is caught in the chest by the arrow - he can't dodge since he was unaware of the attack.

Erol retreats a bit into the woods and hides. The bandits draw their weapons and start scouting the woods. The bandit leader is quite hurt and moves slower, so he stays in the camp and grabs his shield.

From a nice position Erol shoots another bandit and then retreats to his party. There he fires another arrow when getting sight of the enemy. Afterwards he grabs his trusty axe and wades into melee with his comrades against the bandits.

The fight is quickly over, but one bandit managed to escape without major damage. Erol quickly draws his bow and sends an arrow into the bandit's back, thus slowing down his escape. Erol's mate runs after the bandit and finishes him off...
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:47 PM   #65
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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The argument of "I (insert activity here) once at (insert fun event here) and must say I can't really do it well..." comes a bit often recently in different threads by my taste... Not that it would somehow be helpful... ;)
Well, it would give you some perspective of how hard some things actually are to do.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:39 PM   #66
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Historical quibble Icelander: as far as I know, late medieval longbows are an outlier in terms of the draw weight. Judging by the weight of arrows and design of the bow, Scythian-type bows used in war probably averaged around 50-60 lbs draw for example. I've read of a few examples of low-tech composite bows with draw weights over 100 lbs, but I don't know of any culture where they were standard.
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Old 12-02-2009, 09:48 PM   #67
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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I have time at the moment, so I will write a bit about how I imagine a great archer for a low fantasy campaign. ...
I have to partially agree with Chris here. While Kromm and everyone is right that if the GM constantly starts encounters in melee range, the archer is going to feel cheated, but sooner or later in a plan the PCs are going to come up with that are going to be glad they have missile capabilities. Plus, if the PCs are in a situation where they get to engage their foes (rather than always suddenly being engaged in melee) the archer can fight on his or her own terms.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:02 PM   #68
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

Interesting how Encounter Ranges are a matter of the GM's doing and not the player's precaution.

Check out the Hunting exercise using Stealth. That is 30yrds at TD+0 . This also assumes the "stalker" is moving at a brisk walk (move1), moving faster like a hustle to overcome the distance, is where the TDM-5 for closing the distance is from (probably move 2). That would probably take 15 seconds to cover the distance because of the speed difference.

Depending on the PCs Tactics, Survival, and Navigation there is a good chance prepared PCs can prevent an engagement from getting to melee. Such skills would allow them to assess the situation before committing to either retreat, maneuvers or engagement.
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:12 PM   #69
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Default Re: Role of archers in low-tech parties?

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Historical quibble Icelander: as far as I know, late medieval longbows are an outlier in terms of the draw weight. Judging by the weight of arrows and design of the bow, Scythian-type bows used in war probably averaged around 50-60 lbs draw for example. I've read of a few examples of low-tech composite bows with draw weights over 100 lbs, but I don't know of any culture where they were standard.
Late medieval longbows also mark almost the sole point at which bows were more than ways to harry and inconvenience an armoured enemy.

I believe that those horsebows which were useful in war were also at 100 lbs. or so. I've at least seen several studies with reproductions of that weight.
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Old 12-02-2009, 11:52 PM   #70
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I would be curious to see what correlation there is between GMs who are setting encounters at ranges which are too close to make archery useful and GMs who use the tactical combat regularly. I suspect if you have a vinyl hex mat that is, say fifty hexes across, most encounters will take place at a range of less than fifty yards.

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No i read the same and i read it was the same hoax as was when Karl Martell is praised for stopping the Invasion of the Arabs by Poitiers.
And I'm sorry, I want to hear more about how the Battle of Tours is "the same hoax" as Ogadai Khan's death, seven centuries later. If you mean that these are both historical points which get romanticized as near-misses for Europe almost falling to invaders, I grant there is a certain thematic similarity. Still, I am keen to hear any support for your notion that after an expansion that gave them an empire reaching from Sea of Japan to the Adriatic, they were stopped by some woods.
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