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Old 04-25-2017, 05:04 AM   #45
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Brighton
Default Re: Balanced games for archers

Originally Posted by lordabdul View Post
Great tactical suggestions there, thank you!

no worries

Originally Posted by lordabdul View Post

Weapon scores for the PCs and NPCs are between 12 and 14 at this point. More than half of the PCs have Move 6 though, so that makes Dodge and Parry tied at 9, except for the odd character with a weapon skill at 14, which gives slightly better Parry at 10.
Right OK, you are going gritty/low powered (not a criticism, I started and run my C11th/12th campaign about here a lot of the time). So am I right in thinking your melee fighters, fight defensively a lot of the time?

If they don't you may want to put them in situations that encourage them to do so, This will mean missile characters who aren't locked in melee can be comparatively a bit freer in their actions. I.e. at this kind of power level it's not like your melee characters are slaying an opponent every round)

The corollary of this is if their opponents also fight defensively getting missiles going against them is a better option.

Also if you are playing at this kind of power level and want to mix things up a bit, I suggest rather than having your players go up against lots of weaker threats, have them go up against less numerical, smart threats. Smart threats that require clever use of melee and missile in combination to defeat.

An example of what I mean, say you have 3x Stat 11 / skill 13 melee fighters and 3x Stat 11 and Skill 14 archers. Now you could outnumber and rush them them with bunch of Stat 10 / Skill 11 opponents. And the party will slowly grind them down with basic defences and attacks (and your missile PCs will help, but will be doing less quickly than your melee PCs),

But put them up against a smaller number of better opponents and that becomes more dangerous, forcing a change up in tactics. Thing is at this power level fights are dangerous, but they're dangerous for both sides if they roughly equal. So don't play their opponents as road blocks to be defeated, play them as people who also want to survive*.

The thing is the melee characters want their opponent within melee reach, if you have every encounter be at this distance you favour melee as the defining feature of the encounter (and so melee fighter will be the defining combatants).

If you make it harder to pin their opponents into melee (part of which is them not wanting to be pinned), you will:

a). increases the value of missile attacks
b). make the encounter less "I defend, I attack" once every second of the encounter for melee characters, while the archers fire a shot off every 2-3 rounds

One way to do this is is as you say throw more missile troops against them.

*obviously they may not be people, and/or may not have self preservation first and foremost in their mind. But this can also be adapted. Lets take the classic example zombies. These what to get into melee and traditionally outnumber and/or can outlast your players in melee. So don't play their game, don't engage directly, ambush, fall back, harry, retreat, funnel, goad and run etc. All things missile character** can do. You might not be using impaling arrows here, but for me a big genre troupe in Post apoc is adapted tech, so incendiary arrows, petrol bombs etc.

**not just missile characters of course, but the point is tactics that don't rely on a steady one attack every second to win though (which favours melee characters and not missile ones)

Last edited by Tomsdad; 04-26-2017 at 12:27 AM.
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