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Old 01-26-2022, 12:08 PM   #111
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

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Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
In my games, players put a high premium on the safety of their own character. An archer may not have the DPS of a melee fighter, but in a "joined melee," the archer can often stay out of harm's way and still have some effect. The ability to participate in a battle, however feebly, without putting yourself at risk, is highly significant, and a big reason archery is so valuable. You might not need to wear heavy armor or learn to wield a shield if you can just Move and Attack, etc. And if your party is smart and uses good tactics, they can delay before entering melee in order to give you more opportunities to strike (unless the enemy has archers as well of course...).
Written to that already:
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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
This balance only works, though, if either you don't care about the fate of your melee allies or your melee allies don't rush in to melee while you're doing the shooting.

Once the melee is on, you being out of it makes you safe but does so by distributing the threat you'd draw to all your friends with a premium on top.
I agree that if you want to contribute while keeping your own PC in less danger at the expense of the other party members playing an archer will do that. I find that objective concerning, personally. Unless you run an expendable NPC front line I guess?
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Old 01-26-2022, 12:23 PM   #112
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Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Written to that already:

I agree that if you want to contribute while keeping your own PC in less danger at the expense of the other party members playing an archer will do that. I find that objective concerning, personally. Unless you run an expendable NPC front line I guess?
I don't really see it that way. Party members should play different roles. The classic "tank" is built to take hits, and if your party has one you want the enemies to attack him rather than everyone else. A good melee fighter should have a high Parry even if he's not a tank per se, so again you want enemies attacking him so their attacks are negated.

You might have a ninja type who sneaks up on enemies--he doesn't get as many shots in, but when he does it really counts. Everyone wants the healer to stay out of harm's way. I would say there are plenty of archetypes that help the party and are best kept out of harm's way as much as possible. You could say that's at the tank's or swordmaster's "expense," but that's the division of labor, and it's a good one. I've seen how effective it can be in many DF games. When the enemies get close to the squishies, that's when you're in trouble.

This is all especially true if you have casters that can cast the right buffs: Armor, Shield and healing for whoever's going to be taking the hits, Hawk Vision for the Archer to negate range penalties, Missile Shield for the ranged combatants and casters so they can stay truly safe, Partial Shapeshifting (Spider Arms) for the melee fighters to give them extra attacks, etc., etc.
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Old 01-26-2022, 01:01 PM   #113
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Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

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Originally Posted by Gnome View Post
I don't really see it that way. Party members should play different roles. The classic "tank" is built to take hits, and if your party has one you want the enemies to attack him rather than everyone else. A good melee fighter should have a high Parry even if he's not a tank per se, so again you want enemies attacking him so their attacks are negated.

You might have a ninja type who sneaks up on enemies--he doesn't get as many shots in, but when he does it really counts. Everyone wants the healer to stay out of harm's way. I would say there are plenty of archetypes that help the party and are best kept out of harm's way as much as possible. You could say that's at the tank's or swordmaster's "expense," but that's the division of labor, and it's a good one. I've seen how effective it can be in many DF games. When the enemies get close to the squishies, that's when you're in trouble.

This is all especially true if you have casters that can cast the right buffs: Armor, Shield and healing for whoever's going to be taking the hits, Hawk Vision for the Archer to negate range penalties, Missile Shield for the ranged combatants and casters so they can stay truly safe, Partial Shapeshifting (Spider Arms) for the melee fighters to give them extra attacks, etc., etc.
...But you wrote a whole post about how not exposing your own PC to danger was what made being an archer desirable even if your contributions were feeble.

Division of labor works if everybody's labor is valuable, like with the actually-contributing back-rankers you mention. If your division of labor is 'you take all the damage and do almost all the damage, I do just a little damage and never get hit', that's...not a division that makes any sense to the second person unless they also put a high premium on the archer PC (rather than their own PC) not getting hurt.
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Old 01-26-2022, 02:22 PM   #114
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Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

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This thread should be closed since it is getting side tracked about archery efficiency and everything that needed to be addressed about the OP has been.
I agree. Thanks for the replies.
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Old 01-26-2022, 02:59 PM   #115
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Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

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My point is that bow vs melee is very unbalanced. Limited ammo. Two strikes vs one per turn, not counting extra attack which can't be used with a bow. +4 vs +1 all out attack. Telegraphic attacks which bows can't do. +2 or 1 damage per die all out attacks which I can't use with a bow. Flurry of blows and mighty blows which I can't do with a bow. Parries and blocks which are typically higher defense than my dodge. Very high range penalties which negate my skill where that doesn't affect melee.

But hey, I can probably kill pigeons better
If you can't even try to talk with your GM about this without facing unpleasant reactions by him, then you can do a couple of things without radically changing your character with a late massive point expense in other abilities:

1) If the situation is favourable, choose carefully your battleground. Your PC is going to dominate easily scenarios when enemies are below you and they can't reach you easily, like a gorge, a mountain pass et simila. Non-archer PCs can simply hurl stones to the enemies or ambush them from another side meanwhile your PC plays the bite.

2) Before a frontal engagement, you can Aim, then the last turn before melee you have to use use a Wait action to shoot an enemy in the face or in the neck when the distance between you and the target is smaller with the enemy is still closing, erasing much of the penalty to hit and then drawing a melee weapon to continue the fight along your teammates. It works at its best is you're positioned a little backards than the other PCs without having them obstucting your visual, and it compensates for distance miscalculations made by your GM without the need to discuss with him.

3) Consider the possibility to acquire the Axe/Mace ability and to get a Light Small Shield/Buckler and a TL0 crushing weapon like a Knobbed Club (sw+1 cr, 2 lbs., $20; if you add spikes, with GM's permission, it would be sw+2 cr, 2 lbs., $28 and it isn't even unbalanced after an attack [+0.4 CF. See Flanges, Spikes, or End Caps, Low-Tech Companion 2, p.14]) or a Round Mace (sw+2 cr, sw+3 cr if used with two hands, throwable, 5 lbs., $35).
Being blunt weapons, they have no (0.5) armour divisor and they are likely to not need to be replaced after a fight, as opposed to stone-tipped spears and axes.
Other TL0 decent-performing alternatives against mail armour would either leave you dangerously exposed after an attack and too much encumbered ("‡" weapons like Oar and Maul) or would require a lot of points only to give you shorter range (the spear-thrower Woomera) or less accuracy (Sling, Heavy Sling).

Last edited by Rasna; 01-26-2022 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 01-26-2022, 04:36 PM   #116
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Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
I agree that if you want to contribute while keeping your own PC in less danger at the expense of the other party members playing an archer will do that. I find that objective concerning, personally. Unless you run an expendable NPC front line I guess?
If all battles start in or very near melee range, an archer is a liability who doesn't properly pull his weight. If this is not the case, the archer can contribute to the melee by causing there to be fewer foes who actually reach the melee.

Say you've got a 5v5 situation, with all melee on the OpFor's side. If your own party is all melee as well, it's just a 5v5 melee once you reach each other. If one party member is an archer, then so long as said archer can drop one foe before they reach melee, you end up with a 4v4 (with archery support on the PC side). If the archer can drop two of them, it's instead 3v4 (still with archery support on the PC side), and the PC side has a sizable advantage, thanks to the archer. Of course, there's the risk the archer fails to drop any of them, in which case you're looking at 5v4 (with archery support on the PC side), which puts the PC's at a disadvantage.

That's simplified, naturally. One complication would be how to count cases where the archer wounds - but doesn't incapacitate - foes while they're on approach - not as helpful as outright dropping them, but this will often reduce their combat potential, making it easier for the melee fighters to carry the day. Another is when OpFor has archery support - if you have an archer, he/she can engage those of the foe, making it harder for them to get potshots off on your melee fighters (potentially by the simple expedient of putting an arrow into the OpFor archer's chest).
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Old 01-27-2022, 06:36 AM   #117
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Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
...But you wrote a whole post about how not exposing your own PC to danger was what made being an archer desirable even if your contributions were feeble.

Division of labor works if everybody's labor is valuable, like with the actually-contributing back-rankers you mention. If your division of labor is 'you take all the damage and do almost all the damage, I do just a little damage and never get hit', that's...not a division that makes any sense to the second person unless they also put a high premium on the archer PC (rather than their own PC) not getting hurt.
I think we're actually in agreement here.

There is a high premium on archers and other "back-rankers" not getting hurt because of their ability to do things that melee guys cannot do, like shooting down fliers, taking out other archers, taking out melee enemies before they close range, etc. I'm not disagreeing with you that in a situation where everyone in the battle is basically a guy with a sword in melee with another guy with a sword, the archer will do less damage. I'm just saying the party might be better off with the archer staying back and taking pot shots than pulling out a sword that he's mediocre with and risking getting killed, when he will be absolutely necessary for the party's survival in all the encounters that aren't pure melee.

And now that I think of it, even in the pure melee the archer has an important advantage, which is better target selection. One of my melee guys manages to injure an enemy? Archer can take him out while he's weak. One of the enemies seems kind of dangerous? Concentrate all firepower on that Super Star Destroyer! You get the idea... Melee fighters are more restricted by position, reach, etc. (Of course firing through your friends can be hard, so even the archer doesn't have perfect target selection--I've found however that on a hex map it's usually not too difficult to get a clear shot, with the generous targeting rules on B389.)
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Old 02-21-2022, 05:38 PM   #118
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Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

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A big deal in non cinematic games or setting is that combat and fights needs leadership and tactics, and those two things are sometimes hard to bring to the table, I mean above the game between players.
It is the whole No 'I' in team thing. For the group to work well usually the players commit to putting the team first.

'Sure today may not be my star turn but next time out...'

The last GURPS combat I was in I was basically the only melee heavy post up in a group of scout/archer/ranger sorts.

It was my intention and expectation that I would spend the fight assuming a point blocking position and intercept any of the foe that got close enough to run through with a rapier.

The fight...did not work out as expected and I spent a lot of time in motion to 'put out fires' and the archers had the long knives out.

Due to good teamwork and a bit of luck even tho the plan basically inverted shortly after contact with the enemy; we won without losing anyone.

I would have been happy as a clam if we had the plan go perfectly and I just buffed my nails and golf clapped as the arrows rained down. I was still happy because we won and everyone was good, even if I had to sweat and was 'bruised up' a fair bit.

Archery works well enough in GURPS...a high point dedicated archer can be terrifying...that guy in a tower...I think I just wet myself.

Good Luck!

Also it sound like the Run is just starting...if your character is an archer and bows are available in most instances a good GM would either make a suitable bow available o point out why it isn't and perhaps suggest a fix or workaround to get your archer there.
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Last edited by Witchking; 02-21-2022 at 06:10 PM.
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Old 02-21-2022, 05:57 PM   #119
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Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

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You can make having a front line and a back line more viable by implementing wargame-style zones of control or something similar to opportunity attacks in D&D 3.x/4.x (opportunity attacks in 5.0 are fairly inadequate), but GURPS makes it really easy to run past a front line.
Unless those front line types move to intercept/kill you dead.

Also a lot of swordmen etc. are reluctant to have someone hostile and armed on their flank or in their blind spot. (their six)
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Old 02-21-2022, 06:00 PM   #120
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Default Re: Archery in this game kind of sucks.

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We're adults. The issue is that he's the GM. He makes the rules and I go by the book rules. They don't always agree. I've learned that I just need to shut up and let him make the decisions on how things will play out.
Well my normal advice for your situation may not apply as he is your brother. Otherwise I would leave the game with haste and as much grace and good manners as possible.

Best Wishes and Good Luck.
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