Greetings and Salutations
About bow and arrow Vs. Close combat.
Graham Spearing wrote:
> > 3) The AP mechanic simply doesn't work with missile combat. At all. I
> > fire some arrows at my enemy and because I miss my range of possible
> > actions is reduced when he gets to me? I can even be 'defeated' because
> > I started out shooting at him before he reached me? Why?
> Because from the musical score and a number of well judged camera
> angles, you've given the audience the impression your a bit crap. Er,
> no. No, I can't find a way round this one :-). Help someone?!
It is all about how you set up the contest. I base this on those �Robin of
Sherwood� TV shows were the merry men attack the Sheriff�s tax collectors
and soldiers. For the Americans imagine any of these westerns where the
Native Americans attack the eevil cowboys but the main characters are still
left standing after the first volley of arrows but everybody else have been
turned into pin-cushions. This is a televisual event and is not based on
real life [I wish I had a real life, sob ;-), anyway]. So rather just have
�archers ambush the convoy� you set it up like this.
�You are travelling along the trail through the wood, all the wagons are
keeping pace and some of the guards are riding ahead scouting the way ahead.
Everything is quiet, a little too quiet. Suddenly there is movement in the
undergrowth ahead and at the side of you and the air is full of whistling
sounds. Two thuds hit the wagon beside you and the driver yells out in
pain. Two of the guards slump in their saddles with fletched arrows in
their backs and a rider less horse bolts past you setting off your own
animal panicking. What do you do?�
The heroes will have a few choices to make:
1. Stand and fight (and get hit by arrows).
2. Stand and hide in cover (and maybe get hit by arrows).
3. Charge your ambushers (got to find them first).
4. Fire back at the ambushers (got to find them first but returning fire may
scare them off).
5. Charge down the trail with the wagons (what surprises wait further on?).
6. Turn tail and run away back the way you came (the cowards way but
probably the best way the survive).
I ask each player what they intend to do individually and what ability they
will use. They have to get their riding animal under control first before
it unhorses them unless they dismount and provide a smaller target to the
archers. If they use their riding ability they are keeping the horse under
control and wheeling around so that they are a moving target at least.
Whatever ability they use first sets their starting AP as they are now in an
The first volley of arrows by the ambushers was a_Dramic Event_to set up the
start of the extended contest so no AP was bid. As the heroes were not
actually attacked, but their support from the NPCs was, no real harm as been
done apart from providing a dilemma to the players. The NPCs could be dead
with arrows sticking in them but could also be in shock, wounded, or just
playing dead, however they are no help to the heroes now.
Now that the narrator knows what abilities the heroes are using the contest
can start, but as the ambushers have the initiative they can bid first again
(well it is an ambush).
The ambushers bid � of their AP, as they want the first four volleys to
either level off all the defenders or drive them away so the ambushers can
get the wagons unmolested. The heroes defend with whatever ability they
chose, i.e. riding or hiding etc.
When that volley is over the players can change to more appropriate
abilities to take more positive action but still have the same APs (-/+ AP
on that first exchange).
They may use ranged combat or charge at the ambushers but may have to take
an unrelated action to locate them first using another ability. Or they
could wait and see where the arrows are coming from on the next exchange and
risk getting hit, but the players are aware of what to do against the
archers. They could try to scan and search out the ambushers or just hide
first. They may use their battle tactics or their knowledge of the local
geography to take the fight to the ambushers. Effectively they maybe
ordering their followers to circle around the back of the ambushers and
using their followers� CC ability after using their relationship to
followers first to convince them to go. They would defend with one ability
and attack with another through their followers.
And so the contest continues�
It isn�t just a close combat versus ranged combat situation as the players
are using different abilities to either avoid getting hit or to take the
fight to the ambushers.
I hope this helps, but all IMO.
"Fiat justitia ruat coelum."