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Arrow Volleys, and archery


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#1 QueenJadisOfCharn

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 03:03 AM

The Western draw is the weakest, and fairly easy to learn. It's useless on horseback.
The Turko-Mongol style is to use the thumb or thumb ring and a much stronger bow. More power and accuracy, easy to use on horseback.
So that's two styles, and they can fairly easily be separated based on Self v. Compound bows, as one only sees the full benefits of the thumb draw on a much stronger bow.
But then we get to the Persians and some of the other Aryan tribes related to them. They use a draw that allows them to hold multiple arrows. It's a stronger draw than the Western style, and allows one to fire very rapidly.

I can't think of any convenient way of differentiating this from the other two, perhaps making the 'Persian Bow' its own skill and ordinary thumb drawing simply compound bows? Persians also used double curved compound bows from their steppe origins, but elements of their military trained for massive volley firs rather than targeted shooting ala the Mongols. Any archer can shoot for volleys, but not as quickly as with the Persian style. Yet Persians would possibly also know the thumb draw, as they would probably use more conventional archery when hunting (no need to make the deer a pincushion).

So, basically, my issue is that it's not properly a separate skill but an important practice or technique certain people practiced. It is militarily important, as heavily armored wings of archers on horse were a big part of Persian battle control.

#2 Michael Hopcroft

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 04:13 AM

So you would give each type of bow a substantial skill penalty to those who know the basics of archery but not the individual weapon? A penalty that can be bought off with a suitable expenditure of skill points or experience checks?

As opposed to have the archer pick up a strange weapon, say "Hey, this is a bow! I know how to use this!" and suffer no ill effects from the differences?

#3 seneschal

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 04:39 AM

I realize that different types of bows have different performance characteristics. But is the issue here the equipment or the archer's skill? If you take Ulysses (Greece), Robin Hood (England), and Rostem (Persia) -- all accounted expert archers, but each with his own national technique -- and hand them the $30 starter bow from Walmart's sporting goods department, will they still be able to do their stuff?

#4 QueenJadisOfCharn

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 08:38 AM

Skill and technique. Of course the Persian and Mongol style are compound based, for compact, powerful horseback bows. Treating the self bow and compound bow as separate skills (I was thinking -20% but any experience gives you the skill at your other bow's percentage -20+experience die. That's fairly simple. However, the Persian style I think I should make a variant of the Compound Bow, at -10% to use/learn either way. Perhaps a -1 to damage when using volley fire, the same rules as normally but with a shot every DEXĂ·4 or 3.

#5 SDLeary

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 05:08 PM

Don't confuse the tool (the bow) with the skill. Western style can be used with an Eastern bow, and Eastern with Western bow. I might impose a penalty for one moving to the other for a brief period of time due to unfamiliarity, but ultimately they are using their style with a different bow (tool).

Horse Archery is a different beast. You can use a Welsh Longbow (a self-bow) from horseback, but its damn hard (isn't there something about Crusaders doing this?). A Japanese Longbow (a composite bow) is designed to be used from horseback. Short Bows should prove no issue.

RuneQuest used to restrict the ability of the mounted bowman to the lower of their Ride and Archery skills. Combine this with a penalty to bow unwieldy-ness, and you should be golden. Gloranthan RQ also had the skill of Kushkile Archery, which (IIRC) was a specific skill of the Grazelanders for mounted archery.

Now something that just occurred to me. Are you talking about RQ6? Because if so, Persain Horse Archer could very well be a combat style.

Also, an FYI. :)

A Compound Bow is a modern bow that uses pulleys to ease the draw while maintaing power. A Composite Bow is one made out of more than just wood. A self bow is normally a single stave of wood.

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary, 04 January 2014 - 05:11 PM.


#6 soltakss

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 06:54 PM

Many Turkic tribes used the "Three Arrow Trick", whereby they drew 3 arrows, held 2 in their mouths, fired the third and then very quickly drew and fired the 2 arrows held in the mouth. This gave them a high rate of fire.
In RQ3, I'd give them a shorter reload time (2 SRs rather than 3).
In Legend/RQ6, it would not take a Combat Action to reload, allowing someone with 3 Combat actions to have 2 shots (1 to take out the arrows, 2 left for missiles).
In BRP, if you are using Strike Ranks then treat reloading as costing 2 SRs, if you are using DEX Ranks then the next shot should be at -4 Dex Ranks, not -5 DEX Ranks.

If the Persian archer draws multiple arrows at a time then that would be the equivalent of the Three Arrow trick.
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#7 QueenJadisOfCharn

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 07:28 PM

If you are using DEX Ranks then the next shot should be at -4 Dex Ranks, not -5 DEX Ranks

It think that this is what I'll do. I'm using BRP.
@sdleary While there is a difference between technique and weapon, what I want as trying to say is that the usual style for a composite bow is thumb draw, and that it wouldn't matter with a self bow, so the difference is already coveredby making Self and Composite two skills. But also adding a third skill or something to allow Persians to fire faster due to their draw style and special skill at volleys.

Skill wise I intend to make each weapon its own skill, but its class relatives (Swords) can be used at a penalty; and another weapon ( Longsword) learned at your Skill (broadsword) - Penalty; for example if you had a 70% in Broadsword you could use a Bastard Sword at 50% and if you made two experience checks with a Bastard sword you'd get it as a new Bastard Sword skill at Broadsword -20.

#8 vagabond

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Posted 04 January 2014 - 09:09 PM

It think that this is what I'll do. I'm using BRP.
@sdleary While there is a difference between technique and weapon, what I want as trying to say is that the usual style for a composite bow is thumb draw, and that it wouldn't matter with a self bow, so the difference is already coveredby making Self and Composite two skills. But also adding a third skill or something to allow Persians to fire faster due to their draw style and special skill at volleys.

Skill wise I intend to make each weapon its own skill, but its class relatives (Swords) can be used at a penalty; and another weapon ( Longsword) learned at your Skill (broadsword) - Penalty; for example if you had a 70% in Broadsword you could use a Bastard Sword at 50% and if you made two experience checks with a Bastard sword you'd get it as a new Bastard Sword skill at Broadsword -20.


As others have said, I would make the skill relevant to the style, not the bow itself. Then, one could assign modifiers and characteristics to particular bow types which can be applied to the skill - i.e. some bows have a better range, or are easier to draw based on design, or are more suited to mounted combat. Also, using incompatible skill (style) and bow could levy penalty.

Ian

#9 soltakss

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 12:53 AM

Skill wise I intend to make each weapon its own skill, but its class relatives (Swords) can be used at a penalty; and another weapon ( Longsword) learned at your Skill (broadsword) - Penalty; for example if you had a 70% in Broadsword you could use a Bastard Sword at 50% and if you made two experience checks with a Bastard sword you'd get it as a new Bastard Sword skill at Broadsword -20.


You could, but it saves so much time just having a "1H Sword" skill and allowing the PCs to use any one-handed sword at that skill.

I used to care that a Bastard Sword and a Broadsword were different, but I also cared about different Attack/Parry and Right/Left-Handed skills. Now it's 1H Sword, 2H Axe and so on. Maybe one day it will be "Swords", "Axes", ignoring the number of hands used, but that day hasn't come, yet.
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#10 QueenJadisOfCharn

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 06:38 AM

Especially in the case of fantasy-medieval I've always enjoyed some extra crunch on arks and armor. It tends to create a differentiated feel for the weapons. Combat is one or my favorite aspects of GURPS for that reason, BRP reminds me of D&D + GURPS.

I think I'll just make the Persian technique a non skill character trait that can be acquired by instruction and practice.

Edited by QueenJadisOfCharn, 05 January 2014 - 06:48 AM.


#11 Zit

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 08:15 PM

In BRP, if you are using Strike Ranks then treat reloading as costing 2 SRs, if you are using DEX Ranks then the next shot should be at -4 Dex Ranks, not -5 DEX Ranks.


My understanding of the BRP rules was, that there was only one attack per round for a bow. In the volley fire optional rule p.235, it is said that the amount of shots allowed in a volley fire is the "attack-per-round entry" and is made indeed at DEX-5/-10 etc. For bows, it is anyway 1, which forbids any volley fire at all. With this rule, only weapons with an attack-per-round above 1 can be used for volley fire.

This would also mean that the "attack-per-round" is only useable for volley fire and that any missile weapon fires/shoots only once in a round when not used for volley. I'm a bit confused, or is it the rule ? Can everybody help ?

By the way, volley fire has been widely used by Turko-Mongols as well.

#12 soltakss

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Posted 05 January 2014 - 09:02 PM

My understanding of the BRP rules was, that there was only one attack per round for a bow. In the volley fire optional rule p.235, it is said that the amount of shots allowed in a volley fire is the "attack-per-round entry" and is made indeed at DEX-5/-10 etc. For bows, it is anyway 1, which forbids any volley fire at all. With this rule, only weapons with an attack-per-round above 1 can be used for volley fire.

This would also mean that the "attack-per-round" is only useable for volley fire and that any missile weapon fires/shoots only once in a round when not used for volley. I'm a bit confused, or is it the rule ? Can everybody help ?

By the way, volley fire has been widely used by Turko-Mongols as well.


The RF (Rate of Fire) for Bows is 1/SR, which means that you can fire off as many shots as you can in a round.
If you are using Strike Ranks, I take this to mean that you get the first shot at your DEX SR, the next 3 SRs later, the next 3 SRs later and so on. The Three Arrow Trick allows you to fire off more shots per round by preparing 3 arrows at once.
If you are using DEX Ranks, I take this to mean that you get the first shot at your DEX Rank, the next at DEX Rank - 5 later, the next at DEX Rank - 10 until you run out of DEX Ranks. The Three Arrow Trick allows you to fire off more shots per round by preparing 3 arrows at once.

It looks as though the Attk and RF options are mutually incompatible.

I think that the Volley Fire is meant to allow weapons that use 1 shot per round to make more shots but at a lower chance to hit. If you want to combine Rate of Fire Attacks per Round/Volley Fire, then allow the extra shots to be a Strike Rank/DEX Rank faster, but make the shot harder.

So, as couple of examples.

Shergar Sunhoof has a DEX of 24 (He's a centaur with training!) and so has a DEX SR of 1 or a DEX Rank of 24. He fires arrows from his composite bow as follows:
Strike Ranks: SR 1, 4, 7, 10, allowing him to fire 4 shots per round, assuming he has an arrow cocked at the start, or at 4, 7, 10 if he has to fetch the first arrow.
DEX Ranks: DEX Rank 24, 19, 14, 9, 4, allowing him 5 shots per round, also assuming he has an arrow prepared, otherwise 4 per round.
Using the Three Arrow Trick, he prepares 3 arrows with his first fetch, so he shoots as follows:
Strike Ranks: SR 1 he gets the arrows, he shoots at SR 4, 6, 8 as he has 2 faster arrows to use.
DEX Ranks: DEX Rank 24 he gets the arrows, 19 for the first shot, then at 15 and 11 for the next two shots, as he only has 3 arrows.

For a more reasonable example, Arry the Archer has 13 DEX, so has a DEX SR of 3.
Strike Ranks: SR 3, 7, 10, allowing him to fire 3 shots per round, assuming he has an arrow cocked at the start, or at 7, 10 if he has to fetch the first arrow.
DEX Ranks: DEX Rank 13, 8, 3, allowing him 3 shots per round, also assuming he has an arrow prepared, otherwise 2 per round.
Using the Three Arrow Trick, he prepares 3 arrows with his first fetch, so he shoots as follows:
Strike Ranks: SR 3 he gets the arrows, he shoots at SR 7, 9 as he has 2 faster arrows to use, so it gives him no advantage
DEX Ranks: DEX Rank 13 he gets the arrows, 8 for the first shot, then at 4 for the next shot, as he only has 3 arrows.

The examples might be a bit confusing - I wouldn't use the Volley Fire rule, just stick with Rate of Fire.
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#13 Zit

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 01:43 PM

I’m not sure, and I’d like to be sure, since I made a home rule for the three-arrow-trick for Wind on the Steppes and it has to be consistent with the BGB.

Indeed on page 206 “missile weapons”, it is said that “the attack-per-round column relays how frequently attacks can be made with a missile weapon (…) for increased rate of fire (a higher attacks-per-round) (…) use the volley fire spot rule”. It is 1 for the bow, hence only one single shot per round.
The RF is clearly said to be ”a part of the optional Strike rank system” (p. 257), so not to be considered with the DEX rank system.

The problem is for the volley fire: it is said that this rule is used to fire more than the attack-per-round and at the same time that it is limited by the attack-per-round: this is totally inconsistent.
So my first interpretation was that:
- Any weapon can only be used once per round at normal skill rating
- Weapons with an attack-per-round greater than 1 can be used for volley fire, within the limitation of their attack-per-round (and as a difficult action). This means, no volley for bows.
My home rule was then that the Three-Arrow-Trick allows volley fire –i.e. give 3 attacks-per-round-, which the rule would normally forbid (I thought at least). But since the volley fire rule is flawed, what shall I do? What did the authors actualy mean ? That’s my problem. But I may not have understood it.

For the SR system, I only stated that subsequent arrows are shot at SR+2, as you suggested.

Shergar Sunhoof has a DEX of 24 (He's a centaur with training!) and so has a DEX SR of 1 or a DEX Rank of 24. He fires arrows from his composite bow as follows:
Strike Ranks: SR 1, 4, 7, 10, allowing him to fire 4 shots per round, assuming he has an arrow cocked at the start, or at 4, 7, 10 if he has to fetch the first arrow.

Using the Three Arrow Trick, he prepares 3 arrows with his first fetch, so he shoots as follows:
Strike Ranks: SR 1 he gets the arrows, he shoots at SR 4, 6, 8 as he has 2 faster arrows to use.
DEX Ranks: DEX Rank 24 he gets the arrows, 19 for the first shot, then at 15 and 11 for the next two shots, as he only has 3 arrows.

For a more reasonable example, Arry the Archer has 13 DEX, so has a DEX SR of 3.
Strike Ranks: SR 3, 7, 10, allowing him to fire 3 shots per round, assuming he has an arrow cocked at the start, or at 7, 10 if he has to fetch the first arrow.

I'd say SR 1 if he has the arrow cocked, SR 3+1 = 4 if he has to take it. Then add 3+1 for every extra arrow (3 to prepare and SR 1 to shoot) => 1/5/9 or 4/8
With the 3-arrow-trick, then add only +2 to prepare the next arrow=> 1/4/7/10 or 4/7/10. I would do some further adjustments, but in principle it is this.

#14 QueenJadisOfCharn

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 02:52 PM

By the way, volley fire has been widely used by Turko-Mongols as well.

Naturally, but the Mongol preferred shooting style isn't as adept as the Persian, and Mongols tended to prefer encircling tactics and false retreats whereas Persian archers were more a wing than a core of the army, and providing support fire to screen infantry and cataphracts made volley firing more important.




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