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Puckohue

Missile fire in battles

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I'm running a battle and have a question about enemy units with missile weapons. The rules (5.2 p. 239) says

Quote

When knights use either a lance charge or a normal melee attack against missile troops, the enemy always shoots first, before the knights can close.

but the quote is from the section on the First Charge. Is this the only time the enemy can use missile weapons? Why then does it say "or a normal melee attack"? Why is there no mention of missile weapon attack in the section on combat rounds after the First Charge round?

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Same reason why the rules for the Charge! are not repeated. The relevant rules have already been mentioned in the First Charge, so there is no need to keep repeating rules and wasting space. Missile troops can continue using missile weapons in subsequent rounds, and the rules are there on p. 239.

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22 minutes ago, Puckohue said:

I disagree about the reasoning about the editorial decision though.

Admittedly, that is just my guess. I was not involved in the KAP 5.x editing.

The point stands, though. Lance Charge rules are not repeated either, but as it says in the end of the First Charge:  "... it is possible that a unit can later make a lance charge if conditions are right." So clearly, the intent is that the rules introduced under the First Charge are not ONLY for the First Charge, but generally to be used where appropriate. Since the First charge is the first time that the missile troops are encountered in the battle, it makes sense that the differences and the results are discussed there.

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I Agree with Morien. Logical reasoning is that it would take less time for the arrows to be loaded, drawn, aimed, loosed, and reach the knight  than it would for a knight om horseback to reach an archer. 

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I've never really understood that entry. Are there two rounds of combat: (1) unopposed missile skill (-5 for a shield); missile troops can do damage but knights can't, then (2) melee vs. melee with both sides capable of doing damage? 

I also don't remember the 5x rules for missile combat. 4th was missile -5 if the target had a shield.

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I think it is a bit of a hybrid between BoB2 and the old KAP4.

The easiest way to GM it would be to simply do Lance/Melee weapon vs. Bow, and then apportion Wins & Losses accordingly. But that is not how the rules are written.

The way it seems to go in KAP 5.2 is that you first do Lance/Melee weapon vs. Bow, and if you get through that, then you do Lance/Melee weapon vs. the crappy melee of the bowmen, which is where you gain the Glory.

Admittedly, since I started with 4th edition, I tend to GM it thusly:

1) Approach: The bowmen shoot with unopposed Bow (-5 if shielded). Roll Horsemanship if the horse was hit, to continue the charge/approach.

2) Melee with the bowmen: Roll unopposed Melee weapon to cut the cowardly varlets down!

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13 hours ago, Morien said:

I think it is a bit of a hybrid between BoB2 and the old KAP4.

The easiest way to GM it would be to simply do Lance/Melee weapon vs. Bow, and then apportion Wins & Losses accordingly. But that is not how the rules are written.

The way it seems to go in KAP 5.2 is that you first do Lance/Melee weapon vs. Bow, and if you get through that, then you do Lance/Melee weapon vs. the crappy melee of the bowmen, which is where you gain the Glory.

Admittedly, since I started with 4th edition, I tend to GM it thusly:

1) Approach: The bowmen shoot with unopposed Bow (-5 if shielded). Roll Horsemanship if the horse was hit, to continue the charge/approach.

2) Melee with the bowmen: Roll unopposed Melee weapon to cut the cowardly varlets down!

To be honest the difference between unoppossed and their reduced weaponskill is not much. A standard archer has a sword skill of 8. He gets a -5 due to height difference. Also the knight gets a +5 for his melee weapon which is probably at least a 15. To lose from them you need to roll crap and the archer needs to roll good. Since the archer has no armour there is a good chance to hit him.

 

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2 hours ago, Cornelius said:

To be honest the difference between unoppossed and their reduced weaponskill is not much. A standard archer has a sword skill of 8. He gets a -5 due to height difference. Also the knight gets a +5 for his melee weapon which is probably at least a 15. To lose from them you need to roll crap and the archer needs to roll good. Since the archer has no armour there is a good chance to hit him.

I think the biggest differences are:

  • how it feels to the players: There are times in play where a normal hit gets turned into a critical hit because of the shield (i.e. attack roll of 10 when the archer had a 15 skill,  giving the players the impression that they would have been better off without the shield).
  • tying defense to skill :(the higher the skill/DEX of the character,  the better their chance of success and avoiding damage, as opposed to a flat -5 modifier. which is the same for everybody, regardless of skill
  • multiple Attacks: Since skill isn't a factor with the -5, PKs do not have to spit their skill up when attacked by multiple archers, which is a huge difference.  

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The opposed WS rolls for missile fire seemed to come from BoBattle, as I remember.  I don't think splitting the knights WS makes much sense in a battle, and I just prefer the -5.  The round is abstract and long.  Archers fire...luck and heavy armor sees you through...then melee if you close.  Otherwise, if the knight splits his weapon skill, what do the archers do?  Halve their missile skill then halve their sword skill?

 

NT

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1 hour ago, fulk said:

The opposed WS rolls for missile fire seemed to come from BoBattle, as I remember.  I don't think splitting the knights WS makes much sense in a battle, and I just prefer the -5. 

I does to some extent, as archers could be attacking from different sides, especially on the battlefield.

1 hour ago, fulk said:

 

The round is abstract and long.  Archers fire...luck and heavy armor sees you through...then melee if you close.  Otherwise, if the knight splits his weapon skill, what do the archers do?  Halve their missile skill then halve their sword skill?

No, in a battle tun most units, including archers only get to use one weapon. There are the occasion units that get a cheap shot off with a missile weapon (usually a javelin) before engaging in melee. They are rarely that effective, but my PKs hate them just the same.

 

 

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The tables of the troops indicate when the opponent is an archer unit (e.g., KAP 5.2, pg. 248, roll of most odd numbers), has a footnote which is detailed on pg. 251. This footnote refers back to section II.B.iii which is where they talk about missile troops in the first charge section. So, it would be logical to follow that there rules are not repeated to save space.  BoB II does go into more detail, but the rules are there.

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BTW,  one alteration to the BoB that I've been testing is to change the chances that Archers fire from the values on Table 4.15 (page 65) to 2xthe Battle Zone on a D20. The odds are pretty similar to the BoB and it's easiler to remember. If nothing else, someone should put the values from table 4.15 onto the Battle Zone table (page 15).

Anyway here is the math for those who are interested and would like to see how much of a change my method makes.

Zone Official Variant
9 1-6 (100%) 1-18(90%)
8 1-6 (100%) 1-16(80%)
7 1-4 (67%) 1-14(70%)
6 1-4 (67%) 1-12(60%)
5 1-2 (33%) 1-10(50%)
4 1-2 (33%) 1-8(40%)
3 1 (17%) 1-6(30%)
2 1 (17%) 1-4(20%)
1 None 1-2(10%)
     
Average: 48% 50%

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