Shooty niggles.

A forum for discussing items specifically related to the rules
billS
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:02 pm

Shooty niggles.

Postby billS » Fri Jan 19, 2018 10:15 am

As a player who prefers fielding close combat armies rather than shooty armies, there are a few shooty things that I find a bit overpowered in the game.

1. Award of momentum tokens for causing 10% casualties. this seems over generous. When I finally arrive at my opponents battle line, he has amassed10-12 tokens whilst I still have only 5. I think causing discouragement is fine, but the momentum token award is too good.

2. When my spearmen finally get across to duff up the pesky archers, I find that, blow me, these guys are just as effective at close combat than I am in most cases. Either spears need to get better, or archers should only hit on a 5+ in close combat.

3. Charge unsupported archers with light cavalry? That should be at least worth a pop - but...

3 attacks from the cavalry - say 2 hits and 2 kills if we are generous
6 attacks back from the archers - say 3 hits and 2 kills on average.
Archers win by 1 due to their depth bonus. The cavalry have lost a base. A more typical result will be an archer win by 2 or 3, discouraging the cavalry and causing them to fall back.

And don't get me started on skirmishers with bows.

User avatar
Wayne Richards
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:44 pm

Re: Shooty niggles.

Postby Wayne Richards » Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:40 am

Shooting is an important component in the game and this is reflected in the army choices and composition of players forces in events.

The effectiveness of shooting and bow armed troops is a regular point of discussion.

Some ideas I’ve heard are;
- drop the bonus for archers firing from a second tank. Therefore 6 bases (3 wide, 2 deep) would generate 6 shots rather than 8.
- increase the cost of a bow.
- Troops armed with bow and hand weapon only may not initiate a charge
- limit the quantity of momentum tokens that count towards victory points at the end of the game.

Interested to hear players views and experiences.
Cheers W.

Mikeharding
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2016 7:53 pm
Location: Waterlooville

Re: Shooty niggles.

Postby Mikeharding » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:14 pm

Wayne, my thoughts are:
I like archers, as the Dave's will confirm, and yes they can be very effective, but at long range you are only hitting on 5+, and the way we have found to deal effectively with archer blocks is to put various skirmisher units in front of your army. At long range you need a 6+ to hit a skirmisher, this will enable you to get across the table without suffering too much loss. Archers can hold up infantry or cavalry units, but most archers are open order with at best a 6+ defence value. So they will get removed quicker than a formed unit, and break.
Also, with a cavalry charge that does not break an archer unit you can also disengage, but any single cavalry unit charging any infantry without support is going to suffer.
We could look at what armies and their structure people take to the tournaments and see if larger archer based armies perform better or worse than other armies.
Anyway, those are my comments for what they are worth. Mike

billS
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:02 pm

Re: Shooty niggles.

Postby billS » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:24 pm

A typical 6 base massed archery unit facing a typical 6 base open order warband should kill 2.2 figures first turn, 2.2 figures the second turn, and 3.33 figures on the third turn. A defensive archer player would position his unit 1 inch back from the deployment line, causing the barbarians to spend a 4th turn under fire, losing another 3.33 figures. So If he is lucky enough to get into combat the barbarian player will have lost at least 2 bases, probably 3.

OK - that's fine, that's what you would expect, and yes, heavy fire can stop the advance dead in its tracks.

but - 4 momentum tokens (probably 5 due to causing a break test)? Then when the barbarians finally get there, unless they have throwing spears, then the archers are just as effective close combat killers than they are, and are likely to beat the discouraged barbarians

Both units are likely to cost about the same,but the archers hold all the cards.

A skirmish unit in front of the barbarians is unlikely to last for more than 2 turns, so the barbarian unit still loses 2 bases on the way in. The broader base sizes of the skirmish unit means that it is likely to be targeted by at least 2 archer units on the way in.

User avatar
Wayne Richards
Posts: 234
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:44 pm

Re: Shooty niggles.

Postby Wayne Richards » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:52 pm

Yep, similar to Mike, I like my bows ;)

The archers pounding on a lightly armoured warband doesn't feel out of balance to me, I would expect them to loose a base or two on after 3 or 4 rounds of sustained fire. Where I think there maybe an imbalance is with the efficiency of levy archers. For the same points as your 6 base massed archery unit you could have 12 bases of levy bow dishing out 15 shots per round instead of 8. This does shred your warband. Bill can do the maths but I reckon you'll be taking over 4 kills at long range rising to over 6 at short. I appreciate that there are other considerations with levy but this discussion is about shootyness. I would advocate making all levy inferior shooters as well as inferior fighters.

The skirmish screen is an option for some armies (not all armies have skirmishing troops), as is heavier armour (again not available to all armies).
Judicious positioning of a small skirmish unit and exploitation of the target priority rule can force your opponent to shoot the majority of their missiles at an insignificant part of your force. A tactic I have both used and played against.

Cheers W.

REX
Posts: 22
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:04 pm

Re: Shooty niggles.

Postby REX » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:54 pm

I am on billS side for what its worth.

Bob Stradling
Posts: 214
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:46 am

Re: Shooty niggles.

Postby Bob Stradling » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:04 pm

It will be interesting to see how the Swindon event pans out. Nearly every army has a shed load of shooting.

I empathise with many of the points made.

Whilst having a number of skirmish units can be helpful as arrow fodder, they are still a break point when you lose them. Yes it is hitting on 6's, but you only need three to cause a break test and as they are often on leadership 5 ..... and then there is the momentum token.

The fact that you have to do enough casualties to take off a base begins to make a difference to the durability of a unit, but it is relatively easy to get the 10% for a momentum token. Especially on elite troops which tend to be smaller in size due to the points cost.

Equal points of archers and spearmen should give a reasonably even outcome.

So working an example from the Dark Age book. Early Medieval Welsh list. Open order archers are 8 points a pop. So 9 bases = 72 points. This unit generates 11 shots.

Fighting against a spearmen unit from the same list - 9 points a base sos I can get 8 bases (72 points)

Turn 1 spearman move 8" forward
Turn 2 archers shoot - long range and a 6 up save means on average 1 base is removed (3.05 hits) - disrupted and 1 momentum token, spearmen move forward 8" and archers move back 1"
Turn 3 archers shoot - short range and a 6 up save means on average 1 base is removed (4.6 hits) - disrupted and 1 momentu from archers token, spearmen move forward 8"
Turn 4 archers shoot - short range and a 6 up save means on average 1 base is removed (4.6 hits which is greater than the 4.5 hits which is 25% of the unit strength) - disrupted, break test and 2 momentum tokens, spearmen move forward 8" (Now 1" away from archers)
Turn 5 archers shoot - - short range and a 6 up save means on average 1 base is removed (4.6 hits which is greater than the 3.75 hits which is 25% of the unit strength) - disrupted, break test and 2 momentum tokens, The unit has no depth bonus and is now at half starting strength! The archers have 6 momentum tokens and can add 3 tokens to the initiative roll to give them the opportunity to get the charge in.

They start the ensuing combat with +6 combat resolution (depth bonus, outnumbering, disrupted, and 3 momentum tokens). The will have 10 attacks (5 bases) and should do 4.2 hits after saves so the spearmen lose a base and have 6 attacks back and the archers will suffer 3 hits losing a base. The spearmen will lose by 7 and are under half strength, not a happy picture.

Obviously these are average outcomes. Sometimes the spearmen might get their unscathed and others they will runaway after the first round of shooting. Terrain and other units might all have an impact, the clever use of skirmishers helps.

I f I had a choice between a Northern (Spear) and Southern (Bow) army I know which I would take!

There again I wouldn't take the Welsh and just march my Anglo Danes across the board in shieldwall ;-)

Bob Stradling
Posts: 214
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2016 10:46 am

Re: Shooty niggles.

Postby Bob Stradling » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:09 pm

I had steered away from discussing levy archers, see WoTR longbow and others where the ability to field really large units can create an interesting challenge for your opponent.

The idea of levy being inferior shooters could be the answer, but not until after Swindon :-) as I really want to have a unit costing 60 points that is putting out 15 shots a turn that are hitting on 4's especially as I have already purchased the models.

MartinG
Posts: 458
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 8:48 am

Re: Shooty niggles.

Postby MartinG » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:52 am

I am happy to keep monitoring this closely with a view to possible changes if it seems necessary. The main thing I am interested in is if the rules make players skew army selections so that they become completely unhistorical-a clear sign that something needs doing. However I am very wary of the law of unintended consequences so will be moving slowly.
"No one ever achieved anything without making a few mistakes along the way"


Return to “Swordpoint Rules”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest