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Repeater Crossbows


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#1 Kartigan

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 11:30 AM

Anyone have any ideas for making these not completely suck?  As it is, they are basically really expensive, short range slings, that require two-hands, a ton of manuevers to reload, and more expensive ammunition atontado.  For reference they cost 3 gold, have damage rating 4, critical rating 3, medium range, Two-Handed, and can fire 10 times without reloading, but then have to spend 4 maneuvers to reload the magazine.

Is there any reason why they couldn't just have the DR upped to 6 to be on par with a regular crossbow?  They'd still have a shorter range than a normal crossbow (medium instead of long), and they cost 5 times what a normal crossbow does.



#2 Pedro Lunaris

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:40 PM

That seems really plausible. Have you checked any errata? Maybe they corrected it.

I would just go on and consider the repeater having CR of 6. It would pay for the greater price to be able to shoot a crossbow without reloading for 10 shots, even if it can't shoot as far as a regular crossbow or bow.



#3 nickbrown

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 06:50 PM

Sometimes new and complex technologies aren't always better than the traditional items.

Expense: Its expense is likely due to the complexity of the loading mechanism. In our history, not many armies fielded units with these weapons. They were almost exclusively used in the Chinese Empire by the Cho-ke[ku-] nu and later in Korea.

Damage: "The Chinese Repeating Crossbow was weaker in draw strength compared to other crossbows, so the arrows were often dipped in poison to cause death from even mild wounds." - Pyne-Gallwey, Sir Ralph: "The Crossbow". The Holland Press, Ninth Impression, 1990: p. 337.

Reload: "Such action could fire 10 bolts in 15 seconds, after which the magazine would be reloaded." - http://www.atarn.org/chinese/rept_xbow.htm

 

Here is my suggestion for a house rule:

Repeating Crossbow

Cost: 1g, 60s

DR: 4  CR: 3  Range: Medium

Qualities: Two-Handed

Special: Place one fewer recharge tokens on any action used by the Repeating Crossbow. After 10 shots, you must use 4 maneuvers to reload the weapon.

As a GM, I would subtly encourage the use of poisons with the bolts that perhaps could enhance the DR or CR. I would also reduce the cost of the bolts as they are much smaller than regular bolts. Though I would also increase the bolts' rarity.



#4 Mexorlon

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:38 PM

Just remember that with a repeating crossbow you gain acces to:

rapid fire, covering fire (pehaps allow arrowstorm, normally only watcher action card)

so a little more than a normal crossbow 



#5 Yepesnopes

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:47 PM

Mexorlon said:

Just remember that with a repeating crossbow you gain acces to:

rapid fire, covering fire (pehaps allow arrowstorm, normally only watcher action card)

so a little more than a normal crossbow 

You can use these action cards with a bow which is better and cheaper


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#6 Mexorlon

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 07:54 PM

Yepesnopes said:

Mexorlon said:

 

Just remember that with a repeating crossbow you gain acces to:

rapid fire, covering fire (pehaps allow arrowstorm, normally only watcher action card)

so a little more than a normal crossbow 

 

 

You can use these action cards with a bow which is better and cheaper

right you are…But not with a crossbow….wich is way cooler…its expensive being cool



#7 Yepesnopes

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 08:07 PM

Mexorlon said:

right you are…But not with a crossbow….wich is way cooler…its expensive being cool

CK crossbows reir


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#8 borithan

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 11:17 PM

Historically repeater crossbows were pants, so they appeared to have gone with that in the game. Now, I think the tabletop versions aren't terrible, but they are weaker than the standard crossbow (Strength 3 vs 4 if I remember correctly) and I think they have a shorter range. They also have the excuse that they are elfy and so better.



#9 Kartigan

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 02:49 AM

Hehe, valid points brought up by all.  However, strictly speaking in game terms I think I'll have to do something to make them better.  As it sits they are hand-down the worst ranged weapon in the game, besides Improvised or maybe some of the wierd ones like Whip or Net.  I'll either just take them out, or alter them so it is at least a choice to think about getting one.  After all, why bother presenting players with choices that aren't really choices? :)



#10 Pedro Lunaris

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Posted 18 February 2013 - 03:38 PM

Kartigan said:

Hehe, valid points brought up by all.  However, strictly speaking in game terms I think I'll have to do something to make them better.  As it sits they are hand-down the worst ranged weapon in the game, besides Improvised or maybe some of the wierd ones like Whip or Net.  I'll either just take them out, or alter them so it is at least a choice to think about getting one.  After all, why bother presenting players with choices that aren't really choices? :)



Interesting opinion. I would go as nickbrown said, maybe going as far as saying that bolts of the repeater crossbow are created to support poison, and so it's easier to put poison in them. Something like that.

And maybe go along the bad product approach, and make the repeater an ingame joke, untill some PC is forced to use one of them for some reason (by a superior if military, by an extravagant noble, because it's the only weapon in a prison, or because it's vital to a plan created by a mad dwarf - and they actually have to spend the money to get it and make the plan a successful mission).

But, as a sidenote, I couldn't stop myself from thinking, about your commentary… People nowadays pay a lot for, say, women bags that are made in China as the majority of bags, and used to carry stuff around as all of them bags, but have a different name inprinted on it. And they justify it saying it's design.

Go figure.

:o]



#11 dvang

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 09:44 AM

Keep in mind that if repeating crossbows were any close to being as effective as a regular crossbow, the Empire army (and many other nations) would be using them as standard weapons for their troops.  This is, obviously, not the case.

Simply put, the repeating crossbow has a couple advantages over the regular crossbow, but not enough to mkae it a superior weapon.  This is how it *should* be. 

Please keep in mind that WFRP is not about making every career and every piece of equipment balanced with every other one.  It is a story, and as much as anything, being "cool" or "unique" is as much of a benefit as stats.  Hence, for example, black powder weapons are for the most part inferior to bows and crossbows while costing more. 



#12 Kartigan

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 03:30 PM

dvang said:

Keep in mind that if repeating crossbows were any close to being as effective as a regular crossbow, the Empire army (and many other nations) would be using them as standard weapons for their troops.  This is, obviously, not the case.

Simply put, the repeating crossbow has a couple advantages over the regular crossbow, but not enough to mkae it a superior weapon.  This is how it *should* be. 

Please keep in mind that WFRP is not about making every career and every piece of equipment balanced with every other one.  It is a story, and as much as anything, being "cool" or "unique" is as much of a benefit as stats.  Hence, for example, black powder weapons are for the most part inferior to bows and crossbows while costing more. 

I get what you are saying about not everything has to be "balanced" in an RPG.  This isn't a board game with competition, its about telling a fun story together.

However, I do believe that RPGs also involve choices.  And choices should be fun, with interesting options and tradeoffs on all sides.  Making these choices and deciding which tradeoffs to make is part of what makes each character unique.  Thus things should at least be somewhat close to being balanced, otherwise fun choices are reduced to "Well do you want to be effective, or ineffective?".  Repeater crossbows as they are written are neither close to being balanced, nor a fun option.  They suck.  They suck really, really badly.  In fact, the only ranged weapon you could say is actually worse is the Improvised or maybe the Whip (though at least that has the fun side effect of being Entangling).  Making it even more odd, they are one of the most expensive weapons in the game, costing a whopping 3 Gold (a fortune by any standard in Warhammer).    

3 Gold is something characters would scrimp and save for, over long periods and many sessions in most games.  And their final reward is a craptastic weapon that they have to spend 2 turns reloading once it expends its 10 shots?!?

You say that "the repeating crossbow has a couple of advantages over the regular crossbow".  Actually it has one advantage.  It takes 4 manuvers to load 10 shots instead of 10 manuvers.  That is its only advantage.  Everything else is a detriment, damage, range, and cost (and I would also argue reliablity though that isn't spelled out by the rules).  

My point is, I'm not trying to obsess about having everything "perfectly balanced", but I do want Repeating Crossbows to be a fun option.  Something players would consider as part of an interesting choice, not feel punished if they decide they want their character to use the "new-fangled crossbow".

Also I would completely disagree with your assesment of black powder weapons being inferior to bows and crossbows while costing more.  In fact it is quite the oppostie, they are superior to both bows and crossbows; while costing more and having the Unreliable quality.  Once again, fun choices and interesting tradeoffs.  I want Repeating Crossbows to be another fun option with interesting tradeoffs.  

Also note that despite Black Powder weapons being superior to both bows and crossbows, they aren't the "standard" issue to the Empire's ranged troops.  This is due to their cost and unreliable nature.  I believe the same would hold true of repeating crossbows, even if they were clearly superior to ordinary ones.



#13 dvang

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 09:36 AM

Kartigan said:

You say that "the repeating crossbow has a couple of advantages over the regular crossbow".  Actually it has one advantage.  It takes 4 manuvers to load 10 shots instead of 10 manuvers.  That is its only advantage.  Everything else is a detriment, damage, range, and cost (and I would also argue reliablity though that isn't spelled out by the rules).  

As mentioned above by others: Repeating crossbows do not have the RELOAD quality. Thus users can perform a maneuver and still shoot without a penalty. Only after firing 10 times are they required to reload.  Next, there are some Ranged Actions which a regular crossbow cannot use, that a repeater crossbow can use. Rapid Fire, for example, which is one of the best Ranged Attack actions. Those are both some important and useful differences between the two, to the advantage of the repeater xbow.

Also, I suggest that you re-look at the weapon stats for Longbow vs a rifle.  You'll see that stat-wise the Longbow is slightly more powerful than a gun, for a much cheaper price.

Anyway, I'm just saying that you need to look at the bigger picture, beyond the "damage/range/cost" hard stats in the book to see that the repeater xbow has some benefits which make it better than you think. 



#14 Kartigan

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 02:58 PM

dvang said:

 

Kartigan said:

 

You say that "the repeating crossbow has a couple of advantages over the regular crossbow".  Actually it has one advantage.  It takes 4 manuvers to load 10 shots instead of 10 manuvers.  That is its only advantage.  Everything else is a detriment, damage, range, and cost (and I would also argue reliablity though that isn't spelled out by the rules).  

 

 

As mentioned above by others: Repeating crossbows do not have the RELOAD quality. Thus users can perform a maneuver and still shoot without a penalty. Only after firing 10 times are they required to reload.  Next, there are some Ranged Actions which a regular crossbow cannot use, that a repeater crossbow can use. Rapid Fire, for example, which is one of the best Ranged Attack actions. Those are both some important and useful differences between the two, to the advantage of the repeater xbow.

Also, I suggest that you re-look at the weapon stats for Longbow vs a rifle.  You'll see that stat-wise the Longbow is slightly more powerful than a gun, for a much cheaper price.

Anyway, I'm just saying that you need to look at the bigger picture, beyond the "damage/range/cost" hard stats in the book to see that the repeater xbow has some benefits which make it better than you think. 

 

 

 

Actually I just said it didn't have the reload quality, hence the 4 manuvers to reload it instead of 10.  The Ranged Action thing was something I had not considered though, thanks for pointing that out.

I would humbly suggest that you go look at the stats for a Longbow vs. a Black Powder weapon.  You will find the guns to be dealier in all cases.  I assume that by "rifle" (which isn't in the game) you actually mean Handgun, the "standard" flintlock long gun in the game?  Handgun has DR 6, CR 2, and Pierce 1.  Longbow has DR 5, CR 3, and Pierce 1.  So the Handgun does more damage and is more likely to cause a critical, at the tradeoff of being very expensive and having Unreliable 2.  Pistols and the Hochland Long Rifle are also deadlier than a Longbow.  Perhaps by "rifle" you meant Blunderbuss?  Which has DR 5 but lacks the Pierce of the bow?  It doesn't do as much damage due to no Pierce, but has the ability to hit multiple targets which can be hugely helpful (and hugely a pain to reir ) as well as having a better critical rating.

On yet another point as to why the Repeater Crossbow is so odd, look at the other repeater weapons (Repeater Pistol and Repeater Handgun).  They both keep the same DR and the same range of the original weapons (though at the cost of lowering their unreliable rating).  I don't understand why the Repeater Crossbow couldn't do the same thing (by adding Unreliable 2 to it or some such).

I'm definitely wanting to look at the bigger picture before changing things, but so far the only thing that has been pointed out to me that I didn't relalize already was that you gained access to certain action cards.  That and 4 manuvers every 10 shots instead of 10 manuvers every 10 shots are the only gains to be had from the Repeater Crossbow over the Crossbow, everything else is strictly worse.

To me this seems every bit as plainly broken as the original Spear (though in being underpowered instead of overpowered) and that was changed in the Errata.  Can anyone tell me if they've ever had a player actually buy a Repeater Crossbow on purpose?  If they did, what on earth was their reasoning (or was it just for laughs)?  If I was a player and you offered me a regular Crossbow or a Repeater for free I would absolutely take the Crossbow everytime (well,assuming I had to use it and couldn't go sell it right away sonreir).



#15 Yepesnopes

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Posted 04 March 2013 - 06:56 PM

As far as I recall there has been the very same issue with the stupid repeating crossbow in all editions of warhammer FRPG. I will see if I can find which were the patches used in previous editions to make the weapon minimally appealing.

As a side note, something you may consider is allowing a character with a repeating crossbow having access to the Death Volley (NPC, Dark Elf) action card. Is preaty awesome action card and it can compensate for its crappy stats

Cheers,

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#16 crimsonsun

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 05:24 AM

I think the Repeater Crossbow could easily be brought inline with wfb version by giving it pierce, if you wanted to really give it a boast inline with rapid fire, you could have any character that uses a ranged action with the bow can make a basic ranged attack instead of his manoeuvre but limited to once per turn and obviously would require ammo. I think this would not only justify its high cost but also fit in nicely with the background but wouldnt be overpowered due to the weapons low DR/Range.

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#17 master yoda

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 06:48 AM

The repeater can take 10 shots before needing to reload. That is so much better than needing to reload after ever shot. So it doesn't do as much damage as a crossbow. historically that is true. But your gaining an advantage of not needing to reload after every shot. I can see this being a very vaulable choice in my group. Needing to move and reload takes fatigue if they are wanting to shoot thier crossbow also.



#18 Kartigan

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 11:49 AM

master yoda said:

The repeater can take 10 shots before needing to reload. That is so much better than needing to reload after ever shot. So it doesn't do as much damage as a crossbow. historically that is true. But your gaining an advantage of not needing to reload after every shot. I can see this being a very vaulable choice in my group. Needing to move and reload takes fatigue if they are wanting to shoot thier crossbow also.

I think you may want to take a look at the ranged weapons list again.  The Shortbow can fire infinitely without ever having to stop and reload, yet deals more damage, has ammo that costs 12 as much, and costs less than 110th what a Repeating Crossbow does. 

I really like the ideas of both Yepesnopes and Crimson Sun had, thanks for those.  I'll probably hash it out with my group and we'll see if we can come up with something that works for us.






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