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TempestSatori

Bows and Crossbows, How they should really work

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Conceptually, I think the idea of making a unique, high-tech bow for your players to choose from amongst the other 40k weaponry isn't a bad idea.

Thing is, there isn't much you can do to improve the design of a bow (beyond making it more durable) without changing it into something that isn't a bow. You are still going to be limited by the strength of muscles (or bionics) in the person using it and the flight characteristics of an arrow.

 

Though if you are talking about a bow wielded by someone with Space Marine or Ork strength, and have a bow that can handle it, the bow can still be reasonably powerful

The problem is that you're presenting weird anecdotes from hundreds of years ago as rational as to why a society with the kind of tech like 40k would still use bows.

That is only a problem if you are trying to claim that using a bow is a good idea. I don't. Instead I start with a rich eccentric for whom using a bow is more important than having an effective weapon, but he won't argue with ways to make his bow better.

Not to mention a few mechanics no one has discussed: This person, firing 3 arrows on SA in a combat round, how much ammunition for that are they going to be carrying? How much can they shove in a quiver? Seems like they'll run out pretty quickly, and it's not easy to have a few extra quivers as spare.

It was only two arrows. Though you do have a point here, even using a bow we are talking about 0.2kg per arrow if you use the clip weighs 10% of the weapon rule. That is some heavy ammo.

If this comes up in any of my games, as long as the player has the carry capacity for those arrows, I won't ask about how he carries them.

Also, a major bonus for arrows is that being wounded by one is an incredibly traumatizing experience, as you now have a shaft sticking out that does just about as much damage coming out as it does going in.

What should the threshold be for the arrow getting stuck in someone ?

I'm not one to say that a wound must mean an armour breach, it could have just been an impact that really knocked the target around while still bouncing off his armour.

 

There will some arrows that don't get stuck. For example exploding arrows will explode, meaning there isn't any large part of the arrow left to be stuck inside the target.

 

All this said, you should concentrate more on presenting this as a specialized weapon, one that kills silently and in specialized situations, rather than something to be seen alongside of stubbers and lasguns in an underhive.

As a weapon with a potential free action reload, being able to chose the best ammo for the task (instead of just loading up with a general purpose ammo) is quite possible. We just need to come up with some interesting arrows.

So what kind of specialised arrows can you think up ?

 

Since a strong arrow will be reusable, and daemonic weapons are very durable, daemon arrows are a possibility. Unlike a daemon bullet, which will probably only get used once and will be very suspicious if the character tries to use it a second time.

 

Nasty thought: Target has a power weapon and deflect shot. You have a daemon arrow. You shoot the target with the daemon arrow, they parry and break it, daemon gets loose demonio.gif

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Bilateralrope said:

Nasty thought: Target has a power weapon and deflect shot. You have a daemon arrow. You shoot the target with the daemon arrow, they parry and break it, daemon gets loose demonio.gif

Daemon weapons are specifically immune to being destroyed by the Power Field quality. Consequently, parrying a daemon-possessed arrow, throwing knife or other thrown projectile with a power weapon cannot accidentally destroy the projectile.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

Bilateralrope said:

Nasty thought: Target has a power weapon and deflect shot. You have a daemon arrow. You shoot the target with the daemon arrow, they parry and break it, daemon gets loose demonio.gif

 

Daemon weapons are specifically immune to being destroyed by the Power Field quality. Consequently, parrying a daemon-possessed arrow, throwing knife or other thrown projectile with a power weapon cannot accidentally destroy the projectile.

 

Deathwatch Relic weapon... hhmmm...

 

Alex

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Bilateralrope said:

Conceptually, I think the idea of making a unique, high-tech bow for your players to choose from amongst the other 40k weaponry isn't a bad idea.

Thing is, there isn't much you can do to improve the design of a bow (beyond making it more durable) without changing it into something that isn't a bow. You are still going to be limited by the strength of muscles (or bionics) in the person using it and the flight characteristics of an arrow.

 

Though if you are talking about a bow wielded by someone with Space Marine or Ork strength, and have a bow that can handle it, the bow can still be reasonably powerful

The problem is that you're presenting weird anecdotes from hundreds of years ago as rational as to why a society with the kind of tech like 40k would still use bows.

That is only a problem if you are trying to claim that using a bow is a good idea. I don't. Instead I start with a rich eccentric for whom using a bow is more important than having an effective weapon, but he won't argue with ways to make his bow better.

Not to mention a few mechanics no one has discussed: This person, firing 3 arrows on SA in a combat round, how much ammunition for that are they going to be carrying? How much can they shove in a quiver? Seems like they'll run out pretty quickly, and it's not easy to have a few extra quivers as spare.

It was only two arrows. Though you do have a point here, even using a bow we are talking about 0.2kg per arrow if you use the clip weighs 10% of the weapon rule. That is some heavy ammo.

If this comes up in any of my games, as long as the player has the carry capacity for those arrows, I won't ask about how he carries them.

Also, a major bonus for arrows is that being wounded by one is an incredibly traumatizing experience, as you now have a shaft sticking out that does just about as much damage coming out as it does going in.

What should the threshold be for the arrow getting stuck in someone ?

I'm not one to say that a wound must mean an armour breach, it could have just been an impact that really knocked the target around while still bouncing off his armour.

 

There will some arrows that don't get stuck. For example exploding arrows will explode, meaning there isn't any large part of the arrow left to be stuck inside the target.

 

All this said, you should concentrate more on presenting this as a specialized weapon, one that kills silently and in specialized situations, rather than something to be seen alongside of stubbers and lasguns in an underhive.

As a weapon with a potential free action reload, being able to chose the best ammo for the task (instead of just loading up with a general purpose ammo) is quite possible. We just need to come up with some interesting arrows.

So what kind of specialised arrows can you think up ?

 

Since a strong arrow will be reusable, and daemonic weapons are very durable, daemon arrows are a possibility. Unlike a daemon bullet, which will probably only get used once and will be very suspicious if the character tries to use it a second time.

 

Nasty thought: Target has a power weapon and deflect shot. You have a daemon arrow. You shoot the target with the daemon arrow, they parry and break it, daemon gets loose demonio.gif

I imagined a specialized crit table for arrows dealing with the shafts.  After all, you don't have to go around digging bullets out of your hide when you take a few wounds, do you?  But then, that depends on the feel you're going for; badasses ripping arrows out of their arms to continue fighting, versus leaving it in because it's at least plugging the hole it made.

As for specialized arrows, I would definitely prefer to stay away from technobabble-tipped arrowheads that magically not just pierce, but fully penetrate armor despite having no where near the kinetic force to do so.  This is a specialized weapon, one I imagine an eccentric deathcult assassin might use for specific situations, rather than machine-gunning arrows out like a Legolas ripoff.

So:

High Explosive Squash Head (HESH) arrows: the tip is made of a solidified explosive that flattens on impact, spreading the area of detonation.  While not useful for penetration, it can be used to make an exit, and the reverberation effect when used on armor stuns / fatigues those inside. 

Bolt Arrows: using a modified bolt shell, this arrow propels itself (once fired) and explodes on contact, granting the benefits of bolter ammunition without having to actually acquire a boltgun.

Incendiary Arrows: These arrows are rigged with a promethium capsule and deploy with minimal penetration but maximum dispersal, setting its target ablaze.

Chain arrows: requiring special handling, the shaft of this arrow is lined with the jagged, sawing metal teeth of a chainblade; once it impacts, it will begin sawing and burrow into its target.

Some of this is nonsense, but might be fun to get the ball rolling on different kinds of arrows.

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N0-1_H3r3 said:

 

Daemon weapons are specifically immune to being destroyed by the Power Field quality. Consequently, parrying a daemon-possessed arrow, throwing knife or other thrown projectile with a power weapon cannot accidentally destroy the projectile.

True.

Could the daemon reduce the durability of the weapon if it really wanted to get free ?

For example, a slaanesh daemon being fired at an Eldar.

 


If that isn't enough, and you have a character heretical enough, have the arrow covered in enough explosives that it will be destroyed when the go off. That will free the daemon.

 

I imagined a specialized crit table for arrows dealing with the shafts.

An entire new crit table is going to be a lot of work.

 

Though, now that I've taken a look at the Purgatus again, I think that dealing 1 wound for it to get stuck is enough, as that is consistent with official weapons. As for the effect:

 - -10 on any test that involves moving the body part.

 - Removing the arrow is a full action that deals 1d5+1 wounds, ignoring armour and TB.

 - After the battle is over it can be removed with a medicae test if the character has sufficient tools (a medikit should be sufficient). Failure does nothing, failure by 3+DOS causes the arrow to come out, dealing 1d5+1 damage that is reduced by TB.

 - Strength test to snap off the shaft. This removes the penalties, but increases the penalty of the medicae test to remove by one step. Leaving it in will risk a fatal infection (see the section on amputated limbs for details on the infection).

As for specialized arrows, I would definitely prefer to stay away from technobabble-tipped arrowheads that magically not just pierce, but fully penetrate armor despite having no where near the kinetic force to do so.

What about arrows that penetrate through other means ?

Such as a power field, the main portion of its penetration and damage being the power field disrupting the matter around it, not the kinetic energy and momentum behind the arrow.

 

Some of this is nonsense, but might be fun to get the ball rolling on different kinds of arrows.
As long as the nonsense is consistent with 40k, it should be good. The only one of your arrows I have a problem with is the bolter arrow, because it is rocket propelled, not propelled by the bow. Some stat suggestions for your other arrows (unless otherwise stated, all arrows can take the effect of the mono upgrade for melee weapons):

 - HESH: No idea where to start.

 - Incendiary: If target takes one wound, target makes an AG test to avoid catching fire. If these are recovered from a target, these arrows become regular arrows until reloaded with a new incendiary cartage (maybe 30 seconds per arrow).

 - Chain: Comparing the sword and chainsword on the RT GM screen, I see that chain weapons get +2 damage, +2 pen, lose primitive, gain tearing. So the same effect applies. Since the shaft is lined with chain teeth (these would stop spinning quickly due to limited fuel), trying to pull it out or snap the shaft will take damage equal to a mono-sword (including the SB of the person attempting it). These may not be combined with the mono upgrade.

 

Organgrinder rounds (Into The Storm) might be adaptable into an arrowhead. They would have to snap off their own shaft to dig in deeper. These may not be combined with the mono upgrade.

 

 - Poison dipped arrowheads. These arrows have been soaked in poison and gain the toxic trait. These may be combined with chain arrows, in which case the toxic trait also applies to the person trying to remove it.

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Trodamus said:

 

 

I imagined a specialized crit table for arrows dealing with the shafts.  After all, you don't have to go around digging bullets out of your hide when you take a few wounds, do you?  But then, that depends on the feel you're going for; badasses ripping arrows out of their arms to continue fighting, versus leaving it in because it's at least plugging the hole it made.

Actually, standard proceedure IS to dig out the bullet(s) in you. Preferably with the help of a skilled physician with hospital resources available, but there have been certain action movies where the hero either has to remove the bullet(s) himself or with the help of a friend. Nasy business indeed. Failing to remove bullets can certainly cause an infection and be fatal several days after the fact, even if the bullets miss any vital organs.

Guys, hate to break it to you but bullets are actually quite dangerous, not just arrows. I would think it much easier for a less skilled doctor to remove a barbed arrow from a wound than to have to poke into a bullet hole to get out the smaller bullet. And I don't see why the arrow would stick more easily in a person than a bullet would penetrate and become lodged inside.

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Friend of the Dork said:


Trodamus said:


I imagined a specialized crit table for arrows dealing with the shafts. After all, you don't have to go around digging bullets out of your hide when you take a few wounds, do you? But then, that depends on the feel you're going for; badasses ripping arrows out of their arms to continue fighting, versus leaving it in because it's at least plugging the hole it made.
 
 
Actually, standard proceedure IS to dig out the bullet(s) in you. Preferably with the help of a skilled physician with hospital resources available, but there have been certain action movies where the hero either has to remove the bullet(s) himself or with the help of a friend. Nasy business indeed. Failing to remove bullets can certainly cause an infection and be fatal several days after the fact, even if the bullets miss any vital organs.
Guys, hate to break it to you but bullets are actually quite dangerous, not just arrows. I would think it much easier for a less skilled doctor to remove a barbed arrow from a wound than to have to poke into a bullet hole to get out the smaller bullet. And I don't see why the arrow would stick more easily in a person than a bullet would penetrate and become lodged inside.

 

 

Truthfully, a normal bullet can be left in a person for their whole life and may never have any ill affects, so long as the wound is closed. The problem is that going into the body tends to tear clothing and pull bits of cloth in with the bullet; this can then suppurate and putrefy leading to infection and possible death. It is also standard practice to remove a bullet if possible because it might lead to problems, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. An arrow has to be removed; there is no other option, the sharp tip if left would tear at the soft tissue whenever the person moved unlike an often smooth bullet. The wood would also rot and lead to infection just like cloth. And a single bullet less than an inch across compared to removing a barbed tip that could be several inches in diameter if it expands would be much easier to safely remove

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I just want to throw in my 2 cents: The potential to add SB damage is completely off base. Compare the damage an arrow may do with the damage of a boltgun. You've made it possible for a strong person (SB 5, easily plausible) to deal 1d10+6 (higher as a boltgun) with Pen 7 (higher then a boltgun) at, granted, a lesser range then a boltgun, that includes drastically greater damage when you include the removal of the arrow. More importantly, the velocity of an arrow is not significantly affected by greater strength beyond a pull of ~65 lbs, simply due to the physics of the bow. It doesn't transfer the excess energy with any efficiency at all. This is based on practical experience, and the opinion of a very talented archer I know personally, not off of theory.

The proposed changes are ridiculous. A self-propelled shell that punches through armour and then explodes is so vastly superior to any bow that it is difficult to analogize. The damage code provided RAW is generous, in my opinion, since arrows do not have Hydrostatic shock in their favour, nor are they capable of negating something as advanced as Storm Trooper Carapace, period. 1d10 R, with Pen 2 if provided the Mono upgrade, with a base range of 30m is about the maximum that could be hoped for when wielding one.

For range, consider that while in eras past, bows were effective out to as much as 300 m, this was when used in volleys against massive numbers of targets. A single arrow would take at least 5-10 seconds to impact a target 300m away, and that would involve no wind, and more importantly the target not noticing that there's one arrow flying slowly towards him and refusing to step out of the way. There wouldn't even be a need for a dodge test, just for him to be aware of the arrow. At 120 m, impact time would be under 6 seconds, and so while I would rule that at Long or Extreme range the target gets a +10 or +20 bonus, it would require a dodge test.

Flavour should never justify making something totally unrealistic and unbalanced. You want to play a feral worlder who uses his native weaponry? Fine, but don't trivialize the ultra-modern weaponry so you're not a chump in ranged combat.

[/Reality rant]

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Well, I talked it out with some other players and these are some rough ideas we were playing around. Personally, I believe the essence of any houserule is simplicity to fix the problem.

When using bows, it takes a half action with S30+ to draw back the string (after reloading the bow). It may be held back in rounds equal to your TB x2 before you must release or risk gaining fatigue after a +0 Test. If you have less than S30, it takes a full action to draw back the string. In addition, your SB/2 (rounded down) is added to the damage of the bow. Bows also require 2 hands to use and may not be used with pistol grips.

OR

Default Bow Stats are reduced by 30m and 3 damage. Each point of SB raises the damage by 1 and the range by 10m. Holding a bow for longer TB x2 Rounds incurs a -5 BS penalty, longer than TB x4 rounds causes the wielder to gain 1 level of fatigue (they cannot gain more then one level by this method). Ditto with 2 hands and pistol grips.

And a tentative thing for crossbows (very rough)

Crossbows can be carried “loaded” and drawn back for about an hour. The Flick bow is carried broken down and needs a ½ action to be locked into place before you can load it, once locked it must not be done again until you break down the weapon for transport.

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borithan said:

Regarding hypothetical Napoleonic archers: Yes, they would have been difficult to replace when lost, but they wouldn't have been as vulnerable as other infantry of their time, at least to gunfire. Archers would tend to operate in a looser formation than musketeers and so would have been less punished by cannon fire and gunfire. Of course they would probably be more vulnerable to cavalry so... yeah.

Historical digression:

British Parliament raised the idea of raising a unit of longbowmen for service in the Napoleonic wars, but it was never a practical idea. There were plenty of yew trees left, but nobody to use bows, and logistical support would have been a nightmare. 

What you say about 'not as vulnerable as other infantry' was a role already covered by Light Infantry. Companies and sometimes entire regiments of them were employed to skirmish ahead of the line or advancing column in loose order to disperse opposing skirmishers and to snipe officers and NCOs. The British military even went to the effort of creating an experimental rifle-equipped regiment in order to deliver more accurate fire. Apparently a good way of dealing with cavalry was to lay down. Horses don't like treading on other animals. Apparently. Took some guts to try though, I'd imagine.

Onto the historical importance and use of bows, I think the OP may have over-egged the cake. Bows aren't bad, but certainly not that good in relation to firearms. Mail and padding defeated arrows and have done since their inception. Many modern 'tests' you see of arrows going through mail are basically useless, as they use butted rather than rivetted mail (akin to crash-testing a car held together with duct tape), and neglect to use padding either over or under the armour (which was always worn, and resulted in a LOT of stopping power). For reference many societies have used linen or silk armour as arrow protection, as it stops arrows from 'simple' bows, easily.

Longbows certainly could not defeat proper plate harness at range. You might be able to do so at point blank range, but not a hundred yards. Remember that armour was designed expressly to defeat the weapons of the time, and soldiers would not trouble and bankrupt themselves for something that failed to defeat the primary battlefield threat.

As horribly nasty it is to get hit by an arrow, it's FAR worse to be hit by a supersonic jacketed hollowpoint rifle bullet. The energy delivered far outstrips the arrow, the penetration far more likely to result in a vital organ strike, plus the arrow doesn't fragment to cause further internal damage nor has an enlarged temporary wound cavity. An arrow will not shatter your legbone to fragments, and shatter, sending futher fragments into the surrounding flesh and blood vessels.

Being shot with a bow might be 'an extremely traumatic experience', but it's far less traumatic than getting shot! I'd much rather try to remove an arrow than fish out bullet fragments.

First and second generation smallarms were perfectly capable of defeating armour. Steel shot was often used for this purpose. They were better at it than bows.

A very skill longbowman could get off around 10 shots a minute, but that's standing still (ie no dodge checks!) with the arrows stuck in the ground next to him, rather than using a quiver. Having a bow fire faster than any form of self-loading rifle is simply not in fitting with the rule set. In fact; having it fire any faster than any single-shot weapon seems a bit off, too. Perhaps equal to, but not in excess of.

Bows aren't actually silent. But then neither are 'silenced' weapons, so NM!

 

 

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BangBangTequila said:

 

Compare the damage an arrow may do with the damage of a boltgun.. A self-propelled shell that punches through armour and then explodes is so vastly superior to any bow that it is difficult to analogize. The damage code provided RAW is generous, in my opinion, since arrows do not have Hydrostatic shock in their favour, nor are they capable of negating something as advanced as Storm Trooper Carapace, period. 1d10 R, with Pen 2 if provided the Mono upgrade, with a base range of 30m is about the maximum that could be hoped for when wielding one.

For range, consider that while in eras past, bows were effective out to as much as 300 m, this was when used in volleys against massive numbers of targets. A single arrow would take at least 5-10 seconds to impact a target 300m away, and that would involve no wind, and more importantly the target not noticing that there's one arrow flying slowly towards him and refusing to step out of the way. There wouldn't even be a need for a dodge test, just for him to be aware of the arrow. At 120 m, impact time would be under 6 seconds, and so while I would rule that at Long or Extreme range the target gets a +10 or +20 bonus, it would require a dodge test.

Flavour should never justify making something totally unrealistic and unbalanced. You want to play a feral worlder who uses his native weaponry? Fine, but don't trivialize the ultra-modern weaponry so you're not a chump in ranged combat.

[/Reality rant]

 

 

This.

I like bows, but the stats are just a bit absurd.

Why equip a space marine with a bolter when he can do 1d10+10 PEN 6 with a bow?

I think the attempt is noble, but the stats are based on real world tropes rather than in balance with the other weapons available. Furthermore they are based on tropes which are simply not at all true (re: Rate of fire, lethality, range, armour penetration, et cetera).

If bows are in any way better than rifles, then there's a problem with the stats.

 

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 Also: Accurate trait for bows?!!!

Compound bows in DH already have the trait? Grief: How did I miss that?! Bizarre... That's... daft. Being able to fire indirectly doesn't mean that a weapon is accurate. Additionally arrows fire in an arc, so it's not possible to hit anyone close behind hard cover with a bow-shot, because arrows don't fall vertically.

'A steel bodkin in real life can fire 50 yards and bury itself into a foot of solid oak' - Erm...this means nothing. How FAR can it bury itself? One could equally state that a pen-knife can be buried into a piece of solid oak 15 miles deep.

Bows cannot match firearms in today's world. That's why they aren't used. They have less energy, less accuracy, less range, slower rate of fire, less soft tissue and armour penetration, cannot be fired prone or in many awkward situations, are more subject to precipitation and wind, the ammunition is heavy, etc. 

Also: Other specialised medieval anti-armour weapons: bec de corbon, poleaxe, mace, estoc (and every other thrusting sword, including all two-handed swords), etc.

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TempestSatori said:

So in short. Arrows kill people in armour and were the primary means of doing so, until a sword, the rapier, based on the design of an arrow, made the use of armour obsolete. So yeah there's that.

At a 30m range that means the max range of a bow is 120m, which is total horseshit, Period

Bows are accurate, they may not have the range of rifles, but as the needle pistol shows us, range has nothing to do with how accurate something is or not. Plenty of uses of the bow could shoot a moving man or animal in the eye with a bow regularly, so yes accurate.

Ok a combat round is 5 seconds, note that semi-auto is a full round action, a lot of ancient armies required an archer to fire 3 arrows in 6 seconds, so yes a semi-auto of 2 on bows that aren't longbows is fine, and perfectly realistic. Also Legolas could regularly fire that many or more arrows in less time while on the move.

The first statement is completely untrue. Also: The rapier is a civilian weapon and was never designed to penetrate armour. The rapier was in no way designed to replicate the arrow. It was an evolution of the sword. 

The accurate range of a bow against single targets is too far off that range. Bows could fire further indirectly at mass targets. Likewise, you can use a heavy machinegun for indirect fire to create a beaten zone, but you can't hit a single target at that range. Heck: Even early matchlocks were used as indirect fire weapons on the battlefield. Also (and again) the weapons don't need ranges based on real life, but upon ranges given of other weapons. If a bow can out-shoot any rifle: There's a problem. Yes: That's not 'realistic' range, but being able to be shot three times without any real effect isn't, either. Stats need to conform to the game's paradigms.

Which ancient armies required their archers to fire 3 arrows in 6 seconds. Source? Legolas does not count...

Bullets do not create a vacuum within the target. They do the reverse; as the shockwave creates a temporary wound cavity far greater than the calibre. Arrows do not do this. Hyrdostatic damage is far less pleasant than being stabbed. Hydrostatic shock causes damage even outside of the wound cavity.

Can you cite any source for your 'a foot into solid oak' thing? If that were true, arrows would blow right through people, and there's be no 'arrow sticking out' of wounds. You'd be able to shoot through 1cm of steel plate without difficulty.

I'm not sure where you're getting your ideas about penetration of bullets, but remember: Overpenetration = less energy delivered = less damage. Bullets designed for use against soft targets are designed to tumble and fragment, while delivering ALL of their damage. If you make an armour piercing round it'll happily cruise through a human, but that reduces the damage. Can you cite some sources for your penetration figures? A good depth of penetration for anti-personal ammunition is about 8 inches: Enough to penetrate soft tissue to a depth where there are vital organs, from any aspect of the target.

 

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 In the game that my friends and I have been playing, we had one person who wanted to use a bow for his character who was a feral world assassin, so we came up with a number of rules on bows that seemed to fit in line with the rest of the world fairly well and did not unbalance things in practical application.

The stats on the standard bow were as follows:

Bow - Basic - 40m - s/-/- - 1d10+SB R - Pen 1 - Clip 1 - Rld Half - Primitive/Reliable

In addition to this we allowed the use of all melee weapon upgrades. He could purchase mono, shock, chain, or power weapons to lose the primitive quality. This made it so that with mono arrows the pen would be at 3, so not out of line with man-stoppers, and chain could give rending, and power would add 5 damage as well as increase the pen by 4. It made it more balanced.

When he had to burn a fate point to be saved from death and came back as a large robot we even outfitted him with a Great Bow, adding an extra d10 of damage.

The combination of being able to take time to aim (a feature not available to melee), and also getting the ammo upgrades as well as SB to damage (features not available to ranged), ended up balancing everything out. Also, we kept the cost of the upgrades for mono, chain and power, and made it so that he was buying a quiver's worth. Unlike other ammo you might have the possibility of recovering some and being able to continue using it.

Again, this is what worked for us, and you're welcome to take these rules to use for yourself or modify them. Balance is just a very important part of the game.

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In general, bows should be worse then guns (which are already somewhat underpowered to make melee possible). as part of a medieval re-enactment group, we use bows for demonstrations, and while none of our people are medieval marksmen, you would be lucky to hit a target at 100m. in battle, with rank and file soldiers against volley fire, the chances of serious damage went up. You always shot for the horse of an incoming knight (bigger target) in order to bring down all the knights following and break up the momentum of the charge.

 

one instance in our campaign of RT, however, had the PC's coming into contact with a civilisation that used a field that amplified force applied to it. seriously high dark age stuff, but it meant that the bows they used acted as exponential multipliers of the shooter's strength. Now, the bows did have a power requirement (power cells that only this civ could produce) but the look on my PC's face as an arrow spitted a carapace armoured storm trooper was pricelss. They came in various models but in general they added strength to damage, to pen (base pen 2) and extended range by 5ms per point of str bonus. the shooter mentioed above had unatural strength as well...

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Bilateralrope said:

Proof for these kills at 100m ?
Note that I'm looking for proof that the archer could kill a specific person at 100m, not aim into a crowd and kill someone.

 

im not a great archer but with my 60 pound compound bow we where mucking around at the club and i got 5 out of 6 arrows within a 30cm circle in one end at a range of 110ish meters. when i first tried to sight in i missed to first 2 shots completly and with the third hit the steel frame alone the top  (about 8mm thick) and completely destroyed the arrow( target arrows, carbon shafts, pushed the tip about half way down the shaft good waste of 25 bucks). thus it possible for anyone with a reasonble amount of training. if you where a really good archer geared with a real hunting bow and a sight with multipul elevations hitting somthing at those ranges would be easy.  I have never shot with a stronger than 60pound bow or over 110m. we tried pinging rabbits with it from around 70 meters couldnt hit a thing, There is a lot of diference from shooting at a target exactly the same level of the ground and something on the ground not 10 meter increments away from you

i think a range of 40 is about right.

3- 20 is easyish

20-80 ,

80-120 over 100 get realy hard( that 5 out of 6 end mentioned above was a fluke and we shot about 10 endsof realy horrible shots)

120- 160

while you could hit at ranges well over this trying to keep them inline with what the game represents is more important

inconcern to the topic if you want to make legolas make the archer good not the bow. make up traits and talents for the PC to make them awsome. in my game i have a group of hunters that are expert bowmen and a NPC ally. i increased thier chance to RF (on 9-10 for hunters and 8-10 for Eli) and gave them talented bows(+20 bs with bows). other skills would be suitable. that way somone cant just pick up a super turok tech bow and destry everyone but someone with the training can take out your eye from 50 paces.

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Siranui said:

 

What you say about 'not as vulnerable as other infantry' was a role already covered by Light Infantry. Companies and sometimes entire regiments of them were employed to skirmish ahead of the line or advancing column in loose order to disperse opposing skirmishers and to snipe officers and NCOs. The British military even went to the effort of creating an experimental rifle-equipped regiment in order to deliver more accurate fire.

Apparently a good way of dealing with cavalry was to lay down. Horses don't like treading on other animals. Apparently. Took some guts to try though, I'd imagine.

Oh, yes, Light Infantry were deployed in skirmish formation to be less vulnerable to fire, but musket armed soldiers were not primarily designed to fight like that. Skirmishers could be a significant nuisance on the battlefield, but they still had to make way for close formation units putting out concentrated firepower (and had to get relatively close to be effective). Archers would almost certainly take a more dispersed formation as normal (but for massed shooting probably less dispersed than a skirmishing unit would). As far as lying down is concerned, it means that an archer cannot fire at all. Riflemen (and I presume musketeers if properly trained) could reload lying down, and fire. Presumably slowed down reload times though... and I agree about guts to try it. Even without the possibility of being stood upon by a horse you would ver vulnerable to the guy on the horse, if he has a long weapon (lancers).

An experimental Regiment? At least 2 were raised, and Baker rifles were issued to some other skirmishing and light infantry units.

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Thanks for posting this, consider the extra rounds for bows used in my campaigns... but what about more complex bows and explosive arrows i always thought that they could be a useful round if just tweaked a little bit.

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Rhetoric said:

 

 The stats on the standard bow were as follows:

Bow - Basic - 40m - s/-/- - 1d10+SB R - Pen 1 - Clip 1 - Rld Half - Primitive/Reliable

In addition to this we allowed the use of all melee weapon upgrades. He could purchase mono, shock, chain, or power weapons to lose the primitive quality. This made it so that with mono arrows the pen would be at 3, so not out of line with man-stoppers, and chain could give rending, and power would add 5 damage as well as increase the pen by 4. It made it more balanced.

......

Again, this is what worked for us, and you're welcome to take these rules to use for yourself or modify them. Balance is just a very important part of the game.

 

 

 

That is useful, and thank you. I like the idea of this, seems about right, though I think halving the strength bonus (rounding down) would be more in line with game balance, which is something I wish to maintain above and beyond making bows a little more accurately portrayed and a little more useful. I think I would also keep Accurate on the Compound Bow but that's part of RAW so its not really an issue.

 

And Bilateralope thanks for the anecdote and the input.

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After doing some research of my own via some Q&A with my father who was one of the state champion archers as well as an avid shooter/hunter and a simple demostration/explanation of the dynamics of things.  Ill explain the test that was used as a matter of course.

To recreate this ( if you doubt the results which i know from reading some of you will ) youll need a good bit of sand and 3 of the simple 5 gallon plastic buckets.

Take the 3 buckets and fill them all to the top with sand.

Bucket 1 ) shot at 20yds with a 9mm Beretta ( penetration was only about 3 inches in )

Bucket 2) shot at 20yrds with a 30-06 Remington model 770 ( penetration was a little over halfway )

Bucket 3) Shot at 20yrds with a 80lb Compound Hunting bow (hunting tip ) (Penetration was clean through the other side - arrow was halfway OUT the other side of the bucket )

This test shows that at close ranges..the Bows Penetration is GREATER than your avg bullet and your mathematics are WRONG....for the simple reason its trying to compare apples and oranges...YES they are both ballistic weapons YES a arrow is travelling at a much slower rate BUT...it is heavier than a bullet AND has all its energy designed to focus at the very tip of a BLADE..not a effectively blunted bullet head and THAT is where your equation fails....

The bullet is designed to stay inside the person to effect large damage so it looses its velocity/inertia upon impact as all standard rounds will cavitate and usually mushroom up or break apart..elimanating their penetration value!.  An arrow tip is a lightweight high density alloy with a razor tip and blade at the front..giving it ALOT more penetration than any of your standard rounds.  Or if you wanted a different test for Penetration vs modern armors..i offer this one.

take 1 standard kevlar vest ( level 1 or 2 ) and put it on a manequin ( so it fits right and doesnt have any "give' to it on impact. and set it at the same 20yrds

Now shoot it with the a 9mm pistol....It wont penetrate at all

Now shoot it with the 30-06....it can penetrate but wont do much if it does ( standard ammo type )

Finally shoot it with the hunting bow with a hunting tip....The arrow will go through the vest in front and out the backside of it on the other side!

Modern soft armours are designed to prevent high speed blunted force impacts of bullets but they are paper mache agains BLADES ( Thats why SORT team members in prisons use whats called Shank or Stab vests/armor ) This armor prevents the blades from penetrating.

As far as houserules go for things i have it like this. ALL your standard soft armours count as Primative ( half AP ) against a blade OR bow ( normal against all else ) ALL your carapace and hard armors count as normal against Arrows. I do it this way because it prevents the arrow from being actually viable against carapace etc...but deadly to anyone wearing softer cloth based armours.

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Cobramax76 said:

Modern soft armours are designed to prevent high speed blunted force impacts of bullets but they are paper mache agains BLADES ( Thats why SORT team members in prisons use whats called Shank or Stab vests/armor ) This armor prevents the blades from penetrating.

As far as houserules go for things i have it like this. ALL your standard soft armours count as Primative ( half AP ) against a blade OR bow ( normal against all else ) ALL your carapace and hard armors count as normal against Arrows. I do it this way because it prevents the arrow from being actually viable against carapace etc...but deadly to anyone wearing softer cloth based armours.

 

The mistake you're making there is assuming that flak armour is the same as modern kevlar. Sure it's got a similar description but this is a universe where close combat is ubiquitous and the most common firearm is the las-gun - I think it's pretty unlikely that they'll be using the same armour we do. Then think about the enemies of the guard; orcs, khorne and slaanesh traitors, demons, 'nids, eldar,  kroot all use combat readily (or even near-exclusively) while only orcs use conventional firearms (I mean hell, eldar and d eldar use blades and needles, and flak armour is just as effective against them as anything else)

 

"So in short. Arrows kill people in armour and were the primary means of doing so, until a sword, the rapier, based on the design of an arrow, made the use of armour obsolete. So yeah there's that."

Or not, thought I'd throw in this video of an arrow against the plate armour it supposedly does so well against. Sure it penetrates ... just ... and from a range of 20m. The knight wouldn't have been injured at all, not a glowing recommendation. (And neither rapiers nor arrows were used to kill people in armour, that honour went to war hammers and flails which either punched through the armour or pulverised the flesh beneath it).

Longbows were used against knights but they were used to kill the lightly armoured horses which disrupted the charge and allowed the hammer-wielding foot soldiers to close without getting run down.

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Your modern Flak armours are akin to ( but not quite the same as ) Shank armour/stab vests used by SORT..this i KNOW as fact having worn and worked with both ( prior Army and corrections SORT team member )..However the Flak armour would be of use against a bow given its design is to lessen/prevent the soldier from getting shreded by shrapnel from explosions ( NOT bullets ) So i would actually say that the Flak armour does count as normal ( Not primative ) against bows ( i thought of the flak armour afte the initial posting and how it could work vs bows ) but as for all your mesh and bodyglove type armours..they really offer little to no protection against a good bow ( or anything with a blade for that matter )  Simply put some weapons are better at defeating certain armours than others are...what might be good against one type might be crap against another and vice versa...ultimately its up to the GM to decide.

ALL your SP class weapons are nothing different than we have currently. We dont have Las weapons at this point ( at least not for battlefield use of soldiers ) and Plasma weaponry...lol thats gonna take some time...BUT..as far as the armours and ANY Plasma weapon hit..SORRY Charlie but your TOAST if your wearing anything less than carapace armour...I dont give a S**t what the book says...simply put...They didnt think bout it all..My group ( as ive sated in older posts ) are all prior soldiers and technicians...they enjoy coming up with what most consider off the wall things using real principles ( giving me a headache or a good laugh one or the other usually ) in order to solve the challenges i toss at them

Long and short of it would be that Plasma weaponry by its very definition will annihilate ANY soft/cloth based armour you toss at it in one shot due to the simple fact of the physics involved in creating plasma ( This is NOT simply a hot round of gas....its burning highly energized matter at several thousand degrees!...sorry but even IF you wore armour that took the hit..your still screwed from the ambient heat wash sufficient to (1) knock you on your arse and (2) sufficient to cook off ANY solid state ammo you have in addition to charring your body and melting most substances down onto your body causing excruciating pain ( and secondary damage )

Lesson for it...Only use the rules listed in the books as general guidelines and streamline your sessions as GM however you want to make it fun for everyone as well as easy ( Rule of Cool )...In my groups case..thats taking a more reality twist to things...afterall the game is supposed to be about more than hack and slash...its supposed to promote thinking...lol and trying to figure out how to get around heavy weapons like that and owning the enemywithout getting trounced in the process is something my group ( to date ) has accelled at using "reality based" rules ( with some added technowizardry thrown in for added fun )

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Ok folks take it from a a guy that shoots long bows, cross bows and such. A good bowman can get sub moa at 100 yards just like a guy with a tricked out 5.56 seen it done it. Yes bows are very nasty when it comes to arrowheads just look them up on google.

 Second a bodkin can piece modern Kevlar body armour from a 60 lb long bow and kevlar is flack armour in 40k.

Byron Ferguson Howard Hill are rated as the top long bowman in history for accuracy and speed with a long at 20 yards Byron is hitting aspirin  and hill took bull elephants with his long bow.

As to how longbows and other arrow throwers have represented in 40k i agree they have been treated wrong and need redone.

Edit archers went for limbs were the armour was lighter most archers aimed for joints at close range 50 yards in at 100 yards it was the horse that got hit.

Edited by Ironpanther

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Sorry for the rant folks i am very passionate about traditional archery. I have been thinking of a way to make use of the characters STR adjustment. 

For damage use the adjustment ( lets say 4 ) for armour pen us half that number (+2 pen) it would represent the character train a long time with the bow.

Again sorry about the rant. 

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