Saturday, November 28, 2009

Where is the place of the Bow in a Realistic GURPS Game.

In realistic conditions, Bows are still very advantageous despite their reduced comparative effectiveness to fantasy ranged combat. The opportunity expense of learning to use them (4cp) and acquiring them are still very favorable. Soldiers and freeman warriors would have the skill. It would be cost-effective that every party member get a 2cp on bow, 1cp on fastdraw, and 1cp on weapon bond (if your not following MA's perk limitations) if they have a DX of 12.

Characters can easily purchase a Longbow or if they have a patron to equip them, they can get a Composite Bow. Trained to proficiency a Kinestheticaly able Combatant would have a Bow-13 (Weapon Bond).

In most realistic scenarios where speed is limited to human norms, application of wilderness conditions, and considerations of visibility the “First Strike” advantage of a bow can mean death or survival.

If you consider realistic conditions, any terrain less stable than packed earth of worn roads will have movement penalties (giving time to archers). I would adjudicate Running+DX check if you want to move at full, without tripping. Penalty appropriate to the terrain, starting with +0 (challenging) at dirt pitted roads to -5 to inclined rocky or thickly rooted forest floor. Failure in such would reduce move to half, make it will allow for an arbitrary distance covered at full move (representing great footing). (critical is a trip) (I got the experience in soccer when playing in uncultivated fields; you cant run in grassy when you can't see the pitted areas, you'll easily break an ankle at full speed)

At 1d+1 imp (ST11 for Longbow) or 1d+2 (ST11 for composite bow) allowing for an engagement beginning at a distance as little 20yrs/m away (-6, and the visible engagement distance in fairly dense forest) and opponents are, at most, lightly encumbered. You will have a difficult scenario like below.

1 sec - (knocked arrow) Aim (skill-13+3)
2 sec - Aim (skill-13+3)
3 sec - AoA:D Fire (skill-13+3+1) (assume a the opponent covers 15yrd, -2; effective-14) and Fastdraw weapon (ideally reach-2 weapon).

A worse case scenario is when the opponents are better at ranged combat and have terrain advantage.

A similar effect can be achieved by using Bonded Balanced-Javelins ($200) at a charging opponent. As a GM, I would adjudicate javelins mounted behind shields easy to reach to be a DX check for fast draw).

This would be typical of Byzantine Soldiers (all were required to be proficient in around the Dark Ages, see Strategikon) and Chinese soldiers.

Scenario.

To prevent Imperial Soldiers from getting restless, they were set loose on the country side of “barbarian” territories to keep them busy. They tear up the place, and actually get carried away with their military exercise. They begin demanding tribute, as the exercise's costs go up. In a diffusely populated region that had not seen so many well armed and organized forces, these “barbarians” find themselves being plundered. Aid is called and, several of the Freemen assemble themselves to fight the Soldiers.

Terrain- Far from the empire's borders with few good roads. Diverse Terrain, the reason why growth in the region is slow and the population is diffuse.


6C Roman Soldiers. 110cp (75+35) 5cp left

ST11, DX12, IQ10, HT11

Move 4 (light encumbered); DR4/2 (body), DR4 head

Combat Reflex

Patron (roman army; minimal intervention, provides equipment, freq-6)*

Primary Skills:

  • Broadsword-12 (broadsword 1d+1 imp/ 1d+2 cut; Parry-11)
  • Bow-12 (composite bow, 1d+2 imp, Acc3)
  • Fastdraw (arrows)-13
  • Spear-12 (Longspear 1d+1 imp, Reach-2, Parry-11U)
  • Shield-12 (Small Shield, DB+1; Block-11)
  • Knife-12 (Long knife 1d-1imp/1d-1 cut)
  • Wrestling-11
  • Brawling-12
  • Throwing spear-12 (Javelin 1d imp, Acc3, 11yrd/16yrds)

Secondary Skills:

  • Soldier-12
  • Hiking-12
  • Packing-9
  • Riding-12
  • Running-10
  • Survival (Temperate)-9
  • Navigation-9
  • Savoir-Faire (Soldier)-10
  • Animal Handling (horses)-9
  • Stealth-12

Background Skills:

  • Theology (Orthodox Christianity)-8
  • Literature (Folk lore)-8
  • History (Local)-8
  • Housekeeping-10
  • Farming-12

*a patron that provides “equipment” (like an army).

6C Freemen Warriors. 110cp (75+35)

ST11, DX12, IQ10, HT11

Move 4 (light encumbered); DR 3 (Torso), DR 4 (Head)

Combat Reflex

Wealth (Comfortable)

Primary Skills:

  • Broadsword-12 (broadsword 1d+1 imp/ 1d+2 cut; Parry-11)
  • Bow-12 (Composite Bow 1d+2 imp, Acc3)
  • Fastdraw (arrows)-13
  • Axe/Mace-12 (Axe 1d+3 cut; Parry-11U)
  • Spear-12 (Longspear 1d+1 imp; reach-2, Parry-11U)
  • Shield-12 (Small Shield, DB+1, Block-11)
  • Knife-12 (Long knife 1d-1imp/1d-1 cut)
  • Wrestling-12
  • Brawling-12
  • Throwing spear-12 (Javelin 1d imp, Acc3, 11yrd/16yrds)
Secondary Skills:
  • Soldier-10
  • Hiking-12
  • Packing-9
  • Running-10
  • Riding-12
  • Hands-free Riding (riding-2)-12
  • Survival (Temperate)-9
  • Navigation-9
  • Savoir-Faire (warrior)-10
  • Intimidation-10
  • Animal Handling (horses)-9

Background Skills:

  • Theology (Pagan)-8
  • Literature (Folk lore)-8
  • History (Local)-8
  • Housekeeping-10
  • Tracking-12
  • Area Knowledge-10

Use The Legionary Eqiupment Load Out.

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