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Medieval Crossbows... stats, clarification and confusion

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  • Medieval Crossbows... stats, clarification and confusion

    Just a few points for consideration around the stats and rules for medieval crossbows and a couple of other bits

    Page 105 says that it takes a round to load a crossbow bolt, which is the same time required to load a clip or magazine. So this in essence this means an M-16 or AK47 can be loaded in the same amount of time it takes to span a 500 year old crossbow.

    No explanation between a crossbow and a heavy crossbow seems to exist and on page 171 “hand crossbows” are mentioned, but not referenced anywhere else. Is the 'heavy crossbow' meant to be a representation of what most people think of as as the medieval crossbow as seen in Hollywood?

    If so, then it seems way too heavy. The minimum strength makes no sense as crossbows are loaded via mechanical advantage through something like a windless or goat's foot. The strength of the user has no bearing on the weapons power and 2 actions seems quite a fast time to span and load an old crossbow.

    The range and power of the heavy crossbow are on par, and in fact better than a long bow (AP2 for the xbow). This is historically inaccurate. The long bow took years of training to use and draw and it's range, power and penetrating ability were far superior. A crossbow could be picked up and used with minimal training by just about anyone that can point it (its primary advantage); a long bow could not. If you mean the long bow to be just that – a bow bigger than the regular bow, then that kind of works, but if you mean this as a representation of the English war bow (from the likes of Agincourt etc.) then it's not a weapon an average man can use – even a strong man (hence why it reigned supreme for a couple of hundred years or so before quickly dying out as the skills were lost).

    There is no mention of the medieval handgonne – a terrifying portable mini-cannon that's basically a crude metal tube on stick and is aimed in the vague direction of the enemy. Extremely popular in Europe and mercenary groups but useless in the wet.

  • #2
    Fixed some of it...but there's some game balance in here that's tough to address given the FFF nature of our game. Yes, the real advantage of crossbows is that they're easier to use, but that's not a level of detail we get into in our game. We also have to find some game balance between different types of bows and crossbows. This is also one of the weird places where you don't really want to get hung up on the GENERAL idea of a round being six seconds. In reality, they're kinda variable and take into account all kinds of pauses or minor actions you see in real life that don't get simulated in game.