Bow vs Longbow

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Redpossum
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Bow vs Longbow

Post by Redpossum » Tue Sep 23, 2008 6:00 pm

Right, this question is about the differences between Bow and Longbow. I am specifically excluding Bow* from everything I write from this point onwards.

There are a couple interesting threads going about Longbows, mainly that one about Skirmishers in an English HYW army.

Looking carefully, the only difference I can see is in the modifiers against Armored and Heavy Armored targets.

So the comments about LB "vaporising" skirmishers should also apply to Bow, not so ? If they are MF, Bow troops should have the same impressive 10 MU "reach", allowing for a 4 MU move and 6 MU max range.

Bow should should be just as effective against LH, assuming they are Protected or Unprotected, and I think Armored LH are scarce as honest politicians, are they not?

Now, I do understand that even if all the above is true, play in open tournament revolves around Armored and Heavy Armored troops, and the greatly increased effectiveness of LB against such targets makes the difference between viability and non-viability.

There is also the matter of stakes, which seem to increase the puissance of LB greatly, but those are an attribute of specific armies, rather than an inherent feature of Longbows, are they not?

Anyhow, forgive me please if these are dumb questions, or if I'm missing something. I just felt the need to get some clarification here :)

jlopez
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Post by jlopez » Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:00 pm

It's like every other type of unit. Depends on the environment it's operating in. The issue with protected bow-armed MF, compared to longbowmen, is that they usually lack the Swordsmen POA rather than the potentially diminished shooting ability against armoured targets. It makes them an ideal close combat target for just about everything so you usually have to make sure they have other BGs to support them. Even longbowmen shouldn't really be going upfront against large infantry units. They are much more effective against small, mounted BGs which are easier to break and where base losses will have a significant impact.

I've used them successfully (2 BGs of 8 undrilled Mf bow, 2 BGs of 8 undrilled MF, Xbow and 1 BG of 4 drilled MF, Xbow. All protected) in a Portuguese army but they were sheperded along by two BGs of knights and I deployed them last. That usually meant they didn't face anything too scary, could concentrate fire on targets or create holes in enemy lines to exploit. They were not meant to be, and nor were they, battle-winners but they certainly allowed the rest of the army to operate at an advantage in most games. However, such a diluted advantage didn't make for swift or decisive victories.

My advice would to use one or two BGs of 8 drilled MF (bow or xbow) maximum as this will be enough to sweep one flank clear of skirmishers of shooty cav but not so much that it will reduce the army's punch directly through using points or indirectly because they require supporting troops. Units of 4 drilled MF can also be incredibly effective as rear supports, to shoot through gaps between front-line units and even manoeuvre into flank charging positions.

Hope that helps.

Julian

Redpossum
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Post by Redpossum » Tue Sep 23, 2008 8:24 pm

Julian, yes, it does, and I thank you very much!

The main purpose of my post was just to be sure I have correctly understood the mechanics. Your reply implies that I have, and the fact that you added conclusions, observations, and advice on tournament implementation is a very nice bonus.

Understand please that I am very new, not just to FoG, but to miniatures as a whole. I started from zero when I began reading the FoG forums a few months ago. I wasn't even planning to get involved at first, I was just curious.

Thanks again for the courtesy of your reply, and I do hope to meet you in person some day :)

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Re: Bow vs Longbow

Post by hammy » Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:33 pm

possum wrote:Bow should should be just as effective against LH, assuming they are Protected or Unprotected, and I think Armored LH are scarce as honest politicians, are they not?
All LH are the same against both bow and longbow. So are cavalry in single rank.

In a straight up fight between 8 protected MF bow and say 6 LH bow the MF would win hands down. The MF would get 6 shots to the LHs 3 and with both sides hitting on a 4+ but the LH needing 3 hits to force a test and the MF only needing 2 it is a very one sided fight.

The issue is that as Julian pointed out plain MF bow need looking after.

I have had good results with a classical Indian army where I alternated bow and elephants then used the elephants to keep eney heavy troops honest while the bow shot them to bits. It worked very well against a mounted enemy I am not so sure how it would have gone against heavy foot.

Most longbow have the advantage that they are quite scary when shooting armoured foot and not so bad in melee against protected foot.

Redpossum
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Re: Bow vs Longbow

Post by Redpossum » Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:41 pm

hammy wrote:
possum wrote:Bow should should be just as effective against LH, assuming they are Protected or Unprotected, and I think Armored LH are scarce as honest politicians, are they not?
All LH are the same against both bow and longbow. So are cavalry in single rank.

In a straight up fight between 8 protected MF bow and say 6 LH bow the MF would win hands down. The MF would get 6 shots to the LHs 3 and with both sides hitting on a 4+ but the LH needing 3 hits to force a test and the MF only needing 2 it is a very one sided fight.

The issue is that as Julian pointed out plain MF bow need looking after.

I have had good results with a classical Indian army where I alternated bow and elephants then used the elephants to keep eney heavy troops honest while the bow shot them to bits. It worked very well against a mounted enemy I am not so sure how it would have gone against heavy foot.

Most longbow have the advantage that they are quite scary when shooting armoured foot and not so bad in melee against protected foot.
Very interesting, Hammy, thanks.

So what are the vulnerabilities of an HYW English or WOTR Longbow army? How and with what does one defeat them?

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Post by ethan » Tue Sep 23, 2008 9:42 pm

Shooting at MF can be dicey as Bow armed medium foot shoot the number of dice as the longbows. This can make an archery duel a crapshoot.

Skirmishers have trouble putting out enough dice of shooting to matter much, MF don't have that problem...

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Re: Bow vs Longbow

Post by hammy » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:00 pm

possum wrote:Very interesting, Hammy, thanks.
So what are the vulnerabilities of an HYW English or WOTR Longbow army? How and with what does one defeat them?
Well Roman legionaries will chew them up and spith them out for breakfast. OK the longbow shoot on 4+ and will get one long range shot and three effective range shots but unless they fragment the Romans with those shots and bear in mind the Romans are likely to be superior so not that easy to upset the Romans will impact at ++ and then melee at ++. Not pretty for the longbow.

Most good quality infantry will cause longbow problems, the longbow need to know when not to be there and to run away or get their men at arms to help out at the right time.

I have beaten up several BGs of 8 longbows with BGs of 4 armoured sword and buckler men.

Armoured lancer cavalry are actually quite effective unless the longow have stakes.

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Post by madmike111 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:42 am

Further to the comment about Legionaries against longbow men I would suggest adding offensive spearmen or pikes. What I would do is put a screen of the cheapest LF you can buy in front of the HF and move them up towards the archers. Don’t move the LF out of the way, just let the HF charge straight through your own skirmishers, that way the archers don’t even get a single shot at the quality guys.

Even the poorest quality skirmishers will provide protection from at least 3 rounds of fire, assuming the worse case scenario where they fail every cohesion test. Actually they should do much better as they will have rear support and command range for a +2 on the roll.

Of course after taking all that missile fire and being charged through the LF are ruined so I always go for the poor quality javelin skirmisher when available, at 2pts each they work as well skirmishers 3 times the price.

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Post by flameberge » Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:33 am

madmike111 wrote:Further to the comment about Legionaries against longbow men I would suggest adding offensive spearmen or pikes. What I would do is put a screen of the cheapest LF you can buy in front of the HF and move them up towards the archers. Don’t move the LF out of the way, just let the HF charge straight through your own skirmishers, that way the archers don’t even get a single shot at the quality guys.

Even the poorest quality skirmishers will provide protection from at least 3 rounds of fire, assuming the worse case scenario where they fail every cohesion test. Actually they should do much better as they will have rear support and command range for a +2 on the roll.

Of course after taking all that missile fire and being charged through the LF are ruined so I always go for the poor quality javelin skirmisher when available, at 2pts each they work as well skirmishers 3 times the price.
I agree with the strategy but I would suggest moving the LF out of the way at the last moment because if your using superior legionaries with a general in command range its unlikely you'll fail the CMT to charge through your skirmishers and if you do its likely to only be some of your units charging rather than all of them. If I'm not mistaken your not allowed to voluntarily fail the CMT test to not burst through.

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Post by Claudius » Wed Sep 24, 2008 6:39 am

Perhaps these observed effects are due to the way the odds are rather stacked against missile weapons:
1] For scoring hits, where the odds for close combat hits are much better than those for shooting hits.
2] For Death Rolls, +2 on die if shot at [where one loses a base by not rolling higher than the number of hits received].

Those seem to be heavy penalties for missile weaponry. On a historical basis, missile weapons were used quite effectively by a wide variety of armies. Seems like ineffectual weapons would be discarded along the way - but LB, Xbow, et al were widely employed until the advent of firearms.

It remains a mystery to me why arrays of massed/ordered pike or spearmen, especially "protected", would not simply be slaughtered by missile weapons. Yet there does not seem to be a "++" for missile weapons used against such "target rich" situations.

What historical battle results were used to generate the Scoring and Death Roll odds?

Besides seeming to make things work, what other factors were those odds based on?
Cheers!

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Post by rbodleyscott » Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:08 am

Claudius wrote:It remains a mystery to me why arrays of massed/ordered pike or spearmen, especially "protected", would not simply be slaughtered by missile weapons.
Because they weren't historically.
What historical battle results were used to generate the Scoring and Death Roll odds?
Our wide reading of historical battle accounts. More to the point, what historical battle accounts lead you to think that massed pikes/spearmen would be slaughtered by missile weapons?
(16th century artillery behind field defences doesn't count).

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Re: Bow vs Longbow

Post by nikgaukroger » Wed Sep 24, 2008 8:29 am

possum wrote:
So what are the vulnerabilities of an HYW English or WOTR Longbow army? How and with what does one defeat them?

If you have the cajones careful ganging up with shooty LH and ghilman type Cv can shred an English longbow BG and open things up. However, it isn't a great match up and you do need a bit of practice to work it out 8)

Better option is to chuck Dailami or similar at them :D
Nik Gaukroger

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If he does not, why humiliate him?" - Canon Sydney Smith

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jlopez
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Re: Bow vs Longbow

Post by jlopez » Wed Sep 24, 2008 10:22 am

possum wrote:
hammy wrote:
possum wrote:.

So what are the vulnerabilities of an HYW English or WOTR Longbow army? How and with what does one defeat them?
Vulnerabilities? Are you serious? English armies have no weaknesses even though the odd renegade leading infidel Turks may cause them the odd difficulties but nothing more. 8)

Julian

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