Handguns vs crossbows - ideas to make handguns a better choice

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  • Smythen wrote:

    @Bloody MIsfire
    Pibes and drums FTW.
    Command for light infantry should just be free.period. (Actually for all empire troops)

    I believe we should avoid, bajonets as not to go too far forward in history.

    Aghh my eye, the light of epiphany burns me!

    I think this is the winner, free command for all EoS units, that would be the armywide special rule that EoS lacks. It would make none deathstar lists more usable but do nearly nothing in terms of power of the 2-3 standard EoS lists.

    Some people would start talking about an overall price increase of all units, but test this, make some lists, play a game or two. I think you will find this to be very balanced without a price increase.

    Special rule: Conscript army, all units in the EoS book comes with Champion, Standard and musician at no additional cost, unless stated otherwise in the unit description.

    -Cort
  • Cortrillion wrote:

    Smythen wrote:

    @Bloody MIsfire
    Pibes and drums FTW.
    Command for light infantry should just be free.period. (Actually for all empire troops)

    I believe we should avoid, bajonets as not to go too far forward in history.
    Aghh my eye, the light of epiphany burns me!

    I think this is the winner, free command for all EoS units, that would be the armywide special rule that EoS lacks. It would make none deathstar lists more usable but do nearly nothing in terms of power of the 2-3 standard EoS lists.

    Some people would start talking about an overall price increase of all units, but test this, make some lists, play a game or two. I think you will find this to be very balanced without a price increase.

    Special rule: Conscript army, all units in the EoS book comes with Champion, Standard and musician at no additional cost, unless stated otherwise in the unit description.

    -Cort
    I don't like the name. But agree with your assesment.
    Spitballing names:
    Pibes and drums.
    Drilled army
    hierarchical chain of command
    Superior chain of command
    Bureaukratic chain of command
    Army signalling system.
    Profesional army
    Zzzzx please continue op
    and I still believe; Light infantry should fight and shoot in 3 ranks, FREE command groups for EoS units. Imperial Guards should have weaponmaster and both parent and support, and that halbardiers should wear heavy armor. Brace for impact should be changed to, or there should be an extra order: " Have at THEM!" The unit gain battle focus.
    For Sunna and the Emperor!!

    The post was edited 2 times, last by Smythen ().

  • I think it would be great if parent/support units got the Free Commands.
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  • SadlerCPII wrote:

    I think it would be great if parent/support units got the Free Commands.
    There is no free lunch.

    While I agree on the point that it would be nice to see more Banners in our units, i don't think this would really help gameplay whise. I don't see the benefit in this suggestion. More expensive and thus less flexible units doesn't sound that good to me.

    What would a mandatory command group (and that is what you and @Smythenare suggesting if im not wrong) do for those units?
  • How about making handgunners range 18", S5, AP3, Unwieldy? All else same as now.

    That'd make them even more powerful shooters on a point by point basis, at the expense of being even more dependent on being in the right place at the right time. Leading them to be used in a more mobile way along with parent units, as they'd have to to get those shots in, but would need fewer shots per game than before to be worth it.
    Sunna is not with the big battalions, but with the ones whose parts move with the best coordination.
  • Also, no to bayonets. Not as long as T9A is supposed to be an internally consistent fantasy world where basic physics and basic human physiology are the same as in the real world, and the inhabitants of the world aren't stupid.

    There's a reason for why bayonets only became a thing when they historically did. Before that, guns were either too short (arquebuses) or too heavy (fork-rested muskets) for bayonets to be a viable weapon compared with just giving the gunner a sidearm. And when the bayoneted flintlock musket finally came around, it changed the nature of infantry by replacing both shooter and close combat infantry with one general-purpose kind, an evolution that would have happened in Sonnstahl too in such a case.
    Sunna is not with the big battalions, but with the ones whose parts move with the best coordination.
  • Konrad von Richtmark wrote:

    How about making handgunners range 18", S5, AP3, Unwieldy? All else same as now.

    That'd make them even more powerful shooters on a point by point basis, at the expense of being even more dependent on being in the right place at the right time. Leading them to be used in a more mobile way along with parent units, as they'd have to to get those shots in, but would need fewer shots per game than before to be worth it.
    That sounds very powerful.....what about S5, no AP? handguns used to have poor armour petration in the XVI century.
  • Konrad von Richtmark wrote:

    How about making handgunners range 18", S5, AP3
    I do not think, this would solve the problem. Here's why: Ultimately you have two very similar units (same CC, same kind of not-mobility) with different shooting profile. How effective shooting is, is basically a simple function: How many opposing models can I kill with this unit? (There is a second minor one, that would be "can I zone opposing units")

    Currently it looks like this:
    Crossbows can shoot more often and have bigger short range vs Handguns do more damage per shot

    If most players prefer Crossbows over Handguns, then it is because the first part (shoot more often) outweighs the more damage part and the Crossbows actually do more damage overall.

    Making the Handgun more extreme (even shorter range, even more damage) doesn't change this fact fundamentally. Crossbows are still the unit to shoot on turn one, and with your suggestion, Handguns might even not be able to shoot turn two as well. So I would guess the overall function on damage output would still favour the handguns. Especially if the opponent also has shooting and you can't just sit there and let them come to you.

    If you think something needs to be fixed, I would look into other directions, mainly:
    • Make Crossbows S4 AP0: Would make Handguns stronger in comparison and Crossbows less of an "all purpose" shooter unit
    • Give Handguns special rules for specific situations, e.g. an improved Stand&Shoot output: This might differentiate the two: Crossbows better if left unattended by the enemy. Handgunners better, if the opponent charges.
    • Differentiate the two on other aspects like mobility, CC, or costs: Could have potential, but I doubt it's worth the effort.

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  • DarkSky wrote:

    Konrad von Richtmark wrote:

    How about making handgunners range 18", S5, AP3
    I do not think, this would solve the problem. Here's why: Ultimately you have two very similar units (same CC, same kind of not-mobility) with different shooting profile. How effective shooting is, is basically a simple function: How many opposing models can I kill with this unit? (There is a second minor one, that would be "can I zone opposing units")
    Currently it looks like this:
    Crossbows can shoot more often and have bigger short range vs Handguns do more damage per shot

    If most players prefer Crossbows over Handguns, then it is because the first part (shoot more often) outweighs the more damage part and the Crossbows actually do more damage overall.

    Making the Handgun more extreme (even shorter range, even more damage) doesn't change this fact fundamentally. Crossbows are still the unit to shoot on turn one, and with your suggestion, Handguns might even not be able to shoot turn two as well. So I would guess the overall function on damage output would still favour the handguns. Especially if the opponent also has shooting and you can't just sit there and let them come to you.

    If you think something needs to be fixed, I would look into other directions, mainly:
    • Make Crossbows S4 AP0: Would make Handguns stronger in comparison and Crossbows less of an "all purpose" shooter unit
    • Give Handguns special rules for specific situations, e.g. an improved Stand&Shoot output: This might differentiate the two: Crossbows better if left unattended by the enemy. Handgunners better, if the opponent charges.
    • Differentiate the two on other aspects like mobility, CC, or costs: Could have potential, but I doubt it's worth the effort.

    totally agree.
    I would make handguns more mobile. To better work with the parent support system.
    range 18" remove unwieldy - and options to take 0-3 marksmans pennant (our make it an upgrade to handguns.
    Maybe even ad light armor.
    all at same cost to begin with.
    and I still believe; Light infantry should fight and shoot in 3 ranks, FREE command groups for EoS units. Imperial Guards should have weaponmaster and both parent and support, and that halbardiers should wear heavy armor. Brace for impact should be changed to, or there should be an extra order: " Have at THEM!" The unit gain battle focus.
    For Sunna and the Emperor!!
  • Unwieldy totally makes no sense on any of them. Those weapons are loaded before shooting and once loaded can easily be shot very quickly. The thing that makes them unwieldy is their significant reload time (for handguns obviously depends on the level of technology we talk about). Once armed, it's definitely easier to run and then shoot a crossbow, than say running and then draw and fire a bow (and be steady enough to aim).

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  • Casp wrote:

    Well it make sens, as unwieldy represent the time of reload.
    But maybe could we rethink this.
    I agree on the fact, that you should have a rule, which represents the long time of reload. But currently the Unwieldly rule targets the exact wrong thing, i.e. the time between "walking" and "shooting", which is something those weapons are actually better at, than Bows.

    If you want to model longer reload times, you need to look at their rate of fire or introduce a "reload" action the unit needs to perform. The first one could be (loose thoughts here): Unit can't S&S if fired during their turn.

    The second one I already proposed once, but got the feedback, that it's too complicated: Units have state of "ready to fire". If they shoot, they lose it. During movement phase, the unit can opt to not move and then be ready to fire again. (Obviously this includes the former one).

    In both cases, the unit needs to lose the current unwieldy and consequently would get Quick to Fire.

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  • @DarkSky this second option sounds quite nice actually! Considering unwieldy would be removed in this case (or changed to fit your description), this would be an elegant way to improve the initial mobility of these units, thus reducing the gap crossbow/handgun since both would then be able to outreach weapons & spells with range 24".
    After the first volley though, each movement or shoot would have to be thought out one turn in advance: this might as well be a further tactical depth, or simply players would move these units even less once they have shot once.
  • Casp wrote:

    Well it make sens, as unwieldy represent the time of reload.
    But maybe could we rethink this.
    It's worth pointing out that the reload times on man-portable crossbows and handguns were not that long. (An arquebus - 15th century firearm - had a reload time of ~30s with a trained soldier, a rate modern re-enactors are able to accomplish while maneuvering. Crossbows were slightly longer. That's not a long time when a whole battle is split up into 6 turns).

    Further, no one is firing as fast as they can as individuals. Not even archers. They'd be firing in volleys (ie, massed fire all together - what volley fire actually means). That delay imposed by volley firing signals is substantially greater than the reload time.

    And logistics matter. No one can carry arbitrary numbers of arrows or bullets, and these things are expensive (especially arrows). Even if the archers are capable of 20 shots/minute, they're going to run out of arrows in ~2-3 minutes. So if we're providing potentially continuous fire over the course of a whole battle, clearly all ranged units are pacing their shots such that reload times aren't of any consequence. (Even arquebusiers didn't carry hundreds of shots, although shot was easier to carry than arrows).
    Just because I'm on the Legal Team doesn't mean I know anything about rules or background in development, and if/when I do, I won't be posting about it. All opinions and speculation are my own - treat them as such.

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