5E Helping melee combat to be more competitive to ranged. - Page 110
  1. #1091
    [QUOTE]]Not really. As skirmishers, the Mongols would force an enemy to set their position to fight back. This let the Mongols ride past at range firing volleys until the enemy broke or was severely reduced. This is why the typical Mongol horse archer carried a complement of 60-90 arrows. Then they'd ride past at very close range for aimed shots. For fleeing targets, they'd use their horses to match direction and velocity, reducing the relative movement as much as possible before firing. A target moving across their engagement range would still be extremely hard to hit.

    Mongols were very good at firing while moving, but they had the same issues as everyone else at hitting moving targets. [QUOTE]

    Mongols beat Chinese foot armies that vastly outnumbered them and unified all of China. They conquered the Middle East and accidentally stopped Constantinople from being overrun by Muslims much earlier. The age of expedition was launched and Columbus tried to find a faster route to China because the Mongols opened up trade. Their horse archers were vastly superior to both foot soldiers and western knights mounted on horseback. Also Native American planes men on horseback and mounted samurai had no problems hitting moving targets at range. Its called leading your target with your shots and its not hard to do.

    Sure, so are arrows, slings, rocks, fireworks, rubber bands, and Nerf guns. It's the hitting that's still really hard.

    Let's all agree that a modern military issue firearm is superior in all ways to a crossbow. That stipulated, the best method to avoid being hit aside from full cover is to move, at speed, laterally to the shooter, varying your step as unpredictably as possible. Why is that? Because hitting a moving target is hard.
    No, its because hitting a target standing still is incredibly easy. Its simply worst, bad, better best. Worst = standing still, bad = running, better = cover/being prone Best = avoiding situation entirely (snipping while hidden)


    Well, no. Just because there are more words to describe defeating a melee attack (parried isn't often used for defeating a ranged attack) doesn't mean it's easier. Heavy armor was proof against most ranged attacks, up to and including ball musket firearms (read up on late plate armor still being highly effective defensively even after units of musketeers were in common usage). With arrows and other muscle powered weapons, armor was fantastic. It's why, historically, you didn't commit your archers at heavy infantry or cavalry but instead at skirmishers or light infantry. And even light infantry was a hard target for archers if they could raise shields.
    What are you talking about? By the time the longbow came into common use in England, English armies were made up mostly of archers. Football (soccer in US) had laws passed against it because it was become so popular that peasants were playing it instead of training in longbows & the English Crown felt it was a security risk as archers comprised large portions of their army. The main problem with longbow is the extraordinary amount of time it took to train them. Benjamin Franklin proposed training longbow men for the American Revolution because you get off far more shots with a bow than a musket. His proposal was shot down because it was deemed to expensive and time consuming to train them.
    Missile fire wasn't a huge component of medieval and ancient warfare because, at the end of the day, it was the heavy infantry that ruled the day. This changed only once manufacturing processes became capable of creating ranged weapons that weren't strength powered. Even the famed English longbow only had a brief window of importance before being replaced with cranked crossbows and firearms. The necessary strength and training to operate the massive yew longbow wasn't sustainable (and archers had short service careers and generally crippling complications from being archers). The advent of non-strength powered missile weapons allowed for untrained massed fire that could punch through light and medium armors. As a force multiplier, it was fantastic. But, even then, melee troops were still the ruler of the battlefield until firearms became so ubiquitous that all troops could be issued a firearm that doubled as a melee weapon (the reason bayonets and bayonet drills were a core part of all military training through WWI). You'd shoot, reload, shoot, and, if the enemy advance wasn't broken, then it was into melee. Cannon was really the death of melee troops on the battlefield, not personal ranged weaponry.

    1) Missile fire didn't carry the day in ancient battlefields due to mass numbers and costs. Not because melee was superior. But it was very effective and most of the successful armies such as the Romans, Normans & Greeks used missile troops quite often in their ranks. . The only examples of heavy infantry ruling the day were Macedonian Phalanxes & Roman Legions. Heck, after the fall of the Roman Empire, there wouldn't be a professional standing army in Europe until the Ottoman Empire in 1354. Egyptian armies had chariots with archers that were the scourge on the battlefield in ancient times

    2)The reason for bayonets is simple. Single shot rifles and smooth bore rifles. From what enthusiasts have posted to answers.com a casual reload for a 17th century musket could take 15 seconds & you could rush it with a chance of a misfire in about 8 second reload time. So yeah, you needed a bayonete. Even during the US Civil War bayonet charges were big failures due to rifled muskets improving accuracy and bayonet drills were carried into WW1 & WW2 because of tradition even though they were mostly worthless thanks to rifles and machine guns capable of firing multiple rounds. Tanks were invented BECAUSE infantry even in mass charges could not break through machine gun lines. Rifles capable of multiple shots, not the cannon, made melee weapons besides the multipurpose field knife obsolete.
    Last edited by Lost Soul; Friday, 8th December, 2017 at 02:45 AM.

  2. #1092
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Soul View Post
    Mongols beat Chinese foot armies that vastly outnumbered them and unified all of China. They conquered the Middle East and accidentally stopped Constantinople from being overrun by Muslims much earlier. The age of expedition was launched and Columbus tried to find a faster route to China because the Mongols opened up trade. Their horse archers were vastly superior to both foot soldiers and western knights mounted on horseback. Also Native American planes men on horseback and mounted samurai had no problems hitting moving targets at range. Its called leading your target with your shots and its not hard to do.
    They, um, weren't. They were very good, but not because of the fact that they were missile troops. Archers had been tried often before against the armies the Mongols rolled up with little success. No, it wasn't that the Mongols used vastly superior missile troops, it's that the Mongols used vastly superior tactics and strategies that took advantage of the fact that they had mobile missile troop. Mongols never settled in for long bombardments of the enemy. Instead, they adopted and perfected a set of practiced very reminiscent of the modern US military -- high trained and drilled troops under independent commands. The Mongols could split their forces into independently maneuvering forces of whatever size they needed to accomplish their objectives. They used extremely sophisticated deception and psychological warfare. They conducted extensive and details long term reconnaissance of their targets (I believe they scouted Europe for over a decade before invading and had excellent intel on the political and military capabilities of the various targets along with detailed maps and routes).

    THEN they applied their strengths to the weaknesses of their enemies. Whatever it took was what they did. They recruited surrendered enemies into their armies and utilized siege experts and engineers at a level previously not seen outside of the Roman Empire. When the Mongols attacked you, they often did from the flanks or rear, making lightning raids with archers to disrupt and disorganize the foe, but the final blow was, now get this: heavy cavalry with lances and armor.

    That's right, the Mongol tactics were to use advanced maneuvers to outflank and disrupt the enemy with archers, but finish the job with a heavy cavalry charge. It had never been seen before, was exquisitely executed at a level of professionalism not seen again until modern times, was driven by a unified cultural concept, and it was devastating. However, it wasn't because missile weapons were superior. The Mongols relied heavily on missile troops, and very good missile troops, but it was their overall tactical employment (they only attacked where they wanted on terrain they assisted them when they were well informed about the enemy) that carried the day for the Mongols.

    No, its because hitting a target standing still is incredibly easy. Its simply worst, bad, better best. Worst = standing still, bad = running, better = cover/being prone Best = avoiding situation entirely (snipping while hidden)
    Do you know how I know you don't shoot? You say things like this. Hitting a stationary target in the calm and safe environment of a range when that target is close isn't hard, but it does take practice and skill. Hitting a stationary target when your best friend just died next to you in a bloody and horrifying way and the guy that did it is aiming back at you and you're freezing and hungry and scared is freaking hard. If the other guy is running, it's even harder.

    Battlefield accuracy is surprisingly low, even for highly trained troops like the US Marines using modern firearms. It wasn't better for strength powered weapons.



    What are you talking about? By the time the longbow came into common use in England, English armies were made up mostly of archers. Football (soccer in US) had laws passed against it because it was become so popular that peasants were playing it instead of training in longbows & the English Crown felt it was a security risk as archers comprised large portions of their army. The main problem with longbow is the extraordinary amount of time it took to train them. Benjamin Franklin proposed training longbow men for the American Revolution because you get off far more shots with a bow than a musket. His proposal was shot down because it was deemed to expensive and time consuming to train them.
    Briefly, from the reign of Edward the III through the 100 years war, but, by the end of the war, the supremacy of the English archer was broken by the adoption of battlefield tactics that outmaneuvered them and let unit grapple with the longbowmen, and event that uniformly went very badly for the archers. The French in the skirmishes after the 100 Years War closed proved very adept at countering the English longbow and won decisive victories against them. This and the cost of maintaining the archers didn't survive the reversals of the black death and the iron control of the House of Plantagenet.

    1) Missile fire didn't carry the day in ancient battlefields due to mass numbers and costs. Not because melee was superior. But it was very effective and most of the successful armies such as the Romans, Normans & Greeks used missile troops quite often in their ranks. . The only examples of heavy infantry ruling the day were Macedonian Phalanxes & Roman Legions. Heck, after the fall of the Roman Empire, there wouldn't be a professional standing army in Europe until the Ottoman Empire in 1354. Egyptian armies had chariots with archers that were the scourge on the battlefield in ancient times
    It was effective against other auxiliaries forces, like skirmishers and light cavalry. It wasn't effective against the heavy infantry units of the day. Egyptian chariots weren't dangerous because they had an archer, they were dangerous because they were extremely mobile. They could only be used in certain terrains, but then they had the same effect that the Mongol archers did -- they weakened the line for melee forces to exploit. The chariot was used to hit the weakest spot in the opposing force, either causes it to rout, which the chariots would then press, or become disorganized for the infantry advance.

    And, again, the Egyptians of the time faced opponents that didn't field heavy infantry but instead light forces. Ranged weapons are good against lightly armored forces.

    [2)The reason for bayonets is simple. Single shot rifles and smooth bore rifles. From what enthusiasts have posted to answers.com a casual reload for a 17th century musket could take 15 seconds & you could rush it with a chance of a misfire in about 8 second reload time. So yeah, you needed a bayonete. Even during the US Civil War bayonet charges were big failures due to rifled muskets improving accuracy
    What? Bayonet charges often won many small engagements during the civil war. Even during the battle of Gettysburg, a decisive bayonet charge by the Union captured a large chunk of Confederate forces. Here, the Battle of Little Round Top.

    and bayonet drills were carried into WW1 & WW2 because of tradition even though they were mostly worthless thanks to rifles and machine guns capable of firing multiple rounds.
    Bayonets carried trenches in WWI. By WWII they'd become used only in close quarters fighting while carrying fortified positions or in close ambushes. But, then, I've already said that they were out of favor by the 20th.

    Tanks were invented BECAUSE infantry even in mass charges could not break through machine gun lines. Rifles capable of multiple shots, not the cannon, made melee weapons besides the multipurpose field knife obsolete.
    No, it was cannon that replaced the reliance on melee on the battlefield. At the same time that troops were being switched over to muskets, melee troops were still common -- pikemen and cavalry especially -- and cavalry was the bane of any kind of massed fire formation. Bayonets were originally developed to allow musket formations to defend themselves against cavalry by turning the musket into a very short pike. But it wasn't until cannon made the use of cavalry very hard (grapeshot is murder on horses in a way even a massed volley of muskets isn't) that the common use of cavalry on the battlefield was abandoned.
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  3. #1093
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost Soul View Post
    1)
    Yes, every dex primary character is probably better than 90% of Mongols alive unless you are stating that every real life Mongol has a 16+ dexterity. I don't know about you but most Mongols I have seen tend to represent stereotypical strength over dex if attributed to a D&D character. Most Mongols would be lucky to have a 12 dexterity as D&D NPC world population is in the 10-12 range for attributes. About average to very slightly above.
    Well, that's not stereotyping at all. And completely false.

    [quote]2)
    That tends to be the standard formation in large battles and even in a skirmish, the fastest direction from point A to point B is a straight line.
    [quote]
    Your counter to the obvious fact that it's harder to hit a moving target is that all of the movement will be of the least hard to target? OK.

    3)
    Not if that strike is against heavy armor or a shield. It is especially not applicable to fantasy combat since fatigue is never taken into account
    No, even if it's against heavy armor or a shield. Melee attacks have far more power and mass behind them and will knock you back even if the blow doesn't cause harm. As for fatigue, you apparently still buy the old myth that armor was hard to wear and difficult to move in. Here's a clue: people going into life or death situations don't put on armor that will be more likely to kill them because they can't move -- either because it's too heavy or because it's so heavy that they tire very quickly. These were people that knew what fighting for your life in a melee was about, and fatigue wasn't the factor you believe it to be.

    And, that said, the fatigue factor for an English Archer was pretty high -- pulling a 130+ lbs draw 6 times per minute over a few minutes was exhausting. Most units couldn't maintain effective firing for more than a few minutes at a time without a rest. Much like how melee units would pull back to rest after a skirmish. Fatigue isn't a factor for these comparisons.

    4)
    Ranged attacks take you out of combat immediately. Melee attacks most often do not. There are verifiably accounts of people being stabbed over 20 times and surviving. No record I am aware of where someone has survived being a pin cushion. Most people died of infection and disease than actual melee combat.
    You mean verifiable accounts of people TODAY getting stabbed 20 times and then receiving IMMEDIATE medical care at a MODERN medical facility? Very applicable to discussion of when bows were common on the battlefield, yeah? Also, those are cases that usually involve someone not physically powerful stabbing in a rage, not someone on a battlefield making sure you won't get up. Doesn't take 20 tries for that.

    And the idea you have that an arrow hit that made it past armor and hit a vulnerable location is somehow more deadly than a sword thrust that does the same, or a hammer blow that caves in a helmet, is really odd. All I can figure is that you're really comparing a successful arrow strike to a deflected or parried melee strike. Also, I guess, trying to imply that a successful ranges strike is more common than a successful melee strike? Yeah, no.

    5)You obviously don't know history too well. What do you say about Mongols, Samurai (who were known for being better horse archers than swordsman) or Native American Plains Indians who were amazing horse archers even though they only got metal arrowheads from European traders and had horses for only about 150 years at best since horses are not native to either North or South America.
    Samurai were known for being better horse archers than swordsmen? The horse bow used by the Japanese had a very, very short effective range, often much less than 300'. Yes, they had a tradition of being trained in mounted archer, but it wasn't a primary use for samurai.

    That aside, no one's contesting that mounting archers existed, or that they were highly skilled, or even that they weren't effective. They were all of those things. But they still took a backseat to melee (exception being the Plains Indians, specifically the Comanche, who were primarily fighting other ranged weapon based opponents). Ranged troops were almost always auxiliary to the melee troops, even in cases where they numerically outnumbered the melee troops, as with the Mongols and the 100 Years War Englsih, they still operated to provide the melee troops advantage to carry the fight. Again, only with the advent of effective battlefield artillery did primarily melee troops relinquish the field. They were on the way out, but that was the last straw.
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  4. #1094
    It's fun to drop in on threads like these and just muse on how things must have twisted and turned to get to current discussion.
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  5. #1095
    Quote Originally Posted by nswanson27 View Post
    It's fun to drop in on threads like these and just muse on how things must have twisted and turned to get to current discussion.
    at least its still basically on topic. there were 20 or so pages where people just talked about suicidal barbarian gnolls, that added absolutely nothing.

  6. #1096
    Quote Originally Posted by nswanson27 View Post
    It's fun to drop in on threads like these and just muse on how things must have twisted and turned to get to current discussion.
    I usually find that if I ignored/blocked all the inane nonsense these threads would be about 5 posts long.
    It always devolves into the same people behaving in embarrassing fashion and being wrong about near everything.


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  7. #1097
    Quote Originally Posted by cmad1977 View Post
    I usually find that if I ignored/blocked all the inane nonsense these threads would be about 5 posts long.
    It always devolves into the same people behaving in embarrassing fashion and being wrong about near everything.







  8. #1098
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    Back the OP, ultimately requiring strength for damage on bows seems like a decent change.

    I wouldnt require special bows. Just let the person with a higher strength get a better draw and therefore more damage. Its not perfectly accurate but equipment in dnd rarely is...and it makes things work smoothly.

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