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 Shooting from windows/top of buildings

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JohnYoung
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PostSubject: Shooting from windows/top of buildings   Thu 30 Aug 2007 - 9:51

There is a obscure point with line of sight that my friend and I often argue over during games. If a shooter is standing by a ruined wall, lets say on the third floor of a building, can he shoots at a model standing at the foot of wall? According to line of sight he couldn't, obsviously. It provide a death angle that'd add a nice strategic dimension. But my friend says that logicaly the shooter would lean over the wall and shoot down.. Because I dont want to spoil the fun I accepted this explanation so we could carry on playing and having fun but I feel a little bit cheated on that. :S A crossbowman/pistolier doing that is far-fetched but still believable, but really... a bowman cant shoot in this position. What is your opinion?

(same apply to shooting throught window)


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PostSubject: Re: Shooting from windows/top of buildings   Thu 30 Aug 2007 - 11:50

I know exactly what you are talking about.

I would say:

1) Pistoliers/riflemen CAN shoot that way (i.e. at a -90 angle). After all blackpowder weapons are suited for city combat.
I have had the oportuity to do some city-fight simulation during my military service, and I can positively confirm that you CAN shoot straight down a wall. It's fairly easy (but you have to expose yourself).

2) Crossbowmen CANNOT. If he points the crossbow downwards, the bolt would slip along the rail and FALL down the wall before the shooter could properly take aim. So, no.!

3) With bowmen it's a bit more tricky. I have never shot with a bow, so I don't know how it is, but I would imagine that it is rather difficult. You have to put a lot of tension into your body to fire an arrow.
But, Mordheim is not an ultra-realistic game, so I would tend to allow it.
Alternatively you could rule that only people with short bows can do this -90 shooting since a short bow is easier to handle than a long bow.

What do the others think? Question
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PostSubject: Re: Shooting from windows/top of buildings   Thu 30 Aug 2007 - 12:31

1) Yeah, you're right. Guns can easily be pointed down. (but will the bullets slip? Very Happy after all, mordheim guns are not as well built as modern gun) And because of the weird cover rule of mordheim I cant even count that as uncovering lol. But that's ok we play for fun ^^.
2) I hadn't tought abot the bolt falling down ^^ Thanks for the hint.
3)Nice thinking again.

All in all I think I'd only forbid it for crossbowman and maybe large bow. For crossbow what would be the limit? Line of sight? a certain angle (45 degree in this case I'd say, its easy to calculate and beyond that point the arrow will tend to slip anyway, lets say around 30 degree, depending on friction and weight)

oh! And I forgot to ask your opinion on slings. As a skaven player, it's really important that I clarify this. After all, even if skavens suck at shooting, slings are so cheap that my whole band is equiped with one Very Happy. I cant figure out how a stone would react if launched at a -90 angle.

And finaly, while we are in the subject, what about firing up?
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PostSubject: Re: Shooting from windows/top of buildings   Thu 30 Aug 2007 - 13:13

Hum... for firing up, I don't see the point. You aim up, you fire. Logically it should work with bows, guns, crossbows, slings...
Anyway, firing up with a 90 angle is impossible because if there is a model standing over the shooter, he is automatically covered by the plank/ground he stands on (unless he levitates, which is alas not possible in Mordheim!)

However the question of firing down from a window is a delicate one. I never encountered such a situation while playing with my Reiklander bowmen... but it's tricky!

I have no answer to give, but only a suggestion to make: why not authorise everybody to shoot down from a window (with a 90 angle), HOWEVER the shooter will then be completely out of cover and cannot claim the -1 cover bonus to hit (if shot at) ??

This idea came when I read Tom's experience in the military (see above) : you can shoot down but then you're not covered anymore. So a Mordheim shooter can choose to fire down BUT he exposes himself, so it's rather dangerous.

What do you think?

NB: don't forget that a shooter may pick any target if standing on a higher level, EXCEPT if there is an enemy inside the same building! So if an archer is being rushed by an enemy model climbing up a ladder for example, the archer has to shoot on this enemy; thus the rule for firing down at 90 applies...
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PostSubject: Re: Shooting from windows/top of buildings   Thu 30 Aug 2007 - 13:37

In the case of a warrior rushing up a ladder, a crossbowman just cant shoot it logicaly, because of the bolt slipipng down, but i must admit that a bowman CAN after all.

Nice idea (losing cover for the next turn).

All this seems rather complicate to handle in-game though.
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PostSubject: Re: Shooting from windows/top of buildings   Thu 30 Aug 2007 - 15:13

All right all right... I see where this is headed! You are both right with everything you say, and all approaches seem very reasonable.

Yet the only thing that still troubles me is that - as JohnYoung very cleverly pointed out - this makes the game terribly complicated. And I hate complicated rules.

How about this:

If a warrior comes into base contact with the building the shooter wants to fire from, he is safe. Meaning that the shooter is NOT allowed to shoot at the target.

Two explainations:

1) The targeted warrior presses his body against the wall, making as small a target as possible (~cover)

2) The shooter deems it to dangerous to lean over the edge, risking both falling AND exposing himself, compared to the slim chances of scoring a hit.

In any other case, the shooter MAY shoot at the target, whatever the "angle" of the shot may be, and regardless of which shooting weapon (crossbow, bow, rifle...)

@ Old blackpowder rifles: You are 100% right John, I had not thought of that. Of course modern rounds allow the rifle's mechanism to hold onto the cartrige, whereas old blackpowder weapons had no cartridges but lead "balls" that were "placed" in front of a blackpowder charge. So of course, such ammunition would just roll out of the cannon when pointed downwards... Twisted Evil
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PostSubject: Re: Shooting from windows/top of buildings   Thu 30 Aug 2007 - 16:37

It sounds like a good compromise. However I'd add that the shooter can't sees, or at least charge, whoever stands down there, to be fair with everyone. With a by-the-book line of sight, a warrior could easily stand far enough of the building to avoid diving charge while being out of sight as well, wich is, alas, impossible with a narrowed death angle.
What do you think?
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Etienne de Beaugard
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PostSubject: Re: Shooting from windows/top of buildings   Mon 8 Oct 2007 - 15:02

Admin Tom wrote:
I know exactly what you are talking about.
2) Crossbowmen CANNOT. If he points the crossbow downwards, the bolt would slip along the rail and FALL down the wall before the shooter could properly take aim. So, no.!

I've don't a bit of historical re-enactment and played with a few medieval style crossbows. If the bolt fits snuggly in the nut (the hooked cylinder that holds the string) or if the crossbow has a clip to keep the bow in place (a common enough feature of late medieval and renaissance crossbows) then the slippage problem could be overcome. Admittedly, if the bow was jarred while pointing downward, the bolt would slip.

Quote :

3) With bowmen it's a bit more tricky. I have never shot with a bow, so I don't know how it is, but I would imagine that it is rather difficult. You have to put a lot of tension into your body to fire an arrow.
But, Mordheim is not an ultra-realistic game, so I would tend to allow it.
Alternatively you could rule that only people with short bows can do this -90 shooting since a short bow is easier to handle than a long bow.

What do the others think? Question

Most of the tension in drawing a bow is placed on the arms and upper back, leaving the torso free to bend and rotate. The bow will suffer similar problems with arrows dropping that the crossbow would suffer from. Unless the nock of the arrow snuggly fits the string (which most arrows don't) or the archer pinches the arrow while drawing the string (which has a good chance of throwing the shot wild), the arrow will slip off the string.

In all cases, the shooter would have to have a window large enough to accomodate the weapon and their head and torso, thus exposing the archer to enemy fire.

BTW, I wonder what just dropping a bodkin tipped arrow or bolt will do to a person? I know such an arrow dropped from 5 feet will go a couple of inches into soft ground.
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PostSubject: Re: Shooting from windows/top of buildings   Mon 8 Oct 2007 - 15:37

Thank you for these clarifications, Etienne de Beaugard! It's good to have an expert among us.
So, basically, what you're saying is that crossbows are more likely to point downwards without the bolt falling ; but that bows pointed downwards will see their arrow fall ?

Maybe we should do a special home rule in Mordheim : "only crossbows are allowed to shoot at targets right under the shooter" or something like that Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Shooting from windows/top of buildings   Mon 8 Oct 2007 - 17:49

Both could point downwards, but the archer would have to be very careful. The arrow or bolt could drop off with a jolt.

What I;ve been wondering is, when the arrow or bolt is fired, will gravity pull it away from the string, thus spoiling the shot. Hmm. Experiment time.

P.S. I'm not an expert, just a person with some experience.
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PostSubject: Re: Shooting from windows/top of buildings   Tue 9 Oct 2007 - 4:30

Hi Etienne!

First of all, welcome to the forum! Secondly, thanks for your calrificartions... wow, you seem to know what you are talking about Smile

I would like to draw everybody's attention on a fact that, in my opinion, is paramount when shooting with bows. And that's their SIZE. I just cannot picture a guy leaning out of a window and shooting with an english longbow!

Let's leave aside this whole "bolt slipping" discussion for a moment. Longbows were (please correct me if i am wrong, Etienne) used for long distance shots on battlefields. I do realise that mordheim is a FANTASY game where this is somewhat idealised, but still... the bow is almost the size of a man. Even on the models.

What does that mean? It means simply that shooting range comes at a price. The farther you want to shoot, the bigger the weapon and the more space you need to operate it.

So I would not allow bows to shoot 90 down a wall for that reason alone. And to simplify: no other weapon either.

Well... this is the opinion of a man who usually stands on the recieving end of the arrow.
pale
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PostSubject: Re: Shooting from windows/top of buildings   Tue 9 Oct 2007 - 11:51

You're right Tom, I know a bit about bows as I shoot from time to time with my recurve bow.

If you take cover and you want to shoot a bow, you often have a big problem!
For example, if you stand behind a small wall and shoot, you have two options:
1.As the wall is small, you can just shoot. No problem, but nearly no cover as well.
2.Get on your knee and shoot. The problem is that you have to take the bow horizontal, which is only possible with a short bow.

Well, the main problem is that a bow is completly different from a rifle(my opinion).
You need more space(especially from the floor, try to shoot a bow as big as you while on a knee), and you have no barrel.

I don't know if this helps you, I'll try to take some pics tomorrow in the garden(no garanty for that)
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PostSubject: Re: Shooting from windows/top of buildings   Tue 9 Oct 2007 - 17:09

Admin Tom wrote:
Hi Etienne!

I would like to draw everybody's attention on a fact that, in my opinion, is paramount when shooting with bows. And that's their SIZE. I just cannot picture a guy leaning out of a window and shooting with an english longbow!
:

While I couldn't try shooting, I just leaned out my window with a longbow and was able to bring it to full draw without much problem. The process requires you to stick your whole torso out the window and takes a few seconds. The whole process can be done, but unless it was practiced by the archer, the liittle variable would likely throw off the shot.

In the end, I'd generally missile weapons shooting straight down out of window is a bad thing to introduce to the game. Too many variables (window size, new shooting situation, exposure of the shooter).
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