Tuesday, 30 June 1981

Ringing Steel — a Man-to-Man combat system part III

Missile Weapons


A missile weapon is any weapon which attacks at a distance and involves a projectile being launched, be it the entire weapon or some part. Types of missile weapon are listed in the Missiles Table.

The following figures are required for the use of a missile weapon. They are either read from the missiles table or calculated using data from that table and the pre-determined characteristics.

Skill Factor: As for hand weapons.

Base Speed: As for hand weapons.

Accuracy: Calculated for each weapon, measures the likelihood of a missile striking its target.

Accuracy = A x Skill + A1

A and A1 are read from the Missiles Table.

Blow Strength:As for hand weapons, but is fixed for the type of weapon. Read from Missiles Table.

Velocity: Given for each weapon, measures how fast a missile travels. This affects the chance of it being parried and the time taken from launch to arrival at target. Read from Missiles Table.

Load Time: Calculated for each weapon, gives time required to prepare a weapon for launch.

LT = L - Skill + Armour Modifier

L is read from the Missiles Table, and Armour Modifier from the Armour Table.

Aim Time: Calculated for each weapon, gives time required to aim with weapon before launch.

AT = M - Skill + Armour Modifier

M is read from the Missiles Table, and Armour Modifier from the Armour Table.

Fire Time:Calculated for each weapon, gives time required to fire a loaded and aimed missile.

FT = F - Skill + Armour Modifier

F is read from the Missiles Table, and Armour Modifier from the armour table.

Missiles Table
Wea pon A A1 B.Str Vel L M F Mod ifi er Short Med ium Long Ext reme
Shortbow 2.2 -1 15 4 15 20 8 0 2–15 16–40 41–75 >75
Longbow 2.0 0 18 5 15 20 8 1 2–30 31–70 71–120 >120
Crossbow 1.0 +3 30 6 20 16 6 1 1–20 21–50 51–90 >90
Arbalest 1.0 +5 40 8 30 16 6 3 2–25 26–60 61–100 >100
Knife 2.4 -3 9 2 5 14 10 -3 1–10 11–20 21–30
Javelin 2.0 +1 24 3 5 14 10 -1 2–15 16–30 31–50
Axe 2.6 -5 21 1 5 16 10 -1 1–10 11–20 21–30
Slingshot 2.2 -2 12 4 15 20 12 0 1–20 21–50 51–90 >90
Rock 2.2 -2 9 2 5 14 10 -3 1–10 11–20 21–30
Handgun 1.5 +2 6/40 9 10 15 5 2 1–15 16–40 41–75 >75
Musket 1.3 +4 8/50 10 10 15 5 2 2–30 31–70 71–120 >120
Mechanics of Missiles

When a combatant wishes to use a missile weapon it must first be drawn. This takes a time equal to base speed, as for hand weapons. For bows it is necessary to use both hands, but when using a thrown missile a combatant may choose to keep a single-handed weapon or a shield in the non-throwing hand. Launching a drawn missile then requires a sequence of three actions, Load, Aim and Fire, each taking the appropriate time as calculated above. The actions must be consecutive, and no other action can be performed during this time except turning which may be done during the Aim action.

The Aim stage allocates a target for the combatant, which may be kept during and after firing. The Load action automatically nullifies the previous target. The target must be in a hex bounded by — but not including — the hex rows out of front left and front right faces from the combatant's facing.

Bows and Crossbows cannot be fired at combatants in adjacent hexes (see range above). Load action for these weapons includes the time to draw a projectile.

A Missile Attack

At the end of the Fire action the missile is launched at the chosen opponent. A d20 is rolled and the score noted. The range is found by counting from a hex adjacent to the launcher to the hex containing the target at this time, using a route to give the lowest count. The range part of the Missile table is then consulted to give the range as short,medium, long or extreme. The velocity table is then used to give the time of flight.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Sh ort 10/10 9/12 8/14 7/16 6/18 5/20 4/25 3/30 2/40 1/50
Med ium 20/8 19/10 16/12 14/12 12/14 10/15 8/20 6/30 4/35 3/40
Long 30/5 30/7 24/8 21/10 18/10 15/15 12/20 9/30 6/40 6/40
Ext reme 28/6 24/8 20/8 16/12 14/15 12/25 10/35

The numbers are time of flight/effective attack potential

At the end of time the target's current or just completed action is noted. This is cross-referenced on the missile defence table with the range to give the defense potential.

Missile Defense
Short Medium Long Extreme
Standing 10 12 15 19
Walking; In combat 11 13 16 20
Running/Cantering 14 16 18 21
Evading/Soft Cover/Galloping 16 18 20 22
Moving in soft cover 17 19 21 23
Hard cover 18 20 22 24
Moving in hard cover 19 21 23 25
Behind arros slit 20 22 24 26

The earlier d20 roll is now added to the accuracy of the attacker and the total compared with the defence potential. For the definition of cover see below. The procedure is then followed as in for hand weapons. All missiles are treated as short stabbing the purpose of determining hit location. Advantage accrues to neither attacker or target, but if the target is hit he will take a 2 tenths “dead time” as usual. The critical roll of 20 is treated normally, but critical roll 1 is dealt with below. A combatant who is hit by a missile must always react unless the missile was fired by his target.

Critical Roll One

The attacker has misfired his weapon, and it drops to the ground, . Where it lands is determined from a dl0 — for 1–6, count clockwise from in front of the attacker as 1. 7–10 means same hex.

In order to continue using missiles a new weapon must be drawn, or else the old one picked up, moving as necessary

Rapid Aiming

The Aim action can be replaced by a Fast Aim action. This takes a time of 1 tenth. The accuracy of a fast aimed shot is reduced by 10.

Missiles That Miss

If a missile does not hit, its landing place isa found by taking the negative excess, that is the extra that would have had to be added to the accaracy for it to hit. If the negative excess is greater than 20 then it is taken as 20. Consult the figure below. The shaded hex is the intended target; the arrow shows the direction from which the missile approaches (hex edge or vertex), the excess gives the hex in which the missile impacts.

If there is a combatant in the landing hex, then an attack is made that combatant. The attack potential is given by a fresh d20 roll, accuracy taken as zero. A 20 is still critical, but 1 merely means the falls harmlessly to the ground.

Situations involving Missile and Hand Weapons
Defending Against Missiles

A combatant expecting to be attacked by missile weapons and not in comabat may choose to make evade actions. These are equivalent to running, but take a time equal to the walk move rate. Defence potential for an combatant is given in the missile defence table. A combatant may defend actively against a missile attack by his target. The “effective attack potential” is read from the velocity table, and a separate d20 roll made and added to it. This is compared with the defence potential. In the case of shields 5 is added to the defense potential. Rolls of 1 and 20 always “miss” or “hit” respectively, but have no further effect. If the attack is successful the missile attack is then treated normally, with the defender considered to be evading. If the attack fails, the negative excess from it is used as above.

Attacks On Combatants Using Missile weapons

A combatant using a missile weapon can make no active defence and has his Passive Dodge Factor rrheduced by two. If the attack hits he must react unless the blow is finished during a Fire action and the combatant making it is the target set in the immediately preceding Aim action. Other effects depend on the action in which the blow hits.

During Load — the time for the action is modified as appropriate.

During Aim — the action is cancelled; if the combatant wants to continue using missiles he must start again with a Load action.

During Fire — the time for the action is not altered, all modifiers are added to the following action; the accuracy of the shot is reduced by the damage factor of the attack.

When a combatant using missile weapons is injured, subtractions from Anti-Parries also apply to Accuracy, and additions to base speed apply to the times for all three missile actions separately. Blow strength, however, is not altered.

Supply of Missiles

The number of missiles carried by a combatant is recorded initially, and a tally kept of those fired. Twelve missiles is the usual number for bows, four to six for hurled weapons.

If it is known where they fell missiles can be recovered and re-used. They can also be removed from injured combatants, wooden arrows having a 25% chance of breaking

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