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Author Topic: Middle Earth Orc/Goblin bows in Dragon Rampant  (Read 1756 times)

Offline Sunjester

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Middle Earth Orc/Goblin bows in Dragon Rampant
« on: January 30, 2016, 09:06:56 AM »
Reading the excellent thread on Orcs has started me thinking about my armies in Dragon Rampant.

As many orcs/goblins/uruks (use your prefered term) are described carrying bows, I was going to allow most of my orc units to upgrade to Mixed Weapons. But is that right?

When Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are examining the Isengard uruk-hai amongst the dead at Boromir's feet, their bows are commented on as being larger than those normally carried by orcs, similar to those of men. I'd take that to mean that the normal orcs bows are smaller, therefore weaker than those of men (and obviously elves). Yes, I know composite recurve bows can be small and very powerful, but we are talking about basic wooden self bows.

So my dilemma is, should I actually class orc bows as Short Range Missiles instead of Mixed Weapons?

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Middle Earth Orc/Goblin bows in Dragon Rampant
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2016, 12:50:01 PM »
Reading the excellent thread on Orcs has started me thinking about my armies in Dragon Rampant.

As many orcs/goblins/uruks (use your prefered term) are described carrying bows, I was going to allow most of my orc units to upgrade to Mixed Weapons. But is that right?

That's certainly the way I plan to do it (perhaps a 2-point upgrade removing Wild Charge for Bellicose Foot uruks?).

When Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are examining the Isengard uruk-hai amongst the dead at Boromir's feet, their bows are commented on as being larger than those normally carried by orcs, similar to those of men. I'd take that to mean that the normal orcs bows are smaller, therefore weaker than those of men (and obviously elves). Yes, I know composite recurve bows can be small and very powerful, but we are talking about basic wooden self bows.

The small orc tracker in "The Land of Shadow" is described as having a "bow of horn", which suggest a powerful composite bow (and the tracker's clearly a good shot!).

So my dilemma is, should I actually class orc bows as Short Range Missiles instead of Mixed Weapons?

I don't think so: orcs seem to chalk up many of their kills with their bows: Boromir, Isildur, Balin, etc.

Offline Sunjester

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Re: Middle Earth Orc/Goblin bows in Dragon Rampant
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2016, 04:17:54 PM »
Yes, but all those kills were at closer ranges, the tracker's shot was practically point blank! At the Gladden Fields the Numenorean bows greatly out ranged the orcs. It's not their accuracy, it's their comparative ranges.

Perhaps make Uruks Mixed Weapons and smaller Snaga Short Range Missiles?

My concern is that an all-shooting orc army might unbalance the game.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Middle Earth Orc/Goblin bows in Dragon Rampant
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2016, 07:16:57 PM »
Yes, but all those kills were at closer ranges, the tracker's shot was practically point blank! At the Gladden Fields the Numenorean bows greatly out ranged the orcs. It's not their accuracy, it's their comparative ranges.

Perhaps make Uruks Mixed Weapons and smaller Snaga Short Range Missiles?

My concern is that an all-shooting orc army might unbalance the game.

The Mixed Weapons upgrade takes care of the ranges, though - because you end up with 12" rather than 18". So dedicated archers (Light Missiles) would still outrange them.

Now, the tracker's shot was at close range, but then again it was in the eye, which suggests pretty good shooting to me. And his bow is clearly a (lethal) composite bow.

On balance: one thing to consider is that these orcish units will be quite expensive, what with all the upgrades. One way to get around that is to downgrade the starting profiles for the orcs. I'd consider using Ravenous Hordes and Scouts for the non-uruk orcs and then make the uruks a mix of Light Foot with Mixed Weapons and Bellicose Foot (either with a Mixed Weapons upgrade negating Wild Charge for a couple of points or just as they are, with wild archery assumed to somewhere in their Wild Charge/Countercharge mix).  That way, you can get a suitable balance of orcish cannon fodder to face your heroes!

With the Light Foot and Bellicose Foot profiles, I'd assume that the low Armour rating reflects lack of size (uruks were quite heavily armoured, but weren't very big).


Offline jon_1066

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Re: Middle Earth Orc/Goblin bows in Dragon Rampant
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2016, 08:48:56 PM »
Not every orc had a bow.  If they did the little birds in the trees may have had problems in The Hobbit!

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Middle Earth Orc/Goblin bows in Dragon Rampant
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2016, 09:57:06 AM »
Not every orc had a bow.  If they did the little birds in the trees may have had problems in The Hobbit!

Good point! Ineffectually hurled "heavy spears" aren't quite the same!

Bows do, though, seem to have been standard issue for the uruks of Mordor and Isengard though - at least as far as we can tell.

 

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