Orc and Goblin Archers

Ages ago I saw a great video on YouTube.

I can’t link it because YouTube is unavailable here but it was by a guy called Shadiversity and was about what fantasy weapons fantasy creatures would really use.

In it he made a good case for orcs being strong, but maybe not accurate archers.

This bring me to KoW and one of the things that bugs me the most.

Big strong Orcs use short bows.
Puny chattering goblins use regular bows.

Now people might say goblins are more likely to practice a ranged weapon as they are cowards and Orcs are too lazy to practice. Well yes. But orcs are strong enough to pull a bigger bow.

As a fun rules change, and one that I don’t see unbalancing things too much because orcs don’t have a lot of shooting choices (skulks, skulk rides, skulk chariots, skulk leader)

I propose giving the orcs with short bows piercing (1).

Orcs draw a mean bow, but are terrible at aiming which limits their effective range.

This would make orc archers ones that get few hits but hit hard when they do.

May need points adjustments but I think it is a flavorsome change.

What do you all think?

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I agree. Orcs with bows deserve piercing (1), or vicious. Adjusting points accordingly of course.

Skulks having crossbows instead of bows would suit the rules change model wise. It would explain larger creatures using shorter ranged weaponry and give an excuse for the piercing. Would give Skulks more of an identity than bigger green skin with bow.

From what I recall; requests for rules changes based on how someone imagines something would work (like this) get hung up on what rules are called rather than what the rule actually does in game. It’s also usually aimed at something with a good game design reason to be as it is.
You can imagine things in many ways; including in a way that accommodates the rules as they are, you know.
Orc having “short bows” meas that their effective range is 18"; it could be due to a lack accuracy (i.e. their odds of actually hitting something further away is so low that the shooting is ineffective) or orcs in Pannithor carrying literal short bows. I think that imagining things as in the former description makes more sense, especially considering that there is no penalty for their lack of accuracy in their Ra of 5+.

I also disagree that orcs (as described in Kings of War lore) will get enough extra penetrating power to justify piercing (1). Even if they did get any extra power, the D6 system in KoW is not granular enough to represent it.
It isn’t only strength that determines penetrative power of bows, the type of arrow and the type of bow play a significant role and I don’t think orcs (as described in KoW lore) would do well with either.
A warrior culture that sees shooting as cowardly and is barely concerned with the craftsmanship of their melee weapons is not making something like a longbow (which takes years to make and has to be carefully maintained and taken care of).

I would sooner see elf archers get Ra 4+ and I’m not particularly in favour of that either.


I like vicious on “short bows” for orcs!
Not quite as powerful as piercing, so solves the granularity I mentioned.
Pannithor orcs making arrows that are crude but nasty of rusty sounds in line the lore too

Making a long bow is pretty fast if you know what wood to look for. There’s plenty of examples of “survival” TV shows where the hosts knock one out in an hour and use it to hunt. Primitive bows might not be as accurate or as refine as a modern one but it’s still an effective hunting weapon if you practice with it a little. If an Orc can smith metal he has already progressed past primitive bow making.

From a balance point of view Orcs lacking almost any ranged ability would be worth considering. One of the complaints I’ve seen floating around is Orcs lack options since Goblins got all the fun stuff in the greenskin split. Orc units get bigger weapons and a couple of mount options and that’s more or less their lot. Finding ways to make Orcs more unique like Trolls throwing spears or Orcs with stronger but shorter range bows would go along way to make them feel like a full faction instead of half of one. With 3rd edition opening the world up, there’s more room for Orc design than thug with a club. There’s no end to what other things Orcs have figured out to kill people with or what beasts they may have tamed outside of Mantica.

There is quite a difference between a bow made for hunting and one for warfare/capable of doing damage to someone in armour (it gets covered quite nicely in some of Bernard Cornwell’s novels).

In a d6 game an extra piercing is quite a big thing, and would be pretty pricy if keeping range/freedom of movement the same. You often find units able to swap 18 range for 12 range with p1 (and often have to pay for it) or compare points difference between say archers & xbows (p1 but extra move pen).

Its tricky to balance unit shooting in a game where it is too easy to go to extremes (as with some lists in 2nd), but where some spell casters are just simply better than almost a horde of archers (whose shooting can be negated by a single bloke on a horse).

The orc skulk units aren’t bad - most are me4+ with cs1 so vaguely competent when they start getting stuck in and, iirc, pretty much all made regular by Halpi’s?

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I was referring specifically to the English Longbow, a weapon that gave Medieval English armies an edge against armoured French knights. If you a “knocking out” a “longbow” in an hour you are not making one of theses; traditionally it took 1 or 2 years just to dry out the wood properly.
This is certainly not a product of primitive bow making and I referred to it because it is the only bow that would conceivably allow an archer (of any strength) preventative power of possibly the kind that you are trying to justify.

I disagree that this a balance issue; it’s a game design choice.
Orcs are unique because they rely on close combat; have the scariest and most varied combat heroes and have special support units like wardrums and godspeaker.

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