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runescience

Archery shields?

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One of my players sent me this...

 

"Another good defense against arrows is a shield. Shields were used by archers and varied from the small Arabic round shield on the bow arm to the large Assyrian wicker shields carried by a shield bearer or the pavise of the crossbowman.

The archer's arm shield is an excellent defense. You can use it to actively block arrows, and sometimes it will manage to block arrows you did not see. But in light battles(they are not allowed in mixed battles) it is limited to fifteen inches in diameter and must be marked with the light fighters device, so as not to be mistaken for a heavy's shield. Basically a 15" round shiled on bow arm? what do you think?"

 

 

I think it sounds like a +1 dcv shield, requiring sheild skill, while firing with bow.

 

opinions?

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Re: Archery shields?

 

One of my players sent me this...

 

"Another good defense against arrows is a shield. Shields were used by archers and varied from the small Arabic round shield on the bow arm to the large Assyrian wicker shields carried by a shield bearer or the pavise of the crossbowman.

The archer's arm shield is an excellent defense. You can use it to actively block arrows, and sometimes it will manage to block arrows you did not see. But in light battles(they are not allowed in mixed battles) it is limited to fifteen inches in diameter and must be marked with the light fighters device, so as not to be mistaken for a heavy's shield. Basically a 15" round shiled on bow arm? what do you think?"

 

 

I think it sounds like a +1 dcv shield, requiring sheild skill, while firing with bow.

 

opinions?

 

If you were to allow it, that's probably what I'd do. Just use the Small Shield rules in FH and call it good. It's particularly useful if you're using Hit Location Tables. Then it really could block an arrow he didn't see just by advent of taking up the slots for the arm on which it's mounted and the hands.

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Re: Archery shields?

 

One of my players sent me this...

 

"Another good defense against arrows is a shield. Shields were used by archers and varied from the small Arabic round shield on the bow arm to the large Assyrian wicker shields carried by a shield bearer or the pavise of the crossbowman.

The archer's arm shield is an excellent defense. You can use it to actively block arrows, and sometimes it will manage to block arrows you did not see. But in light battles(they are not allowed in mixed battles) it is limited to fifteen inches in diameter and must be marked with the light fighters device, so as not to be mistaken for a heavy's shield. Basically a 15" round shiled on bow arm? what do you think?"

 

 

I think it sounds like a +1 dcv shield, requiring sheild skill, while firing with bow.

 

opinions?

 

That looks like a quote from an SCA fighter's manual. :) Or a similar group...

 

As to the Hero rules for it, call it a light shield and be done with it. Passive DCV while firing, ability to use the DCV bonus as an OCV bonus for blocking (and maybe for Missile Deflection as well).

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Re: Archery shields?

 

I'd just call it a buckler, a very small shield. Gotta have the strength to use it and your bow, at most +1 DCV. Gonna be minimal effect when you're 1/2 DCV firing a bow, but every little bit helps.

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Re: Archery shields?

 

(Arise my thready minion! Rise from the dead to stalk the night!) Thread Necromancy is never pretty, but it happens.

 

So I've run into this buckler and bow issue, and it's only an issue because I'm picky. Games are for fun, and verisimilitude and wizardry shouldn't stand too close to one another, but here I am anyway.

 

You can't shoot a bow with a buckler on your bow-holding-arm, I believe, because it may get in the way of the arrow and the bow-string. That puts it on the arrow drawing arm, which is also the dominant hand.

 

So? So you don't carry your shield on your dominant arm in melee combat. In fact, a buckler is typically carried in the fist instead of hung on the forearm. Outside of fantasy gaming it just isn't the way to use the darn things. The round hoplite shield, the aspis, and the targe were all a good bit larger than the buckler, which was about the size of a personal pizza. It looks kind of odd on a forearm. If I was an archer I'd wear it cheerfully, since it's better than blocking an arrow with my naked arm, but in melee blocking with that on your arm will earn you a hook-hand if you're lucky.

 

Bucklers in use:

 

 

 

 

But, to change from ranged combat to melee would also mean changing from a small shield lashed to a forearm to a small shield held in the fist of the other arm. Probably the same action cost as drawing a weapon? Of course, you're trying to draw another weapon at the same time with the arm the buckler is strapped to. Skill levels in quick-draw. Suddenly it makes sense.

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Re: Archery shields?

 

I wonder how quickly one could make than hand-change with practice? I know there was probably some film-effect trickery involved, but I was struck by how quickly Captain America was shown doing it in his own recent movie and Avengers. He could whip his shield off his left arm, fling it with his right, catch the rebound with his right hand, and slide the shield straps back onto his left forearm, all in less than two seconds.

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Re: Archery shields?

 

I suppose an archer could devise a wearable rig to make the central hand-grip fit onto a hard sleeve of some sort, so the shield could be worn on one arm without cutting off circulation or flopping about while still being able to be held in the hand of the other arm. Alternatively, maybe archer's bucklers would have a different handle somehow to make that a quicker trade.

 

Cap's aspis shield is held in the left hand or the right, albeit with a bracelet in addition to the handle for the left. A buckler for an archer would need to be a weird forearm guard for most of its life.

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Re: Archery shields?

 

I suppose an archer could devise a wearable rig to make the central hand-grip fit onto a hard sleeve of some sort' date=' so the shield could be worn on one arm without cutting off circulation or flopping about while still being able to be held in the hand of the other arm. Alternatively, maybe archer's bucklers would have a different handle somehow to make that a quicker trade.[/quote']

 

I could see doing this with a handle of rope, with appropriate knots so that once removed from the forearm, the rope grip could be tightened for use in the hand. Seems like it would add another half phase to the whole process, though.

 

I have to say it might still be possible to use a buckler on the bow-gripping hand and not have it get in the way of the arrow or string. You'd have to be careful about exactly how you strap it to the hand, but I think it could be done. Once you're done with the bow then you'd just have to shift your grip on the buckler and you'd be good.

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Re: Archery shields?

 

Actually if an archer's buckler is worn while shooting (not usual), it could be worn on the bow arm, not the draw arm. It's on the outside, so under most conditions wouldn't interfere with the string and you can wear your guard over the buckler straps.

 

(As an aside, yesterday at "work", we had a whole day of teambuilding, but instead of the usual dreary exercises with planks and bits of string, what we did was mostly fun. I am now undefeated in my company at Archery and Fencing! :))

 

More practically, I don't think archers actually wore bucklers when shooting. While the buckler wouldn't interfere with your string very much, it would interfere with your sighting, and it adds extra weight to what's already a pretty physical exercise (the last thing you want!). Also, if you suddenly want it, it's in an inconvenient place, strapped to your forearm (and maybe worse, strapped under your guard). In use, a buckler is typically held in your hand, not on your forearm (like this).

[ATTACH=CONFIG]45181[/ATTACH]

 

That's probably why I can't recall off the top of my head, any contemporary illustrations of archers using the buckler while shooting - even though there are plenty showing archers with bucklers. When shooting, the buckler is in the sensible place - worn on the hip, along with your sword, like in this nice illustration from the late 1400's, so that you can get it quickly when you need it.

 

And after all, why would you want it on your arm anyway? While using the bow, it offers approximately 0% protection in exchange for all the disadvantages. Yes, I know, in D&D, it's allowed, and in truth I encourage my wife to get her PC, to wear her +4 mithril buckler on her arm while shooting, but that's a rules artifact, not a real-life situation. After all, I encourage her to do the same while casting spells! :)

 

cheers, Mark

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