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Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Discuss the Rules of HeroQuest as set out by Milton Bradley Game Systems and Quest Packs.

Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby Oftkilted » Thursday October 15th, 2020 9:48pm

Orc26 wrote:We played that crossbow was 1 handed. Every time a new player pointed out that "crossbows don't work that way" or Zargon player would comically get out a magnifying glass and the armory insert and look for the rules telling you that you couldn't use it with a shield. It was a fun little skit that happened every now and then


On the matter of changing equipment we never once had a player change armor mid mission except when Borin's armor was found and we played that what you attacked with is what you were stuck with until your next turn

Quoted for truth.

At the end of the day the rules are what Zargon determines the rules will be.
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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby Kurgan » Sunday October 18th, 2020 9:26am

Yeah, these are game mechanics, that defy medieval "realism."

The Mercenaries that use crossbows have a broadsword for adjacent encounters and the elves with bows have a dagger for close range. In either case, they don't need a separate turn to change weapons, either. Whenever possible I go with official in-game precedent. So longsword and crossbow are both one handed weapons.

My house rule is that if you have a shield and want to use a "two handed" weapon (staff, spear, battle axe) then you can "stow" it (but that means you don't get the extra Defense die it would otherwise afford). It's either that or they have to drop or give away the Shield. Adding a penalty for switching prevents them from just saying every time they're defending that they have the shield and every turn they're attacking, they have the axe, which is effectively like they're breaking the "rule."

I go with the text first, and the artwork/miniature second. So Borin's Armor shows a helmet, but I act like it's just a breastplate/suit equivalent to the Plate Mail.

Some things are just no big deal. Like I'd allow a Wizard to pick up and carry a sword around (until he can give it to another Hero or sell it at the end of the quest) but obviously not let him actually use it.

Now if the (game mechanic) Plate Mail is 1 die movement penalty because "it's heavy" then carrying it but "not wearing it" still conveys the penalty. The point is to not let the Heroes cheat, but if they can make a good argument for something minor and its not being abused, I'll let it go, when I'm Zargon.
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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby The Admiral » Thursday October 29th, 2020 10:05am

Crossbows in my HQ world are heavy, unwieldy and two handed. You can use it as a sort of club in hand to hand for 1 attack dice. As compensation, and to take into account the greater power and penetration of a crossbow bolt over an arrow, I rule that the target of a ranged crossbow attack loses one defence die.

Bows on the other hand are light, they are two handed, but it would be easy to hold the bow in one hand and draw a one handed melee weapon. Can't be used with a shield though as you couldn't fire a bow while holding a shield, and the shield would have to be stored on your back where it is not easily and readily accessible, unlike quickly drawing a sword.

So to change from a bow or crossbow to a Sword and shield combo would take an action.

I try to think, how would this all work in real life, and then base my house rules on that.


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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby Kurgan » Thursday October 29th, 2020 10:16am

You could also "club" with a bow, right? But it takes two hands to fire a bow, no matter how you look at it. The crossbow takes two hands (or a really nimble person I guess) to load it, but only one hand to fire (level it with your other arm?). Game mechanics aren't perfectly realistic of course, sacrificing true-to-life for the sake of fun/balance/challenge.

I decided for mine that crossbow is still one handed, but short and long bows are two handed. You'd need a backup weapon (or bare hands, 1 combat die) for attack. No special bonuses. Then again, you could use black dice to have increased damage potential. To me that (dice color) is about increased accuracy (targeting vital/less armored areas) while the number of dice determines the strength.
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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby The Admiral » Thursday October 29th, 2020 10:26am

Kurgan wrote:You could also "club" with a bow, right? But it takes two hands to fire a bow, no matter how you look at it.


Yes, it definitely takes two hand to fire, but if a bowman wanted to make a melee attack he could easily hold the bow in one hand and draw a sword to fight with. Just my opinion.

Think of the Elf figure from AHQ.


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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby Oftkilted » Thursday October 29th, 2020 11:15am

The Admiral wrote:
Kurgan wrote:You could also "club" with a bow, right? But it takes two hands to fire a bow, no matter how you look at it.


Yes, it definitely takes two hand to fire, but if a bowman wanted to make a melee attack he could easily hold the bow in one hand and draw a sword to fight with. Just my opinion.

Think of the Elf figure from AHQ.

Using a melee and a ranged weapon aligns directly with the Dark Warriors of the Dark Company.

The Dark Warrior crossbowmen get 3 dice for ranged, and 2 dice in adjacent melee combat.
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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby Kurgan » Friday October 30th, 2020 3:37am

The Admiral wrote:
Kurgan wrote:You could also "club" with a bow, right? But it takes two hands to fire a bow, no matter how you look at it.


Yes, it definitely takes two hand to fire, but if a bowman wanted to make a melee attack he could easily hold the bow in one hand and draw a sword to fight with. Just my opinion.

Think of the Elf figure from AHQ.


Agreed. And now that I think about it, I never once though "If you are using a Battle Axe, you can't whip out a dagger and chuck it at the enemy." Instead I just figured the "rule" was so that you weren't thinking you could hold the shield in one hand and swing the mighty battle axe at the same time (they could have just made it less powerful if you do that, but then what's the point of even having it).

So yes, to string, aim and fire the bow, you need two hands, but holding the bow at your side while you swing a broad sword or hand axe? No problem. Agreed also with Oftkilted at the precedent of the Crossbow wielding Dark Warriors/Mercenaries having a backup weapon attack (that isn't just 1 die).
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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Tuesday March 23rd, 2021 7:02am

Some clarity on terms for me

'diagonal' - is the four corner squares
'orthagonal' - is the four squares directly to the front, side and rear
'adjacent' - is all eight squares covered above

'melee' is a term used on the battlefield for when unit formation/structure/cohesion breaks down under too much pressure, the term I prefer is 'close combat' for combat with someone who is adjacent as opposed to 'ranged combat' for someone who isn't.

My house rules allow player characters to change what they are holding on their turn, not as an action, but cannot do so if adjacent to a monster. This means that a player character can move into a room, use his action to fire his crossbow at a target and then stow it, retrieving his hand weapon and shield in one fluid movement, and then face whatever the evil wizard player throws at him on his next turn.

Please bear in mind that I use area/pinning/death zone rules i.e. if your move takes you into a square that is adjacent to a Monster that has no other Heroes already adjacent then your movement ends so effectively once you have committed to close combat then you are stuck with whatever you are holding, bows of all types use the same stats as a Dagger in close combat (2 AD under my house rules as 1 AD is for unarmed). In my experience Monsters are rude and inconsiderate and tend not to respond well to requests to pause while you sort through your belongings and select your preferred weapon to bash their heads in with.

Back to the topic at hand I rule that crossbow (and other bows) are two handed, but the point has been made here before quite correctly that two handed weapons can be carried in one hand that just require both hands to make use of them effectively.
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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby Kurgan » Wednesday March 31st, 2021 1:23pm

I always interpreted "adjacent" (the classic rules as written) to just mean the four squares around your character. The diagonal squares are called "diagonal" or "diagonal adjacent." Ranged weapons need at least one square between the two figures to be operative (spells that attack at range can also attack diagonally or adjacently unless the card says otherwise, ANY LOS).

Hence a staff or spear can strike adjacently OR diagonally. A crossbow can fire in any direction at any range EXCEPT a touching square (adjacent four squares and the four diagonals from the figure wielding it).

Any other interpretation is a house rule.

In "real life" of course many of the weapons and armor in HQ operate differently (longswords are two handed, crossbows could be one or two handed depending upon the size, etc). You can implement any house rules you like but the intention in the NA version seems to be that crossbow is 1 handed and so is longsword. The only limitations for "two handed" (effectively) are the Battle Axe, Staff, Shield and (doesn't exist in the NA version, but the EU and those based upon it) Spear.

I've added my own homebrew weapons that are "two handed" but respect the NA rules above. So Short/Long Bow is two handed, Greatsword and Warhammer (not "hammer" which is the smaller version for me) are "two handed."

So the only question remains is IF Zargon allows you to have a shield while having a two handed weapon at all or how you switch between them. I suggest on their turn they can use an action to switch. Making it a free action (just so long as the player says it before they do anything and Zargon remembers it) is okay but could lead to abuse (they always defend with the shield and always attack with the shield on every turn... hence where's the intended limitation?).
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Re: Crossbow--2 handed or can use a shield?

Postby iKarith » Wednesday March 31st, 2021 6:55pm

I agree that when HQ rules use "adjacent", they always refer to adjacent orthogonal squares only, which is why they explicitly state "adjacent or diagonal". While it is correct that logically a diagonal square is adjacent, for the purposes of game rules, it isn't.

House rule as you like, of course, but remember: The "Free Parking lottery win" and the extending of finite resources (money, houses, hotels) are the reason why Monopoly games NEVER end.

Definitely house rule! But play test your house rules to see if they work before committing to them. :D
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