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Crossbow Argument

Discuss Quests, Cards, Monsters etc, from HeroQuest Game Systems.

Re: Crossbow Argument

Postby wallydubbs » Thursday January 16th, 2020 8:03am

Good point! There are Crossbowed Orcs in Against the Ogre Horde and Wizards of Morcar; Dark Company and Frozen Horror have Crossbowmen working for the Evil Wizard that can shoot across the board; and Mage of the Mirror has Elven Archers.
If the heroes are going to have ranged restrictions, so should the ranged monsters.


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Re: Crossbow Argument

Postby Kurgan » Saturday February 1st, 2020 12:28pm

Maybe shooting somebody that far in real life would be a difficult feat, but these are HEROES. Sometimes you can just chalk it up to these being exceptional individuals (as long as their luck holds out, that is).

So if you roll a skull? That's a hit, and unless they roll a black shield to counter, I'm going to count it. But that's me...

Speaking of which, in the last game I played had a weaponless Mercenary (he had two daggers, both of which were thrown and lost) knock out and kill a Chaos Warrior (the monster was down to 1 Body point), meaning he killed it with his BARE HANDS. Lucky punch, and then his foe tumbled into an open pit and landed on his own axe... ;)


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Re: Crossbow Argument

Postby wallydubbs » Wednesday February 5th, 2020 9:59am

Maybe it wasn't a punch, maybe he put him in a headlock and snapped his neck...?

Anyway, I don't think a skull should count as a hit for an unarmed hero or mercenary (except for the Barbarian). I'd say a white shield or a black shield depending.


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Re: Crossbow Argument

Postby Tott » Thursday February 6th, 2020 7:05am

Personally, i think all ranged attacks (including spells) should have a range limit just for the purpose of game balance. id say a weaker ranged weapon should have a range of 3 or 4 squares with the very strongest of weapons reaching maybe 7 squares?
On a fairly limited board like HQ's even a range of 4 will allow a hero to cover most of the rooms while preventing ranged attacks from being too powerful in the long corridors.
This then opens the way for items that are more or less the same except for range and additional items/skills/abilites that increase range as well as debuffs that decrease range.
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Re: Crossbow Argument

Postby Kurgan » Monday February 10th, 2020 3:37pm

There's also the (excellent) Combat Cards which can turn up a Goblin Crossbowman (as long as there is a Goblin on the board to equip)!

I thought about using the "unarmed combat" alternate rules thing where they roll a number of dice and black shields count as hits (Barbarian with the most, Wizard with the least), but it comes up so rarely I always forget.


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Re: Crossbow Argument

Postby Daedalus » Monday August 16th, 2021 2:41am

Since the Crossbow can be such a big advantage at long range, setting a limitation from the get-go could be a good idea.. A range house-rule:

    Roll the red movement dice when attacking with a ranged weapon. If the result is less than the distance in squares to the target, then you must reroll any skulls.
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Re: Crossbow Argument

Postby banjo_oz » Friday December 10th, 2021 9:44am

I personally always played the Crossbow (and ranged enemies like Elven Archers and Orc Crossbowmen) as having "unlimited range" for simplicity's sake, with the restriction being no adjacent squares including diagonal (so none of the 8 squares around the firer).

As I am going to be playing again for the first time in a long time (thanks, re-release Mythic Pledge!) I *am* however strongly considering adding an ammo restriction on heroes with Crossbows (or my house rule shortbows/longbows; 2/4 dice respectively). How much do others think arrows (for simplicity's sake, I'll assume a single ammo type for bows and crossbows, realism ignored) should cost? 1 gold per shot? 20 gold per 10 shots? 50 gold per 12 shots? More?
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Re: Crossbow Argument

Postby Kurgan » Friday December 10th, 2021 2:16pm

Reading through the various arguments and topics over the years regarding the ranged weaponry in HeroQuest, I can understand the desire by some to introduce new homebrew limitations to de-power them. But if a person is going for "realism" I honestly am convinced they are just fine as is.

Sure, the debate over whether you can hit someone at point blank range rages on. HeroQuest isn't perfectly realistic (Plate Armor shouldn't cut your movement speed/range in half for instance, and Longswords would be two handed, etc. etc). There is still some "game balance" thrown in there for flavor.

But judging by estimates of the size of the board squares (and assuming a generously high ceiling) and looking at world records for throwing axes (or hatchets, tomahawks) and thrown knives, crossbow bolts and bow and arrow... it is plausible that you could hit enemies on the other end of the corridor. These are HEROES after all, exceptionally skilled (probably trained from an early age as many were in the ancient past), not just some guy off the street who is grabbing a weapon for the first time. Sure, they ought to be able to hit someone at close range too, but that limitation is obviously there so you will still want to buy a sword.

The Warhammer fantasy setting which inspired HeroQuest's world has a mixture of different earth time periods, cultures with a healthy dose of pure fantasy sprinkled in there. In real life Pistol crossbows existed which could be fired with one hand. Granted, we've been through the argument that it still required a second hand to load. So whether you want to call it a one or two handed weapon is up to you. I've seen Longswords used with one hand as well even if they were typically used two handed. The rules don't impose those limitations by default however, so it's homebrew if you go beyond that. The real question is why?

To me the four diagonal squares seems like a loophole, and I'd make an executive decision to just disallow the four diagonal close squares (but one square away, no problem, in any direction) just because it makes the already powerful weapon way too powerful.

As for the number of arrows, I didn't find how many crossbow bolts or quarrels were typically carried in war, but for arrows it was something like 20-60 arrows, and yet in major battles they not only had quivers but also arrows stuck in the ground and smiths carrying in litters or even whole wagon loads of new arrows to re-supply the archers. You might not be carrying a literal bottomless bag of arrows/bolts, but you could imagine you have a "big enough" supply that you would not realistically run out in the course of a standard quest (even if you didn't have the ability to retrieve usable projectiles after each fight, which I think typically they didn't in warfare). I forget the details but one of the official expansions had a crossbow you find with very limited ammo but that was a special case (much like the magic bow you get in EQP, super powerful but only a handful of arrows).

But you do what you want in your own game of course! I'm just saying the "realism" argument for knocking down the Crossbow's abilities in HeroQuest doesn't really make much sense to me. Just admit you're changing it for difficulty management and gameplay balance and leave it there. I use NA rules by the way, where the targeting is a little stricter than the EU editions.


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Re: Crossbow Argument

Postby banjo_oz » Friday December 10th, 2021 3:34pm

I think a big part of my personal temptation to add "ammo" is my love of scarce resource management in games, something I suspect is not shared by most. After all, my personal total conversion of HQ is a "survival horror" zombie apocalypse adaptation where you need to count bullets... :P
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Re: Crossbow Argument

Postby Kurgan » Friday December 10th, 2021 3:39pm

Oh don't worry, there are those who have taken it to the lengths... we're talking having to repair your armor and weapons and store things between quests, not to mention limited carrying capacity in-quest. I wouldn't be surprised if there are those who have adapted the game to require your Heroes to eat and sleep too. The beauty is you can make it as simple or complex as you want.


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