A question about Bow & Arrow.

It hasn’t occurred to me since now, but having stared at the new boxed set artwork for so long, I have found something a bit odd.

Exhibit A:

From this picture we can clearly see an altercation taking place in which two parties, three mice and one dastardly fox are engaging in some heated “discussions.” From the photo, we can also clearly see that the mice in question have at their disposal personal weapons in their paws. Now from my observations, it can be stated that of the three weapons presented, both the sword and axe seem to have not yet caused any damage to said fox, only the bow has been fired, seemingly twice, and two arrows have struck the fox on its muzzle with enough force to lodge themselves there.

My question is this: If from the picture it looks as though the axe and sword could easily slice off the foxes nose, why then is the bow/arrow combo look so wimpy?!

I know that MG isn’t like other RPG’s in that weapons produce numbered hit dice to determine damage and life loss, but c’mon, I would think that the arrows would at least puncture halfway into their target.

I’ll pass on my soapbox to the readers, but I’m still thoroughly confused.

Maybe some players who have created guard that utilize the bow/arrow could chime in with their observations during game play about how their weapons match up against the other weapons mice carry?

I’m not exactly sure what your question is. Are you asking why someone would choose a bow as a weapon according to the mechanics of the game?

If that’s the question, the answer is simple: Bows are among the best, most dependable weapons you can choose.

First, your Attack is amazing. Against any other weapon except slings and bows, if you choose Attack and your opponent also chooses Attack, it’s a Versus test rather than the Independent test Attack vs. Attack usually is. That means you can safely choose the Attack action without the normal concern that you’ll get dinged really badly if your opponent also chooses Attack.

To sweeten the deal, if you choose Attack and your opponent chooses Maneuver, the tests are independent rather than versus as they normally are. That means your opponent is stripped of a powerful defensive option. If you choose an Attack and they choose a Maneuver, you can really put a hurt on them.

To make Attack even more attractive, if you choose Attack and your opponent chooses Defend, you get +1D.

Since Feint doesn’t work against Attack, all this means that your Attack action with a bow has a decent answer to any action your opponent chooses to use against it. That’s huge!

And just to make it even better, your Maneuver also gets a powerful boost. As long as you’re using it against someone who doesn’t also have a weapon with the missile quality, you get +2D to your Maneuvers.

Bows are awesome.

Who says the axe or sword can chop off the fox’s nose? They look like they could give him a nasty little cut at best.

It looks to me that there is a third arrow in the leg which is bleeding. I would hardly say the sword and axe appear as though they could cut through the bone in the muzzle and probably could not do much against the fleshy tissue either. Perhaps it is simply an optical illusion that the sword and axe seem to loom so largely.

The following come to mind:

a) Mr. Petersen has created yet another exceptional piece of artwork.
b) I’m assuming that the rules of MG, much like BW, were written to support telling interesting stories and having a fun game, rather than trying to be a physics engine which attempts to mimic reality… even if that reality involves sentient Mouse rangers.

Sometimes a picture is just a picture (albeit an amazing one), and a game is just a game (same proviso).

I appreciate Thor’s information on bows, however. I need to keep that info in mind for my upcoming games!

A couple of thoughts on why bows:

1: Style points. Bows and arrows are cool.
2. Safety. You can reach out and touch someone from a distance, hopefully out of reach.
3. Poison arrows. Need I say more.

Thor outlined all the game mechanics reasons. Also MG is about more than just the numbers. If you get too tied up in the numbers physics really starts to rear it’s ugly head and tell you most of the setting just won’t work.

I did note the archer mouse is gripping his bow string upside down compared to the way I shoot. It’s still an awesome picture though.

Yep, as an archer myself, I noticed that, too. With a grip like that, you’ll only get a half-draw, and you’ll smack the living crap out of the back of your wrist & hand in the process. (Ouchie…)

On the other hand, I suppose the archer mouse may have been caught out in an awkward position, and be recovering his bow and readying a shot as quickly as possible since he’s about to be chomped in half if his two friends can’t pull his mousely fat out of the fire.

Shoot, this was supposed to be an edit of my post above. Sorry.

Anybody have any ideas on what to do about a crossbow, if you wanted to ratchet the tech level half a notch forward? Just curious.

How about this?
Keep the rules text above the A/D/F/M section the same, then apply the following differences:
Attack: +1S (crossbows are easier to use accurately, and take less training, therefore they should give a more direct result)
Defend: -
Feint: -
Maneuver: +1D (the longer reload time of a crossbow costs it a bit of flexibility in this regard).

Or maybe keep it the same (except for the +1D -> +1S change on Attack), but say that it can only be used every other set of 3 actions in a conflict.

Hmm. Working this out has brought up a question, and I want to be sure I’m understanding the Bow’s text correctly now.

It lists:
Attack: +1D*
Defend: -
Feint: -
Maneuver: +2D

And it’s text says three things:
a) Against shorter-ranged weapons, your attack is a versus against Attack and is independent against Maneuver. (That’s easy enough to understand.)

b) +2D to Maneuver against normal, spear, or thrown weapons.
Is that an additional +2D, or is that the only time when the +2D to Maneuver applies?

c) * +1D to Attack vs. Defend.
Is that an additional +1D, or does the bow only get the +1D versus Defend?

The text is pretty clear. Long Range gives you +2D maneuver except against missile weapons. Hard to Defend gives you a +1D attack against defend.