Shields vs. VA

Hey all.

We had an interesting situation come up in our Burning WFRP game last Sunday, relating to shields and VA.

The situation is as follows:

A Heavy Crossbow-wielding enemy is preparing to fire upon one of our heroes as they bolt for the door from cover, down a corridor. One brave PC interposes himself, Dwarven-shield raised, to protect his fleeing comrade.

Now, looking at the respective number of shield dice (3-grey) and the VA (3 - I think, books at home), and the rules on shields vs ranged weapons in the Armor chapter, it would appear that the shield is ignored since its dice equal the VA.

Is it the intent that vs. VA’d ranged weapons, shields have no effect, or are we misreading, and the shield dice still count on the Armor roll?

Confused, etc.


>ou still get to roll. You can spend Persona and Fate on the roll too.

When the weapon is huge VA’ed like a heavy crossbow, that is the intent. He’s still going to get an armor roll, just without the benefit of the shield.


Think of the rules this way: if the VA of the weapon is lower than the shield, the Ob of the attack goes up because you have to shoot around the shield. Otherwise you’re just making a pincushion out of the shield. With higher VA you don’t care—you can punch right through without your missile being appreciably slowed.

If you’re charitable, you could give the shield a bonus for the higher shade. +2 dice compared to VA seems reasonable. Gray shade shields seem funny to me, though. Unless you’re making them out of some impenetrable wood, it’s an odd concept. Shields are really inherently disposable.


  1. Shields are not armor (except in the case of dwarven items resisting fire, but that’s super special). In melee, shields must be actively used to deflect attacks and in missile fire, shields increase the obstacle to be hit.
  2. Page 482 is rather explicit about the rule.


(Apologies for the delay in getting back to this)

Thank you all. I think I’ve got it now.