About Archers

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This is a page that includes direct quotes from people about history or other in game aspects; these can come in the form of sage advice, rants or humor. Updaters please feel free to add to the pages below but please do not subtract even if you disagree with the info or opinion.

Read more from players in their own words back at the main page.


Advice for new Archers

Ceian

Mind you this is all objective truth because I am font of infallible wisdom.

Gear: You can get a 35# bow on Ebay for around $150 (the Samick Sage is real popular), or as little as a third of that if you patiently scour pawn shops but I gotta tell you $100 doesn't buy very much of my time, personally speaking. Do not attempt to play with a weaker bow. Make sure your bow has an arrow rest. Get a nock ring put on your bowstring (your local archery store can do this for you, not sure if Cabelas etc will) because you will need to it nock by touch. Get a glove or a tab or some kind of finger protection (I prefer a glove), you may be able to play a battlegame without but you won't be able to practice without one. The premade arrows from Warlord Sports are pretty solid. If you make your own you are going to be doing it off Fitz's tutorial so you might as well buy your materials from him in the form of his kits. Be sure to write your name on your fletchings.

Technique: Aim up a little to compensate for fall and right a little to compensate for drift. Bend your left (or bow arm) elbow to keep it out of the path of the string - you do not need a bracer unless your form is wrong. Don't try to shoot someone more than 50' away. The single most common failure of newbie archers is consistently taking shots well outside of their effective range. The drills section of other peoples' advice here talks about a lot of advanced shit, that I would recommend you not bother with until you are already competent at the basic, fundamental skill of lining up an easy, 'gimme' shot and not screwing it up. Drill at 45'. Fire hundreds (thousands) of arrows at a small (2.5" width is perfect) target at 45'. Drill yourself to instinctively think of 45' as firing range, and this will help you far more than improving your actual bow skill (although you will also improve that some).

Tactics: Sword side flank. Know what your escape strategy is. Don't siphon a shieldman off the line for your personal service but identify a "safe zone" to retreat to if necessary (often unnecessary for Assassins). Casters are the primary target, and the best time to get them is when they're immobilized by casting. Anyone who doesn't realize you're there is good too. Pinning Arrow deployed proactively to make any excess enemy linemen your line isn't handling are tied up in Stop does a better job of stopping you from being rushed than using it reactively by trying to find it in your quiver, draw, nock and fire it all before someone can get onto you.

Turtyl of Cordis Medagar

Mind you this is all personal opinion:

Kind of Bow: Fiberglass. This will stand up to the rigors of combat better then wood. Yes wood may be better for looks, but the fiberglass is much more sturdy. Hop on eBay and you can find 35# fiberglass longbows for under $20 that are still in good condition.

Good Cheap Graphite Arrows: The cheapest I've found are Wolverine Brand from Wal-Mart, they seem to fly true and if they break...they're only $3.00 a piece, I highly recommend Thornetech Arrows thier inexpensive to make ($7-10 including the arrow) and fly truer, and are less painful to the recipiant then some of the more popular arrow techs out there.

String: For some odd reason the only strings that I can get in my area for my bow are custom made by a guy in town so I can't help you on that. Check out eBay though, you can get most string lengths for about $10 a string + shipping.

Garb Considerations: Only two things I can really think of, as your quiver location is strictly up to you (I'm a back quiver kinda guy myself). First and formost from what I've experianced, make sure you have either short and/or non-floppy sleeves on your tunic. I don't know how many times I've botched shots because my sleeve caught the string. And #2 if your a klutz like me, you might want to get some leather bracers or an armguard, bow-bruises suck.

Practice drills: I just play pop-a-monk most of the time myself, but if you can get in touch with Squire Grumish of Ferrum Crux (he's GM-Archer for RW), he is leathal with his bow and has given me a lot of tips and tricks, and practice drills to perform better as an arrowflinger, and I have greatly improved my archery over the past few months thanks to him.

I used to shoot a lot as a kid, but up until about 5 months ago I had been out of practice for 15+ years. Its slow and frustrating to get back into the swing of things but with practice (and in my case a willing monk with a cup Wink ) you'll be back in target in no time.

Rewth

What kinds/brands of bows do you favor?

PSE bullseye. internature makes some good ones too. i prefer to shoot a modern takedown recurve, cuz its takedown it travels to the park easier, and modern recurves are simply more efficient.

but, i also am a absolute sucker for traditional bows. i'll happily shoot (and am in the process of making) any selfbow put in my hands. also putting hte final touches on repairing a bamboo backed cherry bow. --purrrrrr--


Where are you finding good, cheap graphite arrows?


you are better off buying complete arrows from Avalon. his arrows run either 5 or 6 bucks a piece, which is less than most folks can get the materials together for and are the most accurate arrows i've ever shot in amtgard. though that said, i havn't shot oznog's meatseakers or jalea's molded foam arrows yet.

String preferences?

none really, unless its a traditional bow. then i like a flemish twist, with natural fur string dampeners (mine are ermine)(poor little weasel)

Garb considerations?

excellent question. get an arm guard. you may not need one for practice, but in a melee, you'll screw up your technique on at least a few shots. after pumping out 300+ arrows yur arm is gonna be nasty red/bruised. though the plus side is you'll rarely feel it during hte game. a glove is a good idea for similar reasons.

jsut straight garb.... keep your sleeves tight or non existant. nothign sucks more than having your sleeve tangle in your string, sending an arrow 4 feet to the side of its intended target. unforutnatley for me, most my sleeves suck. so i typically roll them up out of hte way and steal a enchantment strip from a caster to tie them in place. then i tuck the enchant strip out of sight to avoid confusion (usess i can also con an enchantment out of em too)

Practice drills?

send me an email: rewth@rewth.com and i'll bounce you 7 of em (each with a few variations). some are solo, some require friends. you jsut have to edit them for grammer/spelling/clarity for me asthey are going in a publication later.

About Awards for Arching prowess

Rewth

"archery is a major draw to many players and a major component of our game." (to quote myself)

archery serves as a gateway to Amtgard for a HUGE number of people. there are tons of folks that have stated that archery was their reason for entering the game. its something that should be encouraged to grow and prosper as it helps the game grow and prosper. and, unfortunately, awards are often a great way to do such a thing.

also, archery is a separate facet of our game that unlike virtually anything else, is not awarded. its a pretty glaring hole in the middle of the awards system. you can get a Dragon for making a pretty necklace, but show some dedication to a martial style and get nuttin but a few glares when you kill folks. we award virtually every single aspect of Amtgard that helps to improve our game. archery is an exception and by doing so can give the impression that it doesn't improve our game and isn't important or something people should concern themselves with.

we can talk all day bout how people shouldn't look for awards, that its bad and selfish and not a strong character trait. but the fact remains that awards exist. people will try to achieve them. to think otherwise is delusional.

but... "need" is a strong word. Amtgard doesn't need yet another award to stick on a shelf or nail to a wall (or burn in the middle of court). i think Amtgard would benefit from an archery award, but i don't know if it needs it. i'd support the proposal (as i am doing now), but i doubt i'd spearhead it. right now i'm really just defending something i see as a good concept that's being brow beat by people that don't seem to have a concept of what archery is (or have axes to grind). oh.. and wasting time at work since i'm getting canned soon.

Rewth

the point still exists that so far no one has disputed otherwise that archery has no method of awarding excellence within our game, yet is a major draw to many players and a major componant of our game. the best anyone has done so far is "archery sucks and doesn't need ot be given awards cuz an archer shot me once when i wasn't looking and i'm a good archer but am a sword knight too" or something to that effect.

Rakhir

I believe there is an award for archery in the same way that there is an award for flail and an award for single sword. They're called orders of the warrior. Most archers just screw themselves by neglecting the other combat skills necessary to attain the high level orders you guys are seeking, and, as Glorious showed, a number of quality archers who haven't neglected these have already attained the Warlord/Sword Knight awards.

Put another way, Amtgard doesn't recognize skill in a single weapon, it recognizes skill at general combat. Archers screw themselves by focusing on a single weapon without gaining aptitude in any of the others.

Glorious

What has been pointed out is that archery is a part of combat just like fighting with a sword, a polearm, an axe, a flail, a throwing dagger, a spellball, or a wombat on a stick. As such, archery can combine with any of those other categories into orders of the warrior and, theoretically, sword knight/warlord.

Archery actually is part of the streak for one of my warlords. We did combat archery as one of the lists. And people in my kingdom do get orders of the warrior for archery, throwing daggers, and combat spellball. The thing is you really can't get beyond a second-level order that way unless you have a really massive number of people entering the tournament. So, like every other fighting discipline, projectiles need to be combined with other skills you are strong in to yield long streaks that lead to warlord/sword knight.

Bangor

Tard talk tard talk tard talk. (ignore starting here) Not true, the argument that has been stated is that we have Master Archer, so the category is covered. I continued the logic by saying we also have Guildmaster of Archers. These are the only two recognized structures for archery, and are based on class, and class ability, not martial ability. (discontinue ignoring here) tard talk tard talk tard talk

Korderellin

Okay. Point made. Now we need some sort of framework to attempt to fix it. The only one I've seen so far has Knighthood as the end goal, and so no one is going to give it significant consideration. That, and I don't like the name. (Order of the Artemis? I mean, come on. How about Order of the Sagittarius/Sagittarian or something along those lines? That's not even great, but I think it works better than the original suggestion.)

So why don't we try to reformulate it? It can still lead to Masterhood (As long as the name isn't "Great Archer"), just not as a "ladder award" as per the new award standardization (i.e. not leading to Knighthood). That way, it would be implementable on a Kingdom level, and not require CoM approval.

Moorcat

For the upteenth time, I am not advocating a knighthood for archery. I was used as an example by Bangor.

Like Rewth, I would like to see some method of awarding exceptional archers but it is quite obvious from this thread that it won't happen anytime soon. That is sad and unfortunate, but expected. In the last seven years, I have seen a plethera of anti-archery moves (up to and including a move to ban archery entirely from the game). It should come as no surprise that archery continues to be the bastard stepchild of Amtgard.

Glorious, you may be a decent sword fighter (I really don't know because I have never seen you fight). That does not mean that everyone interested in sword fighting can shoot a bow. In fact, I have not seen many recognised sword fighters that could hit the side of a barn from inside the barn. Conversely, the idea that an archer would necessarily be good at melee combat is assinine. Most truly dedicated archers could care less for melee combat - they are spending thier time working on thier archery.

It is the combat system (and to a lesser extent, the award system) that drives archers to learn how to melee - if for no other reason than to stay alive longer on the battlefield. Even then, there are many that don't bother - myself included. If someone gets close enough to hit me, I have done something terribly wrong, and in truth, it doesn't happen all that often.

I will continue to improve my archery, regardless of how I am awarded. When I no longer have any incentive to work on archery in Amtgard, I will find some other outlet for my sport/art/craft. I have also worked VERY hard to promote archery in Amtgard - running events, teaching archery, improving designs, disemenating information, etc - and again, I didn't do it for awards. I did it because I am just as dedicated to archery as you are to your sword technique. The difference is that you are recognised, awarded, and respected for it. I am called a flurb, a coward, and a weakling because I prefer to use a bow instead of a peice of funnoodle on a golf shaft. Further, my sport/art/craft will put meat on the table. How many deer have you killed with your sword?

Lucas The Lost

Orders of the warrior can be awarded for "field prowess". A sufficiently bad-ass archer should be capable of becoming a sword knight on their ability to dictate the outcome of a battlegame, no tournament streaks required. Several people have been KoS'd based on battlegame performance.

The same argument can be applied to spell casters or sufficiently deadly assassins (Whisper, though I don't believe he ever made KoS).

Heimdale

The easist way to gain recognition and awards playing Archer is to reinstate Archery Tournaments twice a year. Awarding the title of archery champion to the individual that wins the event. Orders of the warrior can be awarded to either the winner, participants, or both. This was the way it was handled in the 80's

Euric

I have one word from personal experience. Warblade, not only is he a damn good sword Knight but when he plays archer he is capable of some very accomplished shooting. Not only is he fast with his arrows and shots but I remember one specific game where he decided to do basically nothing but shoot weapons. Some of the shots were easily 40-50 ft away and he hit several swords. I do agree that most Sword Knights I have seen would look at archery with the same disdain they do a flail. There are ALWAYS exceptions, Sir Warblade is a great example of that.

Clu

I've listened to the recommendations above and think ultimately order of the warrior is the best way to go. At both Clan and Banner Wars in the previous year (2016) we saw "Archer Battles" where from two to four archers at a time open fire on each other to determine a victor. With the growing interest of archery in Amtgard the participation at these battles/tournaments was quite huge. Orders of the Warrior could be given for the kill count from these battles.

And I can almost hear it now "What happens when they get tenth Orders of the Warrior doing this? Can they become sword knights?" As mentioned previously, does the archer turn the tide of battle? Do other sword knights acknowledge the archer's superior mastery of a martial art to be a sword knight? Well that is for the monarchs and sword knights to decide. In the meantime: Archer Battles and Orders of the Warrior. Lots of fun, victors are determined, awards given out, problem solved.

About Arching practice Drills.

Malek Marlschev

Practice Drills: Avalon has several on his website. When I practice, I have 24 arrows in my quiver, but I suggest at least a dozen.

Stationary shooting: I use this to warm up and cool down. Vary the distances - 20, 40, 60 and 80 feet.

Shooting on the move: Pick a distance and pace back and forth (side-side) while shooting at the target, shooting without breaking stride. This will involve walking forwards and backwards to mantain keeping your target in sight. Vary the distance. I usally do this at 40 and 60 feet. Variant: forward and back. I go between the 20 and 60 foot mark. Start at the 60 foot mark, walk toward the target, then when you hit 20, walk backwards away from the target - again, shooting without breaking stride.

Speed shooting: If you have a stopwatch or countdown alarm, this helps a lot. Have 12 arrows in your quiver and set the timer for 1 minute. (30 seconds for 6 arrows) Empty the quiver as fast as you can. Shoot from 40 feet. Vary distance if you like. Once you are able to empty your quiver in under a minute only missing once (or less), then lower the time to 45 seconds and go again.

Accuracy: Make a specific target 6" or less across. Fire 12 arrows at it from 40 feet. When you can hit it 100% of the time consistently, move to 60, then 80 feet.

A rundown on Archer Abilities

Black Bart

Reload: Only thing of note is that this takes you Out of Game, so you cannot be affected by any means whatsoever while collecting arrows.

Mend: No comment, keep your stuff fixed, or help a teammate.

Sniper: Keep in mind that you can only have ONE arrow charged at a time, and that you still need proper covers for your arrows.

Specialty Arrows

Destruction Arrow: Pretty straight forward, it is one of the very few things that is Shield Destroying.

Pinning Arrow: Can be very effective to stop a fully armored Warrior from rampaging, also keep in mind it is from the sorcery school, so it works on Barbarians.. which can halt a Fight After Death.

Poison Arrow: Does not work against Paladins, or anyone else who is immune to death.

Suppression Arrow: Works very well against casters, especially Healers who often have shields.

Phase Arrow: Great for taking out Monks, and Undead Minions.