Ready, aim, shoot!
Among the participants of the battle of Fossalta were Saracen Archers and Crossbowmen from Bologna. The Rulebook for The Fall of the King™ includes the rules to allow them to fight from a distance, performing the relevant Shoot or Aim Actions in order to hit enemy targets, and then Reload to remove the white indicators and be able to shoot again.
Ready to shoot!
As we have already explained in other articles, the current player can activate one of their card piles containing Soldiers with a Shooting Skill to perform a Shoot or Aim Action in order to hit a target: any enemy pile in sight can be hit, i.e. any pile containing a tile you can touch with a ruler. But there’s an important catch: enemy soldiers in contact with friendly soldiers cannot be targeted.
After having taken a shot, regardless of the outcome, the shooting Soldiers receive a white indicator on their tile on the battlefield. Thus, they are considered to be reloading their weapon, be it a bow or a crossbow. In order to remove the white indicator and be able to shoot at an enemy target again, they must first be activated to perform the Reload Action.
Shots, like all Ventura Battle System™ Actions, must always first be declared and then measured by players to verify their feasibility. If the ruler crosses a terrain that blocks the view the shot may not be taken, but the pile is still activated and spent markers cannot be recovered. During the shot, measurements determine the shooting range, because a Soldier's Shooting Skill is penalized for each 8-segment-long stretch.
When measuring range, the current player must be able to place the ruler next to a shooter's tile, except if he is in a Formation, and at least touch the enemy target tile in order for the shot to be valid. If the shooter is in a Formation, measurement may be taken from any tile in the Formation as long as it is possible to place the ruler next to it. The Shooting Skill printed on the shooter's card indicates the number of dice to roll.
Quick or precise?
Shooting can vary: there's the quick shot performed with the Simple Action Shoot, but it penalizes your Shooting Skill. With the Simple or Complex Action Aim you get a precision shot that allows you to choose to reroll 1 dice for each shooter to get a new result. Against Milites Enemy Soldiers, Shooting Skills are increased by 1 die, to represent the larger size of the target, and the same happens when the target is stuck under a felled horse.
When your Milites Soldier are targeted by your enemy's shots, you have an important choice to make, for each target, before the opponent rolls the dice: whether the consequences will be applied to the horse or to its rider. This choice allows you to add some very interesting tactical variables that can also lead to the knight getting unsaddled and stuck under his mount. A Soldier's armor can make this happen more easily and the player must choose wisely.
After the current player has rolled the dice, it is the out-of-turn opponent who must distribute the results to inflict wounds on their targeted Soldiers. Only those results that are equal to or greater than the Protection threshold generate successes leading to the placement of red indicators on the tiles. A target may not receive the second red marker, which would make turn him into a Fallen Soldier, if all targets on that targeted pile have not received the first one yet.
If the shot inflicts wounds (i.e. red indicators), it also assigns yellow indicators to indicate the shock of having been hit and represent the Soldiers' shaken status. Shaken Soldiers must undergo a Morale check when they are activated, and the player must know how to manage them wisely so as not to risk losing them on the battlefield. As you can see, The Fall of the King's shooting system is very easy, versatile and effective, allowing players to reduce randomness by making every appropriate tactical choice.