I am copying here a question recently posted on the DBA facebook group page. It is intriguing and I am keen to know what DBA-gurus think about it. Thanks in advance.
QUOTE - It seems a bit odd that the rules insist that the primary shooter is the nearest. This means you have to have your artillery closer to the target than your bows to get best effect. Anyone know why the rules don't just let the shooter determine which is the primary shooter? - UNQUOTE
Hi Andrea! I’m not an expert but I didn’t know that artillery and bows could fire at the same time. I always though arty shot by itself and then bows, bows being the only ones that could gang up. Will consult the Purple...
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I Stand corrected. The book doesn’t say anything about elements having to be of the same type for shooting. But it also doesn’t say anything about which element is the primary element. At least not that I can see. Will make a more careful reading of the rules.
Thanks, Greedo. It's last paragraph of Distant shooting at page 10. If I read it correctly: i) bows cannot support art if closer to target than art; ii) maximum elements of bows shooting at one target per bound is three: one shooting, two aiding. Other bow elements have to choose a different target or do not shoot.
The last paragraph of “Distant Shooting” on page 10 says:- “A second or third element shooting at the same target aids the shooting of the nearest by providing it with a tactical factor instead of being resolved separately. Any more elements shooting at that target this bound have no effect.”
So it’s not a case of saying “this element is the primary shooter, and these two elements are supporting it”. The correct procedure is to say “these three elements are shooting at that target”, and the rules decide who is the primary shooter (i.e. the closest one)...which can be bad news for Artillery if someone else is closer.
However, Artillery can shoot at any target it likes...so it could be the primary shooter if it picks a target that no-one else is shooting at (but then it’ll have to shoot alone, which might still be better than ganging-up if it has a ‘quick-kill’).
Note the text of the original edition, March 1990 (We have been doing this for 30 years!). It has the vague rule: "A 2nd or 3rd element that shoots at the same target element aids the shooting of the 1st ." This would allow the player to pick the primary. However, it led to problems, so in 1.1 (1995) we come closer to what we have today. " A 2nd or 3rd element that shoots at the same target aids the shooting of the nearest instead of being treated separately." Edition 2 continued this process, "A 2nd or 3rd element that shoots at the same element, BUA, or camp aids the shooting of the nearest instead of being treated separately. "
In 3, we have : "A second or third element shooting at the same target aids the shooting of the nearest by providing it with a tactical factor instead of being resolved separately. " This now tells us what the "aid" entails.
As Tom suggests, after 25 years with the clossest being the primary, nobody sought to change it back to the original version.