Slings overpowered?

Insurgent

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Mar 17, 2016
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SUSPEND DISBELIEF
I know a lot of people don't believe a sling to be effective but they are actually strong weapons. My original opinion of the sling was very low after many childhood backyard experimentations. But I lived in Palestine for a year and witnessed up close people using these weapons. There were a couple of things I remember about Palestinians using them in clashes with Israeli forces. First the motion of a sling isn't an overhead halo on release, it builds momentum with one overhead halo but on the second rotation becomes a diagonal 45' slap across the back. When the sling is released it is the same arm gesture as a baseball throw but extended by the length of the sling.

Secondly the sling could only be used in open ground. The gesture and rotation of the sling made the use of cover impossible. A lone slinger was totally exposed before and after his release. Most times you only saw slingers among a larger group of stone throwers. Their extended range would punch past the furthest stone throw and threaten (pin) solders while stone throwers rushed forward.

The whole thing was an awesomely dangerous demonstration of rage. But if the Palestinians sustained a hail of stones for long enough they gained positions on rooftops and in alleyways that permitted them to use molotov cocktails. From this point they had a real impact on Israeli military operations and could disable columns and pin personal for hours. A lot a Palestinians die throwing stones and using slings.

You may think ,"If the Israelis opened up on them this wouldn't be a problem?" The answer is, they often do. Then the Israelis just killed someone for throwing a stone at them when they are soldiers armed with guns. The David Vs Goliath allegory doesn't help the situation and the whole thing gets really political really quickly. The point for Palestinians is that even if they have almost no means of military resistance they will not allow the occupation to be normalized and show this by welcoming the Israeli military into their cities with a rain of stones.

I don't mean to trivialize this issue by posting this on science fiction gaming site. But the urban clashes I witnessed in Palestine were a resistance based conflict which equipped itself with the most improvised arms you could imagine. I could post another page about some of the pin guns and molotov launchers I saw but lets just say desperate people make desperate weapons. The sling is traditionally a weapon used by shepherds to protect their flocks from wolves and wild dogs (Bretonian Shepherds!). To this day there is a strong shepherding culture in Palestine and I witnessed a mediterranean culture using this traditional weapon.

Finally I would like to say that in skilled hands the sling is accurate and lethal. The level of practice and familiarity required to effectively use it in hunting and war might be comparable to the levels required for competent longbow use. Despite its drawbacks it is an effective poor man's weapon but I would also say that because of the sweeping movements required to use it only lightly armored warriors would feel comfortable wielding it. Heavily armored warriors would not have the fluid dexterity or energy to use a sling.

BACK TO FANTASY
In comparison with other medieval weapons I think the sling is where it needs to be. If you want to knock off two to four inches off the range I won't cry but I think it can stand up to the Short Bow in range and shooting while moving. The close range rapid fire rule is a roundabout way of saying that at closer ranges you just start throwing rocks at people (and bigger ones at that).

I am currently working on introducing the whole range of medieval weaponry into the 41st Millenium. Because Scavvies, Mutants, Grots, and Ratskins deserve to improvise when they crawl out of whatever slime hole they come from.
 
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Insurgent

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WEIRD SLING RULE: A model using a sling may not shoot from cover against the target of the sling. Slings require space to use and their proper use requires the model to be fully exposed to the intended target. This rule does not apply for targets 9"in or closer.

Lets not forget that the Sling is such an improvised weapon that in D&D it is free! Ya the cost isn't balanced, but remember what kind of broke ass poor troops are using it.

Why the hell can't Zealots use slings? By Sigmar, sometimes you just need to stone a witch.
 
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Loriel

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@Insurgent wow, thanks for the input and I stand corrected.

That idea that you cannot be in cover would make really neat gimmick mechanic and since it is based highly on real sling usage. It would be situational nerf especially if players much scatter terrain, but I like it :D And the idea that rule doesn't apply at closer range is backed up with the fact that you can use shorter sling (or hold it shorter) when you don't need that much range. (atleast according to wikipedia :D )

I just watched some history channel document about sling and during testing a primitive sling generated 3,2 KN force, enough to break even backbone... Also according to that they had greater effective range than normal bows!

From wikipedia also. Thats one big sling :D
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the current record for the greatest distance achieved in hurling an object from a sling is 437.10 m (1,434 ft 1 in), using a 129.5 cm (51.0 in) long sling and a 52 g (1.8 oz) ovoid stone, set by Larry Bray in Loa, Utah, USA on 21 August 1981.
 
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spafe

Executive Officer in charge of Hats
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While I get it was very in context, and well written, this is just a friendly reminder that real world political issues have no place on the board. Therefore as a contextual point, the above post is fine, and very very compelling case for slings effectiveness, however can we have no replies regarding the context of the use of slings in that example, that'd be great.

Okay, mod stuff over.

Yeah that's a great point, for their use. I'll be honest though, when you are in a world of repeater crossbows... and literall ogres running around, a sling might need to be less effective, purely to give scope for those things to exist. This isn't a 'fluff argument' but more mechanically for the betterment of the game as it is played... should they have a nerf? I think @Insurgent 's points and @Loriel 's reading both point to it being conclusive that slings should be considered lethal weapons and crazily above what folk think they should be, but does that lead to a balanced/fun game to play?
 
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chaosticket

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Jun 17, 2015
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united states of america
Right now I think slings are very questionably balanced. Theyre too cheap for shortbows +1, but theyre the only ranged options Skaven and Sisters have. Them having ANY gold cost is there for balance as those would generally be made by the warband rather than bought like expensive black powder weapons from Nuln.

Ive said it before but nerfing them would be more reasonable if there were other options. 5gold cost and +1 to armor save would be fair but I would still like to see shortbows and bows as replacements.

I do not like how only heroes can use any weapons outside the starting equipment list. It hurts the game quite a bit by causing situations where spamming is the most common decision. I like practicality but its too much to remove any point of option anything other than slings and then any changes become severe.
 

spafe

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Skaven have warplock pistols, throwing stars and blowpipes...

What is your warband?

Undead only have bows and shortbows... hardly a massive range, same with possessed. So skaven have more options than undead if you look at it that way.
 

chaosticket

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Altering other warbands is too big a discussion to put here. Suffice it to say Id like to see skeletons with quipment among the vampire count warband. I know there is the Blood dragon variant warband, but its not the same.

Mordheim has too many issues trying to balance ranged weapons that it ruins them. Slings and various bows are fine, but everything else is expensive and often require shooting skills that only certain heroes can take. There is much less freedom than Necromunda. I havent made suggestions to buff the skaven, but basically buff everyone by allowing more weapon options.

1 warplock pistols are expensive but may actually be worth it if you can put in the skills for it. 2 strength 5 shots at 14" every turn is a nice goal if you can take shooting skills.

2 Throwing stars cost 35g, is usually hero exclusive(definitely for Skaven), and needs the Eagle Eye skill to be as about as effective as a common shortbow. Only reason to get it if you REALLY want to have Knife Fighter and have strength 4+.

3 Blowpipes...Yeah no. expensive, short ranged but confusingly it auto-wounds on a 6+ to hit, but can only wound on a 6+ otherwise. Its less effective than nearly any ranged weapon in the game. Theoretically its useful if you go up against Toughness 5 enemies and have all your skaven heroes with Quick Shot.

Any wonder why slings are used by the entire warband? Same goes to Bows Vs blackpowder weapons.
 
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