Fine Heavy weapon

Hey Guys,
Im doing my first BoB campaign and so far (we are at Plainsworth) its been awesome. Love the balance between missions and campaign play. But I have a question.

Does a fine heavy weapon grant potency in melee? Is there a reason to choose this over fine weapon + shield for the heavy?

Depends on what you’re trying to do with it. Mechanically, in most circumstances, I’d say it doesn’t grant blanket potency (it might in certain circumstances, but blanket potency would make Weaponmaster redundant), but in affecting fictional positioning, it might change your risk or effect on certain rolls.

So, if you’re trying to keep a perimeter clear of Rotters while you squad rigs explosives on a bridge, I’d say having a Fine wave-bladed zweihander would mean that scale is less of a dominant factor against your heavy. Given their Threat 2 and Fine equipment, they’d be in a Risky situation if outnumbered, with Standard effect - they can keep the Rotters off for two ticks/a Standard rig roll. If they had a sabre and shield, I’d argue they’t be at Desperate, Limited - they can’t hold off as many rotters and this means more risk for themselves and the squad. Maybe they need an assist or backup from some squadmates.

Conversely, if our Heavy is trying to cover the Medic from missile fire as they haul a key alchemist to safety, then having a shield is going to significantly reduce their risk - even more so if it’s a tower shield. Risky, potentially Controlled, with the shield, vs. Desperate without. It’s all about how your choice of weapon affects your fictional positioning. This will change your Position and Effect, as well as which rolls you can make.

then I’ve been doing it right. It´s good in certain situations but not always. The question came up since the the player who is playing the heavy felt like choosing the shield combe is always better and that the heavy weapon should grant potency in fight vs Ache the infamous heartless.

I think using Wreck with a Heavy Weapon would be a lot more viable than with a Hand Weapon - more risky than skirmish, but more potential damage.

You’re right, it’s partly about Position and effect, but I think you have to be more prudent in the way you allow this.

Let’s take your first example. If the guy with a Zweihänder is in Controlled position, then, in fact, he is better protected than if he has a shield ! Because being in Controlled always reduce your damage by one, while a Shield will be mechanically useful only once. I think, in your example, it should be more a balance : the guy with the big sword could be in Desperate/Standard (less protected), the guy with the Shield could be in Risky/Limited (less efficient).

Another way to use the characteristics of the equipment is with Devil’s Bargains, that’s what is described on page 76 “the devil is in the details”. So to apply that to your first example, one could say that… I don’t know… maybe “Collateral damage, unintended harm” ? So : “You have a Zweihänder ? OK, so, you jump around like a madman and swing your big sword wildly, and they won’t be able to pass at all, even on a partial. But the guy who is rigging the explosives also takes a 1-Harm wound, because you hit him unintentionally in the back while preparing an upward stroke.”

I wouldn’t give the first situation a Controlled position at all unless the Heavy had Weaponmaster or Pushed for Effect and traded Effect for Position; unless it’s only, say, one enemy I’d say any PC who’s outnumbered in melee should be in at least a Risky position. That said, I’d also make a distinction about who the harm applies to; Even if both situations are Risky/Standard, I’d say that the Heavy Weapon user will be more likely to incur harm to themselves while the Shield user might be less able to protect their comrades, leading to their harm.

O yes, that’s good. But (advice to GMs new and old, because I tend myself to forget), don’t forget to announce this kind of “fun” consequence before the roll, or some players won’t be happy… “WHAT ? HE FAILED AND I GET THE F**** HARM ?”


I’ve had players move for a Desperate position for themselves to guarantee their friends won’t take Harm.

Has anyone used a Longbow as a heavy weapon?
It isn’t in the rulebook, but it is in the equipment list with the playbooks.

It could be a mistake, or it could be an interesting option.

Difficult to answer, because the longbow is listed as a Normal weapon, not a Fine weapon (like the Scout’s bow), so theoretically it’s threat 1. So what would the advantage in using it? I would use this only to equip the Rookies instead of the musket, so they can be much more discreet. But since every advantage has to have a price, make a 8-clock for a LTP in downtime, for training the squads (and another one to acquire or produce the bows?), since using a longbow requires much more trraining than shooting a musket.

1 Like

I would allow it if my players wanted their heavy or soldier to have their Fine heavy weapon to be a fine longbow. If they wanted their fine heavy weapon to be a fine Halberd I would allow that too, even though it’s normal.

I would also allow longbows with an acquire assets from either the Quartermaster or Channels.

Training: Yeah, a long term project could do it.
Complications during actions could also be a possibility to let dangers of untrained use be a visible part of the fiction. Cut fingers, strained muscles, tired arms. The same could be done with other ‘utility loaded heavy weapons’.

But I really want my players to shoot off zombie heads like the bowmanship of Prince Ashitaka in Princess Monoko… and I won’t punish them too hard. :smile:

Render’s Lieutenant the Black Sable uses a powerful longbow with corrupting, diseased arrows. I think fictionally speaking between the Black Sable and the Scout’s fine heartwood bows there’s room for a character with a fine longbow. Typically when a player asks for something that’s a little outside the RAW I let it happen but make them commit. That’s his fine two handed weapon and he won’t be getting a melee one.

1 Like

Yeah, as a Specialist weapon from their load I would let them have it without paying any price. But how to differentiate, in the game, the fine longbow from the Scout’s bow? Maybe one disadvantage: no “free” black shot, compensated by an advantage: one added effect level on a Critical? I’m not sure.

I don’t think this level of granular analysis into specific weapons is necessary or desired in a story-based gaming system. The purpose of the Scout’s bow is to give them a quiet ranged weapon, something that the rest of the Legion doesn’t typically require every day and so therefore is not in their standard inventory. There’s no real reason to differentiate them from each other.


Indeed it’s not strictly necessary. As to “not desired”, well, it depends on the table, on the player and so on. It should not burden the game and the rules, but if it can give some flavor to the fiction, then it’s good. Some players don’t care if their heavy weapon is a double handed sword or a battleaxe, some appreciate if the difference can sometimes lead to specific outcomes or added twist in the story. Sometimes these outcome or twists should be expressed by a mechanical advantage. I agree it should not be systematic though.

Another way to do these things is with a devil’s bargain as detailed on page 76: “THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS
Assess the details that you’re interested in when considering position and
effect. If you want to include advantages from specific details of your items—reach, speed, adaptability, etc.—consider a Devil’s Bargain that relates to a detail. Usually these bargains are suggested by the GM, but any player can suggest them! If both you and the GM agree, then you can take the extra die.”
I would say however that for those “Equipment” devil’s bargain, it could be logical to allow a better effect sometimes, not always +1d.