Here's the overview of the change:
- All distant shooting is now by individual stand (no combined shooting).
- Shooting is in a single direction; the target stand does not shoot back as part of the combat. Two stands of Archers exchanging shots with one another will be resolved as two separate combats, one in each direction.
- Combat factors for distant shooting are separate from combat factors for close combat.
In playtesting, we've found that several stands of Archers working together have a really disruptive effect on the enemy line. Not many kills, but they're very effective at breaking up the enemy attack and forcing the opposing player to use a lot of command points to sustain the attack.
In terms of the flow of the game, because you can't combine attacks and because all shooting is one-way, there is a bit more dice rolling than before. But since the number of combat factors is drastically reduced for shooting and there's only one possible modifier (general being shot at is +1), we've found that the shooting moves really quickly. Not having to figure out the optimal way to combine shooting saves a lot of pausing to think*.
That's the basic stuff. There's a lot of nuance built into the new shooting rules, but this post is getting kind of long so I'll cut it off here. Let us know if you have any questions, and we're always glad to get feedback. (Bonus points for actual playtesting feedback! )
*Of course, thinking isn't inherently bad. Making the player think is generally a good think in game design. But our feeling was that figuring out the optimal way to combine shooting attacks was more on the game-artifact side of things, less on the what-would-Hannibal-do side.