Originally posted by Isator Levi
Similar to the question of battle groups employing alternating ranks of shooters, I've often wondered about the question of them having mixed arms.
Do battle groups need to employ a ready weapon action to change what they're attacking with, or if the group is assumed to include a mixture of weapon types, can they just alternate as the situation calls for it? Does a battle group that is assumed to consist of massed spears placed in front of ranks of archers allowed to freely shoot when people are far away and stab when they get close? Does having both mean that the effective range of a battle group is extended for the sake of it's single attack upon everybody in contact with it (i.e. the spears can hit somebody in close range, the bows farther out and all in a single action as per the normal attack resolution for battle groups)? Is it necessary to divide into separate battle groups based on most common weapon type, and have them make their rolls separately? What if it's a size 1 battle group consisting of something like three pikes covering two crossbows?
Or is this just something where realism needs to take a backseat to game balance, whether in the form of "battle groups need to take ready weapon actions to switch between substantially different arms", or even "battle groups should not be assumed to contain a mixture of weapons"?
Personally, I'd split the archers and the melee troops into separate battle groups. Combined arms are historically pretty powerful, after all.