They say you should never bring a gun to a knife fight, which in the case of the earliest firearms was probably sound advice. Though for those with no military training they were easier to point and shoot compared to a bow, the first gunpowder weapons – arquebuses - were painfully slow and complex to load, had poor range, worse accuracy and were next to useless in wet conditions.
And yet, of course, thanks to its ability cause a sulphurous kerfuffle and blast through heavy armour with ease, the nascent musket thrived. Once the effectiveness of volley fire was established as the medieval era yielded to the Renaissance, the musket became as standard-issue as a jolly tune and a pair of stout boots.
Unfortunately, as the Musket class in Conqueror’s Blade, the billowing gunsmoke from dozens of rifles isn’t always going to be at your side, making your role that of the ranged cudgel: dancing into medium range, unleashing as much devastating gunfire as accurately as possible and retreating to reacquire your bearings.
Practically naked armour-wise and with what amounts to a wooden paddle for close encounters, the musketeer makes for a woeful melee choice and in most situations is a comparatively difficult class to get to grips with. Against the right enemy, however, such as a slow-moving wielder of a heavy blade - especially when in support to a friendly knight - the musketeer should be able to make their presence felt.
- Close Combat: When not carefully aiming to fire, the musketeer needs to always be moving to find their next target or angle of attack. If that’s not possible because they’ve been ambushed and set about with swords, a leg sweep with the butt of their rifle should give them ample opportunity to make a bid for freedom and to find their next quarry.
- Blackpowder Grenade: Though rare (on account of how delicate the clay was that encased the unstable concoction inside), medieval grenades were for centuries an effective support weapon that in reality probably caused more mayhem than maiming. The grenadiers of Conqueror’s Blade will no doubt hope the opposite outcome is more forthcoming.
- Liquid Fire: You’d be hard pressed to devise a more mass panic-inducing hand weapon for the medieval battlefield that this ancient napalm equivalent. Launch a vial of this nasty flaming goop into the midst of an enemy unit and you’ll be hearing their screams in your dreams until the end of your days.