Hello and welcome to War Talk Wednesday; a new series in which I highlight various weapons or tactics that have been used throughout history, and that you can use to improve combat in your TTRPG sessions. For the maiden voyage of this series, I will be talking about a tactic known as kiting. Most people know kiting as a leisure activity involving spools of string and paper-crafts. In the context of strategy however, kiting is the process of drawing a force towards you while staying just out of range of their weapons. While seeming to retreat, you would be striking out or firing at the advancing forces in the hopes of wearing them down.
Kiting was a popular tactic amongst such famed warriors as the Mongols, Parthians, and other similar fighters who focused on mounted combat. A famous variation of this was the Parthian Circle, where riders would run in a circular formation while moving away from the enemy and pepper them with arrows.
How is kiting helpful for us TTRPG players? If you want to shake up a combat encounter, arm the creatures with spells or bow and arrow and having them kite the players. In Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons, player characters can typically move a maximum 60 to 90ft per turn depending on their class or feats, so keep your enemies at least 66-96 feet away. To prevent getting caught up in a melee, keep the creatures moving away or circling the players while constantly firing at them. In my opinion, this makes the most sense for physically weak or mobile foes such as goblins, kobolds, centaurs, and quicklings.
Player characters can employ this tactic as well, and the Sharpshooter and Spell Sniper feats make this tactic even more powerful! Just keep the opponent’s movement speed in mind, or you’ll get caught in melee unprepared. For details on the weapons best suited for this, keep an eye out for future entries into this series!
Do you have a tactic or weapon you’d like to see featured on this blog? Let me know in the comments below!