Pavise - a shield often stuck in the ground or held up while an archer or crossbowman reloads.
Under a general "half-cover" sort of thing, I'd just give a unit so equipped a +1 AC - I'm specifically thinking of the smaller, wieldable pavise.
Given that the pavise spends some amount of time "unequipped", however, I was thinking the following caveats:
- The pavise provides no AC bonus in a combat round against melee attacks in a round where the unit has already fired its ranged weapon
- If the unit is made to withdraw, rout, flee, or recoil in that same round, the unit loses its pavise bonus.
The basic thought was that in a round they've fired, that's what they're doing, and they won't have the ability to ready the pavise as a real shield; and it would then follow that they wouldn't have the time to pick them up in a withdraw/rout/flee/recoil.
Given the AC bonus, a regular unit of Bowmen go up to BR 2 (from 1.5), and their wages evidently increase to 12gp/mo, from 9.
However, this is more-or-less the same idea as cladding them in Scale Mail, and the same price. I'm not sure if the caveats listed above are either (a) worth the complexity of modelling, or (b) should indicate some sort of a discount.
A large pavise might give +2 AC vs ranged attacks, +1 AC vs melee attacks (stuff in the way? but not cavalry charges?), and be unusable in any round the unit has moved. Any withdrawal, rout, flee, or recoil loses the pavise bonus. Bowmen, with their crossbow cousins, cannot fire in a round in which they've moved with pavise.
With AC 4 and the movement restrictions (and the crossbow rule) the BR stays at 1.5, with a wage of 10gp/mo.
Crossbowmen, with -1 ML with leather, and a Large Pavise, come to BR 3.5, wages 21gp/mo, with arbalest damage, and BR 3, 16gp/mo with crossbow damage.
FWIW: I get a BR of 4 for normal D@W crossbowmen with a wage of 24gp with AC 4, arbalest (4.5) damage, and ML 0; I have to do crossbow damage (3.5) to get BR 3/18gp. Not sure what the deal is. With arbalest damage, I get 3 attacks as well...so actually that makes sense, as 4.5 damage would essentially make the unit a Veteran, and that follows. So the mention of an arbalest for Crossbowmen in DWC is in error, I guess?