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Re: (TFT) Pole weapon users must charge 3 hexes in a straight line rule.

Ahh! The old problem with pole weapons rears it's ugly head once again.

A tactic often used by a pole weapon user is (when possible) to do a
force retreat on his opponent and then not elect to follow, in effect
disengaging from his opponent. If he then wins initiative on the next
round he can do a one hex, double damage charge attack against the same
opponent. By making a rule that says a charge attacker must move two (or
three) hexes in a row to do double damage you have practically negated
this important tactic. You then will have cases where a (MA 10) pole arm
user would have to back up one (or two) hexes first and then charge back
in to get the double damage. And most armored pole weapon users won't
have enough MA to do this at all. I could never picture this in the heat
of a combat. Imagine pole arm users doing an about face,  running back 10
feet, turning around and then charging back in again all while their
opponent stands still and watches. In mass combats with multiple figures
it became almost comical watching pole weapon users run around figures
and doing other creative movement (that would never happen in real life)
just to get the double damage.

So if you feel (like I do) that pole weapons need to be toned down a
little bit let me offer up my house rule for review by the list:

"After many years of playing strictly by the rules I have finally
succumbed to altering the pole weapon charge attack rules. I final
realized it was not the movement that I had a problem with but the amount
of damage that the weapons were capable of doing. A 2+2 pike axe in a
double damage charge attack can max out at a whopping 28 points of
damage. (A 3+1 two handed great sword is only capable of a total of 19
points.) But I didn't want to severely limit what the smaller pole
weapons could do damage wise. I still wanted goblins armed with one
handed spears to be somewhat dangerous. I finally came to understand that
the big problem was with the top two weapons, the Halberd and the Pike
Axe. My solution was to have pole weapons in a charge attack do an extra
D6 worth of damage instead of the double damage that the original rules
call for. I also lowered the Pike Axe to 2+1 instead of 2+2. If you look
at the pole weapons chart this system still allows the smaller weapons to
(basically) do double damage in a charge attack but slightly lowers the
damage of the two bigger weapons, making them less devastating.

Here are the smaller weapons listed with their normal damage and then
their charge attack damage: Javelin (1-1) does 2-1 in a charge attack,
Trident (1) does 2, 1h Spear (1) does 2, 2H Spear (1+1) does 2+1. You'll
see that in all cases you are pretty much still doing double damage.

Here are the larger weapons listed with normal damage and charge attack
damage: 2H Halberd (2) does 3 in a charge attack, 2H Pike Axe (2+1) does
3+1, Lance (3-1) does 4-1. As you can see the charge attack damage is no
longer as devastating as originally written and I've still managed to
keep the lance pretty formidable.

Also, just by the fact that you are rolling an extra dice rather than
doubling your original roll, we've found that the damages average out
more and tend to be not as high. (Of course you can still roll high on
all of your dice.)

All of the movement and options stay exactly the same, for example a pole
weapon can still do a one hex charge. In play testing this our group has
found that this alteration of the double damage rule works very well
without taking away any of the tactics of the game."

Comments? Good or bad? Stick it to me! (Pun intended.)


Rick Smith wrote:

> On Mon, 2004-05-03 at 08:52, Peter von Kleinsmid wrote:
> > ... Where does that rule come from? (I don't see it
> > in the Pole Weapons section of Advanced Melee on
> > pages 12-13.)
> >
> > PvK
>         This rule was in the 3rd edition of basic
> Melee.  (Which I've lost, sadly.)  However, in
> Interplay #7 William D. Gustafson refers to the rule
> change.  In his TFT: Pole Weapons article which
> summarized the rules for pole weapons, (and gives
> some suggestions to tone them down) he wrote:
>    "...If the pole weapon user and the target were
> not adjacent anytime from the beginning of the turn
> thru the pole weapon user's attack, then the pole
> weapon does double damage.
>    This is been modified in the current [edition of]
> Melee to require a movement of at least 2 hexes,
> with the last 2 hexes moved being in the same
> direction to simulate the 'rush'. ..."
>    (I took the wording to say that you must START
> 3 hexes away, with the 2 closing hexes being in a
> straight line.  I called this the 3 hex charge rule
> or the 3 hex straight line charge attack rule when
> talking to my players.)
>    He goes on to say that he thinks that rather than
> hitting into any front hex, the rules should have
> been written so that you must strike into your
> center front hex only.  Then he says, that to get
> the *2 damage in HIS campaign the pole weapon user
> must have done a charge attack AND started 3+ hexes
> away from the target.  This avoids fiddly details
> with the hex grain.
>    Regards, Rick
> =====
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