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RE: (TFT) Jousting

> As an aside, DMG, I never responded to your question about where the AdjDex
mods were listed b/c I inadvertantly deleted that e-mail. So let me rectify
that here. They're on page 33 of Advanced Melee.



Sgt Hulka,

     I am now ready to meander about on a topic.  Unfortunately it may be of
little interest to anyone.  It pertains to something I`ve recently learned,
something I have been working as a theory for years, and something I`m not
ready or qualified to discuss.  Hopefully I have scared everyone into hitting
``delete`` or ``next message`` and I con proceed to embarrass myself with as
few witnesses as possible.

     Page 31 is missing from my working copy of melee.  It is pure coincidence
that I thought horses have DX+2 for riders due to height and that the DX
adjustment lists the same, yet exclusive, bonus.  Now, I have been taking the
week to savor what to me, is a hitherto lost page of Advanced Melee.  Pardon
me if I seem exuberant, but this is a rare and inestimable gift.  I have been
drinking in every paragraph like it is my own Archimedes Palimpsest.

     My island campaign of Branya has never used mounts.  So I hope you will
extend some understanding in my oversight these many years.  Of course after
you directed me to page 31 and I examined the page numbers in my book my first
impulse is to break one of my mint copies out of seal and read it.  That seems
a little extreme to me.  Then I almost call a friend to tell them I`m on the
way over to Borrow their Advanced Melee.  Then I sit down and get control of
myself.  I have access to PDF versions online.

     But before I open it I would like to share a theory I have been working
on.  Skip down 2 paragraphs if this doesn`t interest.  We all have our hobby
horses.  Things we just work on and fiddle around with.  Mine is a theory of
Scale in TFT.  Specifically not cross genera gaming like GURPS, though I have
done a great deal of development in that area too, but changes in unit size.
Like Howard Thompson seemed to be pushing for in Lords of Underearth.  I find
his particular rules less than helpful.  No, my hobby horse is the capacity
for the existing rules Steve Jackson wrote to be used at multiple scales.

     Like a single figure can be one person with 10 strength, or a unit of 10
men, or a company of 10 units, etcetera.  Where GURPS has a new world book for
each new genera or setting, I use the existing wording of the rules for
multiple scales of conflict.  A world sized conflict of ten million per side
and I find the rules still work.  Each point of ST is a million people.  And
it is great fun for me to conduct these thought experiments where I imagine
the conflicts playing out in such a way that the existing rules remain
consistent and workable.  I also like to imagine that this is what Howard and
Steve differed on.  One commissioned the other to write a system that can
easily scale up or down and the other wants to write cross genera.  Not only
that, but I like to imagine that Steve succeeded and Howard failed to see it
because scalability is not presented front and center.  But that is neither
here nor there.

     I use HTH as the breaking down of scale.  Two units of a hundred men
fight.  As long as they hold formation a lot of interesting things can happen.
They can defend, fall back in an orderly fashion, get attacked by another unit
in the flank, etcetera.  But as soon as one unit overruns the other and all
200 men are mingled on the same ground they lose a lot of their battle field
awareness.  Arrows fired into the melee have a chance to damage both sides, a
formed unit marching by wont really be engaged by them.  They break down into
smaller units and are all busy fighting inside the area.  Effectively making
them like a unit of all rear hexes.  At least to the rest of the field they
are.  When overrun like this all siege equipment is ``dropped.``

     But this is only half a theory.  Breaking scale down, not building it up.
Other than New Followers, Tactics, and Strategist I find little in the way of
increasing scale.  And all of these are almost social in nature.  And this
leads to the section on Social Institutions and Jobs built into the system.
Fine and useful as they are.  An army can be an army of Scholars, or of
Police, or of Merchants in a guild.  But outside of the social realm I find no
existing rule to increase scale on the battle ground during a fight.

     That is, until you directed me to the missing page 31.  Particularly it`s
flip side page 32.  So this is where all the move 8 hexes and gain 1 hex in
size comes from.  Of particular interest to my eyes is the section on pulling
a rider from their mount.  I get this weird feeling like I`m falling forward
out of my head as I read it.  Then I read the line that Unarmed Combat does
not help in this situation.  See what I mean?  I use HTH to break down scale,
here are rules to increase Hex size in a fight, and other rules that
specifically excludes HTH.

     To me it`s the other half of the theory.  I`m not qualified to lay out
its uses.  I can only guess at its braod implications.  If an enormous guild
is being ridden by a smaller guild, 3 other small guilds can reach up and pull
down the rider.  If a Royal court establishes a platform on the back of a
massive guild, several guilds can ride on it and operate from there.  If
another guild gets onto the platform, it can initiate regular combat there.
The word substitutions are endless.  Like job titles, laws, customs, employers
and the rest of the social institutions section.  And as far as I can see
wholly consistent.  And as far as climbing scale on the field of battle I`m
putting together a scenario to test that so we`ll see.

     So what can I say.  I defer to your experience in mounted combat.  Please
find a cleaner way to display the hexes so I can read it with more interest.
One of the timeless things about TFT is that the rules are consistent even
when reinterpreted against each other.  They are internally consistent.  But
that`s just my hobby horse talking.  To you I say a sincere thank you.

     David Michael Grouchy II

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