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Re: (TFT) What kind of tactics are useful?

To add to what others said, dual weapon users can be strong, but IIRC it takes a high investment in DX and/or two weapons talent to overcome the DX penalties to an effective degree.

The thing you seem to be missing about armor is that except for high-DX characters, it reduces DX so much that most people won't fight well in heavy armor. So ranged weapons are generally very useful. You're right that a Horse Bow isn't very strong but Longbow or Crossbows are effective even with armor. Archers can have melee weapons as backups, too.

Real pre-cartridge firearms did take at least a minute (12 turns) to reload. They were and in TFT are very powerful, though of course at typical close ranges, just for the first volley. You take it loaded into combat and fire it once, then hack and slash, often with one less opponent to worry about. As with other ranged weapons, it's often not either/or, it's shoot and if then fight the survivors. Same deal with thrown weapons. Throw the javelin and then engage with the shortsword, etc.

Hand-to-hand combat is generally a secondary or desperation tactic, or for appropriate circumstances (e.g. your weapon broke) though sometimes it can be a good way to reduce a disadvantage. One problem with jumping men in heavy armor is that it can be hard to hurt them with HTH attacks.

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