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

I remember back to some of the first games I played and I recall being a bit frustrated because there were routinely 6-10 people and my character, being new, tended to be stuck in the back of the group near the wizard.  In fact, they told me to "stay with the group and protect the wizard."  I took this pretty literally, and found myself quite bored very quickly.  The problem was that the group often elected to stay put and let the enemy come to them.  So, I would spend one round standing there looking tough.  The enemy would approach, and some would be engaged either first round or second, but normally i would still be unengaged in the rear, protecting the flank.  

Mostly because there wasn't much else to do, I kept at the game and read the rulebooks while I stood there and others argued about this and that.  And when I got my first attribute point I picked up crossbow talent and purchased a heavy crossbow.  Knowing that I would have up to three rounds unengaged in most battles, I could march with crossbow loaded and cocked in my hands and fire at my turn for action in round 1.  Sure, sometimes I needed to roll to miss my own party members (which really made some of them nervous), but it gave me a 3d ranged attack in round one, and I would spend round 2 readying my sword.

I've found over the years that quite a few GM's expand the talent lists of TFT.  And, I've noticed that most of them include a form of "quickdraw" in that expanded talent list.  If you're in one of these worlds, then bow talent becomes much more viable.  If you can fire until they get close and then whip out a sword, then it makes sense to have a bow.

By the way, the original reasoning for quickdraw in our circle came from a debate over thrown weapons.  The argument suggested that if a person with thrown weapons talent can ready and throw in the same round, why can't he simply ready and not throw?  The counter is that thrown weapons are typically weighted and balanced so they can be easily grabbed and thrown.  But, the obvious next point is, then why can't you just ready the thowing axe and not throw it, but instead hit someone?  The rule was vague enough that, in our group, it became acceptable to ready a "throwable weapon" and instead use it without throwing it if the person moved into one of your front hexes.  

We were on the slippery slope from there.  Next someone quick readied their javelin and argued that they could set with it against a charge.  This was not allowed since setting essentially involves taking one knee and bracing the weapon against the ground, and sometimes your own feet (depending on how you do it).  It certainly involves moving your hold away from the center of balance to a point further toward the base end of the pole weapon (hense the reason a set comes before a charge). 

So, it wasn't long before we added a "quickdraw" to make it possible to positon and draw any weapon and use it in the same round.

Good Fortune,

----- Original Message ----
From: Mark Tapley <mtapley@swri.edu>
To: tft@brainiac.com
Sent: Thursday, October 2, 2008 10:18:48 AM
Subject: Re: (TFT) What kind of tactics are useful?

At 20:58 -0400 10/1/08, TFT Digest wrote:
>Also, I'd like to ask about ranged weapons.  To me... they seem kind of
>useless.  Once your foes have any kind of decent armor on, it becomes very
>hard to damage them with a 1 die bow.
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