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Pole Weapons (was: Re: (TFT) Death Test 1, take 4: SURVIVED!)

At 0:55 -0400 10/6/11, Sgt. Hulka wrote:
My only concern is once you start playing Advanced Melee there is no way to approach a figure armed with a pole arm. The only possibility is to attack with the hand to hand rules as written. If you don't play Advanced Melee, of course, and just stick to Melee, that problem goes away. To clarify, the problem I'm identifying is Advanced Melee's insistance that pole weapons involved in a charge always act first, regardless of dexterity.

A fair point, which we resolve with *another* possibly ambiguous rules interpretation. AM pp 3 Option 1b allows "move 1 hex and ... defend". So the sequence for dealing with pole weapons is:

Turn 1) win initiative. Force Pole weapon user to move first. Move up to 1 hex away from him. Take the jab, if he decides to do that. No action.

Turn 2) Move 1 hex to engage pole weapon user. He will "set vs. charge" getting the 2 DX bonus, but you are still allowed to defend, so he rolls 4 dice and hopefully misses.

Turn 3) Attack normally, PW user also attacks normally (not doubled).

The PW user can move himself to charge-attack on Turn 2, in which case you defend and he doesn't get the +2 DX, so this is not to his advantage.

If he's alone, it may be possible to run around and tackle him from behind during movement on Turn 2.

Else, you are back to missile and thrown weapons to deal with a line of spears. Pole weapons really *do* have some advantage in that situation in AM, and I think also in real life. Certainly it was a common tactic from Ancient Greece up through the development of automatic weapons (and beyond; note the use of bayonets even in WWII) so it seems to have had some real-world merit.
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