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

there's benefit to reach, of course. Question is what do you lose (if anything) in the process? Speed? Maneuverability? Blocking? Flexibility of two weapons v. one weapon in two hands?

In Melee, apparently 2nd ed. download from here, the polearm advantage is just for being charged or charging. The Action for that would appear to be "Move up to 1/2 MA and Attack". If you move less than that there's no "charge" so the advantage doesn't apply. You can run up to one hex away and pre-empt the spearman's 3-hex move, or Engage him next turn. Both seem like they work fine as a reasonable expression of reality.

The way to fight a "wall of spears" is not to charge it (especially mounted), but to walk up on foot, and use a shield and sword to work your way in. When the spears became a bit more cumbersome as pikes, special weapons were made to engage the pikes by slowly chopping off the tips. The response was to put metal bands down three feet or so. The counter-response would be to work your way in farther. This just goes on and on. From the Romans to the Renaissance armies, there were effective counters to most weapons

In a small-scale game like Melee, a pole arm is much better than a pike of course.

-----Original Message----- From: Mark Tapley
Sent: Thursday, October 06, 2011 10:44 AM
To: tft@brainiac.com
Subject: 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

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.
- Mark     210-379-4635
Large Asteroids headed toward planets
inhabited by beings that don't have
technology adequate to stop them:

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