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Re: (TFT) Howard Thompson versus Steve Jackson (and Pole Weapons)
--- firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Why so much Howard Thompson hate? If a rule is a good rule, who cares who it came from?
PvK: In my case, I don't _hate_ Howard Thompson. I don't even know him - all I have is a set of hearsay stories about what published products and rule changes are associated with him. And it's just my opinion that practically zero of the those rules and products seem to add, and that they in fact tend to detract. I also disagree with the thinking on game business and rules theory that are in those stories (e.g. making a new product line which seems to me intended to grope for more sales by dumbing down TFT, as previewed in Dragons of Underearth, which I think is lame and wrong-minded).
So it's that I _don't_ think they are good rules, and so I find it handy to group and label them Howard Thompsonisms and dismiss them, instead of just saying I just don't like specific rules.
PvK: In the specific case of the 3-hex charge requirement, I just think it's a sloppy attempt to nerf pole weapons. I think it's sloppy because I don't think it makes complete sense (I don't think the charge damage bonus is really about running momentum, and I don't think it would take 3 hexes of straight running, and I think "straight" is ill-defined given the hex grid), AND because it's a limit with a workaround that doesn't make sense, and results in weird maneuvers where people back up some hexes and then go forward three in order to get the bonus, which I think forces us to imagine that it really is about running three hexes in a row, and puts a new tactical significance on maps having such avenues. Other implications that seem rough to me include: 1) that if you have MA 12, you can go back three and forward three in one turn using only half MA and get double damage, and others can't, and 2) it will tend to be interpreted that running straight LAST turn doesn't count, so by winning the initiative, opponents to a charge could take the initiative and rush up to a wall of charging men, and the chargers would not get their charge bonus, which makes no sense to me at all.
Now, I DO agree that pole weapons in TFT are very powerful, and probably more than is realistic or balanced. But I know that in my experience, what you wrote (that people have to take pole weapons etc) is quite exaggerated.
PvK: What would people think of this for an alternate pole weapon nerf? (I'm just making this up over my morning coffee, but give it a think.)
1) A pole weapon user who begins the turn engaged may no charge bonuses against others moving up to engage that turn.
2) To get charge bonuses, either the pole weapon user, or his target, must have moved more than one hex this turn.
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