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Re: Pole Weapons (was: Re: (TFT) Death Test 1, take 4: SURVIVED!)
The Confederates were going to commission 2 companies per regiment of
"pikes" but didn't follow through with the idea.
Anyway, I use square-hexes to talk about this stuff but it's roughly correct
across a hex-grid of perfect geometry hexes that use the TFT Melee scale of
1.3m across a hex.
As I mentioned in another thread in the set vs. charge posistion with the
butt of the weapon placed on the middle of the rear facing hexside it takes
a 6 foot 6 inch pole to reach the center of the adjecent hexes with the
foreward stepping leg and braced end of the pole limiting the effective
"arc" of the thing only about two hexsides wide.
Get rid of the "double damage" and that's a pretty big limit for a +2 DX and
there's no reach beyond the pole either.
1.3m is about 4 foot 4 inches.
I span about 5 feet 4 inches from palm to palm so if I'm Joe Average-ish
then I can say that an averagely proportioned human Figure standing over a
hexcenter can reach his hands into adjecent hexes when spaning the hex from
side to side while standing still.
Adding human articulation increases the reach and footwork like stepping a
foot foreward to the front facing hexside allows my hand to reach into the
And that's with nothing in my hand.
With a 3 foot long sword and a strong lunge (more footwork... kindda like
animal tracks or dance steps against the square-grid inside the hexes) "I"
can put a swordtip on a hexcenter 2 hexes away.
Apparently in the "charge" possistion they held the length all the way to
the butt, at least the Landsknechte seem to have.
Let them articulate and step into it and that's a pretty niffty jab if
you've got the room to pull it off.
The actual movement part of a "charge" in a duel or small melee seems to be
more about reaching a certian posistion first rather than trying to achieve
I guess a Figure could haul buttocks all pole vault style at another Figure
over something like 20 strides to reach possistion to try and "hit the box"
at max speed, but even if they miss and drop the pole I'm not sure they
could just stop right away.
Even with a 5 hex long pole (over 20 feet) held very close to one end
there's a seperation of around 4 hexes on a miss and the vaulter is at full
At this scale a standing Figure falls mostly into an adjacent hex if they
don't crumple up or otherwise contort.
So moving at full speed would probably carry you a hex or two forward at
least... unless your trying to enter HTH i.e. tackel they guy after a missed
It's an odd moment for sure, a guy just missed trying to jab you with a 20
foot pole running at full speed, somehow made his DX check recovery, and is
still comming at you at running speed.
About 4 hexes away... 2ish seconds for humans by TFT timing depending on
Running and armor MA but probably a lot less time in the
Now I know that it's about 14 hexes from the pitchers mound to home and a
105mph fastball takes about a third of a second to travel that distance so 4
hexes at 30mph should be roughly proportional... uhhhh yeah, Usain Bolt
Still, technically it looks like it's not inconcievable that the reacting
Figure might have some negative mods due to the speed with which the
charging Figure is closing if their IQ and/or DX are particularly low.
(1 second / 8 DX = 0.125 second reaction time) + (2 seconds / 8 IQ = 0.25
second perception time) = 0.375 Action time minimum for 8 DX, 8 IQ
Figures plus the actual timing of the Action motion itself (with some stuff
being super quick).
I know it looks more like a MMPOLRPG, or whatever the kids are calling it
these days, approach than a pen and paper RPG idea but it helps to tell an
objective "story" when something oddball comes up in play and the successful
stuff will get formalized through repeated attempts allowing the tenth of a
second 'phase' procedure to colapse down into a 5 second turn in much the
same way that groups of small groups can colapse 5 second turns into
something like 2 minunet Squad Leader "turns" where the checks are against a
CRT rather than an individual "stat" in many cases... (auto weapons a
noteable exception where fixing that jam asap can give horror-like tension
but that's back to RPG Action time judgements).
Of course a player usually can't even see the whole "board" much less the
die roll that jams the enemys machine gun.
Charge and "set vs." are more for "Units", Figures attempt athletic feats
type Actions aided by their Talents and equipment and even physiology
(halflings have a hard time with reach even with pikes).
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