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Re: (TFT) Pole weapons in Rick's campaign - Play styles.

Not at all, and if I do offend anyone that is not my intention.  As a matter of fact I have really enjoyed this discussion and it got me playing TFT with my son.  However that may not add to my understanding of spear vs sword as he only won 1 battle of 10 (5 as each type).
One thing we both did though was defend option against the charge. So I would like to see that simulated. 

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-------- Original message --------
From: Jeffrey Vandine <jlv61560@yahoo.com> 
Date: 10/20/2015  9:22 PM  (GMT-08:00) 
To: tft@brainiac.com 
Subject: Re: (TFT) Pole weapons in Rick's campaign - Play styles. 

I actually haven't found the debate to be acrimonious at all. It seems to m
e that folks have put forward their thoughts, frequently providing examples
 from history that have guided their personal positions, and that others ha
ve offered different insights.  No one has called anyone else a name, 
and everyone seems to be working to try and understand one another's positi

Are you seeing something different here?  Because I don't find, for ex
ample, my exchange with Ed regarding pole weapons historically speaking, to
 be anything other than informative and enjoyable.  He and I may have 
different view points, but we've made our points maturely and politely to o
ne another as far as I can tell.
Ed, do you feel like we've been acrimonious towards one another?

      From: Rick Smith <rick_ww@lightspeed.ca>
 To: tft@brainiac.com 
 Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 7:07 PM
 Subject: (TFT) Pole weapons in Rick's campaign - Play styles.
Hi all,
  this is beginning to sound like a religious debate.  Since by d
all viewpoints are equally valid (or invalid), I now feel like I can chime
in.    :D

  It seems that the main points of debate are:

-- basic damage of spear & larger pole weapons.
-- If you want a 3 hex or 1 hex charge to get double damage.
-- There are penalties for tight quarters for pole weapons.
-- if double damage is too much of a bonus.

Those who have nerfed the double damage are happier with the pole
weapons doing more base damage.  If my understanding is correct
most of those who like 1 hex charges have nerfed the double damage.
(Where as those who like the double damage bonus are more likely to
demand that the spear guys have to work for it.)

TFT is a game.  I do not use it to simulate reality, so calling on exa
from 600 years ago, tho interesting, do not tempt me to change my rules.�
My question on adding rules is do the new rules improve game play in 
some way.

Claiming Steve Jackson REALLY intended X & Y, likewise does not move 
me.  If he was a genius, then GURPS would be more fun, and I would not
have stuck with TFT.  (Over the years, I've made many rules that I lik
better than SJ, re - economy of wishes for one example.  I eventually 
my mental habit that I should do everything SJ's way.)


As for the 4 main questions above:

-- I am happy with pole weapons doing significantly less than other 
weapons in straight fighting.  They get other advantages (re pokes and
double damage charges).  I prefer that the different weapons 'feel' 
different, and have different uses.  Variety is the spice of life.

-- Charge 3 hexes for double damage.  Rather than worrying about 'a 
straight line', I used the 'close 3 hexes' rule.  The reason I put up 
with the
extra complexity is:
---- To get a big bonus you should work for it.
---- It seems logical to me.
---- Variety is the spice of life.
---- It makes tactical maneuver more important.

To my mind, this last point is most important.  I disliked D&D combat 
you rush forward, then stand still and hack, hack, hack.  (Admittedly 
I may
have had a poor D&D GM, but still.)

When spearmen have to get a run for their bonus, they do not feel like 
every other melee fighter.  Suddenly it is worthwhile to crowd them so
don't have room, or will have to go over some rough ground to get their 
bonus.  Walls and pits, river edges and brambles become more important
when spear guys need to manoeuvre.  Fighting in dense cover is differe
(for pole weapons) than on a flat plain.

I LIKE terrain.  In even a small fight, I am likely to spend a bit of 
time dropping
terrain, for people to take advantage of or for my NPC's to hinder the PC's

-- Penalties for pole weapons in tight quarters.  None for short pole 
but if you are striking someone one meter in front of you and there is a ma
of stuff behind you and your pole weapon is 3.5 meters long, I give a penal
I put up with the complexity because it feels more realistic, it make the w
feel different from each other (and variety, after all, is...) and it makes
 the terrain 
more important.

-- Nerfing the double damage.  I have fiddled with this for a while no
w.  The
rule seems fine for the smaller weapons, but do we really want pike axes to
do (2d+2 ) * 2 for 8 to 24 damage if they get off their charge?  Some 

---- The powerful PC's in my campaign eventually tend to get enough armor t
they are largely immune to normal weapons.  I like having a enemy or t
wo that
they have to worry about.

---- I have been working on making 'a tonne of armor' more difficulty to ge
t for
my PC's.  As the average total armor of the big established PC has dro
this made me more eager to nerf pole weapons.

---- I tried distance you charge (up to 6 hexes), is equal to the bonus.�
� Thus 
charges of +3 or +4 were most typical.  (Very close to the +1 die dama
ge that 
a few people use.)  I didn't like this after trying it for quite a whi
le.  The extra
complexity for a modest bonus did not thrill me.  (Wait! did he charge
 3 or 4
hexes???)  We lost the impact of fearing big charges - pole weapons fe
lt more
like every other weapon.

---- I was making rules for mounted pole weapons.  First draft was if 
you charge
from 5 to 14 hexes you do *2; from 15 to 24 hexes was *3; from 25 to 34 hex
was *4, etc.  While arguably realistic (fast charges should do more) t
his was 
doing too much damage.

---- I am now using this rule: three hex charges do * 1.5 damage, and halbe
and pike axes are treated as heavy spears.  They do more damage when s
as axes.  
Now mounted rules are:
      Damage bonus:
5 to 14 hexes            * 1.5
15 to 24 hexes            * 2.
25 to 34 hexes            * 2.
5, etc.

I have just made this change, we will see how it plays out.  But a 16 
ST pike ax
wielder (or a ST 15 guy with a one point great effort), will do 2d+1 * 1.5 
on a charge
which results in from 5 to 20 damage.  This is enough to be scary but 
not too 
much for my campaign.  I think it will work well.


I thiink that those who like lots of tactical maneuvers & key terrain are m
ore likely
to go with the 3 hex charge rules.  The big bonus for pulling off the 
3 hex charge
is likely to come with penalties (being able to hit a charging weapon, DX p
for having terrain or enemies behind a pike, etc.)

Those who like the weapons to be pretty much alike are more likely to have
nerfed the double damage and require only a one hex charge.  The BIG a
to this philosophy is that there are less combat rules and fewer exceptions

I totally think that both versions will work!  I am not likely to bulg
e from my set of 
rules.  My players have been playing for years; they know the complex 
rules and like
them.  My players gloat when they are faced by spears and pike axes in
 a forest,
maneuver the enemy in a situation where they are tangled in the terrain, no
t able
to support each other, unable to charge effectively, and are slaughtered.

But if you like a minimal rule set more power to you!

I think that the acrimony of the spear pole weapons debate here is from peo
ple who
have two different philosophies.  They have powerful spears (with pena
lties and
exceptions) or simple nerfed spears.  Both have systems that work well
, and 
neither will convince the other to change.


So should we be debating about what is right, or what is right for your cam

If you are really concerned with what is realistic I would try GURPS. 
 If you are 
really concerned with what SJ likes, I would try GURPS.

Now someone might say to me, "Rick, if you have these complex rules, why ar
e you
not playing GURPS?"  Good question.  I tried GURPS for a long tim
e, until my players
and I knew the system well and could run it fast.  Even then GURPS was
 too slow
for me and I liked their magic system much less than TFT's magic.  My 
rules are 
arguably less realistic than GURPS, but they are faster.

Warm regards, Rick.

On 2015-10-20, at 4:33 PM, Jeffrey Vandine wrote:
> Your privilege of course, but you should read the history (admittedly, no
> a frequently wargamed or written about period, and thus somewhat obscure)
> it might change your perceptions a bit.
>      From: Edward kroeten <ekroeten@farmersagent.com>
> To: tft@brainiac.com 
> Sent: Tuesday, October 20, 2015 5:24 PM
> Subject: Re: (TFT) Spear vs. Shortsword maneuvers
> The swiss were most effective against cavalry they were nearly wiped out 
> a man in one battle against regular infantry. ‹‚Â�
� Spanish troops 
> were not dominant, sorry not buying.‹‚Â 

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