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

Yeah, I think it's pretty clear there are a number of options about how to play, and we all choose which ones we like, and many of us are (re)learning what all the options are and what the various odd editions of Melee said and so on.

I gave up trying to convince people who are still playing TFT to play a certain way, or to play GURPS, a long time ago, but I still mention my own tastes and ideas when it seems there's interest.


My style of playing TFT was (theoretically is):
Advanced Melee, only anti-polearm rule was the added option for weapons to try to cut through them, from Interplay. So, double-damage 1-hex charges, 1d/1d+1 spears, 2d halberds, and all else from AM/ITL.

I am interested in what's realistic, but don't try to make TFT be more realistic than is fairly easy.

I do play GURPS. I don't find it slow, and I really like what if offers over TFT for realism, detail, varied tactics and wild combat situations. I add optional & house rules for more detail and realism. Yummy yummy crunch crunch.

I find I have to mess with GURPS Magic to make it something I like enough. I tend to use different or heavily modded magic rules. Advanced Wizard is a sentimental favorite which I do like, though I think it has its issues too. (One can of course make house rules to adapt Advanced Wizard to GURPS.)

As for the idea that spears and polearms weren't used as main military weapons after the Greeks, I hope to see some interesting discussion about that. Recently I've been seeing people make opposite arguments - that swords were almost always secondary weapons, and that spears and polearms were always main military weapons from the first militaries up through the arrival of good gunpowder weapons.

As for Steve Jackson's intent, I don't mean to go back and forth on that, but after re-reading Advanced Melee's pole weapons section, it looks pretty clear what the intent was at that point, and then going back and reading my copy of Melee, I see a terser version of what seems like the same rule - resisting a charge attack with a pole weapon doesn't even lose the +2 DX if he has to turn to face. In the Jackson-era Melee, Charge Attack is very clearly going from non-adjacent to adjacent. That takes out all questions of using initiative to maneuver to avoid a pole charge bonus in an open sword/spear duel, unless your spear opponent moves first and provides open side/rear hexes for some reason.

Which is of course not to say that any way a person or group agreement wants to play it isn't fine as long as no one's getting a bad surprise. It was fun getting out the map and trying to see what could be done with initiative and maneuver with various mis-rememberings I had about the rules. :-) I think the initiative dance is actually kind of interesting. Rick's house rules are also pretty interesting. I personally don't really like the 3-hex straight line rule as I've seen it published, though, because it seems odd and can be worked around by retreat/disengage, back up 2, charge 3, but only if you have room and have MA 10+... that seems kind of artificial and gamey to me.


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