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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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