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(TFT) Realism and ideal realism in TFT

Hi everyone, David.
  I agree with your argument completely.  A bunch of my rules are there 
because they 'feel' more real to me, e.g. DX penalties for long pole 
weapon users when their user's back is obstructed.  I increased the 
strength of the long bow to ST 15, because from my readings of the 
English Long Bow, I understand that it required a very large amount of ST 
to use properly.  The arguments that bows could be learned relatively 
quickly but the English Long Bow requires years of practice make more 
sense then.  It takes years to build up that massive amount of upper body 

  The things I feel happiest with are when I can make something 
more realistic with no increase in complexity.  For example, should
some missile weapon do 1d+4 dice damage or 3d–3 damage?

  One does an average of 7.5 points.
  The second does average damage of 7.5 points.  No difference...

  However, I've adjusted the weapon tables so that impaling weapons
do X dice minus Y, where as cutting weapons and massive impact
weapons tend to do X dice plus Y.  

  Thus with NO special rules, my impaling weapons tend to have a
high standard deviation to damage.  (Especially if the target has some
armor.)  They might do a little or they might do a lot of damage.  GURPS 
system is more realistic.  But it is more complex.  After the hit is made and 
damage is done, you calculate the amount of damage that get's thru the 
armor and then you double the adjusted damage for impaling weapons.  
(Note that in GURPS, impaling weapons tend to do less damage, so 
they are more often stopped by armor.  Thus they have high variance 
of damage, especially if they against armor....)

  My rules are less complex and faster, but the key thing is that they 
capture an idea with no mechanics.  All that has to be done, is that 
those who design new weapons apply the same system.

  Getting back to pole weapons, my rules are certainly not ideal in this 
sense.  They are complex, but it is the minimum complexity I feel is 
needed to capture the key idea that they can get a significant bonus to 
damage by charging 3+ hexes, (which encourages maneuver and 
terrain effects) and that long weapons are awkward in tight spaces (which 
encourages terrain effects).  Important terrain means that the battles have 
more variety.

  I am also willing to put up with a bit more complexity in order to have the
different weapons play differently from each other.  The upshot is that the
battles have more variety.  If someone could absolutely prove to me, that
historically, that there was not real difference tactics wise between pole 
weapons and swords, I would STILL keep my system.

  Which reminds me of story...

  I had an old player who felt he knew infinitely more about melee combat
than me because he was in the SCA.  His argument, was that pole weapons,
swords, axes, maces, etc. were all the same.  My wry reply that, "they all, 
basically, could be treated like padded clubs," did not penetrate.  I finally 
ended the debate by saying that I liked my rules where the different weapons
were treated differently because it made combat more interesting.  This 
allowed me to run the game with out argument and he got to stay the expert.

  Warm regards, Rick.

On 2015-10-21, at 12:43 AM, David Bofinger wrote:

>> TFT is a game.  I do not use it to simulate reality, so calling on
> examples
>> 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.
> This is fine as far as it goes, but leaves open the question of what is an
> improvement. I think it's fairly clear that for 90+% of players the
> relationship to reality matters. There's an attraction to TFT that chess
> doesn't have: part of the fun is that what happens in the game can be
> imagined as happening in real life, and characters can be imagined to be
> real people. Conversely, a really silly rule like "characters with odd
> strength walk on the floor, characters with even strength walk on the
> ceiling" would be seen as bad even if it had some advantage in other ways.
> So for most people eliminating a source of unrealism does, ceteris paribus,
> constitute an improvement.
> That said, maybe we don't need a lot of resolution: TFT mostly aims at a
> simple approximation to more or less reality. And I'm doubtful about the
> relevance of the performance of Swiss pike phalanges, that fought mostly in
> open fields with thousands of men and 4.5 metre pikes, to the often cramped
> conditions and small unit tactics of TFT soldiers wielding halberds and
> spears.
> --
> David
> =====
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