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Re: (TFT) Spear vs. Shortsword maneuvers

I'd be very interested to hear what Neil and Edward and those with some actual experience/training have to say about how they would design rules for polearms (and/or other long weapons) against shorter hand weapons, in a way that could capture the nature of the situation in real-world practice.

In particular, the part about getting past the longer-reach weapon to be able to use the shorter weapon against the long-weapon user.

It seems to me that there is clearly an advantage for a longer weapon when outside the shorter weapon's reach (can't hit). Also it seems that the longer weapon has some options to try to deny the opponent approach, or injure him on the way in.

I can see that a two-handed spear would have better leverage for impaling than a sword (unless perhaps you put one hand a ways up on the blade to use it like a spear) even close up. It seems intuitive to me though that it there would be even more force/leverage against someone who starts outside your reach, because you can put both your center mass and their center mass on opposite ends of the pole, no?

I'm also curious if people who've actually practised stabbing things with polearms (or staves) feel there's an impact advantage for running in while doing it, or how that would affect the situation?


--- Edward ekroeten@farmersagent.com wrote:

15 years of fencing 10 years of martial arts I  pretty sure I  understand putting force behind a specific point to cause damage.
Also even against a quarterstaff if you get close the sword has the advantage.

--- Neil raito@raito.com wrote:

If you haven't actually been in armour against a spear, I'd encourage you
to not make statements that you have no first-hand experience of. I've
been on both sides of that equation. The only reason I'm not more
effective with the spear is that the rules I'm generally constrained by
don't allow me many useful maneuvers, like using the butt end of the
spear, or deliberately putting someone on the ground. Frequently I end up
engaged by someone with your attitude that once you're past the pointy
end, the spearman is toast. They get dissuaded quickly.

Also, the idea that a sword lunge and spear lunge are just as powerful
shows a woeful lack of knowledge. Again, unless you've done it, don't make
the statement. Even two handed sword thrusts aren't as powerful as a spear
thrust. Single handed weapons are only as strong as the single wrist on
the weapon. 2 handed swords are generally limited by hilt length (unless
you are half-swording, in which case the argument is moot). With the
spear, the 2 more widely spaced hands brace the weapon against glancing,
flexing, and having to rely on the strength of the single wrist. I can
assure you from direct experience that sword thrusts are not much compared
to a spear thrust.

Neil Gilmore

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