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

I'm pretty much with you on a lot of this.  To the point that I recent
ly went to the trouble of acquiring a copy of Man-to-Man and am now orderin
g the 1st edition version of GURPS from Amazon.  At the time, I rememb
er I was seriously put off by the increased complexity, but now it seems le
ss daunting (at least in the early editions) than it did before.  My m
emory of the magic system exactly tallies with what you describe (and I thi
nk it was the magic system that kicked me back to TFT), but I've also order
ed a copy of the very first version (the one with the demon summoning paint
ing from the old Spacegamer on the cover) to see if my perception of that h
as changed any as well.  Either way, if we think of GURPS as an extrem
e evolution of TFT -- which doesn't seem too unlikely a way to look at it, 
IMHO -- it should make for some interesting study and comparison.  So 
I will spend some time exploring it and comparing the two systems again.
Right up front, I think the addition of the HT stat completely solves most 
of the fatigue vs. damage conundrums introduced by TFT.  However the q
uestion then becomes, does it defeat the purpose of TFT (KISS applied with 
Occam's Razor)?
It'll be interesting to see it again after a lapse of what, almost thirty y
ears? from the last time I actually looked at the system itself (as opposed
 to the sourcebooks).

      From: Peter von Kleinsmid <pvk@oz.net>
 To: tft@brainiac.com 
 Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 12:02 AM
 Subject: 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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