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Re: (TFT) Spear vs. Shortsword maneuvers

(Edward, I'm not ignoring you here, but for some reason your posts come
out with a lot of extra whitespace, so I'm replying to this one)

> 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.

If I had to design a more realistic system, the first thing I'd take into
account would be that there's such a thing as defense that happens
regardless of the defend option. It's fairly silly in TFT how 2 ultra-DX
characters can hit each other all day. I'm not sure how I'd do that.

Maybe something like:
If your adjDX is below 10, your base DX is your adjDX.
If your adjDX is higher than the other guy's, add the half the difference
to your baseDX.
If it's less, subtract half the difference.
Those are the adjDX you'll use against each other.
You'd need to recalculate for each other character you interact with.

I've also always found the disengagement rules to be a bit unrealistic.

Maybe something like having the ability to automatically step into a hex
that someone retreats from on their action. Or similar. Basically, the
other guy doesn't get to disengage just because there's someone behind

But TFT works fine for me in a rock, paper, scissors sort of way. Don't
have enough DX? Get a pole weapon so you attack first. Other guy has a
pole? Get a ranged weapon. Other guy has a ranged weapon? Get some DX,
move and dodge.

Double damage on a charge is in some ways a simple, reasonable facsimile
for thrust damage (though other weapons don't get that advantage).

> 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.

Yes, that's true. But in the case of a 7 foot or so pole weapon (which is
about par for most of the period), it's only a step or so. It's an
advantage, but not as big a one as you might think. This is also why the
jab is somewhat reasonable, as it's harder to do much out at the end of
your range.

> 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?

Not always, because there's other ways to generate power.

> 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?

No advantage. Disadvantages aplenty. Running into engagement may add
force, but it removes control.

If you want to generate power, a good read is Championship Fighting by
Jack Dempsey (it's out there on the net), in particular the section on
throwing a jab. Dempsey considered it a knockout punch, not a setup, and
details ways in which power can be generated for it.

> --- 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.

A staff has neither edge nor point, and that counts for a lot. At one
time, when I was a lot younger, an instructor made the assertion that he,
unarmoured,  and his staff would beat me in my armour with my two swords
every time. It really didn't work out that way. He was striking full
force, which didn't do anything, while I did manage to lay my blades on
him any number of times. He could get away if he wished, but he never
managed to strike an injuring blow. This shouldn't be taken as evidence
that swords work better in close. It should be taken as evidence that what
are currently sold as staves are pretty useless to actually hit anyone
with. He broke 2 during the session, so I must assume that that particular
weapon really couldn't injure someone who was armoured.

I personally haven't found the sword to have an advantage over a pole
weapon in close. I seem to do just fine.

Neil Gilmore

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