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RE: (TFT) Ax/Mace v. Sword

Actually, the *spear* (or, for cavalry, the lance) was the most common and
important weapon, with swords/axes/maces employed as second tier weapons for
when the organised formation broke down into individual melees, or as a
backup if the spear broke. Even the Samurai only used their overrated
Katanas as a last ditch weapon after the Yari and Naginata.

As armour became heavier, not only did "mass" weapons (maces, battleaxes,
warhammers) become more common, but so did polearms (halberds, etc.)
Halberds in particular do a lot more damage then either TFT or D&D give them
credit for.

Though a sword could indeed penetrate a breast plate (12th century art
depicts knights splitting enemy's great helms with long swords) it was much
more effective to use a mass weapon or pole arm to do the job.

Basically, swords are fine up to opponents equipped with maille; as the
armour gets heavier (lorica segmentatae up to full plate) it becomes
increasingly more appropiate to sacrifice the speed and handling of a sword
for the increased striking power of a good warhammer or pole weapon.

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	grabowski [SMTP:grabowski@erols.com]
> Sent:	Wednesday, July 28, 1999 9:40 PM
> To:	tft@brainiac.com
> Subject:	(TFT) Ax/Mace v. Sword
> Stan writes:
> Is there any reason this should be restricted to swords?
> I suppose so for bushido fans, but I'm always leery of
> upsetting the "balance of power" between swords and
> axe/maces.  The fact that a lot of axe/maces can be
> thrown always seemed to be nicely offset by the sword-
> only Fencing talent.
> And sure, quick-drawing a mace may seem odd, but so is
> quickdrawing a two-handed sword.>>>>>
> This is not really an answer to your statement but I don't know why they
> would class two totally different weapons (AX/MACE) as a single talent.
> There is a big difference between hitting a person with a mace-like weapon
> as opposed to an axe.  The same could be said of the use of a mace vs. the
> use of a flail, which would both be under the Ax/Mace Talent definition.
> The main difference between the use of an ax or mace is a control issue
> when
> swinging them.  The ax has a specific edged striking side, whereas, a mace
> is almost club-like and generally easier to control.  Perhaps they should
> two separate talents each worth 2 IQ points.
> Another thing is how many player characters choose the sword and pole
> weapons talent before ever choosing ax/mace.  In a real medieval society,
> how common was it to have training with a sword vs. an ax or mace?  I
> believe the ax/mace wins because of of the expense of buying swords as
> well
> as social mores.
> Also related to above, I don't believe there is a "balance of power"
> between
> a sword or an ax or mace.  Swords have it all over those weapons because
> of
> their balance, speed of use, and control in a combat situation.  Remember,
> even till this century, the sword has been used as a weapon and a symbol.
> The only Ax you see is Il Duce's symbol with the ax and fascine.
> =====
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