Simplified Reach Mechanics

July 17th, 2010

Double rolls may be a little tough to take. The rules can be simplified to remove this double MA test, and roll it into a single MA test. The reasoning being that once the weapon is bound (much like a parry) the attacker with seek to strike and this strike is really an auto-hit. This is the same as regular combat. So only one MA test is needed. This leaves the only real advantage of the longer weapon being the initial auto-hit trumping of shorter weapons. This is very powerful and shifts the initial payload of a charge onto the attacker.

This does deny a whole bunch of interesting combat situations but they can be tacked on.

Half-sword: The double MA test can still be used but it is limited to skilled fighters (they have modifiers for that weapon). If the skilled fighter fluffs their MA test (angles and execution may have been too good) they will face the auto-hit off the bind, the immediately pull the sword back and switch to half-sword or quarter staff techniques and defend themselves. This would obviously require a successful MA test (considering they just failed one that allowed their opponent to close – you could ignore this and say it happens automatically). They can only do this because of the extra reach of the weapon and the time it takes to step in. This may save their ass but they now have no reach advantage, but half-swording is pretty awesome. They would need to be trained to half-sword/ quarterstaff.

Once they pull off this double save they are in grapple mode.

Grapple: First we need a way of distinguishing the grappler from the regular fighters. I would suggest all the dice from the successful second saves be changed for a die of a different colour.

Example: So if you have ten knights with longsword and five fail their first MA test, but three make their second ‘save’ MA test, those three are now in grapple mode with their opponents are locked in grapple mode with them. These dice are changed for a different colour. Lets say the usual dice are blue, and the grapple dice are red. In this example five knights made their first MA test and counter (hand back the five red dice), five fail their first MA test, but three succeeded in the ‘save’ MA test. The means two are removed from play, and three are in grapple mode (hand back three blue dice). In total five red dice and three blue dice are handed back to the opponent.

Grappling is much the same as regular combat except strength (derivative of Stature Attribute) can overpower even a successful MA test and cause a defeat. If you are stronger than your opponent and you make your MA test in a grapple then your opponent is done for: even if your opponent made their MA test they would still loose as they would be overpowered. That is the difference with grapples – strength wins. It is not advisable to take on a stronger opponent in a grapple unless you have some serious skills;

Grapple skills: If skilled in grappling you gain bonuses to the MA test and to strength. It is possible for a weaker man with high grapple skills to defeat a naturally stronger man with inferior grappling techniques and skills. With this said the final strength value will determine who’s king.

If the strength values are equal, it is the first one to fail their MA test the looses. At equal strength it is much the same as the regular combat rules: MA test to defend and counter.

Slices and rakes: cheap shots while in a grapple and using a sword. These cheap shots are totally defeated by chain or plate armour. They are delivered from the grapple and merely require an successful MA test to execute. They are in effect with every successful MA test in grapple mode. The only defence against these slices are chain and plate armour (and some tough leather armours). If an opponent does not have suitable armour they will be defeated with the first MA test against them.

Option: this is used against an equal strength opponent who fails their MA test. As they retain their strength, but have ended up in a partially compromised position. If the equal opponents do not have sword to allow these slices and rakes, then they have to overpower their opponent with a follow up with an immediate MA test. If they pass they defeat them, but if they fail it goes back to normal.

This gives swords a huge advantage in combat, and forces opponents to use armour.

Shields: These rules should dovetail in with the shield wall rules, and should dovetail with the Viking style shield combat (where in a shield bind a Viking can reach over and use the false edge (the back edge with is nice and sharp) to slash their opponent’s back or hamstrings).

Endurance: This would affect the strength of the grapplers. I am undecided about how to represent this.

Note: Pikes and long spears can not be used to quarterstaff, and hence grapple, but there again they gain the advantage when in ranks and presenting multiple layers of points towards the enemy.

Categories: Rules |

Comments: 2

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  1. Hive Trygon says:

    May be the endurance is a modifier for the test? As in the higher your endurance the more the dice can be modified so the likely hood of a high endurance warrior failing before a weak mage or some similar character would be unlikely.

    • Philip S says:

      For the Technical Sphere (RPG side of things) the Endurance value (a modifier under Stature) would allow a certain number of increments/ turns before tiring. Once past their endurance the combatants would take penalties to their strength. The first to tire would loose, but often sides are evenly matched.

      The problem is translating it into the Tactical Sphere (table top) is that the various elements within the engagement may be at differing times in their bind, some binding right way, some binding later. I did consider multiple colour dice, but it seems a bit clunky (I’m not that keen on using the ‘two different colour dice’ solution in the above post).

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