Large spear questions

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Large spear questions

Postby jux » Sun Feb 09, 2014 9:56 pm

Sorry to bug you again with my basic questions, but I am trying to get myself once again started in Legend and it has been a while.

So one of the players took large spear as a weapon. What should I take into consideration with this weapon? Advantages and disadvantages?

As I understand, having a larger weapon is good, because (2 times) smaller weapons cannot avoid damage when parrying. But is it another way around also? How would a fighter with large spear parry a close attack when somebody attacks him with a dagger? Will he be able to parry normally?
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby HalfOrc HalfBiscuit » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:31 am

jux wrote:As I understand, having a larger weapon is good, because (2 times) smaller weapons cannot avoid damage when parrying. But is it another way around also? How would a fighter with large spear parry a close attack when somebody attacks him with a dagger? Will he be able to parry normally?
No - Look at the first paragraph on page 140 of the legend core rulebook (part of the rules on Weapon Reach - Closing and Disengaging):

"Once within the reach of the opponent's weapon, the advantage switches to the wielder of the shorter weapon. The opponent now cannot parry with his weapon until he reopens the distance."
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby auyl » Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:16 pm

HalfOrc HalfBiscuit wrote:
jux wrote:As I understand, having a larger weapon is good, because (2 times) smaller weapons cannot avoid damage when parrying. But is it another way around also? How would a fighter with large spear parry a close attack when somebody attacks him with a dagger? Will he be able to parry normally?
No - Look at the first paragraph on page 140 of the legend core rulebook (part of the rules on Weapon Reach - Closing and Disengaging):

"Once within the reach of the opponent's weapon, the advantage switches to the wielder of the shorter weapon. The opponent now cannot parry with his weapon until he reopens the distance."
Pg. 139 clears it up a bit more by saying if the weapon the opponent is using is two size categories less than the larger weapon. Then they must close. If they get too close then the character with the larger weapon can no longer parry until they get far enough away again.
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby jux » Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:33 pm

Thanks! But these are optional rules, right?
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby auyl » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:27 pm

These are part of the regular combat rules.
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby alex_greene » Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:53 pm

Try and see it in real life terms.

You have this telephone pole of a spear, pointing unerringly at the chest of your opponent, who is armed only with some sharp little blade of a dagger of some sort. No matter where the guy turns, he's facing the point of your spear.

But suddenly you're distracted - maybe he flings sand in your eye - and before you know it, he's ducked past the spear and he's now inside the reach of your weapon. You can't parry with the spear, and he still has his wicked little blade.

Of course, if you still have a CA spare and you're quick enough, you could still attempt to perform some form of defensive CM. Parry is out of the question.
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby jux » Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:17 am

I see it in real life terms, that's why I am asking it. I am having some difficulties find all the rules from the book. So when I say as a GM, "you can't parry that", I must point to a specific rule about it.

When the combat style is shield and spear, he can parry knife with shield, right?

But if I go into more details in the rules, it still is a bit vague in my head. Picture the following scenarios.

Knife fighter (A) vs spear fighter (B).
1. A acts first, he wants close to small reach distance and attack B who in that case cannot parry. (Does A have to spend CA to get close reach? Let's say no.) B survives the blow and now has his turn. What he can do? Use CA to disengage to longer reach distance? After that A uses CA to engage yet again to close reach distance? When will it end?

2. B acts first and attacks in longer range distance. Same thing, what A can do now? Move closer spending CA. Then the same cycle begins, or not?

Currently this mechanic seems broken to me. I think I misunderstand something.
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby alex_greene » Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:02 pm

p. 127-128 outline what can be done with a CA:-

• Attack: The Adventurer can attempt to strike with a hand-to-hand weapon or fire a missile at an opponent.
• Change Distance: The Adventurer can attempt to change the range at which he is fighting, either closing with his opponent or putting distance between them (see Closing and Disengaging on page 139).
• Change Stance: The Adventurer can shift from standing to prone or vice versa and anything in between.
• Delay: The Adventurer may pause to assess the tactical situation. This changes his Strike Rank to the number when he finally does act. If no action is taken before Strike Rank reaches zero, then the Combat Action is lost.
• Do Nothing: An Adventurer can decide to simply spend his Combat Action doing nothing useful.
• Evade: Adventurers can attempt to dive or roll clear of missiles or a charging attack. This action can also be declared in advance of an anticipated attack (see Parry). The CA available on the character’s next Strike Rank following an Evade attempt cannot be used to make an Attack. This penalty carries over to a new round if the Adventurer uses his last available CA in a round to Evade.
• Move: If unengaged, the Adventurer may move his full movement rate.
• Outmanoeuvre: The Adventurer can engage multiple opponents in a group Opposed Test of Evade skills. Those who fail to beat his roll cannot attack him that Combat Round. See the section on Outmanoeuvre on page 137.
• Parry: The Adventurer can attempt to deflect an incoming attack. As well as being a reactive response, this action can also be declared in advance of an expected attack by adopting a defensive stance. However, once committed, the CA cannot be converted back to any other type of action and is lost if not used before his next Strike Rank occurs.
• Ready Weapon: The Adventurer may draw, sheath or reload a weapon. Dropping a weapon costs no CA. However retrieving a dropped weapon within reach costs two CA: one to retrieve the weapon and a second to return to a readied stance.

In your scenario above, A would have to spend the CA to close in, changing the range of the encounter to Close. Once A is within reach of B to attack with his knife, B is reduced to the options Attack (using the spear as a quarterstaff, possibly to attempt a Defensive CM such as Bash, Pin Weapon or Disarm); Change Distance, to try and back away so he can bring the point of the spear around again; Evade, or Do Nothing and hope his armour can take it, or drop his weapon (no CA cost) and go for an Unarmed attack.

If he's too close to parry with that spear, he can't spend his CA on parrying. Parry is its own category of Combat Action, separate from the range of Defensive CMs.
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby jux » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:29 pm

alex_greene wrote: In your scenario above, A would have to spend the CA to close in, changing the range of the encounter to Close. Once A is within reach of B to attack with his knife, B is reduced to the options Attack (using the spear as a quarterstaff, possibly to attempt a Defensive CM such as Bash, Pin Weapon or Disarm); Change Distance, to try and back away so he can bring the point of the spear around again; Evade, or Do Nothing and hope his armour can take it, or drop his weapon (no CA cost) and go for an Unarmed attack.
Thanks for clearification. I have the following questions now:
- Can you really attack with spear in close range (as quoter staff)? What about if instead of spear, he has two-handed large sword? It sounds like he should not be able to attack.
- If B chooses to Change Distance, how to break the infinite loop of changing distances?

What about if it's a fight between A vs A (2 knife fighters). Or any weapon in this case, when it is required to spend CA to close into proper melee range.
- A1 closes into close range spending CA just to get attacked by A2 with knife. Then the only meaningful way to initiate an attack would be by Charge (full round CA).

I still don't think that the optional rule of "engage/disengage" to different melee range is understood correctly. I wonder if RQ6 has improved it somehow?

I am not going to use "change distance" rules, as in the combat example of Legend rule book.
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby Carew » Tue Feb 11, 2014 4:20 pm

If I was B with a spear and shield facing a guy A with just a knife, I would attack and parry using my shield because the knife guy is never gonna do me any damage and he wont be able to block any of my shield damage with a dagger. My spear might be useless but my shield isnt so that's what I would do all the while quoting Shaun Connery from Untouchables about bringing a knife to a shield fight... :lol:
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby jux » Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:48 pm

Ok, replying to myself. RQ6 actually has cleared up these rules a bit.

Engage CA, which is optional rule, must only be used when the target has a weapon with a bigger reach. So it is not needed, when two fighters with the same-reach weapon are battling.
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby DamonJynx » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:51 am

jux wrote:Ok, replying to myself. RQ6 actually has cleared up these rules a bit.

Engage CA, which is optional rule, must only be used when the target has a weapon with a bigger reach. So it is not needed, when two fighters with the same-reach weapon are battling.
Hi Jux,

That is the same with Legend. Closing & Disengaging are optional rules.

Using your example of the 2H guy (B) vs the Dagger Guy (A). Firstly, it doesn't matter what 2H weapon the guy has, he cannot use a shield, with perhaps the exception of a buckler, though I wouldn't allow it in my game. So if you use those rules, they actually work quite well but you have to get your head around them and try them a couple of times.

Lets say A (the dagger guy) has the higher strike rank and goes first in the combat.

CA1:
A chooses to try and close with B, he spends a CA and rolls his Evade skill, if he is successful he closes with B. B responds. He can do nothing and save his CA, or he can spend a CA to either attack (this is a special case, it is a free attack meaning he can attack when it's not his turn in initiative though it still costs him a CA) hoping he does enough damage to halt A in his tracks - this BTW is the benefit of 2H weapons and IMO the only one, or he can spend a CA to maintain the distance. If he attacks he rolls his attack vs. A's Evade Roll with the result determined normally. If he decides to maintain the distance it is an opposed Evade Roll.

Assuming B is unsuccessful in whatever he does;

CA2:
A attacks successfully, B cannot, parry only Evade. If he chooses to do nothing A gets at least 1 CM, possibly 2 if his attack roll is a Crit. Damage is resolved normally. If B Evades resolve as normal. On his turn, B attacks with no penalty, his penalty for a 2H weapon is being unable to Parry which is sufficient penalty. You may use the penalties for fighting in tight quarters if you wish but expect a heated argument from your player, I got one and relented!

Assuming B is successful in whatever he does;

If B attacked and A is still up, he closes and can attack on his next CA, if he is incapacitated the fight is done. If B kept the distance, then A would need to spend another CA to try and close again. This would continue until one or the other ran out of CA's. in which case they will most likely lose.

Once you get used to it, it is an exceptionally good mechanic and very realistic. Generally, fighter types with 2H weapons, unless they're Barbarians, are well armoured and have a reasonable Damage Modifier so knives aren't much of a threat.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby Tias » Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:48 am

My group has a thorn in our side with the combat maneuvers: Shouldn't 'choose location' be on -critical- successes, and not regular succeseses? While the rest of the combat system both feels fun and realistic, it doesn't make sense that every joe sixpack hits people in the head with their swords and arrows nearly every single time.
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby alex_greene » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:08 am

Most people would choose to aim for the chest or abdomen anyway, because they are easier locations to hit.
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby Carew » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:38 am

Tias wrote:My group has a thorn in our side with the combat maneuvers: Shouldn't 'choose location' be on -critical- successes, and not regular succeseses? While the rest of the combat system both feels fun and realistic, it doesn't make sense that every joe sixpack hits people in the head with their swords and arrows nearly every single time.
It could be the reason why so many soldiers used to wear helmets, because hits to the head WERE so commonplace. So if you look at it like that, choose location is realistic. But if your players only ever go for choose location then they're not been especially creative with the combat rules because there are some great options for combat aside from choose loc. They should try being a bit different, because if they always pick choose loc and head, what if their damage doesn't result in a kill or gets blocked by armor? Then its a waste of a conbat maneuver where something like trip or disarm might be more effective.
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby Tias » Tue Mar 04, 2014 11:35 am

Well, depends, doesn't it? It's rare for people to bear more than 3 on their head in my campaign for [reasons], and it should be enough to turn blades aside on occasion. Also, it's not common for arrows to hit the head in real life.

Edit: I agree that it's uncreative, but my players seem to agree that concentrating on the head makes more sense because "it's easier to survive non-head criticals" and "if everyone in the parties focus on one part, they go down quicker".
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby Carew » Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:11 pm

Have you read the rules on getting a penalty if you keep on choosing the same combat maneuvers each time?
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby Tias » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:20 pm

No! I haven't :oops:

E: found it! Thanks a lot.
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby Carew » Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:57 pm

The Runequest game that comes after legend has a side bar called "The Head Again" where the designers discuss this problem and say that in real fighting head shots ARE a common thing because its obvious. They also give some advice for DMs on what to do about it and they have some rules on warding locations with shield which are really good.

I guess that as the ref you need to help show them that always hitting things in the skull might seem the most obvious thing to do but is also risky. Because it means foes can also selecr choose location head when attacking them. Thats what I'd do and when a couple of characters have had a taste of their own medcine they'd would soon change there tactics!!!!
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Re: Large spear questions

Postby Da Boss » Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:31 pm

Carew wrote:The Runequest game that comes after legend has a side bar called "The Head Again" where the designers discuss this problem and say that in real fighting head shots ARE a common thing because its obvious. They also give some advice for DMs on what to do about it and they have some rules on warding locations with shield which are really good.

I guess that as the ref you need to help show them that always hitting things in the skull might seem the most obvious thing to do but is also risky. Because it means foes can also selecr choose location head when attacking them. Thats what I'd do and when a couple of characters have had a taste of their own medcine they'd would soon change there tactics!!!!
Or they just try and do it first..................

We reverted to choose location as being able to move the location up or down by 4 unless a critical IIRC.

Since we (and our opponents) were normally were fighting in clothes and minimal armour - swashbuckling English Civil war campaign you did try and avoid any hits - either by parrying or evading.

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