Basic Spear - Thrust damage 3p or 4p?

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FortPwnall
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Basic Spear - Thrust damage 3p or 4p?

Postby FortPwnall » 08 Sep 2017, 05:36

Trying my best to make the highest-damage thrust weapons.

The manual says this about 1.5h weapons.

1.5h: Weapon can be used one or two-handed. When two-handed, its
damage profile is improved by +1 swing/+1 thrust. It’s up to the player
whether they prefer to write down the one-handed or two-handed
version of the DR on their sheet, or make a separate line for each.


Using the weapon construction, or looking on the weapons table, you have this for spear:

Spear
Spear 1c / 3p Ext r2 1.5h thrown

HOWEVER, the table also has a disclaimer that
*DR assumes two-handed use. 1.5h weapons can be used one-handed at -1/-1


On the other hand, I can make a powerful long blade as follows:

Blade
-1c / 4p r5 2h maille-piercing (thrust)
Double-edged
Extended
Severe Taper
Tuck

So, is it really true that I can only make a 3p 2-handed thrusting spear, but I can make a 4p 2-handed blade?

Note: I'm not saying the trade-offs aren't worth the cost or anything. The spear is much cheaper and can be thrown etc. BUT my intuition says that I can get at least as much power thrusting a hafted weapon with a blade on the end, than one which I have to hold by the grip/hilt? Even it involves literally sticking a blade on the end of a haft. If I try and do exactly that, I again just end up with a 3p weapon (since, for some reason, for blades extended gives you the option of +2 thrust but for hafted weapons you can only get +1/+1).

Also, the rules have this arcane statement in the rules on hafted weapon construction:
*If a 1.5h weapon becomes a 2h weapon, the +1/+1 bonus becomes a permanent damage adjustment


I honestly don't quite know how that ties in with the rest.

What gives? Am I misunderstanding something? Is there a mistake in the rules? Or is there some reason things would really work this way?
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Benedict
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Re: Basic Spear - Thrust damage 3p or 4p?

Postby Benedict » 08 Sep 2017, 06:11

FortPwnall wrote:What gives? Am I misunderstanding something? Is there a mistake in the rules? Or is there some reason things would really work this way?

To put it bluntly - it's not you - we all miss something: the Proficiency and Combat chapters. Apart from actual combat mechanics this means we lack Maneuver effects, Maneuver lists/Proficiency, and Emphases effects. Weapons are the tools; Proficiencies/Maneuvers being the actions.

That example of an extended blade at the end of a pole is a possibility. That weapon will most likely use the Polearm or Mass proficiency -- which will limit it to specific Maneuvers. If on the other hand you made an extended Estoc ("stock" Estocs are Long) with Severe Tapper and Tuck options their stats would be nearly equal, but it would use the Longsword proficiency instead -- which would also link the weapon to specific maneuvers.

A note to consider. The presented weapons are examples of what one could make with the Codices. It doesn't mean that all weapons are like the ones presented in the book.
For example nothing restricts you from making a Long instead of an Extended Spear. As far as I'm concerned this is rules intended and a superb move from the team. ;)
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FortPwnall
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Re: Basic Spear - Thrust damage 3p or 4p?

Postby FortPwnall » 08 Sep 2017, 06:56

Benedict wrote:To put it bluntly - it's not you - we all miss something: the Proficiency and Combat chapters. Apart from actual combat mechanics this means we lack Maneuver effects, Maneuver lists/Proficiency, and Emphases effects. Weapons are the tools; Proficiencies/Maneuvers being the actions.


So... what, you think it would be possible they might add a maneuver that would allow you to end up doing more thrusting damage with a spear than you would have been able to with an extended sword?

Benedict wrote:That example of an extended blade at the end of a pole is a possibility. That weapon will most likely use the Polearm or Mass proficiency -- which will limit it to specific Maneuvers. If on the other hand you made an extended Estoc ("stock" Estocs are Long) with Severe Taper and Tuck options their stats would be nearly equal, but it would use the Longsword proficiency instead -- which would also link the weapon to specific maneuvers.

A note to consider. The presented weapons are examples of what one could make with the Codices. It doesn't mean that all weapons are like the ones presented in the book.


I don't understand your last point here? The extended estoc example I gave is something I made with the codices... it's not on the example weapons table. Or do you mean there will probably be additional options added?


Provided the maneuvers don't add any advantage or whatever, I'd say can't the rules just be changed as follows?

For blades
Extended: +2 swing OR +2 thrust, gains 2h. Cost+2. Uses Longswords

For polearms
Extended: +1/+1 to all damage, OR +2 thrust, gains 2h.

I don't really understand why when extending a sword you can choose whether to gain swinging or thrusting, but not +1/+1? But on a polearm you have to get +1/+1? This seems to be a very specific design choice and I am curious regarding the reasoning behind it. I mean, you could even do the following, for both blade and polearm

Extended +2 swing OR +2 thrust OR +1/+1 to all damage, gains 2h. (and then obviously "uses longswords" for blades)
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Re: Basic Spear - Thrust damage 3p or 4p?

Postby Benedict » 08 Sep 2017, 08:18

FortPwnall wrote:
Benedict wrote:That example of an extended blade at the end of a pole is a possibility. That weapon will most likely use the Polearm or Mass proficiency -- which will limit it to specific Maneuvers. If on the other hand you made an extended Estoc ("stock" Estocs are Long) with Severe Taper and Tuck options their stats would be nearly equal, but it would use the Longsword proficiency instead -- which would also link the weapon to specific maneuvers.


I don't understand your last point here? The extended estoc example I gave is something I made with the codices... it's not on the example weapons table. Or do you mean there will probably be additional options added?

I wasn't clear enough, sorry. I'm not comparing a spear to an estoc, I'm comparing an estoc to a polearm with a straight estoc-like blade head on top.

    Example 1: Blade
  • Base: Cost r2
  • Double-edged : 0c/1p
  • Extended: Cost+2, Thrust +2, gains 2h
  • Taper: Severe Taper; Cost+1, Thrust+1
  • Option: Tuck; Swing-1, Maille Piercing
    DR -1c/+4p ; Reach Extended ; Cost r5 ; Maille Pierce ; 2h ; Uses Longsword

    Example 2: Hafted Weapon
  • Base: Cost r1
  • Head (Top): Blade
    • Base: 0c/0p, Cost r2
    • Double-edged : 0c/1p
    • Short: no effect
    • Taper: Severe Taper; Cost+1, Thrust+1
    • Option: Tuck; Swing-1, Maille Piercing
  • Haft Length: Extended ; +1/+1 DR, gains 2h
    DR 0c/3p ; Reach Extended ; Cost r4 ; Maille Pierce ; 2h ; Uses Polearm and Mass

As I said earlier, nearly equal stats (the sword thrusts better by 1, the pole cuts better by 1) but entirely different in the way they are used. Hence different Proficiency/Emphasis/Maneuvers.

FortPwnall wrote:So... what, you think it would be possible they might add a maneuver that would allow you to end up doing more thrusting damage with a spear than you would have been able to with an extended sword?

That I do not know. I know only the 'Bastards Emphases and Maneuvers. For example Spear Emphasis was "When you have Reach Control gain +4CP instead of +2CP bonus". 2 extra dice on a 50% success rate means +1DR. 4 dice its +2DR. Or +1DR Precise Thrust (which costs 2AC=2 CP dice) to shift actual hit location by MoS in every direction you like. Meaning that a Precise Thrust with MoS3 lets you hit anything you want. Like an armpit when attacking a heavily armored guy. :twisted:

FortPwnall wrote:Provided the maneuvers don't add any advantage or whatever, I'd say can't the rules just be changed as follows?

You can rest assured that Maneuvers and Emphases WILL provide SIGNIFICANT changes and advantages/disadvantages. That is a given. The question is what these effects will be.

FortPwnall wrote:I don't really understand why when extending a sword you can choose whether to gain swinging or thrusting, but not +1/+1? But on a polearm you have to get +1/+1? This seems to be a very specific design choice and I am curious regarding the reasoning behind it. I mean, you could even do the following, for both blade and polearm

Good question.

It's all about geometry, biomechanics, and physics in general. Take a greatsword and a spear (or anything else of comparatively equal length).

The greatsword is a straight piece of metal with a handle big enough that requires a two handed grip.

The spear is virtually the exact opposite. A relatively small piece of metal -- compared to the greatsword's blade that is -- on top of a long wooden pole.

Hence the greatsword (or estoc, or any other sword) has a small area compared to its overall size which can be used as a handle, making the leverage one could apply with it very specific. That's why swords are jacks-of-all-trades OR extremely specialized weapons.

On the other hand the spear (or any other polearm) with its large handle (one can use the entirety of the pole with two hands combined) provides a lot more leverage.

In this light giving a big sword a choice of +Swing OR +Thrust while on the other end hafted weapons gain a DR bonus both on Swing and Thrust illustrates the above facts.

There's also a second point to consider, which has nothing to do with reality and physics simulation. Game design. If everything across the board had access to everything that would be kinda boring, wouldn't it? By giving +2 to either Swing or Thrust to swords when giving +1 to Swing and Thrust to poles is a significant differentiation between swords and poles without being too fiddly or cumbersome.
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FortPwnall
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Re: Basic Spear - Thrust damage 3p or 4p?

Postby FortPwnall » 08 Sep 2017, 10:45

Ah, cool, thanks. You've cleared a lot of things up. I'm curious to see what the new set of maneuvers will yield.

I also wonder what the creators' opinions on this is.
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Re: Basic Spear - Thrust damage 3p or 4p?

Postby Agamemnon » 08 Sep 2017, 16:25

FortPwnall wrote:Ah, cool, thanks. You've cleared a lot of things up. I'm curious to see what the new set of maneuvers will yield.

I also wonder what the creators' opinions on this is.


An extended spear made the most obvious way would be Spear head and Extended. Used 2h, that's going to give you: 1c/3p|Extended|1.5h, Thrown (r2 Cost)

The equivalent in sword is going to start at Double-Edged, Extended. So now we're looking at 0c/3p|Extended (r4 Cost). Twice the cost (significantly more than twice the actual value, in terms of real-world currency), and doing less damage. If you bump it to r5, you can either blade heavy and help even that out a bit, giving you identical damage to the spear OR you can optimize it even further and get it up to 0c/4p.

At this point what you have is effectively a five foot needle, which is cool, but you're paying a premium for it and it's significantly less versatile than the spear would have been. That's not a trivial consideration. Going very thrust-oriented or very swing-oriented will give you higher numbers, but will limit the things you will want to do in combat. Swinging and thrusting are not identical, much the same way that the different damage types are not identical.

When we get into emphases, there will be other interesting tricks to fool with as well that further distinguish the two options.
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Re: Basic Spear - Thrust damage 3p or 4p?

Postby thirtythr33 » 09 Sep 2017, 00:58

From a realism perspective, I'm not too sure which side of this argument I fall on. The +2 swing, +2 thrust versus +1/+1 thing is pretty baffling to me too.

As far as game balance goes though;
  • The longsword gets 3 advantages over a spear. Masterstroke, Halfswording and advantage in the wind. With a thrust optimized weapon though, Masterstroke and advantage in the wind are almost totally wasted since they both require using a swing. And if you go to halfswording, you have to give up your weapon length.
  • As for the spear, we had a rather long discussion starting here about the spears emphasis in particular. In BoB 0.2, we largely agreed that it's bonus of +2 additional CP for having reach control was easily the best emphasis and possibly even too strong. Also, you can take a medium length spear have it as 1.5h, giving it 3p thrust damage if held in 2 hands but also has the option for you to pick up a shield if required.
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Re: Basic Spear - Thrust damage 3p or 4p?

Postby Agamemnon » 09 Sep 2017, 01:51

thirtythr33 wrote:The longsword gets 3 advantages over a spear. Masterstroke, Halfswording and advantage in the wind. With a thrust optimized weapon though, Masterstroke and advantage in the wind are almost totally wasted since they both require using a swing.

Masterstroke will be swing or thrust in the next release. After some digging through stuff and talking to jake, we found enough examples to justify the change.
Wind didn't require a swing even in the last release.
Band of Bastards, p57. Wind wrote:Declare a Wind and make an unaugmented Swing or Thrust attack with the blade or pommel. The thigh and shin wheel may not be targeted. The defender is limited to only two defensive options: Counter or Expulsion.

Worth noting, the example actually starts with someone winding into a thrust:
Diego successfully parries a Swing from Jaff. Having gained the initiative and established blade contact, Diego pays the AC and declares a Wind. He makes a Thrust at Jaff’s chest.

thirtythr33 wrote:And if you go to halfswording, you have to give up your weapon length.

True, though the whole point of half-swording is to set up for a better thrust-based attack, so this isn't really a detriment in this case.
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Re: Basic Spear - Thrust damage 3p or 4p?

Postby Benedict » 09 Sep 2017, 04:38

Agamemnon wrote:True, though the whole point of half-swording is to set up for a better thrust-based attack, so this isn't really a detriment in this case.

Not only that. It's good tactical leverage because it can provide Reach Control when you fight against an equal length weapon:

Phrase 1: Switch mid tempo to halfsword and steal/retain Initiative.
Phrase 2: +2CP due to reach mismatch and you having control of the situation.
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