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Lupo001

Pike and Shield in RQG

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Hi all,

Just a quick one as a player in my game has queried the part in chargen under heavy infantry warrior occupation about Yelmalio cultists using pike and shield. There doesn't seem to be any further explanation on that in particular in this book. I vaguely know of it from previous versions. Should I dig out RQ2 and give him those rules or is there updated rules in this book that I've missed?

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I don't see the rules in the core book; my guess is that they'll be included in the Yelmalio entry in the Gods of Glorantha supplement, and that they'll be fundamentally similar to the equivalent rules from RQ2 or RQ3's Sun County sourcebook.

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1 hour ago, Lupo001 said:

Hi all,

Just a quick one as a player in my game has queried the part in chargen under heavy infantry warrior occupation about Yelmalio cultists using pike and shield. There doesn't seem to be any further explanation on that in particular in this book. I vaguely know of it from previous versions. Should I dig out RQ2 and give him those rules or is there updated rules in this book that I've missed?

Use the Fighting in Phalanx Formation rules instead (RQG p222) with the weapon skill being a pike.  I doubt that anybody can fight with a pike and spear by themselves.

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18 hours ago, metcalph said:

Use the Fighting in Phalanx Formation rules instead (RQG p222) with the weapon skill being a pike.  I doubt that anybody can fight with a pike and spear by themselves.

...effectively.

I'd rule that sure, you can sling a hoplite shield and wield a 2h pike by yourself, but I'd say

- the shield only provides passive cover for left arm, abd and chest for attacks coming from straight ahead or the defender's left side

- no dodging (or a massive penalty to dodge, like -75%)

- with a pike you'd have reach - ie the ability to attack someone 2 hexes away (at half-attack if someone is in the intervening space) - BUT if your opponent can dodge/parry your attack, they can continue to move, and if they end up adjacent to you, you would have no way to attack with the pike at all.

Image result for hoplite with pike

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30 minutes ago, styopa said:

...effectively.

I'd rule that sure, you can sling a hoplite shield and wield a 2h pike by yourself, but I'd say

 

If the situation is a good way to get yourself killed, then drawing up rules for it is not worth the effort.

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1 minute ago, metcalph said:

 

If the situation is a good way to get yourself killed, then drawing up rules for it is not worth the effort.

What, like throwing swords?

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9 hours ago, metcalph said:

 

If the situation is a good way to get yourself killed, then drawing up rules for it is not worth the effort.

Pretty much all formation fighting is a good way to get yourself killed, unless you actually have a formation!

Realistically the advantages come from having a group of people doing it so you get overlapping coverage from shields and multiple ranks of pikemen.

I'd let someone use the RQ2/RQ3 rules for 2H Spear and Shield if they wanted.

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20 hours ago, metcalph said:

If the situation is a good way to get yourself killed, then drawing up rules for it is not worth the effort.

Is it worth WRITING into the rules where even in a massive rulebook space is at a premium?  Probably not.

But the idea that there shouldn't be rules to handle it is absurd.  The effort is infinitesimal, and jotting it down just helps one be consistent.  I have a whole page of 'off the cuff' rulings that I've made over time about how NESOI stuff (not elsewhere specified or indicated) has been ruled on so I don't change my stance later inadvertently.

What, you're just going to tell the player "that's dumb, don't do it"?  Sorry, I'd rather give my PLAYERS the agency of what they're doing or not.  I've seen players make lots of choices that - from behind the GM's screen - seem pretty stupid.  Sometimes they still succeed and talk about it years later.

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2 hours ago, styopa said:

But the idea that there shouldn't be rules to handle it is absurd. 

I disagree.  You however are entitle to clutter your own game with such unnecessary rules just as Atgxtg is entitled not to buy the rules and thus miss out the point of what was being discussed.

 

 

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26 minutes ago, metcalph said:

I disagree.  You however are entitle to clutter your own game with such unnecessary rules just as Atgxtg is entitled not to buy the rules and thus miss out the point of what was being discussed.

So if a player in your game wanted to do that, I'm genuinely curious what would be your response?  Patronize him to death?

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9 hours ago, styopa said:

So if a player in your game wanted to do that, I'm genuinely curious what would be your response?  Patronize him to death?

If I have a pike and shield and am the last person standing then I would either 1) drop the pike and switch to a more mibile weapon such as a shortsword (as the Macedonians did) or b) drop the shield and fight with the pike alone, as the shield will not be acting as a ordinary shield since I have both hands used elsewhere with one being hampered by a massive shield on the arm.

If a player wants to do the equivalent of Pyrrus fighting without his helmet then it's not worth the effort of constructing rules to emulate the bad end that will befall him.

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Pikes are also very useful attacking mounted opponents, giants, flying beasties - I wonder if we had all these on earth what sort of reenactment video we'd find on youtube? 😀

 

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We have elephants, though, and pikes were in fact used against them. Many hoplites still died when fightning elephants, but even a pachiderm is vulnerable to a 3 to 5 metre long weapon.

On 7/8/2018 at 9:47 PM, metcalph said:

If the situation is a good way to get yourself killed, then drawing up rules for it is not worth the effort.

Peter, there are two good reasons to have a simple but effective set of rules for this kind of special weapons:

  1. The player could find him- or herself forced in the unadvantageous situation, so better nail down just how dangerous it is to be in that situation, to avoid killing the character outright when there should still be a chance of suviving.
  2. The rules should provide an objective reason (other than "the evil GM prevents me from using this wonderful weapon because of some stupid stuff he read in a history book / watched in a YouTube video") not to use the weapon out of context. In the case of the pike, a weapon present in Glorantha from day 1 as it is the reason for the Sun Dome Templars being very effective in defense in WB&RM, listing the disadvantages the weapon has in single combat, and the advantages it has when used in formation, takes very little space and clarifies to the average player that using it outside a formation "is a good way to get yourself killed".

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1 minute ago, RosenMcStern said:

We have elephants, though, and pikes were in fact used against them. Many hoplites still died when fightning elephants, but even a pachiderm is vulnerable to a 3 to 5 metre long weapon.

Peter, there are two good reasons to have a simple but effective set of rules for this kind of special weapons:

Fighting with a 2H pike and shield was never used by oneself.

 

1 minute ago, RosenMcStern said:
  1. The player could find him- or herself forced in the unadvantageous situation, so better nail down just how dangerous it is to be in that situation, to avoid killing the character outright when there should still be a chance of suviving.

There are ways in which the player can switch to more advantageous methods of fighting and I have already listed two above.  Even if the GM were to be an arse about shifting weapons, survivability would still be higher.

 

1 minute ago, RosenMcStern said:

 

  1. The rules should provide an objective reason (other than "the evil GM prevents me from using this wonderful weapon because of some stupid stuff he read in a history book / watched in a YouTube video") not to use the weapon out of context. In the case of the pike, a weapon present in Glorantha from day 1 as it is the reason for the Sun Dome Templars being very effective in defense in WB&RM, listing the disadvantages the weapon has in single combat, and the advantages it has when used in formation, takes very little space and clarifies to the average player that using it outside a formation "is a good way to get yourself killed".

I have already listed the reference in the RuneQuest Glorantha rules on how to treat fighting 2H with a pike.  What the RQG rules say about the tactic is that it involves fighting in a formation (six or more people) rather than fighting by oneself.  The Sun Dome templars do not fight by themselves (and historically phalanx was an offensive rather than a defensive formation).  The Cults of Prax rules are a flawed means of dealing with the tactic simply because they imply that it is useful to fight by themselves when in fact the poke and shield wielder can be easily outflanked and dispatched.

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It is exactly what I was implying. And please consider that it is not always possible to switch to a different tactics: the fighter could have lost his shortsword or dagger, or perhaps the enemy is immune to non-magical weapons and only the pike is made of iron.

Edited by RosenMcStern

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5 minutes ago, RosenMcStern said:

It is exactly what I was implying. And please consider that it is not always possible to switch to a different tactics: the fighter could have lost his shortsword or dagger, or perhaps the enemy is immune to non-magical weapons and only the pike is made of iron.

It is not possible for the fighter to drop the shield?  Because that is one of the tactics that I did suggest.

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Sure. The rules in fact should find a simple but effective way of telling the player "If you are forced to one-on-one with a pike, at least you should drop the shield, moron!". My experience tells me that the average player prefers to have it clearly spelled out in the Player's Book.

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10 minutes ago, RosenMcStern said:

Sure. The rules in fact should find a simple but effective way of telling the player "If you are forced to one-on-one with a pike, at least you should drop the shield, moron!". My experience tells me that the average player prefers to have it clearly spelled out in the Player's Book.

I'm having difficulty understanding your position.  You want (to me unnecessary) rules to spell out the pitfalls of unwise combat tactics.  I would have thought a simpler tactic was to advise him how to improve his fighting chances when he's in a difficult position (after all in the character is a trained warrior, he or she would know what would work in most situations)  rather than working out the the penalties that accrue from doing very stupid things.

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The point is that the average player needs to be told in the rules that fighting one-on-one with a pike is a stupid thing. Otherwise he will try to use the pike in every situation to have greater damage, greater HP and a lower SR. Believe me, I have found myself in this situation more than once, and the note "this weapon is only used in large formations" is not enough: you need a precise rule that tells the player "no, you should NOT use this weapon in this way, unless you intend to die".

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6 minutes ago, RosenMcStern said:

The point is that the average player needs to be told in the rules that fighting one-on-one with a pike is a stupid thing.

We are not discussing pike fighting.  We are discussing fighting with a pike and shield, a very specific method of fighting. 

The rules for fighting with a 2 handed pike alone in RuneQuest is all fine and dandy and I see no reason for additional penalties.  

The rules for fighting with a 2 handed pike and shield in a phalanx formation can easily be emulated with the fighting in a phalanx formation rules in RQG.  

I don't see any reason for rules for fighting with a 2-handed pike and shield alone because this was never done and a trained warrior in such a circumstance is likely to 1) drop the pike and fight with a smaller weapon, 2) drop the shield and fight with the poke alone or 3) drop the pike and shield and run away.

Now I have immense difficulty in understanding your position because it seems to change around because it seems to change every post or so.  Since I see no scope for understanding, I shall only repeat my position that I believe rules for fighting with an INT of 3 to be totally unnecessary but you are welcome to do whatever you want in your game.

 

 

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1 hour ago, RosenMcStern said:

...you need a precise rule that tells the player "no, you should NOT use this weapon in this way, unless you intend to die".

I disagree. If a player wants to do something in a way that seems unusual, I think they should be allowed to do so, and not penalized based on the GM's perception of the situation. Players are inherently suffering from massive sensory deprivation. The game world exists only in the mind of the GM, and the players can only see into that world through the GM's mouth. Inisiting that they make decisions that make sense within the GM's view of the world is deeply unfair, and I have seen it used as a form of bullying and demeaning, with GMs saying that a player is doing something stupid and should just die for it. The players should have just as much right to imagine what might work in the world as a GM does, and if they don't line up, then let the dice decide.

Even if the GM is an experienced re-enactment fighter and believe that gives her the right or responsibility to make decisions on this kind of thing, the players are going to feel disempowered and resentful of the situation.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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1 minute ago, PhilHibbs said:

I disagree. If a player wants to do something in a way that seems unusual, I think they should be allowed to do so, and not penalized based on the GM's perception of the situation. Players are inherently suffering from massive sensory deprivation. The game world exists only in the mind of the GM, and the players can only see into that world through the GM's mouth. Inisiting that they make decisions that make sense within the GM's view of the world is deeply unfair, and I have seen it used as a form of bullying and demeaning, with GMs saying that a player is doing something stupid and should just die for it. The players should have just as much right to imagine what might work in the world as a GM does, and if they don't line up, then let the dice decide.

But what I said is the exact opposite! I was advocating a "write it in the rules, do not leave the burden to the GM" approach. Please re-read what I wrote below: 

2 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:
  1. The rules should provide an objective reason (other than "the evil GM prevents me from using this wonderful weapon because of some stupid stuff he read in a history book / watched in a YouTube video") not to use the weapon out of context. 

Having the thing clearly nailed down in the rules eliminates precisely that, the sense of unfairness of the GM telling you "oh no, common sense dictates that you cannot do that". If it is in the rules, then it is not something that goes through GM judgement.

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2 minutes ago, RosenMcStern said:

But what I said is the exact opposite! I was advocating a "write it in the rules, do not leave the burden to the GM" approach. Please re-read what I wrote below: 

I also disagree with having too many specific proscriptions written into the rules.

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1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

I also disagree with having too many specific proscriptions written into the rules.

Maybe there should be a specific rule stating that? :)

I think part of the ... dispute... going on here is the difference between printing a rule and making a ruling.

As I said very early in the discussion, no, in a printed commercial work where there's a finite amount of space, no, it's very much not worth laying out every conceivable circumstance and scribing a particular resolution.  It's in the sandbox nature of RPGs generally that there simply aren't enough rulebook pages in the world to comprehensively cover everything any player or monster could do.  All a dev can offer is an approach of generalities and hope that it's clear enough in method that a GM is equipped to resolve whatever the players throw at them in an internally-consistent manner.

Perhaps Peter misunderstood my initial point - when I offered how *I* as a GM would mechanically handle it IF a player wanted to to fight solo with a hoplite shield and a 2h pike, perhaps he misunderstood that I was proposing such a "ruling" as a "rule" that should somehow be included and published.  Not at all.   

In turn, I took his reply that even making such a ruling as being "not worth the effort" was snotty and condescending.  I perhaps misunderstood.  I agree with him that it's not worth including in a rulebook, full stop.  OTOH, if he actually believes that the 'right' approach to a player wanting to try that is to simply hand-wave and declare "don't do it, it's stupid", well, then I guess we simply disagree in a GM's role.

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