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Pike and Shield in RQG

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18 hours ago, styopa said:

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.

Unless, of course, you're playing ASL the RPG...  <shiver>

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3 hours ago, Yelm's Light said:

Unless, of course, you're playing ASL the RPG...  <shiver>

Playing RQ with the Strike Rank/tact concept of Ringworld isn't very far from that.

In this discussion, I tend to side with Paolo who has the benefit of having published rules systems and having received playtest feedback.

There are tons of things a warrior with a five meter pole surrounded by enemies might do, including a swashbuckling planting it so it could veer in the planned direction, climbing up and engage rear line foes with a jumped grappling attack from above.

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8 hours ago, Yelm's Light said:

Unless, of course, you're playing ASL the RPG...  <shiver>

Took a little searching, but FYI ~1000 pages.

The *INDEX* is 34 pages.

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1301056/rules-how-much-it-there

Chapter A, Basic Rules, 62 pages
Chapter B, Terrain, 44 pages
Chapter C, Ordnance, 26 pages
Chapter D, Vehicles, 26 pages
Chapter E, Miscellaneous, 28 pages
Chapter F, North Africa, 18 pages
Chapter G, Pacific, 50 pages
Chapter H, Vehicle and ordnance notes, about 200 pages
Chapter I, Campaign game - never published
Chapter J, Deluxe ASL, 2 pages
Chapter K, Training manual, 44 pages
Chapter L, Online ASL - never published
Chapter M, ASL Analysis - never published
Chapter N, Armory, over 150 pages
Chapter O, Red Barricades, 24 pages
Chapter P, Kampfgruppe Peiper, 24 pages
Chapter Q, Pegasus Bridge, 18 pages
Chapter R, A Bridge too Far, 22 pages
Chapter S, Solitaire, 34 pages
Chapter T, Tarawa, 22 pages
Chapter V, Valor of the Guards, 36 pages
Chapter Z, Other Campaigns, 86 pages
Chapter FB, Festung Budapest, 54 pages
Chapter dividers are 2-6 pages for each chapter

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On 7/10/2018 at 5:50 AM, metcalph said:

I don't see any reason for rules for fighting with a 2-handed pike and shield alone because this was never done

How do you know it was never done?

On 7/10/2018 at 5:50 AM, metcalph said:

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.

 

And, if you are in the right circumstances, say a narrow corridor where the opponent can't try to outflank you (i.e. standard dungeon crawl), then 2H Spear and shield isn't a bad option and probably better than the three you mentioned.

2H Spear and Shield isn't suicidal for a lone warrior fighting a single opponent, or where the terrain favors such tactics.. Where it gets suicidal is in small groups in the wrong terrain. Two or three people attempting Pike & Shield on an open battlefield, because the Phalanx has to slow down to maintain the formation and the enemy can outmaneuver them. Even in large groups a Phalanx is vulnerable.

Historically, the Phalanx dominated the battlefield until the Romans figured out how to put together a more maneuverable formation, the cohort. That pretty much spelled the end of the Phalanx, but it did evolve into the more flexible Square. Were it not for firearms and vehicles, Pikemen with shields fighting in a Square formation might be a real possibility.  In Glorantha, something like a Square formation could actually work for small groups using 2H Spear & Shield. 

 

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Where's this disdain for ASL suddenly coming from?  Yes, it has a big rulebook.  Many RPG systems have bigger books, and are less well organised.  I don't think that anyone who can properly digest (say) the RQ3 rules would have any trouble learning the ASL rules.  Most of the rules in that big rulebook are "special cases" and only a subset of them are ever in use at any one time ....

I play ASL all the time (and have contributed, in small ways, to its design) and am happy to discuss it with anyone who wants to learn more about it -- in a more appropriate forum than this thread, of course.

http://www.multimanpublishing.com/Products/tabid/58/CategoryID/4/Default.aspx

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I have no distain for it. I just thought it was funny that the Deluxe rules are only 2 pages.

 

As far as the 1000 pages of rules go, considering that the index give above listed some scenarios and stats for various vehicles and ordinance, I don't think it's any worse that some of the more popular RPGs. RQG is 446 pages, toss in the GMs book and Bestiary and it will be bigger than ASL without any scenarios!

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12 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

 

 

And, if you are in the right circumstances, say a narrow corridor where the opponent can't try to outflank you (i.e. standard dungeon crawl), then 2H Spear and shield isn't a bad option and probably better than the three you mentioned.

 

 

I hope there aren't any bends in this narrow corridor...

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57 minutes ago, Russ Massey said:

I hope there aren't any bends in this narrow corridor...

Me too! It's definitely something that can go bad really quickly. The problem is with the PIke, though, not the shield. 

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11 hours ago, BWP said:

Where's this disdain for ASL suddenly coming from?  Yes, it has a big rulebook.  Many RPG systems have bigger books, and are less well organised.  I don't think that anyone who can properly digest (say) the RQ3 rules would have any trouble learning the ASL rules.  Most of the rules in that big rulebook are "special cases" and only a subset of them are ever in use at any one time ....

I play ASL all the time (and have contributed, in small ways, to its design) and am happy to discuss it with anyone who wants to learn more about it -- in a more appropriate forum than this thread, of course.

http://www.multimanpublishing.com/Products/tabid/58/CategoryID/4/Default.aspx

LtProbst.png.dec3210931fb23f093d2df332c5732e3.png

I played Squad Leader, and I played ASL, and quickly tired of all the times we'd sit and wait for someone to consult one of the myriad rulebooks for the latter.  I count myself lucky that it was a store copy and that I never bought into it.

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7 hours ago, Russ Massey said:

I hope there aren't any bends in this narrow corridor...

I had that - deep in a dungeon, the player's like "my sword broke? OK I'll take out my pike then"

"Wait, what?"

"Yeah, my pike.  I have it on my equipment list.  It's been strapped to my back this whole time".

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15 hours ago, BWP said:

Where's this disdain for ASL suddenly coming from? 

No disdain, I love ASL.  But it is a archetypal example of a wargaming approach to rules, page count be damned.

(PS to @Atgxtg "deluxe" only meant "large".  The Deluxe ASL sets were simply boards with gigantic (3"?) hexes for more detail and more intricate city fights, as well as the use of microarmor minatures.  AFAIK it was a failure.)

...and to drag this thread sort of back to relevancy, Avalon Hill's approach to writing such rules goes a long way toward explaining why those of our community (myself included) who were wargamers tended to strongly prefer the RQ3 (AH) iteration of the rules.  In a very AH way they were more comprehensive, more robust, and more internally self-consistent - at the cost of adding perhaps-accurate-but-ultimately-excessively-fiddly-bits.  The RQ2 devotees' impressions OTOH exactly reversed: they were offended by the fiddly bits and cared little/nothing for the mechanical 'wargamey' consistency and improvements.  The latter paradigm is the guiding rudder behind the RQG edition.

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40 minutes ago, styopa said:

No disdain, I love ASL.  But it is a archetypal example of a wargaming approach to rules, page count be damned.

(PS to @Atgxtg "deluxe" only meant "large".  The Deluxe ASL sets were simply boards with gigantic (3"?) hexes for more detail and more intricate city fights, as well as the use of microarmor minatures.  AFAIK it was a failure.)

Thanks.  Ihad no idea, but it certinaly looked funny in that index.

40 minutes ago, styopa said:

...and to drag this thread sort of back to relevancy, Avalon Hill's approach to writing such rules goes a long way toward explaining why those of our community (myself included) who were wargamers tended to strongly prefer the RQ3 (AH) iteration of the rules.  In a very AH way they were more comprehensive, more robust, and more internally self-consistent - at the cost of adding perhaps-accurate-but-ultimately-excessively-fiddly-bits.  The RQ2 devotees' impressions OTOH exactly reversed: they were offended by the fiddly bits and cared little/nothing for the mechanical 'wargamey' consistency and improvements.  The latter paradigm is the guiding rudder behind the RQG edition.

Yet it was still written by the same guy who wrote RQ2, Steve Perrin. I think that if someone from  AH had written it, it would have had bunches of number paragraphs (7.6.2.15: Walking While Chewing Gum) and read like a wargame-like Powers & Perils. 

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On ‎7‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 6:21 PM, Atgxtg said:

How do you know it was never done?

It was done...  a Macedonian named Coragus challenged Dioxippus the Athenian to single combat. On the day of the duel, Coragus turned up in his phalangite armor, with his shield and sarissa (and a sword and javelin); Dioxippus arrived naked carrying a club.

Diodorus of Sicily describes the outcome:

As they approached each other, the Macedonian flung his javelin from a proper distance, but the other inclined his body slightly and avoided its impact. Then the Macedonian poised his long lance and charged, but the Greek, when he came within reach, struck the spear with his club and shattered it.

After these two defeats, Coragus was reduced to continuing the battle with his sword, but as he reached for it, the other leaped upon him and seized his swordhand with his left, while with his right hand the Greek upset the Macedonian's balance and made him lose his footing.

As he fell to the earth, Dioxippus placed his foot upon his neck and, holding his club aloft, looked to the spectators.

The crowd was in an uproar because of the stunning quickness and superiority of the man's skill, and the king signed to let Coragus go, then broke up the gathering and left. He was plainly annoyed at the defeat of the Macedonian.

Dioxippus released his fallen opponent, and left the field winner of a resounding victory and bedecked with ribands by his compatriots, as having brought a common glory to all Greeks. Fortune, however, did not allow him to boast of his victory for long..

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8 hours ago, styopa said:

No disdain, I love ASL.  But it is a archetypal example of a wargaming approach to rules, page count be damned.

There's nothing wrong with that if the subject matter requires it.  WW2 combat was a complex thing; I'm immediately suspicious of rules that make no effort to reflect that complexity.

Of course I know that there are gamers who like their RPG combats "crunchy", and those who want it as simple as possible so that they can move on to the "good stuff" quickly.  I came to role-playing via wargames, and my tastes reflect that.  RQ, regardless of edition, was always a game system that celebrated detail and tended to attract like-minded players.

8 hours ago, styopa said:

(PS to @Atgxtg "deluxe" only meant "large".  The Deluxe ASL sets were simply boards with gigantic (3"?) hexes for more detail and more intricate city fights, as well as the use of microarmor minatures.  AFAIK it was a failure.)

Yes and no.  From the miniatures perspective, yes, and too many people thought that miniatures were required and thus avoided the Deluxe sets.  As an alternative to the regular ASL boards, and to simulate particularly complex close actions that would get very unwieldy on the regular boards, DASL has remained popular with many players, just using the regular counterset and not a miniature in sight.  Just this year four brand-new boards were released.  @AtgxtgThe "Deluxe" appellation was always referring to the "presentation", not a whole different set of rules.

8 hours ago, styopa said:

...and to drag this thread sort of back to relevancy, Avalon Hill's approach to writing such rules goes a long way toward explaining why those of our community (myself included) who were wargamers tended to strongly prefer the RQ3 (AH) iteration of the rules.  In a very AH way they were more comprehensive, more robust, and more internally self-consistent - at the cost of adding perhaps-accurate-but-ultimately-excessively-fiddly-bits.  The RQ2 devotees' impressions OTOH exactly reversed: they were offended by the fiddly bits and cared little/nothing for the mechanical 'wargamey' consistency and improvements.  The latter paradigm is the guiding rudder behind the RQG edition.

Avalon Hill had nothing to do with the writing of RQ3, that was all Chaosium.  The point of the deal between the companies (as I understand it) is that Chaosium got better distribution of their games, and were relieved of many of the burdens of publishing -- and thus could concentrate on producing content.  Avalon Hill got an entry into the (perceived to be) lucrative RPG market that already had a known name value, and they didn't need to dedicate much in the way of staff time to produce.  They did dictate some unfortunate choices -- the confusing array of available versions, for instance -- but otherwise had no say over the content.

In a sense, it worked -- at least to a small extent.  I know wargamers who saw all the RQ3 advertisements in the pages of the General magazine, and thought it would be worth checking out, even though they had limited (at best) interest in role-playing games prior to that point.  Few, if any, of these people became full-fledged converts, but they represented sales that Chaosium would never have seen otherwise.  I don't think these guys objected to the rules (or the settings), they just weren't into it as a long-term activity.

 

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14 hours ago, styopa said:

No disdain, I love ASL.  But it is a archetypal example of a wargaming approach to rules, page count be damned.

(PS to @Atgxtg "deluxe" only meant "large".  The Deluxe ASL sets were simply boards with gigantic (3"?) hexes for more detail and more intricate city fights, as well as the use of microarmor minatures.  AFAIK it was a failure.)

...and to drag this thread sort of back to relevancy, Avalon Hill's approach to writing such rules goes a long way toward explaining why those of our community (myself included) who were wargamers tended to strongly prefer the RQ3 (AH) iteration of the rules.  In a very AH way they were more comprehensive, more robust, and more internally self-consistent - at the cost of adding perhaps-accurate-but-ultimately-excessively-fiddly-bits.  The RQ2 devotees' impressions OTOH exactly reversed: they were offended by the fiddly bits and cared little/nothing for the mechanical 'wargamey' consistency and improvements.  The latter paradigm is the guiding rudder behind the RQG edition.

I guess I'm an anomaly; I actually come originally from a wargame background, having played them for much of my young life before RPG's and somewhat less after that point.  They'd become the same old thing to me, set counters, move them around, roll some dice according to a set of (normally) unchanging rules, master the strategy and move on...and this coming from a huge WWII history buff.  RP'ing ripped the lid off of that for me.  Rules weren't complete, let alone set in stone, because they couldn't cover every situation in the same way that counters games could.

My issues with RQ3 were twofold; the absolutely poor design from a physical standpoint and the fact that I didn't like what I read of the new rules.  Fatigue/encumbrance, if you took it to its logical conclusion, left you with PC platforms that couldn't move.  And sorcery was beyond fiddly which, if you projected it, meant LM types who spent their lives in a room surrounded by arcane books and parphernalia trying to cast spells.  Not particularly interesting from a player's perspective, and much easier for a GM to have a set, if growing, list of spells.  RQ2's combat already worked fine for me, and the 5%-to-random increase for skills didn't have much weight with me one way or the other.  That doesn't mean the RQ2 combat rules were complete; I made numerous rulings not covered explicitly in the rules when wearing my GM's hat.  But I saw no reason to spend my limited funds on a product that appeared to have planned obsolescence which, by the way, was in the upper spectrum of pricing.  And it did nothing for me rules-wise that I hadn't already done for myself.

Edited by Yelm's Light

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I've looked up a few details about the Macedonian pike.

It weighed 14 - 16 pounds as against the 5 or 6 pounds of a Hoplite spear. It was made in two seperate pieces which were combined before battle using a bronze cylinder. They were normally transported in wagons, and the phalangites outside of formal battle were armed with javelins as their main weapons, such as when facing hill tribesmen, on guard duty and the like.

The weight suggests that there is no way to use the pike in a fencing style against an individual opponent. You cannot quickly and accurately move the point of a heavy pole some 8 to 10 feet in front of you to block an enemy, who would be able to parry aside the point fairly easily and charge inside the reach. GURPs, which goes into exhaustive details about martial arts styles, has references to specialist training in spear duelling, but nothing for the pike.

I would say that to be effective you need a formation and a formal battle. Exactly how large before the pike becomes efficient is hard to judge, but the standard battlefield unit of maneuver with an officer in charge seems to have been 64 men in an 8  by 8 block. File leaders and file closers were the NCOs of an 8 man file.

Edited by Russ Massey

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It's the overlapping weapons  and shields that made the Phalanx effective. It meant that you had several ranks attacking the enemies first rank. The stuff in Borderlands seems to cover a lot of what ti takes for a Phalanx to work. And Macedonian troops used to carry a kopis (shortsword, similar to a kukri) as a secondary weapon. 

 

 

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