Reach

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Re: Reach

Postby Galloglaich » Tue Oct 04, 2011 2:29 pm

Everything after the first strike would be at melee range, just like any other weapon. You could concievably still make your first strike at 5' (if you choke up on the weapon for example) . The only difference is that the 'reach' weapon has the ability to strike at an extra five feet out.

Now getting back to Onset range... I have to think about that a little. With a piercing - only weapon like a lance you would probably have to get back to distance; with a weapon capable of cutting or striking you could probably get back to Onset..?


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Re: Reach

Postby neverfox » Wed Jun 27, 2012 4:04 am

So it seems to me to be a bit redundant/overpowered to have a reach bonus to attack and allow for 10'+ threat range. That essentially double-counts the weapon's reach, doesn't it? Of course, it's also just as unrealistic to let the reach bonus do all the work and treat all weapons as having only a 5' threat range on the grid, when clearly they stick out 10-15' from the player and should draw AoOs for characters moving through those squares.

These issues came up in our game today since I had someone with a spear fighting someone with a tomahawk. What got us confused was that, with the codex, you have a virtual range (onset, melee, grapple) that has to map onto a physical range (5' squares). So for the tomahawk character to even have a shot at an onset attack, it had to trigger an AoO from the spear character, who was still getting full reach bonus. Also, it was possible for the characters to end up in melee range while still being 10' apart on the grid. Is there a way to make sense of this realistically or is this just kind of where things get clunky?

I thought about doing something with tiered reach bonuses depending on how far out in squares you attack but that would get complicated quickly, I think, and you'd still have to set realistic limits.
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Re: Reach

Postby Galloglaich » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:41 pm

Whether or not this is where the system 'gets clunky' is really up to your own interpretation, this kind of fight is not clunky for me and the rules do not break down over reach weapons if that is what you are asking. I also think the mechanics are realistic, but of course I am biased.

The rules

First, a spear would not normally be a "reach weapon" by codex rules. I don't know if you have the melee weapon book but only some of the exotic weapons are rated as "reach weapons" per the OGL rules, i.e. they get the 10'+ threat range.

Generally those few weapons in the codex which are considered "reach" weapons according to the OGL system, pikes and long staves and very long spears, zweihanders and a few polearms, have very poor speed ratings. This is the balancing factor. For example a pike has a -4 speed rating.

The assumption is that unless the pike-wielder spends a die (martial pool) to move backward (back to his reach range), he will lose his reach advantage after the first exchange and will thereafter be in an adjacent square to his opponent*. Unless he has special feats (half-staff for example) he is going to be at a severe disadvantage at melee range.

*The codex system is designed not to rely on the use of miniatures or a battlemap, but it's consistent with their use if you prefer them. The only difference in codex rules is that a "reach weapon" can still be used to attack opponents inside their maximum range; they just have to rely on their (low) speed rating once the opponent is inside their range, which is determined by the normal codex rules; i.e. after the second attack or the first counter-attack, the range is 'melee' automatically.

The reality

In a real fight, a guy with a tomahawk facing a spearman is very rarely going to be able to get an onset attack without first risking an AoO. This will be doubly true of the spear wielder has any idea what he is doing (which would be reflected in the rules through spear related MF like slip-thrust, 'distance fighting' and sidestep)

However, once the tomahawk - wielder gets 'past the point' of the spear, the situation is reversed. The tomahawk has a major edge in speed (+4 as opposed to +1) and can fight at grapple range, where the spear is normally useless for defense.

But the truth is the spear has an advantage in the open. The tomahawk guy will have to be fast and lucky to get past that point. 2 die defense against that AoO, then close to grapple ASAP.

I think if you try this out with some sparring weapons you'll see what I mean.

To improve his chances the tomahawk guy can get MF like counterstroke, feint, steal initiative, or graceful rush. An even better idea would be to get a shield or use improvised defense with a cloak or some object.

Another tactic to keep in mind is that the tomahawk wielder can always use the weapon-grabbing rules to seize the spear and go right into a grapple, if he is lucky enough to get into a bind.

Does that help?

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Re: Reach

Postby drkguy3107 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 4:42 am

So, reach means that your onset range is simply longer, you enter into melee after hte first attack as normal?

That should be clarified in the codex, it sounds like there is an extra onset, like reach, onset, melee, grapple.
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Re: Reach

Postby Galloglaich » Thu Jul 05, 2012 1:40 pm

Yes that is how I would interpret it, and I'll clarify that in the next update.

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Re: Reach

Postby drkguy3107 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 9:10 pm

That is like 100x simpler, thanx.
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