19 December 2006

Assorted Stuff

Nota Bene that I have comment moderation, so fear not if your comments do not publish with a quickness. I do not always have a chance to moderate daily.

In case that last comment raised any red flags, do not worry about my mental health, I'm OK.

We got a draft redeployment OPORD, and there are some things in there that make me giggle with glee. I saw the list of stuff our replacing unit wants us to leave for them. I would be DELIGHTED to leave that much of my property book. Fewer things for me to pack. I'm going to be doing cheetah flips the last week or two anyway, since most of my stuff isn't going to be able to be packed up that early.

Oh, and for the record: WOTC is smoking crack. Spears do not require both hands to use. Silly rabbits! Even though most pike-wielding troops used both hands to grip the weapon, the Macedonian sarissa was used by troops who also carried shields. And yes, I do houserule pikes in as double-reach weapons (threaten 3 squares out, cannot threaten closer than that).

9 Comments:

Blogger Oscagne said...

You see guys in the SCA using 9-12 ft. spears one-handed all the time. A spear-duel looks more like fencing than anything else. You can choke way up on the haft, get inside your opponent's defense, try to grab his/her spear and then use your as a dagger with a very long handle. It's not unusual to see fighters trade spears during the fracas.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous auxdarastrix said...

I've long held the same opinion about WOTC spear, shortspear and longspear rules. They just don't add up to the historical record.

Of course, neither do repeating crossbows with optional optical sights, but I'm not going to complain about those in a pure (not semi-historical) D&D setting because they are cool.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Tim Covington said...

Good for you. I remember there was a LARP group in college that I refused to join because of a similar silly rule. They required that you keep both hands on a staff in order for hits to count (same went for spears and several other weapons).

5:21 PM  
Blogger Just A Decurion said...

You'd rarely see some idiot doing that nonsense on the battlefield, because any spear troops worth their salt would not be in a formation loose enough to engage in dueling. Shieldwall, phalanx, whatever you want to call it. It's the only way to go.

Jason: Repeating crossbows are silly, although historical. What they fail to mention was that the balance was so bad, it was a Chinese siege defense weapon. You just slap the front of it down on the wall, and go for it. They also fired unfletched bolts and had piss-poor range and accuracy.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Oscagne said...

"You'd rarely see some idiot doing that nonsense on the battlefield, because any spear troops worth their salt would not be in a formation loose enough to engage in dueling. Shieldwall, phalanx, whatever you want to call it. It's the only way to go."

True enough. But shield-walls break down. Shieldmen get killed. Sometimes you just don't have enough shieldmen.

Shield isn't as glamorous in melee because you're not doing the killing, you're blocking for someone else who is. In melee a shieldman's sword isn't used much, unless there's just a boneheaded opening (which I do sometimes, being a noob) or if the fit really hits the shan.

And not all SCA combat is melee, some is tourney. They fighters get bored with sword and board all the time, and it can also get weird when the Baroness or other high lady gets to choose what the fighters use.

I saw a great-sword-over-a-barrier fight once that was brutal. But the next round was short-sword-over-a-barrier and the fighters had to keep their off hand on the barrier - no retreating or maneuvering. There were many meaty TWACKS that day.

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Zach Bush said...

If you're talking the 22 foot long Macedonian sarissa, it is my understanding that the shields were hung from a sling around the neck and shoulders so that they could use both hands to brace the sarissa itself when in formation. The weight was simply too much to wield one-handed in phalanx formation without some form of bracing by equipment or by an additional hand.

This is totally unrelated to the fact that WoTC is indeed smoking crack, as a longspear is certainly not a sarissa. Also, your "double reach" fix rocks.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spear-armed skirmishers can work well for harrassing flanks and getting in the rear. I used to use 2H spear rather than spear-and-shield, because I could see better and run faster without a shield. But I normally didn't have to worry about arrows or javelins, and I was always ready to exercise Very Rapid Retrograde Mobility.
--Laserlight

6:13 AM  
Anonymous qp4 said...

If every brigade is leaving a little behind, what does the force have for the next fight?

We need to start replacing this equipment over there, either in country or when units gets back stateside, and so far we're not. This has long term implications.

It does make a rip easier though.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous David said...

I seem to recall another one-handed spear usage. The Romans using the Pilium as a throwing or jabbing weapon. With their formations it would probably be one handed. Though they preferred the swords in close.

Also, tons of greek inscriptions exist showing spearmen or hoplites with the spear held in one hand above the head and the shield in the other hand.

10:06 AM  

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