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Old 05-29-2019, 10:20 AM   #11
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Boomerang or club?

It is hard to disagree with the 'white room' analyses of the seemingly over powered properties of some of the special weapons (Boomerang, Lasso, Sha-Ken, Whip). On the other hand, it is noticeable how rarely they show up as weapons in real play (i.e., outside of test matches constructed specifically to show them in a good or bad light). People seem not to gravitate toward them.

I think it is because as special as they seem, they also lack a lot of other things that you get with the more standard weapons. None of them are any good once you are engaged, so you don't really want to have them in hand when a foe is within striking distance of you. Yet they require specific 'builds' to fully take advantage of them, so you are investing in something that you often can't use when you need it. Also, there are some pretty normal weapons with some pretty great traits. A 34 point character (accessible after just a couple sessions of play, or even in character creation if you use 'flaws' from the Companion) with a long bow and MW3 is going to deliver 2 adj.DX 16 , 1d+2 damage attacks every turn. That is pretty serious - like an almost sure-thing battle-axe blow delivered at anyone in sight on a standard battle mat. It's pretty much a fight ender. Explain to me how that is worse than a boomerang or whip. You could make similar arguments about pole weapons. Or UC specialists. Or 'tanks' with 9-10 points of protection (totally accessible to characters with moderate stat totals).

The point is, these weapons sit in a very competitive ecosystem, and they don't really stand out as particularly winning recipes in real play.
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Old 05-29-2019, 09:08 PM   #12
JLV
 
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Default Re: Boomerang or club?

/\ THIS. /\ "White room analysis" perfectly expresses what goes on with these "perfect weapons" and "perfect character choices." Every time anyone actually tried these out in a game, we always seemed to learn that they were not actually "perfect" and had massively exploitable flaws in play.

One of the primary reasons that I keep coming back to TFT as my game of choice, every time! ;-)
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Old 05-29-2019, 10:03 PM   #13
Helborn
 
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Default Re: Boomerang or club?

The war boomerang becomes an ungainly club because of the airfoil shape. Try hitting something when the stick is crooked. The angle at the moment of contact is off from the most effective. That's why the boomerang makes a lousy club with diminished damage. Otherwise it is comparable to a mace in size and damage.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:59 AM   #14
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Default Re: Boomerang or club?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
It is hard to disagree with the 'white room' analyses of the seemingly over powered properties of some of the special weapons (Boomerang, Lasso, Sha-Ken, Whip). On the other hand, it is noticeable how rarely they show up as weapons in real play (i.e., outside of test matches constructed specifically to show them in a good or bad light). People seem not to gravitate toward them.
Unfortunately that wasn't always our experience... In my first and long-lasting group, hobbit sha-ken murderers developed into a serious problem and distorted GM decision making and the campaign.

The issue was, since unarmored opponents were ripped to pieces in seconds, the GM had to field specific opponents just to ensure there was a fight. This made the hobbit assassins feel targeted (which they were), the campaign feeling distorted (oh yes of course, heavily armored bandits in the middle of this empty countryside), and ended up making things less fun. In subsequent campaigns this build disappeared because the group swore off of it, despite its effectiveness.
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:12 AM   #15
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Default Re: Boomerang or club?

Unlike some of the other peculiar weapons, the boomerang isn't so distorting to gameplay. For many but not all characters, it represents a somewhat improved crossbow (similar damage but higher RoF).

It's just that everyone has to admit:
1. They would rather be hit by a "war" boomerang from 10 meters away than by a "light" crossbow.
2. They would rather be hit by a "war" boomerang from 10 meters away than by someone seriously wielding a shortsword, mace, or spear.
3. If you were watching someone throw a boomerang at you from 66' 6" away, you would probably either step aside to let it pass you, or possibly just catch it.
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Old 05-30-2019, 06:53 PM   #16
Nils_Lindeberg
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Boomerang or club?

You mentioned boomerang and other weird weapons required a very specific build. But that is just it, a boomerang build pays 3 talents in total (1 if you are a halfling), and it can function at missile range and in melee (throwing in melee range is at a -1 DX but that's it, you only use it as a club when you run out of boomerangs). A Longbow archer needs 5 talent points, and quickdraw. It isn't as effective at melee range and then the archer build needs a melee weapon talent to boot. We are talking 3 talents versus 8. And if the enemy has armor it counts double towards the two longbow arrows, so average damage is about equal at 4 points of armor and in favor of the boomerang at 5 or higher. And boomerangs have higher maximum damage at 11 points, which is also an advantage.

As a thrown weapon specialist, you can move half your MA and still attack properly. And take advantage of side and rear hex attacks.

The boomerang is also a one-handed weapon with no limit on DX to uphold the rate of fire, so instead of adjDX of 15, they can have a tower shield for 3 points of armor and still sport a decent adjDX. And if they use the extra IQ the thrower doesn't need they can have just as high adjDX as the archer before shield modifiers.

Then we have dual wielding... Another nice option if the situation permits it for high XP characters.

The main reasons the boomerang or the lasso/bola guys hasn't dominated the scene is because of lack of knowledge that they were great weapons and the most important, swords and bows are cooler and more of a fantasy cliché. It wasn't their lack of effectiveness that stopped their dominance. And in the old version, there was no such thing as a quick draw talent, so you lost a turn when you got engaged in melee as an archer.

They are still OP in practice and house-rulings or very strict interpretation of RAI will be needed if your players are min-maxers. If they are not, then allow one or two for flavor and variety if someone actually requests it, but ignore it otherwise.
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Old 05-30-2019, 10:08 PM   #17
Helborn
 
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Default Re: Boomerang or club?

@NilsLindeberg You make it sound as if the Boomerang returns after hitting the target so it can be re-used. Not so - when a boomerang hits, it falls in the hex the target is in, so to get it back you have to move to that hex and pick it up, then ready it and throw. The Boomerang is a one shot weapon - and you can only have, at most, four (two in the hands, and two on the belt - with no other weapon larger than a dagger and no shield). So, while the archer keeps shooting arrows up to 2 per Turn, the Boomerang thrower can throw for, at most, 4 Turns and then has to melee or go HTH with a Dagger.
I have found the Boomerang to be a nice shock weapon but it needs to be backed up by a decent sized Sword or Mace or Ax. Also, because throwing Weapons only gives a +2 to DX, rather than the +3 of Missile Weapons(3), the Boomerang thrower will often attack after the archer...
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Old 05-31-2019, 12:07 AM   #18
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Boomerang or club?

I don't believe there is any indication in the rules that you can throw two weapons on the same turn, regardless of talents.
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Old 05-31-2019, 03:46 AM   #19
Nils_Lindeberg
 
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Default Re: Boomerang or club?

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Originally Posted by larsdangly View Post
I don't believe there is any indication in the rules that you can throw two weapons on the same turn, regardless of talents.
Under Thrown weapons, it says A thrown-weapon attack is treated exactly like a regular attack. And I haven't found any mentions to contradict that. Especially since Missile weapons have their own paragraph with their limitations explicitly stated. So I would say you can. Daggers being the special case since everyone can fight with a dagger in their left hand.
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Old 05-31-2019, 04:01 AM   #20
Nils_Lindeberg
 
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Default Re: Boomerang or club?

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Originally Posted by Helborn View Post
@NilsLindeberg You make it sound as if the Boomerang returns after hitting the target so it can be re-used. Not so - when a boomerang hits, it falls in the hex the target is in, so to get it back you have to move to that hex and pick it up, then ready it and throw. The Boomerang is a one-shot weapon - and you can only have, at most, four (two in the hands, and two on the belt - with no other weapon larger than a dagger and no shield). So, while the archer keeps shooting arrows up to 2 per Turn, the Boomerang thrower can throw for, at most, 4 turns and then has to melee or go HTH with a Dagger.
I have found the Boomerang to be a nice shock weapon but it needs to be backed up by a decent sized Sword or Mace or Ax. Also, because throwing Weapons only gives a +2 to DX, rather than the +3 of Missile Weapons(3), the Boomerang thrower will often attack after the archer...
I know a war boomerang doesn't return, only toy boomerangs do. But you can still move around with two boomerangs at the ready, and two in your belt according to arena rules. And since you can move half your MA in between throws you could move 20 hexes before you run out and most likely one of your opponents will be down by then and you can pick up the ones that hit him.

RPG wise I can't see any reason to restrict a person to two boomerangs on the belt?!? Just like multiple braces of multiple throwing daggers are a fantasy trope, so would multiple weapons be. Maybe I would make them special order a weapon belt for that purpose and then pay a premium. Unslinging a halberd from your back or a shield might take time, but a stick?

According to RAW, you are right, 4 boomerangs are the maximum. Unless you carry an arms load of them (not at the ready) and the first thing you do, is dropping them on the floor in front of you. And then go. A little like an archer planting arrows in front of him before a battle, but faster. But then again most battle won't last longer than 4 turns since most average TFT characters can kill themselves in that time, but if some are tanks or the opponents are then it might last longer. Or if you meet an army of sub-par minor monsters. At least it makes for a very good argument against an army of boomerangers.

On the battlefield, archers would still rule the day. And I also think the maximum distance for thrown weapons still apply to boomerangs even though their range adjustment is missile-like. So it is more of an ambush weapon and melee range curiosity for adventurers and brigand types.

And as I said before, Missile weapons needs IQ 9 while Throwing weapons only need 8, so the BoomeRanger can have one higher DX and be on par with the Longbow archer. So they would fire at the same time, with the Boomerang guy having a higher base DX and a slight edge in case of ties. But it is a minor point.

Last edited by Nils_Lindeberg; 05-31-2019 at 04:10 AM.
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