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Old 12-27-2020, 09:46 PM   #1
Retreater
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Default Complete Newbie Questions about Melee

After owning the big box for many months, and being completely overwhelmed by the contents, I finally tried a few sample battles with Melee tonight. I found that the heavily armored characters always won. The penalties to Dex and movement did not balance against the small amount of damage that could be inflicted. The battle arena wasn't really large enough to move away from the stoutly armored warrior with a ranged warrior. I think I could take one shot before battle ensued.
There must be something I'm missing. Otherwise the armored character would be the only option.
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Old 12-27-2020, 10:50 PM   #2
Shostak
 
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Location: New England
Default Re: Complete Newbie Questions about Melee

Welcome!

Armor definitely has its advantages. There are ways to overcome its benefits, though. Pole weapons can be very effective against heavily armored foes. A spearman with little or no armor might be able to consistently attack first and can use the disengage option to force charge-attack situations that give damage bonuses.

A figure armed with broadsword or war axe (both 2d damage) and shield could shield rush to get the heavily armored foe on the ground for a +4DX attack. If you are using the optional aimed shots rules from In the Labyrinth, the DX bonus could be used to offset the penalty for a head shot.

If a shield is part of the heavily-armored foe's protection, outflanking to get past the shield is useful. Exploit initiative, facing, and engagement ruthlessly.

Heavy weapons like two-handed swords and battle axes do a lot of damage. The wielder could take the defend option and wait for an opening (also in ITL) to increase their chance of hittting the next turn. Soften up the tank with a heavy cross low bolt and then whack him with a battleaxe. Even with plate armor, those weapons can inflict a lot of hurt.
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Old 12-27-2020, 11:03 PM   #3
JimmyPlenty
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Complete Newbie Questions about Melee

First off, WELCOME! I am sure as you progress, you will find a very rich and tactical game and roleplaying system.

So, first question. Are you playing one on one or team battles of four?

In straight up one-on-one action, it would seem that heavy armor has a great advantage against a light or non armored opponent. Truth is they do. Best bet is to get into HTH which may even things out as much as possible.

There is a place no non-armored opponents in melee, but it usually comes down to bowmen.

I am sure more will chime in with some extra thoughts. Again welcome!
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Old 12-28-2020, 07:35 AM   #4
Retreater
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Default Re: Complete Newbie Questions about Melee

Thanks for the warm welcome, everyone.
I was just starting with Melee (as recommended) with the starting character cards. I used four random characters and pit them in a series of one-on-one battles.
After I learn Melee, the plan is to try Wizard, then mix together Melee & Wizard, and then Into the Labyrinth.
I know the game has a good reputation and people have been playing it for decades, which is what encouraged me to get it. But right now I'm having trouble seeing why a player would opt for anything other than a heavily armored combatant in basic Melee.
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Old 12-28-2020, 07:49 AM   #5
hcobb
 
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Location: Pacheco, California
Default Re: Complete Newbie Questions about Melee

The canopener
ST 13, DX 11
2* Halberd (one is carried on the back), Dagger

If the enemy moves next to you declare standing charge defense and knock them over with a 3d6 hit.

If this doesn't work then disengage before their strike next turn.

If they refuse to move next to you then hit them with 2d6 jabs from two hexes away.
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Old 12-29-2020, 05:48 AM   #6
Chris Rice
 
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Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Complete Newbie Questions about Melee

It depends very much on the character. A low ST character with a 1d weapon and little or no armour is indeed a liability in arena combat against an armoured foe. They canít absorb damage nor can they dish much of it out.

However, with a 2d weapon in hand they become much more dangerous to an opponent, even one with moderate armour protection.

So yes, some of the cards in the Legacy set arenít very good in a standard arena fight, but may still shine if there are obstacles which require MA or DX to overcome.
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Old 12-29-2020, 06:01 AM   #7
Chris Rice
 
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Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Complete Newbie Questions about Melee

And you can always pit the low ST, low armour characters against each other, which will make for interesting combats. So all of the characters are useful in the right context.
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Old 12-29-2020, 07:47 AM   #8
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Complete Newbie Questions about Melee

Once you add talents then it is the combination of DX and IQ that provide for attack and defense while ST becomes a dump stat.
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Old 12-29-2020, 08:50 AM   #9
Shostak
 
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Default Re: Complete Newbie Questions about Melee

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Once you add talents then it is the combination of DX and IQ that provide for attack and defense while ST becomes a dump stat.
The Toughness talent is one example of why this is false.
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Old 12-29-2020, 10:21 AM   #10
larsdangly
 
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Default Re: Complete Newbie Questions about Melee

Re. the OP, the most important two things to understand about Melee (and combat in TFT in general) are: 1) the odds of winning and losing are about the match-up and tactical situation rather than finding a universally advantageous 'build'. The best way to discover this is by experimenting. See if you can design an unarmored combatant who you think will have a good chance of defeating an armored foe and then give it a try (making sure you understand any special rules that come into play for each combatant). 2) other than the most extreme cases, all match ups between loosely-comparable foes could go either way, depending on the luck of the dice. No 'build' has a 99% chance of success vs. another, unless something totally ridiculous is being considered.

If you want to design someone to defeat a particular armored foe, it can be helpful to figure out the combination of DX score and damage that will give you a good chance of delivering some amount of damage through armor each turn. I.e., if your DX score is too poor your exceptional damage will fail to land most turns, and if your damage is too low you won't punch through protection except with exceptional luck. The details differ with the amount of armor you are talking about, but this thinking is why people above are steering you toward the broadsword, war axe and halberd.

Last edited by larsdangly; 12-29-2020 at 10:24 AM.
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