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Old 12-29-2020, 03:42 PM   #11
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Complete Newbie Questions about Melee

It is also important to mention that once you go to the role playing side of things with In the Labyrinth, things change for our lightly armored fellows...

This is not just because of talents, but also they fit better in campaign where heavy armor is not as common (pirates, typical 80's sword and sorcery movies)
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Old 12-29-2020, 04:44 PM   #12
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Complete Newbie Questions about Melee

I'm actually pleased to see someone (other than me!) preaching the gospel re. the value of armor in the TFT system. I think all of us have our preferences when it comes to creation of character types and when we debate their relative merits in arena combat we often engage in a kind of confirmation bias, where the situations and outcomes we picture slant toward the strengths of that character. The reality is that it is very challenging to come up with a concept for a gladiatorial combatant who is really substantially better than most others. The armored fighter is co-equal with the crossbow sniper, the halberd can opener, the molly and so on and so forth.
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Old 12-31-2020, 10:31 PM   #13
David Bofinger
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Sydney, Australia
Default Re: Complete Newbie Questions about Melee

Originally Posted by JimmyPlenty View Post
It is also important to mention that once you go to the role playing side of things with In the Labyrinth, things change for our lightly armored fellows...
A duel normally consists of two equally-matched opponents, who fight to the death, and the winner doesn't care if they get wounded as long as they win. Armour isn't hugely valuable because the reduction of the wearer's tendency to suffer damage is cancelled by the reduction in the wearer's ability to inflict damage, in fact the wearer typically comes out a little worse off.

But a role-playing campaign consists of a large number of skirmishes, the vast majority of which the heroes win. (A significant percentage of the skirmishes the party doesn't win will be total party kills.) This introduces two important changes, each of which can benefit armour.
  • Some characters, basically the front line fighters, take more damage than others, such as archers, wizards and perhaps second rank pole weapon jabbers. Armouring the frontliners is of much more benefit than armouring the rear echelon, and can be well worth doing. Armouring the rear echelon is less useful than in a duel and is usually a mistake.
  • Because the vast majority of battles are won there's an advantage to the party in making battles more predictable and less random. Which is what armour tends to do: damage is reduced on both sides, battles take longer, and there's more scope for the law of large numbers to average things out. That means fewer spectacular party walkovers, but also fewer TPKs, which is a good trade for the party. Average party damage is probably also reduced.

Last edited by David Bofinger; 12-31-2020 at 10:33 PM. Reason: Left something out
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Old 02-09-2021, 07:38 PM   #14
timm meyers
Join Date: May 2020
Default Re: Complete Newbie Questions about Melee

Originally Posted by Retreater View Post
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.
My opinion is Dex is king. A chainmail lg shield is -4 DX MA 6 absorbs 5 hits front, 3 from side/back. VS. The naked warrior. Assume they are equal ST-12 DX-12 stats and both have broadsword at 2d6 damage.

Naked warrior moves faster and will strike 1st with 63% hit chance but will only average 7 dam per blow -5 =2 hit scratch. The chainmail warrior strikes always second only hits at 16% but when successful will do over 50% damage (on average).

So it really is a game of luck with 2 evenly matched foes as they wait for "good" rolls to tip the scales. However the lighter naked warrior has options to disengage before the slower one can strike. Defend with near invulnerability (4d6 under 8..HA!) and look for an opening to strike at bonus with or without aimed shots to disarm or head. Also as stated from others initiate HtH (this being a poor option for this scenario btw)
Chainmail warrior has none of those options as even defending 2 turns will not get him to strike first.

BUTT (see how I spelled that cause i'm using naked warrior example...ok I thought it slightly humorous...) the combat is still pretty chancy as the first lucky die roll is going to be key. That's what happens in equal contests and ITL does tend to excel in the balanced rules department. -nothing is the best except the players brains.-

So regarding your bowman question. What do you think should be the outcome or chance for success of a 1d6 bowman killing a charging foe 50' away in a confined area? I think if you asked the bowman he would tell you that firing arrows starting at 50 yards (or more) is much preferred. I think missile armed gladiators are not very realistic (he states in the fantasy forum) or fun. I say have a target contest instead. Butt- (oops did it again) Naked bowman (had to throw that back in because I used the rear end joke a second time) still has some advantage that if he thinks, he can try maybe... 1.shoot (aim for the head). 2.become engaged. 3.Disengage with higher DX. 4.wait for winning initiative. 5.Runnnnnnn. 6. repeat 1 through 5 until either out of arrows or chainmail warrior gets one in the eye or dies from 11 one hit pin cushion shots, which will in all probability never happen so yes the bowman dies most times.
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Old 02-09-2021, 09:14 PM   #15
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Complete Newbie Questions about Melee

The design of the combat and associated gear is to basically balance things so that every choice within a wide design space has a close to even chance against every other choice (omitting weird, intentionally disfunctional ideas). The value of armor in a Melee-style one on one fight is definitely part of that balance; it isn't required for victory but neither does it seal defeat. The outcome depends on circumstances, tactical choices and luck.

But change the situation a little and suddenly armor does everything for you and DX nothing. Say you have to stand in formation and receive several volleys of arrow fire - your DX is irrelevant and only armor or very good luck will keep you in one piece.

Or change it in another way and DX is everything and armor does nothing. Say you get pushed by a giant (or for some other reason risk falling) next to a 500' cliff and only a DX save will prevent you going over. Now no amount of armor will help you and you'll wish you had ever point of DX you can scrape together.
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