Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Roleplaying in General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-12-2016, 01:37 PM   #1
DouglasCole
Doctor of GURPS Ballistics
 
DouglasCole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Burnsville, MN
Default Thursday is Melee Academy: Disarms

Remember: Thursday is Melee Academy day!

The topic is disarming.

Any system is welcome

I'd suggest hitting things like
* Is there a disarming mechanic in your game of choice?
* How does it work? Is it a practicable tactic?
* What are the reasons to disarm that are valid in the game?
* When is it not a good idea to attempt?
* Are there alternate or house rules that change the above answers?

I intend to do at least D&D5 and GURPS (maybe with and without Technical Grappling). Maybe Fate and/or Night's Black Agents.

But my opinion isn't the only one! So if you write something, let me know and I'll link to it!

There are an infinite number of ways to hit this topic, from a treatise on "why disarms suck" to "this is an analysis of when it's worthwhile" to "here are five videos of real-world disarms from YouTube, and here's how they break down in System X."

Have at it, make it cool, and then ping me here or on Gaming Ballistic, and I'll link to you in the roundup.
__________________
Gaming Ballistic, LLC: Home of Dragon Heresy, Hall of Judgment, and hand-made viking shields.
Now Funding on Kickstarter: Nordlond Sagas: Three New books for the DFRPG
Pre-Order on Backerkit: Four Perilous Journeys: New Adventures plus physical accessories for The Fantasy Trip. FIVE adventures for TFT, written by David Pulver and the team of Christopher R. Rice and J. Edward Tremlett.
DouglasCole is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2016, 09:17 PM   #2
jason taylor
 
jason taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: Thursday is Melee Academy: Disarms

Movie disarms never look real. One swordsman hooks the other's away without damaging the hand. A "Zorro disarm" probably could be done in real life-it would just take a finger with it.
__________________
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2016, 03:56 PM   #3
Railstar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Default Re: Thursday is Melee Academy: Disarms

For GURPS at least, the Reach on Disarms is one reason to use it – because you can disarm someone from the combined Reach of both your weapons. This makes it very useful when approaching polearms, or as part of teamwork against an outnumbered opponent, or with long-weapon tactics. Simply stand out of striking distance constantly disarming until you either disarm or unready their weapon, whereupon that is the opportunity for your allies to rush in.

This can work in formation combat where spearmen with long spears stand 5-6 yards away and try to rake at each other's spears before daring advance into stabbing distance, or in a duel with longswords where you can attempt to disarm from 4 yards away. The key advantage is you can do a disarm without being close enough for your opponent to hit.

Even an unsuccessful disarm can still be tactically useful if it provokes the enemy to rush in at you – Committed Attack, All-Out Attack or Move & Attack all lower defences, creating a window of vulnerability that you and your comrades can exploit. Meanwhile, the disarm does not require you to lower your defences at all, therefore you can still use Retreat and/or Cross Parry and/or Defensive Grip to make sure your defence against their rush is still good.

The disarm penalty is prohibitive when already in striking distance of your opponent; the penalty is simply too large compared to aiming for them, and so you put yourself at a disadvantage. The more reliable tactic to disarm when close is grapple (armed grapple?) and then opposed ST checks to attempt to pry the weapon from their hands. Even that is risky, best done from surprise where you ambush someone who has a weapon while you have none, but preferable to trying to fist-fight the sword-armed guy.

Actually, attacking someone's hand is typically easier than attempting a disarm – and that has the advantage of making sure they stay disarmed. Similarly, for an unarmed option you might find that after grabbing their arm Arm Lock will be just as effective or more so than the opposed ST checks… unless you can't afford to get bogged down grappling them. But if you're outnumbered while unarmed by guys with weapons, you probably should have avoided this fight.

There is another benefit to disarms in GURPS; there is no DB from shields against them, so if you're fighting against a large shield you can use this to minimise the effect of their high defences. This can be important psychologically if your opponent likes to rely on DB 2-3, as a further encouragement to push them into a rash advance.

So disarm can be very useful before closing, with room to back off, in combination with long weapon tactics. The key thing not to do is stand within stabbing distance while you do it.

Technically, even with Reach 1 weapons you could use this tactic to an extent. If you Retreat from their attack, rather than stepping forward into range to strike back, you could disarm and take another step back.

Disarms can also be a viable counter against polearms, not just using them. If our side has Reach 2 greatswords and their opponents have Reach 5 pikes, the greatswords can still attempt a disarm from Reach 7. Defensive Attack or Defensive Grip can be used to have a good Parry while still presenting a threat that the enemy has to react to, namely the threat of losing their weapons. Once the enemy with polearms step forward to attack, then unless there are supporting ranks behind them that can give the fighter with the shorter weapon an opportunity to rush in safely and move past the reach of the polearms.

Essentially, Disarms can extend your Reach and that opens up a lot of tactical flexibility.
Railstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2016, 05:13 PM   #4
Anthony
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: Thursday is Melee Academy: Disarms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Railstar View Post
For GURPS at least, the Reach on Disarms is one reason to use it – because you can disarm someone from the combined Reach of both your weapons.
I would be more impressed by that rule if it weren't total nonsense. Unless you've got a hook on your weapon and your opponent has something to hook on to, disarms are generally going to be at or near grappling range.
__________________
My GURPS site and Blog.
Anthony is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2016, 06:48 PM   #5
roguebfl
Dog of Lysdexics
 
roguebfl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Melbourne FL, Formerly Wellington NZ
Default Re: Thursday is Melee Academy: Disarms

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Movie disarms never look real. One swordsman hooks the other's away without damaging the hand. A "Zorro disarm" probably could be done in real life-it would just take a finger with it.
They can be done in real-life without finger lost. it's taught as a neat trick in fencing (not worth any points hence only a trick) it's about using leverage of your blades and sending it of at unexpected angle. It's hard to do againt someone expecting it true. but even experienced swords people can be caught off guard
__________________
Rogue the Bronze Firelizard
Gerald Grenier, Jr. Hail Eris!
Rogue's Weyr
roguebfl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2016, 09:15 PM   #6
Railstar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Default Re: Thursday is Melee Academy: Disarms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I would be more impressed by that rule if it weren't total nonsense. Unless you've got a hook on your weapon and your opponent has something to hook on to, disarms are generally going to be at or near grappling range.
Which is probably why the armed grapple and opposed ST-check approach is far more likely to work.

For making a weapon unready (as on a tie, or if the defender wins the opposed skill check by 1 or 2), then a disarm like that could represent one spearman raking the other spearman's weapon down to force it into an unready position, a swordsman beating aside an opponent's pike, or so on.

We might call it a "beat" in real-life, even though in GURPS terms the Disarm rules might fit a little better than the Beat rules.
Railstar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2016, 01:35 PM   #7
vicky_molokh
GURPS FAQ Keeper
 
vicky_molokh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kyïv, Ukraine
Default Re: Thursday is Melee Academy: Disarms

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I would be more impressed by that rule if it weren't total nonsense. Unless you've got a hook on your weapon and your opponent has something to hook on to, disarms are generally going to be at or near grappling range.
I should semi-officially warn that this thread would be a more civil place if such displeasure with a rule were reworded from "if it weren't total nonsense" into, say, "if it weren't contrary to my experience with the styles that teach disarming". The former is a categorical statement that can be read as an attack against the text or (indirectly) the authors. The latter is a constructive statement that encourages discussion of disarming techniques different people learned throughout their lives.
__________________
Vicky 'Molokh', GURPS FAQ and uFAQ Keeper
The Eye of Eclipse Phase. A Discord server focusing on Roleplaying, Sci-Fi, Transhumanism, and discussion of other assorted topics, from tech to boardgames, from politics to philosophy.
vicky_molokh is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.