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Old 03-19-2019, 05:14 PM   #1
nudj
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Default Sword question - swing vs thrust

Simple question. What percentage of the time do you swing your sword (or similar weapon) and what percentage do you thrust?
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Old 03-19-2019, 05:42 PM   #2
newton
 
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Default Re: Sword question - swing vs thrust

you just... pick one or the other depending on situation
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Old 03-19-2019, 05:47 PM   #3
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default Re: Sword question - swing vs thrust

Under any of the usual rules, thrusting with a sword is mostly something you'll only want to do under special circumstances due to the power of swing-based damage.

There are a number of special circumstances that can make you want to resort to the point, though.
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:01 PM   #4
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: Sword question - swing vs thrust

The slash you use from horseback when there is little time to stop and concentrate. It will get more casualties. The thrust is used from foot as you do not have time to reap a harvest with your lack of mobility and you might as well make each stroke tell.
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sword question - swing vs thrust

As already said, generically speaking swinging is best because of higher base damage, but...

* Optional Low-Tech armor rules reduce the cutting damage modifier to x1 unless you comepletely overwhelm the armor, but doesn't change impaling damage.
* You can't target vitals or armor chinks with cutting damage.
* Using a defensive grip for close combat prevents swinging attacks entirely.
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sword question - swing vs thrust

In practice, I would say I see about 80% swing. For all of the reasons stated above. By far the most common thrusting attack is to the vitals.

I do recall a low-ST character with a shortsword where the damage difference was low enough that the thrust was the better option almost always.
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:04 PM   #7
RyanW
 
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Default Re: Sword question - swing vs thrust

Quote:
Originally Posted by khorboth View Post
I do recall a low-ST character with a shortsword where the damage difference was low enough that the thrust was the better option almost always.
If your ST is less than 10 (and you are using the weapon table in Low-Tech), a shortsword is better at the thrust than the swing. Same basic damage, but with the better impaling wound modifier. Swings should only be used in that case for targeting limbs, unliving/homogenous opponents, and other targets that are less vulnerable to impaling.
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:17 PM   #8
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Sword question - swing vs thrust

With a broadsword, a thrust will cause more injury if your ST is 10 and the target has no DR, or your ST is 11 and the target has up to DR 1. Otherwise a swing will cause more injury. In GURPS, thrusting is mostly for weapons that can't be used any other way (this is not particularly realistic).
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:34 PM   #9
ravenfish
 
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Default Re: Sword question - swing vs thrust

Do note that attacks against the Vitals can only be made with impaling weapons, which tend to be thrusting, and such attacks can be very good. A x3 damage multiplier is just the beginning- the automatic knockdown roll if any damage at all is taken, with a -5 penalty if a knockdown roll would have been called for in any case, can end fights quickly. At high skill levels, attacks to the eyes are even more effective, and have the added benefit of bypassing most damage resistance.
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Old 03-19-2019, 07:43 PM   #10
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Sword question - swing vs thrust

Incidentally, knockdown on hits to the head or vitals occur for 'enough injury to cause a shock penalty'. How does that interact with high pain threshold?
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