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Old 03-22-2011, 09:50 PM   #21
Dustin
 
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Default Re: Help with Character planning and optimization and tactics?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
I suggest going for the Shield Wall Training perk and using a large shield. They're nice.
Agree with this. You don't have enough points to get very fancy. Recommend 2 or 4 pts in Buckler (assuming a Viking shield), whichever gets you an even skill for the Block bonus. One level of Enhanced Block is probably wise. One point each in Brawling, Wrestling, Knife, Spear, and Fast-Draw Broadsword. Max out Feint (Broadsword) to +4 skill, then buy attributes and Broadsword skill with what's left (and always do Deceptive Attacks, dropping effective skill to 12 or 13 unless you've set up a nice Feint). Combat Reflexes is expensive, but usually worth it. Fit, Hard to Kill, and Hard to Subdue are cheap for what you get - if you have spare points look there. Don't forget basic noncombat adventure skills like Climbing, Jumping, Swimming, Boating, Carousing, Riding, Survival -- even 1 pt in each of those makes you reasonably self-sufficient. Intimidate is handy for brawny types.

It's worth noting too that Fine spears are only 3x list price, for +1 damage. This is quite affordable, and might factor into your character. If Patron isn't set in stone for you, Signature Gear might be a cheaper way to afford your sword and armor.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:55 PM   #22
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Default Re: Help with Character planning and optimization and tactics?

Targeted attack vitals I am dubious of with a spear. Vitals are hidden behind heavy armor usually
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:59 PM   #23
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Default Re: Help with Character planning and optimization and tactics?

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Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
What is the way I can defend myself more than once and attack at the same turn, in general?
Dodge is unlimited (B375), Parries suffer a -4 per parry (-2 with Fencing weapons) (B376) and blocks either are limited to one per turn or optionally suffer a -5 per block (Martial Arts page 123). However you can only defend once per attack unless you took AoD: Double Defense.

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Everyone In my game seems to think you can either defend/attack, defend/defend/ or attack/attack, right?
No. You can defend based on what the maneuver you've chosen last turn allows. You can attack multiple times in a couple of different ways, it's not limited to AoA: Double.

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Targeted attack vitals I am dubious of with a spear. Vitals are hidden behind heavy armor usually
Not so much for 9th-10th century militia and levies, especially in Northern Europe.

Last edited by sir_pudding; 03-22-2011 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:07 PM   #24
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Default Re: Help with Character planning and optimization and tactics?

If you want a couple of specifics to start with, here are some straightforward skill/technique/perk combos. They should at least give you a sense of how you can put things together.

Combat Reflexes and HPT really are key advantages for serious fighters, as you will learn after your first combat.

Top up Counterattack: Broadsword for good value for your points, IMO. Easy to know when to use, anyways -- every time you parry!

The shield wall training perk is stylistically appropriate, and even if you're not in a big battle it lets you use a large shield without penalty.

In battle, first use defensive attack or all out defense to get a parry bonus; use a large shield for optimum DB. Enemy attacks, you parry (and retreat if needed), on your next turn you counterattack and effectively get a 'free' deceptive attack from your counterattack technique. Since this can stack with other bonuses and maneuvers, combine it with some nasty targeted attack if you have the points to spend, for added fun.

While you're at it, grab 'Shoves and Tackles' from Perks, for when you get sick of the defend-counterattack strategy and just want to wallop someone with your large shield.

Regarding your spear: The Long Spear from Basic Set can be used one-handed at reach 2,3*, requiring a ready maneuver to switch reaches. Grab the Reach Mastery perk (from Perks) and use the wait strategy with your spear: you wait, enemy takes a step in to attack you, you trigger an attack and a step back or retreat. Reach mastery isn't required to do this, but it makes the strategy a bit easier. If your enemy manages to close the range, drop the spear (free action), fast-draw your sword (free action), and go to town as already mentioned.

These tactics do not work in all situations and do not necessarily fit a 'Rawr, I'm a crazy Viking' style, however. And be aware of your skill levels before you try anything rash. The probability table on B171 is your friend.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:09 PM   #25
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Default Re: Help with Character planning and optimization and tactics?

On the flip side of the Committed Attack, if you start out in front of your opponent and take a Committed Attack, you can take two steps around them and attack from their weapon side hex. This means they can only defend with a parry or dodge, at -2, and get no DB from their shield. Even better if they're an axe (or other unbalanced weapon) fighter and attacked on their last turn, because then they'll be unable to parry and have nothing but the dodge, probably retreating at 9 before any deceptive attack. You'll be left vulnerable, but they'll very likely be hit, hopefully rendering them incapable of taking advantage.

This could be very bad if there's another opponent close enough to get a piece of you before your next turn. Or if your target lucks out and is able to pay you back right away.
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Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
What is the way I can defend myself more than once and attack at the same turn, in general?
As sir_pudding says, you have 3 different kinds of defense available, and you can use all of them on the same turn, even more than once each.

Your best melee defense will be your sword parry, because you want high sword skill. You could make it better by retreating, but you probably want to save the retreat because your second best is likely to be a retreating dodge (at 11+DB). The shield block will be your best ranged defense, so you might not want to use it in melee if there may be arrows or thrown weapons coming in.
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Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
Everyone In my game seems to think you can either defend/attack, defend/defend/ or attack/attack, right? Like if your main way of defense is block, you can use your shield once vs one attack if you are hitting the other guy?
Everyone in your game is deeply, deeply wrong and needs to re-read.
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Last edited by Ulzgoroth; 03-22-2011 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:20 PM   #26
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Default Re: Help with Character planning and optimization and tactics?

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Regarding your spear: The Long Spear from Basic Set can be used one-handed at reach 2,3*, requiring a ready maneuver to switch reaches.
It's unthrowable, which makes it an unlikely Viking weapon (it's also pretty awkward for naval troops). Viking spears are probably best done as the regular Spear.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:59 PM   #27
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Default Re: Help with Character planning and optimization and tactics?

If it matters, the setting is nominally Hyboria, but I think the DM might be misapplying some of the character generation stuff based on the assumptions and tropes inherent in the Hyboria setting...?

Hyboria is supposed to be a, yes gritty, but very cinematic, over the top melee combat, sort of place, right? As far as the Howard Conan books go? Like, life is cheap, but people are capable of awesome feats of steel and strength and guts and glory?

Given the setting, what would be an appropriate point buy and heroic level for the Viking types in Asgard in Hyboria? And should I push for some more cinematic / high power, based on the craziness of the setting?

EDIT: I just asked, the DM did say that Conan was an easy 300 points... but we are definitely 130 point characters.

Last edited by Gavinfoxx; 03-23-2011 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:20 AM   #28
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Default Re: Help with Character planning and optimization and tactics?

Is there a particular reason to prefer broadsword over spear?
the range and replacability of spear offer many advantages over broadswords, especially those on a $ and point budgt who have to buy spear skill anyway.
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:37 AM   #29
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Default Re: Help with Character planning and optimization and tactics?

Big thing for a sword is you can get your swing damage going, which is a major help in getting past armor
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Old 03-23-2011, 05:45 AM   #30
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Default Re: Help with Character planning and optimization and tactics?

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
It's unthrowable, which makes it an unlikely Viking weapon (it's also pretty awkward for naval troops). Viking spears are probably best done as the regular Spear.
Of course since a regular spear is reach 1,2 otherwise the Tactical advice in his post should still work..more or less.

Broadsword swing has been mentioned.

Another advantage of Broadsword over Spear is when sheathed it is less glaring...ie places that will let you in with your sword in a sheath often will not let you walk in with a Spear or (saints forefend) a Long Spear.
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