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Old 06-12-2021, 06:58 PM   #1
TippetsTX
 
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Default Main-gauche vs. Dagger

I thought this question might warrant it's own thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pzmcgwire View Post
By the way, is the only difference between a main-gauche and a regular dagger is it' extended guard, which is designed to hook other weapons? If so, shouldn't main-gauches instead of daggers as there isn't an in game disadvantage for a main-gauche vs dagger and it has the benefits for someone with the talent to use it.
Depending on the era/design there could be several differences... a protective basket or hand guard, for example. I've also seen some versions that lack bladed edges (sharpened tip only) as well as versions with notches, extra tines, and unusual hilt shapes. In the other thread, Peter also mentioned their larger size, weight and cost.

Due to these differences but more importantly how they are used, I personally don't believe that the KNIFE or SWORD talents provide coverage for this weapon. Only the FENCING talents explicitly mention training in the use of the main-gauche. Without one of those I would apply the untrained penalty to their attempted use.
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Old 06-18-2021, 03:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

The rules give a -1 DX penalty for using a main-gauche to stop 1 hit of damage. Perhaps if you have Fencer and/or Two Weapons talent, you could get the defensive advantages of a main-gauche without the -1 DX penalty.

Cost and weight aside, it seems players should optimize to have a main-gauche rather than a dagger, except a main-gauche can't be thrown.

Last edited by pzmcgwire; 06-18-2021 at 03:41 AM.
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Old 06-18-2021, 05:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

I am still a little bit confused.

First, some of you say that MG is the only left-handed weapon that gives a defense bonus. Then you say that MG is not included in the Knife talent, so you need Fencing to be able to use it.

If that is the case, MG is way worse to have in your left hand than literally any other weapon by a wide margin.
Normally a left-handed weapon with Two-Weapon talent gives you a 2 point parry. But a Fencer has that talent for free and it is the only way to use a MG. So if that is true, you get 1 point of parry at the cost of 1 DX. And yes, the difference between a left-handed rapier that requires the same talent point investment would give you 2 parry for free, about as powerful as a two point enchantment worth of difference.

Again I don't think this makes sense.
It could make sense if Knife gives you MG use, because then anyone could pick up the MG in their left hand and get a 1p/-1DX as a baseline. And if daggers can't give you a bonus in this manner, it would still be better than nothing, even though it is way worse than a shield, it is still a socially more acceptable armament. So, a small niche for the MG.

But that would also mean that once you get the Fencing Talent and the Two-Weapon talent for free, you could get 2 parry/-0DX penalty, or maybe 3 parry/-1DX. Again a viable option that makes it comparable to a left-handed Rapier, especially if you want to go mostly defensive and not attack with the left hand that much. Again a good choice, not better, not worse than two rapiers.

And if people get Knife and Two Weapon Fighting, they should be able to use a MG with any other weapon in their right hand. Again, any other weapon would be 2p/-0DX, but the MG would be 3p/-1DX. Not better, not worse, but a good and balanced option compared to a shield or another left-handed weapon. And the MG would not be way worse than a left-handed dagger that can, with the talent, be used for 2 parry/-0 (RAW).

So, the dagger in the left-hand giving you a parry bonus or not is kind of beside the point, we still have questions about the MG that has not been answered.
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Old 06-18-2021, 10:13 AM   #4
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Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

Everything Nils says makes sense. If you are using talents, the Main Gauche rules seem unnecessary, since Two Weapons and Fencing serve as gateways to off-hand weapons.
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Old 06-18-2021, 12:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

To be clear, the statement in my second paragraph above is my interpretation of RAI rather than RAW.

In addition, I think the following comment from a similar FB discussion a few days ago is important to this topic.

PvK posted...
"Steve confirmed that is what he meant in that line. He didn't say why he chose to write it that way forty years ago, but that is what it always meant. So again, an ordinary dagger in the left hand doesn't stop hits."

It is also my opinion that the interactions between the various new talents relevant to this topic probably could've used more vetting and playtesting before their inclusion in the Legacy ruleset. I have had to re-write these extensively for use in my own games (and I'm still not fully satisfied with them).
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Old 06-18-2021, 01:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

The problem with TWO WEAPONS as written is that it has no nuance. The off-hand or full parry bonuses are the same whether you are fighting with two broadswords or two hand-axes which doesn't seem reasonable to me.

So again, I think we are dealing with RAI vs RAW. To me it was always clear that TWO WEAPONS is the talent for wielding a pair of full-sized 1H weapons and not for dual daggers or broadsword-and-handaxe archetypes. There's nothing that says you can't apply the talent to those latter use-cases, of course, but I don't believe the author designed it with those combinations in mind.
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Old 06-18-2021, 11:55 PM   #7
Peter von Kleinsmid
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Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nils_Lindeberg View Post
...
Then you say that MG is not included in the Knife talent, so you need Fencing to be able to use it.
Where is that coming from?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nils_Lindeberg View Post
...
It could make sense if Knife gives you MG use, because then anyone could pick up the MG in their left hand and get a 1p/-1DX as a baseline. And if daggers can't give you a bonus in this manner, it would still be better than nothing, even though it is way worse than a shield, it is still a socially more acceptable armament. So, a small niche for the MG.
Yes, that is all correct. Plus the second attack at -4 DX.
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Old 06-19-2021, 10:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter von Kleinsmid View Post
Where is that coming from?
That's my own interpretation, Peter. I require FENCING in order to use a main-gauche w/o penalty.
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Old 06-19-2021, 11:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

In general I would say that basically anything in your left hand should be of value when fighting, especially in a free for all melee with multiple opponents and so on. Be it a shield, a table leg, a stool or a cloak twisted around your arm. I would gladly give anyone a 1 parry for that. The buckler/small shield still being superior since it is a shield bonus. The MG would give you 2p but at the cost of -1DX, a choice but as valid as a medium shield over a small shield. The shield still being better of course.

And with Fencing or Two Weapon talent any weapon turns into a 2 parry, or a 3p/1Dx for the MG. And the MG and dagger can be used to attack with at DX-4, which makes them both better than some improvised table leg.
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Old 07-26-2021, 04:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Main-gauche vs. Dagger

The weakness in RAW is that a parry with a dagger stops just as many hits as a bastard sword.
This is a point of imbalance.

I am interested in the Steve Jackson quote above, where Steve says something about the point that you can not "parry" with a dagger.

Also, I have no idea why a regular warrior would have a main gauche in their off hand? This is a fighting style. Not even Two-weapons talent users would choose this over 2 weapons at their ST rating.

MG is a Fencing Weapon, used by Fencers as part of the style, that's pretty cut and dried. I do think the MG should give the fencer a passive 1 point of defense just for being in the off hand, like a shield, or say, like a spiked shield.

It's a perk of meeting the criteria and investing into fencing.

And yes, If a fencer should parry, it is a special purpose DESIGNED parrying weapon, to parry swords, it should add the "active" parry bonus of a full defense, in addition to the passive bonus, it is what the weapon and talent were designed for.

I think some folks are overlooking passive defense and active defense.
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