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Ninja-Bear

Martial Flail Maneuver

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11 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

From Fantasy Hero 2ed (which uses the 4ed rules). At work so page has to wait.

I know it's in FH 5th as well, but IDHMBIFOM.  And I'm sure it must be in 6th as well, but I don't own that book.

 

Yes, there are many credible reasons to believe that historically, the flail is not a very good weapon.  But if you're a peasant farmer, and you have this tool for threshing grain, and you suddenly need to defend yourself, it works better than bare hands.  And if you think you might need to defend yourself in the near future, then your threshing flail can be easily modified to make it more effective as a weapon.  As a farmer, you know how to construct a flail, but not a sword.

 

However, as inferior a weapon the flail may have been to a sword, it adds some variety to the "cinematic realism" of a fantasy game.  Just about every medieval weapon was inferior to the sword, but for a game, it might seem a little boring if every character wields a sword and never uses any other HtH weapon.

 

A flail was a tool for threshing grain.  An axe was a tool for chopping wood.  A spear was a tool for hunting.  A pick was a tool for mining.  A hammer was a tool for hammering.  Most polearms were just household tools attached to the end of a long stick.  A sword was specifically made to be a combat weapon.

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21 hours ago, dsatow said:

I'm not sure where this is coming from, but I haven't played fantasy hero in a long time.  Can you reference where this comes from?

 

 

Ok Fantasy Hero (2e) page 88 describes it and it’s listed under maneuvers on page 90. I should probably check FHC. 

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OK, point 1: we agree that historically, flails have not been used in combat consistently as a standard manufactured weapon of war.

 

Then, point 2: we want to add flails to a game because cinematically, they are awesome or impressive or some such.

 

OK, then why would a player ever want to use a flail?  This isn't a criticism but an exploratory question.  From what I remember of the original Fantasy Hero, the different weapon types had different capabilities.  Swords were more accurate and had a +1 OCV.  Hammers/Maces did more stun (+1 stun).  Axes did a larger amount of damage.  Picks had armor piercing.  Furthermore Axes, Hammers, and Picks could become a combo weapon allowing the PC to pick any two.  None of these weapons require a special maneuver to enact the feature.  You just got the advantage.  Granted, you can take a martial maneuver and get even better with the weapon, but even without the maneuver you could still benefit from the weapon.

 

Now, let's look at flails.  Per the rules, the -1 OCV is a penalty (god I now remember that's why I never took a flail in FH1, I am hoping it didn't make it to the future versions) if you use it's advantage which makes it useless against a buckler (+1 DCV) and of marginal benefit against a normal shield (+2 DCV).  I say marginal because at the same time, your damage classes are taking a hit for the advantage on the flail damage.  Worst, a buckler should be less effective against a flail as its a smaller shield.  The flail should  give a bigger advantage against the buckler user.  As a player, you would be asking yourself why you took such a weapon because all the other options always give you the associated advantage (more accuracy, more damage, AP, more stun) in combat.

 

Now we have a choice to make in our campaign.  Do we keep flails?

 

If we want to have flails not be the useless side weapon and make point 2 above, then what can we do?

 

Ninja bear suggested a 3 point maneuver for +2 DCV and the ability to use the flail maneuver.  So long as this also negates the -1 penalty noted in FH2p88 that ninjabear noted, it's tempting.  Unfortunately, it doesn't add any damage.  For a 4 point maneuver, I can use the other weapons noted in this post, get their advantage which applies to almost all targets (assuming most targets don't have hardened PD) and a bonus 2 DC. 

 

To be honest, I would just negate the flail maneuver penalty and/or let the indirect advantage also apply to blocks (making it an unblockable weapon or giving it a bonus against blocks).  Better yet, instead of giving it the indirect advantage, it would be better to just give flails a +3 OCV only against blocks and shields (+2 if you get rid of the flail maneuver penalty).  This also removes the damage penalty from having an advantage on the weapon.

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All this is fine with me; I liked what he had originally.  I mean, multiple sentient races, magic, impossible economies-- I wasn't going to draw the line at a mace with erectile issues. 

 

I just wanted to mention that I thought the Flail being less effective again st the buckler made sense: as you say, it's a much smaller shield: both quicker to move and less restrictive to you line of sight; it seems more likely a person with a buckler could shift it to place it squarely in the path of the lobby end, or even sacrificially sweep the buckler onto the swing and away from himself. 

 

Though I would like to remember that NB WA specifically working with a sectional staff: while it would work similarly to a flail, there should be some range differences as well, including not being able to sweep the buckler into the path and far enough away from your head or torso without having really long arms.  

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Dsatow I’m glad you mentioned Block. I was thinking about extending the “indirect”  towards Block too. Of course this this wouldn’t help versus Standard Block. The martial flail is a + 0 OCV. You could just make it +2 OCV and +0 DCV or +1 OCV and +1 DCV.  Hence why I broke down the maneuver.

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One of my favorite Fantasy HERO characters used a flail.

 

Other weapons had various advantages, but when the armored goon with a large shield came out the Flail made them substantially easier to hit (+3 DCV effectively reduced to +1 DCV).

 

Also, from a cinematic standpoint, they are cool looking weapons.

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