First Strike/Counterstrike Question

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ogbendog
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#41 Postby ogbendog » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:05 pm

Which is the realizing I just had. First Strike MUST be better than the others, because it's the only one which can be negated by gear. All of the 2 attack edges have a weakness; two weapons you can't use a shield, Counter Attack your for must miss, Frenzy you don't get a wild die.

FS is the best if you can use it every round, but if your foe has reach, it useless. So it really depends on how common reach weapons are in the setting.

swashbucking or pirate, pretty good. greek era spear pylanxes, not so good

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#42 Postby tigerguy786 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 2:13 am

ogbendog wrote: Frenzy you don't get a wild die.


Just to clarify, you DO get a wild die with Frenzy. It's 2 fighting dice and 1 wild die. The re-roll is all or nothing like with an RoF >1 weapon.
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#43 Postby ogbendog » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:40 pm

I meant you don't get a wild die with your 2nd attack. You do with Counterattack, two weapon, and First strike

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#44 Postby tigerguy786 » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:16 pm

ogbendog wrote:I meant you don't get a wild die with your 2nd attack. You do with Counterattack, two weapon, and First strike


I thought that's what you meant. Just wanted to make sure that was completely clear.
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#45 Postby ogbendog » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:35 pm

I would think that the best is Frenzied Attack. there is no way to stop it unlike First strike. YOu don't get a 2nd wild die, but since you have to have fighting d10 that's not that big of a deal.

you can use shield or spear for +1 parry, unlike 2 weapon.

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#46 Postby Zadmar » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:41 pm

ogbendog wrote:I would think that the best is Frenzied Attack. there is no way to stop it unlike First strike. YOu don't get a 2nd wild die, but since you have to have fighting d10 that's not that big of a deal.

The Fighting skill trumps any Combat Edge, so if you're trying to compare the effectiveness of different Edges you really need to give both fighters the same Fighting skill.

That said, Frenzy and Improved Frenzy are extremely closely matched with Ambidextrous and Two-Fisted. Enough so that I treat Frenzy and Improved Frenzy as Novice edges in my campaigns and (as an optional rule) in Savage Armoury.

ogbendog wrote:you can use shield or spear for +1 parry, unlike 2 weapon.

The two-weapon fighter can use a longsword and rapier. The rapier may not provide cover against ranged weapons, but it's lighter, provides its Parry bonus in all directions, and protects you against flails (at least in the core rules). In the simulations I ran, both fighters used longsword and rapier, and while the Two-Fisted fighter's second attack did an average of 1.8 less damage, it also had its own Wild Die, and that seemed to cancel out the penalty.

The large shield is better, but that has Weight 20, which is a lot (particularly when the longsword is using another 8). I'd rather have the Weight 3 rapier and wear some armour.

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#47 Postby ogbendog » Mon Nov 05, 2012 7:33 pm

I would think that the damage, particularly if people are wearing armor, would help cancel the minor edge from the wild die.

the rapier guy also suffers when fighting big monsters and things

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#48 Postby Zadmar » Tue Nov 06, 2012 5:46 am

ogbendog wrote:I would think that the damage, particularly if people are wearing armor, would help cancel the minor edge from the wild die.

Unarmoured:

There were 100000 fights. Two-Fisted+Ambidextrous won 52172 of them, while Improved Frenzy won 47828.

Leather armour:

There were 100000 fights. Two-Fisted+Ambidextrous won 51675 of them, while Improved Frenzy won 48325.

Chainmail:

There were 100000 fights. Two-Fisted+Ambidextrous won 51493 of them, while Improved Frenzy won 48507.

Plate:

There were 100000 fights. Two-Fisted+Ambidextrous won 50362 of them, while Improved Frenzy won 49638.

Longsword, rapier, plate corselet and a pot helm would bring them up to 40 Weight, which is the most the Strength d8 character can use without penalty.

With wild attack, Improved Frenzy pulls ahead:

There were 100000 fights. Two-Fisted+Ambidextrous won 49139 of them, while Improved Frenzy won 50861.
There were 100000 fights. Two-Fisted+Ambidextrous won 48664 of them, while Improved Frenzy won 51336.
There were 100000 fights. Two-Fisted+Ambidextrous won 48133 of them, while Improved Frenzy won 51867.
There were 100000 fights. Two-Fisted+Ambidextrous won 47637 of them, while Improved Frenzy won 52363.


Averaging the two sets of results (with and without Wild Attack), Two-Fisted wins 50.7% of the fights when neither fighter is using armour, 50.2% when they're both wearing leather, 49.8% of the fights when they're wearing chainmail and 49.0% when they're wearing plate.

So yes, armour (and Wild Attack) shifts the balance towards Improved Frenzy. But we're only talking a small difference; the two fighters are very closely matched.

ogbendog wrote:the rapier guy also suffers when fighting big monsters and things

He inflicts the same damage with his primary hand, and an average of 1.8 less damage with his offhand. However the extra Wild Die also increases his chance of hitting, as well as his chance of a raise (which increases the average damage by 4.2). So really, it's a not a big difference.

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#49 Postby ogbendog » Tue Nov 06, 2012 9:44 am

the only other hard to quantify edge for frenzy is flexibility

Frency guy can use sword and shield, or a spear for reach, or a two handed weapon. two weapn guy needs two weapons.

of course, two weapon guy can also use two pistols, or throwing weapons.

Your idea to make frenzy lower rank (or maybe raise the rank for two weapon) has merit

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#50 Postby Zadmar » Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:28 am

ogbendog wrote:the only other hard to quantify edge for frenzy is flexibility

Frency guy can use sword and shield, or a spear for reach, or a two handed weapon. two weapn guy needs two weapons.

The core two-handed weapons are generally not worth using, in my opinion, with the exception of spear and staff (for the reach).

Reach is amazingly good if one of the fighters has First Strike, but it doesn't give any direct benefit on its own. It can be useful for maneuvering, and taking advantage of terrain, particularly when facing multiple opponents, but it's not a big deal without First Strike. It's useful, not powerful.

And as I've already mentioned, I consider the rapier preferable to the shield for melee combat, regardless of whether I'm fighting with both weapons or not.

Given a choice of all the medieval weapons in the core (SWD) book, my first choice for my primary hand would be the katana; it has better average damage and better AP than any other hand weapon in the medieval section.

If the katana isn't permitted, I'd instead go for the longsword.

Only if my Strength was d6 would I consider using a spear, although it would be a toss up between the spear (reach), the flail (ignores shields), the warhammer (AP 1 vs rigid) and a shield (another +1 Parry, with the rapier used as a primary weapon). For a Two-Fisted character I might take axe and rapier (same combined weight as a spear).

For Strength d4 I'd probably use either a staff, or a rapier and shield. I doubt I'd build a melee character with Strength d4 though.

But my point is, my choice of weapons wouldn't vary much regardless of whether I used Improved Frenzy or Two-Fisted.

ogbendog wrote:of course, two weapon guy can also use two pistols, or throwing weapons.

True, just as the Improved Frenzy guy could use a medium or large shield to protect them against ranged attacks. I think that's a pretty good balance.

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#51 Postby ogbendog » Tue Nov 06, 2012 12:54 pm

yeah, but suppose you start with a spear, and then your GM keeps useing shield guys on you. So you switch to a flail. a few adventures later, you are fighting giant insects, so you switch to a hammer.

then you find a magic great sword which is acutally worth using.

or you are captures and have to use whatever you find

you can change out your wpns more easily and not lose your edge with frenzy

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#52 Postby ValhallaGH » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:30 pm

ogbendog wrote:you can change out your wpns more easily and not lose your edge with frenzy

And Trademark Weapon is still a fantastic edge, even with that problem. :wink:

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#53 Postby ogbendog » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:33 pm

true enough. probably 98% of the time a character uses the same 2-3 weapons their entire career

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#54 Postby Zadmar » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:59 pm

ValhallaGH wrote:And Trademark Weapon is still a fantastic edge, even with that problem. :wink:

True, Two-Fisted doesn't benefit as much from Trademark Weapon as Improved Frenzy. On the other hand, it benefits more from the Master edge (at Legendary), and can also use Florentine and Sweep. I think it's clear they each have pros and cons, certain scenarios where one pulls slightly ahead, etc. But it's my opinion that (in general) Two-Fisted + Ambidextrous is very closely matched with Improved Frenzy.

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#55 Postby tigerguy786 » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:44 pm

Why not take both? Have 3 melee attacks in a round.
"Well, you do know what those who underestimate tigers always say right?"

"What?"

"They scream, 'Oh god help me I'm being mauled to death by a tiger.'"

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#56 Postby Zadmar » Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:57 pm

tigerguy786 wrote:Why not take both? Have 3 melee attacks in a round.

Which is precisely why I proposed adding Rapid Frenzy and Improved Rapid Frenzy edges.


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