TIME FOR THE SHOWDOWN!!
In another thread, I brought up the idea that an attacker against an enemy with a shield must roll 2 dice for each attack and taking the lowest result to represent the "barrier effect" a shield has. This is added to the +1 armor bonus a shield normally gives out of the rulebook.
Our combatants are as follows: The Swordsman on the left is equipped with reduced-cost Light armor (10gc), a sword, and shield, putting his cost total to 60gc.
Facing him is another Swordsman on the right equipped with two swords. To offset the 5gc difference I have decided to give him Toughened Leathers as well.
Round One: FIGHT!
The dual-wielder get the initiative and charges. His "Expert Swordsman" skill allows him to re-roll misses. The results for the first attack are a 3 and a 1. Taking the lowest result is a miss, and is re-rolled. The re-roll is a 3, which is also a miss.
The second attack is more of the same: a 2 and a 3. Re-rolling the lowest result, we get another 3.
The Shield-bearer strikes back, getting a 6, which cannot be parried. The wound roll is a 4, which the 6+ Toughened Leathers does not save, rolling a 4 for the armor. The Injury Chart roll is a 5, taking the dual-wielder OoA. 1-0 in favor of shields.
Round Two: FIGHT!!
The Shield-bearer gets initiative this time,and charges. Again, his "Expert Swordsman" rule comes into play. His first roll is a 4, which is parried by the dual-wielder, who counter-attacks. HIs first attack is a 5 and a 2, which is a miss. His second attack is a 5 and a 6, but the lucky shield-bearer manages a 6 for the parry.
The shield-bearer gains initiative again. His attack is a 2, which misses. Lowest results from the dual wielder are a 2 and a 3.
The dual-wielder gets initiative, and manages a hit with his second strike, with two 4's. The shield-bearer fails to parry, but is not wounded. His counter-attack is a 1.
After 3 more rounds, the dual-wielder finally scores two 6's on the hit and a 5 on the wound. The armor save is a 3 (fail) but the stubborn shield-bearer is only knocked down. However, before he can stand up, he is wounded successfully again and fails his armor save, taking him OoA. 1-1 tie.ROUND THREE: TIE-BREAKER!
Again, the dual-wielder gains the initiative and charges. His attacks are a 3 and 6 (miss), and 4 and 1 (miss). The two re-rolls are a 5 (hit) and a 2 (miss). The Wound roll is a 3, which does not affect the shield-bearer. His attack back hits with a 5, which is not parried, and gets a 6 on the wound for a critcal hit. The critical result is a 5, (No armor, roll twice, and add 2 to the highest result!), and the resulting 6 on the injury chart results in the brave dual-wielding swordsman being taken out of action. 2-1 in favor of shields.
While this is really all conjecture, and results can hardly be conclusive from a simple 2-out-of-3 example, I think this may be a good house rule for shields to make them MUCH more viable than they are now. I'd like to hear other people's thoughts on this. Who knows, this might be the option many are looking for in the case of shields.
HOWEVER, for balance, this only works against a SINGLE opponent. The shield barrier does not protect against further enemies, who roll to hit normally.