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 Making the axe a viable choice

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Opheliate
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PostSubject: Making the axe a viable choice   Sat 27 Apr 2013 - 13:23

So, I was thinking about how to balance the axe, as the use of armor is quite low in many games of mordheim.

Now, I am not an expert of weapons, but isnt the axe quite hard to parry against?

My thought was that in addition to the -1 save, wouldn't it be logical to also have all parry attempts against the axe be at -1?

A bearded axe could very well be used to hook the enemy weapon and wring it out of the way.

Any thoughts on this?
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whiskeytango
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Sat 27 Apr 2013 - 15:49

honestly, i've found the best (and simplest) way to make the axe useful was to make armor more accessible. My group plays with axes just the way they are, and all armor is half its rulebook price. Thus you see more people wearing armor, which leads to more people using axes. Though i do think if you wanted to, it'd be perfectly reasonable to either lower the cost of axes to 3gc, or raise clubs to 5gc, since clubs are another factor in lowering the value of axes, with their effect always being useful as opposed to axes being situational. Identical prices even the playing field a bit.
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Sat 27 Apr 2013 - 19:04

I think it's a good change but my group has also found it to work and be more viable with more armor running around.
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Sat 27 Apr 2013 - 21:38

I also have found that the 1/2 price armor makes for a lot better change all around. This is the easiest thing to do, since it only changes one rule, and by doing this, it makes axes more viable like the other said.
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Opheliate
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Sat 27 Apr 2013 - 23:06

I agree with the armor modification. I just thought that there maybe should be a anti parry feature somewhere. There are no such items or skills, at least not to my knowledge. Anyway, thanks for the input, guys!
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Pervavita
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Sun 28 Apr 2013 - 0:54

Opheliate wrote:
I agree with the armor modification. I just thought that there maybe should be a anti parry feature somewhere. There are no such items or skills, at least not to my knowledge. Anyway, thanks for the input, guys!
Steel Wip (and Cat O' Nine Tales) both can not be parried
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whiskeytango
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Sun 28 Apr 2013 - 15:18

my group also added a "can't be parried" rule to morning stars and flails, because... come on.
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Pervavita
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Sun 28 Apr 2013 - 18:39

whiskeytango wrote:
my group also added a "can't be parried" rule to morning stars and flails, because... come on.
That makes sense and makes them more viable as they aren't that good as is.
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Mon 29 Apr 2013 - 17:50

In my group we, too, found that making armour more available increased axe usage. However, we also found that more armour led to everyone running around with lots of armour and weapons and that didn't feel like post-apocalyptic mordheim any more.

What we did instead was revert to armour's old price, but left shields with their additional +1 in melee (from an earlier house-rule) and give axes +1S vs unarmoured targets in addition to their Armour Piercing. We also removed Toughened Leather's restriction on being traded and also the stinkiness in the flavour text. More Toughened Leathers meant that daggers were less effective*, which, in turn, also increased shield usage, and therefore axe usage. Toughened Leathers are also worth giving to henchmen at their low cost.

The new strength of the axe and the strength of the club meant that the sword is less used than ever, but we are experimenting with different parry rules to increase their popularity and also with giving the sword +1S vs unarmoured, or possibly +1A if your WS is higher or something.

For what it is worth we also added Cannot Be Parried to morning-stars and flails and found it good.

*Toughened Leathers only doesn't stack with a shield or any other armour therefore it *will* stack with any weapon penalty, e.g. daggers and fist attacks.
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Mon 29 Apr 2013 - 18:50

Hmm... have you thought about something like adding +1 to parries if the users WS is higher than the opponent?
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Mon 29 Apr 2013 - 20:48

Oh, goodness yes. That and -1 to parry if you have more than double their WS. And the other way around, -1 to parry if you have higher WS and +1 to your parry if you have more than double their WS. Sometimes it is inherent, sometimes it is a skill. Also a skill that grants parry to a weapon that doesn't have it or +1 to parry if the weapon already has parry, a skill that lets you re-roll your parries or grants you an extra parry if you can already reroll parries, bucklers giving +1 to parry, bucklers letting you parry all attacks from one nominated opponent, bucklers giving you an extra parry and all of these sometimes inherent and sometimes from skills.

It is taking a while to test it all Smile .
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Tue 30 Apr 2013 - 2:38

I never found the axe to bad.

Just use the optional critical-table. Axes deal good damage and cost less than a sword. I find the sword bad for 10 gold. You have only 1 parry and mostly you need to roll a 5 or 6 and if your first enemy hits you with a natural 6 you can't parry at all...
For half the price you get the same critical table (3-6 are 2 wounds).
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Wed 1 May 2013 - 8:51

Feel free to test out some of those parry rules and/or making swords +1S vs unarmoured. Let me know how it goes - I would be interested to find out.
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Wed 1 May 2013 - 21:26

We tried the idea of a sword being able to parry the lowest attack that scores a hit instead of the highest. Really made swords nice! I agree that I never really saw a problem with axes. Good damage, especially if you're using the specific critical table, and well worth the 5 gold.
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Thu 2 May 2013 - 21:36

Well, I tend to use the axe as well, but most poeple buy it only when they cant afford a sword, and 9 out of 10 times, they go for the club instead.

In our group, we simply made armor more efficient (all saves +1), but still at the same prices.

Toughened Leathers: 6+ Save, and got rid of that stupid special rule
Light Armor: 5+ Save
Heavy Armor: 4+ Save
Ithilmar Armor: 4+ Save
Grom Armor: 5+ Save

Shield is still only 6+ Save, but the boost to any model weariong armor will make it viable. A 3+ save heavy armor, shield juggernaught is nothing to joke about Smile

This also helped not only to make the axe more popular, but Blackpowder Weapons REALLY came back in style, which was sorely needed.

Also, prices being the same, this meant that you could still only afford good quality armor for heroes, while Henchmen would be wearing toughened leathers at best for the start of a campaign, and light armor later on. Cheap henchmengroups with Toughened leathers and Shields would be cheap, and also have a good armor save.
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Sat 4 May 2013 - 23:37

I'm assuming Gromril armor's save is a 3+ rather than 5+?
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Mon 6 May 2013 - 5:52

I do like Ophilate's solution for dealing with armour (all +1 to the save).

I would suggest a modifier on the parry rolls: half of WS difference (round down). This makes parry more effective on high WS models instead of the opposite. While using half WS difference it isn't overpowered.
I was would add a Combat Skill: Swordmaster which gives you a parry re-roll if you wield two swords.

Axes are fine as is, if armour is more attractive. I don't like making amour too cheap as it isn't fluffy but making it more effective is a lot more elegant solution.

The problem rather is with clubs: they are too effective. So we seperated clubs from Maces, Hammers and Staffs.
Club: 3gc, Breakable (end of game on a 1 it breaks), loses concussion special rule.
Mace, Hammers and Staffs cost 5gc.

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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Wed 12 Jun 2013 - 21:10

i don't think the axe is under powered it uses bladed critical's and a -1 Armour, we added the skill "the axeman cometh" which means you have the option to strike last as plus 1 or 2 to the injury roll. 
flails and morning stars are actually easier to parry than swords or axes because the flails and morning stars get their strength from momentum and that momentum can easily be slowed down if you know how to fight with medieval weapons
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PostSubject: Re: Making the axe a viable choice   Sun 7 Jul 2013 - 5:22

This entire thread confuses me slightly, as I have always found axes a good choice (without our group resorting to using armour a lot, or making armour/ other weapons cheaper).

For me the reason you take an axe is that you want access to the Bladed critical hit chart, which is much superior to the Bludgeoning critical chart. So whilst clubs might make a more reliable choice for their innate effect, axes have a much greater chance (and on a budget, when compared to the cost of swords) of doing massive damage to targets with 2 of the 3 options on the critical table doubling their damage output.

For me, that increased critical damage has meant that they often appear in my games when I'm struggling to afford swords (as when equipping multiple henchmen in the opening of a campaign.
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