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 To spear or not to spear ??

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Goglutin
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PostSubject: To spear or not to spear ??   Sat 12 Apr 2014 - 9:57

I was wondering a bit about the spear and its inefficiency. I mean, its a 10 Gold weapon, which prevent you from using a second one and that have a ''so so'' advantage.

In fact, spears are seldom used. My friend who play orcs took a spear for one of his hero (because the hero miniature have a spear) and the advantage of the spear to strike first in the first turn of combat is really useless because of his low initiative. (When he charge he would be strike first anyway and when he is charge its resolved in Initiative order as both strike first and with Initiative of 2 this advantage is totally off against 95% of the enemies).

I thought about giving the spear an ''OVER'' strike first when charged to make it an more interesting choice. Meaning the spear should strike first over a charger in the first turn of combat.

I think this would make it an interesting choice for low Initiative warband too. Really, I play the undead sometimes and why would I buy spears to my skeletons with their 2 Initiative stat... I'd rather buy a second dagger, a mace or an axe instead... for a bit of the price...

Well, anyway, I think the spear sucks except when you play skavens or elves but with this ''modification'' it should be better and used more often...


Opinions ??

Thx


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Grimscull
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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Sat 12 Apr 2014 - 10:17

I think the "over"-strike-first rule is actually the official one due to some faq. And I cannot remember a time I p,ayed against someone using spears when this rule didn't apply.
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Alex
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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Sat 12 Apr 2014 - 14:34

Spear wielders strike first when charged and they can use it with only one hand.

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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Sat 12 Apr 2014 - 15:27

Spears are not useless or bad. Giving spear to an orc/dwarf with I2 is the same as giving shooty weapon to someone with BS1 - it does not mean that spear is useless, only that this specific model is not good with it. Spears are quite effective, they just need to be used reasonably.
Spear wielders need:
a) initiative higher than average (to strike first)
b) ws higher than average (not necessary, but hitting on 3+ is better)
c) target with 1 W and T equal or lower than attacker (when attack hits, it has more chances to wound this way)
And there's nothing like "over strike first". Strike first is strike first, when 2 models strike first you just compare I.

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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Sat 12 Apr 2014 - 17:20

It should also be noted that if a group has house rules that improve shields and bucklers then this indirectly improves spears also.
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Von Kurst
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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Sat 12 Apr 2014 - 17:32

Oh how soon they forget.

Mordheim Rulebook 1999 wrote:
Spear
SPECIAL RULES
Strike First:
A warrior with a spear strikes first, even if charged, because the long shaft of the spear allows him to thrust it at oncoming enemies before they have a chance to hit him. Note that this only applies in the first turn of hand-to-hand combat.

The above rule was widely interpreted as "over strike first" back in the days of 'weapon reach' rules. There was also no restriction on using a spear, which meant that some players would arm themselves with two spears or a sword and spear, etc. Everybody had at least one spear. Elves with spears were extremely annoying as usual.

According to those who participated in online discussions back in the old days, the spear's Strike First rule contributed to many rules discussions on Mordheim forums, although I did not find this to be the case running live campaigns. (I am more inclined to believe the incidence of warriors armed with a spear and an additional weapon was the main problem.) The Great Spear Nerf of 2005 (also known as the Rules Review) gave us the spear as we know it today. Like many GW rules updates, it seemed to fix problems that did not exist for many players.

My group uses a combination of the original rule with the addition of the difficult to use rule from the Spear Nerf, at least when someone can remember that that is the house rule...
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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Sat 12 Apr 2014 - 18:36

In my group we have been debating house-ruling the spear because most of us feel a spear being 10 gold is somewhat silly. Like Von Kurst, we were playing in the before-before time when spears were pretty as potent as he described, and, indeed, we *would* use spears in conjunction with swords, clubs, etc. Back then everyone agreed spears were very powerful and that 10 gold was about right for that power level, but 10 gold was a silly price for a spear. The debate was how much they should be nerfed if they were reduced in price, but we couldn't reach a consensus.

When Strike First was nerfed the debate was resurected and the campaign for a price reduction became stronger. What we are currently thinking of is a 5 gold weapon that grants +1 to I, First strike in the first round if used with two hands, and can only be used with shields or bucklers. Once we sort out parry it is the next thing we will be play-testing.
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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Sun 13 Apr 2014 - 1:51

@ VK: your post sounds like you are sitting in a rocking chair smoking a pipe and combing your long, white beard  Dad 
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Goglutin
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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Sun 13 Apr 2014 - 3:33

Hey...

Thx for your answers...
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Von Kurst
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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Sun 13 Apr 2014 - 14:34

Grimscull wrote:
@ VK: your post sounds like you are sitting in a rocking chair smoking a pipe and combing your long, white beard  Dad 

 cheers 
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The Nick
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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Tue 10 Nov 2015 - 3:14

Spears are sort of broken.

The original intent of spears is written plainly right on the original rule's face: let you get first strike against chargers, but only with spears. Naturally, this made spears an ideal weapon for low Movement warbands, who were just too slow and rotund to guarantee a charge against faster enemies (looking at you, dwarfs).

However, the revision changed Spears to granting Strike First, while having multiple Strike First'ers go in Initiative order. This had the exact opposite effect of spear's original intent - instead of a sub-par weapon (you could be swinging away with two clubs!) providing a bonus for Low M, Low Initiative warbands, you now have a weapon that's a trap. Low initiative fellows with a spear are still striking after higher initiative enemies, but a higher initiative enemy receiving a charge from you will now get to strike first. That's obnoxious.



The solution I prefer is to organize combat order into Most "Strike Firsts" -> Initiative Order -> Strike Last (in Initiative Order) -> Standing Models (in Initiative Order).  A model with more sources of "Strike First" strikes before models with fewer sources of Strike First (referred to as SF).


Therefore:


* Charging is worth one SF.

* "Receiving a charge with a spear" grants two SF during your first turn of a combat against an unengaged spear-wielder (so you could charge a spear wielder already engaged in combat to avoid this bonus).

* Strongman removes Strike Last, so he will tend to go first when charging but not when receiving charges.

* Lightning Reflexes removes an enemy's Charging "Strike First" bonuses.

So this means...

Spears will properly stand as a defensive weapon and possibly dishing out some hurt when receiving charges, but will be outperformed in terms of raw damage by other weapons, dual-wielders, or 2-handers.

If you still think they're too weak, give them Strike First, meaning even High Initiative models who want to guarantee they get to throw some attacks first might consider taking spears over other weapons. As it stands, low-Initiative models have no reason to take spears unless they are playing against similarly terrible models, while high-Initiative models already are striking first and only rarely gain these benefits. Therefore, they're outperformed by almost everything else, as dual-wielding, 2-handers, or just a different weapon with a sword/buckler are simply better choices except in rare circumstances. Multiple spears, though, if allowed to additionally First Strike, make them a more tempting choice, albeit one that is still competed with by every other kind of weapon.
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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Tue 10 Nov 2015 - 14:18

Kind of like swords with their parrying, spears are also operating a little bit backwards than how they should be. Having the advantage of reach in close combat should benefit those who are slower as well.

I've personally had some great returns on arming my vampire with a spear as a second weapon, however. It works like a light version of Lightning Reflexes and carries with it the cinematically awesome Kebab!! critical strike, but since my model is visually unarmed I always imagine it to be something more like this...

Spoiler:
 
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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Tue 10 Nov 2015 - 18:10

What about something like:
Spear
Strength: As user, Range: Close Combat, Special Rules*: Reach1, Reach2, Reach3, Reach4, Reach5
Reach1: The user gains +1 I.
Reach2: The user gains Strikes First in the first round of combat.
Reach3: The user gains Whipcrack (but reflavoured for spears).
Reach4: If unengaged, the user may attack with a single attack against an enemy model that is engaged with a friendly model that is within 0.5"
Reach5: The user may charge a friendly model. If he does he may attack [normally/with 1 attack]** any enemy that is in base-base contact with the friendly model he charged. He [does/does not] count as charging]**.

Some or all of the above would only be available if used two-handed.

* All is excessive. I would imagine only two or three would be fine. Some might only work if the spear is held two handed.

**Delete whichever one you don't want.
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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Tue 10 Nov 2015 - 21:11

Oh yeaaaah. I totally forgot about the 'supporting attack' rule. Basically, you can charge a friendly model and attack any model he is attacking, but you lose the charge bonus.

That lets you do fun things with spears. Put them behind shields or tougher characters and poke through them. Make shield walls to receive charges.

It's a great idea and justifies a spear's cost versus a sword's. Competing.
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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Sat 14 Nov 2015 - 8:22

's funny, my group has never had any troubles with figuring out the spears<chargers thing. I personally find them quite worthwhile on an orc, especially now that I've got one that's a 2 attacks-Lad's got talent

Edit: Oh yeah, supporting attacks is a great idea to implement, sort of like in LOTR and regular WHFB...
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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Sun 15 Nov 2015 - 10:58

Quote :
's funny, my group has never had any troubles with figuring out the spears<chargers thing. I personally find them quite worthwhile on an orc, especially now that I've got one that's a 2 attacks-Lad's got talent

So which version of the spear rules do you use? Before or after Nerf 'O5? Or what is the Initiative of this fearsome orc? My I 2 orc boyz no carry no spear no more after 'O5, 'cause who they gonna beat? Saurus?
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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Sun 15 Nov 2015 - 17:47

Though this is ultimately just a +1 to what many people here have always said, spears are a weapon where the rules-as-written are probably not the rules as intended by the original devs.

When spears strike-first against chargers they are a potent weapon worth its price tag. They give low M warbands a better answer to high M warbands than reaction charge traps, and they can turn an otherwise junk henchman into a worthwhile game piece. When spears are simply a weapon that imbues the 'strikes-first' rule, they serve almost no function for non-skaven warbands.

Our league has remedied this with a house rule that allows spear users to strike-first in all situations except when receiving a charge from another unit with a spear.
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PostSubject: Re: To spear or not to spear ??   Fri 20 Nov 2015 - 20:05

+1 to above.

Essentially what we want. Spears that have a purpose other than 'not a dagger' if you aren't obscenely high-Init.

They should provide a counter to high movement and/or high initiative warbands but at a cost.
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