HomeFAQSearchRegisterUsergroupsBlogLog inGolden Tom 2014 Thread!

Share | 
 

 Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
The Mad Hatter
Warrior
Warrior


Posts : 16
Trading Reputation : 0
Join date : 2012-07-21
Age : 40
Location : San Jose, CA

PostSubject: Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire   Sat 25 Jun 2016 - 13:10

Fellow Mordheimers,

I've been doing a lot of pondering of the lowly halberd in Mordheim.  It is one of the quintessential weapons of the Warhammer world, and a staple weapon of state troops across the Empire.  But in fact they are used very infrequently in Mordheim, and are often left behind in favor of great weapons, two weapons, and even hand weapon and shield.  To me, this seems to dilute this most common of Empire weapons, which would surely be found in more plentiful numbers in Mordheim.  

From a historical standpoint, halberds were excellent weapons in the 14th and 15th century.  Providing a user with some reach advantages and the ability to pierce enemy armor via their heavy bladed axe/hammer heads along with their needle point spearheads.  They were later refined to provide a hook on the backside to better enable unseating of horse mounted opponents.  

In all practical matters, it combined a spear with an axe head on a medium length shaft.  

From a rules perspective, why not treat them as such?  A combination of a spear/axe/great weapon?  What would be your thoughts on making them +1 strength, with the special rules of cutting edge and strikes first. I feel this would make the lowly halberd a much more competitive decision in arming war bands in a world where halberds would be plentiful? I'd also propose increasing their cost to be the same as a combination of a spear and axe, and pricing them at 15 gc.

If you think this is too powerful, I'd present some other options for consideration.  Perhaps +1 strength, and the ability to use cutting edge OR strikes first in a round of combat (i.e. strikes first in first round, cutting edge thereafter)?  Another thought would be +1 strength, cutting edge, and +1 initiative during the first turn (if strikes first was to the be sole domain of the spear).  

I think there are options, and would like your thoughts on how to make the halberd more competitive, and make this quintessential weapon of the Empire more strongly represented in war bands.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Grimscull
Etheral
Etheral


Posts : 1298
Trading Reputation : 2
Join date : 2010-11-22

Personal Info
Primary Warband played:
Achievements earned: none

PostSubject: Re: Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire   Sat 25 Jun 2016 - 13:48

I think there is an occasion for every weapon in MH and for me, a halberd is for an cc-oriented fighter with two+ attacks but no strongman-skill so far. One of those I'd always equip with a halberd.
Also, why should a halberd be that common in MH? It's the state trooper's first choice, yes. But, fluffwise, there are (almost?) no state troopers in MH and not that many former state troopers. Fluffwise, there should be clubs, daggers, spears and axes all over the place when I think of ragtag warbands at the beginning of a campain.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
The Mad Hatter
Warrior
Warrior


Posts : 16
Trading Reputation : 0
Join date : 2012-07-21
Age : 40
Location : San Jose, CA

PostSubject: Re: Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire   Sat 25 Jun 2016 - 14:27

Hey Grimscull,

You bring up some valid and good points. I do think their is always a place for every weapon (vampires and halberds go together like peanut butter and jelly).

As for why, IMHO, I think they should be more common.

1) Mordheim was/is a city, and as such probably had a city guard, army, some sort of armed force - and the halberd is very common among those troops according to what has been written about the Empire. There probably would have been many of them in the city at one time and any of those guardsmen/soldiers who stayed would most likely be keeping/using them.

2) I play a lot of human mercenary war bands (just happen to be my own preference, everyone has their favorites). Mercenaries are often times ex-state troops who would have been trained and likely equipped with halberds during their tenure as state troops. Again, based solely on my own way of thinking - which is neither right or wrong, just one man's interpretation. Historically speaking, mercenaries were most often made up of ex-military troops, not common farmers and as such, probably would be trained with and retain if possible their weapons (which would likely be a halberd).

Not saying my way of thinking is right or wrong, just answering your question on why I believe they would be more common in Mordheim.

Perhaps another question would be, would making any of these changes make them too powerful (like in the hands of a vampire or other character)?
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Caledore
Champion
Champion


Posts : 55
Trading Reputation : 0
Join date : 2013-07-18
Location : Maryland

Personal Info
Primary Warband played: Witch Hunters Witch Hunters
Achievements earned: none

PostSubject: Re: Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire   Sat 25 Jun 2016 - 15:26

My group has given halberds the capability to be used as a spear (albeit two handed), or gain the normal +1 Strength, but the user must chose one and stick with it throughout the duration of that combat. It has made the halberd a versatile weapon without making it significantly more powerful, and it saw some increased use as a result.

I think giving it strike first like a spear and +1 Strength might make it a bit too powerful, even with the increased cost..the +1 Strength outweighs the shield a spear user can use in my opinion.

Cutting edge is a minor benefit given the cost of armor in Mordheim, so it's less problematic. If I were to recommend something, I'd try out the +1 Strength or strike first choice, and potentially give it cutting edge either way. Your mileage may vary, but it worked out for my group.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Nuno M
Hero
Hero


Posts : 31
Trading Reputation : 0
Join date : 2015-05-08
Location : Cambridge, MA, USA

Personal Info
Primary Warband played: Undead Undead
Achievements earned: none

PostSubject: Re: Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire   Sat 25 Jun 2016 - 18:43

I really like this discussion. The simulation of weapon qualities in WHFB and Mordheim has been a great plus for me (many RPGs fall flat in either making rules too abstract-mechanical or too complicated in detail).

To be fair, I really had no problem with the halberd: we did use it regularly here and there, and its cost-benefit is well fitted in our opinion.

But I can see the point: its a long-reach weapon (like a spear) which can be used for heavy-weight cutting (like an axe). The cutting bit like an axe I would consider covered by the +1S, so no need for Cutting Edge.
But "choosing" to gain Strike First instead of the +1S is indeed a good compromise, as it does not stack the bonuses and only adds flexibility, making it still not overpowered for 15Gc.

That being said, in our group we did nerf the spear a bit (Strike first only applied in first round when charged), so we could make the spear (a historically cheap and basic weapon) cost only 5Gc. Keeping spears at 10Gc while allowing halberds to have both benefits may render spears obsolete.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://whfbnarratives.blogspot.co.uk/
The Mad Hatter
Warrior
Warrior


Posts : 16
Trading Reputation : 0
Join date : 2012-07-21
Age : 40
Location : San Jose, CA

PostSubject: Re: Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire   Sat 25 Jun 2016 - 23:30

Thanks for the thoughts!

A few more of my own.

I don't think halberds would make spears obsolete if given the strike first option.  The ability for a spear wielder to have a shield (especially if you use the hand weapon and shield bonus) makes it more of a choice.  Do I want more of a defensive character or a more offensive/versatile character?  This brings me round to some broader thoughts.

I really like a game that challenges the players thinking when creating their war bands.  I don't think we'll ever get to a point of balancing all weapons, there will always be some better than others.  But, I think a good goal is to create rules that make the decision points much tougher.  Do I go all out offense with dual wielding or great weapon (assuming you've fixed dual wielding and it's not the obvious default answer)?  Do I go with more versatility like a halberd?  Do I go for a more a spear and shield combo that allows me to strike the first blow yet still retain some defensive posture?  Or rather, do I go with the option of sword and shield for maximum defense or bucklers to parry?  I don't think we'll ever get the dagger to be on par with all of these combinations, but surely we can balance the halberd a bit more to make it a more competitive choice, thereby restoring it to its described commonality in the Empire?


Last edited by The Mad Hatter on Sun 26 Jun 2016 - 10:47; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
View user profile
NoisyAssassin
Warlord
Warlord


Posts : 292
Trading Reputation : 0
Join date : 2014-02-09
Location : Madison, WI

Personal Info
Primary Warband played:
Achievements earned: Bronze Tom Bronze Tom

PostSubject: Re: Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire   Sun 26 Jun 2016 - 9:09

I think Caeldore's suggestion is probably the best one. Unless you have serious house rules around making armor and shields better, combining +1 Str and ASF into the Halberd would eliminate any reason to ever use a spear. But if you have to pick between them then it becomes a much more interesting weapon.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Von Kurst
Distinguished Poster
Distinguished Poster


Posts : 7013
Trading Reputation : 3
Join date : 2009-01-18

Personal Info
Primary Warband played:
Achievements earned: none

PostSubject: Re: Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire   Sun 26 Jun 2016 - 11:10

Nuno wrote:
That being said, in our group we did nerf the spear a bit (Strike first only applied in first round when charged),

Um..., isn't that how the spear rule always worked? I mean if you charge, you have always strikes first, because, well like, you charged, right? So... Um.

Mordheim Digital Rulebook, 2005, p .26 wrote:
SPECIAL RULES
Strike first: A warrior with a
spear strikes first in the first turn of
hand-to-hand combat

For original rules see p. 42. Make sure to read the last sentence of the first paragraph.

Halberds--We use the optional critical hit tables. Spears have lost a lot of favor since 2005, but halberds are quite popular. You must play with a different group.

Mad Hatter wrote:
I really like a game that challenge the players thinking when creating their war bands.

As far as I can tell, that would be a game called Mordheim. I would respectfully direct your attention to the monster sticky thread, Starting Warbands- Post Them Here.

Hundreds of players have spent hours looking for that perfect beginning warband, which is also true of any online Mordheim venue I have visited. Game must do something right.

Now experienced players like myself, tend to give advice that makes for cookie cutters in the name of efficiency. But left to themselves, most beginning players will experiment with different weapons, because, choices. Also my advice about a starting warband is to start with cheap weapons and then buy better weapons as the warband and its enemies develop.

I am in the process of re-arming my orc henchmen with halberds to get the +1S. I re-armed the heroes with multiple attacks with them awhile ago.

Mad Hatter wrote:
I don't think we'll ever get the dagger to be on par with all of these combinations
I'm sure Lord 0 has some interesting things to say about that... (His group loves the daggers and house rules for them.)
I'm just like, dude, EVERYBODY has a dagger! Lots of folks have TWO!
scratch

Again, obviously, different groups.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
The Mad Hatter
Warrior
Warrior


Posts : 16
Trading Reputation : 0
Join date : 2012-07-21
Age : 40
Location : San Jose, CA

PostSubject: Re: Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire   Sun 26 Jun 2016 - 12:13

I think it seems the current general thinking is to allow it to be used as a spear or an axe (basically combining the rules, with the ability to select one or the other). I'm still debating with myself, when used as an axe, should it benefit from just +1 Strength or also gain cutting edge?

Because we are adopting the hand weapon and shield optional rule from Warhammer (i.e. hand weapon and shield gives a 5+ armor save), armor saves are a little more prevalent in our games. Giving it the cutting edge benefit also aligns with why halberds were generally used historically, which was to punch through armor. What's also nice is the guys with swords or bucklers still retain the advantage against halberds of having the ability to parry them. We think it may make the "choosing how to arm" scenario more difficult. We'd also raise the cost to 15gc, since you are effectively buying a spear and an axe at that point.

I'm also considering if we should force it to be used one way or the other for the duration or if you'd get to use the ability of a spear during first round if you wanted (but don't benefit from the +1 strength and potentially cutting edge), then once combat has closed range, you'd revert to clubbing your opponent with the axe. The thought here is unlike having a spear and an axe and having to choose which weapon you were going to use when starting the fight, you have a weapon in your hand that is both. It's not a scenario where you're having to actually draw a new weapon.

I like the debate and help in keeping my thoughts balanced, thanks guys!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Thespian
Champion
Champion


Posts : 50
Trading Reputation : 0
Join date : 2013-08-25
Age : 47
Location : Helsinki, Finland

Personal Info
Primary Warband played: Ostlanders Ostlanders
Achievements earned: none

PostSubject: Re: Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire   Sun 26 Jun 2016 - 20:28

Caledore wrote:
My group has given halberds the capability to be used as a spear (albeit two handed), or gain the normal +1 Strength, but the user must chose one and stick with it throughout the duration of that combat. It has made the halberd a versatile weapon without making it significantly more powerful, and it saw some increased use as a result.

This is how we play it. We've upped the cost of a halberd to 20 GC for balance (which keeps spears popular, especially in starting campaigns). In our own fluff the halberd is a recent development in 1999 IC, and thus an expensive weapon. We don't have a rarity for it, maybe we should…

Cheers!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
bitxo
Champion
Champion


Posts : 54
Trading Reputation : 0
Join date : 2016-02-09

Personal Info
Primary Warband played: Dwarfs Dwarfs
Achievements earned: none

PostSubject: Re: Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire   Mon 27 Jun 2016 - 3:44

Leaving fluff away (I don't like to mix it with rules) I don't think halberds need any upgrade if you use some kind of dual wielding house rule. I play with -1 to hit when dualwielding, and I use halberds quite a lot with sweeper heroes, like youngbloods and dregs, and with any model as soon as they earn a second attack. Most players I know use them a lot also. 3 S3 club attacks with -1 to hit are apparently better than 2 S4 attacks, but when R advances and resilent come to play, halberds are a must IMO.

The problem I see upgrading the halberd and making it better, is it will be too expensive for henchmen, and will become a hero weapon only.
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Nuno M
Hero
Hero


Posts : 31
Trading Reputation : 0
Join date : 2015-05-08
Location : Cambridge, MA, USA

Personal Info
Primary Warband played: Undead Undead
Achievements earned: none

PostSubject: Re: Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire   Mon 27 Jun 2016 - 19:53

Von Kurst wrote:
Nuno wrote:
That being said, in our group we did nerf the spear a bit (Strike first only applied in first round when charged),

Um..., isn't that how the spear rule always worked?  I mean if you charge, you have always strikes first, because, well like, you charged, right?  So...  Um.

Sweet Mother of Memory... ugh...  Neutral  words... rules.scratch  Difficult.
Ditto for the price of Halberds: dunno why I was convinced they costed 15Gc instead of 10Gc. Was putting 'em in same footing as Morningstars. Havent bought one in ages myself.
My houserule notes over here were correct, my recollection of them wasn't.  Sleep That's why I write on roster sheets.  Thanks for the heads up.
Anyhooo...

I now remember why we did this. Initially we had a discussion of whether the "Strike First" of the spear meant both it and the charger struck together before anyone else, at their initiative order between the two of them (a la Warhammer Fantasy). Our group had its own fits of discussing which was the better way of doing it, regardless of the original rules. I must have repressed that memory.
Now that I checked my notes, what we DID do was make sure that only the spear attacks gain Strike First (in case there are some tail attacks or somesuch, just to be sure), and took away the Strike First ability when mounted (but keeping the +1S when charging mounted). Heavy Cavalry were a menace with spears.

We really just wanted to reduce the Spear's price to 5GC, as we wanted it to be a more staple, raggedy weapon, just like an axe. It's worked well since.

Apologies  Razz


Back to Halberds, I think making the ability locked to "Strike first in first round of combat, +1S in the rest" may make for simpler rules.
And yet, I do think that 10Gc should be maintained: I agree with Bitxo that it definitely should remain cheap enough to be a staple henchman weapon. It's a weapon as simple as an axe on a long stick! Historically cheaper to make than swords, by a longshot.
Dunno if 10Gc would make it too cheap for those benefits... but maybe the restriction on "you have to use Strike First in first round when charged, ONLY then you get to use +1S" may be enough. Poor warrior will ALWAYS try to raise it to hit first before being attacked.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://whfbnarratives.blogspot.co.uk/
The Mad Hatter
Warrior
Warrior


Posts : 16
Trading Reputation : 0
Join date : 2012-07-21
Age : 40
Location : San Jose, CA

PostSubject: Re: Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire   Mon 27 Jun 2016 - 22:50

Nuno M,

You do bring up an interesting point on cost. I do think in doing this the cost of a spear should be reduced to 5gc. I don't particularly see 15gc as putting it out of range for a henchman weapon, it would fall in line with great weapons and morning stars.

The point on swords you make is interesting, and in reality swords should probably cost 20-25gc given how much more difficult they are to make (a spear and a sword both costing 10gc does seem a bit off when you think about the labor involved....but that might be a bit too much for this topic of conversation).

My thought would be its better to over cost the halberd at 15gc, than make it too cheap at 10gc. As I'd mentioned earlier, you're effectively getting the benefit of a spear then an axe, so the total for a halberd should probably equal the sum of those two weapon costs (currently 15gc, but if reducing spear to 5gc, then halberd would be 10gc).

All good points to consider!
Back to top Go down
View user profile
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire   Today at 3:11

Back to top Go down
 
Halberds - The Quintessential Weapons of the Empire
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Spoooooky swamp terrain for empire in flames skirmish
» Ultracast British Empire Munition Boxes B166
» W: Empire in Flames Supplement (want the real copy!)
» Wanted: OLD Empire State Troops
» Oswor´s WIP: dwarves, empire, chaos, and whatnot...

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Tom's Boring Mordheim Forum :: General Discussion :: Rules and Gameplay-
Jump to: