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  #131  
Old January 24th, 2010, 06:31 PM
Mardagg Mardagg is offline
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Default Re: Magic Items under CBM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sombre View Post
I kinda like the idea of the wraithsword getting 2 attacks personally, making the most of the partial lifedrain.
hmmm.
Very problematic with Quickness.
getting 2 times partial lifedrain is one thing...but 4?

25 dgems,not touching the stats and 2 attacks could be ok...maybe.

Maybe giving the Hell sword 2 attacks?
You gotta tone the stats down a bit though,for this to work.
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  #132  
Old January 24th, 2010, 06:37 PM

Sombre Sombre is offline
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Default Re: Magic Items under CBM

It would certainly have a lot more potential to do crazy stuff with 2 attacks, but that sounds pretty good to me. The weaknesses would be the same - no shield, not great weapon stats, expensive.
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  #133  
Old January 24th, 2010, 06:47 PM
Mardagg Mardagg is offline
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Default Re: Magic Items under CBM

To me,that sounds more like a (great) idea for an unique item.
Imagine what you can do with this if you got a 4handed chassis...

Will be interesting what others think about that.
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  #134  
Old January 25th, 2010, 02:05 AM
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Tolkien Tolkien is offline
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Default Re: Magic Items under CBM

Jarkko: I won't address the Pikemen vs. Rodeleros argument (Squirrelloid addresses that very well), but your conclusion in regards to Roman Legions vs. Grecian/Macedonian Phalanxes is fairly erroneous.

The triumph of Roman Legions over Grecian/Macedonian Phalanxes had very little to do with their swords being far superior to pikes. The phalanx, by design, is a tactically inflexible formation: a massed, interlocking shield wall, the phalanx was designed for one purpose, and one purpose only: shock. In favorable terrain, a phalanx charge would put dozens of spear-tips on an opposing enemy soldier, and, with the right momentum, could easily sweep away the stoutest of enemies. This is the lesson of the Greco-Persian wars, and the conquest of Alexander the Great: that is, never, ever try to stand in the way of a fully formed, charging phalanx. Marathon, certainly, provides evidence of such, as well as countless battles involving the phalanx during it's heyday. The phalanx was also superior to other infantry (and cavalry) in a frontal clash, and can perform spectacularly on the defense. Thermopylae gives some indication of that.

The flaw, however, of the phalanx is not in it's ability to decimate opponents in a frontal assault (that is proven well enough), but in it's tactical inflexibility. Phalanxes are by their very nature inflexible, and incredibly difficult to maneuver. If attacked on the flank, a phalanx would be unable to respond, as turning a massive shield-wall-line on a dime would mean those on the very end would have to run miles. This is, of course, the lesson of Cannae (this was back when the Romans still used the Grecian phalanx system): with insufficient cavalry to defend the flanks, and the retreat of the Carthaginian center to string the battle-lines into an inward crescent, the phalanx loses it's linear cohesion, and is quickly surrounded and chopped to pieces.

Another fatal weakness of the phalanx was it's poor response to terrain. The phalanx, also by nature, requires good terrain to for it's full potential to shine. Nothing in the ancient (and pre-gunpowder) era was likely to resist a fully formed phalanx charging on even terrain with a slightly downhill slope: the frontal momentum would shatter the army. However, when terrain becomes uneven, hilly, swampy, whatever, the phalanx loses it's unit cohesion, and is unable to perform as promised.

So there we have the pros and the cons of the phalanx formation:
Pros:
Incredibly devastating shock factor, outstanding defensive capabilities, and well-nigh invincible frontal momentum
Cons:
Tactically inflexible/requires favorable terrain

Once you view a phalanx in such a light, everything else about the general composition of a Hellenistic army makes perfect sense. Light cavalry, peltasts (and other skirmishers), etc, were all designed to compensate for the phalanx's poor flexibility and vulnerability to flanking, and were the principle units used in terrain unsuitable for phalanxes, whereas other auxiliaries, such as elephants, etc., were there to bolster it's frontal shock in terrain where the phalanx was perfectly usable. The end result was a devastating army with good maneuverability and flexibility.

The Roman Legion system evolved separately from the Macedonian phalanx system (see above): the birth of the Roman Republic, set in hilly Italy, lacked access to sufficient auxiliaries to compensate for it during it's wars, the legion system began to evolve in a different direction. Thus, the manipular legion is born, and the phalanx abandoned all together, adopted from the Samnites in the Second Samnite Wars (after a series of Roman military disasters in the hills). The manipular legions were phalanxes-in-transition (it doesn't reach the cohortal legion system, with a pure emphasis on sword, shield, and javelin, but close), so to speak: the legionnaire were given javelins, the long spears were dramatically shortened, and the sword (a phalangite usually did carry a sword, although it was almost never used, and was fairly pitiful) was emphasized instead, along with the shield. In addition, smaller units were formed to give the legion far superior flexibility, and instead of massing along a giant shield wall, the legionnaires were spaced out. This gave the legion far superior performance then the phalanx in more difficult terrain, and is key to many of the Roman victories against the phalanx. The Battle of Pydna, for example (the only instance where a manipular legion defeats a Macedonian phalanx in a frontal clash) was won when the legion retreated over uneven ground, causing the phalanx to fall apart, and, thus, made it possible to halt their momentum and get up close. Originally, they attempted to hack off the spear-tips or dodge behind the spear wall, with little success. In addition, the Roman flanks were triumphant and were able to roll up around the sides of the phalanx, who promptly dropped their spears and resorted to sword/shield combat with the legionnaires (which ended horribly, owing to the Romans' larger and heavier shields and longer swords). The Battle of Cynoscephalae is another example of flexibility in action. Here, despite hilly, uneven ground, the Macedonians were able to form a phalanx and charge downhill, pushing the legions back on the Macedonian right. On the left, however, the Romans sent elephants crashing into the Macedonians (who were still in marching order and were unable to form a phalanx in time), which allowed them to roll up the Macedonian flank.

There are a number of other battles out there, which I can't quite remember the names of, but in all of them, Roman victories were not achieved by pitting the legion head-on against the phalanx, but by flanking maneuvers and superior use of terrain to maximize the potential of the legions and to minimize phalanx cohesion.

In short: the legion vs. phalanx argument is irrelevant (and beaten to death), as it really isn't about pike vs. sword/shield, at all. Really, it was largepikeshieldwallaverageshieldsandpitifulswords vs. decentspearsjavelinslargeshieldsandgoodswords.

Sorry, I felt the need to write a wall-o-text.

EDIT: To add to the pike vs. sword debate:

It really depends. In units, pikes are the way to go. Pike formations are all about putting as many spear-points on a single enemy soldier as possible, preventing them from touching you, and skewering them as you move forward. In single combat, swords are far more useful, as a pike is unwieldy and can easily be avoided (if there's only one). Not sure how that's going to pan out in game, but :shrugs:

What about halberds? :v:
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Last edited by Tolkien; January 25th, 2010 at 02:20 AM..
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  #135  
Old January 25th, 2010, 03:00 AM

rdonj rdonj is offline
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Default Re: Magic Items under CBM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarkko View Post
There is a reason why armies and duellists didn't use twohanded swords. They did suck if you wanted to stay alive.
This is not really true. A quick two handed weapon (mainly 2 handed swords and staves) is very effective at defense, due due to the reach advantage, surface area suitable to parrying, and the fact that they can actually be much faster than a one handed weapon, believe it or not. A decent sized shield IS superior, particularly if you have to fight in a line or absorb arrow fire, but a dueler with a 2-hand can be plenty agile and difficult to strike. Axes and maces, and especially flails are less suitable as defensive weapons imo, due to being less well balanced, heavier in general, and having less suitable surface area for parrying. A one handed weapon, in contrast, being shorter, lighter, slower, and carrying less force behind them are much worse for parrying and cover a smaller percentage of the body from attack, which is where the shield comes in.

So my personal take would be that two handed swords (and possibly staves) should in general have higher defense values than they currently have and make up a bit for the lack of having a shield. On the other hand, I do agree with you that they should not be as good defensively as a shield is. But considering just a plain old blacksteel tower shield, it would take a sword with a minimum of 12 defense on it to even approach the usefulness of it as a defensive weapon, not to mention a vine or gleaming gold shield.

I don't necessarily agree that the 2-hand needs to be as good as a 1-hand and shield (which would be very difficult considering all the nice effects some shields get), but it should definitely be an acceptable alternative for the cost. Currently I don't think that's the case.
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  #136  
Old January 25th, 2010, 06:19 PM

PyroStock PyroStock is offline
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Arrow Re: Magic Items under CBM

Keep in mind forging shield+sword takes 2 mages (or turns), which means if I forge a 2-handed I can use the other mage to help reach a next research level or forge a another 2-handed weapon or cast a ritual or patrol or... etc.

In my current game, I wouldn't have the magic diversity to forge many of the good shields (10D5F, 10E5F, 5A5E, 5F5E, 10S5B) if it weren't for my pretender so there is a price to pay for that good sword/shield combo. A 2-handed sword that only requires 1 path shouldn't be as good as the good sword/shield combos.

I also think it's better to err on the side of caution, particularly as death magic is already powerful.
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  #137  
Old January 25th, 2010, 06:27 PM
Squirrelloid Squirrelloid is offline
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Default Re: Magic Items under CBM

The good shields are all 10n... what the hell is your list?

Also, death being strong is not an argument for death forgings to be weak. In particular, there are other good uses for death gems than forgings. Given that, if there are weak death forgings, that's just a guarantee that no one will ever forge them. You have to think about this from the perspective of a player with death gems. Is he going to use them on some crappy item or to summon tarts? Any use of death gems must be competitive with existing uses of death gems or it will not see play. As such, there being plenty of good uses for death gems already is a strong argument for death forgings to be *stronger*, not weaker.

Sure, you can consider it an advantage for nations that have death gems (but that's going to be everyone, since you need death for the endgame), or you can consider every 12d (CBM) spent on death forgings to be one less tart that player is summoning. Or 2.5 fewer liches. Etc... The only thing death being strong argues for is that death boosters need to be expensive or inconvenient (and they are - one takes 2 hands, ie no hammer use at the same time, and the other is 25d), since those are generally necessary forgings for accessing the good stuff, not optional forgings.
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  #138  
Old January 25th, 2010, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Magic Items under CBM

Looks like:

lantern shield: which can provide pretty cool decoy targets,
charcoal shield: good versus Markata in melee, what more could you ask?
Gleaming gold: because you ran out of N gems, and it's only 6, and what else is F for,
Accursed: when you really don't want people to hit you.
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  #139  
Old January 25th, 2010, 07:34 PM

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Default Re: Magic Items under CBM

You missed his scutata volturnus.
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  #140  
Old January 25th, 2010, 07:39 PM

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Default Re: Magic Items under CBM

Could be a shield of valor.
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