Halfswording and Pommel Clubing

I’m still digesting the fight rules so there’s probably something that clarifies this in the text that I just can’t find.

The rules have clear indications about shortening a weapon and it’s impact on positioning, but I can’t find many details about how, if at all, it would modify damage or weapon functionality.

For a very specific example, fighting manuals from the middle ages suggested that knights would almost never use the actual blades of their swords against an opponent in mail or plate. Instead, they would either half sword (i.e. grab the blade with their left hand) to try poking it between loose points in the armor or hold their weapon completely by the blade to use the pommel as a club/mace. (history buffs, I agree that this is a major simplification here, but gets the point across)

Is there any representation of these kinds of techniques in the Fight! rules or elsewhere? I thought I would find it in the Weapons section or the appendix of weapons, but no such luck. Specifically I’m wondering:

  1. Should a technique like half-swording confer a mechanical benefit in this system or is there no precedent for that in RAW?
    a) If there is a precedent for this kind of technique, what would qualify someone to use it?
  2. If my knight flips his sword around and uses it as a mace, does it become a mace for damage, weapon speed, and verses armor purposes? Would it still use the sword skill in that case or would it use cudgel now?

I assume that the answer to all of these questions is “no” based on what I’ve read. The sword would be a sword no matter how it’s held. It just might get a little shorter if you hold it different. Just curious if I’m missing something.

I also looked in these forums and on reddit and couldn’t find an answer, but if it’s been asked already sorry about that! I can remove the post.

Thanks!

Hi @ZachJ!

Sounds to me like you’re probably going to find what you’re looking for in the Fight! section!

I can see few specific points in RAW to give you that feel.

~

re: your point 1.
Look at Great Strike (p442).

Note that the requirements for this are to get 2 hands onto your weapon (so “half-swording”), and that it takes 2 actions.

You then either get:

  • extra Power (which translates to extra damage)
    or
  • extra VA (Versus Armour, which translates to finding the armour’s weak point).

Additionally, it bypasses your opponent’s Block action.

So, narratively, maybe I’m winding up my blow hand hammering my opponent as hard as I can… but alternatively, I’m getting in close and slowly forcing the pointy end through a gap in the armour.

They’re really satisfying and lovely fun when you can land them.

~

re: your point 2.
Look at Shortening Weapons (p458), where you can alter your grip and use hilts / pommels / beaks (p555 for the stats).

That not only might allow you to overcome some of the positioning penalty (if the shorter weapon has the advantage), but you can bring that spiked pommel into play like a can-opener.

(Costs for adding these are under Arms section, on p202 for Humanity, p125 for Dwarves, p242 for Orcs - Elves use the human cost for this, referenced on p157).

~

Do note that BWG considers the hilt to be a different weapon from the sword (for instance), with its own Weapon Speed, Power, Add, etc.

That can be useful if you’re using a “slower” weapon (lower Weapon Speed), where you need to intersperse you weapon’s strike actions with something else, as you can script something like: Strike (Axe) / Strike (Hilt) / Strike (Axe).

Additionally, don’t overlook something like Physical Action in Fight!, where you can try to snap armour straps, etc. to open up a nice target area…

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Thank you! That made things click for me. I knew there had to be some rules for how much damage the backend would do but I just couldn’t find it. Turns out it was just the table next to the one I was looking at. And beaks, spikes, etc were rules that I glazed over meaning to come back to, but those make a lot of sense now.

The great strike section specifically mentions half-swording now that I’m looking at it again. That abstraction is now much clearer to me.

Taking this a bit further, it does seem like a reasonably seasoned knight would have tools at his disposal to fight another armored knight with a sword, but would still more likely use other weapons if the options were available (like a great mace or a hammer).

Thanks again!

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