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Thread: What are the best Fighter tactics?

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    What are the best Fighter tactics?

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    Fighters, as the kings of martial arts, have an untold number of methods for reducing unfriendly creatures to an oozing pile of heat (or cold). At mid and high levels, this necessarily involves a good bit of magic. But at low levels the fighter has two friends: cunning, and feats.

    So my first attempt:
    At low levels, the fighter's best tactics are to become friends with a hand-and-a-half sword, use a very large shield, and to take Improved Overrun. The shield keep his AC up, the bastard sword keeps his damage up, and when he knocks opponents over, he stands right next to them, since a prone opponent is an easy target, and an opponent who's trying to stand up is an even easier target.
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    hit it till it falls down?

    (sorry couldn't resist)

    or, still in the same vein, you could use a "little" weapon i made up as a lark... i give you the Sword of Man'Gargh:

    One-Handed Exotic Melee Weapon
    75gp, 1d10(s), 2d6(m), 19-20 x3, no range, 20lbs., Slashing or Bludgeoning, hardness 10, hp 30.

    A Man'Gargh is an unusually shaped sword, being almost as wide as it is long. The blade is perhaps 3'-4' long, and nearly 3' wide, with a long handle partly counter-balancing the weight. It requires a STR of at least 15 or higher, and to be carrying no more than a light load, to be able to use it as a sword.

    Anyone wielding a Man'Gargh takes a -1 penalty to AC due to the difficulty of recovering from swinging it. When used in a full attack action, each subsequent attack after the first increases the AC penalty by one per attack. Taking an attack of opportunity counts as an extra attack worth an extra -1, from the time the attack is taken to the beginning of the wielder's next turn. This penalty remains until the beginning of the wielders next turn.

    A Man'Gargh is too large and heavy to wield in one hand without special training (the exotic weapon proficiency feat), though it can be wielded as a martial weapon in two hands. A wielder who is proficient (as in, has taken the exotic weapon proficiency feat) can take a full-round action to use the Man'Gargh as a shield, and still make a single attack in that round. Doing so increases the AC penalty to -2 for that round. Using it only as a shield still incurs the normal -1 penalty to AC for wielding the Man'Gargh. A Man'Gargh counts as a heavy steel shield for purposes of AC.
    for those who are curious, yes, it was based off of some of the manga and anime that you see where a character is wielding an outrageously sized sword. the rules for it were adapted from the warhammer entry in the complete warrior, and the shield entry from the phb. the name is literally a combination of "manga" for the origin, and "argh" for the lame pun. and yes, there is a Greater Sword of Man'Gargh as well. it has 5' reach, is usable as a reach or non-reach weapon each round-but if used as a reach weapon, it cannot be used as a shield in the same round, weighs 25lbs., counts as a metal tower shield, and has 40hp.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

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    Don't just rush forward into combat. Use the time that they approach you to size up and study your opponents. This way you can see who you need to hit first, ie. the opponents spell casters.

    Have the fighters up front to provide a shield and your ranged attackers behind them to fire upon the opponents spell casters. This way, if arrows or other missile weapons come flying in, the fighters can use their shields to help block those missiles from getting to the ranged attackers.

    Keep in mind that every encounter is going to have things that are unique to it, so you will have to make adjustments based on where you are at and how many opponents there are.

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    Sword-chucks.
    HARRY DRESDEN WIZARD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webhead View Post
    Sword-chucks.
    Indeed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sascha View Post
    Indeed.
    The power of the Sword-chucks lies not in the sword, nor in the chuck but in the synthesis of the two.
    HARRY DRESDEN WIZARD
    Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations.
    Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
    No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

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    yeah, not thesis nor antithesis, but in synthesis lies the high road.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

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    ... ?

    Every fighter should learn the Power Attack feat. When it comes down to dealing damage as a fighter what is ultimately going to matter is strength bonuses and multipliers. A d8, d10 or even a d12 isn't going to matter much in the long run so spending a feat to get proficiency with the hand-and-a-half sword is a waste. IMO a weapon with a decent crit. range is the best option. You'll have to decide whether to opt for a shield or a two handed weapon.

    I'm not sure I believe in knocking my opponent over as an ultimate tactic as you waste an attack over running him/her/it. If an opponent is so powerful that you need to gain a such an advantage over it chances are that it will be bigger than you and thus harder to knock prone, in which case max damage is the safest way to go.

    Also, we might be forgetting defensive tactics here. I recognize that defensive fighters -such as the Dwarven Defender- tend to die from eventual attrition in a prolonged fight but defence might not be so bad if you've got more than one frontline warrior in your group.

    In the end it comes down to fighting styles and I don't think that there really is any way of determining an optimal build for a fighter as it depends much on the campaign and the type of opponents you fight.

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    Spiked Chain FTW.

    I'm quite fond of a spiked chain tripper build myself. Take advantage of your reach, AoO, & trip attempts. Take feats like power attack, weapon finesse, Defensive sweep, & IIRC there is a maneuver (stance) in the ToB that allows you to keep opponents you threaten from moving through you threatened area.

    If you like bows, take a couple levels of Fighter & then PrC into the Order of the Bow Init. from the CW or CA, Idk. Take the Rapid shot/Multi shot feat progression with a Composite longbow & you'll be firing a lot of arrows & dealing a lot of damage. As a bonus you can even take a few levels of scout & have skirmish damage.

    Also you could just go with a Warforged Barbarian (Lion totem variant)/ Warfored juggernaut / Frenzied Berserker & just cleave, sunder, bullrush through opponents & pounce.

    It all just depends on how you want to play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by d-_-b View Post
    Also, we might be forgetting defensive tactics here. I recognize that defensive fighters -such as the Dwarven Defender- tend to die from eventual attrition in a prolonged fight but defence might not be so bad if you've got more than one frontline warrior in your group.
    For d-b:
    Best low-level tactics: thickest affordable armor, tower shield, combat expertise, and improved trip. Stand next to your buddy who needs defending, and ready a 5-foot-step and trip attack against anyone getting close. Quick draw would come in handy here, so you could be ready for your free attack against a newly prone opponent.

    Seems like exotic weapons matter less at mid to high levels, since yes, that average 1 or 2 more points of damage doesn't scale. But don't forget that exotic weapons have other features, like higher crit multipliers and special attack options, that make them useful well into mid levels.
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    speaking of archery, my favorite archer to date has some levels of targetteer (sp?), some levels in a ranger variant class, a couple of deepwood sniper levels, and a few levels in cragtop warrior... which combination turned him into a excellent distance warrior capable of hitting anything he can spot, and with a range of nearly a mile or so depending on the specific bow and arrow being used.
    nijineko the gm: AG16, CoS. nijineko the player: AtG, RttToH; . The Journal of Tala'elowar Kiyiik! .
    CrystalBallLite: the best dice roller on the planet! . nijineko the archivist: the 3.x archive

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    A mile? That seems pretty far... over 5,000 feet without a problem? That's over 1500 yards, which is a feat for a gun...

    Cool though, I admit.

    By my name you can guess I prefer to play fighter classes as a player. When I start I usually pick a 1h weapon and take Weapon Focus right away. Big shield, biggest armor possible to maximize dex bonus. After that, it varies depending on style. I like combat expertise, personally. But like cplmac said, "Don't just rush forward into combat."

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    Ah, but rushing forward into combat catches your enemies flat-footed...

    Improved Initiative, Quick draw, and a greataxe. Keep their heads ringing. Or get some mounted feats and a lance. Just make sure you have mobility, so you can make a sneaky retreat once your heroic charge is complete.
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    I like smart tactical fighters. I also like to be able to hit things ALL the time so I avoid Power Attack as much as possible. I hate sacrificing Bab for anything!

    28 point buy I usually start with Str 16 (10 pts) Dex 10 (2 pts) Con 14 (6 points) Int 14 (6 points) Wis 10 (2 points) Cha 10 (2 points) I also hate having negative ability scores!

    Then I always stick with sword and shield. The more AC the better. Then focus on all the "Improved Feats", Improved Trip, Improved Bullrush, etc...

    At low levels let them come to you, or if they are ranged get to them asap.
    "I'm afraid it is you who are mistaken. About a great, many things."

    "It is not the rules that make or break a game, it's the GM and the players."


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    What are the best fighter tactics?

    This is really a question you should discuss with the party. If your the only fighter within it, then you might look at more defensive options and things like mobility to help guard the spell casters. At the later levels they're going to be able to do more damage then you can. Protect them, and they'll be able to do even more as they won't have to worry about defense (as much).

    If there's too many fighters/barbarians/paladins, then ya'll really need to work out what your roles are. Some should specialize on the quick attack/charge, and that's something a barbarian is great for with their +10 to move, but nothing says they have to. Their added hitpoints also make them good meat shields.

    And two fighters side by side with long spears? Someone gets close to them and it's not just one spear attack they're dealing with, but two because of reach. Or more if you have more folks you can spare for your spear wall. And, they're great for breaking charges since if I remember right spears set to recieve a charge get to strike first, and deal double damage.

    Fighters, while having the most options are at times too the hardest ones to select feats for, just because of that flexibility. Get with the rest of the party and see where it is they need some support and what are some tactics you can come up with as a party.

    Bottom line, don't build just for yourself.

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