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Thread: Choose your (military melee) weapon!

  1. #1
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    Choose your (military melee) weapon!

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    Something I've noticed about my new 4e game is that of the characters that have no restriction on their melee weapon choice all picked reach weapons. This has made me wonder if the game is unbalanced towards reach, or if everyone's just trying out the new reach rules. Since nobody picked the same weapon (we have glaive, halberd, and flail-chucks, er, I mean spiked chain), I'm not looking into the weapons themselves, just the categories of one-handed, two-handed, and two-handed reach. Pros and cons of each:

    One-handed:
    Pros: You can use a shield. This adds 2 to your AC (and only two; magic shields seem to be gone). You can also use Ranger feats that require two weapons.
    Cons: Low damage (d8)

    Two-handed (non-reach):
    Pros: Highest damage (d10-d12)
    Cons: No reach, no shield.

    Two-handed (reach):
    Pros: Reach one more square.
    Cons: Less damage than non-reach, also you do not flank or threaten at reach. Some DMs might restrict their use in confined spaces.

    At first glance, it looks like reach wins out, followed by sword and board. Two AC is a much better deal than the (average) one or two extra points of damage, so two-handed non-reach weapons seem to be the weakest choice. But then again, good melee combatants will use threatened squares (to discourage insta-flee) and flanking (anything to avoid having an encounter or daily power miss), so the extra reach will be wasted if you're using these tactics.

    Tactically, reach weapons should be used in the second rank, behind shieldmen, but that person would ideally be a striker, and none of the strikers are geared for two-handed weapons. Maybe there will be a forthcoming striker class that's suited for second-rank play.

    Did I miss anything?

    (Addendum: The reason I'm wondering about this is because I'm working on treasure loadouts, and trying to match the magic weapons to the party, as recommended by the DMG- the question is, is having a reach weapon more important than having a magic weapon of another category, or will a +1 Greatsword get used in favor of a non-magical glaive, for instance?)
    Last edited by Valdar; 07-02-2008 at 12:45 PM.

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    Two-handed weapons really seem to hit their stride when combined with certain fighter exploits and feats.
    "You know spies gamers, a bunch of *****y little girls." - Sam Axe

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    It really depends on what class/race you're picking, the rest of the party, and your DM, if you're talking about optimal choice.

    I'm finding weapon selection a more interesting choice in 4E as it isn't really all that clear which way is the best to go as a lot of it depends on your character.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aidan View Post
    Two-handed weapons really seem to hit their stride when combined with certain fighter exploits and feats.
    Aha- there's the issue. Our party of eight has no fighters, so I haven't really read up on them.

    Thanks!

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    It would really come down to where that particular PC will normally be during melee. If in front fighting hand to hand, or behind the front row.

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    A reach weapon is great for a Warlord for one.

    About the two handed non-reach though, the extra damage can really add up, especially when you are doing 2W and 3W with your encounter/dailies, or when you crit.

    Developer for Darkage Warlord, a Pen & Paper Games exclusive Medieval Wargame.

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    [quote=Valdar;36342]

    One-handed:
    Pros: You can use a shield. This adds 2 to your AC (and only two; magic shields seem to be gone). You can also use Ranger feats that require two weapons.
    Cons: Low damage (d8)

    Well the shield adds +1 or +2 depending on your proficiency or using feats to get Light Shield and then Heavy Shield

    Remember this +1 or +2 also applies to your Reflex! Very nice perk. Some powers and feats are geared towards shields too like Tide of Iron.

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