Post by scottenkainen on Oct 15, 2014 20:09:54 GMT -6
My copy of SEVEN vol. 1 explains the penalties associated with using a dagger or hand axe as a second weapon in the off-hand, but does not seem to explicitly state the advantage of it, which I'm guessing would be getting two attacks per turn (as per AD&D)?
Quite honestly, I wasn't very clear in the combat section. If anything needs a rewrite for the combined e-edition, that does.
The idea is that on the first turn of melee the longer (higher Weapon Class) weapon always goes first. There is no initiative roll. Therefore on THAT turn, it's always better to have a longer weapon.
However on the second and subsequent turn of melee, the initiative roll determines who strikes first, UNLESS the rolls are tied, in which case:
If the initiative rolls are tied, then the combatant wielding the weapon with the lower Weapon Class will attack during the first set (those with identical Weapon Classes will attack simultaneously). (October 15, 2014 comment: This "set" terminology is confusing. What I mean is that he will attack first.) If the classes differ by 2-4 steps, then the combatant with the lower weapon class will also be entitled to one additional attack. If they differ by 5 or more steps, then he will be entitled to two additional attacks.
Since ties will happen an expected 1 out of 6 times, this can give shorter weapons a big advantage after the first turn. For example, on the second turn and after, a weapon with a Weapon Class 5 lower than the opposing weapon will get 2 additional attacks 1/6th of the time--or an expected 8 attacks for every 6 of his opponent. All things being equal this increases attack effectiveness by 33%.
Fighting with an off-hand weapon will do this:
An attacker who is wielding a dagger in his off-hand will lower the Weapon Class of his primary weapon on the second and subsequent turn of melee by 2 against opponents wearing no armor or leather armor, and by 1 against opponents wearing mail or plate armor. Using an axe in one’s off-hand will have converse effects—lowering Weapon Class by 1 against no armor or leather and by 2 against mail and plate. (Use the equivalent Armor Classes for monsters.)
Thus, using a weapon in your off-hand will probably give you a higher expected attack effectiveness, although the exact numbers will in part depend on the Weapon Class of the other guy's weapon. You can sort of average the probabilities, and I think you'll find that the advantage is roughly equivalent to a +1 to hit or slightly higher. But that's difficult to see or predict.
Does that make sense?
By the way, this kind of sort of tracks Chainmail, kind of sort of. And in my semi-defense as a sometimes incoherent writer, in my view the Chainmail rules aren't really that clear either.