Fighting Shields

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Post Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:04 pm

Fighting Shields

I've been reading up on shields and it seems as if they are impossible to deal with. While getting close may get you a lucky shot, they seem to have had so many safety rules put around them as to make them impossible to deal with.

In a face to face conflict with a one sticker, the shield provides an obvious benefit the only ways to get around this are to hit the 'legal area' the shield provides. However, upon trying to hit said area the shield will move to block it, making a shield wielder almost invincible. An older topic seems to suggest that a two foot distance between shield wielder and attacker should be maintained to prevent 'hugging', which is one of the few ways to deal with a shield as it allows a shorter length weapon room to work while the longer sword arm has to wind more to be effective.

Shots to the legs will generally take a bend at the waist to be effective, putting the attacker in an unsafe position likely to be head shotted.

Additional problems seem to be that when reaction are made to block with a shield, it takes a shot that would otherwise have landed on the torso and either lifts it into the face or pushes it down for a groin shot.

One incidence where a player I know ran in to hit a shieldman who had taken a knee, dodged around him and struck his back had 'charging' called upon him. In another, a close range downward knife attack to the shoulder was said to be dangerous and likely to take out an eye and that a slashing forward motion had to be maintained, where it incidentally would be easily blocked.

Disarm and shatter are both ineffective against the shield, and because the level of shield doesn't effect its armor penalty, there is no reason to ever used anything less than a heavy shield, making the thirty boom the only real way to deal with this. And this isn't to mention the impossibility of dealing with shield walls without press, taunt, or other manuevers.

In addition, anyone can pick the things up. No disciplines necessary, making it pretty much the most effective defense for the least cost in the game.

I know somebody will say I'm just upset at being unable to deal with shields, which is partially true. Any suggestions on how to fight them will be appreciated, if highly scrutinized, but I think that perhaps shield needs to be fixed. The bang for your buck is excessively high for something that gives that much defense that costs just as much starting off as 1-3 points of armor.

Maybe a discipline should be required, even if just the first level (know that won't go over well) or perhaps increasing the armor penalty based in its class (really won't go over well)?

Well, time for people to chime in and tell me why I am horribly wrong and that shields are perfectly fine.


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Post Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:58 pm

good points... a few in return

ah yes... we have had many discussions about shields... and you make some good points - here are a few other things to consider.

One - Historically shields have been the best bang for the buck for millenia. Greek, phonecian, mesopotamian, and african tribal warriors have used shields effectively in climates that preclude heavy metal armor.

They are relatively easy to construct, require little maintenance, and made of cheap and plentiful materials (hide, wood, bronze strips, iron banding, etc.) In short, they are historically a good way to face a skilled opponent and stand a decent chance of surviving.

The 300 spartans used this to their advantage in holding a line against tens of thousands of zeno's troops from the persian empire. Superior shields and helms (bronze) along with good field position, allowed them to hold for days against enemies using hide shields and lacking metal helms.

Now as for countering the shield in-game:

Several strategies exist, including multiple opponents. A shield user is generally less mobile, and more easily boxed in (even light weight game shields are bulky and hard to run with).

Crush is extremely effective against shields, (ask a few pcs they are scared to death of it)

Magic attacks such as sleep a root are also much harder to avoid.

Two weapon style can also do fairly well against shields.

Try fighting with your off-hand. Most shield weilders are used to facing right-handed opponents, and you can often slide the guard with a left handed attack.

Go for quick thrusts - spears and staves, or longswords, rather than slashing attacks when an opening presents. This is faster and harder to block.

If your weapon is leading and you do not make physical contact body to body it is not charging. works similar to basketball. Just because someone isn't happy that you ran past them don't get frazzled by the charging argument. (At the same time it is not okay to run into opponents). If the person backs up to avoid you, that is their choice - not you charging. Charging is when they are planted and you run over them.

Distraction works well, look for your opponent to be manuevering around a tree, or other cover, or avoiding thrown weapons if you are a grenadier, and use their blocking to gain other openings.

Overall, to beat a shield you need to be a smarter, more nimble fighter, or have other advantages.

Also - in the past shields have been shattered by a number of monsters, traps, spells, potions, etc. Remember - just because it hasn't happened recently doesn't mean it can't.

And - unless you have a reason for not using a shield, by all means, use one if you want. They are a good investment in keeping a player alive, if you are willing to go through the hassle of carrying the thing.
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Post Tue Nov 21, 2006 9:27 pm

Medium speed strike to the shield weilding shoulder (left), use the momentum from the block along with a quick flick of the wrist to strike the open Right leg. Bounce out of weapon range and wait for your next opportunity.
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Post Wed Nov 22, 2006 7:39 am

Fighting against a person with a shield is hard, but can be done.

The targets you go for are
1. Weapon arm, block there attack with your shield and hit their extended weapon arm. Most people leave there elbow out, so hit it.
2. Legs! If you use a long enough sword you can hit a shield wielders legs all day long
3. Many people using a shield drop their shield opening there shoulder area up.
4. The best way to fight a shield is to use feints, counter attacks, and have a shield of your own.

Here are the most powerful fighting styles in game in my opinion
1. Short sword and board
2. 2 weapons
3. Spear/ polearm
4. sword
5. short sword

A person with a sword and shield will win in a fight if everything else is equal.

And there is always ways to destroy shields and crush works great against them!
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Post Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:20 am


what is a board?

A person with a sword and shield will win in a fight if everything else is equal.

Maybe I missed something, but isn't this the point of shields. They are a tremendous tactical advantage. Yes, there are some game mechanics (crush, spells) that put shield weilders at a slight disadvantage, but I think you are ahead....provided you don't drop that shoulder. :wink:
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Post Wed Nov 22, 2006 8:24 am

by board he means shield.
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Post Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:39 am

one other thing...

headed weapons are great for taking on a sheild too. People tend to underestimate weapons like the battle axe, and block the haft rather than the head, leaving the head to still get shoulder or hip.
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Post Wed Nov 22, 2006 2:42 pm

Also oneother note, unless this has been changed.. Disarm is a surge call.. while it may not get rid of the shield if you call Disarm and hit the shield and they lose their weapon.. which gives you an advantage I would say!
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Post Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:44 pm

For the record Tony Ku, I made the same suggestion years ago, if dual wielding is limited then shield should be too. The answer then(as it doesn't seem you really got a straight answer to your basic question of why it's not restricted or more costly) was that a shield was defensive, dual wielding was offensive and that there were IG ways to destroy a shield. Seeing as there are ways to destroy weapons now maybe this DOES need to be looked at again. I still contend that disarm should affect shields and if you can't drop your shield hits on it become crush, that would even the playing field greatly. Basically if youwant to beat a shield wielder become a swashbuckler, they get disarm and dual wield, 2 extremely effective ways to combat a shield wielder.

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Post Wed Nov 22, 2006 3:53 pm

Well, it sounds like there a variety of tricks to fighting shields, though most involve rules advantages from skills- thank you for all of these, some may be adopted into my fighting style if possible, though I'm not sure I like the idea that everyone should use a shield. It looks as if beating a shield- at Final Haven- involves a great deal of personal training, more so than it takes to learn to fight using a shield.

However, if sword and board is more powerful than two sticking, than why does two sticking take a discipline skill to obtain where as shield does not? Sure it can put out more 'hits' but its defense is negligible in comparison. The argument of 'anyone could pick up a shield' is equal to the argument 'anyone can swing two sticks', so it seems to not be a logic issue.

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