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Anyone else feel that halberds are very underrated?

SharGuidesMyHandSharGuidesMyHand Member Posts: 2,471
In my eyes, halberds are, at least at their core, arguably the best melee weapon in BG, but yet very few NPCs are proficient in them, and I see even fewer players talk about them.

Consider:
-They do the same damage as a 2-handed sword, and with a slightly quicker speed factor.
-They can do both piercing and slashing damage, whichever works better in a given situation. IMO, that's a significant advantage that sets them apart from any other melee weapon in the series.
-You can get your hands on a +1 halberd relatively early in BG1, and there's also a +2 weapon at some point later in the game. EE has also added a +4 halberd (though it allows for only 1 APR), which can also be gotten at a relatively early stage in the game.

It's hard for me to keep track of BG2's overflowing stock of magical weapons, but I seem to recall there being at least a few useful halberds in that game as well.

Anyone else share my feelings?

Post edited by SharGuidesMyHand on
meaglothRAM021booinyoureyesKamigoroshiNimrandeltagoDexterElrandirSCARY_WIZARDDJKajuru
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Comments

  • PaladinPaladin Member Posts: 335
    I agree, it does seem like an underrated weapon choice. When I make front line characters, I often give them both Halberd, Two-Handed Sword, and Two-Handed Weapon Proficiency.

  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    Yes. They seem to be overlooked, along with spears, which are also not bad. The impaler is a perfectly viable weapon for the second half of SoA, and can really dale out the damage. Two-handed swords get all the glory, and to be fair they are a lot cooler, but halberds are perfectly great, especially if you have a small–

    lunar
  • Abi_DalzimAbi_Dalzim Member Posts: 1,410
    Hm. I really like the idea of some of the halberds that are around, but the issue is that two-handed swords have better options early (Lilarcor) that are cheaper than, say, buying Suyuri's Blade from Ribald's. The Wave seems pretty damn awesome, but I'll usually have proficiencies set in stone by Chapter 6, so it's a little late to the party. And of course in the first game, Spider's Bane is just a lifesaver in so many situations that I don't want my primary fighter using anything else. I usually have Sarevok wield the Ravager in TOB, but that's the most I generally do.

  • lunarlunar Member Posts: 3,402
    Ravager is also one of the most dangerous weapons in the game, if not the most dangerous.

    JuliusBorisovDexterElectricMonk
  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 780
    Ravager is one of the best weapons in the series.

    I always liked that Kivan is proficient in them, although the times enemies get close enough to him to need a melee weapon are few and far between. ;)

    Where's the +4 halberd in BGEE?

    If I intend on using Halberds, and I'm starting in BG2, I usually end up adding points as a go. There just doesn't seem to be many available early, and as Abi_Dalzim mentions above, there are many 2 handed sword options that are just better early on.

    JuliusBorisov
  • TressetTresset Member, Moderator Posts: 7,740
    Klorox said:

    Where's the +4 halberd in BGEE?

    It is actually not a +4 halberd. It is the Chesley Crusher, a +2 halberd with an additional +4 to damage (i.e. +2 to hit and +6 to damage). The drawback is that it sets your APR to 1. It is wielded by Ingot the gnoll in the area with the cat waterfall and the Dryad of the Cloudpeaks. You have to kill him to get it.

    booinyoureyesJuliusBorisovDexterelminster
  • CaloNordCaloNord Member Posts: 1,807
    I'm very fond of having Minsc with a halberd, my bard with a spear and Keldorn with Carsomyr. . .
    I like using the less common weapons quite a lot! :)

    rufus_hobartNimranKloroxJuliusBorisov
  • booinyoureyesbooinyoureyes Member Posts: 6,162
    I think a lot of it has to do with people's preference for dual-wielding (looks cool... and you get TWO weapons, which helps if they grant you bonuses)

    Also, as @abacus‌ said, halberds and crossbows were usually the weapons of a peasant conscript rather than a trained warrior, which I certainly think has an effect on my perception as well.

    I actually used halberds on my bard last time I played Icewind Dale, and will probably do so again in IWD:EE.

    The Spartan in me really wants to be able to use a spear with a shield though (did it in pen and paper), but I doubt the game will ever allow it.

    KloroxJuliusBorisov
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    Basically, I tend not to use halbards because they look dumb!

  • TheGraveDiggerTheGraveDigger Member Posts: 336
    Heroes Prefer Swords
    "I'm pretty sure I'll be the main character. The people with swords usually are."
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HeroesPreferSwords

    Blade on a Stick
    "A polearm—such as a poleaxe, spear, halberd, or any other weapon that's a long stick with something sharp and metal on one end—is often the province of hapless Mooks: city guardsman, honor guard, angry natives, and so on."
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BladeOnAStick

    rufus_hobart
  • karnor00karnor00 Member Posts: 679
    For me, the main problem with the halberd is that it's a two-handed weapon. I pretty much don't use two-handed weapons at all other than Carsomyr (which is just that good). The extra damage doesn't compensate for losing an offhand weapon (or even a shield).

    The only really good halberd is the Ravager. But it's not available until mid-late ToB. I don't really want to build around using a mediocre weapon for most of the game just so I can use a great weapon at the end. If the Ravager was available in SoA you can bet I'd be using it.

    That's one of the reasons I think the Flail of the Ages is so amazing. It's a great weapon AND it's available very early in the game.

    KloroxDexter
  • FleshIsADesignFlawFleshIsADesignFlaw Member Posts: 39
    edited September 2014
    Dragon's Breath is a great weapon. +4 Thaco, 1d10+4 , +1 electrical/fire/poison/acid/cold. The only downside is that it's piercing damage.

    It's better than the wave, because the instant kills of the Wave are against weak creatures and the bonus damage is 15% of 15, ie 0.15*15=2.25 on average. Dragon's breath does 5 on average and covers all the elements.

    The problem with all but the most powerful two handed weapons (Carsomyr) is that dual wielding is vastly superior given the (disappointing) way it is implemented.

    NimranKloroxJuliusBorisov
  • FardragonFardragon Member Posts: 4,511
    Swords have a lot of symbolism associated with them, going at least as far back as the iron age.

    booinyoureyes
  • elminsterelminster Member, Developer Posts: 15,980
    I think the change that made them do slashing or piercing damage helped them quite a bit. The original BG2 wouldn't have had this so a lot of opinions probably were formed based on them just doing piercing damage.

    JuliusBorisov
  • MhamzaMhamza Member Posts: 228
    The halberd is indeed very underrated, and I think the reason why most who opt for 2h style use a greatsword instead of a halberd is because its more glamorous. Think about it, more often than not, any type of heroic figure who wields 2h weapons will use a greatsword, e.g. King Arthur.

    JuliusBorisov
  • Eadwyn_G8keeperEadwyn_G8keeper Member Posts: 541
    Halberds and other Polearms were primarily effective because they were CHEAP ways for Light Infantry to neutralize the very expensive Armored Knight and Warhorse. Providing if nothing else a holding screen to protect the deadly Archers.

    Does anyone know details about whether lightly armored NPCs such as Kivan actually are protected from damage when supporting a Tank NPC Swordsman engaged in Melee because they are wielding from behind the longer-reach weapons of Halberd or Spear??

    RAM021JuliusBorisovlolien
  • Kivan can't be hit if he is standing behind an other melee fighter with less reach. If he is fighting with someone with less reach.

    So long sword (or scimitar, im looking at you dark elf) enemies fighting Yeslick, can be hit by Kivan with a Harbelt or spear (maybe staff?). But Kivan can't be hit.

    booinyoureyeselminsterJuliusBorisov
  • Eadwyn_G8keeperEadwyn_G8keeper Member Posts: 541

    Kivan can't be hit if he is standing behind an other melee fighter with less reach. If he is fighting with someone with less reach.

    So long sword (or scimitar, im looking at you dark elf) enemies fighting Yeslick, can be hit by Kivan with a Harbelt or spear (maybe staff?). But Kivan can't be hit.

    Really good to get that nailed down.

    JuliusBorisovlolien
  • TolbenTolben Member Posts: 26
    I always thought that the halberd you get for giving the demon lord the Silver Dragon eggs in Ust Natha was kind of lame, considering the fact that it's a +4 halber and all it can do is cast blindness a couple of times per day. The item itself has a cool history, but it should be able to inflict blindness on hit instead.

    More on topic though, I also agree with the OP that halberds should take up more of the spotlight. I usually have my 2 handed fighters specialize in halberds after they finish specializing in two handed swords since the Ravager is one of the best weapons in the game. The Dragons Breath halberd is also great since it does so many different types of damage, which makes resisting its damage almost impossible.

    Dexter
  • They should have made Dorn a Harbelt wielder. Change Rancor an Presto.

    I don't know about Kivan in EE.but in vanilla he had a spear.

    RAM021KamigoroshiJuliusBorisov
  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 11,460
    The only problem with halberds is that there are 1-2 decent +2 halberds, 1-2 decent +3, 1-2 decent +4...etc. The lack of variety forces metagaming and gets annoying. Compare them with long swords, two-handed swords, quarterstaves...

    That's why I combine halberds and spears into a single "polearms" proficiency. That way dropping proficency points into it gives you confidence that you're not limiting yourself more than if you had gone 2-hand swords or something.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 5,309

    The only problem with halberds is that there are 1-2 decent +2 halberds, 1-2 decent +3, 1-2 decent +4...etc. The lack of variety forces metagaming and gets annoying. Compare them with long swords, two-handed swords, quarterstaves...

    That's why I combine halberds and spears into a single "polearms" proficiency. That way dropping proficency points into it gives you confidence that you're not limiting yourself more than if you had gone 2-hand swords or something.

    A "Polearm" proficiency sounds indeed interesting. But only including spears and halberds in it doesn't make much sense to me. After all; staffs, spears, halberds, warhammers and two-handed axes (in the case of IWD:EE) *all* count as polearms in the real world.

    But then again, if all weapons are thrown into such main proficiency categories (i.e. bludgeon, polearms, blades, bows, projectiles, ect.), then the whole character build planning would get watered down quite a bit.

  • MoomintrollMoomintroll Member Posts: 1,481
    edited September 2014
    Mhamza said:

    The halberd is indeed very underrated, and I think the reason why most who opt for 2h style use a greatsword instead of a halberd is because its more glamorous. Think about it, more often than not, any type of heroic figure who wields 2h weapons will use a greatsword, e.g. King Arthur.

    @Mhamza‌

    Out of curiosity, where have you heard of Arthur using a greatsword?
    This is all wildly speculative.. but you could assume Excalibur is short enough to be wielded with one hand, as in Chretien De Troyes, Percival, Gawain borrows it, and he has a shield (several actually in that book) which is described in detail in Gawain and the Green Knight.

    I realise none of this preculedes the use of other weapons, or even just reasonable assumption that they used weapons available in whatever period you place them, I am curious where you have this from?

    As an aside, in Malory's Le Morte D'Arthur, Arthur uses a spear at the battle of Camlann; Mordred, impaled, thrusts himself "up to the bur," for one last swipe at his father.


  • MhamzaMhamza Member Posts: 228
    edited September 2014
    @Moomintroll‌ I always figured that Excalibur was a weapon influenced by Celtic design and so like an early version of a greatsword. Then again, I could be wrong and Excalibur could be a broadsword since I think that was the weapon most commonly used by nobles.

    MoomintrollJuliusBorisov
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