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Anyone else feel that halberds are very underrated?

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Comments

  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 5,450
    Often we BG fans evaluate weapon types by the ultimate examples of those weapons available in the game.

    The Chelsey Crusher is pretty good for BG1:EE. But that alone wouldn't encourage a power gamer to take ***** Halberds, and ** Two-Handed Weapon Style.

    But, isn't one of the best weapons you can get in BG2 that halberd you find lying around in the Underdark? Is that one "the Wave"? I don't remember the name.

    There's another dragonslaying one you can find near Firkraag.

    And then, in ToB, isn't there a halberd that some powergamers claim you need to easily defeat the big dragon boss near the end? Again, I forget the names.

    Could one of you young people still in full possession of your minds and memories help me out here with all these names?

    Anyway, I think it might be a choice that powergamers would like to have one party member with ***** Halberds and **Two-Handed Weapon Style.

    Moomintroll
  • MoomintrollMoomintroll Member Posts: 1,481
    @BelgarathMTH‌

    There was the Wave, Halberd. Immediately reached legendary status (in my head) by its inclusion in the game manual as a rare and powerful weapon that could be forged if the player could but only find its lost, sundered parts.

    Dragon's Bane. Does +6 vs dragons and apparently is found in the unseeing eye quest, come to think of it, it must be that funky looking one in one of those strange organic blobby things where the Beholders keep their treasures.

    The one I always remember is Duskblade, which is found in the corrupted temple of Amaunator.

  • Eadwyn_G8keeperEadwyn_G8keeper Member Posts: 541
    Mhamza said:

    @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.

    I have always imagined Excalibur to be comparable to the Bastard Sword category which can be wielded with one hand by Elite Warriors but is also suited to 2-handed use by lesser mortals. I should have thought Arthur in melee would have been mounted with shield, heavy spear, Excalibur, Dagger and Flail. The Flail and Spear however would have been affixed to the horse rather than Arthur.

  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
    edited September 2014
    In D&D proper (if ToEE is to be an example), long weapons give you an ATTACK OF OPPORTUNITY against an opponent trying to close in on you (for example, Halberd vs dagger). This is a *huge* advantage against vanilla opponents (and useless against nimble DEX fighters)!

    If the engine permitted that, people would have paid due respect to two handers, especially halberds and spears (gaining attack of opportunity even against 2-handed swords).

    KamigoroshiMoomintrollEadwyn_G8keeper
  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 780
    Ygramul said:

    In D&D proper (if ToEE is to be an example), long weapons give you an ATTACK OF OPPORTUNITY against an opponent trying to close in on you (for example, Halberd vs dagger). This is a *huge* advantage against vanilla opponents (and useless against nimble DEX fighters)!

    If the engine permitted that, people would have paid due respect to two handers, especially halberds and spears (gaining attack of opportunity even against 2-handed swords).

    That's 3e, and BG is 2e.

  • GoodSteveGoodSteve Member Posts: 607
    Even in 3e the Halberd wasn't considered a "reach" weapon strangely enough. There were some though that basically allowed you to attack opponents 10 feet away instead of 5, such as the Glaive, Guisarme, Longspear and Spiked Chain. Very few of them however allowed the weilder to attack opponents which were adjacent to them, polearms being unweildy against opponents past their intended reach.

  • AnduinAnduin Member Posts: 5,745
    Look.

    Swords can parry. Can be used from horseback. And... I think this is important cannot be used for any other purpose apart from killing another human being. You do not hunt with a sword. It is the wrong type of tool.

    Halberds, spears and other polearms are used to protect infantry formations from horsed units. When these infantry units break, they will quickly succumb, because all a lone infantry man can do is wave it about, throw it (and leave himself without a weapon), whilst a swords man can bypass the point (Roman tactics involved collecting the spear on the shield, although they were armed with shortswords so had less reach) and deliver a killing blow. Although you can catch a nice boar or deer with your spear and eat well.

    Warhammers, maces and flails are armour denters. If your foe is well protected, staving that protection in so he can't move is better then trying to cut him. Although heavier swords also did the job and could be used on the peasantry as well. Your hammer could also take the dents out and it is pretty easy to guess where the idea actually came from to use them in battle...

    Lastly swords are so ingrained into our culture, people still shake hands with their right hand, a pact of honour and trust, as a man is giving you his sword arm (and also why left handers wher persecuted so...)

    YgramulcognoscentusBelgarathMTH
  • Son_of_ImoenSon_of_Imoen Member Posts: 1,763
    edited September 2014
    When I was young I made copies of the Polearm chapter in one of the AD&D guidebooks, I think it was Unearthed Arcana. I used to drool over all the different types. One of the wonderful uses in history is the use of the 'goedendag' in the battle at Kortrijk in 1302 where Flemish weavers and other artisans defeated a French army of knights. Contrary to common belief, a 'goedendag' isn't a mace with spikes, but a thick kind of dirk set on top of a pole with a thick metal band. The dirk could be used to stab between the joints of a knights armour, while the heavy metal band could be used to strike down with force to knock a knight of it's horse.

    *edit: another version might have a wooden band inset with spikes, I saw that one in a book about the hundred years war, perhaps that one was confused with a mace in common perception (even worse is the confusion with a flail).

    In BG I always greatly enjoy Kivan in the second rank with a +2 Halberd if the fighting is in too tight corners for his bow. And I had my Blade Kheltick wield a Halberd, but eventually he beat the game wielding Belm and Kundan: the latter set gave him better attacks per round and better AC.

    It's kind of sad there isn't a bigger choice of halberds nor a bigger choice of other polearms: glaives, guisarmes, bill-guisarmes, luzern hammers, to name the most famous but the list goes on and on

    KamigoroshiKloroxJuliusBorisov
  • GoodSteveGoodSteve Member Posts: 607
    edited September 2014
    Anduin said:

    Look.

    Swords can parry. Can be used from horseback. And... I think this is important cannot be used for any other purpose apart from killing another human being. You do not hunt with a sword. It is the wrong type of tool.

    Halberds, spears and other polearms are used to protect infantry formations from horsed units. When these infantry units break, they will quickly succumb, because all a lone infantry man can do is wave it about, throw it (and leave himself without a weapon), whilst a swords man can bypass the point (Roman tactics involved collecting the spear on the shield, although they were armed with shortswords so had less reach) and deliver a killing blow. Although you can catch a nice boar or deer with your spear and eat well.

    Warhammers, maces and flails are armour denters. If your foe is well protected, staving that protection in so he can't move is better then trying to cut him. Although heavier swords also did the job and could be used on the peasantry as well. Your hammer could also take the dents out and it is pretty easy to guess where the idea actually came from to use them in battle...

    Lastly swords are so ingrained into our culture, people still shake hands with their right hand, a pact of honour and trust, as a man is giving you his sword arm (and also why left handers wher persecuted so...)

    While the sword is a good weapon and has many uses I still feel that the Halberd specifically is a much more versatile weapon. With an axe blade on the front it is great for cleaving through unarmored foes with ease from the safety of the long haft. Against foes on horseback the sharpened metal point on the top was ideal for striking them before they can strike you, while also being a great option for thrusting when in a tight formation which wouldn't allow one to easily swing a weapon, beating even some swords that do not have a proper point like the scimitar or katana, all whilst doing so from the relative safety of a long reach. Thirdly, most Halberds had a long spike that jutted out opposite the axe head which when swung had tremendous force behind it (being at the end of a very long pole tends to do that) and was ideal for piercing heavy plate or shields. The Halberd was a "multi-tool" amongst weapons and pretty damn frightening to boot. I think it is definitely an underappretiated weapon in most fantasy role playing games including BG1 and 2.

    Post edited by GoodSteve on
  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 780

    When I was young I made copies of the Polearm chapter in one of the AD&D guidebooks, I think it was Unearthed Arcana. I used to drool over all the different types. One of the wonderful uses in history is the use of the 'goedendag' in the battle at Kortrijk in 1302 where Flemish weavers and other artisans defeated a French army of knights. Contrary to common belief, a 'goedendag' isn't a mace with spikes, but a thick kind of dirk set on top of a pole with a thick metal band. The dirk could be used to stab between the joints of a knights armour, while the heavy metal band could be used to strike down with force to knock a knight of it's horse.

    *edit: another version might have a wooden band inset with spikes, I saw that one in a book about the hundred years war, perhaps that one was confused with a mace in common perception (even worse is the confusion with a flail).

    In BG I always greatly enjoy Kivan in the second rank with a +2 Halberd if the fighting is in too tight corners for his bow. And I had my Blade Kheltick wield a Halberd, but eventually he beat the game wielding Belm and Kundan: the latter set gave him better attacks per round and better AC.

    It's kind of sad there isn't a bigger choice of halberds nor a bigger choice of other polearms: glaives, guisarmes, bill-guisarmes, luzern hammers, to name the most famous but the list goes on and on

    I owned Unearthed Arcana. The polearms were awesome.

  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 7,027
    My skalds use halberds. The Chelsey Crusher was great for them because they only had one Apr already.

    They tend to not get any love because no npcs are proficient in them.

    Plus all that history stuff.

    JuliusBorisovArdul
  • GoodSteveGoodSteve Member Posts: 607
    deltago said:

    My skalds use halberds. The Chelsey Crusher was great for them because they only had one Apr already.

    They tend to not get any love because no npcs are proficient in them.

    Plus all that history stuff.

    Kivan in BG:EE comes stock with pips in Halberds and I think Sarevok comes with a pip or two in Halberds when you pick him up, not 100% on that though. But yes, definitely underrepresented among the NPC's.

  • DreadKhanDreadKhan Member Posts: 3,859
    Warhammers arent really polearms, they're historicly hafted like a mace, but tend to look more like a claw hammer than a sledge... Lucerne hammers though are polearms, and damn weird looking.

    Halberds and other polearms are pretty hard to use very effectively, but if you know what you're doing, they are extremely versatile and effective. Real world conscripts would use pikes more likely, or a shorter variant, halbreds, lochabar axes, ranseurs, etc were pretty much standard gear for professional soldiers not interested in grtting killed. Reach is a heck of s shield!

    in game, there sre a few good halberds, but they arent in BG1... you get the one +2 Halberd pretty late. Harmonium can be a decent halberd right after starting BG2. The others are specialized use mainly.

  • abacusabacus Member Posts: 1,308
    There are solid options dotted here and there, but if you want a two-handed weapon that has varied & well scaling options right through the series, then there's really only one option...

    The humble quarterstaff!

    RAM021KloroxEadwyn_G8keeper
  • YgramulYgramul Member Posts: 1,059
    Anduin said:

    Look.

    Swords can parry. Can be used from horseback. And... I think this is important cannot be used for any other purpose apart from killing another human being. You do not hunt with a sword. It is the wrong type of tool.

    Halberds, spears and other polearms are used to protect infantry formations from horsed units. When these infantry units break, they will quickly succumb, because all a lone infantry man can do is wave it about, throw it (and leave himself without a weapon), whilst a swords man can bypass the point (Roman tactics involved collecting the spear on the shield, although they were armed with shortswords so had less reach) and deliver a killing blow. Although you can catch a nice boar or deer with your spear and eat well.

    Warhammers, maces and flails are armour denters. If your foe is well protected, staving that protection in so he can't move is better then trying to cut him. Although heavier swords also did the job and could be used on the peasantry as well. Your hammer could also take the dents out and it is pretty easy to guess where the idea actually came from to use them in battle...

    Lastly swords are so ingrained into our culture, people still shake hands with their right hand, a pact of honour and trust, as a man is giving you his sword arm (and also why left handers wher persecuted so...)


    These are some interesting points.

    I'm curious: could you provide some references to read up on this stuff.

    Thanks.

  • AnduinAnduin Member Posts: 5,745
    Stuff for reference. I'm from England, Birmingham (Where J.R.R. Tolkien came from and the inventor of cotton wool Mr Gamgee, Birmingham has lots of reasons to be more famous than that... But this a fantasy forum) and museums abound with stuff. Warwick Castle, more a medieval theme park is down the road, and I take children to the Lunt Museum in Coventry, also literally down the road (Well... Less than an hours drive away) Watching the children in my care get wrapped up in armour and then bashed with various weapons to show how good protection was provided is the main cause of heartattacks in teachers in my area. So I searched some stuff up.

    This site is the bomb on pole arms.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pole_weapon

    This made me giggle... Two handed swords were the weapon of choice against pole arms...

    In the 16th century, the large zweihänder was used by the elite German mercenaries known as doppelsöldners.[36] Zweihänder, literally translated, means two-hander. The zweihänder possesses a long blade, as well as a huge guard for protection. It is estimated that some zweihänder swords were over 6 feet (1.8 m) long, with the one ascribed to Frisian warrior Pier Gerlofs Donia being 7 feet (2.13 m) long.[37] The gigantic blade length was perfectly designed for manipulating and pushing away enemy pole-arms, which were major weapons around this time, in both Germany and Eastern Europe. Doppelsöldners also used katzbalgers, which means 'cat-gutter'. The katzbalger's S-shaped guard and 2-foot-long (0.61 m) blade made it perfect for bringing in when the fighting became too close to use a zweihänder

    It can be found under here...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword

    Warhammers... A tool of the battlefield...

    A particular use of the maul was by archers in the 15th and 16th centuries. At the Battle of Agincourt, English longbowmen are recorded as using lead mauls, initially as a tool to drive in stakes but later as an improvised weapon.[3] Other references during the century (for example, in Charles the Bold's 1472 Ordinance) suggest continued use.[4] They are recorded as a weapon of Tudor archers as late as 1562.

    Found here...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_hammer

    Wiki is your friend... Some good stuff though. When searching though, the more vague you are, the more info you will get. Bow and arrow for instance gives a lot more information about the weapon, compared to long bow, which hardly has any.

    JuliusBorisov
  • shank1025shank1025 Member Posts: 3
    The +3 Halberd that gives +1 strength (-1 int & wis) in the adventure mart is pretty amazing. The half orc barb I imported from BG 1 has 21 strength with it, 25 when raging! I love it on a Barb since he can't go above specialization, so there's plenty of points to throw at a halberd without limiting myself.

    JuliusBorisovNimranKlorox
  • ElrandirElrandir Member Posts: 1,585
    I love halberds, though I prefer the asian styles of polearms more than the european styles when it comes to talking about polearms outside of the game. I greatly love the guandao and pu dao from china, as well as the naginata from japan. The glaive would probably be my favorite european polearm, however. Like Kamigoroshi, I greatly appreciate blunt weapons as well. I don't have a hatred for swords though. In fact quite the opposite. My favorite weapons would have to be of a blunt variety for their sheer effectiveness (in my mind), but the "hand and a half sword/longsword/bastard sword/whatever you call it they were all the same, more or less", is my favorite sword type. The versatility of a long blade used with a shield, or if necessary, without, is the perfect blade type (for me. There's no true "perfect blade"). I'm also quite fond of the chinese jian and am rather fond of a variety of sabers. Katanas are nifty, but I prefer double-edged blades usually.

    Getting back to the game, however, I greatly enjoy giving my rangers halberds and spears, since it makes inventory management easier when using my bow. I also like having one "brute" character, such as Minsc, Sarevok, Keldorn, etc. using halberds as well. (assuming it's not a solo run)

    JuliusBorisovRAM021
  • BelanosBelanos Member Posts: 968


    -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.

    You forgot one. A character wielding a Halberd can attack from the second rank behind the front line characters because of their long reach.

    SharGuidesMyHandKlorox
  • KloroxKlorox Member Posts: 780
    Belanos said:



    You forgot one. A character wielding a Halberd can attack from the second rank behind the front line characters because of their long reach.

    Actually, greatswords do this too.

  • Son_of_ImoenSon_of_Imoen Member Posts: 1,763
    Klorox said:

    Belanos said:



    You forgot one. A character wielding a Halberd can attack from the second rank behind the front line characters because of their long reach.

    Actually, greatswords do this too.
    Without slicing in half the characters in the front line... it is a strange rule.

    KloroxSpjuv3rn
  • SCARY_WIZARDSCARY_WIZARD Member Posts: 1,429
    I like to use halberds, so I can treat them like pole axes in my character's hands.

    don't hate on my immershun :(

    ElrandirNimranJuliusBorisov
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