[Runequest] Horse Combat

Bjørn Are Stølen stolenbjorn at hotmail.com
Fri May 6 02:44:05 EST 2011

I don't agree on two levels here, but before I start arguing, I want to say -each to his own, if it rocks your boat, etc :)
First off, I think it's sad to play with people that treats their characters as numbers on a peace of paper. A norwegian adder is harmless, so If I want to walk through a cave wich is filled with norwegian adders, I'd be pretty scared. If someone states something like "Well those adders are only going to give me POT#1-bites, so I'll just wade through" in my games, well then I find someone else to play with. IMO the horse is only dangerous to you if you is afraid of it, if you're not aware of it, if you're outside a formation, and if the rider is skilled enough to make the horse do what it natural instincts protests against. (If the horse for some reason wants to do bad things to you, that's another case). When we do mixed melee's with foot-men and horses, the horsemen usually have a slight advantage on us, as they move increadibly fast on the field. The fantastic moverate of a horse should be what you should use in combat, if you want rules for making them lethal rather than psychology-rules. Horsemen should have a bonus on their initiative to reflect their elevated position, and move last, beeing able to circle and strike from behind after people have spent all their actions, etc. This way they get pretty nasty, even without lances, and trample-rules.

Secondly, trampeling beeing lethal is fair enough, but it's not that realistic. It's pretty hard to get a horse to harm a human, the french cavallery tried to trample the english boxes at waterloo time and time again, but everytime they got up to 5 meters, the horses reared, and didn't want to charge into a wall of people. I'm fighting in a tournament-show-team as a ground-fighter/ground-crew, and when we train with the horses, it can sometimes be hard to get the horses to things like ride us down, bump into us, etc, as it's against their nature. We once wanted to have a knight punish one of the ground-fighters by riding up behind him and bang him on the shield, as he swung the shield around for a desperate parry. But it was impossible to get close enough, the horse was afraid of the shield, and everytime he tried to parry, the horse jumped away. In the end, we solved it by hitting his kettle-helmet and dropping the shield-parry all together.
My point is: look at it from a horse's perspective; Why risk injury on wobbely surface as human flesh? A trample-attack should at least only be allowed with a "war horse" (the expensive ones in the tables of RQ3), and only with a successfull ride-roll.

Date: Wed, 4 May 2011 09:11:35 -0400
From: houle.brian at gmail.com
To: runequest at rpgreview.net
Subject: Re: [Runequest] Horse Combat

(Makes some notes).  This is going into my house rule hopper. :)  This makes a charging horse plenty deadly without contriving a fear effect.  The fear comes from the players understanding the magnitude of hurt they can potentially take. 

On Wed, May 4, 2011 at 6:35 AM, Lev Lafayette <lev at rpgreview.net> wrote:
Yep, the trample.

So the lance, assuming no impales, might actually be the least of the
character's worries when a 1000 kg warhorse is bearing down on them...

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