D&D 5E the shield warrior - better than some think?

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
I do want to note , as the discussion is going on a bit of a tangent, that my perhaps biggest discovery is that semi-immunity to disadvantage. It really provides for a lot of tactical flexibility if disadvantage affects you little...
 

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DND_Reborn

Legend
It really depends on the type of shield - as @Neonchameleon pointed out, viking shield usage was different, and bucklers certainly were used differently too. However, the type of heavy shield protecting mostly the torso used in this film was fairly similar to the ones we used, and heavier too - 13 to 18 pounds if a quick googling is accurate.
Yes, your typical Aspis (Aspis - Wikipedia) was about 16 lbs. or 7 kg., but depending on the size a range of 13-18 seems reasonable.

Although definitely heavy, as you should know the weight was carried mostly on the shoulder through the elbow, keeping it close. Now, the types of attacks Achilles (primarily) is doing with his shield would be fairly easy for someone with his apparent strength. Judging from the designs in the video, I would assume Hector's was the heavier of the two shields, and he didn't use it as offensively, often barely able to get it into position to deflect Achilles's thrusts.

Honestly, as for the shield use in the clip, neither seems to be using the shield focused on defense. We see a lot of "dodging" etc. but that makes for a more exciting scene so I get that here...

But why wait until Achilles' spear is free?
IIRC because he was using not just the shield but his whole body (pretty much) to force Achilles's spear down? I doubt he was in position at that moment to counter-attack.

See, I don't think it does because Achilles is not human, he's almost a demi god. I guess it depends if you think that D&D heroes should be heroes or superheroes?
Yes, Achilles is a demi-god for the most part. At the level he would represent, many players do see PCs in D&D as superheroes. Even the DMG calls them superheroes in tier 4, which I would certainly place Achilles in. Hector, however, would be solidly in Tier 3 IMO.

Anyway, thanks again for the discussion. I think the clip is good for what it is, and "more realistic" shield use would be less "exciting" for viewers. 🤷‍♂️
 

Not only is spear and shield not cheesy, but fighters (at least) should get d4 bonus action attacks and "power attacks" with any melee weapon as a class feature. Fight me!
 

James Gasik

Legend
I'd say a bonus action shield bash should be a default, usable any time during your turn, with a possible option to knock someone off balance or open up their defenses. Shield Master as a Feat is sad.
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
My experience is similar to Ancalagon's, though more LARP and less heavy/HEMA/SCA fighting.

The fighting scenes in Troy are fun, but deliberately acrobatic and unrealistic to look cool and to try to convey that Achilles is functionally superhuman. His leaps and odd positions are meant to highlight his physical power and preternatural agility and are basically showboating.

They are not indicative of real world fighting techniques.

That being said, D&D allowing people to spin their spears one-handed to hit with the butt end like Achilles in Troy is certainly not all that unrealistic in context compared to other stuff. 🤷‍♂️
 

Not only is spear and shield not cheesy, but fighters (at least) should get d4 bonus action attacks and "power attacks" with any melee weapon as a class feature. Fight me!
I think the main objections raised are more to do with:
1 - Wielding a quarterstaff one-handed. (Not making a specific strike one-handed, but actually swinging it with control, opposing an opponent's weapon with it etc.)
2 - The butt-stroke with a spear in one hand. Yes, lets take that dedicated stabbing implement and try to rotate it along its long axis, away from threatening your opponent in attack position, with all the leverage that you can apply with a single hand.

Both maneuvers would require you to be massively stronger than your opponent to have a chance of pulling off, as well as needing the shield to keep you alive while you are attempting it. They exist for the same reason as some of the Finesse/bow rules to: to allow options commonly found in cinematic scenes, and for players to be able to create effective characters based on media, whether than is cartoons, anime, action movies or whatever.
And while rules like that might make my inner realist twitchy, I don't think that D&D needs another person declaring that you need magic if you want to do something cool.
 

1 - Wielding a quarterstaff one-handed. (Not making a specific strike one-handed, but actually swinging it with control, opposing an opponent's weapon with it etc.)
2 - The butt-stroke with a spear in one hand. Yes, lets take that dedicated stabbing implement and try to rotate it along its long axis, away from threatening your opponent in attack position, with all the leverage that you can apply with a single hand.
It's just bad fluff. The bonus action attack is fine, mechanically, and different fluff would even make sense.
 

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