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"Throwing spears be for melee" Topic

9 Posts

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638 hits since 10 Feb 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 7:42 a.m. PST

I know the Zulu used throwing spears. I have also heard the the Pathans did not use spears in any form. What about the Ansar and Fuzzy Wuzzy?

Do you include throwing spears before melee for any of the big three?

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 8:59 a.m. PST

Did some other research and it looks like the Ansar also tossed their fair share of spears.

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 9:34 a.m. PST

I tried allowing Zulus to "pitch pila" during charges--but they obliterated every enemy unit at or before contact as the result.

By the TSATF system, it's just too deadly, even though at least some degree of was at least actually possible.

Like the "Crossing Walls" rule where the attacker must take at least two moves to get over a wall--thus giving the defender at least two bites at the apple of defeating the charge--it seems best to keep assegai heaving as part of the Fire Sequence, and apart from Movement/Charges.

Twin Farthings.


Ceterman Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 10:15 a.m. PST

I believe in the 20th Ann. TSATF rules, you have to "close with the Enemy" before your Zulus can throw spears in a melee. It used to be different, tho I can't really remember how…
And IF your men are say, behind something or have some kind of cover, spears usually don't do that much damage. Usually!
*I think I remember now. Zulu's use to be able to throw spears without a charge. You just needed to be within spear range. That is no longer possible. Zulu's now ONLY throw if they contact an enemy, in a charge.

Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 11:09 a.m. PST


Thanks for the clarification.

It still seems to boil down to limiting the effectiveness of pitched spears.

And besides, can anyone cite an historical action where the Brits were specifically defeated, or even more than nuissanced, by spears thrown on the rush?

Trying to make special rules to allow it probably not only unbalance the game, but wouldn't really be adding "authenticity" to it, either.


VCarter Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 11:29 a.m. PST

As I recall, the spears are only at 1-3 at best. My house rule only allows their use one time per unit per game.

Ceterman Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 11:32 a.m. PST

You are very welcome! I think that's what Larry wanted to do. Spears used to be pretty effective, especially if you gave them unlimited throwing spears! But as you said, I don't think you can show a single historical action where thrown spears caused an outcome of any type. It makes so much more sense to limit them to a close combat throw & a follow up with stabbing spears.We do give them unlimited throwing spears, btw, when closing to combat. In other words, if a unit is lucky enough during a game to close with & survive 3 or 4 CC's we would give them 3 or 4 times to throw their spears!

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 11:41 a.m. PST

I seem to recall that in the late stages of Isandlwana the Zulu accounts talk about the British standing back to back (square) and were unapproachable even after they ran out of ammo. In the account the Zulu said they used throwing spears before closing.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2017 4:11 p.m. PST

In the games I play, IF the Zulus get to close and they get to throw spears, they're lucky to get 3 hits. They usually get the undivided attention of stationary British in a double line.

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