Ambidexterity

I am thinking about retiring my current character (Battle Mage) and going for a more ‘fighty’ one. I haven’t seen many people using Ambi (OK, no one), so I was wondering whether it is a skill to avoid like the plague or if anyone survived more than one battle with it?

If you have survived at least one battle (without requiring healing every 30 seconds or so…), what complimentary skills did you take with it (besides lumping them all into Endurance)? I would restarting with no unused points, so I will have 8.

Despite doing LARP combat for 13 years (and trying to play some dual weilding fighters) I am absolutely crap at it, whilst I know some newbies who are brilliant at it. And this is an annacdote I often hear.

It seems very hard skill focused:
If you’re good at dual weilding then you can be very dangerous

However Empire’s one second rule partially removes it’s benefit, as does “everyone can use a buckler”, which taps into similar fighting techniques.

It’s good for for skirmishers but I think Most dedicated front line fighters use shields or weapons with long reach.

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That is what I suspected - thanks

I would say that the minimum requirement to fighting with ambidexterity is being able to juggle well, write your name with either hand ect. Its very hard, takes a lot of skill and as said above skirmisher focused. If you want to fight on the front line, you would have more joy with weapon master with a halberd or great weapon or sword and board.

If you want to go the way of Ambi. I would suggest trying to make yourself self reliant as possible. You want to be able to work without access to healers and such. I would look at getting Chain and easy to wear plate for the hits, A buckler is useful as a spare weapon to help against archers.
For skills useing your Base 8 points, I would look at:
Ambi (2)
Hero Points (2)
Extra Hero Point (1)
Cleaving Strike (1)
Unstoppable (2)

This to me is a nice skirmishing build which gives you the basics and makes you more survivable than it looks. You would have 6 hits with heavy, ignore most calls, the unstoppable lets you heal and revive your self. The Cleave lets you be dangerous to exposed flanks or squishy healers. If I was to use this build, I would use a great weapon for preference. I find the Fighting style much easier and intuitive, with the access to impale being more dangerous.
What nation are you in and what battle field role are you looking at?

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Varushkan, and modelled after Slavic Pomeranian (Black Sails) pirate, loosely based on Racibor. He had a policy of razing everything to the ground and is sometimes depicted as a berserker or wielding two weapons at once. He led from the front, so no picking off stragglers! Exception to this would be archers, but there are so few of them on the field then they can be discounted.

Great weapon is a good call - but would that allow me to get close enough to inflict real damag? Anyone stepping inside my range would probably make mincemeat of me relatively quickly :grinning:

So I can ambidex quite well…and have survived a few battles with it. Depending on style it doesn’t need that much hard skill, it just needs coordination.
Ambidex works really well in small fights and skirmishes (some of the navarr and a few in the Brass coast do it) but frankly it’s a good way to get killed in a battle line. (Everytime I’ve stepped into line I’ve had at least 2 spears stab me immediately).

You don’t really need too many skills to supliment it…special calls work about as well as they do with any weapon, and so do some spells (the arcane weapons are quite cool).

All in all you can do it, and do it well. But for as long as you are ambi you are a glass cannon. Be aware of that

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Sooo - one glass cannon to another one! At least I will have more HP…

Walk about as a Heavy Halberd’er. I also bring a great sword and find having it as a spare weapon is useful for the veritable shatter. But being able to call the impale can make a huge difference. Take a leg out from someone, flank and just drop a ogre ect. I think you could survive really well in a battle line as a great weapon user. Just when the halberds and spears start to come, may be worth taking a step back and letting a shield in front of you.

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So Weaponmaster instead of Ambi? Or drop Extra Hero Point and one point in Unstopable and add Weaponmater?

I would go one or the other. Ambi or Weapon Master and if you went weapon master, take a buckler for the off hand in case of shatter. The 3rd hero point is a luxury, but I would keep unstoppable. It helps to keep you fighting on the battlefield.
My unit has been getting good mileage out of having long bleed-out times. If one of us drops and if forced to fall back, we can regroup properly and push back with out risking our selves.

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On a good day, I’m reasonable with ambi weapons - mainly use them in the line for frantic parrying until someone else gets a spear involved.

Relevant skills: battle mage, venom, heal. I use dual rods.
As far as I know, I am the only person in the system using dual rods.
Dual implements are mentioned in one bit of flavour text on the wiki.
However, there are no dual implement magic items.
And I’m too stubborn to switch one for a sword.
Weep for me…

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The one unique trick Ambi has is you can throw spells with one hand and Cleaves with the other. This is not an amazing plan compared to “Big shield” or “stab them from all the way over there”. But if you want all the calls, Magician, Empower, Battlemage, Extra Mana, Ambidex and Heal is probably quite good for skirmishing at 8XP. You Empower yourself for cheap CLEAVEs and can self heal or act as a medic. That’s up to 6 CLEAVE calls per battle, because you can refresh your mana in a tent aura, whereas Hero Points do not cheaply refresh. ALternate build would be “Take ENTANGLE, then run around and shank their back or leg with CLEAVE”

I find bucklers much better for parrying polearms because a weapon is easier to push out the way with little effort, being basically a lever.

Using a 5’ pollaxe as a great weapon means you have the option to shorten your grip, strike with the bottom of the haft, or do various other things to people who get inside your comfortable range. A greatsword is a bit faster, I find and you can learn to deal with getting rushed. So think about what great weapon feels most comfortable to you, and buy one of those. Have a play with a few first, see what you like.

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So many options here - at least I have 6 months to make up my mind!

Thanks to everyone who has replied.

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I am also tempted by the idea of a cool polaxe. Especially if its stab safe on the top and bottom

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Just note that a stab safe one has to be greater than or equal to five foot and be treated as a Polearm if you want to thrust with it. You can’t stab with a Great Weapon.

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While both my current and my previous empire characters have been 2 handers (Mage staff and 2H axe respectively), my standard weapon load out has always been ambidex and I’ve tested it extensively while monstering.

Basically as others have said it just isn’t a good choice in a line fight. Your second weapon isn’t as good on the defense as a shield, and doesn’t add enough in the way of offense due to the one second rule.

With so many spears and greatswords around you also really feel the lack of range. It’s not much use getting inside the reach of the guy opposite you when his three mates just stab you in the sides. It’s not useless, but you have to work harder to land hits and take more risks in the process.

In skirmishes, it’s much better. It’s better for engaging multiple opponents and you have a wider area of control. This is also true in the more spread out fights that can occur in the woods. In main battles it only really seemed to work so long as you harass and look for openings rather than getting drawn into the grinder.

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I am getting the feeling that Ambi is not the right way to go :grinning:

If I go WM then I would assume that you are able to swing, for example, a Dane Axe / Great Sword rather than doing the ‘prod prod prod’ of, say, a spear / polearm?

Yepp, Greatswords/ dane axes/ etc. are all pretty much classed as Two-handed weapons which need Weapon Master to wield and allow you to call IMPALE if you have the requisite skill and hero points.

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Ambi is only one XP though, so you can incorporate into your build (maybe after your first event) to give you some versatility. Weapon Master for the main fights, ambi for skirmishes?

I have a soft spot for ambidex but I’d agree with the advice above.

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Bugger. not really worth it then.

Edit:
You need Weapon master to use anything thats not a dagger or a one hand’er. Great weapons and pole arms are different classes of weapon.

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