i agree; ; in this respect the game makes a very good depiction of an epic fighter. However i think he should be able to single out even some tougher monsters- in our Od&d games, fighter were heavily buffed by wizards and cleric, and dealt a ton of damage aganist tough oponents, while wizards excelled at using area damage spells.
You will find that this holds true in ACKS. Clerics excel at buffing, Mages at mass damage, and Fighters at direct attacks. Although, in the case of ACKS Fighters they are quite effective against single tough opponents, large hordes of weenies, and everything in between. There's also nice synergy between other character's damage, particularly Mage's mass damage, and a Fighter's Cleave.
Actually , many more. Fighter nearly always dual wielded , so they had at 13rd 3 attacks per round.
With a belt of giant stenght , a +3 weapon ans specialization it was not strange to inflict 20 hp per hit.- the same damage you whould inflict in ACKS; however you could hit the same monster over and over in the same round.Off course stoneskin nullified their damage oputput, but that's what dispel magic and teamwork were for. in ACK , you whould have more attacks aganist low hp monsters, for sure.
My experience is that in AD&D or AD&D 2nd, the number of 13th level Fighters in actual play was vanishingly small, with most campaigns lucky to make it to name level. While acknowledging that an ACKS Fighter can inflict similar damage to his AD&D 2nd counterpart with a hit, you're also ignoring that the AD&D 2nd Fighter hit less often, and almost universally fought opponents with more HD. Seriously, if you look at the Monster entries between ACKS (or even AD&D) and AD&D 2nd, there is enormous HD inflation. Monsters end up having way more hp.
Also, the Cleave rules in ACKS tend to encourage exactly the kind of teamwork you're talking about. A few extra damage here and there from other members of the party can set up a Fighter to Cleave through the ranks of the enemy, if they can't already do so on their own.
In BECMI, in companion rules, warriors were outstanding. you whould gain 2 attacks at 12 , 3 at 24 ecc. aganist monsters you could hit witth a 2+, which was not uncommon considering weaopon mastery bonus to hit ( 6+ generally; and damage was 2d4+8 at high mastery) and haste bonus to hit( +2 also) ;aging with haste was not a problem AND haste potions and spells were specifically cumulative- so you migh end up with 4,8, 12 attacks per round!
You're right, it was 12th level, not 9th for extra attacks. My mistake. I think it required being one of the pseudo-Prestige Classes (i.e., Paladin, Knight, Avenger), as well, although I think we ditched that, thinking it was a stupid limitation. As you say, you also needed a 2 or better to hit for that, which is likely only for a small number of opponents (with high/poor AC) at that level, and then only due to bonuses. There are only about 11 Monsters in ACKS with AC better than 9 (equivalent to lower than 0 in BECMI), and 6 of those are sizes of Elementals, while 3 are elderly Dragons. There are far, far more monsters with AC below 0 in BECMI (AC 10 or higher in ACKS) once you get to the Companion and Masters sets.
When you start talking about 24th level in BECMI, to me that's again veering into territory that very few campaigns ever actually made it to. I can recall less than half-a-dozen that I played in or knew of that ever made it to that point. That's not to completely dismiss it, but I don't think it was quite the everyday, dominant factor your post seems to imply. Keep in mind that an ACKS Fighter at max level (i.e., 14th) has north of 850,000XP...that's 14th Level in BECMI, too, and a 14th Level BECMI Fighter can't do the majority of what you're suggesting.
And yes, Haste and other similar effects did stack in BECMI, although you needed two different types (e.g., Haste and a Potion of Speed) to get the benefit. I also seem to recall it capped at x4, so no 8 or 12 attacks per round. Still, it was very good when combined with Weapon Mastery. And, for the record, I really, really liked Weapon Mastery. Sure, it was a bit kludgy, particularly at low-level, but it was a lot of fun at higher levels, and did a lot to make Fighters a lot more fearsome in combat (and Thieves deadly with a Backstab). I still don't think I'd trade it for ACKS' Cleave rule, which is simple, elegant, smoothly-scaling, and effective.
And to sum it up- i love this game. It's the best old school renaissance game ever, and better than most modern rpgs. I'm not a troll here- so put away your burning oil ! ;) ;
<looks up, blinking>
<surreptitiously re-stows military oil in backpack>
I do hope you find the time to play. I understand how life gets in the way. ACKS is an absolute ton of fun in actual play, and I couldn't agree with you more about it being the best of the OSR. But then, seeing as I'm posting here, I'm clearly pretty biased. I do think you will find that it plays even better than it reads, and I have yet to see a reviewer who really got what Cleave and Fighter damage bonus does for the game without actual play experience.
I'd really recommend playng a bit of ACKS more or less rules-as-written before you go crazy houseruling around the Fighter. The class really does work in play, and will likely shine more than the Fighter does in any other version of the game (with the possible exception of high-level BECMI).
but i think fighters should get more options for their usage of the cleave reserve- which is in itself an outstanding gaming conpept. Goood example could be: multiple attacks at a cumulative penality to hit; parries; free 5-foot steps; feints; precision strikes at a penality.
In my own games I've started allowing a Cleave attack to be Special Maneuver (disallowed by ACKS RAW). It can't trigger another Cleave, but it opens up the possibility of some fun stuff a bit more, as a Fighter doesn't have to give up all his or her Cleaves for the round to make said Special Maneuver. Also, Cleave already allows a 5' step.
I can't see multiple attacks at penalty making sense with the existence of Cleave, and experience with 3.x D&D convinced me that this is a poor method of handling extra attacks (although some of that was to do with how the rest of the 3.x system interacted with -5 for an extra attack). What would a parry do? In my own past Basic games I've allowed PCs to go completely defensive, forgoing attacks in exchange for a +2 bonus to AC. I haven't used that in ACKS, yet, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. The AD&D 2nd rule for parries seemed like a good idea at the time, but leaves me cold now. What about a feint or precision strike? How would you handle them?