I stumbled onto Armed Combat on a blog called Middenmurk, and now I've got another take on polearms. The author points out that reach is a huge advantage, and that two-handed weapons aren't slow, so they shouldn't always strike last.
Instead he proposes that on the 1st round, 2-H weapons win initiative before 1-H weapons.
- They continue to strike first until the 2-H weapon wielder misses or is hit by his opponent.
- A 1-H weapon wielder that hits the above strikes first on the next round.
He also proposes that spears, though 1-H, are considered 2-H weapons for reach. His rationale is that they have reach and the resultant popularity would mimic the historical popularity of the long pointy stick.
To counteract the advantages of 2-H weapons, he proposes that shields ought to be +2 to AC, which he justifies by noting that a shield blocks way more than 5% of incoming blows.
This stuff is fiddly to keep track of, but it might be fun. What do you think?