I think the idea there is nice but the implementation that you can strike a prefered area just as effectively as anywhere on the whole body seems off.
My thoughts here - when you swing a weapon at the body, particularily an edged weapons, you are probably just as likley to hit the arms as the body, depending upon the position of the arms. And arms are closer to the attacker than the body - actually making this an easier strike.
Come to think of it, even different hit location tables would probably be in order depending upon if a weapon was thrust or swung.
Not that anyone is using that rule at the moment but taking that idea and leaving the penalty for swings and doubling it for thrusts seems better to me.
Interesting idea - not bad either. I do think though that arms would be as easy to hit with a swing as the body. A leg strike is a bit different. The front leg of an opponent is fairly easy to hit - but you are opening yourself to a strike by the opponent when going after a leg, so maybe the negative mod makes sense.
I think the rules to a certain extent reflect this duality with open and closed mode? Maybe not.
Yeah, open and closed mode can make a difference, but I'd do away with the rules in some incarnations of HM where thrusting weapons are not impeded as much by close mode.
But I have not reduced spear damage in close mode..
It probably makes sense to do so, though I have not done it eather due to the complication. This is very much like TROS though. A weapon like the battleaxe would be another that would be impaired some in close mode.
I think part of it though - say we have a two handed spear or axe user. Combat is very fluid, not as stationary as represented by hexes. The Spear/axe user could be in close mode, then quickly push off and be in normal mode. One way to represent this that I have looked at is making TA's more common - a 2D6 agility role is actually a 3d6 roll with my houserules, but if it is failed by 1-3 it is a TA, not a stumble.
I have a couple of characters who use (4') Javelins instead of (6') short spears, on account of they can use a javelin with 1-hand and also carry a shield.
Don't get me started on Javelins, George
They are only 1 point less in impact than a spear, and if using the rule for -1 impact for every -10 points of hand mode penalty (or praction of 10 points) the Javelin is then better than a spear used 1 handed with a shield.
And with a P impact of 6, it's better in HM3 and HMG for that matter than almost any slashing weapon when facing opponents with even light armour.
It's only drawback is the 10 WQ.
I treat my javelins different. They were not weapons designed primarily for melee - they were throwing weapons. I give them the same Hand Mode penalty as a spear, and the decreased damage due to hand mode (ignored if they are thrown).
I'm not sure of the best way to represent them, but they were clearly not one of the most effective melee wepaons available, which they are in HM.