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Thursday, December 8, 2011

A funny-looking weapon that is most likely romanticized by the story-teller. The SERPENT HALBERD is Zhang Fei 张飞's weapon and it supposedly has a wavey lance-like shaft. Whether it is a spear or a halberd remains debatable. The direct translation for 矛 is "spear" and not halberd, but the very extensive translation of the story by C.H. Brewitt-Taylor calls it a "halberd". It is unlikely that Brewitt-Taylor would get "spear" and "halberd" mixed up as there are thousands more insanely difficult chinese characters which was precisely translated. In the card game, this weapon is mildly popular for its special ability and range. It probably is not as heavily desired because it is not lethal enough (unlike the ZHU GE CROSSBOW 诸葛连弩). Nonetheless, the above average attacking range helps, whether or not you use its ability.

Attacking range: 3

Special ability:
You can choose to use ATTACK 杀 by discarding any 2 on-hand cards.

Characters that match this weapon best:
Although this is Zhang Fei's weapon, I have to say that it benefits him in this card game only under certain conditions. The key reason for this is the fact that Zhang Fei will seldom have the chance to hold more than 6 cards in his hand. If Zhang Fei needs to use his "Barrage 咆哮" ability but has no ATTACK cards on hand, the SERPENT HALBERD will allow him to unleash 3 consecutively ATTACKs if he does have 6 on-hand cards. It may be enough to win, but I still think it is too big a cost. On the other hand, this weapon will not benefit Card-hoarders like Lu Meng 吕蒙 very much because they are unable to consecutively unleash ATTACKs (only Zhang Fei can do this with his "Barrage" ability). So it satisfies neither parties fully. What a pity.

"Colour" of the ATTACK produced:
The colour of the ATTACK matters when used against Ren Wang Shield 仁王盾 (not found in Q version). "Red" cards here refer to cards with heart or diamond suit. "Black" cards refer to spades or clubs.
- If 2 red cards are used - The attack is RED
- If 2 black cards are used - The attack is BLACK
- If 1 red and 1 black card is used - The attack is "colourless".


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