This guide is to help the FoF community at large, both new and old fogies alike.
Melee Weapons: Fists, Brass Knuckles and Boots
Other wise known as bare knuckle brawling. Everyone starts with these at no cost of purchase points and a good thing too, other wise how would we hold our other weapons? ^^! They do the minimalist damage of any weapon and have two modes. A quick straight jab and a slower more powerful hook. A jab to the body is 13 and to the head is 18. The hook is 20 to the body and 28 to the head.
At first glance you may laugh at the small damage out put, but in a pinch and on a prayer, many a man have survived on fists alone to tell the tale of it later in a saloon. Also those in the know will tell you or wont... maybe it is a much guarded secret... that just holding down the mouse button, although it will cycle another punch automatically, will be awfully slow. And fiercely mashing the left and right mouse buttons randomly wont (usually) make it go any faster, certainly nothing repeatedly and on call.
But if you time it right, you can go from looking like the typical dumb brute to a renowned gentleman boxer. It is hard to explain to someone and I had to do a lot of trial and error, but if you throw a jab with your left hand, your right hand will open and close. The moment it does that, press the button again to throw another punch, essentially making a combo. If throwing a hook with the right hand, wait until you see the left hand make the "OK” sign using the index and thumb to touch one another, then press the button again. That is the "easiest” way to describe how to do it. There may be a sound cue as well, but this is how I learned it.
With practice you will get your timing down and you will no longer have to look for the vision or audio cues, you will just know to press the button again and swing what basically amounts to twice as fast as before and will soon come to you naturally. That makes punching not so useless after all, especially if your opponent is already wounded. This is probably also the reason you will constantly hear other players, even when they are not in direct combat, as they are just roaming the map, punching for no reason. They are practicing, shadow boxing if you will. I suggest you do the same if you even want a chance of winning.
Cost three stars at start up. Cannot be found in a chest of modes like Teamplay. These bad boys put a little more umph into your swings. A jab is upgraded to 19 damage to the body and 27 to the head, while the hook is 30 to the body and 42 to the head. That is almost half the hit points of a fully healthy person. A three hit combo of right-left-right will have a corpse at your feet if you can manage to make them all land on his head. Not only that, but if you are facing your opponent, you can actually knock any non-melee weapon from there hands, minus the bow. However hitting from the sides or from the back will not have the desired disarming effect.
It should be noted however if you were going for the quick kill, the disarming punch damage will be lower than normal with a jab to the body being 9 and to the head 13. The hook's power is diminished to 15 to the body and 21 to the head. Meaning you will now need to hit them a fourth time, not just three if they are at full health. Only the initial disarming blow is affected, the rest of the punches will count as normal. Also I had always held the belief that only the hook punch would disarm. Either it was changed or a myth, as a left jab will do just the same.
You also get to kick in this game with your... bare feet... That's so savage! ^^! The purposes of kicking allows you to knock people back a bit and also help in a combo, as it is not as affected as punches with a timer to start the kick. However you are also dead in the water as your movement is completely stopped until it's completion and can not even punch in the mean time. So as a general rule of thumb, punch first, then kick. Or punch-punch-kick like Parappa the Rapper. If you were planning to high tail it out, you might of just ended that option. Without the boots you do 25 damage to the body.
Cost three stars at start up. Cannot be found in a chest of modes like Teamplay. With the boots you get 35 damage, plus a bit more push back and more damage into obstacles. They do not make you run any faster, although they will put a jingle in your step, alerting others to the possible danger of the Rhinestone Cowboy.
Be aware there is no Bruce Lee Dragon Kicks to the head. No matter where you aim your kicks, no matter how you time your jumps, you will not land a head shot. You could however, help mitigate the slow movement process a tad by performing the kick in mid air and recover faster on the ground, although be aware it is only slightly, but it will help to confuse your opponent for sure. Kicking people into other people and or breakable things such as guard rails, boxes, barrels, etc. will also do better damage and a kick off a really high place is most likely instant death. Just be careful you do not fall prey to it as well.
Kicking is also a good way to counter those who are pure melee. But do not depend on it all of the time. It is not the end all be all as some would claim. A good melee-er will duck and dodge any recourse from you. You may catch the newb in the crotch, but not the seasoned pro, at least not as often.
Melee Weapons: Knives, Axes and Machetes
Cost three stars at start up and comes in a nifty three pack. Cannot be found in a chest of modes like Teamplay. I will almost always start with these as they are inexpensive and only cost three stars, like the boots. It does not make you run any faster, which is a popular belief I held unto for the longest. They have two ways of being used, slashing or thrown. Slashes to the body do 30 always, while to the head does 42. As a thrown projectile it does 35, but on occasion I have seen it do a little more or a little less and I am not sure why. There are no head shots with this and I am aiming at the sides, their ribs if you will and if their arm is not in the way it will do the higher damage. The lower I still have not figured that one out. Also be aware they are slow moving projectiles and they arc, meaning you have to judge the distance, your opponent's movement and throw accordingly to make the hit. I have yet to make a head shot.
The poor man's machete, but do not let that deter you from acquiring it though. This can be a main starter weapon for four stars, but unlike the knives, you receive only one, but can buy more from the blue chests at only $15 which is a steal! Not only is the damage output greater with a slash to the body being 40 and the head 56 with thrown to the body is 58 and 90 to the head, but you also run faster than either bare handed and or with a knife. If you are trying to rush to the whiskey or a team mate in a battle, you really need this one equipped for speed.
The king of hand to hand and what Voorhees carries. This can only be purchased in the red and gold chests, with red at $70 and gold at $55. That does not sound like much of a difference and in a bind you can go for it, but you will die from time to time and if you are not that good yet, that difference in price will keep you from getting it more often. However, the gold chest is always coveted so it is harder to actually get it from there as it may be camped and constantly fought over. A slash to the body will do 60 damage and the head 84. Thrown to the body is 97 and the head is always a whopping 150. In case you do not realize the significance of that, a person can only obtain 100 health, meaning a well placed machete on anyone is an instant kill.
Be mindful of the weight of your weapons. Knives have a quick rebound so they can be continuously swung and thrown further with less of an arc, the axe a bit heavier and slower and the machete drops like a dead bird after a several meters and it's swing, if missed, is very palatable. Also others can easily side step if they are not too badly stunned and can also pick up your thrown weapons to use against you or at least keep it out of your hands. On the flip side a well placed thrown weapon after a kick can also generally kill so it is really up to the user's discretion. Also if you are trying to retrieve a thrown weapon from off the ground and it seems impossible, try to hit it and it may dislodge it self, although it may travel a bit in the process and you can then scoop it up. And if you are in the middle of a fire fight, some times it is just better to leave the weapon behind and escape with your life. Also do not throw your melee weapons at the train on CrippleCreek... it eats them... forever...
A little something I was not prepared for is that the damage from the thrown axe and machete vary depending where you hit. For the axe the arms/hands are 45 in damage, the legs/feet are 33 and the flanks... 56... o_O The machete thrown are the arms/hands at 75, the legs/feet at 56 and the buttocks 93... Not sure the significance of that, but there it is. ^^! Also I believe the hit boxes are not always 100% accurate or they are, but we view it differently. Even though you are aiming for the head, striking the very top only counts as the body. So aim for the ugly dog face of your opponent or where their face would be if they were the demon child from Exorcist and their head turned completely around. Just aim the cross hairs to the target, do not look at the weapon model/animation it self or you will be aiming high.
I should also point out I am not seeing any real significance in speed from the axe to the machete or from the bare hands, brass knuckles and knives. I've timed it in Cripplecreek from the long top stretch of path way from the big boxes near the red chest all the way to the wall on the other side. By my best attempts you will arrive at the same time of 7.50 with either the axe or machete in hand and 8 with only fists, brass knuckles or knives equipped, with a few milliseconds difference. I expected the speed to be much greater than that for the more expensive melee weapons. Every bit helps, but really I was expecting more.
Closing Thoughts and Other Pearls of Wisdom
Well that is it for now. I've already started working on the other weapons. Some things of note before I mosey on out though to my cattle, is that the damage of the bow increases the further you are away. Being up close is not bad, but being further away gives better damage out put. A head shot from a fully powered bow is lethal regardless of distance. If trying to side step aim as you would, but a little higher to account for the arc that will be dramatic when moving. And doing the quick shot will always give you less damage as opposed to the power shot that is holding onto the right mouse button for longer.
Also for hand guns, although I have only tried it on the Colt Navy, but I see no reason it would not be the same for the others, fanning gives less damage. Makes no sense what so ever as a bullet leaving the barrel is still a bullet leaving the barrel, but there you have it. Also most walls are penetrable, even to the Colt Navy, but the power is about 15 points less. However if you are too far back say the knock back of the boots, the bullet will not go through. Think about that as you try to attack your opponent who just ran up stairs and or behind what they thought was safe cover. If the Colt Navy can still do 30 hp damage, I can only imagine the more powerful weapons. Also some walls may not allow for fanning to pass through while other seemingly same walls will. That was tested on CrippleCreek. Happy trails to you, until we meet again.