Outnumbered combat rules

HedgeWizard
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Re: Outnumbered combat rules

Post by HedgeWizard » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:10 am

Hi drbargle,

I had some thoughts along the lines about how to bring a more tactical approach to combat at the end of this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=13&t=2292

Any thoughts?

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Re: Outnumbered combat rules

Post by drbargle » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:25 am

"When fighting the player writes on a small piece of paper (post it note) maximum of two bullet points describing how he will attack and how they will use their weapon. The GM or opponent does the same. Both are then revieled and compared. The group then votes on which has the advantage, they then gain a bonus of +1 or + 2 depending on how strong everyone thinks it is."

I like the simplicity of this. I'd still probably keep it for duels and the like, rather than every combat.

Re: manoeuvres. One option is to go the Mongoose RuneQuest 2/RuneQuest 6 route and have 'special effects' *applied* after the combat roll. So, if an Adventurer beats a monster or NPC by a certain margin (not sure what I'd set it at here) he or she could disarm, maximise damage, strike to injure, trip, push back, etc. each of which is resolved in its own way.

Another option is to make up a series of combat cards, each with a manoeuvre on it. Let's say 6. Then we have a simple 6x6 table to compare the relative effects of these manoeuvre.

Of course, both of these limit the freedom of your two line rule by formalising the player options. As someone taken with some of what is presented as the tenets of 'Old School' play (see Matt Finch's 'Primer'), I like the fact that AFF is a simple system open to the Director (and 'the table') making rulings - as in your option - on the fly, which accommodates not only freedom of action but also frees being a 'good' player from system mastery.

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SkinnyOrc
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Re: Outnumbered combat rules

Post by SkinnyOrc » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:06 pm

drbargle wrote:one or two Adventurers attract the attacks of a big monster, but by fighting defensively minimise the chances of taking damage, while the remaining Adventurers go for all out attacks (if the outnumbering bonus is high enough) or feints (with no risk of taking damage, never mind extra damage) to chop the monster to bits.
Well first thing is good on them for playing smart! :) I'd have the monster attack whoever hurt it most in the previous round, that just seems like a natural reaction. With a smart opponent it might not even work the first round if they notice some of the PCs making an effort to attract attention but not properly closing. Also keep in mind how many PCs you think can attack at once depending on the space. Even low intelligence monsters may use what's around them to limit the direction they can be attacked from. By the way my opinion is missile attacks should count for outnumbering but there's the penalties for missiles past your comrades.

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Re: Outnumbered combat rules

Post by drbargle » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:13 pm

[quote="SkinnyOrc]Well first thing is good on them for playing smart! :)[/quote]

Definitely. It was good play - I think the first time my group properly twigged that this was a viable tactic was when fighting the Manticore in the Crown of Kings campaign. The sorcerer also cast GOB to get a good outnumbering bonus.

[quote="SkinnyOrc]I'd have the monster attack whoever hurt it most in the previous round, that just seems like a natural reaction. With a smart opponent it might not even work the first round if they notice some of the PCs making an effort to attract attention but not properly closing. Also keep in mind how many PCs you think can attack at once depending on the space, and also the penalties for missiles past your comrades. Even low intelligence monsters may use what's around them to limit the direction they can be attacked from.[/quote]

Yes, I probably should have had the Manticore (in this case) back into a corner to protect itself, etc. Like I said (in this thread, or another?) one of the things I really need to get better at is creating more dynamic environments for combat encounters. Again, this is one of the things I am trying to take from FATE, thinking about the narrative effects of 'zones' rather than the mechanical effects, and applying rulings according to clever in-world play rather than mechanical system exploits.

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Re: Outnumbered combat rules

Post by drbargle » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:13 pm

I see that I worked out how to quote a previous post! D'oh!

HedgeWizard
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Re: Outnumbered combat rules

Post by HedgeWizard » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:03 pm

Being more a Narrative driven gamer the Viscera document really appeals to me. So thank you for all the work you put into it!

Going back the the old school roots is also a good idea. I (and I suspect many others) have a tendency of wanting to create rules to cover everything when often the fewer the rules the better - let the imagination drive the story!

I really enjoy systems like Risus and also Engel Matrix games for this reason.

So we could even say that you don't need a matrix or set of rules to define exactly what attacks or special combat actions have what effects. Do a set of matrix game pro/con arguments and keep the story moving!

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Re: Outnumbered combat rules

Post by HedgeWizard » Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:17 pm

Something which was an insperation for me were the Duel! Rules within Spanish Fury ( http://perfectcaptain.50megs.com/SpanishMain.html ) From the Perfect Captain. It's a small sub game within the larger framework for simulating quick and entertaining duels between the commanders of companies in the 16th century. Really simple and not 100% comparable with AFF but it was fun and an interesting idea.

Perhaps something which could inspire a card based approach?

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Re: Outnumbered combat rules

Post by Eddie » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:38 pm

i can see a situation, dependant on positioning, where 4 ogres (each with 2A) fight 4 adventurers in such a way that each ogre is capable of fighting two opponents each round.
the heroes should probably avoid this position as it is giving an advantage to their opponents.

even if you have 4 adventurers abreast in a corridor facing 4 ogres abreast the ogres can always reach more than one opponent thinking about it.

I found that having a well armoured character fighting multiple opponents, but fighting defensively, can tie them up for a while and his other adventuring friends can take out other enemies at that time.
I used this when playtesting the combat system and trying out ideas.

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Re: Outnumbered combat rules

Post by HedgeWizard » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:21 am

Eddie wrote:i can see a situation, dependant on positioning, where 4 ogres (each with 2A) fight 4 adventurers in such a way that each ogre is capable of fighting two opponents each round.
the heroes should probably avoid this position as it is giving an advantage to their opponents.

even if you have 4 adventurers abreast in a corridor facing 4 ogres abreast the ogres can always reach more than one opponent thinking about it.

I found that having a well armoured character fighting multiple opponents, but fighting defensively, can tie them up for a while and his other adventuring friends can take out other enemies at that time.
I used this when playtesting the combat system and trying out ideas.
That's the sort of thinking which makes things interesting :-). It's not just about lining people up and whaloping each other, think tactically and make in interesting in ways like you describe here.

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Re: Outnumbered combat rules

Post by gloccus » Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:41 am

Earlier in the thread, a tactic was mentioned where some combatants would fight defensively to give an outnumbering bonus to their allies. However, I think the bonus is intended to represent the difficulty of defending against multiple attackers, not just people standing around trying not to get hit. Therefore I only count opponents who actually need to roll an Attack Strength for the purposes of outnumbering.

For example, Alice, Bob and Charlie are fighting Dave, who only has one attack. Alice and Bob both fight defensively, whilst Charlie attacks. If Dave chooses to attack Charlie, then Alice and Bob don't need to roll at all, as they can neither hurt Dave nor be injured in that round, so there is no outnumbering bonus. In effect, they aren't involved in the fight at all and are just watching with their guard up in case they get attacked. However, if Dave chooses to attack Alice, say, then she and Charlie both need to roll Attack Strengths, so they each get a bonus of +1.

Fighting defensively is still useful for tying up powerful enemies whilst a Wizard or Sorcerer prepares a spell, or the team's battle-master takes out the monsters one at a time, it just doesn't help with outnumbering.

It also makes it more tactical which opponent to attack as targeting one fighting defensively effectively gives an extra point of bonus to your enemies.

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Re: Outnumbered combat rules

Post by drbargle » Tue Mar 20, 2018 1:17 pm

gloccus wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:41 am
Therefore I only count opponents who actually need to roll an Attack Strength for the purposes of outnumbering.
Thanks Gloccus (a long wait for a reply, I know). I think this is exactly the right solution. Again, it reinforces the fact that AFF combat is "simultaneous" - everything in an round happens as near as dammit all at once. And that requires us to make sure both Players and Directors make 'statements of intent' before you start to resolve the actions of any round, perhaps on little bits of paper if the success of actions depends on who does what to whom.

It might be possible to gain an advantage here, and 'anticipate' (i.e. have the Director reveal) the intent of an NPC/monster by a Test of Luck, or test of an appropriate Special Skill.

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Re: Outnumbered combat rules

Post by Eddie » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:51 am

I agree: the outnumbering bonus reflects the difficulty in trying to defend yourself while multiple people are trying to stab you.

if that is not happening then no bonus for you.

animal hunts typically you would surround the prey, move in on one side to stab while making noise on the other side, then swap sides as the animal attacks the side that caused it pain last time.
against intelligent enemies this should not work in my opinion.

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Re: Outnumbered combat rules

Post by SkinnyOrc » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:08 am

gloccus wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 5:41 am
Earlier in the thread, a tactic was mentioned where some combatants would fight defensively to give an outnumbering bonus to their allies.
I didn't read that earlier post as being about outnumbering but it is in an... outnumbering thread.

My take was one or two PCs attracted the monster's attention so it would attack them and they fought defensively. The other characters used All Out Attack or Feint with no risk because they couldn't be damaged if it was attacking the other guys. Agree only the attacking PCs get an outnumbering bonus but that doesn't stop it working, even if only for a round. IMO the monster has to be a little stupid and the players come up with a believable way to attract it's attention. Also they're committing to a type of attack before they know who the monster actually goes for, it might not fall for it.

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