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Old 04-17-2020, 08:35 PM   #1
Aman
 
Join Date: May 2008
Default Tactical Question: Disengage

My son and I were playing - for money, so this is a serious question, 25 cents is at stake, ya gotta help us out!

Two teams of two figs, one on each side got kacked. The survivor on one side is Tank with chain mail and large shield, mace. The other, Speedy, has just a Main Gauche and a saber, and 5 points of DX on the other guy.

The way I read the rules, Speedy can always Disengage from Tank with no repurcussions. Tank also cannot try and force Hand to Hand conflict on him, nor can he Shield Rush him. And Speedy has a higher MA by 4.

It seemed to me that it was a draw. Tank can never catch Speedy, and Speedy can't risk an exchange of Attacks with someone who can out fight him.

Please let me know if I am missing something.

The only thing I can see that might solve this, IF it is correct, would be to make Shield Rush part of movement not an attack, or drop some of the exceptions to forcing HtH on someone.
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Old 04-17-2020, 10:22 PM   #2
hcobb
 
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Location: Pacheco, California
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

Yes, it is a bug (which I house rule away, click link below), but why shouldn't a faster character get to run away?

Best used with Javelin Expertise to alternate charge defense with free retreat.

A sneaky way to counter this is for the disengaged from figure to use the disengage option to reengage.
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Old 04-17-2020, 10:59 PM   #3
Aman
 
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Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

Quote:
Originally Posted by hcobb View Post
Yes, it is a bug (which I house rule away, click link below), but why shouldn't a faster character get to run away?

Best used with Javelin Expertise to alternate charge defense with free retreat.

A sneaky way to counter this is for the disengaged from figure to use the disengage option to reengage.
Don't see a link.
Hmm, I think faster characters should get away, in reality! It is however a game reason more than a reality reason. I think it is more fun not more realistic.

Wow! That IS sneaky! Still, the figure won't be attacked - it will just limit it's movement next turn as it is still Engaged. So you end up with the same problem, really - the free Disengage means you can't be attacked if you have a higher DX and don't want to be attacked.
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Old 04-17-2020, 11:48 PM   #4
JimmyPlenty
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aman View Post

Please let me know if I am missing something.

The only thing I can see that might solve this, IF it is correct, would be to make Shield Rush part of movement not an attack, or drop some of the exceptions to forcing HtH on someone.
If he is so fast, can he win initiative and get around you and enter HTH from a rear hex? That would only take 7 MA! (assuming he is one hex away after a turn he disengages.)
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Old 04-17-2020, 11:54 PM   #5
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

Yes, it is correct that a faster figure who doesn't want to fight can (terrain and other figures permitting...) disengage. If the slower figure doesn't have a weapon that can two-hex jab, or a thrown or ranged weapon, then the faster figure can probably stay away from him. Makes sense. Rules working as intended.


Henry brought up the common house rule that any figure can use "Disengage" to move one hex as an action, even if they are not engaged. That's logical, since being Engaged probably shouldn't make you more maneuverable. As you say, this will tend not to allow the slower figure to attack, but will let them re-engage. But I would that that that situation is not rules-as-written nor rules-as-intended.

One way to fix that it to add more detail to the house rule, and say that a figure who Disengaged the previous turn, if they move first, won't be considered engaged by other figures who also used Disengage. Or perhaps simply that figures who Disengage do not engage any figures during the next movement phase.


And, by the way, there was a rule added to late editions of original Melee, that said that if a figure disengages from a figure who has not yet attacked, that that figure can try to attack the disengaging figure at that point, at a DX penalty equal to the difference in adjDX between the figures. (So for example, an adjDX 11 figure trying to hit a disengaging adjDX 13 figure would need to roll a 9 to hit them as they disengage.) Personally, I don't really think this is necessary, but if players are annoyed by Disengage, this is a house rule that can help address that.
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Old 04-18-2020, 12:46 AM   #6
Terquem
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Idaho Falls
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

I would not let a disengaged figure select the option to disengage. The idea that a nimble foe can always escape a clumsy opponent is a feature, not a bug.
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Old 04-18-2020, 08:29 AM   #7
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

Another fix would be to adopt the most common weapon setup of all time. If someone disengages from you then hit them with a spear jab.
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Old 04-18-2020, 08:40 AM   #8
Aman
 
Join Date: May 2008
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terquem View Post
I would not let a disengaged figure select the option to disengage. The idea that a nimble foe can always escape a clumsy opponent is a feature, not a bug.
Interesting thought.

However, we have a contradiction of two rule mechanics: IN and Disengage. IN has the intent that the side choosing to move first has an advantage of positioning, maneuvering, and Engaging the opponent. Disengage, however, cancels out losing the IN since you have created an impervious wall of fighters who cannot be fought unless they feel like it - how awesome to have such god-like powers! Imagine, with a measly DX of 10 not even the power of a giant matters; he has to stop when coming adjacent and then you Disengage.

I think you get the point.

If someone wins IN and successfully Engages someone in combat before they have time to run away, than Disengage contradicts the obvious intent of the IN rule mechanic. By failing to win IN, you should open yourself up to some sort of consequence, but you don't. In fact, according to this rule, if I have a dozen warriors all of whom have ONE POINT of DX higher than a dozen opponents [say DX11 to DX10], then one side may NEVER combat the other side, without their consent. And that is just plain broken.

But, I'm not hearing that I have the rule incorrectly, so I'll just solve this with a simple house rule - you have to roll your DX to Disengage successfully, or perhaps...Disengage movement occurs at the end of the Combat Phase. If you don't want to have people attack you, then you should work hard to win IN 100% of the time!
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Old 04-20-2020, 01:17 AM   #9
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aman View Post
However, we have a contradiction of two rule mechanics: IN and Disengage. IN has the intent that the side choosing to move first has an advantage of positioning, maneuvering, and Engaging the opponent.
It does achieve that, if/when the situation allows, and the winning player manages to capitalize on having won initiative.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aman View Post
Disengage, however, cancels out losing the IN since you have created an impervious wall of fighters who cannot be fought unless they feel like it - how awesome to have such god-like powers! Imagine, with a measly DX of 10 not even the power of a giant matters; he has to stop when coming adjacent and then you Disengage.
No, Disengage does not cancel out losing initiative. If you disengage, you're not accomplishing much to win a fight. It also is only possible if you have an adjDX advantage AND you have someplace good to disengage to AND your enemy doesn't have things they can do with their time while you use your action to disengage.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aman View Post
If someone wins IN and successfully Engages someone in combat before they have time to run away, than Disengage contradicts the obvious intent of the IN rule mechanic. By failing to win IN, you should open yourself up to some sort of consequence, but you don't.
No. Winning initiative generally does give advantages. It's usually a coin flip to answer the necessary question of who moves first, though, and is not intended to always guarantee an advantage. It's up to the players to move wisely and find ways to gain advantages.

Disengage in no way "contradicts" the advantages of winning initiative. I would say rather that it offers a faster figure a way to avoid a really bad position, which may or may not be the result of losing initiative. But if a figure does use Disengage to escape a bad position, they are also using their action for the turn to accomplish nothing else but moving one hex, which in general is not a productive thing to be doing. Maybe it's better than staying where they were, but if your foes are using their actions to move one hex, that's generally a worthwhile thing to get them to do rather than having them hurting you with weapon attacks instead.

That is, making an enemy take Disengage generally IS a valuable consequence.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Aman View Post
In fact, according to this rule, if I have a dozen warriors all of whom have ONE POINT of DX higher than a dozen opponents [say DX11 to DX10], then one side may NEVER combat the other side, without their consent. And that is just plain broken.
Again, no, that's not a fact. That's you under-thinking the situation. Not only is a dozen warriors Disengaging no way to win a fight, but it also generally doesn't work when you actually have a bunch of figures on an actual map, for at least the dozen reason hcobb and I listed in response to your similar post in house rules.

Perhaps the most general reason why even if someone ever did try that (why, I don't know), it wouldn't work, is because Team Disengage can only move 1/2 MA and Disengage, while Team Engage can move full MA to envelop them, and then close in from multiple directions, and/or corner them, or whatever.
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Old 04-20-2020, 10:39 AM   #10
Aman
 
Join Date: May 2008
Default Re: Tactical Question: Disengage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
It does achieve that, if/when the situation allows, and the winning player manages to capitalize on having won initiative.



No, Disengage does not cancel out losing initiative. If you disengage, you're not accomplishing much to win a fight. It also is only possible if you have an adjDX advantage AND you have someplace good to disengage to AND your enemy doesn't have things they can do with their time while you use your action to disengage.



No. Winning initiative generally does give advantages. It's usually a coin flip to answer the necessary question of who moves first, though, and is not intended to always guarantee an advantage. It's up to the players to move wisely and find ways to gain advantages.

Disengage in no way "contradicts" the advantages of winning initiative. I would say rather that it offers a faster figure a way to avoid a really bad position, which may or may not be the result of losing initiative. But if a figure does use Disengage to escape a bad position, they are also using their action for the turn to accomplish nothing else but moving one hex, which in general is not a productive thing to be doing. Maybe it's better than staying where they were, but if your foes are using their actions to move one hex, that's generally a worthwhile thing to get them to do rather than having them hurting you with weapon attacks instead.

That is, making an enemy take Disengage generally IS a valuable consequence.



Again, no, that's not a fact. That's you under-thinking the situation. Not only is a dozen warriors Disengaging no way to win a fight, but it also generally doesn't work when you actually have a bunch of figures on an actual map, for at least the dozen reason hcobb and I listed in response to your similar post in house rules.

Perhaps the most general reason why even if someone ever did try that (why, I don't know), it wouldn't work, is because Team Disengage can only move 1/2 MA and Disengage, while Team Engage can move full MA to envelop them, and then close in from multiple directions, and/or corner them, or whatever.
Sure, I understand your points in the full context of a game, and of course it is not a concern where both sides have victory conditions to achieve. So no argument from me on those points.

I still submit that it is broken to have a mechanic that allows one side to practice continual denial of action. As a matter of fact, if I have a giant, and you have 1/3 it's size in figs, you can move half, Engage, then disengage and deny it indefinitely, locking it into position with the Engage then denying it a chance to fight, while you shoot it to death.

See what I'm saying? That's a self-defeating design flaw, and it isn't necessary. If you have to roll your DX10 to Disengage from a DX9 Giant, and half your team succeeds, and the other half doesn't, you'll end up with half the team getting beat up. Now you are better off fighting. A design that pushes players to ACT positively is a good design.

The classic error with, say airplane or spaceship battles is to design a scenario where one side just wants to escape. Oops, boring scenario.
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