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Old 08-11-2019, 02:05 PM   #41
MikMod
 
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Default Re: For SJ, where's the Move and Defend and option?

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Originally Posted by xane View Post
"at the time they move", then.
In this scenario, its just the same. They are engaged when their turn to move comes, but then the guy runs off leaving them disengaged and being shot at...
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Old 08-11-2019, 02:33 PM   #42
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Default Re: For SJ, where's the Move and Defend and option?

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Originally Posted by MikMod View Post
In this scenario, its just the same. They are engaged when their turn to move comes, but then the guy runs off leaving them disengaged and being shot at...
That sounds perfectly valid to me, this is a tactical game after all.
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Old 08-12-2019, 04:48 AM   #43
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Default Re: For SJ, where's the Move and Defend and option?

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That sounds perfectly valid to me, this is a tactical game after all.
Do you see my point though - that this leaves a character standing in the open being shot at and apparently they cannot use their action to dodge?

Are you and your players really happy with that? To me, it is unrealistic, illogical, does not reflect the spirit of the rules, and appears to be 'gaming' a loophole in the RAW - as you interpret them.

Why are you so against the 'common sense' interpretation here?

Neither at the time they move, nor at the start of the turn lead to sensible results - only are you engaged when your turn comes to ACT*. That leads to a perfectly workable system not open to any weirdness.

* and if you are being fired on, or attacked, you can 'act' at that point, before your adj DX, and take one of those two options.

Last edited by MikMod; 08-12-2019 at 04:54 AM.
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Old 08-14-2019, 12:20 AM   #44
Steve Plambeck
 
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Default Re: For SJ, where's the Move and Defend and option?

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Originally Posted by MikMod View Post
Do you see my point though - that this leaves a character standing in the open being shot at and apparently they cannot use their action to dodge?

Are you and your players really happy with that? To me, it is unrealistic, illogical, does not reflect the spirit of the rules, and appears to be 'gaming' a loophole in the RAW - as you interpret them.

Why are you so against the 'common sense' interpretation here?
Hear, hear! This! Exactly! Thank you!

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Originally Posted by MikMod View Post
Neither at the time they move, nor at the start of the turn lead to sensible results - only are you engaged when your turn comes to ACT*. That leads to a perfectly workable system not open to any weirdness.

* and if you are being fired on, or attacked, you can 'act' at that point, before your adj DX, and take one of those two options.
I also firmly agree with what Skarg wrote: "If you make figures commit to Dodging during Movement, then it makes Dodging rather lame unless you know you won't have anything better to do that turn[snip]. If someone moves first and commits to Dodge, the other side can just ignore that person." Me and everyone in my original group said the same thing. Probably the first house rule we implemented 40 years ago was to rectify this very problem.

We simply "killed off" the Defend option, thus allowing an engaged figure to call their defensive tactic Dodge as well, and making their attacker roll 4 dice without calling it Defend; this made it clearer for new players as we recruited them. A bit of justification for this is in the RAW, on page 18 of Melee at the time. There SJ wrote that these options "have exactly the same effect." Fast forward to the Legacy ITL page 117 and the wording has been changed to read "have similar effects".

Although I've retained the written version of our old house rules, it doesn't specify what we did about missile and melee attacks on the same dodging figure in the same turn. I cannot recall if we made both attackers roll 4 dice or not. I would say it shouldn't be played that way today, as the intent of the RAW seems clearly against it. The defender should have to pick whether he's dodging the missile or ducking the melee swipe or thrust.

It was probably never an issue for my group because we'd added a new option called Parry (it's still penciled into my Advanced Melee manual under "IV. Special Options" as a third special option c.) Our Parry option made the Defend option obsolete and redundant, so no one used it anymore. Choosing the Parry option was mutually exclusive of using Dodge, you couldn't pick both. If you feared the missile weapon most, you'd pick Dodge, and if you feared the sword or axe most, you'd pick Parry. But you were never prohibited from picking Dodge if you wanted to even if engaged, because you could have picked Defend instead, and the RAW at that time said it would "have exactly the same effect."

That's probably neither here nor there, because no one is using my old group's Parry option.

But the near equivalency of Dodge and Defend still applies.

I personally would always allow a figure that had just moved half it's MA with the intent to pick Dodge to pick Defend instead if an enemy that moved second stepped up to engage and attack him. The figure that moved first could change their action to Attack -- wouldn't we all agree on that? It would make no sense to preclude Defend under the same circumstances that would allow Attack.
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Old 08-20-2019, 07:03 AM   #45
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Default Re: For SJ, where's the Move and Defend and option?

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It would make no sense to preclude Defend under the same circumstances that would allow Attack.
My impression is that many or most of the forum are using something very similar to the Advanced Melee turn sequence, which is logical and generally clear, and NOT the problematic Legacy turn sequence.

But one ambiguity in Advanced Melee is directly relevant to the above and to this thread. In Advanced Melee, in the list of options (p 3?), Defend is available if you moved 1 hex but not more than that. But on the next page, under "changing options" it is clearly stated you can move 1/2 MA and defend (among other things). So these are contradictory and one of is wrong.

We always played 1/2 MA and Defend and never noticed the ambiguity within the rules until playing with another group.

This contradiction was one of things some of us were hoping would be addressed in the new TFT. In a way, it HAS been addressed! But yeeeeegh, replaced a small ambiguity with something that just doesn't work right.
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:09 AM   #46
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Default Re: For SJ, where's the Move and Defend and option?

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We always played 1/2 MA and Defend and never noticed the ambiguity within the rules until playing with another group.
Same here. Always saw Defend as an option up to half MA. Now seems only allowed up to 1 MA. There are ramifications when dealing with pole weapons.

Furthermore, the Defend option is only allowed for engaged. But what about a pole weapon jab. You should be able to defend against that even though you are not actually engaged.

How I see it:

Half MA: just makes for a clear system with less exceptions. When going against a pole, you can move half MA and defend against the standing-vs-change seems balanced.

1 MA: makes it harder to approach standing pole men. Just can't run up and defend on your engaging turn. Have to approach with caution and stop at 2 hex range giving the pole man a free jab for a turn (which you may not defend against if we are taking all this literally) and then the next turn move 1 hex to engage and defend.

Decide which is how you want to see pole arms and defending to work and go with that interpretation.
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:34 AM   #47
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Default Re: For SJ, where's the Move and Defend and option?

The way I see it is the original Wizard and Advanced Melee rules very clearly allowed a change to Defend or Dodge to anyone who moved 1/2 MA or less, regardless of whether they were Engaged or not.

Defend and Dodge just have effects that usually make more sense to take for Engaged or Disengaged figures, but there was no rule against using them based on Engagement.

Then during Legacy editing, Steve chose to use the basic Melee version of the options list as a starting point, without remembering the reasons for the changes he made in original Wizard and Advanced Melee. When asked to retain some of the original clarifying sections right before the PDF was approved, Steve posted that he didn't understand the many arguments trying to explain why it was important, and so he just left it as it ended up in Legacy.

So it seems to me that these details of Legacy are unclear in intent, and subject to what I would say are unfortunate possible literal readings of the Legacy rules (e.g. that you can't Defend against jabs unless some other foe engages you (dumb), or that you have to only move 1 if you want to Defend (no good reason or effects of that), or that you have to declare Dodge during Movement and can't Dodge in response to attacks, or do something else if you didn't actually have to dodge anything when your adjDX comes up (which ends up making Dodge less useful / usable, has people waste actions in gamey ways, and makes missile / thrown attacks even more powerful than they already are.

That is, it seems to me like an unfortunate set of steps in wrong directions to read the Legacy rules in those ways.
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:18 PM   #48
Steve Plambeck
 
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Default Re: For SJ, where's the Move and Defend and option?

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Originally Posted by Axly Suregrip View Post
Furthermore, the Defend option is only allowed for engaged. But what about a pole weapon jab. You should be able to defend against that even though you are not actually engaged.
And you do "defend" against it, not by picking the option named Defend, but by picking the option named Dodge.* And that latter option is available to you by virtue of you not being engaged. It makes no difference if you call it Dodge or Defend, you are choosing to force the attacking jabber to roll 4 dice instead of 3 whichever name you use. (But see my footnote at the bottom.)

Confusion exactly like this is why I advocate calling these two options a single option under a single name. I realize calling it the "I'm-not-attacking-you-but-you-have-to-roll-4-dice-to-hit-me" option is awkward, but it is precise.

Maybe we should call it the Evade option? Available to any figure, engaged or disengaged, who moved 1/2 MA or less on the same turn. Picking Evade forces all attackers on that turn to roll an extra die, 4 vs DX, to make their to-hit rolls.

* [Actually what I state there is not true under the RAW. From Melee (18) to Legacy ITL (117), it's actually specified that Dodge only adds a 4th die to the attacker's roll for Missile and Thrown weapon attacks. Of course at the time this rule was first published, there was no pole arm jab from 2 hexes away. Barring official clarification, it's impossible to say whether or not the jab was intended to create a loophole in the Dodge/Defend system (I would hope not) or merely an oversight when the 2-hex jab was added (seems more likely).

More clear on rereading the RAW is the deliberate intention to give Dodge and Defend mutually exclusive advantages, making a single combined option very contrary to the game design. So no "Evade" option would truly be appropriate. Oh well.]
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Last edited by Steve Plambeck; 09-05-2019 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:42 AM   #49
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Default Re: For SJ, where's the Move and Defend and option?

I interpret the rules as:
Defend against melee weapons (including 2 hex jab), Dodge against missile and/or thrown.
and may be chosen at any time during the turn aslong as the character hasn't violated any of the prerequisites of the desired option.

(Ihatelawyers.edu)
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Old 09-06-2019, 02:57 AM   #50
Steve Plambeck
 
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Default Re: For SJ, where's the Move and Defend and option?

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Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
The way I see it is the original Wizard and Advanced Melee rules very clearly allowed a change to Defend or Dodge to anyone who moved 1/2 MA or less, regardless of whether they were Engaged or not.

Defend and Dodge just have effects that usually make more sense to take for Engaged or Disengaged figures, but there was no rule against using them based on Engagement.
The first part of that is perfectly correct, but the second part is only half correct. I hoped the second part was completely correct because that's how me and my group interpreted things and played as well, but looking back at a comparison of editions, the Dodge option is simply not available to anyone of Engaged status. But to start from the beginning...

Melee, first edition 1977, in it's formatting of the OPTIONS as lists by Engagement status, makes it appear that you can only choose options from one of the three lists, no matter what. But that wasn't the intention, it was just a nice way to make looking up your choices as fast as possible. To clarify how the game was meant to work, SJ took advantage of the republication of the OPTIONS list a year later, in the first edition of Wizard, 1978, page 5, quoted below (emphasis mine):
CHANGING OPTIONS
It is legal to change options AFTER the movement part of the turn, to meet changing conditions. The only requirement is that the figure must not have already moved more than the NEW option allows. If you moved 0 or 1 hex, you may switch to any option you could have taken when the turn began ; if you moved 1/2 your MA or less, you may attack, defend, dodge, or drop ; if you moved over 1/2 your MA you may do nothing else that turn.

This one short, simple, but brilliant little paragraph is where it really becomes established that TFT uses a two-phase combat turn sequence, Movement and then Action. And relevant to the title of this thread, this is the first (and only) place the rules make it crystal clear you can "Move and Defend" on the same turn. More importantly, following the "movement phase", you may switch to any option you could have taken at the start of the turn, provided you moved only 0 or 1.

Two years later in Advanced Melee, SJ takes the clarification even further. In addition to retaining that new paragraph from Wizard, he revised the LIST OF OPTIONS, now sorted by distance moved rather than Engagement status, to include these rules from page 5: "The options marked with an asterisk are available to ONLY disengaged figures ; engaged figures may NOT do these things." Well, Dodge has an asterisk. It appears twice on the lists, with the asterisk each time. Engagement status does indeed determine whether or not you can pick Dodge. In Melee, Dodge only appears under the list of OPTIONS FOR DISENGAGED FIGURES, as it does in Wizard, and here the rule is spelled out with the use of that asterisk... twice. Clearly missile attacks on Engaged figures are never to be made on 4 dice.

That AM paragraph also goes on to say one more thing: "Other options (referring to those without asterisks) are available to all figures." This statement is as important as the CHANGING OPTIONS paragraph (which also appears in AM on the next page). This establishes that, except for the OPTIONS that are marked for Disengaged figures only, all the rest of the OPTIONS are available to anyone who didn't move too far, completely regardless of Engagement status. In fact there are in fact only two options limited to Disengaged figures, because they both include some component of free movement (Dodge and Charge). You can even Defend or Attack regardless of Engagement status (as long as you moved 1/2 MA or less). With a pole weapon you can attack anyone you can reach -- you never have to be Engaged. You can also elect to Defend even when you are not Engaged -- that's how you fend off that pole weapon's jab. You could even choose to Attack the air next to you if you weren't near anyone. Being Disengaged never limits your attempted actions, it just renders some of those choices nonsensical. Being Engaged takes away two options: Dodge and Charge.

If that was all there is to it, we might not be perceiving paradoxes in the rules where there aren't any.

I'm looking at the 5th edition of Melee, dated 1981, and shocked to notice the wonderful CHANGING OPTIONS paragraph wasn't included! That's a clarification every player needs. Now we come to the LEGACY editions. Under the combat rules in ITL the important CHANGING OPTIONS paragraph is missing again! It's not even included in the new edition of Melee! No wonder we have people asking if they can Move and Defend. That paragraph from AM page 3 is also missing from the new ITL, clarifying how nearly all options are available based on Movement alone.

Another problem seems to originate with a minor mistake in AM. Technically the Defend option should have been duplicated in section II. of the LIST OF OPTIONS, just as Dodge was duplicated. Each section was for how far you'd moved, not Engagement status, so options you could take moving up to half MA had to appear twice, once there and once on the list for having stood still, or moved and/or shifted 1 hex (because those "moves" also didn't exceed 1/2 MA). Forgetting to replicate it mattered less back then, because Defend was singled out as something you could pick after moving 1/2 MA in that wonderful CHANGING OPTIONS paragraph. If someone looks at or only remembers the LIST OF OPTIONS in AM, but is otherwise following the text in the new ITL, they might well come away thinking the rules say you can't pick Defend against jabs or if moving more than a Shift, or that you can't change options between Dodge and something else -- yet those things aren't true, they are just artifacts of how the rules have been spread out and edited across multiple times and texts.
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Last edited by Steve Plambeck; 09-06-2019 at 03:06 AM.
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