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Old 07-24-2018, 06:14 AM   #11
Jim Kane
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Default Re: Facing

I am going to be the odd-man-out on this topic; as I don't suspect many - if any of you - will like our method.

While it is true, that it essentially takes zero-time for a fighter to spin in place in reality; however, years ago we changed this rule to where it cost 1 MA to enter each and every new hex AND cost 1 MA for each and every hex-facing change.

If you moved forward (or back) one hex with the same facing, it cost 1 MA; if you then turned your counter one hex-side, then your total cost was 2 MA; and if you turned 2 hex-sides after your move of one, then your total cost was 3 MA.

Once your Movement Phase was completed, that was it; you were stuck with that position until your next Movement Phase (sort of like when you move a Chess piece and remove your hand from it - that's it).

This was done to heighten the tension of:
  • Who moves first - being forced to go first because you lost the initiative, caused you to *feel* that loss, and move into battle cautiously.
  • What your final combat position and facing ended up from a tactical perspective
  • How you entered combat (in terms of being potentially engaged)

    Additionally,
  • Stopped careless players from *adjusting* their facing, AFTER they found themselves out maneuvered by more tactical players.
  • Increased the perceived value of each and every point of MA
  • Turned combats away from people just rushing in to engage the enemy, and took on the tension of a knife-fight (where no one wants to be caught too close to the other guy unless you have the attack advantage).
  • Made Elves (natural MA of 12) much more fearsome as enemy warriors; and helped to encourage Racial Diversity amongst the PCs - other than simply for added, yet meaningless, flavor.
  • Encouraged Group Tactics, as PCs would cover each others side-hexes as a squad-tactic; as opposed to 4 guys in a brawl with 4 other guys.
  • Made the Tactics and Strategy Talents *much* more valuable.

Yes, this is a much more *war-gamey* approach to MA, Movement, and Facing, but that's the world we came from (AH, SPI, and Chess), so that was what we liked in *our* TFT.

JK

Last edited by Jim Kane; 07-24-2018 at 07:00 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 07-24-2018, 06:43 AM   #12
zot
 
Join Date: May 2018
Default Re: Facing

I have to say that I really like the chess-like aspect of Melee's movement system. Returning to TFT after all these years, it initially seemed to me that people should be able to adjust facing after everyone moved, in reverse DX order if sequencing is important.

After reading JK and others extoll the chess-like aspects of Melee, I realized that committing to facing at the end of your movement adds a lot to the game:
  • It makes going first and second have different advantages
  • It increases tension
  • It makes high MA remain useful in close combat
  • It makes combat more cinematic (something I really like)
  • It increases tactical options

After thinking about it, I'm very impressed with Steve's original Melee design! I never really paid much attention to these things in the 80's because I was all into playing a wizard and what magic could do (still am). When D&D 4e came out, I ignored the snobbery and looked for the gems in it and found that push/pull/shift/phalanx created cooperative opportunities in combat that just weren't there in 3.5.

Looking at TFT now, I realize that Steve had battlefield tactics like these THIRTY YEARS before 4e was published!

Maybe allowing facing changes after everyone has moved may seems more realistic but, really, is THAT what strains peoples' suspension of disbelief? There's plenty more you can do within the scope of TFT to try to push more towards "realistic", like acting in reverse order of DX with higher DX being able to pre-empt.

I see facing adjustment after everyone has moved as something that eliminates a major tactical trade off so I will most definitely be keeping Melee's current facing commitment at the end of your movement.

Last edited by zot; 07-24-2018 at 02:44 PM. Reason: Oops, wrote "DK" instead of "JK"
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Old 07-24-2018, 06:57 AM   #13
tbeard1999
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Tyler, Texas
Default Re: Facing

Our solution:

If an opponent starts in a figure's frontal arc and moves into the figure's flank arc, then the figure may change facing at the end of movement. This is not considered movement and costs no movement points.

This rule allows you to avoid panzerbushing, but also keeps figures from simply ignoring enemies who start the turn behind them.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:04 AM   #14
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Facing

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Bofinger View Post
I also prefer Nils' method, because the tricks enabled by the canonical method feel gamey and unrealistic.
It has "gamey" features because it's a game and the tactics come from those features. It's not completely trying to model reality.

If you allow characters to always change facing after their own movement to adjust to changing conditions, that takes away some of the tactics inherent in the game.

In the RAW, you have to think carefully about what you do each turn. If you choose (or are made) to move first, you have some difficult choices:

1. If you can reach the opponent then you engage them and that greatly cuts down their tactical options, although if you've had to move over half your MA then you can't attack them and they can attack you.

2. You may choose to stay out of reach of the opponent. If you think you are more than half their MA away, then they may be able to reach you but not attack. However, you won't be certain of their MA and they may surprise you.

3. If you move close, but don't engage, then you're asking for trouble as they are likely to get on your flank or even rear if they have a high MA.

If you allow the free change of facing, then the third option isn't risky any more, and so you've reduced the tactical element of the game.

Now, I agree it's not "realistic" but there are plenty of unrealistic elements in the game. The question is, does playing by the RAW make a better game.

I've played both ways and I think the RAW makes a better game. It it's obviously a matter of taste.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:18 AM   #15
Nils_Lindeberg
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Facing

First, implementing this does not take away from the tactical aspects of TFT at all. It only opens up more real tactical possibilities and you actually cannot surround an enemy by yourself, that is just ridiculous.

What it does do is speeding up play and takes away tedious, repetitive, but extremely simple math, that otherwise would have had to be applied again and again and again. Counting the number of steps between two characters is not hard, it's just a chore. And those of you who thinks this is what goes for tactical thinking is sorely mistaken.

Deciding where to make a stand, who you are going to face, teaming up to make sure one of you get the facing bonuses, navigate around obstacles, worrying how close you want to get to an enemy thrower, screen off your damage dealers so they don't get engaged by the wrong enemies but can move around freely, etc, are all viable and fun tactical choises that differs from fight to fight. Just closing on an opponent is not exactly rocket science, just boring calculation and usually delays the combat by one turn and cost game playing time.

And for the one that asked what happens if Team B wants to adjust after they saw how Team A adjusted their facing, and they in turn want to adjust, etc. We only allow one adjustment from the people that goes first. And this doesn't happen that often, since there are less gamey shenanigans to take into account.

And going first now is almost always a good thing. You can take the good ground, plug the bottle neck or engage the enemy before they can get to your squishies. Instead of having to worry about getting hit from behind by the guys in front of you?!? They manouvering around to get me in the back will happen when the melee gets chaotic, if we don't keep the line, but not before.

And for you that changed it so that turning cost extra MA. That doesn't really make it more tactical or chess-like. That is just an illusion. What it does do is lower everyones practical MA. And that is why MA becomes more important. So just give everyone -2 MA and you would get the same effect with racial diversity and what not. But in general, higher MA makes the game more tactical. You will have more possible options each rounds, more places that you can reach, etc. Lower movement do the opposite.

And for those that think that you need to predict you opponents moves more if you can't change your facing. That tactical skill doesn't change in any way. The only difference will be in the actual counting of hexes to see if he can or can't get you in the side or not. The prediction if he will try, or hold back or do something else is still there and just as viable.

The only big draw back I can see, is that you add a possible 3 second check, "Anyone wants to change facing?" That sometimes is followed by a 30 sec analysis paralysis.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:27 AM   #16
Nils_Lindeberg
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Facing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Kane View Post
Once your Movement Phase was completed, that was it; you were stuck with that position until your next Movement Phase (sort of like when you move a Chess piece and remove your hand from it - that's it).
I think this was the essence of the rules change. Not being able to change your move and take it back, keep the tempo up and not allowing analysis paralysis. This heightens the drama and suspense.

The rest of the advantages you state I don't see. All you do is basically lower everyones MA and thereby make MA bonuses more important and chances for gamey tricks less. But a lower MA is less tactical and the game will be a lot easier to predict since everyone can do less different things.

Or did I misunderstand something? How did this make the tactics talents more important or how did you get more tactical choices?
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:45 AM   #17
Nils_Lindeberg
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Facing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post
It has "gamey" features because it's a game and the tactics come from those features. It's not completely trying to model reality.

If you allow characters to always change facing after their own movement to adjust to changing conditions, that takes away some of the tactics inherent in the game.

In the RAW, you have to think carefully about what you do each turn. If you choose (or are made) to move first, you have some difficult choices:

1. If you can reach the opponent then you engage them and that greatly cuts down their tactical options, although if you've had to move over half your MA then you can't attack them and they can attack you.

2. You may choose to stay out of reach of the opponent. If you think you are more than half their MA away, then they may be able to reach you but not attack. However, you won't be certain of their MA and they may surprise you.

3. If you move close, but don't engage, then you're asking for trouble as they are likely to get on your flank or even rear if they have a high MA.

If you allow the free change of facing, then the third option isn't risky any more, and so you've reduced the tactical element of the game.

Now, I agree it's not "realistic" but there are plenty of unrealistic elements in the game. The question is, does playing by the RAW make a better game.

I've played both ways and I think the RAW makes a better game. It it's obviously a matter of taste.
Nice analysis and you have played it both ways which is good. And you are very right about it being a matter of taste.

Just remember that it is only the third option that is negated and it in itself is not really an option, it is just an easy trap to avoid. The only time it will actually be a choice is if you place yourself at just the right distance and then the enemy suprises you with extra movement. Doesn't happen very often, and usually not something you can figure out or get the odds of to base a calculated risk on. So not really a tactical decision.

The drawbacks are that you have to think about the third choice. You have done it before, just the exact same choice, in every fight. It is not difficult just a boring chore. And while you do that you might not think of the other possible choices there are, or you spend unecessary gameplaying time on it. And it will turn off new players from the game when they close with their first opponent and get suddenly back stabbed and can't even return the attack...

And I wouldn't want to explain to new players how it is done and why. Very counterintuitive. :-)

It is gamey, but it isn't really fun gamey for me. If something purely gamey should be part of the design it needs to add something, this just detracts. But that is pure opinion and your TFT may vary.

It would be interesting to hear SJ opinion on it after having tried it for a few fights. It does make a one on one melee fight even simpler (maybe not a good thing), but not many play TFT like that.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:57 AM   #18
Nils_Lindeberg
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Default Re: Facing

Maybe introduce it as an optional rule to simplify and speed up play?
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:09 AM   #19
JLV
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Location: Far northern California
Default Re: Facing

I'm with Skarg (and Steve) on this one; the RAW are written that way for a reason, and it works if you apply it properly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nils_Lindeberg View Post
And those of you who thinks this is what goes for tactical thinking is sorely mistaken.
Maybe tone down the hostility towards others here a bit.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:22 AM   #20
larsdangly
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Default Re: Facing

I play this RAW (you have to settle on your facing at the end of YOUR move) because I like how this element of movement can be 'gamed'. Melee is a game. It is good that there are things in it that can be gamed. If you remove all the stuff that can be gamed, you lose all the 'chess-like' elements of play and just end up with a statistical engine for doling out damage.

In fact, I'd be happy if the new edition provided even more options for out maneuvering people. Two rules I've used in house-editions are: 1) you can only attack through your front hex side, not your front three hex sides; and 2) lots of weapons have range 2 rather than 1. The combination of these makes every move tricky and interesting, particularly when there are several combatants (and I avoid it turning into total nonsense by permitting a kind of 'attack of opportunity' option where you can take a swipe or shot at someone as they move through a hex you can target).
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