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Old 05-07-2017, 10:10 PM   #1
Pseudonym
 
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Default Mass Combat: Failing Strategy Roll with a bigger Margin of Success than the Winner

So weird conundrum.
Basic set and lite say:
Quote:
Each competitor attempts his success roll. If one succeeds and the other fails, the winner is obvious.
Fine, so let's say:
Sean has Strategy-20
Anna has Strategy-15
Sean Rolls a 17; Anna rolls a 15.
Anna succeeded because "The winner is ***obvious.*** (Is it?)"
But her Margin of Victory is... -3?
Where does that fit on the Mass Combat's Combat Results table (p.47)?

Do Quick Contests have a minimum Margin of Victory? Should a margin of victory be floored at 1? Also, can I get a generalized ruling for all Quick Contests?
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Old 05-07-2017, 10:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: Mass Combat: Failing Strategy Roll with a bigger Margin of Success than the Winne

From memory, if you're failing a roll by rolling a 17 or 18 and your skill is higher than that, your margin of failure is treated as 1.
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Mass Combat: Failing Strategy Roll with a bigger Margin of Success than the Winne

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Originally Posted by The Benj View Post
From memory, if you're failing a roll by rolling a 17 or 18 and your skill is higher than that, your margin of failure is treated as 1.
Do you have a scripture reference so I may commit the words to my heart?
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:38 AM   #4
The Benj
 
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Default Re: Mass Combat: Failing Strategy Roll with a bigger Margin of Success than the Winne

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Originally Posted by Pseudonym View Post
Do you have a scripture reference so I may commit the words to my heart?
I think you've misunderstood what "From memory" means... :)
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Mass Combat: Failing Strategy Roll with a bigger Margin of Success than the Winne

Here's a PK post that addresses how to handle margin of failure if effective skill is 17 or greater. You treat a roll of 17 as failure by 1.

How you should treat a roll of 18 is left unspecified.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Mass Combat: Failing Strategy Roll with a bigger Margin of Success than the Winne

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Originally Posted by Nemoricus View Post
Here's a PK post that addresses how to handle margin of failure if effective skill is 17 or greater. You treat a roll of 17 as failure by 1.

How you should treat a roll of 18 is left unspecified.
This is the path I decided to take. In addition, as a corollary, I've decided that minimum margin of success is 0. This solves the vanishingly rare edge case of having skill 3 and rolling a 4.
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Old 05-08-2017, 12:21 PM   #7
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Default Re: Mass Combat: Failing Strategy Roll with a bigger Margin of Success than the Winne

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Originally Posted by Nemoricus View Post
How you should treat a roll of 18 is left unspecified.
I'm personally inclined to treat Critical Failures as having a minimum Margin of Failure of 5. That is, you use 5 or actual MoF, whichever is worse.
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Old 05-08-2017, 01:14 PM   #8
DouglasCole
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Default Re: Mass Combat: Failing Strategy Roll with a bigger Margin of Success than the Winne

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pseudonym View Post
So weird conundrum.
Basic set and lite say:

Fine, so let's say:
Sean has Strategy-20
Anna has Strategy-15
Sean Rolls a 17; Anna rolls a 15.
Anna succeeded because "The winner is ***obvious.*** (Is it?)"
But her Margin of Victory is... -3?
Where does that fit on the Mass Combat's Combat Results table (p.47)?

Do Quick Contests have a minimum Margin of Victory? Should a margin of victory be floored at 1? Also, can I get a generalized ruling for all Quick Contests?
I am, of course, possibly confused, but

Sean: Skill-20, Roll-17, margin of success 3
Anna: Skill-15, Roll-15, margin of success 0

Sean should win here, "obviously?"

Ah. I see. Roll 17 is notionally auto-fail. Gotcha.


[Another Edit]: And yet, from p. B222: "unless another person with this skill leads them. In that case, the GM rolls a Quick Contest of Strategy."

This suggests two things to me (not having read PK's post):

1) If the bad guys' IQ is 8 or lower, don't roll. You roll strategy and if you succeed, you know stuff about their plans, fail and you get false info. The bad guys don't get a roll; they just do whatever they're going to do making plans without a good guess as to the "good guys'" intentions.

2) If the bad guys' IQ is 9+ or if they specifically have Strategy, then it's a Quick Contest for which the auto-fail rule doesn't apply. So in the example, Sean makes his roll by 3, Anna by 0, Sean wins. As it is written, so it shall be, etc.
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Last edited by DouglasCole; 05-08-2017 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: Mass Combat: Failing Strategy Roll with a bigger Margin of Success than the Winne

Quote:
Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
...
In Mass Combat, the strategy roll is the main mechanic.

That said, really I want an answer that can be generalized to all cases. And I think the most generalizable answer is assuming that if someone succeeds/fails with a negative/less than 1 margin, they are floored at 0/1 respectively.


Altogether though, the important elements of a quick contest are:
  • The rolls are success rolls
  • The contest is decided by margins
  • ...Except they are ignored if one party wins and one party fails
  • ...which is weird when the margin of victory is important to take into account.

Then there is the line that bothers me like crazy about the winner being "obvious," in such a case.
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Last edited by Pseudonym; 05-08-2017 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 05-09-2017, 08:41 AM   #10
MrTim
 
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Default Re: Mass Combat: Failing Strategy Roll with a bigger Margin of Success than the Winne

For all intents and purposes, you're rolling against a 16 if your skill is higher than 16, so it makes sense that a 17 is a failure by 1. As for critical failures, I usually treat them as failure by infinity; the only oddity that produces is the question of which infinity is bigger if both sides critically fail, but at that point I usually go with something amusingly disastrous for both sides.
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