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Old 09-28-2020, 06:02 AM   #1
RedMattis
 
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Default How to avoid Retreating Dodge Spam

I find combat can easily devolve into Standard-Attack -> Retreating Dodge, rinse and repeat for both sides of the fight.

Committed Attack was suggested as a solution in another thread since it lets the more aggressive fighter double-step to corner their opponent. However Committed Attack not only stops the fighter from parrying with that weapon, but it also gives large penalties to other defenses (-2). As a result the aggressive fighter will tend to be immediately punished. F.ex. by being targeted by a Deceptive Attack or even some All-Out-Attack-variant immediately after his Determined Attack to exploit his lowered defenses.

I suspect I'm just not using the rules right, but how do I avoid combat getting monotonous in 1-1 fights?
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Old 09-28-2020, 06:30 AM   #2
Steen
 
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Default Re: How to avoid Retreating Dodge Spam

I've had the same thoughts, but I think fights like those actually make sense, in the end. If you see how HEMA fighters often fight, you'll see them doing this exact back-and-forth thing for several seconds on end, feeling each other out with their weapons before they strike. Where a lot of other games like to have hit points that tick down with every strike, GURPS likes a situation where a lot of the blows get dodged, but those that don't can be fight-stoppers.... you know, like in real life.

But if you want to bring a quick stop to the back-and-forth, consider using more grapples to stop your opponent from retreating, or even target the feet with your attacks. Sitting or kneeling foes cannot Retreat.
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Old 09-28-2020, 06:34 AM   #3
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: How to avoid Retreating Dodge Spam

Retreating Dodge is rarely effective for a long term strategy because a) the attacker knows what is behind the defender and the defender does not, b) it does not work against ranged attacks, c) most combatents have a low dodge score because of encumbrance. In the case of c) a typical combatent with a Basic Speed 6, Combat Reflexes, and Medium Encumbrance has a retreating dodge of 11, which is useful but not spammy.

Now, the issue changes with characters with Basic Speed 8, Combat Reflexes, and No Encumbrance, as they have a retreating dodge of 15. In that case though, attackers with ranged weapons reduce their effective dodge to 12, which means that their lack of armor starts to hurt as combat progresses. In addition, Deceptive Attack, Feint, Spin Attack, etc. allows high skilled attackers to reduce their opponents defenses, which also makes a lack of armor hurt.
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Old 09-28-2020, 07:55 AM   #4
MrFix
 
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Default Re: How to avoid Retreating Dodge Spam

As I mentioned in the other thread, if you constantly step away from the attacker, you're running away. And if you're running away, you're not winning the fight if the objective is to kill your enemy.

One guy retreating away non-stop with another chasing non-stop is not sane combat... or useful combat, really, so in reality this situation only happens when:

1) One of them actually wants to run away. Except walking away 1 step at a time is not a very efficient way to do it.
2) One of them needlessly chases around for the enemy due to lack of tactical acumen.
3) One of them can attack at ranges that his enemy can't match.

Otherwise, it's normal that retreated fighter steps IN towards the enemy to deliver his blow, who then can retreat etc.

You say you've read the previous thread, so I won't bore you with explaining how it works, there's like 8 pages of it. If you haven't checked it out proper, go on and do that.

Otherwise, two pieces of advice
1) Change your mindset. 'Retreating dodge spam' is just a mobile defense. It's like saying people 'spam attack' when they're trying to kill an enemy.
2) Graduate to ranged combat, no retreats there :)

Regarding monotony of combat, GURPS melee combat is not too engrossing unless you actually use the full toolbox of moves available to your character, equipment, allies, tactics etc. Don't make standard attacks, change positioning, enlist a buddy, use interesting weapons. If it's just 2 SL10 naked guys trying to punch each other out in an empty desert, it's not a monotonous and boring combat, it's monotonous and boring campaign you're running!
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Last edited by MrFix; 09-28-2020 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:07 AM   #5
Plane
 
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Default Re: How to avoid Retreating Dodge Spam

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedMattis View Post
how do I avoid combat getting monotonous in 1-1 fights?
Realize that nothing in the RAW explicitly states that retreats are extra movement, so don't allow them unless the character has unspent movement? Solves everything.

This could be a step, half a step (for those with 2y steps) or movement points.

Whatever classic intent there was of "attack presses opponent back", we don't need that anymore since we have Roll With Blow to double knockback. Maybe just allow an option with parries/blocks to "take the knockback if you want it" in lieu of deflection. Doesn't really make sense at all with dodges since there's no contact to transfer force.

Maybe allow some kind of "extra step" form of extra effort to give a step for a retreat if someone already used all their movement for that turn.

Committed Attack lets you trade -2 to your attack skill for a step, so maybe "use a step when you don't have any steps left" should just be -2 to your active defence?

That seems kinda consistent with MA92 suggesting a -2 for:
being able to retreat two steps
This assumes you were already able to retreat 1 step so it's "allowed retreat +1 step" essentially, so using a similar rule when you have "no retreat steps allowed" seems fair.

Kromm defined "Extra Step" as a 25 point advantage using technique design. If we apply limitaitons to that (eg: requires DX roll -10%; Emergencies Only -30%) then you could buy that as a 15 point advantage "Extra Step for Emergencies" for people to use when they'd already exhausted movement allowance.
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:12 AM   #6
Rupert
 
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Default Re: How to avoid Retreating Dodge Spam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plane View Post
Realize that nothing in the RAW explicitly states that retreats are extra movement, so don't allow them unless the character has unspent movement? Solves everything.
That will be a house rule, as the rules allow Retreats except where noted otherwise, so it absolutely is 'bonus' movement in the RAW.
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:31 AM   #7
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Default Re: How to avoid Retreating Dodge Spam

Feints, If your opponent is retreating a lot then you need to through in some feints to mess them up.

Evaluate to get a higher effective skill to make sure you hit.

Deceptive attacks should be happening often to reduce the opponents defense.
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Old 09-28-2020, 09:57 AM   #8
ravenfish
 
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Default Re: How to avoid Retreating Dodge Spam

The first thing to do is to make sure combats don't take place on an infinite featureless plain. Repeated retreats can eventually get one's back to the wall, get one into difficult terrain, or simply result in surrendering control of an objective.
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Old 09-28-2020, 10:05 AM   #9
Plane
 
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Default Re: How to avoid Retreating Dodge Spam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rupert View Post
That will be a house rule,
as the rules allow Retreats except where noted otherwise,
so it absolutely is 'bonus' movement in the RAW.
B367 could be viewed as the "notes otherwise":
"a maximum number of yards"
"move up to"

Interpreting it as a bonus comes in conflict with the caps B367 establishes.

B391 notably only says "A retreat takes you one step normally
one hex directly away from the foe you are defending against" but it doesn't say anything about not paying MP for it.

"you can't keep moving if you run out of movement points" is basically the unwritten implication of how the Move maneuver works. Even if you haven't moved your full Move in yards, because of terrain/posture/direction costs. It's just a general policy like "you can't move through a hex occupied entirely be a wall" which would also forbid retreating through that wall-hex because it follows standard movement rules.
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Old 09-28-2020, 10:20 AM   #10
MrFix
 
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Default Re: How to avoid Retreating Dodge Spam

"Unwritten implication" is the one combination of words you don't want to produce when people ask questions about rules. Remember, certain traits, equipment and movement options ALLOW you to move through a hex occupied entirely by a wall.
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