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Old 10-11-2020, 01:47 PM   #1
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default when to use -4 or -6 instead of -5 to hit unseen foes in melee combat

B388 Wild Swing usually uses -5 "against a foe you can't see"

B547 mentions under Visibility one normally uses -6 for "cannot see foe" except when "know his location to within one yard" where it becomes -4

I don't know if these are perhaps meant to stack or replace one another.

I'm wondering how you would RP estimating "within one yard" to get the -4. Does "within one" for example mean you correctly guess the specific hex, or would it also apply if you guess one of his adjacent hexes instead?

In the -6 situations, how exactly do you even have a chance to hit someone at all if you're aiming your target at the wrong hex?

547 includes the same note as 388 about final skill not surpassing 9, but doesn't mention the inability to make targeted hits, or the inability to make thrusting attacks beyond 1 yard.

It seems like it should be possible (just very improbable) to hit with thrusting attacks at 2+ yards, but maybe that should have a 'soft cap' by increasing penalties, something like giving thrusting a "reach cubed" penalty?

"Shooting Blind" on B389 says to use Wild Swing moves, but non ST-based weapons do not use "thrust" damage so the "distance of more than one yard" restriction wouldn't apply... but if you can hit at 2+ yards with a bullet then why not with an arrow/knife?
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Old 10-11-2020, 06:02 PM   #2
Dinadon
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: when to use -4 or -6 instead of -5 to hit unseen foes in melee combat

The rules for visibility are on pg.394, and they will answer most of your questions. The rules for Wild Swing are pretty clear on which penalty to use (namely, the worst).

As for shooting blind, just because a muscle powered weapon is using thrust damage doesn't make it a thrust attack. A thrust or swing is a qualifier for melee attacks that determines which damage a melee attack uses. A ranged attack is never a thrust or a swing.

Also, the appendices should not be taken as an authority on rules. Ideally, they would match, but when they don't it's the primary text takes precendence over the appendix.
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Old 10-12-2020, 02:19 AM   #3
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: when to use -4 or -6 instead of -5 to hit unseen foes in melee combat

B394's "a single smoke-filled hex" answers my question about where the -4 applies I guess...

But if you always need to use Wild Swing and must use the 'worst' it's hard t o think when -4 wouldn't be over-rode by the -5...

When would that be besides Back Kick or Elbow Strike ?
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Old 10-12-2020, 07:49 AM   #4
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: when to use -4 or -6 instead of -5 to hit unseen foes in melee combat

Vision alternations (360 Degree, Peripheral, Restricted, the "fighting with eyes averted" rules for DF, as with a medusa, "Battle Arc" and "No Fovea" in Enhanced Senses) change the definitions of "side" and "rear" for the purposes of where Wild Swings apply.

There's a Back Strike Technique to go along with Back Kick, if we're cataloguing. There could be any number of Techniques (including custom ones) that are designed and trained to attack side or rear hexes.
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Old 10-12-2020, 10:51 AM   #5
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: when to use -4 or -6 instead of -5 to hit unseen foes in melee combat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Vision alternations (360 Degree, Peripheral, Restricted, the "fighting with eyes averted" rules for DF, as with a medusa, "Battle Arc" and "No Fovea" in Enhanced Senses) change the definitions of "side" and "rear" for the purposes of where Wild Swings apply.

There's a Back Strike Technique to go along with Back Kick, if we're cataloguing. There could be any number of Techniques (including custom ones) that are designed and trained to attack side or rear hexes.
Vision advantages could also change whether or not a foe is "unseen" too, ie whether or not you use the -4 for "I know they're in this hex but not specifically where in the hex".

B230's -4 for Back Kick actually seems incredibly light now that I think of it, that's merely -2 atop the usual -2 for kicking...

This seems to match up with the "clumsy angle" penalty (-2) you get even if you have 360 vision (B389 if striking to back or "opposite" side)

I'd almost want to break this up into extra techniques because this could get weird if you bought up back kick and then suddenly got 360 vision, like how would you know which 'portion' of those penalties you had bought off?

"Clumsy Backward" and "Clumsy Opposite" might be looked at as either a collective -2 technique, or separate -2 techniques. Not sure which would be more balanced...

The 360>Peripheral downgrade is "rear/opposite are now wild" (there is no "opposite" for 2H)
Peripheral>Normal downgrade is "same side is now wild" (collectively same+opposite means this applies to all 2H attacks)
Buying these off WITHOUT vision as techniques might perhaps be folded into B390's "Defending in Tactical Combat" drawbacks, sort of like how "ground combat" tech collectively buys off both defense/offense penalties, or how "close combat" tech collectively buys off the skill penalty for both hits/parries

"Defending Against Attack from the Side" doesn't actually appear to mention vision, just Double-Jointed and Extra Flexible for parries...

B391's "Defending Against Attacks from the Back" OTOH does mention the visions, allowing defenses at -2 (as per side) or no penalty. There's an avoidable "no blocks" or "-2 parries" avoidable by the aforementioned DJ/EF limb enhancements though.

Leg Parries didn't exist in Basic Set so they're not mentioned. That makes me wonder if DJ would avoid the -2 for leg parries to rear (if it allowed them at all) and if you could get "Extra Flexible" on legs. B55 doesn't mention this as an option.

B53 lets you buy Extra-flexible on both arms for merely 5+5=10 points, which is nearly the entire cost of B56's Double-Jointed [15]. The +5 on Break Free / Escape is usable against handcuffs (weirdly B53 mentions no bonus to these skills for arms...)

Since only 4 skills are called out, perhaps this "Talent" is worth fewer points than the "6 or fewer" 5/level "Cost of Talent" on PU3p4 ?

These lack other benefits talents usually have (bonus to reaction rolls, % time reduction to improve skills) though there is the "avoid close quarters penalty" tiering.

The +3 for 5 (no other benefits for Flexible) v +5 for 15 is clearly different here. Even if the +3 was doubled to +6 we woulds still only expect this to be worth 10 points rather than 15, so clearly more than 5 points is dedicated to buying Extra-Flexible Arms...

But if that were 10 points then that alone would cover the difference: EF arms + Flexible is the exact same sum cost as Double-Jointed!

I'm thinking maybe a discount is somehow acquired by treating these as "Alternative Abilities" ? That would 1/5 at least one component. Just use 5/3 per +1 (25/3) with +40% for reflexive (35/3 .. 11⅔ rounds up to 12) and then take Flexible Arm (Reflexive +40%) [7] twice [14] as alternative abilities (14/5=2.3 rounds up to 3). 12+3=15.

The rounded-up 1/3 and 0.7 lost here are more than a point collectively, so "I can grapple with my torso" (MA116/TG6) is a perk (already established: Cotton Stomach)

Being unable to use both arms as flexible simultaneously (even though reflexive allows switching between them automatically) also explains why Double-Jointed doesn't give the discount to purchasing Constriction Attack (TG27) that having full-time "simultaneously flexible" arms does.


MA67's writeup of Back Strike that you refer to is indeed just -2 on the usual...

It seems like this could be using technique mod rules on Wild Swing...

-2 to all active defenses per MA91 is worth +4, would would buy up the usual -5 for Wild Swing up to -1...

Removing the cap of 9 to skill is probably -1 to explain how it got to -2... this is explicitly one of the "Special Benefits" on MA91: "Ignoring the effective skill limit of 9 on a Wild Swing when striking rearward"

There are some additional drawbacks compared to Wild Swing as well... it lacks these two benefits, which are probably worth a +skill bonus
1) "or the current visibility penalty, whichever is worse," (ie visibility penalties do not stack)
2) "use the more severe penalties of the two" (ie Move and Attack penalties do not stack)
Another drawbacks it has compared to Wild Swing (also probably worth +skill bonuses)
3) "legs must be free in order to change stance."
I can't find a basis for assigning value to these three, so I don't know if it would be worth +1/+2/+3 (or more?) but whatever it is, I could only find one extra (third: after ignoring the skill cap and the +3 accuracy) benefit to Back Strike lacking in Wild Swing:
"at an extra -1 if you target a specific hit location"
This would not be worth a -1 drawback for normal attacks (it falls beneath the resolution) but it most definitely sounds like at least a +1 benefit in comparison to Wild Swing, which cannot target hit locations at all (always random)

For estimating that value, the closest I can think of on MA91 is "Limited target selection". It is +1 for stuff like "upper only" or "lower only" or "lower SM or not standing". I would think "random hits only" would normally be worth at least +1, so going from random-only to "can specify a hit location at merely an extra -1 penalty" is probably at least a -1 Special Benefit IMO.

Whatever one assigns that, I'd have to assume it's equal to the cumulative value of the 3 previously listed drawbacks (no vision stack, no move stack, free legs) Back Strike has compared to Wild Swing.

Last edited by Plane; 10-12-2020 at 11:08 AM.
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