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Old 07-05-2011, 10:45 PM   #1
polydac
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Default Attack and Step with Wait Maneuver?

Hi,
Hoping someone could clarify the rules around stepping AFTER attack as part of a Wait maneuver. I'm particularly interested in the legality of using the step portion to move away from an advancing foe. As an example...fighters A and B have one hex between them. A has initiative and both have 1-hex reach weapons...

A1. Uses a Wait Maneuver (declares attack and step back if B advances)
B1 Uses Step and Attack...move into adjacent hex but....
A1 gets to attack before B can swing because of Wait. Player A attacks and then steps back out of reach of B. B can no longer attack and effectively loses remainder of turn
A2 Can step forward and attack B again (combat continues as normal from this point on...)

I remember reading another post (unfortunately I can't find link) that suggested making the step back equivalent to a retreat. As a result, B still gets his attack in the first turn since the exchange is almost simultaneous. Makes sense. But what happens if player A uses a Committed Attack (as part of the Wait maneuver) instead of a Step and Attack? Committed Attack does not allow a retreat so presumably this approach would no longer be valid??? Also with Committed Attack, can player A take 2 steps away after attacking instead of just one?

I am fairly new to GURPS 4e as my previous experience was with the very old 1st edition rules (i.e. Man to Man rulebook). There, one could only step forward as part of a Wait maneuver so this was never really an issue.

Thanks in advance for any comments/clarifications.....
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:16 AM   #2
OldSam
 
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Default Re: Attack and Step with Wait Maneuver?

IDHMBWM and that situation never occured in one of my games so far, but I think stepping back after a wait is legal. It seems that with higher Basic Speed and using this wait-tactic, technically one can avoid being hit by step+attack if there is one hex distance in the beginning...

But indeed it seems like this is (at least partly) a problematic effect of round based movement, so I'd agree, that it's most likely a good solution to handle the step back as a retreat - still giving the attacker a chance to hit.

Another way (which is a bit more complex) could be to limit the defender's counterattack abilities, because he's keeping the distance... One could say that the attack while stepping back is limited to strikes on the exposed weapon, that weapon arm, or the front leg; furthermore that type of attack could be changed automatically into an defensive attack, because of the backwards movement... just as an idea ;)

Last edited by OldSam; 07-06-2011 at 05:24 AM.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Attack and Step with Wait Maneuver?

Quote:
Originally Posted by polydac View Post
Hi,
Hoping someone could clarify the rules around stepping AFTER attack as part of a Wait maneuver. I'm particularly interested in the legality of using the step portion to move away from an advancing foe. As an example...fighters A and B have one hex between them. A has initiative and both have 1-hex reach weapons...

A1. Uses a Wait Maneuver (declares attack and step back if B advances)
B1 Uses Step and Attack...move into adjacent hex but....
A1 gets to attack before B can swing because of Wait. Player A attacks and then steps back out of reach of B. B can no longer attack and effectively loses remainder of turn
A2 Can step forward and attack B again (combat continues as normal from this point on...)
That looks correct if B declares Attack. Which mostly indicates that in that situation, B should probably declare something other than Attack.
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Originally Posted by polydac View Post
I remember reading another post (unfortunately I can't find link) that suggested making the step back equivalent to a retreat. As a result, B still gets his attack in the first turn since the exchange is almost simultaneous. Makes sense.
You could do that, but they're not all that simultaneous in other respects. B suffers any effects of A's attack before making his own (if he gets to make his own at all). He's got enough time to experience a shock penalty, or be physically stunned and fall over, or suffer more exotic consequences, any of which may hamper or prevent his own attack.
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Originally Posted by polydac View Post
But what happens if player A uses a Committed Attack (as part of the Wait maneuver) instead of a Step and Attack? Committed Attack does not allow a retreat so presumably this approach would no longer be valid???
I don't see any conflict between it and treating the step-away as a Retreat. They can't Retreat, but they're not trying to. They're just using the movement permitted by their Maneuver, and you're giving that movement effects similar to a Retreat.

You're already short-changing A by down-grading their preemptive step to a retreat. No reason to make it even worse.
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Originally Posted by polydac View Post
Also with Committed Attack, can player A take 2 steps away after attacking instead of just one?
Yes, though of course they have to decide that they're going to take two steps before they roll the attack, since taking the second imposes a penalty on the attack roll. The steps can be taken whenever you want with respect to the rest of the maneuver.
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Last edited by Ulzgoroth; 07-06-2011 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: Attack and Step with Wait Maneuver?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
Which mostly indicates that in that situation, B should probably declare something other than Attack.
Well, at least B doesn't now the plan, that would be using knowledge out of character ;)
But of course with a good knowledge of general tactics, B could decide to avoid that potential situation - for instance using an All-out-Attack would help, because of the greater movement capability (though AoA is risky).

Last edited by OldSam; 07-06-2011 at 06:15 AM.
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Old 07-06-2011, 11:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Attack and Step with Wait Maneuver?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
You're already short-changing A by down-grading their preemptive step to a retreat. No reason to make it even worse. .
I agree. My first inclination was to not allow the "retreat" counterattack from player B as I like the idea of a smart player being able to keep a closing attacker at bay. What nagged at me was the fact that player A could get 2 back-to-back attacks before B could effectively respond (unless the step back is treated as a retreat). Didn't seem realistic....

Your and OldSam's comments sparked another idea....In an effort to not short-change player A (or B), what about allowing player B to convert his Step and Attack to a Move and Attack? Strictly speaking, I don't like to allow players to change maneuvers mid-turn. But, in this case where B was stepping forward to attack (and had his attack thwarted by A stepping back), it seems reasonable that B would simply keep moving forward and close the gap (particularly if A can attack and still take 2 steps back with a Committed Attack in same time frame). Of course, B's attack would now be at a penalty for Move and Attack, but this also allows A to maintain some of the advantage of a pre-emptive backstep....
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Attack and Step with Wait Maneuver?

Wait unambiguously allows the character to Attack and Step Back - or Step Back and Attack, but either way he only gets to start his movement once the wait is triggered. He can also step sideways, jump up on a soap box (usually counts as a step as does jumping on/over other low obstacles), and various other Step-equivalent things.

The problem with the Waiter scurrying away "indefinitely" is that this scenario requires an infinite featureless plain and an attacker who mindlessly tries to follow you. It might work the first one or two times, but after that the attacker is going to stop dutifully stepping forward so you can try to hit him again. Well, unless he's an idiot - you can probably get a zombie to chase you forever.

This isn't meta-game knowledge the attacker is acting on, once it's done a few times - the Waiter has demonstrated his strategy quite clearly, his cards are all on the table, his Maneuvers speak louder than his players words, however you like to phrase it.

Committed-Attack Long, a lunge, extra-effort for an extra Step, all out attack, Slam, flying tackles, Move and Attack... or just make Defensive Attacks while herding the Waiter into a corner or against a table, onto bad ground, off a cliff, or into your allies. And the Waiter will be useless at holding an entry point or holding his place on a line of battle, allowing foes to break the line and attack his allies from the sides or the back.

I say don't forbid it - it's a good tactic but not a game-winning Always The Best tactic, and it's sometimes a really terrible tactic. Allowing it results in a much livelier, more dynamic battlefield, where you have interesting choices to make that sometimes will be good, sometimes be great, and sometimes be stupid.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:16 PM   #7
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Default Re: Attack and Step with Wait Maneuver?

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Originally Posted by polydac View Post
In an effort to not short-change player A (or B), what about allowing player B to convert his Step and Attack to a Move and Attack?
I don't see any issue with that, though this is actually a perfect place for B to use Extra Effort for a Step.

In fact, I'd say that it's actually a rather common reason why B would go into a Lunge, Committed-Attack Long, or use Extra Effort for a Step when all he meant to do was Step and Attack.

Mind you, when circumstances change in the middle of a maneuver, I often give the player options on how to resolve this, but then I tend to only give them a few seconds to choose to take one of those options, before telling them that their PC hesitated since they hadn't planned on more than a Step and A is now out of reach.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: Attack and Step with Wait Maneuver?

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Well, at least B doesn't now the plan, that would be using knowledge out of character ;)
But of course with a good knowledge of general tactics, B could decide to avoid that potential situation - for instance using an All-out-Attack would help, because of the greater movement capability (though AoA is risky).
If B is thinking about the possibilities, they should recognize the likelihood of this sequence of events as soon as A declares their Wait.
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Originally Posted by polydac View Post
I agree. My first inclination was to not allow the "retreat" counterattack from player B as I like the idea of a smart player being able to keep a closing attacker at bay. What nagged at me was the fact that player A could get 2 back-to-back attacks before B could effectively respond (unless the step back is treated as a retreat). Didn't seem realistic....
There are lots of ways that can happen. In this case, it's only able to happen because B is making an obvious mistake. Making an Attack maneuver in that situation is just a very bad decision.

I wouldn't have a problem with B switching their maneuver to something equivalent, but equivalency is a problem. Move and Attack or Committed Attack (let alone All Out Attack) include penalties to your defenses. If you've already defended without those penalties a substitution would be unfair.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:30 PM   #9
Ze'Manel Cunha
 
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Default Re: Attack and Step with Wait Maneuver?

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
I wouldn't have a problem with B switching their maneuver to something equivalent, but equivalency is a problem. Move and Attack or Committed Attack (let alone All Out Attack) include penalties to your defenses. If you've already defended without those penalties a substitution would be unfair.
That's not relevant, B's defense was against A's attack which happens before B's maneuver anyway.

Even if B had declared an All Out Attack, because A was interrupting B's attack, B would still be defending with the defense he had for his last turn's maneuver, not the defense B will have until his next turn due to his maneuver this turn.
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: Attack and Step with Wait Maneuver?

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Originally Posted by Ze'Manel Cunha View Post
That's not relevant, B's defense was against A's attack which happens before B's maneuver anyway.

Even if B had declared an All Out Attack, because A was interrupting B's attack, B would still be defending with the defense he had for his last turn's maneuver, not the defense B will have until his next turn due to his maneuver this turn.
I don't think that's right. A's attack happens during B's maneuver in this scenario, not before it.
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