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Old 04-18-2021, 04:13 AM   #1
Acheron
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Default Is initiating HTH overpowered?

We just played our first (test) battles with TFT yesterday, and we noticed that initiating HTH seems quite broken:

The chance of initiating HTH is not influenced by any stats at all. Anyone has 66% chance (80% from behind) of succeeding, and thus knocking down and disarming an opponent (who might or might not be able to draw a dagger in response).
Then, his allies can attack with +4 DX and the victim is denied the protection of his shield. That seems to us extremely overpowered.

Even if the defender instantly kills the HTH attacker, he still lost 3 rounds: one in HTH, one to stand up, and another one to bend over and pick up his gear. And any attacker has 66% of pulling this off, regardless of how weak (both in ST and DX) he is compared to the defender.

Have we misunderstood some of the rules?

Or does that really work out like that?

If so, how can any mighty hero defeat even a bunch of kobolds, if every third round one kobold sacrifices himself by jumping into HTH?
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Old 04-18-2021, 06:22 AM   #2
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Is initiating HTH overpowered?

It’s not quite as simple as that, there are some prerequisites for initiating HTH, listed on p116 of ITL. At least one of these conditions must apply before HTH is initiated:

A) the target is in an awkward position; prone, kneeling or backed up against a wall.

B) the target has a lower MA

C) the attacker enters from the rear

D) the target agrees to HTH

I do agree that it’s a useful way to deal with the heavily armoured hero (low MA) and perhaps too prone to the “swarm of kobolds” you describe.
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Old 04-18-2021, 06:29 AM   #3
Acheron
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Default Re: Is initiating HTH overpowered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Rice View Post

A) the target is in an awkward position; prone, kneeling or backed up against a wall.
Yes, we checked on those. The heavily armored fighter intentionally stood against the wall, to protect himself from being surrounded. That seemed a reasonable tactic :)

Also, the attackers had a higher MA than the heavily armored fighter anyway.
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Old 04-18-2021, 06:55 AM   #4
Shostak
 
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New England
Default Re: Is initiating HTH overpowered?

HTH deserves a rewrite, IMHO. There is no end of disagreement about whether or not initiation can occur during the Movement phase or not, and whether or not the initiator also gets to make an attack the same turn. HTH initiation defies schoolyard experience which shows that slow people can absolutely enter HTH with faster opponents from the front, regardless of whether their back is against a wall.

If you think initiation rules are broken, try pinning. Recently, I could easily have made a time-delayed TPK out of an encounter with some monsters that use HTH extensively had I chosen to let them utilized this tactic.

All that said, in my alternative rules for HTH, I actually made HTH available to more figures. This is tempered by stipulating that the aggressor's HTH initiation is their action, so they don't get an attack on the same turn.
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Old 04-18-2021, 07:14 AM   #5
Chris Rice
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: London Uk, but originally from Scotland
Default Re: Is initiating HTH overpowered?

As Shostak says, the rules probably need a rewrite, as I don’t use them against PCs much because it would be so easy to overwhelm parties with weaker foes.

Perhaps it could be something as simple as aligning HTH with Disengagement. By that I mean, you can’t enter into HTH with a figure who has a higher DX (rather than MA.) this would offer a bit more protection to more powerful PCs.
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Old 04-18-2021, 07:42 AM   #6
hcobb
 
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Pacheco, California
Default Re: Is initiating HTH overpowered?

Which is why I simplified X enters Y hex for all values of X and Y from wasps to men to 14 hex dragons to the following:
  • Occupant can attempt a DX roll to jump to an empty hex
  • Occupant can attempt to disbelieve the aggressor
  • Occupant can attempt to stop hit the aggressor
  • Or occupant can accept the overrun
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Old 04-18-2021, 07:46 AM   #7
phiwum
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Default Re: Is initiating HTH overpowered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Acheron View Post
We just played our first (test) battles with TFT yesterday, and we noticed that initiating HTH seems quite broken:

The chance of initiating HTH is not influenced by any stats at all. Anyone has 66% chance (80% from behind) of succeeding, and thus knocking down and disarming an opponent (who might or might not be able to draw a dagger in response).
Then, his allies can attack with +4 DX and the victim is denied the protection of his shield. That seems to us extremely overpowered.

Even if the defender instantly kills the HTH attacker, he still lost 3 rounds: one in HTH, one to stand up, and another one to bend over and pick up his gear. And any attacker has 66% of pulling this off, regardless of how weak (both in ST and DX) he is compared to the defender.

Have we misunderstood some of the rules?

Or does that really work out like that?

If so, how can any mighty hero defeat even a bunch of kobolds, if every third round one kobold sacrifices himself by jumping into HTH?
The bolded part bothered me quite a bit. With the +4 DX to hit someone prone, there's almost no chance to hit an ally. At DX 10, you roll a 14 or less to hit your enemy and if you miss, a 14 or less to miss your friend. A 14 or less is about 91% chance of success, so you have less than a 1% chance of hitting your friend. There's really no significant reason to worry about collateral damage.

I houseruled that to strike into HTH, you may either omit the +4 DX and play the "Hitting Your Friends" rule (ITL 116) as written or you may take the +4 DX but randomly roll who you hit (in the rare case that you just want to hurt somebody and don't give a darn who).

We discussed it in this thread.
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Old 04-18-2021, 11:49 AM   #8
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Is initiating HTH overpowered?

HTH can be powerful, especially if one side has more figures than another, but the side with fewer figures tends to be superior in standing melee combat. That is, the side with greater numbers may be able to swarm and overwhelm the smaller force.

Of course, this requires that the side with greater numbers most/all be willing to try jumping on the other force, and some of the first to attempt this may be killed. And it requires the situation allow it.

Steve confirmed it is NOT possible to attempt HTH during the movement phase while engaged. If you become engaged, you need to use option (o) which happens after pole weapons and foes who have higher AdjDX.

You also need to meet the requirements to attempt HTH, so if you don't have greater MA, and can't get to a Rear hex, you can't attempt HTH.
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Old 04-18-2021, 12:04 PM   #9
Shostak
 
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: New England
Default Re: Is initiating HTH overpowered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skarg View Post
Steve confirmed it is NOT possible to attempt HTH during the movement phase while engaged. If you become engaged, you need to use option (o) which happens after pole weapons and foes who have higher AdjDX.
That's welcome news! Was that by PM or on Discord?
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Old 04-18-2021, 12:22 PM   #10
Skarg
 
Join Date: May 2015
Default Re: Is initiating HTH overpowered?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shostak View Post
That's welcome news! Was that by PM or on Discord?
It was by PM. I think there will eventually be a Q & A.
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