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Old 08-02-2013, 02:49 PM   #21
Peter V. Dell'Orto
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Default Re: Wait Maneuver clarification

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Originally Posted by Adversary View Post
I am not sure I buy that the longer fighter has to stay on the defensive to take advantage. Look at boxing, MMA, etc. Certain attacks--jabs, kicks with the lead leg--are longer ranged than others, and some fighters have more reach than others. But not all fighters that utilize jabs and front leg kicks do so defensively. It is certainly possible to attack behind the jab, or launch a lead-leg kick to the opponent's front leg, without the shorter-armed opponent always getting to land a hook or an uppercut first.
All things being equal, you're right.

But one guy is taking a Wait, the other is not. That makes it not equal anymore.

GURPS chooses to hand the advantage to the Waiting fighter, since he's given up a lot of options in order to attack first if someone sets off his trigger and moves within the range he can attack within. I think that's fair.

3e made it a contest of skills, which had the effect of making Wait useless against highly-skilled opponents because they went first anyway, so you really gave up your advantage by trying it. You could go back to that, but to me that's going back to a less accurate and more inherently unfair rule, which says "skill trumps all" instead of "Wait trumps the person you're waiting for."
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:49 PM   #22
Kromm
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Default Re: Wait Maneuver clarification

The two-handed spearman has essentially every advantage over a foe with a one-handed, Reach 1 weapon:
  • He can attempt an armed Sweep.

  • He can make multiple parries at a reduced penalty.

  • He can strike from behind allies at no penalty, allowing him to attempt an All-Out Attack without consequence. With All-Out Attack (Long), he doesn't even sacrifice Reach for this!

  • He has extra ground to yield if needed, meaning that a retreat hurts him less.

  • He has the advantage in any Cascading Waits or Stop Hits situation.

  • He prevails in a Wait because his foe must move through a threatened area, triggering the Wait, to act. Even if his foe opts to Wait, Reach gives the moment to the spearman. And by relying on Wait, he can do a high-damage stop thrust, where his foe would have to risk Committed Attack (Strong) or All-Out Attack (Strong) for bonus damage.

  • He has a significant advantage when shoving (no -1 to damage for using a one-handed weapon, and an extra +1 for Reach, for a relative +2 that's doubled for knockback).
With a suitable spear-fighting style, he can further learn to exploit a staff's +2 to Parry (Form Mastery) without giving up any advantage, to move fluidly between Reach 1 and 2 (Reach Mastery), and even to move quickly to a one-handed grip (Grip Mastery) to free up a hand for close combat.

His opponent's main advantage is being dominant in close combat, if he can get there without being stabbed and then grapple the spearman to keep him there without the spearman retreating and parrying.

Letting the fighter with the shorter weapon have the initiative if he takes a Wait and if the spearman ignores this Wait is the game's way of making that last tactic possible. Without it, spears become overpowered. As it stands, they're rather good . . .
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:59 PM   #23
Kromm
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Default Re: Wait Maneuver clarification

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Originally Posted by Peter V. Dell'Orto View Post

All things being equal, you're right.

But one guy is taking a Wait, the other is not. That makes it not equal anymore.
And that's the thing. Wait is basically a short-weapon-user's best hope against a long-weapon-user. It's specifically a move to try to neutralize the Reach advantage. It's hardly a magic bullet . . . if the guy with the Wait does step and Attack as the long-weapon-user moves into range, so what? The long-weapon-user is allowed to parry and retreat as his defense, maintaining the distance, and then conclude his attack.
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:14 PM   #24
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Default Re: Wait Maneuver clarification

Perhaps there is place for middle ground? I don't know how difficult it is (in real life) to manage closing with a person wielding a longer-reach weapon, and waiting for them to try to attack so you can slip in does seem a legitimate, if potentially risky, action. My issue here is that "giving" the Wait to the swordsman goes too far, as it allows the swordsman to reliably hold the spearman at bay! After all, in a one-on-one battle, the spearman must step into a threatened hex to attack the swordsman (due to the swordsman being able to Step and Attack).

I'll assume that making it a straight contest of skill gives the spearman an unrealistic advantage - that is, for two equally skilled combatants, the Waiting character with the shorter weapon should have an advantage over the Attacking character with the longer weapon. How much of a bonus would be necessary to represent this? Would +2 in the contest be sufficient?
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Old 08-02-2013, 03:33 PM   #25
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Default Re: Wait Maneuver clarification

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Perhaps there is place for middle ground? I don't know how difficult it is (in real life) to manage closing with a person wielding a longer-reach weapon, and waiting for them to try to attack so you can slip in does seem a legitimate, if potentially risky, action. My issue here is that "giving" the Wait to the swordsman goes too far, as it allows the swordsman to reliably hold the spearman at bay! After all, in a one-on-one battle, the spearman must step into a threatened hex to attack the swordsman (due to the swordsman being able to Step and Attack).
Technically they don't have to. An AoA (long) would let them strike from outside the reach of an Attack maneuver.

If you let the swordsman come out of their Wait with a Committed Attack, then reach 3 isn't enough either.

But basically, yes. One yard reach advantage doesn't hand you easy free hits in a one-on-one fight on open ground.
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Old 08-02-2013, 06:52 PM   #26
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Default Re: Wait Maneuver clarification

If the spearman really wants the reach advantage, he should be using a long spear.

Or, instead, carry a bunch of spears, get far enough and throw them.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:16 PM   #27
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Default Re: Wait Maneuver clarification

AoA (Long) is indeed an option the spearman has but the swordsman lacks, but it isn't a particularly good one. The swordsman is going to defend normally, and the spearman is going to leave himself open to an All-Out or Committed attack next round. If he has the ability to reliably withstand said counterattack, I'd say he isn't held at bay simply because the swordsman isn't skilled/strong enough to actually cause him harm. The +8 to hit (or +4 with +2 damage, or +4 with two attacks, or +4 but maintaining the ability to defend) is a huge advantage for the swordsman.

There's also the oddity that the spearman can just set a semi-arbitrary Wait ("If he so much as twitches, I'll step and attack him!" - no combatant is going to be standing stock-still in this situation, so the Wait will activate almost immediately) in order to activate Cascading Waits, in which case he has a huge advantage thanks to his Reach, thus invalidating the whole point (to give the shorter-reach guy a chance) of the "swordsman goes first" ruling.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:34 PM   #28
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Default Re: Wait Maneuver clarification

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
There's also the oddity that the spearman can just set a semi-arbitrary Wait ("If he so much as twitches, I'll step and attack him!" - no combatant is going to be standing stock-still in this situation, so the Wait will activate almost immediately) in order to activate Cascading Waits, in which case he has a huge advantage thanks to his Reach, thus invalidating the whole point (to give the shorter-reach guy a chance) of the "swordsman goes first" ruling.
I don't think I'd accept a Wait condition (involving another person) that doesn't involve a Maneuver being taken by the target. Otherwise you can produce endless numbers of obviously stupid Wait conditions.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:51 PM   #29
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Default Re: Wait Maneuver clarification

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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
AoA (Long) is indeed an option the spearman has but the swordsman lacks, but it isn't a particularly good one. The swordsman is going to defend normally, and the spearman is going to leave himself open to an All-Out or Committed attack next round. If he has the ability to reliably withstand said counterattack, I'd say he isn't held at bay simply because the swordsman isn't skilled/strong enough to actually cause him harm. The +8 to hit (or +4 with +2 damage, or +4 with two attacks, or +4 but maintaining the ability to defend) is a huge advantage for the swordsman.
Yeah, AoA Long isn't really a good move unless you've got something or someone preventing the swordsman from attacking you in return.

The better way to get that extra yard is a long spear.
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Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
There's also the oddity that the spearman can just set a semi-arbitrary Wait ("If he so much as twitches, I'll step and attack him!" - no combatant is going to be standing stock-still in this situation, so the Wait will activate almost immediately) in order to activate Cascading Waits, in which case he has a huge advantage thanks to his Reach, thus invalidating the whole point (to give the shorter-reach guy a chance) of the "swordsman goes first" ruling.
Cascading Waits can get weird. Having a roll-off to determine whether your Wait trumps a Wait you triggered with it does kind of mess up the concept.
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Originally Posted by lexington View Post
I don't think I'd accept a Wait condition (involving another person) that doesn't involve a Maneuver being taken by the target. Otherwise you can produce endless numbers of obviously stupid Wait conditions.
I don't really see why any such Wait conditions are stupid. I would definitely say that a Retreat, an active defense, or a free-action glance to obtain situational awareness should all be legitimate Wait triggers. And it also is often reasonable for a wait trigger to be something other than an action by the target.
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Old 08-02-2013, 08:56 PM   #30
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Default Re: Wait Maneuver clarification

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Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth View Post
I don't really see why any such Wait conditions are stupid. I would definitely say that a Retreat, an active defense, or a free-action glance to obtain situational awareness should all be legitimate Wait triggers. And it also is often reasonable for a wait trigger to be something other than an action by the target.
It needs to be something with some game mechanical or narrative relevance. "If he twitches" isn't good enough, IMO.
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