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Old 09-12-2015, 12:16 PM   #1
oneofmanynameless
 
Join Date: May 2012
Default [MA] Leaving hit locations "open" by focusing defenses elsewhere

I'm wondering if there are any rules for focusing ones active defenses to protect certain locations while leaving other places open.

I.E.: I want to focus on parrying any attacks to my abdomen but leave my shoulders, upper back, and head open (e.g. hunching over and pulling arms in to cover abdomen)

In theory this would give you a bonus to defend against any attack to the chosen location, but prevent you from making any defense to the exposed location. This might seem like a stupid idea, but if the exposed locations are heavily armored and the protected area is not it would be a useful trick to know how to do. Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:19 PM   #2
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: [MA] Leaving hit locations "open" by focusing defenses elsewhere

GURPS Martial Arts: Gladiators has some rules. An old thread discussing them: http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=125484
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Old 09-12-2015, 04:42 PM   #3
Adversary
 
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Default Re: [MA] Leaving hit locations "open" by focusing defenses elsewhere

You'll actually see this in mixed-martial-arts competition. For instance some fighters don't attempt to block (i.e. check) leg kicks at all, preferring to stand in a heavy stance. Or when a fighter gets hurt and trapped along the fence, you may see him raise his arms to cover his head, trying to avoid a knockout punch. Savvy fighters have had great luck attacking the body when a hurt opponent does this, while fighters that just keep swinging for the head sometimes strike out.
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:23 AM   #4
oneofmanynameless
 
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Default Re: [MA] Leaving hit locations "open" by focusing defenses elsewhere

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Originally Posted by Adversary View Post
You'll actually see this in mixed-martial-arts competition. For instance some fighters don't attempt to block (i.e. check) leg kicks at all, preferring to stand in a heavy stance. Or when a fighter gets hurt and trapped along the fence, you may see him raise his arms to cover his head, trying to avoid a knockout punch. Savvy fighters have had great luck attacking the body when a hurt opponent does this, while fighters that just keep swinging for the head sometimes strike out.
I've done this myself in a few amateur boxing matches among friends... but on the higher end of things it's a key component of Rope-a-dope. If you're only interested in protecting one part of your chest & stomach or chest & head it's very easy to force your target to strike your arms (or shield) instead of that location the majority of the time they try to attack that location, although it becomes very difficult to protect the abdomen or head (respectively) if you do that.

Alternatively (more along the lines of presenting a side as discussed in Gladiators) you could also adopt a low leaning bent over stance that offered your head, arms (at least upper arms and shoulders) and upper chest (hit location 9), even allowing strikes to the back of hit location 9 from the front, but made it a little more difficult (or perhaps easier to defend via blocks and parries) strikes to your lower torso. This stance would be relatively low and probably require one leg to be forward and therefore also easier to attack at any time.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-13-2015, 05:06 AM   #5
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: [MA] Leaving hit locations "open" by focusing defenses elsewhere

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Originally Posted by oneofmanynameless View Post
I've done this myself in a few amateur boxing matches among friends... but on the higher end of things it's a key component of Rope-a-dope. If you're only interested in protecting one part of your chest & stomach or chest & head it's very easy to force your target to strike your arms (or shield) instead of that location the majority of the time they try to attack that location, although it becomes very difficult to protect the abdomen or head (respectively) if you do that.

Alternatively (more along the lines of presenting a side as discussed in Gladiators) you could also adopt a low leaning bent over stance that offered your head, arms (at least upper arms and shoulders) and upper chest (hit location 9), even allowing strikes to the back of hit location 9 from the front, but made it a little more difficult (or perhaps easier to defend via blocks and parries) strikes to your lower torso. This stance would be relatively low and probably require one leg to be forward and therefore also easier to attack at any time.

Thoughts?
Some of those stances in unarmed combat can be represented as All-Out Defense in GURPS.

In armed combat, stances with a strong forward lean, such as in MS I.33 and Salvator Fabris, are usually meant to protect targets below the ribcage (Abdomen, Groin, Leg, Foot) by moving them well behind the threat of the stander's own weapon. They tend to work better out of armour.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: [MA] Leaving hit locations "open" by focusing defenses elsewhere

There are also deceptive openings, where you intentionally leave a target open so you opponent will strike at it, allowing you to use a specific counter.
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:13 AM   #7
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: [MA] Leaving hit locations "open" by focusing defenses elsewhere

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There are also deceptive openings, where you intentionally leave a target open so you opponent will strike at it, allowing you to use a specific counter.
I would treat those as instances of Feint, Riposte, Evaluate, Wait, Counterattack, the benefit of Style Familiarity in your opponent's style, etc. No position is a guard to the ignorant, and every position is a guard to the expert, and all that.
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Old 09-13-2015, 08:59 AM   #8
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Default Re: [MA] Leaving hit locations "open" by focusing defenses elsewhere

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
I would treat those as instances of Feint, Riposte, Evaluate, Wait, Counterattack, the benefit of Style Familiarity in your opponent's style, etc. No position is a guard to the ignorant, and every position is a guard to the expert, and all that.
Sure, I agree with that.

However, one way to trick your opponent into attacking your head, for instance, is to deny him any other targets. A perk like the following might make some sense:

Deceptive Guard: When using Focused Defenses (Martial Arts: Gladiators, 21), the -1 penalty to parry presented locations counts towards the voluntary parry penalties of your Riposte.
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:58 AM   #9
Polydamas
 
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Default Re: [MA] Leaving hit locations "open" by focusing defenses elsewhere

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Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
Sure, I agree with that.

However, one way to trick your opponent into attacking your head, for instance, is to deny him any other targets. A perk like the following might make some sense:

Deceptive Guard: When using Focused Defenses (Martial Arts: Gladiators, 21), the -1 penalty to parry presented locations counts towards the voluntary parry penalties of your Riposte.
Sounds like a fun perk (although, as I said in the linked thread, I do not really understand how Focused Defense represents what it is supposed to represent). Encouraging stylists to use certain combat options is a good thing!
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:37 AM   #10
oneofmanynameless
 
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Default Re: [MA] Leaving hit locations "open" by focusing defenses elsewhere

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Originally Posted by aesir23 View Post
Deceptive Guard: When using Focused Defenses (Martial Arts: Gladiators, 21), the -1 penalty to parry presented locations counts towards the voluntary parry penalties of your Riposte.
isn't the -1 to parry with the denied side? I'm pretty sure (because I'm reading it in the gladiator book right now =p) that you get -1 to parry with the denied side and +1 to parry with the presented side... which you could already turn into a Riposte.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
Some of those stances in unarmed combat can be represented as All-Out Defense in GURPS.

In armed combat, stances with a strong forward lean, such as in MS I.33 and Salvator Fabris, are usually meant to protect targets below the ribcage (Abdomen, Groin, Leg, Foot) by moving them well behind the threat of the stander's own weapon. They tend to work better out of armour.
Any thoughts on rules to model that? Are there standard gambits, maneuvers, or techniques that work for it? If not, would a variant of focused defense work?
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