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Old 04-02-2021, 08:10 PM   #1
Plane
 
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Default table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

I never paid close enough attention to B552 to notice until now, but...

Legs: it's a lot easier to roll a 13 or 14 to hit the left leg (about 16.66%) compared to a 6 or 7 to hit the right leg (about 11.56%)

Arms: it's easier to roll a 12 to hit the left arm (~11.57%) compared to rolling an 8 to hit the right arm (~9.72%)

Even though they're all -2 to hit it seems in terms of "likelihood of being hit it goes Left Leg > Left Arm > Right Leg > Right Arm.

This makes me speculate that maybe it assumes that the majority of people (right-handed) tend to pivot and keep their off-hand side forward: like if you're a right-handed boxer you jab with your left and cross with your right?

Hands/Feet however don't have separate listings and have the same 50/50 odds of hitting either side (per note [9]) so this doesn't fall in line with my assumption.

Maybe that's because torso blocks the rear arm and front leg blocks the rear leg, but since the rear hand is presumed to be held out/forward it does not enjoy cover, and the rear foot would be widely enough spaced for balance that it's equally likely to be hit as the front foot?

If cover is the explanation for non-equal odds and this assumes a frontal attack, how could we shift that when being attacked from other angles? If you're left-forward then someone standing in the front-right hex presumably gets a better angle at hitting your right arm/limb, while if from the front-left maybe they'd be even more covered?
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Old 04-02-2021, 08:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

Total guess on my part, but if you're swinging a blade right-handed, wouldn't your opponents' left side be easier to hit?
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Old 04-02-2021, 08:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

A right handed fighter is assumed to be presenting a shield in the left hand, shield extended. This is not 100% consistent within the table but explains its “lean.”

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Old 04-02-2021, 08:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

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Originally Posted by DouglasCole View Post
A right handed fighter is assumed to be presenting a shield in the left hand, shield extended. This is not 100% consistent within the table but explains its “lean.”
Even with no shield whether armed or not right-handed people tend to face opponents with their left side as a defensive posture, then reach in with their right hand to attack. When using firearms a standard posture is to either stand square towards your target (more likely with pistols) or to face your left side towards your target (a standard rifle posture, but also used with pistols). This is partly because it makes more sense, whether armed, unarmed, or with firearms, and partly instinctual as people defend with their off hand to protect their more valuable primary hand.

All of this means that when two people square off against one another their left sides are closest to one another, and more likely to be hit. Not 100% when taking shots from sides other than your front, but it explains the bias).
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Old 04-02-2021, 08:57 PM   #5
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

Which leads to a question, as a left-handed person myself, would I be at any advantage or disadvantage vs the right handed? We would be mirror images of each other instead of a typical right vs right fight.
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Old 04-02-2021, 09:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

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A right handed fighter is assumed to be presenting a shield in the left hand, shield extended. This is not 100% consistent within the table but explains its “lean.”
I could see a cute house rule for fencing reversing it since you are presenting you main hand side.

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Which leads to a question, as a left-handed person myself, would I be at any advantage or disadvantage vs the right handed? We would be mirror images of each other instead of a typical right vs right fight.
I don't think there are rules for it, but I could see it messing with some styles. Like maybe a perk where you can take advantage of a style but your opponent can't because they don't 'get' lefthanded yet. That's probably a bit cinematic, though.
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Old 04-02-2021, 09:41 PM   #7
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

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Originally Posted by edk926 View Post
Which leads to a question, as a left-handed person myself, would I be at any advantage or disadvantage vs the right handed? We would be mirror images of each other instead of a typical right vs right fight.
Sports statistics show that an average left-hander does better than an average right-hander in sports where players face-off (Baseball, Boxing, Basketball) but not in sports where players take turns (Golf, darts). This can be directly attributed to the left-hander breaking the expectations of the other players who are used to facing off against right-handers.

However, I'm not sure this would show up statistically at the granularity of GURPS, and if it did it would cost points - points you can just spend on skills, attributes, or talents to get the desired effect.

OTOH there are some situations where a leftie could eke out an effective bonus - for instance many real world defensive fortifications are built in such a way as to favor a right-handed defender, with posts, corners, and walls designed to hinder a right handed attacker from attacking. This is more about avoiding penalties for tight spaces than about gaining a bonus though.
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Last edited by ericbsmith; 04-02-2021 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 04-02-2021, 11:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

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Originally Posted by edk926 View Post
Which leads to a question, as a left-handed person myself, would I be at any advantage or disadvantage vs the right handed? We would be mirror images of each other instead of a typical right vs right fight.
Being left handed means your style is less familiar to likely opponents, which is an advantage, but also means it's harder to find people who know how to teach you, which is a disadvantage. Overall, it's probably a net positive. The fact that you're attacking your opponents from their weapon side instead of their shield side is negated by the fact that they're doing the same to you, and is thus net neutral.
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Old 04-02-2021, 11:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plane View Post
I never paid close enough attention to B552 to notice until now, but...

Legs: it's a lot easier to roll a 13 or 14 to hit the left leg (about 16.66%) compared to a 6 or 7 to hit the right leg (about 11.56%)...[More in same vein]
As GM, you should reverse the left and right if your visualization of the situation calls for it. For instance, right-handed fencer with no shield uses side stance, keeping left leg and left arm farther from opponent, but (at least in sport fencing with epee) right wrist and right foot are favored targets because of proximity.
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Old 04-03-2021, 03:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: table make why does random hit location hitting left side more likely?

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Originally Posted by ericbsmith View Post
Even with no shield whether armed or not right-handed people tend to face opponents with their left side as a defensive posture, then reach in with their right hand to attack. When using firearms a standard posture is to either stand square towards your target (more likely with pistols) or to face your left side towards your target (a standard rifle posture, but also used with pistols). This is partly because it makes more sense, whether armed, unarmed, or with firearms, and partly instinctual as people defend with their off hand to protect their more valuable primary hand.

All of this means that when two people square off against one another their left sides are closest to one another, and more likely to be hit. Not 100% when taking shots from sides other than your front, but it explains the bias).
Pistols used with modern grips tend to present the main hand (right for most shooters), and old-style one handed stances did too, especially those used for duelling, which were very strongly angled (to minimise the shooter's profile). One-handed sword stances, when no shield or off-hand weapon was used, also tended to strongly present the main hand and side, for the same reason.
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