Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Melee Academy: The Opening Move

This week's Melee Academy:

So, to start with I don't get much chance to play, thus opening moves on my part are usually for NPCs facing the PCs. The party's typically outnumbered, and if a fight's occurring it's either because the group is attacking or they've been ambushed.

When the party is attacking

The opening move for most of the opposition is going to be Wait when they haven't been attacked.  If the group's got a leader with Tactics or any ability to organize they'll spend a turn or two forming up if they aren't in a position to cover each other. This assumes, of course, that they're an organized fighting force.  Irregulars, bandits, and monsters likely just charge in. (And then fall to Sleep, Madness, or get poked in  the eye or hacked to bits, but hey, at least they tried.)

Being ambushed

When the group's being ambushed, it's more a matter of Attack, Attack, or Shoot.  Pre-planned targets are going to be hit, in order.  These sorts of situations tend to be the ones where PCs are lost in my games, to be frank.  Even if no-one is surprised, the fact that the enemy has the momentum can make a real difference in how well the group responds.

As a player

If I'm playing a fighter type, I throw a hatchet at somebody then either Evaluate or Wait until they close.  Wait is usually for anyone with a weapon of my Reach or less, while Evaluate is for anyone well-armored or with a longer Reach.  Personally, I hardly ever play a primarily ranged fighter, I really prefer the hack-and-slash of a brutal GURPS melee.

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