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Re: (TFT) Moving through figures

At 10:15 PM 4/8/06 -0400, David O. Miller wrote:
Here's another situation from a game that I played a while back. Picture a bottle neck, shaped like an hour glass.
The question is: what can figure (A) do? He can not stand. If he crawls is he disengaging from his enemies? Can he even crawl into a hex that is occupied by a standing figure, friendly or not? Could he crawl into an enemies hex that is furiously engaged in combat with a standing figure?

Hmm, either it's just my rusty TFT, or the rules aren't very clear on this point.

Looking at the Advanced Melee rules, it looks like A's options are these:

* Stay put and wait for B to do something (or be done upon).
* Attempt to enter HTH with a foe, but this will fail unless the HTH entry conditions are met (enemy kneeling or lying, or enemy back to wall, or enemy MA is 1 or 0 since crawling is MA 2, or enemy offers a rear hexside or the enemy agrees - and they might want to, because it might get (A) in even deeper trouble). * Stand up (you say he could not stand up, but I don't know why - why not?). This would I think prevent B from fighting that turn, but would allow one or both of them to disengage next turn, assuming the people behind them allow it. * Declare himself in HTH with B, and attempt to disengage from that HTH, requiring a 4-die roll on DX to succeed... but since there are friends filling the hexes he wants to get to, I suppose they would need to agree to let him do that, unless the HTH entry conditions are met. * Lawyer the disengagement rule, and disengage from the enemies, claiming that since the enemies are engaged with B, A should be allowed to disengage. Again, the friends behind A & B would need to agree to let him enter one of their hexes, unless the HTH entry conditions are met.

Do all of the figures on his side have to move back one hex to allow him to stand?

I think not, but if they allow him to stand in a hex where they are also standing, they won't be able to fight back - it'll be like they are in voluntary standing HTH with each other - they can't strike out while two of them are standing in the same hex.

 Or can he crawl through the legs of his friends and stand up at the rear?


This was a tough one. It was a make or break situation for both players. The figure that fell was a high experienced character that would have definitely influenced the battle if a lucky hit had not knocked him down. Would you have ignored the rules concerning movement to make it more realistic, allow him to crawl away and thus aid one player or ruled that he was stuck where he was which would aid the other player?

Yes. I think the rules don't quite cover every possible situation and reasonable action, and this is something of a hole, or at least I didn't find a clearer answer than I gave above.

I think there is an inconsistency in that the rules say you can escape HTH with a 4/DX roll to disengage from HTH. I tend to think that at the very least, a figure stuck in a crowd like this should probably be able to make a 4/DX roll to squirm away, disengaging no matter who claims to have them engaged.

I think the part about people being able to deny entry into their own hex causes a problem in jammed up areas.

FWIW, in GURPS, there is no engagement and unless someone is holding onto your character, you can crawl about when on the ground, at least 1 hex per turn, and it seems to work well. TFT mainly needs engagement where GURPS doesn't, because TFT splits movement and action, so engagement lets you get a chance to hit someone before they move away or past. But when the rules start to seem to deny the ability to move at all out of a position, I think that gets to be a problem.

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