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Re: Re: (TFT) Scale - Abstraction in Combat - 1- Timing

Lots of discussion on game design choices lately, time scale, damage scale, movement, engagement, Attacks of opportunity, etc.  So I thought Id chime in with some rumination on an easy one  time.

>====== From: paleryder1@verizon.net===============
> Yeah, 5 seconds is a long time in a fight, if the person is 
> trained. Watch on-line fight videos, amateur or professional.

That is the sort of thing that every game has to address at some point.  How much detail vs how much abstraction.

Can a skilled fencer with a rapier strike once a second, or even faster, for a while?  Probably.

Does it take longer to swing a great axe than to thrust with a punch-dagger?  Probably.  But does it take twice as long?  Thrice as long?   Longer? I dont know. And how does the speed of a punch dagger compare to the rapier?

Do you want to reflect that sort of weapon-speed-factor in the game rules?  Depends on the game designer.  I know I dont want that level of detail and complexity in games I run, thats why I run TFT!

Now at the abstraction level, Melee handles the whole weapon speed thing with St and Dx.  At its simplest, your strength determines how big (and slow) a weapon you swing, and whats left (Dx) determines how frequently you hit your opponent  effectively abstracting away the fact that a rapier strikes more frequently than a claymore does, by having the rules support the rapier hitting more frequently.

Now that might not be close enough to reality, or at least how a given gamer sees reality, for everyone, but it is the abstraction made in TFT, and it is close enough for me.  Naturally, individual tastes will vary. 

Now what about a round being 5 seconds. Well, since a combat round is an abstraction to begin with, how long it is is essentially arbitrary.  Does it really matter if it is 4 seconds, or 6, instead of 5?  For 1 on 1 fighting, probably not.  

But if how long a fight takes matters (like fighting a delaying action, or if the self destruct mechanism is counting down and you need to best your adversary before it goes off)  then it matters a little.  But if it is 1 second (GURPS), or one minute (AD&D), then it probably is different  since those are very different time scales.  

How much instructing of my men  can I do in 1 second?  Can I grab, uncork, and drink my heal potion in just one round?  If the next round takes a minute, can I give a stirring speech, open the combination lock on my treasure chest so I can pull out my magic potion, uncork and drink it, and change weapons, all before the guy swings at me again?  After all, that is not too much to do in a minute.

-- pvk@oz.net wrote:---------------------------------------------------------

Yes. This is exactly where my GURPS house rules eventually ended up.
Characters had skill levels for Combat Sense and the communication skills
of leaders with their men were directly relevant and played out.

(e.g. Algor makes his CS roll well, so his player has full control this
turn, Bob failed his CS roll so he can only stop or continue what he was
doing last turn, and Grugg failed his CS roll badly, so he's just standing
around this turn unless he needs to react to an attack. Algor decides to
try to get Bob and Grugg to retreat to block the front door, so he rolls
on Leadership and possibly Gesture to try to communicate that...)

See, now that is an interesting solution to the how much can I do in a round question.  You really did go in for some detail, PVK.  GURPS was not detailed enough, so you went and house-ruled a whole bunch more.  As I recall, GURPS has a simple weapon speed thing too, light/well balance weapons can be readied in the same turn they are used (including used for parrying), big/unbalanced ones (battle axes, say) cannot.

With a 1 second round, those things almost seem reasonable to determine somehow, it just seems like a lot of work to me (though not to you, since you seemed to enjoy it).  With a 5 second round (or 4 or 6) it is long enough to allow for combat sense and communication to be automatic, as long as you are OK with the weapon speed abstraction.  

As I may have mentioned I am a big fan of simplicity, so the level of abstraction in a 5 second round is A-OK with me, but if you want more detail, rolling for combat sense, leadership, and communication, is a fine way to handle it.
ce of the strikes? Like are there strikes geared more to gain space rather than do damage?

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