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Bossemanden
Me and another player had a somewhat heated discussion as to how melee combat is conducted.

My claim is that only the attacker spends a complex action. The defender gets to defend "for free". In principle the defender can defend an unlimited amount of attacks during one combat turn.

His claim is that if the defender does not also spend a complex action to "engage the other" then the defender does not get to roll his melee (or appropriate) skill and he is auto-hit with any successes. The attacker is merely the one of the two combatants with the highest initiative. The defender only gets to defend as many times as he has complex actions in a combat turn.

We could not agree and finally agreed to take the disagreement here. Now who (if any) of us is correct?
John Campbell
QUOTE (Bossemanden)
My claim is that only the attacker spends a complex action. The defender gets to defend "for free". In principle the defender can defend an unlimited amount of attacks during one combat turn.

This is correct.
FrostyNSO
You are correct, but unfortunately, your buddy has a point. Tell him it's just a game.

Or, just houserule it.
Kagetenshi
Our esteemed Green Mountain colleague has it exactly right, as do you. Give that player a wedgie.

~J
DocMortand
IIRC, only the attacker has to spend a complex action, the defender doesn't have to spend one as well to be able to roll dice.

Edit: Ack, too slow, me sad.
mfb
huh. you know, i can't find anything in the rules that specifically says anything about whether or not the defender has to take an action to defend himself. the closest ruling i can find is on page 108, where it says "A character may attack... by taking a Complex Action". technically, defending is referred to as a counterattack. since there's no listed action for counterattacks, you can conclude that counterattacking doesn't require any actions. that's kinda flimsy, though.

i'm not saying i agree. it's just, y'know, never actually spelled out (that i can find right now) that a defending character doesn't need to expend an action.
TeOdio
You are correct. The only advantage you have if you initiated the attack is that you win on a tie. I like the fact all melee combats are opposed skill tests as it keeps those Troll gangers on a much more even playing field with a wired up street sam. That keeps it fun when it gets up close and personal. Plus, it makes guns a lot more vicious.

Me: I come and punch you!
You: Haha, I stab at thee with my sword!
Me: Damn

OR.....

Me: I shoot you with my Predator II
You: I bleed... a lot.

nuyen.gif nuyen.gif nuyen.gif
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (mfb)
i'm not saying i agree. it's just, y'know, never actually spelled out (that i can find right now) that a defending character doesn't need to expend an action.

By the same token, I defy you to find a section to say that a Dodge test doesn't take an action, or a Body test to resist damage.

~J
mfb
well, it does say that making a melee attack takes a complex action. and the text that explains an attacker's actions in melee is word-for-word identical to the text that explains a defender's actions in melee. so, it's not too far outside the realm of reason to conclude that attackers and defenders are both making melee attacks, and must therefore both expend a complex action.

like i said, i don't believe that's the intent of the rules, and i don't think it stacks up when you look very closely at the actual wording. but you do have to look really, really closely at the wording to come to the 'correct' conclusion, and i can see someone reaching an alternate conclusion very easily. it all hinges on whether or not you think counterattacking is the same as attacking.
RedmondLarry
A defender is not charged any "Action" for the counterattack. He can counterattack before his first action in a Combat Turn. He can counterattack after his last action in a Combat Turn.

For rules on a similar situation, see "Interception" on page 108 of SR3. If an opponent passes by within 1 meter of a character, the character can 'make a free melee attack' against the moving opponent. Defending yourself against a melee attack is likewise free.
Crimson Jack
QUOTE (Bossemanden)
His claim is that if the defender does not also spend a complex action to "engage the other" then the defender does not get to roll his melee (or appropriate) skill and he is auto-hit with any successes. The attacker is merely the one of the two combatants with the highest initiative. The defender only gets to defend as many times as he has complex actions in a combat turn.

Yeah, that would be a pretty lame rule. Just to be sure though, I did a quick check and didn't find anything either regarding what your friend argued. Out of curiousity, did he cite any rules that helped his case?
Bossemanden
QUOTE (Crimson Jack @ Jan 25 2005, 02:17 AM)
Yeah, that would be a pretty lame rule.  Just to be sure though, I did a quick check and didn't find anything either regarding what your friend argued.  Out of curiousity, did he cite any rules that helped his case?

He argued from the beginning line of the "Melee Combat" section. p.120:

"Whenever two or more characters engage in combat........"

Claiming this means that both have to call a melee attack action.

I argued that (a couple of lines further down): "Rather than a single blow, each attack is a series of moves and counter-moves executed by those involved"

Meaning: ONE attack involves MULTIPLE persons (edit: all of whom can be active). It then follows that ONE action is all it takes to engage "two or more characters" in combat.
zephir
In ranged combat, there is a +2 modifier to fire a ranged weapon while in melee. This wouldn't be needed if the defender had to match his attacker's action expenses.
Bossemanden
Hehe talked with my buddy today and gloated a bit over the way this thread turned out.
His only response was: "They also dont know how to read and understand"

biggrin.gif
I think hes being stubborn. The good thing is that in the next scenario Im the GM. smile.gif
Jrayjoker
You could explain it to your player that the character pressing the attack is the one expending the complex action, and the person defending is not able to press the attach/Dodge/run for his life until his initiatve pass occurs.
GrinderTheTroll
The only time it is mentioned in SR that you must spend actions (Free, Simple, Complex) is during your Turn. Find me a page that says you can pre-spend your Turn and your buddy might have an arguement.

Incidentally, you can attack multiple melee opponents at once, but IIRC, it's +2 per opponent beyond the first, much like spellcasting.
Kagetenshi
Free Actions can be spent during anyone's turn, but then again you have one for everyone's turn.

Which creates the interesting situation that in three seconds you can't say much in a two-person combat, but can dictate War and Peace in a Lord of the Rings-style massive war.

~J
The White Dwarf
Man whoever is arguing that defending takes an action doesnt deserve a wedgie. He deserves an atomic wedgie delivered by high powered cyber gnomes using equally high powered drones without lubricant. Furthermore, Id resort to name calling. Tell this guy to get real.
Crusher Bob
Nah, we still have that body 40 tank eating tractor with the cyberspur equiped mechanicals arms, lets see if we can get it started up...
iPad
QUOTE (Bossemanden)
Hehe talked with my buddy today and gloated a bit over the way this thread turned out.
His only response was: "They also dont know how to read and understand"

biggrin.gif
I think hes being stubborn. The good thing is that in the next scenario Im the GM. smile.gif

Tell him to come here and say that. Ive played SR for only 3 odd years now and knew he was wrong, but alot of these people having been playing for like 10 - 15 years and they say hes wrong.

Only a complete nonse thinks hes right and the whole world is wrong.
Frenzy
We have the same house rule (defender spends a complex action if he attacks during a melee round). The thought is, that if a street sammy elf with a initiative of 22 goes hand to hand with a rigger with no legs with a initiative of 9, the elf should be able to dance around him. The elf should be able to try to hit him several more times than he can hit back.

The way the rules are written now, you can have 5 guys with a combined initiative of 120 step into an alley to beat up the paraplegic rigger, and he would have just as much a chance to hurt them during a 3 second combat round as they have to hurt him.

Dodging does not take up a combat round. Same as if you were shot at.

Hitting the guy back does. Same is if you shot back.
The White Dwarf
Except youre totally wrong. Its *not* the same chance to fight back due to the melee tn mods. Initiative doesnt even enter the equation, it has *zero* bearing on the resolution of melee combat.

Still, trying to compare it to returning fire gets you points for effort... except that moving out of the way in melee is pretty comparable to moving out of the way of a bullet. Ok ok so that doesnt really get you any points. Sorry.
GrinderTheTroll
QUOTE (Frenzy)
We have the same house rule (defender spends a complex action if he attacks during a melee round). The thought is, that if a street sammy elf with a initiative of 22 goes hand to hand with a rigger with no legs with a initiative of 9, the elf should be able to dance around him. The elf should be able to try to hit him several more times than he can hit back.

The way the rules are written now, you can have 5 guys with a combined initiative of 120 step into an alley to beat up the paraplegic rigger, and he would have just as much a chance to hurt them during a 3 second combat round as they have to hurt him.

Dodging does not take up a combat round. Same as if you were shot at.

Hitting the guy back does. Same is if you shot back.

The great equalizer here is that the Init=22 sam probably has more combat pool than the rigger. He might not go down the first phase, but I'd bet he'll go down once he's out of pool and the sam isn't.

The SR melee system has been grossly oversimplified for good reason, leave it alone IMO.
Kagetenshi
QUOTE (Frenzy)
We have the same house rule (defender spends a complex action if he attacks during a melee round). The thought is, that if a street sammy elf with a initiative of 22 goes hand to hand with a rigger with no legs with a initiative of 9, the elf should be able to dance around him. The elf should be able to try to hit him several more times than he can hit back.

The way the rules are written now, you can have 5 guys with a combined initiative of 120 step into an alley to beat up the paraplegic rigger, and he would have just as much a chance to hurt them during a 3 second combat round as they have to hurt him.

Differences:

1) Skill.

2) Combat pool.

3 (the big one) ) Ties go to the attacker. Out of two people with identical skill, identical pool, one with Initiative 9 and one with Initiative 120, the Initiative 9 person can expect to get their arse handed to them.

~J
Frenzy
QUOTE
Initiative doesnt even enter the equation, it has *zero* bearing on the resolution of melee combat.


I said "House Rule" because I do not believe that the way I stated it, is the way it's presented in SR3. I'm saying that initiative should have a bearing on melee, besides just deciding who initiates the combat.

IRL, if you take 2 boxers (melee combatants), one incredibly fast, and one incredibly slow, the slow one should be at a considerable disadvantage when it come to the amount of punches he can throw, no matter who starts punching first. If these 2 fighters go into a 3 second round of punches (a combat turn) the fast fighter one should be able to punch several more times than the slow. For several of those punches, there should not be any way for the slower fighter to hit back. For several of those punches there should be no way for the faster of the two fighter to take damage, no matter what his opponent does.

I think this makes sense.


I agree. I will leave it alone. I'm just pointing out what I feel are issues with the system.
BitBasher
Since arguments like this are my crack... biggrin.gif

QUOTE
IRL, if you take 2 boxers (melee combatants), one incredibly fast, and one incredibly slow, the slow one should be at a considerable disadvantage when it come to the amount of punches he can throw, no matter who starts punching first.
True, but this isn't comparable in SR because your initiative has no bearing at all on the number of punches you throw. Quickness determines physical speed, not initiative. Initiative determines your reaction time. Each boxer in SR is throwing an abstract number of punches. Initiative does not really allow more punches, it allows you to do more useful and focused things with the same number of punches.

QUOTE
If these 2 fighters go into a 3 second round of punches (a combat turn) the fast fighter one should be able to punch several more times than the slow.
Again false. In reality, they throw the same number of punches but the faster boxer can react faster and pick targets better, he gets more for the mile. He after all is not physically faster, he has no more quickenss than the "slower" boxer.

QUOTE
For several of those punches, there should not be any way for the slower fighter to hit back. For several of those punches there should be no way for the faster of the two fighter to take damage, no matter what his opponent does.
Well, since a counterattack doesn't have to use anywhere near the motion of an offensive attack this is false. In an attack, the boxer has to step into his opponent and swing. The movement takes time. The defender just has to anticipate the punch and move a fraction of the amount to throw an elbow into the forearm of the attacker, or exploit an opening caused by an attackers miss to give him a short shot to the ribs since the attacker delivered himself to the defender. The defender doesn't even have to "hit back" to cause damage. a properly executed block will cause damage.

QUOTE
I think this makes sense.
On the surface it would appear that way, although in the end it may not. smile.gif

And finally:
QUOTE
I'm saying that initiative should have a bearing on melee, besides just deciding who initiates the combat.
It does, ties cause base damage to the attacker. If you attack more times with a suitable skill then you statistically are better off than your opponent.
Crimson Jack
QUOTE (iPad)
QUOTE (Bossemanden @ Jan 25 2005, 10:21 AM)
Hehe talked with my buddy today and gloated a bit over the way this thread turned out.
His only response was: "They also dont know how to read and understand"

biggrin.gif
I think hes being stubborn. The good thing is that in the next scenario Im the GM. smile.gif

Tell him to come here and say that. Ive played SR for only 3 odd years now and knew he was wrong, but alot of these people having been playing for like 10 - 15 years and they say hes wrong.

Only a complete nonse thinks hes right and the whole world is wrong.

No kidding. Sounds like he might just be a sore loser. wink.gif
waftalia
you have a point but i think you misunderstand the principles behind it.initiative is just who goes first in combat ,except the sam with 33 initiative versus the rigger with 9 ,the sam has more options open to him,punch,jab,pull a gun,staff,multiple of those.

in your example of slower fighter versus faster fighter i think the different skill ratings for combat reflect that more honestly .granted the sams faster but is he a better fighter.

all damage in combat isnt me hit u hit..maybe when the sam punches the 2nd or 3rd time the rigger isnt deflecting and hitting back but merely sidestepping a little and having the sam overextend his elbow and pop it out of place,the next swing he steps into the sam slightly deflecting the sams ounch but placing his foot behind the sams leg and shattering the kneecap with little effort on his part,then finally the rigger sees his chance and punches finishing the fight .ya the sam threw more punches but the riggeres counted more..

if you look at most martial arts ,the counterattacks are more devastating then a normal attack and require little or no effort from the defender.


and before anyone wants to argue this i say this from my opinion of martial arts i tok and only shows one of many possible explanations for the rules the way they are.
iPad
GrinderTheTroll, Kagetenshi and BitBasher your preaching to the converted man!

From my experience of Larp (dispite the wierd pulled blows thing) speed is a factor but depending on style, a slower 'reposte' style fighter can make more effective attacks than a quicker aggressive one.

I suppose thats the point we are dancing around here. Whats more effective in a fight? Skill or initiative? As far as Im conserned theres little to simply perseving the world slowly in a fight, compared to trained responses and ingrained intuition. A good fighter relies less on consious thought (which initiative boosters aid) and more on reflexive blocks/attacks that only reflex recorders help.

We come back to stunning conclusion that the rules work.
GrinderTheTroll
QUOTE (iPad)
We come back to stunning conclusion that the rules work.

It's the part where we all try and make SR mimic real-life that we see break-downs.
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