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kylkim
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Declared defense = action?

Tue 20 Feb 2024, 12:46

Close Combat generally flows as follows:
  1. ATTACKER declares slash/stab/shove/grapple, etc.
    DEFENDER declares parry/dodge
  2. ATTACKER makes Melee skill roll for hit.
    On a success, DEFENDER makes Melee/Move skill roll for defense
    Both ATTACKER and DEFENDER may push.
  3. If ATTACKER wins, they calculate damage
    If applicable, DEFENDER makes Armor Roll
The question is: does the declaring of an action equate an action or does it only count at the point of the skill roll? If the attacker fumbles at the start of Step 2 (or even Pushes themself to Broken) and gets no successes, does the Defender still have to roll and/or lose their action?

From a narrative POV, I would argue a fumbled attack doesn't even happen: they lost the opening, didn't commit, were too slow, swung wide, etc. This would be the case even if the target were standing still/down on the ground and didn't declare any defense. Therefore I'd argue that the declared defense doesn't count in the action economy, because there was no attack to meet with a parry or dodge (and unlikely any tables make the "empty" roll). One might also argue that the misplaced attack would leave the enemy open, which the initial target could exploit, provided they've the initiative and action for it. Thus I feel it makes sense, that declaring defense doesn't counts as an action, but only an associated skill roll does.

Granted, counting declarations as actions would fall in line with the Advanced Combat Cards mechanics, where a stage is resolved at the expense of actions, whether or not they actually happened.

What's the point of declaring defense then? Because it marks the last point where you have to commit. Doing so after the roll would make it possible to choose to soak weak attacks, when you've heavy armor, for example.
 
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Re: Declared defense = action?

Tue 20 Feb 2024, 13:01

My answer is that declaring the action is your character devoting some of their attention to that thing in a round, and rolling is irrelevant. We have the principle that you only roll when required, and an attacker making an attack which scores no success is an example of where the defender doesn't need to roll to succeed in not being hurt.
For completeness, my contributions to this on Discord:
Being prepared to defend takes up some of your attention and reduces your options to act. No 6s isn't defined as a fumble, it's just a misjudged attack that wouldn't have landed even if the target didn't defend. One of the principles of historical weapon forms is creating a credible threat to force the opponent to be prepared to defend and therefore reduce their freedom of action.
A normal attack would be a slow action anyway, it'd only be if they have the relevant Talent that they could attack with it. But you would only do an all out attack with no option for defending yourself if you are certain the opponent can't attack. In the situation where they go first, attack and miss but you've used a slow action to be able to defend if necessary, you can then attack them on your action with your remaining slow action. If they still have their fast action reserved, they can defend of course.
There could be the option for a General Talent which allows a character to recover an action committed to defence after the attacker makes their roll and fails, to reflect being able to read the opponent well enough to judge that they are making an attack which will miss. I do that a lot against less experienced people who can't judge distance as well as I do so they attack when I am just too far away for them to reach. You let their attack miss then counterattack into the opening this creates - it's called "following on".
Threat Reading:
Rank 1: If you have committed an action to defend against an attack on you but the opponent failed to roll any successes, you can roll WITS + MELEE and on a success you recover the action as unused.
Rank 2: As for Rank 1 but you can roll an artefact D8 as well as the WITS + MELEE dice.
Rank 3: If you have committed an action to defend against an attack on you but the opponent failed to roll any successes, you automatically recover the action as unused.
 
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Dizzyfugu
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Re: Declared defense = action?

Wed 21 Feb 2024, 12:30

Following the game mechanics' logic a defender does only have to declare a counter-action to an attack if the latter is successful. If the attack misses the defender IMHO does not have to waste a defensive action, or declare something before the attacker rolls any dice. After all, all defensive activities are "reactive", so that they are only triggered by external impulses - also concerning their timing. Anything else makes things pretty complicated, IMHO, and in the end dice should only be rolled when the outcome counts, not as an additional/derivative effect from the original test.
However, with advanced defensive Talents the defender might have to state whether the measure is a Free Action, or a Fast action, so that further defensive measures might be executed later during the round that surpass the normal Action limit.
 
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Re: Declared defense = action?

Wed 21 Feb 2024, 15:11

Following the game mechanics' logic a defender does only have to declare a counter-action to an attack if the latter is successful. If the attack misses the defender IMHO does not have to waste a defensive action, or declare something before the attacker rolls any dice. After all, all defensive activities are "reactive", so that they are only triggered by external impulses - also concerning their timing. Anything else makes things pretty complicated, IMHO, and in the end dice should only be rolled when the outcome counts, not as an additional/derivative effect from the original test.
However, with advanced defensive Talents the defender might have to state whether the measure is a Free Action, or a Fast action, so that further defensive measures might be executed later during the round that surpass the normal Action limit.
Nope.
Page 91-92 PHB:
"When you attack an aware opponent in close combat, they can DODGE or PARRY to avoid being hit. The defender must declare if they are going to DODGE or PARRY before you roll for your attack. DODGE and PARRY are called reactive actions, since they are performed immediately, and they break the normal initiative order in the round.
However, they do count toward your two available actions in the round (one slow and one fast action). For every reactive action you perform, you get one less action when it is your turn, and once you have used both your actions during the round, you can no longer DODGE or PARRY (talents can modify this, however). "
 
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kylkim
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Re: Declared defense = action?

Wed 21 Feb 2024, 20:00

Page 91-92 PHB:
"When you attack an aware opponent in close combat, they can DODGE or PARRY to avoid being hit. The defender must declare if they are going to DODGE or PARRY before you roll for your attack. DODGE and PARRY are called reactive actions, since they are performed immediately, and they break the normal initiative order in the round.
However, they do count toward your two available actions in the round (one slow and one fast action). For every reactive action you perform, you get one less action when it is your turn, and once you have used both your actions during the round, you can no longer DODGE or PARRY (talents can modify this, however). "
So the question could also be, does one have to perform a defense maneuver, if it was declared?
In FbL there's nothing gained from rolling defense against 0 successes, but there is a cost in action economy and sometimes in attribute attrition: a critical injury suffered to the groin causes a point of damage every time the character Moves or does Close Combat.
 
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Re: Declared defense = action?

Wed 21 Feb 2024, 20:38

Page 91-92 PHB:
"When you attack an aware opponent in close combat, they can DODGE or PARRY to avoid being hit. The defender must declare if they are going to DODGE or PARRY before you roll for your attack. DODGE and PARRY are called reactive actions, since they are performed immediately, and they break the normal initiative order in the round.
However, they do count toward your two available actions in the round (one slow and one fast action). For every reactive action you perform, you get one less action when it is your turn, and once you have used both your actions during the round, you can no longer DODGE or PARRY (talents can modify this, however). "
So the question could also be, does one have to perform a defense maneuver, if it was declared?
In FbL there's nothing gained from rolling defense against 0 successes, but there is a cost in action economy and sometimes in attribute attrition: a critical injury suffered to the groin causes a point of damage every time the character Moves or does Close Combat.
I think the "they are performed immediately" bit indicates that declaration=performance is the intention.
 
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Fenhorn
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Re: Declared defense = action?

Wed 21 Feb 2024, 21:43

Yes, if you have declared to defend yourself, then you have to do it. If the attacker misses then yes, one of your actions are forfeited for nothing.
“Thanks for noticin' me.” - Eeyore
 
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kylkim
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Re: Declared defense = action?

Thu 22 Feb 2024, 14:18

Yes, if you have declared to defend yourself, then you have to do it. If the attacker misses then yes, one of your actions are forfeited for nothing.
Thank you for supplying an official interpretation of the rules as written! Hopefully this will spread far and wide, so tables can clearly communicate whether they follow the RAW form of "declaration = action" or the newly identified house ruling of "skill roll = action"/"defend on hit".

Based on a small poll over on Facebook and Reddit (s = 74), 55 % were in support of this house-ruling, whereas 45 % were in support of the RAW approach. This might not be reflective of actual tables, but is an interesting example how rules might be misinterpreted or changed to better suit the game. Whether the popularity changes with the knowledge of the proper interpretation, remains to be seen. There is also the risk, that this home brew or misinterpretation might spread into other YZ:E games, where it might not fit.

Personally I'm for the house ruling, mainly due to falling in line with my interpretation of fumbled attacks as clear misses, that do not require input from the target/defender. In balance terms, it empowers the defender slightly more and makes weak attacks risky, which might incentivize pushing. Similarly, it slightly weakens multiple attacks, as the expenditure of actions is no longer a 1:1 trade (provided the multi-attacker misses their first attack completely).
 
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Fenhorn
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Re: Declared defense = action?

Thu 22 Feb 2024, 15:49

This is the first time I have heard about this misinterpretation in any of FLs YZE-games and I have been here 2014 when FL released the Swedish MYZ game, the first YZE-game. But sure, I don't visit Fb or Reddit much.

edit: Regarding house ruling about this, there are several kin, profession and general talents that may be less useful or at least not so strong. Also, the advanced combat system will be broken if you change this.
“Thanks for noticin' me.” - Eeyore
 
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kylkim
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Re: Declared defense = action?

Mon 26 Feb 2024, 01:41

the advanced combat system will be broken if you change this.
To be frank, it is not that great in its default state either, due to how punishing it is for lower initiative defender if they do not have luck with the dice, good base to soak, free defence actions, or pain resistance. On early play, it's only good for killing the slower initiative combatant, not actually progressing the fight like it would in the regular resolution scheme.

And I disagree, the homeruling wouldn't break the system since it wouldn't introduce a third step, only give easier access to a reversed ACC situations (similar to if a character voluntarily played an Await card and didn't get hit, thus having an action available on their initiative). A single defense might be made to extend to step 2 (if no other card was available), or become a fast action available later in the round (where it may or may not be resolved with ACC, depending on the earlier attackers action economy).

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