The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with It

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Agamemnon
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Re: The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with I

Postby Agamemnon » 11 Oct 2015, 20:23

Marras wrote:Sounds great! This would really make a it feasible to have a game of city thugs that are armed with only daggers and clubs or even unarmed.

Yeah, you can't really underestimate that kind of thing in this game, even as a trained swordsman in good armor, facing two or three peasants at once is not a pleasant proposition.

On the reverse, I could definitely see someone pulling an Assassin's Creed campaign, the way things are set up. 'Bastards is one of the only games I've seen where you could actually have something like a hidden blade, shove it into someone's stomach, and expect them to actually die.
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Re: The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with I

Postby Daeruin » 12 Oct 2015, 01:29

Agamemnon wrote:In 'Bastards, we handle it differently. The defender still declares that they want to steal initiative, but all dice that are going to be rolled on both sides have to come from their remaining CP. Simply put, if you go all-in on your attack in the first Tempo, you don't have any dice left to defend yourself if the opponent tries to steal initiative.

The actual rules are slightly more complex than that, but that's the gist of it. There are a number of ways that both attacker and defender can punish over-investment, or take advantage of under-investment.

I'm coming a bit late to this thread. I just wanted to clarify this. So the defender declares they are stealing initiative. There is some kind of opposed roll, with all the dice coming from their CP. If the attacker has invested ALL his dice in the attack, he automatically loses, correct? How many dice would the defender need to use to get at least 1 success?
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Re: The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with I

Postby higgins » 12 Oct 2015, 04:01

Daeruin wrote:I'm coming a bit late to this thread. I just wanted to clarify this. So the defender declares they are stealing initiative. There is some kind of opposed roll, with all the dice coming from their CP. If the attacker has invested ALL his dice in the attack, he automatically loses, correct? How many dice would the defender need to use to get at least 1 success?
Correct -- the attacker doesn't have any dice left to contend with. The character attempting to steal initiative rolls vs their own Base TN, which is TN6 if they're unharmed.

If it's red/red, then the attacker doesn't have any dice to contend with -- the pre-empting character needs only a single success to beat him. Pre-empter's chances in red/red: One die for 50% success, two dice for 75% success, three dice to 87,5% success, four dice to 93,8% success... etc.

If the attacker has initiative though, he is considered to have one (1) automatic success on the contest, even if he doesn't have any reserve dice left to contend with -- hence the the pre-empting character needs two successes to beat him. Pre-empter's chances with opponent having initiative: Two dice for 25% success, three dice for 50% success, four dice for 68,8% success, five dice to 81,3% success, six dice for 89,1% success, seven dice to 93,8% success... etc.

If the character is injured, the TN goes up and this becomes quite a bit harder. If the opponent leaves a few dice in reserve, he's less vulnerable to Pre-empting, but becomes more vulnerable to Counter or Deflect & Strike (assuming equal CP).
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Re: The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with I

Postby Agamemnon » 12 Oct 2015, 04:34

Counter is especially worthy of note as a defense against an over-invested attacker, because the effect scales well with the attacker's die pool. And because it's considered a basic maneuver, it's available across the board.
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Re: The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with I

Postby GilbertoCarlos » 29 Feb 2016, 16:01

Sorry for resurrecting the thread, but I have something to add.

In real life, If I knew my enemy has a saber and tends to go all-out when attacking, I may choose 3 strategies:
1) wield a halberd and put the heaviest full body metal armor I could afford(mail tends to be enough, but just to be sure). Then, attack him while he attacks me. His sword would do little damage, while I would do more damage.
In game terms, I believe there should be a way of ignoring pesky flies, and if they attack you but can't hurt you, they should not maintain initiative.
Regarding the sword, in TROS sabers already only do ST+0 damage against metal armor.

2) If I was poor, I'd pick a long spear, an sword and a shield, he would have a hard time passing through the tip, and simply going all out may result on him getting a spear in the chest. If he managed to get near, I could use the shield to defend, drop the spear and draw the sword
In game terms, I would use range as it's intended to be used. And the shield has DTN 5, meaning I could block his attacks with less dice than he spends attacking.

3) Bring a friend, he could go all out and take me out, but if he didn't took enough precautions, my friend would kill him.
In game terms, he would be forced to roll terrain and waste dices every turn.

Of course however, if all he fights against is other unarmored guys also using only swords in duels, he is doing the right thing.
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Re: The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with I

Postby hector » 29 Feb 2016, 17:00

Not necessarily - it depends on what the opponent chooses to do.

Because the combat systems should be similar, and because the BoB combat system hasn't been released yet, I'll work with TRoS for this, using the Flower of Battle initiative stealing rules.

We have two fencers - Adam and Brian, who have a Reflex of 5 each and a CP of 10 each (this being fairly average for a trained fencer), are not wearing armour, and are armed with sabres. The sabre in TRoS has a cutting ATN of 6, so on average, a 10 die attack will grant five successes. Draw cuts don't cost additional dice, so this is fine. As such, Adam decides to throw a 10 die draw cut at Brian.

Brian realises that he has three defensive options - a full evade, which should get him out of danger, but will also prevent him from hitting back; a parry, which is less likely to get him out of trouble, and would also require a 10 die commitment, leaving him at best without the initiative and allowing Adam to do the same again, or a Counter, which is most likely to end up with him taking a level 3 wound and essentially ending the fight.

Therefore, he decides to take a gamble - realising that his opponent has probably thrown most (if not all) of his dice into the attack, he tries to land a blow first. Four dice will, on average, give a level 4 wound against an opponent who isn't trying to prevent it, so he declares a four die draw cut to Adam's sword arm. He then declares that he is stealing the initiative, and adds the remaining six dice to his initiative roll - meaning that while Adam rolls his Reflexes (5), he gets to roll a full eleven dice to hit first.

Given the six die advantage, Brian will almost certainly hit first, and will likely land a level 3-level 5 wound against Adam's sword arm; even if Adam keeps his arm, he loses his weapon before his blow can even land.

In real life terms, Adam over-extends and Brian punishes him for it.

As for armour, in TRoS, you can choose to attack instead of defend, and choose not to steal initiative if you don't see any reason to do so - it just means that the attacker hits first, then you hit second. If there's no way the attacker can hurt you, it's a decent option. I suspect that both this and stealing initiative will be available as options in BoB, making an all out attack against someone with similar dice equally foolish.
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Re: The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with I

Postby taelor » 04 Mar 2016, 04:36

higgins wrote:
Daeruin wrote:I'm coming a bit late to this thread. I just wanted to clarify this. So the defender declares they are stealing initiative. There is some kind of opposed roll, with all the dice coming from their CP. If the attacker has invested ALL his dice in the attack, he automatically loses, correct? How many dice would the defender need to use to get at least 1 success?
Correct -- the attacker doesn't have any dice left to contend with. The character attempting to steal initiative rolls vs their own Base TN, which is TN6 if they're unharmed.

If it's red/red, then the attacker doesn't have any dice to contend with -- the pre-empting character needs only a single success to beat him. Pre-empter's chances in red/red: One die for 50% success, two dice for 75% success, three dice to 87,5% success, four dice to 93,8% success... etc.

If the attacker has initiative though, he is considered to have one (1) automatic success on the contest, even if he doesn't have any reserve dice left to contend with -- hence the the pre-empting character needs two successes to beat him. Pre-empter's chances with opponent having initiative: Two dice for 25% success, three dice for 50% success, four dice for 68,8% success, five dice to 81,3% success, six dice for 89,1% success, seven dice to 93,8% success... etc.

If the character is injured, the TN goes up and this becomes quite a bit harder. If the opponent leaves a few dice in reserve, he's less vulnerable to Pre-empting, but becomes more vulnerable to Counter or Deflect & Strike (assuming equal CP).


The rules for preemption seem to have changed since this was written. The rules on page 111 of the beta state that instead of rolling dice directly from their combat pool
the defender declares a Contest of Speed. Both parties start with a number of dice equal to their Speed attribute and may increase this poo with dice from their CP on a 1:1 basis.


Under these rules, the person being preempted will now always have at least one die with which to contest preemption (and likely more), even if they went all out on an attack. Of course, the premptor also gets to add their speed, so the overall effect of the change is to make it both harder to preempt and easier to be preempted by a speedier character.

I'm interested to see how this effects the over-investment issue. And of course, I can't wait to see how this all shakes out in play.
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Re: The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with I

Postby hector » 04 Mar 2016, 06:22

Honestly, bad luck happens sometimes. If you can't land a solid blow with 4-5 dice and can't get more successes on 7-9 dice than the other guy rolling only 2-3, then you were fucked from the start.
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Re: The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with I

Postby higgins » 04 Mar 2016, 06:52

taelor wrote:The rules for preemption seem to have changed since this was written. The rules on page 111 of the beta state that instead of rolling dice directly from their combat pool
The old approach worked, but it was quite cost prohibitive. Speed attribute wasn't in our initial drafts, either, so, adding that gave us more tools to work with. There were probably a few more reasons to rework the section, but I've forgotten them by now. The new rules also seemed to work, but I'm the first one to admit that we weren't able to test them as much as I'd have liked due to our frantic editing pace of late.
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Re: The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with I

Postby Alex » 07 Mar 2016, 01:14

I know you have already designed the whole melee system with stealing initiative and you will not change it now, but I was just curious about an idea.

To prevent overinvesting, you could simply limit the number of dice per attack:

When attacking, you can use a maximum number of dice equal to your proficiency.
(SA could be increase that maximum).

To be honest, I haven't playtested it, but it seems simple enough.

Things like reach increase your CP, so they would not increase your maximum nber of dice per attack.
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Re: The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with I

Postby hector » 07 Mar 2016, 01:44

Thing is, if a PC has sufficient dice that they can afford to invest heavily in an attack and still have some dice left over for avoiding having initiative stolen, then as far as I'm concerned they should be allowed to. There's no need to artificially limit the number of dice you can use, when you can simply throw an object lesson at them early on.
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Re: The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with I

Postby nemedeus » 15 Mar 2016, 13:24

Also, limiting to proficiency might lead to involuntarily humourous results.

"I attack with 1 out of my total of 7 dice from my Dagger 1 Proficiency!"

In my own game, i have previously scrapped a similar rule ("you can't roll more than 10 dice total per round") to incentivize using high AC maneuvers.

Edit: clarification: the rule was MEANT to incentivize high AC maneuvers.
Last edited by nemedeus on 16 Mar 2016, 05:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with I

Postby Alex » 15 Mar 2016, 18:32

nemedeus wrote: "I attack with 1 out of my total of 7 dice from my Dagger 1 Proficiency!"

Well, with Defaulting you should have a proficiency of at least 3 or 4, but I get the gist of your argument ;)
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Re: The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with I

Postby nemedeus » 16 Mar 2016, 04:06

Alex wrote:
nemedeus wrote: "I attack with 1 out of my total of 7 dice from my Dagger 1 Proficiency!"

Well, with Defaulting you should have a proficiency of at least 3 or 4, but I get the gist of your argument ;)

While it is true that you either have no proficiencies or at least 6 points, a character who put 1 point each in six different proficiencies is concievable. But yeah, thing is, if you have less in your proficiency than your Reflex stat, you would never get to roll those with a rule like that.

(I know because i'vew tried it for my own game and it didn't work. ;) )
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Re: The Infamous Over-Investing Issue and How to Deal with It

Postby Stuh42l » 07 May 2016, 14:26

Another trick I used as a TROS GM was simply to full evade (disengage) because you are likely to win given the TN difference and roughly same die pools. Eventually the attacker either tiers of his foe slipping away from his death strokes or the opponent bought enough time for a friend to join in.

The way Bastards has streamlined this as of the last beta is pretty simple and elegant at the same time.

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