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Facing and Positioning in RQG Combat


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A weird question, perhaps

I've been pouring over the RQG rules for a while now, and it suddenly occurred to me I have no idea if facing or positioning matters during combat?

Does it? I don't remember coming across this at any point. But there are so many rules I've been soaking in I might have missed it!

And, specifically, if I'm engaged with Enemy A, and Enemy B comes up behind me, am I allowed to turn and parry against Enemy B?

Does engagement "fix" facing to some degree?

Are there limits on how much one can turn (or turn to parry) when engaged?

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Just looked back through the combat section.  It does not directly address What happens when you have an opponent on your flank, but if you are unaware of an opponent he gets +40 to hit, and it would seem you cant parry an attack you are unaware of, but that is my opinion, it doesnt actually say that.  So yes it is worth sneaking up behind somebody when you can. 

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Hi, 

First, thanks for looking into that. I appreciate it.

Second, I was familiar with that rule. But I'm not confused about the sneaking part.

What I'm curious about is when you know there's an enemy who has come up behind you. There's a swarm of enemies, you and your comrades are fighting... and then enemy reinforcements arrive from behind. There's no sneaking. But they are at your back.

Are you allowed to split your attack between two opponents to either side of you?

Are you allowed to parry attacks coming from two opponents to either side of you?

Are you left undefended from a rear attack if already engaged with someone else? (That is, do you need to disengage and maneuver to put your opponents in a forward arc?)

These are the questions I'm curious about.

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1 minute ago, creativehum said:

Are you allowed to split your attack between two opponents to either side of you?

Only if you're at 100%+

1 minute ago, creativehum said:

Are you allowed to parry attacks coming from two opponents to either side of you?

Yes, it just follows the normal reduction in parry %.

2 minutes ago, creativehum said:

Are you left undefended from a rear attack if already engaged with someone else? (That is, do you need to disengage and maneuver to put your opponents in a forward arc?)

There's no specific rule/requirement to do so.

41 minutes ago, creativehum said:

I have no idea if facing or positioning matters during combat?

RQG is not a miniatures/skirmish game, so no.  If you want to make it so for your game, you can do so, but it just adds another level of complication.

While I will draw out rough maps for battles in my RQG game, the only situations where I would use the +40% unaware rule are: 1) missile fire targeted against an engaged figure; 2) the first rear attack by a melee fighter against an engaged figure where it seems unlikely the target would be aware of their approach; 3) the first attack in an ambush where targets fail Scan/Listen rolls.

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Yes I would like to know as well.  A split attack would follow normal rules for splitting an attack.  I see Jaja has answered while I was typing.  I do play with minis, in fact I am working on a full platoon of Luner Hoplites while we are talking.  I will use the RQ3 rules for this myself, unless there new rules about this later.

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The thing that is confusing me is that the RQG SR system depends on movement limits and disengagement rules. If one is not using specific positing (as found in a miniatures game) I'm note sure what some of the rules are doing in the game.

I undestand many (if most) people don't play RQ with tracking of positioning and movement. (We are told you can move half-MP and engage, or full MP if not engaging, or only move 1 meter if engaged... so somehow this stuff is supposed to matter.) But I also know a lot of those people dump the SR rules as written and come up with a new system.

I'm trying to figure out the game as it is written... and as written it sure seems like the use of tokens or miniatures of some kind would allow all the rules of combat to be employed clearly. If not a lot of them are going to be quickly handwaved away, dropped, or ignored.

That's my take at least. I can see not tracking movement and positioning. But that means ignoring several elements of the combat rules as they stand. And at that point you're heading toward a static combat where each PC does pretty much the same thing most rounds, on the same SR every round... and that would be boring, right?

Edited by creativehum
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I completely agree, but I almost never play any game without minis, certainly not one where I GM.  Anytime move distances or spacing or facing matter, it is very hard not to use minis.  But I was a miniature wargamer before there where published RPGs,  so it was a natural thing for m to continue to use minis.

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Facing is a detail I avoid at all costs, it brings about a level of detail tha I want to avoid in RQ combat without figures. I don’t always use figures, but when I do, it’s 15mm so everything is more compact and facing is rolled into movement. Movement is important with mounts, wheeling to charge, getting up to speed, etc. In close combat, I use it in remounting as well. Players instinctively use a metre of movement to turn 90 degrees. I’ve never corrected them. My 15mm comes from traveller, so I’m using square (or rectangular) bases on a square grid and not hexes, facing is a bit more blunt on squares than hexes. Players like to line stuff up, that’s not to say it isn’t freeform or diagonals aren’t allowed. We did a recent combat with a caravan of 30 bison, 9 ridden and the rest pack animals, only one player wasn’t mounted, and one was a centaur! The attacking Sables did make off with a few bison, but at a heavy cost. The facing and movement worked very smoothly. As for penalties and bonuses, for facing, @jajagappa pretty much covered it for me. We had a Morokanth attack where both of the lead adventurers fumbled their scan rolls to spot the hidden hunters, both attackers got the bonus.

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Flanking is an advantage and should be reflected in the rules.  I would make a flanking attack impossible to parry if not using a staff.  If the defender states he wishes to maneuver so as to parry it, then he can parry the flanking attack but not the attack from the person who initially was not flanking, unless all he does is parry. If he's trying to parry both at the expense of attacking, I'd give him the standard -20%.  If using a staff, I rule their is no flanking position.

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3 hours ago, creativehum said:

I undestand many (if most) people don't play RQ with tracking of positioning and movement.

As I noted, I do usually map out larger combats so I have a rough idea of movement and distance (example from a recent battle with scorpionmen below).  If I was running face-to-face, I'd probably use miniatures (as I did so in the past).  This allows the players to remember who is engaged, who isn't, where you might double up an attack (and forcing the opponent to make diminishing parry rolls), and whether a missile shot from an unengaged character is reasonable.  I do follow SR's.  I don't worry about facing of characters.

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All a matter of taste.  I am not that interested in playing out elaborate charades because there is no common language, even though that really is part of the world.  Or different value coins.  Sounded fun but really just a bookkeeping pain.  But I have known gamers who found both of those things fun

 

I was in the Army for over 20 year, going for the flanks is pretty much right up there with breathing.  So minis and positioning and so forth are all a part of the fun.    But my MGF is not everybodys MGF

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14 hours ago, creativehum said:

I undestand many (if most) people don't play RQ with tracking of positioning and movement.

 

Where would you derive that understanding from?  You might well be correct, but I don't know that there's ever been a poll taken?

We don't generally bother with setting up the miniatures if the combat positioning is very "obvious", but any time the positioning or maneuvering gets even slightly complex, then we turn to the miniatures.  (This is true for any game we play, not just RQ.)  Positioning was is certainly important in RQ3, with a bunch of important modifiers that can apply.  I'm shocked -- shocked, I tell you -- that little if any of that is to be found in RQG.

It's increasingly clear to me that any time there's a question of mechanics (as opposed to character background info, world building, etc.) -- or, if you like, "hard" vs. "soft", or "how" vs. "why" -- then the RQG rules should at best only be used as suggestions.  Or, to put it another way ... if you think a situation deserves some sort of special penalty or bonus, don't look for an answer in the RQG rules -- just go with whatever "feels right" to the people at the table.  As long as you do it in a consistent fashion, there should be no cause for complaint.

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For our group, facing is pretty irrelavant, as we assume that everyone moves around in combat and can rutn without being penalised.

Attacking from behind or from the side is advantageous, so that is important, as is attacking with height advantage, either from a mount or from high ground. 

But, we move through SRs and  change direction in combat without having to declare it or use an action. 

Commonesense rules for us, rather than strictly adhering to a "Move 3 hexes, pause, turn, move 2 hexes, pause, turn, attack from slightly behind" mentality.

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23 minutes ago, soltakss said:

For our group, facing is pretty irrelavant, as we assume that everyone moves around in combat and can rutn without being penalised.

Attacking from behind or from the side is advantageous, so that is important...

I am curious how those two statements combine. How do you know whether an attack is from behind or the side if you don't track facing?

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9 hours ago, BWP said:

Where would you derive that understanding from?  You might well be correct, but I don't know that there's ever been a poll taken?

That's a fair point. The statement was made from reading several posts from people on this forum who stated quite firmly they don't use the SRs as written, and basically only use the SRs for DEX, SIZ, and Weapon. Or people who are adamant that they avoid concerns about facing at any cost. But that's hardly a poll or any kind of study. 

 

10 hours ago, BWP said:

It's increasingly clear to me that any time there's a question of mechanics (as opposed to character background info, world building, etc.) -- or, if you like, "hard" vs. "soft", or "how" vs. "why" -- then the RQG rules should at best only be used as suggestions.  Or, to put it another way ... if you think a situation deserves some sort of special penalty or bonus, don't look for an answer in the RQG rules -- just go with whatever "feels right" to the people at the table.  As long as you do it in a consistent fashion, there should be no cause for complaint.

I hear you.

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1 hour ago, womble said:

I am curious how those two statements combine. How do you know whether an attack is from behind or the side if you don't track facing?

Use of a skill to get the attacker into the blind side of the attackee. Harder to do if the attackee is warned by friends (who have to make a perception roll to notice that specific danger in the middle of their own battle), but still at a disadvantage.

If a player character advances before his comrades, there will be flanks to be exploited. In case of doubt, sacrifice a wannabe-champion of the opposition and give the players advantageous shots on that poor sucker to teach them what will happen if they pull a Leroy Jenkins.

 

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3 hours ago, soltakss said:

For our group, facing is pretty irrelavant, as we assume that everyone moves around in combat and can rutn without being penalised.

Attacking from behind or from the side is advantageous, so that is important…

2 hours ago, womble said:

I am curious how those two statements combine. How do you know whether an attack is from behind or the side if you don't track facing?

Can't speak for soltakss, but for my group, it's simple numbers; if you're fighting an opponent one-on-one, they're going to be able to face you, but two-on-one means one of the two attackers gets a flank (side) attack bonus and three-on-one means one attacker gets a flank-attack bonus and one a rear-attack bonus.

I use this house rule in any game that doesn't include facing and have been happy with it. (And we do ignore it for cases where the defender is in a narrow tunnel or opening, preventing the attackers from spreading out all around them.)

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54 minutes ago, trystero said:

Can't speak for soltakss, but for my group, it's simple numbers; if you're fighting an opponent one-on-one, they're going to be able to face you, but two-on-one means one of the two attackers gets a flank (side) attack bonus and three-on-one means one attacker gets a flank-attack bonus and one a rear-attack bonus.

I use this house rule in any game that doesn't include facing and have been happy with it. (And we do ignore it for cases where the defender is in a narrow tunnel or opening, preventing the attackers from spreading out all around them.)

From many years of experience of being outnumbered, that's a bit of a tough use case, IMO. It's generally possible, I would say, for a  group that's trying to fight together to keep their fronts (or at least 'effective-fronts') to about twice their number. They may have to give some ground, but will be as hard to hit. The -20 to parry for the second one probably represents enough impairment.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Use of a skill to get the attacker into the blind side of the attackee. Harder to do if the attackee is warned by friends (who have to make a perception roll to notice that specific danger in the middle of their own battle), but still at a disadvantage.

What skills do you use? I'd suggest that Battle is probably a good one to consider using sometimes. The "Art of Having Eyes in the Back of your Head" is a big factor in surviving battles (and Battle is the roll you make for that when you're abstracting out survival of the individual from the general meat grinder). Straight 'stealth v perception' is I imagine going to be the default.

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3 hours ago, trystero said:

Can't speak for soltakss, but for my group, it's simple numbers; if you're fighting an opponent one-on-one, they're going to be able to face you, but two-on-one means one of the two attackers gets a flank (side) attack bonus and three-on-one means one attacker gets a flank-attack bonus and one a rear-attack bonus.

I use this house rule in any game that doesn't include facing and have been happy with it. (And we do ignore it for cases where the defender is in a narrow tunnel or opening, preventing the attackers from spreading out all around them.)

Pretty much, yes. The figures face a certain way and that's enough for me. If I have a figure in front then it is in front, if it is behind then it is behind.

What I don't do is to track quarter turns, half turns and so on, as that kind of thing bores me to tears.

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