Height advantage

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crimsontree
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Height advantage

#1 Postby crimsontree » Thu Jul 09, 2009 7:40 am

I ran a test combat last night with a mate. His goblin jumped up on a large boulder & attacked my orc from above. Unfortunately we couldn't find any info on any pluses for height advantage in combat.

Anyone have any ideas?

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Clint
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#2 Postby Clint » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:15 am

It's in there, but it's a bit tricky. It requires thinking backwards and three dimensionally at the same time.

First the backwards, heighth isn't a bonus so much as the negation of a potential penalty, in this case Cover modifiers to attack. An attacker with the heighth advantage isn't going to be hindered by horizontal-based cover.

That's also the three dimensional part. The GM has to consider Cover from the different angles of attack. A character standing on a large boulder is probably going to be provided Cover by the boulder from an attacker below the boulder who has to attack past it.

So it's not so much that the goblin in the example above would have a "bonus" to attack the orc, but that the orc would typically suffer a Cover penalty to attack the goblin on top of the boulder.

Hope that makes sense, and I haven't confused things.
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#3 Postby Sitting Duck » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:19 am

In that particular instance, it could be argued that the goblin has The Drop (described on page 68 of the Core Book) on the orc, which gives a bonus to both the attacker's skill and damage rolls. Or the orc could effectively be considered Prone (described on page 70) and unable to rise for this particular attack, which penalizes the defender's Parry and Fighting rolls.
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crimsontree
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#4 Postby crimsontree » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:53 am

Clint wrote:It's in there, but it's a bit tricky. It requires thinking backwards and three dimensionally at the same time.

First the backwards, heighth isn't a bonus so much as the negation of a potential penalty, in this case Cover modifiers to attack. An attacker with the heighth advantage isn't going to be hindered by horizontal-based cover.

That's also the three dimensional part. The GM has to consider Cover from the different angles of attack. A character standing on a large boulder is probably going to be provided Cover by the boulder from an attacker below the boulder who has to attack past it.

So it's not so much that the goblin in the example above would have a "bonus" to attack the orc, but that the orc would typically suffer a Cover penalty to attack the goblin on top of the boulder.

Hope that makes sense, and I haven't confused things.


That is roughly how we fudged/ruled on it last night. Thanks for the detailed response.

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#5 Postby crimsontree » Thu Jul 09, 2009 8:55 am

Sitting Duck wrote:In that particular instance, it could be argued that the goblin has The Drop (described on page 68 of the Core Book) on the orc, which gives a bonus to both the attacker's skill and damage rolls. Or the orc could effectively be considered Prone (described on page 70) and unable to rise for this particular attack, which penalizes the defender's Parry and Fighting rolls.


I like The Drop idea & it would apply if the orc was unaware of the attack. Thanks for the quick reply.

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#6 Postby Lord Lance » Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:29 pm

And, of course, you could rule that "jumped up on a large boulder & attacked my orc from above" is surely a wild attack, so +2 attack, +2 damage, -2 parry. :mrgreen:

Here no new rules, but a visually nicely described action: if you liked that manoeuvre, you could give the player an extra benny to reward the cool scene description.
:blam:

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#7 Postby Magnus » Thu Jul 09, 2009 1:09 pm

Lord Lance wrote:And, of course, you could rule that "jumped up on a large boulder & attacked my orc from above" is surely a wild attack, so +2 attack, +2 damage, -2 parry. :mrgreen:

Here no new rules, but a visually nicely described action: if you liked that manoeuvre, you could give the player an extra benny to reward the cool scene description.
:blam:


I accept Clint's answer as canon, but I like your's better, Lance. Benny award to the goblin and possible Wild Attack bonuses.

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#8 Postby Adam Baulderstone » Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:21 pm

Lord Lance wrote:And, of course, you could rule that "jumped up on a large boulder & attacked my orc from above" is surely a wild attack, so +2 attack, +2 damage, -2 parry. :mrgreen:

Here no new rules, but a visually nicely described action: if you liked that manoeuvre, you could give the player an extra benny to reward the cool scene description.
:blam:


That combines well with Clint's answer. You can make the Wild Attack for a bonus and the parry penalty will be negated by the cover bonus.

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#9 Postby Magnus » Thu Jul 09, 2009 4:57 pm

Adam Baulderstone wrote:
Lord Lance wrote:And, of course, you could rule that "jumped up on a large boulder & attacked my orc from above" is surely a wild attack, so +2 attack, +2 damage, -2 parry. :mrgreen:

Here no new rules, but a visually nicely described action: if you liked that manoeuvre, you could give the player an extra benny to reward the cool scene description.
:blam:


That combines well with Clint's answer. You can make the Wild Attack for a bonus and the parry penalty will be negated by the cover bonus.


Hurray for compromises :)

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#10 Postby Noshrok Grimskull » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:49 pm

Hmm, I guess I just would've used the rule for prone opponents (page 70 SWEX), with the target just not being able to "stand up".
I use the same rule when conducting combat between mounted troops and infantry.
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#11 Postby Lord Inar » Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:03 am

I myself like a slightly tiered approach.

About 1/3 higher: +1 Parry.
About 2/3 higher: +2 Parry, -1 Fighting (harder to reach down). Very good for holding off attackers, but less so for taking them out.
Any higher and they can't hit each other.
Reach allows the height difference to be greater, but the effect is the same as 2/3.

My take anyway.

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#12 Postby Vorpal » Sat Jul 11, 2009 10:42 pm

I used this the other night. A foot soldier was attempting to attack a mounted knight. I assigned the foot soldier a -2 penalty to hit the mounted dude.
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#13 Postby Lord Karick » Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:26 pm

This is the best suggestion I've seen around. What about increasing Intimidate and reducing the Ganging Up penalty as well? To my mind, this does seem to be a glaring hole in the otherwise excellent SW rules.

Lord Inar wrote:I myself like a slightly tiered approach.

About 1/3 higher: +1 Parry.
About 2/3 higher: +2 Parry, -1 Fighting (harder to reach down). Very good for holding off attackers, but less so for taking them out.
Any higher and they can't hit each other.
Reach allows the height difference to be greater, but the effect is the same as 2/3.

My take anyway.

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#14 Postby steelbrok » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:47 am

Or even thinking the other way, give the mounted knight a gang up bonus based on his horse (assuming a trained warhorse

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#15 Postby Takeda » Fri Apr 08, 2011 7:10 am

Typically in the games we play the higher-position has a circumstantial bonus based on the system ... usually +1 attack (or +5 in a percential system). Everybody wanted the higher ground in the medieval period of warfare for a reason ... many reasons in fact:
  • Better view of the surrounding territory.
  • Better range with projectile/thrown weapons.
  • Defenders can roll/pour defensive weapons on their attackers.
  • Your enemy has to run up-hill to attack costing them a lot of their energy and likely arriving at your position somewhat fatigued.
  • Ranged attacks against you have effectively shorter range as they have to be fired further uphill and must overcome more drag/gravity.
  • Any fortification makes use of all these advantages.
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#16 Postby marshal kt » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:23 pm

If the top attacker is behind part of the boulder, I'd rule he has cover, but so does the bottom attacker. Both have to swing around it.

The point of attacker from above is, it gives you a better chance to hit the head or shoulders & torso than hitting from below.
Hitting from below is a great way to cut out the targets legs.

Since SW doesn't have hit locations, like other games do, you can't get a bonus to hit one area vesus another.

Also from swinging down, you use larger muscle groups and can do more damage. The converse is thus true also. Swinging up, you lose some strength; especially in a protracted engagement.

The spiraling of stiars was designed to save space, but also to make it harder to be attack. But it depends on the direction the stairs twist whether it's better to attack going up or coming down. [for using a shield and getting the wall to help bock the opponent.]

I'd give cover to both, and a bonus to damage for the top and a penalty to the bottom. In a protracted engagement, say going up stairs, after a minute or 2, [with no break] the penalty would increase.

I've swung a [rattan] sword in castle/fort sieges. Trust me about this. Reach means more than anything else.

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#17 Postby ogbendog » Fri Apr 08, 2011 6:17 pm

maybe the higher guy get's +1 damage, and lower guy -1?
I could also see only -3 to hit the head (or legs) for ht upper guy
the lower guy would be -5 for the head, but only -1 for the legs.

for mounted, I'd also be tempted to have the horse do an agility "trick" to knock the guy off balance by nudging him instead of attacking. the -2 to parry is nice.

I

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#18 Postby Lord Karick » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:32 am

ogbendog wrote:for mounted, I'd also be tempted to have the horse do an agility "trick" to knock the guy off balance by nudging him instead of attacking. the -2 to parry is nice.


Oooh, I like that. Warhorse only of course (?) and presumably horse's agility rather than riders, or use Riding skill?


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