Tuesday, 30 June 1981

Ringing Steel — a Man-to-Man combat system part II

Special Situations

Closing for combat and breaking off

When a combatant wants to make a move which will bring him into a hex such that he or an opponent can make an attack, or when he expects an opponent to make such a move he makes a closing action. The opponent also makes a closing action unless he is already in combat or being approached from the back. After making a closing action which results in an attack by one combatant, both combatants are in combat. They remain such until they break off. Closing actions are as follows:

Set:Make no move but prepare to attack as soon as opponent is in range. Attack made after base time or one tenth after opponent comes in range, whichever is later. Takes one tenth and gives no advantage.

Wait: Let opponent make first attack, making no move. Add two to defence potential against opponent's first attack. Takes one tenth.

Attack: Move one hex and make attack. No advantage. Takes Base Speed + Walk Move Rate - 3 tenths. The move is made two tenths before the full time and the attack at the end of it.

Defend: Move one hex and let opponent make first attack. Add two to defence potential against opponent's first attack. Time is Walk Move Rate.

Charge:Move two hexes and make attack. Adds three to Anti-Parry to own first attack. Subtracts three from defence potential against opponent's first attack. Time as for Attack, second move is made two tenths before full time and the first move Run Move Rate before that.

Avoid:Move back to attempt to remain out of range.

If the closing actions result in one or both combatants being unable to make an attack then that attack is lost and so is any bonus.

After the closing actions and an attack being made the two combatants are in combat. They make blows, move and defend with the standard timings. It is not possible to make another closing action without first breaking off.

Breaking Off

Combatants break off when both are out of range and so cannot attack. This can happen automatically due to dodging or ordinary movement. Movement due to dodging need not result in a break off as the combatant with the advantage can immediately move back into range. A break off can also be achieved by ode combatant making a Retreat action. This consists off two moves back plus up to two turns all as a single action. It can only occur immediately after an attack has been successfully stopped, when the combatant has the advantage. The time for this action is that for a single Walk Back. The advantage move is incorporated as Dart of the Retreat. During the time for a Retreat no active defence can be made

Multiple Combatants

When two combatants both make a closing action each nominates the other as “target”. The target is the only opponent that can be attacked and the only opponent against whose attacks an active defence can be made. A combatant who is the target of two or more opponents may choose to defend only and then can specify two targets. He is then able to make active defences against the attacks of both unless they make attacks at the same time when only one is defended against, chosen at random. A combatant may change his target, and this takes a reaction time = d10 - Best Skill, minimum one. To change to the defend only way of fighting takes the time required to select the new target, and a similar reaction time is required to change back. While changing target no active defence is possible. It is not necessary for a target to be in range. A combatant may choose his target to be one opponent who is out of range despite being attacked by another. The target is an opponent whose actions are being watched, and a combatant will know the current action of his target, but not of any other combatant. A target cannot be to the back of a combatant. A combatant is never forced to react by his target unless the optional surprise rules are being used. Reaction is always forced by the attack of a non-target.

Blocking and moving past

Instead of making attacks, a combatant using a long weapon may take up a blocking position to prevent an opponent from entering certain hexes. The three possible blocking positions are illustrated below.

When an opponent tries to enter a blocked hex the blocker makes a “blocking attack” with the opponent's defence potential being reduced by two. If the “attack” is successful the opponent is forced to remain in his previous hex, being considered to have stopped if he was running. If the attack fails the opponent moves into the hex and the blocking combatant is no longer in a blocking position. Initiative and dodging are treated in both cases as for a normal attack, with a roll of 20 always blocking and a roll of l always failing, but not having any other effect. To take up a blocking position takes Base Speed -5 tenths and to move from one position to another takes Base Speed -10 tenths. A blocking position is maintained until the weapon is used to attack or defend. It is lost at the beginning of the time for an attack. A blocking position cannot be taken up if one of the blocked hexes is already occupied.

Combat at close quarters

A combatant using a short range weapon may attempt to come into close quarters by entering the same hex as his opponent. This is done by parrying or dodging the the opponent's attack when in an adjacent hex with the attack failing by at least two. This is similar to passing a block but no specific blocking action is required. It is also possible to come into close quarters as the result of a closing action, particularly when approaching from the back.

When in close quarters only short range weapons may be used, and dodging is the only possible active defence. (The optional unarmed combat rules allow other possibilities.) After a successful dodge, the two combatants are no longer in close quarters, but if an attack is successful, the attacker can use the advantage gained to remain close.

Weapon Combinations and uses
One Single-Handed Weapon

A combatant so armed uses this weapon for all attacks and parries. A parry cannot be made at the same time as an attack, but can be made at all other times, a modifier of four tenths being used.

Single-Handed Weapon Plus Shield

The weapon is used for all attacks except at close quarters, and either may be used for parrying, except when the weapon is being used to make an attack. A modifier of two tenths is used for shield parries land one of four tenths for weapon parries.

Two Single-Handed Weapons

These can be used in two ways. One can be used as the only attacking weapon and then this is treated exactly as for weapon plus shield. Alternately, both can be used for attacks. In this case a combined base speed is calculated the average of the separate speeds plus two, any halves being rounded up. The first attack when closing is made with a chosen first weapon after the combined base speed. After this attacks are made alternately, those of the first weapon making the combined base speed and those of the second coming being similarly spaced but occurring mid-way between the others, halves again rounded up. Either weapon may be used for parries, a modifier of four being added to the times for both. Two is subtracted from the Anti-Parries of both weapons. To change from one style to the other takes a reaction time.

Two Handed Weapon

All long weapons require the use of two hands. The Strength used to calculate Blow Strength is the combatant's two-handed strength which is one and a half times the ordinary strength, rounding halves down. These are the only weapons which can be used to block, but apart from this they are treated as for one single-handed weapon.

Changing Weapons

To draw a weapon or to replace it in its sheath takes a time equal to te combatant's Base Speed with the weapon To drop a weapon takes two tenths. To pick up a weapon from the ground a combatant must be in the hex in which it was dropped. This takes a time equal to two Walk moves. During these moves no active defence can be made.

Simultaneous Attacks

When two combatants attack each other at the same time, they are unable to defend properly. Active Dodges and parries with the attacking weapon are not possible. Two is added to the Anti-Parry of each for the attack, and any modifiers for parrying with shield or second weapon is added to the time for the next action.

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