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Tactics by players, for players, against players

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I don't know if these count as tactics or strategies (I never could keep their differences straight).

 

Keeping in mind I only run Champions games...

 

Moves that I've seen players use:

  1. Shrinker with no-range small-dice Continuous NND attack.  Lands on / clings to middle of target's back (so he/she can't see and is almost impossible for said target to attack the PC) and then "stings" the target.  Move onto next target, lather, rinse, repeat.
  2. PCs find a way to make a foe go Berserk... and then the PC Teleporter uses his teleport UAA to repeatedly put the berserker facing his friends (typically behind said friends so they're at a lower DCV)
  3. The ever-popular "I Entangle the bad guy so my more powerful teammates can dogpile on him."  Especially when the Entangle is transparent to damage, or a mental entangle.
  4. PC having TK with Reduced END, a bunch of CSLs, and Rapid Attack.  Multiple-Attack Grabs 2-3 foes at once and lifts them up, preferably facing away from the heroes.  (Facing straight up works well most of the time.)

Moves I've used against players:

  1. Variation on Move #1, but with the Shrinker having Mental attacks.  And if the bad guy is the shrinker, he can also cling to normal bystanders, so the heroes won't throw out a bunch of AoE attacks.
  2. Move #3 above works great when you have agent-level characters - one well-placed, well-timed Net Grenade can do wonders, and teaches the heroes that they can't just ignore the agents.
  3. Tactically-minded foe uses invisibility / cover and holds his action to watch what the PCs are doing, especially if they're setting someone else up for a  pounding, and then uses his powers to derail the PCs' strategy.  For instance, PC #1 entangles Bad Guy #1 immediately after BG #1 acts, then PC #2 runs up and begins a Haymaker.  So Tactical Bad Guy #2 targets his Double Knockback Explosion attack right between PC #2 and Bad Guy #1 - which both screws over the hero's Haymaker and frees BG #1 from the Entangle.
  4. Bricks with lots of Running and CSLs - Multiple Move-Throughs, baby!  Especially if the brick has a teammate with a decent AoE Flash attack.  Sure, the heroes may have enough Flash Defense so they're only blinded for a Segment or two, but sometimes that's all it takes.  I did this once with Bulldozer, he plowed through three heroes and CON-stunned two of them.

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1 hour ago, BoloOfEarth said:

I don't know if these count as tactics or strategies (I never could keep their differences straight). 

 

Strategy is what you are trying to do. Tactics are how you go about it. Generally. At the macro level. I think. ;)

 

 

1 hour ago, BoloOfEarth said:

Keeping in mind I only run Champions games...

 

Moves that I've seen players use:

  1. Shrinker with no-range small-dice Continuous NND attack.  Lands on / clings to middle of target's back (so he/she can't see and is almost impossible for said target to attack the PC) and then "stings" the target.  Move onto next target, lather, rinse, repeat. 
  2. PCs find a way to make a foe go Berserk... and then the PC Teleporter uses his teleport UAA to repeatedly put the berserker facing his friends (typically behind said friends so they're at a lower DCV)
  3. The ever-popular "I Entangle the bad guy so my more powerful teammates can dogpile on him."  Especially when the Entangle is transparent to damage, or a mental entangle. 
  4. PC having TK with Reduced END, a bunch of CSLs, and Rapid Attack.  Multiple-Attack Grabs 2-3 foes at once and lifts them up, preferably facing away from the heroes.  (Facing straight up works well most of the time.) 

Moves I've used against players:

  1. Variation on Move #1, but with the Shrinker having Mental attacks.  And if the bad guy is the shrinker, he can also cling to normal bystanders, so the heroes won't throw out a bunch of AoE attacks.
  2. Move #3 above works great when you have agent-level characters - one well-placed, well-timed Net Grenade can do wonders, and teaches the heroes that they can't just ignore the agents.
  3. Tactically-minded foe uses invisibility / cover and holds his action to watch what the PCs are doing, especially if they're setting someone else up for a  pounding, and then uses his powers to derail the PCs' strategy.  For instance, PC #1 entangles Bad Guy #1 immediately after BG #1 acts, then PC #2 runs up and begins a Haymaker.  So Tactical Bad Guy #2 targets his Double Knockback Explosion attack right between PC #2 and Bad Guy #1 - which both screws over the hero's Haymaker and frees BG #1 from the Entangle.
  4. Bricks with lots of Running and CSLs - Multiple Move-Throughs, baby!  Especially if the brick has a teammate with a decent AoE Flash attack.  Sure, the heroes may have enough Flash Defense so they're only blinded for a Segment or two, but sometimes that's all it takes.  I did this once with Bulldozer, he plowed through three heroes and CON-stunned two of them.

 

Good stuff! Thx!

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Probably the meanest things I've ever done

 

  1. is create an AVLD vs. Non-magical Defenses does Body RKA.  If they put on a bulletproof jacket, they were fine, but most of them had these strange heavy magical defenses with little explanation other than its magic.
  2. an entangle which blocked all normal senses and the person was entrapped in what appeared to be stone.
  3. HKA damage shield powered by the attacker's strength (lots of bricks in this game)
  4. a guy with acting and absorption into his physical (not ED) stats.  Every time he was hit, he played as if he could only barely take the punch (kind of like pro wrestling).  After he got powered enough, he began his attacks against them.
  5. a guy with completely invisible power effects on his desolid and a high speed.

 

 

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A lot of the tricks you can use depend on the group's composition.  If nobody flies you can't use any cool flying stunts.  If you don't have a brick, there's nobody to soak up damage or exert a lot of strength.  If nobody has coordination as a skill then you're gonna be challenged to pull combined stunts.  But each group can figure out its own interesting moves.  The trick is to give players a reason to do this.  If they can beat every foe by just going toe to toe and hammering them, they won't bother with any maneuvers.

 

Personally I like the kind of fights where the team has to use their surroundings or tools to defeat an enemy rather than always just a straight up fight (although those are good, too).

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1 hour ago, Christopher R Taylor said:

A lot of the tricks you can use depend on the group's composition.  If nobody flies you can't use any cool flying stunts.  If you don't have a brick, there's nobody to soak up damage or exert a lot of strength.  If nobody has coordination as a skill then you're gonna be challenged to pull combined stunts.  But each group can figure out its own interesting moves.  The trick is to give players a reason to do this.  If they can beat every foe by just going toe to toe and hammering them, they won't bother with any maneuvers.

 

Personally I like the kind of fights where the team has to use their surroundings or tools to defeat an enemy rather than always just a straight up fight (although those are good, too).

 

Totally. Do you have any examples from games you've played in or run along these lines?

 

Reasons for players to do interesting stuff?

Interesting stuff that you or your players have done in those situations?

 

Have you run (or played!) fights where the team has to use their surroundings\tools?

What were the scenarios for them?

What sort of surroundings\environmental\tools tactics did you (or your players) come up with in them?

 

 

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I'm not even sure if the maneuver is in later editions but the team brick causes a shockwave by hitting the ground as hard as he can. With the right code word, teammates are ready for it while the opponents aren't.

 

Can't really do it where it'd cause large amounts of collateral damage but other than that, it can be a big surprise and knock down some opponents to set them up for other attacks.

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Do you have any examples from games you've played in or run along these lines?

 

Usually its just a matter of putting things in the environment that people can use like high tension power lines, gasoline tankers, big heavy stuff that can be dropped on people, etc.  One of my players always tries to find some other way of defeating people than using his actual powers directly, so its easy to get it to happen.

 

Quote

Why not just say 'he stunned two of them'?  Am I missing something?

 

People tend to use that kind of term because Stun is a stat, so its to distinguish between "knocked out by reducing stun" and "dazed them by exceeding their CON in a single hit".  I prefer the term daze myself, several of us made the case for using that term instead of stunned in the rules for 6th.

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18 hours ago, Surrealone said:

As opposed to DEX-stunning or STR-stunning them?

 

Why not just say 'he stunned two of them'?  Am I missing something?

 

CON Stunned is when a character takes STUN equal to or greater than their CON score.

 

As opposed to:

 

STUNNED when a character takes enough STUN to leave them at negative STUN.

 

It's a poor choice of wordage. I use use "Staggered "or "Seeing Birdies" instead of CON Stunned.

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39 minutes ago, drunkonduty said:

CON Stunned is when a character takes STUN equal to or greater than their CON score.

 

As opposed to:

 

STUNNED when a character takes enough STUN to leave them at negative STUN.

 

"Stunned" has always meant what you call CON-Stunned.  "Unconscious" is when a character takes enough STUN damage to leave them at 0 or negative STUN.

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55 minutes ago, drunkonduty said:

 

CON Stunned is when a character takes STUN equal to or greater than their CON score.

 

As opposed to:

 

STUNNED when a character takes enough STUN to leave them at negative STUN.

What Chris Goodwin said.  (i.e. You seem to have confused the term 'Stunned' with the term 'Unconscious'.)

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It's a common enough "mistake" that it has given rise to a term which is widely shared and very commonly (if not universally) understood by anyone who has played the system.

 

While "unconscious" is the technically correct term, there's a practical difference between "out of action" and "needs to take a Recovery", both of which are degrees of "unconsciousness".

 

People tend to call the second state "being stunned", causing a need for the additional term.

 

Language does that kind of thing even in the presence of technical definitions.

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27 minutes ago, assault said:

It's a common enough "mistake" that it has given rise to a term which is widely shared and very commonly (if not universally) understood by anyone who has played the system.

 

While "unconscious" is the technically correct term, there's a practical difference between "out of action" and "needs to take a Recovery", both of which are degrees of "unconsciousness".

 

People tend to call the second state "being stunned", causing a need for the additional term.

 

Language does that kind of thing even in the presence of technical definitions.

 

I'd rather someone tell me "CON-stunned" when I don't know them well enough to know whether they're being technically accurate when choosing among the terms "stunned", "unconscious and out of action", and "unconscious until they take a recovery".

 

Sure "CON-stunned" sounds funny but I'd rather understand what they're saying the first time rather than either be unsure or have to ask them questions to figure out whether they used the right terminology or not.

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5 hours ago, Chris Goodwin said:

 

"Stunned" has always meant what you call CON-Stunned.  "Unconscious" is when a character takes enough STUN damage to leave them at 0 or negative STUN.

 

Thanks for the heads up. But the truth is I wasn't even thinking about whether or not CON-Stunned is the phrase that is in the RAW. I assumed it was, but that's kinda beside the point. It a phrase that is regularly  used in the way I referred to. BoloOfEarth for instance used the phrase in the post Surrealone quoted.

 

So, is CON-Stunned a book correct technical term? You tell me it isn't, and I'm happy to believe you. Is it jargon used in the community? Yes it is. So I thought someone wanted to have the thing clarified. (Surrealalone was being ironic as it turns out but I wasn't to know.)

 

Also, a character can be at -10 STUN and not in fact be unconscious (they're woozy and still able to take note of their surroundings; hardly "unconscious.")

 

But I fear I am drifting far, far away from the actual thread topic...

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CON stunned is not in the book.  Only stunned. 

 

My friend a long time ago said that the only correct version of CON stunned is the one where you have been gaming for 24 hours straight, hopped on Coca Cola and junk food, at a convention on the third night and the GM asks you what are you doing.  The blank look of the CON goer is CON stunned.

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I wasn't trying to be ironic. The term "CON-stunned", no matter the reason it's used … is un-necessarily redundant.  Moreover, its use tends to dis-incent use of the correct term "Unconscious" … which doesn't help those new to the game learn RAW, I suspect.

But we're sort of off-topic and it's my fault.  My apologies for the digression.

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Against grouped opponents(like agents): liberal use of AOE attacks, PRE attacks, multi target attacks, etc.

Against a group of villains, some of whom are more/less powerful: take out the least powerful first so that you can tag team the tough ones more easily

Against a single powerful villain: have one or two players use tactics to nullify or mitigate the villain's attacks, then the rest work to make the villain easier to hit, restrict their mobility, and coordinate attacks to whittle them down

 

I'm leery of using "I win" type powers, just because the more the player group does it, the more likely it is they will be on the receiving end as well, and I know in advance they won't like it much.  

 

The most general combat tactics:

1. Figure out what the enemy can do first.

2. Do something to make them more hittable or reduce their threat level: grab, entangle, flash, darkness, telekinetic grab, martial throw, etc.

3. Target a vulnerability if possible--mental blast, attack vs susceptibility or vulnerability, KA vs unarmored(not very heroic in a supers setting), etc.

4. When in doubt, gang up on the target--multiple coordinated attacks, some of them haymakered.or pushed.

5. If you're losing, grab your fallen comrades and run.  

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One attack people hardly ever defend against adequately is the presence attack.  A 12d6 presence attack, effectively robs people of an action, drops their DCV, and makes them regret leaving their PRE at 15 as a starting characteristic.

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21 minutes ago, dsatow said:

One attack people hardly ever defend against adequately is the presence attack.  A 12d6 presence attack, effectively robs people of an action, drops their DCV, and makes them regret leaving their PRE at 15 as a starting characteristic.

The correct defense against Presence Attacks is to look the GM/players in the eye and say it's best for everyone if nobody ever touches the mechanic. 

The alternative defense is to put half a dozen psylims on your PC that will oppose a villain's Presence Attack so he gets negative 12 DCs against you. 

It's just fundamentally busted wide open, between being usable off-phase every segment at no action cost, not being defended against by strength of will or mental defense, being trivial to accumulate massive circumstance bonuses to, being defended against by disads, etc. 

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Repeated uses of Presence attacks drop the effectiveness of the attack by 1d6 per previous attack (6e2p138).  If used in combat, the PRE attack suffers a -1d6. 

 

If the attack is a super power ("I have a scare power which makes people scared of me"), I usually do not give extra dice for violent actions or soliloquy.  I also think the more experienced your players get, the less violent an action will seem.  When the heroes first start out, a guy with a mini gun shooting at you is pretty violent, but after facing Dr. Destroyer and Mechanon a few times, he just doesn't seem as dangerous.  I also allow people to use either EGO or PRE whichever is higher and most players have bought their EGO or PRE to about 25-30 after 30+ xp.  Your mileage will vary of course.

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High strength characters with lots of movement are fun.  Grab an opponent and then perform a move-through on something that doesn’t get out of the way, like the front end of a bulldozer.  Of course you angle it so that only he impacts the object, while you go over it.  OCV penalties don’t hurt as much that way.

 

Characters with high strength and Tunneling can have fun pretending to be the monster from Tremors.  Grab somebody who sucks in hand to hand and down they go.  If you can fill in the hole behind you, it’s a super awesome Entangle too.

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