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Simple Combat for Newcomer

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If I’m just getting started with the system and want to keep combat speedy while learnIng the rules, what rules can I skip without breaking the game? One idea is not to track endurance. What else should I consider?

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It depends on what genre you are playing, but in general you can skip:

 

Hit Locations, and partial armour protection

Presence attacks - these allow exceptions to the order of play in combat

Knockback/Knockdown

Turn modes for movement

Pushing - implied by not using End anyway

 

You could also make sure every character has the same Speed characteristic. Then you don't need to use the Speed Chart apart from periodic post-Segment 12 Recoveries. If everyone has, say, 3 Spd (or 5, for superheroes), then "post-Segment 12" becomes "after every three (or 5) phases".

 

Also avoid complex power constructs. Simple characters can be just as powerful and interesting anyway, in many cases.

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Even in Fantasy you can get away with Hit Locations and even Activation Rolls. Just make sure killing attacks have a chance of getting through. We never worried about Turn Mode in our group lol. Agents don’t get recovery nor do they take one. If playing Supers, use play Normals with a weapon and some armor. Also once agents go 0 Stun or negative, they’re out of the game.

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5 hours ago, Ninja-Bear said:

Also stay away from Martial maneuvers until you’re more comfortable with the Standard Maneuvers. That being said, I would encourage you to play mock battles when not gaming and go-let’s try this! I still do that.

 

I think you have had some goo advice already.  It depends on how simple you want to get.

 

You could ignore all manouevres.  You lose some elements of complexity such as blocking an attack or dodging but it gets right down to the hit and record damage.  You should be explicit with the group that you would like to do that for a session and then begin introducing manouevres as everything else becomes second nature.  HERO does have the complexity of multiple forms of damage and it bears remembering (for us old timers) that it can be difficult for folk to get their head round that in the midst of all the rest of the numbers...

 

Do not worry about breaking the system, it is designed to be modular and for things to be used or not used.  There is no absolute 'ideal' way for the system to be used in a game.

 

My big thing is looking very closely at the attacks and defences used.  I use lots of the complexity to justify that I set the attacks and defences to mean that most folk will not be able to take more than a few hits before being taken out of a fight - I hate fights of attrition where folk have to whittle down opponents STUN scores.  I much prefer a lot of manouevering and looking for advantage before going toe to toe.  If a fight only lasts a couple of rounds of combat then it will indeed be swift but if you have no access to manouevres then it might seem a bit arbitrary as a few lucky dice rolls might swing it. 

 

That would be fine if everyone was aware that it was basic stuff to get used to hitting and damage. 

 

There are a lot of moving parts and so it is worth moving slowly to ensure that you are al comfortable with them.

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Oh and another thing is if you can print off some sheets like combat maneuvers (or make your own) or at least use sticky notes to mark in the book for important rules. It really isn’t hard to learn. Actually a good thing is to take a normal versus skilled or versus competent that way you see the difference between CVs and PDs and SPD too. 

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15 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

You could ignore all manouevres.  You lose some elements of complexity such as blocking an attack or dodging but it gets right down to the hit and record damage.  You should be explicit with the group that you would like to do that for a session and then begin introducing manouevres as everything else becomes second nature.  HERO does have the complexity of multiple forms of damage and it bears remembering (for us old timers) that it can be difficult for folk to get their head round that in the midst of all the rest of the numbers...

 

I disagree. Many of the standard maneuvers are fairly straightforward, both in concept and mechanic (Block, Dodge, Grab, Throw, etc). I expect players will ask how to do them at some point in the demonstration, even if you don't mention them.

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Lots of good stuff on simplifying; lots of stuff on not simplifying.

 

Welcome to the boards! :)

 

My suggestion:

 

Make a list-- a short, simple list-- of what you'd like to learn about combat.

 

My own suggestion:

 

Range modifiers.

"Special" damage

Skill levels.

maneuvers -- I recommend taking those is small groups:  start with Strike and Dodge.  Once you've got that, add two more, then two more, etc.

Endurance Tracking

Hit Locations

 

Seriously:  start just as simple as it sounds:

 

11 + OCV-DCV.

 

Run around; map it out (it helps with Range modifiers, which you'll get to next).

 

Once you are very comfortable with that, add in Range Modifiers.

 

Once your comfortable with that--

 

yeah.  You see the pattern.

 

 

See, here's the thing:   everyone has a "you have to include this or there's no point!" list.  Even me.  :lol:

 

Ignore _all_ of it.    Strip down _everything_.  Learn each part one at a time, adding each as you go.  Or _don't_!  Maybe once you're nice and comfy with range mods, drop it completely and go to Endurance tracking _only_.   At any rate, if you focus _only_ on the basics, then focus on the other components _one at a time_, it comes quickly.  You'll have the hang of it in a few hours.

 

Seriously.  I don't know you well enough to make jokes. ;)

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

I disagree.

 

You disagree that you could drop manoeuvres?? 😄

 

5 hours ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

Many of the standard maneuvers are fairly straightforward, both in concept and mechanic (Block, Dodge, Grab, Throw, etc). I expect players will ask how to do them at some point in the demonstration, even if you don't mention them.

 

Absolutely they are, and they will add to a combat and players may absolutely ask about dodging or throwing.

 

It might be better to have players asking and being given than to be overwhelmed with everything upfront.

 

However, the OP asked what could be dropped in the interest of making combats faster.  Manoeuvres do not make combat faster, choices don't make combat faster.

 

Doc

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I disagree with Indiana Joe about Grab. Grab changes the grabbers CV based on who he’s attacking and who’s attacking him. The same thing with the Grabee. Then there’s the STR vs STR roll.  (Yes this could be simplified too for now). He I would recommend a 4x6 index card with these notes on it for easy reference. Heck I do that for myself.

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6 hours ago, Doc Democracy said:

 

Absolutely they are, and they will add to a combat and players may absolutely ask about dodging or throwing.

 

It might be better to have players asking and being given than to be overwhelmed with everything upfront.

 

However, the OP asked what could be dropped in the interest of making combats faster.  Manoeuvres do not make combat faster, choices don't make combat faster.

 

 

Starting with the very basics, then adding as issues arise is an effective way of learning a game.  It means some page-flipping during the game, and it should be expected that those early sessions may be slow for that reason, but learning the rules while applying them is typically far more effective than just reading the, with no context.

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For what it’s worth, there are a lot of playing aids in the downloads area. I mean a lot! See if there’s anything you like that you could use as handouts. Or get ideas to create your own handout. [Name redacted] is such a nerd that he actually owns a laminator to create player aids as laminated cards to have on hand each game session as [name redacted]’s players learn the game. 
 

 

 

[Name redacted] may or may not be me. Don’t tell. 🤫

 

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Not about what rules you should skip, but in general, I think running a heroic level game without hit locations is a good way to start.  I think the most daunting task to the new player is powers creation.  Something about the math drives new players off.

 

The best scenario to start in the heroic setting is the bar fight.  Seems to work for any heroic level genre with generally low fatality rates and pretty easy foes to beat up to build confidence.

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33 minutes ago, dsatow said:

Not about what rules you should skip, but in general, I think running a heroic level game without hit locations is a good way to start.  I think the most daunting task to the new player is powers creation.  Something about the math drives new players off.

 

The best scenario to start in the heroic setting is the bar fight.  Seems to work for any heroic level genre with generally low fatality rates and pretty easy foes to beat up to build confidence.

Bar fight would be great! You can have Normal damage-day a tankard that adds +1D6 to STR. Oh I throw that tankard well that’s say a 2D6 Blast  let’s look at Range. I throw my beer in his face-that’s a Flash attack! He pulls a dagger well now that’s a killing attack.

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