Pick your targets

Today for some reason I was in procrastinating mood. Rather than doing what I should have been doing I ended up catching up on loads of really out of date forum topics that a really had very little interest in, which is why I hadn’t read them when they were fresh.

From my forum browsing a few bits stuck out. There was a comment by JDale about some of the people he had met at the weekend were fencers (at Pensic?  I have no idea what that is.)

I also came across Intothatdarkness talking about ballistic weapons and damage and critical locations.

So lots of things came together earlier when I had moved on to procrastinating by walking the dogs.

When I am fencing many of my fights are ‘first to 5 points’ as a competition format. My plan A is to press the attack and do three rapid ‘flurry of blows’ type attacks to my opponents wrist. The idea being that they will pull their wrist back and normally up out of the way exposing the underside of their wrist/ forearm. My next attack is to ‘beat’ their blade, I am left handed and most opponents are right handed so I snap my blade across them left to right to strike their blade. This knocks their blade off line and my blade bounces off theirs as I lunge forward to strike their chest or upper arm. My third attack is to feint to the knee before stepping in to strike the neck or head. If these are successful and I am three points up or at least in the lead in the bout I will then press the attack forcing the opponent back but not actually attack, I would rather have them pinned to the back of the fencing piste so they can only come forward. I can then stand off waiting for that attack and counter strike into their arm as they try and attack me.

The point of all that waffle is that the actual target for each attack is known to me before I take a single step forward. The idea of a random result that could be a foot or head or elbow doesn’t really come into it.

IntoThatDarkness has different critical tables for each location.

This seems like a really good way of doing things. I know that fencing is not combat. If I get hit I lose a point not a kidney. But I would counter that no skilled swordsman is going to go into an attack without a plan. Even if that plan is being revised every five seconds.

If the attack declaration phase started with pick your target area we can have very easy armour by the piece rules as you know where you are hitting and then location specific criticals, as Into has done it. Then the last piece of the jigsaw is just attack roll mods to make aiming for the head harder than hitting the body.

What we don’t need is some newfangled method of determining the hit location before rolling the critical or rolling the critical before the attack roll or reading the dice backwards or upside down which are the sorts of solutions we have seen so far. You just say I am going to aim for the head, if you hit you hit and if you miss you miss, end of.

That all sounds a bit too simple. Have I missed something?