KEN'S HOUSE RULES: Countering Counter-Strike?

I've had this little problem for a while with the Counter-Strike mechanism in HarnMaster. (I've really only had it since my superior PC got whacked by an underskilled Gargun who decided to use the counter-strike manuever, but go figure :) )

It essentially goes like this: No matter how skilled a combatant may or may not be, they are completely defenseless to a counter-strike maneuver, no matter how badly skilled their opponent may be. An attacker with a 95 EML attacks a defender with a 60 EML only to have the defender counter-strike. The most likely outcome is that both return a Marginal Success. This results in both the attacker and the defender suffering a strike.

It's true that the Melee Combat Matrix favors the original attacker slightly during a counterstrike, but the mechanism relies soley on the defender's chances of missing. There is no active defense relying on the attackers skill.

My solution is a new attack option


An attacker may elect to suffer a -10 penalty to EML in order to perform a CAUTIOUS ATTACK. This functions exactly as a normal MELEE ATTACK with one difference. If the reduced EML of the attacker EXCEEDS the EML of the defender, then the defender may NOT exercise the COUNTER-STRIKE defense option.

NOTE: In most cases an attacker will not know for certain whether the defender's EML is higher or lower than his own, or by how much. It is entirely possible to suffer the -10 penalty of CAUTIOUS ATTACK and still suffer a COUNTER-STRIKE from an opponent who's EML is high enough to overcome the cautious nature of the attack.