Pursuing fleeing characters

GrahamB's picture

In a situation where one one charcacter is fleeing and another is pursuing, strictly applying the basic combat rules doesn't seem to work as one would intuitivly expect. i.e. The pursuing character enters the enemy engagement zone, and must halt,but cannot carry out any further action. This gives the opponent a chance to disengage, move away and the sequence is repeated unless the opponent is cornered.

Have I understood the rules correctly? Does a statement a moving character must halt upon entering an enemy engagement zone always apply. Should the optional "Engage and Fight" rule always apply to avoid the sitution described the the first paragraph? If a character is fleeing at full pace would they still ahve an active engagement zone?

Does anyone have any other thoughts on this?

cyrion's picture

I use the optional rule from the sidebar on combat 5

Engage & Fight
Upon completion of an Engage Move, each of the
newly engaged parties tests INITIATIVE. If one of the
results is higher than the other(s), that character
gains a TACTICAL ADVANTAGE which may be used to
attack, etc. If no side has an advantage, the Turn

It works good

ken's picture

The first thing a pursuing character is going to encounter is the enemy's Reaction Zone (3 hex radius from the enemy character). Normally a character entering an enemy's Reaction Zone must halt upon entering this zone, leaving two hexes between him and his enemy. In the case above, should the GM determine that the enemy character is fleeing directly away from his pursuer, the enemy character would not project a reaction zone behind him (try running whilst looking over your shoulder).

So, the pursuer is able to execute an engage move provided that 1/2 his mobility EML is sufficient to move him adjacent to his quarry. At this point, I would use the Engage and Fight rule. Should the fleeing enemy win his initiative, he can use his tactical advantage to attempt to Disengage.

Another option is the Surprise Optional Rule. The GM may decide that getting caught from behind is always a "surprise" situation, negating the fleeing character's turn for that initial round after having been caught.

I've heard questions in the past about Disengage so I'm going to explain that here as well. The character is in an Engaged state, so he can only move 1 hex per turn. IF this one hex move places him out of all enemy engagement zones, he may move up to 1/2 of his Mobility EML in feet in addition to the 1 hex move just made. This is all in the same turn.

All this assumes that the GM wishes to use the combat mechanics to resolve a chase scene.

Another option (and one I normally prefer) is to use the Running Table on page GlossDex 24 (under the Mobility heading).

In this case, the chase is determined by rolling on that table as long as makes sense, keeping in mind geography (can the fleeing character continue to run?) and fatigue. Should the chaser overtake his target, THEN the combat routine comes into play (provided that Combat resolution is appropriate to the situation. Often a person runs because they are unwilling to fight and upon being caught just gives up). At this point the optional rules for testing initiative or Surprise can come into play.

GrahamB's picture

Cyrion/ Ken

Thanks for the replies guys. This makes a lot of sense