Question about Counterstrike

Asik's picture

On the Weapon Comparison Table, when a defender Counterstrikes do I cross index the defender’s weapon’s A (attacking) value, or the defender’s weapon’s D (defending) value?

Maybe I am interpreting the rules wrong, but from the description of Counterstrike it sure as heck sounds like the A (Attacking) value of the defender’s weapon should be used.

Thing is, there is no 0 value in the Defending Weapon’s row of the Weapon Comparison Table.

Thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.

ken's picture

Hi Asik,

To determine the EML of the combatants during a counterstike you use the "defender's" D value as it relates to the "attacker's" EML. And then the other way around for the "defender's" EML.

In Example:

Character A attacks Character D, Character D chooses the counterstrike defense.

Character A modifies his attacking ML as described on page Combat 8 in the HMG Player's Addition, using Character A's weapon attack class vs Character D's weapon defense class as shown on the Weapon Comparison Chart

Character D modifies his attacking ML using his own weapon's attack class, vs his opponent's weapon defense class.

The resulting EMLs are rolled against and the results are determined by referencing the appropriate Counterstrike Table.

Hope that was clear.

Marduk23's picture

Or (taking the other interpretation of your question) is the issue "why doesn't the counterstriker use his ~attack~ value since he is actively striking at the original 'attacker'?"

I'll try to address this the best I can w/o blathering for an hour (as I am want to do from time to time!). ;-)

There are two obvious options:
Using Ken's nomenclature of Character A (original attacker) and Character D (original defender)...
1) D uses his attack aspect when counterstriking.
2) D uses his defense aspect when counterstriking.

The rationale for 2) is pretty straight-forward, and I think is what precipitated the question in the first place. Since D is actively *attacking* A, he should use his weapon's attack value. I'd say there is enough sense in this that if you wanted a house-rule to make this change, no one would say you were crazy. :-D

The rationale for 1) is equally realistic, if not more so, although not as obvious. The attack value of a weapon is based partially on its ability to reach an opponent who does NOT want to be reached (dodge, etc). Alternatively, it is based partially on its ability to get around something that is designed *not* to be got around (shield, blocking weapon, etc). The defense aspect is partially based on a weapons ability to quickly be brought to bear in *reaction* to an incoming attack. This is the reason in my game I used the weapon's *defense* rating. That monstrously large battlesword might be very good at cleaving armor, but not so adept at snap-decisions. I think it could be adequately argued that a **counterstrike** is a snap-decision - one doesn't plan on those, after all. :-D

Granted, this does mean that several otherwise fantastic weapons do not counterstrike as well as they would attack outright. But that is the nature of counterstrike - it is a desperate measure. Or at the minimum a fool-hearty measure. Okay, for several knights I know it is simply an over-confident measure. But you have to agree that it is ~NOT~ a rational measure. One is supposed to BLOCK an incoming strike, or at least get OUT OF THE WAY! Historically, if counterstriking was as effective as attacking, we wouldn't have invented shields for use in melee combat. It is, however, NOT as effective, thus the mountain of evidence that melee combatants chose overwhelmingly to block or dodge.

I did say I wouldn't ramble, didn't I?
In short, I believe that the canon rule of using a weapon's defense aspect for counterstrike is the most "logical" one.

Asik's picture

Thank you. Both of your comments helped me a lot.

Marduk23's picture

Ah, I had almost forgot. The weapon comparison chart is missing the _zero_ column because there is no weapon that has that particular rating. Or, if there is, it is actively avoiding my memory... which means it's being naughty and really doesn't deserve a value anyway. ;-)

Asik's picture

Head/Gore/Bite; Knife; Taburi. All on the naughty list.

Marduk23's picture

I stand corrected. :-)

But, in my defense, we were talking about ~defensive~ ratings, yes? Anyone choosing to block an attack with **THEIR HEAD** probably deserves to simply use the ignore table. Same probably is true for taburis, but to a much lesser extent.

Good eye, though. I missed those items when I made my cursory check earlier. Having those items in mind is certainly useful, as many of us use the defense values for counter-striking.

Of course we could still say that people who opt to counterstrike WITH THEIR HEAD probably deserve what they get as well. :-D