N18 To Fight or not to Fight (pass)

Activating while Engaged and not making a Fight action is:

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Heart of Storm

Gang Hero
Mar 8, 2019
^ thats how we play the disengage rule, it makes disengage VERY circumstantial, if probably only ever try it as Escher against someone with terrible I, so Goliaths (as I cant imagine ever not wanting to be in melee with Van Saar).

The way I think the rule "should" work is that a succesful initiative test should allow a fighter to disengage, and a failed test triggers the reaction attack, would make it a test worth making that punishes failure rather than success and would make the premium Escher pays for their high Initiative actually useful to non-spring up champions. I acknowledge that this isn't how the rules are written however...


Of The YAQ
Oct 12, 2015
Sevres 92130 France
Retreat has always been a bit unclear. RAW, the enemy fighter always get to check for a reaction attack, but it only happens if you failed your own Initiative check and stayed Engaged (because CC attacks only work against Engaged fighters, barring a 6" Versatile weapon that doesn't exist).

Interestingly, Running for cover (which acts similarly for Engaged Broken fighters but has different wording) makes it clear that the reaction attacks are made before the fighter is moved (so it's clear that it can happen if the first initiative test is passed — but it's still vague whether the enemy fighter can make reaction attacks if it's failed).

Anyway, your interpretation implies that doing nothing (without risking reaction attacks) when Engaged is an option, but only available if an Initiative test is failed. This means it's sometimes desirable to fail a test, which would be bad design.

What makes you believe making an action should be mandatory when Engaged but not in any other cases, when nothing in the rules says so? As has already been pointed out, Fight and Retreat being both Basic action, does it mean you are forced to Fight after a failed Retreat, or forced to Retreat after a Fight everyone survived?

Say an Active fighter starts their activation within LoS of an enemy fighter with Overwatch (and a Ready token), should they be forced to take an action so that they can be shot, or is doing nothing an option for them? Why should it be different for Engaged fighters?

Compare with Broken fighters who are explicitely forced to run for cover ('Any fighter subject to the Broken Condition must perform a Running for Cover (Double) action when activated') Similarly, ablaze fighters are forced to act when activated. These rules supersedes the normal 'up to 2' actions and makes doing nothing a non-option for those figthers, but Engaged fighter can act (or choose not to) normally.


Hive Lord
Honored Tribesman
Dec 29, 2017
The poll combines three questions - is it RAW, is it RAI, and does it makes the game better or worse. I think each of these is independent.

Even if it's not the RAI, that needn't mean that it makes the game worse. It could be that an unintended loophole actually made the game better than the designer's intentions.

Of course, you're perfectly entitled to think that it's worse, as well as not RAI, if it seems somehow gamey or abusive to you - but it's not worse simply because it's not the RAI.
You are correct, they are indeed independent! Unfortunately it's not possible to make multiple independent polls. At least I didn't figure out how to do so in the same discussion.
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Hive Lord
Honored Tribesman
Dec 29, 2017
Of course, it's not worse simply because it's not the RAI. It' s just giving my reasoning why I think it makes passing a gamey or abusive thing. But I can understand why other people can see it perfectly legal and/or in character with the game.

As Topsy Kretts said, if there would be a dodge (basic) action, it would be with no doubt. But there is not. The only actions you can take are fight or retreat while engaged. One implies you want to fight, the other that you do not. All RAI, as subjective as it can get. RAW, you can take none.

Most of the times, you don't want to activite when somehow your less than capable fighter (lets say a juve) somehow survived a combat monster (lets say a killy corpse grinder leader) and you want to tie him into combat so he can't kill another more valuable fighter next round. why taking the risk of retreating while you can be "safer" just staying there? (Tactically speaking)

My take on this (totally fluff wise) is you should at least either fight or retreat (or both) to represent the actual outcome of the fight from your fighter point of view. The saving grace of this is that if you fail the initiative test on the retreat action, you can't leave, and no reaction attacks are being made. That way, that hypotetical "dodge" action happens... :D

Again, I know RAW you can do nothing at all, I can understand the benefits of that tactically speaking. It's just I find it out of character (and I fight against grinders often, Im the one injured here :D)
Right, I can fully understand someone comes to this conclusion and thinks this is intuitive. Problem is these rules are far from intuitive. Plasma nade is one perfect example of this (can throw a grenade, 50% chance of killing yourself AND possibly the target).

In some situations, you want to pass (as you mention). In other situations, you want to retreat. In other situations again, you want to fight back, even against a stronger enemy. It all depends on the situation! I've done 3-dice uphill blocks in Blood Bowl. It's rare, highly suicidal, but sometimes it can give you a win. Other situations are more valuable to pass and prolong the fight. And in yet other situations, it's worth taking the risk to retreat. I can easily imagine situations where each of these choices are valid.

I've seen enough action movies where a character will a) not fight back and b) not retreat but instead c) dodge incoming blows. This makes perfect sense fluff wise in my opinion, all depending on the situation.

In general, I have a hard time accepting that it's NOT RAW or NOT RAI. I also cannot accept that it's gamey, broken or not fluffy. But I can accept that others think that it's less fluffy, or that they simply prefer the rules to not support this. To each their own.
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Gang Champion
Jan 19, 2018
This would only be gamey/broken if it provided a result similar to one of the other two possible actions, but with more efficiency and/or less risk. But it provides a completely dissimilar outcome.

Fight: end the fight by removing the opponent
Retreat: end the fight by moving away from the opponent
"Pass": does not end the fight

Disallowing this would actually produce an outcome that seems faaar more "gamey" to me; it's pretty "gamey" to expect your opponent to be compelled to push the self-destruct button during their turn.

The realism arguments are inane. You want to know some of the first things I might do if someone came at me with a battleaxe on the street? Step back... circle... bear hug them...

All of which are realistic ways to envision what's going on during a "pass"...

Remember that a round is only a few seconds of action (ie. however long it takes to punch in a keycode and move a few feet, or to fire a shot and then reload your weapon). So it's silly to conceive of a "pass" as a series of precog ninja dodges instead of just a model putting, like, an extra foot of space between themselves and their duel partner.