Kit's Warrior Guide

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This guide is for all those Agility fighters out there. Its purpose is to help promote different fighting styles and thus varied interaction and activity during combat. It was inspired by GoK's Warrior Guide. Other guides include Peter's, and Basalic's; Sabrina's isn't that far away, and Kirgoth may be threatening to hit a scribe or two also. We could do with comments from a tank fighter, a nasty cowardly thug, a part-time mage-warrior, and even the pacifist/amateur viewpoint. Warriors, take up a Pen - it's not as mighty as the Sword, but it's fun.

Classification

  • You are an Agility fighter if you are fast, committed to fighting, hard to hit, easy to hurt, and inflict little damage. These are all relative terms, and so what comprises an Agility fighter may vary at different levels of experience. There are four other common and mutually exclusive types of fighter: the Tank, the Thug, the Hero, and the Part-timer.
  • If you cast spells often in combat, and step up to hit things in the big fights or when the front line goes down, you are a Part-timer or generalist; still a valued member of the team, but with your focus not completely on melee.
  • If you like to hit people from behind, when they are stunned, or from surprise, and won’t or can’t face up to the big guys, then you are a Thug; unfortunately we are bound by contract to abide you.
  • If you have heavy armour, a big weapon, straight-forward tactics and stand there trading blows until you or the enemy falls, you are a Tank; and we are glad that you are around as your fighting style is complimentary to our own.
  • If you have the advantages of most of the above groups, with heavy armour, great speed, invulnerabilities, massive damage infliction and receipt capabilities, autonomous healing, and few weaknesses, then you are a Hero. The world needs heroes.
Strengths
  • Defence, Initiative, Skill
  • Determination, Bravery, Fecklessness
  • Tactical Awareness, Creativity
If you lack these, you are not an Agility fighter
Weaknesses
  • Armour / Protection
  • Endurance / Health / Healing
  • Damage Infliction
If you lack these, you are a Hero, not an Agility fighter
Tactics
  • Avoid being hit
  • Be innovative and daring
  • Keep them all guessing
  • Leave a good-looking corpse
Key Rules
  • High & Extraordinary Agility
  • Withdrawing
  • Special actions


Strategy

You usually won’t be able to hurt major opponents badly, and if they hit you, you will suffer more than most. Your role is not that of a meat shield or hacker of body parts. Instead:

  • Reduce the number of enemy, starting with the hordes of minions. They are easier to take down, and you are saving the heroes and tanks from being swamped.
  • Once the main enemy fighters have been identified, observe how they fight the tanks/heroes. Work out their strengths/weaknesses. Decide if you are more useful attacking the main enemy or their minions. The other fighters and the Mil Sci will have some input here – obey direct Mil Sci commands, and take suggestions and requests under advisement. Let the ablative specialists receive the surprises – your job is to dish them out. Finally, don’t be a coward.
  • Use your manoeuvrability and relative freedom to always be in the right place. This means striking mages after they have prepared a spell, engaging the opponent of a stunned comrade, engaging/delaying a big opponent while the rest of the party concentrate on another target, and even doing healing potion service if your tank/hero companions go down. This involves forethought, tactical awareness, high TMR and being prepared to turn your back on your current opponents.
  • Vary your tactics. While optimal tactics include Charge & Withdraw, or Multiple Strike & Withdraw, good strategy calls for unpredictability. Change weapons if you can; trip or disarm; Multi-hex strike occasionally. I like to avoid doing the same manoeuvre with the same weapon in a fight, and usually go through 4-6 weapons, each with subtle advantages for charging, defence, initiative, magic protection, healing, etc.
  • If you need to be a hero, grit your teeth and wade in. A party needs a front line more than it needs an Agility fighter, and sometimes there just isn't anyone else up for it.
  • If you can, find a satisfying opponent – one who fights unusually, or is particularly skilled and agile. This prevents them from doing all the things you like to do to them. However, don’t indulge yourself unless the rest of the party is avoiding being overrun.
  • With your speed, it is easy to get separated from the rest of the party. While opening a second front sounds brave, remember that you are fragile – make sure that the heroes and tanks are heading your way, or that a thug has snuck round as well, and preferably, ensure that a healer or blast mage is still in range. Never chase the enemy so that you end up isolated from the entire party – that’s a hero’s job.

Tactics

  • Keep the enemy guessing. If you are predictable and effective, they will treat you like a hero, and you just don’t have the resilience. The enemy often reads minds or perceives tactics. This means you need to keep the party guessing, to an extent. This should not be the same as being feckless, foolish, stupid, unreliable, or cowardly, but it can include being unpredictable, weird, daring, surprising, a poser, and even brave.
  • When planning with the party, always keep your plans result-oriented and your actions vague e.g. “I’ll keep this flank occupied”. If someone asks ‘how’ or ‘when’, move to the next issue. This lets you choose the best action to meet the goal at the time. Heroes need linear planning, and tanks are process-oriented, so they may not understand. [Dear Reader, if you don’t understand, it’s OK - just trust your agility fighter.]
  • Be useful every action. If your tactics aren’t working, change them. If they are, vary them. Never just move, always move-and-…

Armour

Wear as much armour as you can and still have AG 26; this is often nothing/cloth. If you can’t get AG 26, wear as much armour as you can and still have AG 22; this is usually leather or similar. If you feel your armour is too light, put more on and read up on a different fighting style. Remember, your aim is to avoid being hit too often, not to feel invulnerable.

Defence

The only time your defence can be too high is when you are getting hard cover from hiding behind the party. Use any of invisibility, defence spells, shield / main gauche, warrior, amulets, terrain, movement and evasion – and use them all if you can.

Close Combat

  1. Leave. This is not your place. It requires Strength and repetitive tactics, and does not let you use most of your defence.
  2. Keep them out in the first place. That’s why you chose your effete twiddly weapon in the first place – because it ranks to 10. If they close anyway, they are clearly uncivilised, and you have the right to leave as soon as convenient.
  3. Pile in when ordered. Being the second or third in a “Stacks on the Mill” game is fine – you are not the primary target, and your relative ineffectualness is countered by your assistance to the Thug/Tank at the bottom of the pile. Leave as soon as it is polite.
  4. Read the AG 26 options for leaving close. Follow them.

Missiles

Avoid Missile fire. If you have no blast mages, close with the archers, as:

  1. They will otherwise reduce your Agility (and Endurance).
  2. They won’t be so good at melee.
  3. You have the best mobility, apart from the hero, and she’s busy.

Note that evading doesn’t help a great deal against arrows, but if you can learn arrow-cutting (or pretend convincingly), it tends to make them switch targets. Also, remove any embedded arrow immediately. I’ve heard that a little Healer skill helps with this. Ow!

Rules

Players of Agility Fighters need to know the basic rules well, including all the movement options. Their actions will tend to be more complex and varied than anyone else’s. If you are unsure, look up the special rules for your action the pulse before. If you still don’t know, do something else. In addition, the complex rules around Withdrawing and High Agility are often used by Agility fighters.

Movement Options

Action Engaged  Close  Unengaged
Melee Attack 1+cf [±] B 0 1+cf [+] B
Charge (& close) -- -- ½ TMR B
Charge Pole -- -- TMR (min 2) +cf B
Evade 1+cf [±] -- ½ TMR+cf
Withdraw 1+cf [+] A 1 2+cf [±]
Flee/Move TMR+cf -- TMR+cf
Pass 1+cf [±] 0 2+cf [±]
Cast 0+cf -- 0+cf
Throw 0 [+] -- 2+cf [±]
Fire -- -- 0+cf
Fire Crossbow -- -- 2+cf [±]
Recover from Stun 0 0 0
Multiple Strike / Disarm 0 0 --
Multi-hex / Knockout 0 -- --
Normal Trip 0 -- --
Trip & Off. Withdraw 1+cf [+] A -- --
Restrain -- 0 --
Shield Rush -- TMR (min 1) +cf B
Key
0,1,2 – may move up to specified # of hexes.
½ TMR – may move up to half their current TMR.
TMR – may move up to their current TMR.
(min 2) – must move at least 2 hexes.
+cf – may also change facing.
[+]– AG 22-25 may move one more hex.
[±] – AG 1-8 must move one less hex, and AG 22-25 may move one more hex.
B – all movement must occur Before the attack.
A – all movement must occur After the attack.


Leaving an Opponent

Agility fighters leave opponents behind more often than anyone else, and you need to be good at doing this. You cannot simply move out of someone’s Melee Zone and accept the risk of a “free hit”. You must withdraw or flee. You can leave an opponent when:

  • They are stunned (this is a good use of your extra action)
  • They are unconscious, prone, or otherwise unable to maintain a Melee Zone
  • You are not in their Melee Zone, because:
    • They have turned to face the Hero or Tank who has finally arrived
    • You thought you were a common Thug and snuck up behind them (shame on you)
  • You have chosen to Flee by:
  1. Ceding initiative (always a bad idea)
  2. Turning your back on your opponent (see above)
  3. Moving up to your full TMR away (you can’t charge another opponent)
  • You have chosen to Offensively Withdraw by:
  1. Striking once, with -20 penalty
  2. Stepping back 1 hex
Only use this when the enemy is engaged and cannot follow up
  • You have chosen to Defensively Withdraw by:
    • Increasing your defence by +20
    • Optionally stepping back one hex
Don’t do this unless:
  1. You have AG 26 and have already attacked with your main action
  2. You have AG 26 and are about to charge another enemy with your main action
  3. The overall enemy is defeated, but you are badly injured, or your hair is mussed
  4. You are outclassed, and there is someone about to step up and deal to your opponent
  • Your magic allows you to teleport, blink, turn to vapour, sink into the ground, or otherwise leave in a sufficiently surprising and unpredictable fashion
  • Out of mutual respect, you and your opponent have agreed to go your separate ways, and face each other again another day. Do not be surprised if the rest of the party is confused and/or angry as a result of this

High Agility

So you have AG 22-25, and you like the extra Initiative and TMR. But is it worth missing out on the psychological security of wearing armour? Maybe – you get an extra step when attacking, withdrawing, etc., (see Movement Options above). In general, any time you get one or two steps of movement rather than none or ½ TMR, you get one more step from High Agility. This can matter, as:

  • You can step 2 and attack (once) without penalty, where others have to charge
  • You can withdraw 2, forcing the enemy to charge to follow up
  • Every extra step is less chance you will have to waste an action with a Move
  • The Tanks can’t do it. It winds them up as you waltz around (that’s 2 hexes forwards, 1 hex sideways, while changing facing)
If you have a pole weapon, then the extra step isn’t so useful because you will always be charging (won’t you?), but then the extra TMR is so much fun.

Extraordinary Agility

So you have AG 26, and you like the extra Initiative and TMR, but feel that more armour would be better than the bonus mundane pass action or defensive withdraw, neither of which really help you smite people. Sounds like you are hero material – agility fighters have a hundred ways of using them. Here are some of my favourites:

  • In Close, after attacking ineffectually, you can always try to withdraw from Close – it’s probably a 1 in 10 chance, but it’s free
  • If you are in Close and desperate, forgo your attack and try to withdraw twice!
  • In Melee, if you aren’t doing anything tricky, always defensive withdraw after attacking
    • You don’t need to step backwards
    • If you’ve just done a multi-weapon strike, your last action is now not an attack, so your shield / main gauche defence counts
    • If you do step back, it means you are not engaged (unless the enemy follows up), in case you need to hare off to help someone
  • You can (re-)prepare weapons with your pass action, and still attack. This is useful for:
    • The start of a fight
    • Changing weapons
    • Recovering weapons after being disarmed / stunned
    • Recovering your enemy’s weapons after disarming / stunning
  • If you fight one-handed, you can prepare a potion one pulse, and then drink it the next
  • You can prepare and drink a potion in one pulse by performing two pass actions
  • If you parry poorly, and fail to disarm or riposte, your spare pass action can save you from wasting a real action recovering
  • When Unengaged, the pass action is a real time saver:
    • You can always move two more hexes (to a maximum of your TMR)
    • You can prepare a spell and a weapon, and move four hexes; then cast the spell, move two, and prepare your other weapon. You are probably not that far behind the charging tank.
    • If you are too far ahead of the other fighters, prepare weapon and evade while moving six or seven (2 + ½TMR). If you are not, prepare weapon and charge, again moving six or seven.
    • If the enemy is being as weird as you should be, you can Perceive Enemy Tactics
What you shouldn’t be caught doing with AG 26
  • Posing
  • Defensively withdrawing from a stunned opponent
  • Shouting and waving your arms about to attract the enemy
  • Perceiving your own party’s tactics (this can be considered impolite by your Mil Sci)
  • Rallying the Mil Sci (see above)
  • Tying your boot laces, lighting your pipe or otherwise revealing how much spare time you have in combat
  • Looting
  • Nothing (become a Tank)
What you can’t do with AG 26
  • Use the AG 22-25 movement bonus as well
  • Do anything magical as your “extra” action, including actively resisting
  • Strike and Evade
  • Strike and Cast
  • Any two “big” actions
  • Exceed your total TMR
  • Split your actions before and after an enemy or other character
  • Use your AG 26 pass action to remove the arrows stuck in you – you have to get them out before you get your AG back
  • Bitch about only having 3 Armour and 10 Endurance – remember that every agility fighter has at least 15 TMR, 4 actions, and 300 defence, as well as instinctive tactical genius and hordes of groupies at every port – and we’re sticking to that line.