Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rules Q&A: Movement rates and attack modifiers

We got a question through the Hawgleg Website last week, and I reckoned it would be a good idea to share it with ya'll, in case this has caused any of you to scratch yer heads.

"When taking an action, I attack 1st then move, do I still apply applicable movement modifier to shot even though I moved after shooting?"

Movement and combat is definitely a tricky matter, and it can cause some headaches unless you pay particular attention to tracking the movement rates for all miniatures during the game.

To the question above, the short answer is no, you would not apply the penalty in that instance.  Let's break it down:

  • Clem is running with a pistol in his hand down the street of the town because Jake is after him. Clem runs the full 12 inches and then stops. At this moment, until the start of his next action (when his name is pulled out of the hat) he is considered to be Running.
  • Jake's name is pulled from the hat. Since he has a rifle, he decides to Walk 3 inches and take a shot at Clem. Let's say they are 8 inches apart. Jake has a TN of 7 and rolls the dice and gets a 5. We now look at the modifiers: +2 for medium range with a rifle, but -3 because Clem is running. 5 + 2 - 2 = 5. It's a miss. Clem considers the range and modifiers and decides it's not worth it to waste the ammo (after all, with the rang
  • Clem's name is pulled from the hat. He is no longer considered to be running. In fact, as far as game play is concerned, he skids to a stop, turns around and takes a shot at Jake. Clem also has a TN of 7. Since he is no longer running, he does not have any movement modifiers. As for range, he is at 8 inches with a pistol, which puts him at long range and a -1 penalty. Jake is walking, so there are no movement penalties in that regard. So Clem rolls the dice and gets an 8. Looking at the numbers we see: 8 - 1 (for range) = 7: which means a hit! Clem rolls 1d6+1 damage and gets a 4.
  • Jake now decides to take his Retaliation Shot. Remember, Retaliation Shots are instantaneous -- so this happens before Clem can start moving again. Jake rolls a 5 (5 + 2 (range) = 7) and gets a hit! He rolls 1d6+2 for damage and gets a total of 8! Clem is now moderately wounded, which will affect his ability to move and shoot.
  • BUT, since all damage is applied at the END of the Action, it does not affect him right now. So Clem decides he'd better skeedaddle out of there as fast as he can, so he runs a full 12-inches away and hopes it's far enough to save his life, because now he's hurting.

Hope that answers the question. By the way, this might vary slightly from what you can read in the book. We've modified things since it was written, and subsequent editions and errata will correct that. The game is always evolving and this is how we actually handle this situation in games we play.

By the way, keeping up with movement can be a bit tricky, which is why we use red & yellow tokens under our minis to indicate movement. The yellow token indicates that the figure is trotting, a red token indicates he is running. This tends to help sort out a character's movement rate at any given time.

As you can see in this picture from an early playtest of Gutshot: Night of the Living Deadwood, two of the figures have reddish disks under them. These are used to indicate that they are running. The two figures (upper left) are on yellow disks to indicate that they are Trotting. Figures without any disks under them are Walking, and those three guys with the red splats under them are dead. Note that in the upper left corner it looks like two figures are on that one yellow disk (okay, it doesn't look that way, they are both on it), that's just because the zombie on the square base rushed the other figure and kinda knocked him off his disk. That sort of thing happens in games.

Although we do sell these tokens at our Website, you really can use anything you have on hand to help keep track of this. In a game with only a few minis, you can actually just leave it to memory, or have a notepad and jot down the current movement rate of each figure as it changes. But in a big, messy free-for-all like the one above? Movement tokens are probably the best way to go.

Hope this helps clear things up. See ya'll next Tuesday.

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