I think this depends on the player's willingness to properly play his character. After all if you are to negative AP you have been beaten: maybe you are lying on the ground, out of breath, stunned and your foe is gloating over you, then decides you don't deserve to die by his hands and nails you to a tree, leaving you to the vultures...
What if the person who *won* the contest wants to carry on and "finish off" the loser? And what happens in mass battles? Do you end up with warriors lying all over the battlefield, catching their breath for half an hour before joining back in again?
I know the "Dazed" state of health leaves you needing to rest and unable to resist. Presumably this also applies to "Injured" and "Dying", too, though it's not stated outright. The synopsis does imply that you're better off if you lose the contest by a wider margin. My sneaky GM's imagination will get around that problem, though... :)
But it still seems very difficult for my PCs to dramatically slay foes unless they're ridiculously overmatched, rather than beating them down to "Dazed" or whatever and finishing them off from there. I know you can describe it as all in one action, and "Dazed" can just mean that someone is left open for the killing blow, but the rules mechanic just doesn't seem, um, aesthetically pleasing... I can work around it, though.
The more I play Hero Wars, the more it seems to me the perfect engine for manga and anime RPGs. And I am playing too much these weeks.
Don't set me off, I've had a mecha game plot hiding in the back of my head for months. Must resist! Not enough spare time! :)
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