Re: defensive ability

From: gamartin_at_...
Date: Wed, 23 May 2001 16:18:31 -0000

> I would have said the reason tends to be fear - because you can be
> cut down so easily if you turn your back and run. Well trained
> will try to withdraw in good order for this reason.

Well, you can leave that to the contest of movement abilities. Character A tries to run, but before they can character B skewers them with a step-lunge. In short, if they succeed at the roll, they have succesfully broken away (if not off), and if they fail they (probably) transfer AP to their attacker to represent the way they have aggravated their own situation. Also note the runner has made another significant decision - by changing rolled ability, they have also changed the nature of the contest to one in which only they are subject to physical injury, as they are no longer attemptiong to kill their opponent.

Secondly, I think the existance of that discipline in armies is for rather different reasons. Units of multiple ranks are unwieldy and slow by comparison to an individual. One of the concerns that applies in armies and not to individuals is the opening of a flank - a succesful rapid retreat from an enemy might only serve to doom some other wing in your army, left exposed by the retreating troops. In this case, the discipline of the ordered retreat is not aimed at assiting the individual retreating soldier, but to carry out retreat in a useful manner at the army level. Routing troops sometimes cause morale collapses in troops who have not yet seen combat. For many reasons, no general wants to see their units rout from the field - but if its you who is routing, then often running pell mell in any direction that is "away" will do fine. Armies develop discipline precisely becuase they have a need to function at a corporate level, while we have so far been discussing individual contests.

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