Asymmetric fight actions

I’m a bit puzzled about how some fight actions interact. Most combinations either result in the two combatants making a versus test (where one will succeed and the other will fail) or each making standard tests (where they could both succeed, neither succeed, etc). In either case, it seems pretty clear that each combatant is making (at most) one roll, which may or may not be compared with their opponent’s roll.

However, there are four cases that seem unusual (both in the book and the pdf combat matrix).

  1. Block vs Throw. The Block table lists “-” for throw, suggesting that blocking doesn’t work against throw. However, the throw table lists “vs skill”, suggesting that blocking does work against throwing. Does blocking work against throws?

  2. Counterstrike vs Throw. This has the same issue as Block vs Throw. Does counter striking work against throws?

  3. Disarm vs Lock. Disarm uses a standard skill test, with Ob=Skill, whereas Lock uses a versus test with Pow vs Skill. How would this be resolved? Should the disarmer roll once for his/her attempt to disarm, and then a second time for his/her attempt to avoid being thrown? Or should he/she roll once and this roll counts for both tests?

  4. Throw vs Lock. Lock makes a standard power test against half power, while throw makes a skill versus power test. How would this be resolved? Should the locker roll two tests, or should he/she make one roll and apply it to both tests?

Does anyone have any ideas how these cases are supposed to work?

“A dash — indicates that you do not test any ability for this action. However, your opponent might test depending on what his action interaction says…” (p.440, BWG). So, in the first two cases, one of you tests and the other doesn’t, i.e. you cannot block someone who is trying to throw you but you can throw someone who is trying to block you.

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What’s the thrower’s Ob?

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The Ob for Throw vs. Block is Opponent’s Skill and Block tests weapon skill, Brawling, or Boxing; so I read the Ob as equipped weapon or Boxing/Brawling depending on whether the defender declared weapon or fists when positioning.

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1 and 2: I assume this is a mistake in the description of Block and Counterstrike, as if the Ob was meant to be the skill exponent, it would say Ob = Skill, as it does when the Ob is derived from the opponents stats. I generally rule that those actions work as normal, but if you wanted to be a stickler for the rules as written, you could have the blocker roll their skill to set the Ob, but not be able to get the additional effects of those actions.

3: Both actions work normally, meaning you one, both, or neither can get their intended effect. The Disarmer rolls against the Locker’s skill exponent, and the Locker rolls against the number of Disarm successes.

4: Same as before, the Locker tests against the set Ob, and either succeeds or fails. Regardless of the outcome, the Ob for the Thrower is the number of successes the Locker rolled. They can hypothetically both succeed


Ah, so you were thinking, like, Helstadt, that it’s a mistake and shouldn’t be a Vs. test as listed in the description?

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Well the thing is, the rules specifically state both that the defender rolls and doesn’t roll, so unless it’s that you just roll to set the Ob, it has to be wrong


Yeah, exactly.

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Thanks for the answers, everyone! So I guess the summary is:

Block/counterstrike vs throw: as a blocker/counterstriker, you can use your defensive dice, but you don’t get any of the perks from blocking (for block) if you get more successes than the thrower, and you don’t get to counterattack with the counterstrike.

Disarm vs lock: both combatants roll (the disarmer with weapon skill, and the locker with power). If the disarmer exceeds the locker’s weapon skill, he/she disarms the thrower. If the locker rolls more successes than the disarmer, then he/she locks the disarmer. I’d guess that at the stage the disarmer was exceeding the locker’s skill, it would be pretty unlikely for the locker to win the versus test (but it could happen, if the locker had very low weapon skill).

Throw vs lock: again, both combatants roll (boxing for the thrower, and power for the locker). If the locker exceeds half the thrower’s power, the thrower is locked. If the thrower gets more successes than the locker, the locker is thrown. It seems a bit odd that both can succeed here, since that would result in someone being thrown, but still holding on to his/her (standing) assailant…

You can get a triangle choke on a standing (if crouched/hunched) opponent. You can also hang onto their arms, or hook your legs and feet into their thighs and knees. It can be done. It can be difficult to advance the lock from there without specialized training, though (already accounted for by the penalties for being knocked down, I’d say.).

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