Confusion over Defender's roll in Weapon Mechanics

My question is pretty much what it says on the tin: the description of the defense roll in weapons mechanics has me a bit confused. First, the versus roll is handled a bit differently than other versus rolls, with the attacker allocating successes before the defender actually rolls - I think I have that right. However, the defender can then use his successes to remove attacker successes and in doing so prevent the attack from being targeted; but I don’t see any text indicating that the defender can choose to remove successes allocated to IMS Add. I assume this means defense successes must come off aiming allocation first, and only then can it reduce the damage being inflicted. Is this correct?

Are you talking about Bloody Versus, or the Block maneuver in the Fight system? Can you give a page number?

Sorry, should have included page references in the first place. I’m referring to the rules on “Landing the Blow” and “Defending Against Aimed Shots” on pages 465-466. I think I grasp the intent of the rules, but for some reason they strike me as very odd - they seem to contradict the normal timing procedure of a versus test and limit the means in which a defense roll can be applied very stringently. Maybe I’m just having a brain hiccup on these sections, but I could use a more extended set of examples of their application.

You are confused about the order things happen. The defense successes are subtracted from the attacking successes BEFORE the attacking successes are allocated. There is no exception to the normal timing. The section about “Defending Against Aimed Shots” is referring to the fact that if you defend well (but still get hit) then you’ve made it harder for the attacker to move the blow, since he has fewer successes to allocate.

That makes more sense to me, and is how I’ve always played the game previously, but it appears to be directly contradicted by the last sentence in the “Landing the Blow” section on page 465: “The attacker allocates his successes to location and damage before any defense is rolled.” That’s the part that has me scratching my head.

basically, the attacker should decide whether he’s aiming the blow before the Block, Avoid or Counterstrike is rolled. But it really doesn’t break anything if you decide once the dice are on the table.

Thanks for the clarification Luke. Really don’t even know why this stuck a bug in my brain in the first place.

My brain pretty much did the same thing as yours and my interpretation caused a little bit of confusion at the BWG Social @ GenCon. Luckily were able to get things cleared up once Luke & Thor showed up.

And once I thought about it I got to the same conclusion as Luke: that it’s not going to break anything if you wait until all the dice are out. However, I do think it’ll make things a bit more dramatic if the defender waits.

Editorial: this is where your table vibe is so vital. I play with a bunch of “story-first, rules second” players, who are very cool with going with whatever call to keep the narrative of the battle flowing, even if it means (very) bad news for their character. We always rules check later for the next time. Makes for great games.