So… Ran a battle last night with my group and they got a lil’ rowdy over something.
Following the end of an exchange, one of the players – Ganoveth – had dispatched his foe, while the other – Thelor – hadn’t.
At the beginning of the next exchange, Ganoveth wanted to attack the foe that was still engaged with Thelor. I told him that was fine, but that he would have to win an engagement test against him. However, he also thought that since the foe was concentrating on the Thelor, he should get some kind of “sneak attack” advantage. I explained that there were no rules that stated this was the case. My players didn’t buy my explaination that in combat you are always looking around, checking for additional threats. Their complaint was that there was no way to sneak up on somebody during combat.
As far as I understand it, the foe was aware of Ganoveth’s presence, so he couldn’t catch the foe totally unaware. But, since Ganoveth wasn’t engaged, I’d maybe allow him to make a Stealthy vs. at the expenditure of 2 actions (Physical action; moving to a blind spot) before engaging the foe. I would count this as a linked test towards the engagement test. So yeah, you can try to be sneaky, but you don’t get an automatic advantage; you have to make sure your opponent forgets you’re there.
Or, you could give him a 1D advantage as per p.28, but what about coming up with a disadvantage to match it ?
You’re right, there’s no “sneak attack” rule. Every attack is as sneaky or as aggressive as it should be. Win the engagement and describe youself sneaking in unawares.
However, it sounds to me like your player was lobbying for an advantage die. You declined him the die due to the circumstances. End of story.
That’s a perfectly legit back and forth between player and GM in BW.
Also, it’s hard to sneak up on someone when they know you’re there, even if they aren’t actually staring at you. Unless the combat was somehow very stealthy, the remaining opponent probably heard his friend get cut down and would spare a glance for incoming danger.
There are probably circumstances in which I could see that making sense. Maybe if he had an Elven Cloak, for example, and had scripted that physical action to flank around someone. Or if he finished his opponent off and was under “Eye of the Storm” rules, he could have spent those extra actions getting himself into an advantageous position for the coming Engage test. Or if he has the Sneaky Ninja Bastard trait.
But if he spent those actions doing other stuff, I’d say “nope” as well.