Engage Question - New Player here


I am hoping a few of you veteran players can help a new player out with a quick question about Engage.

On page 431 of BWG it lists advantage based on weapon for the winner of an Engage test. Does this advantage only stay around during the first exchange? After the first exchange I am guessing you are supposed to use the chart on page 436 as you are now using the Vie for Position rules starting with the second exchange?

Perhaps I have missed some detail. Please help a new guy out.

Thank you very much!

The only time those bonus dice come into play is when vying for positioning. So, whoever is holding the advantage at the end of the exchange gets bonus die for the positioning roll going into the next exchange.

The Ob penalties on page 431 are for the individual(s) that lost the initial Engage roll. The Ob penalty lasts the entire Exchange. Then…

The bonus dice on page 436 are for the individual who currently holds Advantage for the Vie for Position test, which are then added to the positioning roll to determine who gets the Advantage, which incurs the Ob penalty to their opponent (from page 431) in the (now) current Exchange, and repeat.

So was I correct that the engage penalty for the loser only lasts for the first exchange and then just before the second exchange begins you just use “Vie for position” rules to test who has the advantage now and drop the “Engage” penalty for the loser?

Whoever loses the vie for position test would be at a disadvantage for the following exchange, so they would be at a penalty to all non-defensive actions.

What Jeremiah said. :slight_smile:

Or to put it a different way: the bonus dice from page 436 are only used for Vie for Position (nothing else). This only determines who has the Advantage during the Exchange. The loser, on the other hand, receives the Ob penalties from page 431.

Or another way: somebody always has the Ob penalties from page 431 for any given Exchange.

Unless the weapon lengths are the same, in which case no one has Disadvantage Obstacles.

Robutmike, if weapons are of different length make an Engagement test with bonus die/dice based on the chart on p.430. This test is to determine who will have obstacle penalties added to their non defense actions for the exchange, as listed in the tble on p.431.

After first exchange is over, you roll a Vie for Position test to determine who gets the obstacle penalties from p.431 for the new exchange. Whoever had Advantage at the end of the last exchange will get a bonus die (dice) for the Vie for Position test based upon their weapon length. The only difference is that you’re no longer figuring the weapon length bonus dice from p.430. Now you’re using the table on p.436. You’re still using the table from p.431 to figure the actual obstacle penalty for the loser in the upcoming exchange.

Mike, you are correct.

Wait. Now I’m confused.

Because robutmike made it sound like there is no Ob penalty for the loser after Vie for Position.

It helps me to differentiate between advantage dice gained for positioning, and the (obstacle) effects of having the advantage during the exchange:

In a fight, when you have weapons of different lengths, skilled fighters can use the difference in weapon length to their advantage (or disadvantage). If you’re fighting with weapons of the same length, there’s no inherent advantage to either weapon, so you don’t even test. If not, the longer weapon is more likely to start with the upper hand, and therefore gets bonus dice to Engage. During the exchange, as the combatants maneouvre, hack, slash, stab, club, beat, avoid, trip, shove, disembowel and generally have at each other, the advantage may shift, but it’s down to the skill of the fighters; once committed to the fray the length of the weapon is immaterial–it’s all down to how you use it, and who has the upper hand–the Advantage. Having the advantage makes it harder for your disadvantaged opponent to act offensively against you. Having the advantage also makes it easier to maintain the upper hand as the fight goes on.

Same weapon lengths - no inherent advantage in Fight either way.
Longer weapon - advantage dice to engage; you’re more likely to start the fight with the upper hand.
Advantage in the fight - obstacle to your disadvantaged opponent to do anything but defend herself.
Advantage between exchanges - advantage dice to keeping the fight going your way in a Vie or Disengage.

On any given roll during a Fight, either one person has +D for Advantage, or one person has +Ob for Disadvantage, or there are no bonuses or penalties either way (same weapon length). Don’t double-penalize yourself or your opponent.

For me, once I figured out what was happening in the clamour, finding the right table was relatively easy. It won’t stop Thor killing me, though.

sorry, you never “drop the penalty” unless you’re fighting at the same weapon length.

I read that as “drop the engage dice” for the vie for position dice.

After the first exchange, you vie for position, not engage. It doesn’t matter if your weapon is longer. It matters if you hold the advantage.

Whew. Okay, thanks! :slight_smile:

So upon first engaging, the loser has +Ob which is dependent upon compared weapon length with the winner per the chart on page 431, but after that first exchange, the +Ob goes away once you test Vie For Position and you use the chart on page 436 instead. Correct? To quote the text on page 436:

“If you vie for position, test your Speed plus advantages for stride and your positioning advantage - do not use the weapon length list in the engage section. Use this table instead.

and then at the top of page 437 -

“After determining the winner and loser, consult the Positioning table to determine the effects for this upcoming exchange”

This leads me to believe that the only table to use after the first exchange is on page 436.

So which is it:

A: Do we only use the table on page 431 at the very start of the engagement, and from that point forward only use the table on page 436?

B: Or do we roll during the Vie for Position, using the Positioning Dice table on page 436 ONLY for that Vie for Position test, and then after finding the winner, consult the table on page 431?

I am still seeing some contradicting views here, at least I am comforted that I am not the only one experiencing a bit of confusion :slight_smile:

I’m going to use an example to see what is correct:

Using the Orc Warrior versus Roden Assassin from the Rogue‘s Gallery at the back of BWG.

They both roll to Engage (page 430). The Roden gets a bonus die for Stride. The Orc gets bonus dice from the spear.

The Roden manages to win because of the C-O Trait for Speed. So the Orc uses the +Ob penalties on page 431 for the entire Exchange.

Then they Vie for Position on the second Exchange. The Roden gets the listed bonus on page 436. The Orc doesn’t get any bonuses for this test. The Roden wins again and so the Orc is at +Ob penalties again for this Exchange.

Then they Vie for Position again for Exchange 3. The Roden again gets the listed bonus on page 436. Again the Orc doesn’t get any bonuses. The Orc wins this time, so the Roden gets the listed +Ob penalty on page 431.


The process is Engage (Speed plus advantage from WL and Stride). This sets disadvantage.

At the end of the exchange: Vie for position (Speed plus advantage from positioning and Stride). This sets advantage (bonus to positioning) and disadvantage (penalties to actions).

Are there still disadvantage penalties to actions after the first Exchange?

Ok, so perhaps an example is in order to make sure I understand correctly. Lets use the Orc and the Roden from the Rogues gallery

The Orc is using a Short Spear.

The Roden is using a Knife.

They Engage, the orc has a +1D for Longest Weapon, the Roden has a +1D for Longest Stride. They both test Speed +1D each for Stride and Weapon Length respectively. The Orc (speed B4 +1D for weapon length) and the Roden (B6 + 1D for stride)

The Orc wins the Engagement test. Consulting the chart on page 431, the Roden is now at +4Ob for this exchange (3 volleys) for all actions other than Defense actions.

Both the Orc and the Roden take their actions for 3 volleys, the Roden uses defensive actions to avoid the +4Ob penalty he currently is slapped with for losing the Engage. They both survive all 3 volleys surprisingly unscathed.

The first exchange ends.

The second exchange begins.

Both the Orc and the Roden choose “Vie for Position.” They test Speed + bonus for longest stride + positioning advantage. The Orc (speed B4) and the Roden (B6 + 1D for stride).
(It is unclear to me if the Roden is still at +4ob for this test from losing the “Engage” at the beginning the previous exchange. At what point does the Roden no longer have +4Ob?)

The Roden wins the position test, and now we consult the chart on page 436, and the Roden will have +2D for this exchange (Knife Vs Spear).
(At this point is the Roden still at +4Ob?)

I hope this helps to illustrate my question better.

Thank you for all the replies, I do appreciate the feedback, I am just still unsure about a few things here.

I appreciate your patience.

Thank you,

Oh! That helps. :slight_smile:

The first Exchange is correct.

The second exchange begins… The Orc (speed B4) and the Roden (B6 + 1D for stride).

Don’t forget the Orc’s bonus Positioning dice - to the Vie for Position roll - for having the Advantage.

The Roden wins the position test, and now we consult the chart on page 436, and the Roden will have +2D for this exchange (Knife Vs Spear).

The bonus dice are only for Vie for Position next round (edit: oops, next Positioning roll) – not used during the Exchange for actions.

(It is unclear to me if the Roden is still at +4ob for this test from losing the “Engage” at the beginning the previous exchange. At what point does the Roden no longer have +4Ob?)

Ah! Okay. The Roden is at a +Ob penalty for the first Exchange because he lost the Engage Positioning roll. But he won the second Exchange’s Vie for Position roll so he takes the Advantage and the +Ob penalty goes away (and he gets the bonus dice for Vie for Position - only - in the third Exchange) and the Orc gains the +Ob penalty (and loses the Positioning dice).

I’m not sure if the +Ob penalty applies to Positioning honestly! Huh. :confused: (edit: my guess is no).

It does not. P.431, under the table.

Thank you! :slight_smile:

Irminsul has you headed in the right direction but I want to help correct a couple things so that your example is crystal. First, keep in mind that two things are happening in Fight: Positioning (engage, vie for position, disengage are all types of Positioning), and Fight Actions.

Since the Roden and Orc haven’t engaged yet, they’re first Positioning test will be the Engage. To Engage, we look on p.430 and see that the Roden has the greater Stride and thus gets a +1D to the Engage test. We also have to compare their weapon lengths to see who gets bonus dice from that. Reading under Longest Weapon p.430 we see that the Short Spear is a longer weapon and is two or more weapon lengths greater than the knife. That grants the Orc a +2D to the Engage roll. So the Roden is rolling (6D speed +1D stride) and the Orc rolls (4D speed +2D weapon length).

Say Orc wins the engagement. We now consult the table on p.431 to see what it means for the Orc to have Advantage over the Roden. The short spear, a longer weapon (I wish we would have used a different weapon because this might be confusing, the Short Spear is not a Spear lengthed weapon, it’s a pole arm lengthed weapon) puts a knife at a +3 Ob disadvantage for all non-defensive actions during this Exchange. That +Ob is not applied to future Positioning, see the section under the table on p.431. So we play out this Exchange with the Roden Disadvantaged with a +3Ob.

Then we move to the next exchange. We’ve already Engaged so our next Positioning is just Vie for Position. We don’t consult the Longest Weapon section on p. 430 any more. We look at who had the Advantage coming out of the exchange, let’s assume the Advantage remained with the Orc. Look at the chart under Vie for Position on p. 436. We see that the Orc gets to have +2D to his Vie for Position test (polearm with advantage vs. Knife). Orc rolls (4D speed +2D advantaged pole arm vs. Knife). Roden rolls (6D speed +1D stride). Remember, that +Ob from the previous exchange does not count against the Roden in positioning for the new exchange.

If the Orc wins the positioning again, the Roden is stuck with that +3Ob again for his non defensive fight actions for the new Exchange.

If the Roden wins instead, we go and check the table on p.431 again to see what an Advantaged knife means against a pole arm lengthed weapon. We see that the Orc is now at +3 Ob for his non defensive actions for the exchange.

After the exchange is over, we roll another vie for position. Assuming that the Roden had advantage coming out of the exchange we check the table on p. 436 and see that the advantaged knife will get a +2D for the Vie for Position roll. Again, the Obstacle penalty from the previous exchange is not applied to the Orcs Vie for Position roll. Roden will be rolling (6D speed +1D stride +2D advantaged knife vs. Polearm) while the poor Orc is rolling (4D speed).

Clear as mud?