Feint Hack

I still like the original idea, and can’t really see anything here that specifically contradicts it.

What about if Feint is allowed to work even against Feint? You can script a Feint (Feint), to poke a hole in the Feint (Attack)?

Yep that could work, I suggested it on the first page :slight_smile: though I later decided to just change the name of Feint (Attack) to counterattack and flesh out the interaction matrix to keep things balanced and also limit the number of available actions to 5 instead of effectively 7. More streamlined, but I think the prediction method would still be interesting.

The biggest problem with this isn’t reall in the mechanics, (although I do have issue with there rarely being a negative to Attacking.) The problem is with the game play. BW, MG and TB are story telling games. Each move in a conflict should have a story element behind it. In any type of conflict, Attack/Attack/Attack tells a really crappy story. Players who play this way should not be rewarded. Does AAA reflect the character’s belief/instinct/personality? If not, there should be fewer rewards handed out for playing with/against beliefs, benefiting from instincts or embodiment. In a broader, more spiteful view, what they are doing does not tell a realistic story. In books and movies, no one ever attacks every time. Even Conan blocks the occasional strike. So, if they want to tell a boring story, reward them with boring rewards. No gold, no magic items, no titles or land. Give them torches and sacks or grand pianos they can’t move. Enforce to the players that this isn’t a competitive game where you’re trying to win no matter what. It is a story telling game and variety adds to every story.

great points, I wonder if the more fun thing to explore would be ways to make the play-by-play of conflicts suite the Describe to Live mentality. That is, you don’t tough mechanics until the story makes it necessary. Instead of engaging in a mechanical activity of scripting in advance, you story-tell until the rubber hits the road… I wonder what that would look like. It’s a really interesting thought experiment, I’ll have to think about that one.

This is a good way to wind up without players too, though - there is a viable strategy to play, and even though there is fiction here, in the specific case of conflicts strategy actually comes before fiction; you pick your actions, and then the story happens. Punishing the players for playing the game does not seem like a good idea to me at all.

I agree that my suggestion is a little extreme. However, it is a role playing game not a strategic simulation. And, while AAA is a mechanically secure strategy, it is not, as you say, “playing the game.” I also disagree that “conflicts strategy actually comes before fiction.” Conflicts are a huge part of any story. Assuming that the party is made up of a variety of stocks and classes, AAA is neither realistic or even interesting. Lessening rewards might be a little extreme, but withholding embodiment rewards and building opponents to specifically counter such strategies are reasonable reactions, however.

I think that broad statements like AAA is “bad” or “not interesting” are a little over-reaching. AAA can be totally viable within the fiction of a story. So can DDD, for that matter. Full-on “surges”, or “extreme tactical retreats” definitely can have a place within any Conflict in which one side feels that it really needs to move in one direction or the other.

I really enjoy TB’s combination of meta-gaming and in-gaming, even though I pretty much despise meta-gaming in most other systems. To each their own, I guess.

That’s just “roll-playing vs. role-playing”, which we all know isn’t a valid argument. Besides, a well-crafted game, like the ones from BWHQ, take that into account. Following the best scripting strategy is certainly “playing the game”. If TB wanted you to screw yourself out of “optimal solutions” with role-playing, they’d offer a carrot, like they do with Traits.

Besides, I still don’t see how AAA is a “secure strategy”, as you’re bound to suffer compromises, which often as not are Conditions, which are generally less desirable than a good Twist.

Just to clarify a couple of things; sure AAA is playing the game, how can it not be? It is a very simple and viable option within the scope of the game. Also, a Conflict is a mechanical term in this game, and when you are engaged in that Conflict situation you choose your strategy before you do the narrative that explains those choices, also as part of the mechanics. You make your choices for AAA, DDD or whichever actions you want, and then reveal them after which you tell the narrative as to how this plays out. You seem to think that my statement was about the “value” of Story versus Strategy, which it was not.

As a reply to “AAA is neither realistic or even interesting”, I just bluntly disagree. It is a choice for the players to make in this game, and they should not in any way be punished for making it.

The best solution to AAA scripters is definitely to script a mix of Maneuvers and Attacks. If done right, you can even knock them out in one blow, since an Attack abandons defense. One Maneuver to set up a second Maneuver, which can then either disarm them or give you more Attack dice. Arm a bow, and you’re golden.

There’s something wonderfully simple about the MG/TB Conflict matrix versus the BW Fight matrix, and it’s much more of a tactical game. I like the fact that it allows you to have a unified conflict system, which is important–because conflicts are frequent and team-based. So they also have to be simple. The Fight actions are more suited to mano-a-mano duels, because Burning Wheel is more intensely focused on characters.

This. It’s a fantastic piece of game design.

Let me clarify something. I just realized I am responding, not to this original post, but more to the post this OP was in reaction to, (see the link in the OP.). In that OP, the statement was worded “My players have started scripting nothing but Attack, Attack, Attack.” That statement is actually what I am responding to. Sure, AAA is a viable option for the occasional turn. It just happened in our game last night. But as a repetitive strategy? Is it ok to “script nothing but AAA?” IMO, no, it is not.

There’s consequences for that scripting built into the rules, though, if that’s what you’re getting at.

What do you mean by “viable”, exactly? Like, to me, that means “the strategy works in this situation and is reliably advantageous”. Constant AAA certainly doesn’t fit that bill, because it’s too easy to get hit with something like MAD or MMA and wind up with a massive Disposition deficit. (Also interesting to note: by scripting Attack, you actually make it easier for your opponent to recover Disposition on a Defend, because they have to pass a Versus test, as opposed to an Ob. 3 test.) The fact that Attack is an Independent test is the balancing factor here.

That’s what I’m saying. AAA is fine on the occasions you think it might work. What the Op was referring to, though, was “nothing but” AAA. And, yes, it is potentially easier for a Defend to work against Attack than against an Ob 3. But, on average, characters roll more dice than their opponents, (not always, but usually.). So, on average, their Attacks will beat Defends.

Al I’m saying is that, IMHO, variety tells a better story than repetition. I was discussing this with my group last night, (one of which runs our Mouse Guard game), and his response was, if the players play “nothing but” AAA, then he would respond with nothing but DDD, just to show them how boring such strategies can be. Seems the best response to me.

It’s true that a good story is a major part of the goal of this game, but there are other considerations - the story really doesn’t shine if you don’t go for the win, using whatever means you have at your disposal. This is why there is a Check mechanic which lets you impede yourself and get rewarded for it; the game gives you this, instead of assuming you will gladly impede yourself for the sake of the story.

Thus, I don’t think you should do anything “in response” to the AAA strategy more than trying to script the best possible response to it based on what the players are facing. Demonstratively scripting DDD just to make a point really isn’t putting the story first, if that’s what you’re after, that’s more throwing a tantrum. Just try to create a fun, believable scenario and not end up in opposition to the players, and the scripting will really solve itself. One unlucky roll or a twist which takes away important weapons or a light source can turn the tables completely on the AAA strategy; I’ve seen it happen.