# Fight! with multiple combatants. How positioning works.

So I’ve been looking over the BWG Fight! system, in order to get a grip on positioning in complicated cases.

As a test, I set up a situation that would put alot of variables in play. The following is how I ran it, trying to stick to the book. I don’t know if I did it is meant to be done, or there’s a better way to go about it. The easiest thing, I suppose, would be to not run overcrowded, complicated fights, but I thought I’d just try it and see how it went.

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The situation is as follows:
On one side we have a human and an elven warrior.
On the other side we have 3 goblins, 3 dwarves and an orc wolf.

The human has B4 Speed, Stride 7, and is armed with an arming sword of long length.
The elf has B5 Speed, Stride 8, and is armed with a shortsword of short length
All the goblins have B5 Speed and Stride 7. One is armed with a knife of shortest length. One is armed with a longsword of long length. One is armed with a crossbow of missile length.
All the dwarves have B4 Speed and Stride 6. One is armed with an axe of long length. One is armed with a poleaxe of longer length. One is armed with a spear of longest length.
The orc wolf has B6 Speed, Stride 11, and is armed with crushing jaws of shortest length.

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As the battle is joined, the members of the two parties declare who they will engage.

The human wants to engage Knife Goblin.
The elf wants to engage Knife Goblin, Crossbow Goblin, and Orc Wolf.

The Knife Goblin wants to engage the elf.
The Longsword Goblin wants to engage the human.
The Crossbow Goblin wants to engage the human.
The Axe Dwarf wants to engage the human.
The Poleaxe Dwarf wants to engage the elf.
The Spear Dwarf wants to engage the elf.
The Orc Wolf wants to engage the human.

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We establish the potential modifiers for one side.

At this point, we can tell that the human is in a situation where his weapon can offer him no advantage (vs long+ weapons), or up to +2D advantage (vs short- weapons).
His stride can offer him as little as no advantage (against the goblins and the orc wolf), or as much as +1D advantage (vs the dwarves).

The elf is in a situation where his weapon can offer him no advantage (vs short+ weapons), or up to +1D advantage (vs shortest weapons).
His stride can offer him as little as no advantage (against the orc wolf), or as much as +1D advantage (vs the goblins and the dwarves).

Now that we know this, we can roll. I roll the speed of the human and elf. Furthermore, for the human, I roll an advantage die for weapons, twice, and note the results. I roll an advantage die for stride once, and note the result. For the elf I roll an advantage die for his weapon once and note the result. Then I roll a die for his stride advantage once, and note the result.

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Result for one side is.
Human B4 Speed yields 2 successes. First weapon die is a traitor. Second weapon die yields one success. The stride die is a traitor. So depending on the enemy, human has 2 or 3 successes.
Elf B5 Speed yields 2 successes. The weapon die yields one success. The stride die yields one success. So depending on the enemy, elf has 2, 3, or 4 successes.

Result for the other side is.
Knife Goblin B5 Speed yields 4 successes.
Longsword Goblin doesn’t roll, he just engages with human at equal footing.
Crossbow Goblin B5 Speed yields 2 successes. 2 weapon dice yield no successes.
Axe Dwarf doesn’t roll, he just engages with human at equal footing. This would have been different, if human had rolled a success on his stride advantage die.
Poleaxe Dwarf B4 Speed yields 1 success.
Spear Dwarf B4 Speed yields 3 successes.
Orc Wolf B6 Speed yields 3 successes. 2 stride dice yield 1 success.

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So as we move into the first exchange, the field looks like this:
The human is engaged with Knife Goblin. Knife Goblin has advantage, due to more successes. Human is at +2 Ob vs Knife Goblin.
The human is engaged with Longsword Goblin. Noone has advantage.
The human is engaged with Crossbow Goblin. Crossbow Goblin has advantage, due to weapon length. Human is at +3 Ob vs Crossbow Goblin.
The human is engaged with Axe Dwarf. Noone has advantage.
The human is engaged with Orc Wolf. Orc Wolf has advantage, due to stride. Human is at +2 Ob vs Orc Wolf.

The elf is engaged with Knife Goblin. Elf has advantage, due to weapon length. Knife Goblin is at +1 Ob vs elf.
The elf is engaged with Crossbow Goblin. Elf has advantage, due to stride. Crossbow Goblin is at +3 Ob vs elf.
The elf is engaged with Orc Wolf. Orc Wolf has advantage, due to stride. Elf is at +1 Ob vs Orc Wolf.
The elf is engaged with Poleaxe Dwarf. Elf has advantage due to more successes. Poleaxe Dwarf is at +2 Ob vs elf.
The elf is engaged with Spear Dwarf. Spear Dwarf has advantage due to weapon length. Elf is at +3 Ob vs elf.

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Scripting happens from here on.

I don’t expect to ever run a fight! this complicated, but you never know, what with those chaos-loving players and their pesky characters
Did I go about figuring out the positioning in the right way, or did I screw up? Did I overcomplicate it? Did I miss something?

Thank you very much for your input.

Iirc, you can only engage one character, but multiple people can gang up. So, your Elf would have to pick one Orc to engage with, and the rest could all gang up and engage him, if that makes sense.

You’re right! I must’ve glossed over it as I was reading up for this post. But yeah, that’s true. Thanks. That changes the makeup of the situation a bit. It’s hard to ask people to just disregard such a glaring error, but all the same, do you have any other observations?

Your first instinct was right. Burning Wheel works best with one on one fights. As Shaun said, one way you can handle gangs of mooks, is to establish a lead opponent with the others giving helping dice to that one. Thus you can condense a group into one opponent. I’ll have to wait to get home to my books before I can comment on the mechanics of things.

Yeah I thought as much.

In this particular, convoluted case though, I’m not sure you could run them as Mooks. I seem to recall that mooks must be armed with the same weapons. I wonder how stride would interact with helping on positioning?

For what it’s worth, I’ve run some really fun huge fights—two characters and two NPCs each fighting four or five opponents at once. I just used the helping rules and scripted a single opponent against each. It was hella fun.