Mechanics behind 3 party conflicts

Hi there, I just started GMing Mouseguard for my group. A lot of the elements of the game really excite me and am looking forward to fleshing them out. Our group is big for Mouseguard (6 players) so I have been splitting them up as much as possible (2 things need doing, send 3 mice to do 1, 3 mice to do the other). So far I’ve had a great deal of success when splitting the players up as the players can decide for themselves which of the two goals seems more interesting to them and everyone gets to contribute without there being 4+ sequential obstacles in one big mission. The trouble comes when we try to pit all 6 mice against one enemy. Rather than ask ‘how it works’ to run 3 party conflicts I’m going to run through the system I have in mind, and you can tell me where I’m wrong. I will then re-write how I think it works in response to your comments and see if I get it right. Sound good?

(Parties have been divided up and conflict goals set, not going to worry about this end of it at the moment as I am more concerned with the nitty-gritty of how multiple actions interact)

In this situation Party A and Party B will be fighting Party Z.

  1. All parties select their actions secretly. (Collaboration between party A and B seems fair if they want to though)

  2. Reveal the actions.

  3. Party Z declares who he is going to target his action with. (Party A & B do the same, but they will invariably select Z as their target)

  4. If A & B are making the same kind of roll (both versus or independent) then go to 5.a.
    If A & B are making different kind of rolls (one versus, one independent or one of them has been denied their action) then go do 5.b.

5.a) Parties A & B decide which of the two actions they want to resolve, then that action gets a +1d of assistance from the other party. This may result in Party Z attacking Party As disposition but Party B resisting that action with a versus roll (if both A & B were rolling versus).

5.b) Resolve both actions. In this situation Party Z’s roll effectively gets counted twice, although they are only allowed to affect the disposition of the party they are targeting.

i) Party A (attack,3s), Party B (maneuver,3s), Party Z (attack,4s)
-If Party Z targets Party A then Party A’s disposition is reduced by 4, Party Z’s disposition is reduced by 3 and effectively nothing happens to Party B since they do not have enough successes to overcome Party Z’s versus roll.
-If Party Z targets Party B then Party B’s disposition is reduced by 1, Party Z’s disposition is reduced by 3.
-As such almost all the time the lone Party Z will choose to ‘target’ the opponent with an independent roll as to get double duty out of their roll.

ii) Party A (attack,3s), Party B (defend,4s), Party Z (feint,3s)
-If Party Z targets Party A then Party Z does nothing and loses 3 disposition, Party B gains 1 disposition from his unopposed defense roll.
-If Party Z targets Party B then Party B does nothing and losses 3 disposition, Party Z loses 3 disposition from Party A’s attack.
-The lone Party will always choose to ‘target’ the action that they trump if one is presented.

iii) Party A (defend,4s), Party B (defend,4s), Party Z (feint,3s)
-If Party Z targets Party A then Party A loses 3 disposition and Party B gains 1 disposition.
(While Party A & B did select the same action, they are not making the same kind of roll since the feint from Party Z countered Party A’s defend)

  1. Return to step 3 for the next action until all 3 actions of the round have been resolved.

  2. Return to step 1 for a new set of actions.

Please outline where you think I’m wrong. Once I have a clear idea on changes to be made, I will re-write an edited version of this with the necessary changes. Thank you for your time.

As GM I always declare who I’m attacking as I reveal, so I don’t yet know what the players have scripted.

Cool, I had also considered this approach. My follow up question for you is: how do you deal with the actions that aren’t being opposed?

I) Party A attacks Z. Party B feints against Z. Party Z attacks A.
Does the fact that Z attacked counter Bs feint? If not, what is Bs roll, independent?

II) Party A attacks Z. Party B defends against Z. Party Z feints against B.
Does party As attacks counter party Zs feint?

I) A and Z resolve their attacks. B can’t test, but isn’t under attack anyway.

II) A resolves their attack against Z’s dispo. B can’t test, so Z’s feint reduces B’s dispo.

Thanks noclue, I now have a much better idea of what’s going on and it is simpler than I thought it was:

  1. All parties choose their 3 next actions.

  2. Each party reveals what their first action is and who they are targeting (simultaneously).

  3. Each party determines how their action interacts with their opponents action. It does not matter who your target is targeting, only what their action is.

  4. If there are multiple same roll (independent or versus) against the same target, all those making the same rolls must chose only one of the actions to actually occur; all parties denied their action in this way provide an assistance die to the roll.

If your action is countered by your targets action, you simply don’t roll that action. You may still have to roll though if another party is provoking a versus test with you.

  1. Everyone rolls their actions, starting with the GM. If both versus and independent tests are being made against one target, the target needs only roll once against both actions. Keep in mind that a party can only negatively effect the target of their action, even if die pools are being compared against multiple opponents.

  2. Reduce dispositions as necessary, if all sides are still in the fight return to step 2 for the next action 2 actions.

  3. Return to step 1 for a new set of actions.

I think I can work with this pretty easily. I can’t remember where I read about selecting targets for actions after they are revealed, but it really throws a wrench in the clockworks.