Utterly confused by Positioning text on pp.436-437

So, in reading BWG, I’ve been stuck on the following text for about half an hour now:

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.


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

This makes no sense to me.

It sounds like the first paragraph is referring to the table on p.436, but so does the second paragraph. There is no table I can find labeled “Positioning”, so I don’t know what is being referred to in any of this text.

My assumption, as best I can figure it based on the scripting sheet, is this:

At the beginning of a Fight!, the Engage test determines who is at a disadvantage. At the start of Exchange 2, if one or both of the combatants want to Vie for Position, a Speed test is made. The combatant who was not at a disadvantage in Exchange 1 gets a bonus to the Speed test based on the table on p.436. The winner of the Speed test puts the loser at a disadvantage for the exchange, and the Obstacle for the loser is determined by the table on p. 431.

My big problem here is that none of these tables are really labeled. P. 437 refers to a “Positioning Advantage and Disadvantage” table, but there’s no table I can find that is labeled such. The table on p. 436 is sort of labeled “Positioning Advantage”, but I don’t know if that’s what’s being referred to. The table on p. 431 is named “Opponent’s Disadvantage by Weapon” in the text above it on that same page.

Please, would someone be able to help me out here? Where is the “Positioning” table? Where is the “Positioning Advantage and Disadvantage” table? What table do I consult when?

This. You’ve got it.

Edit: I must admit to having a similar bout of confusion the first time I looked for those tables as well.

Yeah, it made me stop, search back and forth in the chapter, and then I remember thinking: “so this is why they label tables: Table XVI-4 in games, huh whodathunkit”.

At one point, the Opponent’s Disadvantage by Weapon and the Positioning Advantage table were combined into a single table. It was thoroughly confusing. It appears when they got separated into two tables, the descriptor in the text did not change. As you correctly discerned, when it refers to the Positioning Table, it actually means the Opponent’s Disadvantage by Weapon table.

So to clarify:

  • When you Vie for Position, the person who ended the previous Exchange with the Advantage uses the Positioning Advantage table to determine the bonus dice he gets to the Vie for Position test.
  • The winner of the Vie for Position test puts his opponent at a Disadvantage as described by the Opponent’s Disadvantage by Weapon table.

I had the scripting sheets in front of me while reading it, and I think one of them is labeled “Positioning advantage” on there.

Thanks for the clarifications, everyone.

I think it would very helpful to try and correct this in future printings, if possible. I think the “Opponent’s Disadvantage by Weapon” table is refried to by 3-4 different names over the course of the Fight! chapter. Also, maybe make a habit of capitalizing “Advantage” or otherwise indicating it as a “reserved term” in BWG that has a specific mechanical meaning.