Winning the Battle, Losing the War


So no matter how the scenes play out during a maneuver, you can still win or lose the maneuver roll itself.

And there’s no way that your performance during the maneuver affects the maneuver roll?

That seems a little odd. I suppose that the practical upshot of all those scenes is a chance to improve your skills, get Arthra and other goodies to make that roll better, but it seems like there should be some sort of benefit to doing well during the maneuver. I appreciate the idea that you can do really well and still blow the maneuver, but with so little direct correlation between the maneuver and the scenes that compose it, the question arises, why are we struggling with this when it doesn’t actually push us towards our goals?

Perhaps I’m reading this wrong?


The in-scene play accomplishes a number of things, as explained in the Forces Beyond Our Control section in the Infection chapter:

  1. It shapes the shared fiction, which will determine both your next move and that of your enemy. This is important, even if it’s not reflected in the numbers.
  2. You determine which of the players is most suited to make the roll for the group. The player who really pushes the action in a maneuver, usually but not always the player who took the Conflict scene, is generally the one who should make the Infection roll.
  3. Only other players who help the player who makes the Infection roll during the play of the maneuver get to help on the Infection roll.

Only the latter directly affects the Infection roll, and it doesn’t matter whether your actions during the maneuver were successful or not. The maneuver and the infection roll are only loosely coupled. You bind them together through your play, your color, and your sequels.

We view this as a feature, not a bug. You won the Firefight but lost the maneuver? What was happening behind the scenes? You lost the battle but won the maneuver? What unexpected thing went in your favor?

If you like, you could always give the “winning” side an advantage die for the Maneuver Roll.

Hi all,
As far as I understood Manouvers, don’t the winning side get to narrate the “win” thereby tying in the previous building, colour and conflict scenes with the loser then narrating how their side faired?

Wouldn’t this tie up the fragments of that manouver so that winning or losing the conflicts is a part of the entire manouver?

Not sure how clear I’ve put it really.


This threw me too until I realized the discontinuity creates a very cool dilemma (err, I think; I’ve not played yet, so I may be wrong):

  1. Winning the current conflict means your player-character gets something you care about, right now: you humiliate your archrival, shoot up some bad guys, rescue the girl, impress your distant father. Losing the current conflict means your character loses something you care about, and possibly gets plugged. So you want to pile on those FoRKs and helping dice, pick your battles carefully, and make sure you have low-Obstacle, easy rolls!

  2. Winning the maneuvers requires you to keep advancing your key skills (e.g. Tactics, Persuasion) faster than the other side’s characters do. And to earn advancement, you’re going to need a bunch of challenging, high-Obstacle rolls – even if you have to give up FoRKs, help, and tech, and take on impossible odds. So in order to have the best shot at saving a whole planet full of people you don’t know, you have to be willing to risk everything you care about in the here and now: maybe your archrival humiliates you, the bad guys shot you in the kneecaps, the girl dies, and your father croaks out “you were always a disappointment to me” before he dies.

And he’ll never know you saved the world. He’ll never know.