Higher initiative and Ambushes

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Rockymountainnavy
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Higher initiative and Ambushes

Postby Rockymountainnavy » Sun Sep 06, 2015 12:58 am

Reference: “Boon and Bane,” p. 59; “Combat - Initiative - Ambushes,” p. 70; “The Combat Round,” p. 70

Discussion: “Ambushes” on p. 70 states, “If one side is aware of the presence of the other but the other is unaware they are nearby, then an ambush has taken place. The side that is aware combat is about to begin gains a Boon to its Initiative checks. The side that is not aware it is about to be attacked receives a Bane to its Initiative check.” This can lead to situations where the “ambushed” party has higher initiative and could attack first using the RAW.

Example 1: Traveller, UPP 777777, is ambushed by Mook, UPP 777555. Rolling Initiative, Traveller rolls 3D6 (Low) whereas Mook rolls 3D6 (High). In this straight dice-off, there is a near-equal chance of the “ambushed” party getting a higher initiative. Assume Traveller has higher Initiative. In first round, Traveller goes first and gets one Significant Action and one Minor Action. Does this mean Traveller could attack Mook?

Desired Action: Explicitly state that the ambushed party gets no actions in the first combat round regardless of Initiative score. I know; this should be a no-brainer for a Referee, but I have seen too many rules-lawyers to be comfortable leaving it as written.
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Re: Higher initiative and Ambushes

Postby Melbourne Accords » Sun Sep 06, 2015 3:26 pm

I agree with the desired action suggested by Rockymountainnavy. It's best to be very clear.
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Re: Higher initiative and Ambushes

Postby Stainless » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:08 pm

Desired action sounds reasonable. Then again, not all ambushes go to plan; despite setting up a successful ambush a "slow" ambusher might waste their advantage. That would justify the chances as given in the example above.
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Re: Higher initiative and Ambushes

Postby PaulB » Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:21 am

Stainless wrote:Desired action sounds reasonable. Then again, not all ambushes go to plan; despite setting up a successful ambush a "slow" ambusher might waste their advantage. That would justify the chances as given in the example above.
I have to agree with Stainless, an ambush can go awry. The Boon doesn't by any means guarantee success, but it does provide some small measure of advantage. If the ambusher doesn't capitalise on this, I can't see why the ambushed shouldn't have the chance to react with a full Significant and Minor action.

Ambusher hides around the corner; listens to approaching footsteps. Ambusher steps out with her gun levelled. Ambusher and Ambushed roll initiative. Ambusher rolls lower - and finds that she has totally miscalculated the position and approach of her target. Target draws her gun (minor) and snaps off a shot (significant).

Personally, I have more of an issue with the Bane applied to the Ambushed. I see the Boon as reward enough to the Ambusher without complicated the Ambushed life any further!
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Re: Higher initiative and Ambushes

Postby Stainless » Wed Sep 09, 2015 10:45 am

PaulB wrote:Personally, I have more of an issue with the Bane applied to the Ambushed. I see the Boon as reward enough to the Ambusher without complicated the Ambushed life any further!
I think a Bane is appropriate as an ambushed person is they are likely to suffer from the, "what the....?!" moment of inaction and so loose the initiative.
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Re: Higher initiative and Ambushes

Postby PaulB » Wed Sep 09, 2015 11:30 am

Stainless wrote:
PaulB wrote:Personally, I have more of an issue with the Bane applied to the Ambushed. I see the Boon as reward enough to the Ambusher without complicated the Ambushed life any further!
I think a Bane is appropriate as an ambushed person is they are likely to suffer from the, "what the....?!" moment of inaction and so loose the initiative.
I don't really see it that way.

If two combatants walk into a clearing, they see each other and roll Initiative to see who shoots first.

If one combatant walks into a clearing and finds the other combatant stood there waiting, how is that different than the first scenario?

Or, does initiative pre-suppose common states of awareness as a level playing field?

So, if both combatants are surprised or both are aware, roll as normal. Where one is surprised and other not, rolled with bane and boon applied, respectively?
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Re: Higher initiative and Ambushes

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Wed Sep 09, 2015 1:49 pm

If you walked into a clearing and saw someone standing there, pointing a gun at you. I am not sure that qualifies as an Ambush.

Now, if you walked into a clearing and bullets started flying your way from an unknown location (because I was smart enough to hide in the bushes before you got there); then your first reaction might be a bit slower, thus the Bane.
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Re: Higher initiative and Ambushes

Postby -Daniel- » Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:53 pm

Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:If you walked into a clearing and saw someone standing there, pointing a gun at you. I am not sure that qualifies as an Ambush.

Now, if you walked into a clearing and bullets started flying your way from an unknown location (because I was smart enough to hide in the bushes before you got there); then your first reaction might be a bit slower, thus the Bane.
I was thinking the same way as Rikki Tikki Traveller. For me, the idea of an ambush is when one side catches the other side off guard.
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Re: Higher initiative and Ambushes

Postby PaulB » Thu Sep 10, 2015 4:43 am

-Daniel- wrote:
Rikki Tikki Traveller wrote:If you walked into a clearing and saw someone standing there, pointing a gun at you. I am not sure that qualifies as an Ambush.

Now, if you walked into a clearing and bullets started flying your way from an unknown location (because I was smart enough to hide in the bushes before you got there); then your first reaction might be a bit slower, thus the Bane.
I was thinking the same way as Rikki Tikki Traveller. For me, the idea of an ambush is when one side catches the other side off guard.
The dictionary definition of ambush requires the ambusher to have concealment. It is less the ambushed being off guard, more a matter of total ignorance of potential attack. I guess in that case the clearing scenario would apply if the ambushee was walking through the jungle and the ambusher fired on them from the clearing beyond. In those circumstances, I can see the Boon and Bane working - so I take your point RTT. On the other hand, I'm less convinced that the Boon and Bane actually have the desired impact on that situation.
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Re: Higher initiative and Ambushes

Postby Stainless » Thu Sep 10, 2015 8:19 am

The rule is a bit like double dipping. The ambusher is advantaged and so the ambushed are disadvantaged then the ambushed are disadvantaged AGAIN which means the ambusher is further advantaged.

But then again, that's why ambushes are so often decisive and something to plan springing and avoid encountering.

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