My ideas on LWMGB combat


hi all,

I'm new to the forum, but long time Lone Wolf fan. I've recently gotten my LWMGB and have pretty much fallen in love with it. I also have the D20 version, but never liked it as a game, but loved it as a resource.

Anyhoo, I had trouble deciphering the combat rules as printed in the LWMGB, and while I don't want to beat a dead horse, I wanted to offer, and possibly get feedback, on my ideas for combat. I've tried to make them as simple as I could, so it wouldn't take away from the elegance of the overall game system.



To begin combat, the players will be told if they have the option to evade combat or not (see evade). If the players choose not to or do not have the ability to evade, then combat order is determined.

Combat Order:
Combat order starts with the player with the highest combat skill. He chooses which opponent or opponents (see Engaging Many Enemies) he wishes to fight. Once the player has decided, he rolls for combat for each opponent (applying opponents' bonuses).

Then the player with the second highest score chooses opponent or opponents and follows through with combat rolls like the first player. This process continues until the last player has engaged with and opponent.

If there is any opponents left over, the GM decides who the enemies engage with and they will attack on the next turn. The GM may have enemies attack the players in a Gang Up, if they can.

Only players will make combat rolls since the Combat Results Table includes damage to both parties.

Ganging Up
Up to 4 players may gang up on one enemy. This happens when a non engaged player, uses his combat order turn to engage an enemy that is currently engaged with another player or players. If this is the case, the normal bonus (as given by the book) apply.

Example: Grey Wolf and Storm Song both find a single Giak. Grey Wolf attacks first, as he has the highest CS. Storm Song attacks next and gets a +2 to her CS for Ganging Up on the Giak.

Gang ups work the same way for enemies as they do for players, if the GM actually gets a chance to choose who an enemy will face. The GM will determine who the enemy will engage with, but combat rolls for the new enemy will not happen until that player's Combat Order turn (think of it as the enemy has to pull his weapon out of the deceased and must look around for a player to attack).

Example: Grey Wolf and an NPC character come across 2 Giaks. Grey Wolf engages one of the Giaks and makes his combat roll. The NPC engages the second Giak, makes the combat roll, rolls poorly and dies. This leaves the second Giak unengaged. This Giak obviously goes for Grey Wolf. This turn is over.

On the next turn, Grey Wolf is being attacked by two enemies, so must make 2 combat rolls. The newly engaged Giak gets a +2 CS bonus for Ganging Up.

Engaging Many Enemies
A player may choose to engage in combat with multiple opponents if he is currently unengaged. All of the enemies will count as being engaged by the player and they will immediately receive a +2 bonus to their CS PER ENEMY present after the first. Only 4 enemies are allowed.

Example: Grey Wolf and Storm Song are facing 3 Giak. Grey Wolf goes first and engages 2 Giak. Both Giaks get a +2 bonus to their CS scores. Grey Wolf then rolls two combat rolls.

The Engage Many Enemies bonuses will only happen for one round. If the round after, the player is still engaged with many enemies, and has not been helped by other players, the enemies revert to a Gang Up mode, and use the bonuses offered under the Gang Up rules.

If a player is Engaging many Enemies, another player may offer to help by one of the following:

1) Engage one of the enemies
2) Engage more than one of the other enemies by using Engage Many Enemies

Note: At least one of the enemies that was previously engaged with the first player MUST remain engaged to the first player.

The simple way to handle this is to have any enemies who are now engaged to the second player get a free break away from the first player and turn all their attention to the second player.

Example: Continuing with the above example, Storm Song jumps in and decides to take on the remaining Giak who isn't engaged, but also take on one of Grey Wolf's Giaks (she has to leave at least 1 engaged with Grey Wolf). This means the Giak that was involved with Grey Wolf successfully breaks away and now attacks Storm Song, but the GM continues to give this Giak the +2 bonus, as it is still involved with Engage Many Enemies, albeit with a new attacker. Storm Song also rolls two combat rolls, the one giak who was not already engaged gets no bonus, the second Giak that had already been engaged gets a bonus.

The current turn is over. On the next turn, Grey Wolf is only attacking 1 Giak, and Storm Song is attacking 2 Giaks, who now use the Gang Up bonuses.

Using these rules will allow players (and enemies) to jump from Engaging Many Enemies to Gang Ups often within a fight. This, hopefully, allows players more tactical decisions, as they don't want to take on too many enemies by themselves, but don't want to give enemies the choice of who to engage. Letting enemies have that choice could put them in a tactically bad position.

Other Combat Examples

Example 1: Let's say there are 3 Kai Lords: Grey Wolf, Storm Song, and Winter Night. They come upon 5 Giaks and 2 Gourgaz. Grey Wolf has the highest CS, so he attacks both Gourgaz, using the Engage Many Enemies. He makes 2 combat rolls, noting that each Gourgaz will get a +2 to their CS scores.

Storm Song goes next. She jumps and engages 4 Giaks, also in Engage Many Enemies. She has to roll 4 combat rolls, and all the Giaks get a +6 to their CS scores.

Winter Night goes next, he attacks 1 of the Gourgazand (he can't attack both, as he has to leave at least one engaged with Grey Wolf) and the remaining Giak. This combat will also be an Engage Many Enemies. The Gourgaz immediately breaks off with Grey Wolf, and attacks Winter Night. The GM decides the Gourgaz doesn't keep his bonus for the Engage Many Enemies it had with Grey Wolf, so the bonus goes to the Giak. Winter Night makes two combat rolls, one for the Gourgaz, and one for the Giak, each get a +2 CS bonus.

The combat round is over. On the second round, Grey wolf is now in combat with only one Gourgaz, so combat is normal, neither getting bonuses for Gang Up or Engage Many enemies. Storm Song is still engaged with 4 Giaks, so the Giaks revert to the Gang Up bonuses. Winternight is engaged to a Gorgaz and a Giak, so his enemies also revert to the Gang Up bonuses.

Example 2: Our 3 kai lords run into 4 Giaks and 1 Gourgaz. Grey Wolf attacks the Gourgaz. He rolls his combat roll.

Storm Song goes next and decides to Gang Up on the Gourgaz. She gets a +2 to her CS for the gang up bonus. She makes her combat roll.

Winter Night has no choice, so he jumps and attacks all 4 Giaks, using the Engage Many Enemies. He rolls 4 combat rolls, each of the Giaks gains a +6 bonus.

On the next turn, both Grey Wolf and Storm Song are ganging up on the Gourgaz. So Storm Song will get a +2 to her CS. Winter Night is still fighting 4 Giaks, so his enemies revert to the Gang Up bonuses.

Example 3: Our 3 Kai Lords come across 2 Gourgaz. Grey Wolf attacks one Gourgaz and makes his combat roll.

Storm Song attacks the second and makes her combat roll.

Winter Night decides to help Storm Song, so he gangs up on the Gourgaz she's fighting. Since that Gourgaz has already fought a player this round, Winter Night gets a +2 CS bonus. He makes his roll.
Winternight manages to kill the Gourgaz.

On the next turn, Grey Wolf attacks the Gourgaz, but only succeeds in getting himself hurt in the exchange. Storm Song immediately jumps in to help Grey Wolf, and attacks under the Gang Up rule and gets a +2 to her CS. The Gourgaz is still alive, so Winter Night jumps in to the fray as well, using the Gang Up bonus of +4, and manages to bring down the Gourgaz. Combat is over.
I can't believe nobody responded to you - perhaps it is because this same topic has been brought up time and time again with no official resolution from Mongoose.

I think you have a fairly good interpretation of the rules in keeping with the spirit they are written in.

The three problem I see with the above are:

1) Order of Battle - On page 19 of the core book it says , "The CHARACTER with the highest CS chooses who they will attack..." It goes on at the end of the next paragraph to state that the character with the lowest CS will rarely get a chance to choose who they will fight unless their side outnumbers the other. To me, this indicates that ALL characters go in CS order - PCs and NPCs. Does it make sense that all players would go first when fighting a Mawtaw with a CS of 43? I don't think so.

2) Ganging-up and Engaging Many Enemies is still sloppy. If Lone Wolf engages four Giaks and then Grey Star engages two of those Giaks... what are the bonuses? Is it possible to be engaging many enemies AND ganging up at the same time?

3) The definition of "engage." In the solo action books you "engaged" an enemy and if you "evaded" you ran from the combat altogether. In LWM does "engage" mean locked with that particular combatant or with all combatants? So, four heroes take on four giaks - each fighting one. One of heroes is in trouble. Can one of his allies leave his engagement with the Giak to help him out in "ganging up?" Or are you locked into combat with your opponent until one of you dies? Is there a "disengagement" penalty?

Overall, however - great job!