Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Combat Preview

Cubicle 7 has released a preview of the combat system for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay on their Facebook page. "The combat system for WFRP Fourth Edition has its roots in earlier editions of the game, but we’ve made significant changes. The design goals were to speed up fights and eliminate boring stalemates arising from repeated attack roll failure."


The preview discusses a new mechanic called Advantage, which they describe as "One of the new mechanics we introduced to help with this in combat is called Advantage. You can gain Advantage from sources including Surprise, Charging and winning an Attack Test. Each point of Advantage gives you +10 to your Attack Tests, and represents you pressing your foe back, gaining control of the space, gaining confidence, leaping onto the table, kicking sand in their face, or whatever you feel is appropriate to the battle at hand." The stated goal behind the mechanic of Advantage was to cut down on the "whiff factor" of d100 systems.

"You can win multiple points of Advantage, and you keep them until you lose an Attack Test, take a wound or the combat ends. So, if you keep rolling well, you’ll get in your stride and do better and better. But if you lose a Test you’ll lose all your Advantage. It’s a huge amount of fun, especially if you have the Talents or Spells that let you steal Advantage! You get a real sense of turning the tide of battle, or of getting unstoppable momentum and cleaving through your foes." This looks to mean that Advantages is a resource that ebbs and flows during play. Tying Advantage to things like taking a wound is interesting, because that would seem to hint that it has something to do with a character's concentration. However, there's really not enough mechanical meat in this Facebook post to really talk definitively about what the mechanic is or is not.

"When you attack your foe, you both make a Weapon Skill Test and compare your success levels. If the attacker wins they will have the chance to do damage and gain a point of Advantage. If the defender wins, they don’t inflict damage but do gain the Advantage as they dodge or parry and take the upper hand. There is always an outcome from a combat round – the least that can happen is someone gains Advantage."

It also looks like there will be a way to "combat" building up Advantage as well. "And if your foes are building their Advantage up to truly scary levels, Characters can use a point of Resilience (more on this in a later preview) to remove it." Which seems to mean that Advantage isn't just a mechanic for player characters. "But it’s certainly not all one-way traffic! Adversaries have special abilities that are powered by Advantage, so can become progressively more powerful. And there’s loads of fun times for the GM in deciding when to use monster abilities, or simply keep a bonus to hit."

This is a good kind of preview because it gives those of us online something to talk about, and give a bit of a spike in interest to the game. Warhammer​ is one of the big franchises of tabletop gaming and it is always good to see it getting chatter. I'm looking forward to seeing the next preview, and the game itself when it is released. We'll see what happens when the next preview comes out.
 

Comments

Banesfinger

Explorer
If 'Advantage' is a resource that ebbs and flows, can be stolen, can be bought-off by Resilience, can be disrupted/concentration, and is based on 'opposed' skill tests, I'm not sure how much it will contribute to reducing the "whiff factor"...?
 

Yavathol

Explorer
The "whiff factor" could be removed entirely if one moved to a system of both combatants making a test, and the most successful party always hits..
 

Jay Verkuilen

Dogsbody Waghalter
I ran WFRP1E with some tweaks and house rules for a while in the early '00s. The "whiff" factor really stunk for starting PCs but went away with experience. A fairly experienced warrior was often attacking at about 50% or 60%, which, with multiple attacks, meant they'd beat the snot out of many targets in fairly short order. Like a lot of games, the fun wasn't really with starting characters, but ones that were more mid-career.

I can't recall what my rules were but here are a few:

-Doubles were crits, either critical hits or misses. This meant that one of the Luck abilities, which allowed you to flip dice on a D100 roll, didn't affect them. It also meant that a more skilled attacker would have a critical more often and critical failure less so.
-The book had some situational modifiers and I was pretty good about handing them out. There was a +10 attack for winning in the last round of combat, along with the ability to push back a foe, as well as some other situational bonuses. I think this was official, actually. You would also often want to figure out how to chain together bonuses from multiple sources. Getting a +20 or so on the roll really mattered a lot.

The only really huge problem I recall having in WFRP was the infamous "Naked Dwarf Syndrome" due to the fact that a really high Toughness dwarf could effectively ignore most mundane attacks. This could end up being quite ridiculous. However as long as you didn't allow T to get totally out of hand, it ran pretty well with some tweaks.
 
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ilsundal

Villager
There are dwarves with mohawks in Middle Earth?
Hehe, no, but I was refering to the image style. It is far cry from any other image I have ever seen for WFRPG. I am curious as to what this means. Is this going to be the general style in WFRPG4?

My opinion is that this style is great for TOR, but not for WFRPG.
 

barasawa

Explorer
Tunnels & Trolls is pretty much this.
LoL, I was going to mention that exact thing.

Also the latest edition (Deluxe Tunnels & Trolls) also has spite, so for every 6 you rolled on the dice (all d6), you also do a point of damage to the opponent that can't be stopped, even if you lost the combat roll.
 

Psikerlord#

Explorer
Tunnels & Trolls is pretty much this.
Shadowrun melee also works like that - someone almost always hits (except on equal number of successes, but that's very rare). The more I think about it, the more I like it - combat is quicker and deadlier. What's not to like?
 

Yavathol

Explorer
Shadowrun melee also works like that - someone almost always hits (except on equal number of successes, but that's very rare). The more I think about it, the more I like it - combat is quicker and deadlier. What's not to like?
The difficulty with that mechanism is that it works fine for melee attacks, but if you have a ranged attack, does the person just check their ranged attack skill, which may mean attacks are more likely, or does the defender make some kind of opposed roll to dodge, even if he doesn't get to deal damage?
 

Ghost2020

Explorer
Agreed. Keep that art/artist with TOR, the mixing of the styles will create confusion.

That style isn't right for Warhammer FRP
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Folks, the REALLY big news here is *not* advantage! It's THIS:

"When you attack your foe, you both make a Weapon Skill Test and compare your success levels. If the attacker wins they will have the chance to do damage and gain a point of Advantage.
It's an OPPOSED CHECK. So if two equally competent opponents are fighting (say they both have 39% weapon skills), the attacker has a 50% chance of hitting, *not* 39%. In fact, if both skills are equal, it doesn't matter if the two are master swordsmen (75%) or idiots (25%), the chance to hit is still 50%!

THAT is what will reduce the wiff factor, far more than advantage. It also *completely* changes the statistical chances of hitting in combat when two opponents of an unequal skill level square off. Say one opponent has 40% WS and the other 30%. In an opposed check, the better combatant doesn't have a 10% advantage, they have a 19% advantage over the foe (note: this goes from memory, I don't have time to recheck my math this morning)

Lastly, I'll note that there is no mention of parries, dodge etc... could that simply boost your defensive WS instead? If so that could significantly boost combat speed... and again, *really* changes the "outnumbered" dynamics (depending on how it works exactly).

I'm happy there is somewhere to discuss this as the Cubicle 7 forum has closed....

P.S. I think [MENTION=12731]CapnZapp[/MENTION] would be interested by this discussion?
 

Psikerlord#

Explorer
The difficulty with that mechanism is that it works fine for melee attacks, but if you have a ranged attack, does the person just check their ranged attack skill, which may mean attacks are more likely, or does the defender make some kind of opposed roll to dodge, even if he doesn't get to deal damage?
True and that is shadowrun's problem- shooting attacks are very good, melee kind of becomes second rate. But then that is a firearms game. On the other hand, from memory, if you can find cover, it is quite hard to get hit... making melee valuable again (assuming you cant shoot in melee, or very poorly). You could add limiters to shooting to even it out more, eg, you have to take an action to reload after each arrow shot, that sort of thing, so the rate of fire is poor compared to melee. Or perhaps there is a trade off between a vs shooting dodge pool, and a soak armour value vs melee.
 

Daniel D. Fox

Explorer
#WFRP4e information from UK Games Expo! Hugh of the /warhammerfantasyroleplay reddit, who hand-delivered the community scroll to Cubicle 7, is sitting down with Dominic McDowall right now. Here's what Dom had to say to Hugh during the conversation. I am transcribing this LIVE from the Discord chat direct from Hugh:


Reposting this from the Discord server. Hugh is sitting down with Dominic McDowall. Transcribing now...


- The rumour PDF is out this weekend is FALSE, no clue where it came from
- Setting will be 8th edition focus but generally should be backwards compatible
- No era books planned, lots of modern places like regions of the Reik, Lustria, Ultjuan are more the focus
- Starter book is very distinct to core book, it's got simple rules and the adventure but the sourcebook on Ubrtsreik has lots of mileage
- Dom said he would like Lustria personally
- Conversion for 2nd to 4th isn't planned but they'll definetly considrr it if they have time There's like 8 of em
- No gnome sourcebook, sorry Matt
- On Fimir it was, "I know the answer to that but I can't say"
- If they get to do Ulthuan Elf magic is a yes
- They read fan sources a while back and will again on that note
- Core rule book should very much be all you need, lots of spells he said
- Advantage isn't capped They used tokens to track it, dice also work No word on if it's outside of combat
- TEW directors cut will be a prequel setting, still rooted on 1e
But modern otherwise. It will have lots of surprises for people who already played it, no word on specifics like Gideon the person. Who's not anything else. So you can run it again and it's familiar, but new.
- The whole end chapter is being redone! No Empire in Flames and prob no SRiK. Graeme really is doing work
- I spoke about the letter, they're unfamiliar with Discord so for now we'll see
- They cmight not be able to run a contest, needs GW approval. Everything said online needs approval really
But they can easily help out with Five Page Fiction. Like adventure contests, like with previous editipns
- Told him about the Reddit, stuff like Nordsaga
- Talked a bit about Vermin tide, they're buds with Fatshark
- Dom grew up with 1e, he's a huge fan
- And yeah, that's about all I hope I've lifted the veil a little But like they said, GW is watching so all for now!


Now updated and archived here. Thanks again Hugh! https://www.reddit.com/r/warhammerfantasyrpg/comments/8ntbxl/live_qa_report/
 
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Yavathol

Explorer
Great news, thanks Moniker!

The main concern I have is balancing encounters.. The first time I tried to run 3rd edition, the players generated one character with a combat focus and three hunter/peasant/townsfolk characters.
Then, in the first encounter with the beastmen, there was a TPK!!
I know how to adjust encounters, and subsequently did so for other groups, but I wasn't expecting the first encounter of the sample adventure to be like that, and I never convinced that group to try the system again! :-(
 

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