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combat gambits


Simple 2d6 Combat Example: Traditional

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Previously posted was the gritty combat example. This post is the default Simple 2d6 damage system. That sounds rather complex but it really isn’t. The combat system can be tuned with a simple decision.

Will we use Toughness as a “damage buffer”?

In this example we will, and we’ll show how a knightly duel migh play out between highly skilled and heavily armoured opponents.

Melee with Toughness and Gambits

Sir Kraven faces off with Sir Brightheart.

Both are in full field plate amour, wield kite shields, and war hammers. Their plate armour is armour value (AV) 5, the kite shield adds 2 AV, and 2 Melee. War Hammers are “Savage” which means any damage getting through can ignore 2 points of Toughness (Tuf) – which is the same as adding 2 points of damage that penetrates armour. Both Kraven and Brightheart have Melee +9, so with the kite shield, they have +11. Dangerous and skilled fighters, both.

They roll.

Kraven rolls 8, and Brightheart, 10. that’s 19 vs. 21. Brighthearts blow is caught by Kraven’s shield (AV:2).

They roll.

Kraven totals 20 and Brightheart 17. Kraven’s blow slips past the shield but Brighthearts polished field plate amour turns it aside.

At this point you might be able to see that Kraven and Brightheart will be fighting a long time. What needs to happen is that one rolls very high at the same time the other rolls very low. That’s where Gambits come into play.


Kraven curls his lip in disgust and growls. His player prepares the Gambit (7). Brightheart hears the growl and also prepares a Gambit (7).

They roll.

Kraven rolls a 3, adds 11, for 14.

Brightheart doesn’t do much better, with a total of 17.

Both combatants used Gambits, but Brightheart won. That means his result is increased by both Gambits, adding 14 to his result. A total of 17 damage! Kraven’s shield and his plate armour provide AV combined of 7 leaving 10 points. Kraven’s toughness is high, at 9, but not that high. He takes a Wound and is at –1.

Gambits must be declared (ideally in secret) before the combat roll.

Now Kraven is adding 10.

Brightheart, buoyed with confidence, takes a Gambit of 5. Kraven is fearful and does not take a Gambit at all.

They roll.

Brightheart rolls a 10 and Kraven only a 4. That’s 21 vs. 14. Brightheart’s Gambit of 5 brings the damage on Kraven up to 12. After AV Kraven suffers 6 points. Since he’s already had his Tuf exceeded he takes those as Wounds, and is now at –7. Brightheart’s victory seems assured.


In this example we can see that a battle which may have lasted dozens of rounds can be cut short with Gambits. By risking damage for the chance to inflict greater damage the combat is made more deadly: especially when both combatants perform Gambits at the same time.

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Combat Gambits: Simple 2d6


An optional rule for the idea of Gambits in combat. That is taking a risk to increase damage inflicted at the risk of having increase damage if the bout is lost.

Optional: Gambits
Heavily armoured combatants who are equally skilled will fight for a long time unless one is lucky at the same time as the other is unlucky. It is possible for combatants to attempt a gambit to increase their inflicted damage should they win a bout. This is done at the expense of having the same risk to self if they lose the bout. If both parties are performing gambits then they are cumulative. This can even carry over into multiple combatant situations.

Example: Sir Rufus takes a gambit against Sir Blackheart. The gambit is for 4 points. If Sir Rufus wins the bout he increases his inflicted damage by four points. If he loses the bout Sir Blackheart increases the damage he inflicts by four points.

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