The 4th edition of my Landshut Rules have been available for free download for a couple of days now. One of the biggest changes were the "alternative combat rules":
This is free kriegsspiel in its purest form. Let's take a closer look:
"Use common sense and do not roll dice to attack."
For many roleplayers, this is heresy. After all, part of the fun is rolling dice, right? Yes, indeed. But still, playing free kriegsspiel-style is interesting because it forces players to act tactically in combat. All-out attacks are rarely a sensible thing to do, except when you find yourself in a vastly superior position.
"Damage is dealt without rolling against each other"
Now we're talking. So, we have decided to not roll to hit – but we can, of course (if we want to) roll for damage. This brings back a degree of uncertainty, and I like that.
"(damage) happens simultaneously – the referee judges the players’ narration and interprets it accordingly and fairly."
Now this is interesting. Instead of rolling initiative or drawing cards, narration decides who hits when, but all damage happens in one "round". Last man standing.
Of course, if you want to keep initiative rolls, you can always do that.
For Troika! combat, keeping the initiative cards is key!
How do I incorporate this rule in my Troika! games?
Let's say there is a Troika! Chaos Champion (Skill 6, Stamina 20, 3 Maul Fighting) fighting against a Man-Beast (Skill 8, Stamina 11, Armor 1, Modest Beast damage)
Turn 1: I draw Chaos Champion's card. He hits with damage 1 (rolled a 2 on the damage table, but Man-Beast's armor reduces it to 1). Man-Beast's STA is now 10.
Turn 2: It's Man-Beast's turn. It rolls a 2 on the damage table: 6. Chaos Champion now has STA 14.
Turn 3: End of Round.
Turn 4: Man-Beast hits with 4 points damage. Chaos Champion now has STA 10. Man-Beast has 10, as well.
Turn 5: End of Round
Turn 6: Chaos Champion hits with 3 damage. Man-Beast is down to STA 7.
Turn 7: Chaos Champion again, with 2 damage. Man-Beast is now at ST 5.
Turn 8: Man-Beast hits with 8 damage. Chaos Champion now has STA 2 left.
Turn 9: Man-Beast hits again, with 6 points damage. Chaos Champion is dead.
What would I do if the involved parties have a huge Skill disparity?
Simple enough. I'd roll the Luck Die, and adjust the rolls according to the skill gap between the combatants. For instance:
An unlucky Thaumaturge (Skill 4, Stamina 20, no fighting skill, with a sword) fighting against a Man-Beast (Skill 8, Stamina 11, Armor 1, Modest Beast damage). My ruling would be: there's a 4 in 6 chance that the Thaumaturge really hits when his initiative card is drawn.
Let's shuffle the cards and go!
Turn 1: Man-Beast hits with 8. Thaumaturge's STA is now 12.
Turn 2: Thaumaturge's card turns up, I roll a 3: yes, he hits! 4 damage. Man-Beast's STA is down to 7.
Turn 3: Man-Beast hits with 8 again. Thaumaturge's STA is 4.
Turn 4: End of Round.
Turn 5: Thaumaturge hits (rolled 3) with 6 damage. Man-Beast now has STA 1 left.
Turn 6: Man-Beast hits with 8. Thaumaturge now has STA 4.
Turn 7: Thaumaturge MISSES (rolled a 5).
Turn 8: Man-Beast hits again, with 6 damage. Thaumaturge is dead.