While going over some of the rules regarding use of the Combat Attributes I devised forever and a day ago, I realized I never went in-depth on how “countering, evading, blocking, or absorbing” attacks was supposed to work. Well, this post wasn’t technically possible before, so I’ll write it now that I have the relevant info.

I’ve discussed the tactical roles before — harrier, charger, keeper, trapper, and seeker — and a bit about what they’re supposed to do (some shenanigans about “shock and awe,” “advance and hold,” that kind of thing) and each of them has a distinct defensive style, should they choose to employ it.

Now, I want to talk a bit about what those defensive styles are, and where they come into play tactically. First, we need to assume for at least four sorts of things, and I’ll use Dungeons & Dragons as a reference point. This example calls for four kinds of numbers, which will be referred to as, Attack, Defense, Damage, and Health.

When it’s your turn, you can declare an Attack. An Attack targets an opponent, and they choose a Defense to use against it. Hit or miss, the Attack deals Damage, which reduces the target’s Health. Those are the basic relationships between numbers.

Harriers use a kind of defense referred to as Evasion. Any time an Attack is caused to miss by proper use of Defense, it’s said to be Evaded. The Attack misses, and other effects are often linked to whether the attack hits or misses.

Chargers use a kind of defense referred to as Absorption. Any time an Attack hits, but deals less than normal Damage, it’s said to have been Absorbed. The Attack hits, but effects are used to minimize its impact on the target’s Health.

Keepers use a kind of defense referred to as Blocking. Every Blocked Attack is considered a hit, but the main advantage is the target they hit — Keepers draw attacks to themselves, usually to gain some other advantage.

Trappers use a kind of defense referred to as Countering. Countered Attacks are guaranteed to land, but not before the defender has the chance to “strike back first.” They may eliminate their attacker, but if they don’t, they’ll take a hit.

Finally, Seekers have a kind of defense called Canceling. Canceling an Attack requires an enormous upfront investment, usually of Health, and it prevents the Attack from even initiating. The drawback is that it may cost more Health than a hit.

…And that’s all for Defenses now. Some of them are represented by more than one option, of course, such as the case of Absorption, in which damage is prevented through Temporary Health (above and beyond normal Health) or Resistance, a flat-rate reduction of sustained Damage.