|Real life example of a feint.|
Today, I do little reflection on Feints and try to make them work for me.
|Fundamentals of feinting are|
in the Basic Set - Campaigns
- Feints are described on p. 365 of Basic Set - Campaigns. In a nutshell it is a maneuver that can be done to trade an attack for lowered defenses, and can be considered a pretty fundamental building block of GURPS combat strategy.
- A technique to perform a feint at even better than weapon skill can also be found on p. 231 of Basic Set - Characters. This is specialized per weapon skill.
- A feint takes an entire "attack" maneuver to perform, so can be done either as the sole attack of a turn, part of a Double All-Out-Attack, part of a Rapid Strike or, by extension, a Combination Attack from Martial Arts or as one attack as part of the Extra Attack advantage.
- The benefits of a feint are non-transferrable, and expire in a single turn.
A Little Bit Less Than Basic
- Martial Arts has some options to modify the rules for feints. See Acrobatic Feints (p.51) and Teamwork (p.52) for some perks to change some of the fundamental rules of feints.
- Beats and Ruses are slight derivations of feints that use many of the same rules but bases skill rolls on different attributes, which can potentially make the feint maneuver useful to characters without exceptional DX. Rules for Beats and Ruses can be found on pp. 100-101.
- The section on designing new techniques (p. 89,) has rules for creating new techniques involving feints as well.
- Pages 100 and 101 include information for countering feints, using feints for different purposes, and good roleplaying hints for managing feints.
- A feint cannot be used with a telegraphic attack (p. 113)
- p.121 has rules for using feints with ranged attacks.
|Useful advanced options for|
making feints more useful or
nuanced in here.
Strategic ApplicationA feint therefore seems useful in a situation where all or a majority of the following are true:
- Skill is not high enough to perform an effective deceptive attack
- Evaluate is risky because the enemy is aggressive and one's own defenses are not especially high
- Defeating the enemy quickly is not likely (Too many hit points, High DR)
- Taking advantage of attacking a weak spot is not easy (360 degree vision, bad terrain, one-to-one fight)
- It is necessary to hit a specific difficult hit location on an opponent with good active defenses (For example, the eye, or chinks in armor.)
- An opponent has an especially dangerous active defense (aggressive parries, weapons against bare handed attacks)
- A deceptive attack alone is not good enough to batter active defenses
- During a 1 on 1 duel against a highly competent opponent where one can ignore other dangerous distractions. [Thanks, forum buddies for the last three!]
- An opponent's active defenses are disproportionately high compared to their skill level. (Using fencing weapons and shields or magic.)
- High attack skill to enable rapid strikes (Straightforward, and not especially expensive)
- Trained by a Master or Weapon Master to lower rapid strike penalties (Somewhat expensive, but the advantages come with several other benefits, so a lot of characters want or have them anyways - easier rapid strikes is a perk alongside those benefits)
- Combination Attack techniques to remove penalties (Most reliable, but probably the least flexible)
- Teamwork enables a synergistic strategy that helps two well synchronized characters play off each other's setups.
- Anything that enables extra attack maneuvers like Altered Time Rate or Extra Attack (Very expensive, but like Trained by a Master or Weapon Master, they both come with a variety of other benefits, and are pretty flexible.)
Final Thoughts and Conclusion
- Magical enemies with a single glowing weak-spot, a la video games.
- A very well balanced knight wearing decent armor.