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I'm running a d6 based star wars game (Second Edition, blue cover) and the combat system is still a bit befuddling; which is annoying me as the combat is becoming a roll the dice and work it out affair as opposed to a story mechanic as I have to think too much.

As I read it; if you shoot at someone then the base target number is dependant on range -unless they dodge - in which case that replaces the target number (unless it's lower?) If they're in cover then they get a bonus dice roll to the top of this (too much rolling!) which if this is beaten they get hit, or if it's less than their dodge before the cover bonus it hits the cover and has to damage that before it hits them.

Melee seems to be a straight dodge vs. melee roll, but I'm unsure what happens if they're not dodging.

Can anyone clarify I've read these correctly? It's annoying me now as it seems every time I read the rules I think it's done slightly different.

The d6 star wars rules are functionally the same as d6 space (available here for reference) I believe.

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D6 space is fundamentally the same rules, but the dodge rules are not consistent between editions. –  aramis Mar 29 '12 at 1:06
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To begin with, the D6 space rules actually differ a bit from Star Wars D6. I'm not sure if it matters for this particular question (I haven't fully read through D6 Space), but it's worth being aware of.

This answer is based on the Second Edition, Revised and Expanded rules (Color Millennium Falcon cover; the most recent prior to D6 Space).

Basic Targetting

For ranged, the difficulty is based on the range to your target (page 88). Point-blank is Very Easy, medium range is Moderate, etc.

The actual distance defined as point-blank, medium, etc. varies from weapon to weapon. For example, a Bowcaster is listed as having a range of 3-10/30/50. This means that 0-3 meters is point-blank, 3-10 meters is short range, 10-30 meters is medium range, and 30-50 meters is long range.

For melee, the difficulty to hit is listed on the weapon (page 89). A vibro-ax is a moderate difficulty to hit with. A knife is a very easy difficulty.

Resisting Targets

Characters can use reaction skills to make themselves harder to hit (page 79). This is generally going to be either dodge, melee parry, or brawling parry.

When someone attacks you, but before you know if they hit, you can declare a reaction. This uses either one of your pre-declared actions or can be a new action (your choice). Multiple action penalties apply to the reaction, and if you make it a new action while you have other actions remaining the reaction adds to the multiple action penalty for those additional actions.

The reaction roll replaces your base target number to be hit. Even if it's lower. And it applies to all further attacks of that type in the round. A bad reaction roll can potentially be bad news (although the difficulties in ranged combat are generally pretty low to begin with).

The reaction skills are summarized on pages 89 and 90. Note that dodge is exclusively for ranged attacks and grenades. Ducking out of the way of a knife is brawling parry, not dodge.

Modifiers

There are a few modifiers that apply on top of reaction skill use.

Unarmed vs. Armed -- When armed, attacking or parrying against an unarmed opponent gains a static bonus (melee parry gets +5 vs. unarmed opponents, brawling parry grants armed opponents a +10 bonus). Just add this in when it's appropriate (page 90).

Cover -- Usually if you have cover from one person, you'll have it against everyone. When this isn't the case, you have a few options:

  • Roll the dodge and cover separately. Keep track of both numbers and apply as appropriate.

  • Roll the dodge during the first attack. During each attack impacted by cover, have the player roll his cover dice whenever he would otherwise be hit.

If the attacker beats the target number to hit the character (i.e. their dodge in most cases) but misses due to cover, they hit what the character was hiding behind. If it's something that can be damaged, they roll to damage the cover (page 93-94).

Full Reaction

The final piece to the reaction skill puzzle is full reactions. This represents going entirely on the defensive. A full reaction can be the only action taken in the round, but adds the base difficulty to hit to the reaction skill (page 90). Note that a full dodge precludes parrying (and vice versa).

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Excellent answer; thanks, clarifies and cross-references everything - it's all clear now - cheers! –  Rob Mar 28 '12 at 14:33
    
Subnote: printing this out as a cheat sheet for tonights game when they open the prisoner ship doors and find ~just~ what's in there... ;) –  Rob Mar 28 '12 at 16:10
    
@Rob Note that I'm using a different edition than you are (according to your comment on Aramis's answer), so the page references are likely to be off. There are also a few rules differences (in my edition dodge replaces target number, in yours dodge replaces target number only if it's higher). –  AceCalhoon Mar 29 '12 at 13:28
    
Noted but my frustration with the rules was such I wanted a concrete version one way or another and I've basically now done cheat sheets for the players so they can see how it all works, no more questions, no more worries! Cheers again! –  Rob Mar 29 '12 at 13:50
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Having some familiarity with this system, I also went back to doublecheck the system before answering. In general, your combat scenarios are going to take place between Point Blank and Short range. The only exceptions you'll normally see are when a character or two decide they want to do some sniping, but either way, you should just plop in the middle of the range (3/8/13/18). Now, the game lists two defense variants. Both work with the exact same base: the target rolls their defense/dodge skill plus cover and/or modifiers. These are arbitrary bonuses that you, the GM, can decide but try to be consistent. Where the "Full" and "normal" defense types differ comes down to the "Full" defense adds the range penalty for the attacker to the defender's roll. Someone in the normal defense mode takes the highest number between their roll and the range modifier - so at medium range with clear terrain, poor sap #1 rolls an 8 for his dodge attempt, and thus his difficulty to be hit defaults to 13. If he were in Full Defense it would be a 21.

Quite frankly, in my gaming circles we just used the range difficulty numbers for still targets, and defaulted people to Normal Defense.

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Aha, that makes it a bit more clear - the full defence is one of the bits that I wasn't sure what they meant. How about melee? –  Rob Mar 28 '12 at 12:36
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Which edition are you playing?

The truth is, it varies by which sub-edition you're using.

In all of them, the TN is changed. Either the defense adds to the range, or replaces the range, and you compare the original attack roll against the adjusted TN.

Non-defense melee is usually TN5, but it can vary by weapon. Lightsabers have a higher TN of 15, for example, and axes are 10. This is used as if "range" for all the discussion purposes.

In all cases, dodge is only vs ranged weapons, parry only versus melee weapons.

1E: Core only

Dodge/parry adds to all opponent's TN's to be hit that segment against that kind of weapon.

Shield reaction TN by range. Success adds shield's rating to hull code for damage for one attacker.

No Haste action; Everyone's first action comes in segment 1; second actions in segment 2, etc.

1.1E: 1E Core plus Rules Upgrade flyer

Full dodge/full-parry/full-evasion introduced. Adds roll to TNs to be hit for whole round.

Reaction dodges/parries/evasions replace TN to be hit from range, but only for one attacker.

Shield reaction TN by attacker's roll. Success adds shield's rating to hull code for damage for one attacker.

Haste Actions merely move you to front of the queue.

1.5E: 1E Core plus Rules Companion

Full dodge/full-parry/full-evasion included. Adds roll to TNs to be hit for whole round. Only allowed to be combined with a single move action.

Reaction dodges/parries/evasions replace TN to be hit from range, but only for one attacker.

Shield reaction TN by attacker's roll. Success adds shield's rating to hull code for damage for one attacker.

Haste Actions move to front of queue, but full-round and reaction defenses have to be hasted to be able to affect hasted attacks.

2.0E: Core Rules (Blue cover)

Full dodge/full-parry/full-evasion included. Adds roll to TNs to be hit for whole round. Only allowed to be combined with a single move action.

Reaction dodges/parries/evasions replace TN to be hit from range for rest of round. Use better of roll or range based TN.

Shields are full round action, TN by number of facings applied to. Success adds shield's rating to hull code for damage for one attacker. No haste action.

2.5E: 2E Revised and Expanded (Color Cover)

No full round defenses. No haste.

Reaction defenses replace TN to be hit, even if lower!

Shields are full round action, TN by number of facings applied to. Success adds shield's rating to hull code for damage for one attacker.

d6 Space

Melee to hit: 10
ranged to Hit 5 to 20 (10+ modifier on page 73)

Full Defense: TN 10+Defense Roll, no other actions.

Partial Defense: replaces range based TN on all attacks.

No reaction defenses.

Shield difficulty by number of faces covered. (p.70)

Note: D6 space also has different damage systems

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+1 for excellent multi-edition reply! I'm Playing 2.0E Blue cover. –  Rob Mar 29 '12 at 7:25
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