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On p. 159-60 of the Rulebook:

Criticals

Any successful Melee or Ranged Test that also rolls a double causes a Critical. This means you have dealt a significant blow, and it even happens when you are the defender in an opposed Test.

If you score a Critical, your opponent receives an immediate Critical Wound as your weapon strikes true. See page 172 for more on what this means. Beyond that, SL is calculated as normal, as is who wins any Opposed Tests.

My understanding of this is that, RAW, even if a combatant loses their Opposed Melee Test, but rolls a critical, the "opponent receives an immediate Critical Wound as your weapon strikes true." So, for example:

Alice, human soldier with Melee (Basic) 45, is being attacked by a goblin, WS 25. The goblin rolls 11, and so has SL +1 and a Critical. Alice uses her Shield (2) with Melee (Basic) to oppose the attack and rolls 15, and so with SL +3, wins the Opposed Melee Test and successfully defends. However, because of his Critical, the goblin proceeds to roll on the Critical Table for a Critical Hit, doing not just wounds but potentially permanent damage or death to Alice regardless.

This resolution to the combat seems counter-intuitive to me. Of course, I understand that combat and wounds are intentionally perilous in WFRP. However, this example just doesn't make narrative sense to me, and I feel like I'm missing something.

Does the loser of an Opposed Melee Test make Critical Hits against the winner?

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The example is horrible.

That said, Yes, they do. You quoted the rule and there is nothing in the book that takes that sentence back or corrects it. The other way round is the same, you can fumble and still win the opposed roll:

During an Opposed test, it is possible to Fumble and still win if you score a higher SL than your opponent.

Source: Box "Opposed Tests and fumbles" on page 160

If you get hit by an attack, you can take a hit on your armor instead of the critical:

Critical Deflection

This only occurs should you choose it to. If you suffer a Critical Wound from an incoming attack on a location protected by armour, you can choose to let your armour be damaged by 1AP in order to ignore the Critical Wound.

Source: Page 299

The wording isn't entirely clear, you could easily read it as this is only an option for attacks against you, not a defenders critical roll. But at my table, you can use that any time you get critically hit, because I don't see how armor would magically understand whose turn it was.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. At least I know I understood the wording correctly, I thought I was misunderstanding something important. A question on Fortune, though, which may deserve a proper question of its own: can you actually spend your Fortune to force another character to reroll the critical? That's not "Reroll a failed Test", one of the three options on p.170 for ways to spend Fortune. \$\endgroup\$ – Johnny Jun 8 at 8:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ hm, that is indeed a good question, we have a long standing, system spanning rule of "every player rolls their own criticals" so it's never the evil GM behind the screen that kills a character with a secret dice roll. I will look it up. \$\endgroup\$ – nvoigt Jun 8 at 9:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Johnny I reread the chapter and yes you are right. I removed that sentence, it's a houserule we have played with for so long I didn't recognize it as such. \$\endgroup\$ – nvoigt Jun 8 at 9:55

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