Since defenders are able to oppose with both dodge and opposed weapon skill in combat, what is really the use of the parry skill?


3 Answers 3


There are several factors:

  • Parry isn't just for defense, and because the Parry skill can be used with any one handed weapon with the Defensive quality, which basically means Shields.
  • Weapons in the Parry class have special features which make them appealing (eg. Defensive, Trap-Blade - see p.298).
  • Parry is based upon WS stat, Dodge is Agility stat. The difference in stat and advanced in Parry might make the character's parry higher.
  • many Talents have special actions allowed when defending which are not valid if dodging. Sometime you can't dodge. e.g. very tight areas (although this is an assumption, not RAW).
  • Shields grant a bonus to defense, as do weapons with the defensive quality. However the character must have a minimum of one advance in the skill to gain the bonus, as without the advance they must ignore all the weapon qualities and accept all the flaws.

I don't have the book readily available, but what I can say is:

  1. Not every class has the dodge skill, mainly the non-fighting ones have it. So your knight is awful at dodging. Moreover, some fighting class cannot improve their Agility, but most can improve their WS. So dodging is that much worse in the long run for them.
  2. If you do not have the parry skill, using a shield in your off hand suffers a -20 for all your combat checks, like parrying. If you have the parry skill, all weapons with the defensive trait can be used off hand to parry without the malus, and without the need for the dual wielding feats.
  3. It is added to your WS for parry checks, like other skills.

If you are not planning on using a shield or a main gauche, you would be better off using the melee skills for your weapons. But I think that you at least need one point in parry to be able to use it. Since it falls under the category melee (any), it is not that hard to get.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ In 4th edition all classes can learn all basic skills(and advanced with teachers) but for double the exp cost. The use of shield would be a valid point, but if I am not mistaken the parry skill is a basic skill therefore all classes start with at least their WS in parry. \$\endgroup\$
    – Hiplobbe
    Commented Aug 29, 2019 at 10:28

After checking the rulebook I've found this...


Any one-handed weapon with the Defensive Quality can be used with Melee (Parry). When using Melee (Parry), a weapon can be used to Oppose an incoming attack without the normal –20 offhand penalty



Defensive weapons are designed to parry incoming attacks. If you are wielding such a weapon, gain a bonus of +1 SL to any Melee Test when you oppose an incoming attack.

So the real answer to my question would be "Because that is the weapon skill you use for weapons under the parry category, it is not used for a third defense option.".


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