# Simultaneous Action's Effects on Movement and Targeting

I have a question about the order of resolution when a PC and opponent have equal initiative in a given round. Page 100 of the manual state that combatant with equal numbers act simultaneously. This is pretty straightforward when two combatants are both engaged and choose to attack, one simply resolves both attacks and deals damage accordingly. However, when opponents are not engaged it gets slightly more muddled.

Assuming a player or monster have declared retreat prior to initiative but rolls initiative equal to a pursuer. If the retreat movement would take the retreating entity out of the pursuing entity’s charge range but they move simultaneously, does the attack still go through?

Assume there is a wounded character, a defending fighter, and an attacking monster. The defending fighting and the monster roll an identical, higher initiative number than the wounded character. If the monster attempts to move to engage the wounded character is the defending fighter also allowed to move to intercept and engage the attacking monster?

Assuming identical initiative, if the movements of a ranged attack target would cause the range increment to change, do we measure the distance according to the target’s original space, end space, or the mean of both?

Perhaps a better way to put example two is: Do we resolve the status effect “engaged” any time any hostile character moves within 5’ of another or just at the end of a movement? If the former, whenever two actors could move simultaneously, then any “intercepting” action might serve to negate an attackers ability to move to their designated target.

You would resolve the effect of “engaged” any time a hostile character moves within 5’ of another.

EXAMPLE: Athelstan stands in the middle of a 10’ wide corridor. An ogre is 30’ north of him, and Clovis, a badly wounded mage, is 30’ south of him. The ogre acts first, and charges towards Clovis (60’ away). The ogre cannot reach Clovis because it will become engaged by Athelstan - there is no way to pass him in the corridor without getting within 5’.

If a combatant wants to move through an opponent without stopping to fight him, this is an overrun. In the example above, the ogre could overrun Athelstan to get to Clovis.

A more complex example would be as follows:

EXAMPLE: Athelstan stands in the middle of a 10’ wide corridor. An ogre is 60’ north of him, and Clovis, a badly wounded mage, is 15’ north of him. Athelstan and the ogre act simultaneously. The ogre charges towards Clovis (45’ away from it) and Athelstan moves forward to protect Clovis. Athelstan’s movement rate is 60’ and the ogres is 90’ per round.

The rules as written do not address this situation clearly. When it arises in my own campaigns, I typically will estimate where the two combatants would end up based on their relative movement rates and the distances involved.

So in the example above, I might start by having each combatant move 1/6th of his movement. The ogre would advance 15’, and be 30’ north of Clovis. Athelstan would advance 10’ and be 5’ south of Clovis. Since they weren’t engaged yet, I’d repeat. The ogre would advance another 15’ and be 15’ north of Clovis, and Athelstan would advance another 10’, and be 5’ north of Clovis. Since there’s still no engagement, so I’d repeat, advancing them perhaps 1/24th of their movement. The ogre would advance 3.75’ and Athelstan would advance 2.5’ feet, putting the ogre at 11.25’ north of Clovis and Athelstan at 7.5’ north of Clovis - engaged.

This is more-or-less the method Car Wars uses to resolve phased movement of vehicles. It’s very slow, but precise. I don’t mind doing arithmetic in play for important fights, but many people dislike it. You could use this as a simple rule instead:

Have the simultaneous combatants roll a tie-breaker. Give a +1 bonus to the combatant with the faster movement rate, and another +1 bonus to the combatant who is closer to his desired final position.

Assuming a player or monster have declared retreat prior to initiative but rolls initiative equal to a pursuer. If the retreat movement would take the retreating entity out of the pursuing entity’s charge range but they move simultaneously, does the attack still go through?

If you use my mathematical method, the pursuer would get an attack off. If you use the tie-breaking method, the two combatants would make a tie-breaker. The retreater would get +1 (for faster initiative) but the pursuer would get +1 (because he has less distance to move than the retreater, as he is already in position to attack, e.g. he needn’t move at all to attack).

Assume there is a wounded character, a defending fighter, and an attacking monster. The defending fighting and the monster roll an identical, higher initiative number than the wounded character. If the monster attempts to move to engage the wounded character is the defending fighter also allowed to move to intercept and engage the attacking monster?

If you use the mathematical method, it would be based on the geometry of their positions and their respective movement rates. With the tie-breaking method, you’d roll dice.

Assuming identical initiative, if the movements of a ranged attack target would cause the range increment to change, do we measure the distance according to the target’s original space, end space, or the mean of both?

If you use the mathematical method I’d probably base the range on one-half of the target’s movement rate. If you use the tie-breaking method you’d roll dice.

These sort of situations are by far the most complex and difficult for any initiative system to resolve.

Thank you for the in depth response. I’m really trying to get into the meat of the system and this resolves my conceptions nicely.

Personally, the method I use for simultaneous movement and figuring out the intersect point is to define the faster person in terms of 5’ moved (I tend to use 1 square = 5 foot grids for combat, so I will refer to this as ‘squares’) per 5’ moved of the slower person.

That is, using the ogre:human example, the ogre moves 90’ per round and the human moves 60’ per round. For each square the human moves, the ogre can move 1.5 squares.

So I would move each of them 1 square, then the ogre 2 and the human 1, and so on, and they stop where they intersect.

I find it lazier than actually doing math to figure out the exact intersect point, while also providing enough detail for me to be ok with it.

And I’d just roughly eyeball it: “The ogre is moving 50% faster than the human, so they’d meet up about here.” pointing at a spot on the map that’s about halfway between the two, but shifted a bit towards the human

How do all of you handle call order in that case? Since actions taken simultaneously can interfere with each other, there is an information advantage gained by actors who call second within the same initiative number.

I generally have already decided what monsters will do before asking players for their declarations, so, from there, it’s just a matter of everyone trusting the GM to not change those plans based on players’ declarations.

As far as declaration sequencing among the players, I don’t consider that an issue, since they’re generally on the same side and will not deliberately interfere with each other, so they can declare in whatever order they like.

And one last initiative query if anyone has encountered this situation. Can one “preemptively” call defensive movement?

Assume there is a range character and a melee character within charging range of each other. If the ranged fighter assumes that they will lose the initiative but is not currently engaged, may they call defensive movement anyway?

This would allow players interested in retreat a method of moving essentially without fear of being pinned down; although it does force the move action on their part regardless. I am disinclined to allow it, but don’t know if I’m splitting hairs.

I would allow it, but, yes, they would be forced to move away at half speed and not be able to attack unless someone pursued them.

Note, though, that if the archer doesn’t retreat, he’d still get a shot off before being attacked, even if he lost initiative. (ACKS core, p.101: “if a combatant has a missile weapon readied at the beginning of round and is not engaged in melee, he can fire at a closing opponent on the closing opponent’s number even if the combatant rolled lower for initiative.”)

Oh, I forgot that rule. Makes my hypo pretty unnecessary. Thanks.