I'm only 4 pages into the combat chapter of HEX and I already can’t get over the Defense mechanic. Why are we required to make extra unnecessary rolls to defend against attacks? In this game, all attacks are opposed rolls which will severely slow down the game. I attack you and get 4 successes, now you roll defense to see if I hit you. Why? Why not use a static modifier like other games? Armor Class, Toughness, or whatever you want to call it. It's a combination of attributes, armor, or anything else used for defensive purposes. Then I started looking at how the Defense Rating is calculated and I was appalled to see that they take two ratings, change their names to confuse you and then combine them together. Defense Rating = Passive Defense + Active Defense - Size. Look though the book and try to find Passive Defense or Active Defense. I found two instances where they explain what they are on pages 47 and 125. Passive Defense = Body rating and Active Defense = Dexterity rating. Now, I've got no problem with combining stats to get a derived secondary statistic but when you start changing names of shit then the meaning starts to get lost. At this point I've only hit the first page of chapter 4 and already I'm jumping around the chapter trying to find the meaning of Defense Rating.
Let's move on to combat maneuvers. Block is a maneuver that foregoes your attack to block all incoming Brawl attacks against you. Ok no problem, but wait, there's more.
Instead of making an attack, your character attempts to block all Brawl attacks made against her during the turn. If she is attacked, make an opposed Brawl roll against her opponent, including any appropriate Defense modifiers. If you roll more successes than her opponent, the blow is blocked and does no damage. If he rolls more successes than you, your character takes damage equal to the number of extra successes he rolled. Normally, only Brawl attacks may be blocked. If your character wants to block a Melee attack she suffers a –2 penalty on the attempt. Special: Because your character is actively trying to block Brawl attacks, her normal Defense rating does not apply. She retains her normal Defense rating against other types of attacks, however."
So, what are the appropriate Defense modifiers that apply if her normal Defense rating does not apply? Well let’s go look for Defense modifiers and see. Guess what, there's 2 pages of modifiers starting on page 125. Luckily there's only a few. Size, Armor, Cover, Multiple Attackers, Wound Penalties, Touch Attacks, and Area of Effect Attacks. Here's my point, it's very difficult for a GM to make decisions on the fly with so many defensive rules. Sure, you can ad lib it on the fly but why should I have to. Give me a +1 or +2 and leave it at that. All of this may sound trivial to you but I'm only 4 pages into the chapter out of 22 pages and I'm already trying to figure out what all this stupid defense shit is all about.
At this point I'm ready to give up and say screw you guys, I'm outta here. I think I'll just put it back on the shelf for a while and come back to it again at a later time.
Dont forget to check out the Nerds-Internationl Virtual Convention (NIV-Con) on March 10th and 11th. It's a great way to meet new people and have a fun time gaming online.