At start a few terms are defined, and the basic idea of rolling your attack dice and comparing them to the opponent's result. Most interesting here is the concept of Spite.
When you roll a 6 on a die in combat, something special happen. You might have found a weakness, or just made a very precise strike. Any dice with sixes total up, and ignore armor! Suddenly even the "tin box" Warrior isn't safe! This is a very good addition, and a common house rule for fifth ed games. I really like it. Apparently the idea to let it be the trigger for special effects was not Ken's idea, but came from FDP. Also very nifty. Talk a walk into House Rule territory and you can have it trigger effects on magic items as well.
Then we have something which I find interesting. In T&T there is a combat turn sequence, and everything that happen in combat happen in a specific order. For many gamers the way you act in combat is all dependent on initiative, and not what you do. Older editions of D&D do like T&T, and Rolemaster have some very involved and quite quaint ways to structure a combat round. Me, I'm most at home in an initiative based round. Still, I like the way it works in T&T.
Worth noting in the section about the round, is the length of it. The official length is 2 minutes! Compare that to GURPS where a round is 1 second! The difference in length of combat rounds never cease to amaze me.
Let's take a look at something Ken writes here, which I think is the core of the whole game system:
Every combat is different, and it is your job as a gamer and judge to adjust the details in your mind so it makes sense. Visualize the fight, and you won't have to be told that Mungo the Hobb did 11 points of damage to the giant with a sneak attack to the ankle. What else could Mungo reach? When the giant falls down, our doughty little warrior might want to start attacking the giant's head. Let him.
The action takes place in your imagination, not in a blow-by-blow manner. And remember, you can try anything in combat, and the DM will deal with it. He may call for a Saving Roll to see how well you succeed, but go ahead, be creative and tricky. The game will be more fun.Notice how it's phrased. It's your job! The game is a creative endeavour, and I really love the phrase "you can try anything in combat". This is the core of the T&T experience for me. We get a toolbox, and an inspired example of how to invent stuff and have fun. While it's damn obvious I think we need to be reminded sometimes of how essential this is. You know to make the best pecan pie in the world? Make it count in combat. You can.
The last part of this section before we start in Saving Rolls are Missile Combat. Even though the rules have been fairly stable, missile combat seem to change a bit almost every edition. Now it's a DEX (or Talent) based SR to hit, based on range, and that's it. It works.
Next week: Saving Rolls!