I'm looking at the WIP rules for Delving & Exploration and have a question about how melee combat is resolved.
p.25 "Once a melee is commenced, rounds of blows are exchanged until either side is slain, flees, or surrenders, or until ten rounds of blows have been fought."
Am I correct in reading this as being in one turn sequence rather than across the combat as a whole?
For example, let's say a level 1 fighter is squaring off against a brigand. We get to the melee segment of the first turn of combat. Before we move on to the next turn sequence where others can move, cast spells, or shoot missiles, these two are going to have a decisive combat over multiple melee rounds where one side triumphs (or they both last 10 rounds!).
Rather than the more common "I attack, you attack, move on" single round of melee each turn?
I'd like to work through a mock combat just to get used to hewing closer to Chainmail in v5. I'd appreciate any help clearing this up!
Last Edit: Aug 23, 2020 9:27:21 GMT -6 by MiltonMan
Post by waysoftheearth on Aug 23, 2020 3:22:44 GMT -6
Hey MiltonMan, welcome to the boards and thanks for your interest in DD.
Let me go re-read it and come back to you shortly...
Edit: Okay, so a couple of things to be aware of. Firstly, the entirety of the figures-based, CM-esque combat procedure will appear in an appendix in the next WiP release. The main rules retain a "theatre-of-the-mind" combat outline which will be more familiar to most readers. Secondly, I have reverted to the (more commonly used, I believe) move-counter-move system rather than the simultaneous movement system as this a) eliminates the initial declaration of orders, and b) includes the initiative-like die to determine which side moves first.
That said... it has been a few years since I thought about this seriously, but I do recall that the seemingly arbitrary "10" melee rounds being troublesome. In practice, I've rarely needed 10 rounds of melee. FWIW, here are the notes I have on that section:
Melee is resolved as either normal combat, or else fantastic combat. Once a melee is commenced, rounds of blows are exchanged until either side is slain, flees, or surrenders, or until ten rounds of blows have been fought.
 M&T p5 (Attack/Defense): <<capabilities versus normal men are simply a matter of allowing one roll as a man-type for every hit die...>> explicitly details a procedure for combat versus normals, which differs from the "regulation" D&D procedure for handling fantastic combat involving heroes, wizards, and fantastic monsters. This dichotomy is rooted in Chainmail's distinct combat procedures for normal and fantastic combat. (Note also FAQ).
 Implicit in the CM turn sequence (CM p5). Not germane to these rules, but note also DALM (Melees with Hand Weapons): <<Fighting will continue until either one of the characters surrender or run, or one is killed>>, and Holmes p21: <<MELEE RESOLUTION---CONQUER, WITHDRAW, SURRENDER OR DIE!>>.
 U&WA p8 (The Move/Turn in the Underworld): <<There are ten rounds of combat per turn>>. Observing that melee can be (and typically is) resolved in fewer than ten rounds of blows, it is clear that there are not always ten rounds of combat to the turn. DD therefore presumes ten to be the maximum number of rounds of blows that can be exchanged within the melee segment of a combat turn. This ensures that melee will certainly be fast and furious; c.f. U&WA p8 <<Melee is fast and furious>>.
So, to answer your specific question: Yes. I believe that the fighter and brigand would exchange blows until a decisive result was achieved.
However, with the additional agency granted to figures in the RPG context a "decisive result" includes withdrawal and surrender. It's less obvious how morale should work for one-on-one combat but, in theory, morale checks due to excess "loss" could be triggered at any moment during the melee segment. So... even a lone (NPC) brigand could surrender or flee upon being hit, attacked, or even just approached by a menacing figure.