Monday, December 13, 2010

Grabs in Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game

Sustained Holds in Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game

This is a short comparative analysis of Sustained Holds, such as the Head Butt Hold, Braincracker, etc., in Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game. This comparison limits itself only to the special maneuver listed in the core book, Secrets of the Shadoloo, and the Storyteller’s Screen in their original forms.

Here are the corebook’s sustained holds in summary format:

Name
Cost
Spd
Dmg
Mv
Effects
Grab





Bear Hug
-
-1
+3
One
Hold
Head Butt Hold
-
-1
+3
One
Hold
Neck Choke
-
-1
+3
One
Hold
Knee Basher
-
-1
+4
One
Hold, KD, use Kick for Dmg
Brain Cracker
-
+0
+2
One
Hold, use Punch for Dmg
Stomach Pump
-
+0
+4
One
Hold
Head Bite
-
+1
+3
One
Hold
Iron Claw
W 1st
+1
+4
One
Hold

There are not very many sustained holds in the core books. In fact, as Bear Hug, Head Butt Hold, and Neck Choke are identical, there are only 6 separate holds in the game—and they are not particularly balanced. Head Bite, Stomach Pump, and Knee Basher in particular are more powerful than the other holds. Head Bite is especially egregious, making Iron Claw, with its willpower cost 1st round, seem wasteful.

Throws in Street Fighter: The Storytelling Game

Name
Cost
Spd
Dmg
Mv
Effects
Grab





Throw
-
-2
+2
One
KD, Throw = Str.
Pile Driver
-
-2
+4
One
KD
Hair Throw
-
-2
+5
Two
KD, Throw, must move through
Spinning Pile Driver
2 w
-2
+7
Two
KD, 3 hexes in Air
Storm Hammer
2 w
-2
+7
One
KD, 3 hexes in Air, end in-hex
Back Breaker
-
-1
+3
One
KD
Knee Basher
-
-1
+4
One
Hold, KD, use Kick for Dmg
Back Roll Throw
-
-1
+4
One
KD, Throw = Str + Kick
Thigh Press
-
-1
+4
One
KD, end in next hex
Siberian Bear Crusher
w
+0
+3
+1
KD, 3 hex Air, end in next hex
Siberian Suplex
w
+0
+2 x2
One
KD, move once per hit
Suplex
-
+0
+2
One
KD, end in next hex
Air Throw
w
+2
+5
+0
vs. Air, KD, Mv-Hit-Mv

Throws have a lot more variety, and they are the place to go for the high-damage wrestling maneuvers. There is little repetition in the maneuvers—each throw is at least somewhat different from the others. I’ve included Knee Basher with the throws as well as the holds because it is, in a sense, both—it has the sustained effect of a hold and the KD effect of a throw. This makes it either one of the best holds in the game, or one of the best throws, depending on your viewpoint.

Spinning Piledriver and Storm Hammer are nearly identical, except that Spinning Piledriver has a movement of Two while Storm Hammer ensures that the characters land in the same hex. Both are advantages, although the second one is only effective if you’ve already managed to catch your opponent in the Storm Hammer to begin with.

Slow wrestlers often have trouble landing many of these maneuvers if facing savvy opponents. One strategy to get around this would do well to have high damage dizzy combos to set up opponents whom they could then crush with high damage grabs while dizzied. Combos are another, though they aren’t guaranteed to hit either. Otherwise, only Spinning Piledriver and Siberian Bear Crusher could be counted on as relatively likely to hit, and those only as long as the opponent hasn’t interrupted the grappler immediately and caused a knock down or put them in a grab or other move that cancels the attack.

Even though the heavy damage maneuvers in Grab are throws, a good sustained hold is often a better way for a slow, high strength fighter to go for the win. The high strength helps ensure that the hold will not usually be broken off too early, and it keeps the damage output high over the course of multiple rounds.

Here are the maneuvers added by Secrets of the Shadoloo and the Storyteller’s Screen.

Name
Cost
Spd
Dmg
Mv
Effects
Grab





Flying Tackle (Screen)
-
-1
+0
+2
Fly back 2 hexes, KD, +2 Spd to Grab next turn
Choke Throw (SotS)
-
-1
+2
+0
vs. Air or Stand, KD, end in-hex
Face Slam (Screen)
-
-1
+3
One
KD
Air Suplex (SotS)
-
-1
+4
+0
vs. Air, KD, end turn in-hex

In spite of its low damage, Flying Tackle is a potentially problematic maneuver. It has excellent movement, causes knockdown, and provides a bonus to speed with grabs the following turn. Large speed disparities can result when you also put it in a combo.

Choke Throw and Air Suplex are also strong alternatives to Air Throw. Air Suplex is fairly well balanced because of its low speed and reliance on the opponent being airborne. It’s the poor man’s Air Throw—not as powerful, but doesn’t cost a Willpower, either. Choke Throw is more powerful because it hits standing or aerial opponents, regardless, and it lands the fighters together in the same hex. It and Flying Tackle are the only two grabs that have good movement without a Willpower cost.
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