I'm not afraid to admit it, some changes need to be made to the system.
At the simplest level, the current set-up for combat seems to favour those who take an offensive stance over those who take a defensive one.
I was working off the theory that the same number of combat openings would be covered in each stance...for example; 4 attack, 2 defence for an offensive stance, 3 each for a balanced stance, 2 attack, 4 defence for a defensive stance. This means you cover the same number of strategic openings no matter what you do, but if you act offensively you have more chances to damage your opponent.
I've considered a few ways to remedy this. With the first option to introduce an energy system into the game...big attack stances have a high energy cost to activate, small attack stances have a low energy cost, and acting defensively costs nothing. Energy points would be accumulated slowly during end-of-turn refresh phase. If you played defensively, you could build up the points for a big strike, or you could keep hitting away with small strikes. While I think this idea is cool (and I might implement it for magic/psychic powers), it doesn't fit into the core game; I might work on another Pocketmod Playbook game later, based on Street-Fighter/Mortal-Kombat/Tekken/etc...adding these ideas into it. For the moment in Ghost City raiders it feels like a needless overall complication.
The second way to remedy this seems a bit more elegant. I simply reduce the defences at a higher rate than I improve the offences. Let's say 2 to 1.
2 attack vs 4 defence
3 attack vs 2 defence
4 attack vs 0 defence
Do you go in cautiously, trying to cover yourself from any injury? Do you try to tactically take advantage of the combat? Or, do you just go in to hit as much of your opponent as possible with no regard for self preservation?
It seems pretty simple, and everything can be integrated straight into the existing matrix of hit openings.
With this in mind, I'm considering changing a couple of the abilities. The first change applies to the "combat-type" abilities (eg. melee, brawl). Instead of making these abilities improve attributes in certain combat circumstances, why not make them activate new points of the combat grid. Perhaps "Melee" might grant an extra defensive slot in each, which is only activated if the scavenger is carrying a melee weapon.
I'll also be playing around with the ways equipment can create advantages for a character. I'm tempted to put a cost on ammunition for guns (it'll cost 1 pt per game to buy ammo for your gun), but maybe make them a bit more dangerous to counterbalance this. The general game seems pretty sound, running quicker and more strategically than many of the miniatures games I've played, with a far faster combat system than most of the RPGs I've played.
2 weeks ago