One thing that has become a little annoying for me is the time it takes to have a fight. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot faster than most other games, but a fight between two PC’s and a group of 10 or so enemies can take the darnest amount of time. Even if the PC’s ambush them.
I’ve been thinking about how to resolve this, and I’ve come to realize something. This is because DW has exactly the same problem in combat that D&D have; you make a lot of rolls, but the individual roll doesn’t have a huge impact on the progression of the fight. Progression, not the fiction, a single roll can have a lot of fictional impact, but it is rarely a “game changer” per se.
For example, if a level one Fighter deals damage to a “group” monster (6 hp) with leather armor and a shield (2 armor), there’s a 70% chance, given no other modifiers than the fighter’s damage die, that it survives, albeit maybe injured. There’s even a 20% chance that he deals no damage at all. If they also have to roll H&S, then there’s also the chance that the fighter won’t even get to roll damage at all.
As GM, you can make soft moves to speed up the fight, but I think it’s a problem that you have to make monsters flee or run for backup all the time, or just have then die by happenstance or as a “kewl fireworks” effect.
The problem is; the H&S move doesn’t let you kill monsters easily, and given no “help” from the GM, even modest encounters can drag out for a very long time sometimes. And it bugs me, because I don’t want to spend 30+ minutes fighting 5 cultists + a lieutenant, but I want the cultists to be there as an obstacle sometimes, because it forces the players to make choices that affects the fiction.
A fight is a risky situation like so many others, but for some reason it seems like it takes so much longer than vastly more dangerous and intense situations.
How do you people solve this?