Alright, having recently played Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, and having seen the HotE rules for mounted combat, I'm having dreams of running a new game with a new regiment involving Mk. 4 cybercommandos riding their Battle Armored Dragon Assault Strike Systems (or B.A.D.A.S.S. for short). To this end I have really been focusing on the new mounted combat rules and a few things/oddities have popped out:
1. Dodging/Sidestep/Evasion: Its quite clear that an incoming attack against the mount should be avoided using Sidestep. I assume that the reaction spent for it comes from the rider (as the mount itself has no "real" actions). For an attack against the rider/passengers though, there is a bit of a rules conflict. In the begging of the section it describes that the Rider/Passenger cannot take Movement subtype actions (instead using the new mount movement actions), But then later it does say a Rider/Passenger can dodge an incoming attack against themselves. I can see this going either way personally (and given that its all eating a reaction, its not too big a deal). Still, it would be good to know if Riders still need to train dodge vs. training survival.
Furthermore, what is the benefit of training a mount in Dodge? The rules of Sidestep are worded to make having training in Dodge serve no purpose (a mount provides their Agility score as a bonus to a Survival test made by the rider. Dodge is not involved in this). Should the Agi bonus be at a -20 unless the mount is trained in Dodge?
2. Mount attacks: There is an action, Rearing Strike, that is used to attack with the mount. It is of the Attack subtype. In theory this then means that a Rider can't take an action to attack with their own weapons? The question I'm trying to raise here is that it seems kind of strange to have a game where PCs will generally want to be the ones attacking (i.e. players want the glory for their characters, not their mounts), and to this end essentially forgo the use of a mount capable of attacking (as why bother doing that when you can just attack yourself). Obviously this is kind of a powergaming sentiment, but it just seems annoying that by RAW I can't have the mount fire its eye-lasers (look up Battle Dragon from Blood Dragon on YouTube and you'll see what I'm going for) as well as allow the rider to attack with their weapons. Obviously I see why this matters given how Evasion works, but still…
3. Fear: Maybe I'm forgetting how to properly use the Bestial trait, but how exactly should Fear and mounts be applied? Should Bred for War cover it? To be honest, I'm kind of annoyed that Fearless wasn't provided as a talent for a custom mount (as obviously a Blood Dragon should be fearless (and don't worry, in my game they will be)).
4. On Crushing Charge, it appears that even if the target dodges the attack, they still must make the opposed Strength test or be knocked down (given that the incoming hit that is to be dodged and the knockdown, occur simultaneously). Is this correct?
5. A few other minor things, such as are there any hand requirements for riding the mount? Right now it seems there isn't much preventing a character from moving and firing a Basic (or even Heavy) weapon while mount. I'm OK with this personally, just want to make sure I'm reading this right. How should Comrades and mounts work? (i.e. do they just have the same normal Comrade condition track that covers both mount and comrade?)
Beyond that, I must say I'm currently loving the rules provided for mounted. Their simple enough to work on top of the base game, while still providing plenty of incentive. Unstoppable Charge and Hunting Lances does come across as pretty powerful, but still…