I posted about this on the FB playtesting page this morning. HTH damage is treated differently than ranged damage (i.e. the difference between the attack and defense rolls are not added to the damage).
I was thinking that in the case where you have an agent who is really good at HTH striking a civilian (who isn't trained), but, still has a pulse of say d10. That civilian still has 28 hp, so even if the agent has a d12 pulse - it will still take an average of almost 10 successful HTH attacks to get enough damage to drop the civilian to 0 hp (the difference between a d12 and a d10 is just not that much). Now, the agent should hit most times, so it will be around 4 rounds of combat (maybe this seems reasonable).
But, with this system, there is no chance for the agent to deliver that crushing slam face into a door (incapacitating the civilian) and go past to continue the mission. Maybe that makes sense if the adversary truly has a d10 pulse. The average number of rounds needed certainly drops very quickly as the adversary's pulse drops (fewer hitpoints and greater average damage per successful hit).
Do people think it would break the system if you added the difference in attack and defense rolls to the the difference in pulse? It would certainly shorten HTH combat. Two robust agents with excellent fighting skills leads to a very long HTH battle. Or, and agent going up against three opponents does as well.
@skongable That seems very reasonable. It shouldn't take that long to take out someone who is that much worse than you. Your idea seems much more in line with the milieu of the game.
I've just started looking at Top Secret NWO (still have the original boxed set out in the garage).
By any chance did you sort out the missing grapple chart or figure out it's not needed?
Thanks by the way for all the extra ideas you're posting.
I have not figured out what the grapple table's purpose was. I have just played without it.
Highly recommend TSNWO. It has become my favorite RPG. So many possibilities. I wish some additional content other than a few missions would have come out by now, though.