The Sweep maneuver is very useful in martial arts combats. Refamiliarize yourself with it; it's in the HERO System Rulesbook.
In martial arts combat, the Sweep may be used in a variety of ways to simulate the martial artist's ability to fight several opponents at once. In martial arts campaigns, it may be used with the character's STR, with his weapon damage, or with another martial maneuver; in non-martial arts campaigns, it may only be combined with another maneuver if the GM rules that it is legal.
Example: Lt. Harry Cho is fighting four minion-class thugs. He knows he is head and shoulders above them in his martial abilities. He decides to punch all four of them. He performs his Martial Strike (Punch) on them as a Sweep maneuver.
He starts out with a base OCVofll (from DEX and skill levels). He is Sweeping four characters, so he gets a -2 OCV cumulative for each target after the first, resulting in a -6 OCV, or an OCV 5 vs.
His enemies have DCV 4. Harry needs a 12 or less to hit. He rolls an 11, an 8, a 12 and a 4. He has hit all four targets.
On his next Phase, he does it again. He rolls a 12, a 9 and a 13. Since his third strike was a miss, he doesn't even get to roll against the fourth target. Remember that Sweep maneuvers can be done with non-damaging maneuvers as well as damaging ones. Sweeps are especially effective (and flashy) when combined with martial maneuvers such as Legsweep, Martial Throw, Flying Tackle and Disarm.
A character can perform a Sweep Passing Strike (or other maneuver with the "FMove" element), even if the targets are not all in hexes adjacent to the attacker. However, all targets must be in hexes adjacent to one another, and must be in some sort ofrelatively straight line so that the attacker can get a clean shot at each of them.
A character can only perform a Sweeping Choke Hold, Crush, Takeaway or Weapon Bind on two targets. Each attack requires a hand, and the martial artist only has two. (In a superhero campaign, a martial artist with Extra Limbs could conceivably Sweep these maneuvers on more than two opponents, at the GM's discretion.) Grabbing the heads of two opponents and banging them together constitutes Sweeping a Grab and Crush.
Generally, a character can only perform a Sweeping Martial Grab on two targets. The exception is when the character is trying to Grab more than one of a single target's limbs, as detailed above under "Grab." In that situation, a martial artist may attempt to Sweep as many limbs as he wants; this reflects his ability to tangle an enemy up so that he can't use his limbs properly.
Sweep does not work with maneuvers such as Root and Escape (which are not attacks), Crush or any other attack which uses the "Follow" element (the Sweep would have to be performed with the original attack, such as the Grab part of a Crush) and Shove (which already can be used on several people at once, refer to "Shove," above, for details).
A Sweep may not be used to hit the same opponent twice. There is an exception: if a target is holding one weapon in each hand, the character may Sweep Disarm both weapons, counting each weapon as a separate target. A character can also Sweep Grab more than one of an opponent's limbs, as described above under "Grab."
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