I keep thinking about the system in Iron Gauntlets. One of the things that I love in resolution systems is stuff akin to IG’s overkill mechanic: if more dice come up successes than you need to succeed at a task, the extra dice represent overkill.
I like it when systems allow this overkill (or its analogue) to be used flexibly. If I attack someone with a sword and hit him really well, I want to be able to decide whether I disarm him or critically hit him or cut off his belt so that his pants fall down. Very few game systems explicitly allow that sort of thing. I think Secret of Zir’an might… and Unknown Armies sort of does in a very limited fashion.
On the other hand, it is the sort of resolution mechanic that can be added to almost any resolution system. Storyteller? Sure. You get extra successes there. d20? Just count every 5 points by which you exceed the DC of a check.
I’m really boggled as to why this isn’t standard.
Another thing that I realize in the wake of Iron Gauntlets: I like my combat to be tactical, but I want the tactical nature of game combat to bear certain similarities to the tactical nature of real combat. Combat in IG seemed to have a lot of tactical choices, but they were choices about round-by-round resource management. In general, I prefer tactical choices about the combat itself – like “slowly wear down your opponent” or “cut your opponent off from his allies and surround him.” Maybe that’s strategic rather than tactical. I dunno.