2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)

  • 174 Replies


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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #45 on: February 18, 2017, 01:01:53 AM »
Which you have played through in practice and have some rational for blindly supporting?

Most changes in 2nd have very clear and observable benefits, they present clear opportunities and clarify the flow of the narrative. They strip away things that were clunky and attempted new things in their place. I'm all for improving a system using what has been learned from the past years of playing. This-- however, provides no obvious benefit to me, and I have yet to see even a theoretical reason why it would improve anything.

I dont rightly give a damn if this was his intention or not. I care about whether it provides real benefit to a game. Does it? Anyone? Saying, Vincent wrote it so... is not a defense of the position. That would require him telling us why he did it or if we're all just flying off the handle.

Let us suppose for a moment... that combat in AW was actually dangerous for PCs. Like really absolutely unforgiving and most NPCs were just as badass as the player. In that world, where an equal exchange of harm always left the pc in a horrible position but also did not end the NPC... the battle moves as described make sense. Because a miss costs a shit load and every point more means everything. However, that's not the reality. The PCs are comfortably able to preform super human feats of martial prowess, pretty reliably too if they're even sort of motivated. In this world, missing allowing an even exchange of harm AND a pick one as the only effect, is basically pre-determined conflict.

It's hard for me to justify that as an improvement. And I strongly urge anyone to provide some real support here, I would like to be "shown the light" as it were.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2017, 01:15:35 AM by Ebok »

Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #46 on: February 18, 2017, 01:39:07 AM »

I mean, the question was about what the rules said, and moreover people's experience with using the new rules.

I think in practice it's a relatively fine distinction, because regardless of whether you are making a super ultra hard move, you are still probably making some kind of move -- because it is after all your turn in the conversation at that point.

An argument in favour could be something like: the purpose of the battle moves is for situations where you are narrowing the scope to focus on more moment-to-moment tactical interactions, and therefore it is less appropriate to pile on hard moves on every miss, because there is going to be a much higher density of rolls to fictional scope than usual. By moving Seize by Force into the non-Basic moves, the game is also removing it from the list of wider-scope moves, and so interpreting it as though it were still a basic move, just like in the previous edition, is not appropriate. The move may have the same name, but it has a narrower function, and you should make sure you are reading and applying the rule in its new context, instead of glossing over the consequences of the change.

This of course dovetails fairly well with what I said above about it still being your turn to say something, and a natural approach to the scope of the fiction at that point is already probably going to produce less sweeping consequences for the miss.

Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2017, 01:48:03 AM »
I'm not actually arguing that not having hard moves on missed battle moves is better. In fact, I've never argued that. I'm just pretty thoroughly convinced that's the way the rules actually read.

Whether they work better that way is an entirely different question. It's certainly a relevant question, but it's not the one I was addressing, and indeed one I can't address given that, as I noted in my first post on this thread, I've never actually had a player roll a miss on a battle move.

I do think that having hard moves in addition to the listed effects on playbook-specific moves is a bad idea and makes many of them punitive to use to the point that people will be reluctant to use them, which is bad. Those moves have their own explicit downsides anyway and adding more is not at all needed.



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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #48 on: February 20, 2017, 02:50:17 PM »
In the case of a move like in-brain puppet strings, the miss option already is a hard move - inflict harm as established. Easy.

And though this rarely happens, I disagree with Daniel Wood's interpretation of the scale of sieze by force and the battle moves in general. Indeed, the section on SBF itself (p. 167) says:

Seizing by force is the basic battle move. When someone wants something that someone else has, and both are able and willing to fight for it, use seize by force or one of its variations.

You can use seize by force alone for battles of any scale, but for large-scale battles, battles where several PCs each want to play their own tactical role, and prolonged battles with shifting tactical terrain, you can choose to
bring the rest of the battle moves into play as well.

So right there in the description it brings up the idea that the move can be used on its own without relying on the other peripheral or battle moves, and further that you could do this for battles of any scale. In this regard I feel like saying, "well, the hard moves will come from other moves that happen during the battle" is a cop-out, as there may in fact be no other moves happening.

AW is a game about consequences, and given that one of the themes that runs right through the core of the game is that violence comes with its own (often unintended consequences), having the most basic building block of the battle moves be virtually consequence-free on a miss (barring the unlikely event of a disastrous follow-up harm move) just seems to be jarringly at odds with how the rest of the game works.

Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #49 on: February 21, 2017, 12:33:37 AM »

Weird. I mean, I was extrapolating based on it being moved from Basic Moves to Battle Moves; I don't have the 2nd edition text. It sounds like the shift is not to having Seize by Force be a less basic move, but instead to simply clarify that any time Seize by Force is used, it counts as a battle -- which used to be a call the MC and players would make, circumstantially.

Certainly the way I run 1st edition, someone can Seize something by Force without triggering 'at the beginning of a battle' moves -- not always, of course, but fairly often. So my assumption of Seize by Force moving out of the basic move set was that it was being de-emphasized as a go-to move. But based on that quote, it sounds like maybe that is the wrong assumption.



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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #50 on: February 21, 2017, 01:44:17 AM »
To be fair, I've never argued that every class move should have an additional auto hard on a miss. Many cover this already pretty clearly. Those that dont mention what goes wrong, and dont stipulate that nothing goes wrong, however, trigger hard as normal.

I'm pretty sure this entire thread is about assumptions, because the one thing the text isn't clear on is how to use this move IF it was any different then before. Just the fact this is 4 pages is proof enough that something wasn't clear enough. I'd hope that a change of that magnitude would at least merit an example of that case.

Try as I might to picture a game where Daniel's points were true, and seize by force missing did not trigger any other effects; I can't see it working. Again, I'll reiterate a previous statement, the game plays very smoothly with a select one on miss and prepare for the worst. I liked the change there, it's cool because it gives them some agency in the fallout, even if the fallout kicks their teeth in--at least now their action's momentum (and cost) still carries weight into the worst's outcome. If this isn't the case, it seems... game breaking to say the least. At minimum, the way I MC would be totally ruined and I would need to learn again from new baseline... once that was understood. ( I had players miss hard rolls all the time, it's one of the most interesting parts of conflict--for both me and them )

We might just have to see what lumpley himself says about what his intentions were.


Paul: Only the basic moves leave misses unspecified. This was true in the 1st Ed and remains true in the 2nd. "The MC makes a hard move on a miss" only applies to the basic moves, and always has.

New to the basic moves in 2nd Edition: when you read a person or read a situation, you still get to ask 1 question on a miss, before I make my hard move. This is because I always played it this way anyway.

In the battle moves, yes, when you're defending something you hold, on a miss you can choose to hold it decisively. When you lay down fire, on a miss you can choose to pin Dremmer in his shed. Yes, this is better for you than "on a miss, choose 0," and if keeping Dremmer in his shed was the entirety of your objective, then yeah, you've done it even on a miss. I think you've understood correctly how it's supposed to play out.

The general pattern is: moves that are more dramatic on a hit, more heroic, are more risky. There are several moves that are freebies, including laying down fire (but not the seize & hold moves, because of the exchange of harm, just as you've realized). This is because laying down fire puts you as a player into a supporting position, not a heroic one, and I want to reward that, not punish it, even on a miss.

Oh and Hobbesque, no, the battle moves won't advance.


Though reading that quote of his again has made me think the "choose and and prepare for the worst" was the intention all along. If the sole objective is to keep a guy in a shed, and you choose keep definite hold of it, that choice doesn't get revoked in the miss. Meaning you definitely do it. Of course if it was seize by force, it means you were actively exchanging harm with someone else while you do it. So that exchange of harm happened, and HARD MOVE. So long as the hard move doesn't contradict the choice, it's exactly that.

Following the stated general pattern. Seizing that castle by force is definitely a very heroic and risky move. It seems crazy that this was lumped together with the other support freebees on purpose.


Lets take an example:

Molly has been captured by a brutal gang. She's been dragged around and subjected to all types of brutishness, but she finally has her hands free. She's in the middle of the camp, and getting away is going to be really fucking hard. But there's a cutting knife over by the fire and if she can get to that, maybe she can keep a stray hand from dragging her back into the dirt. That's when a large bunch of them get distracted by something.

She's got a choice. She can screw getting close to the fire to get the knife, and just try to sneak away. (act under fire). Or she can dash up and grab the knife, and race away full tilt. If she can get to the edge of the camp, she knows she can outrun them. (size her freedom by force).

10+ She gone's
7-9 She got half way out but someone saw her, so she took off but might have a few of them in pursuit.
Miss She crawled around the corner and while looking over her shoulder behind her, bumps her face straight into the gang's chief. Shit.

10+ She's got the knife and bolted, some of them tried to stop her but--exchange of harm. She chooses, seize, less harm, intimidate. Slashing at some of them and maybe slashing a few tires as well, she does her harm to the gang, no one dead but a bunch not really wanting to chase that feral thing down. She takes some harm when one of the clocked her, but that's in the past. She's free.
7-9 She's got the knife and bolted, same as before, but this time she's nursing some fucking nasty cuts since she had to suck up more harm to get out.

She's got the knife and bolted, she's got some nasty cuts and they weren't intimidated, so maybe some of the are chasing after her. She'll definitely outrun them though because seize definite control.

She's got the knife, right? I mean, I hope? Well I'm going to turn the move back on her. As normal I'll select two from seize by force to use against her. That's easy. Suffer less harm and scare the shit out of her. Well, she goes up to get that knife and some of them see her before she grabs it. One of them shoots in her fucking direction and now she's off fighting through them without. She does no harm to them in her escape, and the hands grab at her and beat her down, but she still choose, seize definite, so in the end she fights her way through it all gets free and out runs them all. But she's got these nasty cuts and they're still bleeding, she's utterly terrified of them, and she's still unarmed.

Seems to me like Cool's moves work out great. They're solid and easy to narrate. The hard moves however, that's where we're looking. In either case, if she's willing to suffer the harm, she WILL get away. That's understood.

But the how of it? If the first case it true the only difference between missing and 7-9 is the emotional state of the gang. ???? Eh???? Also why ever sneak off if you're a player character and have access to a medic somewhere? 2 harm is cheap for that sort of guarantee.

In the second case, even going with a really vanilla example (EVEN with no cool: Oh, look who they just dragged into camp to cause that distraction!) the scene's got a lot more color. There was a consequence, and a lasting one, with an emotional tax on the character now that's going to be more fun to explore.

Seems to me like the obvious choice is the obvious one.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 02:47:32 AM by Ebok »

Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #51 on: February 21, 2017, 04:59:31 AM »
Ebok, no one is disputing your right to play the game the way you want to - if you like hard moves on misses, more power to you. It obviously doesn't break anything.

However it does seem clear from the text that in 2nd the only hard part of missing a sbf is suffering harm and only getting to choose 1 option, see the example about Marie on page 168-169.
And regarding Munins argument, that the book tells us to make hard moves on all misses, well that simply doesn't seem to be the case.
First of, the book directs the MC to make as hard and direct a move as she likes on a miss. And while I agree that artful and gracious is an exception in that it states explicitly that nothing bad happens, it really isn't an exception with regards to ignoring the clause telling the MC to make as hard and direct a move as she likes on a miss, because many moves don't allow the MC that option on a miss. We already looked at in-brain puppet strings which specifies the outcome on a miss. It has been argued - and I agree - that 1 harm (ap) is indeed pretty hard, but it is not as hard and direct as the MC likes. As has already been shown, some character moves do require the MC to make as hard and direct move as she likes, but they are pretty explicit about it.

So the conclusion seems to be that in 2nd ed every move explicitly tells us what happens on the different outcomes, and because of that we have to assume that unless the move tells the MC to make a hard move, she shouldn't.

Whether or not this is the best way to play is a whole other question. As I've already said, my group has not had any problems with the new rules - violence is now a more attractive option and we like that.
Of course that doesn't mean that Marie can just seize her way out of all problems! Moves still snowball, and if she chose to escape, she didn't choose to terrify, impress or dismay, and so it might be reasonable (depending on context) to assume that the raider's friends chase her calling for Marie to escape a hunter.

On the other hand Ebok does have persuasive arguments, and I'll have to try out his hack some day.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 05:23:32 AM by pastorlindhardt »



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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #52 on: February 21, 2017, 07:28:37 AM »
Apocalypse World doesn't have hard MC moves, so you'll never find the rules for them in the text. Arguing from the text about when and how to make hard moves will never work out!

Here's how to understand "hard moves" in Apocalypse World:
- Whenever it's your turn to talk, make a move.
- Set up your moves dramatically. Build a dramatic rhythm, don't just always make the meanest move you can think of.
- Sometimes, though, make the meanest move you can think of.
- When someone misses on a basic move, that's one good time to consider making the meanest move you can think of.
- But follow your dramatic rhythm.
- And remember, whenever it's your turn to talk, make a move, and you always get to choose which move.

The peripheral moves, battle moves, and character moves all include "on a miss" effects. As MC, you should follow these, of course. But in your thinking about them, place them in the conversation, not in the fiction.

I'm playing a badass gunlugger, you're the MC.

I'm like, "fuck it, Dremmer's gang's dug in down by the generator? The hell they are. They're, what, small? With mediocre arms and armor? Yeah, fuck them, they can't even touch me. I'll seize the generator by force."

I roll a miss. I'm crowing. "Ha ha fuckers. That's um 2 harm vs my 2 armor, and I inflict 3 harm +1 for bloodcrazed vs their 1 armor, so I'm taking 0 harm and they're taking 3? Ha ha. I choose one: I take definite hold of it."

I turn to look at you. It's your turn to talk.

The rules require you to admit that yeah, I've suffered no harm, inflicted 3, and seized definite control of the generator. They absolutely don't specify what move you should make, or how mean it should be, now that it's your turn to talk. That's always up to you and the dramatic rhythm you're building.




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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #53 on: February 21, 2017, 04:29:00 PM »
On the one hand I get what you're saying, but at the same time I think that's quite possibly the most lazy-ass answer I've ever heard you give.

The issue is one of gauging the appropriate level of "meanness" to one's moves when speaking as the MC. Sure, I could inflict harm as established at any point in the conversation. But I think we all sort of agree that doing so without a set-up or a golden opportunity is kind of a dick-move. So the question of when it's appropriate to narrate both the changing situation as well as the consequences is a valid one. This is especially true when trying to teach people how to actually run the game in a way that doesn't suck (and I say that mostly because AW is such a paradigm shift from traditional RPGs that lots of would-be MCs vastly miss The Point [tm]).

Yes, the tenor and meanness of a move is always up to whatever drama-sauce the MC is cooking, that is and has always been the case. But giving people a little bit of advice on how (or when) to season that drama-sauce (i.e. "prepare for the worst" or whatever) isn't bad either. The fact that this discussion is happening at all means there's ambiguity, and while "fuck it, do what you want" is certainly advice, I'm not sure it's always the most helpful advice.



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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #54 on: February 21, 2017, 05:13:36 PM »
What's ambiguous?

« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 05:18:16 PM by lumpley »



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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #55 on: February 21, 2017, 07:10:23 PM »
So the take away here is not that the MC doesn't also make a move as hard and direct as the MC likes when someone misses a seize by force roll, just that the MC doesnt have to.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 12:18:34 AM by Ebok »

Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #56 on: February 21, 2017, 09:20:33 PM »

I think the reason this is difficult for some people is because the "on a miss, make a hard move" concept is a really easy one to teach and follow. Without that, playing can get pretty ambiguous, especially when there's more than one player in the example. It places MCing back into "magical GM skills" territory (or, at least, more so - of COURSE it was there all along).

You're saying that the outcomes of a move are all that's guaranteed to you, and this makes sense. In other words, if you roll to make any given move, it tells you that you pulled off certain things. The rest of the conversation goes along, using those as settled facts. "Ok, the move establishes that this-and-that happened. Now, what else happened?" Cool.

However, the general trend of AW moves is that there's quite a dramatic swing from success to failure, which we use to create our image of the action going down. If I act under fire and succeed, that's one thing. If I miss, there's a very strong (and, I think, useful) expectation that I do not, and that things will not go well for me. (Although we know that "success with complications" is a possibility, it's not the default option in most people's minds.)

With "seize by force" this seems to be... different. What's at stake in most "Seize by Force" situations is: do you seize it? This means that, in most situations, you get what you wanted no matter what you rolled. The difference between a 10+ and a miss is just 2 points of harm? (As Ebok points out, most PCs can happily ignore 2 points of harm most of the time. As a group of people trying to enact a dramatic narrative, that doesn't seem too inspiring. What does this tell us?)

This seems like quite a contrast to your description of missed moves in the examples in 1st Ed (and even going way back to Poison'd).

Another way to look at it is that the Seize move now looks like this:

When you Seize by Force, there's an exchange of harm, and you get what you want.

Roll+hard. On a miss you just get what you want (choose nothing). On a 7-9, choose 1. On a 10+, choose 2:

* You suffer little harm
* You inflict terrible harm
* You frighten or dismay your opponents

If you wish, you can also choose to let the thing you wanted go, in which case choose an additional option, instead.

It seems like a lot of hassle (a roll, choices, etc) for what is becoming a damage roll. Is the only difference between a miss and a hit the +1 or -1 harm?

Or is the MC also supposed to take the rolled result into account when choosing a move to make? That's not clear. Should I make the same move after a 10+ as I would after a miss?

It seems to put a heavier burden on the MC's shoulders. It also seems to create a roll which doesn't impact the outcome in the fiction. (e.g. We know before we roll that if the Gunlugger in the example has set his mind on Dremmer's generator, he'll get it, no matter what the roll.)

Finally, I've always found the concept of "make a hard move on a miss" really helpful when multiple PCs are involved. For instance, taking your example, if the Gunlugger takes control of the generator, but Toyota is also there (another PC), what happens next? In the case of a hit, I'd normally figure out the outcome of the roll, as necessary (e.g. Gunlugger takes control of the generator - there's usually some narration taking place here, IME), and then it would be Toyota's turn, not mine. On a miss, though, I would throw an additional stick into the spokes, with some unwelcome development, before turning to Toyota's player. At least the way I've played it, it's quite a clear distinction between "MC makes a move" and "MC doesn't make a move" - in this case, it's a question of whether it's the MC's turn to talk or Toyota's player's.

Does that make any sense?

« Last Edit: February 21, 2017, 09:38:53 PM by Paul T. »



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Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #57 on: February 22, 2017, 07:09:10 AM »
Paul, your reading of the move is correct, but your reading of the implications is incorrect. Everywhere you say "seem," you're pure speculating. Neither the game's technical underpinnings nor anybody's play experiences back you up.

It's true that the move doesn't work the way it used to. It puts the worst potential consequences of a miss off into the snowball, instead of cutting them straight in via "be prepared for the worst." There have always been a number of moves that work this way, and now seizing by force has joined them.

The reason for the change is that the move has a new role to fill, a new place at the head of the new battle moves. The snowball has also changed.

But if your main concern is throwing a stick in the spokes on a miss, you're still allowed to, case by case, by the overarching rules for making your moves. Yes, even if Toyota is there too!

« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 07:36:52 AM by lumpley »

Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #58 on: February 22, 2017, 10:12:47 PM »

I can understand how the rules, as written, may very well "work" fine (I don't know, personally, because I haven't played with the 2nd Ed. rules yet).

Do you have any advice for people like myself, who are confused a little bit by this change? (Clearly, I'm not alone.)

I think the issues are the lack of uncertainty (a PC using Seize by Force knows they're guaranteed certain outcomes, if they want them - in particular, for an armored character, Seize by Force looks it would often be a "just how badly do you beat them?" sort of roll in practice), and the lack of guidance for the MC (when to take a miss as an opportunity for a move, hard or otherwise), in comparison to the 1st Edition.

For instance, is merely being involved in combat a case of "handing the MC an opportunity on a silver platter"? Is it legit for me as MC to have a PC simply get shot after a 10+ on a Seize by Force roll? Or only on a miss? Or neither?

Perhaps I've missed other issues - if so, point them out, please (Vincent or other readers).

Thanks for the reply!

I'd also love to hear why this change came about, from a design standpoint. Is it fixing any play problems, for example?

Re: 2nd Edition and Seize by Force (and similar moves)
« Reply #59 on: February 23, 2017, 01:43:18 AM »
Note 1: I've provided a TL;DR summary at the end.

Note 2: Please be gentle.  This is my first post on this forum.

My take on all this is that there are some fundamental principles that apply to how one should interpret, and use, Seize By Force.  These principles imply an approach to adjudicating these matters as MC, but the implications may not be obvious to everyone, so I'll lay them out here.

The salient principles, as I see them, are:

  • Be a fan of the PCs.  They're cool.
  • The names of moves describe what happens.  If you "seize by force", you "seize by force" -- you don't "try to seize by force".  If you "do something under fire", you "do something under fire" -- you don't "achieve the thing you want to achieve".
  • The work your character has to do, and the complications of the conditions, inform how you go about giving your PCs a path to success.
  • Players, like MCs, should make decisions to serve the story.  In the particular case of players, "serve the story" is mostly focused on serving dramatic character development, where for MCs it's about serving dramatic plot development, because RPGs in general are (ideally) character-driven from the players' points of view and plot-driven from a GM's point of view.
  • The chances of failure in combat in Apocalypse World's die roll rules are higher than is typical for other games, because of the fact fewer rolls result in bigger consequences with less opportunity to amortize the pain of failed rolls over time, softened by successful rolls.  When one roll often concludes combat, "you're screwed" as the consequence of every move in the game with an average (or more than average) chance of a "miss" can be catastrophic -- not just now, but a shockingly large percentage of the time, to the extent that it can even be catastrophic for players' enjoyment of the game.

The result, then, is this:

If you what the PC is trying to do is straightforward and direct, and the PC is acting from a position of strength, just use Seize By Force.  Do not assume a "prepare for the worst" consequence of a "miss".  There may be a direct cost involved if the player doesn't really nail the roll, depending on the stats; low armor versus well-armed opponents with a miss on the roll for Seize By Force means a choice between taking harm and achieving the stated goal.  When the stats say no harm, and the PC (mostly) only really cares about success at the stated goal, though, this is a moment for the PCs to shine, to be cool, to accumulate accolades from players and MCs alike, who should all be fans of the PC (see point 1 above).

I think it's time for concrete examples.  Let's say you're trying to protect someone:

If you're taking direct, straightforward action from a position of strength, of course you use the Defend Someone Else From Attack variant of the Seize By Force move, and you're effectively guaranteed to succeed at that narrow goal.

If what the PC is trying to do is attempted from a position of weakness, indirect, or otherwise complicated, another move might be more appropriate.

  • If you're in a chaotic battle situation where you don't have a commanding, central presence, with a gang running rampant around you, and you aren't even close to the person you're defending, you might be forced to provide indirect protection in the form of tactical and support moves like the Stand Overwatch move, where it becomes very difficult to effectively intercede on your ally's behalf apart from giving warnings.
  • If the approach the PC takes to defending someone requires some (relatively) complicated series of actions that detract from the overall potential for success, is for the MC to just tell you "No, you don't get to Seize By Force (yet).  First you have to get there.  How are you going to do this?  If you're trying to get to the guy to physically protect him while raining autofire on the enemy, you're first going to have to Act Under Fire to cover the intervening ground."  Perhaps the MC has a countdown/clock for the consequences of you failing to get there "yet" every time you fail.  Maybe it takes one 10+ result ("you do it") with one tick of the countdown clock to get to a point where you can then use Seize By Force to determine exactly how you save the day in a grand, heroic manner; maybe it takes two 7-9 results ("you flinch, hesitate, or stall") with one tick of the countdown clock (and its attendant consequences) for the each of those two Act Under Fire rolls; maybe every time you miss on Act Under Fire you get nowhere and another tick of the countdown clock brings further consequences.

Once you maneuver to a point where Seize By Force is the only reasonable move, in either of those examples of acting from a position of weakness, the purpose of the move is more to determine how you achieve your goals, and with how much of a dominating presence, rather than whether you do so -- unless you think your character might actually opt for taking no (or less) damage during the exchange of harm rather than effectively defending someone on a "miss", if that's possible given the relevant stats (or unless there's some other trade-off to be made, such as wanting to kill more enemies as a higher priority than wanting to actually defend someone).

Remember, too, that the conclusion of that move is not necessarily the end of the matter.  Now your character has defended the person from attack.  What happens next?  Maybe the PC has closed the distance and provided effective defense, but the PC and the defended person are now trapped, and under siege.  On a "miss" result for Seize By Force, you might choose to definitively seize control, but that means you give up on inflicting terrible harm; when fighting against a small gang, that means you've probably killed fewer gang members, seriously injured fewer, and lightly injured fewer, which reduces the likelihood the enemy doesn't count as a small gang any longer (thus changing relative armor and harm values).  You've also given up on impressing, dismaying, or frightening your enemy, thus reducing the likelihood they'll turn tail and run in the face of overwhelming force.  The negotiation between MC and players to define the ongoing flow of dramatic action should change based on the results of that roll, as the degree of success informs the discussion.

In summary:

Seize By Force is the straightforward "PCs do awesome things" move that applies when action is direct, and undertaken from a position of relative strength.  If some other behavior is required to get to the point where Seize By Force is appropriate, the chance of success or failure is the accumulation of several rolls, with Seize By Force just being your "finisher" move at the end.  Once again speaking of the example case of defending someone else, if something less certain is more appropriate because of a need for indirect action (e.g. tactical support moves) or not being able to assert a good offense as the best defense so that you only get to try to save someone at the last minute from a sniper's headshot with a tackle (e.g. Act Under Fire), do that instead of Seize By Force.

As a result, there's nothing at all wrong with Seize By Force not having a failure contingency built into it.  It's not for circumstances where that kind of "failure" applies.  It's just a move that must be applied appropriately within a wider context.