This isn't a look for validation or vindication. I want to get that out of the way first.
In my last L5R game, I attacked a Rank 1 Ronin with a heavily armored Rank 4 Crab NPC. For those who don't know L5R, that is like attacking a level 2-3 fighter with a level 15-17 one with significantly better equipment.
The situation was basically like this: Two of the PCs are making moves to take over the underworld. In the process they have taken control of an opium supply ring, and recently found that one of their clients wasn't paying. When they went to demand payment, they were essentially told to fuck off. Long story short, violence happened, the PCs killed the owner/guards and took the tea house as their own. One of the PCs was put in charge of this tea house for the group/gang that was being formed.
A couple weeks later, this large brutish person - a hired gun - came in to trash the place. The PC attacked, a fight happened, and the tea house burned down.
Now, myself and both players this affected seemed to have a lot of fun with this. I'm not ashamed of it, and I would do it again. However, some friends have had interesting reactions along the lines of "Why would you do that?!" to the action. I even understand where they're coming from (focus more on the 'game' and seeing an intentionally un-winnable situation). However, I am curious about you.
What is your initial reaction to the attacking of a low rank PC with a high rank NPC? Did you think it was a case of unfair GM syndrome? Were you curious about the details first? Or did you go "yeah, that's cool"
Have you ever done anything similar in your own games? Do you try to avoid doing similar things? Why or why not?