He wants the delay to exist, but does NOT want the stopped animation to appear? Your solution works for that method. But if he does not want the the stopped animation to play anyway, he could set it to attack frame at counter = 20 when it is created.
His problem is that if he creates the object at counter = 1, and set it to stopped, than that is the intended condition by the creator. Thus where my confusion lies.
If he wants the frame to be attack on the next counter # up, then why can't he just set the animation to attack on the same counter # it is created on, and avoid the stopped animation all together?