Combat Actions

Characters may take many actions in Combat. These are listed below.

The Subtype of an attack is important; a character may only take one Attack and one Concentration action per round.

Action Type Subtype Description
Aim Varies Concentration Grants +10 (Half) or +20 (Full) bonus to character's next attack. Taking a Reaction will remove the bonus from Aiming.
All Out Attack Full Attack, Melee Give up that round's Evasion reaction to gain +30 WS.
Brace Heavy Weapon Half Miscellaneous Support a Heavy weapon. Unbraced heavy weapons incur -30 to BS. May pivot 45-degrees without losing bracing.
Called Shot Full Attack, Concentration, Melee or Ranged Attack a specific location on a target with a -20 to WS or BS.
Charge Full Attack, Melee, Movement Move up to 3x AgB (last 4m in straight line at enemy), +20 to WS.
Defensive Stance Full Concentration, Melee Gain an additional Reaction. Opponents suffer -20 WS.
Delay Full Miscellaneous May take any Half Action at any time before character's next turn. Attacks count as being part of the next turn.
Disengage Full Movement Break from melee without incurring a free attack.
Evasion Reaction Movement/Melee Attempt to avoid an attack by using Dodge (ranged or melee) or Parry (melee) skills. Evading an area of effect attack requires the character be able to escape the radius by moving no further than a Half Move.
Feint Half Melee Opposed WS test; if character wins, his next Melee attack cannot be Evaded.
Focus Power Varies Varies Use a Psychic Power. Should the Psyker roll doubles on this test, Psychic Phenomena take effect.
Full Auto Burst Half Attack, Ranged Grants -10 BS, one hit for every DoS; Jam on 94+ result; 2m spread. Regardless of how many shots hit, uses ammo appropriately for the weapon RoF ( eg a S/3/10 Autogun would use 10 rounds on a Full-Auto Burst). If the shots hit the same target, use the table below to determine hit locations.
Grapple Varies Attack, Melee Affect a Grappled opponent or escape from a Grapple.
Guarded Action Half Concentration, Melee/Ranged Grants -10 to WS or BS, +10 to all Evasion tests until start of next turn.
Jump or Leap Full Movement Jump vertically or leap horizontally. Specific mechanics found on p. 247 CB
Knock Down Half Attack, Melee Make an opposed Strength test (with +10 if using Charge). 2+DoS gives (1d5-3)+SB Impact and 1 level of fatigue.
Lightning Attack Half Attack, Melee Grants -10 WS, one hit for every DoS. Use table below for hit location determination.
Manoeuvre Half Melee, Movement Make an opposed WS test against character in melee range; if successful, move them up to 1 metre in direction of choice (character may advance 1 metre as well). Cannot push into obstacles or characters, but can push off of cliffs or edges.
Move Varies Movement Move up to Agility bonus (Half Action) or 2x Agility bonus (Full Action).
Overwatch Full Attack, Concentration, Ranged Shoot targets coming into a set 45-degree kill zone with Standard/Semi-Auto/Full-Auto attack (specify which) meeting certain criteria, as chosen by the player. Targets of an Overwatch shot must make a +0 Pinning test or become Pinned, even if the attack did no damage.
Ready Half Miscellaneous Ready a weapon or an item, apply a bandage or coat a blade with poison, stow an item securely in a bag. Dropping an item is considered a Free Action. Can used twice to affect 2 different items.
Reload Varies Miscellaneous Reload a ranged weapon - the time necessary depends on the specific weapon. If a reload action extends across multiple turns, it counts as being Extended, and is subject to additional tests or interruptions.
Run Full Movement Move 6x Agility bonus, enemies get -20 BS and +20 WS to hit character until their next turn.
Semi-Auto Burst Half Attack, Ranged Grants +0 BS, additional hit for every two additional DoS; jam on 94+; 2m spread. Regardless of how many shots hit, uses ammo appropriately for the weapon RoF ( eg a S/3/10 Autogun would use 3 rounds on a Semi-Auto Burst). If the shots hit the same target, use the table below to determine hit locations.
Stand/Mount/Dismount Half Movement Stand up from being Prone, mount or dismount a riding beast, enter or leave a vehicle, or move within a vehicle.
Standard Attack Half Attack, Melee or Ranged Grants +10 to WS or BS, make one melee or ranged attack; jam on 96+ result.
Stun Full Attack, Melee Using melee weapon, WS test with -20. Success is 1d10+SB, vs targets TB+(AP on head). If success, target is stunned for # rounds equal to difference.
Suppressing Fire Full Attack, Ranged Fires a semi-auto (in 30 degree arc) or full-auto (in 45 degree arc) burst at -20 to BS. Enemies in the arc must make a -10 (if semi-auto) or -20 (if full-auto) Pinning save or become pinned (CB p. 230). Weapon must be capable of semi- or full-auto fire and be in the correct fire mode.
Swift Attack Half Attack, Melee Grants +0 WS, additional hit for every two additional DoS.
Tactical Advance Full Concentration, Movement Make a Half Move from one cover to another. Continue to take bonus from previous cover until reaching new one.
Use a Skill Varies Concentration, Miscellaneous Character may use a skill.

Hit Locations

Generally, hit location is determined by reversing the digits on the relevant Weapon Skill, Ballistic Skill, or Focus Power test. Should a random location need to be determined, roll 1d100.

d100 Roll Location
01-10 Head
11-20 Right Arm
21-30 Left Arm
31-70 Body
71-85 Right Leg
86-100 Left Leg

Hit location determination for multiple hits

First Hit Second Hit Third Hit Fourth Hit Fifth Hit Additional Hits
Head Head Arm Body Arm Head
Arm Arm Body Head Body Arm
Body Body Arm Head Arm Body
Leg Leg Body Arm Head Body

Damage and Special Conditions

Name Effects
Aputated Limb Losing a limb (other than the head, which is generally fatal, causes a character to experience Blood Loss. They must be treated by someone skilled in Medicae (which does not require a test). If they are not treated, roll 1d10. On a result of 8 or lower, the character will die a horrible death over the next 1d10 days. After losing a limb, a character does not remove damage through natural healing for 1d10+2 days. See "Lost ..." below for specific body parts.
Blinded A Blinded character automaticall fails all vision-related tests and checks, including Ballistic Skill. He also suffers -30 to Weapon Skill, and most other tests that would ordinarily benefit from being able to see.
Blood Loss At the start of his turn, the affected character takes 1 point of Fatigue. Once per round, as a free action, he or any other character can attempt a Medicae test at a -10 to staunch the bleeding. Multiple Blood Loss conditions do not stack.
Deafened The character is unable to verbally communicate, and automatically fails any hearing-related test. In addition, the GM shoud determine what other effects this has on the game
Falling When a character falls a dangerous (as determined by the GM based on gravity, landing material, etc) distance, he suffers falling damage. This is 1d10+(metres fallen) to a random hit location. This ignores armour but not Toughness.
Fatigue Not all injuries are fatal. A character's Fatigue Threshold is his Toughness Bonus + Willpower Bonus. If a character's Fatigue ever passes this threshold, they fall Unconscious for 10-TB minutes. Upon recovering, he awakens with his Fatigue now equal to his TB. If his Fatigue ever reached double his threshold, the character will die.
Fatigue recovers with time. Each hour of normal (non-Unconscious) rest without combat, the use of Psychic abilities, or other strenuous activity will remove 1 point of Fatigue. 6 uninterrupted hours will remove all Fatigue.
Fire Weapons with the Flame quality, Energy critical effects, or environmental hazards may set a character on fire. Once a character is on fire, he suffers 1d10 Energy damage (ignoring armour but not Toughness) and takes 1 point of Fatigue per round, until extinguished. If not otherwise specified, fire affects the Body. While burning, the character must make a +0 Willpower test at the start of his turn in order to take any action beyond flailing in agony. A character may attempt to extinguish himself by falling Prone and making a -20 Agility test to roll on the floor.
Lost Hand The character suffers a –20 penalty on all skill and characteristic tests that rely on the use of two hands, and he cannot wield two-handed weapons. He can, however, strap a shield to the stump. Also apply Amputed Limb.
Lost Arm The character suffers the same penalties as a Lost Hand, but does not even have a stump to which he can strap a shield. Also apply Amputed Limb.
Lost Eye Losing one eye permanently reduces a character’s Ballistic Skill by 10. In addition, he suffers a –20 penalty to all skill and characteristics tests that rely on sight. Should a character have the misfortune to lose both eyes, he becomes Blinded.
Lost Foot The character permanently reduces all his Movement by half (rounded up) and suffers a –20 penalty on all tests for Movement actions, as well as skill and characteristic tests that could rely on mobility, such as Stealth. Also apply Amputed Limb.
Lost Leg Treat this as a lost foot, but the character cannot use the Dodge skill. Losing both legs means the character cannot walk unless he has cybernetic replacements installed. Also apply Amputed Limb.
Stunned Stunned characters may not take any action or reaction (such as Evasion), but are not considered Helpless or Unaware. However, Weapon Skill and Ballistic Skill tests against a Stunned character gain a +20 bonus.
Suffocation If a character is not in combat, he can hold his breath for a number of minutes equal to his Toughness Bonus. If he is in combat, it is for a number of rounds equal to 2x his Toughness Bonus. While holding his breath, he must make a +0 Toughness test each minute/round. If he fails, he takes 1 point of Fatigue. If he has not gained a fresh source of oxygen by the end of his time holding his breath, he immediately falls Unconscious regardless of his Fatigue levels. If a character is both Unconscious and deprived of oxygen, he will die after a number of rounds equal to his Toughness Bonus.
Unconsciousness Unconsciousness typically results from Fatigue or Critical Damage. An Unconscious character is completely Unaware of his surroundings, and cannot take any actions. He is also treated as a Helpless target. If no specific duration is given, Unconsciousness defaults to 10 minutes.

Combat Circumstances

There are many things that may affect combat, with almost infinite variation. These will generally impose a modifier to tests, the magnitude of which is up to the GM. Should a particular circumstance not be described below, it is up to the GM to decide what, if any, effect it has. Remember the Golden Rule.

Circumstance Effect
Cover Taking cover is often advisable in order to prevent an acute case of death. When taking cover, there is no Ballistic Skill penalty imposed upon those firing at the character in cover; however, certain body parts (generally Body and Legs) will be protected, gaining additional AP depending on the material of the cover. Should damage be dealt in excess of the cover's AP, the AP of the cover is decreased by 1, and the overflow damage is dealt normally to the character.
Cover AP is at the discretion of the GM - typical examples would be 4 AP for wooden planks, to 16 AP for rockcrete or thick iron.
Darkness Weapon Skill suffers a -20 penalty; Ballistic Skill -30. Characters gain +20 to Stealth skill tests. Negated by the Dark-Sight trait.
Difficult Terrain Weapon Skill and Evasion are affected by difficult terrain. Mud may impose a -10 penalty, whereas something like deep snow may inflict -30.
Engaged in Melee Ballistic Skill tests against a character engaged in melee suffer a -20 penalty. If one or more of the characters engaged are Stunned, Helpless, or Unaware, the penalty is ignored.
Extreme Range Targets at a distance of more than 3x the range of a weapon are considered to be at Extreme Range. Ballistic Skill tests to hit targets at Extreme Range suffer a -30 penalty.
Fog, Mist, Shadow or Smoke Ballistic Skill tests against a character concealed by fog, mist, shadow, or smoke suffer a -20 penalty. While concealed, characters gain a +10 bonus on Stealth skill tests.
Ganging Up Melee attackers gain a bonus when their allies are also attacking the same target in melee. With a 2:1 advantage, the attacker gains a +10 bonus to Weapon Skill. For 3:1 or greater, instead gain a +20 bonus.
Helpless Targets Melee attacks against unconscious or otherwise Helpless targets automatically succeed. The Degrees of Success are the same as the attacker's Weapon Skill bonus. When rolling for damage, roll twice and add the two results. Prone and Stunned targets are not automatically considered helpless.
Higher Ground It's over, Anakin. Characters standing on higher ground gain a +10 bonus to Weapon Skill.
Long Range Targets at a distance of more than 2x the range of a weapon are considered to be at Long Range. Ballistic Skill tests to hit targets at Long Range suffer a -10 penalty.
Missing and Scattering Should a character fail a Ballistic Skill test, it's necessary to know where the shot or thrown item went astray. The GM rolls 1d10 and consults the Scatter Diagram on p. 230 CB. Once the direction is determined, the GM rolls 1d5 to determine how many metres the item goes.
In Zero Gravity, roll for each axis in which the item may travel.
Pinning Being shot at is terrifying[citation needed] and suppressive fire is an effective tactic. Certain actions and circumstances may require a character to make a Pinning test, which is a +0 Willpower test. Upon failure, he becomes Pinned.
Pinned targets are busy avoiding getting shot, and may only take a Half Action in combat, and suffers a -20 to Ballistic Skill. If not in cover, they must take their next turn to reach cover, or to move away from their attacker if none is available. If he is in cover, he may not leave it except to retreat - and only then by moving to another piece of cover.
At the end of each turn, he may make a +0 Willpower test to overcome being Pinned. If he is in cover or has not been shot at since his last turn, he gains a +30 to this test.
Point-Blank Range Targets at a distance of 2 metres or closer are considered to be at Point-Blank Range. Ballistic Skill tests to hit Point-Blank targets gain a +30 modifier. This modifier is lost if the attacker is engaged in melee combat with the target. For weapons with a Short Range of less than 3 metres, Point-Blank is considered to be 1 metre instead.
Prone A character is considered Prone any time he is lying on the ground. Weapon Skill tests gain +10 bonus to hit Prone characters, but Ballistic Skill tests suffer a -10 penalty. A character who is Prone suffers a -10 penalty to Weapon Skill tests, and a -20 penalty to Evasion tests.
Short Range Targets at a distance of less than half the range of a weapon are considered to be at Short Range. Ballistic Skill tests to hit targets at Short Range gain a +10 bonus.
Size Larger targets are generally easier to hit. Consult Table 4-6: Size on p. 138 CB for specifics.
Stunned Targets Weapon Skill and Ballistic Skill tests to hit Stunned targets gain a +20 bonus.
Unaware Targets Characters who have no idea they're about to be attacked - generally this would be at the start of combat where a combatant may be Surprised (p. 216 CB) are considered Unaware. Weapon Skill and Ballistic Skill tests to hit Unaware targets gain a +30 bonus.
Weather and Unnatural Conditions Attacks made while in inclement weather or other unnatural conditions suffer a -20 penalty, unless otherwise specified by the GM.

Combat Difficulty Examples

Difficulty Skill Modifier Example
Easy +30 Bonus
  • Attacking a Surprised or Unaware target.
  • Attacking a Massive (Size [7]) target.
  • Shooting a target at Point Blank range.
  • Evading an attack that has been anticipated for at least one round.
Routine +20 Bonus
  • Melee attacks against a foe that is outnumbered three to one or more.
  • Attacking a Stunned opponent.
  • Attacking an Enormous (Size [6]) target.
  • Evading an attack whilst in full cover from the attacker.
Ordinary +10 Bonus
  • Attacking a Prone opponent with a melee weapon.
  • Attacking from higher ground.
  • Attacking a Hulking (Size [5]) target.
  • Shooting a target at Short range.
  • Making a Standard Attack action.
  • Melee attacks against a foe who is outnumbered two to one.
  • Evading an attack whilst in partial cover from the attacker.
Challenging +0 Bonus
  • Attacking an Average (Size [4]) target.
  • Making a Swift Attack action.
Difficult –10 Penalty
  • Shooting at a target at Long range.
  • Shooting a Prone target.
  • Attacking a Scrawny (Size [3]) target.
  • Attacking an enemy in melee whist Prone.
  • Making a Lightning Attack action.
  • Making a Full-Auto ranged action.
Hard –20 Penalty
  • Shooting into melee combat.
  • Performing a Called Shot action.
  • Dodging whilst Prone.
  • Making an unarmed attack against an armed opponent.
  • Melee attacks in the darkness.
  • Shooting at a target in fog, mist, or shadow.
  • Attacking a Puny (Size [2]) target.
  • Using a weapon without the correct Weapon Training talent.
Very Hard –30 Penalty
  • Attacking or Dodging in deep snow.
  • Firing a heavy weapon that has not been Braced.
  • Attacking a Miniscule (Size [1]) target.
  • Shooting a target at Extreme range.
  • Shooting a completely concealed target.
  • Evading an attack whilst unable to see its source.
  • Shooting at a target in darkness.