Combat ranges are divided into range bands that abstract movement, space and ranged distances. The ranges are best represented on a map divided into squares. Each square can contain multiple combatants. The position of all characters should be marked in each square with tokens. Characters in close contact are in the same square, with tokens touching each other. Entering close contact within the same range band requires a movement, either as part of a dash or in a seperate movement.
Close contact is a special range within the same square. Characters in close contact are within a touching range. As such, it is required for close combat, first aid, sharing items and most other physical activities.
Combat ranges simulate effective engagement ranges during team-sized skirmishing. Actual battles would use longer ranges.
Close Contact (Very Close, next to each other)
Very Close (0-30 m)
Close (30-60 m)
Distant (60-90 m)
Far (90-120 m)
Very Far (120 – 150 m)
Extreme Outside combat phasing, only available for weapons with far/very far optimal range
Ordinary movement in combat takes one action and allows the character to change one range band or enter into close contact within the range band. Ordinary movement requires no skill checks, excluding impassable terrain. Moving characters benefit from cover, as they are assumed to be using it to their advantage during combat.
While taking one move or staying put, make an opposed Stealth/Perception check modified by cover. If hidden, the character can only be targeted by area weapons through area attacks. Two successful Stealth checks in a row mean the opponent becomes unaware of the character. The character can then disengage or ambush the opponents.
A character can run in combat, going as fast as he can to cover more ground. Dashing uses two actions and allows the character to pass two range bands. A dashing character loses the benefit of cover and can’t use Defense Pool. If a Seriously or Lethally Wounded character dashes, he immediately Bleeds one wound as per bleeding rules. Dashing on easy terrain requires no checks. Dashing on difficult terrain requires an Acrobatics or Athletics check, as is most applicable to the circumstances. Failure means the character only moves one range band, while still taking two actions. Critical failure knocks the character prone and causes half of the check difficulty in damage. (2D for 3D/4D terrain, 3D for 5D terrain)
Easy terrain (no check): roads, smooth plains, empty streets, plains and fields
Difficult terrain (3D): muddy roads, light snow, sparse forest, city streets, unstable bridge
Hard terrain (4D): crowded streets, heavy snow, uneven ground, forests, heavy undergrowth, narrow path
Very hard terrain (5D): swamps, jungle, dense ruins, fortifications, shallow water, narrow ledge
Movement through impassable terrain is slow and uncertain – two move actions are required for moving one range band. Movement always requires a skill check as with dashing (Swimming is used for water). Failure means the characters wastes the actions and makes no progress. Critical failure knocks the character prone and inflicts damage equal to the check difficulty. Whether impassable terrain grants cover or not depends on the terrain. Someone climbing a cliff will be exposed, while crawling through barbed wire would offer cover. Impassable terrain activates bulk penalties.
Hard (4D): jagged cliffs, deep water, deep bogs, barricades & obstacles
Very hard (5D): walls, wet or icy cliffs, strong currents or streams
Dramatic (6D): tall mountainsides, dangerous Techmantic contraptions, stampeding herd of cattle
Cover abstracts terrain that obstruct the characters from view, provide protection from projectiles or both. Cover is only available when the characters are moving slowly, using one action for movement per turn. Shooting at a character in cover and missing by three or six can cause other effects. For example, shooting at someone hiding in a crowd might hit a bystander. Cover grants no benefit in close contact.
More than one range band (one map square) of heavy cover usually blocks the line of sight. Medium and heavy cover terrains activate bulk penalties.
No cover: empty plaza, empty road, barren field, railroad, waterways
Light cover (+1D): city streets, light undergrowth, sparse trees, tall field, light mist, dim illumination
Medium cover (+2D): crowded streets, dense undergrowth, forest, darkness, thick fog
Heavy cover (+3D): starless night, jungle, blizzard, dense ruins, heavy machinery, fortifications
Extreme range engagements are done outside the combat phasing. They can be portrayed through chase rules or opposed checks. For example, two snipers hunting each other would do opposite checks between Stealth, Tactics and so forth. The winner would get to take the shot on an extreme range.
Each ranged weapon has one or two optimal ranges. Hitting a target on these ranges requires a 4D check modified by cover. Hitting targets outside the optimal range is harder. Difficulties assume shooting at single targets; hitting a formation or a crowd is much easier.
Taking a shot takes two actions. Taking a snapshot without aiming takes one action, but adds +1D to the difficulty. Called shot to specific hit location add +2D. Shooting in close contact is a 3D check and ignores cover, but Defense Pool can be used as against melee attacks.
A shot aimed at a horseman will hit his mount with a miss by three. Fired into close contact, a miss by three hits a random target. When firing into a wrestling match or a crowd, a miss by six or less hits a random target.
Using an action for aiming and then shooting with an aimed shot adds +2 TN. Aiming for an extensive time – at least half a minute (three rounds) – grants -1D. Only firearms and crossbows benefit from the latter type of aiming.
Area fire is an attack used to rake an entire range band. It is only available to burst weapons, explosives and other area attack weapons. Area fire has +2D in addition to other modifiers. If the attack hits, all targets are affected as if by a hit by three. Targets of an area attack must take a Terror check, as determined in the equipment description.
Quick loading requires a 4D check with Archery or Firearms using Agility as a base or with Crossbows using Vigor. Success cuts reloading time to half, rounded up. Failure means the character wastess half of the reloading time. A fumble results in a foiled loading which causes an automatic Reliability failure. (See page XX for Reliability rules.) A critical success reloads immediately without taking an action at all.
Close contact 3D (Defence pool can be used)
Optimal range 4D + cover
Outside range +1D per range band from optimal
Extreme 5D for very far, 6D for far optimal range
Most melee weapons can only be used in close contact with the target. Long weapons are the exception; they can be used against any target inside the same range band.