Formations that carry out an engage action are allowed to move and then fight an assault. An assault represents a chaotic situation wherein troops desperately try to seize a vital objective, or fight a tenacious defence to keep the objective in allied hands. Assaults are not necessarily face to face or toe to toe, but are simply close enough that individual infantry are able to engage in the fight and make use of their small arms, grenades and other short ranged weapons. Casualties will often be high on both sides, and at the end of the assault, one side or the other will be forced to withdraw with its morale shattered, leaving the field to the victor.

An important note is that, unless otherwise stated, formations are never required to take an engage action. In fact, so long as they do not enter the opponent's zone of control, two formations can approach one another as closely as they want without ever initiating an assault.

Conceptually, every assault can represent a battle all its own - one that would likely require at least an hour to resolve in a more granular combat system.

Sequence of Assault

  • Phase 1 : Pre-Assault
    • I. Choose Target Formation
  • Phase 2 : Start Assault
    • II. Make Charge Move
    • III. Make Counter-Charges
    • IV. Resolve Attacks
    • V. Work Out Result
  • Phase 3 : End Assault
    • VI. Loser Withdraws
    • VII. Winner Consolidates

Choose Target Formation

A formation taking an engage action must pick an enemy formation as the target of the assault. Any enemy formation may be chosen anywhere on the battlefield, though for reasons that will become apparent it makes sense to choose a formation nearby.

Under certain circumstances, a formation may assault two or more enemy formations that are close together. For the purposes of the assault, treat the multiple enemy formations as a single formation.

Charge Move

A formation undertaking an engage action is allowed to make one move, known as a charge move or charge, before fighting an assault against the enemy formation that was chosen as the target of the charge. This move is resolved normally, according to the usual movement rules.

Once the move is complete, the engaging formation must have at least one unit within 4 tiles of a unit from the target formation. If this is not the case, then the assault does not take place and the action ends.

Units making a charge move are allowed to enter enemy zones of control in order to move into close contact with an enemy unit from the target formation. Moving into close contact allows the unit to fight with its close combat value rather than its firefight value. This is the only time a unit may enter an enemy zone of control. Note that charging units may not enter the zone of control of a formation that is not the target of the assault.

Counter Charges

Defending units that are not already in close contact with an enemy unit are allowed to counter charge. Counter-charge move distance is equal to 25% of a unit's normal speed. Counter charges happen after the engaging formation has finished moving and any overwatch shots have been taken, but before the combat portion of an assault occurs. All the normal charge move rules apply, and defending formations must still be in a legal formation after the counter charge moves have been made. Units on board a transport may vacate the vehicle.

A unit must use their counter charge move to move directly towards the closest enemy unit. It may move into close contact if within range, so long as the enemy is not already in contact with two defending units. Units can choose not to counter charge, but those that do counter charge must head towards the nearest enemy.

Counter charging units are allowed to counter charge enemy units from any enemy formation, not just the one they were assaulted by. Any enemy formations that are contacted by counter charging units are drawn into the assault, and will fight just as if they had made the assault themselves. Treat them and the original attacking formation as a single formation for all rules purposes for the duration of the assault.

Resolve Attacks

All units have two assault values: a close combat value and a firefight value. Units that are in close contact with the enemy use the close combat value, while units that are not in base contact but are within 4 tiles and have a line of fire to the enemy can use their firefight value. Units that are armed only with close combat weapons and do not have any small arms or other ranged weapons may only attack if in close contact with the enemy.

Note that Shock does not suppress units from formations involved in an assault — even cowards will fight when their back is to the wall.

Roll 1D6 for each unit that can attack. Compare the dice roll to the unit’s close combat value if it’s in close contact with the enemy, or its firefight value if it’s within 4 tiles of the enemy but not in close contact. If the dice roll is equal to or less than the target value, then a hit is scored on the enemy. No modifiers ever apply to these dice rolls.

Both attack and defender allocate the hits and make saving throws in the same manner as they would when allocating hits from shooting. Hits may only be allocated to units that were directly engaged in the combat — that is, those that belong to the attacking or defending formation and were within 4 tiles of the enemy. Infantry units from formations taking a charge action may not take cover saves, but other infantry units may take cover saves normally.

If all of the units in the defending formation have been killed and at least one attacker survives, then the attacker wins and the assault is over. If all of the attacking units directly engaged in the assault are killed then the assault has stalled and the defender wins. Attackers are considered to be directly engaged when within 4 tiles of of a defending unit after charge and counter-charge moves have been completed. If even one of the original attackers that were within 4 tiles of the enemy survives, then the attack has not stalled. In any other case, both sides can call in supporting fire.

Important Note: Units destroyed in an assault do not count for applying Shock or for breaking a formation until after the result of the combat has been worked out. Also note that the attacker must completely destroy the defending formation to win at this stage, while all the defender has to do is to kill all the attacking units that made it to within 4 tiles of a defender.

Supporting Fire

If the assault has not ended by this point, both attacker and defender can call on support. Calling on support allows units from other formations to attack with their firefight value if they are within 4 tiles and have a line of fire to an enemy unit directly involved in the assault. In this case, directly involved means belonging to the attacking or defending formation(s) and in a position to attack. Broken units and those that have Marched this turn cannot lend support.

Roll to hit using the firefight values of the supporting formations, then allocate hits and make saving throws as though performing shooting attacks. Once all casualties have been removed, work out the result of the attack.

Work Out Result

If one side has completely wiped the other side out, then it is the winner. If this isn’t the case, then both attacker and defender roll 2D6 and drop the lowest result, adding any modifiers that apply from the chart below. The formation with the higher final score wins the assault.

The losing formation suffers a number of extra hits equal to the difference between the two sides’ result scores. There are no saves for these hits, which represent units being felled as they turn and run, or disintegrating into a panic-driven rout as they flee. Remove these additional casualties as normal, starting with those in close contact, then the units closest to the enemy.

In the event of a tie, begin a second assault using any surviving units, starting with step 3. Unlike before, both attacker and defender make counter-charges, with the attacker moving first. If a second round is fought, any casualties from the first round carry over when working out the result of the combat.

Assault Modifiers
Criteria Modifier
For Each Unit Destroyed +1
More Units Remaining +1
Double Units Remaining +1
Zero Shock Points +1
Fewer Shock Points +1

Loser Withdraws

After the result of the combat has been determined, the losing formations are broken and must withdraw, while formations on the winning side receive Shock points for the casualties they suffered.

If the losing formation was already broken when it was assaulted, then all its remaining units are destroyed and removed from play as casualties. A losing formation that is not broken becomes broken and may withdraw. Multiple formations that joined the assault as a single formation are only destroyed if the intermingled formation was considered broken before the assault.

Once any additional casualties have been removed, any surviving units on the losing side must make an immediate withdrawal as explained in the rules for broken formations.

Finally, any formations belonging to the losing side that could have provided supporting fire receive one point of Shock each, even if they did not actually lend support.

Winner Consolidates

After the loser has withdrawn, each winning formation receives a number of Shock points equal to the number of its units that were killed by the enemy. Note that it is possible for a formation to win an assault and then become broken by the casualties that suffered. In this case, the winning formation is broken, but does not have to make a withdrawal even if other enemy units are within 4 tiles. If the winner of the combat was already broken at the start of the combat, they do not receive any additional Shock.

Any units on the winning side may then move 1 tile. This is a free bonus move, intended to allow attacking units to occupy territory they have captured. Units may not enter an enemy’s zone of control when they consolidate.

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