WHO CAN FIGHT?
To be able to fight in HtH, a model must have a valid target within Reach and an HtH weapon equipped. Most models are naturally outfitted for close combat. Fists, horns, hooves, teeth and such, all count as HtH weapons.
Usually a model can Reach any enemy inside its FoV and within 1” from its Base. A model’s individual FoV is also known as its Front. The area outside of FoV is the Rear.
A model can only attack targets in Front of it. Team View doesn’t affect Reach.
Bigger models have longer Reach. Some weapons such as polearms also provide extra Reach to average-sized combatants. Models that can’t fight in HtH for any reason don’t have Reach.
LOCKED IN COMBAT
Any model that comes within Reach of an enemy model becomes Locked in Combat. If any models in a Group are in combat, the entire Group counts as Locked, although models are free to split from the group thus disengaging from combat as well.
Locked models can’t:
- Make any Ranged Attempts.
- Give or receive orders unless issued within the same Group.
If a Locked model attempts to leave the Reach AoE of an enemy model, the enemy is eligible for a Reaction that counts as an Automatic Hit against Rear armour.
Note that difference in Reach can mean that only one model will be Locked in combat while the other one will remain free to go around its business. This is the case when a halberdier threatens soldiers with shorter weapons, safe from retaliation.
The same situation occurs when a model engages an enemy from the Rear.
A model that is locked in combat at the beginning of the Action can make following Movement actions:
A model makes 1” movement as a RA to adjust its position without provoking Reactions from the enemy. After this movement the model can make an HtH Attempt against a valid target as part of the same Action.
Sidestepping model can either Move 1” or Change Facing but not both during the same Action.
If after Sidestepping the model is no longer within Reach of an enemy model, it disengages from combat and is free to move and otherwise act normally, starting next Action.
BREAKING FROM COMBAT
The worst way to get out of combat is to turn back and run; alas, a model can be compelled to do so.
Any Movement action other than Sidestep that leads to a model leaving opponent’s Reach counts as Breaking from combat and allows an Automatic hit Reaction, resolved against Rear armour. A model that Breaks from combat can complete the declared movement if it survives.
FIGHTING IN HAND-TO-HAND
A Hand-to-Hand attack is a Regular Action governed by Physique. If there is more than one valid target within Reach, you must choose which enemies your model is going to attack. You don’t have to spend all of model’s Actions on the same enemy and can split them between available targets instead.
In this example only the Rogue, the Dog and the Caveman can participate in HtH. The Barbarian can’t fight the Rogue because he is not within Reach. The Barbarian still counts as part of the Group in combat for the purpose of distributing shots, etc. But he is not Locked in combat and can split from the group at will without penalty.
Before any dice are rolled, you must declare all models attacking a target model including how many Actions each model will spend. Once an attack on a particular model is resolved, no other model can declare attacks against the target model this Turn.
The Acting player’s models can resolve declared actions in any order. Once the attacker nominates the model that is going to fight, the defender can choose whether to react or to hold back.
A model can respond with an HtH action as long as it has Actions remaining. A model that has no Actions left, or chooses not to respond for any reason, can still participate in HtH Contest if it is the target, but it won’t gain an Armour Penetration attempt if it wins.
Textbook Tactics: overwhelm one enemy model at a time with superior numbers. A single soldier can actively outfight only so many. If you are the defending side, choose wisely which models to counterattack. The cheapest expendables will probably strike first to soak up any retaliation, but if they score a lucky hit, your model may not get to fight at all.
Hand-to-hand Contests are resolved one at a time, meaning that only two models are involved in a Contest at any given moment. Each model rolls its (PH) D6. To win Hand-to-Hand, you must beat your opponent’s single best score. If they are equal, compare second best scores, and so on.
The winner in Hand-to-Hand can make an Armour Penetration attempt. A Draw can also occur, meaning that neither contestant managed to best the other.
Example 1: The Berserker (5,3,1) defeats the Knight (4,4,3,3)
A model with fewer dice to roll retains a chance to win HtH Contest, although more dice improve your odds.
Example 2: The Knight (6,6,3,2) is not able to overcome the Magician (6) by the sheer luck of the latter. It is a draw. Both models remain locked in combat. Some demons are definitely involved.
Example 3: The Crossbowman (6,5) outfights the Barbarian (6,4,4,2) against the odds. His second best score is higher than his opponent’s.
If a target was removed from play before all actions have been resolved, the remaining actions are not wasted and this model is allowed to resolve them against a different valid target. The model is also allowed to Sidestep. All attacks resolved in this way are treated as Collateral damage.
A model can Overrun any number of times as long as it has Actions left.
Example: The Berserker and the Dog both declare a total of 4 HtH attacks on the Spearman.
The Red player redirects remaining 3 attacks towards the Crossbowman. The Dog Overruns to get within Reach of the new target.
You can opt not to engage a new target but resolve all remaining actions as normal HtH attacks against the same model in which case they will count towards Overkill.
In combat you can count on superior numbers, initiative, terrain and clever positioning to gain further advantage.
A Charging model exploits momentum to overwhelm the defender in a brutal onslaught or with a single blow with the weight of the entire body behind it.
If a model has Momentum token when it declares an HtH attempt, the token is expended and the model gains +1D6 bonus for the subsequent Contest in addition to any special benefits provided by the weapon.
Claiming a position that is elevated, hard to access or otherwise defensible can help to make up for the difference in size and numbers.
A model suffers a -1D6 penalty on all HtH Attempts against a target occupying GG.
DAMN GOOD GROUND
An even better fortified position will provide ground for a long stand and is often a key and fiercely contested area of the battlefield.
A model suffers a -2D6 penalty on all HtH Attempts against a target occupying DGG.
Decide which elements provide bonuses before placing them on the table. For example, a duelist who jumps on top of a tavern table can be considered standing on Good Ground versus the surrounding riff-raff, while occupying the top of castle ramparts and poking wall climbers with a spear is a Damn Good advantage.
Other examples of GG:
- Top of a hill
- Bank of a river where the crossing enemy will have to fight knee-deep in water on slippery rocks
Examples of DGG:
- A barricaded hill
- Fortified trenches with tank traps and razor wire
- A magic forest with all manner of strangling roots and living vines
A Shield is a unique piece of equipment that has served as a bulwark against all odds for millennia and into the age of firearms and explosives. Regardless of the field of battle, a soldier can always rely on his shield.
All HtH Attempts made from the Front against an Average or Smaller model carrying a shield are resolved with -1D6 penalty.
Models can’t react to attacks coming from the Rear, and every armour has dents. Watch your six with lots of nasty stuff creeping around and exploit superior numbers and stealth to surround a tough nut.
HtH attacks from outside the model’s individual FoV hit automatically. You don’t have to win a Contest, nor can the enemy declare a Reaction.
Although most creatures can fight Hand-to-Hand, not all are blessed with natural weapons. Human fists in fact are not treated as such, not against steel or fangs and claws.
If a model is Unarmed, it resolves all HtH Attempts against a target that has a weapon equipped with -1D6 penalty.
Regardless of any penalties, a model can always roll at least 1D6 in Hand-to-Hand unless special rules state otherwise. If a model is ever unable to participate in the Contest for any reason, it counts as an Automatic win for the enemy.