THE ASSAULT PHASE

While firepower may be enough to drive an enemy back from open ground or lightly held positions, shifting a determined foe from a fortified bunker or ruined settlement will need sterner measures. In an assault troops storm forward, screaming their battlecries, eager to strike at their foe with knives, claws, gun butts or anything else in a desperate close combat. The term Assault covers all eight steps summarised below:

  1. Declare Charges. Announce which of your units intend to charge.
  2. Move Charging Units. Move units which are charging.
  3. Fight Close Combat. Troops fight in close combat.
  4. Determine Assault Results. Total up wounds inflicted. The side which inflicted the most wounds is the winner.
  5. Loser Checks Morale. The loser has to pass a Leadership test or fall back. If the loser passes the test go to step 9.
  6. Losers break-off and winners consolidate. Units falling back from close combat must test to see if they successfully break off, the winners may reorder their ranks
  7. Pile in. If units are still engaged in close combat then any models not in base to base contact are moved towards the enemy to continue the fight next turn.
  8. Fall back!
1. DECLARE CHARGES

In his own assault phase a player can declare a charge with any of his units that are within 6" of an enemy unit and not already in close combat. The unit may charge any enemy unit that can be contacted by at least one of its models making a 6” assault move avoiding any obstructions such as impassable terrain or other enemy units which you do not wish to contact.

A unit may Charge multiple enemy units but only if each unit to be charged is within 2” of one of the others and the charging unit can reach them all without losing unit coherency.

A unit that fired in the shooting phase of the current turn may only declare a Charge against the unit it shot at.

2. MOVE CHARGING UNITS

Charging units may now move into close combat with the unit (or units) they have declared charges against.

Once a model is in base to base contact with an enemy model the units that the models belong to as well as the models themselves are said to be ENGAGED.

Move all the models in each charging unit before moving on to the next unit. The charging player decides the sequence in which his units will move. All the models in a charging unit make an extra 6" move in exactly the same way as if moving in the movement phase.

Start the charge by moving a single model from the charging unit. The model selected should be the one nearest the enemy being charged. Move the model into contact with the nearest enemy model being charged, remember that if the enemy is not within 6” of at least one model the charge does not happen. This is the start point of the close combat. Next move each model in the charging unit in turn up to 6” toward the unit or units they have declared a charge on.

After the first model in the unit has been moved you can move the others in any sequence you desire. There are some constraints on their movement though. The most important one is that each model must end its charge move in coherency with another model in the same unit that has already moved. If possible the model must contact an unengaged enemy model in a unit that has been charged. If there are no unengaged models in reach then you must contact an enemy model that is already Engaged with one or more friendly models. If you cannot reach any enemy models you must try to move within 2” of one of your own models that is Engaged with an enemy model. If this is impossible then the charging model must just obey the main rule and move to within 2” of a member of its own unit that has already moved.

If you follow this sequence you will end up with all the models in the charging unit in 2” unit coherency distance of one another, having engaged as many enemy models as possible with as many chargers as possible.

In all cases models may not move through friendly or enemy models and may not pass through gaps narrower than their base diameter. You may not move models within 1” of enemy models they are not charging.

Enemy units that have been charged but have not been contacted are not considered to be Engaged and are not involved in the combat in any way.

Terrain Effects. Models assaulting into, out of or through difficult terrain will be slowed down in the same manner as models moving through it in the movement phase. Roll two D6 and pick the highest to see how far they can move. If their move is insufficient to reach the target unit then the charge does not proceed and no hand to hand combat ensues, the models are not moved and it is assumed they simply did not have time to scramble through the difficult terrain.

3. FIGHTING A CLOSE COMBAT

How good creatures are in close combat depends almost entirely on their physical characteristics, in other words how fast, strong, tough and ferocious they are. Armour remains useful for warding off blows and shots but weaponry becomes a secondary consideration – the best gun in the galaxy won’t help if your opponent is bashing your brains out with a rock!

In close combat both players’ models fight. How many blows are struck and who strikes first is discussed below. The rules are written assuming that there is only a single close combat occurring in the turn, of course there may be several separate assaults being fought simultaneously in different parts of the battlefield. If this is the case the player whose turn it is can choose what order to fight the combats in.

Who can fight? Close combat is a swirling mêlée of fighters leaping forward, spinning, hacking and slashing at one another. As well as fighting hand-to-hand, warriors will be firing at point blank range at any target that presents itself.

Models in base to base contact with the enemy fight with their full number of attacks and count the benefits of any special close combat attack forms they have. All models that are within 2" of an Engaged friendly model will take part in the fighting as well, not just those in base contact. They only get a single attack though regardless of the number of attacks on their profile and get no benefit from any special close combat attack forms they have.

WHO STRIKES FIRST

Troops who are defending cover have a massive advantage in an assault. They can fire from their hiding place at their approaching enemies and then smite them down as they struggle to get to grips with their hidden foe. It’s all in the reflexes when it comes to combat in the open: slow lumbering opponents can be quickly dispatched by a faster and more agile foe. Unfortunately, lumbering opponents such as Orks are tough enough to be able to withstand a vicious pummelling and still come back for more.

In close combat models defending in or behind cover strike first. Resolve all their attacks and remove any casualties before moving on to the rest of the models. Fighting for the remainder is resolved according to the Initiative value of the models. Models with the highest Initiative attack first, then the next highest and so on.

Work your way down the Initiative scores in each separate combat until everyone has fought (assuming they haven’t already been killed by a model in cover or with a higher Initiative). If both sides have models with the same Initiative, attacks are made simultaneously.

COVER

Models in or behind cover normally fight first in close combat regardless of Initiative. This represents the advantage of cover – their attacks include not only close fighting but also shots against the enemy as they charge in. Apart from this cover does not affect hits or anything else in an assault. After the first round of close combat fighting is assumed to have swept into the cover so it gives no further advantage to models in it. Note that cover advantage applies only to models in cover that are being charged. Some units count as being in cover all the time because of psychic abilities or weird force fields, these are of no benefit if the unit charges.

Sometimes a unit will only count as being in cover if it is assaulted from a specific direction from which the cover has an effect. For example a Space Marine squad behind some oil drums is in cover if assaulted over the oil drums but not if assaulted from the rear. If a direct line from any of the assaulting models to the closest enemy model, before assaulting troops are moved passes through the cover then it is assumed to be enough of an obstruction to count.

ATTACKS

Attacks in close combat work like shots in shooting – each attack that hits has a chance to wound, the wounded model gets a chance to save, and if it fails is (generally) removed as a casualty. Each model baseto- base with an enemy model strikes with the number of Attacks (A) on his characteristics profile. In addition the following bonus attacks apply.

+1 Two Weapons. Models in base-to-base contact with an additional close combat weapon or pistol in each hand have an extra +1 Attack. Models with more than two weapons gain no additional benefit – you only get one extra Attack regardless of whether you have two or more close combat weapons.

+1 Charge. Models in base-to-base contact who launched the close assault that turn (ie charged) get +1 Attack on their normal profile for that turn only if they did not fire in the shooting phase. Models belonging to units which fired in the shooting phase do not receive the charged bonus.

Exception: Models such as Bikes, Dreadnoughts and Walkers which always count as stationary when firing always receive the charge bonus whether or not they fire before entering close combat.

Models not touching an enemy, but within 2" of a model from their own unit that is touching an enemy, may make one Attack regardless of their profile, armament or whether they charged.

Rolling to hit. To determine whether hits are scored roll a D6 for each Attack a model has. The dice roll needed to score a hit on your enemies depends on the relative Weapon Skills (WS) of the attackers and their foes.

Compare. the Weapon Skill of the attackers with the Weapon Skill of their opponents and consult the following chart to find the minimum score needed on a D6 to hit.

EXAMPLE: A unit of five Space Marines fighting five Eldar would roll five D6s for their attacks. If they were charging they would roll ten D6s (1 Attack +1 each for charging).

Attacks should be rolled together where the same to hit roll is needed, this approach saves time and speeds up the game when you’ve got several big close combats going on at once. In the example above therefore the Space Marine player would roll his ten attacks together.

Hitting units with different weapon skills. Many units in Warhammer 40,000 contain models with different levels of Weapon Skill. Attacks against a unit are resolved using the Weapon Skill of the majority type in the unit. If for example A mob of twenty Grots (WS2) is led by an Ork Slaver (WS4), while the grots are in the majority attacks against the unit are resolved using their WS of 2, however skilled the Slaver is he can’t prevent the Grots getting hit in the first place. If there is no majority Weapon Skill type use the lowest Weapon Skill in the unit.

When models attack calculate their own to hit numbers they do so based on their own Weapon Skill. If the Grots and Slaver hit back at their enemies The grots to hit number will be based on a comparison of WS2 with the enemy WS, the Slaver on a comparison of WS4 with the enemy WS.

Allocating Attacks. We simply assume that the warrior is contributing his shots and blows to the swirling combat going on.

This means we don’t have to worry about whether individual models strike their respective opponents in base contact.

When a unit inflicts hits they may only affect enemy models who are in contact with them or who are within 2” of a model that is in contact with them. These are the only enemies able to strike back at them so it is reasonable that these are the only ones who can be hurt.

WOUNDS

Rolling to Wound. Not all of the attacks that do hit will harm your enemy. They may be deflected by equipment, parried at the last moment or merely inflict a graze or flesh wound. Once you have scored a hit with an Attack you must roll again to see if you score a Wound and incapacitate your foe.

The procedure is the same as for shooting. Consult the chart above, cross-referencing the attacker’s Strength characteristic (S) with the defender’s Toughness (T). The chart indicates the minimum D6 roll required to inflict a Wound.

Example: A Space Marine (Strength 4) hits a Dark Eldar (Toughness 3). Referring to the Damage chart above we find that the Space Marine requires a 3 or more on a D6 to wound.

What Strength To Use. In almost all cases, when rolling to wound in close combat use the Strength on the attacker’s profile, regardless of what gun they are using. Some (but not all) close combat weapons may give the attacker a Strength bonus, this is explained in Close Combat weapons. So, for example, the Grots attacks are made with their puny Strength of 2, but the Slaver’s attacks use his more macho Strength of 3.

Different Toughness’. If the unit being attacked contains models with different Toughness, then the hits are converted to wounds using the majority Toughness in the unit. If there is an equal number the owning player chooses which is used. To continue the example above, The unit of Grots (T2)and Ork slaver (T4) will suffer to wound rolls using the Grots meagre Toughness as they are in the majority.

ARMOUR SAVES

Models struck and wounded in close combat can attempt an armour save to avoid becoming casualties.

Models usually get to save regardless of the attacker’s Strength but some especially monstrous creatures and powerful close combat weapons will punch straight through armour.

Note that cover provides no extra protection in close combat as it does against shooting. Remember that invulnerable models are allowed to make invulnerable saving throws even where armour saving throws would not normally be allowed. If the rules for a weapon or attack states that no armour save is allowed then only an Invulnerable save may be made.

Different Armour saves. If the unit being attacked contains models with different armour saves a special procedure is used. Total up the models with the majority armour save in the unit and make that number of saving throws using the majority armour save. If there is an equal number of models the owning player chooses which is used, and note that only models within 2” of an enemy count. Once save have been taken remove the casualties from the models with the majority save. If there are any hits remaining to be saved against, total up the models with the majority armour save again (bear in mind that casualties could mean a different armour save is now in the majority) and make that number of saving throws. Remove casualties and keep repeating this process until all the hits have been either saved or taken as wounds. This approach is applied at each Intiative step as the hits are made, and will tend to whittled down the unit over the course of a close combat round.

Example: A Dark Eldar Archon’s bodyguard of four Incubi (Sv3+) and Six warriors (Sv5+) suffer eight wounds in close combat. There are six models in the unit with a save of 5+ so six armour save rolls are attempted, four fail and four of the Warriors are removed as casualties, The Incubi are now in the majority and the remaining two hits are saved against using their 3+ armour save.

SPECIAL CLOSE COMBAT ATTACKS

Even though high powered lasers and plasma weapons scour the battlefields of the 41st millennium close combat remains commonplace – sieges, city fighting, boarding actions and tunnel warfare are noted more for the ferocity of the fighting than any strategic nuances. Seasoned warriors always bear a deadly array of clubs, knives, frag grenades and bayonets for close-quarter fighting.

Assault troops will be even more fully equipped, taking pistols, swords and axes into battle with them. Most deadly of all are the power weapons that are sheathed in disruptive energy fields of crackling blue bale-fire. Power weapons splinter ceramite armour plates and melt plasteel in the blink of an eye, smashing through even the toughest armour like paper.

Specialised weaponry can give troops a real edge in close combat. Some of the most common close combat weapons and special attacks are listed below. Note that models with special close combat attacks can always choose not to use them and attack normally instead, if you’re wondering why you might want to do that read the Power Fist entry below! Sometimes a model might be equipped with more than one type of special weapon, a power fist in one hand and a power axe in the other for example. In this situation the player can opt to have the model strike in initiative sequence with the power axe counting the power fist as an additional close combat weapon or strike at initiative 1 with the power fist counting the power axe as an additional close combat weapon.

Power Fist or Claw. A power fist or claw is a powered, armoured gauntlet surrounded by an energy field that disrupts solid matter. It is an awesome weapon most commonly seen fitted to Space Marine Terminator armour.

A power fist or claw doubles the user’s Strength up to a maximum of 10 and ignores armour saves.

The only drawback is that a power fist is slow and cumbersome to use, so a model armed with a power fist or claw always strikes at Initiative 1 no matter what its bearer’s Initiative is (including any bonuses for special rules or wargear – power fists always strike at Initiative 1 no matter what!).

Lightning Claws. Lightning claws are commonly used as matched pairs. They consist a number of blades extending from a housing on the wrist and back of the hand. Each blade is a mini-power weapon in its own right and if they hit one blade or another is likely to wound. Lightning Claws ignore Armour Saves and may re-roll any to wound dice that fail to wound once each. The only weapon that can provide an additional close combat weapon attack bonus for a model with a Lightning Claw is another Lightning Claw.

Power Weapons. A power weapon (typically a sword or axe, but more rarely a glaive, halberd or mace) is sheathed in the lethal haze of a disruptive energy field. When a blow is struck a crackling blast of energy tears at the target, eating through armour, flesh and bone with ease.

A model armed with a power weapon ignores armour saves. Note that some power weapons may provide the attacker with bonus strength in addition. These will be detailed in the appropriate army codex.

Close Combat Weapons (chainswords/swords/axes/pistols etc). There is a bewildering array of close combat weapons ranging from simple clubs and axes to hand flamers and chainswords. These weapons confer no bonus to the strength or hitting power of combatants. However, as a model with a weapon in each hand gains an additional attack against an enemy in base-to-base contact, swords and pistols (or similar hand weapons) remain a useful combination for hand-to-hand fighting. A plasma pistol like other pistols can be used as a close combat weapon. It confers no strength bonus or particular armour penetration advantages though.

Poisoned Weapons. Poisoned Weapons are particularly feared and can include everything from normal weapons daubed in venom to hypodermic claws. They do not rely on a comparison of strength and toughness to wound but will normally wound on a 4+. Some venoms are so lethal that the merest drop can kill, these will wound on a 2+, weapons with this type of lethal venom are described in the appropriate Army Codex’s.

Heavy Close Combat Weapons. Heavy close combat weapons are similar to close combat weapons but are particularly massive and are used to batter through an opponents defences. Examples include the Ork Choppa and the mighty Chainaxe used by Berserkers of Khorne. There is no armour that can completely protect its wearer against a direct blow from such a weapon and the best hope is to dodge to turn it into a glancing blow. Against a heavy close combat weapon better armour provides sharply diminishing rewards, the maximum armour save that applies against Heavy Close Combat weapons is 4+ and any model with a better save will only save on 4+.

Rending Weapons. Rending weapons is a category that includes the sharpest edged and pointed weapons. Whilst not massive or excessively powerful a well-placed blow from a rending weapon can tear through any armour and make a mockery of flesh and bone. Any roll to hit of 6 with a rending weapon will automatically cause a wound with no armour saving throw possible. Against a vehicle any penetration roll of 6 allows a further D6 to be rolled and the result added to the total score.

Force Weapons. Force weapons are potent psychic weapons that can only be used by a trained psyker such as a Librarian. They are treated as a power weapon, but can unleash a psychic attack that kills an opponent outright. Roll to hit and wound as normal, taking any Invulnerable saving throws. Then, as long as one wound has been inflicted make a single psychic test for the psyker against one opponent wounded by the weapon. The normal rules for using psychic weapons apply, and you may not use another psychic power in the same turn. If the test is passed then the opponent is slain outright, no matter how many wounds it has (but count the actual number inflicted for determining who won the assault). Force weapons have no special effect against targets that don’t have wounds such as vehicles.

Frag Grenades. Fragmentation grenades can be thrown at opponents in cover to force them to keep their heads down during a charge. The lethal storm of shrapnel from exploding frag grenades will drive opponents further into cover for a few precious moments while the attackers close in.

Troops armed with frag grenades that are charging enemy in or behind cover fight simultaneously with them.

Plasma Grenades. Rather than the crude fragmentation grenades used by other races, the Eldar employ advanced Plasma grenades to stun their enemies when they charge into close combat. Troops using them fight in Initiative sequence when assaulting enemy in cover.

Monstrous Creatures. A monstrous creature is so huge and powerful that its attacks make a mockery of armour, foes are not so much wounded as hideously mangled and crushed.

A monstrous model (Carnifex, Greater Daemon etc,) ignores armour saves. When attacking vehicles a monstrous model rolls two D6 for armour penetration and adds them before adding their strength.

Special close combat attacks vs different armour saves. If special close combat attacks come into play against a unit with different armour saves use the method of making majority saves noted above but applying all special close combat attacks as early as possible. For example the Archon’s retinue suffer four power weapon hits and four normal hits. The six warriors with a 5+ save are in the majority so they suffer the four power weapon hits with no save allowed. Two more hits can be saved against however and one is made, resulting in one more casualtiy on the unfortunate warriors, the remaining two hits carry over and now the Incubi are in the majority and the saves are attempted using their armour save of 3+.

SUFFERING WOUNDS AND REMOVING CASUALTIES

When a unit inflicts wounds they may only affect enemy models in contact with them or within 2” of a model in contact with them. This is effectively the danger zone from which all casualties will be drawn. Otherwise the player suffering the casualties may choose which models die from those in the unit. If the unit has mixed armour types then casualties must be removed from troops with the armour that was used before removing any others. Allocate wounds to one model at a time, each model can absorb wounds equal to their Wound characteristic. Keep allocating wounds to a model until it is dead or all the wounds have been allocated. When a model dies and there are still wounds to be inflicted pick another model and repeat the sequence until all possible casualties have been suffered or the wounds inflicted have all been allocated. Casualties should be removed in such a way that the unit maintains coherency wherever possible. This represents the way that a unit can be whittled down to a tight knot in close combat. It is possible that casualties may exceed the number of models in the danger zone in which case the surplus hits are discarded.

The calculation of which models are in the 2” ‘danger zone’ is made at the start of step 2 (fight close combat) and is not affected by casualties. If a model started a combat in contact with an enemy model that is killed it will be treated as an Engaged model until the end of the assault phase.

If a model becomes a casualty before he has an opportunity to attack then he may not strike back.

When striking blows simultaneously you may find it more convenient to resolve one sides attacks and simply lie wounded models on their side to remind you that they are yet to attack back.

4. DETERMINE ASSAULT RESULTS

Assaults are usually very decisive, one side or the other quickly gains the upper hand and forces back their foe. Numbers and leadership can keep a side in the fight but the casualties each side inflicts is the most telling factor.

To decide who has won the combat, total up the number of wounds inflicted by each side. The side that causes the most is the winner, the other side is the loser and may be forced back if they fail a Leadership check. Note that wounds which have been negated by armour saves do not count, nor do wounds in excess of a model’s Wounds characteristic, only wounds actually inflicted.

If one side destroys the enemy it wins automatically – even if it sustained more casualties. They may consolidate as normal.

If both sides score the same number of wounds the combat is drawn and continues next turn.

5. LOSER CHECKS MORALE

Units who lose a close combat must test their morale to hold their ground. If they fail they must abandon the fight and fall back 2D6". If they pass the unit holds its ground and fights on – basically the combat is drawn and no further account is made of the unit’s defeat (apart from some good natured taunting by the winner!).

Morale checks and Falling Back are covered in more detail in the Morale section of the rules. Some units have have differing fallback rules, where this is the case it is detailed in their special rules.

6. LOSERS BREAKING OFF AND
WINNERS CONSOLIDATING

Where a side has won and their enemies fall back, the victors can consolidate their position.

SWEEPING ADVANCES

Troops which fall back are at their most vulnerable when they first try to disengage from their opponents. If they are unlucky the enemy will cut them down as they turn their backs. To represent this the victors roll 2d6 and compare it to the distance that the defeated troops have rolled to fall back. If it is greater they get an opportunity to strike at them in a Sweeping Advance. The victorious unit may make one further round of assault attacks as contact is broken. Any model that is engaged or within 2” of an engaged friend may make their attacks as normal, they will not receive any bonus attacks for assaulting, just using the number of attacks on their profile but all their attacks hit automatically. The enemy do not get to strike back because they are too busy trying to get away. No further morale tests are caused. Some units like bikes and jump packers make faster sweeping advances – typically 3D6”, where this the case it will be detailed in their specil rules.

CONSOLIDATATION

The victors of a close combat may move up to 3" in any direction to consolidate their position and recover an effective formation. Units consolidating their position ignore difficult terrain. This move may be used to contact new enemy units but the consolidating unit must maintain unit coherency and does not count as charging when the combat is worked out next turn.

Consolidation may not be used to embark on a transport vehicle unless it is open-topped.

7. REINFORCEMENT (or ‘Pile in’) MOVES

At the end of each assault phase models in units that are Engaged but which are not Engaged themselves MUST move up to 6” in an attempt to contact enemy which their own unit is Engaged with. .If they cannot engage the enemy they must get as close as they can to them without moving out of unit coherency. Terrain does not not affect reinforcement moves, or the presence of enemy models,. Unlike in a charge reinforcing models may move through obstructing terrain and models in order to engage, it can be imagined that the fighters at the front of the combat are becoming increasingly embroiled and making such movement possible.

Whenever both sides in an engagement have extra models to move, the player whose turn it is moves first.

MULTIPLE COMBATS

If several units are fighting in the same combat, total up the number of Wounds inflicted by each side to determine who is the winner. All the units on the losing side have to check their morale. Individual winning units can only advance or consolidate if all of the units they are Engaged with fall back. Units that stay fighting may make Reinforcement moves. When a unit is fighting more than one enemy unit their attacks must be divided between them. This is done as follows. Models engaged with or supporting a model engaged with a single unit must attack that unit. Models engaged with enemy from more than one unit or able to support friends engaged with enemy from more than one unit can choose which enemy unit they fight against.

SHOOTING INTO AND OUT OF CLOSE COMBAT

Models closely engaged in close combat may not fire weapons in the shooting phase. They are closely engaged if they are Engaged with an enemy model or are within 2” of a member of their own unit who is Engaged with the enemy. Their attentions are completely engaged by the swirling mêlée. Likewise, while especially twisted and soulless commanders may wish their warriors to fire indiscriminately into close combats in the hopes of hitting the enemy, this is not permitted. The events in a close combat move too quickly and the warriors themselves will be understandably hesitant about firing on their comrades (they may end up in the same straits soon enough after all), so just forget it, alright!

Models belonging to Engaged units that are not Engaged themselves may shoot normally in their own shooting phase and may be shot at in the enemy shooting phase. Blast markers can be re-positioned subject to the normal rules however so it is probably not a good idea to fire battle cannon into the back of a close combat.

FALL BACK!

Fall back is a fighting withdrawal, not an out-and-out rout. Sometimes a fighting retreat in the face of overwhelming odds is the only option left. A withdrawal can give troops the chance to retire to a stronger position to mount a fresh attack or hold off the enemy.

As a unit falls back it moves directly to the player’s table edge, or to the base line where the unit deployed/entered the table if it came on at a different place. We’ve specified this in the Missions in the Battles Book but if you make up your own scenarios be sure you know where your units fall back to. If possible the unit must remain coherent, with gaps of no more than 2" between models as they fall back.

Most units fall back 2D6" each turn until they regroup, some, faster, units such as those on bikes or using jump packs fall back 3d6”.

A unit that falls back must move within a corridor which lies between its most extended models as shown in the diagram – but individual models can move within this corridor as you wish. If a unit is spread out such that its models are more than 2" apart the models must be moved back into coherency as the unit moves.

<< fall-back corridor diagram >>

If the unit moves into, out of or through difficult terrain the distance rolled on the dice that it falls back is halved. Troops will divert around impassable terrain and enemy models, but must move in such a way as to get back to their base line by the shortest route.

FIRING WHILE FALLING BACK

Troops who are falling back may continue to shoot, but as they are moving they may not fire heavy weapons, or rapid fire weapons at anything more than 12" away. They also cannot launch an assault.

Assaulted While Falling Back. A unit which is assaulted by the enemy whilst falling back must check to regroup immediately (see Regrouping below). No modifiers apply to the check in this case, and even units which would not normally be allowed to regroup are allowed to make the check – the situation is sufficiently life or death threatening for the usual regrouping restrictions to be ignored. If successful the unit is regrouped and will fight the close combat normally. If it fails to regroup the unit is destroyed.

Trapped! Sometimes a unit will find its fall-back corridor blocked by impassable terrain or enemy models. Ignore enemy models that have fought in close combat against the unit this turn. A unit falling back may move around any obstruction in such a way as to get back to their baseline by the shortest route. If a unit cannot perform a full fall back move in any direction, without doubling back, entering impassable terrain or coming within 1” of the enemy it is destroyed.

CHARACTERS IN ASSAULTS

All characters in assaults fight just like normal troopers, though their characteristics are usually better. If a unit including an independent character charges into close combat the character must charge in too. An independent character on their own can charge into close combat if they are within 6" of the enemy in the assault phase.

Independent Characters always fight separately to any unit they have joined or are part of. They charge just as another member of the unit but when they fight their dice are rolled separately. An Independent Character may allocate his hits between units he is Engaged with a member of. Similarly enemy models Engaged with the Independent Character or only able to support a model Engaged with the Independent Character must strike their blows against the Independent Character.

Claraification: An independent character who is accompanied by a retinue, HQ squad, bodyguard or similar is still an independent character in all aspects save one, he/she/it cannot leave their unit while it still lives. If the characters’ unit is destroyed and only the character is left it reverts to being an independent character again.