Tactical Combat

These are house rules derived from the old-school game "The Fantasy Trip" in order to give the abstract combat of 2nd edition (and older versions) of D&D more tactically crunchy rules using miniatures for combat.

Turn sequencing
Combat is played out in a series of rounds, each representing about ten seconds of action (note that spell durations are likewise impacted). Each round is divided into several phases. Generally, each character may move only during the Movement Phase and perform Actions, including Attacks, only during the Action Phase.

The Actions a character may take will depend on how far it moved, whether or not it is Engaged or Disengaged, or in hand-to-hand combat. An Engaged figure is one that is adjacent to in enemy figure and in one of that figure's front squares (see Facing).

Nothing in Combat happens simultaneously. Each Movement and Action may affect the next one. Each turn goes through the following phases.

INITIATIVE ROLL. Each player rolls initiative as given on the rulebooks. The high roller may choose either to move his figure(s) first that turn, or to have the other player(s) move their figure(s) first.

MOVEMENT. The first player to move executes MOVEMENT only for his figures. How far each figure moves depends upon its Movement Allowance (MA) and the Action that the figure intends to perform. (see Movement)

SECOND PLAYER MOVEMENT. The second player may then move his figure(s) in the same manner. If there are more than two players competing on separate sides the third and fourth highest Initiative roller and so on will execute Movement until all players have moved.

ACTION. All Actions, including Attacks an Spell Casting, are carried out. Figures act in the order determined by their initiative, highest first to lowest last; Ties are resolved each round by highest dexterity. When figures are making multiple attacks per round, they make their second attack in initiative order after all figures have made their first Actions. If a figure is killed, or is knocked down (see KNOCKED DOWN) before its time to act occurs it does not get to act that turn. A figure that is knocked down must wait until next turn's action phase to get up.

FORCED RETREAT. If any figure inflicted damage, except by missile or thrown weapon, on an enemy figure add took no damage itself, it may retreat the hit enemy figure one square in any direction and either advance to the square vacated by the enemy or stand still, thus possibly becoming disengaged.

A figure may execute ONE option each turn, and may NOT mix actions from different options. It is possible to change options.

Actions for disengaged figures
1. A Disengaged figure may move more than half its MA and:
a) Take no other action.
b) CHARGE AND ATTACK with any weapon except a Missile Weapon. (See Attacks below and the Charging rules in the rulebooks)

2. A Disengaged figure may move up to half its MA and:
c) DROP to a prone or kneeling position.
d) ATTACK with a missile weapon.

3. Move two squares and:
e) READY NEW WEAPON. The figure re-slings any ready weapon(s) and may ready a new weapon(s), or pick-up a dropped weapon(s) in the square he occupies. The ready and re-sling process covers one weapon or shield for each hand.
f) ATTACK with a missile weapon.

4. Move only one square and:
g) FULL ATTACK with a missile weapon.

5. Stand still, not moving and:
h) STAND UP. Rise from prone, kneeling or knocked-down position during the Movement phase of the turn and take no other actions. This is all the figure may do for the turn.
i) FULL ATTACK with a missile weapon.

Actions for engaged figures
1. Shift one square while remaining engaged and:
j) FULL ATTACK with any ready, melee weapon.
k) CHANGE WEAPONS. Drop a ready weapon and ready a new non-missile weapon (this allows a FREE STRIKE).
l) ATTEMPT UNARMED COMBAT. Move into the square of any adjacent enemy and attempt to hit with bare hands. (See GRAPPLING, PUMMELING and OVERBEARING in the rulebooks) (this allows a FREE STRIKE).
m) DISENGAGE. Attempt to move away from an opponent's front square. (See Disengaging) (this allows a FREE STRIKE).

2. Stand still and:
n) LAST MISSILE SHOT/ATTACK. A figure with a ready, loaded missile weapon may get off a last shot if it became Engaged during the Movement phase. The missile weapon MUST be dropped next turn. You can almost always release an arrow at a charging enemy.
o) STAND UP Same as (g) above. (this allows a FREE STRIKE).
p) PICK-UP WEAPON. Drop ready weapon(s) and/or shield and pick-up and ready a dropped weapon in the occupied square (this allows a FREE STRIKE).
q) FULL ATTACK with any ready, melee weapon.
r) cast a spell (this allows a FREE STRIKE).
s) ATTACK with a missile weapon (this allows a FREE STRIKE).

Each square is 5-ft. Each character's movement allowance (MA) per round is equal to 1/3 of their movement rate. For example, if your movement rate under the 2nd edition AD&D rules is 9, your MA is 30-ft or 6 squares.

Only disengaged figures have options that let them move their full MA. An engaged figure may move only one square during movement, and must stay adjacent to all figures to which it is engaged; this is called a "shift" in the list of options. Figures in unarmed combat may not move at all until they successfully disengage.

Each figure faces one side of his square, as shown by the direction the counter is turned. A player may change the facing of a figure whenever it MOVES, and may always change its facing at the end of its movement turn, even if it stayed in the same square.

A figure on the ground, or one bending over to pick up a weapon, is considered to face "rear" in all directions; it has no front. However, a prone or kneeling archer has normal "front" squares for purposes of determining where he/she may fire.

Example: A character "C" is facing the squares directly "above" her in the diagram. The squares marked "f" are her front squares; the "s" squares are her side squares or flanks; the "r" is her rear squares.

f f f
f C f
s r s

Facing determines which figures are engaged. A figure is ENGAGED if it is in an ENEMY's front square. If a figure is behind an enemy, the front figure is engaged, but the rear one is not. Movement must stop as soon as you become engaged.

Facing also determines which figures may be attacked. ONLY AN ENEMY IN ONE OF YOUR FRONT SQUARES MAY BE ATTACKED. For missile and thrown weapons, only figures "in front" of you may be attacked; as shown below.

A FIGURE MUST STOP ITS MOVEMENT when it enters any front square of an enemy figure, thus becoming engaged.

A figure selects the DISENGAGE action to move away from a figure that has him engaged. Instead of attacking, the disengaging figure moves one hex in any direction when its turn to attack comes. A kneeling, prone or fallen figure may not disengage; it must first stand up.

A figure engaged with more than one enemy figure may disengage from some while remaining engaged with others. A figure may never attack on the turn it disengages.

Note that an enemy figure from whom your figure disengages will be able to take a FREE STRIKE at your figure during the turn in which you disengage.

See the combat rules in the Core Rules.

Facing - see the rules regarding flank and rear attacks in the core rules.

Attack & full attack - An attack is one d20 attack roll. Some characters or weapons have multiple attacks such as high level fighters or missile weapons with a higher rate of fire. To make these multiple attacks you must take a FULL ATTACK action.

Free Strike - is an attack by an opposed engaged figure that does not count as an attack for that figures action for that round. A figure can only make one Free Strike each round.

Knocked Down - Any time you roll a natural 20, your opponent is knocked down in addition to any damage they take. You may also force them to retreat in which case they are assumed to be knocked down in the new square.

Forcing retreat - A figure that hit an enemy figure in melee combat (not missile) and is NOT hit itself, may force the enemy to retreat one square at the end of the turn. The victorious player moves the enemy figure one square in any direction, into any square that is vacant or contains only a fallen figure. He may then choose EITHER to stay still OR to move into the square, from which the enemy retreated. If the enemy has no adjacent, vacant square to retreat to, it must make a dexterity check to avoid falling in its original square.

Bloodied - When your current hit point total is below half of your total number of hit points, you are bloodied and suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls, attribute checks and saving throws.

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