Melee Exchanges

A Melee Attack is a type of Opposed test and all the usual rules apply, during a melee Attack the use of Instant and Active Ki Feats (And effects that can be used as Instants) is restricted. For a melee exchange however, two tests are rolled simultaneously, with each model rolling Attack and Defence dice at the same time and applying traits in order to see which model comes out of the exchange victorious.

Melee Exchanges

Melee exchanges usually occur as part of a Melee Action which allows you to move into BtB contact, often a melee action will be declared when already in BtB contact.

Use the following steps to resolve a Melee Exchange:

Step 1

Rotate both models so their Facings are aligned with each other.

Step 2

Choose which weapon will be used for the exchange, non-Activating model first. This will determine which Traits and Special attacks and defences are available.

Step 3

a) Determine which model has the Initiative. In all following steps, the player without the initiative declares any non-simultaneous effects first. Regardless of Initiative the Active Player and Activating Model do not change.
b) Both players may now use Instant Ki Feats to change the Initiative. The non-Activating player declares first. If the initiative was changed, the Activating player may then also declare Instant Ki Feats to change the initiative back.
c) Initiative is now set and cannot be changed.

Step 4

Both players then calculate their model’s dice pool using its Melee Pool Statistic value as the base number of dice used and apply any modifiers. They then decide if they will use any abilities, Ki Feats or increase the Melee Pool Statistic through a Ki Boost. The Defender must declare everything before the Attacker.

Step 5

Secretly allocate dice between Attack and Defence:

  • If using a Special Attack or Special Defence then secretly remove a number of dice from the pool equal to the cost of the Special Attack or Defence (See Special Attacks & Defenses).
  • Include the use of any effects, including Instant (Or active for the active player) Ki Feats, which alter the cost of Attacks or Defences or add additional Attacks or Defences.
  • The Dice allocation and choice of Special Ability is Hidden Information until simultaneously revealed.

a) Two distinct colours of dice are needed; one colour represents Attack and the other Defence.
Example: A model with a Melee pool of 3 may roll either 3 Attack dice, 2 Attack dice and 1 Defence die, 1 Attack die and 2 Defence dice or 3 Defence dice.
Example: Hiro is involved in a Melee Exchange, he has Melee Pool of 4 and spends 3 Ki to add another die. He now has 5 Dice in his Melee Pool and must split them into Attack and Defence. He can choose to put all 5 in Attack, 4 in Attack and 1 in Defence, 3 in Attack and 2 in Defence or any combination totalling 5 dice.

Step 6

Once both players have allocated their dice:
a) Declare the use of any effects used which alter the cost of Attacks or Defences or add additional Attacks or Defences (secretly decided in Step 5).
b) Announce simultaneously if using a Special Attack or Defence.
c) Remember a model can only use one Special Attack or Defence, not both types.

Step 7

a) If the models are still in BtB both players roll all their dice simultaneously, otherwise the melee action ends now, the Activating model removes an activation counter.
b) Perform any rerolls, then remove or add dice

Step 8

Calculate their final Attack and Defence results by:

  • Selecting the highest die of each type (Defence and Attack)
  • Add up to 2 supporting dice (not results of 1) for both types and add +1 for each supporting die.
  • Apply any modifiers from Traits and effects to their highest die rolled to get the final Attack and Defence results.

a) If a player rolls no dice of one type then their final result of that type is 0. If a player rolls no Attack dice, then no Damage Roll is made in Step 9.

Step 9

  • If no dice are allocated to Attack, any Special Attacks do not trigger.
  • If no dice are allocated to Defence, any Special Defences do not trigger.
  • Any dice that are 1’s are not counted towards resolving the test but still count towards the player having allocated dice in the appropriate dice pool.

Step 10

  • Attacker compares final Attack result against Defender’s final Defence result to determine Success Level, using Tiebreakers if necessary.
  • When checking which player has the most dice for tie breakers, count all attack and defence dice (That did not roll 1s) for both players towards tie breakers for both attack and defence.

a) If the Attacker was successful apply the effects of any Special Attacks used by the Attacker and move to Step 11.
b) If the Defender was successful apply any Special Defences used by the Defender. If this results in either model being removed from the table, the defender no longer being in BtB with the Attacker or becoming Prone skip to Step 14 otherwise move to Step 13.

Step 11

  • The players declare the use of any Instant Ki Feats for models involved in the exchange

Step 12

  • The Attacker makes a Damage Roll against the Defender and resolve any effects triggered by damage in melee
  • If this results in either the Defender model being removed from the table, no longer being in BtB with the Attacker or becoming Prone skip to Step 14

Step 13

  • Run through from Step 10 with the Defender becoming the Attacker, unless it has already been the Attacker this Melee Exchange

Step 14

  • The Melee Exchange is now resolved and both models remove one activation counter

Step 15

  • Any Boosts used for this Melee Exchange expire

Melee Pool Modifiers

Effect Modifier
Model is Exhausted -1
Melee Assist -1 per model assisting
Model is Prone, Blind, Stunned, Frightened, Held -1 per state
Model Ran (this turn) -1
Model is Surprised -1
Model declared a Stand Up Action -1


Q: Does a Melee Action Target the enemy model?
A: No. Melee actions do not use the Targeting mechanic and may be declared on models which are not within LoS at the start of the Action.
Note that this does not apply to models benefiting from Camouflage.

Q. When checking for Tiebreakers in Step 10 of a Melee Exchange, do dice allocated to Attack and Defence get counted separately when calculating the total number of dice rolled?
A. No. All dice are rolled simultaneously and all dice in each players pool (which are not a 1 result) count towards the total dice rolled.
Example: Player A has a total Melee pool of 4 dice, while Player B's pool is 3 dice. If Player A does not roll any results which are 1 (die removed), then that player has rolled more dice than their opponent and would win the tiebreak to achieve a success level 0 on their attack and/or defence. If Player A has a die removed due to a result of 1 and Player B does not, then both players will count as having rolled 3 dice each, and Player A will win the tiebreak as they are the active player.

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