Posting this now as it will soon be relevant…
Combat is organised into a number of rounds. A round is enough time for all characters (and NPCs) to attempt a test and to move.
Each combatant has a turn, in which they can move and perform one action
Each combatant takes their turn in Initiative characteristic order; highest Initiative goes first.
Movement should be self-explanatory – you character goes from one place to another. There are different speeds, like walking or running. As humans, you can walk about 8 yards a round, or run 16. I’m not going to use a map/grid for combat, so don’t worry about the precise distances.
In combat, your Action is used to do something. Describe what you want your Character to do, and I will tell you if you need to make a Test to succeed at your planned Action. Typically it will be something like attacking with a weapon or trying to shoot something, but it could also be trying to evade an enemy, or going on the defensive to protect yourself. Climbing typically won’t require tests unless it is particularly challenging; however, it will typically slow you down. There isn’t a set list of actions as in previous additions of WFRP, allowing for a lot more flexibility about what a character can attempt in combat.
Moving is simultaneous with you action, so you can run and hurdle a fence, or charge into combat to attack a foe.
Attacking is probably the most common combat actions, so worth going through quickly.
Step 1. Do you hit?
For melee combat, you will make an Opposed Melee test against your opponent. Both you and your opponent will roll to test your melee skill. Whoever scores the highest SL wins. If you win, you hit your enemy and gain +1 Advantage. If you lose, your opponent gains +1 Advantage and your turn ends.
(Important note. You can oppose incoming melee attacks with more than just your melee skill. Dodge is an obvious choice, but you could also argue for the use of Intimidate, Charm or Leadership – roleplay it adequately for the situation and you’ll find I will allow most things.)
For ranged combat, your foe must be in range and you simply test your ranged skill for the weapon you are using. If you are successful, you hit and gain +1 Advantage. If you fail, your action is over.
If you happen to roll a double when attacking, that can be good or bad. If you succeed at the test and hit a double, that’s a critical . Fail the test with a double, then that is a fumble. A critical causes an automatic Critical Wound. A fumble means you get to roll on the Oops! Table. A fumble that is also an even number when using blackpowder weapons represents a misfire, which is not good at all…
Step 2. Where did you hit?
If an attack roll lands a hit, you reverse the roll to find out where this strikes your foe. So a 48 to hit would land on location 84, which is the left leg.
Step 3. Determine Damage
Each weapon has a damage characteristic, which is usually your Strength Bonus for melee weapons or a fixed number for ranged weapons. You take the SL of your opposed test and add it to the weapon damage to give your total damage.
i.e. Total Damage = Weapon Damage + SL
Step 4. Apply Damage
Any armour protecting the hit location and the toughness bonus of the target get subtracted from the total damage. Any remaining damage is suffered as wounds by the target. If all the damage is soaked by armour and/or toughness bonus, an attack will still deal a minimum of 1 wound. Should wounds lost exceed the remaining wounds, then the target takes a Critical Wound. These are the nasty things like bleeding conditions, permanent damage like limb loss, and death.
That’s the basics. More as we get into the cut and thrust of combat in gameplay.
Advantage is mentioned a few times above. It represents you momentum in combat, and is gained when you defeat and outwit your foes.
Advantage stacks as you are successful in combat. Each Advantage you secure gives you +10 to any appropriate combat test. For example 5 Advantage gives you a huge +50 bonus to hit, defend etc.
You lose Advantage if you lose an Opposed test during combat, suffer a condition or suffer any Wounds. If one of these things happens, all your accumulated Advantage is lost in one go.
Lastly, if you accrued no Advantage during your turn, you lose one Advantage at the end of the Round; being outnumbered at the ebd of the Round will also lose you 1 Advantage.
Advantage can also be used to disengage from combat.
This will also all become clear as we play!