11. CLOSE COMBAT

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A unit battling against an adjacent enemy unit is said to be in Close Combat with the enemy unit. A unit adjacent to an enemy unit must Close Combat the adjacent enemy unit if it chooses to battle. It cannot use Ranged Combat (fire) against the adjacent enemy unit or any other enemy unit within range.

Close Combat Procedure

1. Announce Close Combat
2. Evade (defender choice: see Evade rules)
3. Determine terrain battle dice reduction (if any)
4. Attacker rolls battle dice
5. Attacker applies hits
6. Apply Retreats
7. Possible Momentum Advance and bonus Close Combat: see Momentum Advance.
8. Battle Back. The defender in some situations may Battle Back. If Battle Back occurs, the defender applies any hits and resolves retreats on the original attacking unit.


1. Announce Close Combat:

Announce to your opponent, which ordered unit is going to attack in Close Combat and the enemy unit it is attacking. A unit mus be adjacent to an enemy unit to engage in Close Combat.

Note: Each Close Combat attack is declared and resolved one ordered unit at a time, in the sequence of your choice. You must announce and resolve one unit’s Close Combat entirely, before beginning the next one. Regardless of the number of friendly and enemy units adjacent to each other, each Close Combat is conducted by one eligible, ordered unit against one adjacent defending enemy unit. If more than one ordered unit is adjacent to the defending enemy unit, each ordered Close Combat attack is resolved separately.


2. Evade:

Some defending units are eligible to Evade. This allows them to move away from the attacking unit, modifying the Close Combat resolution (see Special Actions - Evade).


3. Determine Terrain Battle Dice Reduction:

Reduce the number of battle dice rolled if necessary. Terrain battle dice reductions are described in the section on Terrain.


4. Attacker Rolls Battle Dice:

Roll battle dice and resolve resulting dice rolls. The number of battle dice a unit rolls in Close Combat is determined by its unit type.

Foot Unit Combat

  • Light infantry, light sling infantry, and light bow infantry units may either stay in position or move one or two hexes and Close Combat an adjacent enemy unit with 2 battle dice. These units do not score a hit if they roll a sword symbol in Close Combat.
  • An auxilia infantry unit may either stay in position or move one hex and Close Combat an adjacent enemy unit with 3 battle dice. If the unit moves two hexes, it may not Close Combat. Although an auxilia is classed as a light unit, it does score a hit if it rolls a sword symbol in Close Combat.
  • A medium infantry unit may either stay in position or move one hex and Close Combat an adjacent enemy unit with 4 battle dice.
  • A warrior infantry unit may either stay in position or move one or two hexes and Close Combat an adjacent enemy unit with 3 battle dice. Note that a warrior unit’s normal movement is only one hex, but it may move two hexes when “charging” into a Close Combat attack against an enemy unit. A warrior unit that moves two hexes must then battle in Close Combat (if any possible targets remain). A warrior unit at full strength Close Combats with 1 additional battle die and may ignore one flag rolled against it. A warrior unit loses these bonuses after its first block is lost, but this only takes effect when the unit is either attacked again by another enemy unit or is ordered to battle during its own side’s turn. Note, the key point here is that a full strength warrior who loses blocks in a close combat but is entitled to Battle Back may roll 4 dice against the attacker who inflicted the first casualties. In subsequent attacks, either in this turn or any that follow, the warrior unit will only close combat with 3 dice.
  • A heavy infantry unit may either stay in position or move one hex and Close Combat an adjacent enemy unit with 5 battle dice.
  • A heavy war machine unit may stay in position and Close Combat an adjacent enemy unit with 2 battle dice. A heavy war machine unit does not score a hit on a sword symbol in Close Combat. A heavy war machine unit may not move and Close Combat.

A light war machine or heavy war machine unit does not score a hit on a sword symbol in Close Combat. A light or heavy war machine unit may not move and Close Combat.

WARRIOR EXAMPLE: Two unsupported enemy units (a medium cavalry unit, and a heavy infantry unit) are given an order. They are adjacent to an unsupported full-strength warrior unit. The player chooses to conduct Close Combat against the warriors, using the medium cavalry first. The cavalry unit rolls three dice and comes up with one blue triangle hit and one flag. The warrior unit loses one block, but chooses to ignore the flag so that it can Battle Back. The warrior unit still rolls four dice. Even though a block was lost, the warrior unit is still eligible to roll four dice in the current combat (the initial losses have no effect on the warriors in the heat of battle). The warriors roll one sword and one flag, inflicting a block loss on the medium cavalry, and sending it in headlong retreat. The first Close Combat is finished. Because they are no longer at full strength, the warriors will no longer be able to ignore the first flag and must battle with only three dice in all subsequent combats. The player now engages in Close Combat against the warriors with the heavy infantry. The heavy infantry rolls five dice and scores one sword hit, one blue triangle hit, and one flag. The warriors lose two more blocks and the surviving warrior block must retreat because the flag cannot be ignored. The victorious heavy infantry unit chooses to Momentum Advance onto the vacant hex after the successful Close Combat.

 

Mounted Unit Combat

  • Light cavalry and light bow cavalry units may either stay in position or move one, two, three, or four hexes and Close Combat an adjacent enemy unit with 2 battle dice. These units do not score a hit on a sword symbol in Close Combat.
  • Light barbarian chariot units may either stay in position or move one, two or three hexes and Close Combat an adjacent enemy unit with 2 battle dice. A barbarian chariot unit at full strength Close Combats with 1 additional battle die and may ignore one flag rolled against it. A barbarian chariot unit loses these bonuses after its first block is lost, but this only takes effect when the unit is either attacked again by another enemy unit or is ordered to battle during its own side’s turn. As with warriors, the key point here is that a full strength barbarian chariot that loses blocks in a close combat, but is entitled to Battle Back, may roll 3 dice against the attacker who inflicted the first casualties. In subsequent attacks, either in this turn or any that follow, the barbarian chariot unit will only close combat with 2 dice.
  • A medium cavalry unit may either stay in position or move one, two, or three hexes and Close Combat an adjacent enemy unit with 3 battle dice.
  • A heavy cavalry unit (regular or cataphracted) may either stay in position or move one or two hexes and Close Combat an adjacent enemy unit with 4 battle dice. A heavy cataphracted cavalry unit may ignore one sword hit rolled against it in Close Combat.

Camel Unit Combat

A camel unit (regular or cataphracted) may either stay in position or move one, two, or three hexes and Close Combat an adjacent enemy unit with 3 battle dice. When Battling Back in Close Combat (or from play of the First Strike card), a camel unit will only roll 2 battle dice. A cataphracted camel unit may ignore one sword hit rolled against it in Close Combat.
Camels vs. Cavalry and Chariots: Horses do not like the scent of camels, hence the following rules. When a cavalry or chariot unit is in Close Combat with a camel unit, the camel unit may ignore one blue triangle hit. If a cavalry or chariot unit is forced to retreat when in battle with a camel unit, it must retreat one additional hex for each flag rolled by the camel unit.

 

EXAMPLE OF CLOSE COMBAT: The Roman player has used an ‘Inspired Leadership’ command card to order the five Roman units shown above. All moves are completed before any Close Combat is conducted. Note that the movement routes shown above require moving the light cavalry first (otherwise it could not have moved through hexes B and C). For purposes of this example, the defending units eligible to Evade will not do so. The Carthaginian player elects to stand with all units in hopes of Battling Back.
A: The auxilia unit has moved two spaces so it may not engage in Close Combat. An alternate would have been to move the auxilia only one hex and conduct Ranged Combat with one die.
B: Because it moved two hexes, the warrior unit must battle either the enemy heavy cavalry unit or the heavy infantry unit. The Roman player chooses the heavy cavalry unit. His warrior unit is at full strength, so he rolls 4 dice. He will score hits on red squares, swords, and leader symbols (because a leader is attached). Any flags rolled may cause retreats. He rolls 2 hits and no flags! His opponent must remove two blocks, and because the unit survived and did not retreat, may Battle back with 4 battle dice. It will score hits with blue triangles and swords, and may cause retreats with flags. Note that forcing a unit to retreat is one of the primary advantages gained by attacking first in Close Combat—the defender has no chance to battle back and perhaps inflict loss or retreat on the attacker.
C: The elephant can battle the heavy infantry with 5 battle dice, or the light bow infantry with 2 dice. Sensing a chance to destroy the heavy infantry, the Roman player chooses to target that unit, and rolls 5 dice. He will obtain hits with red squares and swords only (remember that Leaders confer no benefits on Elephants in Close Combat, so the helmet symbols do not count). He may cause retreats with flags. The result is 1 red square hit, 2 sword hits, and 1 flag. The elephants re-roll the 2 dice that produced the sword hits, but with no further hits or flags. The heavy infantry loses 3 of its 4 blocks to satisfy the red square and sword hits. The Carthaginian player chooses to ignore the retreat from the flag because the heavy infantry is supported (there are two adjacent friendly units). The heavy infantry holds (barely) and battles back with 5 dice (even though only 1 block survived). The Carthaginian will hit only on red squares (sword hits have no effect on elephants), and may cause
retreats with flags.
D: The light cavalry will battle the light bow infantry and will cause hits only with green circles (swords do not cause hits), and may cause retreats with flags. The defending light bow unit can choose to ignore one flag because it is supported, and if it does not retreat, it will Battle Back with two dice, also scoring hits only with green circles, or possible retreats with flags.
E: The heavy chariot unit battles the Carthaginian heavy chariot unit with 4 dice. It will hit on red squares and swords, and will cause a retreat with any flags (the chariots are not supported and have no leader to bolster morale). The defending chariot can ignore one sword hit, and if able to battle back, will roll 3 dice. unit is in Close Combat with a camel unit, the camel unit may ignore one blue triangle hit. If a cavalry or chariot unit is forced to retreat when in battle with a camel unit, it must retreat one additional hex for each flag rolled by the camel unit.

Heavy Chariot Combat

A heavy chariot unit may either stay in position or move one or two hexes and then Close Combat an adjacent enemy unit with 4 battle dice. When Battling Back in Close Combat (or from play of the First Strike card), a heavy chariot unit will only roll 3 battle dice. A heavy chariot unit may ignore one sword hit rolled against it in Close Combat.

Elephant Combat

  • An elephant unit may either stay in position or move one or two hexes and then Close Combat an adjacent enemy unit. In Close Combat, an elephant unit will roll the same number of battle dice as the unit it is attacking would normally roll against the elephant.
  • When an elephant unit Battles Back after being attacked in Close Combat it will roll the same number of dice as the unit which made the attack on the elephant unit normally rolls.
    (The elephant does not use any “bonus” die that the attacking unit receives.)

Special Situations

Elephant vs Elephant --> roll 3 dice   
Elephant vs Leader --> roll 1 die. 
Elephant vs Warrior unit --> roll 3 dice.   
Elephant vs Heavy Chariot unit --> roll 3 dice.   
Elephant vs Camel unit --> roll 3 dice.   

  • A leader does not modify an elephant unit’s Close Combat dice (helmets do not score hits).
  • Each sword symbol an elephant unit rolls in Close Combat scores 1 hit. Furthermore, each battle die producing a sword hit is rolled again for possible additional symbol hits, sword hits, or flag results. Play Note: In other words, keep rolling that die until a sword hit is no longer obtained! Take care to track the total number of flags and hits scored as you make additional rolls. All hits and retreats scored are applied only after the extra rolls have been completed.

However, if the elephant is attacking a unit that, due to terrain or its own ability, can ignore sword hits, you do not re-roll them. Thus, if an elephant is attacking a Foot unit in a fortified camp (which can ignore one flag and one sword), the “first” sword the elephant rolls is not a hit and is not re-rolled. If the elephant rolls 2 or more sword hits, those beyond the first do count as hits and are re-rolled. Since Elephants ignore all sword hits, if an Elephant was attacking another Elephant, any sword hits rolled would be ignored. (No re-roll.)

EXAMPLE
An elephant unit attacks an unsupported full-strength light infantry unit that chooses not to Evade. The elephants roll two dice because they are in Close Combat with a light infantry unit. The elephant unit scores one green circle hit and one sword hit. The die producing the sword hit is re-rolled and produces another sword hit. This die is rolled for a third time, producing a flag result. The die may no longer be re-rolled, and the damage to the light infantry unit is tallied: one green circle hit, two sword hits, and one retreat flag. The thoroughly beaten light infantry unit loses three of its four blocks and must retreat its maximum movement allowance of two hexes. The elephant unit may now Momentum Advance onto the vacated hex.

  • An Elephant unit ignores all sword hits rolled against it in Close Combat.
  • An Elephant unit will not receive close combat or morale benefits from an attached leader or close combat benefit from a leader in an adjacent hex.

 

Elephants vs. Cavalry and Chariots

Horses were easily frightened by elephants in battle, hence the following rules: When a cavalry or chariot unit is in Close Combat with an elephant unit, the elephant unit may ignore one red square hit and one flag. If a cavalry or chariot unit is forced to retreat when in battle with an elephant unit, it must retreat one additional hex for each flag rolled by the elephant unit.

 

 

A: In battle A the elephants have attacked the heavy cavalry and inflicted one flag result. Heavy cavalry units normally retreat 2 hexes but if attacked by elephants they retreat 3 hexes. The image above shows some of the retreat path options. Because it cannot retreat one of its hexes it will lose one block. The Roman elephant unit chooses to Momentum Advance onto the vacated hex, and chooses not to take a bonus Close Combat. B: In battle B the Roman warrior unit inflicted two flag results on the Carthaginian elephant and so it must Rampage and then retreat two hexes. Note that the two friendly units behind the elephant do not provide support (bolster morale) because elephant units cannot receive support—only provide it. First it Rampages against all adjacent hexes—five units in this case. The Roman player rolls two dice each for the units in hexes X and Y, while his opponent rolls for his three unit hexes. If the Roman warrior unit is hit the leader attached must make a leader loss check. After rolling for all five hexes the elephant unit is retreated. Since its retreat path is blocked, it remains in place and the two friendly blocking units will suffer two hits each (one for each hex the elephant could not retreat). The Carthaginian elephant may now battle back against the warrior unit.

 

EXAMPLE OF RETREATS: The medium cavalry unit in hex A has been attacked and has two flags rolled against it. The medium cavalry unit may ignore one flag because it is supported, but must still retreat 3 hexes. Fortunately, the first hex (X) contains a leader by himself, which attaches to the retreating unit and stops its retreat. The light cavalry in hex B is attacked and has two flags rolled against it. The light cavalry unit may ignore one flag because it is supported, but must still retreat 4 hexes.
Because its retreat path is occupied by friendly units, it must lose all three blocks-one for each hex it could not retreat, since hexes X and Z are occupied by friendly units. The three-block loss eliminates the unit. Note that it could not retreat to hex Y because a retreat must always proceed in the direction of the unit’s battlefield edge.

Leaders in Close Combat

Leaders engage in combat somewhat differently from units. A leader may not battle if he is alone in a hex. However, a leader will inspire attached or adjacent friendly units which are attacking or Battling Back in Close Combat. If a friendly leader is attached to or adjacent to the battling unit, the unit scores a hit for each leader helmet symbol rolled on its battle dice, regardless of the type of unit being attacked.

Exception: A leader does not modify an elephant unit’s Close Combat dice.


5. Score Hits

In Close Combat, the unit attacking scores 1 hit for each die symbol rolled that matches the target unit. It does not matter whether or not the symbol has a white border.
• A green circle will score one hit on units with any kind of green circle symbol.
• A blue triangle will score one hit on units with any kind of blue triangle symbol.
• A red square will score one hit on units with a red square symbol.
• One hit is scored in Close Combat for each sword symbol rolled.
• One hit is scored in Close Combat for each leader helmet symbol rolled, if a friendly leader is attached to or adjacent to the unit that is battling, regardless of the type of unit being attacked.
Exception: elephant units do not receive this leader benefit in close combat.
• A flag does not cause a hit, but may cause the enemy unit to retreat (see Retreat).

Exceptions:

  • War machine units and green circled units without a white border (light infantry, light sling infantry, light bow infantry, light cavalry, and light bow cavalry units), do not score a hit on a sword symbol in Close Combat.
  • Chariot units ignore one sword hit in Close Combat.
  • Elephant units ignore all sword hits in Close Combat and ignore one red square hit from cavalry or chariot units in Close Combat.
  • A leader does not modify an elephant unit’s Close Combat dice.
  • Camel units ignore one blue triangle hit from cavalry or chariot units in Close Combat.
  • Cataphracted camel units ignore one sword hit and one blue triangle hit from cavalry or chariot units in Close Combat.
  • Cataphracted heavy cavalry units ignore one sword hit in Close Combat.

Effect of Close Combat Hits on Units
For each hit scored, 1 block is removed from the target unit.
When the last block in the opponent’s unit is removed, the unit has been eliminated and you collect a Victory Banner block. If a player rolls more hits than the number of blocks remaining in the enemy unit, the additional hits have no effect.
Hits on Leaders—see Leader Casualty Checks


6. Apply Retreats:

See Retreat Section


7. Possible Momentum Advance and Bonus Close Combat:

see Momentum Advance


8. Battle Back:

In Close Combat, the defending enemy unit may Battle Back against the attacking unit if one or more of the defending unit’s blocks survived the Close Combat attack and the defending unit did not retreat from its hex.
If the defending unit is forced to retreat out of its original hex, it may not Battle Back, even if the retreat move leaves the unit in a hex that is still adjacent to the attacking unit.
If the defending unit was unable to fulfill a required retreat, it may Battle Back as long as it still has one or more blocks remaining on the battlefield after taking losses (see Retreat).
During a Battle Back, the unit determines any terrain battle dice reduction, and resolves Battle Back (roll battle dice and apply hits and retreats) in the same manner as the attacker.

Exceptions:

  • Elephant Battling Back against elephant - roll 3 dice.
  • Elephant Battling Back against a warrior unit - roll 3 dice.
  • Elephant Battling Back against a heavy chariot unit - roll 3 dice.
  • Heavy Chariots roll 3 dice when Battling Back.
  • Camels and cataphracted camels roll 2 dice when Battling Back.

 


 

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