3: Minifig Weapons
Navigation Bar Legal Disclaimer The BrikWars Universe QuikWars! 1: Gameplay 2: The Mighty Minifig 3: Minifig Weapons 4: The Player Turn 5: Combat 6: Minifig Heroes H: The Horse 7: Special Creations 8: Squads
5: Combat

The Troika
The BrikThulhian Troika can be thought to represent the cycle of Movement, Action, and Enemy Response. But on the other hand it can really be thought to represent just about anything.
Mike Rayhawk, 2005
Chapter Four: The Player Turn
“The art of war is simple enough. Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can, and keep moving.”
- Ulysses S. Grant

During a player’s turn, each of his units may engage in whatever Movement is allowed by its Move statistic, and may each take one Action (preferably an attack). In the meantime, enemy units with unused Actions to spend have the option to take them in Enemy Response to his behavior.

4.1: Movement

“Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there..”
- Will Rogers

MovementDuring Movement, a minifig's Move rating of 5" allows him to move five inches in any direction - he can run across five inches of level ground, climb five inches’ worth of stairs or ladders, or leap over five inches of chasm.

His movement is limited in a couple of ways. He can’t move through obstacles, or leap higher than 1” (three bricks) in a single jump. For difficult types of movement requiring both arms (e.g., swimming, crawling, or climbing a rope or cliff), the Move cost is doubled (every inch traveled costs two inches of Move), and the minifig cannot make attacks while his arms are occupied.

If the minifig moves within striking distance of an enemy’s hand weapon, it's assumed that the enemy unit automatically attacks him, unless the opposing player says otherwise. If the minifig decides to Counter the attack, they are both entered into Close Combat (5.2: Close Combat) and the minifig’s Movement is over for the turn. If not, the minifig may continue moving normally, assuming he survives the attack.

The Passion of the Ghoirboy
Unarmed, naked, and surrounded by sausage-wielding Dungans, this minifig's best option is to Sprint like hell and never look back.
"Ghoirboy," 2002
Photo: Shaun Sullivan
Winner: Suzanne Rich
“One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!”
- Winston Churchill

When speed is critical, a minifig (or any living unit) can Sprint, giving itself 1d6 extra inches of Move for the turn, as long as the minifig's entire Movement for the turn (including the Sprint) is in a straight line. Sprinting may be combined with a Charge attack as a single Action (5.4: Charge!); otherwise, Sprinting uses the unit's Action for the turn, and it can make no other attacks.

Quick Actions
Although a minifig is limited to one major Action for the turn, there are many lesser actions he can perform that are too minor to count against this limit. Actions that require no particular attention, aiming, or dice rolls count as Quick Actions, and are taken as a part of regular Movement. Very simple acts, like picking up or dropping regular equipment objects, holding a conversation, or sneezing, incur no penalty. More involved actions, such as picking up a heavy object (up to the size of a 2x4 brick), opening a door, or holstering a weapon, cost 1” of Move – taking that action took a small amount of time, and now the minifig has less time for moving.

Common Quick Actions Cost
Talking (no cost)
Opening or closing a door -1"
Picking up or dropping equipment items (no cost)
Picking up a heavy item -1"
Dropping to a seated, kneeling, or prone position (no cost)
Standing up from a seated or kneeling position -1"
Standing up from a prone position -2"

4.2: Action

“Action speaks louder than words, but not nearly as often.”
- Mark Twain

ActionAny act that requires a minifig’s attention, focus, or concentrated effort is an Action. Due to limits on time and minifig brainpower, he may only take one such Action per turn. He may use his single Action before, after, or in the middle of his Movement, but he only gets one, so he must spend it wisely.

A minifig will almost always use his Action to make an Attack (5.1: Making Attacks). But even the most belligerent minifigs will concede that less direct types of Actions are sometimes called for.

Use Ratings
Actions are rarely automatic successes, since minifigs are clumsy and easily distracted. Actions are given a Use rating describing their relative difficulty. The minifig attempting the Action must make a Skill Roll to see if his attempt succeeds. If his Skill Roll is equal to or higher than the Use rating, the Action succeeds. If it is lower, the Action fails, and the minifig suffers whatever consequences would logically result.

Minifigs make attacks using the Use rating of their equipped weapon (Chapter 3: Minifig Weapons). Besides attacks, there are all kinds of unusual tasks that minifigs might attempt, from the trivial to the impossible. Most will have a default Use rating of 3; players may agree on a higher or lower difficulty as seems appropriate.

The Dodecube
Dice-worshipping Dodekube cultists believe that logic is an illusion and that all of reality is nothing more than the cosmic dice rolls of disinterested Human gods. Their belief arises from the fact that even the most sober minifigs have sometimes been able to "see the dice."
Use: Difficulty Attack Example Other Examples
- trivial (no roll required) kicking a minifig corpse putting pants on;
stacking bricks
2 easy; almost
always succeeds
striking someone with a stick jumping off a ledge to grab a rope;
hacking a Diebold election machine
3 normal; might take
more than one try
slashing someone with a scimitar kicking open a regular locked door;
mixing complex drinks
4 tricky; even
odds of success
hacking someone with a halberd rock-climbing a vertical cliff face;
reassembling an unfamiliar rifle
5 difficult bashing someone with a battering ram disarming a bomb;
winning at Vegas
6 very difficult striking a minifig with the
energy sword of a giant mech
walking a tightrope;
performing minor surgery
8 heroic precision-mashing a minfig with
a boulder fired from a catapult
Olympic-level gymnastics;
catching a crossbow bolt in flight
10 legendary sniping a minifig from an offshore artillery battery hacking into a military satellite;
dodging concentrated machine-gun fire
12 godlike bullseyeing a minifig with a laser
blast from an orbital satellite
injuring a Human;
performing a judo throw on a T-rex

Extended Actions
“Victory belongs to the most persevering.”
- Napoleon Bonaparte

The opposite of Quick Actions, some actions are so involved or time-consuming that they take up a minifig’s entire turn, even if they aren’t difficult enough to require a Skill Roll. These are called Extended Actions. Examples include piloting a vehicle, operating a computer, putting on a suit of plate mail, rowing a rowboat, or reading a wargame rulebook. Extended Actions use up the minifig’s entire Movement and Action; he may do nothing else during that turn.

The most common Extended Action for minifigs, often extending over a very large number of turns, is "Being Dead."

Large Actions
“Great acts are made up of small deeds.”
- Lao Tzu

Most actions involve objects designed to be handled or operated by a single minifig - swords, doors, machine gun turrets, or toilets, for example. Other objects may be put to unconventional uses by a minifig if the objects are small enough - generally, equipment items or anything one inch or smaller in Size (7.1: Structure: Size). Lifting a larger object (automobiles, portcullises, boulders) or operating a device not designed for single-minifig use (naval vessels, battering rams, giant-sized doors) is a Large Action and either requires multiple minifigs working together, or, in some cases, one minifig working over the course of multiple turns. As a rule of thumb, the number of minifigs required (or turns required for a single minifig) to perform a Large Action is equal to the Size in inches of the object being used. Players may argue that a specific Large Action requires more or fewer minifigs than simple Size would dictate, depending on the situation. Be prepared to make a quick What I Say Goes roll.

For the purpose of Large Actions, larger units (Chapter 7: Special Creations) are worth a number of minifigs equal to their own Size, if the Large Action is a matter of strength. A triceratops would be equivalent to several minifigs when knocking over a siege tower, hauling lumber, or righting an upended tractor, for instance, but would not particularly handy for the Large Actions of manning battleship stations or playing symphonies.

4.3: Enemy Response

“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.”
- Sun Tzu

ResponseIf you don't use a unit's Action on your own turn, you can save it to use in response to opponents' actions - shooting at scouts as they pop out from behind cover, whacking soldiers that wander into range of your melee weapon, or pressing the self-destruct button when all the invitees have boarded the cruise liner for your birthday party. Of course, your enemies are free to use their saved Actions during your turn as well, so tread carefully!

To make a Response Action, a unit must not have used its Action on its previous turn. Similar to the Angry Inch of a Close Combat attack (5.2: Close Combat), Responding units may move up to one inch in order to press, grab, or otherwise touch a critical object (pulling a lever or slamming a door, for instance), or in the usual manner as part of a Close Combat attack. Otherwise, the unit must already be in position to act.

Cone of Vision
A Responding unit must be aware of the specific enemy action or movement to which he's reacting, and in a timely enough fashion to make a proper Response. In almost all cases, this means he has to be able to see it. If he sees an enemy soldier raise a rifle and take aim, he may have time to dive for cover; if all he knows is that he heard a gunshot, it's way too late.

A minifig's Cone of Vision points in whichever direction his head is facing, and forty-five degrees to either side, making a complete cone of ninety degrees. If an object or event is within that field of view, the minifig can see it; if not, he can't. Whenever it's hard to tell whether or not an object falls within that cone, a quick What I Say Goes roll will resolve the issue neatly.

Who Acts First
The lucky high heels fail to save this roll
The results of this roll have clearly gone better for Shaun than for Wayne.
Photo: Alfred Speredelozzi
"Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”
- Abraham Lincoln

Even if a minifig can see disaster about to strike, he won't always be fast enough to respond in time.

If a unit is taking an Action in Response to enemy Movement, such as firing at the first person to walk past an open window or diving out of the way of a rolling boulder, then his Response is automatically fast enough; take the Action as normal. If his Action is in Response to an enemy Action, even if one or both of those Actions are Quick Actions, then a contest of Skill determines who acts fastest.

The enemy unit makes his Skill Roll and subtracts the Use rating for the Action he is attempting (if it has one); the Responding unit rolls his own Skill and subtracts the Use rating (if any) of his Response. The unit with the higher total acts first, even if their total was less than zero (meaning their Action was a failure). In the case of a tie, assume that both Actions occurred simultaneously if possible; otherwise, the player whose turn it is acts first.

Example: Two gunfighters meet outside the saloon for a duel at high noon. They eye each other warily, each prepared to draw and fire the moment their opponent so much as twitches. On Hairtrigger Wayne's turn, he decides he's going to fire first, and declares his attack on Shoot-Em-in-the-Back Shaun. Shaun declares a similar attack on Wayne as a Response Action. Both players roll their Skill of 1d6 against their pistols' Use rating of 3. No doubt due to heavy drinking, Wayne rolls a 2 and Shaun rolls a 1; both miss their shots. After subtracting their Use ratings, Wayne's total of -1 is higher than Shaun's total of -2; his missed shot occurs first. Shaun's shot occurs second, and since it was a Critical Failure, the gun goes off before he even gets it out of the holster. Shaun collapses in agony after shooting himself in the foot, and a great cheer goes up as the crowd of spectators mistakenly assumes that Wayne's shot hit its mark.

Bailing Out
When a rooftop ninja tosses grenades into his turret hatch, this tank commander decides that discretion is the better part of valor, and Bailing the hell Out is the better part of not getting his butt obliterated.
Photo: Eric Kingsley
NELUG's "April Fools War" April 2000
While the recommended Response to almost any enemy behavior is to attack with everything you've got, there are times when a unit's best bet is to make a desperate leap for safety. He may be dodging an oncoming truck, jumping out of a helicopter that's about to be hit by missiles, or diving behind cover when a machine gun turret opens fire on him.

Units are not able to Sprint as a Response Action. Instead, assuming their movement type would logically allow it, they have the option to Bail. A Bailing unit can dive to any spot within 1d6" of its current position, ending up lying on the ground in a prone position. After Bailing, a unit is Disrupted, meaning he may not attempt any further action until his next turn, not even to Counter a Close Combat attack. On its following turn, the unit recovers (spending 2" of Move to stand up again) and may once again behave as normal.

There is no Use rating for Bailing, so a Bailing unit will get to act first more often than not. However, because he has to roll 1d6 to see how far he's allowed to jump, a low roll can sometimes mean that he doesn't Bail far enough, and a Critical Failure means he just falls on his face right where he's standing. If a Bailing unit doesn't jump far enough to escape the path of an oncoming train, he still gets hit by the train; if he's Bailing to avoid a rifle volley and doesn't quite reach cover, the riflemen just fire at him in his new position instead of his old one.

3: Minifig Weapons
Navigation Bar Legal Disclaimer The BrikWars Universe QuikWars! 1: Gameplay 2: The Mighty Minifig 3: Minifig Weapons 4: The Player Turn 5: Combat 6: Minifig Heroes H: The Horse 7: Special Creations 8: Squads
5: Combat