Chapter Five: Combat
A-hunting we will go

“If you die horribly on television, you will not have died in vain. You will have entertained us.”
- Kurt Vonnegut

Engaging in combat is a minifig's highest goal and greatest source of joy, for he knows that violence is what pleases the Humans best.

If prevented from making attacks, minifigs become despondent and irrational. The mental imbalance may become so severe that the minifig is stricken with psychotic pacifism. Such unfortunate miscreants may find limited use as slave labor, but they're best put out of their misery by employing them as target dummies for the other troopers' amusement.

5.1: Making Attacks
The Grinning Reaper
“In case of doubt, attack.”
- George S. Patton

Regardless of the type of violence employed, every attack follows the same three steps. First, players measure against the weapon's Range to see if the attack can reach the target. Second, they use the attacking unit's Skill die to make an Attack Roll to see if the attack hits the target accurately. Third, they roll the weapon's Damage in a Damage Roll to see if the attack defeats the target's Armor. Each of these steps can be affected by a variety of Combat Modifiers, and there are many opportunities to maneuver units for best advantage.

We kick ass for the Lord
Rappeling in on VTOL transports, military snipers take a commanding view of their zombie-infested town from the top of the church tower.
Photo: Alfredjr
from "NELUG BrikWars: !Zombies!"
Elements shown: LEGO
Checking Range
In order to be able to attack a target, a minifig must be able to strike it with a weapon. This requires a couple of common-sense checks.

  • Can he see the target?
    The minifig must have a clear line of sight between his eyes and some visible part of the target.
  • Can he reach the target?
    The target must be within the weapon's striking distance.
    • If the minifig is using a Close Combat weapon (a weapon with a Range rating of ‘CC’), he must be able to touch the target with the weapon's striking surface. (Some weapons may have additional restrictions, according to common sense - a jousting knight can't stick his lance out sideways to damage a target way off his right shoulder, for instance.)
    • If the minifig is using a Ranged weapon, the target must be within the number of inches listed as the weapon's Range, and there must be a clear line of sight between the weapon barrel and the target.
Automatic Hits
Combat involves a lot of die rolls. Players should find excuses to skip them wherever possible.

There are many situations in which an attack is treated as an Automatic Hit, eliminating the need for an Attack Roll. A minifig attacking an inanimate object Automatically Hits it, for instance, if he's close enough to touch the object with the business end of his weapon and no one else is attacking him in the meantime.

Many types of bodily attacks are also Automatic Hits, including Shoves, Grabs, and bodily Collisions (all described in this chapter), although these can sometimes be Parried or dodged by Bailing out of the way in a panic.
Skill and Damage Rolls
If an attack can be made, two rolls determine its success, resulting in either a glorious kill or an ignominious lack of effect.

  • Does the attack hit the target?
    ActionIf the target is in range, the minifig must be skillful enough to hit it. Players make an Attack Roll by rolling the minifig's Skill die (a d6 for regular minifigs) versus the Use rating of the weapon. If the result of the Attack Roll is as much or greater than the Use rating, the attack successfully strikes the target. If not, it misses badly, resulting in humiliation for the attacker. He may say "I meant to do that," but everyone knows he's lying.
  • Does it do enough damage to kill?
    ArmorIf the attack hits, it then has to do enough damage to destroy the target. Players make a Damage Roll by rolling the dice listed in the weapon's Damage rating. If this Damage Roll is greater than the target's Armor, the target is destroyed (or damaged, in the case of larger targets). Congratulations! If the roll is equal to or less than the target's Armor, however, then the attack has glanced away harmlessly, traditionally accompanied by one or more players making a "ka-ping!" sound effect.

Attack Modifiers
Destroying a target is rarely a foregone conclusion, and ambitious generals will want to give their troops every possible advantage. And while the best defense is an overpowering offense, they will maneuver just as hard to prevent advantages for their enemies as they do to create advantages for their own forces.

There are a number of conditions that players can manipulate for Attack Modifiers (or "Mods") that improve or handicap a unit's chances of success. Positive modifiers, called Attack Bonuses, add to a minifig's Attack Roll, to the Range of his weapon, or to the Damage dealt on a successful attack. Negative Attack Penalties, by contrast, subtract from an attacking unit's Skill, Attack Roll, or Damage total.

Attack Modifiers can sometimes raise or lower an Attack Roll by a large amount, but remember that the possibility of Critical Success or Failure means that the final results of a roll are never guaranteed. No matter how large the modifiers, Critical Successes and Failures are based only on the numbers rolled on individual dice, not on the final totals (1.2: Numbers).

Pirate long division
When checking for cover modifiers, or if you're a ninja practicing swordplay, remember that a minifig is divided into three main parts.

Taking cover
After failing in his attempt to blow up some VOL troops standing inadvisably close to explosive gas cannisters, the Immortal M.Q.S. takes cover at the end of this corridor.
Photo: Warhead
from "Zombie (Zulu) Dawn Turn 8"
Elements shown: LEGO

Target Size
Target Size Skill Mod
Large target area +1 per 2"
Full minifig or 2x4 area (no modifier)
2/3 minifig or 2x2 area -1
1/3 minifig or 1x1 area -2
A weapon's standard Use Rating applies when it's used to attack a minifig or similarly-sized target. A simple targeting advantage can be gained from aiming at something larger.

For targets that are very large, like the ground, the broad sides of barns, and Unix programmers, attackers receive a +1 Attack Bonus for every 2" of the target's Size. This bonus only applies to sections of the target the attack is able to hit - if a space frigate is 24" in length, but only four of those inches are visible and in range, then the Attack Bonus is only +2.

Measuring the Size of game objects is described in greater detail in 7.1: Structure, but it works like you'd expect - players measure the main body of an object along its greatest dimension, in inches, and that's good enough for most purposes. A standard minifig's Size is one inch.

When special precision is required, an attacking minifig might also try to hit targets that are much smaller than usual. For a target area equivalent to a 2x4-stud brick, he fires as normal. If the area is closer to 2x2 studs, he receives a -1 penalty to Skill. If the target is the size of a single 1x1 stud, he fires at a -2 penalty. By convention, minifig equipment items are treated as 1x1-sized objects for the purpose of targeting.

In the case of minifig targets, this process is streamlined. Rather than trying to estimate how many studs' worth of any given minifig is visible, minifigs are divided into three main sections - the head (including helmet, hat, or hair), the torso (including arms, backpacks, and armor, but not carried equipment), and the legs. If the attacker can see any part of one of these sections, however small, then the section is considered visible. If only one minifig section is visible, the minifig is targeted at -2. If the attacker can only see two sections, the minifig is 2/3 visible and targeted at -1. If he can see all three sections, the minifig is completely visible and targeted as normal.

Short minifigs, such as dwarves, goblins, children, and midgets, are given an honorary -1 to hit penalty even though they're really not that much shorter than a full-height minifig. To compensate, Short minifigs have -1" to Move, and the first section of Cover on a Short minifig is ignored. With two sections of Cover, the Short minifig is at -2 to hit, as usual.

Moving target
Moving targets can be harder to hit, but also hard to resist.
Stationary Targets
Motion Skill Mod
Target is stationary +1
Attacker is stationary and Aiming +1
Most attacks will be made by moving units against moving targets. If an attacker holds still to Aim more carefully, or if a target is Stationary, the attack will be more likely to hit, receiving +1 bonuses to Skill in either case.

To receive the +1 bonus for Aiming, the attacker must be stationary for his full turn. An attacker riding in a moving vehicle can't be considered stationary unless his target is in or on the same vehicle.

Minifigs engaged in hand-to-hand fighting are bobbing and weaving around, prone to sudden movements and jumping around without warning. Even if players don't actually move the minifigs, units actively engaged in Close Combat are never considered to be Stationary.

Space ninja swarm attack!
Even Space Ninjas lack the skill to coordinate this many swords at once. The Space Pirate is momentarily safe as his overeager foes become entangled in one anothers' blades.
Assyrian heavy lasers in formation
Natalya's Assyrian forces rely on disciplined Combined Fire to take down heavy targets.
Elements shown: LEGO
Photo: Warhead
from "Zombie (Zulu) Dawn Turn 3"
Assyrian enveloping fire
Although the Assyrians are out of formation, it's worth risking friendly crossfire from Missed Shots in order to focus damage on one of the Immortals' deadly Maniacs.
Photo: Warhead
from "Zombie (Zulu) Dawn Turn 5"
Elements shown: LEGO

Combined Attacks
Attack Type Effect
Ranged Attacks Combined Damage
Close Combat Attacks
(max of 3 on a minifig)
Combined Damage and effects;
-1 Skill to any Outnumbered
unit or group in CC
Charge Attacks Combined Damage and Knockback
If a minifig lacks the power to take down a target by himself, he can coordinate attacks with friends and allies to deliver a united strike. The main effect of this Combined Attack is that the Damage from all participants is added together and applied in a single large sum, which is handy for punching through otherwise-impregnable armor or for maximizing the humiliation of weaker targets.

All participating units must make their Attack Rolls together; a player may not attack with a few units and then add a few more if the initial effort proves inadequate. If a first group fails, a second group can make a second Combined Attack on the target, but it's a separate attack; they don't add their total to the first group's.

If units want to join together in a Combined Attack with the units of another player, they may Delay individually to make their attacks on that player's turn instead of their own (1.1: Overview of Play). They return to acting on their own player's turn again afterwards.

Only units making successful Attack Rolls may participate in the Combined Damage. If by some fluke of luck one of their missed shots still manages to hit the target, its Damage is counted separately.

Combined Ranged Attacks (5.3: Ranged Combat) are called Combined Fire and have the simple effect of combining Damage. Any unit capable of making a ranged attack on the target may join in; he does not need to communicate with the other attackers beforehand or to be able to fire at the same part of the target.

Combined Close Combat attacks (5.2: Close Combat) are called Ganging Up. Besides causing combined Damage, Ganging Up on a victim makes it more difficult for him to fight effectively. Not only will the target's Counters be quickly used up against multiple attackers, he is also Outnumbered and receives a -1 penalty to Skill if he has fewer fighters on his side of Close Combat than his opponents do.

The Skill Penalty for being Outnumbered applies even if the attackers are on different teams; the target is still in Close Combat with them even if it's not their turn. If there are several mutually opposing forces in the same Close Combat, they may find themselves in a situation where each of them is Outnumbered, since every one of them is in the minority individually.

As a rule, no more than three attackers can Gang Up on a minifig-sized target or smaller at any one time, or they'll end up jostling and lopping each others' arms off by mistake. Larger targets are subject to no such hard limitations, although other limits may be dictated according to common sense.

On the victim's turn, he remains in Close Combat with all of his multiple attackers. If he attacks one of them, only that single opponent may Counter. If he tries to Withdraw, all of them may Counterattack at once - quite a dilemma!

In a combined Charge Attack (5.4: Charge!), the attackers combine their Damage and, if they're all striking from the same direction, they can combine their Knockback roll as well. The target must be big enough for all the attackers to Charge into at the same time; otherwise, they're prone to disrupt the Charge by all crashing into each other.

It's perfectly allowed to combine attacks of different types, but keep in mind that Close Combat fighters are likely to be directly in the line of fire of any of the Ranged attackers' Missed Shots (5.3: Ranged Combat) or the Charging attackers' Charges, if any of them blow their Attack Rolls.

The Nova defense
This Adamarian sentry overlooks the Alkborough colony from the height of his guard tower.
Photo: Ben-Jammin
From "Battle of Alkborough Village"
Elements shown: LEGO
The disadvantage of paper walls
Although this assassin can't actually see his target, the shadow on the rice-paper wall gives him a pretty good idea of where to strike.
Other Modifiers
Condition Modifier
Height advantage +1" Range per +1" altitude
(maximum +5")
Out of Range every die roll reduced by 1
per extra 1"
Firing blind -5 to Skill
The remaining Attack Modifiers don't fit into any standard category, but will still come up in battle from time to time.

Ranged attackers with a Height Advantage gain a little extra edge, in the form of one inch of extra weapon Range (up to +5") for every vertical inch of altitude between them and the targets below. (Low attackers shooting at elevated targets are not subject to any corresponding disadvantage.) Altitude is determined by the surface on which a unit is standing or on which a weapon is mounted; attackers can't give themselves extra Range by holding their weapons over their heads.

Attackers frustrated by targets that are slightly Out of Range can go ahead and fire their weapons anyway, but their attacks' accuracy and effectiveness drop off quickly with distance. For every inch past a Ranged Attack's listed Range, the result of every die rolled as part of the attack (each Skill and Damage die, in particular) is reduced by 1.

Whether a roll is a Critical Failure or Success is determined before subtracting this penalty. Other secondary effects based on individual die results, like Fire (8.3: Automatic Weapons) and Grinding Damage (7.2: Taking Damage), use the modified rolls.

The Out of Range penalty for Damage is ignored for Explosive weapons, which do the same Explosive Damage regardless (3.2: Ranged Weapons), making this a handy option for thrown grenades.

Units firing at a target they can't see are Firing Blind, and receive a -5 Skill penalty in addition to any other Attack Modifiers at play. The target may be hidden or invisible, or the attacker may have been blinded or blindfolded, or he may be extra cocky and firing backwards over his shoulder with his eyes closed. While he is unable to see the target, the attacker must still somehow have a very close idea of where the target is (within one inch) to attempt the attack - the target may have chosen a very small and obvious hiding place (like inside a barrel) or he may have made enough noise to give away his location (his cell phone went off).

5.2: Close Combat
The Nova defense
Commander Horowitz parries the Assyrian Captain's attack with the blade of the powerful Nova Sword.
Photo: Warhead
from "Zombie (Zulu) Dawn Turn 8"
Elements shown: LEGO
A unit with a melee weapon can use it to try to whack any object within reach. Some targets (trees, buildings, helicopters) are not notably responsive to such aggression; they take whatever damage is applied and, assuming they survive, stoically continue on with whatever they were doing.

More reactive targets (minifigs, animals, robots) are less likely to take that kind of thing lying down. Whenever one melee unit attacks another with hand-to-hand weapons, the two of them leave the regular cycle of Movement and Action and enter into the more refined state known as Close Combat. Close Combat is usually initiated by one minifig running up to whack another with whatever he's holding in his hands. It can also occur when a unit carelessly wanders within range of an enemy's melee weapon, and that enemy makes a preemptive attack.

Close Combat is often one-on-one, but can also involve larger groups Ganging Up on a lone victim or attacking one another in grand melees. Any group of minifigs who are outnumbered by their opponents in Close Combat are Outnumbered and fight with a -1 Skill Penalty. Remember that no matter how large the groups are, no individual minifig can be the target of more than three Close Combat attackers in a single turn.

A minifig who is engaged in Close Combat cannot make Response Actions to events outside of Close Combat.

Close Combat Engagement
While in Close Combat, minifigs are locked into an intense struggle, attacking and countering on both their own and their enemies' turns with as many weapons as they have available in hand, until one side is defeated or makes a shameful retreat.

On a minifig's own turn, he is the active combatant who drives the course of Close Combat. He can use an Action to Engage his opponents aggressively with a combination of Attacks, Grabs, and Shoves. If he's feeling cowardly, he can attempt to Withdraw from Close Combat, although this often doesn't end well. If he has more important things to focus on than pesky foes poking him with swords, he can even choose to Ignore them entirely, although they can't be relied on to extend the same courtesy.

Once the minifig is set on a course of action (or inaction, if he's Ignoring his opponents), his opponents can try to Counter it. Targets of aggressive maneuvers can try to Parry them to reduce or nullify their effects, or to Bail out of the way as a last resort. Most importantly, regardless of which Close Combat maneuver a minifig chooses, all of his surviving opponents have the chance to make a Counterattack on him afterwards.

A minifig in Close Combat can use each of his held weapons or empty hands once on each player's turn, whether to Attack, Grab, Shove, or Parry on his own turn, or to Parry or Counterattack on each of his opponents' turns. If a minifig Engages an enemy and has another weapon or hand he hasn't used yet, he may choose to make a second aggressive maneuver, granting his opponents another chance to Parry and Counterattack.

This process can be repeated indefinitely if the attacker is some fantastic creature with extra limbs, but regular minifigs are limited to two weapons each.

As long as they have one or more weapons or hands they haven't used yet in the turn, minifigs in Close Combat can always Counter a Maneuver or make a Counterattack, even if they've already spent their Action on something else. Either way, their Action is considered spent afterwards.

Order of Attack

With all the Attacks and Counterattacks flying around, it's important to keep track of Close Combat's proper sequence. Just remember to take Maneuvers one at a time, don't use any hand or weapon more than once in the same turn, and whenever one side or the other dies, stop.

  • 1. Active Minifig Performs a Close Combat Maneuver
    • The active player declares a Close Combat Maneuver (Attack, Grab, Shove, Withdraw, or Ignore).
    • The defending player declares whether he's going to try to Counter the Maneuver, either by Parrying it or Bailing out of the way.
    • The players resolve the effects of the Maneuver and the Counter, if any.
  • 2. Opposing Minifigs Launch Counterattacks
    • Any opposing minifigs in the Engagement (up to a maximum of three) who are still standing with an unused weapon may make a Counterattack on the active minifig, even if they weren't attacked this turn.
    • The active minifig may attempt to Parry incoming Counterattacks or Bail out of the way. Remember that if he's trying to Withdraw or Ignore the combat, attempts to Parry or Bail will still use up his Action.
    • The players resolve the effects of the Counterattacks and the active minifig's attempts to Counter, if any. If the active minifig dies or is Disrupted, his Close Combat is finished for the turn.
  • 3. Active Minifig Ignores or Withdraws
    If the active minifig was attempting to Ignore or Withraw and is still standing, he has succeeded in his attempt. Unless he used up his Action to Parry or Bail in response to Counterattacks, he may now move and spend his Action freely - possibly to engage in Close Combat elsewhere.
  • 4. Active Minifig Presses the Attack
    If the active minifig is still Engaged with his target and has another free hand or weapon he'd like to use, he can return to step one and delare a new Close Combat Maneuver against the same target. Otherwise, his Close Combat is finished for the turn.

    Note that, due to the rush of a Charge, a minifig making a Charge Attack can never Press the Attack; he's limited to a single exchange of Attack and Counterattack (5.4: Charge!).

Angry Inch blueprints
An Angry Inch is easy to construct - two bricks and two plates stacked together make a very accurate inch. A nicely-decorated sticker on the side makes it even classier.

Advancing an Angry Inch
This warrior lunges forward one Angry Inch to attack an enemy just out of reach.

Backing an Angry Inch
When the enemy gets too close, she jumps back one Angry Inch to give herself room to swing her blade.
Elements shown: LEGO, Little Armory, Mega Bloks, custom mold
The Angry Inch
"Victory is won not in miles but in inches. Win a little now, hold your ground, and later, win a little more.”
- Louis L'Amour

Minifigs in Close Combat don't take Movement in the normal fashion. Instead, prior to each Close Combat Maneuver (described below), they may lunge up to one inch to better position themselves. This fancy footwork is known as the Angry Inch, and it is not counted against the minifig's regular Move statistic.

Minifigs can take advantage of this free inch as many times as they make Close Combat Maneuvers, even against inanimate objects or outside of formal Close Combat. A minifig cannot deliberately use an Angry Inch to move to a location from which he would be unable to complete his Close Combat Maneuver.

A minifig who is Disrupted can use an Angry Inch to recover and immediately initiate a Combat Maneuver, but only on his own turn.

It's considered poor form, although not illegal, to have a unit attack a random object just to help itself move faster with an Angry Inch. But if the player insists, the target should at least be an actual object - attacking "the ground" or "the air" is just being a jackass.

Close Combat Maneuvers
On their own turns, all active minifigs in Close Combat must choose a Close Combat Maneuver to drive the course of the fight.

Active minifigs can't "skip a turn" while Engaged in Close Combat; the decision to do nothing counts as an "Ignore" Maneuver and still gives opponents opportunities to respond.
  • Attacking
    If a minifig chooses to Attack, he may move an Angry Inch to position himself, and then declares his intention to Attack with a Close Combat weapon he has ready in hand.

    Hot kitchen implements Minifigs without a CC weapon will be at a serious disadvantage in Close Combat. Fortunately, many types of Random Objects can be used as CC weapons in a pinch (3.4: Desperate Measures).

    Before he makes the Attack Roll, the target may declare his intention to Counter with an attempt to Parry or Bail (see the Countering section, below). Otherwise, the attack proceeds as normal: the minifig uses his Skill Die to make an Attack Roll against the Use rating of his weapon, and if it hits, he rolls the Damage Rating of the weapon to see how much Damage he delivers.

    If a minifig or group of minifigs make multiple Close Combat Attacks on a single target in the same turn, all of the Damage is cumulative.
  • Grabbing
    An Active minifig with a free hand (or other gripping appendage) can use it to Grab an opponent within reach. A Grab succeeds as an Automatic Hit unless the target Parries or manages to Bail in time to avoid it.

    A Grab does no damage, but once one minifig Grabs another, any Close Combat Attacks on either of them (including Counterattacks and Attacks from other minifigs) are Automatic Hits. Naturally, the Grabbed minifig can immediately Counterattack with an Automatic Hit, making Grabs risky against an armed opponent.

    While in a Grab, the Grabbing minifig must keep at least one hand on the Grabbed minifig. Neither minifig can move, Bail, Withdraw, or use Angry Inches to reposition themselves until the Grab is released. The Grabbing minifig may release the Grab at any time, including right after making his own Attack but right before the Grabbed minifig's Counterattack.

    A Grabbed minifig can try to break the Grab, either with a successful Shove or by killing the Grabbing minifig.
  • Shoving
    If the active minifig has no Close Combat weapons to Attack with, if he has a Two-Handed Weapon and his target is too close to strike with it, if his adversary is foolishly standing in front of a bottomless pit, or if he just feels pushy, he may try to Shove his opponent. He must position himself within arm's reach of his target to make a Shove attempt, and his opponent must be his own size or smaller.

    A minifig with a Shield can use it to Shove other minifigs one-handed. Otherwise, any Shove requires the use of two hands, whether they're holding objects or not. If a Shove isn't Parried or dodged by Bailing, it's an Automatic Hit; the defending minifig is pushed two inches directly away from the Shoving minifig and Disrupted.
  • Withdrawing
    Rather than attacking, a cowardly minifig wishing to escape Close Combat can attempt to Withdraw on his own turn, moving away as part of his regular Movement. He may use an Angry Inch to aid his escape, although in this case it's more properly a Cowardly Inch. If he is Grabbing any of his opponents, he must release them before moving away. If he is already Grabbed by any of his opponents, he is not allowed to Withdraw until the Grab is broken somehow.

    Up to three of his opponents with an unused weapon available may make a single Counterattack at any point along the Withdrawing minifig's path. If the Withdrawing minifig attempts to Parry or Bail in response to any of these Counterattacks, it spends his Action; otherwise, Withdrawing doesn't use up his Action for the turn and he'll be free to focus on something else if he survives.

    A minifig who Withdraws is allowed to re-enter Close Combat with the same or any other target, once he survives the Counterattacks. This is useful when a minifig needs to reposition for an attack further than a regular Angry Inch would allow.
  • Ignoring
    An Active minifig who would like to remain in Close Combat, but who needs to focus on something else briefly or would otherwise prefer not to make any aggressive Maneuvers, has the option to Ignore his opponents. He does not need to release his Grabs or escape from the Grabs of his enemies to do so, although Grabs will prevent him from spending an Angry Inch to reposition himself.

    Up to three of his opponents with an unused weapon available may make a single Counterattack. As with Withdrawing, if the Ignoring minifig attempts to Parry or Bail in response, it uses up his Action for the turn; otherwise, he's free to focus his Action on something else if he survives.

Counters and Actions
Counters are a special kind of action which occurs outside a minifig's usual limit of one Action per round of turns. Counters are not counted as Actions, and a minifig in Close Combat can use his full allotment of Counters regardless of whether or not he's used his Action for the round.

A minifig has his full set of Counters available (that is to say, one Counter for each weapon or empty hand) on every player's turn.

Example: A minfig on the Cowboy team is in a barroom brawl, and is attacked on his own turn by a Response Action from an Outlaw minifig. Although it's the Cowboy's turn, the Outlaw is the active combatant, because his Response Action initiated the Close Combat.

The Cowboy has his full set of two Counters for the turn - one for the broken bottle in his left hand, and one for the table leg in his right. He uses the table leg to Parry, and the broken bottle to Counterattack. Actively engaging in the Outlaw's Close Combat spends the Cowboy's Action.

Next, it's the Outlaw's turn. The Outlaw gets his Action back, and attacks the Cowboy again. The Cowboy gets his two Counters once again, because it's a new player's turn.

Next comes the Ninjas' turn, and two Ninjas attack the Cowboy. He gets yet another set of two Counters to divide between them, but now he has a -1 Skill Penalty because he's Outnumbered.

Finally it's the Space Maroons' turn. They first use their zero-point anvil launchers to clear away the Outlaw and Ninjas, and then three of the power-suited Space Maroons can Gang Up on the Cowboy with their energy blades and gravitas hammers. Once again, the Cowboy gets a fresh new set of two Counters on the Space Maroons' turn, but now he has to divide them between three attackers.
"When the opponent expands, I contract; when he contracts, I expand; and when there is an opportunity, I do not hit - it hits all by itself.”
- Bruce Lee

When a minifig is the target of an aggressive Maneuver in Close Combat (Attacking, Grabbing, Shoving, or Counterattacking), he can attempt to Counter it - either using a Parry to deflect or resist the effects, or Bailing out of the way. Alternately, he may elect to Do Nothing if he is lazy or wants to save his hands and weapons for a different use.

  • Parrying
    A minifig that experiences a cowardly fear of getting killed can attempt to frustrate an opponent's Close Combat Attacks, Grabs, and Shoves by Parrying the maneuvers.

    A minifig Parries by making a Skill Roll against the Use rating of the weapon or object he is Parrying with. Because this is Close Combat, Ranged Weapons are treated as Minifig Tools (Use: 3) or Random Objects (Use: 4) rather than using their Ranged Attack stats. Bare Hands have Use: 0, meaning that Bare-Handed Parries rarely fail except in Critical Failures or when there are significant attack penalties.

    If a minifig is Parrying against an opponent's Two-Handed Weapon, he Parries with +1 to Skill due to the attacking weapon's large size.

    A minifig who is Parrying a Close Combat Attack or Counterattack must use a held weapon or object. If the minifig successfully Parries with a weapon, Shield, or other object, then he has Deflection against the attack, reducing the number of each type of Damage dice by one (3.3: Bodily Protection). If he Parries with Bare Hands, the Damage is not reduced in any way, and onlookers may question his tactical decision-making.

    Skill A minifig who rolls Overskill when Parrying can spend it to take an extra level of Deflection against the incoming Damage. A minifig who's Parrying with Bare Hands is still out of luck; bare-handed Parrying is purely Heroic Feat territory.

    A minifig Parrying a Grab or Shove may use any weapon or object already in hand, or he may use his Bare Hands if he's holding nothing in them. A successful Parry cancels the effects of the Grab or Shove.

    When the consequences of a Grab or Shove would be truly dire, the Parrying minifig may drop objects in hand before making the Skill Roll in order to Parry with Bare Hands instead and improve his chances of successful evasion.

    If a Parry fails, then the opponent's maneuver is not deflected. Worse, any time the Parrying Skill Roll is a Critical Failure, or any time a minifig fails while trying to Parry a two-handed attack (either a Two-Handed Weapon or a Heavy Weapon swung with two hands) with a one-handed weapon or object (a Hand Weapon, Minifig Tool, Random Object, or a Heavy Weapon held in one hand, but not a Shield or Heavy Shield), then the Parrying weapon or object is knocked out of his hands, directly away from the attacker, for a number of inches equal to the opponent's Attack Roll.
  • Bailing
    Rather than attempting to Parry an incoming Maneuver, a minifig might elect to just be somewhere else when it arrives.

    Bailing in Close Combat is similar to Bailing as a Response Action, except that a minifig in Close Combat doesn't need to have an unused Action to spend (4.3: Enemy Response). The minifig rolls his Skill and leaps to anywhere within that number of inches (or half that number of inches, if the minifig is at Half Speed), landing prone and Disrupted.

    Unless the minifig uses an Overskill Benny to land on his feet, he's now defenseless until he's able to recover on his next turn. Worse, if his Bail roll isn't higher than the attacker's Attack Roll, or if he doesn't Bail far enough to get out of range of the attack, then the attack hits him anyway, and he still ends up prone and Disrupted if he survives.

After making an Attack, during an attempt to Withdraw from or Ignore Close Combat, or even while simply walking within range unsuspectingly, an Active minifig may be momentarily vulnerable. Reactive combatants can try to take advantage of this, using an Angry Inch and pressing with a Counterattack.

If the Counterattacking minifig is using a Close Combat weapon, then the Counterattack is handled exactly the same way as a regular Close Combat Attack against the Active minifig.

If the Counterattacking minifig is using his bare hands, then he just ends up looking dumb and accomplishing nothing.

An Active minifig with an unused Close Combat weapon or Shield may try to Parry any incoming Counterattack, unless he is in the middle of Ignoring or Withdrawing from Close Combat.

Close Combat Example: Yoko vs. Dan
Yoko and Dan
Elements shown: LEGO
Example: Tired of the constant abuse, Yoko grabs her katana and attacks her boyfriend Dan in the kitchen. Both have Skill:1d6 and Armor:4. Yoko's sword is long enough to count as a Heavy Weapon (Use:3 Dmg:Skill+2). Dan's chef's knife is a Hand Weapon (Use:2 Dmg:Skill), and his frying pan is a Minifig Tool (Use:3 Dmg:Skill-1).

Frying-pan parry
Yoko's turn: Yoko attacks,
Dan Parries and Counterattacks
Yoko's turn:
Yoko makes a two-handed attack with the sword, initiating Close Combat. Her sword is much longer than Dan's knife, but Dan's Angry Inch will be enough to put him in range for a return strike. Dan declares a Parry.

Yoko rolls her Skill against the sword's Use of 3; she hits with a roll of 4.

Dan desperately Parries with the frying pan. This is risky - if he fails the roll, the frying pan will be knocked out of his hands by Yoko's two-handed attack. The Use rating of his frying pan is 3, and he rolls a 4 for Skill; his Parry connects. Dan has ShieldedDeflection against the sword blow.

Since Yoko is swinging a Heavy Weapon two-handed, the attack is Armor Piercing, limiting the effects of Dan's ShieldedDeflection. The sword's Damage is reduced to 1 Skill die rather than 1 Skill die +2. Yoko rolls 3 Damage, not enough for a kill.

Dan leaps forward an Angry Inch and Counterattacks with the knife. He rolls a 1 for Skill, a Critical Fail which causes him to miss completely.

The sword is mightier than the knife
Dan's turn: Dan Attacks,
Yoko Counterattacks
Dan's turn:
With Close Combat already engaged, Dan attacks with both weapons. He attacks first with the knife, since it's more likely to score an immediate kill. Yoko declines to Parry, deciding to save her sword for a Counterattack (if she survives).

Dan rolls a 2 for his Attack Roll, which is good enough for a hit. He rolls a 3 for Damage. Yoko survives, but by a narrow margin - Dan only needs to do two more points of damage with his follow-up frying pan attack for the cumulative total to kill her.

Yoko Counterattacks with the sword. Dan also declines to Parry, saving his frying pan in the hope of landing the final two Damage points.

Yoko rolls a 6 for Skill - a critical hit! She elects to use the Overskill Benny for a bonus die of Damage. The sword's Damage is now 2 Skill dice +2; Yoko rolls 3+5+2 for ten points of Damage. Dan is killed; he has no chance to make his second attack with the frying pan. Dan's player casts the minifig's head away from the body and sprinkles the area with red bricks for blood. Players will then have to decide on an appropriate Use rating for Yoko's subsequent attempts to get her friends to help hide the body.

5.3: Ranged Combat
Big guns
Guns aren't always held in the hands, as these skeleton knights discover. These ladies keep their weapons close to their chests.
Photo: Warhead
from "Zombie (Zulu) Dawn Turn 5"
Elements shown: LEGO
Rather than get caught up in the chaos of hand-to-hand combat, minifigs may try using Ranged or Thrown Weapons to strike cleanly from a distance. While less exciting than Close Combat, Ranged Attacks have the advantage of not giving enemies any opportunities to Counter.

Minifigs may only make Ranged Attacks against one target per turn, even if they have multiple Ranged Weapons. They may not make any Ranged Attacks on the same turn in which they use an Action in Close Combat, either before or afterwards. (Minifigs who Withdraw from or Ignore Close Combat without using up their Action, on the other hand, are able to make Ranged Attacks if they survive.)

Ranged Attacks are straightforward affairs. As long as the minifig's eyes and weapon have an unobstructed line of sight to some visible part of the target, and as long as the target is close enough to be within the weapon's listed Range, the minifig can make the Attack. The Attack and Damage Rolls proceed as normal, making sure to take Attack Modifiers into account.

Missed Shots
“Nothing in life is so exhilarating as to be shot at without result.”
- Winston Churchill

When a Ranged Attack misses, the shot is usually considered to have flown off into the sky or landed harmlessly on the ground next to the target. Any player may insist on tracking a Missed Shot more accurately, if he or she has a good reason to make the effort; for many shots it's not worth slowing down the game. Players might think that the target is big enough that even a bad shot would have hit it, or that an Explosive landed close enough to the target to damage it anyway, or they might be looking greedily towards other potential targets in the field of fire.

When an attack misses, and a player insists on tracking it, check to see how many points the Attack Roll missed by. (For instance, if the attacker rolled a 3 when a 5 was needed, then the Attack Roll missed by 2.) The Missed Shot lands somewhere within this many inches of the target.

If the target of the attack belongs to an opposing player, then that player gets to decide where the shot lands. Otherwise, the attacking player chooses any of their current Enemies to pick the spot. He or she can pick any spot within the Missed Shot range for the shot to Koincidentally strike, no matter how ridiculous or unlikely, provided that it's somewhere the weapon could theoretically have hit in the first place. The weapon's Damage is then dished out as appropriate, including any penalties for going Out Of Range.

The only restriction to the choice of Koincidental targets is that they can't choose a victim that's owned by a player other than themselves or the player making the attack. Anyone else's units are off-limits, unless hitting them can't possibly be avoided.

Missed Shot Example: Viking vs. Ninja vs. Pirate
Viking vs. Ninja vs. Pirate
Elements shown: LEGO, Mega Bloks, Little Armory
Example: When this viking sees his pirate buddy under attack from a ninja ex-girlfriend, he hastens to intervene!

The ninja is too far away for him to engage in Close Combat, so he runs forward and hurls his viking axe at her back. A thrown Hand Weapon has Use:2, Range:3", and Damage:1d6. The ninja is just within range, and with the axe's easy Use rating, the viking only needs a 2 or higher to hit. Sadly, he rolls a 1.

Because he missed the roll by 1, the gleeful ninja may now pick any target within one inch for the axe to strike instead of herself. The pirate is the obvious choice - as an ally of the viking, he's a legal accidental target. The pirate is just barely Out of Range of the throw, so there will be a -1 penalty to Damage, but the Skill penalty is irrelevant for a Missed Shot. The viking rolls 1d6 for Damage, minus one for the Out of Range penalty - a 3, not enough to kill the pirate, just enough to give him major lacerations.

The pirate and viking laugh together, because pirates enjoy being cut. Thwarted, the ninja ex-girlfriend vanishes into the shadows, where she prepares herself for a night of composing whiny self-pitying entries for her emo ninja blog.

5.4: Charge!
The third way for minifigs to make attacks is to run flat-out and smash into their target, either with a thrusting weapon or with their own bodies. A Charge can be used to add power to a thrusting attack with a Charging Weapon, but occasionally minifigs find themselves just slamming into things, whether on purpose or by accident. Knightly jousting, football tackles, and car crashes are all examples of Charge attacks.

MoveFor a Charge to be of any use, a minifig must build Momentum. He does so by running, Sprinting, flying, or falling out of the sky straight at his target from at least four inches away. (As in real life, anything shorter than four inches grants no advantages and can be safely ignored.)

Your MOM

Momentum is measured with a type of Bonus Die called a MOM. Because of his small size, a minifig can never have more than one MOM at a time.

A minifig's MOM appears when he's run for four inches, and lasts for as many turns as he continues traveling in a straight line. The moment he turns to the right or left from his straight-line path (jumping over obstacles or running down slopes is allowed), does anything that would prevent running at full speed (opening a door or running up stairs, for instance), or ends a turn without using up all of his Move inches, the MOM is lost and he has to start over. Fortunately, he can get a new MOM by simply running another four inches.

Rolling Your MOM
A MOM is a special Bonus d6 that can be added to any roll or stat that would logically benefit from the Momentum of a speeding minifig. A minifig might roll his MOM to add +1d6" to the height of a pole vault, the length of a long jump, or the Range of a thrown spear. He might also use it to cause 1d6" of KnockBack in a Collision, or 1d10" if he's making a Charging Shove.

The most common use for a minifig's MOM is to add a die of extra Damage to a Charging attack with an appropriate Charging Weapon. In this case, the MOM becomes another Skill die of Damage rather than the usual d6. (For standard minifigs, this will still be a d6, but specialist minifigs like the Hero can have different Skill ratings (Chapter 6: The Hero).)

As soon as the minifig rolls his MOM, the MOM is spent, and he must run another four inches to get a new one. A MOM only works on a target or direction directly in the path of the Charge; it can't be spent at an angle off to one side or to the rear.

On any turn in which a minifig rolls his MOM (or tries to, in the case of a missed Charging Attack), he must continue running in a straight line to the limit of his Move inches for the turn, even if this forces him to run over a cliff or into a wall of spears. This can be especially inconvenient when Bonus Dice on a critical Sprint roll add more inches of Move than he was prepared for.

Olaf and the Dull Shaft
Poor Olaf's axe isn't pointy enough to Charge with like Betty's. But players might let him Charge with his horns if they're feeling flexible.
Elements shown: LEGO
Charging Weapons
Ramming enemies head-on is a time-honored Charging technique, but a statistically significant number of minifigs prefer to lead with a weapon rather than their own bodies.

Not all Close Combat Weapons are appropriate for a Charging Weapon Attack. A Charging Weapon must be Heavy or Two-Handed (3.1: Close Combat Weapons). For minifigs Charging on foot, the weapon must be designed for spear-like thrusts (lances, battering rams, rifle-mounted bayonets). For minifigs flying or falling out of the sky, any type of Heavy or Two-Handed Weapon can be used in a mighty downward strike.

Players may come up with more exotic examples on a special-case basis. A Charging berserker might use a horned helmet or a spiked shield, for instance, if all players agree to allow it.

Making the Attack
A Charging Weapon Attack is treated as a special kind of Close Combat. Due to the rush of the Charge, the attacker and defender are each limited to a single Attack or Counterattack, plus any associated Counters. They may not use any Angry Inches.

If a Charging Weapon Attack successfully hits its target, the attacker can spend his MOM to add one Skill die to the Damage of the attack. If the attack misses, the attacker keeps his MOM and must either Collide with the target (if the target is directly in his path) or continue running in a straight line to the limit of his Move inches.

Charging Weapon Attacks can be combined with a Sprint into a single Action (4.1: Movement), allowing minifigs to cover ground and inflict damage in a hurry.

Countering a Charge
Charging Weapon Attacks may only be Parried with a Shield or Heavy Shield (5.2: Close Combat).

If the target minifig is Counterattacking in response to a Charge, then the minifig whose weapon is longer (by at least one inch) strikes first. If the lengths of the weapons are closer than an inch, then both attacks occur simultaneously. This may result in two minifigs successfully killing each other at the same moment.

Minifig Collisions

Your POP

MOMs vs. POPs
MOMs come and go, but a minifig's POP is always with him.

Physical Opposition works like Armor - it can be overcome, but not used up. No matter how many MOMs a minifig runs into in a turn, whether simultaneously or one after the other, he resists each new MOM or group of MOMs with exactly one POP.
Whenever a minifig with Momentum crashes into another minifig, a Collision occurs. Collisions occur as part of normal Movement and do not cost an Action in themselves.

Even the most heavily-armored minifig is too soft and squishy to cause any damage in a crash, but a Charging minifig has the chance to send other minfigs flying if his Momentum is enough to overcome their Physical Opposition. In the right situations, this can be more entertaining than whatever Damage might have been dealt out, knocking minifigs out of formation, off the sides of of bridges or parapets, and into less-favorable tactical positions such as lava cauldrons or minefields.

A minifig in a Collision spends his MOM to cause 1d6" of KnockBack (or 1d10" if he's Shoving the target as well), sending a target minifig flying directly away from the point of Collision like an Explosion (3.2: Ranged Weapons). Like Charging Weapon Attacks, a Charging Shove can be combined with a Sprint into a single Action.

A target minifig automatically has one die of Physical Opposition (one POP) to resist a Collision, rolling 1d6 and canceling that many inches of KnockBack. If the POP roll equals or exceeds the KnockBack roll, reducing the number of inches to zero or less, then the KnockBack is successfully resisted. The Charging minifig is brought to a dead stop, and the two minifigs are now locked in Close Combat.

Otherwise, if there are inches still remaining, then the target minifig is Knocked Back that many inches and Disrupted (4.1: Movement). The Charging minifig must continue running forward to the limit of its Move inches for the turn.

If two minifigs cause a Collision by Charging directly at each other, they each try to inflict KnockBack on each other at the same time.

If a minifig is Knocked Back a number of inches and smashes into an immovable obstacle his own size or larger that prevents him from flying the full distance, he receives one point of Smash Damage for every inch of KnockBack prevented, cumulative with any other Damage received from the Charge.