Added a rule regarding Out-Of-Command models that keeps those units from performing Major Actions. I was going to except Swarms from it, but then decided that blowing the middle of the unit away with a template would be a nice tactical way to slow them down. :)
The Action Phase
Unlike other games that divide the moving and shooting actions of a unit into discrete phases, M42 allows you to move and shoot your units in any order you like. This takes place in a combined Action Phase.
The primary way for an enemy to reduce a particular unit's freedom to move and fire is to Suppress it. Usually with a barrage of shooting attacks that forces a units to keep it's heads down and move about more cautiously.
The details of how a shooting attack can result in Suppression will be left to the Shooting section of the rules. But the goal of any suppressing attack will be to add Suppression Markers to a unit. The number of Suppression Markers a unit has will determine the complexity of the actions it may be ordered to perform.
Actions are basically orders that you give your unit before moving and shooting with it. The type of action you choose to perform will dictate how far they are able to move and how well they are able to shoot.
There are 3 basic categories of actions to choose from. Each of these categories has multiple specific actions that can be chosen from.
- Major Actions
- Minor Actions
- Free Actions
Effects Of Suppression
A unit that doesn't have any suppression markers may perform a Major, Minor, or Free Action.
A unit with one suppression marker may only perform a Minor or Free Action.
A unit with two suppression markers may only perform a Free Action.
A unit with three or more suppression markers must perform a Fall-Back Action.
Only One Action May Be Chosen
Regardless of how few or how many Suppression Markers a unit has, it may only ever perform a single action during the Action Phase.
Out of Command Models
Normally, it will be impossible to have any of a unit’s models outside of the leader’s Command Radius at the start of the Action Phase. However, this can sometimes happen due to the effects of a few special rules or attacks.
If, at the start of the Action Phase, a unit has any models that are not within the leader’s Command Radius, then the unit may not perform any Major Actions, even if they have no suppression markers.
There are 3 types of Free Action:
- Go To Ground
- Fall Back
A ‘Go To Ground’ Action means that the unit is forgoing all movement and shooting in order to make itself as difficult to see and hit as possible. This will provide a +1 bonus to the unit’s Evasion.
An order to ‘Fall Back’ results in exactly the same type of move as when a unit fails a morale check, or has 3+ Suppression Markers.
Note that Falling Back is something of a desperate move for most units to make, as it can easily lead to the unit’s destruction; should the unit’s leader not pass the unit’s Ld check during the Starting Phase of the player’s following turn.
There are 2 types of Minor Action:
- Open Fire
An order to ‘Open Fire’ tells the unit to stop where it is and fire it’s weapons at the enemy.
There are 4 types of Major Action:
- Halt And Fire
- Shooting Advance
- Focus Fire
The ‘Shooting Advance’ Action allows the unit to make a normal move either before or after shooting it’s weapons. With -1 penalty to it’s Ballistic Skill (BS).
A unit which is ordered to perform a ‘Focus Fire’ Action is carefully aiming it’s weapons at the enemy for maximum accuracy. This gives the unit it a +1 to it's Ballistic Skill (BS).
An ‘At The Double’ Action allows the unit to move up to twice it’s normal move distance towards the enemy. Moving this quickly, however, comes at a cost. As a running unit is much easier for the enemy to see and hit with shooting than one which is advancing more cautiously. So units moving At The Double suffer a -1 Evasion Penalty.