Getting into close combat

Mike (Countercheck) and I were wrestling with this one. Of the three avenues into Close Combat listed in the book, two are fairly clear – either you Advance successfully into the target unit’s position, or they try to Advance into yours (and even if they fail, they’re presumably strung out in front of you).

But the third one seems to boil down to “if both of you are in no man’s land,” and that’s confusing to me: Does that mean any unit that’s not in a Position can Close Combat with any other unit not in a Position, even if they’re at opposite ends of the sketch map? Or is there some way to define location other than “in a specific position or not”? The book seems to imply this, when it says a unit can’t leap from one end of the battlefield to another, but must advance from position to position.

I’ve got a particular interest in this subject because Mike and I are slowly working up an Arena firefight, and I really, really don’t want his Kerrn combat engineers with satchel charges in Close Combat with my Hussars…

You need a GM. The third option is completely dependent on the color of the situation. If it makes sense, it can happen. I didn’t want situations where two units were out of position in, say, a hallway, and they couldn’t close assault each other.


Speaking of close combat…

Let’s say you successfully advance into the opposing force’s position and have close combat scripted. At the same time your CC plays out, the other side has Direct Fire scripted, what happens then? Your team desperately engage the enemy forces, and they do the same, but simultaneously they are laying down controlled fire against you?

Have I missed something, or how would you interpret the situation above?

Remember that the Close Combat action isn’t the act of laying about with a sword – that’s covered by the Individual Action if your Close Combat roll is successful. The Close Combat action itself is about rushing in among the enemy.

With a Close Combat vs. Direct Fire, the side performing the Direct Fire you are laying down controlled fire as the enemy is charging into your position, yes. The two actions are independent of each other, so each side tests its skill against Ob 2.

I imagine the Direct Fire team taking out its current targets just as the rest of the enemy overruns their position. The Direct Fire team gets their shot opportunities, and then everyone on both sides scripts their Close Combat actions.

But, but, if the next volley is scripted exactly the same? Then what? OK, this might seem silly, but I sort of expected there to be a rule like “When engaged in CC, both sides can only play CC or withdraw” or somesuch. Or are one side expected to win after CC commences?

Hmm, I’m beginning to feel stupid… not good…

Ok, Frederik, let’s say it happens twice in a row. What makes sense to you in your imagination? How would you describe it?


I think I’d describe it as either the first charge being repulsed, and they’re trying again, or the direct fire unit is falling back as it’s being overrun, spraying fire wildly.

hmm, maybe Pickett’s Charge?

Or the scene in Aliens where the marines are looking at their scanners going “WTF? The scanners show them being in the room, but they’re not!”

Failed observe leads to 1 or 2 rounds of direct fire being invalidated as the Aliens rip the Marine disposition apart before next exchange with the Marines scripting for a retreat.

Then again, I haven’t seen it in awhile so I could be totally off.

Actually, in another thread, Luke gave an even better answer to this question:

I.e. there is a distinct “no man’s land” area implicit between any two positions (or possibly in between a whole bunch of positions if the map is drawn that way). So marking these no-man’s-land areas is simply another step in the tactical sketching at the start of Firefight.