AoE Combat

213,091pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Add New Page Discuss this page0

Return to AoE Main Page


Combat is broken into rounds. Each round lasts 10 seconds. Every minute has 6 rounds, every hour has 360, and every day has 8640.


Each combat round, all participants will have some chance to act. Each character gets 2 actions every round. Most activities take one or two Actions, although some take none, and others may take three or more.

Examples of things you can do include:

Zero Action

  • Speak
  • Reactionary Attack
  • Normal Defense
  • Desperate Defense

One Action

  • Take Stance
  • Use Skill
  • Delay
  • Gather Essence
  • Channel Essence
  • Cast Spell [usually]
  • Single Attack I [purchased feat]

Two Actions

  • Basic Attack
  • Charge Attack [purchased feat]


At the start of combat, every character makes an Initiative Roll. Each round, characters act in order of initiative, from top to bottom. In the case of a tie, the person with the higher skill goes first. If the skills are tied, the person with higher attributes goes first. If attributes are tied, flip a coin.


At the start of your initiative count, the character receives their 2 Actions, known as Refreshing. They make take any actions they choose, and at the end of their initiative count, any unused actions are forfeited.


As an Action, you may choose to delay and attempt to go at a more advantageous or tactical initiative count. If you delay to the end of the round, you continue to delay at the beginning of the next round, and may act when you choose to do so. If you took your other action, and then Delayed as your final one, you may change your initiative order, and once you have set it, you will Refresh as normal on the next round, on that initiative count. If you are Delaying when the round ends, and a new one begins, you do not Refresh until the next round.


Normal Movement

Normal movement is accomplished on a Hexagonal Grid. Each hex takes a certain amount of speed to enter, based on the terrain. If you do not have enough speed left, then you may not enter a hex. Normal hexes take 1 point of speed to enter.


Every character can walk on their initiative, unless they choose one of the faster methods of movement. Walking takes 0 actions. A character may walk a number of hexes up to their speed.


With one action, you may hustle instead of walking. This allows you to move up to double your speed.


With two actions, you may run instead of walking. This allows you to move up to triple your speed. You may not maneuver while running.


With two actions, you may sprint instead of walking. This allows you to move up to four times your speed, but movement must be in a straight line. While sprinting, you receive a +4 bonus to Defense, but may not take Reactionary Attacks or anything else until your next turn, and must rely on your Desperate Defense to protect you from attacks. You may not maneuver while Sprinting.

Tactical Movement


During the course of your normal movement, you may expose yourself to a Reactionary Attack by leaving yourself open as you move past a figure that threatens you. Before you enter a hex, you may declare that you are maneuvering into it. Maneuvering doubles the speed cost of the hex, but you do not provoke Reactionary Attacks from foes you threaten while entering it. If you attempt to maneuver closer to a figure with a weapon whose reach is greater than your own, and you do not threaten them while maneuvering, they may take Reactionary Attacks as normal.


Terrain : Speed required per Hex.

  • Flat, packed earth or smooth stone road : 1
  • Grassy hill, lightly uneven ground : 1
  • Light underbrush, light woods : 2
  • Heavy underbrush, thick woods : 3
  • Low wall : +1
  • Rubble : +2
  • Uphill, Moderate : +1
  • Uphill, Steep : +2
  • Downhill, Moderate : +/- 0
  • Downhill, Steep : -1 or -2 (acrobatics check required).

Movement cost for a hex cannot be reduced to 0. If movement cost would be reduced to 0, it is instead treated as 1 per 2, meaning that the character can move two hexes for 1 point of speed. Each further -1 applied to the movement cost increases the number of hexes that can be moved for 1 point, ie 1 per 3, 1 per 4, etc.

Attacking & Defending

The attacker chooses a target within his threatened area, spends the actions(s) required by his attack feat, and makes his attack(s). If he can make multiple attacks as part of the attack feat, they may be used against different targets, and the attacker may move in between attacks. With his target declared, the defender makes his attack roll.

The defender chooses his defense, refers to the Defense Modifier Table for any circumstantial modifiers to his roll, and makes his defense roll.

Before the attacker or defender know the results of each other's rolls, either may spend luck to attempt a better roll if they so choose.

Once rolls are finalized, they are compared. The attack succeeds if it exceeds the defense roll. If it doesn't, then it misses, and the defense is a success. An attack or defense that succeeds or fails by 10 or 20 produces additional results above and beyond a simple hit-or-miss.

Combat Results Tables

The result of any opposed combat roll can be determined from the table below. The tables are arraged from the attacker's perspective. Results on the positive side of the table happen to the defender, results on the negative side of the table happen to the attacker.


  • +20 : Disarmed / Unshielded
  • +10 : Hit
  • +0 : Hit
  • -1 : Blocked
  • -10 : Blocked
  • -20 : Disarmed


  • +20 : Prone
  • +10 : Unbalanced
  • +0 : Hit
  • -1 : Dodged
  • -10 : Unbalanced
  • -20 : Prone


  • +20 : Grievously Hit
  • +10 : Disarmed
  • +0 : Hit
  • -1 : Parried
  • -10 : Riposted
  • -20 : Disarmed


  • +20 : Choose Defense
  • +10 : Deny Defense
  • +0 : Normal Attack
  • -1 : Normal Attack
  • -10 : Lose Attack
  • -20 : Riposte

Hits and Wounds

Normal Attacks

Normal attacks that succeed deal normal hits. Normal hits deal STA damage, and DR applies.

Normal Defenses

Normal defenses that succeed cause normal attacks to miss. A normal defense that is successful against a critical attack causes it to do STA damage instead of CON damage.

Critical Attacks

Crititcal attacks always hit a normal defense. Critical attacks deal critical hits. Critical hits normally do CON damage. Critical hits always do full damage, ignoring DR.

Critical Defenses

Critical defenses always cause a normal attack to miss. A critical defense that succeeds against a critical attack causes it to miss.


Fumbled attacks always miss. Fumbled defenses cause the attack to hit and ignore DR.

Hit Matrix

Attack vs Defense : Result

  • Normal > Normal : Stamina Damage (DR applies)
  • Normal < Normal : Miss
  • Critical > Normal : Constitution Damage (DR does not apply)
  • Critical < Normal : Stamina Damage (DR does not apply)
  • Normal > Critical : Miss
  • Normal < Critical : Miss
  • Critical > Critical : Constitution Damage (DR does not apply)
  • Critical < Critical : Miss
  • Fumble <> Normal : Miss
  • Normal <> Fumble : Stamina Damage (DR does not apply)
  • Fumble <> Fumble : Treat as Normal vs Normal.


A characters status reflects certain negative and positive circumstances. Status effects apply a modifier to all SKILL [d20] rolls a character makes. Only the worst (or best) modifier in each category is counted; bigger modifiers superseded smaller ones (ie. if you are both Fatigued and Exhausted, you only take the penalty for Exhaustion). Certain status effects also affect the number of actions a character may take in a round.


Characters suffer fatigue from taking STA damage, or from activities like extended marches and swimming.

  • Exhausted [STA = 0] : -5 modifier, -1 action / round.
  • Incapacitated [STA = (-1 x Con)] : no modifier, lose all actions / round
  • Unconscious [STA = (-2 x Con)] : no modifier, lose all actions / round, unconscious.


Characters get injured by taking CON damage.

  • Injured [CON < Half] : -5 modifier, -1 action / round
  • Mortally Injured [CON = 0] : no modifier, lose all actions / round.
  • Dying [CON < 0] : no modifier, lose all actions / round.
  • Dead [Failed Will to Live check] : no modifier, lose all actions / round, dead, dead, dead.

Off Balance

Characters become unbalanced in a number of ways. Certain failed attacks or defenses can unbalance a character, as can being attacked while balancing or climbing.

  • Unbalanced : -1 modifier.
  • Reeling : -3 modifier.
  • Prone : -5 modifier.


Characters can get stunned from attacks with blunt weapons or shields, and certain attacks.

  • Dazed : -1 modifier
  • Staggered : -1 action / round.
  • Stunned : lose all actions / round.


Characters can get nauseous from vertigo or stench, gore, etc.

  • Woozy : -1 modifier.
  • Sickened : -1 action / round.
  • Nauseous : lose all actions / round.


  • Frightened : -1 modifier. You are unsettled, but suffer no additional penalties.
  • Scared : -3 modifier. You may attack the source of your fear, but Attack Feats against the source of your fear take 1 more action than normal.
  • Panicked : -5 modifier. You must spend all your actions moving away from the source of your fear as fast as possible. If unable to escape, you cower in fear, losing all your actions and normal defenses.

Also on Fandom

Random wikia