Combat Guide

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Combat in SLA is a complicated affair, made even more complicated (or sometimes less complicated, just to complicate things) by the spattering of house rules thrown in. The guide below is designed to help guide players through the process.

Combat Rounds and Actions

A combat round is three seconds long and split into five phases. A phase is the smallest division used in comat, and is equal to 0.6 seconds. Needless to say, not much can be accomplished in one round. As a result, combat is broken down meticulously into actions that will take one phase.

Actions

A character can take an action on any phase in which they are allowed to act, as dictated by their DEX stat. This is noted on the character sheet by the crosses in the PHASES boxes. There is, in theory, an unlimited number of actions a character can take, but for the most part these will be common combat actions and will be listed below. For those not listed, the GM will be required to gauge how long they will take based on the time a combat phase occupies and how long the task lasts. Unless it is relevant to the combat, non-combat actions like picking locks, hacking, or conversations are best left until afterwards. Speech, should it be used in combat (say for shouting directions), is limited to a few syllables per phase.


  • Draw weapon or other item - 1 phase (0 on a DEX -4 roll)
  • Reload a magazine - 2 phase (1 on a DEX roll)
  • Put away an item - 1 phase
  • Change firing stance - 1 phase
  • Change fire mode - 1 phase (0 on a DEX roll)
  • Bring a weapon to bear - 1 phase
  • Aim - 1 phase per aim
  • Hit in melee - 1 phase
  • Calculate an Ebb ability - 1 phase
  • Inject a drug - 1 phase
  • Prime a grenade - 1 phase
  • Throw an object - 1 phase

Round Sequence

A round follows a sequence of order where certain actions will happen before others. Within the sequence, the order in which characters act is taken from their DEX, with the highest acting first.

  • Ebb Abilities

Requiring only thought to activate, and often being calculated the phase before, Ebb abilities go before anything else in the phase.

  • Movement

Movement happens before any other actions, and can be performed regardless of whether the character can act on that particular phase. The distance moved depends on the movement type of the character (walk, run, sprint), and their move stats.

  • Defensive Actions

Defensive actions are declared, whether active (parrying), or passive (gymnastics). This includes diving for cover, ducking, and other actions which would be classed as changing stance.

  • Ranged Combat

Ranged combat comes next, generally taking the form of shooting. This also includes actions relating to rabged combat, such as bringing to bear and changing fire modes. Ranged combat is covered in more detail below.

  • Melee Combat

Melee combat includes unarmed combat. Anything that involves hitting something with something else. Melee is covered in more detail below.

  • Other Actions

Anything else not covered in the sequence happens now.

  • Book-keeping

Finally any bleeding damage or healing takes place.

Ranged Combat

Ranged combat is fast and deadly in SLA Industries, but the actual mechanics of combat can be complex and drawn out. However, a fairly standard set of actions need to be performed. Below is a step-by-step guide to firing.

Bringing to Bear

The majority of ranged attacks must start with the firer bringing to bear. This is the act of pointing your weapon at the target, and with a phase being only 0.6 seconds long will take one action. In certain circumstances a firer does not need to bring to bear, namely when suppressive firing and when in overwatch. Suppressive fire covers an area, and so no specific target is being aimed at. Overwatch is when a firer knows exactly where the target will appear and is already pointing their weapon at that place ready to take the shot, in which case bringing to bear can be done for free with a DEX -2 roll.

Aiming

Once a character has brought to bear they can spend an amount of time aiming. The standard aim is one phase, but a character can fire before that by taking a wild shot at a -3 penalty. At standard aim a character suffers no penalty, and for each phase above that the character gets +1 to hit. There are limits to how long a character can aim, depending on certain factors. Generally a character can aim for 4 phases to get a +3 bonus. An additional aim can be had if the character takes a firing stance, and yet another if they have a rest (for their weapon, not a nap). After this characters with the marksman skill can continue to aim for a number of phases equal to their marksman skill level.

Aim Modifier Phase Notes
Wild Shot -3 1
Aim 1 0 2
Aim 2 +1 3
Aim 3 +2 4
Aim 4 +3 5 Firing Stance
Aim 5 +4 6 Firing Stance & Rest
Aim 6 +5 7 As above & Marksmanship

In addition, and character can aim for a location if they so desire. Each location has a negative modifier to hit, and at least one aim must be taken to call a location.

Location Modifier
Torso 0
Head -4
Arm -3
Leg -2

Modifiers

The firer will have modifiers to their attack roll depending on a number of things, as shown in the table below. Once all modifiers have been taken into account, the firer may add their skill and make their roll.

Cause Modifier
Target walking -1
Target running -3
Target sprinting -2
Target diving -4
Target kneeling -1
Target prone -2
Firer running -2
Wild shot -3
Aim arm -3
Aim leg -2
Aim head -4
Unskilled -3
Darkness -1 to 5
IR sights -2 (no darkness)
UV sights -3 from darkness modifiers
Wounded -1 per wound
Pistol no stock -1 med range and over
Cover -1 to 3 (+ PV)
Small target -2
3m+ size target +2
natural weapon +1
ROF 3 +2
ROF 5 +3
ROF 10 +4
Shotgun +2
Laser sight +1 up to med range
Scope +1 med range or over
Bipod +1 med range or over
Close combat -3, -5 with rifle
Point blank (<5m) +5
Medium range -2 (opt x 4)
Long range -4 (opt x 8)
Extreme range -8 (opt x 16)

Melee Combat

Melee combat isn't as complex as ranged. There is no requirement to aim or bring to bear, each attack is an individual action. Locations can still be targeted at the normal penalty. A combatant in melee can reduce their opponent's chance to hit in one or both of two ways. Firstly, any gymnastics skill is used as a passive negative modifier to any attack roll made against them, which represents their ability to evade incoming blows. Secondly, a character can use part of their melee skill to parry incoming blows. This is substituted from any attack rolls they make.

Cause Modifier
Target walking -1
Target running -3
Target sprinting -2
Target diving -4
Target kneeling -1
Target prone -2
Attacker Running -2
Parry Points taken from defender's weapon skill
Gymnastics Defender's skill
Unskilled -3
Darkness -1 to 5
IR sights -2 (no darkness)
UV sights -3 from darkness modifiers
Wounded -1 per wound
Small target -2
3m+ size target +2
natural weapon +1