Example of Combat
While combat in Fantasy Imperium is lethal, it is survivable.
It is possible to take on several opponents at once and win.
Combat is complex, but everything should be written down on the character sheet to
make it go faster (initiative, weapon and armor statistics, speed bonus).
Four charts are used:
Combat Actions (to choose what you do)
Hit Probability (to modify attack and defense rolls).
Hit Location (to determine extra damage).
Injury Table (to determine wound levels and results of a hit).
The Storyteller should use some sort of mat to draw the terrain obstacles on.
Miniatures should be used in combat.
Fatigue markers (small colored stones you can get at an aquarium) to help keep track of
The player is running a Norman warrior that has been caught by three Saxon soldiers
while out scouting their encampment.
[Nasal helm, Reinforced Iron Mail Hauberk with a Coif (-4 initiative), over a Gambeson,
High Boots of Cuir-Bouilli, a Kite Shield with Binding (-3 initiative, 4 fatigue), using a
Pill Spear (-2 initiative, 3 fatigue) and a Danish Sword (-3 initiative, 3 fatigue)]
Fighting Styles: Single Weapon, Sword & Shield, Polearm
Skills: Spear: 72%, Sword: 86%, Kite Shield: 74%
Maneuvering in Armor, Mail +3 (reduces armor initiative penalty to -1)
Weapon Expertise in Danish Sword (+1 initiative, +1d6 damage)
Initiative: Pill (-3), Danish Sword (-3), Danish Sword & Kite Shield (-6).
Pill Spear: Mail Hauberk (-4), Maneuvering Skill (+3), Pill Spear (-2) = Pill (-3)
Danish Sword: Mail Hauberk (-4), Maneuvering (+3), Danish Sword (-3), Weapon
Expertise (+1) = (-3)
Danish Sword & Kite Shield: Mail Hauberk (-4), Maneuvering (+3), Danish Sword (-3),
Weapon Expertise (+1), Kite Shield (-3) = -6)
Note that Speed Bonus is not added to basic initiative which is written on the character
sheet. Speed Bonus is added to the die roll when initiative is rolled every round.
Winded: 57 (Endurance 57%)
Speed Bonus: +1 (Dexterity 70%)
Strength Bonus: +3 damage, -1 fatigue (Strength 80%)
Medium Encumbrance: x2 Fatigue
[Iron Helmet, Scale Leather Byrnie (-3 initiative), Linen Tunic & Leggings, Leather
Boots, a Round Shield with Binding, Strapping and Embossing (-2 initiative, 4 fatigue),
using a Long Saxon Sword (initiative -3, 3 fatigue)]
Fighting Styles: Sword & Shield
Skills: Sword: 68%, Round Shield: 81%
Shield Expertise, Roundshield: +2 (reduces shield initiative penalty to -0)
Initiative: Long Saxon Sword & Roundshield (-6)
Winded: 70% (Endurance 70%)
Speed Bonus: +2 (Dexterity 84%)
Strength Bonus: None (Strength 53%)
[Iron Celtic Helmet, Ringmail Tunic (initiative -2), over Linen Tunic, Ringmail
Vambraces, Linen Leggings, Leather Boots, no shield, a Ribbed Mace (initiative -3, 4
fatigue) and a Sparte Axe (initiative -2, 4 fatigue)]
Fighting Styles: Single Handed Weapon, Two Weapons
Skills: Mace: 82%, Axe: 66%
Weapons Expertise in Ribbed Mace (+1 initiative, +1d6 damage)
Maneuvering in Armor, Ringmail +1 (reduces armor initiative penalty to -1)
Initiative: Ribbed Mace (-3), Sparte (-3), Both Ribbed Mace & Sparte (-6)
Winded: 30 (Endurance 30%)
Speed Bonus: none (Dexterity 60%)
Strength Bonus: +1 damage (Strength 71%)
[Cuir-Bouilli (hardened leather) Helmet, Cuir-Bouilli Byrnie (initiative -1), over Short
Linen Tunic, Leather Vambraces, Leather Leggings, Leather Boots, no shield, Langseax
(initiative -4, fatigue)]
Fighting Styles: Single Handed Weapon, Two Handed Weapon
Skills: Hand and Half Sword: 85%
Weapons Expertise in Langseax Mace (+1 initiative, +1d6 damage)
Initiative: Langseax (-4)
Winded: 62 (Endurance 62%)
Speed Bonus: -1 (Dexterity 33%) [initiative penalty]
Strength Bonus: none. (Strength 57%)
1. Initiative (d10):
Norman: 11 (rolled a 3, -3 initiative (pill), +10 for polearm bonus +1 speed
Saxon #1: 4 (rolled an 8, -6 initiative factor, +2 speed bonus).
Saxon #2: -2 (rolled a 4, -6 initiative factor).
Saxon #3: 1 (rolled a 6, -4 initiative factor, -1 speed penalty).
Chooses to attack Saxon #2 with his Pill, aiming for his body.
Rolls a 23% and hits (skill: 72%). Fatigue: -4 (-1 fatigue for high strength, x2
fatigue for medium encumbrance) [3-1=2; 2x2=4]
Reacts to the attack (even though his initiative of -2 placed him last) by choosing
a dual weapon parry.
Rolls a 52% and barely parries the attack. Fatigue: -8 (-4 for each weapon).
[half of 82% = 41%. 41+7=48%. This is the parry for the Ribbed Mace.
48+6=54%. This is the parry when both weapons are used]
Decides to move 3” and strike, aiming for the head.
Rolls a 3% and hits. (Skill: 68% -10% for jogging. Note there is no penalty for
Confusion Factor because the Norman has not been attacked yet).
Since the roll was under the break % of the Long Saxon Sword (16% iron), there
is a 25% chance to break the sword. He rolls a 67% and its ok, but it loses -1d6 from it’s
damage capacity after this strike. If the defender ends up dodging, there won’t be any
damage or any possibility of breaking the weapon.
Rolls a 24% on the Hit Location Table looking under “Head.”
The exact location is Skull (+2d6 injury, x2 trauma, x2 blood loss for edged
The Long Saxon Sword does 4d6. He rolls a 17.
Looking at the character’s armor sheet, his Nasal Helmet & Coif give him 21
points of defense covering his skull, so the strike is absorbed and no extra damage occurs.
The Nasal Helm takes 17 points of damage and the player is unharmed.
Fatigue: -4 (1 for moving 3”, 3 for the sword)
Saxon #3: Chooses to wait. This will give him a +5 bonus to his initiative next
round. Fatigue: +2 ( these points are recovered from resting).
1. Initiative (d10):
Norman: 8 (rolled a 10, -3 initiative (pill), there is no polearm bonus because one
of his opponents moved inside his guard to attack him, +1 speed bonus).
Saxon #1: -1 (rolled a 3, -6 initiative factor, +2 speed bonus).
Saxon #2: 1 (rolled a 7, -6 initiative factor)
Saxon #3: 3 (rolled a 3, -4 initiative, -1 speed penalty, +5 bonus for waiting last
Chooses to attack Saxon #3 with his Pill, while ignoring Saxon #1 who is inside
his guard (close enough to strike with a sword). However, he backs up a bit after his
attack (Attack & Move).
Rolls a 52% and hits (skill: 72%). Fatigue: -4 (Fatigue Total: -8).
Reacts to the attack by choosing to parry with his hand and half sword.
Rolls a 94% and misses (weapon parry %: 55%) Fatigue: 4
[half of 85% = 43%. 43+12=55%. This is the parry for Langseax]
The player rolls a 64% on the Hit Location Table under “Body.”
The exact location is “Abdomen, Kidney” (+2d6, x2 trauma, x2 blood loss for
Pill (3d6). He rolls a 13, and adds his +3 strength bonus for 16 points.
Cuir-Bouilli over Linen provides 7 points of protection.
So the initial damage is 9 (16-7=9)
Extra Injury Damage:
The player then rolls the +2d6 extra damage (because the armor was penetrated)
and rolls an 8. [The Pill Spear inflicted 3d6 damage, and the wound location added 2d6]
Looking at the Injury Table, 17 hits (9+8=17) create a critical wound to the body.
The Saxon #3 makes a Shock roll (stun check):
Rolls 75% and fails (his Shock is 33%).
He is stunned for 2d6 rounds and rolls an 11.
So he is out of commission for 11 rounds.
He will pass out within a minute (30 rounds).
Total Hits from Injury & Trauma:
Hit total hit point loss is 34 (17 point wound x2 trauma).
So he had 119 hits, but now has 85.
His blood loss rate is 4d6 / minute (2d6 from a critical wound, x2 blood loss from
the location of the hit).
Without first aid, he may bleed to death. He will probably bleed to death within 5
or 6 minutes. [4d6=14 average. 85/14=6]
Without medical treatment from a doctor, there is a 50% chance he will die within
6 days. Even with a doctor, there is still a 20% chance he will die.
With an initiative of 1, he is next and he decides to move 3” inside the Norman’s
guard and chooses a Dual Attack with his mace and axe simultaneously.
He rolls: 73% with the mace and 31% with his axe. Both hit.
[skills: Mace 82%, Axe 66%. Both suffer -10% to hit for moving 3” but still hit]
Since the Norman has already taken his action this round, his only options are to
“take it” or to use up his next round’s action and try to dodge. If he does this, he will not
be able to attack for 2 rounds, because next round he must also dodge and you cannot
make an attack in the round following a dodge. He chooses to dodge.
He makes a single roll for both attacks. He must roll under the modified attack
numbers to succeed (83% & 42%). The movement penalty is added to the numbers
[73+10 & 32+10 = 83 & 42].
He rolls a 18% and jumps out of the way! He lets go of his Pill because it is still
stuck in Saxon #3.
Fatigue: -9 (Fatigue Total: -17).
In a fit of frustration and anger, he moves 3” forward again and strikes.
Rolls a 65% and misses.
[68% skill, -10% for moving 3”, -25% confusion factor because the Norman has
already been attacked = 33% chance of success]
Fatigue: -4 (Fatigue Total: -8).
1. Initiative (d10):
Norman: 4 (rolled a 3, no weapon, +1 speed bonus).
Saxon #1: 3 (rolled an 7, -6 initiative factor, +2 speed bonus).
Saxon #2: -1 (rolled a 5, -6 initiative factor).
Since he has already spent this round’s action to dodge, he cannot make an attack,
even though he has won the initiative. He must choose to dodge all attacks this
round. He will make one roll for all successful attacks aimed at him this round.
Next round he cannot attack, because he is considered to be dodging this round
(even if no one attacks him).
While dodging he cannot draw his sword or his shield. He may not recover any
fatigue while dodging either.
Deciding to press his attack, he strikes, rolls 38% and hits (skill: 68%).
Fatigue: -3 (Fatigue Total: -11).
The Norman rolls his dodge, and succeeds with a 29%.
He cannot attack since he used a complex attack last round (Dual Attack), so he
chooses to wait, recovering +2 fatigue points. He will gain +5 to initiative next
Fatigue: +2 (Fatigue Total: -15).
1. Initiative (d10):
Norman: 7 (rolled a 6, no weapon, +1 speed bonus).
Saxon #1: 1 (rolled a 5, -6 initiative factor, +2 speed bonus).
Saxon #2: 6 (rolled a 7, -6 initiative factor, +5 for waiting last round).
He tries to Fast Draw his sword, which if successful, will allow him to use it
instantly this round. He must roll under his Dexterity (70%). He rolls 29% and
succeeds. He may not attack, since he dodged last round, but he may attempt a parry
at a penalty of -25% (this is the Fast Draw penalty).
He chooses another Dual Attack.
Fatigue: -8 (Fatigue Total: -23).
Roll: 5% (Mace skill 82%), 75% (Axe skill 66%).
He hits with his Ribbed Mace, but misses with his Sparte Axe.
Since 5% is under the weapons Break % (again), he must check to see if the
weapon breaks (25% chance with iron weapons). He rolls an 18% and it breaks, being
completely useless after this hit is calculated.
The Norman decides to “take it” because he would have to roll under 5% (the
attack roll) to dodge successfully and this isn’t too likely.
Saxon #1 rolls a 28% on the Hit Location Table under “Body” (use body when
the location is not declared).
The exact location is “Chest, Heart” (+4d6, x3 trauma, x3 blood loss for edged
Ribbed Mace (4d6). The Ribbed Mace is normally only 3d6, but he has Expertise
with it, giving him a +1d6. However, he rolls terribly, and it only adds up to 10.
Reinforced Mail Hauberk over a Gambeson provides 11 points of protection.
So the armor again absorbs the hit. 10 points damage to the Hauberk.
The Norman is still unharmed. If the attack had penetrated the Norman’s armour,
the Saxon would have added 4d6 to the damage, which would probably have been fatal.
He angrily attacks again. He rolls a 38% and hits (skill: 68%).
Fatigue: -3 (Fatigue Total: -14).
The Norman tries to parry with his Danish Sword.
He rolls a 22% and succeeds. [half of 86% = 43%. 43+8=51%, 51-25 (fast
draw)=26% this is the chance to parry with the sword] Fatigue: -3 (Fatigue Total: -11).
1. Initiative (d10):
Norman: 4 (rolled a 6, -3 initiative factor, +1 speed bonus).
Saxon #1: 3 (rolled a 7, -6 initiative factor, +2 speed bonus).
Saxon #2: -4 (rolled a 2, -6 initiative factor).
Worried about fighting two opponents, he decides to try an En Garde maneuver.
He chooses to try it against both opponents, so he suffers a -10% penalty to his skill
roll. [86 – 10 = 76% chance to succeed].
He rolls a 35% and succeeds! Now, both of the Saxons attack and defend at half
their normal skill! A marker is placed next to their miniatures.
He is too angry to stop his assault, so he attacks at half his skill [68/2=34%].
Note that if he succeeds, the Norman will not be able to parry because he has
already taken an action (though he can still borrow from the following round and dodge).
Fatigue: -3 (Fatigue Total: -17).
Roll: 65% a miss.
He chooses a Look for an Opening maneuver, which will negate the En Garde
Penalty on him.
Since his skill is at half, he needs a 33% to succeed [66/2=33].
He rolls a 88% and fails. All his attack and defense rolls are still at half skill.
1. Initiative (d10):
Norman: 0 (rolled a 2, -3 initiative factor, +1 speed bonus).
Saxon #1: 5 (rolled a 9, -6 initiative factor, +2 speed bonus).
Saxon #2: -2 (rolled a 4, -6 initiative factor).
He decides to try to remove the penalty to his skills by choosing Look for an
Opening maneuver. His skill is 34% [68/2=34%].
He rolls a 22% and succeeds!
Since he chose a maneuver, he cannot rest and his fatigue is still at -17.
The Norman decides to fast draw his Heater shield. He rolls 52%, which is under
his dexterity and it succeeds, allowing him to parry with it this round at a -25%
Note that since the shield has not been prepared (strapped to his arm), a strike to
his arm will not hit the shield. A Prepare maneuver takes 2 rounds and requires his
other hand, which is currently holding his sword.
He chooses to Look for an Opening again, and fails with a roll of 96%.
1. Initiative (d10):
Norman: 3 (rolled a 5, -3 initiative factor, +1 speed bonus).
Saxon #1: 4 (rolled a 8, -6 initiative factor, +2 speed bonus).
Saxon #2: 1 (rolled a 7, -6 initiative factor).
The Saxon decides to Attack & Parry, taking a -25% penalty to both actions. This
will allow him to use his shield if the Norman tries a counterattack (Parry & Attack).
[Skills are: Sword: 68%, Round Shield: 81%, so he needs a 43% and 56%].
He rolls a 24% and hits with the Long Saxon Sword. (note that this sword is not a
type of Hand & Half Sword).
Fatigue: -3 (Fatigue Total: -20).
Saxon #1 did not specify where he aimed (head, body, arm or leg), so it goes to
the body. He rolls a 65% on the Hit Location Table, striking the Abdomen,
Kidney. [+1d6 Injury, x2 Trauma, x2 Bloodloss].
Long Saxon Sword does 4d6, but it was damaged (-1d6), so it does 3d6 damage.
He rolls 16 points of damage, which will penetrate the Norman’s armour.
The Norman reacts to the attack with a counterattack, just as the Saxon suspected.
Since his skills are 86% (sword) and 74% (Kite shield), he needs a 61% to hit and
a 59% to parry. The Kite shield has a +10% bonus to parry. [74+10-25=59].
He rolls a 33% with the shield and succeeds. So the 16 points of damage go to
the Kite Shield.
The Norman then rolls a 33% to hit, striking his opponent in the body.
Fatigue: -7 [-3 for the sword and -4 for the shield] (Fatigue Total: -18).
Can react to the attack with a parry because he chose an Attack & Parry
maneuver. He rolls a 79% and fails anyway (81-25=56%).
Fatigue: -4 (Fatigue Total: -24).
The Norman rolls a 33% on the Hit Location Table under “Body.”
The exact location is “Chest, Lung” (+3d6, x2 trauma, x3 blood loss for Edged
Danish Sword (4d6). Expertise: +1d6. Strength: +3 points.
Rolls 20 points and after adding the strength bonus it totals 23 points.
Scale Leather Byrnie over a Linen Tunic provides 4 points of protection.
So the initial damage is 19 (23-4=19)
Extra Injury Damage:
Since the armour has been penetrated, the Norman now rolls the extra damage of
+3d6. He rolls an extra 15 points and inflicts 34 points.
Looking at the Injury Table, 34 hits (19+15=34) cause a Terminal wound to the
body. The Saxon will die from this within 6 hours, and will be incapacitated within 1
minute (30 rounds).
The Saxon #1 makes a Shock roll (stun check):
He rolls 12% and passes! (his Shock is 41%).
Because it is a Terminal wound, he is still stunned for 3 rounds (if he failed, he
would be stunned for 3d6 rounds).
Total Hits from Injury & Trauma:
Hit total hit point loss is 68 (34 point wound x2 trauma).
So he had 123 hits, but now has 55.
His blood loss rate is 12d6 / minute (4d6 from a terminal wound, x3 blood loss
from the location of the hit).
Without first aid, he will most likely bleed to death within a few minutes.
Without medical treatment from a doctor, there is a 100% chance he will die
within 6 hours.
Death from a terminal wound can be prevented with a successful physician skill
roll at half ability. The recovery roll of 35% is then rolled once each day to regain 1d6
hits, but a physician skill roll must also be made every day in order to get the recovery
After his two companions have been taken out, he must pass a Morale Check. He
rolls an 88% and runs away!
Keep in mind that this is an example to show how the system mechanics work. In
practice, do not calculate every adversary’s statistics so closely.
Instead, apply a generic initiative penalty of -6 to all of the opponents, and give
them all a 65% skill in weapons and shields.
Important or skilled opponents can be given better skill rolls and lower initiative
If desired, you can calculate more detailed statistics for the main villain or his
Armour and equipment can be the same as whatever the miniature is using.
Although historical accurate miniatures are not common, you can still use their
equipment as a guideline. For instance, if all the miniatures have plate armour, but the
game is set in the 7th century, give them mail instead.
Here is what to do when you run combat:
Roll initiative for everyone, giving all the bad guys a -6.
Write the numbers down next to the miniatures.
The highest person goes first.
When someone is attacked, they get to go immediately, no matter what their initiative roll
was. They usually choose a defense.
Tell the player when they get hit:
"You can either;
parry with your shield,
parry with your weapon,
take the hit,
parry and attack (a Counterattack)... both of the skills suffer a penalty of -25%"
Most players choose the maneuver, Parry & Attack, or they choose Attack & Parry (when
going first). This will allow them to reserve a parry if they are attacked at a later time in
There are other things they can do, such as parry with both a weapon and a shield, etc.
and they are listed on the Combat Actions table (page 402).
When someone hits a person, ask the player where they aimed (head, body, arm, leg) and
then roll percentile dice for the exact location (keep in mind if it was an Edged, Blunt or
Point attack). If they shot an arrow, then they don't get to choose the general location and
roll twice on the hit location table.
All the combat actions are available to every player.
However, if a player doesn't have Groundfighting (for example), then they can't choose
one of those actions. If they don't have Rapier Combat, then they can't choose any of the
Rapier Attacks or Defenses.
If you want to throw many adversaries at your players, give them no armour or no
helmets. They will go down fast! On the other hand, you can give the main villain or his
primary companions heavy armour and skills to make them more difficult to defeat.
Once you get used to how combat works in Fantasy Imperium, you will begin to use
tactics in combat. Here are a few ideas:
On your initiative, choose Wait, which will give you a +5 bonus to initiative next round.
If attacked, you can still parry (though you will lose the initiative bonus). You can also
take an immediate action at any time during the round. However, you will not be able to
interrupt another action.
Aiming for the Head
Since aiming for the head will give an opponent a bonus of +25% to parry, choose
someone that has already taken an action, since they will not be able to do anything
except borrow a dodge maneuver from next round.
A Parry & Attack maneuver can be quite affective, especially if you have high weapon
and shield skills. Many players consider the -25% penalty to both skills acceptable since
they can both defend and attack. Also, this is a great way to eliminate the advantage of a
polearm (+10 initiative).
This option will allow you to survive against several opponents, whose skills can be
halved with this maneuver. Be careful trying to select too many of them, since each
additional person after the first will cause a -10% cumulative penalty to your skill roll.
When using this maneuver, your opponents will slow themselves down trying to
eliminate their penalty by Looking for an Opening. This will allow you to take them on
one at a time, since it slows down their attacks.
These long weapons give you a tremendous advantage in combat (+10 initiative).
Use a Horse
Horses give you a bonus to initiative (+3) and they also allow you to move further in
combat without accumulating excess fatigue. You can also strike more than one
opponent every round from a horse. After the first attack, every subsequent attack suffers
a penalty of -25% cumulative. So if a rider wants to attack four people, he would attack
the first with his normal skill, the second at -25%, the third at -50%, etc. While riding,
there are no penalties to parry, but a dodge is at -25%. Your chance to hit opponents is
reduced by your speed, and the penalty is applied to all your attacks. The best advantage
of riding a horse is for a mounted, charging person with a lance (+16 initiative!).
Used sparingly, this can be an effective option. Adding up to +5 to your initiative roll
can allow you to go first in combat, but there is a penalty to your defenses if you are
attacked (-10% per +1). For instance, if you add +3 to your initiative roll, you will suffer
a -30% to parry, dodge, etc. during that round.
Fighting Multiple Adversaries
Allow the confusion factor to protect you, while using En Garde maneuvers and
movement to keep away from groups of opponents.
The confusion factor is a penalty of -25% to hit, applied to everyone that tries to hit you
after you have been attacked once.
Running Realistic Combat
If the Storyteller is running the combat correctly, he will not throw everyone into the fray
at once, since this is not common in real life. People get scared, and every round, the
Storyteller should role play what every opponent does.
For instance, he could say, “This guy screams at you and attacks. This guy just stands
there with a smile on his face to see if his friend can beat you. This guy hesitates, with a
look of fear in his eyes…” etc.
If you have any questions about combat, feel free to email us at: