At the start of the first round of combat, each character or creature involved rolls Vigilance to determine initiative position. The Game Master may roll for the enemies in related groups or as a single group.

Each character or creature acts in order each round, from highest to lowest rating. Use net advantages/threats to break ties between those with equal successes. The Game Master decides the order between any who have the same net successes/failures and advantages/threats.


Each participant gets a turn during the round, taken at his or her point in the initiative order. Each participant gets one action, one maneuver, and any number of incidentals on his or her turn.

An action is some significant act, usually requiring a test. For example, invoking the rites of activation for a machine, opening a locked door, firing a weapon, striking a foe, instructing allies with a series of orders, performing medical rites on an injured person, sneaking up on a vigilant foe, or climbing over a barrier are actions.

A maneuver is an activity less complex and typically requires no test. Maneuvers are such things as aiming a weapon, moving a normal movement distance, opening a door, diving behind cover, or standing up.

An incidental is so minor an activity that any number of them can be performed each turn, although the Game Master may veto excessive numbers of incidentals. An incidental is something like speaking to another character, dropping an item held in the hand, releasing someone being held, or peeking around a corner.


Some maneuvers can be performed outside of the actor’s turn. These don’t cost the actor’s turn for the round.


Immediately after taking this maneuver, the actor spends an action to shoot a ranged weapon of some sort. He or she gets 1 [BOOST DIE] added to her attack, a character that takes on 2 Strain for an extra maneuver and spends two consecutive maneuvers aiming gets 2 [BOOST DICE].


The maneuver allows another character to add 1 [BOOST DIE] to an activity that other character is in the process of performing, a long-term activity that requires more than one action to perform. The Game Master determines the maximum number of characters that can assist a task.

Guarded Stance

This allows the character to assume a defensive stance. The actor receives a + 1 bonus to melee defense until the end of his next turn, but suffers the addition of 1 [SETBACK DIE] to any combat checks he makes during that time.

Interact with Environment

This is a broad category that includes activities like moving a large item, opening or closing a door, or taking cover. In the case of taking cover, the actor gains 1 ranged defense until circumstances negate the effectiveness of the cover, or the actor uses another maneuver to leave cover.

Manage Gear

Managing items generally means drawing, holstering, readying, or loading a weapon, but it can also refer to drawing something from storage, like from a backpack, or putting it away.

Mount or Dismount

Mounting a saddled beast, mounting a motorcycle, sliding into a cockpit, or manning a gunnery station requires a maneuver. In the case of mounting an untrained beast, a Survival check against 2 [DIFFICULTY DICE] is needed.


The target can move up to its speed (6 for humanoids like Space Marines) as a maneuver. If the character is engaged with an enemy, it requires a maneuver simply to withdraw from combat, moving 1 square away.

Drop Prone or Stand from Prone

While attacking a prone character with at range, the attacker adds 1 [SETBACK DIE].


Following are the broad categories of actions. Any other ability or Talent that requires the use of an action will say so in its description.

Exchange for Maneuver

A character can convert an action into a maneuver or take on 2 points of Strain to gain an extra maneuver, but may not do both. (A character may have no more than 2 maneuvers and 1 action in any given turn.)

Activate a Psyker Power

Unless otherwise stated, every use of psyker powers requires an action.

Perform a Skill Check

An activity so involved as to require a Skill test will, by default require the use of an action. The Game Master may declare certain test to require only a maneuver or incidental.

Perform a Combat Check

This is a variant of the “perform a Skill check” action, used when shooting a bolter, throwing a grenade, slicing with a force axe, or otherwise attacking a target. Refer to the Combat Checks page for details.


Rites of Battle Randy Randy