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Gemini Rules for Warhammer 40,000.
These rules are now obsolete
Try the Gemini-ARAP 2.4 Rules
Close Combat Rules

The procedure for Close Combat/ Mêlée/ Assault seems a little more complicated but it is in fact simpler than it looks.

The basic procedure is in fact quite simple:

  1. Charge. One or more units is moved into contact with others.
  2. Establish Who Fights First. This is in order of Initiative unless the defenders were in Cover. Units in Cover get to fight first. Certain conditions may change the bonus of cover.
  3. Work out hits. Roll WS vs WS.
  4. Roll for Damage. S vs T
  5. Make Saving Rolls.
  6. Remove Casualties. Unit with second highest Initiative then fights (steps 3-6) and so on until everyone eligible has fought.
  7. Compare Wounds to establish which side(s) have won.
  8. Make Morale Tests.
  9. Move units that have begun to Rout or Pursue that round.
  10. Prepare for Next Round. Move models with no opponents towards enemy.

Models fight in Initiative order. If two or more sides have the same Initiative they fight simultaneously and attacks for all sides are worked out before casualties are removed. If Initiatives are equal the side that charged gets to fight before the charged models with the same Initiative for the first round of combat.


In Gemini Rules the Charge takes place during the MOVEMENT phase. For most units charge is at double their normal movement allowance, so if 4" it will be 8", subject to terrain modifiers. Even if the model only moves 2" or 3" it is still considered a charge.

Models cannot Charge enemies or objectives that they cannot see or are not aware of. The player may be able to see an enemy unit within range around a corner but the unit would not. Even if they could detect the unit with a scanner or psionic power they are unlikely to make a blind rush. Units that are allowed to charge blind at a sensor blip or other suspected enemy position would not get Charge Bonuses.

Charging gives the charging models the advantage of being able to make an additional attack during the first round of Close Combat.

A unit that is Charged has several options on how they respond. They can Run from a Charge, Stand and Fire or Hold position to receive the Charge. For the moment we will only consider Receiving the Charge and will cover Run from a Charge or Stand and Fire a little later.

When charging an enemy unit the following rules are used when arranging the combatants:

Models that are charged are turned to face their attackers but a note is made of whether the charge was into the side or rear of the unit since this will determine Charge bonuses and other factors. If a model is attacked from several directions it is turned towards the most numerous or potent threat and may be unable to make attacks against some of its attackers.

Charge Interception

If there is an enemy unit or model within 3" of the direct charge route to a unit or model being charged the nearby enemy may elect to intercept the charge and be charged instead at the point of interception. Neither unit gets Charge Bonuses for the following combat.


Some models may be designated as Bodyguards. Examples may include non-specialist marines in a command squad. If the figure they are guarding (the Principal) is engaged in Close combat any Bodyguard within 3" may trade places with the Principal.

Charge Bonus

Charging into battle and making base to base contact with an enemy gives the charging model an extra attack for the first round of combat. This attack is assumed to take place during the charge so is not subject to the penalty for making simultaneous attacks in Close Combat.

Flank Charge Bonus

A unit that charges the enemy’s flank gets a charge bonus of two extra attacks. If the charged enemy loses the first round of combat its Ld is at -1 for Rout Testing.

Charge to the Rear Bonus.

Charge bonus for attacking the rear of a unit is two extra attacks and ALL attacks in the first round at +1 to-hit. If the enemy loses the first round of combat its Ld is at -1 for Rout Testing.

Frontal Charge One extra attack in First Round  
Flank ChargeTwo extra attacks in First Round Enemy Ld at -1 if they lose First Round
Charge to RearTwo extra attacks in First RoundAll Attacks in First Round at +1 to Hit.Enemy Ld at -1 if they lose First Round

Charges will often not hit an opponent square on to the unit’s front, flank or rear. In such cases the charge is determined by which side the majority of the charging unit make contact with. If this is still uncertain contact with the front or rear has precedence over flanks. In other words a charge that hits the “North East” of the unit is a frontal charge while a charge that hits “South East” is a rear charge.

Remember a unit that charges the flank of an enemy also has a Charge bonus of an extra attack, for a total of two extra attacks.

A unit that charges the rear of an enemy has the same bonuses as one that charged the flank but has all attacks at +1 to hit.

Who Fights and How?

To fight in Close Combat a model must be in base to base contact with an enemy model or within 3" (measured centre to centre) of a friendly model of the same unit in base to base contact with an enemy model. If for some reason a charging model doesn’t fulfill this condition at the end of its charge it cannot do anything for the rest of that turn. For some models their pose prevents actual base to base contact with another model or the model may not have a base. If models can be placed so that they are touching another they are considered to be in base to base contact in the following rules.

Having models within 3" of friendly models in base-to-base contact able to fight as well as those in base-to-base contact represents the fact that the two units in combat would be mixed together in reality and not two distinct groups with the edges touching.

If two or more units are in Close Combat they are termed as “Locked in Combat” or “Locked”. Models that are in Base-to-Base contact with an enemy or within 3" of a friendly model in base-to-base contact are termed as “Engaged”. Only Engaged models can fight. All Locked models are eligible as casualties. In the following descriptions models actually touching an enemy model are termed to be “Contacting” and those within 3" of a Contacting model and therefore also eligible to fight are termed “Associated”.

The troops that will fight in the first Close Combat round are therefore those that have charged or been charged and finish the movement phase in base to base combat or within 3" of a comrade contacting the enemy. In Gemini rules Associated models can be moved forward so that their bases are touching the back of those that are in contact. This helps make it clear which models in a unit are Engaged and which are not.

Only Engaged models can fight in Close Combat but all Locked models are eligible as casualties. This represents fighters advancing over the fallen to contact new foes.

Note that both players get to fight in the ASSAULT phase, regardless of who’s turn it actually is.

It is possibly misleading to think of the combat round consisting of one side fighting and then the other. Engaged models fight in order of Initiative with all models with the same Initiative fighting at the same time. It may be helpful to think of a Close Combat round as being made up of several steps, with the highest Initiative fighters fighting in the first “Initiative step”, those next highest in the second step and so on. Some members of a unit may therefore fight early on in a round and others near the end. Only models that are Engaged at the start of an Initiative step can fight in that step or be eligible as casualties.

Combat during Close Combat is made using the fighter’s Weapon Skill and he makes as many attacks as the Attack number of his profile. Certain situations or weapons may give additional attacks. Each fighter in a Close Combat makes as many attacks as the number in the “Attack” section of his profile (with the exceptions described above and later).

Roll to Hit.

To determine the number of attacks make a count of how many models are in base to base contact with the enemy or within 3" of a friendly in contact with an enemy. Each of these can make their full number of attacks and may be eligible for charge bonus attacks or an extra attack for an additional Close Combat weapon. Add these values together. The total is the number of attack dice you may roll to hit. Note that some of these attacks may have a different target score to meet or may have different characteristics so use coloured dice to distinguish these.

To-hit rolls in Close Combat are made using the 3rd/4th Ed Chart of WS vs WS so a score of 3+ to 5+ is needed to hit. If WS are the same then both sides need a 4+. If one side has a higher WS it needs a 3+ and the other side a 4+. If one side has a WS more than twice that of the other side it hits on a 3+ and the other side needs a 5+. In Gemini rules the following modifiers apply to this dice roll.

+1  Rear Charge If the Charge is made into the rear of an enemy the first round of attacks are made at +1
+1  Uphill Model making attacks is on a higher slope, stair or rampart. You do not get this bonus for being taller than the defender or mounted on a normal-sized riding animal.
+1  Blocking Model is Blocking a Door, Ladder, Narrow bridge or Grapple Hook.
-1  Using more than one weapon at once. Such as sword or pistol in each hand -applies to all attacks by the model in that combat round.
-1   Improvised Weapon Having no Close Combat weapon and attempting to fight with furniture, rifle-butt etc. Does not apply to creatures with natural weapons.
-2   Unarmed attacks Having no Close Combat weapon and being ruled as not having acquired an Improvised weapon. Attempting to fight with the feet and hands is a -2 penalty. Does not apply to creatures with natural weapons.

Note that a dice roll of at least 2+ is needed, irrespective of modifiers. A natural 1 is always a miss.

A model that is unconscious or can’t defend itself for some reason can be attacked assuming it has a Weapon Skill of 1. In practice treat this as a basic score to hit of 3+. Even a creature with a WS of 1 should find it a little easier to hit a target that is unconscious or or is running away with their backs turned. Such a hit is referred to as a “Free Blow”

Roll for Damage, Roll Saving Throws, Remove the Dead.

In the 3rd/4th Ed rules damage from nearly all mêlée attacks are made using the model’s Strength, regardless of what armament they have, if any, so a man with a chainsword hits no harder than a man with his fists?

Although this makes things very simple, a lot of the variety and fun is lost. As an alternative Damage in Gemini rules is worked out in the same way as for the SHOOTING phase. A bolt pistol hits at S4 and ignores armour with a 5+ save. By inference from the old rules a Chainsword has the same effects.

The exception to the idea of using the Weapon’s strength is when that of the user is greater. A wielder with Strength 5 using a Chainsword would hit with S5, not S4 and ignore 5+ saves. This rule only applies to contact weapons where the user, weapon and target make a physical connection, such as swords, knives, axes, clubs etc. A shot from a Bolt pistol would always be S4.

One rule I do like is that Power weapons such as Power swords and Axes ignore all normal Saving throws. Use the WH40K-RT as a source for weapon strengths, so a Power sword is S5, and Power Axe is S6.

New 3rd Ed rule for Power Fists is that they double the user’s Strength up to S10 but always hit last in a round due to their bulk. In Gemini rules Power Fists reduce the Initiative of the Power Fist user by -2 and automatically strike last only in rounds where the unit has its initiative reduced to 1, such as if attacking an enemy in cover. This rule also applies to Chain Fists and Thunder Hammers. Lightning Claws fight at normal initative but are Power Weapons with the same strength as the user. Some weapons such as the Ork ’Uge Choppa and the Eviscerator do always strike last (Initiative = 1).

Powerfists and Power claws on Dreadnoughts and Robots fight with the machine’s normal Initiative.

Wounding is determined by a Strength vs Toughness roll in the same way as for shooting and damage is Saved as normal (although some Close Combat weapons preclude a saving throw).

The “Monstrous Creature bonus” rule from 3rd Ed also applies -certain creatures do ignore the target’s saving throws in Close Combat and attack vehicles in Close Combat at S + 2D6.

Only Engaged models are eligible to make attacks and which models are engaged will change between Initiative steps. As contacting models are removed as casualties nearby associated models may no longer be within 3" of a friendly model in contact and can therefore not attack in their own step. Obviously it is in the attacker’s interest to remove contacting models before associated.

For example: Side B has three models in contact and three more within 3" of these. Side A gets to attack first and scores three wounds. The three contacting models are removed and one of the associated models. In the next step Side B cannot make any attacks since he no longer has any Engaged models.

Once all the Initiative steps in a round have been fought the losing side must test for Rout. If no Rout occurs any unengaged models can be moved into combat by a distance equal to their normal move ready for any combat in the next turn.

In current official rules models in Close Combat can fight in a full 360° arc. This approach can be adopted for Gemini games and the result is much the same for most models. For those wishing for a little more depth to their Close Combat fighters can be given Attack Arcs.

Humans and most models only fight to the front 180°. In most combats this doesn’t make much difference and it is assumed that at the start of each round the fighter automatically turns towards the nearest/ greatest threat. This will usually be the enemy with the highest WS, Toughness or just the biggest.

The arc to which attacks can be delivered may be significant if the fighter has multiple attacks and/or opponents. If the fighter is surrounded he must clear away the enemies before him before he can direct his attacks at other enemies.

Wounds scored in Close Combat are assigned in the following priority:

Some creatures have special attacks which can be made outside the forward 180° arc.

These natural weapon attacks are not subject to two-weapon modifiers.

For Example: A dinosaur-like creature has two gore/ bite attacks, a stomp attack and a tail attack. This gives it four attacks but only if the enemy attack both the head and the flanks or rear. If the enemy only makes a frontal attack then the creature only has three attacks. If the head is kept occupied by a large number of attackers it can only make two attacks against attackers beside or behind it.

The above rules on Attack arcs only refer to Attacking in Close Combat. Defending against an attack from any direction is made at full WS no matter what the relative position of the attack since it also represents dodging and ducking. The exception to this is if the target is Routing or Breaking Off. In these cases a WS of 1 is used.

If fighting multiple opponents with different characteristics it may be easier to roll attacks sequentially. For example, a model has three attacks and is faced by a Gretchen and an Ork to his front and another Gretchen beside him. He needs a 4+ to hit an Ork but only a 3+ to hit a Gretchen. Since the Ork is the main threat and in the attack arc the player rolls only one to-hit dice and works out the damage and save rolls against the Ork and repeats this until the Ork is eliminated. If the Ork is killed any remaining attacks will be applied to the Gretchen in front . If he is eliminated any remaining attacks are applied to the Gretchen to the side

This may sound more complicated than it actually is. All you really need to do is follow the following rules.

Only models that are locked in a combat round are eligible as casualties. When removing casualties the same protocol as is used for attacks is used. Contacting models in the frontal arc of must be removed first, then other contacting models and then non-contacting engaged or locked models.

Killed models are removed and the models with the second lowest Initiative now attack. Note that the removal of casualties may change which models are now entitled to make attacks.

Who Wins the Round?

The side(s) that loses a round of Close combat must take a Rout test. A quick way to determine who won the round is to take the winner as the side that inflicts the most unsaved wounds.

If a combat involves more than one unit on one or both sides the total number of unsaved wounds scored by the units of each side are totaled together. The side that has scored the least unsaved wounds has lost that round of combat and all units on that side involved in the combat must take individual Rout tests. This may result in some units Routing while others continue to fight in the next round. Obviously if one side is totally destroyed in a round there is no need for the surviving side to take a Rout test even if it suffered more wounds than the destroyed unit!

When there are more than two sides fighting the winning side(s) in a round are those that cause more unsaved wounds than they receive.


A is fighting both B and C. B takes 3 wounds from A. C takes 1 wound from A but inflicts 2 on A.

A is 4-2=+2, B is -3 and C 2-1=+1. Both A and C win that round, B loses and must Rout test.

Units that receive more unsaved wounds than they cause must take a Rout test. Wounds that are caused and then saved by a saving throw do not count towards these totals. If B and C were on the same side in the above example their side would have inflicted 2 wounds but taken 4. They would both Rout test with a -2 modifier, 2-4=-2.

Make a note of the difference in unsaved wounds, since this will be used as a modifier in the Rout test.

Units that do not Rout or were not destroyed fight again in the next turn unless one Breaks Off.

Either way the loser tests for Rout.

The following program summarizes the combat round. The Rout test is part of the combat round but actual Routing takes place in the Compulsory movement phase of the Routing player’s next turn.

  1. Combatants either fight or break off. If Fighting go to 2, if breaking off go to Break Off table.
  2. Determine order of Initiative
  3. Roll to Hit for all fighters of the same Initiative
  4. Roll to Wound
  5. Make Saves
  6. Remove Casualties
  7. If all enemies killed go to 14
  8. If any Initiative steps have yet to fight, go to 3 otherwise 9
  9. Determine which side(s) have won and modifiers to Rout Test(s)
  10. Rout Test. If loser passes go to 15, if failed go to 12.
  11. If winner still locked in combat with other enemies, go to 15 otherwise 13.
  12. Move losers to Flinch, Unit will move as Routers in the Compulsory phase of their next turn. Go to16
  13. If you wish the unit not to pursue, test against Ld. If successful, go to 16. If the unit pursues it will move in the Compulsory phase of the Router’s next turn if the Routers do not Rally. Go to 16
  14. Consolidate move D6" then go to 16. Unit can be activated in their next turn
  15. Tidy Up. Will fight combat round next turn.
  16. Sequence ends. Combat Round finished.

Rout Tests

If, after saves have been taken into account, a side in Close Combat has taken more wounds than its opponent it has lost that round and any units in that combat on that side must take a Rout test. 2D6 are rolled and the total must be less than or equal to the unit’s Ld value. If the Leader of the unit is alive and has a different Ld use this instead, even if it is lower. If an Independent Character with a higher Ld has joined the unit use this value to reflect him inspiring the troops. If characters with a different Ld are with the unit they are still bound by the results of the test made with the unit’s or leader’s Ld. The following modifiers apply to the Ld value.

-x  A modifier of -1 is applied for each unsaved wound the side lost the combat by. If the losing side made 3 kills but lost 5 then each unit on that side will Rout test with a -2 modifier.
-1  if unit was charged in Flank or Rear during this combat round.
-1  if the enemy unit(s) include some models with the Daemonic Visage Attribute.
-2  if all of the enemy have the Daemonic Visage Attribute or a Greater Daemon is a surviving combatant.
+1  if unit is fighting a Hated enemy.
        A score of double 1 rolled for the Rout test (“Snake Eyes”) automatically passes the test, irrespective of any modifiers. Therefore always roll a Rout test even if the modifiers have taken your required score below zero

Routing from Flank and Rear Attacks

Historically units that are attacked in the flank or rear are more likely to break than those attacked head on. To reflect this a unit that is charged in the flank or rear and loses the first round of Close Combat makes its Rout test with a –1 modifier. This will be combined with any Ld modifiers for losses. Subsequent test can be taken against full Leadership.

This rule does not apply to units that have rallied and are then charged by pursuers - they knew the enemy was there!. If the GM wishes they may also apply this modifier to tests taken by units Tank Shocked from the rear or flank.

“No Retreat” Rule: Fearless, Stubbon and other Units that do not Rout Test.

Some units are “Fearless”, “Dogged” or do not take Morale tests for some other reason. If such units lose a Close Combat round they take +1 additional wounds for each wound they lost the round by. Saves may be attempted for these additional wounds. In Gemini this rule only applies to units of more than one model, not to Fearless or Dogged creatures or individuals fighting on their own.

Routing and Pursuit

A unit that fails a Rout test immediately flees in panic. It takes a direct route away from the unit that Routed them and any known nearby enemy units. Usually it will move towards the nearest “friendly” table edge but it can move towards nearby cover or any direction that does not take it towards a visible or known enemy.

Once a Rout test is failed the unit makes a “Flinch move” at the end of the lost combat round. The Routers are turned away from the enemy and moved D6". This figure already includes the penalty for the troops turning more than 90°. The Flinch move helps make it clear that the Routers are no longer locked in combat and routing. After the Flinch movement of Routers is made in the Compulsory Move phase of the routing side’s next turn(s) until they rally, are destroyed or leave the field. Modify this movement rate for the terrain being crossed.

All Routing movement made during the Compulsory Move phase is made at Flee rate. For units with a basic move of 6 or less this will be 2D6" while units with a basic move of more than 6 Flee at 3D6". Modify this movement rate for the terrain being crossed.

If a unit is in Close Combat with an enemy that Routs it will attempt to pursue (See next section for exceptions to this).

A Routing unit moves D6" at the end of the ASSAULT phase they were Routed in and then 2D6/3D6" in the Compulsory section of their own MOVEMENT phase. A unit pursuing Routers is moved at the same time as the Routers’ move for as long as it has a Routing unit to pursue. (ie they are moved in the Router’s MOVEMENT phase).

Units pursuing Routers are also moved at the same time as the Routers and make their own 2D6" or 3D6" roll. They are moved after the Routers are moved and after any Rally tests the Routers are entitled to take. If a Rally test is passed the Pursuers are not moved. Whenever the Pursuers move distance is enough to get one or more models in base-to base contact of a Routers all Contacting or Associated Pursuers can attack the Routers with Routing troops being 3+ to hit and unable to attack back. Pursuers can’t overtake the unit they pursue if their movement roll exceeds the distance between them and the Routers. Catching up with Routers does not entitle Pursuers to any charge bonuses since a pursuit is not a Charge.

At the start of each of the Routing Player’s following turns during the Compulsory MOVEMENT phase the Routing player moves his unit 2D6/3D6" and then may test to Rally. A Routing therefore always makes at least one 2D6/3D6" movement after the ASSAULT phase the Rout occurred in. The Routing player can attempt to end the Rout and Rally the troops by rolling a 2D6 less than or equal to the unit or surviving unit leader’s Ld. If the Rally test is failed the Pursuers are moved 2D6/3D6" and if the Routers are caught by Pursuers they are attacking in the next ASSAULT phase.

If engaged in hand to hand combat during the Rout by any unit (not just the pursuers) the Routing unit will not be able to fight back and are a basic 3+ to hit.

If the Rally is successful and the Pursuing unit or any other enemy unit then makes contact this is treated as a Charge and new round of Close Combat.

If the Pursuit takes the Pursuers through another enemy unit the Pursuers will Charge them and begin a new Close Combat against this unit in the next ASSAULT phase.

If the Routers leave the table the Pursuing unit will also leave the table. Pursuers will return to the table from the spot they left on a 4+ throw of a D6 in any of the pursuing player’s subsequent turns.

Pursuers that kill all of the Routers they are pursuing automatically Consolidate in the next turn unless they have entered combat with a fresh enemy.

In Summary:

1. Take a Rout test. If the Rout test is failed move Routers D6".

2. Next Compulsory MOVEMENT phase move the Routers 2D6" (or 3D6" if basic move is more than 6") then test to Rally.

3. If the Rally test is failed go to 4, if it is passed go to 6.

4. Move Pursuers 2D6" (or 3D6" if basic move is more than 6"). If one or more Pursuers make base to base contact with the Routers go to 5. If the Pursuers do not catch the Routers go to 2.

5. Pursuers in base to base contact with Routers or those within 3" of Pursuers in base to base contact of Routers can attack the Routers hitting on a basic 3+. Routers cannot make attacks back. If Routing unit is not destroyed go to 2.

6. The formerly Routing unit can be activated that turn, and may make any actions except Charging the unit(s) that were Pursuing. Pursuing units do not move this turn but may be activated and move/shoot/charge normally in their own following turn.

Not Pursuing

Troops in Close Combat who cause an enemy to Rout will usually Pursue unless they are still in combat with another unbroken unit. Units fighting multiple opponents can only pursue if all the enemy units Rout. They can’t leave an enemy who is actively fighting them to chase after a Routing one.

If a player does not wish his troops to pursue he must pass a Leadership test and roll 2D6 equal to or lower than his troops’ Ld. This is done after the Routers make their Flinch move at the end of the ASSAULT Phase they routed in. If this test is failed the unit is moved after the Routers. Units in Frenzy will always pursue. Units that rout a Hated enemy make any test not to pursue or halt pursuit at Ld-1 (ie they must roll 2D6+1 less than Ld).

Units with a move of less than 4" do not have to automatically pursue if an enemy Routs. They do not have to take a Leadership test to see if they don’t pursue. If the player chooses to pursue a Ld test must be passed to halt the unit, as per usual rules.

If the combat was for a defended terrain feature such as a wall, trench or strongpoint the winning side does not have to pass a Leadership test to not pursue unless the winning side is in Frenzy. Units in Frenzy that have won a combat for a terrain feature may avoid pursuing if they pass a Ld test.

If Pursuing an enemy and wishing to Halt a Pursuit the Pursuing player must roll 2D6 equal to or lower than his troops Ld before the unit is moved after the Routers in the Router’s MOVEMENT phase. This test is taken after the Routers’ move and Rally tests. Trying to halt or avoid pursuit of a Hated enemy is made Ld against 2D6+1.

Tidying Up.

Final part of the ASSAULT phase is spent preparing for the next round of Close Combat in the next turn. Models that were Contacting and killed their foe are moved into base to base contact with new foes or turned towards any other foes they are still in contact with. Models that were Associated can be moved into Contact with any available enemy models. Models that were not engaged in the previous round can be moved into Contact with free enemies or can become Associated if they can move to within 3" of a friendly model of the same unit that is in Contact. The distance models may move for these actions may not exceed their standard movement allowance, which for most creatures is 4".


At the start of each of the Routing Player’s following turns during the Compulsory MOVEMENT phase the player may test to Rally after moving the units. To Rally roll a 2D6 less than or equal to the unit or surviving unit leader’s Ld. If the test is failed any Pursuing troops are moved and the Routers moved again in the next Compulsory MOVEMENT phase if they survive. If their move takes the unit’s flight into cover the unit may attempt an extra Rally test.

If the unit fails to Rally before it reaches the table edge it may make one last attempt when it does so. If it fails the unit is removed from play.

If no enemy units (other than undetected hidden units) are within 8" of the Routing unit Rally tests are at +1.

Once all Rally tests for a unit have been made the Pursuers are moved if the unit has not rallied.

If a unit Rallies the models can be faced in any direction as a free move. They can be activated in that turn, and may make any actions other than Charging the unit that was Pursuing them.

Breaking Off.

If a model begins a turn in Close Combat with an enemy it may not simply be moved away. The usual thing is to resolve the round and abide by the rules as normal. However, sometimes an enemy is just too tough to damage or just too deadly at close range. A unit or individual wishing to leave Close Combat may attempt to Break Off instead of fighting. Either side can do this, not just the player who’s turn it is.

The player must declare his intention to Break Off and take a Ld test.

B1. Roll against Ld. If Failed got to B5, other wise B2

B2. Other side takes one free blow per engaged combatant.

B3. Move Breaking off unit 2D6/3D6".

B4. Unit can be activated their next turn, go to B6.

B5 Unit Routs.

B6 Sequence Ends.

If the Ld roll is failed the retreat turns into a Rout and the Rout and Pursuit rules apply. If the test is passed the unit may retreat at 2D6/3D6" from the hand to hand combat. Because Breaking Off involves turning your back on the enemy the enemy may strike a Free Blow as the Breaking Off unit leaves. This is like a Close Combat blow but is taken immediately. Only one blow is struck by each engaged model, no matter how many attacks the model actually has. Work out hits and wounds as normal except since the retreating side have their backs turned their WS counts as 1 and they are 3+ to hit, irrespective of the striking side’s WS.

Unlike a Rout move, a Break Off can be made in any direction, not just towards cover or a friendly table edge. A Break Off move cannot take the unit into Close Combat with another unit. If approaching an enemy unit halt it no less than 1" from the enemy and wait for the unit’s activation to make any Charges.

If a unit breaks off from a Close Combat it can be activated in its next turn and can make any action except moving towards or charging the unit it broke combat with.

If the unit that had it opponent Break Off is still locked in combat with other units it continues to fight. If it is not locked in combat with any other units it can be activated in its next turn and can make any action that turn except moving towards or charging the unit that broke combat with it.

Hit and Run

Hit and Run is slightly different to Break Off. If a unit has this special rule it can choose to leave combat at the end of a combat round. To make a Hit and Run move the unit must make an Initiative test. If it fails it will remain locked in combat and will fight the next round. A unit that fails a Hit and Run test cannot attempt to Break Off at the start of the following assault phase.

If the unit passes the Hit and Run test it can move 3D6" away from the enemy in any direction and take no hits as they do so.


If a unit in close combat kills all of its remaining enemies in a round it gets a Consolidation move as a bonus. It only gets this bonus if it becomes unlocked by killing all of its remaining opponents, not by causing them to Rout or from them Breaking Off or making a Hit and Run.

Consolidating allows the unit to make a free move of D6" in any direction that can ignore difficult/very difficult/variable terrain and dangerous ground tests. This move cannot be used as a charge so any movement towards an enemy unit must be halted 1" or more away. The Consolidated unit can be activated in their next turn and make any actions.

Space Marines: “They Shall Know No Fear”

The “They Shall Know No Fear” rule means that Marines beaten in Close Combat don’t Rout and automatically Rally at the start of their next turn. In Gemini Rules this means that the Rout and Pursuit rules don’t really work for Marines and a different system is used. When Space Marines fail a Rout test they do not make a Flinch move. Instead both the losing Marines and the unit that beat them both roll a D6 each and add their Initiative. If the Marines roll lower or tie they remain in combat for the next round, but are treated as having the No Retreat rule for that round, so if they lose that round they take an extra number of wounds equal to the number their side lost the combat by.

If the Marines rolled a D6+Initiative higher than the unit that beat them the marine unit makes a Flinch move and moves 2D6" in the Compulsory phase of their next turn. They can move towards cover or in the direction of a friendly table edge. The unit automatically rallies at the end of this move so can be activated and make any action that turn other than charging the unit that drove them off. Rallying is assumed to take place at the end of the 2D6" move, so if the Marine movement is intercepted or charged before its end the marines are considered to be disorganized so defend at WS1 and cannot attack back.


The 3rd Ed rules have a “Crossfire” rule that applies to withdrawing/Routing troops but the explanation is very poor. The old rules (and Gemini rules) allow units to fire upon Routing troops that pass them. This takes place in the firing unit’s SHOOTING phase and range is taken to be the closest distance the Routers passed by the unit during their MOVEMENT phase.

Unit Coherency and Close Combat.

All models in a unit are supposed to always remain within 3" of another member of a unit. A split unit that does not have a leader character must use its troops’ Ld value for tests and may be without other benefits the Leader provides.

During an Assault there may arise situations where some models may charge while others stay back or to one side to flank or fire on another unit. With the increased movement allowances associated with Routs and Pursuits it is easy for a unit to become split. A split unit will try to reform once all parts are out of Close Combat. The main body will be considered to be that containing the Leader, or the largest if the Leader is dead. Usually the smaller part would move to make contact with the larger and equal sized units will meet midway. If the smaller part is in Close Combat or in a fire fight the unengaged unit will move towards it.

Rout tests and Close Combat round results are worked out using the strength and Ld of the sub-unit in Close combat. If there is a Rout only the sub-unit Routs. If pursuers encounter the rest of the unit it is treated as charging a new enemy unit.

Advanced Rules

Extra Close Combat Weapons.

If a fighter has a single handed Close Combat Weapon in each hand they may make an additional attack during a round of Close Combat. In Gemini rules they may only do this if they also have “Double Weapon Skill”. A figure automatically gains Double Weapon Skill if they have two or more Close Combat Weapons they have paid points for.

If making an extra attack at least one attack must be made with an alternate weapon. If using Double Weapon Skill and fighting with a pistol and sword you could not make all you attacks with the pistol, one attack would have to be from the sword. The fighter doesn’t have to use both of his “paid-for” weapons. He might use his knife and sword if he wanted to avoid the noise of gunfire.

Unless the fighter has Ambidextrous mêlée skill making an additional attack makes all attacks that round subject to a -1 modifier.

Double Weapon Skill and additional attacks only applies to distinct weapons, not natural weapons such as claws. A standard Genestealer, for example, can only have two attacks despite having four arms. A mutant or Genestealer Hybrid with an extra hand could potentially carry three Close Combat weapons and make two extra attacks in Close Combat.

The basic points cost of a model is assumed to include a simple weapon. Most creatures have natural weapons or carry various knives, clubs combat accessoriea or bayonets etc. In reality an individual may carry several small weapons but in game terms such weapons are considered to be the equivalent of a single hand weapon and allows them to fight without penalties for being unarmed or using improvised weapons. These weapons included in the base cost of a creature and are termed “Free Weapons”. Even if not mentioned in the wargear description it is assumed the model has a free hand weapon unless it is specifically stated they are unarmed. All Soldiers or Warriors can be assumed to carry a knife or two, for example. Free weapons are not counted when determining if a model has Double Weapon Skill. Only Close Combat weapons with a points value that raises the cost of a figure are counted. The first hand weapon a figure has is assumed to be free. Other types of close combat weapons and any additional hand weapons are taken to be costed. Although this sounds complicated it can be easily understood if we use two Marines for illustration.

For Example, a Tactical Marine has a Bolter plus the knife, short sword, bayonet or similar included in the basic cost for a Marine. Since the Bolter cannot be used in Close Combat he can only use his free weapon. If we equip him with a Bolt Pistol for an extra point then he may either use his free weapon or the pistol in close combat, but cannot make an extra attack during close combat since only one of his weapons cost points and he therefore lacks Double Weapon Skill. If we also give him a chainsword or a second Bolt Pistol he now has two paid-for weapons and gains Double Weapon Skill. He may make an extra attack and fight with any combination of pistol, chainsword and/or knife.

An Assault Marine has a Chainsword and a Bolt Pistol. These are both paid for weapons so he automatically has Double Weapon skill. He will also have a knife or some other free weapon. In combat he will fight with his Bolt Pistol, Chainsword or Knife, or any combination of these. Since he has two paid for close combat weapons he gets to make an extra attack in close combat, even if he chooses to make all his attacks with the free weapon for some reason.

Some Marines can trade their Bolt Gun for a Chainsword and Bolt Pistol at no points cost. These weapons still count as “brought” so the Marine gains Two Weapon Skill.

Note that there are still differences between a Tactical Marine armed with a Chainsword and Bolt Pistol and an Assault Marine with the same armament. The Tactical Marine has a -1 to hit penalty on all attacks if he makes the extra attack. Being ambidextrous the Assault Marine does not have this penalty.


Ambidextrous (Mêlée) Special Rule. Some fighters are ambidextrous, either naturally or through extensive combat training and practice. They do not have a -1 penalty for using two weapons at once. These include Imperial Assassins, Assault Squad Marines, Veteran Marines (including Officers and Terminators), Adepta Sororitas Seraphim, Chaos Assault Marines. and any Eldar or Dark Eldar. A Tactical Marine with two Close Combat Weapons would still be subject to the -1 penalty.

Note that under the “John Woo rule” some of the above named units also have reduced or no penalties for using a pair of pistols in the SHOOTING phase. These characteristics should not be confused with their Close combat characteristics since there are differences in many cases. A Veteran Marine can fight with a pair of pistols in Close combat with no penalties but is still at -1 to hit if he tries to fire both at longer ranges.

Paired Lightning Claws are a special weapon used by fighters with an intricate fighting style. Under Gemini rules Paired Lighting Claws allow the wearer to make his full basic number of attacks with each hand at no penalties. A Lightning Claw fighter with an A of 1 can therefore make two attacks, a fighter with an A of 2 can make 4 etc. The player can also re-roll failed “to wound” rolls. See later sections for new rules on Powerfists and related weapons.

Shields and Shield Bashing

 Close CombatShooting
Buckler+1 or 6None
Primitive Shield+1 or 6+1 or 6 (Primitive weapons only)
Hi-Tech Shield+1 or 6+1 or 6
Combat Shield5+ InvulnerableNone
Power Shield5+ Invulnerable6 Invulnerable
Storm Shield4+ Invulnerable?

Some of the rules for shields have already been mentioned on the SHOOTING pages. Shields can be used to attack an opponent in Close Combat. An attack with a shield is treated as a hand weapon attack. However, a shield does not count as an additional Close Combat weapon. The fighter can either strike with his shield or his other weapon and gains no extra attacks for fighting with his shield. This may be relevant in situations when the GM rules that the fighter’s primary weapon is lost or broken. The exception to this rule is the Buckler. A Buckler offers no protection against ranged attacks but is agile enough that it can be used as a hand weapon in Close Combat as well as providing protection. In each round of close combat a Buckler can either be used as a shield or used to make an additional close combat attack. If used to attack the player cannot claim a save from the buckler in that round and if used to save it may not be used to attack in that round. Some small shields such as the Marine Combat Shield are strapped to the arm. These allow the wearer to use two-handed items or use a Close Combat weapon in each hand.

In 6th Ed. Warhammer rules carrying a shield adds +1 to the Armour save. There is also a rule commonly called the “Shield Bonus” which allows a dismounted fighter using a shield in Close Combat to claim an additional +1 save. Hence a fighter with Heavy Armour (5+) and a Shield has a 4+ save against ranged attacks but a 3+ save in Close Combat. This rule does not apply (normally) in Gemini Rules. Shields that offer a +1 modifier against ranged attacks also only offer +1 during Close Combat.

The GM may, however, wish to use the Shield bonus in scenarios where fighters only have primitive weapons and armour.

Options if Charged.

A unit charged also has the option of Running from a Charge or Standing and Firing.

Running from a Charge

When a unit is charged it has the option of Running from a Charge. It will move directly away from the charger for 2D6" if their basic move allowance is 6" or less or 3D6" if greater than 6. This figure already includes the penalty for the troops turning more than 90°. Terrain has the normal effects on this distance. Note that Running from a charge uses a variable move rather than double pace but should not be confused with Routs. Running troops finish their flight facing away from the chargers but can use their following turn to make any permitted actions. However, if the charger has sufficient movement allowance to still make contact with even one model the fleeing unit automatically Routs. Pinned Units cannot Run from a Charge

Stand and Fire

A charged unit can also Stand and Fire at the unit charging them. A unit can only Stand and Fire if the Chargers are charging from a distance greater than their basic move allowance. A unit with a move of 4" cannot be fired upon if charging from 4" or less but can be if charging from 4-8". Stand and Fire is resolved in the MOVEMENT phase of the Charging side, even though it is the other player that is shooting.

In some units some models may run while others stand and fight. A charger who’s target runs may chose to divert to a nearby model. If this model runs he may divert again and certain models may find themselves driving several enemies from a unit.

As the basic rules stand a unit in Close Combat cannot fire. This allows the interesting situation that a single figure could charge a unit and engage them in Close Combat. Later in the turn a larger enemy unit could then charge the unit, safe from Stand and Fire reactions. This is obviously unfair and contrary to the spirit of the rules. How to handle such situations is ultimately up to the GM, but I would suggest that if less than 50% of a facing is obstructed by enemy models in Close Combat with the unit then Stand and Fire reactions can still be made in that direction at new chargers. Only models that are not Engaged can fire. The side where the unit is first engaged becomes the front for purposes of Stand and Fire Reactions. There will be situations were a unit engaged at the front cannot fire forward but can still fire at chargers approaching from the sides.

Charging Fire.

Units armed with Assault Weapons or Pistols can fire as they charge an enemy.

Obviously there will be instances when both the Chargers and Charged are firing. The side with the highest Initiative fires first unless the Charged unit are in Cover. In this case the charged unit always gets to fire first.

Casualties inflicted during Stand and Fire and Charging Fire count towards the total number of casualties inflicted in the first round of Close Combat and contribute towards determining which side wins the round.

Poor Resolve.

Units of either side that are fired upon during charges may take 25% or greater casualties but this does not result in the unit needing to make a Pinning test. If the GM rules a Charged or Charging unit has Poor Resolve the unit must take a Rout Test if it takes 25% or more casualties. This test is at Ld-1 if the unit strength has fallen to less than 50%. If the test is failed the effected side does not enter Close Combat and begins a Rout move. Poor Resolve applies to civilians, conscripts, levies, slave warriors and other units that are not well-motivated fighters. It doesn’t apply to full-time warriors or professional fighting men.

Close Combat Charges Against Cover and Obstacles

In the ASSAULT phase troops fight in Initiative Order, regardless of who’s turn it is or who Charged. The side with the highest Initiative gets to strike first in all rounds. Striking first and being able to kill some of your foes will mean there are less fighters to attack you when its your opponent’s time to fight.

The main exception to the above rule is when the unit charged is in cover. When this is the case the unit charging the cover has to strike last in the first round of combat irrespective of Initiative levels, so effectively the charging unit is at Initiative level 1.

For a unit to be considered to be “In Cover” under Gemini Rules it would normally have to have the sort of protection that is classed as Hard Cover in the SHOOTING rules. This would usually mean they are inside a building, in a trench or behind a stout wall. Some forms of obstacles may also count as making the unit behind them “In Cover” in the ASSAULT phase even if they were only considered to be Soft Cover or No Cover in the SHOOTING phase. A hedge of thorns would offer little protection against bullets but would obviously slow and hinder a Charging unit trying to cross it so a unit behind it would claim the benefit of being In Cover and Striking first. Therefore under Gemini rules Cover in the ASSAULT phase are features that offer Hard Cover against SHOOTING and/or are Obstacles to MOVEMENT. Dangerous terrain or other features that require a dice roll to cross, such as a Climbing roll or Initiative test for jumping, are also treated as having the same effect as Cover if a charging unit moves through/over them.

The advantage of cover only applies to the first round of combat. If the combat continues into another round the chargers have managed to bypass the cover and both sides fight normally in Initiative order.

Some situations such as the use of Grenades may negate the benefits of Cover in the ASSAULT phase.

If the chargers have sufficient move they may be able to run around cover and fight in normal Initiative order. This is permissible in Gemini Rules, but may result in the charger’s move exceeding their basic move allowance and making them eligible as Stand and Fire Targets.

Grenades in the ASSAULT phase

In the official WH40K 3rd/4th Ed Rules grenades are only used in the ASSAULT phase. Gemini rules also allow their use in the SHOOTING phase but players should be aware that how Grenades perform in the different phases is quite different. In the ASSAULT phase Grenades are used in the same way as in the official 4th Edition rules. The majority of the unit must be equipped with grenades of the correct type for them to be used in an Assault. Grenades in the ASSAULT phase do not make to-hit or to-damage rolls and any casualties they cause are assumed to be taken into account in the unit’s attacks in the following Close Combat round. When Grenades are used during a charge they are used to effect Initiative rather than inflict wounds. Grenades are categorised as being either Specialist or Assault and/or Defensive in nature. Specialist grenades such as Krak or Melta cannot be used in a charge. Assault Grenades can be used by a unit that is charging. Defensive Grenades can only be used by a unit that is in cover and being charged. Frag grenades can be used either as Assault or Defensive Grenades.

Last Man Standing Rule

5th Edition seems to have dropped the Last Man Standing or All Alone rules and I’m happy to do the same in Gemini. The old Gemini rules are included here for those wishing to use them as a Special Rule for certain characters or units. They might be a good rule for untrained mobs.

If during Close Combat a unit is reduced to a single model this model must take a Ld test at the start of each of the following rounds of Close Combat. This test is not modified for Unit Strength being under 50% of its original or being for outnumbered. It is not a standard Rout test but a test to continue fighting. If he passes he heroically fights on. If he fails he Routs.

Theoretically a single model could attack a squad, win a round and cause the whole squad to Rout because he caused more wounds. In practice the single model would probably be in combat with several other models so his chances of winning are slim. On the other hand, a single figure that does rapidly make mincemeat out of several of your comrades may have a pretty potent effect on a unit’s morale.

Last Man Standing Rule does not apply to models that usually fight as individuals such as Independent Characters, only to squad type units reduced to a single fighter.

Krak Attack

Against a particularly tough or well armoured foe often the most effective option is drop a Krak grenade at his feet or down his jumper. Troops attempting to do this must have krak grenades and are only permitted to make one attack (of any kind) that combat round. The grenade is successfully used on a roll of 6. Krak Attacks in Close Combat are S6, no armour save. Only krak grenades can be used for this sort of attack since other grenades have too large an effect area. Krak Attack rules are used for non-vehicles. Attacking Dreadnoughts, Robots or Vehicles with krak grenades uses different rules.

Ultramarines that are Tyranid War Veterans can make krak Attacks at 3+ if fighting against Tyranids.

Mass Attacks

There may be situations when friendly models form several ranks in base to base contact behind the fighters in contact with the enemy. An example of this would be the phalanx used by primitive fighters but the situation may also occur with more modern troops. Under the “ 3" rule” up to four ranks of models on 25mm bases can fight. Interestingly this is the same for Warhammer models on 20mm bases -the centre of the fifth rank is just beyond 3". As a default the GM can assume that no more than four ranks can fight this way. Models on 40mm bases can only fight three deep - they need a bit more elbow room.

Suppose a single model is in combat with a block of 20 troops in close formation arrayed four ranks deep. All of these models could be within 3" of the model in base contact with the lone fighter which means the fighter would be attacked by 20 enemies at once! In practice so many individuals could not effectively attack a single target at once. For this reason a fighter in close combat can never be attacked by more than six individuals of equal or greater size.

Close Combat in Smoke or Blind Clouds

If the units in Close Combat are in a Smoke cloud (without Infra-vision) or Blind grenade cloud each model can only score hits in Close Combat on a base score of 6, irrespective of WS. This may be subject to further modifiers to require a score of 7+.

Overview Page.

Gemini ARAP Rules System



Extra and Optional Rules.

Vehicle Rules Section.

Building Rules

Warhammer 40000 Scrapboard Page

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Attack, Avoid, Survive: Essential Principles of Self Defence

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