A Squad may consist of 5-10 soldiers and must include a Squad Leader. The Squad Leader may be either another NPC or one of the player characters and attacks as an individual, whereas their Squad acts as a single entity attached to its leader.
Squad: The entire unit
Squaddie: Any member of the unit that is NOT the Squad Leader
Resilience: The combination of a squad member's Toughness Bonus and the Armour Points of anything they have equipped on their Body location
By default, all regular squad members, henceforth called "Squaddies", share a single simplified weapon profile. To determine this weapon profile, look up the weapon you wish to issue to the Squad and write down 4 points of damage for every d10 (or 2 points for every d5) that would normally be rolled, before adding the "hard" damage after the plus. Finish by also noting the weapon's Penetration.
If the equipped weapon is a close combat weapon, add 3 points of damage for the Squaddies' average Strength. Various elite troops, animals, or alien creatures may have a higher Strength Bonus, which the GM should feel free to take into account.
Up to two Squaddies may be equipped with a Special or a Heavy Weapon. These optional weapons retain their original profile - simply write down the weapon's name in the "Damage" field and refer to the game's official rules whenever necessary.
Weapons with the Tearing or Volatile Weapon Quality use 6 points of damage per d10 instead of the usual 4.
Heavy/Special Weapon Teams
Some armies employ smaller teams dedicated to the usage of Special and Heavy Weapons. In these cases, scale the size of the squad to the minimum number of soldiers required to operate these weapons, plus its leader. For example, an Imperial Guard Heavy Bolter Team would consist of 7 men (3 Gunners + 3 Loaders +1 Sergeant), whereas a Space Marine Devastator Squad would consist of 5 (4 Devastator Marines + 1 Sergeant).
In this case, the Special and Heavy Weapons are not triggered depending on the Attack roll's ones digit, as per the usual rules for Special and Heavy Weapons in the "Squads Attacking" section, but are operated as if they were standard weapons, using the squad's Ballistic Skill table. Keep in mind that Squaddies employed as Loaders do not grant bonuses to BS, and do not use any small arms for as long as they are assisting the Gunners.
Each squad member has a Resilience score which is calculated by adding up their Toughness Bonus and the Armour Points of anything the troops may wear on their Body location. Normally, Squaddies only have 5 Wounds, whereas NPC Squad Leaders have 10. As with the damage average, GMs have the option to modify this number depending on what type of soldier this formation consists of.
Ballistic and Weapon Skill can be defined either according to racial averages, or dependent on the Squad Leader's own characteristics. In case of the latter, the first Squaddie will have a WS/BS 5 points below whichever of the Squad Leader's Skills is lower. However, each additional Squaddie after the first who is still alive when an attack is rolled confers a +10 bonus to BS, up to a maximum of 60.
Optionally, each squad member may receive an individual name. Whilst less important for enemy Squads, this opportunity may lend a small bit of personality to Squads led by one of the player characters.
Squad Perks and Experience Levels
To be added depending on the troop type, or to reflect experience gained by a veteran unit during campaign play:
- 0-999 XP, Green: -5 WS/BS, -10 Willpower
- 1,000-1,999 XP, Experienced: n/a
- 2,000-3,999 XP, Veteran: +5 WS/BS, +10 Willpower
- 4.000+ XP, Elite: +10 WS/BS, +20 Willpower
- Fearless: The squad gains a +20 Willpower bonus to Morale Tests
- Melee Specialists: +10 WS, +2 Damage per melee hit
- Marksmen: +10 BS, +2 Damage per ranged hit
- Die Hard: +1 Resistance, +5 Wounds
- Grenades: On a successful attack roll ending on a 9, a random squad member hurls a single Frag Grenade towards the closest concentration of enemies
A Squad may move or attack once per turn and has a WS/BS score determined by the amount of Squaddies still alive, which is usually the same for both ranged as well as melee combat. Various Squad Perks as well as the Squad's experience level may split and change this value.
The GM (or the player whose character is in command of the squad) rolls a d100 and compares the result to the Attack chart, using the WS/BS column reflecting the current number of Squaddies (excluding the Squad Leader) still alive and participating in the attack. Succeeding the Test means that a single Squaddie scores a hit. For every Degree of Success above the required minimum result, another of the Squaddies equipped with the squad's standard weapon counts as having succeeded on their attack.
Note that crew-served weapons (generally all Heavy Weapons) require a Loader to operate, who will not be available to participate in a squad's standard attack and does not confer any bonuses to WS/BS for as long as they are occupied with their supporting role.
Unless the Focus Fire Order has been given, every hit is assigned randomly to an enemy that is in line of sight of the unit (the GM may roll dice to determine this). Provided the target is not another Squad, these hits are resolved as per the official rules by rolling for hit location before applying damage. Dodging or Parrying a hit from a squad is possible.
Melee hits require the Squad to be in close combat with their enemy.
The Squad Leader's attacks are rolled and resolved separately.
If the Squad has performed a Half Move, it suffers a -10 modifier to WS/BS for the remainder of the round. A Squad may perform one Full Move or one Attack per turn.
Certain results on the ones digit of a Squad's attack roll may trigger special actions, in particular if the Squad has been issued with Special or Heavy Weapons:
0: Righteous Fury! The first target hit by the Squad suffers an extra 5 points of damage.
1-2: First Special/Heavy Weapon is triggered. These hits are resolved normally using the weapon profiles of the official rules.
3-4: Second Special/Heavy Weapon is triggered. These hits are resolved normally using the weapon profiles of the official rules.
Heavy Weapons require a Full Action to set up. This means that, unless the squad has already been lying in wait, a Heavy Weapon will not fire during the first round of combat, even if it is triggered by the appropriate dice result.
Note that ranged Heavy Weapons with a particularly high rate of fire double their hit range. For example, if the first weapon is a heavy stubber, it would now trigger on a result of 1 to 4 on the ones digit, whereas the second weapon would shift its hit range to a result of either 5 or 6. If the Squad carries two heavy stubbers, the second one would achieve a hit range of 5 to 8.
Roll 1d5 per salvo to determine how many shots have hit their target.
Ranged Special Weapons with a particularly high accuracy (such as sniper rifles) also double their hit range. However, instead of causing multiple hits, their attacks are made with the "Proven (6)" weapon quality.
Attacking a Squad
As long as it has at least two members, all attacks on a Squad receive a +10 bonus. The ones digit of the attack roll determines which of the squad members is hit. If the row associated with the ones digit is already a casualty, the attacker may choose a specific squad member as their target. If the slot has been empty to begin with (squads consisting of less than 10 members), simply return to the start of the column and continue counting from the last result.
It is also possible to aim at individual squad members (such as the Squad Leader or the Heavy/Special Weapon Gunners), but doing so requires a Called Shot without the usual +10 bonus, as the soldiers are trained to cover and support each other, making it difficult to take anything but snapshots at targets of opportunity. Squad members may never Parry or Dodge, unless they are a Player Character or an important NPC.
All hits on Squaddies and NPC Squad Leaders count as Body hits. Subtract the target's Resilience (AP+TB) from the combined Damage+Pen of the attack and apply the remaining damage to Wounds. Once a squad member drops below their Wounds total, they are counted as a casualty.
If the Squad Leader is an important NPC with their own profile or a Player Character, the damage they incur is resolved separately as per their character sheet, but as long as a character is attached to a Squad as their leader, they are always at risk from being hit whenever their Squad is attacked.
Note that crew-served weapons require two soldiers - one to carry the weapon, and the other to carry the ammunition. If a Heavy Weapon's Loader is killed, either a new Loader must be appointed from the remaining Squaddies (potentially lowering the Squad's WS/BS), or the weapon must be left behind.
Every time a Squad suffers a casualty or encounters something horrific, it must, as per GM fiat, take a Willpower Test against Breaking. Roll a d100 and compare the result to the Willpower column reflecting the number of currently remaining Squaddies. Should the unit fail the test, they immediately fall back, leaving any Heavy Weapons or any other equipment not carried on their own person behind.
As long as the Squad Leader is still alive, his or her presence confers a +10 bonus to Willpower, or +20 if they have the Command skill.
Being in the presence of allied (non-broken) Squads increase a Squad's Willpower by +20.
Being in the presence of enemies with a Fear Rating reduce a Squad's Willpower by -20 per stack.
"Look out, Sir!"
Important NPCs or Player Characters attached to a Squad who are subject to an attack may choose to have a Squaddie take the hit by rolling a d10 to determine which squad member must sacrifice themselves. The attempt must be made before the target tries to Parry or Dodge, but after the attacker has succeeded on their attack roll.
If the slot associated with the ones digit is a casualty or has been empty to begin with, the attempt fails and the attack still hits its original target. If the target has a Reaction left, they may attempt to Parry or Dodge as normal.
These sacrifices are limited: For every 20 points of Fellowship a character has, a single Squaddie would volunteer to sacrifice themselves once per combat. If the Squad Leader also possesses the Command Skill, he or she gains another volunteer.
The Tundra Wolves Squad is attacking a group of rebels, and after having finished his own turn, the Squad Leader - Sergeant Sergey Chanuvich - rolls the attack for his unit of Valhallan Guardsmen.
Assuming that at this point, the squad has been decimated and only five Guardsmen are still alive, the dice roll of 46 nonetheless means one Degree of Success (60 - 46 = 14, /10 = 1), and since his Squad has not moved this turn, a total of two lasgun hits (7 points of Energy damage each, as per the Squad's sheet) are allocated to the rebels.
As the ones digit of the roll shows a 6 and the Squad's marksman Dasha is amongst the survivors, the long las gets to make an attack as well. Since the long las is a Special Weapon, it is rolled for normally, but the weapon's Accuracy trait results in the attack gaining the "Proven (6)" Quality, which means that the d10 roll will at least be a 6.
After having dealt these three hits, the Squad's turn finishes.
The rebels counter-attack, and the first enemy character (receiving a +10 bonus as more than one Squaddie is still alive) rolls a 24 for his attack, easily scoring a hit on the Squad. Squaddie #4 (Mikael), however, had already been killed earlier, and his slot in the Squad Chart is now empty. The attacker can now choose another Squaddie as the target of the attack, and the enemy player opts for the sniper in order to neutralise the dangerous long las.
Dasha has an overall resilience of 7, but the attacker's total autogun damage result of 9 (6 on the d10, +3, +0 Pen) results in an excess of 2 points of damage. Her Wounds drop from 5 to 3. If the sniper is hit again, she might be put out of action.