The following sections therefore supersede their counterparts in the Core Rulebook.)
Recovering Lost Cohesion
Cohesion is a resource that must be used wisely by the Killteam during the course of a Mission and typically they will only have a handful points at their disposal. There is however a few ways in which Cohesion can be recovered during play, restoring the Kill-team’s pool, strengthening their bonds of brotherhood and allowing them further access to Squad Mode abilities.
One point of Cohesion will be recovered by the Kill-team if:
- The Kill-team completes one of their Mission Objectives (see page 230)
- Any member of the Kill-team spends a Fate Point exclusively towards regaining Cohesion
- The GM decides that the Battle-Brothers have completed a particularly monumental task or roleplayed well the bonds of brotherhood within their Kill-team.
By default all characters start play in Solo Mode and need to actively enter Squad Mode by using an action or making a Cohesion Challenge. Entering Solo Mode is a Free Action that a Space Marine can take at any time during his turn. To enter Squad Mode, a Battle-Brother must adjust his tactics, note the positions of his Kill-team, and prepare for close unit actions—all of which requires an effort on the part of the Space Marine, one that comes easier with experience and the support of a loyal and trusted squad. Before a Battle-Brother can enter Squad Mode, however, he must meet the following requirements:
- He must be in Support Range of at least one other member of his Kill-team.
- His Kill-team must have at least 1 point of Cohesion.
Alternatively a Battle-Brother can try to enter Squad Mode as a Free Action or Reaction by passing a Cohesion Challenge (see page 212). If the Cohesion Challenge is failed, then the Battle-Brother loses his current Turn or his next Turn (if he tried to enter Squad Mode as a Reaction) and enters Squad Mode from the start of his following Turn.
Entering Squad Mode is an action that effects the group, not just an individual. If a Battle-Brother successfully enters Squad Mode all other Kill-team members within Support Range may (if they choose) immediately enter Squad Mode without using Full Action or passing a Cohesion Challenge.
Maintaining Squad Mode
Squad Mode can be maintained as long as the Battle-Brother’s Kill-team has at least 1 point of Cohesion. A squad may continue to be in Squad Mode and sustain abilities between combat encounters as long as its members remain in Support Range and the Kill-team has at least 1 point of Cohesion. Activating abilities reduces Cohesion, as do some kinds of damage (see Cohesion Damage on page 212). A Battle-Brother drops out of Squad Mode—and returns to Solo Mode—at the start of his Turn if:
- He falls unconscious or dies.
- His Kill-team’s Cohesion is reduced to 0.
- He is no longer in Support Range of at least one other member of his Kill-team that is also in Squad Mode.
- He chooses to return to Solo Mode.
If the Kill-team becomes separated during the Mission its members may form multiple Squads for the purpose of Squad Mode abilities so long as all the requirements of entering Squad Mode are met and the Support Ranges of the multiple squads do not overlap.
Gaining Squad Mode Abilities
Codex Squad Mode abilities are gained as a result of the Kill-team’s choice of squad leader (see page 228). Depending on the squad leader’s Speciality, he will have access to a different selection of Codex abilities which his Kill-team may then use during the course of the mission. Part of preparing for a Mission is choosing a leader that will provide the most useful set of abilities for the Kill-team and their current objectives.
Using Squad Mode Abilities
Squad Mode abilities function just like other Actions and can be activated by any Battle-Brother—not just the squad leader—in his turn or as specified by the ability’s description. There is no test to activate these abilities. However, the Battle-Brother must take the indicated action and spend the required amount of Cohesion (as indicated by the ability) and be in Squad Mode. He only needs to spend this Cohesion cost once, however, and once an ability has been activated, it remains so for the remainder of the Mission (for Sustained abilities, until the Kill-team no longer chooses to sustain it) or for the duration of a single combat, (if the ability is not Sustained) and may be used by either him or any other members of his Kill-team in Squad Mode. Some non-sustained Squad Mode abilities have a duration different than single combat and are indicated as such. These abilities can be activated multiple times in the same combat, provided the indicated action is taken and the full Cohesion cost is paid for each activation.
Both the Battle-Brother using the action and any other members of his Kill-team within his Support Range may then benefit from the effects of the Squad Mode ability. Full details on the effects of each Squad Mode ability can be found in the individual ability descriptions below.
Each Battle-Brother may benefit from only one Squad Mode (or Solo Mode) ability during a given turn. Activating a a Squad Mode ability does not require another Battle-Brother joining the ability.
Using Chapter Specific Abilities
Some Squad Mode abilities are Chapter specific, available only to Battle-Brothers of the indicated Chapter and only useable by them. In addition, such is the nature of these abilities that when they are used only Battle-Brothers of the same Chapter as the Chapter ability may benefit from their effects, while all other members of the Kill-team will be unaffected regardless of their Mode or if they are in Support Range. Battle-Brothers may activate the Chapter abilities of their own Chapter even if the squad leader is not of the same Chapter, but these abilities will still only affect the Battle-Brother and any members of his Kill-Team that belong to the same Chapter.
Sustaining Squad Mode Abilities
Many Squad Mode abilities can be maintained indefinably provided that the Battle-Brother remains in Squad Mode. This is indicated in each ability’s description under the Sustained heading. To sustain an ability the Battle-Brother simply declares he is sustaining the ability and then may keep it active from Round to Round provided he is in Squad Mode and does not activate any new Squad Mode abilities. The Battle-Brother may choose to stop sustaining an ability (possibly to activate a new Squad Mode ability or benefit from another active Squad Mode ability) as a Free Action at the start of any of his Turns and must pay the Cohesion cost of the sustained ability if he wants to reactivate it at later time.
A Battle-Brother benefiting from an ability sustained by another Battle-Brother loses its effects should he move out of Support Range or leave Squad Mode. A Battle-Brother may only sustain or benefit from one Squad Mode ability at a time.
Only the Battle-Brother that activated a Squad Mode ability can sustain it.
[Author's note: There is conflicting evidence on whether a squad can sustain more than one Squad Mode ability at the same time. For now, I go with 'yes'.]