Combat Movement

Under uncombat circumstances, the players simply declare their movement. Personas can move about a room or cover great distances with a few words. For example, we take a cab to the zoo, and boom, the expedition is at the zoo. Or we navigate to the Promulgator System. A month in stasis passes in an instant, and the role-playing begins again.

Movement during combat is decidedly the opposite of the above paragraph. Persona movement and location are meticulously kept track of using a hex mat and tokens. If a player wants her persona to move further away from an attacker, she physically moves her token on the hex mat. The number of hexes the token can move depends on the persona’s movement rate, terrain, and direction.

When Does It Start?

Combat movement starts when the referee or players decide so. The hex map rolls out, the minis throw down, and personas' lives are on the line. Once the referee decides that combat is underway, combat movement is the first step. Combat movement also activates when a persona needs to get somewhere fast, and their life is on the line.

A hex is not a spell. It is a 2-meter polygon.

Combat Distance

The unit of distance used in combat movement is the hex. Hex is short for the word hexagon. The hexagon is a six-sided polygon of great beauty. The scale of EXP’s hexagon is 2 meters. In EXP, hexes are a unit of measure. Distances, the size of robots, aliens, and spaceships are in hexes.

2m hexagon compared to a 6 foot humanoid.

Imperial anthro in metric hex.

Tactical combat movement requires a hexagon surface and tokens to keep track of movement.

Time

Each turn of combat in EXP is called a unit. This time measurement is 2 seconds long. For more details about time in EXP, jump to Combat Time.

Stopwatch with the first seconds identified by arrows.

The length of your unit.

Movement Rate

Each persona has a movement rate. Robots, aliens, anthros, and vehicles all have movement rates. The movement rate is a velocity measure. The movement rate is the same as miles per hour or kilometers per hour. For tactical combat, the movement rate is in hexes per unit (h/u).

Movement Rate Measurement

hexes per unit = hexes / unit = h/u

The number of hexes the persona can move each unit (h/u or hu).

The persona’s movement rate represents what she can get accomplished during a combat turn. Most commonly, the player will use up all her movement rate to move around the hex map. The player can use some of those hexes to accomplish simple actions, change direction or overcome terrain.

Diagram of hexagon sheet and sample movements.

Hopping around the hex mat.

Movement rates are equal between anthros, aliens, robots and vehicles. One h/u equals one h/u regardless of locomotion type. Flippers, feet, wheels, tracks or antigrav boots with the same movement rate move at equal speed.

Move or Act

Movement rate represents the furthest a persona can move in one unit during combat. During combat, players can move and make an attack roll without penalty. So an anthro that moves five h/u per unit could move five hexes straight ahead and make an attack roll. As soon as the persona deviates from this most simplistic move attack combination, there are penalties. The player pays for these penalties in hexes.

For example, changing direction can cost one hex in movement. So an anthro that moves five h/u per unit could move four hexes, change direction and make an attack roll. The more dramatic the direction change, the more hexes per unit are absorbed.

For example, catching an ammo pack costs two hexes of movement. So an anthro that moves five h/u per unit could move three hexes, catch the ammo pack, and make an attack roll.

These movement penalties are cumulative. So an anthro that moves five h/u per unit could move two hexes, catch the ammo pack, change direction and make an attack roll. She may be getting a lot done, but she is not getting as far as before.

The movement cost for waist-deep water is four hexes per unit. So changing direction, catching a watermelon, and firing her pistol in waist-deep water is not possible. She needs seven hexes per unit when she only has five hexes per unit to spend. Now the player must decide which is most important: the watermelon, changing direction, or moving.

hexes per unit in tactical combat are similar to action points in other rule sets.

Actions

Actions can be completed within the combat unit and have a movement rate cost. If the total hex cost of actions is greater than the persona’s movement rate, then she must stop moving for that unit.

Movement Allowing Actions Table
Actions have movement costs. Not an exhaustive list.

Cost

Penalty (hexes)

Attack target

None

Catch object

2 hex

Change weapon

Choose

Chew gum

1 hex

Discharge aerosol

None

Door, close

1 hex

Door, pull open

2 hex

Door, push open

None

Find spare change

2 hex

Flip table/couch

2 hex

Inhale aerator

1 hex

Light switch

None

Push any button

None

Push the right button

No movement

Reload

Choose

Sing Loudly

+1 hex

Swallow pill

1 hex

Swallow jagged pill

3 hex

Throw rock/grenade

None

Window, break

1 hex

Window, open

2 hex

Action

Cost (hexes)

Subtract the cost from the persona’s movement rate. Or

Add the cost to the distance the persona wants to travel.

Activities

Activities are more complicated than actions, and they preclude both movement and actions. If a persona undertakes such an activity, they cannot participate in combat while doing so.

Activities that Interrupt Combat Table
Activities require full attention and preclude combat.

Activity

Duration (Units)

Apply a derm

0-2 (1d2-1)

Apply a lotion

2-20 (2d10)

Apply a suppository

10-100 (10d10)

Arm a bomb

1-4 (d4)

Armour, apply

90 per level restrict.

Armour, remove

3-30 (3d10)

Change battery

0-1 (1d2-1)

Change channel

1

Count money

1 per 10 eps

Imbibe liquid

0-3 (1d4-1)

Injection

1-10 (1d10)

Key in number

2 units

Search a drawer

10-60 (1d6 times 10)

Start spacecraft

Many many many

Start vehicle

1-4 (d4)

Unlock aperture

0-3 (1d4-1)

Activity

Duration (Units)

Changing Direction

Changing direction is the most straightforward and easily understood of all the movement adjustments. There is no movement penalty for moving forward on stable terrain. There is one hex cost per facet of change in direction.

Persona with a 6 h/u move
  1. Straight ahead, move 6 hexes and attack.

  2. 180-degree pivot, move 3 hexes and attack.

  3. 360-degree switchback, move 0 hexes and attack

Diagram of hexagon sheet showing penalties for direction changes.

Change orders are expensive.

Running

A persona’s movement rate represents what she can accomplish per unit of combat. If a player chooses, she can have her persona ditch combat and run away. Running away is also called a rapid tactical withdrawal. A running persona cannot make attack rolls or carry out actions. They can only run. The movement benefit is +50%. This benefit is in hexes of distance only. Running does not allow for attack rolls or actions.

Tactical Withdrawal (Running)
  • free or unencumbered (cannot carry a watermelon, for example)

  • benefit is hexes of distance only

  • no attack rolls

  • no actions other than running

For example, an anthro persona with a move of 6 h/u is carrying a watermelon. If the player decides on a rapid tactical withdrawal, the persona may drop the watermelon and move at 9 h/u. Running does not guarantee the safety of a persona in any way.

Robots move at maximum efficiency and cannot increase movement rate by running. Only aliens and anthros have the flight response that allows them to make a rapid tactical withdrawal.

Bolting

A persona’s movement rate represents what she can accomplish per unit of combat. If a player chooses, she can have her persona ditch combat and run away. Bolting cannot be mistaken for a tactical withdrawal. Bolting represents a mindless panicked straight-line run. A bolting persona cannot make attack rolls or carry out actions. They can only run. The movement benefit is +100%. This benefit is in hexes of distance only. Bolting does not allow for attack rolls or actions.

Panicked Rout (Bolting)
  • free from encumbrance (will drop weapons and shed armour or backpacks)

  • benefit is hexes of distance only

  • straight line only

  • absorbs no tactical information

  • no attack rolls

  • no actions other than running

  • get +2 hexes for panicked screaming.

For example, an anthro persona with a move of 6 h/u sees a heavy combot eviscerate the rest of her expedition (in one unit). The player decides her persona should run screaming from the combat area. The persona would drop her weapon, her backpack, tear off her armour, and run in a straight line screaming. Her movement rate bolting would be 14 h/u. Double for routing and +2 for panicked screaming.

Robots move at maximum efficiency and cannot increase movement rate by running. Only aliens and anthros have the flight response that allows them to make a rapid tactical withdrawal. Bolting does not guarantee the safety of a persona in any way.

Crawling

A persona can crawl along the ground to improve concealment or cover. Crawling involves keeping one’s body unnaturally close to the ground and compromises movement rate. Crawling personas move at 1/4 of their regular movement rate. So a persona who normally can move eight h/u can crawl at two h/u. Crawling also impedes the actions a person can undertake.

Crawling gives the persona an AR bonus of +125 to powered and none powered missile weapons. So attack types B and C are penalized but Strike attacks get an attack bonus of +125.

Robots cannot alter their locomotion type to gain a crawling AR bonus. Only medium-sized or smaller organic personas can use this bonus.

Crouching

A persona can crouch while moving to improve concealment or cover. Crouching involves lowering one’s body closer to the ground and compromises movement rate. Crouching personas move at 1/2 their regular movement rate. So a persona who normally can move six h/u can crouch at three h/u. Crouching also impedes the actions a person can undertake.

Crouching gives the persona an AR bonus of +60 vs powered and none powered missile weapons. So attack types B and C are penalized but Strike attacks get an attack bonus of +125.

Robots cannot alter their locomotion type to gain any AR bonus. Only medium-sized or smaller organic personas can use this bonus.

Rolling

Rolling allows the persona to stay undercover and move a bit faster. Rolling personas can move at 1/3 their movement rate (rounded down). A rolling persona with a seven h/u move can roll at two h/u.

Rolling gives the persona an AR bonus of +125 to powered and non-powered missile weapons. So attack types B and C are penalized but Strike attacks get an attack bonus of +125.

While rolling, a persona cannot make attack rolls or task rolls. The persona can only make roll rolls.

Robots cannot alter their locomotion type to gain any AR bonus. Only medium-sized or smaller organic personas can use this bonus.

Barrel Rolling

Once during combat, a persona can make a barrel roll if they scream barrel roll. The barrel roll does not impair the persona in any way during the unit. A barrel offers no bonus to the persona in any way. Anthros, alien tool users and robots can perform a barrel roll once during a combat session.

Diving

A dive is a headfirst horizontal torpedo jump that can propel the persona beyond her movement allowance. Upon finishing her unit’s movement, a persona can dive an additional one hex for every six points of STR. Diving can launch her through windows, into doorways, across tables, off cliffs, etc. Diving renders a persona inactive for the next unit.

Jumping

A jump is a brief, self-propelled aerial excursion governed mainly by gravity after the point of liftoff. A jump brings a persona to a complete stop at its end. No attribute roll is needed to jump successfully. However, repeated jumping to subvert movement rates should be discouraged.

Jumping here is for jumping during tactical combat. Under uncombat circumstances getting around barriers and over obstacles is entirely different.

Horizontal jumps have no hite and are just for distance. Vertical jumps get personas over impasses. A failed vertical jump leaves the persona crumpled at the base of the barrier.

  1. Horizontal jump, running start yields one hex per STR / 7

  2. Horizontal jump from standing yields one hex per STR / 15

  3. Vertical jump, half persona hite, normal DEX roll required

  4. Vertical jump, persona hite, difficult DEX roll required

Robots do not jump. Flora and fauna may jump over natural obstructions in their habitat.

Acceleration

Acceleration is a change in velocity and can represent speeding up or slowing down. There are no rules in tactical combat for acceleration. Very fast vehicles and robots may have some limitations speeding up. There are no getting up to speed limitations on personas in combat.

A persona that is running or bolting may crash into something. Or a robot or vehicle making too tight a turn may risk uncontrolled contact with the terrain. These considerations are left entirely up to the referee and players. Remember to err on what makes for the best story. If the debate becomes heated, this would be an excellent opportunity to use Sphincter Roll.

Encumbrance

Carrying too much junk slows you down in combat.

Movement and Encumbrance Table
Carrying stuff slows most personas down.

Encumbrance

Adjustment

Free

May Bolt.

Unencumbered

May Run.

Encumbered

Normal move rate

Over Encumbered

Half move rate

Lift Only

No movement

Encumbrance

Adjustment

Terrain

Terrain can mess up the best planned movements. Terrain refers to objects and conditions on the mat that could impair how far a persona moves. For direct effects on combat movement by terrain jump here. For exotic terrains like zero gravity or exatmo, jump to Exotic Terrain.