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  • A unit assigned to overwatch can react to the actions of enemy units.
  • A unit can only react to actions it is aware of by having a line of sight or line of communication.
  • When a unit wants to react, the controlling player declares that their unit is reacting and declares the reaction the unit is making. Flip the unit's overwatch marker face-up.
  • More than one unit on overwatch can react to the same enemy action.
A unit on overwatch can also react to the reaction of an enemy unit on overwatch. In fact any number of units can react to the reaction of an enemy unit on overwatch.

And then other units on overwatch can react to that reaction. And so on and so forth. This is known as snowballing.

Reacting units do not carry out their reaction as it is declared. Just keep flipping markers and declaring reactions until both players have finished.

Only after the snowball has stopped is it time to determine what order reactions are taken in and to determine the actual outcome of the initial action that started the snowball and the reactions taken.

You do not have to remember the reaction declared for a unit. When it is a unit's turn to determine the reaction, you can change your mind as to exactly what reaction that unit takes.

Whichever unit that triggers a reaction or snowball of reactions is designated the instigator. That unit's action is only resolved once all reactions resulting from their action have been resolved, unless they have their hand forced.

Forcing the Instigator's Hand
A unit reacting directly to the instigator can force the instigator's hand.

Reacting directly means that the instigator is the target of the unit that is reacting. The player of the reacting unit informs their opponent that the instigating unit has their hand forced.

The instigating unit must immediately resolve their action before the reacting unit resolves their reaction.

Top Tip
  • There's good reasons to force the instigator's hand. Primarily, that unit has to burn their action and can't wait to see how reactions turn out.
  • Further, the instigator has to actually decide what to do and do it, and if they do move, any ranged attacks made on them from reactions they instigated are treated as being at any point in their move that the attacker chooses!
  • Of course, the instigator might decide it's best not to actually move after-all. They've still gotta burn their action though. Probably a good idea to at least aim and shoot.

The order that units carry out a reaction is determined by the RE stat. Highest RE reacts first, lowest RE last.

Units With the Same RE
Sometimes both players will have units with the same RE that are reacting.

Both players delegate one of the units with the same RE to carry out their reaction. Both players then compete with a D6. Highest roll reacts before lowest roll. Keep rolling if both players get the same result.

The winner can choose to have their unit react after the loser's unit reacts. This is called hesitating.

Once those reactions are resolved, move on to the next units with the same RE.

When determining the outcome of a snowball, an overwatch freeze is in place. This means that other units still in overwatch that did not participate in the initialisation of a snowball cannot react and jump into the snowball.

You'll know which units are frozen, because their markers will still be face-down.

What reactions can a unit on overwatch take?

Covering fire is the use of ranged weapons in order to pin or suppress enemy units so they cannot act that turn, whether with a reaction from overwatch, or an action from an action assignment.

Thrown weapons cannot be used to provide covering fire.

Covering fire is of no real use on enemy units that have already had an action in that turn. Providing covering fire burns the unit's action that provides the covering fire.

Covering fire is handled like normal shooting but with some very important differences.
  • The unit providing covering fire must have line-of-sight to an allied unit they are providing cover to as well as the enemy units they are attempting to pin down, and those enemy units must also have a line-of-sight to the unit being covered.
  • The unit providing covering fire must have a valid shot on the enemy they are trying to pin. That is, they must be in range of the weapon being used.
  • The unit providing covering fire must still fully designate the ranged attack they make.
  • No roll to hit is made.
  • Instead the enemy units are automatically suppressed. Place a suppressed marker next to any unit that is suppressed.
When an enemy unit that is suppressed wishes to act, whether from overwatch or a move assignment, the unit must make a Courage test.
  • If the test is failed, the unit cannot act and cannot do anything for the rest of the turn. The unit has been successfully pinned. Remove any move or overwatch marker the unit has and replace it with a pinned marker. Remove the pinned marker in the End Phase of the turn.
  • If the test is passed, the unit can act as normal. However, before the unit's action is resolved, the unit directing cover fire on them immediately carries out and resolves the ranged attack they designated that suppressed the acting unit in the first place. Only after that, can the unit resolve their action.
  • Remove the suppression marker regardless of the result.
When an enemy unit moves into base-to-base contact with an allied unit, a unit on overwatch that is within a distance equal to their SP or less of the allied unit, may intercept the attacking unit, as long as there is no obstruction (such as high cover) and as long as the two allied units have a line-of-sight or line-of- communication to each other.
  • The reacting unit is moved into base-to-base contact along with the enemy unit and allied unit.
  • The reacting unit may then make a single close-combat attack on the enemy unit. This burns the reacting unit's action that turn.
  • Difficult terrain is treated as normal terrain by an intercepting unit.
  • A reacting unit can make a ranged attack on an enemy unit they have line-of-sight to that 'triggered' their overwatch.
  • Any ranged attack from overwatch has an additional -1 penalty to hit.
  • Thrown weapons cannot be used from overwatch to provide covering fire.
A unit on overwatch can react to an enemy unit moving into base-to-base contact with them by cutting them off. This is making a ranged attack on the enemy unit, at any point in the enemy unit's move. Point blank range is usually the best option.

If a unit on overwatch cuts off an enemy unit, they may not retaliate in close combat that turn.

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