range and movement

Combat distances in Ax are relative. This means that you move towards other units, rather than on a grid or using a ruler.

This may take a minute to get your head around, but don’t worry – it’s really easy with a bit of practice.

Range Categories

First, lets look at the different degrees of range one can have:

0 – “Contact”You can touch the target. (<1m)
1 – “Close Melee”You can poke the target with a stick. (1m-1.5m)
2 – “Reach Melee”You can poke the target with a broom. (1.5m – 3m)
3 – “Short Range”Up to 1 cricket pitch. (3m – 20m)
4 – “Long Range”From 20 about metres away to the edge of a single combat map. This can be up to about 180 metres, but is usually closer to about 60 metres.
“Area”Applies anywhere in the immediate area or Locus (see Archons, Stimuli, Locus, and Secrets).
“Region”Applies anywhere in a game region – e.g., a province, or small country.
“Global”Applies anywhere in a game world.
“Universal”Applies anywhere in the game.
Note: you can adjust the actual distances of range categories if you unit is larger. For example, you may decide that in your game, a unit is a spaceship.

At the beginning of a combat encounter, the DM will tell you how far you are from each opponent, normally with the use of a graphical representation, such as a token. In melee, you can represent different ranges by the following method:

  • Overlapping = Range 0
  • Touching = Range 1
  • Not touching, but close by = Range 2

If a unit is marginally between Range 3 and Range 4, it should normally be assumed to be at Range 3.

Moving in Combat

When your character moves, they move one range category towards a unit of their choice. The unit could be an allied character, a foe, a doorway, etc.

Intercepting a Moving Unit

If two units move towards one another, they intersect at the midpoint of their two movements and are at Range 2 from one another. This stops both movements.

A movement at a lower range occurs before a movement at a higher range. This stops unit movement if the unit is moved towards at melee range. For example:

Unit A moves towards Unit B (Range 3 to Range 2)
Unit C moves towards Unit A (Range 2 to Range 1)
Unit A’s movement ends; they do not reach Unit B.

A Disengage movement, however, takes priority over a movement at any range. For example:

Unit A moves towards Unit B (Range 3 to Range 2) and away from Unit C (Range 1 to Range 2; Disengage – Success)
Unit C cannot move towards Unit A

If two movements occur at the same range, they both happen at the same time. For example:

Unit A moves towards Unit B (Range 2 to Range 1)
Unit C moves towards Unit B (Range 2 to Range 1)
Units A and C are now within Range 1 of Unit B.

The DM may limit the number of units in melee range of a single unit.

Passing Through

You can allow a friendly unit to “pass through” your melee ranges, provided they can reach Range (2). For example:

You (A) need healing from Friend (B)
Friend moves to your Range (2)
You may allow them to close to Range (0) on the same movement.

You can also allow friendly units to “pass through” to avoid intersecting.