Oncehas been resolved it is time to deal with the brutal cut and thrust of close combat, hand-to-hand fighting or melee, as it's sometimes called. Once engaged in close combat, units cannot move or shoot missile weapons, they must stand toe-to-toe with their enemy until one side is destroyed or forced to flee. Regardless of which player's turn it is, all models that are in contact with the enemy must fight. The Close Combat phase is therefore an exception to the normal turn sequence in that both sides take part in the fighting.
Like the, the Close Combat phase follows a set order or sequence as outlined below.
- Each unit involved in combat fights as explained in the rules that follow. Fight all the combats before working out results.
- Work out which side has won each combat and by how much. The losing side will have lost by 1, 2 or more 'points' as explained later.
- Each unit that loses in combat must take a Break test. Any units failing their Break test are deemed 'broken' and a note is made or models are turned round to show this. Take all Break tests now.
- If any friendly units have broken then units nearby must cake a Panic test as described in the Psychology section. Take any required Panic tests now.
- Units which have broken or failed their Panic test must flee away from their enemy. Move all newly fleeing troops now.
- Units whose enemies have broken and fled chat turn are allowed to pursue them and might possibly catch and destroy them.
- At the end of the Close Combat phase, formations are tidied up ready for the next phase.