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Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay Combat Preview

Cubicle 7 has released a preview of the combat system for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay on their Facebook page. "The combat system for WFRP Fourth Edition has its roots in earlier editions of the game, but we’ve made significant changes. The design goals were to speed up fights and eliminate boring stalemates arising from repeated attack roll failure."

The preview discusses a new mechanic called Advantage, which they describe as "One of the new mechanics we introduced to help with this in combat is called Advantage. You can gain Advantage from sources including Surprise, Charging and winning an Attack Test. Each point of Advantage gives you +10 to your Attack Tests, and represents you pressing your foe back, gaining control of the space, gaining confidence, leaping onto the table, kicking sand in their face, or whatever you feel is appropriate to the battle at hand." The stated goal behind the mechanic of Advantage was to cut down on the "whiff factor" of d100 systems.

"You can win multiple points of Advantage, and you keep them until you lose an Attack Test, take a wound or the combat ends. So, if you keep rolling well, you’ll get in your stride and do better and better. But if you lose a Test you’ll lose all your Advantage. It’s a huge amount of fun, especially if you have the Talents or Spells that let you steal Advantage! You get a real sense of turning the tide of battle, or of getting unstoppable momentum and cleaving through your foes." This looks to mean that Advantages is a resource that ebbs and flows during play. Tying Advantage to things like taking a wound is interesting, because that would seem to hint that it has something to do with a character's concentration. However, there's really not enough mechanical meat in this Facebook post to really talk definitively about what the mechanic is or is not.

"When you attack your foe, you both make a Weapon Skill Test and compare your success levels. If the attacker wins they will have the chance to do damage and gain a point of Advantage. If the defender wins, they don’t inflict damage but do gain the Advantage as they dodge or parry and take the upper hand. There is always an outcome from a combat round – the least that can happen is someone gains Advantage."

It also looks like there will be a way to "combat" building up Advantage as well. "And if your foes are building their Advantage up to truly scary levels, Characters can use a point of Resilience (more on this in a later preview) to remove it." Which seems to mean that Advantage isn't just a mechanic for player characters. "But it’s certainly not all one-way traffic! Adversaries have special abilities that are powered by Advantage, so can become progressively more powerful. And there’s loads of fun times for the GM in deciding when to use monster abilities, or simply keep a bonus to hit."

This is a good kind of preview because it gives those of us online something to talk about, and give a bit of a spike in interest to the game. Warhammer​ is one of the big franchises of tabletop gaming and it is always good to see it getting chatter. I'm looking forward to seeing the next preview, and the game itself when it is released. We'll see what happens when the next preview comes out.


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Dusty Dragon
This may be of particular interest to #wfrp4e fans. This comes straight from Dom at Cubicle 7: you can remain in the same career instead of advancing through to a new one.

Watch at 38:25 -


On one hand, this was already sort of true in 2e. Mercenary, veteran, champion is essentially staying in the same career, just getting better at it (there are several such examples).

On the other hand, there are a number of careers where that is impossible. Ratcatcher springs to mind.

But on the third, secret mutant hand, for many of these would you want to? So the party has a master thief, a high priest, a captain and .... Bob the uber peasant?

In general, I am... wary of 4e adopting zweihander ideas, as I like some of them and disliked others rather strongly.


I like the idea that it is an option available to tables that want it. Rather than house-rule it in, I hope it's 'balanced' and has offsets for not having to swap - I think it would be something I would use if there was really good reason for it, otherwise I kinda like the eclectic mix of careers that come to life in WFRP


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