This section gives a brief overview on how to play X-Com: Enemy Unknown and is focused on the combat aspect.
For a more indepth look into your options, including the various maneuvers you can take, check out the Advanced Guide.
If you have any questions this or the other guide fails to cover, ask your Storyteller!
Participating in Combat
Combat in X-Com is tactical and makes use of GURPS’ hex-based combat rules.
Combat in GURPS happens on a second by second basis. Each round is a second. Once every character has acted time advances by a second.
Player and NPC turn order is determined by Basic Speed. Whoever has the highest goes first.
So what does a Turn look like?
Detective Hank Turner, a private eye with a nose for danger and not enough scruples, has gotten himself into trouble during an investigation and now faces down two hostile Mafia goons. Hank’s Basic Speed is 6, while the goons are both at 5.25. The Storyteller declares that Hank acts first! He decides to take the Attack maneuver, selecting the Goon on his right as the target. Hank’s .38 revolver is already drawn, so all he has to do is roll against his Gun (Pistol) skill to see if he succeeded in his attack. He rolls a 13, which is under his skill of 14. The attack is going to hit if the goon can’t make his Active Defense roll. The goon rolls a 12 against his Dodge of 8, failure! The bullet hits him in the torso and Hank rolls for damage. Hank’s .38 does 2d-1 damage, so he rolls two dice then subtracts 1 from the result. A lucky roll (two sixes) gives him a whopping 11 damage! The goon fails his health roll and is knocked unconscious, but is still alive with -1 HP remaining.
Hank’s turn is now done.
What happens when it’s not your Turn?
Now it’s the remaining goon’s turn. He also chooses to make an Attack maneuver and selects Hank as the target. The goon rolls against his Guns (Pistol) skill to see if he succeeded. He rolls a 12, which is the same as his skill of 12. This attack will hit Hank if he can’t make his Active Defense. Hank chooses to Dodge out of the way, rolling a 10 against his dodge of 9, failure! The bullet strikes him in the torso and the goon rolls for damage. The goon’s Colt .45 does 2d damage, so he rolls two dice to find the result. An average roll (two threes) gives him 6 damage. Fortunately for Hank, he remembered to wear his Bulletproof Vest, which has a Damage Resistance (DR) of 6. The vest stops the round and Hank takes no damage!
The goon’s turn is now done. Other NPCs and PCs take their turns until it returns to the first person on the list. In this case Hank is first, and since they’re the only two combatants it would be his turn next.