Combat in SABO begins with a reaction time roll; essentially a mass opposed Wits check for all people involved. All players roll 2d10 and find their margins of success (positive and negative). The character with the highest margin of success goes first, followed by the next highest character's margin of success, and so on. If two characters' margins of success are the same, then the character with the highest Wits stat goes first. After all characters have performed their actions, a new round begins. On average, a round lasts six seconds in game time.
When a character's turn comes around, they are allotted two action points; with a successful Agility check, they are allotted an extra action point if their Agility is less than 15, an extra two if their Agility is 15 or more. Each action point can be used for either a movement action, an attack action, or a defense action. When in spaces smaller than five feet, all actions require two action points without a successful Flexibility check. You can only perform one check per turn, and must make one each turn regardless of past successes.
Movement actions consist of moving and/or drawing or preparing a weapon or other object. Characters can move 30 feet per action (20 feet if their Agility is less than 10).
Defense actions are made in preparation of an attack action. There are three different types of defense actions: awareness, preparation, and opportunity. Awareness refers to keeping focus on what the opponent is doing, resulting in a one point bonus to any Combat Defense rolls (a two-point bonus if the character's Combat Defense is rank 5 or more). Preparation refers to the character making sure they defend against any strikes before attacking; by taking this action for 2 action points, the standard to-hit check is an opposed check, the attacker's attacking skill vs. the defender's Combat Defense. With guns, the defender uses only their Agility. Opportunity refers to looking for openings in an opponent's defense, spending an action point to let the character make an attack when their opponent enters, moves within, or leaves their reach.
Attack actions are relatively self-explanatory. They can range from firing a gun at an opponent to swinging a sword to pasting a Card onto their armor. More information below.
Attacks are made by making a relevant weapon skill check with a modifier for every point higher than 10 their base effective Combat Defense is. For example, a mercenary with an effective Melee skill of 12 slashing at a guard with an effective Combat Defense of 13 would roll against a 9 (12 base, -3 for each point over 10 of the target's Combat Defense). With Guns, unless the target is within 5 feet, by default there is no modifier for the target's Combat Defense as they cannot hope to defend against it.
Characters are, when attacking, assumed to be striking at the torso. However, if they wish, they may target more specific regions, as according to the following table:
|Target Region||Attack Modifier||Result On Hit|
|Head||-2||Double damage/25% chance to kill (B, P)|
|Heart region||-4||Double damage/50% chance to kill (S, P)|
|Arm||-3||25% chance to disarm|
|Vitals||-1||10% chance to bleed for 1d3/turn (S)|
|Leg||-3||Halve movement speed (doesn't stack)|
|Foot||-4||Third movement speed (doesn't stack)|
Entering a grapple requires no checks; it's everything else that does. To escape the grapple, it's an opposed Strength v. Flexibility check, the offensive character being the character seeking to maintain the grapple. To force movement in a grapple, it's an opposed Strength check, the offensive character being the character trying to move. To take the opponent down, it's an opposed Melee v. Combat Defense check, the offensive character being the character attempting the take-down.
Damage is dealt according to the method of attack. By default, unarmed attacks deal 1/3 Strength bludgeoning damage, and raw LFC deals 1d3 fire or ice damage, depending on absorption or expulsion. Melee weapons will deal their given damage, plus 1/3 Strength on a successful Strength check. Ranged weapons will deal their given damage only.
Guns are difficult to use. Modern technology has made them simpler, but they are still an exercise in speed and evasion to use effectively in combat. They are single-shot affairs, requiring a reload after each shot. Pistols, having been developed for the sole purpose of speed during use, require only two movement actions to reload thanks to pre-made reload packets that can simply be dropped in the barrel. Rifles, while more powerful, do not have the advantage of reload speed and must use four movement actions to reload.
Due to their fragile nature, guns require a •5 maintenance cost for each combat they are used in to replace packets and damaged parts.