Attack Action Steps

A comprehensive guide to attack actions and reactions.

Today I’m here to tell you about an attack action and how reactions interact with it. Since the June 2019 FAQ clarified a lot of reaction windows people have gotten very confused about certain reactions, specifically those that happen during an attack action. Many players believe that “during an attack action” is a single reaction window within itself which is entirely wrong. Don’t worry, I’ll be showing you how everything works.

First thing’s first, here’s a breakdown of an attack action that I’ve drawn up:

This is a visual version of the attack action sequence from the Nightvault core rulebook. I’ve also added some steps which have been clarified in FAQs such as how an attack succeeds in step 5a then you deal damage in step 6 (thanks to the clarification on what stops Rebound). I feel it’s mostly accurate but should help everyone understand attack actions and reactions better.


Now let’s look at some big offenders. To begin with you need to remember that when a reaction says “during an attack action” it does not mean the reaction occurs during the whole attack sequence as the card text is followed by words to help guide you through when the card can be played. I’ll go through this with some examples.

A common question. Trap is played during an attack action that drives an enemy fighter back (step 7b) whereas Pit Trap happens AFTER an attack action where an enemy fighter would be driven back (so after step 8).

Rebound can be played when an enemy attack action succeeds (step 5a) but before damage is inflicted. While Last Chance can be played during an attack action this is only when a fighter would be taken out of action (step 7a) which is after the step Rebound occupies despite before reactions happening during an attack reaction.

A simple one, both cards can be played when an attack action succeeds thus Rebound always has priority over Twist the Knife when played during an attack action in an activation.

Despite Potion of Constitution being played when damage is dealt (step 6) this is after when an attack succeeds (step 5a) resulting in it not stopping Twist the Knife but still allowing it to be played after the ploy is.

Potion of Rage is played when you declare an attack action but before dice are rolled (step 1). Aggressive Defence shares the same window but is just worded slightly differently. Still it will block Potion of Rage.


With that I’m pretty much done. Feel free to copy and share the attack action diagram as desired (just remember to credit the source haha). If you need any help clarifying reactions during the attack action and can’t figure it out with the flowchart just comment as I’ll be more than happy to help. Don’t get confused by reactions and keep rolling crits!

24 thoughts on “Attack Action Steps

  1. In the example of Twist the Knife – Potion of Constitution why Twist still happens if it is played in step 5 before Potion on step 6? Did not understand that one. My point is that even if Twist is played, Potion would reduce all damage to 1 in the end.

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    1. Twist the Knife happens in a reaction step before Potion of Constitution. They don’t block each other but both can be played together. It’s just a weird interaction.

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    2. Potion of Constitution doesn’t always reduce the damage to 1, it reduces it by 1 to a minimum of 1. If the attacker is dealing 3 damage then Twist the Knife will make it 4 and Potion of Constitution will bring it back down to 3. If they took the same Reaction window then Potion of Constitution would prevent Twist the Knife from being played and reduce the damage from 3 down to 2, but they don’t as one is used the instant an attack is determined to be successful and the other is used as the damage is about to be applied.

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      1. Sorry, that was meant to be in response to Matt’s post, specifically the line “Potion would reduce all damage to 1 in the end.”

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      2. Oh right! I mistead the card! So of course, of you play Twist and then the Potion they just cancel each other.

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  2. Isn’t “during an attack action” more of a blanket reaction window? Where only one ploy can occupy the slot, but some ploys get their trigger earlier? The twist the knife and potion interaction where both can be used bothered me as I’m fairly sure rebound and last chance can’t be used together

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    1. No it is not. It is just telling you the reaction occurs during the attack action then goes on to mention the specific step.

      Rebound and Last Chance can be used together. Different reaction windows and it has been clarified in the FAQ for over 6 months now.

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  3. Hello John!
    Thanks for this excellent breakdown of the attack actions steps.

    Still, I have a question (not exactly on the reaction time subject, but cojoined).

    If I play “Fuelled By Fury”, it lets me reroll every attack dice for the first attack action etc etc.
    Does this mean I can reroll the attack dice for the damage value of the “Fated Blade”, as they are attack dice and the attack action only ends after the damage have been dealt?

    Thank you again!

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    1. No as the opposing player usually has priority because Ylthari’s Guardiand reactions occur after the user’s activations/actions.

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      1. Gallaghan’s reaction is used when the enemy attacks him and at least one crit is rolled in his defence roll, after the attack action. Shouldn’t it then block Pit Trap?

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  4. What about gallaghan’s reaction vs pit trap/thundrik’s poof/other after attack action reactions?

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  5. Hi John,
    Thanks for a well worded and very helpful explanation on attacks, which are probably the most common activations right?

    I have a question on using Last Chance as a defence against Rebound. The windows are fine I can see from above. Can the following happen?:
    As the tables are turned now, the attacker that has been rebounded and about to be taken out of action plays Last Chance. They roll a defence dice as normal , and if the result would not be successful the card saves the fighter and is not taken out of action?

    Thanks,
    Stuart

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