LPG - End of Activation

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This article is part of Warmachine University's Learning to Play the Game (LPG) series, which is "Intermediate Training" aimed at new players who are still learning the core rules.
(See also Basic Training and Advanced Training.)

When it comes right down to it, this is the sequence of your activation:

  1. Before your activation
  2. Activation begins
  3. Beginning of activation
  4. Middle of activation
  5. End of activation
  6. Activation ends
  7. After your activation

Many abilities are resolved at Step 5 with the phrase "At the end of this model's activation, this model can...". This article is mostly about that sort of ability.

We'll also cover how the phrase "... and then its activation ends" short-circuits the above sequence and make you jump from step 4 straight to step 7.

No double movement

If you have two special rules that give you bonus movement at the end of your activation (such as Sprint and Reposition) then you can only use one. The core rulebook explicitly prevents you using double movement:

End of Activation Movement
Page 31 of the 2020.02 edition of the rulebook
Some special rules enable a model to advance a certain distance at the end of its activation. If two or more special rules would grant a model such movement, the model’s controlling player chooses one special rule to apply. The model’s movement is then resolved using the rules for that special rule.

Note that you can still have double moves by using out-of-activation movement. For instance combining Reposition with Hoof It.

No double abilities

Some "at the end" abilities include the clarifying phrase "and then it's activation ends" and some don't.
Despite this difference, treat them all as if they included the phrase "and then it's activation ends".

This one is not explicitly stated in the rulebook, it's more a case of applied logic. The logic is: if you do one thing that is supposed to be "at the end", then do a second thing that is supposed to be "at the end" or even "at any time", then finish your activation... only one of those two things actually occurred at the end.

The key point is: If you resolve an ability that says it occurs at the end of a model's activation, then that is the very last thing that model gets to do.

A few more notes:

  • "At any time, do [x]" abilities can't be used after an "at the end of activation, do [y]".
If you did [y] then [x], [y] has not occurred at the end of your activation.
  • If you have more than one "At the end" ability on the same model then you have to choose one which one you will resolve, and you can't resolve the other.
  • In the case of units, if any model in the unit starts to resolve an "End of Activation" ability that affects the whole unit (such as Reposition) then no models in the unit can use an "At Any Time" ability.
For instance, Bane Knights have Reposition and their Officer has a mini-feat that can new used at any time. As soon as any Bane Knight does a Reposition move, the Officer cannot use the mini-feat.

Premature End-activation

There are a few core rules that will make your activation end abruptly (such as failing a charge movement).

There are a couple of special rules that explicitly say that, if you trigger that special rule, your activation ends abruptly (such as Teleport and Drag Below)

Either way, you essentially jump from Step 4 to Step 6 and as such

  • You cannot trigger "At Any Time" abilities, because your activation has ended.
  • You cannot trigger voluntary "At the end of its activation, this model can ..." stuff such as Reposition.
  • You must resolve compulsory "Models that end their activation within this area suffer ..." stuff such as taking damage from a Scather.

"At the end" versus "When it ends"

As explained above "At the end" occurs just before the end, at step 5, and is actually still part of the activation.

"When it ends", on the other hand, is exactly that. It's step 6. A model has to end its activation eventually, so these abilities will always occur and won't be short-circuited by "...and then its activation ends".

Examples include Agathia1's feat and the Freezer ability.

Rules Clarifications

  • End of Activation (Edit)
You cannot resolve two end-of-activation movement effects (refer to "End of Activation Movement" in the core rulebook). For EOA stuff that doesn't involve movement, though, it gets a bit more murky:
  • Some EOA abilities explicitly state your activation ends as part of resolving the ability (like Reposition), and some don't (like Refuge).
Whether it is explicit it or not, by definition an EOA ability is the last thing you can do for that activation. For instance, if you resolve Refuge and then continue your activation to cast more spells, then you have not used Refuge at the end of your activation.
You cannot do an "at any time" ability during or after triggering an EOA ability; you cannot cast spells, purchase additional attacks, use a mini-feat, etc.
  • If you start resolving an EOA movement (such as Reposition) then you cannot trigger abilities that occur "at any time" (such as Go To Ground). Because you can't trigger it while resolving the EOA movement, and after the EOA movement your activation has ended. (Infernal Ruling)
  • For units: if any model in the unit starts resolving the unit's EOA movement, then no model in the unit can trigger an any-time ability. (Infernal Ruling)
  • See also the training article: LPG - End of Activation.