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 "Basic Training" aimed at new players who are still learning the core rules.
(You may also be interested in our "Intermediate Training" series, LOTS.)
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As of 2018.10 the LPG articles are still a WIP. If you have a question that isn't answered, or a topic you'd like to see added, we'd like to hear about it. Post your thoughts on the Talk:Learning to Play the Game (LPG) page.

In this lesson we'll explain what you can and can't do at the end of your activation; specifically how the phrase "... and then its activation ends" short-circuits the phrase "at the end of your activation, this model can ..."


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

Lots of abilities occur at Step 5 "At the end of this model's activation, this model can..." (for example, Refuge and Reposition). However if you do something that causes your activation to end (such as running, or failing a charge), then you skip straight ahead to Step 6 "Activation ends", and you can't trigger/resolve anything that happens at Step 5.

What can you do after an "at the end" ability?

Most abilities that happen at the end of your activation also include a clause that causes the activation to end.

If the ability has the clause "and then it's activation ends" within it:

  • You cannot trigger a second "At the end of activation" ability, because the first one caused your activation to end. You're now past the "at the end" and you're into "after the end". (Infernal Ruling)
  • You cannot trigger a "At any time" ability, because of the same reason
    • This holds true even if it's a unit with multiple [ability] to resolve. (Infernal Ruling)

If the ability lacks that clause:

  • You can trigger a second "At the end of activation"
  • You can trigger a "At any time" ability.
  • However, you cannot get a second move because there is a core rule that prevents it. See "End of Activation Movement" page 33 of the pdf. So you can't, for example, stack Run & Gun with Reposition.

"At the end" Examples

Abilities that occur at the "End of Activation" and which cause ...
... your activation to end ...your activation to continue

"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, the Freezer ability, etc.


In the Lord of the Rings trilogy, they throw the ring in the volcano at the end of the trilogy (as opposed to the beginning or middle). But they don't throw it in when the trilogy ends, do they?

To take this analogy further, and how running or failing a charge causes your activation to end prematurely, pretend you're watching the Lord of the Rings and want to see the volcano scene at the end. But say you're watching a dodgy bootleg copy that randomly stops during the Minas Tirith battle scene. In that case, the "movie ends" at Minas Tirith and you don't get to see stuff that happens "at the end of the movie".

So in this analogy:

  • Watching the movie = Having your activation.
  • Throwing the ring in the fire = At the end of the activation = Reposition etc
  • DVD stopping mid-movie = Activation ends = Failing a charge etc