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Split Fire At One Target

The rules allow a squad to split fire. That is, one squad can fire at two targets in the same activation. The limitation is that no figure may fire more than once per activation, and it takes one action to do each attack. This is useful if one squad wants to fire at two different targets. This is described in the "Actions and Activations" section on page 15 (specifically, the last paragraph of that section).

A question that often comes up is: can a squad fire at a target with part of the squad, and then use its second action to fire at the same target with the other part of the squad?

Splitting fire seems designed to allow one squad to fire at two targets but there is nothing in the rules to prevent a squad to split fire against one target. Some players see this as kind of cheesy. Others see it as a good tactical decision. The consensus, such as there is one, on the mailing list is that this is a valid tactic.

When you split fire, you tend to cause fewer casualties but more suppressions. For example, if you have a Regular squad of 7 troopers, 6 with FP2 assault rifles and one with a D10 Firepower SAW, firing all of the troops at one target would let you roll a D8 (quality die) + D12 (trooper firepower die) + D10 (SAW firepower die). If you split the fire so that the assault rifle troopers fire with one action, then the SAW fires with the second action, you would roll D8 + D12 for the first action and D8 + D10 with the second action. Because you are rolling 2 dice instead of three, your chance of rolling both dice greater than the range die is less, and the number of potential casualties is less per attack. However, since you are rolling a total of 4 dice instead of three, the chance of suppression goes up.

The trade off is increasing the chance of suppression at the cost of the squad's second action. Many players feel this is a fair trade off and do not consider it cheesy.