Combat is at the heart of any tabletop miniature game. In Bushido, individual models clash in desperate combat in a system that allows players many different tactical options.
In Melee combat, players try to outwit each other and gain the tactical advantage by allocating Combat Pool dice either to Attack or Defense – the trouble is, of course, that you have to allocate your dice without knowing how the opponent is going to allocate his or hers. Focusing on Attack leaves you vulnerable to a retaliation. Focusing on Defense deprives you of the opportunity to strike your opponent and gain a tactical advantage.
Melee combat occurs when an action results in a Melee attack against an enemy model. The model that initiated the exchange is assumed to have the initiative and is termed the Active model. Players resolve the effects of the strike performed by the Active model first, then, if the defender is still alive, the effects resulting from the counter-strike are determined.
Note that models without a Melee Weapon Combat Grid on their Profile Cards can still participate in Melee Exchanges but the effectiveness of their strikes is affected as described in the following sections of these rules.