Eternal Crusade's combat is designed around the playstyle of THQ's Space Marine mixed with Epic Games' Gears of War, and as such, players are able to engage enemies with both melee and ranged weapons from a third-person "over the shoulder" point of view, being able to block, dodge, roll, duck behind obstacles and shoot from behind them. Players have a limited ammount of health, but don't instantly die when that health reached zero, instead they stagger to the ground waiting to be healed by an ally or executed by an enemy. However, players may be instantly killed if a hit does enough damage to take the player's health below the death threshold.
With a few exceptions, each character generally has access to both ranged and melee attacks at any time. For example, if your assault unit has sword, axe, or power fist in one hand, they're going to have a pistol in the other. There are exceptions, of course. Heavy guns prevent you from having much melee capability, of course, but your average soldier on the field is able to do both in some capacity, just like in the tabletop. These loadout options are selected according to a character's point limit before deploying, similarly to the way an army list is made for the tabletop game.
This works unlike conventional "sticky cover" mechanics where players have to press a button in order to stay in cover. Instead, players near cover-granting terrain will automatically fire from cover.
Executions & Rescue Actions:
When a character hits 0 health they enter a downed state where they start bleeding out (unless they've taken so much damage they've blown past the death threshold of course). Friendly units can rescue a downed character and bring them back with a little health, or enemy units can execute them up close (with any weapon) to earn a little XP and prevent them from coming back. Both executions and rescue actions take time and can be interrupted, so players have to decide if doing so is worth the risk. Support units are capable of rescueing units by restoring their health.
Players have a wide assortment of ranged weapons to choose from depending on faction and class. It is possible to combine ranged and melee combat by wielding a pistol weapon in one hand and a melee weapon in the other, but their accuracy is less precise and their melee is less powerful. However, they’re able to hit their opponent with their chainsword and then shoot him in the head with their bolt pistol to finish him. A player that uses both hands to carry a bolter is a lot more precise.
Ranged weapons use ammo, which is limited. So once a players run out of ammo for a weapon, he needs to swap weapons, or charge and make use of his available melee weapon. Ranged weapons often have different firing modes, such as Burst mode that spends twice the ammo per shot, this adds an extra level of choice in managing your ammo. There is also friendly-fire, players who shoot an ally get can be forgiven, but if they aren't they may end up getting kicked. Additionally, players are able to lay suppressive fire with heavy ranged weapons, which make suppressed players view the screen with a shaky cam effect, hindering their accuracy.
There is also terrain-fixed weaponry that players may use, such as turrets.
Just like with ranged weapons, players have a wide assortment of melee weapons to choose from depending on faction and class. Since players are able to block, dodge, roll, duck, melee combat will is more hectic, having to be mindful about other players blocking your attacks.
Warlocks and Sorcerers are capable to wield the powers of the warp. It can be used offensive to cause harm directly and make enemies more susceptible to damage, or for defense by healing allies or hightening their abilities