Empire of Sin – Combat Guide

More Empire of Sin Guides:


Diplomacy can only get you so far. Sometimes things are gonna get nasty between you and your rivals – so you’re gonna need to know how to fight. Combat in Empire of Sin is turn-based, and requires a lot of strategy in order to come out on top.


First thing you have to know are the combat capabilities of you, your gangsters, and the enemies and allies you’ll be fighting with. These are represented by a few attributes:

  • Health (HP): Displays the amount of health your character has and how much damage they can take.
  • Marksmanship: How likely a character is to hit a selected target with a ranged weapon. 1 point of Marksmanship is equal to 1% chance to hit with a ranged weapon.
  • Melee: How likely a character is to hit a selected target with a melee weapon. 1 point of Melee is equal to 1% chance to hit with a melee weapon.
  • Initiative: Controls a character’s position in the combat queue. The higher a character’s initiative, the earlier they get to take their turn in combat.
  • Movement: How far a character can move during combat. 1 Movement is equal to 1 tile.
  • Defense Bonus: Displays defensive bonuses that are currently being applied to the character. Defense reduces the chance for enemies to hit you. 1 Defense is equal to -1% chance to hit for the enemy.

The Combat Screen

Taking Turns

Combat in Chicago isn’t totally lawless – even the most immoral gangsters follow the same rules. Combat is turn-based: you’ll see an indicator of the queue for turns at the top of the screen once combat starts. You’ll have to wait ’til your turn comes around to take an action. A character’s initiative decides their place in the queue – in most situations your Boss will have the highest initiative, allowing you to usually make the first move.

Action Points

Action Points determine how much your characters can do in a turn. Each character starts a round with two AP – different actions use different amounts of AP. Movement can cost 1 or 2 AP depending on the distance travelled (the distances are decided by a character’s Movement attribute). In the below screenshot, possible movement is displayed in two colors. A tile being white means it would cost 1 AP to move to it, whereas it costs two AP to move to a yellow tile.


Taking cover is your primary way of protecting you and your crew from the bullets, bombs, and punches that start flying once a fight breaks out. Cover is provided by things in the environment. There are two kinds of cover – half cover and full cover. These two types of cover are represented in individual tiles by a half shield and a shield, respectively. Half Cover gives a +15 Defense Bonus while Full Cover gives a +30 Defense Bonus.


The defensive advantage given by a bonus can be overcome, however. If an enemy moves behind you and your cover option, you lose your defensive bonus, and worse, you are now flanked. The enemy gains a 30% crit-bonus when attacking you. Flanking your enemies while avoiding being flanked is an important part of your positioning.


Actions are triggered from the Action Bar. There’s a large range of actions to use in combat – from standard ‘Fire’ action that shoots your currently equipped weapon at your target, to the profession specific abilities like ‘Sucker Punch’ or ‘Meat Hook’. Each of these actions has its own AP cost.

Let’s take the basic Fire action as an example:

  • Using the Fire action with a pistol or any other secondary weapon will only consume 1 AP and will not end your character’s turn. This allows you to fire any secondary weapon twice, or move and fire, or fire and move.
  • However, using the Fire action with a Submachine Gun, Rifle or Shotgun will still only cost 1AP, but will end your character’s turn when activated.
  • Meanwhile, the Fire action for Heavy Machine Guns and Sniper Rifles costs 2AP to use.


Overwatch is a powerful ability that allows you to set a character to watch over a small part of the combat area. Any enemy character moving in the Overwatch zone during their turn will trigger an Overwatch shot in reaction. This area is relative to the range of the currently equipped weapon, and is represented by a cone in front of the character.

Once you confirm the Overwatch action, and depending on your character’s current position, they will take aim over their overwatch zone. If your character is behind a full cover object, a pillar for example, this will cause the character to step-out from behind the pillar, removing their cover bonus and making them vulnerable to enemy fire. This vulnerability ensures that Overwatch isn’t used as a ‘fire and forget’ ability. You’ll need to take into account enemy positions and lines of sight before you set your Overwatch area.

Overwatch can be interrupted by dealing damage to the overwatching character.

Sal’s Tips

I ain’t much for fighting myself, but I’ve witnessed enough gang wars and turf disputes in this city to have picked up a thing or two about shoot-outs. Here are some tips for keepin’ you and your crew alive when the lead starts flying.

  • Keep your Crew Geared: Your crew members are your family and your toolbox in this city. They’ll help you get the job done. But they’ll need to be kept well geared if they’re going to last more than 5 minutes. Remember to frequently check your crew members weapons, utility and equipment slots for upgrades or to replace used items. The Black Market will help keep you stocked up if you’re running low on supplies.
  • Mean Streets of Chicago: Chicago is a busy place with lots of movers and shakers. It ain’t just the major factions at play in this town. You’ve gotta keep your eyes peeled whenever you’re on the streets, ‘cause you never know who’s just around the corner. Whenever you enter Ambush mode, you should always pay special attention to the combat queue at the top of the screen. This will tell you who’s nearby and who will get drawn into your fight if you start one.
  • Know Your Exits: If you find yourself in a sticky situation and the odds ain’t in your favor, you should consider haulin’ your keister out of there. There ain’t no coming back from dying, for you or your gangsters. Escaping from combat can save your life. Always make sure to know where your escape points are located. These are the white tiles highlighted around doors and around the edge of the combat area when fighting outside.
  • Making the most of an Ambush: There’s nothing like gettin’ the drop on your enemies while they have their pants down around their ankles. Out on the streets, pressing ambush mode will let you get the drop on enemy squads. Move each of your guys into position and set them to Overwatch on your targets. Once you’re set up, use your last crew member to initiate the fight. Now sit back and watch your enemies get gunned down as they run into your perfectly placed overwatch area. Pure perfection!

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