If a fighter has Extra Attack giving them two attacks, and they want to use one attack on one creature, and the next attack on a different creature that is farther than they can move using their normal move speed, can they Action Surge to Dash before using the second part of their Attack action?

For example, suppose the fighter is standing next to one mook. They take the Attack action and with their first attack, they kill the mook. The next mook is 60 feet away, and the fighter has a move speed of 30. The fighter would like to use his Action Surge to Dash up to the second mook, and then finish his Attack action with his second attack on the second mook.

Normally, you can use your movement between attacks. PHB p. 190:

Moving Between Attacks

If you take an action that includes more than one weapon attack, you can break up your movement even further [than just doing some before and some after, as described earlier in the section] by moving between those attacks. For example, a fighter who can make two attacks with the Extra Attack feature and who has a speed of 25 feet could move 10 feet, make an attack, move 15 feet and then attack again.

The fighter's Action Surge feature says (PHB p. 72)

Starting at 2nd level, you can push yourself beyond your normal limits for a moment. On your turn, you can take an additional action on top of your regular action and a possible bonus action.

The Dash Action is described on PHB p. 192:

When you take the Dash action, you gain extra movement for the current turn. This increase equals your speed, after applying any modifiers.

So, on the one hand Dashing adds to your movement for the turn, and you're allowed to intersperse your movement, which you now have more of, in between your Attack action attacks. However, it's unclear to me whether "using the Action Surge feature" is a thing which you can do in between parts of your Attack Action.


You could certainly Dash first to increase you movement allowance, then attack the first mook, then move, then attack the second mook. That's not exactly what you're asking about though, since you want to see the result of the first attack before deciding to Dash.

In the strict rules as written, however, only movement is explicitly allowed to be broken up arbitrarily. Taking the Attack action doesn't "add to your attack allowance" the way Dash adds to your movement allowance.

Implicitly, when you take an action, you are committed to completing the entire action unless you have a rule that says otherwise. "Moving Between Attacks" is one such rule, and object interaction (PH p.190) is another:

You can also interact with one object or feature of the environment for free, during either your move or your action.

By this reading, you have to complete all the Extra Attacks that are part of the initial Attack action before using Action Surge to Dash.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Interesting thought -- I always thought of the Dash as using the extra movement, but I think you're right that as written the Dash just gives you extra movement that you can use at some point during the turn. \$\endgroup\$ – PurpleVermont May 2 '16 at 2:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, good point edited in about not knowing you need/want to action surge to dash until after the first attack. \$\endgroup\$ – PurpleVermont May 2 '16 at 2:43

As you quoted:

When you take the Dash action, you gain extra movement for the current turn.

If you knew at the start of your turn that you'd need the extra movement, then by RAW you could "take the Dash action" (but not immediately move anywhere), attack the first target, then move to the second target and attack.

Given this is possible, and that you don't need to pre-declare all your movement, I think it would be reasonable to allow you to declare your Dash action at a later point (eg, after the first attack).

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Specific beats general.

The general rules are on p. 189-190:

On your turn, you can move a distance up to your speed and take one action. You decide whether to move first or take your action first.

You choose when to take a bonus action during your turn, unless the bonus action’s timing is specified ...

You can break up your movement on your turn, using some of your speed before and after your action.

So the general rule is move -> action -> move (either or both move slots can be 0 feet and the total must be less than your movement). You can take a bonus action at any time unless that action provides restrictions.

If you take an action that includes more than one weapon attack, you can break up your movement even further by moving between those attacks.

So this expands it to move -> attack (1) -> move -> ... -> attack (n) -> move. Now a rogue with Cunning Action could stick a bonus action to Dash anywhere in that sequence because that bonus action can be taken at any time. Similarly, someone using two weapon fighting could use that bonus action anytime after the first attack of the Attack action as that is its prerequisite.

And the specific rule is on p. 92:

On your turn, you can take an additional action on top of your regular action and a possible bonus action.

It is completely silent on where this can happen and the general rules do not address interrupting an action to take another action because this is not something that can normally happen (but a bonus action can do so). So nothing specifically prohibits you taking this between attacks and nothing specifically allows it.

However, as noted above there are things that allow bonus actions to occur in between weapon attacks, so why not an extra action?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Interesting. Even though the rule for bonus action says you can decide when to take it on your turn, I always assumed that meant before or after your "regular" action, but not in the middle of it. For me the "specific" rule is that movement can go in between parts of the attack, which suggests that the general rule is that other things you can do on your turn that are not movement cannot go in between. \$\endgroup\$ – PurpleVermont May 2 '16 at 5:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ @PurpleVermont Be careful of ass-u-me; it makes an ass out of u and me :-). Seriously the general rule on bonus actions is pretty clear "You choose when ..."; some require something to happen first (like two-weapon fighting) but subject to that the player is given carte blanche to choose when to take their bonus action. \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M May 2 '16 at 6:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ Recent Jeremy Crawford tweet: "No general rule allows you to insert a bonus action between attacks in a single action. You can interrupt a multiple-attack action with a bonus action/reaction only if the trigger of the bonus action/reaction is an attack, rather than the action." \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast May 23 '18 at 18:13

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