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Field battles

Wed 02 Sep 2020, 21:20

So, I'm running a campaign where the 10 Key NPCs are run by players - so called Shadow Players. They move troops and agents around on the map and try to accomplish the objectives as listed in Raven's Purge.

Sooner or later, there will be field battles between the different armies. The Player's Handbook has a rudimentary framework in the Strongholds section. I feel like it should be expanded a bit to account for various capabilities of various factions.

The below is attack rating for attacking a stronghold. Each number gives 1d6.
For every 20 attackers (round up) +1 (to a maximum of +5)
The attackers are led by a commander +1
The attackers have ladders or grappling hooks +1
The attackers have a battering ram +1
The attackers have a monster in their force +1 per monster
Some of the attackers can fly +1

I feel I want some of the following to also matter:
Elite vs. town militia.
Mounted vs. infantry
The various Kin Talents. So, elves could recover lost troops faster than anyone else. I have honestly no idea of what to do with humans (how would Adaptive be reflected here?). But the Orc Talent Unbreakable definitely should be reflected - they can be beaten down and then get up, making them fearsome opponents. The Dwarf talent of True Grit should account for something, too, they are a stubborn people, lol!
Possibly quality of equipment (heavily armoured vs. leather jerkins)
Terrain might matter, depending what troops are fighting (don't use cavalry in the mountains! Bonuses for the defender in a forest....Marshlands is a terrible place to fight in)

Anyone have suggestions for this?
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon 10 Jun 2019, 09:39

Re: Field battles

Thu 03 Sep 2020, 18:43

I have some ideas for adapting year zero for mass battles. Let me round out my notes and i will try to post something functional tonight/tomorrow.
Posts: 365
Joined: Mon 10 Jun 2019, 09:39

Re: Field battles

Fri 04 Sep 2020, 05:09

Okay. So this is kind of rough but here it goes.

Use the grouping like enemies rule but on a mass scale. 1 "monster" in the fight is 1 initiative card which is 1 group which can be scaled up or down depending on the size of the conflict. Don't make every person in the "unit" provide a +1 because a unit of 20 would then have +19 dice. You would need to scale the number of bonus dice to the conflict. A unit of 20 people... say.. archers. Might get a +4 (1 for every 5 archers in the combat unit). The players themselves would take command of a unit and/or do things to tip the balance of conflicting units. Like.. if the player went after a commander and killed them then each unit under their command would get a -2 or -4 to their dice rolls. If the player succeeds in his rolls give the friendly units effected by their success a +1. If they fail give them a -1. Is the unit made up of elves? Then treat it like an elf.

Depending on the conflict you will need to decided how much each "unit" is worth in man power. What that translate to in terms of dice. Each person could be 1 Strength for the unit. So that 20 man archer unit is 20 Strength with +4 to actions. Every 5 damage would reduce the bonus by 1 as the unit becomes more disorganized and suffers losses. Especially when it's unit on unit conflict.
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Re: Field battles

Fri 04 Sep 2020, 10:23

"To fall in hell, or soar angelic, you need a pinch of psychedelic."
Topic Author
Posts: 91
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Re: Field battles

Sat 05 Sep 2020, 01:02

Maybe this is of interest to you?

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/30 ... ass-Combat
Oh yes! Indeed! I was thinking in similar terms re: base+skill+gear dice.

Now, all one would have to do would be to decide how to convert the special units, and how Kin Talents would apply. One could adjust the rule-set so that each side only gets to push once, to give dwarves the edge of pushing several times, for example. Elves would heal twice as effectively. Etc.
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Joined: Fri 27 Dec 2019, 13:43

Re: Field battles

Wed 09 Sep 2020, 01:16

Because I want a system that can resolve battles very quickly but still fairly, I will provide my thoughts despite there being those other more involved systems available.

I work from the baseline of the siege rules. On a battlefield:

Gain additional +1 (to a max of +5) per:
  • 10 troops total on normal terrain
  • 20 troops affected by unfavourable terrain or facing fortifications
  • 10 scoring troops with good quality gear.
  • 10 scoring troops with good training/skill.
  • Warband is buffed by some other manner, like they're pumped after an awesome speech or have a great commander.
These give one-time bonuses:
  • A defensible base camp
Superior battlefield tactics, as determined by a separate roll between leaders, gives the net successes of the winner as a bonus to their roll.

Gain -1 for each of:
  • Starvation
  • Exhausion
  • Demoralization
  • Disease
  • Unprepared
  • Sleeping
  • Unfavourable terrain

Ambushers get a whole free turn of action, in addition to whatever bonus they have of the enemy being asleep at their post.

Roll and compare total successes of both forces. Each suffers a number of losses equal to the successes of the opposing faction. A loss is any +1 that the army can control, such a 10 troops or the gear of a squad of 10 troops. Armour is either light or heavy and worn by squads of 10. A point of armour can be sacrificed as if it was a +1 bonus.

The side that scored fewer successes then tests morale. Roll a 1d6 for each squad of 10 that fought. If it rolls higher than their empathy the squad runs away. Inspiring leaders, flying banners, packed formations and the like can grant advantage on the roll.

At the scale of warbands each roll-off represents around 20 minutes of action.

The next scale up works the same, only each round of action is 1 hour and each squad is 50 people. A monster still counts as one.

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