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Thread: Mass Combat Help?

  1. #1
    Soft Serve's Avatar
    Soft Serve is offline Cascade Failure FTW Community Supporter
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    Mass Combat Help?

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    I want some PC's to be generals.
    Kinda can't think on Mass Combat rules yet.
    Help?

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    Divide the troops under the players command by unit type.

    Determined the amount of troops in each unit. Each of those units has a commander. If you want, you could delegate that the units have hit points equal to the number of troops in the unit.

    During battle, the player commands the units to do what they need to do on the battle field.

    If I was running this for 4e I would use the monster creation rules and create the units utilizing the role model:

    Artillery for archers
    Skirmishers for Light Units/Calvary
    Soldiers for Heavy Calvary
    Lurkers for Spies/Assassins/Snipers
    Brutes for Footman
    Controllers for command units or units containing wizards, etc.

    You can give each unit some specific powers they can do that effect the battle field.

    Units have to target other units. Players can split the units, provided they have a commander, halving the hit points. But splitting should also effect the damage output, perhaps giving them the weakened state. When units get bloodied they have a chance of being routed and should be given a 2nd wind to reform. They can also be replenished by healers and reinforcements, two units of the same merging.

    You have a lot of options to play with.

    Personally, if it was for 4e, I would make the battle a skill challenge rather than actual combat.

    Some sites on medieval warfare
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_warfare

    http://www.writing-world.com/sf/hordes.shtml

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    Unless you're running a miniatures war game, you don't need mass combat rules. Determine who's going to win, and what the opposition's plan is. Fill in accordingly.

    If your PCs get into a fight, grossly outnumbered, determine on what result the average attacker needs to hit each PC. Then, assume each attacker doesn't roll, but gets a number. Out of 20 attacks, the PC gets hit once for each roll result that would hit his AC.

    Example: Joe Warrior has an AC 15. He gets attacked by a horde whose members have an average attack bonus of 5. So, the average member would need a 10 or higher to hit. Results 10 through 20 are 11 results out of 20...so out of 20 attacks, 11 of them hit.

    So the last question is how many attacks per round does the PC face (since every 20 attacks will result in 11 hits).
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    Generally if the PCs are involved in a battle, the battle goes the direction of the PC encounters. I'll run 2-3 combats between each PC and a similarly equipped NPC hero. If they do well, the units around them do well.

    If the PCs are generals it goes the same way. The general get's jumped by opposing heroes, if he wins, his army wins. If he is badly wounded, the army is mauled.

    And to answer your question GURPS has a good mass combat resolution system that does not require writing up every soldier. Or was it Hero, one of the two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soft Serve View Post
    I want some PC's to be generals.
    Kinda can't think on Mass Combat rules yet.
    Help?
    You may also find the Battlesystem: Miniatures Rules from AD&D helpful. One of the best D&D games I was ever lucky enough to participate in was a city invasion lead by the party of adventurers my character was in and their army. The DM used some of the Battlesystem rules, laid our terrain and props on his garage floor, and the havoc commenced.

    One of the greatest things I remember about the combat was that the monster leaders had a command radius to keep other monsters under their control; the DM explained it as "Anything within 1 round's worth of movement, because when the monsters know they're that close to getting beat down by their leader, they stay in line and do what they're told."

    Our players lead small groups of mercenaries in the fray also, generals in the battle just like you're describing you want your player's characters to be. (I still feel badly for the group of archers I was leading that were destroyed by flaming pitch from a catapult... But I got my revenge and cut the rope to reset the catapult with a critical hit from extreme long range with my trusty comp. longbow. Ahhh, those were the days!)

    (I registered on this site specifically to share this answer and thank you for reminding me of that awesome event. THANKS!)

    Storm
    Last edited by Stormbow; 11-02-2010 at 11:52 PM. Reason: Added link to Battlesystem: Miniatures Rules

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    I have both versions of that beast. I even have a rule in the Second edition of it. (Mounted Infantry) I used the rules a couple of times with different groups. I found them a bit awkward in play. It is not the fastest or cleanest system. It works, and is the miniature system for mass combat that is the most compatible with D&D. (At least AD&D) but it is clunky and slow in practice in my observation.

    Some adaption of the stats and the like would be necessary for D&D 3.x/Pathfinder. The D&D miniature system published is not mass combat. It is one for one scrimmish with simplified rules.
    Last edited by tesral; 11-03-2010 at 11:32 AM.

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    Yeah, even just running it in our 2E game, the Dm did throw out a lot of what the book called for, he'd said. It made for a pretty memorable game for us. ^^

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    Sorry Soft. Can't really give you a reply until I know exactly how involved you want to get on this. One thing I can suggest is chatting with Richard Little, the Inceptum Terminus Lead Developer. I got with him when he was looking for info on unit formations, movement, and things like that.

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    Actually cancelled the campaign last week. What I went with was some basic Infantry, Bigger Infantry, Anti-Whatever Infantry, some artillery type units, leadership units, and rules for fortification, momentum and a few other things. It all panned out really well, it all ran really well with the 4 of us, and worked for the temporary break from Dungeon Crawls and town murder.

    Town murder actually was never in MY plans. PC's had different ideas. Also all the work only took me about 3 hours spread over 5 days.

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    Yeah, PCs tend to ruin the best plans of the DM.
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