The Untamed Wilds
Goal: easy and quick facilitation of mass warfare between armies led by important player and nonplayer characters.
Note: These are guidelines and any or all parts of it may be subject to sudden changes by the DM if at any time fun or storytelling requires it.
Step by step guide:
Basically the attacking and defense armies fight it out according to a battle calculator which takes into account the number and type of troops. The battle values are modified by several factors displayed in the step by step guide below (usually between a -10 to +10% bonus for each step). The battle calculator with the modifiers will determine the losses of both armies. Usually one army is destroyed. However, if both sides still have any troops remaining another round of battle commences. Usually there will be just one or two rounds.
1. Conditions of Battle: First dtermine the conditions of the battle by drawing a single random card from the condition deck. These cards show under which circumstances the battle will take place. Examples include; rainy weather, strong winds, fair weather, desert terrain. Special restrictions may apply, in which the DM will add or remove random condition cards to the deck. Special battlefield tactics or battle spells deployed by a general may allow you to redraw this card.
2. Fortifications: add fortifications to the battle calculator, these represent defensive works constructed by the defenders. Sidenote: fortifications are assumed to be manned (as part of their upkeep cost) and therefore add both a set amount of defensive value as well as a bonus percentage to the total defensive value of the defenders. These costly constructions are powerful indeed.
3. Strategy: The leaders of both armies each know several defensive and offensive strategies. Employing a strategy is very simple. Both generals choose one defensive and one offensive strategy form their own deck of known strategies. Then they simultaneously reveal their chosen strategy and another adjustment is added to the battle calculator.
The number of strategies known by a PC or NPC (his or her ‘deck of available strategic choices’) is determined by their character’s warfare skill. A higher skill will give you more options. Before the strategies are chosen, each sides learns the exact number and composition of the enemy forces.
4. Mission: During most, if not all battles, the important champions, generals, leaders, assassins, spies or other figures can change the outcome of battle by their epic actions. This is represented by an event prepared by the DM such as a combat, skill challenge, sneaking mission, puzzle, capture the flag mission, defend the VIP, etc. PC’s, or one of their champions/followers must succeed at this event to gain a bonus in the battle calculator (usually +10%) or any other effect determined by the DM.
5. General’s commanding skill: Experienced generals will have more skill leading an army. This is represented by an opposed warfare skill roll between you and the enemy general. This roll may not be assisted. This yields a bonus percentage to your army’s defensive and offensive values equal to the difference in result between the two rolls divided by 2 (ie on a roll of 12 vs 18, a difference of 6, the winning side gets a +3% bonus).
X. Other factors such as extreme morale, cataclysmic events, etc. may apply. These extremely rarely affect combats on these scales and are at the DM’s adjucation.
6. Once all modifiers have been added to the battle calculator we can now calculate the losses sustained by both sides during the battle.
a Which troop types are there? how can I train them? etc.
There are six troop types, three defensive and three offensive types. They are also divided into three different classification; infantry, cavalry and artillery. The troop types are:
|Spearmen||(defensive) infantry||(cost: 1 GB for 40 spearmen)|
|Armoured Horsemen||(defensive) cavalry||(cost: 1 GB for 25 armoured horsemen)|
|Crossbowmen||(defensive) artillery||(cost: 1 GB for 16 crossbowmen)|
|Swordmen||(offensive) infantry||(cost: 1 GB for 1 swordmen)|
|Lancer Horsemen||(offensive) cavalry||(cost: 1 GB for 20 lancer horsemen)|
|Archers||(offensive) artillery||(cost: 1 GB for 27 archers)|
Other, usually monstrous, troop types may appear during the campaign. Mechanically speaking the DM will usually base the statistics (defensive and offensive values) on the ‘standard’ units and their costs. (ie an army unit of giants might consist of 6 giants, with their combined defensive and offensive values equal to 40 lancers, aka 2 GB’s worth).
b How strong is each unit type? and how does this affect the basic battle
See the battle calculator (excel file) or the Troop Cards and more troops cards Each unit has a defensive value and offensive value versus other unit classifications. The total values of all the defensive and offensive troops are added and losses calculated.
For example, a single spearmen has an offensive rating of 13 vs cavalry troops and a defensive rating of 94 vs cavalry troops. If attacked a 100 defending spearmen will add 9400 defensive value against enemy cavalry troops. Your allies’ 100 defending swordmen (defense value 60 vs cavalry) will add another 6000 for a total of 15400. Since they are defending their offensive value is NOT used. Check the battle calculator for a better idea of how losses are calculated.
c How will other things affect mass combat? such as spies?
Spies may allow you to reveal enemy troop composition, tactics commonly used by enemy generals or allow you to undertake a more favorable mission. Other effects may vary (low morale, special troops, etc.). As in any battle communication and information is key in attaining victory, ask your DM if you are unsure about anything. Most of the time the effects should be well known beforehand (ie when morale drops to such as level as to influence professionally trained troops, or equipment is sabotaged, it should immediately become apparent, not two months afterwards when a battle erupts).
Complete list of suggestions: Mass Combat Strategies (outdated)
e How will we handle sieges?
A vital part of historical warfare. I suggest we lower the fortification level by 1 for each season of sieging. At any point during these months either side may force a mass combat as if the attacker had attacked. Thus a level four fortification (huge) may take up to a year to reduce to 0, during which reinforcement could, ofcourse arrive.