Thursday 17 May 2012

Mass Combat Revisited

So - does this get your geek going? 

The armies of Therund had breached Snowbite Pass and begun their descent into the Nentir Vale. With snowstorms howling about them, the generals agreed to separate their host into two legions, one bound for Winterhaven, and the other for Fallcrest. Learning that a dragon had laid claim to the highlands ahead, they risked sending a messenger through its territory to Winterhaven. He returned with news that the town still held, but Lord Padraig had ridden to Fallcrest, and was now besieged by the Burning Banner. With time now of the essence, the generals agreed to cross the Gardbury Downs and reunite their legions for the liberation of Fallcrest. The war had just begun.

...and we'd been playing for about ten hours. If there's one thing to be said for my new campaign battle rules, it's that they're slow. Still - as the picture above demonstrates - they do make for a pretty sexy set-up, and with a bit of pruning I think I can make them play faster. It was certainly a great collaborative effort by the group, with everyone pitching together to draw up banners (and print them out!).

In the end we didn't get round to playing an actual battle, but I had my mass combat rules ready just in case. Way back towards the end of last summer, we used these to run the Battle of Moonstair - in fact, they're pretty much the reason I started this blog. Up until recently that first post has consistently pulled in more hits than any of the others (although now pipped by Stacey's ABCD&D!). I guess a lot of people out there are looking for mass combat rules.

Anyway, I've recently given them a significant overhaul. I've changed the dice resolution so it uses D20s and AC (which feels much more D&D), and cleaned up the maths by adding weapon bonuses and exception-based traits. The battle cards are now categorised into troop types rather than explicit units, and I've added a few more cards to support readying and "banking" initiative points. Perhaps the biggest change of all is allowing each troop to perform multiple actions in the same round, which massively changes the way it plays.

Have a read!



  1. You better beleive this gets my geek going!

  2. im a huge birthright/greyhwak wars/battlesystem guy so i am looking forward to absorbing this

    is there a way to dl this as a pdf?

    1. If you open the doc up, there's a little icon on the top right to "exit fullscreen". That should drop back to the default scribd view and free up the rest of the buttons (including "Download").

  3. Really wish you'd upload this to somewhere other than Scribd, I'd like to dl this without linking my Facebook or paying money for something that's free.


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