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Thread: Mass Combat
03-16-1997, 12:29 PM #1Matthew ColvilleGuest
I have just finished the first large scale battle in Birthright using
the alternate Mass Combat rules adapted from Chivalry and Sorcery. It
was wildly successful. It was a battle of about 14 units and took about
As I'm sure everyone does to one extent or another, I've changed a
great deal of Cerilia so it conforms to my idea of how things should
The greatest change I've made is to the Dwarven Kingdom of Baruk-Azik.
First off, I changed it's name to Thurazor, because neither I, nor any
of my player's, thought Baruk-Azik was a cool enough name.
Secondly, I made the Dwarven Kingdom a Kingdom, not just a tiny country
with a few provinces. So my Thurazor, apart from being Dwarven, is also
about 12 times larger than Baruk-Azhik. The Overthane is to Thurazor
what Micheal Roele was to the Anuriean Empire, and rightly so, I
imagine, since Dwarves are an entire *race* and should be treated as
I also, at a player's request, amalgamated a little bit of the Council
of Wyrm's boxed set into birthright. The idea being that, when Dwarves
first came to Thurazor, they found a Cerilian Dragon there. They made a
deal with the Dragon; if he moved, they would give him untold riches
from beneath Thurazor. This they would achieve faster than the Dragon
could because. . .well, they're dwarves! So the Dragon takes off, the
Dwarves pay him off over several centuries and everyone's happy.
To cement this arrangement, the Dragon was mated to one of the royal
families of Thurazor. The resulting half-dragon lineage would exist as
a living testament to the arrangement.
So, one of my players is the Prince of Urga-Zai (another Birthright
name I switched, since I didn't like the idea of Dwarven names being
already translated into common,) his dad being the Thane of Urga-Zai,
one member of the Council of Thanes, ruled over by the not-yet-dead
(this makes sense to you if you've read the PS of Baruk-Azhik) Overthane
of Thurazor, Vak Kaderok (aka Grimm Greybeard.)
The players, led by Ansen Flaertes, the Duke of Tuornen, were trooping
through Night Below, which I set beneath Thurazor. They all (but one)
died at the hands of a Shadow Dragon. Upon hearing this, the Thane of
Urga-Zai led a mission into the Underdark to find his lost son.
What he couldn't have known was that the lone surviver of the Company
of the Hero-Kings (the name of the player's party, taken from the
obvious source) was able to get a powerful mage to bring the party back
to Thurazor and ressurect all but the Duke, who failed his Ressurection
Survival Roll (needed a 94, rolled a 97) and suffered his final death.
So the Thane of Urga-Zai had led his expidition in vain, a mistake made
all the worse by the fact that the entire expidition was slain.
The death of the Thane of Urga-Zai, apart from promoting my friend's
half-dragon charcter to Thane of Urga-Zai (or DragonThane of Urga-Zai)
started a heated conflict withing the Council of Thanes about what, if
anything, they should do about the threat in the underdark. That
argument ended in an insult match which erupted into full-scale civil
war, the beginning of which was clearly defined by the murder of the
Overthane and the palcement of his head, on a pike, outside the doors of
the Thane Of Rivenrock's quarters.
The Council, along with all the Thanes and a few thousand troops and
civilains, were all in the Imperial City of Thurazor, a massive city
which hangs, suspended, from the ceiling of an even larger (we're
talking big) cavern which houses the Captial City of Thurazor. The
Imperial City is shaped like a chandalier with the Royal Suites being
the the tip, or lowest point, with windows looking down over the Capital
City. Imagine Downtown L.A. stuck, upside down, to the ceiling of a
cavern which housed the rest of L.A.
So, Civil war breaks out right there in the Imperial City. Two
factions, one led by the Thane of Rivenrock, one led by the Thane of
Urga-Zai, fought a heated battle right there in the corridors,
resteraunts, meeting halls, and other areas of the Imperial City.
Something like 14 units all told. It was a pretty even battle starting
out, with the Thane of Rivenrock's Leadership status making up for his
side's slightly smaller force.
Many interesting things happened during the battle which I won't bother
recounting, but, in the end, the DragonThane of Urga-Zai was
victorious. His side now holds the Imperial City and prepares for the
War which will come. After the battle they immedeately named the
DragonThane the new OverThane, a title which he accepted.
Next we'll do the rather larger battle for the Kingdom itself, this
having been the battle for control of one city. It served as a model,
however, for larger combats. Everyone in the campaign is anxious to see
how it's going to go.
I've posted the rules for my Mass Combat system twice now, and for any
of you who have read it, I multiplied all the Troop Strengths by 200 to
represent a Unit's strength. This battle, along with the upcoming battle
for the Kingdom, is somewhat larger than the battles you'd usually
expect. It's more like Anurie going to war against Khinasi, rather than
Tuornen going to war with Alamie.
I've posted this because I like to think that my player's and I aren't
the only ones who find this stuff cool.
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