View Poll Results: How long should a battle round last? (i.e., a round on the battlefield)

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  • 1. There is no such thing. All combat is resolved in 6 second rounds (same as a standard combat round)

    1 5.88%
  • 2. 10 minutes

    7 41.18%
  • 3. 15 minutes

    3 17.65%
  • 4. 30 minutes

    2 11.76%
  • 5. Other - please specify

    4 23.53%
  • 6. Abstain

    0 0%
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Thread: Battle rounds

  1. #11
    Site Moderator Ariadne's Avatar
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    I voted ôotherö, because I think, we should shorten the time according to the reduced spell duration times. I considered about reducing it to 1 minute, but I think 5 minutes will be perfect for battlefield combat rounds.
    May Khirdai always bless your sword and his lightning struck your enemies!

  2. #12
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    Well, at the risk of screwing up another poll since this option isn`t

    listed... my "Other" vote is for SIX minute combat rounds.



    Why six minutes? I know it seems like a peculiar number, but the rationale

    is the same as that for the six second adventure level combat round,

    meaning all the math works out similarly to the units of time. Ten

    adventure level combat rounds = 1 minute, and ten large scale combat rounds

    = 1 hour. Of course, all the other options are just as devisable into an

    hour, but they don`t create the same base 10 relationship of combat rounds

    to unit of time.



    Once one gets over about a five minute round for the sake of large scale

    combat the actual amount of time starts to be less important since at that

    point we`re dealing with 50 adventure level rounds. That`s about the cut

    off point IMO for the use of things like magic devices with charges, or an

    abstract extension of the effects of PC`s skills/abilities at the warcard

    level. In general, I like options that keep the system as metric as

    possible, but in this case 1 large scale combat round = 60 adventure level

    combat rounds is as good as the ten minute large scale combat round since

    it`s nearly the point I want to abstract into another level of play and has

    the same metric relationship to the next unit of time, plus it has the

    added benefit of parity with the adventure level unit of time.



    Gary

  3. #13
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    I'm not for artificially lengthening battles, but historically there was a HUGE variation in time during which battles occurred. If you're looking for historical examples, check out various medieval battles to get a better sense of how long BR battles should run. Napoleanic battles were rather different due to the large number of cannons, muskets, and cavalry...a devestating artillery barrage could end a battle very quickly, in a way that no medieval weapon could.

    In my recollection most medieval battles weren't multi-day affairs - the actual time from when the fighting began to when the field was taken was usually more like a few hours. I think. I would love to have someone verify or refute this with some historical data from the middle ages.

    This is fairly important, as we're looking for a rough approximation of these medieval battles balanced with playability. I doubt most players would want to run a battle lasting more than 10-15 battle turns...it just drags on and on if it's longer, and it gets less and less fun to play.

    In the 2e warcard system, where the reserves are always close behind, even battles with large numbers of reinforcements will be over fairly quickly. Historically, really long battles usually included multiple armies, and a lot of the 'battle' time was spent marching and maneuvering various armies around a very large battlefield.

    Napoleanic armies were pretty huge compared to most medieval ones, I'm fairly certain, and I know for a fact that Gettysburg, a 3-day battle, involved several hundred thousand soldiers on each side, stretched out over several miles of hill and forest terrain. The multi-day battle happens because of these numbers, where not all of your troops can engage at once, so instead wave after wave is sent against enemy positions - and reinforcing a position several miles away takes considerable time, given that messengers must ride (or run) that distance every time a situation changes, then the troops have to march there, and hopefully they arrive before it's too late.

    All of this is on a scale that goes way beyond what low-populated Cerilia will likely ever see. With 200-man companies, Cerilian armies won't tend to be more than a few thousand troops on a side - even the largest forces in the Atlas, say Ghoere with some 20 regular companies plus another 30 companies of levies, could throw a whopping 10,000 troops into the field if he committed everything to a single battle.

    This is nothing like battles between hundreds of thousands of soldiers on each side...the closest thing in Anuire might be a large number of allied regents throwing their forces together against the Gorgon or some such. Then we might see forces of 100-200 companies (20,000-40,000) in size.

    I assume there is a reasonable limit for how many troops a general can command at once. In my battlesystem, the command limit was 10 + (1 per +5 Lead skill) companies...the issue then of allied commanders with multiple armies comes into play, something that is hard to say shouldn't be allowed, but at least doesn't let one uber-general character command unlimited numbers without penalty.

    The other balancer I threw in was that for every 2 companies commanded, there was a cumulative -1 penalty to tactical initiative checks (Warcraft) - bigger armies are slower and less responsive than small forces.


    It's hard to vote on many of these specific poll questions without a more cohesive view of what the battlesystem should look like as a whole...I could see myself changing my mind on one or more questions depending on the outcome of the others. I haven't yet voted on this issue, because I want to know more about the historical parallels in medieval Europe.

    I would ask that all of these battle sytem polls be treated as preliminary "feelers" to get a sense of what people feel strongly about, if anything, and as good discussion starters, but not treated as sanctioning for narrow aspects of the battlesystem. That should wait until a more cohesive battle system is proposed, at which point individual aspects can be better viewed in the context of what effect they will have.

    It's like trying to engineer specific parts of a vehicle without an overall design concept in place.

    Not easy, this.

  4. #14
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    Osprey schrieb:



    >This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.

    > You can view the entire thread at:

    > http://www.birthright.net/forums/ind...ST&f=36&t=3019

    >

    > Osprey wrote:

    > I`m not for artificially lengthening battles, but historically there was a HUGE variation in time during which battles occurred. If you`re looking for historical examples, check out various medieval battles to get a better sense of how long BR battles should run. Napoleanic battles were rather different due to the large number of cannons, muskets, and cavalry...a devestating artillery barrage could end a battle very quickly, in a way that no medieval weapon could.

    >In my recollection most medieval battles weren`t multi-day affairs - the actual time from when the fighting began to when the field was taken was usually more like a few hours. I think. I would love to have someone verify or refute this with some historical data from the middle ages.

    >

    Middle Ages would perhaps be a bit too old for Anuire, but perhpas the

    30years war (achtigjahrige Orloog) which is older than the napeolonic

    era, e.g.:



    > http://www.numismatikforum.de/ftopic4764.html



    (site is in german) about Battle of LŘtzen, where Wallensteins army

    fought against Sweden and the latters king was killed.

    bye

    Michael

  5. #15
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Middle Ages would perhaps be a bit too old for Anuire, but perhpas the
    30years war (achtigjahrige Orloog) which is older than the napeolonic
    era, e.g.:

    > http://www.numismatikforum.de/ftopic4764.html

    (site is in german) about Battle of LŘtzen, where Wallensteins army
    fought against Sweden and the latters king was killed.
    Funny you should mention that: my friend used some pictures from reenactments of that battle (in the US, done mainly by descendants of veterans of that war) to depict what his character's Imperial Musketeers and Dragoons might look like. This was the Duke of Mieres, eventually turned Emperor of an Adurian Empire.

    Given that normal BR battles don't use firearms, I figured that any era where firearms become primary weapons will have different timescales than medieval weaponry - rapiers are the main Renaissance weapons in BR(which in and of itself is odd in an era where armor is still common on the battlefield). Everything else is late medieval: lances, longbows, heavy swords, polearms, axes...in Khinasi, scimitars and composite bows (and maybe alchemists' fire).

    So most battles will tend to follow medieval trends as a base, rather than Renaissance and later.

    What really makes the most sense is that Cerilia would have some "evolved" [fantasy] medieval warfare. Divine magics known, arcane ones rare, also great heroes are capable of turning the tide of battle single-handedly (or in small groups ). Along with more opportunity for continued development of tactics and strategy. So some later-era tactics and strategies do make some sense, only adapted to medieval weaponry with perhaps magic, monsters, or heroes involved.

    This does make things that much easier when roleplaying your fighter PC as the general of the army.

  6. #16
    Administrator Green Knight's Avatar
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    Originally posted by geeman@Mar 4 2005, 11:50 PM
    Well, at the risk of screwing up another poll since this option isn`t listed... my "Other" vote is for SIX minute combat rounds.

    Why six minutes?* I know it seems like a peculiar number, but the rationale is the same as that for the six second adventure level combat round, meaning all the math works out similarly to the units of time.* Ten adventure level combat rounds = 1 minute, and ten large scale combat rounds = 1 hour.* Of course, all the other options are just as devisable into an hour, but they don`t create the same base 10 relationship of combat rounds to unit of time.
    My thought exactly - I also use 6 minute battle rounds (60 times that of a normal combat round).

    When I do that, scale battlefield squares by making them 300 ft. x 300 ft, and use a battlemap with FAR more areas than the original, I get battles that usually last a couple of hours (assuming medium-sized armies on both sides).

    B
    Cheers
    Bj°rn
    DM of Ruins of Empire II PbeM

  7. #17
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    One thing I've noticed is that adventure level movement vs. battlefield movement is horrible skewed. 120' can be sprinted in 1 combat round by a lightly armored person. Even if we assume that units never sprint for a full turn, only hustle (double-time) as an average move speed (x2), this means a light soldier can march (walk) a 100' battle square in about 3 rounds or hustle across it in 2 rounds.

    If we expand this to a 10-minute battle turn (100 rounds), imagine the possible distances involved...a light foot unit (30' move) that just marches (not even double time) for a battle turn could cover 3000' (30 battle squares) in 1 turn. Light cavalry (50&#39 could cover 5000' (50 battle squares) per turn. That's about one mile per 10 minutes...definitely a marching pace, not a hustle.

    Talk about a reality-breakdown...even if half of this time is spent responding to new orders (which is really a stretch), the distances involved would require an immense map, and the battles would be all about mobility.

    Perhaps one reality is that most of the time-consuming part of the battle is really off the field...the last hours of strategic maneuvering leading to the setup. It may be that by the time the armies are nearly within battle range of one another, most of the time spent in "battle" is already resolved, and the battlesystem is then used only to resolve the actual fighting.

    If battle turns were just one minute (10 rounds), a much closer conversion could be made. The flip-side is that nearly all the actual fighting in a battle will be about 5-20 minutes in duration.

    Truth is, I don't have a really good answer to this dilemma. What I do know is that one can only stretch reality so far before it snaps and flies out the window.

    What is needed is some good historical reasons why battles took the time they did. To my understanding, the main length was spent maneuvering and marching - the actual fighting was sporadic and came in waves, rather than all at once. It was the repeated waves of attacks, usually with heaps of reserves, that would stretch a battle into all-day affairs.

    But I bet most actual fighting, particularly melee combat, would be over in a few minutes between any given unit.

    In BR, w/ 10-minute battle turns, the average regular unit with 2 hits could last at least 20 minutes in continual melee combat. Allow for about 1/2 the first turn to be movement, that still leaves 15 minutes of continual combat. That's really impressive compared to the personal combat system - far more impressive than low-level soldiers are capable of in D&D.

    Even accounting for the fact that only a fraction of each unit is actually engaged with one another, we're still talking about 30-50 individual combats going on each 6-second round. A 1st level warrior will survive only 1 to 2 hits in combat. Figure he gets hit about 50% of the time he's attacked by an equal opponent...that gives the average warrior 4 rounds of combat time before he goes down. If 10 guys go down each round (40 per 4 rounds), that's 100 casualties in a minute - or about 1 hit on a unit of regulars.

    So here you can see a very rough justification for a 1 minute battle round as a roughly accurate conversion of the 3.5 combat system. It just makes the played-out battles very short overall. Not sure if I really favor such a thing, but I thought it would be useful to illustrate a potential problem when determining the length of a battle round/turn.

    Osprey

  8. #18
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    Osprey schrieb:



    >This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.

    > You can view the entire thread at:

    > http://www.birthright.net/forums/ind...ST&f=36&t=3019

    >

    > Osprey wrote:

    > One thing I`ve noticed is that adventure level movement vs. battlefield movement is horrible skewed. 120` can be sprinted in 1 combat round by a lightly armored person. Even if we assume that units never sprint for a full turn, only hustle (double-time) as an average move speed (x2), this means a light soldier can march (walk) a 100` battle square in about 3 rounds or hustle across it in 2 rounds.

    >

    Are there soldiers that light on a battlefield?

    A unit can move as a unit only at the speed of it┤s slowest components.

    The normal soldiers in an army unit are neither PC┤s, nor elite

    characters with the elite array of scores.



    So are these average soldiers strong enough to not at all times carry at

    least a medium load and get their speed of 30 ft (assuming human troops)

    reduced to 20 ft.? I assume that the common soldier does not only carry

    his armour (e.g. Breastplate 30 lbs) and weapon (e.g. longspear 9 lbs.)

    but also wears clothes and carries a backpack with a few days rations

    (in history soldiers could not always be sure to get fresh rations every

    day) and all other stuff he needs on the march as well as perhaps loot

    already aquired during the campaign.



    And are these average troops in a condition to run at all when running

    requires CON of 9+?



    What are the ability scores for average NPC┤s?

    ...



    >another, we`re still talking about 30-50 individual combats going on each 6-second round. A 1st level warrior will survive only 1 to 2 hits in combat. Figure he gets hit about 50% of the time he`s attacked by an equal opponent...that gives the average warrior 4 rounds of combat time before he goes down. If 10 guys go down each round (40 per 4 rounds), that`s 100 casualties in a minute - or about 1 hit on a unit of regulars.

    >

    Why does an equal opponent hit a soldier 50% of the time? If the average

    soldier is a 1st level commoner, expert or warrior NPC equipped with the

    Breastplate from above his AC would be 15 or 12 with leather for very

    lightly armoured troops and the BAB of the opponents only 1. They would

    miss more often than hit each other and miss more than 50%.

    bye

    Michael

  9. #19
    Senior Member Osprey's Avatar
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    Are there soldiers that light on a battlefield?
    A unit can move as a unit only at the speed of it┤s slowest components.
    The normal soldiers in an army unit are neither PC┤s, nor elite
    characters with the elite array of scores.

    So are these average soldiers strong enough to not at all times carry at
    least a medium load and get their speed of 30 ft (assuming human troops)
    reduced to 20 ft.? I assume that the common soldier does not only carry
    his armour (e.g. Breastplate 30 lbs) and weapon (e.g. longspear 9 lbs.)
    but also wears clothes and carries a backpack with a few days rations
    (in history soldiers could not always be sure to get fresh rations every
    day) and all other stuff he needs on the march as well as perhaps loot
    already aquired during the campaign.

    And are these average troops in a condition to run at all when running
    requires CON of 9+?

    What are the ability scores for average NPC┤s?
    A light unit will probably wear leather or studded leather armor as a default, not a breastplate (medium armor).
    A typical regular soldier is a probably a 1st level warrior. But he IS a warrior, not a commoner nor expert. So his ability scores should reflect the martial focus. Meaning average scores should be slightly higher for physical stats than mental ones. Average ability scores are 11.5 for a human, the mathematical average of a 3d6 die roll. Elite characters roll 4d6 and drop the lowest, raising their average ability score to somewhere around 13.
    It's probably safe to assume then that average physical stats for a warrior (str, dex, con) are about 13, while mental stats are about 10. Figure typical melee warriors might be more like Str 14, Dex 12, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10. Typical archers might instead have Str 12, Dex 14, Con 13.
    The main point here is that it's kind of insulting to assume that most warriors have below-average stats (less than 9 CON?!? what kind of soldier is that?) - their physical stats would be above human average, that's why they're warriors and not scribes. Even average NPC's have some above-average ability scores, representing their particular path in life.

    All that being said, a light unit of warriors could quite easily walk or hustle in their light armor. Also, I'm not certain it's fair to assume that all warriors are carrying all of their campaign gear on their backs for a typical battle. Most soldiers would unload their non-battle gear in camp before a battle. There are exceptions, of course, like when an army is ambushed while on the march, but troops aren't going to fight heavily encumbered if they don't have to. Non-combat gear is more of a factor when determining strategic marching speeds than battlefield movement.

    Remember, I said most troops won't sprint (full-out run) during battle, or if so only very briefly. The exception might be scouts and skirmishers, whose tactics rely on running quickly - these guys would probably be the ones with higher Con scores, one of the factors figuring in to their higher Move scores.

    >another, we`re still talking about 30-50 individual combats going on each 6-second round. A 1st level warrior will survive only 1 to 2 hits in combat. Figure he gets hit about 50% of the time he`s attacked by an equal opponent...that gives the average warrior 4 rounds of combat time before he goes down. If 10 guys go down each round (40 per 4 rounds), that`s 100 casualties in a minute - or about 1 hit on a unit of regulars.
    >
    Why does an equal opponent hit a soldier 50% of the time? If the average
    soldier is a 1st level commoner, expert or warrior NPC equipped with the
    Breastplate from above his AC would be 15 or 12 with leather for very
    lightly armoured troops and the BAB of the opponents only 1. They would
    miss more often than hit each other and miss more than 50%.
    bye
    Michael
    Good point. I was probably thinking in unit terms, where a medium infantry company has +4 melee vs. Defense 14 = 50% hit rate...but that's over the course of a battle round, so different case.

    As an aside, chain mail and scale mail are probably far more common than breastplates for medium troops, because they're far cheaper while granting the same (or close to the same for scale) AC bonus. Only high Dex (16+) individuals benefit from the increased mobility of a breastplate, which won't include most low-level warriors.

    Chain mail, no shield, Dex 12-13 = AC 16, AC 18 w/ a large shield. So 1st level warriors will hit medium-armored troops either 25% or 15% of the time.

    So fighting plus movement in one turn might increase the battle round to as much as 5 minutes...

    This still leaves the problem of movement, espeically when companies march at full speed without engaging during a battle round. Why are they so bloody slow?

  10. #20
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    Osprey schrieb:



    >This post was generated by the Birthright.net message forum.

    > You can view the entire thread at:

    > http://www.birthright.net/forums/ind...ST&f=36&t=3019

    >

    > Osprey wrote:

    >...

    >A light unit will probably wear leather or studded leather armor as a default, not a breastplate (medium armor).

    >

    I mentioned Breastplate because the 2E Rulebook mentioned that Anuirean

    Infantery and Pikemen are often equipped with a breastplate that is worn

    over a long leather coat.



    >A typical regular soldier is a probably a 1st level warrior. But he IS a warrior, not a commoner nor expert.

    >

    In the lightly armoured units you mentioned, I would expect commoners in

    levy and experts in scouts instead or at least in higher numbers than

    warriors.

    ...



    >Also, I`m not certain it`s fair to assume that all warriors are carrying all of their campaign gear on their backs for a typical battle. Most soldiers would unload their non-battle gear in camp before a battle. There are exceptions, of course, like when an army is ambushed while on the march, but troops aren`t going to fight heavily encumbered if they don`t have to. Non-combat gear is more of a factor when determining strategic marching speeds than battlefield movement.

    >

    Mmmh, I assumed the opposite - that each soldier has his personal

    belongings always at his body. Even when the armies really began to

    organize supply soldiers carried their stuff around on the battlefield -

    at least that is what the movies show, e.g. in the american civil war

    "Ghettysburgh" where the soldiers carry more than just their

    rifle+bullets+gun powder+lode stick?. I thought the kind of bag the gray

    soldiers of the south carried looked like a bedroll . However the very

    least every soldier would carry around in addition to the armour and

    weapons is some water and a day┤s ration - except when the commander

    wants an experience like at the Horns of Hattin where fatigue and lack

    of water ruined the crusaders army chances.

    ...



    >As an aside, chain mail and scale mail are probably far more common than breastplates for medium troops, because they`re far cheaper while granting the same (or close to the same for scale) AC bonus. Only high Dex (16+) individuals benefit from the increased mobility of a breastplate, which won`t include most low-level warriors.

    >

    But Chainmail is even heavier than Breastplate (40 instead of 30 lbs.)

    which brings the soldiers towards carrying a medium load and reduces

    their speed.



    >Chain mail, no shield, Dex 12-13 = AC 16, AC 18 w/ a large shield. So 1st level warriors will hit medium-armored troops either 25% or 15% of the time.

    >

    >

    If your non-elite values are correct then the average 14 Str Warrior

    already carries a medium load with 59 lbs. Chainmail 40 + Longspear 9 if

    Pikeman and Pikes=Longspears, perhaps a winter blanket that doubles as

    mantle to keep warm and to keep smaller stuff bundled up within 3, and

    of course some clothes as metal does not really keep warm, so an

    travelers, explorers or even cold weather outfit depending on season and

    area 5/8/7 lbs. and perhaps a waterskin 4.



    If not Pikeman but Infantery with a shield, definitely carrying medium load.

    bye

    Michael

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