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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    BR mailing list
    The following was adapted from a homebrew combat system designed for

    warhammer RPG. I`ve taken all of the same ideas and charts and

    modified them and tweaked them a little. Please let me know if you

    have any ideas for improving this system.


    This system uses Army Strength Points (ASP) to represent the combat

    forces of each army in a battle. An army`s Army Strength Points (ASP)

    is calculated by adding together the total Troop Strength Points (TSP)

    for each military unit engaged in a battle. Equipment, training, and

    experience can all influence the Troop Strength Points (TSP) of a

    military unit. Additional influences such as a leader`s tactical

    skills, unit morale, or magic used on the battle field may effect the

    ASP of armies over the course of a battle.

    Each type of military unit has a base "average" TSP value associated

    with it. If a unit is trained to a greater or lesser degree than

    average, you can modify its TSP value as follows:

    Unit Experience TSP Modifier

    ----------------------- -------------------

    Elite TSP x2

    Veteran TSP x1.5

    Average Base TSP

    Green TSP x .5

    Untrained TSP x .25

    For your convinience, these calculations have been done for you on the

    following table:

    Troop Type Untrained Green Average Veteran Elite


    Heavy Cavalry 2 4 8 12 16

    Medium Cavalry 1.5 3 6 9 12

    Light Cavalry 1 2 4 6


    Heavy Infantry 1.25 2.5 5 7.5 10

    Medium Infantry 1 2 4 6 8

    Pikemen 1 2 4 6


    Light Infantry 0.75 1.5 3 4.5 6

    Skirmishers 0.5 1 2 3 4

    Light Archers 1.25 2.5 5 7.5 10

    Heavy Archers 2 4 8 12 16

    War Engine - - 15-50 - -

    A champion hero can also influence the ASP of an army by contributing

    its own TSP. A monster or special character with character classes

    can calculate their TSP using the following table. If a character

    possesses a special item, artifact, or relic of significance, that too

    can add TSP. Note that it is possible for a character to die in

    midbattle, and if this happens then the character will no longer

    contribute TSP to the army`s ASP.

    Hero Type TSP


    Hero/Villain 0.5 per character level

    Magical Item/Relic 1 per 100,000xp

    Special Monster 1 per Hit Die

    Minor Bloodline +2 TSP

    Major Bloodline +5 TSP

    Great Bloodline +10 TSP

    Leadership Feat Total TSP * 1.25 (only the Commander of an army

    can recieve this bonus)

    Each battle is decided by turns which last 1 hour. Each turn, both

    players will roll a 1d10. The higher role will be considered to be

    winning the battle turn, and the difference between the values will

    determine the casualties for the turn. Special circumstances may add

    to your army`s ASP for that turn. A hold on superior terrain, a

    spellcaster weilding his magics, or a leader making a crucial decision

    at a decisive moment may influence the army`s battle roll for the


    Circumstance Battle Roll Bonus



    PC Resolves "HF" Encounter (see below) +1

    Defender has terrain advantage +1-6 (-1 bonus per

    battle turn after first)

    Successful casting of any battle spell* +1 per spell level

    (bonus * .5 after first spell in battle turn)

    Superior Numbers (x2, x3, x4, etc...) +1 per multiplier

    (minimum +2 for x2 forces)

    Commander`s Bloodline is Major +1

    Commander`s Bloodline is Great +2

    Troops restricted to honorable combat -1

    Troops subject to stupidity -1

    Troops subject to insanity -1

    Troops suffering from magical fear -2

    * Note that the bonus for casting a spell is not commulative with any

    other effect. For example, if a spell casts fear on enemy troops, you

    do calculate the modifier for "troops subject to magical fear" if you

    are already calculating the modifier for "casting a battle spell".

    Required Unit Special Actions / Battle Roll Bonus



    Cavalry Charge: +1, plus an additional +1 per 3

    Cavalry units

    Pikemen Negate two Cavalry`s units ability to charge

    Archers Temporary bonus of +1 per 10 TSP, -1 from

    bonus per turn thereafter

    The DM should make a note of each army`s respective status at the end

    of each battle turn. These are:

    * VICTORY - When the enemy is routing, fleeing the field of battle, or

    almost completely eliminated. This status signals the last turn of the


    * WINNING- Winning a normal battle turn results in this status. The

    tide of Battle is in your favor.

    * DEADLOCK- If the adjusted roll for both sides results in a tie. The

    two armies are both locked tooth and nail.

    * LOSING - Losing a normal battle turn results in this status. The

    tide is turning against you.

    * DEFEAT - Your army is in tatters, the survivors rout, leaving the

    dead and wounded on the field.

    Turn Casualties

    To determine the casualties to the loser of each turn`s battle roll,

    compare the difference in the two sides` dice roll. The difference is

    subtracted from the winner`s total ASP. The loser suffers twice this

    much. Fifty percent of these casualties are considered dead and the

    remainder are wounded, routed, or otherwise suppressed. The side in

    control of the battlefield at the end of the battle can recover the



    PC Actions in Battle


    If any PC is directly involved in the battle, then the following

    system can be used to help keep track of their heroic exploits from

    turn to turn. Each character participating in a battle should

    describe their actions in general detail before each turn result is

    determined. The GM should then decide on one of the following four

    `modes of behaviour` for that character:

    Courageous- The character is found at the front lines, rushing the

    enemy, seeking out the most challenging foes for hand to hand combat,

    and generally engaging in heroics. This mode is the most dangerous but

    it also holds the most chance for reward and special honor.

    Average- The character does not fight with notable courage or

    cowardice. The character will usually work in formation with larger

    military units.

    Hang Back- The character tries to stay well away from the thick of the

    battle and generally only tries to defend themselves. This mode may be

    considered cause for dishonor in some cases, especially if the

    character was depended upon to provide leadership or engage in


    Run Away- The character attempts to flee at the first chance of

    escape. This mode may later be considered desertion from duty or at

    the least, cause for dishonor. Only if the character is severely

    wounded should this mode be considered justified in the eyes of the

    other troops.

    Two charts are used to calculate the result of these behaviors. The

    result of rolling on the first chart gets you an action number. Roll

    1d6 and use the next chart to cross reference the action number with

    the d6 result. This fleshes out some details as to the character`s

    heroic actions, and may possibly spring up a threat on the PCs.

    To acquire the PC`s action number:

    PC Behavior Victory Winning Deadlock Losing Defeat

    Courageous 1 2 2 5 8

    Average 1 3 3 6


    Hang Back 4 4 4 7 10

    Run Away 10 10 10 10 10

    _________________________D6 Roll_______________

    Action Number 1 2 3 4

    5 6

    ---------------------- ------- ------- -------

    ------- ------- -------

    1 2-7 2-7/W 2-7/W 2-12/W 2-20/HF 2-20/HF

    2 1-6 1-6/W 1-6/W 1-6/W 1-6/F


    3 1-3/W 1-6/W 1-3/WW 1-3/WW 1-3/HF 1-3/HF

    4 N 1-6/W N 1

    1 1

    5 1-6/W 1-6/W 1-6/W 1-6/WW 1-5/W 1-6/1F

    6 1-3/W 1-6/W 1-3 1-3/W 1-3


    7 N 1-6/W 1 1

    1 1


    9 F 1-6/W SUR WW ESC/F ESC

    10 F 1-6/F ESC/W ESC/WW ESC ESC

    #-# : This is the number of common enemies killed in the heat of

    battle. In general, dispatching these foes does not earn an

    individual experience award, although the DM may decide to grant story

    award bonuses if the total record for the player, over the course of

    his career, totals an excessively "heroic" number. A DM may want to

    adjust these numbers for higher level characters. For every four

    character levels the character possesses, multiply this number x2.

    W: Each "W" indicates the character has suffered a wound. Generally,

    each wound will inflict 1d6 damage plus 1d6 for each 40 ASP of the

    enemy forces.

    F: The character engages a single foe of equal ability in hand to hand

    combat, or faces a confrontation will multiple weaker forces with

    equivilent difficulty to an equally matched foe. Fight the combat

    using standard D&D combat rules.

    HF: The character engages a single or a group of foes in an act of

    heroics. Generally this will result in an encounter or situation of

    signficant difficulty. If the PC or PC group successfully resolves

    this encounter in some way that will benefit his army (i.e.,

    dispatching a difficult foe or distracting some part of the enemy`s

    force), then next turn that character`s army will recieve a +1 bonus

    to his battle roll result.

    N: The character has no special encounters this turn, possibly as a

    result of being lost in the crowd or purposely hanging back.

    ESC: The character escapes from the battle- either as a deserter or

    routing with the rest of the army.

    SUR: The character is surrounded by a mass of enemy troops. The PC can

    either attempt to breakout or surrender. To attempt a breakout roll on

    1d6 on the above table, assuming an action number of 9. Any ESC

    result means the character fought their way out tooth and nail, and

    should probably gain a small experience award. Another SUR result

    means the character has been captured by the enemy. Any other results

    should be resolved as normal followed by another roll on action number

    9 until the character breaks out, is killed, or is captured.

    Example of Play: The Battle at Groen`s Mill


    The wealthy nobleman Lord Berrl is waging war on the Vale Knights

    competing for his land. For this purpose he has mustered 2 units of

    Heavy Cavalry, 2 units of Medium Infantry, and 2 units of Heavy

    Archers. All of these units are "average" units, for a total of 40

    TSP. He has assigned an unblooded 8th level PC fighter named Otto to

    command the army, and two of his 8th-level companions accompany him,

    Black Kellri the Trollslayer, and Edna Hurst, a priestess of Neserie.

    Each PC contributes 4 TSPs for their character levels, except Otto who

    contributes 6 TSPs because he is the Commander and has the Leadership

    feat. The total ASP for Lord Berrl`s army is 54 ASP.

    The Vale Knights, for their part, have 10 units of Medium infantry and

    one unit of Virtuous Champions (Heavy Infantry) for a total of 45 ASP.

    Again, all of average experience.

    The two armies meet in a clearing near Groen`s Mill. With neither

    side wishing to parley, the battle ensues immediately. Lord Berrl`s

    forces charge the Vale Knights who are advancing slowly across the

    clearing. Otto, seeking glory (and a promotion) decides to

    courageously lead the cavalry charge. Black Kellri, screaming a

    dwarven battle-cry courageously charges as well. Edna, a frail, wispy

    sort decides to hang-back and tend to any wounded.

    Each side rolls 1d10. Lord Berryl`s forces recieve a +1 bonus due to

    their successful charge (since the Vale Knights have no pikemen).

    Because the Vale Knights have almost twice as many military units as

    Lord Berryl`s forces, the DM decides to give the Vale Knights the +2

    Superior Numbers bonus. Lord Berryl rolls a 6 for his d10 roll,

    giving a final result of 7. The Vale Knights roll a 2, with a +2

    bonus, modifying the total to 4.

    The casualties for the first hour of battle are 6 ASP for the Vale

    Knights, and 3 ASP for Lord Berryl`s forces. Now, the DM determines

    the results for the 3 PC`s.

    As Otto is acting courageously, and his army is winning he checks for

    his action number and gets an action number of 2. Otto then rolls a

    6. He has managed to kill 4 (1-6) footmen in the heat of battle. He

    also encountered a lone Virtuous Champion who he battles one-on-one

    using the normal D&D system.

    Black Kellri will use the same action number as Otto as both are

    courageous this turn. He rolls a 2. He has slain 5 (1-6) footmen and

    taken 1 wound (2d6 damage).

    Finally, Edna will have an action number of 4 because her force is

    winning but she is hanging back and avoiding confrontation. She rolls

    a 5. She has beaten a single footman, who was probably threatening a

    wounded soldier.

    This concludes the first hour of battle.
    NOTE: Messages posted by Birthright-L are automatically inserted posts originating from the mailing list linked to the forum.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    New Haven, CT

    I had to read this all twice to think I have a grasp of what you are doing.

    It seems to have a bit of complexity to it which I am sure some will love. Yet it is still somewhat simple. The hard part is setting up the battle (doing the math) with a variety of units. After that, it's just familiarity with the rules. The way screws up tables makes it quite hard for me to figure out the resolution table you put together. Any chance you can put it in pdf or doc file and attach a link?

  3. #3
    This is an extremely simple, and quite lovely, system, especially as far as it concerns heroes. I like it how superior numbers give an almost logarithmic bonus, which suggests the difficulty of maneouvering a huge, lumbering army against a tight little force. The only problem is that, unless I missed something, it ignores fortification modifiers - these could be factored into the terrain bonus, but I tend to see them as extra units instead, which can only be killed (to a certain point) by siege engines. There's also the question of how you decide who gets to be the casuality each turn... Do you just pick units at random, or is there an order in which they die?

    I'll be using a different set of combat rules for my campaign, which I'll post sometime in July or August. They still give units a basic "combat prowess" value (no distinct value for melee, archery or anything), but provide them with a heap of bonuses depending on whether they're good for urban warfare, sieges, wilderness encounters, cold weather and the like.

  4. #4
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Moschato, Athens, Greece
    Seems at least viable and relatively realistic; in other words, it's very good!

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    BR mailing list

    Homebrew Mass Combat System (looking for comments/advise)

    Right after I posted it, I began re-writing it from scratch to include
    some options I`ve always wanted to throw in and to work on the
    terminology to make the whole thing easier to read and play. I`m
    almost completely done with it and when it`s done I`ll be posting it
    on a website for your review.

    I have enough of the document written up to address any points or
    questions you might have though:

    The process to choose where your damage is assigned takes a little
    getting used to but I think is easy to learn once played:

    Once your army recieves one or more hits, each hit inflicts one point
    of damage against your army. You may assign this damage to any Hero
    or Villain in your army. Engaged Heroes must be killed before any
    Supporting Heroes can be damaged, and any Supporting Heroes must be
    killed before any Reserve Heroes can be damaged. You may opt not to
    damage a Hero or Villain, but may instead choose to assign the damage
    to any fortification unit, war engine, or military unit. If any of
    your military units (infantry, cavalry, etc.) are damaged, the damaged
    unit must recieve any further damage and be killed before any
    undamaged units may recieve any further damage.

    The fortification rules are as follows:

    For each level of the fortification, you recieve a fortification unit
    at the beginning of combat. Each fortification unit has 25 hitpoints.
    At least one fortification unit must be destroyed before any military
    units may recieve damage. At the end of the combat, all fortification
    units are lost and for every fortification unit "killed" in battle,
    the fortification loses one level.

    A note on military units:

    You may still have heroes, villains, war engines, and fortification
    units at the end of a battle. If you have no military units left,
    though, the battle is over and you have lost. Also, Heroes, Villains,
    War Engines, and Fortification Units do not count in determining your
    superior numbers bonus.
    NOTE: Messages posted by Birthright-L are automatically inserted posts originating from the mailing list linked to the forum.

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