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  1. #1

    Original BR battlesystem question

    In my last couple of campaigns I used a homebrew mass battle system, but now I want to give a chance to the original unit cardplay.

    Revisiting my 2nd edition ruleset there is a spot I think isn't quite clear. The rules hint that several unit cards can be in the same area, but not clearly saying that.
    Plus, there is the rule that "when a unit is forced to fall back to a space occupied by a friendly (or enemy) unit, is destroyed. So, if friendly units can co-exist in the same area, why is their retreat path blocked by friendly units?

    At the same time it must be hugely inconvenient in big battles with 20+ units per side, to have stacks of cards in the same area. Also I think it can be abused even in small battles, where the general in disadvantage stacks all his army in the same area.

    So, I guess my questions are 1) are multiple units allowed in the same tile and 2) if so, has anyone found remedies for the disadvantages this brings?

  2. #2
    Page 68:
    "Any number of units can be placed in an area of the battlefield. In fact, a commander can concentrate his army in a single area..."

    Regarding routing units, indeed, it seems that you can stack units on the same area but you cannot retreat to an area already occupied by friendly units.

    The battles rules have always been the weak point of Birthright

  3. #3
    Ah, then it plays as I remember it in my first campaigns years back. I was hoping I was wrong back then, because I remember this stacking rule got the battle mat in a mess.

    I'm thinking of houseruling a strict 1 unit per area, which I guess would be a problem for bigger battles.

    For battles with more than 10 units per side maybe there are 2 solutions:

    1) Break down the battle into 3 smaller ones representing the left, center and right flanks

    2) Width of the battlefield could be expanded to 6 or even 7 areas wide if one or both opposing generals wish it (with an opposing Warfare check in case they disagree)

  4. #4
    We had the exact same problem and indeed the first thing we did is to limit to 1 unit per area. Then like you said, as the battles became bigger and involved more units, they started to last for ages, bringing units from the reserve on to the battlefield again and again.

    In the end we just gave up on the map and unit cards and created our own simplified rules for mass army battles.

  5. #5
    I just want to make an update on this.

    We are through the first half a dozen sessions in our new campaign, and we used the cards. Made a few modifications and it really works like a charm.

    The main changes are: 1 unit per area with the exception of castles, and if a side has more than 10 units the battle is broken down to three smaller ones representing flanks. 10 was chosen as the limit because its the max number of units were the reserves wont be more than the fielded units.

    It really was a very different experience.

    Now request for some advice. During a war campaign that multiple battles in succession are involved its natural that a side will for example win a battle and have several units with hits - something that somehow must affect the units before their next battle.

    My idea was that after each battle each unit with hits rolls a morale check (with the sword/shield/banner icons). For each hit after the first the unit has a -1 penalty. If the unit belongs to the side winning the battle it gets a +1 bonus. If the morale check fails unit is destroyed. If it passes all hits are restored.
    I think its simple, has some sense in relation to medieval warfare, and mostly it eliminates bookeeping.

    My players dread of loosing units in such a fashion and insist on bookeeping the hits, transfering them from battle to next battle.

    Any opinions?

  6. #6
    Member nickgreyden's Avatar
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    Warning: Fan advertisement at the end of this post

    The general rule I've gone with is when you pay the seasonal maintenance cost, everything is refreshed. The army's gear has been replaced and reinforcements have arrived along with supplies and payroll. It just seemed to make sense to me.

    You know what, I'll just link ;-)
    Check out post 10 for more detailed battle rules that I think will be welcomed. And I'll look forward to the new book!
    --Give me ambiguity or give me something else!--

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