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  1. #1
    Senior Member Delazar's Avatar
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    [ADnD2e] Alternative Systems for Mass Battles

    I find that the default "cards" system is sucking a lot of time out of our gaming sessions. Also, it seems to be impossible to stage a fight between very big armies (10,000 or more troops would mean 50 cards!)

    So I was looking for some alternative mass battle systems. The main requirements are:
    1) to be able to handle big armies (10k, or even 100k troops)
    2) to be compatible with ADnD ruleset
    3) must not be extremely time-consuming
    4) possibly no tokens/minis/cards involved. I'd like to keep it pen+paper.

    So far, all I can think about is War Machine (from DnD Rules Cyclopedia), but I was wondering if someone knows any other viable option.

    thanks in advance.

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    GURPS Mass Combat is very good system if you are looking for high level of abstraction. It allows you to resolve battles between two sides as encounter between two entities regardless of the size of the two armies. Alternately, you can split them into into groups and resolve encounters between them. I've been planning to use this system to resolve Birthright battles by considering all the units of one side in a single battlefield field to be a single army. I tested the system a little and concluded that values of certain types of soldiers need some altering to achieve a balance similar to Birthright battle system.

  3. #3
    There is a quick resolution for battles and sieges in the Castle Guide ad&d 2nd ed.

    You could also use the Battlesystem ad&d 2nd ed., although it's going more into detail and time consuming.

    Or just use the Birthright-System.

    All you have to do is to change the ammount of men a card or a unit represents.
    Just say a card means 1000 or even 10.000 men, just as you wish.

    Im also looking for a good system und have ordered me Battles in Westeros (tabletop-Game) just before a few days. I'm curious if i could use something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cidius View Post
    I'm also looking for a good system und have ordered me Battles in Westeros (tabletop-Game) just before a few days. I'm curious if i could use something.
    If that's the game based on Battlelore from Days of Wonder, it's a good system. I haven't actually played that, but I am familiar with the WW2 game, Memoir '44, that is its cousin. You can scale the units to whatever size you want, and battles play out in about an hour. Once you establish a scale, you set up the battlefield to whatever you want, and have at it.

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    BattleLore is a very good boardgame. It would require some alteration for a fair battle resolution since orders you can issue are based on cards. I've considered the idea of running Birthright battles in BattleLore but abandoned it in favour of some more detailed options.

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    Senior Member Delazar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cidius View Post
    Or just use the Birthright-System.
    All you have to do is to change the ammount of men a card or a unit represents.
    Just say a card means 1000 or even 10.000 men, just as you wish.
    but then how would you handle all those Battle Spells that only affect one unit?

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    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    but then how would you handle all those Battle Spells that only affect one unit?
    If the scale doesn't change much just scale up the spell cost to keep spells and army unit costs proportionate, if you are upping the scale a lot then damaging realm magic becomes irrelevant - at best give a morale bonus/penalty for a spell. Scrying magic is still as effective and skewing spells to ones which cause maintenance costs, impact leadership rolls, etc would keep wizards in the game and still have it realistic at character level.
    Last edited by AndrewTall; 07-07-2011 at 09:29 PM.

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    Senior Member arpig2's Avatar
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Delazar View Post
    I find that the default "cards" system is sucking a lot of time out of our gaming sessions. Also, it seems to be impossible to stage a fight between very big armies (10,000 or more troops would mean 50 cards!)

    So I was looking for some alternative mass battle systems. The main requirements are:
    1) to be able to handle big armies (10k, or even 100k troops)
    2) to be compatible with ADnD ruleset
    3) must not be extremely time-consuming
    4) possibly no tokens/minis/cards involved. I'd like to keep it pen+paper.

    So far, all I can think about is War Machine (from DnD Rules Cyclopedia), but I was wondering if someone knows any other viable option.

    thanks in advance.
    I suggest you take a look at the War & Conquest system in the downloads section right here on good old BR.Net.

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    Hallo there,
    I ain’t posting frequently for usually I find in the ongoing threads all the answers I’m looking for: yet now I have a specific question and so I’m reviving this old thread for my doubt shares its same subject.

    Like others in this thread, I and other players in my group don’t wish to use the Birthright battle cards for our campaign’s mass battles: I like very much what War & Conquest suggests but, even though we never use miniatures, I find it appealing to switch one of our RPG sessions into an easier mindset once in a while by turning battles into a boardgame. And since I like the toy soldiers (not the usual 20-25 mm painted miniatures but plastic 10-15 mm unpainted figures) I’d love to resort to a very simple imitation of a wargame, fielding as many toy soldiers as we can.
    Our DM agrees and is willing to allow us to play any boardgame or ruleset we wish (so he can join the fun).

    My first idea was to use Battlelore, because I play Memoir 44 and love its easiness and intuitiveness: sadly though it’s almost impossibile to get a copy of this game now. Thus we’re pondering Battles of Westeros as an alternative but, even though I like Martin’s books, this game is barely able to appeal me: on the one side it looks too fiddly for our needs and my taste, on the other it needs a lot of tweaking in order to add magic (and I’m unsure it’s even possible).
    So now we’re thinking to use a wargame’s rulesystem as simple as Fubar (just one page), trying to add D&D-themed spells to it, which seems not to be a demanding task on a first look.

    Nonetheless I need some advice and precisely:

    1) Are there more rulesets as simple as Fubar you could recommend? Systems already providing for magic would be optimum.

    2) Where could we buy plastic 10/15 mm (or even smaller) medieval or fantasy toy soldiers? Sadly all of my childhood’s salvaged toy soldiers are modern armies and my searches over the Internet were fruitless.

    3) Can you recommend other ways to play the mass battles by using an existing boardgame or toy soldiers? We don’t care for fielding big armies (we plan to limit units to three-six soldiers) nor for deep and complex rulesets (a bit of abstraction and a lot of simplification are fine): we just wish to have some figures to move on the table.

    Thank you in advance for any hint.

  10. #10
    Senior Member arpig2's Avatar
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    FUBAR has a set of medieval fantasy combat rules.

    https://thegamesshed.wordpress.com/2...ubar-medieval/

    I also had some success using Avalon Hill's Ancients board game.
    Call me Bob.
    My Zaidan-Tai site: http://bobsworlds.x10.mx/Zaidan/
    My Zaidan-Tai PBEM: http://nrggames.proboards.com/
    My Tollanar blog: https://bobsworlds.wordpress.com/

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