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Thread: Battle Rules

  1. #1

    Battle Rules

    In general terms I like the BRCS battle rules.
    They look something in the middle between over-detailed miniature systems and full-story-arbitrary resolution systems.

    I have only a couple of concerns.

    GRID SYSTEM
    I would like to use the system on a normal, realistic grid.
    Not a small, fixed 5x5sq. grid which looks like a chess table.
    I like to have different squares with different terrain types (river, fortification, etc..)
    My idea is also not to use the reserve line.
    Do you suggest any other fix for using normal grid?

    HEROES & DEATH
    Let heroes dies only because their uint is destroyed does nto sound funny, especially regarding PCs.
    I'm refering to table 6-8 "Defeat on the Battlefield"
    What is level check?
    PC level +1d20??

    RESULTS:
    My proposal is to use the results in that table but interpret results as follows:
    For all the other results consider the result (e.g. captured) but also try to establish the dmg of the weapon which the majority of winning unit has and the mean dmg Str bonus.
    For example Longsword: 1d8 dmg +2 str.


    RESULT 4 or less: "Slain": Do not kill the PC but let him suffer dmg x4 (e.g. suffer 4d8 +8), not kill the pc (min hp 1) and let him face in direct combat a few enemies overwhelming him in numbers. If he survives, maybe he can flee or being captured according to situation.

    RESULT 5 = dmg x3 (e.g. suffer 3d8 +6), not kill the pc (min hp 1)

    RESULT 10 = dmg x2 (e.g. suffer 2d8 +4), not kill the pc (min hp 1)

    RESULT 15 = dmg x1 (e.g. suffer 1d8 +1), not kill the pc (min hp 1)

    RESULT 20 = no dmg suffered.
    Last edited by LucaCherstich; 09-10-2011 at 08:07 AM.

  2. #2
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    Mass combat is one of the more debated topics. Browsing the forums you can easily find people supporting abstract methods or very specific and interactive methods like using models.

    Different terrain would be easy to include with different modifiers or making some squares impassable. However, the grid setup and reserve line is meant to recreate the medieval methods of war. Only in modern times have we dropped the mentality of lining up and charging as "the" way to wage war. I don't feel that Birthright includes the right technologies to remove this from the game. As always, just my opinion.


    I agree with your avoiding killing heroes. The way you have it would work well. As long as this doesn't encourage players to try fight against terrible odds and expect to live. I don't support suicidal or stupid characters who expect to live

  3. #3
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    About charakters.

    It depends abit on the type of game aswell, if the charakter has a heir for example, and the player takes him over, then the death of the charakter is not quite as big a blow as normally, as while your char dies, you keep your realm as far as you have developed it.

    That said, I would agree with having a roll to decide wether a char in a unit that is destroyed manages to get away or not. Small chance of getting away, Large chance of capture, small chance of instant death is likely what I would have gone with.

    Maybe one should let level play into it aswell.
    I would prolly do something like this: Charlevel + d20 +(1 for every aditional leveled char helping to get away)
    20+ - you get away
    10-20 - captured
    less then 10 - dead(or possibly lots of damage then captured if survive, if you want to give your players lots of chances to live)

    So it would work like this:
    Gork F5 and Mork Cl3 gets overrun.

    Gork rolls 14 +5(level)+1(for mork) = 20 - he gets away
    Mork rolls 15 +3(level) +1 (for Gork) = 19 - he gets captured.

    That sound resonable? And ofcourse, you could add stuff. Like, elf getting +3 in the forest or something.

  4. #4
    Site Moderator AndrewTall's Avatar
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    I'd say 'in the power of the enemy' rather than 'killed' - a PC is likely to be a noble or otherwise noted for being rich and powerful, such people are more often captured for ransom than killed, in fact the whole point of a war may be to obtain such ransoms, certainly many of the lower ranking nobles that make up the army officers, knights, etc would see capture and ransom as a way too riches and glory and be appalled at the idea of butchery, apart from anything else they might be on the losing side the next time and want to be ransomed rather than killed themselves.

    The general foot-soldier however is probably on their own and should pray that their side wins the field or else that they can slip away during the night...

  5. #5
    Darknaj, I fully understand what you mean when you say the ancient war mentality.
    I've an interest in Greco-Roman warfare, and know something about Medieval wars, and I'm sure that everything changed after Napoleon from 19th century rifle technology onwards and the end of thickly packed unit mentality.
    Nevertheless, even with those traditional Ancient/Medieval techniques, ancient war can be more complicated than just "Rush to the battle."
    We can see ancient and medieval battles which distinguished for manouverability (e.g. Cannae, Hannibal's tactic masterpiece!) or for exploiting terrain features (e.g. Thermopilae, Agincourt, or, if we look for fiction, Conan's army battle vs Natohk at the end of Black Colossus).
    I'm not sure the 5x5 system (which is in effect a 3x5 without reserves) can properly mimic those battles.

    Thinking again about Agincourt, I'm not so sure about the ranges of missile weapons (Adjacent squares).
    I feel that longbows should reach 2 squares.
    Otherwise, even with swampy soil (max 1 sq movement) archers can shoot approaching knights only once (when knights are in adjacent square), and use the missile bonus in the first round of melee (if I well understood rules).
    And definitively this did not happen in Agincourt when the majority of French knights were slain long before reaching the English longbowmen into melee.

    What if We add another Basic Unit Type for Longbowmen/Heavy Crossbowmen? (to distinguish them from Archers/Slingers).
    The stats should be identical to "archers" (+0 melee, +2 missile, 2 hits, move 1, +2 morale, +2 bonus to missile attacks against mounted units) but with the following modifications:
    1) Add + 1 gb to the muster cost
    2) Can shoot enemies at the square beyond the adjacent (Range 2 squares, while normal archers get 1 square).
    3) Longbowmen can be mustered only by Elves, Anuireans and Rjurik, while Heavy Crossbowmen can be mustered by Brechtur and Dwarves.
    Vos, Khinasi and Goblinoids usually can muster only normal archers

    Thinking again about ancient and medieval eastern/central Asian methods of combat (e.g. Mongols, Turkopoles) I would also like to add another variant: "Mounted Archers".
    Khinasi sound like the best ones for using these special archers.
    Base unit ratings: +1 melee, +1 missile, 2 hits, move 3, +2 morale save, +3 GB muster cost.
    Special abilties:
    a) They gain a +1 attack bonus when charging
    b) +1 to missile attacks vs mounted units.
    c) They are always allowed to make evasive retreats, even after the first round of engagement.
    NOTE: these archers do not have longbows, but normal bows (missile hits to adjacent squares).
    Last edited by LucaCherstich; 09-10-2011 at 10:27 PM.

  6. #6
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    Yes the system cannot truly account for the finesse of flanking and using a larger grid or perhaps an abstract grid could work better. This is probably the strongest reasoning behind using minature/model systems.

    A fix for swamps and similar broken ground could force units to only move or attack, not both. Or even require rolls to avoid damage for certain units. Horses in bad terrain can easily fall and become more of a danger to themselves. You will have to be careful when tweaking ranges for weapons. It may not happen at first, but crafty players can abuse even the most innocent of ideas.

    In the end I think it comes down to how indepth and how much player control you're willing to give.

  7. #7
    If grid is more natural and bigger than the chess-like 5x3, I think that increased range for longbows/heavy crossbows is not bad in itself.
    Especially because PCs are not the only one allowed to muster longbowmen....

    What do you think about mounted archers?
    I made them to mimic Middle Eastern Medieval warfare and to better exploit larger grids.

    I had some more thinking on it.
    I will make the following changes on their abilities:

    "Mounted Archers (V.2)."
    Base unit ratings: +1 melee, +1 missile, 2 hits, move 3, +2 morale save,+2.5 gb muster cost.
    Special abilties:
    a) They gain a +1 attack bonus when charging
    b) +1 to missile attacks vs mounted units.
    c) cancel the above special evasive rules
    NOTE: these archers do not have longbows, but normal bows (missile hits to adjacent squares).

    You can upgrade the mounted archers with the following Special Training.
    Special Training: Hit and Run
    Only Archers and Mounted Archers can have this special training.
    Unit Modifier: +1 gb muster cost
    Special: 2 special abilities:
    - Missile Units with this training can Shoot their missile attacks in Attack Phase 1 (stationary missile attacks) even if they moved.
    - If they have saved at least 1 movement space from their movement phase, they can use it and move (even disenganing themselves) between Attack Phases 1 and 2, before melee happens, effectively making an "hit and Run" tactic. This can be used only in the first round of a melee, not if the second or later rounds.

  8. #8
    Junior Member stew31r's Avatar
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    Don't forget that Europe's response to mounted archers was the mounted crossbowman, which while having a slower rate of fire, had better armor penetration. This could be an Anuirean and Brecht unit.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by stew31r View Post
    Don't forget that Europe's response to mounted archers was the mounted crossbowman, which while having a slower rate of fire, had better armor penetration. This could be an Anuirean and Brecht unit.
    The problem is that Armor Piercing is not considered in this system.
    But we could fix things in this way:
    Mounted Crossbowmen: Like mounted archers but:
    a) +2 missile instead of +1
    b) +3 gb muster (and not + 2.5 muster)
    c) cannot learn the hit & Run tactic (not so sure about it, but I want to mimic their inability to use again the crossbow soon after they shot)

    Any other suggetion to mimic the slow RoF /better AP?

  10. #10
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    In some games crossbowmen fire only every other turn. An alternative to consider.

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