Quick and dirty skirmish battle rules

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Laurence
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Quick and dirty skirmish battle rules

Postby Laurence » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:13 pm

For the climax of a recent adventure, my Fighting Fantasy group unexpectedly decided to raise an army to fight the big bad guy. Very exciting, but there was some confusion when I went to break out the big battle rules -- there was a little bit of pushback to the tune of "I have to learn something new? -- maybe it's not worth the trouble". It was just for one battle scene, but I really wanted to go with the idea and have a huge battle.

So ... Just to keep things as super-simple as possible I described it like this:

"You've got a unit of 30 Elven Archers. Let's treat that unit as one NPC. Each soldier in your unit counts as 1 STAMINA, so that unit has 30 STAMINA. Over there, you've got 50 Dwarf Axemen? 50 STAMINA." And so on.

So each hero ended up leading one unit of troops that, for game purposes, functioned like a single NPC. Like this unit:

Elven Archers, SKILL 8, STAMINA 30, Weapon: Longbow, Armor: Light. [I used the numbers for Monster Light Armor.]

Then we just played it out like a regular combat. I did use modifiers for terrain, etc.

I don't know how this quick and dirty method would work in the long run, but they served the purpose for one climactic battle scene.

I made up a record sheet to track the units in each army. Here's a link:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/at6knh3tzk5ia ... t.pdf?dl=0

If you try this in your game, let me know how it works out.
Lorian
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Re: Quick and dirty skirmish battle rules

Postby Lorian » Sun Feb 12, 2017 8:26 pm

I think this is a great idea for skirmishes you need to quickly set up!
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shintokamikaze
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Re: Quick and dirty skirmish battle rules

Postby shintokamikaze » Sun Feb 12, 2017 9:15 pm

Nice job :P
Baldrick
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Re: Quick and dirty skirmish battle rules

Postby Baldrick » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:31 pm

Neat. Isn't that basically how the big battles work, though?
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Laurence
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Re: Quick and dirty skirmish battle rules

Postby Laurence » Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:52 am

Baldrick wrote:Neat. Isn't that basically how the big battles work, though?


Sort of. The Heroes Companion goes into more detail about casualties, so that you can scale a battle up or down, having dozens or hundreds of soldiers in a unit.

In this case, I made the troops and STAMINA a one-for-one ratio. So it only works for this size engagement. And technically, different kinds of troops should be worth different amounts -- for example, trolls should be much more robust than goblins.

But for a battle we did on the fly, it worked fine. It was like, "OK, your Elven archers let fly and hit the orcs. Roll damage ... OK, 3 orcs go down." Kind of satisfying.

I don't know how we'd do it if someone had a dragon or giant on their side.

Also, if I could do it again, I'd probably break up the units into 20 or so soldiers. 50 took a while to whittle down. But it was fun.
LordArioch
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Re: Quick and dirty skirmish battle rules

Postby LordArioch » Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:30 am

Sounds like an elegant way to deal with a massed combat scenario. Porting in Chainmail (by Gygax and Perren) is recommended if large engagements become a regular feature of one's campaign: for wargaming rules it's pretty elementary and can be developed quite easily by the ref to suit any number of gaming styles.

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