Mass Combat

Discuss our dark fantasy adventure tabletop roleplaying game based on BioWare's computer game, Dragon Age Origins.

Mass Combat

Postby WeaselFierce » Fri Jul 20, 2012 6:15 am

How do people handle mass combat between armies using the rules?
WeaselFierce
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:27 am

Re: Mass Combat

Postby Sidmen » Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:16 am

There aren't any rules for Mass Combat in the DARPG. I have had a mass combat using rules I came up with - but it didn't go so well.

Sadly, you are left with the basic options in all RPGs: just describe the battle and the outcome or have the sides' commanders make opposed rolls to determine the victor.
Sidmen
Groupie
Groupie
 
Posts: 201
Joined: Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:09 pm

Re: Mass Combat

Postby Andferne » Fri Jul 20, 2012 9:27 am

I liked the way the adventure Where Eagles Lair, from the Blood of Ferelden book handled the Darkspawn invasion. Since then that is pretty much how I have handled my mass combat situations.
The world still needs Heroes
User avatar
Andferne
Sidekick
Sidekick
 
Posts: 494
Joined: Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:57 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Mass Combat

Postby Guardian of the Peak » Fri Jul 20, 2012 12:59 pm

I haven't had any particular army on army battles, but I have had moments where my players have had to battle a large amount of enemies at once. The way I do things though is kind of unorthodox and a bit complex. It goes kind of like this:

-The GM announces the amount of enemies that the current player is faced with and any ranged attackers.

-Multiple PCs can take part in the same combat cycle at the same time.

-The player and the GM make an opposed Initiative roll to see who goes first. If more than one PC is involved, the one with the highest Dexterity rolls for Initiative. The GM also rolls normal initiative checks for ranged attackers.

-If the player wins, they begin combat with the first/first two in the group of enemies.

-If the GM wins, the first/first two of the enemies start.

-Opposed attack rolls are made one after another until either each enemy has been hit, or each opponent has taken a turn attacking.

-Any rolls that are won result in normal combat damage being dealt.

-Rolls lost result in no damage being dealt.

-Defending parties can use the situational stunt "Take the Offensive" for 3 SP on a successful defensive roll. The defender counterattacks and take over initiative.

-Only one PC needs to activate "Take the Offensive" for everyone else in the group, but only they get the immediate counterattack. The same rules apply to enemy groups.

-"Take the Offensive" increases in cost by 1 SP for every PC past two in a cycle. (IE: One - two PCs = 3 SP, 3 = 4 SP, etc.)

-"Take the Offensive" can be used any number of times in a cycle.

-Players that use "Take the Offensive" take over attacking, but only the enemies that haven't attacked in the cycle.

-Enemies in a group that uses "Take the Offensive" may only attack if they haven't already this cycle.

-Normal combat stunts can only be used if on offense or in conjunction with "Take the Offensive" while on defense.

-Enemies and players cannot change their target until all combat is resolved or unless they are ranged attackers.

-Ranged attackers can only choose one target until all combat cycles are complete.

-Ranged attackers make normal attacks outside of Quick Combat cycles.

-Players may break off from an enemy group at any time before a cycle has begun or after a cycle has been resolved and divert attention to any ranged attackers.


I have only used this combat style once before, but it went decently enough. My friends seemed to enjoy the different take on the combat, though I don't think I'll be using it an awful lot. Besides, I still have some kinks to work out.
User avatar
Guardian of the Peak
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:58 pm

Re: Mass Combat

Postby WeaselFierce » Sat Jul 21, 2012 12:18 am

I saw the Influence rules they are using in the Set 3 playtest and kind of like the idea of gaining social ranks and becoming a bann or king so I'm hopeful that they'll include some simple Mass Combat rules for the game as well.

Guardian of the Peak those rules do seem a bit complex but did it take a long time to resolve everything?

Does anybody have any ideas about what kind of mass combat rules we can come up with ourselves?
WeaselFierce
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:27 am

Re: Mass Combat

Postby kronovan » Sat Jul 21, 2012 9:00 am

I handle it the way I handle it for just but about every fantasy PnP system I run - I use FFG's BattleLore. I usually go with the medieval lore rules and include War councels and always use the Heroes, Epic, and all of the creatures expansions. Heroes has both mounted and dismounted figs for Mages, Rogues and Warriors (dwarf & Human), so its very easy to represent your DragonAGE character in it. I've made my own variation for the rules which lower the number of units on the board and keeps Heroes in the battle longer. I also translate the battle results into experience and HP damage. It can be a bit of a challenge to represent elves (not in the base game) but the hexes are big enough to squeeze a 28mm fig in alongside the other units. On occasion we've also used the games goblins for elves - my apologies to all the Dalish folk out there. ;)

I've GM'd some fantasy PnP's that have mass battle rules, but my players and I have always felt they were too abstract - even goes for the systems that have a reputation for being strong in that area. Handling you battles in BattleLore does take a bit more time, but it's a heckuva lot more fun. :)
kronovan
Cohort
Cohort
 
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:42 am

Re: Mass Combat

Postby Guardian of the Peak » Sat Jul 21, 2012 11:47 am

WeaselFierce wrote:Guardian of the Peak those rules do seem a bit complex but did it take a long time to resolve everything?


Yeah they are pretty complex, but it did go a lot faster than just having individual scuffles with one enemy at a time. Like I said, I'll have to work out the kinks.
User avatar
Guardian of the Peak
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 12:58 pm

Re: Mass Combat

Postby shonuff » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:31 am

Personally, I've always found that mass combat is more of a narrative device than a gaming one, especially in a setting focused on an adventuring group. I've always found that PCs should have an influence on the combat, but the end result should be decided by the GM.

Example, in a recent campaign that I was a PC, after a successful rebellion, my group chose to use our downtime to fortify our kingdom. My character chose to construct a fort within the pass that I thought was a probable route of attack, and other characters did other things to assist the infrastructure. After a year or so, our kingdom came under attack while we were on a quest, and it fell. Our improvements delayed the inevitable conquest so that it was not the mass slaughter that it would have been, and many of our relationships and benefits were able to salvaged and even maintained a guerrila resistance. Narratively however, the GM had moved the campaign to further territories abroad, and he did not want us to be tied to the small kingdom, so the defeat was more a narrative device than a gaming one.

Your mileage may vary, however. A more tactical/strategic campaign will no doubt thrive on mass combat, whereas the luck of warfare will throw a narrative-based campaign into chaos.
shonuff
Earth's Mightiest
Earth's Mightiest
 
Posts: 2946
Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2011 6:53 pm

Re: Mass Combat

Postby Vaelorn » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:14 am

With a bit of tweaking you could probably use the mass combat rules from the GURPS Conan book. It's based on a 3d6 system, but rolling under a target number rather than over. I've got half way through such a conversion for my Conan mod, but things have stalled lately!
Vaelorn
Dabbler
Dabbler
 
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 11:48 am

Re: Mass Combat

Postby pensamento_coletivo » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:53 am

Well. not a mass combat system, but I do have a system to handle a small number of combatants as a group. It is based off the M&M group combat rules presented in books as Mecha&Manga and Golden Age.

Basically, a number of weak/nonheroic characters is treated as a single individual and instead of ahving actions, their numbers aid to actions taken by major characters. For example, a band of fereldenian bandits could aid their leader ranged and melee attacks and damage and the leader could gain additional attacks each turn (representing the band's numbers).

This ystem could easily be expanded to represent mass combat rules as a few large units, but it works quite well to represent minor smirmishes seen in the game (the battle of Redcliffe, for example).

I could translate and post it if anyone's interested.
pensamento_coletivo
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:48 am

Re: Mass Combat

Postby Etarnon » Wed Oct 10, 2012 7:42 pm

I'm working on a mass combat system for Dragon Age. It's pretty fluffy, to match the nature of the rules as they are.

I'll have it in a few weeks, and post it in a new thread.

(Still testing.)
Organizer, Steel City Gamers Meetup, Pittsburgh
http://www.meetup.com/Steel-City-Gamers/
Etarnon
Bystander
Bystander
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:12 am
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: Mass Combat

Postby Loswaith » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:43 pm

I typically use something akin to Death Watch these days (previously I used something more clunky, but the death watch magnitude system was far more elegant).

In basic terms each side (squad, platoon, or even the whole army) has a size/magnitude which basically represents the health / unit size of each side.
Each side then makes an opposing attack vs defence roll with bonuses to the attack or defence based on the composition of the group itself. The result is the ammount of 'damage' the group takes to their size/magnatude value, thusly infering a number of troops taken out of the battle (the round being about a minute long in the larger scale).

Factors that affect the bonused to defence, attack or damage are typically size and makeup of the group as well as modifiers based on special units, fighting style or maneuvers the group employs.

The PCs themseleves can influence the battle based on being a special unit using any tactics they can assist in the armys progression to give their side the advantage.
- Loswaith
Henceforth mortal, remember...
User avatar
Loswaith
Super Poster
Super Poster
 
Posts: 758
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 11:07 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia


Return to Dragon Age RPG

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests