Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Skirmish (Mass) Combat Part 2

First off, let me say that I'm not any type of expert at 'creating' gaming rules. I'm fine with tweaking and altering something that exists already and lifting and mixing from other sources but to flat out creating balanced war-game, rpg rules, - nope, not me. There are plenty of other folks out there who are much better creating something like that than me.

So I'm still looking for some alterations on the Swords & Wizardry Mass Combat rules which I've scaled down to just Skirmish Rules.

Justin from Old School Psionics came up with some simple streamlined Mass Combat rules. I'll be giving those a closer look later today.

I also ran across these sets of rules; Song of Blades and Heroes from Ganesha Games which looks promising on some levels. For only $5 for the pdf download from Lulu, it's worth checking out.

Grungi posted his results of a similar combat yesterday using the Gabor Lux's Swords and Magic Retro clone and the Ghouls overwhelmed the soldiers as well. That verifies some of the results that I've been getting in my sample combats as well. Very similar to the Swords & Wizardry Combat rules but with a few more things added.

Conclusion: Ghouls are pretty bad-ass as an 'army'.

So there's a lot to look over today but some of the questions I'm looking to answer are the following:

Defensive positions, how would they come into play and for how long?

Would monster units get multiple attacks? Some folks say yes, but how would a special attack such as Paralyzing touch from a ghoul come into play for a unit vs unit battle?

What about the ghoul units that were 'wounded', how would that be handled after the battle? In the example above, sure some of the Ghoul units were hit and their HP numbers deflated, even to zero (which doesn't mean they are killed) but how many are actually left?

How would a PC support a friendly unit in combat or moral? What about adjacent units?


  1. I've got Song of Blades and Heroes lined up for a review in the next issue of Oubliette. I've still get some more playtesting to do with it but so far I'm really imressed with the rules.

  2. I've hear really good things about it. Looking forward to an in-depth review.

  3. All these questions were answered in CHAINMAIL and it's fantasy supplement known as dungeon and dragons.

    Ghouls, multiple attacks, etc all answered for mass combat in the original d&d books and in CHAINMAIL it's pressessor. S&W is a nice game, but it's not 0d&d.

  4. Sword and Magic handle the units as a single character. So if the paralyzing saving throw wasn't succesful, the whole unit became paralyzed. I would add some AC bonus in Defense position and Attack penalty (eg.:+2/-2) I allowed the multiple attack because of the reason in my first sentence. That was the destiny of the soldiers and the paralyzing touch.
    Sword and Magic tells, that if the hp of the unit decreasing below, the unit is destroyed, but there is a 25% chance to the members survive the battle, but their morale drop to the lower level (-3) and they are about to death. All of them trying to save their life and run away. But There isn't rule for the number of the survivors.
    The morale is a between -3 and +3 modifier, what must be added to every roll (attack, save, damage) In my example I ignored it, because it isn't clear for me, that how changing this value exactly. The rules tells, that in every succesful situation the morale increasing and in every fail situation it is decreasing. Maybe I would try it again with my ideas.

  5. Grungi, I took a good look at Sword & Magic and liked some of the details that were missing in the S&W Mass combat. I didn't quite understand where the -3/+3 moral fit in so I tweaked my own bit. I may post some of this later today.

    @UWS guy - I've never played Chainmail though, of course, saw the rules back in the day. I'm looking for more of a skirmish rule that would flow easily into the RPG at the table without switching to a whole new set of rules.

    I think I'm finding it with a cross between S&M and S&W.

  6. You may be intrested in my D&D mass combat rules. I just posted tham here:
    I would like your opinion on them.