Chapter six: Armies and Warfare
War is a matter of vital importance to the state; a matter of life or death, the road either to survival or to ruin. Appraise it in terms of the five fundamental factors: doctrine, politics, terrain, weather, and the commander.
Doctrine is to be understood as the organization of the army, the gradations of rank among the officers, the regulations of supply routes, and the provision of military materials to the army. Politics are those things that cause the people to be in harmony with their ruler so that they will follow him in disregard of their lives and without fear of any danger. Terrain means distances, and refers to whether the ground is traversed with ease or difficulty and to whether it is open or constricted, and influences your chances of life or death. Weather signifies night and day, cold and heat, fine days and rain, and change of seasons. The commander stands for the general's qualities of wisdom, sincerity, benevolence, courage, and strictness.
These five fundamental factors are familiar to every general. Those who master them win; those who do not are defeated. - The Art of War
Political realms often resort to warfare to settle their differences. Military forces and fortifications are crucial assets of any domain. A domain that is unable to field sufficient defense becomes an easy target for opportunists. On the other hand, a domain that supports an army beyond its means will quickly deplete its treasury. Thus, a working knowledge of warfare and the management of military assets is essential for any successful regent.
The BIRTHRIGHT mass combat system is a role-playing aid. It is designed to be easy to learn and focuses on opportunities for character actions and story advancement. It is not designed to necessarily provide the level of complexity appropriate for a complete war-gaming system. Players seeking a fully functional war game are encouraged to consider using any of the many excellent published war-gaming systems.
The BIRTHRIGHT mass combat system are two levels of resolution: strategic movement and tactical combat. The strategic rules provide mechanics to represent military intelligence, and the movement of armies on a weekly basis. The tactical rules are used to resolve specific conflicts between opposing armies located in the same strategic area.
Any individual with sufficient means can field an army. In the BIRTHRIGHT battle system, armies consist of one or more units. Each unit represents a fighting company and has statistics that represent the relative effectiveness and costs of the unit in mass warfare. All domain-level military actions, strategic movement, and tactical battle are resolved at the unit level.
The overall attributes of a military unit is represented by a set of statistics similar to ability scores, attack bonuses, and hit points used to represent the combat statistics of characters. Unit statistics are abstractions that represent the effectiveness and expenses of the unit's soldiers, including their skill, their equipment, their training in military formations, their morale, the number of soldiers in the unit and other factors relevant to warfare. These ratings do not necessarily correspond with the attack bonuses or armor class of the individual soldiers in the unit but are a reflection of the unit as a whole.
: This statistics measures the overall offensive effectiveness of the unit
in hand-to-hand battle.
|+ 0||Poorly armed peasants|
|+ 2||Soldiers with standard training, but little specialized training in military formations|
|+ 4||Well-trained warriors trained in military formations for hand-to-hand combat|
|+6||Seasoned veterans with substantial training|
Missile: This rating represents the overall offensive effectiveness of the unit in ranged battle. Not all units have missile capability. Units with an adjusted missile rating of +0 or below may not make missile attacks.
|-||No ranged weaponry|
|+ 1||Simple missile weapons and limited training|
|+ 2||Skilled archers that lack unit training|
|+ 4||Highly trained battlefield archers|
|+ 6||Artillery weapons|
Defense: This statistics represents the overall offensive effectiveness
of the unit's defensive training and equipment.
|10||Unarmored unit with little or no training|
|12||Light armor & formation training|
|14||Medium armor & formation training|
|16||Heavy armor & formation training|
Hits: this rating measures the amount of punishment a unit can take before surrendering, disbanding, or being destroyed.
|1||Small or poorly trained unit|
|2||Standard unit of seasoned troops|
|3||A unit of veteran soldiers|
|4||A unit of exceptionally tough veteran soldiers|
Morale: This rating represents the training, loyalty, equipment quality, and command structure of a unit. It also represents the relative sea-worthiness of a naval vessel.
|+0||Poorly trained mercenary soldiers or drafted levies|
|+2||Poorly trained or mercenaries soldiers|
|+4||Standard unit of seasoned soldiers|
|+ 6||Unit of veteran soldiers|
These ratings measure the effective mobility of a military unit. Army units have one movement rating that is used at both the strategic and tactical levels. Naval vessels have two movement ratings, a Move rating that measures the unit's relative movement in tactical battle, and a Sail rating that measures its speed in strategic movement.
At the tactical level, the move rating of an army unit determines the number of areas that can be moved on the battle map per tactical battle round. At the strategic level, the movement rating for an army unit is used to determine the number of provinces that can be crossed per war move (one week).
|1||Unit of standard foot soldiers|
|2||Unit of lightly equipped, trained foot, or heavy armored cavalry|
|3||Unit of lightly armored cavalry|
A ship's Move rating measures its speed and maneuverability in battle; naval vessels must step their masts or reef their sails to prevent sail damage and reduce the risk of fire in battle. Oars are used to provide the maneuverability and short bursts of speed that are vital in ship-to-ship combat.
Sail: A naval unit's sail rating measures the number of maritime areas that the vessel can move per week. Although long sleek ship without oars may be difficult to use in combat, they may be capable of traverse far greater distances over the long haul.
Muster cost: This rating measures the cost in gold bars (GB) required to hire, outfit, and train a military unit status. The muster cost of a unit is also used to determine its seasonal maintenance expense.
|0||Poorly equipped untrained militia|
|2||Standard unit of professional foot soldiers|
|4||Standard unit of professional cavalry|
Cargo: This rating represents the effectiveness of the ship as a merchant vessel. Each cargo unit represents enough space to store 1 GB worth of bulk trade goods. This rating is used to determine the vessels necessary to support naval trade routes.
Bunks: This rating represents the maximum number of units that a vessel can transport. This maximum rating assumes that all bunks are rotated every eight hours (hot-bunking) and that all deck space is utilized. Food and equipment for the unit also take 1 GB of normal cargo space per unit. Mounted units require an additional 2 GB (3 GB total) of cargo space for their mounts, livery, and fodder.
A unit's combat statistics determine how well it performs in mass warfare. This section summarizes combat basics. These basic concepts are expanded in the section on Tactical warfare.
When a unit makes an attack, you roll a d20 and add the unit's attack bonus. If the result equals the target's defense or better, you hit and deal damage. Units have two basis attack bonuses. A unit's melee rating is used in hand-to-hand combat A unit's missile rating is used in ranged combat. Many modifiers may affect the attack roll, including bonuses provided by charging, terrain bonus/penalties, and special bonuses/penalties against certain types of units. A natural 20 always hits, and a natural 1 always misses, as per standard combat.
Critical hits: All units have a threat range of 19-20 and a x2 critical multiplier. Thus, when you make a unit attack roll and hit with a natural 19-20, you have scored a threat. To find out if it's a critical hit, you immediately make a critical roll - roll another attack roll with all the same modifiers as the attack roll you just made. If the critical roll also results in a hit against the target's defense, your original attack is a critical and inflicts double damage. Standard d20 mechanics for multiple multipliers apply; thus a critical (x2) hit made by pikemen against a charge (x2) inflicts x3 damage.
When a unit successfully attacks another unit, damage is inflicted. A unit that accumulates a number of hits of damage equal to their maximum hit rating is destroyed.
If a unit takes damage in tactical combat, it must make a morale save against DC 10 or be routed (see the section on Tactical warfare for details). A unit that takes two hits in a single critical attack only makes one morale save.
Subdual damage: Fatigue, weather, and exhaustion can inflict temporary unit damage. Likewise, military units may attack to capture rather than slay their enemies. This temporary damage is considered to be subdual damage. Engaged military units can inflict subdual damage by taking a -4 penalty to their melee attack. When a unit's subdual damage equals its current remaining hits, it is staggered. It doesn't matter whether the subdual damage equals or exceeds the unit's current hits because the subdual damage has gone up or because the unit's current hits have gone down.
Staggered: A staggered unit moves at half-speed and is as likely to surrender to an opposing army as it is to fight. Staggered units must make an opposed morale save in every round in which it is engaged in battle. If the staggered unit fails the check, it surrenders and is taken off the field of battle.
Healing damage: Unit damage is recovered by resting the unit in garrison. An army unit is considered to be in garrison if it rests in its home province for one month. Naval units can garrison in any friendly shipyard. Units cannot heal if hostile forces are present. For every month that a unit rests in garrison it recovers one hit. Subdual damage heals at the rate of one hit per week of rest in garrison.
Variant: Reduced combat effectiveness
A unit receives a cumulative -2 penalty to its melee, missile, and morale ratings for each hit of normal or subdual damage taken.
Morale and saving throws
Generally, when a unit is subject to unusual conditions such as combat, magical attack, inclement weather, or exhaustion, the unit gets a saving throw to avoid or reduce the effect. At the unit level, there is only one type of saving throw, the morale save. The morale save represents the affects that discipline, experience, equipment, and a strong command structure can have in dangerous military situations.
A morale save is a d20 + the unit's morale rating. A scion commander may modify the morale saves of their units by spending regency to provide a one-for-one bonus. This represents the increased morale, diligence to duty, and deprivations that loyal soldiers are willing to undergo due to loyalty to (or fear of) their commanding officer. A regent acting as commanding officer may spend RP to provide a bonus on a one-to-one basis for any morale save of a unit under their command.
A unit that has been placed on the defensive by a particularly effective attack is routed. Every time a unit takes damage in tactical combat, it must make a morale save (DC 10) or become routed. Routed units suffer a -4 penalty to all attack rolls in tactical combat. Furthermore, routed units must always attempt to retreat from hostile forces (if possible) and flee the field of battle. See Tactical warfare for details.
Routed units may attempt to recover morale every tactical round. Units with exceptional leaders and high base morale can quickly recover. Units with low morale are likely to retreat to their reserves and remain their throughout the battle. Units can only be routed in tactical combat. Long-term morale penalties are represented at the strategic level as subdual damage.
Unit statistics are determined by several factors: their level of training and experience, the quality of the unit's weapons, armor, and equipment, and the unit's cultural or racial background.
Basic unit type
All units must select one of the following basic unit types to represent their basic weapon and formation training:
Archer (Achr): Archers include bowmen, crossbowmen, slingers, javelin men, and other units whose principle training is in coordinated missile attack. Archer units are carefully trained to focus their fire as directed by officers on vital points in advancing lines or to evenly distribute fire throughout the enemy ranks.
Archers are generally equipped with light armor and a simple melee weapon in addition to their missile weapon. Archer units are most effective if they are mobile enough to flank and evade slower, more heavily armed units.
Base unit ratings: +0 melee, +2 missile, 2 hits, move 1, +2 morale, +0.5 GB muster cost.
Special: Archer units gain a +2 bonus to missile attacks against mounted units.
Artillerist (Art): Artillerist units consist of soldiers trained in the use of heavy missile devices and in the construction and use of siege equipment. Artillerists are commonly armed with arbalests, ballista, light catapults, and other slow, cumbersome, but powerful missile artillery weapons. Artillery soldiers are specialists in the use of artillery weapons; they generally wear little armor and are relatively unskilled in hand-to-hand combat. Artillerists are most useful when the can be protected from direct engagement with the enemy by other units, terrain, or prepared fortifications.
Artillerists carry includes tools and soldiers trained in tunneling (sapping) and the construction of heavy siege equipment, including catapults, mangonels, covered rams, scaling ladders, and siege towers. A unit of artillerist provides significant advantages to an army attempting to take a fortification by siege or storm. When attacking with their missile rating, artillerist units have increased range and can ignore any defensive bonus their target would normally receive from fortification or defensive terrain.
Base unit ratings: -2 melee, +4 missile, 2 hits, move 1, +2 morale save, +3 GB muster cost.
Special: Artillerist have a two area missile range in tactical combat and ignore any terrain/fortifications AC bonuses to their target. Artillerists provide a +4 to Warcraft checks made to allow foot units to enter fortified areas under siege/storm.
Cavalry (Cav): Cavalry units include any unit primarily composed of swift animals (Speed 40+) and their riders. Calvary units can charge their opponents to inflict heavy initial damage. A well-timed cavalry charge can smash almost any defense. When charging, cavalry units receive a +2 bonus to their melee attack.
Light cavalrymen wear medium armor and generally fight with spear, crossbow or shortbow, and sword. Heavy cavalry units wear heavy armor and generally fight with a lance, or with a medium martial weapon and shield.
Base unit ratings: +2 melee, +0 missile, 2 hits, move 3, +2 morale save, +2.5 GB muster cost.
Special: Cavalry units gain a +2 attack bonus when charging. A charge is allowed only in the initial round of engagement and only if the cavalry unit has at least one move unused.
Infantry (Inf): Infantry units consist of well-trained, well-equipped foot soldiers. They attack in formation to maximize their offensive potential and defensive capability. Infantry formations are particularly effective in hand-to-hand battle against ill-trained troops or troops poorly equipped for close quarters battle. Infantry units are generally equipped with medium or heavy armor and are armed with martial weapons.
Base unit ratings: +2 melee, no missile, 2 hits, move 1, +2 morale save, +0.5 GB muster cost.
Special: Infantry units gain a +2 melee attack bonus against irregulars and pikes.
Irregular (Irr): Irregulars include volunteers, conscripts, skirmishers, barbarians, marauders, and other soldiers that, regardless of individual skill, lack the cohesive unit training and discipline associated with a regular military unit.
Base unit ratings: +2 melee, +0 missile, 2 hits, move 1, +0 morale save, +0.5 GB muster cost.
Special: Irregular units can be drafted/conscripted. Such units have a training rating of Green unless otherwise noted.
Pikemen (Pike): Pikemen consist of highly trained footman who are equipped with long weapons (such as pikes or spears) and trained to operate in dense formations. Front rank pikemen wield large martial weapons with reach (such as long spears) and a simple weapon (often a short sword) for close range battle. Pikemen often wear light or medium armor.
Base unit ratings: +2 melee, no missile, 2 hits, move 1, +2 morale save, +0.5 GB muster cost.
Special: Hits inflicted by Pike units do damage during the "charge" phase of tactical battle during the first round of an engagement. This attack inflicts double damage against charging units. Pike units gain a +2 attack bonus against mounted units.
The quality of armor and training in its use is a major factor in the mobility and survivability of a unit. Armor provides a defensive bonus, at the cost of mobility and the freedom to effectively wield missile weapons. A unit whose modified missile rating (due to armor) is below +0 loses the ability to make a ranged attack. All units must have one of the following armor ratings:
None: The unit is not provided with armor. Unit modifier: defense 10, muster cost +0 GB.
Light (Lt): The unit is equipped with light armor, such as leather armor. Unit modifier: defense 12, +0.5 GB muster cost.
Medium (Md): The unit is equipped with medium armor, such as chain mail. Unit modifier: defense 14, -2 missile, -1 move, +0.5 GB muster cost.
Heavy (Hv): The unit is equipped with heavy armor, such as half-plate. Unit modifier: defense 16, -4 missile, -2 move, +1.5 GB muster cost. Special: Heavy cavalry units gain an additional +2 attack bonus when charging.
A primary factor in the cost and effectiveness of a unit is the quality of the officers and the training of the its soldiers. All units have one of the following experience ratings:
Green (-): The unit has little or no military training. Unit modifier: +0 morale.
Standard: The unit has standard basic training. Most specialized units are mustered at the standard level. Unit modifier: +2 melee, +2 missile (if any), +1 move, +2 morale, +1 GB muster cost.
Veteran (+): The unit has advanced training or extensive combat experience. Unit modifier: +4 melee, +4 missile (if any), +1 hit, +2 move, +4 morale, +2 GB muster cost.
Some military units are provided with specialized or advanced training in one or more areas. Green units may not take advanced training. Veteran units may have a single area of special training. Elite units may have two areas of special training.
Advanced training (Melee+, Missile+, Def+, Mrl+): Units with advanced training gain a +2 bonus to melee, missile, defense, or morale ratings due to their special training or equipment. Unit modifier: +2 to selected rating, +1 GB muster cost.
Berserk: Berserk units fight with total abandon and disregard for themselves and others. Only Rjurik, Vos, and goblinoid units regularly train Berserks. Unit modifier: +2 melee, -2 defense, +2 morale, +1 GB muster cost.
Special: +2 attack bonus to melee when charging (mounted or afoot).
Magical support: The soldiers have been trained to coordinate their activities with the aid of battle magic, and the unit contains a battle spell wagon with necessary ritual components. This special does not include the costs of arranging for a spellcaster to man the spell wagon. Unit modifier: +1 GB muster cost. Special: An appropriate trained spell caster can cast battle magic to support the unit (see Battle Magic).
Marine: Marine units are seasoned in ship-to-ship combat. Only unmounted, human units may take marine training. Unit modifier: +1 GB muster cost. Special: +2 to melee and defense at sea, move freely through swamp terrain.
Scout: Units with scout training are trained in quickly traverse hostile territory and returning with military intelligence. Scouts are well-versed in stealth and wilderness lore, thus they are often able to move rapidly, even through difficult terrain. Scouts identify hostile units in adjacent provinces (refer to the section on Strategic Movement for details).
Scout units are relatively small and thus have reduced melee and hits ratings. Scout unit combat training focuses on the use of missile weapons, stealth, and mobility. Unit modifier: -2 melee, +2 missile, -1 hit, +1 move, +1 GB muster cost. Special: Foot units in light or no armor may move freely through any terrain.
Shield formation: Units with shield formation training employ large shields and are trained to use overhead shield walls to blunt the impact of offensive missile. Unit modifier: +1 GB muster cost. Special: Units gain a +4 bonus to defense against missile fire. Foot units only.
Toughness: Members of the unit are trained rigorously to increase their endurance and morale. Unit modifier: +1 hit, +2 morale, +1 GB muster cost.
Units by cultural/race
In addition to their basic unit type, a military unit may have one or more cultural modifiers.
Anuirean (An): Anuirean military forces are highly disciplined and form the standard from which the military units of other nations are judged. Anuirean forces generally fight in tight formations and have excellent leadership. Anuirean units consist almost exclusively of well-trained, heavily armored soldiers. The Anuireans are famed primarily for the might of its cavalry, the skill of its officers, and the awesome size of its armies.
Common Anuirean units
|Archers||Lt Achr||+ 2||+ 4||12||2||2||+ 4||2 GB||+2 missile vs. Cav.|
|Calvary, Md||. MdCav||+ 4||---||14||2||3||+ 4||4 GB||+2 charge|
|Engineers||Art||+ 0||+ 6||10||2||1||+ 4||4 GB||Ignore def. terrain, two area missile range|
|Infantry||MdInf||+ 4||---||14||3||1||+ 4||2 GB||+2 melee vs. Irr & Pike|
|Infantry Elite||HvInf||+6||---||16||3||1||+ 6||4 GB||+2 melee vs. Irr & Pike|
|Irregulars||LtIrr||+ 4||+ 2||12||2||2||+ 2||2 GB|
|Marines||LtIrr||+ 4||+ 2||12||2||2||+ 2||3 GB||Marine|
|Knights||HvCav||+6||---||16||3||3||+ 6||6 GB||+4 charge|
|Levies||Irr||+2||---||10||2||1||+ 0||Draft||See special rules for conscripts|
|Pikemen||MdPike||_4||---||14||2||1||+ 4||2 GB||+2 vs. mounted; double damage vs. charge.|
|Scouts||Irr||+ 2||+ 4||12||1||3||+ 4||3 GB||Scout|
Brecht (Br): The Brecht culture has a high regard for individual fighting prowess. Its hot-tempered warriors have little interest in training or fighting in formation. Once a Brecht unit is engaged, the melee often devolves into hundreds of individual duals. Characteristically, heavy armor is scorned by most Brecht warriors in favor of higher personal mobility. Brecht do not field Pikemen.
Common Brecht units
|Archers||LtAchr||+ 2||+ 4||12||2||2||+ 4||2 GB||+2 missile vs. Cav.|
|Artillerists||Art||+ 0||+ 6||10||2||1||+ 4||4 GB||Ignore def. terrain, two area missile range|
|Cavalry||LtCav||+ 4||+2||12||2||4||+ 4||4 GB||+2 charge|
|Infantry||LtInf||+ 4||---||12||2||2||+ 4||2 GB||+2 melee vs. Irr, Pike|
|Infantry, Elite||MdInf||+6||---||14||3||2||+ 6||4 GB||+2 melee vs. Irr, Pike|
|Irregulars||Irr||+ 4||+2||10||2||2||+ 4||2 GB|
|Levies||Irr||+2||+2||10||2||1||+ 0||Draft||See special rules for conscripts|
|Marines||LtInf||+6||+2||12||3||3||+ 6||4 GB||Marine, +2 melee vs. Irr, Pike;
+2 def. vs. missile
|Scouts||Irr||+2||+4||12||1||3||+ 4||3 GB||Scout|
Dwarf (Dw): Dwarven units are always well-trained and well equipped. Their highly organized formations are nearly impossible to penetrate. The slow but inexorable dwarven units are prized as mercenaries. Cerilian dwarves do not field Cavalry and cannot take Marine training.
Special: All dwarven units take advanced training in defense. Dwarven units move through mountain terrain freely. +2 to morale saves involving magical attacks.
Common Dwarven units
|Crossbowmen||MdArch||+4||+ 2||16||3||2||+6||4 GB||Def+, +2 missile vs. Cav., +2 morale vs. magic|
|Guards||HvInf||+6||---||18||3||1||+6||6 GB||Def+, +2 melee vs. Irr & Pike;
+4 def. vs. missile, +2 morale vs. magic
|Homeguard||MdIrr||+4||---||16||2||1||+4||Draft||Def+, See special rules for conscripts, +2 moral vs. magic|
Elf (Elf): Elves are superior archers, and their cavalry are the swiftest and most dangerous in all Cerilia. Elves serve non-elven leaders in only the most unusual circumstances and are never available as mercenaries. All elven must take Scout special training. Due to their long life spans, most elven units consist of veteran warriors. Elves do not field units of levies, pikemen, or artillerists. Elven units do not normally use heavy armor.
Special: All elven units take scout training. Elven units have no limit on the number of special training options that they may take.
Common elven units
|Archers||LtAchr+||+ 2||+ 6||12||2||4||+ 6||4 GB||Scout, +2 missile vs. Cav.|
|Cavalry||LtCav+||+4||+6||14||2||4||+6||8 GB||Scout, Melee+, Missile+, Def.+, +4 charge|
|Knights||MdCav+||+ 4||+ 4||16||3||3||+ 4||10 GB||Scout, Toughness, Melee+, Missile+, & Def.+, +4 charge|
|Homeguard||LtIrr||+2||+ 4||12||1||3||+ 2||Draft||Scout, See special rules for conscripts|
Gnoll (Gn): Bands of fierce, but ill-equipped, gnolls are always ready to fight for gold and loot. Due to their fierceness, Gnoll units are usually veteran units. Gnolls prefer use light armor. Characteristically, gnoll units muster quickly, demand the right to pillage, and have relatively low morale; thus they are treated as mercenaries. Gnoll units may only be Irregulars or Infantry.
Special: +2 morale in home terrain. All gnoll units are mercenaries.
Goblin (Go): Although goblin units are usually undisciplined and poorly equipped, they compensate with sheer numbers and bloodlust. Goblin cavalry forces are generally mounted on wolves or other dangerous beasts.
Tribal goblin units are often available as mercenaries (or feared as marauders) in any area bordering goblin lands. Characteristically, tribal goblin units muster quickly, demand the right to pillage, and have relatively low morale; thus they are treated as mercenaries. Due to their lack of organized training, such units are often Green troops. It should be noted, however, that goblin realms often have disciplined and skilled armies that rival those of any human nation.
Goblins are fierce and warlike; thus, drafted goblin levies are irregulars. Goblins do not field artillerist or pikemen.
Special: Tribal goblin units are mercenaries. Tribal goblins do not pay any increased muster/maintenance cost for being mercenaries.
Common goblin units
|Archers||LtArcher-||+ 0||+ 2||10||2||1||+ 0||1 GB||Merc., +2 missile vs. Cav.|
|Guards||MdIrr||+4||---||14||3||1||+ 0||3 GB||Merc., Toughness|
|Infantry||LtInf-||+2||---||12||2||1||+ 0||1 GB||Merc., +2 melee vs. Cmnr, Irr, Pike; +2 def. vs. missile|
|Skirmishers||LtIrr-||+2||---||12||2||1||-2||Draft||Merc., See special rules for conscripts|
|Wolfriders||LtCav||+ 4||+ 2||12||2||4||+2||4 GB||Merc., +2 charge|
Khinasi (Kh): The lightly armored, swift cavalry strikes of the Khinasi are widely respected throughout Cerilia. Due to the heat of the native terrain, Khinasi military units wear little or no armor, depending on speed, instead depending on mobility to defend them from reprisal following a strike. The Khinasi do not field pikemen.
Common Khinasi units
|Archers||Achr||+2||+4||10||2||2||+4||2 GB||+2 missile vs. Cav.|
|Artillerists||Art||+ 0||+ 6||10||2||1||+4||4 GB||Ignore def. terrain, two area missile range|
|Cavalry, Lt||. LtCav||+ 4||+ 2||12||2||4||+4||4 GB||+2 charge|
|---||14||2||3||+4||4 GB||+2 charge|
|Levies||Irr||---||+2||10||2||1||+0||Draft||See special rules for conscripts|
|Marines||LtInf+||+ 6||+ 2||12||3||3||+6||4 GB||Marine, +2 melee vs. Irr & Pike; +2 def. vs. missile|
|Skirmishers||Irr||+4||+2||10||2||2||+ 2||2 GB|
|Spearman||LtInf||+ 4||---||12||2||2||+4||3 GB||Shield+, +2 melee vs. Cmnr, Irr, Pike; +4 def. vs. missile|
Orog (Or): Both fierce and well-disciplined, Orogs are fearsome opponents. Orogs only field heavily armored, veteran units. Orog cavalry are generally mounted on giant lizards.
Special: Orogs units always take toughness training.
Rjurik (Rj): Rjurik forces are undisciplined but eager to do battle. Bands of unschooled Rjurik tribesmen can form infantry and cavalry forces comparable to any in Cerilia. In their homelands, Rjurik forces are particularly fierce, for the support of the druids provides them with nature, itself, as an ally. The Rjurik cannot field pikemen, artillerists, or heavily armored cavalry. Rjurik commoners are largely skilled woodsmen; thus, drafted Rjurik levies not Green, instead they are considered to be Standard units.
Common Rjurik units
|Archers||LtArchr||+ 2||+ 4||12||2||2||+ 4||2 GB||+2 missile vs. Cav.|
|Battle Ragers||HvInf+||+ 8||---||12||3||2||+ 8||4 GB||Berserk, +2 charge, +2 melee vs. Irr & Pike|
|Cavalry||MdCav||+ 4||---||14||2||4||+4||4 GB||+2 charge|
|Housecarls||MdInf+||+ 6||---||14||3||2||+6||3 GB||+2 melee vs. Irr & Pike|
|Infantry||LtInf||+ 4||---||12||2||2||+ 4||2 GB||+2 melee vs. Irr & Pike|
|Raiders||LtIrr||+ 4||+ 2||12||2||2||+ 2||3 GB||Marine|
|Levies||Irr||+ 4||+ 2||10||2||2||+ 2||Draft||See special rules for conscripts|
|Scouts||LtIrr||+ 2||+4||12||1||3||+ 2||3 GB||Scout|
|Tribesmen||LtIrr||+ 4||+ 2||12||2||2||+ 2||2 GB|
Vos (Vo): In the wastes, every man must be a warrior. Vos warriors are highly skilled, ruthless, and seemingly without fear on the battlefield. Armored in heavy hide and fur and wielding spears, swords, and other massive weapons, the unorganized Vos hordes are easily able to match units of professional soldiers. The primary weakness of the Vos is their lack of organization, their superstitious beliefs, and their tendency to fight among themselves. The Vos cannot field Artillerist units. Vos males are all warriors; thus drafted Vos levies are not Green, instead they are considered to be Standard units.
Special: All Vos units take toughness training.
Common Vos units
|Berserkers||MdIrr+||+ 8||---||12||4||2||+ 6||6 GB||Tough, Berserk, +2 charge|
|Footmen||MdInf||+ 4||---||14||3||1||+ 4||3 GB||Tough, +2 melee vs. Irr & Pike|
|Horsemen||MdCav||+ 4||---||14||3||3||+ 4||5 GB||Tough, +2 charge|
|Raiders||MdIrr||+ 4||---||14||3||1||+ 2||3 GB||Tough|
|Scouts||LtIrr||+2||+4||12||2||2||+ 2||4 GB||Tough, Scout|
|Tribesmen||LtIrr||+ 4||+2||12||3||2||+ 2||Draft||Tough, Must be drafted|
|Varsk Riders||HvCav+||+ 6||---||16||4||3||+6||7 GB||Tough, +4 charge|
|Gnoll Marauders||LtIrr+||+ 6||+ 4||12||3||3||+ 2||5 GB||Merc|
|Orog Lizardriders||HvCav+||+ 6||---||16||4||3||+ 6||7 GB||Tough|
|Ogre Legion||Special||+12||---||16||4||2||+4||8 GB|
|Troll Legion||Special||+ 10||---||16||3||1||_4||6 GB||Heals all damage each war move
|Undead Legion||Special||+ 8||---||- 22||3||1||(+ 6)||---||Fearless (cannot be routed), immune to subdual damage, mustered/maintained by realm spell|
Once a unit has been mustered, it can advance in ability only through training. Training standing units may be the only way to produce veteran units with muster requirements that exceed a regent's power in a province. Adding a special training improvement requires a character action from a character qualified to train the unit. Increasing experience (from Green to Standard, for example) requires battlefield experience or training similar to that required for special training.
A unit undergoing training must be garrisoned in a friendly province for an entire month under the command of its trainer. Units training in garrison are considered active for the purpose of determining maintenance costs. Units are trained by making a successful Lead check and then by paying the necessary difference in muster cost. The DC for the Lead check is 10 + the difference the muster cost of the units + five times the difference between the number of friendly law holdings and unit's new muster cost in GB. The training check is a skill check, not a domain action. Regency points cannot be spent on this check.
For example, a regent wishes to provide special marine training (+1 GB muster cost) to a unit of Anuirean Elite Infantry (muster cost 4 GB) in a province in which they hold a level 4 law holding. It would require a law (5) holding to allow a normal muster marine elite infantry (5 GB). One of the regent's lieutenants is an experienced fighter with several ranks of Profession (Sailor). The trainer must make a Lead check against a DC of 16 (10 + 1 GB + 5 [5 x 1 holding level]) to successfully train the unit.
If successful the difference between the unit's current muster cost and new muster cost must be paid immediately. There are no penalties for failure, save for the expended character action and the increased unit maintenance cost. Training checks can be retried without penalty in following months.
Behind the curtain: How many individuals are in an army unit?
An army unit consists of enough individuals to make a reasonable fighting force in mass combat. The actions of particularly strong individuals or small groups are not represented as a unit; instead they are represented as an adjustment to the unit with which they travel, using a Hero's card (refer to the section on tactical warfare). If it is necessary, for role-playing reasons, to determine the number of individuals in a unit then the following guidelines can be useful.
A military unit has an encounter level (EL) of roughly 14 + half of the unit's muster cost. For example, a unit of standard infantry (muster cost 2 GB) is approximately EL 15. If we assume that the soldiers in the unit are a 1st-level warriors (CR 1), then we can determine that it requires 128 soldiers CR 1 soldiers to create a standard EL 15 unit. Thus, there are approximately 128 soldiers in a standard unit.
Elite units often consist largely of veteran troops and a core contingent of specialized warriors. These forces work together in order attack to maximize the damage to the enemy. Only a small fraction of the individuals in a unit of Anuirean Knights, for example, are actually knights. The majority of the unit consists of light cavalry, retainers, and other support troops that accompany the knight. Likewise, an Ogre unit will generally contain a sizable contingent of goblin support troops. As a rule of thumb, the specialized troops should make no more than 50% (base EL - 2) of the overall unit strength. A unit of Varsk riders (EL 18) might consist of both mounted varsk riders (CR 5) and mounted support personal (CR 2). This unit might contain approximately 50 mounted varsk riders (EL 16) and 100 support personal (EL 16) for a total encounter level of 18.
Naval units consist of a single vessel and its crew. Most regions have three common ships: a light trader, a light warship, and a heavy warship. Warships generally act as merchantmen during peacetime.
Caravel: The caravel is a two-masted, square-rigged light warship, with raised fore and stern castles armed with light catapults capable of firing shot and pitch.
Coaster: The standard Anuirean light trader, this is a fast single-masted trading and fishing ship rigged fore and aft with triangular lateen sails. Coasters serve as scouts and couriers in wartime. Coasters are fitted with arbalests that are primarily useful for sniping enemy sailors and officers.
Cog: This two-masted, square-rigged heavy warship resembles a caravel but has a broader beam. It is slow, but seaworthy. The cog has raised fore and stern castles armed with light catapults capable of firing shot and pitch. The cog has a waterline-mounted ram, but this weapon is difficult to use due to the cog's lack of maneuverability.
Dhoura: The dhoura is the standard Khinasi light warship and merchantman. It resembles a dhow, but is triple-masted and has a raised afterdeck. The afterdeck houses a light catapult.
Dhow: The dhow is a single-masted lateen-rigged light trader. The dhow is the common Khinasi boat for fishing and light trade. Dhows serve as scouts and couriers in wartime and are fitted with arbalests that are primarily useful for sniping enemy sailors and officers.
Drakkar: The open drakkar is the favored warship of the Vos. It is heavy version of the longship and features banks of mighty oars. This warship has a single mast with a square-rigged sail, but sails poorly as it is primarily designed for rowing speed in battle.
Galleon: Galleons are great three-masted warships with forecastles and sterncastles three or four decks high. Galleons are difficult to damage using weapons of war, but their rigid construction and high center of gravity makes them far less sea worthy than many smaller ships. Galleons are armed with a massive ram and heavy catapults capable of firing shot or pitch.
Keelboat: Keelboats are small (50 - 70ft) flat-bottomed, single-masted boats primarily designed for use on rivers and other shallow areas. They are used primarily as small fishing or trading vessels. Due to their shallow draft, keelboats can move safely along rivers by both day and night, but they are not highly sea-worth and rarely leave sight of land.
Knarr: The knarr is a heavy version of the Rjurik longship. In addition to its ram, the knarr is mounted with arbalests and shot ballista.
Longship: For more than a thousand years, fishing villages have feared the raiders of the Rjurik longships. These clinker-built open boats are designed to be reasonably effective sailing vessels without sacrificing the ship's maneuverability when rowing in battle. Longships have only a single deck, and do not use a rudder; they are piloted by the use of an oversized oar on each side of the boat's stern. Longships use their waterline mounted rams and quick darting speed to exceptional effect in naval battle.
Roundship: The Brecht roundships are the most sea-worthy vessels in Cerilia. Roundships are broad-beamed cargo vessels with three masts and square rigging. Although primarily designed for trade, they are effective heavy warships. They have several decks and forecastles armed with heavy catapults capable of firing shot or pitch. However, roundships have poor maneuverability and cannot use a ram effectively. Instead, they often carry a fully complement of marines capable of repelling all but the most resolute boarding parties.
Zebec: This heavy Khinasi warship looks like a dhoura but is longer, slimmer, and faster. Zebecs are designed for a single purpose - war. The zebec has very little cargo space, but is maneuverable and carries heavy catapults fore and aft as well and a devastating ram at the prow.
Managing military assets
Mustering military units
Military units are generally acquired by mustering units. Normal units have a muster cost that measures the cost (in gold bars) necessary to draft recruits, equip the soldiers, train the soldiers to act as a unit, and prepare the unit for war.
A regent must have access to military resources to muster a unit and can muster an army unit in a province only if one of the following mustering conditions are met: (1) the regent controls a law holding in the province equal to or greater than the GB cost of mustering the unit; or, (2) the regent controls a temple or guild holdings in the province equal to or greater than 2 + the muster cost of the unit + levels of opposing law holdings in the province.
The total number of army units mustered in any one province per season may not exceed the province level. Thus, domain initiative may play an important role in determining which regents may muster troops in a given province during any given season. Furthermore, a regent may negotiate the support of other holdings in the province in order to increase their effective holding level for the purpose of meeting the minimum muster requirement. Such negotiation generally requires a successful diplomacy action.
Normal army units have a muster time of during which the unit is trained and outfitted. The muster time for a normal unit is one month. Mustered army units become available in first war move of the month following the muster action. While mustering, a unit cannot move. If a unit is attacked while mustering, it begins the fight staggered (with subdual damage equal to its maximum normal hits).
Only coastal provinces with a shipyard (a domain asset) can construct a warship. Naval units are built using the Build domain action. The maximum size of a ship that can be built is limited by the size of the province's shipyard. Naval units cannot be build without shipyards. Refer to Chapter Five for details on Shipyards and construction times using the Build domain action. While being built, naval units are immune from naval attack, but can be destroyed by any hostile force occupying the province.
Fielding a standing army or naval fleet is a privilege that landed regents jealously guard. Although a non-landed regent may have the resources to field an army, the province regent may see doing so as a prelude to insurrection. A wise regent will gain the permission of the province ruler before attempting to muster military units.
Variant: Building musters
Under the building musters variant rule, the mustering time of a military unit is determined by the unit's cost. A province has a fixed capacity for hiring, equipping, and training soldiers. The total cost of a group of units to be mustered in a province represents the total amount of resources necessary to train and equip the troops.
Under this variant, mustering an army proceeds at the monthly rate of 1 GB per law holding level (or guild/temple holding level - 2) constructing the muster. Likewise, mustering a naval unit proceeds at the monthly rate of 1 GB per guild holding level (or law/temple holding level -2) constructing the muster.
For example, in a regent decides that he needs muster two units of Knights (6 GB muster cost, each). He uses a law (3) in a province (4/1) to muster the troops, and thus can only build 3 GB worth of muster per month. One unit of Knights is mustered after two months, and the second unit is mustered after a total of four months.
Maintaining military units
Once a unit has finished mustering, it requires regular support for payroll, food, lodging, replacement equipment, fodder, and the other numerous costs associated with maintaining a standing army. Each military unit has military maintenance costs that measured in gold bars per month. This cost covers all normal military expenses, including those related to unit movement.
The cost required to maintain an army depends on its location. The soldiers of each unit are most easily supported in the province in which they are normally garrisoned. A unit's initial home province is the province in which it was mustered. If it remains in any friendly province for two seasons, then the new province becomes its home province. A garrisoned army unit incurs maintenance expenses equal to its initial muster cost each year. A garrisoned naval unit incurs expenses equal to its muster cost every four years. To simplify bookkeeping, unit expenses are tracked seasonally.
A unit is considered to be active if it leaves its home province or if its home province contains potentially hostile forces. Active units incur double the maintenance expenses of units garrisoned in their home province. Table 6-3 presents unit maintenance as a fraction of unit muster cost.
Military maintenance cost
|Army unit, active||x 2||x 1/2|
|Army unit, in garrison||x 1||x 1/4|
|Naval unit, active||x 1/4||x 1/12|
|Naval unit, in port||x 1/8||x 1/24|
Common maintenance costs per season
|Unit||Active Cost||Garrison Cost|
|Army units with 2 GB muster cost:|
|Archers, Infantry, Irregulars, Pikeman||1 GB||1/2 GB|
|Army units with 3 GB muster cost:|
|Marines, Scouts||1 1/2 GB||3/4 GB|
|Army units with 4 GB muster cost:|
|Calvary, Engineers, Elite Infantry||2 GB||1 GB|
|Army units with 6 GB muster cost:||3 GB||1 1/2 GB|
Failing to maintain units
Military expenses are paid at the end of each season (when taxes are collected). Any normal army unit that is not maintained takes two subdual hits (half damage on a successful morale save against DC 15). The commanding regent may spend regency points to modify this morale save. This damage cannot be healed until the unit maintenance debt is paid in full.
There are dozens of military companies that owe allegiance not to a landed regent, but to gold, glory, and steel. Some of the most successful of companies consist of permanent units. However, most such companies are effectively disbanded between conflicts. The captain retains only a cadre of officers and professionals until a new war contract can be obtained. Then, after obtaining a war contract, they recruit, train, and build their forces anew.
Great mercenary captains may have highly trained and widely renowned forces serving beneath them. These captains can demand extravagant salaries for their services. Mercenary musters can be of any unit type (Anuirean Knights, Vos Varsk riders, Khinasi Light Calvary, etc.). However, mercenaries companies (and the units of some non-human races, such as goblins) differ from standard units in several important respects.
Mercenary companies often accept soldiers that would not be deemed suitable for the standing army of a realm. These men may include bandits, convicts from forced labor camps, and many other undesirables. Sometimes mercenaries, whose war contracts call for the furnishing of a certain number of armed men, have little choice but to impress some reluctant fellows, so that their obligatory quotas are met. More than one fellow has sworn an oath of allegiance with a sword to his throat. Of course, the majority joins their captains voluntarily.
In most mercenary companies there are no uniforms or issuance of standard equipment. Mercenary recruiters, with their higher payroll, can afford to hire veteran soldiers that own (and know how to use) their own weapons. Unlike eager lads just in from the farm, these experienced (if not always loyal) soldiers are immediately ready to make war.
Mercenary units have two primary advantages over normal units: (1) Mercenary units muster rapidly. They are available for battle immediately and may move and fight during the month in which they are mustered. (2) Mercenary units have no muster requirements and can be mustered (if available) by any character in any friendly province. Although a regent cannot muster a unit of mercenaries in a hostile province, any regent can muster mercenary units in any province in which they are not considered immediately hostile. The type of mercenary units available must be determined by the DM; it would be unlikely, for example, to find a unit of mercenary Vos varskriders in southern Anuire.
Mercenary units have several drawbacks. Mercenary units desert immediately if not paid. The maintenance cost for mercenary units must be paid each season. Mercenary units that are not maintained will immediately desert.
Mercenary units expect the right to loot and pillage following a successful battle in enemy territory. The morale of a mercenary unit increases by +2 in any season in which they are allowed to pillage a province. Denying mercenary units this privilege after a successful battle abroad can be difficult even for experienced mercenary captains. If a mercenary unit is denied the right to pillage a hostile province, the unit must make an immediate morale save against a DC 10. If this check fails, the unit disbands.
Mercenaries may also desert under unfavorable circumstances, such as participating in a loosing battle. A mercenary unit on the loosing side of a tactical battle will disband unless it makes a morale save against a DC 10 + number of friendly units destroyed in the battle.
When a mercenary unit deserts or disbands under unfavorable circumstances (lack of prompt maintenance payment, denial of right of pillage, etc.) then the unit becomes self-controlled. A self-controlled unit may turn to brigandage (pillaging nearby provinces), make itself available for hire to opposing forces, or otherwise act without the consent of its previous regent.
Unit modifiers: -2 morale penalty, double muster/maintenance cost.
Specials: Often disbands under unfavorable circumstances (as listed above).
Peasants and other common-folk may answer their liege's call to arms as part of their feudal duty or in defiance to a common enemy. Only a province ruler can call a draft. Such a call to arms may affect province loyalty.
Units listed with the special ability draft represent units made up of the common-folk of a region. When a draft is called, a province produces (at no cost to the regent) a number of regionally conscript units equal to the province level. Thus, a draft in an Anuirean province (4/1) produces 4 units of levies.
Although there is no normal muster or maintenance cost for drafted units, drafting common-folk can have a significant impact on a realm's economy. Since militia units or levies are composed of people who have other jobs, raising militia applies a -1 penalty to the province's level for most purposes. The province can still be ruled (using its true value) and the maximum level of holdings within the province are not decreased, but the province is treated as being effectively on level lower for most other purposes. This penalty to effective province level cannot be removed until after all drafted units are disbanded or destroyed. If all drafted units are disbanded in their home province, the province level returns to normal in one month. This recovery takes an additional month per drafted unit that was destroyed or disbanded outside of the province.
Variant: Tribal units
Province level provides a rough measure of the number of civilized individuals in a region. Many provinces, however, have entire peoples or cultures that pay heed to no lord. These tribes are often nomadic and almost always highly mobile and able to defend themselves well. Such native populaces can be represented as military units. These tribal units include human barbarians (most common among the Rjurik and Vos), as well as war-bands of scavenging gnolls, tribes of hunter-gather goblins, and other "free" peoples of Cerilia.
Hunting, herding, or scavenging provides the maintenance costs for self-controlled tribal units. A province can support tribal maintenance costs equal to the maximum source potential of the province. For example, a province (1/4) could provide virtual support of 4 GB per season. Tribal units are always considered to be active for the purpose of determining maintenance cost. If a province contains more native tribes than it can support, the members of the some tribes will starve (use normal penalties for unpaid maintenance).
If the province has excess capacity to support tribal units, then the tribal units may multiply. A province can produce units a virtual "muster" of units each year equal to the average excess capacity for tribal support. For example, if a province (1/4) has one unit of horse nomads (as cavalry with muster cost 4, and a yearly maintenance cost of 2) has an excess capacity of 2 GB per year. Over a period of two years, the province could provide enough resources to generate a second unit of horse nomads.
Note that tribal units represent significant gatherings of nomadic peoples into large bands. Smaller bands of such peoples are even more numerous, but are not significant at the unit level.
Variant: Renowned units
Every realm with a standing army has at most one unit that is considered to consist of the finest warriors that the realm has to offer. Young warriors vie for the right to join this unit and the best officers of the realm vie for the honor of being in its command. Such units are known as "renowned units" and each bears a special name (such as the Iron Guard of Ghoere).
A realm's renowned unit is considered to be in its "home province" in every province of its nation. Thus, unless the unit engages in battle, it is considered to be in garrison (and subject to a reduced maintenance costs) anywhere within its realm. Although a realm may have multiple named units, it may only have one unit that gains this bonus.
Military domain assets
Provinces and law, guild, or temple holdings have goods, buildings and personnel that are critical to the power base that they represent. Without protection, these critical assets are vulnerable to occupation or destruction by military forces. Fortifications make a province or holding more difficult to attack. Fortifications are built using the fortify domain action. There are two types of fortifications: fortified holdings and province fortifications.
A fortified holding makes one holding resistant to destruction. Fortified holdings might be defensible monasteries or cathedrals, walled warehouses, or hidden bandit strongholds. A fortified holding remains under a regent's control even if hostile forces occupy the province in which it lies. Normal (unfortified) holdings may be razed when an attacker chooses to occupy a province, but fortified holdings remain until taken by siege or storm. Fortified holdings are rated by level, just like holdings. The level of a fortified holding cannot exceed the level of the holding it protects. The fortification only protects holding levels equal to its rating, any holding level which exceed the fortification are subject to destruction. Fortifications have a maintenance cost equal to a holding of the same level. Thus, a fully fortified holding has double the maintenance cost of a normal (unfortified) holding.
A province fortification represents a castle and a system of walled towns, armories, and other military buildings can provide some level of protection throughout the entire province. The overall strength of a province fortification is represented by its level. A province fortification can be built up to level 10, regardless of the level of the province. A province fortification has a maintenance cost equal to a province of the same level. Thus a fully fortified province has double the maintenance cost of an unfortified province.
Hostile forces cannot move through a fortified province without neutralizing the province fortifications (see Strategic movement). Province fortifications can protect a number of law, temple, and guild holding levels equal to the level of the province fortification; the province ruler decides which holdings they wish to protect. Province fortifications are dependent upon a castle that acts as the province stronghold; if the castle is taken then all benefits of the province fortification are lost.
Highways and bridges
Even in fairly prosperous provinces, most roads are simple single-lane dirt trails. While these roads are sufficient to allow the transport of farmer's goods to the local market, more carefully constructed paved highways, realm-sponsored inns, and permanent military encampments are required to support major overland trade routes or to facilitate the expeditious movement of military units. Likewise bridges must be built over major rivers in order to allow trade routes or quick military travel between provinces. Military/trade highways and bridges are domain assets that are constructed using the Build domain action. The construction of a highways costs double the province's terrain movement cost (see Table 6-4) in gold bars. Once complete, a highway has a yearly maintenance cost of half this amount (i.e. equal to the province's terrain movement cost). If the maintenance cost is not paid each spring, then the road falls into disrepair and ceases to provide movement or trade benefits.
Among the most important assets that a domain can possess are strong alliances forged with other regents whose interests are similar to those of the domain. Alliances are generally forged using the domain action diplomacy or over the course of other character actions. There are five possible levels of military alliance between realms. Note that states of military alliance are distinct from the realm's diplomatic attitudes. Two realms may be hostile towards each other, but be forced into non-aggression by a tradition, conquest, or common interest. Likewise, two realms that are friendly towards each other may find themselves at war due to conflicting military alliances or other factors.
At war: Realms are officially at war whenever either side makes a public proclamation to that effect. Declaring war requires the use of the domain action decree. Realms that are officially at war may agree to certain terms of warfare that may limit the field of battle, the role of peasants and other non-combatants, and the periodic exchange of prisoners. Negotiating terms of war requires a diplomacy action (usually during the domain action in which war is decreed). You may move military units into a realm with which you are at war using a free move troops domain actions. Moving troops into a realm with which you are at war is a free action. Traveling with an army on the move is a character action.
No alliance: This represents the default state of affairs between most realms. The realms generally respect each other's borders. Although border raiding may occur, a state of war does not officially exist between the realms. The orders, checks, counter-checks and political finagling that must be satisfied to have a military force move into a neutral realm takes a standard move troops domain action. The regent may or may not travel with the troops, at his discretion.
Non-aggression pact: This level of alliance represents an official, documented declaration of non-aggression between two realm. Generally, military forces of each realm are legally prohibited from crossing into the other's realms under penalty of an instant state of war. Only the most chaotic of forces will follow any order to violate this pact. The orders, checks, counter-checks and political finagling that must be satisfied to have a military force move into a neutral realm takes a standard move troops domain action. The regent may or may not travel with the troops, at his discretion.
Military alliance: This represents an official, documented declaration state of alliance between two realms. Declaring a military alliance requires a successful standard diplomacy action followed by a decree action. Military forces from allied realms may move (as a free action) or garrison in either realm in the same manner than they can in the realm of their regent. A military alliance does not necessarily guarantee coordination in the military actions of the realms, but it is often the case that two allied realms will aid each other when either is threatened.
Full vassalage: This represents an official relatively permanent state of alliance between two realms. Declaring vassalage requires the same diplomacy and decree actions required for a military alliance along with a public investiture to seal the oath of fealty. The vassal liege is expected to defend the borders of the vassal realm as if it were his own. In return, the vassal subject is expected to provide military support by loaning troops to the vassal lord as requested and to pay possible tribute (in the form of gold bars and regency points) to support the liege and his military actions.
If I am able to determine the enemy's dispositions while, at the same time, I conceal my own, then I can concentrate my forces and his must be divided. And if I concentrate while he divides, I can use my entire strength to attack a fraction of his. Therefore, I will be numerically superior.
The enemy must not know where I intend to give battle. For if he does not know where I intend to give battle, he must prepare in a great many places. Numerical weakness comes from having to guard against possible attacks; numerical strength from forcing the enemy to make these preparations against us. - The Art of War
At the strategic level, warfare is broken up in to war moves each lasting approximately one week. During each war move, every regent gets to move troops. After troops have been moved, battles are resolved in areas that have opposing forces. Like character combat, warfare is cyclical - everybody acts in turn in a regular cycle. In domain-level play, war moves are resolved one month (four war moves) at a time, before any domain actions for the month are resolved. Each war move consists of the following phases:
1. Military intelligence: The DM determines which military units are visible to each regent.
2. Strategic movement: Each regent moves his or her troops, in domain initiative order.
3. Strategic adjustment: Hostile regents vie for the opportunity to respond to strategic movement.
4. Battle resolution: After all movement is completed, battles are resolved in all provinces containing opposing forces.
5. Repeat: A new war move begins (repeat, starting from step 1) until all four war moves for the month are resolved.
Sound military intelligence is absolutely crucial to a military campaign. A regent is almost always aware of the location of his own units, but is not necessarily aware of the current location of opposing forces. A regent attempting to determine the location of enemy troops (the viewing regent) must rely on information retrieved through his agents, or the agents of his trusted allies - other sources are likely to be out of date, misleading, or possibly even planted as part of an active campaign of deception and counter-intelligence.
An army unit is considered to be visible to the viewing regent if the province in which the hostile unit is located satisfies one of the following conditions:
1. The province is claimed by the viewing regent (via investiture or occupation).
2. The viewing regent has a military unit in the province.
3. The viewing regent has a unit of scouts in an adjacent province.
If an army unit becomes visible when entering a province, the viewing regent is aware from which province the unit entered. Furthermore, the regent is aware of which adjacent province a visible unit moves into should it move out of visibility. The viewing regent is aware of the general type (footmen, horsemen, humans, goblins, etc.) of any visible unit. A unit of scouts provides the exact unit type (Anuirean Elite Infantry, Mercenary Goblin Calvary, etc.) and the normal unit statistics for all units in its current province.
The disposition of units in provinces for which the viewing regent lacks visibility is far more difficult to obtain. Military intelligence is obtainable by spies (via the espionage domain action), magic (via the scry realm spell), diplomacy, or the actions of player characters (via character actions).
A naval unit is visible to if the viewing regent only if the viewing regent has a naval unit in the same maritime area.
The regents' regular domain initiatives determine the order in which they act during the war move. A regent's domain initiative is used for every war move of the entire season (12 war moves). The war move is an abstract period of time appropriate to the scale of the strategic situation. A war move corresponds to approximately one week and the distances moved during each week are measured in provinces (on land) or maritime areas (at sea). Terrain, the existence of roads or highways, the unit type, and the weather affect the number of movement points required to advance through a province. Each unit has a move statistic measured in movement points per war turn. A unit spends it movement points during the war move to advance through provinces.
An army unit's movement rate assumes that the unit is scouting for ambushes, foraging for supplies, carrying tools and military equipment necessary for a unit on the march, and building temporary fortifications for encampment each night. When traveling along major highways in friendly provinces, the unit can travel more lightly and spends less time foraging, thus increasing the number of provinces it can traverse. Conversely, difficult terrain may decrease the number of provinces that an army can traverse per week.
The number of movement points required to advance through a province are listed by terrain type in Table 6-5. These movement rates include all normal overhead, including time spent scouting, foraging for supplies, and building temporary fortifications for encampment each night.
Travel is quickest on major highways in friendly provinces. Paved military/trade highways are engineered to allow for the quick passage of military forces and laden wagons. Highways are domain assets constructed using the build domain action. Such highways have fortified inns or semi-permanent camps, regular supply depots, and other amenities that allow friendly units to travel at an increased rate. Hostile units do not receive any advantage in a province that has highways as taking the minor fortifications that protect the resources of the highway by force is more time consuming than traveling on less well-defended roads.
Movement point costs by terrain
|Plains, Steppe, Scrub||1||1||0.5|
|Major river crossing see below||see below||+ 1 MP||+ 0 MP|
Most provinces do not have highways, but almost all civilized provinces have systems of minor roadways, most of which are simple single-land dirt tracks wide enough for a wagon or carriage. All provinces of level 3 or higher are assumed to have normal roads. Provinces of level 2 are considered trackless for purposes of military movement; the few paths that may exist in the province provide no major benefit to an advancing army.
Some units (such as scouts) have the ability to pass freely through some terrains. A unit that can pass freely through a trackless terrain may use the movement point costs as if the province had roads.
Any river that is significant enough to be drawn on the atlas map is considered a major river. Depending on the level of roads within the province, there may be a movement cost associated with passing between any two provinces that have a major river separating them. If either province lacks roads, then no standing ford or bridge exists between the provinces. In this case the army must spend an entire war move constructing rafts, building bridges, and/or floating its wagons across the river. The movement cost to cross a river without a bridge or ford is equal to each units' full movement rating + 1; thus it always takes at least one full war move to cross a wild river. If both provinces have normal roads then the cost to cross a river is 1 MP. This crossing makes uses of existing fords, minor bridges, ferries, and other existing means of crossing the river used by normal travelers. There is no additional cost to cross a river spanned by a military/trade bridge constructed using the build domain action.
The movement point cost of a naval travel is indicated on the maritime map. Most naval vessels are a deep draft, and thus can traverse only the largest rivers. Light ships may move down a major river traveling from one province directly to an adjacent province on the same river. River movements down river cost 1 MP per adjacent province traveled. Travel upriver costs 2 MP per adjacent province traveled. Keelboats can traverse minor rivers and lakes.
Weather conditions have a significant effect upon the movement of large bodies of armed troops. Prior to each war move, the Dungeon Master can determine the primary weather conditions that dominate the week using Table 3-19: Random Weather, in the Dungeon Master's Guide. Weather conditions effect strategic movement as follows:
Normal weather (01-70): Unit movement is unmodified in normal temperatures.
Abnormal weather (71-80): Abnormally harsh weather is cause for caution. Units cannot perform a forced march during abnormal weather. Units that expend more than half of their movement points receive subdual hit. This penalty is doubled in cold (winter) temperatures. Naval units: Movement rates are at 3/4 normal speed at sea. In cold weather, naval units must make a morale save against DC 5 or receive a hit.
Inclement weather (81-90): Fog and muddy roads caused by rain, sleet, and deep snow make travel difficult and slow. Units that travel in inclement weather must make a morale save against DC 5 (DC 10 in cold weather) or receive a subdual hit. Normal roads become next to useless in inclement weather - units traveling through provinces that do not have paved highways must move using the movement point cost appropriate for trackless terrain. Travel is difficult and visibility - units are only visible to the viewing regent if A) they are in a province claimed by the viewing regent and the regent has a military unit in the province, or B) a unit of scouts is in the province with the hostile units. Naval units: Hostile naval units are always invisible in inclement weather. Movement rates are halved at sea. In cold weather, naval units must make a morale save against DC 10 or receive a hit.
Storm (91-99): Military travel is impossible. All ungarisioned units must make a morale save against a DC 10 (DC 15 in cold weather) or receive one hit of subdual damage. Hostile units are not visible. Naval units: Hostile naval units are always invisible during stormy weather. Units in coastal areas may put into port immediately. Naval units not in port must make a morale save against a DC 10 (DC 15 during winter) receive a hit. Naval units that do not put into port are forced move their full movement rate in a randomly determined direction. If the unit moves into a coastal province, it must make a morale save against a DC 10 (DC 15 during winter) or run aground and be destroyed.
Powerful storm (100): Travel is impossible. All ungarisioned units receive one hit. Hostile units are not visible. Naval units: Hostile naval units are always invisible during stormy weather. Naval units take an automatic hit and must make a morale save against a DC 10 (15 during winter) or founder and be destroyed. Naval units move twice their full movement rate in a randomly determined direction. If they move into a coastal province, they must make a morale save against a DC 15 (DC 20 during winter) or run aground and be destroyed.
In a normal day's march, an army unit spends approximately four hours on the move. It takes approximately two daylight hours for an army to wake, break camp, and prepare for the march. After the four hour mark, it takes approximately two hours for soldiers to make camp, construct temporary fortifications, and scout the area. The remaining four hours of daylight are generally spent foraging for food and firewood, in drill, or at ease.
In extremis, a military commander can order their troops to advance for 8 hours a day. A unit that performs a forced march doubles its movement rate for the war move. This is a grueling pace for military unit in full battle dress. Each unit must also make a morale save against a DC 10 or receive one subdual hit. Units receive a +2 circumstance bonus to this morale save in peace-time due to the aid in provisioning and lodging received from local citizens.
Placing units in garrison
Any unit that remains its home province and that does not move or fight for all four war moves is considered to be in garrison. Units must be in garrison in order to train (see improving units), heal damage (see combat basics).
Sailing deep ocean areas
The sailing movement rating of naval units assumes that the vessel hugs the coast and puts into port during night-time hours. Deep ocean-going vessels can sail at double this rate when at deep sea, but traveling far from land adds the risk of being far from port in dangerous conditions.
Encountering hostile forces or fortifications
A visible unit cannot move through a province that contains hostile units without engaging them in battle. If a unit enters a province and finds that it contains hostile units, it may either stay and fight or (if its movement rating allows) retreat back to the province from which it came.
Similarly, an army cannot easily pass through a fortified province. In order to pass through a fortified province, the province's fortifications must be neutralized or conquered. A province's fortifications can be neutralized by putting them under siege. It requires one unit per fortification level to neutralize a province's fortifications. For each season of continuous siege, a province's fortification level is permanently reduced one level. An attacker can also choose to attempt to take a province's castle by storm. Details on taking a fortification by storm are presented in the section on tactical warfare.
Once all regents have moved their units for the war move, opposing regents may vie for a strategic advantage. All regents (or their designated lieutenant generals) make an opposed Warcraft check. In reverse order (i.e. from the lowest check total to the highest), each regent may complete his or her strategic movement by making a final adjustment. Each regent may move any units that have movement points unspent, subject to the following conditions:
1. A regent may not move troops into a province that contains hostile units belonging to a regent with a higher Warcraft check total.
2. A regent may not move troops away from a province that contains hostile units belonging to a regent with a higher Warcraft check total.
Battles take place when either of two hostile forces occupying a province wishes to engage the other. Battles resulting from a war move are resolved, one at a time, at the end of the same war move. Such conflicts can be resolved in any order desired. Battles can be resolved in several ways: DM fiat, role-playing, quick resolution battle, or tactical battle using war cards.
Tactical battle: The recommended system for resolving tactical battle is the use of War Cards, as described in the next section.
DM Fiat: If the DM has good reason to judge a winning side and the losses taken by each side, he may do so. However, this should generally be done only for minor battles, battles consisting entirely of NPC forces, or for the purposes of plot advancement.
Role-playing: Although challenging, a dedicated DM could conceivably run a sequence of combats to help determine the outcome of a major battle. In practice, this system works best when combined with the tactical battle rules to help determine the combat in which the players take part.
Quick battle resolution: Although tactical war card battle provides an excellent storytelling mechanic, it is sometimes necessary to determine a rough outcome of a battle more simply. The quick battle resolution system provides a mechanic towards this end.
During each quick tactical round, determine the average attack and defense of each army. During the first round only, each unit may use their charge, melee, or missile rating for determining the average attack bonus of the army. During the subsequent rounds, all units must use their melee rating for determining the average attack bonus of the army. Tactical modifiers due to terrain, weather, visibility, and fortifications (refer to the section on tactical warfare) can be applied to these averages to increase the fidelity of the quick resolution at the cost of slowing down the calculation.
After calculating these averages, each army calculates the damage inflicted to the enemy. The number of hits inflicted to the enemy is calculated using the following formula: Total hits inflicted = 0.05 x (11 + average attack bonus for the attacking army - average defense of target army) x the total number of units in the attacking army.
Each side calculates the number of total number of hits that they inflict to the other side. All fractions should be dropped and the minimum damage inflicted is always 1 hit. Each side distributes the damage to their armies and removes any units which are destroyed (0 hits remaining). New average attack and defenses bonuses are then calculated for each army, and this process repeats until one army is destroyed or until either army chooses to withdraw. A withdrawing army may retreat into any adjacent friendly province that contains no hostile forces. If no such province exists, the army may not retreat. Retreating units are subject to standard movement restrictions, if they do not have sufficient movement remaining to retreat, then they must perform a forced march or be left behind.
After battle, armies will often wish to remain in the embattled province to enjoy the fruits of victory. A defenseless province can be occupied and then pillaged or invested. A province is defenseless only if its province fortifications are neutralized and if there are no defending forces attempting to battle the occupying forces in the province.
Occupation: In order to occupy a province, units must spend four war moves stationary and unopposed in the province. If a unit moves, or is involved in any battle, it may not occupy or pillage the province.
An occupied province is considered to be under martial law and generated no regency and reduced income for its regent. Furthermore, holdings within the province may be destroyed by the occupying forces. Refer to the Occupy Province domain action in Chapter Five for specific details.
Pillaging: Pillaging a province produces immediate loot, but permanently reduces the province level by one. Each pillaging unit gathers 1 GB for the pillaging regent up to a maximum equal to the seasonal taxation for the province (at severe taxation). An occupied province can be pillaged once per month until its level falls to zero.
A province's holdings can be pillaged to generate 1 GB per holding level destroyed. Each pillaging unit may automatically destroy one level of an unfortified temple, law, or guild holding each month. Source holdings cannot be pillaged.
Investiture: An occupied province can be invested only if all province fortifications have been destroyed. Investiture of a province usually requires an official ceremony of investiture performed by a recognized head of church. Refer to investiture in Chapter Five: Ruling a domain.
In tumult and uproar, the battle seems chaotic, but there must be no disorder in one's own troops. The battlefield may seem in confusion and chaos, but one's array must be in good order. One who is skilled at making the enemy move does so by creating a situation, according to which the enemy will act. He entices the enemy with something he is certain to want. He keeps the enemy on the move by holding out bait and then attacks him with picked troops. - The Art of War
Tactical warfare is resolved using a battle area divided into three lines (from the perspective of each player, these lines are the friendly line, neutral ground, and the enemy line) and two reserves (the friendly reserve and the enemy reserve). Each line consists of five areas (spaces where War Cards representing units are laid): right flank, right center, center, left center, and left flank. Thus, the tactical battlefield is divided into 15 areas and two reserves. The friendly and enemy reserves are considered to be adjacent to all areas on the friendly and enemy lines, respectively. Any number of units can be placed in the reserves, but each side may only place one military unit per area. An area can contain at most two units, one from each army; this indicates that the units are engaged in combat.
The first step in playing out a tactical battle is to determine the initial battle conditions. The following battlefield factors must be determined before battle can commence: 1) Terrain, 2) Weather, 3) Visibility, 4) Fortifications, and 5) Initial unit placement.
Tactical effects of terrain
One of the most important factors in warfare is the nature of the terrain. A unit of knights is a force to be feared in the open plains, but is relatively weak if engaged in a bog. In general, armies tend to meet on open battlefields. All provinces, no matter how wild, have large open sites that are suitable for war. However, each province also has a major terrain type (plains, mountains, swamp, forest, etc) and optional minor terrain types (determined by the DM) in which either general may attempt to force the battle. Both generals must select a terrain. If both sides agree, then the battle takes place in that terrain. Otherwise, the generals of each army must attempt to manipulate the other into meeting on their terms.
The generals of the opposing armies may make an opposed Warcraft check to determine which general is better able to force the site of the battle. A general fighting in his home realm receives a +4 bonus on this check. A general that is attempting to force the battle to an open terrain receives a +2 bonus to his Warcraft check. A general that is attempting to force the battle into a minor terrain of the province receives a -4 penalty to their Warcraft check. In the case of a tie, the armies meet in the open.
The terrain type of the battlefield affects all units in every area of the field. Units (such as Scouts) that have the special ability to "move freely" are not affected by terrain movement penalties, but are subject to terrain combat penalties. Potential battlefield terrains include:
Open: This terrain represents plains, scrub, or any other terrain in which movement is relatively free and unrestricted. The open terrain is considered the default battlefield and provides no adjustments to tactical combat. Movement: No effect. Combat: No effect.
Forest: This terrain can be used for any area forested enough to interfere with visibility and mobility. Movement: Mounted units have a maximum movement of 1. Combat: No units can make charge attacks. All missile attacks suffer a -4 penalty to their attack rolls.
Jungle: This terrain can be used for any area with dense, constricting undergrowth. Movement: All units have a maximum movement of 1. Combat: No units can charge or make missile attacks.
Swamp: This terrain can be used for any battlefield with exceptionally poor or dangerous footings, such as a bog, tundra, an ice field, or a sandy desert. Movement: All units have a maximum movement of 1. Combat: No units can charge. Mounted units suffer a -2 penalty to their Defense and Melee attacks.
Hills: This terrain can be used to represent any battlefield with areas that provide advantages to the first unit to occupy the area. Movement: No effect. Combat: Units moving into an area occupied by hostile forces cannot charge. The preexisting units are may charge the engaging unit normally. A unit stationed in an area has a +2 to defense and all attack rolls during the first round of the engagement against a unit moving into the area. These bonuses do not apply against Dwarven units.
Mountain/Cliff: This terrain can be used to represent a battlefield with highly defensible passes that are difficult to attack. Movement: Mounted units have a maximum movement of 1. Combat: No units can charge. Missile fire from adjacent areas is impossible. The unit first stationed in an area has a +2 to defense and all attack rolls against a unit that engages them in the area. These bonuses do not apply against Dwarven units.
Deep water: This terrain represents a naval battlefield in which movement is unrestricted. Deep water is considered the default terrain for naval battles and provides no adjustments to tactical combat. Movement: No effect. Combat: No effect.
Shallow water: This terrain represents coastline, rivers, shoals, or any other area that might restrict the movement of large naval units. Movement: No effect. Combat: Units cannot charge. Heavy naval units suffer a -2 penalty to defense and all attack rolls.
Tactical effects of weather
Inclement weather can have a major impact upon an armed conflict. The battlefield is affected by the weather conditions prevailing during the strategic war move.
Normal: This weather condition represents relatively clement conditions. The normal weather is considered the default and provides no adjustments to tactical combat. Movement: No effect. Combat: No effect.
Abnormal weather: This represents conditions that are unusually harsh to the affected armies. Generally, abnormal weather only has an effect on a unit in its homeland during winter (cold) or summer (heat). For example, abnormal weather in Rubik's fall would have little effect on the Rjurik, who are well equipped for their seasons. However, an Anuirean unit might be affected adversely by abnormal weather in the Rjurik fall. Combat: Affected units have a -2 penalty to all attacks.
Inclement weather: This represents conditions of precipitation or wind that hinder movement and reduce visibility. Movement: Movement ratings are reduced by 50% (to a minimum of 1). Combat: All units have a -4 penalty to missile combat ratings. Units affected by abnormal weather in the climate also receive an additional -2 penalty to all attacks.
Storm: This represents conditions of strong wind or precipitation that hinder movement and reduce visibility. Movement: Movement ratings are reduced to one. Combat: Units suffer a -2 penalty to melee attacks and cannot charge or use missile weapons.
Major storm: Combat is impossible.
Tactical effects of visibility
The cover of darkness, fog, or other conditions that affect visibility may turn the outcome of a tactical encounter. Most battles take place in conditions of full visibility. If the players desire different visibility conditions then the players must make an opposed Warcraft check to determine which player best controls the timing of the battle.
Full: This visibility condition represents normal daytime visibility. Full visibility is considered the default and provides no adjustments to tactical combat. Movement: No effect. Combat: No effect.
Limited: This visibility condition represents limited visibility due to darkness, heavy fog, or other impediments to vision. Movement: No effect. Combat: Units may not use missile attacks against units in adjacent areas. Units receive a -1 penalty to all attacks. Units composed of races with special sense may overcome the penalty. For example, dwarves, elves, and goblins, do not suffer visibility penalties at night.
Tactical effects of fortifications
Unlike terrain, weather, and visibility, some features may apply to only a portion of the battlefield. For example, an armed camp, a city wall, or a cliff-top castle may provide significant bonuses to some areas of the tactical map, but do no necessary apply to all areas of the map.
If a province has a fortification, the owner of the fortification may use it during the battle if they are attacked. If they declare the attack, they may not use their fortification. If neither side wishes to attack, both armies remain in the field, but the hostile side cannot advance though the province unless they neutralize the fortification.
If a fortification is in use, then the tactical effects of fortifications apply to the entire friendly line of the army that possess the fortification. The remainder of the battlefield may be subject to other terrain conditions, depending on where the fortification was built. Full fortifications can only be built in open terrain - thus any battle in which a full fortification is used always takes place in open terrain. Limited fortifications can be built in any terrain, but the terrain modifier does not apply in the fortified areas.
Limited fortification: A limited fortification represent a temporary or partial fortification, such as those at an entrenched armed camp or the walls of a village. All armies are assumed to construct reasonably fortified positions at the end of each day's march - such minor fortifications are equivalent on both sides, provide no tactical benefit, and are not considered to be limited fortifications. In order to build a fortification significant enough to qualify for a limited fortification bonus, an army must occupy the province for four war moves. Movement: No effect. Combat: Units cannot charge in fortified areas. All friendly units receive a +1 to all defense ratings (this does not apply vs. artillerists). Friendly units in the fortification receive a +4 bonus to morale saves. This defense bonus does not apply against Artillerists units.
Full fortification: A full fortification represents a permanent structure constructed with the build domain action and maintained through a seasonal maintenance fee. Castles, major walled cities, and fortified holdings provide full fortification benefit. Full fortifications can only be constructed in open terrain and all battlefields that involve full fortifications must use the open terrain modifier.
Movement: Hostile mounted units cannot enter the area. Any attacking foot unit attempting to enter a fortified area (even from another fortified area) is immediately subject to an attack by the fortification defenses; this free attack is a missile attack with a bonus equal to the fortification level. After resolving this attack, the foot unit may attempt to enter the area.
In order to enter the fortified area, the attacking commander must make an opposed Warcraft check against the commander of the defenses. The offense receives a bonus equal to the melee score of the attacking unit. The attacker receives an additional +4 bonus if they have a unit of Artillerists traveling with their army (to supply siege ladders/towers, covered rams, etc). The defense receives a bonus to this check equal to the double the fortification level, plus the melee rating of the defending unit present in the area (if any). If the check fails, the foot unit fails to enter the fortification; they remain in their previous area and their movement ends. Routed units recover immediately if they enter a friendly fortified area.
Combat: No unit can charge in the area. All friendly units add the fortification's rating to their defense (this does not apply vs. artillerists). Friendly units always make morale saves.
Special: A commander defending a fortification receives the fortification level as a bonus to Warcraft checks to determine tactical initiative and initial unit placement.
A hostile unit that is unopposed in a fortified area during the attack phase may "take the fortification" as its attack. That area is no longer considered fortified. The defender is not forced to withdraw from the field of battle (even if they have no units on the field) until all fortified areas have been taken.
Initial unit placement
The order of unit placement is determined by an opposed Warcraft check, with the winner setting up their forces last. Each side places their units in any of the areas in their friendly line or reserve. Thus, at most five units from either side (one per area in their friendly line) are initially on the battlefield. After the initial units of both sides are placed, the battle is ready to commence.
After the battlefield is setup, the battle begins. Like character combat, tactical combat is cyclical. Each side acts in turn in round. Each tactical round consists of the following phases:
Sequence of tactical battle
A. Movement phase
1. Tactical initiative is determined
2. First side moves all unengaged units
3. Second side moves all unengaged units
4. Battle magic declared
5. Routed units attempt to recover morale
6. Units attempt to evade or retreat
7. Surrender or withdrawal
B. Attack Phase
1. Resolve stationary missile attacks
2. Resolve charge attacks
3. Resolve melee attacks
4. Resolve moving missile attacks
Initiative: Unlike character combat, tactical initiative is not guaranteed to be in the same order each round. Every tactical round the generals of each army must make an opposed Warcraft check (Profession (Sailor) at sea). The winner of the check decides which player moves first.
Unit movement: A war card is a counter representing a military unit on the battlefield. A unit can be moved a number of areas equal to its movement in one round. For example, a unit of archers (move 2) could march from the friendly center to the enemy center in one round. All units can move forward, backward, or sideways (but not diagonally) a number of areas equal to its move rating.
A unit may pass through areas that contain unengaged friendly units. If a unit enters an area with a hostile unit, the units become engaged. Engaged units are locked in battle and neither side can move from the area until one side evades, retreats, or is destroyed.
Reserves: Moving from any area in the friendly line into the friendly reserve counts as moving one area and ends the unit's movement for the turn. Likewise, moving from the friendly reserve into any area in the friendly line counts as moving one area and ends the unit's movement for the turn (note, however, that if the unit has a move greater than one, it may still use that movement to charge, withdraw from a slower unit, or any perform any other action which requires unspent movement). Units may never move into the enemy reserve.
Routed units: Unengaged, routed units must attempt to return to its reserve by the shortest path and as quickly as possible. Routed units never attempt to engage an enemy and thus may not enter areas containing an enemy unit.
Battle magic declared: Any units containing a spellcasters capable of battle magic (see Magic on the battlefield, below) declares any special bonuses/penalties for the tactical round.
Recover from route: All units that are currently routed may attempt to recover their discipline. Routed units can rally with a successful morale save against DC 15. Routed units receive a +2 circumstance bonus to this check in their reserve.
Retreat: Instead of attacking, an engaged unit may attempt to disengage from combat and retreat. A unit that retreats is immediately subject to an attack of opportunity (melee or missile) from the hostile unit. A unit that retreats is not allowed to make any attacks in the attack phase of the war round.
Retreating does not allow a unit to exceed its normal movement for the war turn; thus, units that have already moved their maximum move cannot retreat. Retreating units may only move through empty areas; they cannot pass through areas containing friendly units nor can they engage hostile units. Retreating units may not move towards the enemy's side of the field or from the direction from which the enemy attacked.
Evasive retreat: In the first round of an engagement (before either side has made a melee attack) a eligible units may make an evasive retreat. The hostile unit does not get an attack of opportunity against an evasive retreat. To be eligible for an evasive retreat, a unit must have a higher move rating than its opponent. Evading unit may retreat only one area. Evading units, like all retreating units, are not eligible to make an attack in the attack phase.
Routed units: Routed units must always attempt to retreat unless they have no area in which to make a legal retreat move.
Surrender or withdrawal: Either player may surrender his army (terms are negotiable) or attempt to withdrawal from the field. An army with no units on the battlefield must immediately withdraw. The DM can also call a halt to the battle if there is a clear stalemate (both sides refuse to move, one side is capable of evading the other indefinitely, etc.). See Ending the Battle, below.
After all units have been moved, each engagement and missile volley is resolved in order. The steps of this phase are resolved in order, so a charging cavalry may route or destroy an infantry unit before the infantry takes its melee attack, and so on. Attacks within each step are simultaneous, so two units charging each other can kill each other in the same step. Each unit can attack only once during the entire attack phase sequence. See the subsection on Combat basics in the Military units section for description on how to resolve attacks, damage, and determine route condition. Routed units suffer a -4 penalty to all attack rolls.
Stationary Missile Attack: A unit with missile capability that did not begin the round engaged and did not move during the current round qualifies for stationary missile fire. The unit may use its missile rating to attack any unit(s) in an adjacent (non-diagonal) area. The unit may also use its missile rating to attack a hostile unit during the first round of an engagement (effectively giving the missile unit a "last missile attack" before they draw their weapons and engage in melee battle). If missile fire is directed against an area in which forces are engaged then two attacks must be resolved; one against each unit (friendly and enemy alike), but at a -2 penalty to each.
Charge Attack: Any unit that begins the round unengaged and ends the round engaged and with at least one area worth of movement left may use its charge/ram bonus to its melee attack. Thus, a unit that moves its full movement rate across the battlefield to engage an opponent cannot also make a charge. It is possible (likely, in fact) that two units of knights (move 2) that begin a battle across the battle board from each other will both move to the center of the board in order to charge each other. Routed units may not charge. Pike units attack damage during this phase for the first round of any engagement only. This attack inflicts double damage against charging units.
Melee Attack: All engaged units can make a melee attack unless they have already acted in this attack phase.
Moving Missile Attack: Units with missile capability that have moved, but that (1) not currently engaged, and (2) have at least one area of movement unused, may make a missile attack against units in adjacent areas. If missile fire is directed against an area in which forces are engaged then both units (friendly and enemy alike) must resolve an attack against the incoming missile fire.
Ending the battle
A battle ends when one army is destroyed, surrenders, or withdraws from the battlefield entirely. Only units in the reserve may withdraw from the battlefield; units on the battlefield must attempt to return to the reserve in order to join the withdrawal. A commander is forced to withdraw if all his units on the battlefield are currently in the reserve; in effect, he's lost the field. Terms of surrender are negotiable; units may be taken prisoner, stripped of weapons and returned to their homelands, traded for captured friendly units or gold, or put to the sword. Arranging for a trade or random of capture units generally requires a Diplomacy domain action.
When an army withdraws, they are allowed to make an immediate move to any adjacent friendly province in which no hostile troops are present. If no such province exists, then the army is forced to surrender. The army must pay the standard cost for this movement, thus, if units in the army have already expended their full movement they may have to make a forced march or be unable to withdrawal. Any units that lack the movement points necessary to leave the province must surrender instead.
Naval tactical battles are conducted with the same general tactical rules as land-based battles. The principle difference is that each naval unit may carry with it a contingent of soldiers. The "bunks" rating of a vessel determines the maximum number of army units that a vessel may transport. These army units can make additional attacks to represent boarding actions.
Once two naval vessels are engaged in the same tactical area, army units on the vessel may attempt to board the enemy vessel. After the first round of engagement, all units aboard both vessels are considered to be engaged with all hostile units. Each attacking unit may choose any enemy unit as its target; if the defending vessel has no military unit then the boarding unit may attack the vessel itself.
Generally, boarding units attack to subdue opposing naval vessels. A staggered warship with an army unit aboard surrenders and is taken prize. With an army unit aboard to keep the sailors prisoners, a captured vessel can be sailed to a friendly port, crewed with friendly forces, and added to the victor's navy. A ship is recrewed by healing the vessel to maximum of damage, using the standard rules for healing unit damage. Alternatively, a warship can be sold for profit on the open market (generally for 30-80% of its muster cost).
Characters on the battlefield
The overall efforts of a group of heroes, monsters, and other powerful individuals on the battlefield can have significant effect on the course of battle. The general of an army, along with his or her companions, retainers, or bodyguards may form a Heroes unit. Likewise, a powerful monster or group of monsters can act as a Heroes unit. The effectiveness of a Heroes unit lies primarily the exceptional battle skill of the heroic companions and its high mobility that allows the heroes to be present at critical points in the battle lines each war round.
Unlike normal army units, a Heroes unit does not engage in combat directly, instead, the hero's unit joins a normal military unit and provides bonuses to that unit for the tactical war round. A Heroes unit moves using the same rules as normal military units, but it must end its movement on a friendly unit. The friendly unit receives bonuses to its normal combat ratings to represent the aid of the heroes during battle.
Hero unit bonuses
In order to be effective, a Heroes unit must be small, mobile, and skilled. A maximum of eight individuals can be part of a Heroes unit. Each character must also be of at least 3rd level in order to contribute to the Heroes card. A character that is casting battle magic cannot also be part of a heroes unit during the same tactical round. The effective EL of the group determines the bonuses provided by the Heroes card. These bonuses are applied to the unit the Heroes aid during the tactical round.
Mobility is a critical factor in the effectiveness of the heroes. The Heroes unit's movement rating is determined as follows.
Hero unit move
|2||All heroes are mounted or have a movement rate of 30"+|
|3||All heroes have at least one rank of Ride and are mounted on war-trained steeds|
|4||All heroes have at least 5 ranks of Ride and are mounted on war-trained steeds|
A Heroes unit's movement during a tactical round affects the types of attacks
that the unit can support. For example, if a Heroes unit moves during tactical
round, then it cannot provide an attack bonus to stationary missile fire (only
moving missile fire). Likewise, if a Heroes unit has exhausted its movement
for the tactical round it cannot provide a bonus to charge.
If a unit containing a Heroes unit is destroyed, each hero should make a character level check with the following results. Characters that are captured are usually held for random or as hostages, but may be slain by merciless adversaries. Survivors that return to the reserve may reform a new heroes unit.
Defeat on the battlefield
|4 or less||Character is slain on the battlefield|
|5||Character is captured by the enemy|
|10||Character escapes the route, but is exhausted, wounded, and may not participate in the remainder of the battle.|
|15||The character escapes the route and returns to the reserve in 1d4 + 1 tactical rounds.|
|20||The character escapes the route and returns to the reserve at the end of the tactical round.|
Variant: Role-playing battle encounters
Instead of providing fixed bonuses based on the EL of the heroes, a DM can also pause the War Card battle to run encounters when the Heroes unit is engaged. Based upon the outcome of the skirmish, the DM can have the Heroes unit provide a greater or lesser bonus than indicated by the heroes' EL. In this case, the unit attack roll should not be made until after the skirmish is complete.
When two units with Heroes cards engage, a battle between the opposing heroes can be resolved as a standard encounter. After the combat is resolved, new ELs for each Heroes card should be determined before apply bonuses to the unit attack roll.
Commanders and Lead
A passionate and skilled leader can lead a unit to feats of bravery that might otherwise be beyond it. A unit receives a +1 to its morale bonus for every 5 ranks of Lead possessed by a character that is fighting as part of the unit. Only one character can provide this bonus per unit. This character may also be part of a Heroes unit, and these bonuses stack.
Magic on the battlefield
Realm spells can be used to bless, charm, teleport, or destroy entire armies, but require a month-long casting time that makes them impractical for many defensive purposes. Conventional spells can have significant impact upon a battle, but such impact is no more or less profound that the skill of a heroic warrior of equivalent level. Thus, the Heroes unit adequately represents a spellcasters use of their normal spell list.
Spellcasters with the Battle Spell feat can provide even greater benefit to the armies with which they are allied. Battle spells are meta-magically enhanced conventional spells powerful enough to provide tactical bonuses to army units. While specific spell effects used in battle magic vary greatly, the tactical effects are always represented as an abstraction; battle spells provide a bonus to a unit statistics of a unit for one tactical round.
The effect of the bonus is determined both by the power of the spell, and the tactical skill of the caster. When a battle spell is cast, the caster must make a Warcraft check (DC 10). If this check fails, the spell provides no benefit. If the check succeeds, the battle-spell provides a base modifier equal to 1/2 x the spell level. This base modifier is increased by + 1 for every 5 full points by which the Warcraft check exceeds DC 10.
The caster (with the aid of the DM) determines how the bonus provided by the battle spell is applied. The bonuses/penalties of a battle spell last only for the current tactical round. The bonus provided by the spell can be used to either increase or decrease the offensive (melee, missile) or defensive (defense, moral) statistics of the target unit. A battle spell used as a ranged attack can provide a missile rating (at the battle spell bonus) to a unit otherwise without missile capabilities.
For example, a spell caster traveling with a unit of Elite Infantry casts a battle magic fireball and rolls a Warcraft check of 18. The spell provides a + 2 bonus (1/2 x 3rd level spell + 1 for being five full points over DC 10) to the unit. The DM rules that a battlemagic fireball is equally effective in impede an opposing charge (providing a defense bonus) as it is in blasting the front line of an enemy's defense during an advance (providing a melee bonus) or during a ranged attack (providing a missile bonus), but that it cannot be used to provide a morale bonus. As the unit is currently unengaged, the spellcaster chooses to use the battlespell to provide a +2 bonus to allow the unit to make a missile attack (at +2 bonus). This missile attack is resolved using during the attack phase as per a normal missile attack.
In the next round, the unit is engaged in battle against an overwhelming opponent. The spellcaster feels that his only hope is to help route the enemy. He casts a battle magic confusion that was prepared using the Empower Spell feat as a 6th level spell. The DM rules that the heightened confusion spell would produce a more effective battlespell, and thus allows the spellcaster to count the confusion spell (normally a 4th level spell) as a 6th level spell. The caster's Warcraft check result is DC 20; thus the total modifier provided by the spell is 3 (1/2 x 6) + 2 (for being 10 points over the minimum DC) = 5. The target enemy unit receives a -5 penalty to their morale save for the upcoming tactical round. If the caster's unit is able to successfully damage the unit, there is a very good chance that they will route.
Channeling battle magic is time-consuming and draining. While preparing a battle spell, a spell caster cannot safely cast conventional magic. Likewise, after casting a battle spell, a caster is incapable of casting any spells for a few minutes. During the tactical round in which a spell-caster casts a battle spell, they cannot cast conventional spells. This leaves them largely defenseless unless they are well guarded. Thus, a spellcaster cannot also contribute to the EL of a Heroes unit in any tactical round in which they cast a battle spell.
Battle spells require bulky ritual components. For arcane spell casters this includes books of arcane lore and massive amounts of material components. For divine spellcasters this includes portable altars, oils for anointing, prayer books, and other expendable material components of magical or religious significance. These components are generally transported in a war wagon dedicated to support battle magic (see Special training, under Military Units).