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JonL

Better Battles

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Here's something I came up with a few years ago. Our group was playing through the GPC, and became disenchanted with some of the dynamics in Book of Battle's framework. We found that repeatedly using Push Deeper to advance on the enemy camp became something of an I-Win Button due to the way it interacts with Intensity ("The Enemy Camp is down."), and the random rolls for intensity/events dwarfing other factors at times.

This mixes the basic framework of Book of Battle (BoB) with a HeroQuest-inspired opposed-roll result matrix and force-tokens inspired by Savage Worlds's mass battle rules. It also allows meaningful choices and rolls for an overall Army Commander (AC) as well as individual Unit Commanders (UC).
 

In a nutshell:

  • Army Commanders make initial opposed Battle Rolls to determine field advantage for the first battle round.
  • Each Battle Round, Unit Commander(s) roll Battle opposed by an Intensity roll based their Army Commander's success grade modified by field position (per BoB), and possibly other factors from BoB like being On Flank.
  • Based on those results, UC(s) chose maneuvers as per BoB and fight their melee rounds.
  • Based on the outcome of the melee rounds, apply a modifier to the AC's battle rolls at the end of the round. 
  • ACs make opposed Battle rolls at the end of the round, assess casualties.
  • AC's success grade at the end of the round determines UC's base opposing Intensity for the next.
  • Battle ends when one sides forces are all either casualties, withdrawn; unless one side surrenders or similar narrative outcome occurs.

Details below...

 

Before the Battle

Identify the PK or NPC  who will be the overall Army Commander for each side. Decide which Player Knights (PK) will be on the field as a single unit, commanding seperate units of their followers, or some combinations thereof. Designate a PK as Unit Comander for each relevant unit. (Usually the PK with highest Glory will be the UC, though other considerations might take precedence when appropriate.)

Identify the order of battle for each side (including PKs, but generally not their Squires) , and compute the Footman Value (FV) for their forces according to the table below:

Unit Type Green Regular Veteran Elite
Knight 3 5 6.5 8
Sargeant 1.8 3 3.9 4.8
Hobilar 1.2 2 2.6 3.2
Ranger 1.2 2 2.6 3.2
Armored Foot 1.2 2 2.6 3.2
Footman 0.6 1 1.3 1.6
Bowman 1.2 2 2.6 3.2
Slinger/Skirmisher 0.40 0.66 0.86 1.06
Bandit 0.3 0.5 0.65 0.8
Peasant Levy 0.15 0.25 0.33 0.4
Berzerker 3 5 6.5 8
Hoerthgneight 2.4 4 5.2 6.4
Coerl 1.2 2 2.6 3.2
Fyrd 0.9 1.5 1.95 2.4

Assign the larger force ten tokens (stones, poker chips, etc), the smaller force gets a proportionally smaller number, i.e. if larger force has 500FV and smaller force has 250FV, the smaller force gets five tokens.

Either Army Commander may initially commit some or all of their tokens. The margin of difference between committed tokens is a bonus to the larger Army Commander's Battle rolls and a penalty to the Army Commander of the smaller force. These tokens are removed when the AC's battle roll at the end of the round results in casualties being assessed; permanently when lost or maybe-temporarily when routed. 

Tokens not initially committed are held in reserve. Tokens held in reserve cannot be lost, but do not add to the force margin for determining battle roll modifiers. When reserves are finally committed, add +1 to that side's Battle Roll (total, not per token) for each round they were held back.

ACs can also choose to Orderly Withdraw force tokens at the end of a battle round in lieu of inflicting casualties, one token for each enemy casualty they decline. Withdrawn tokens cannot be lost and do not add to the force margin for determining battle roll modifiers. unless re-committed by their commander. If a Withdrawn token sits out one or more Battle Rounds and then re-enters the fray, they add a +1 to their AC's Battle Roll that round, similar to fresh reserves, but to a lesser degree.

Alternate token allocation when longer battles are desired: Determine initial engagement and reserve force breakdown first, and then asses tokens based on the initially engaged forces. This will give a slightly larger pool of tokens without changing the overall number scaling much. Downside: rounding, whether clever or incidental, can make some for +/- 1 token depending on how you split your force.

Example:
General A has 1500 FV of troops. He commits 1200 and holds 300 in reserve.
General B has 1000FV of troops, commits 900 and holds 100 in reserve.
Initial tokens: General A - ten commited tokens, 3 in reserve. General B 8 committed tokens, 1 in reserve.

The original (and simpler) way, General A would have 7 tokens committed with 3 in reserve, while General B would have 6 committed with 1 in reserve.

The token total proportions are about 1.4:1 either way though.

(More to come in subsequent posts. I don't want to time out while typing this.)

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Army Commander Battle Rolls

Army Commanders (AC) make an opposed Battle roll at the opening of the battle, after commiting their initial force tokens) to determint the Intensity that the GM rolls vs Unit Commanders' in their battle rolls that round. At the end of the first battle round and every  round thereafter, ACs make an additional opposed battle roll to determine casualties for the round and the Intensity Unit Comanders face in the upcoming round.

ACs battle rolls are modified by the difference in their commited tokens, the performance of PK units during the battle round (details in follow-up post), and other tactical factors advantages such as terrain that the GM deems relevant. Tactical advantage due to troops and equipment is already factored into their Foot Value to a large extent. However, if there is a significant capability mismatch such as one side having no cavalry or archers that may warrant a +/- as well.

As for how to gauge how significant a given advantage might be, recall that starting with 2:1 FV advantage is worth +/-5, 5:4 is worth +/- 2, and 5:1 is worth +/-8 (assuming both sides commit all their forces). Ballpark things from there.

Compare the success grades of the ACs end-of-round battle rolls according to the table below. Lost tokens represent forces either wiped out or too wounded to continue the battle. Routed tokens are set aside separately, as they may be rallied and returned to the fray with via recovery results on subsequent battle rounds. (Such recovered tokens do not generate the rested bonus that reserves do.)

Army Commander Battle Roll Results

PKArmy/Enemy Critical Success Success Partial Success Failure Fumble
Critical Success Lower crit loses 1 token, higher crit may recover 1 routed token if any.* N/A Loser loses 2 tokens, victor may recover 2 routed tokens, if any. Loser loses two tokens and has two route. Victor may recover 2 routed tokens, if any. Loser loses three tokens and half of remaining tokens route. Victor may recover all routed tokens, if any.
Success N/A N/A* Loser loses 2 tokens, Victor Loses one token. Loser loses two tokens. Victor may recover one routed token, if any. Loser Loses two tokens and two tokens route. Victor may recover one routed token, if any.
Partial Success Loser loses 2 tokens, victor may recover 2 routed tokens, if any. Loser loses 2 tokens, Victor Loses one token. N/A N/A N/A
Failure Loser loses two tokens and has two route. Victor may recover 2 routed tokens, if any. Loser loses two tokens. Victor may recover one routed token, if any. N/A Both lose 1 token. Victor Loses one token, Loser loses one and routes one.
Fumble Loser loses three tokens and half of remaining tokens route. Victor may recover all routed tokens, if any. Loser Loses two tokens and two tokens route. Victor may recover one routed token, if any. N/A Victor Loses one token, Loser loses one and routes one. Both lose one token and route one token.

* In the case of exactly tied successes, both sides loose one token. For exactly tied criticals, neither suffers a loss

In addition to the force token impacts, the result of the AC rolls also determines the base Intensity that the GM rolls opposing PK  Unit Commanders' Battle roll during the following round:

 

Unit Commander Base Opposing Intensity Next Round:

PKArmy/Enemy Critical Success Success Partial Success Failure Fumble
Critical Success 13 N/A 9 5 1
Success N/A N/A 13 9 5
Partial Success 17 19 N/A N/A N/A
Failure 21 17 N/A 13 9
Fumble 25 21 N/A 17 13

 

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Unit Action During the Round

During each round, the Unit Commanders for PK units make a Battle roll. The GM makes an opposing roll with a TN of the Intensity determined by the previous AC roll results, modified by the Unit's position on the Book of Battle's Battle Zone track.

Based on the results of that roll, the UC may chose among many maneuvers per the BoB. If their maneuver leads to a melee engagement (most do) the result may provide a modifier to the AC's Battle roll at the end of the current Battle Round. Attached to this post is a Word doc listing the BoB maneuver options with the results modified to fit into this framework.

In a large battle with many PK units, or where the GM is tracking NPC "Enemy Hero" units the GM may decide to resolve some melee rounds by a quick opposed roll rather than playing out the skirmish. If so, use the following mapping to interpret the results of their maneuver:

Critical Success: Triumph

Success or Partial success: Win

Failure: Loss

Fumble: Crush

In small battles, destroying a unit via melee may also remove a token from that side's committed force if the army is small enough for that unit's troops to have accounted for an entire token. In larger engagements, individual unit losses are noise in the overall battle.

Similarly, the GM should decide based on the size of the engagement whether multiple PK units on the field should have their melee result modifiers summed or averaged together when applied to the AC's roll at the end of the round. If the PK units are a tiny part of a vast force, average them. If their units are proportionally large enough to represent a token's worth of troops, sum them.

If the GM wishes to track the actions or position of significant "Enemy Hero" units independent of their interaction with PK units, optionally resolving their melee via a single opposed roll, the above modifiers can be used with their results as well.

BBB_Maneuvers.docx

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Attacking the Army Commander

If an Army Commander's unit (PK or enemy) is engaged in a melee round and the AC is slain, the Army Commander should still make a final Battle Roll (as the round where he fell was still his commands being executed), but with a bump-down in success-grade: Crit becomes Success, Success becomes Failure, Failure becomes Fumble. That gets a high chance of units on the fallen commander's side routing.

A surviving Unit Commander form the fallen AC's side may attempt a Rally the Battalion maneuver next round to become the new Army Commander. If the UC is in the same Battle Zone where the AC fell, add +3 to the UC's Battle Roll.

Should no new commander arise, the army without an AC at the end of a battle round is considered to automatically Fail subsequent Battle rolls until one does or they are driven from the field..

If an AC is captured rather than slain, the remaining force may surrender if the GM deems it appropriate.

Attacking the Enemy Camp

If a PK unit manages to reach the Enemy Camp Battle Zone, add +/-2 to AC Battle roll to the results of any maneuver while in that Zone, and on a Triumph, add one routed token to any AC Battle roll result that inflicts casualties on the Enemy that round.

After the Battle

Half the lost tokens represent dead-dead forces. The other half are merely wounded and will recover in time. Routed forces should mostly survive unless the victor pursues them after the battle proper has ended, but may or may not be immediately re-deployable.

 

Edited by JonL

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The following chart compares the sequence of events as written in the Book of Battle with the Better Battle operation I outnined above:

Book of Battle Sequence Better Battle Sequence
#### Before the Battle #### #### Before the Battle ####
Each player receives Player’s 1-page Battle Reference and Player’s Battle Record Each player receives Player’s 1-page Battle Reference and Player’s Battle Record
Unit Leader receives Leader’s Battle Record Unit Leader receives Leader’s Battle Record
  Determine total Footman Value of forces.
  Force size tokens assessed.
#### First Charge #### #### First Charge ####
1. Figure Opening Army Intensity 1. Commit Force Tokens
2.Figure First Charge Intensity 2. Army Commanders' Battle rolls
3. Army Commander’s Battle roll 3. Calculate Unit Intensity (AC Roll result + Zone mod)
4. Combat 4. Combat
#### In the Battle #### #### In the Battle ####
Step 1: Determine Player Knight Status Step 1: Determine Player Knight Status
Step 2: Intensity Step 2: Prepare for Battle Round
- a. Calculate Army Intensity - a. Commit Force Tokens
- b. Check for Automatic Actions - b. Check for Automatic Actions
- c. Calculate Unit Intensity - c. Calculate Unit Intensity (last-round's AC Roll result + Zone mod)
Step 3: Unit Maneuver Step 3: Unit Maneuver
- a. Unit Commander Makes Battle roll - a. Unit Commander Makes Battle roll
- b. Choose a maneuver - b. Choose a maneuver
Step 4: Melee Combat Step 4: Melee Combat
- a. Determine Opponent - a. Determine Opponent
- b. Calculate Player Knight Melee Skill - b. Calculate Player Knight Melee Skill
- c. Determine Missile Attack Results - c. Determine Missile Attack Results
- d. Determine Melee Attack Results - d. Determine Melee Attack Results
- e. Take Bodyguard Bonus (Optional) - e. Take Bodyguard Bonus (Optional)
- f. Determine Followers’ Fight Results - f. Determine Followers’ Fight Results
Step 5: End of the Round Step 5: End of the Round
- a. Determine Unit Results - a. Determine Unit Results
- b. Calculate Player Knight Glory - b. Calculate Player Knight Glory
- c. Attempt Squire roll and actions - c. Attempt Squire roll and actions
- d. Extended melee phase (Optional) - d. Extended melee phase (Optional)
- e. Adjust Army Intensity - e. Army Commanders' Battle rolls
  - f. Assess Casualties, remove tokens
#### After the Battle #### #### After the Battle ####
1. Determine Victor 1. Determine Victor
2. Calculate Total Glory 2. Calculate Total Glory
3. Distribute Loot (Decisive Victory only) 3. Distribute Loot (Decisive Victory only)
4. Calculate Ransom 4. Calculate Ransom
5. Find Lost Squires 5. Find Lost Squires
6. Recover Lost Followers 6. Recover Lost Followers
7. Perform Healing 7. Perform Healing
  8. Calculate surviving forces (if it matters)
 
Edited by JonL

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This looks interesting. I like the matrix.

On 1/4/2019 at 12:49 PM, JonL said:

 Our group was playing through the GPC, and became disenchanted with some of the dynamics in Book of Battle's framework. We found that repeatedly using Push Deeper to advance on the enemy camp became something of an I-Win Button due to the way it interacts with Intensity ("The Enemy Camp is down."),

Yeah the -20 seems like too much. One eschille of ten knights gets into the enemy camp and any army of thousands can go from an even fight (Intensity 20) to a rout. It's twice as effective as Triumph when attacking the enemy from the rear. 

Quote

and the random rolls for intensity/events dwarfing other factors at times.

Could you elaborate on that? I can see the random roll for intensity dwarfing other factors, since it represents what the rest of the army is doing. But what kind of stuff are you referring to?

I do wish that Greg has put in Intensity modifiers for scripted events like he did for battles in the old system. But it's not hard to just port them over as Intensity modifiers.

 

 

Edited by Atgxtg

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One thing I thought (playing through the early GPC so far), is the result of most battles seems scripted. The PKs are often a small part of the battle, and don't really have much influence on the result itself.

I'm thinking of coming up with a system that just focuses on the events around the players that has less of an effect on the battle as a whole. I don't really want a system that calculates a winner or loser of a battle, as that is already determined by the story in a lot of cases.

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1 hour ago, TerryTroll said:

One thing I thought (playing through the early GPC so far), is the result of most battles seems scripted. The PKs are often a small part of the battle, and don't really have much influence on the result itself.

That's true of many of the major battles, for some obvious story reasons. For instance, if Arthur lost his early battles he wouldn't be King, and the land would probably get overrun by the Saxons. 

1 hour ago, TerryTroll said:

I'm thinking of coming up with a system that just focuses on the events around the players that has less of an effect on the battle as a whole. I don't really want a system that calculates a winner or loser of a battle, as that is already determined by the story in a lot of cases.

You don't need to. The  battle system in the core rulebook does just that. Generally, in the scirpted battles the coruse of events is spelled out., Even more so in older editions of KAP. Also, if you replace the random roll for intensity each round with a scripted amount, you can use the Book of Battle for scripted events just fine. Ditto Jon L's system if you script the die rolls for Battle.

One of the drawbacks to completely scripting the battles is that the players have no effect on the battle, unless some sort of opportunity is scripted in. 

 

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A lot depends on what your players are into and what position their PKs have in the realm. If they're an echille of Roderick's household knights, keeping the focus on their particular events makes sense. If they rise to being commanders in their own right though, it's a different matter. Even if the overall outcome lies upon the plot railroad, it can be a significant thing for players who to know what sort of losses each side took, especially if the PKs are lords with their own followers on the field. Some players will appreciate their decisions and Battle rolls having an impact on that.

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On 1/15/2019 at 5:01 PM, JonL said:

A lot depends on what your players are into and what position their PKs have in the realm. If they're an echille of Roderick's household knights, keeping the focus on their particular events makes sense. If they rise to being commanders in their own right though, it's a different matter. Even if the overall outcome lies upon the plot railroad, it can be a significant thing for players who to know what sort of losses each side took, especially if the PKs are lords with their own followers on the field. Some players will appreciate their decisions and Battle rolls having an impact on that.

Definitely. Plus it is actually fairly easy to adapt any of the existing battle systems, or even your system to allow PKs to affect the course and outcome of a battle, if desired. Book of Battle already does so, but has other things that people may like or dislike. The -20 intensity for getting to the enemy camp for instance (frankly, that rule would have changed the outcome of the Battle of Agrincourt).

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My players tend to like the normal combat rules over the battle system.  They feel they are doing more using those rules.  But I have used the battle system where the players felt overwhelmed by events and when things when extraordinary in their favor.  The more you use it, the more you will understand how it all works.  And, you can always change the overall total by players' actions.  In one battle, the players heard the call to retreat, but went ahead and kept going. They reached the baggage train which then halted the retreat and turned a battle in which they were supposed to lose into a victory. 

That was an exception.

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On 1/19/2019 at 11:53 AM, Hzark10 said:

My players tend to like the normal combat rules over the battle system.  They feel they are doing more using those rules. 

Uh how? By the normal rules the players actions have no effect on the outcome. THe only exception is if/when a scripted event gives the PCs a shot at a leader or some such, but then even when they don't succeed, somebody else will. 

On 1/19/2019 at 11:53 AM, Hzark10 said:

But I have used the battle system where the players felt overwhelmed by events and when things when extraordinary in their favor.  The more you use it, the more you will understand how it all works.  And, you can always change the overall total by players' actions. 

Yeah, I tend to treat treat +5 and _+10 modifiers from scripted events for the normal system into a -4 and -8 modifiers to battle intensity. 

On 1/19/2019 at 11:53 AM, Hzark10 said:

In one battle, the players heard the call to retreat, but went ahead and kept going. They reached the baggage train which then halted the retreat and turned a battle in which they were supposed to lose into a victory. 

That was an exception.

I think that is actually a flaw in the Battle System. As I mentioned previously, by the Battle System the English would have lost the Battle of Agincourt, when the French reinforcements did actually attack the English baggage train.  

I also find it hard to believe that one small group of ten knights reaching the enemy camp can (or should) have more effect on the course of the battle than anything else, including the how the rest of the entire army is doing. Honestly, with a group that small, how would enough of the army even know they were there to cause such a massive shift?

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9 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Uh how? By the normal rules the players actions have no effect on the outcome. THe only exception is if/when a scripted event gives the PCs a shot at a leader or some such, but then even when they don't succeed, somebody else will. 

They prefer the skirmish rules.  The players are directly involved in the outcome, their passions last longer, and they feel more in control.  In other words, the want the skirmish rules to run battles with.  

I agree that reaching the baggage train in and of itself should not completely swing the battle.  I think more thought needs to tweak the system a bit more.  But, I think we will have to wait until Chaosium, David Larkins, tells us what is up and coming...

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3 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

They prefer the skirmish rules.  The players are directly involved in the outcome, their passions last longer, and they feel more in control.  In other words, the want the skirmish rules to run battles with.  

Okay, I get a bit more of what you are saying,now. I'm curious about some things through.

Do you have the, fight one opponent or run several skirmishes? Also, how to do you factor in the group''s results to the overall battle, since the groups results don't affect the commander's roll for his NPC followers?

I think what you are doing could work, I'm just not sure exactly how you did it though. I could see handling the outcome of the whole battle with opposed Battle rolls, and apply modifiers for odds and the results of the PKs. (something like +1 per win, -1 per loss).

 

3 hours ago, Hzark10 said:

I agree that reaching the baggage train in and of itself should not completely swing the battle.  I think more thought needs to tweak the system a bit more.  But, I think we will have to wait until Chaosium, David Larkins, tells us what is up and coming...

Since attacking the enemy commander from the rear is only a -5,-10 I can't see the baggage train be even that good. Maybe -1d6 to the intensity?

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"Historically", getting your baggage train/camp pillaged was the signal to run away, most of the time. If only to go defend your chattels and camp followers. If some enemy have broken through that far, it's a signal (even if an erroneous one) that your whole line is getting tromped on and you'd better sauve qui peut.

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3 hours ago, womble said:

"Historically", getting your baggage train/camp pillaged was the signal to run away, most of the time. If only to go defend your chattels and camp followers. If some enemy have broken through that far, it's a signal (even if an erroneous one) that your whole line is getting tromped on and you'd better sauve qui peut.

Well historically the French did just that an Agrincourt and the British didn't run away. They killed prisoners, but they didn't run away. And the British though it was the main French army not just a dozen knights. By the Book of Battle Henry V' would have lost the battle because of it. 

The thing in Pendragon is that we are talking about one unit/eschille of PKs getting to the camp, not the whole army, an nowhere else does one group of PK have this great an impact on the course of the battle. With the way the Book of Battles runs, a fight that is dead even turns into a route the instant the PKs make it to the enemy camp. Even killing the Enemy leader doesn't usually have that great an effect.

 

What historical examples do we have of an army turning and running when the enemy gets into their camp, and was the army already losing/withdrawing when it happened? Are there any cases of an army that was winning a battle losing because of it? Did is actually change the course of the battle? Or did it just speed along the inevitable?

Edited by Atgxtg

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Seriously, I started this variant because once we figured out the optimal approach, we decisively won every single battle.

The Winning Strategy for the Book of Battle:

If you beat the intensity for the round, Push Deeper.

If you don't beat it, Stand Against Two.

If you end up overmatched in your melee opponent, fight defensively and move on. It will be a setback, but you wont be too wrecked to fight on.

If you get a favorable melee match up, go for the extended melee in hopes of crushing the enemy unit and/or taking pri$oner$.

Wreck the enemy camp when you get deep enough.

If you are sufficiently advanced badasses, maybe go for the leader. Doesn't actually matter  much for the scripted GPC battles though. 

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On 1/4/2019 at 8:41 PM, JonL said:

Just fought my first battle using Better Battles. It took around three hours to play a six-turn Camelot tournament melee with three player characters (Army Commander, Unit Commander and knight). This was my first time playing the Book of Battle as well so there is a learning curve. It was interesting though a little confusing. Is it just me or is the BBB-Maneuvers file broken/unfinished? The one downloadable from here is a page and a half long and ends at  "Remove/Self" whereas I think it should go to "Withdraw".

I'm a little confused as to the Disordered status which is quite easy to get. Once you're disordered you get -10 to combat skills. My question is, does the -10 also apply to the Unit Commander's Battle skill roll? If it does then you can easily be driven off the field because the hefty penalty will usually cause you to lose all subsequent battles with a Crush result.

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7 minutes ago, 7dot62mm said:

Just fought my first battle using Better Battles. It took around three hours to play a six-turn Camelot tournament melee with three player characters (Army Commander, Unit Commander and knight). This was my first time playing the Book of Battle as well so there is a learning curve. It was interesting though a little confusing. Is it just me or is the BBB-Maneuvers file broken/unfinished? The one downloadable from here is a page and a half long and ends at  "Remove/Self" whereas I think it should go to "Withdraw".

It does seem to have suffered through some rough format conversions. I'll see if I have a cleaner copy.

8 minutes ago, 7dot62mm said:

I'm a little confused as to the Disordered status which is quite easy to get. Once you're disordered you get -10 to combat skills. My question is, does the -10 also apply to the Unit Commander's Battle skill roll? If it does then you can easily be driven off the field because the hefty penalty will usually cause you to lose all subsequent battles with a Crush result.

Good question. I would only apply the Disordered penalty to rolls made during the melee phase of the battle round, not to the Unit commander's Battle roll. 

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Thanks for the quick reply. Last night was just a practice run which I played solo in order to get a feel for the system. The “real” tournament melee with live players will probably be tomorrow.

In this test run the Round Table side had 40 RT knights, about 100 others plus some infantry, and was led by the player character who is a RT knight himself. The other player knights were in another unit of knights. The guests side had an equivalent number of knights plus a bunch of infantry, some armored. In all it was an equal 10 tokens per side. I marked the tokens to indicate what type of units they represented though it really does not matter. I then placed the tokens on a large printout of the BoB page which shows the layout of the army. On the other side of the table I did the same for the opposing side. That really gives an indication of which units are in reserve etc. I felt that worked pretty well.

I decided the RT Army Commander held two units of 10 RT knights each (2 tokens) in reserve while the other AC held only one unit of 20(?) knights (1 token) in reserve. This gave the other side a slight advantage on Turn one.

The RT Army Commander had a Battle of 22 and the other side 20. As the RT AC had been appointed by Arthur for this melee event I felt he could be inspired by his loyalty which he did successfully, critting on the first turn. He rolled really well for the rest of the battle and only started losing men on Turn four or thereabouts. And then on Turn five he committed his reserves and was able to roll some more criticals.

I liked the fact that the army Intensity was provided by the Army Commanders rolls and not by the 3d6 rolls used in BoB. The reduction of enemy (tokens removed and affecting AC rolls) was also handled well. As it happened the Intensity vs. the player Unit Commander rolled a critical on Turn one… therefore the player knights had to fight two units of infantry and they got slightly banged up and were Crushed, having to retreat one zone and becoming disordered at the same time. I then (it now turns out incorrectly) applied the resulting -10 to combat skills also to the UC’s subsequent Battle rolls with the result that his unit was (Crushed and) chased down the battlefield first by knights and then infantry in leather armor. By Turn four I had figured out that maybe the -10 shouldn’t be applied to UC rolls after all and the UC was able to get his unit organized and even perform a successful lance charge.

I take it that in BBB maneuvers table the modifiers to AC Battle rolls resulting from player character actions apply for the next battle Turn only?

What I missed during the battle was any visibility of what was happening to the UC’s unit apart from that one player character whose fate is detailed (I realize this is probably a deficiency in BoB?). The UC was leading a unit of one PC and 19 NPC knights and the fate of those NPC knights did not come into the picture at all. So I need to re-read BoB and if I find that the system does not cover such peripheral characters then I’m thinking maybe I should take the bit from the old battle rules from KAP where you lose only 10% of your men if you roll a Critical success and 50% if you win or whatever and integrate that into the UC’s intensity roll result, or something. That way the AC might lose the UC’s unit token during the battle due to player UC’s bad rolls, that should be fun.

In all I much liked the system and felt it gave me a good feel of what was going on in the battle. The rules as laid out here are very clear and well-written and I’m very happy and thankful that you took the time to publish them.

We’ll see what my players think of them when we get that far, probably tomorrow 😊

 

 

Edited by 7dot62mm

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5 hours ago, 7dot62mm said:

I marked the tokens to indicate what type of units they represented though it really does not matter.

With battles small enough for tokens to represent individual echilles or other units this can be meaningful. The first way is if a unit gets wiped out during a melee phase, their corresponding token is removed. The other way is narrative. It can be meaningful in the overall story context to know which troops in particular were defeated or routed. Did Lord A lose most of his knights while his rival Lord B lost only a few? Did a particular captain lose face or favor when his forces routed?  Story can emerge from the details.

6 hours ago, 7dot62mm said:

The UC was leading a unit of one PC and 19 NPC knights and the fate of those NPC knights did not come into the picture at all. So I need to re-read BoB and if I find that the system does not cover such peripheral characters then I’m thinking maybe I should take the bit from the old battle rules from KAP where you lose only 10% of your men if you roll a Critical success and 50% if you win or whatever and integrate that into the UC’s intensity roll result, or something. That way the AC might lose the UC’s unit token during the battle due to player UC’s bad rolls, that should be fun.

There are rules for follower survival in the Book of Battle. The quick numbers in the KAP is more meant for a whole-battle situation. If you're taking 50% losses per battle round every time you succeed, you're going to dwindle to almost nothing in short order. You could do something similar if the follower survival rules in BoB are too cumbersome for your taste, but be sure to calibrate the numbers to the battle-round level rather than the whole engagement.

 

6 hours ago, 7dot62mm said:

In all I much liked the system and felt it gave me a good feel of what was going on in the battle. The rules as laid out here are very clear and well-written and I’m very happy and thankful that you took the time to publish them.

Glad to hear it. :)

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7 hours ago, 7dot62mm said:

What I missed during the battle was any visibility of what was happening to the UC’s unit apart from that one player character whose fate is detailed (I realize this is probably a deficiency in BoB?). The UC was leading a unit of one PC and 19 NPC knights and the fate of those NPC knights did not come into the picture at all. So I need to re-read BoB and if I find that the system does not cover such peripheral characters then I’m thinking maybe I should take the bit from the old battle rules from KAP where you lose only 10% of your men if you roll a Critical success and 50% if you win or whatever and integrate that into the UC’s intensity roll result, or something. That way the AC might lose the UC’s unit token during the battle due to player UC’s bad rolls, that should be fun.

As JonL pointed out, the survival roll from KAP was designed to handle the whole battle, ot a battle round.

The table in Book of Battle is for a round, and basically means that you suffer no losses if the followers "win" or "tie"; and only lose 1 man/1d6 if foot vs mounted (or 15%) of a failure, 1d6 men/2d6 if foot vs mounted (or 30%) on a fumble. 

That should reduce your casualties.

Edited by Atgxtg

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7 hours ago, 7dot62mm said:

I take it that in BBB maneuvers table the modifiers to AC Battle rolls resulting from player character actions apply for the next battle Turn only?

Forgot to confirm earlier: yes, this is correct.

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On 2/19/2019 at 11:20 PM, JonL said:

It does seem to have suffered through some rough format conversions. I'll see if I have a cleaner copy.

Did you find one?

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