Among other things, Blood & Treasure includes some simple rules for mass combat to support the end game of stronghold and army building. While I’ve been playtesting the good old-fashioned dungeoneering and wilderness rules for a while now, I have yet to make sure the mass combat rules actually work. So, to correct this oversight, I’m going to test them LIVE, on this blog. Without further ado …
When spring rolls around, a young orc’s fancy turns to thoughts of plunder. And so it was that the orc chief Thundergut, rousing from a winter’s sleep, decided that it was high time to show those civilized bastards down in the valley what for. To that end, he rallied his troops (it involved lots of screaming and head kicking), convinced a few ogres to join in, and set out for Gaudin’s Ford.
Gaudin’s Ford was a ford across the River Pepp, named for a trapper who once had a trading post in the area. It provided the easiest way for many miles to cross the river and strike into the heart of the civilized area known as the Downs, an area inhabited primarily by a halfling moot called Mottlesby, with elf and human lands beyond.
As the orcs marched, they were spotted by a flock of giant eagles, who sped to the elves to warn them of the impending danger. The elves dispatched immediately a squadron of wayfarers to warn the halflings of Mottlesby and prepare a hasty defense at the ford, while the various elf princes were roused for battle and the humans were given the alarm.
And so it was that the orcs of Chief Thundergut met the halflings of Sheriff Brando at Gaudin’s Ford.
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The above is my battle map, whipped up in Excel for ease of use. On the right, you see the display of the forces involved, along with leader types. My plan is to run a few rounds each day and see how things proceed, dropping in a few points about the rules as I go along. Consider today the set-up, with the battle being joined tomorrow.
The orc plan is to push forward, using the yobbos to soak up missile damage and then get out of the way so the ogres and blackguards can attack the lines in waves. The archers will try to engage the enemy missile troops and keep them out of the battle. The worg riders are kept in reserve.
The halfling plan is to inflict as much damage as possible with missile weapons, and then hope the billmen can whittle the orcs down enough that they won’t overwhelm the yeomen and boyos.
In general, I’m trying to keep this simple and just test the mechanics. The troop types and leaders are drawn from the monster section of B&T and things like hit points were rolled randomly.
Oh – rhe dark green bits are woodlands, the brown blob a hill and the light blue bit is the ford in the river. The rest of the river could be crossed by swimming.