Hello all. I've been hard at "work" just going over and over the core rules, checking anything that seemed like it could be interesting to rework, or at least try to do so. I've come to a conclusion that there's one thing - group combat. So, I went ahead and started writing. Here's what I've come up with.
As always, I expect nothing more than utmost scrutiny and constructive critique. I've got plenty to learn after all!
While setting up the group at first is a little cumbersome (it takes a bit of time to calculate the group's totals, as the group requires its own character sheet). It does, however, simplify the group in practice, as there is only one "character" on the field you need to worry about.
A Group is an assortment of Individual warriors who are treated as a single unit on the battlefield - they move, attack and perform other actions together, share the same Initiative order and the same results of dice rolls.
Forming a Group
For the purposes of combat, forming a group is a 1 round Extended Action in which all characters must participate. Forming a group does not require all the characters to be of roughly comparable ability, but the statistics do use the worst Totals from among the group.
For example, if Albert's Attack Total is +10, Bernard's is +9 and Cecil's is +12, and two other soldiers' Totals are +8. The group uses the Attack Total of +8. Albert’s Defense Total is +10, Bernard’s is +7, and Cecil’s is +13, and the other two soldiers’ Totals are +11. The lowest of them is Bernard’s at +7, so this ends up being used. The same totals are extrapolated for Initiative (+2, +3, +2, +3, +3) and Damage (+7, +8, +9, +9, +7). The extrapolated combat statistics of the group are Init +2, Atk +8, Def +7, Dam +6. Finally, the lowest Soak from among the group is 5.
First, you must appoint a leader. The leader assumes control of the group's decisions, and generates Lead Total, which is used in further calculations. Groups that don't have an established leader are no more than a racket and don't receive leadership benefits. A group can only have a leader if the group has spent a considerable amount of time training together (for example, one season of sword practice).
Presence + Leadership
Like most other mundane activities, groups benefit from Team Effort. Calculate Teamwork Bonus to Combat Totals by summing up the appropriate totals of each participant. Teamwork bonuses always apply so long as the group is active and has a leader. Further, the group receives a bonus to Soak equal to the Lead Total.
If the group consists of a number of characters equal or less than the Lead Total, use the Accelerated Pyramidal Track. If the group has more participants than the Lead Total, use the Standard Pyramidal Track, as they are harder to coordinate. If the group has no leader, do not apply the Teamwork Bonus.
|Teamwork Bonus||Sum Target (Accel)||Sum Target (Stand)|
For example, Albert's Presence is 2, and his Leadership is 4 with 'battle' Specialty. He and his peers have spent a season training together at the covenant, and thus can form a trained group. Since Albert’s Lead Total is enough to facilitate all members of the group, the calculations use the Accelerated Track. From the previous example, the sum of their Attack Totals is 43, granting a Teamwork Bonus of +8 to Attack Rolls. Using the same formula, the group’s Teamwork Bonus to Defense Rolls is +9, +4 to Initiative, and +8 to Damage. Further, since Albert’s Lead Total is 7, they receive that bonus to Soak.
A group is treated as a single unit, thus it has its own Wound levels. For these purposes, a group’s effective Size depends on the number of participants.
*Assumes Size 0 warriors. A Size 1 warrior counts as 2 individuals, a Size 2 warrior counts as 4, and Size 3 warrior counts as 10 individuals. Conversely, it takes two Size -1, four Size -2 or ten Size -3 warriors to count as one individual. The same figure can be applied to designing swarms of small creatures.
|Light||-1 to all group rolls|
|Medium||-3 to all group rolls|
|Heavy||-5 to all group rolls|
|Incapacitating||Target One of the Warriors|
*When an individual character is targeted, apply the damage directly against their personal Soak. If the leader becomes incapacitated as a result, the group dissolves. A dissolved group needs to spend an extended action returning to order.
For example, Albert’s group consists of five warriors (Albert included). Two warriors, however, are Size -1 twins, and are thus treated as one for the calculation purposes, and Cecil has Giants’ blood running through his veins, counting as four. The total “body” count of Albert’s group is 7, granting them Effective Size +2. This makes them highly resistant to incoming damage.
Destroying a Group
A group is effectively dismantled when the number of Individuals in the group no longer meets the group's Size requirements or if the leader becomes incapacitated, at which point it dissolves. A dissolved group has two options - split into Individuals, or spend an extended action to get back together. When split into Individuals, every Individual takes the group's Wounds (thus, if the group has received two light wounds and one medium wound, every participant would receive two light wounds and one medium wound). When getting back together, recalculate the group's base totals, and if the group still has a leader, check if the Teamwork Bonus has changed. Usually, when a group dissolves, the morale falls as well and soldiers begin to rout.
When a group dissolves naturally at the end of combat, its members take the group's wounds as well.
For example, Albert's group got into a scuffle, and received an Incapacitating wound, knocking down Cecil. As he was giant-sized, this reduced the turb's "body" count to 3. The group falls into disarray!
Final Group Sheet
Size: +2 (7 individuals)
(predominantly) Axe & Heater Shield: Init +6 (2+4), Attack +16 (8+8), Defense +16 (7+9), Damage +14 (6+8)
Soak: +12 (5+7, predominantly full metal scale armor)
Wound Penalties: –1 (1–7), –3 (8-14), –5 15-21), Incapacitated (22-28), Fatal (29+)
Recalculating the group stats is cumbersome. Solution: Use Vanguard/Leader stats in place of determining "worst of all" stats; in that case, Incapacitating wound would target the Vanguard.