Mooks v Mooks

I guess this is a roundabout way of asking if anyone has thought about mass combat rules. In the game I'm about to run, there's a possibility the PCs will have "friendly mooks" on their side. Either summoned creatures or hirelings, or allies otherwise of a non-Named Character calibre. Who might themselves come into conflict with other mooks.

In one respect I have no problem just winging it all abstract, but I don't know if the players would be entirely happy with that. If someone has taken Leadership and wants to show off with "command stunts" (which I think is entirely appropriate) then perhaps I need something a little more structured.

I'm likely to be tracking mooks with poker chips; literally a stack of them where one represents a mook. Since they're either up and fighting, or down and out, that works neatly. I'll probably put a stack near each player when they're fighting them. Or perhaps use sweets or choccies they can eat when they beat them...

Anyway, ideas on how to handle mook v mook, without the whole thing becoming overcomplicated would be welcome. I liked the mook squad rules, but they work better when mooks are ganging up on a single PC.

[color=darkblue]Off the top o' my head...

I'd use chips to represent mook groups (called 'wads') of differing strengths.

Use red chips for full strength mook wads (representing, say, 5 mooks per chip). For mook squads who've lost a few members due to injuries, use white chips for smaller wads (say, with 2-3 mooks per chip).

Ok, so when mooks fight mooks, you simply roll six siders. Whichever red mook 'chip' rolled higher causes an 'injury' to the other, and downgrades it to white. A natural 6 removes the opposing chip entirely. If a white chip gets hit again, all the mooks in that wad are eliminated from the fight, and the chip is removed.

White chips, being smaller wads than red chips, receive a -1 AV to attacks on other chips.

Any color chip can receive AV bonuses due to PC leadership, as you deem appropriate. Plus, two white chips can merge into one red chip, as mooks band together to negate the AV penalty.

This is just a quick & dirty method of tracking mook wads in mass combat; abstract, but with a glance, players will still know what they're facing. PCs taking on a 'chip' themselves will still be able to tell how many nameless opponents they'll be fighting by the color code.

I've never tried this, by the way, but I plan to next time I have a mass mook melee.

What I did, when the Buro attacked the Junkyard in force, was to write up a series of 'waves' of attack that the defenders (and the PCs) had to defend against.

For each wave, I decided what it consisted of, and defined 'victory' and 'defeat' conditions for each of them. As soon as one of the other is met, that wave is effectively over and the PCs have a chance to regroup for the next one.

Each 'defeat' has a consequence for the defending side that affects the final confrontation. Any other events are just descriptive colour.

Here's an abridged version of what I ran for my group:

Wave 1: A line of abominations with spirit shield generators, followed by a line of abominations with helix rippers. The PCs need to soften them up enough for the defending mooks to survive. Victory: eliminate 50 mooks in two sequences. On defeat, the barricade is reduced in strength.

Wave 2: Infiltrators attempt to blow holes in the barricade. Anyone who spent time before the battle specifically looking for infiltrators will find them, of Perception rolls of 10 will unearth them in the act. Victory: stop the bombings. On defeat, reduce the barricade strength by 1.

Wave 3: SPUD-U assault. Five SPUD-Us overfly the barricade and attack. Victory: disable or sieze them all. On defeat, reduce the barricade strength by 1.

Final Wave: Named general in SAVAGe. If the barricade has any strength left, subtract 10 times the barricade strength from the wreck points of the tank.

This method makes sure the PCs are the centre of attention and, I think, nicely reflects how big battles in film are run. Plus, you never have to roll any dice for mooks- you just assume appropriate casualties based on how the battle is going.

Pitched battles are often more fun for the players if they feel that what they do matter to the outcome. I would keep it pretty simple and roll for the friendly mooks and use the hostile mooks AV as the difficulty. The outcome shows how many mooks that dies; a positive Outcome kills off hostile mooks; a negative Outcome kills off friendly mooks.

For every five mooks more on either side, gives +1 to the AV respectively.￾ Don't bother if the hostile mooks is attacking the heroes or their mooks - every mooks counts into this bonus.

Example: The players got 13 specialist mooks on their side with AV 9 and they are challenged by a horde (34) of demon mooks with AV 7. The demons gets ([34 - 13] / 5 =) +4 on their AV. The players mooks rolls against a difficulty 11. On first round they roll -2 and gets -4 in outcome, which kills 4 friendly mooks.

Perhaps it sounds difficult to organize the numbers, but you just have to keep track of the remainders. If it's 5 then it gives another +1 to either side, if it's -1 or below then it gives -1 to either side. In the example above, the bonus is +4 and the remnainder is 1. If 2 mooks are killed on the hostile side (-1), then the bonus is lowered to +3 and the remainders are 4, but in the example above 4 friendly mooks were killed (remainder 5), thus giving one extra bonus to the hostile mooks next roll.

If any of the players got Leadership, that player makes the roll instead, but replaces the mooks AV with the Leadership's AV. On a successful roll (positive outcome), the player can describe how the orders took effect.

You should consider letting 10 mooks give +1 on their AV instead of 5 mooks. The PC's will decimate the mooks between the mook rolls and it's easier to just move the decimal one step then dividing by five. Also, Leadership is pretty good in these home made rules, but I can't see when you can use Leadership anyway.

Heck, I'd just let the character with Leadership roll to 'attack' a squad of Mooks, with a +1 bonus for every five mooks in your squad, and a maximum of 1 opposition Mook targeted per 5 Mooks in your squad. Standard Multi-target, snapshot and Mook Differential apply. (So a really effective Leader can, with a squadron of Mooks, take down a horde of Mooks pretty effectively.)


Character with Leadership 13 leads an attack on a squadron of 20 Mooks with AV 8. His own squad has 15 Mooks in it. He wants to drop as many of the horde as he can.

He rolls off of a base 16 AV (13, +3 from the Mooks). He can attempt to take down no more than three mooks. Going for the max, then, he has a -3 AV, leaving him at a 13 AV again--he has an even-up chance of dropping the three mooks (since his Pre-roll AV is exactly five over the Mook AV).

You could also give a bonus/penalty equal to the AV difference between the Heroic and Villainous Mooks--assuming both sides are homogenous. If they're mixed (say, Bouncing Benjis alongside Buromil TacOps), I woudn't bother. This is actually a pretty decent way for the 'face' character to be able to help out in a mass-combat.

Hm... I feel an Auxillary Schtick coming on....

So long as he has at least five 'friendly' Mooks under his command, this character can use his Leadership Skill in place of his Dodge AV. When using this Schtick, if the Command character actively Dodges, all of the associated Mooks also lose one Shot. With two Schticks in command, he can also use the lower total of his Leadership Score or the total number of remaining allied Mooks as his Attack AV, using whatever attack mode the Mooks possess. When using this aspect of the Schtick, all the Mooks burn the same number of Shots as the Command character does on the attack.