# Multiple combatants

I've been reading the combat rules for ars 5th ed and have a question to ask.

The rules use group combat for groups of people attacking but state that combatants in a group should be about the same.

We often have multiple people trying to duff up our magi and we've found the level of maths required to sort out groups to be a bit excessive for winging a fight.

Are there any other rules for 2 (or more) on one combat that are a) less maths intensive and b) work for groups of wildly divergent abilities?

I have been using a cumulative -3 penalty on defense rolls for the outnumbered combatant (i.e. defending against first guy is at no penalty, second at -3, third at -6, fourth at -9, etc) thus far and this seems to be working ok, but i want to know if official rules exist.

The rule you mention was official in previous editions. Right now it is not, but combat is one of those special cases where HR abound. We do not use the ArM5 combat system at all. Well, we use the effort rules, but that is all.

For group combat, we give a straight +3 for every combatant in YOUR group after the first. That makes trained groups surrounding an inferior foe a fearsome opponent (+3 for them, -3 for the durrounded one) and makes them good defenders, even if surrounded, since their +3 balances things out. The pike wall with a +30 bonus has the potential of being quite fearsome, I tell you. Obviously all limited to a number of combatants equal to the leadership of the leaderx2 to avoid abuse. Been playtesting it lately a little bit and it seems OK, but we have yet to do it on a large scale.

Makes professional (treained combat) soldiers a truly fearsome opponent in melees (we do not use trained combats for archery).

Cheers,

Xavi

Combat abilities within 5 of each other should be pretty easy to manage, but barring that - the 5ed combat system allows everything to be precalculated (apart from the dice-throws) so where is the math problem?

My players are a little.....gung ho....to say the least. They often end up getting into fights i hadn't anticipated, e.g. getting into a bar fight with a group of young noble students. Hence i haven't done the maths before hand.

Obviously for groups i have thought out, i'd be able to do this but its the one off groups that my players decide to launch their magi against that get me.

Work with templates. It goes OK here.

I have the following templates:

Knight

• 2 handed sword
• lance
• sword
• sword + shield
• mace + shield

Soak with and without armour.

brigand/town watch/bully

• spear
• short sword
• mace
• club
• short bow

Soak with and without armour.

Soldier

• short sword
• mace
• club
• short bow
Soak with and without armour.

Farmer/itinerant merchant/pilgrim

• farm implement
• club
• large club
• staff
Soak.

And Brawl for everybody as well, both unarmed and with dagger. It is less than an A4 sheet with stats included. I change the Pre and Com of the NPC and they work fine.

Having precalculated generic dudes that can operate in a multiplicity of situations is OK. Your tavern brawl is something I have been challenged with as well as a SG.

Xavi