Pathfinder Mass Combat Rules

The Ultimate Campaign rules for mass combat are a simple, and basic, set of wargames rules - that don’t really work well for me. While I am happy to play a table top wargame, I don’t really want to wargame whilst role-playing a character – I don’t want to try to run my army as my character would. Ugh! However, I have always been fascinated by Celtic Myth, in those battles the Heroes take centre stage, and while the fight goes on around them, ultimately it is the heroes who win or lose the battle.

Building an Army

Defence Points. As you build up your stronghold, you can add Walls, Moats, Castles, Garrisons and a variety of other military buildings, and these represent your stronghold’s military potential. It isn’t a standing army, rather it represents the number of combatants that have trained in your stronghold. Some of these will be employed as guards, patrolmen, watchmen or perhaps even as soldiers - others have completed their service and gone on to other duties. However, when you send out the call to arms, defence points represents the number of people who are ready, willing and able to take up arms on your behalf. It might take them a while to muster, but every defence point also counts as an ‘Army Point’.

Friends and Allies. You can ask countries, cities and organisations for support. If they think your requests are legitimate, they will send some troops which will help bolster your ‘Army Points’.

Mercenaries. You can always hire mercenaries to fight alongside your army. The price per ‘Army Point’ will vary on how picky you are and the legitimacy of your cause.

Partners. If a number of strongholds are fighting on the same side of a battle, their Army Points are added together to make a single value for the combined army. Even if they are commanded by different generals.

PC Spell Casters. If a PC Spell Caster (of at least 5th level) decides to associate themselves with an army, rather than take part in the Hero Combat, they add +1 army point. This represents the ability to cast area of affect spells to the detriment of the enemy or the benefit of their own side.

Note: 5th level because the rules assume that ‘The Army’ is (on average) made up of 3rd level NPCs - some of whom will probably be spell casters.

Battlefield Resolution 1

Resolution is very simple, each round the two sides make opposed Army Checks – whichever side loses the Army Check loses one Army Point.

The Army Check = D20 + Army Points + Hero bonus.

Hero Bonus is a GM moderated +5 awarded to one side or the other, depending on who did best in the PC Party Combat that round. Once an Army loses half of its Army Points, it routes and loses the battle and the heroes fight will suddenly get a lot harder, as they also have to deal with a victorious and rampant army.

Every Army Point lost represents a mix of death, injury and morale loss, as long as the army can be physically kept together, they can be ‘healed’ by a mix of clerical Spells and a morale boosting speech. However, this can never bring an army back to its full starting strength. The reformed Army loses two army points.

Battlefield Resolution 2

If the Heroes win their fight, the enemies Army routes automatically on the next round and you can reform your army on the spot. And vice versa.

Even a winning army cannot be healed back to full strength, but only loses one Army Point before the next battle.

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