Note: This is all theory so far. I haven’t playtested this game at all. There are more bits and bobs I have to get into place before it’s ready for that. However, let’s dive into how combat will work.
Combat starts out by setting up the board. Folks who play miniature games will be familiar with this process. As this is an RPG, the board will be set up by the GM (or according to a map in a premade scenario). The GM will designate a deployment area for the PCs and a deployment area for the enemies. If either side has been surprised, they’ll deploy first, as their enemy has had time to get into a strategic position. Otherwise, both sides are welcome to do so simultaneously.
If this is objectionable to anyone at the table, a round of initiative may be rolled, and setup happens in reverse order, with the lowest initiative deploying first.
Each PC and NPC rolls initiative, except for minions. Minion creatures share the initiative with the creature that controls them. If no creature controls them, they’ll roll initiative as a mob (i.e., all the tribal warriors in a single uncontrolled mob share the same initiative).
To roll initiative, each PC or NPC rolls Presence. The creature with the most successes goes first, the one with the next most successes goes second, etc, etc. If there are any ties, priority defaults to the creature with the highest base initiative. If it is still tied, each tied creaturerolls 1d10 and compares the result, with the higher result winning.
The GM keeps track of the initiative order in any way they see fit. Jotting all the names on a list might be easiest.
On a creature’s turn, they may move and take an action, and they may do this in any order. However, they cannot start moving, take an action, then continue moving. Common actions will be listed on the table in the next blog post, but a player is not limited to these. Anything outside this list is adjudicated by the GM. The most common action taken will most likely be attacking.
All creatures take one turn before moving onto the morale phase.
An attacker must be within one inch of its target, unless they have some power or item that says otherwise. To attack, they designate who their target is and roll Fierce. Each success they have goes into their success pool. The defender then rolls one die for each success the attacker has, and compares the number to their defense. For each die that is equal to or more than their defense number, the attacker loses one success from their success pool.
Next, the defender takes one point of damage for each success the attacker has left in their success pool (if any). The success pool is then empty.
Attacking and Moving with a mob
A mob consists of any number of minions, though a standard character can only control a number of minions equal to 2x their presence. Non-humanoids must have the pack trait to be able to form mobs.
All creatures in a mob must be within three inches of each other at the beginning and end of a move. Any creature that cannot fulfill that condition is removed from the table as a casualty. Just like any other creature, a mob moves and takes an action on their turn in any order. Actions that are appropriate for a mob will be tagged as such in the next blog post.
When it comes time to attack, any figure in a mob that is within range of the targeted enemy may attack. A mob can only target one enemy or enemy mob; it cannot split up its attack. For each figure that is within range, they roll Fierce. Each success they have goes into their success pool. The defending creature or mob then rolls one die for each success the attacker has, and compares the number to their defense. For each die that is equal to or more than their defense number, the attacker loses one success from their success pool.
One of the major differences with a mob’s attack is that the damage can carry over. If the mob is attacking another mob and they cause more than enough damage to kill one of the creatures in the mob, the remaining damage carries over to the next creature in the mob. This continues until there is no more damage left to allocate, or the mob is destroyed. Damage cannot be spread out among the mob—all damage must go to one creature first before spreading to the next.
When enough damage is done to kill a creature in a mob, the mob’s controlling player decides which figures are removed.
Any creatures that are killed are removed from the table and put to the side. They are in that mob’s dead pool (this becomes important in the morale phase). The more creatures that are killed, the more likely it is that others in the mob will flee.
Each mob that lost creatures in the last round must make a morale roll. For each creature in their dead pool, roll one die and compare it to their morale score. For every die that rolls under their morale score, another creature in that mob is in danger of fleeing. The creature controlling the mob may roll Presence to keep them from running away. Each success they have stops one figure from running away. If there are any creatures left that were in danger of fleeing, they’re gone. The mob’s owner decides which figures those are and removes them from the table.
All figures removed from the board during this phase, and those already in that mob’s dead pool, are all now moved aside into that mob’s casualty pool. After the battle, we may find out that these figures were only wounded or that they ran back to camp. We’ll get to that in a little bit.
End of Phase
Any miscellaneous bookkeeping happens now. Take a break, go pee, whatever. Then start all over again with the initiative phase.
End of the Battle
Once the battle is ended, either because both sides have retreated, one side escaped, or one side is decimated, it’s time to see how your casualties fared. In most instances, this isn’t necessary for NPCs, unless the GM really wants them to stage a comeback in the future. That option should not be used often. Let the players enjoy their slaughter.
For each figure in the casualty pool, roll a d10. For each result of a 5 or up, the figure still lives! They’re either wounded or missing. They’ll heal up or reappear after your next downtime phase in your home camp. Just keep track of the numbers and hope you can make it back home without them.