Tactics differ from strategy in that they represent specific maneuvers that an army can perform on the battlefield focused on attack, defense, movement, or a combination of the three. Strategy dictates each side’s overall approach to what all of their armies will do, but each individual unit can adopt its own unique tactics. A unit can select one tactic each battle phase, and maneuvers marked with an asterisk (*) are usable only once during a battle by each side as they represent either maneuvers based on limited resources or on battlefield deception. Some maneuvers require one or more kinds of specialized equipment for the unit performing it.
In order to use a tactic, a unit must be trained in it, either when it is created, through training, or through victory in battle, up to a maximum number of tactics equal to its ACR. All armies know the Full Defense, Furious Charge, Retreat, Standard, and Withdraw tactics (and an army with ranged weapons automatically has the Volley tactic); these tactics do not count against this maximum.
Cavalry Sweep: Your unit is trained in making swift rideby attacks against infantry, dashing across the battlefield and harrying the enemy. Your unit can attack two non-mounted armies in a single battle phase. Your unit gains –4 OM and –2 DV for the remainder of the battle phase and your attacks deal only half damage, but you are not considered engaged after attacking a non-mounted unit. Requirement: mounts. Source: LG:UB
Covering Fire: Your unit keeps some of its soldiers back from the front lines in order to provide covering fire for you and allies and to strafe targets of opportunity trying to move around you. Once per battle phase, when your unit or an allied unit disengages from an enemy unit, including the Retreat or Withdraw Tactic, or a unit that routs or is destroyed, you can make a ranged attack against the enemy unit from which it is trying to disengage. If your attack
hits, you inflict 1d4–1 Casualties and your allied unit gains a +1 bonus to DV and to opposed Morale checks made to disengage. Requirement: ranged weapons. Source: LG:UB
Furious Charge: Your unit makes a furious rush to attack a defending unit. You gain +2 OM and –2 DV for the remainder of the battle phase. An engaged unit cannot use this tactic. If you successfully attack an enemy unit, it takes a –1 penalty to Morale checks made to try disengaging with you until the end of battle phase. Source: LG:UB
Feint: Your unit feigns an attack to draw enemies out of position and distract them from greater threats elsewhere on the battlefield. On a successful attack, you deal half damage but do not become engaged. In addition, your unit and the unit you attack must make opposed Morale checks with a bonus equal to the unit’s ACR. If you win this opposed check, the defending unit is drawn out of position and takes a –2 penalty to DV for the rest of the battle phase. If your attack fails, your attack does no damage and your unit becomes engaged with the defender. Source: LG:UB
Overwhelming Onslaught: Your unit makes a wild and reckless attack meant to overwhelm and overrun the defending unit. Your unit gains +4 OM and -4 DV, and after resolving your attack you take you take 1d6-3 Casualties if the attack succeeds, 1d6 if the attack fails (these Casualties are modified by your Strategy, as per Table 1). If your attack succeeds against a target using Full Defense, Pike Square, or Screening Defense tactics, the defending unit must succeed on a Morale check (DC 10 + Attacker’s ACR) or those tactics are negated for the remainder of the battle phase. If the Morale check fails by 5 or more, that unit cannot use any of those tactics again for the remainder of the battle. If you successfully attack an enemy unit, it takes a –2 penalty to Morale checks made to try disengaging with you until the end of battle phase. Source: LG:UB
Pike Square: Your unit grounds its polearms and sets them to fend off enemies, especially mounted foes, while setting a shield wall to protect against infantry. Your unit gains –2 OM but gains +2 DV against mounted armies and deals +2 damage on a successful attack against a mounted unit. In addition, your unit deals +1 damage against any unit using the Aggressive Attack strategy, +2 against armies using All-Out Attack strategy. Requirement: reach weapons, no mounts.
Pincer Maneuver: Your unit is trained to envelop a unit that is already engaged by your allies. You gain +2 OM against a unit that is already engaged by an allied army; however, because you are spread out you take a –2 penalty to your DV for the rest of the battle phase against attacks from armies that are not already engaged with you. When you use this tactic, a unit engaged with you takes a –2 penalty to Morale checks made to disengage, flee, retreat, or withdraw for the remainder of the battle phase. Source: LG:UB
Pursuit: When an enemy unit retreats, routs, or withdraws from the battlefield, your unit can try to chase them down, even if they are in the Camp zone. Make an opposed Morale check against the target unit, with each unit adding their forced march Movement to this check (you gain an additional +1 bonus if the target unit routed in the previous Battle phase). If your Morale check succeeds, you force the target unit back into the Ranged or Melee zone (your choice) and can make a Standard melee attack or Volley ranged attack against that unit. You cannot use this tactic if your unit is engaged. Source: LG:UB
Retreat: Your unit can exit the battlefield completely with this tactic. Your unit cannot attack during the Battle phase in which it uses this maneuver and takes a -1 penalty to DV and Morale. The unit must attempt opposed Morale checks against all enemy armies engaged with it; each unit adds its Forced March speed to this special Morale check. If an enemy unit’s Morale check exceeds yours, it can make a free melee attack against you, even if it has already acted this round.
Enemy armies that fail to beat your Morale check do not gain this free attack. If your army survives these attacks (even if your unit takes all of its Casualties, but not if it is destroyed), it disengages from all enemy armies and leaves the battlefield. Source: LG:UB
Screening Defense: Your army may choose another army to protect on the battlefield. Melee attacks made against the army you are protecting affect your army instead. While using this tactic, your army cannot attack any army unless it first attacks you in melee. The unit you are protecting cannot be engaged by an enemy unit unless your unit is routed or destroyed. If the unit you are protecting is already engaged, it remains engaged; using this maneuver does not force the opposing unit to disengage. The unit you protect can be targeted with ranged attacks, though it gains a +2 bonus to DV against them. You take 1d6-3 points of damage if the unit you guard is hit with a ranged attack; and the unit you guard takes the same damage if your army is hit with a ranged attack. Source: LG:UB
Siegebreaker (Alternative): Your army targets another army’s siege engines in an attempt to destroy them. If your army damages the target army, your army attempts a second Offense check; if successful, destroy one of the target’s siege engines. This tactic has no effect on enemy armies without siege engines. In addition, a unit using this tactic can try to circumvent the protection of a unit using the Screening Defense tactic if the unit it protects is equipped with siege weapons. If your attack against the screening unit succeeds, your attack deals half damage to that unit and you can make a second attack against the protected unit and its siege weapons. This attack also deals half damage. Source: LG:UB
Skirmishers: Your unit makes a quick probing strike and then disengages. Your unit takes a -2 OM penalty and deals half damage on a successful attack, but you do not become engaged with the target unit whether or not your attack succeeds. Requirement: no medium or heavy armor. Source: LG:UB
Strafing Skirmishers: Your unit keeps on the move while riddling its targets with quick volleys. Your unit takes a -2 OM penalty and deals half damage on a successful attack during the ranged combat phase, but it gains a +1 DV and once per round when attacked during the melee phase your unit can attempt a Morale check to avoid becoming engaged. Requirement: ranged weapons, no medium or heavy armor. Source: LG:UB
Volley: Your unit remains stationary and makes a ranged attack against any enemy unit on the field. Requirement: Ranged weapons. Source: LG:UB
The following boons can be selected by commanders, but no boon can be applied to an army more than once unless otherwise noted. Most boons apply to only one army at a time but can be shifted from unit to unit during each battle phase. A boon marked with an (A) applies to all allied armies (or includes an effect that affects all allied armies). A boon marked with (P) is a permanent boon that applies to only a single army and cannot be shifted to other armies.
Advanced Tactics: An army with this boon gains a +2 bonus to its OM; however, this bonus is halved if the target army also has Advanced Tactics or Defensive Tactics. Requirement: The character granting this boon must have at least 11 ranks in 5 different skills, one of which must be Profession (soldier). Source: LG:UB
Combined Tactics: An army with this boon deploys screening infantry to defend its ranged attackers. The army cannot attack in the Melee Phase but gains a +1 bonus to its DV until the beginning of the next battle phase and can make ranged attacks even if engaged. Requirement: The character granting this boon and the creatures comprising the army must have ranged weapons and a Dexterity of 13 or higher. Source: LG:UB
Daring Maneuvers: An army with this boon can overextend itself to press home an advantage, though this leaves its flanks exposed. The army gains a +4 OM (or AV) bonus but takes a –2 penalty to DV until it acts in the next battle phase. Source: LG:UB
Death Before Dishonor: An army with this boon reduces Morale penalties or reductions, regardless of their source. All effects that would cause a –1 penalty to Morale have no effect, while larger Morale penalties or reductions are reduced by 1. Requirement: The character granting this boon and the soldiers in the army must all have the aura of courage, bravery, rage, or resolve class feature or the Iron Will feat. Source: LG:UB
Implacable Advance: Each Melee phase, this boon grants one army a +1 bonus to OM, damage, and Morale until the end of the current Melee Phase. Any army it attacks takes a –1 penalty to Morale until the beginning of the next battle phase. Requirement: The character granting this boon must have a base attack bonus of +11 or greater. Source: LG:UB
Last Stand (P): A unit with this boon can stave off elimination when on the brink of destruction. If the army is reduced to 0 hit points or below, it is not defeated or destroyed if it receives a Magical Healing boon or uses Healing Potions before the end of the current battle phase sufficient to restore it to at least 1 hit point. Even if it does not receive this healing, it remains engaged with any enemy armies until the end of the next Melee phase, and it can make an attack in that phase against an army engaged with it, though it cannot move, retreat, disengage, or attack armies not engaged with it. Requirement: The character granting this boon and the creatures comprising the army must have the rage or resolve class feature, ferocity or orc ferocity special quality, or Diehard feat. Source: LG:UB
Magical Advantage (A): All allied armies gain a +1 bonus on damage rolls and gain a +1 bonus to Morale checks if the army they attack does not also have Magical Advantage or Magical Protection. Requirement: The character providing this boon must be able to cast at least one spell of 6th level or higher. Source: LG:UB
Magical Barrage: An army with this boon can attack during the Ranged Phase with a bonus to OM (for ranged attacks only) equal to 1/2 the level of the highest-level spell that the character granting the boon is able to cast. Requirement: The character granting the boon must have the channel negative energy ability or be capable of casting at least one area-effect offensive spell of 3rd level or higher. Source: LG:UB
Magical Healing: Immediately before the end of each battle phase, this unit can remove 2d4 hp of damage from any one allied army. If the target army is fatigued, that condition is removed but the damage healed is halved. If the target army is exhausted, that condition is reduced to fatigued and the damage healed is halved. Requirement: The character granting this boon must have the channel positive energy ability or be able to cast at least one mass cure wounds spell. Source: LG:UB
Magical Protection: An army with this boon gains a +1 bonus to its DV and reduces damage from all attacks by 1 point. In addition, modifiers from enemies using Magical Advantage, Magical Barrage, and Magical Trickery are negated for an army with this boon. Requirement: The character granting this boon must be capable of casting abjuration spells of 4th level or higher. Source: LG:UB
Magical Trickery: At the beginning of each battle phase, this army may select one enemy army to confound with illusions, mind-affecting effects, and magical barriers to sight and movement. The target army takes a penalty equal to 1/2 the highest-level spell that the character providing this boon is able to cast, and that character may choose to affect the target army’s OM, DV, Morale, Movement, or Scouting, or as a bonus to an allied army’s Camouflage. If the target army’s speed is reduced to 0, it cannot disengage or use any tactic, boon, or special ability requiring movement. Each round, you may target a different enemy army, or you may continue targeting the same army with a different penalty or repeating the same penalty. The effects of Magical Trickery end at the beginning of the next battle phase unless you renew them. Requirement: The character granting this boon must be able to cast at least one area-effect illusion or mind-affecting spell or spell that impedes movement (e.g., solid fog, wall of thorns) of 3rd level or higher. Source: LG:UB
Master Recruiter (A): The maximum number of armies the kingdom may support is increased by 2. If this boon is lost, the army with the lowest Morale immediately disbands and flees the battlefield. If multiple armies have identical Morale scores, determine randomly). Special: This boon can be selected more than once, and its effects stack. Requirement: The character granting this boon must have the Leadership feat. Source: LG:UB
Quick Repairs: An army inside a fortification can conduct emergency repairs while a battle still rages, repairing 1d6 points of damage to a fortification at the end of each Rout Phase (assuming the army has not been routed itself). An army on board one or more ships, or a naval squadron with this command boon, can likewise use this ability to repair ships that have not been sunk. Requirement: The character granting this boon must be able to cast at least one 4th-level or higher conjuration (creation) spell. Source: LG:UB
Ready for Battle: An army with this boon gains a +4 bonus to skill checks made to determine tactical initiative during the Tactics Phase. Source: LG:UB
Screaming for Vengeance (A): The first time during a battle that any army is defeated, destroyed, or routed (but not if it is disbanded), all allied armies gain a +1 bonus to OM and Morale checks for the remainder of that battle phase (doubled to +2 if attacking or engaged with the army that defeated, destroyed, or routed their allied army). Source: LG:UB
Swift Riders (P): An army with this boon gains a +2 bonus to Morale checks to disengage (doubled to +4 against enemy armies that are not mounted). Requirement: mounts. Cannot use medium or heavy armor. Significant character and soldiers must have Mounted Combat or Skill Focus (Ride) feat. Source: LG:UB
Wolves in the Fold (P): An army with this boon uses disguise and deception to infiltrate enemy lines and throw them into chaos. On the first Melee Phase of a battle, this army gains a +1d6 bonus to its OM (or AV), and on a successful attack the target army takes a –1 penalty to its own OM (or AV), DV, and Morale until the beginning of the next battle phase. Requirement: The character granting the boon and the soldiers must have the sneak attack special attack, shapechanger subtype, change shape or disguise self ability, or a Disguise or Stealth bonus of +10 or greater. Source: LG:UB
The costs listed are for a Medium army. Resources for a smaller or larger army cost proportionately less or more than this amount, as per Table: Resource Scaling.
Chariot: These wheeled conveyances are driven into combat, drawn by war-trained beasts of burden and bearing one or more warriors into battle. To purchase this resource, a settlement in your kingdom must have a Smith or a Stable. Source: LG:UB
- Chariot, Heavy (15 BP): These combat vehicles are stout and sturdy, drawn by a team of two heavy or four light mounts. Heavy chariots are usually armor-plated to give cover to a pair of armed passengers. The chariots themselves are typically spiked and bladed for scything through enemy formations.
- Chariot, Light (9 BP): These combat vehicles are lightweight and fast, each drawn by a single heavy mount or a pair of light mounts, usually with a single driver and a bow-armed rider. Bladed hubs cut a bloody path though creatures approaching a moving chariot’s flanks.
Howdah: Howdahs are special saddles and battle platforms used by smaller creatures to ride much larger creatures (more than one size category larger) into combat. The base army is considered to be the unit on which the howdahs are mounted, and its CR is used to determine the ACR of the army in Melee situations. To purchase this resource, a settlement in your kingdom must have a Smith or a Stable.
A unit with howdahs can make ranged attacks; however, the larger and generally much stronger creature bearing the howdah is not the creature making those ranged attacks, so its base CR is not used to determined the howdah army’s ranged OM (unless the base creature is a dragon, manticore, or similar creature with its own powerful ranged attack). Instead, its OM for ranged attacks is based on the CR of the creatures riding in the howdah, which is treated for this purpose (and for the purpose of recruiting, manpower, and effects on the kingdom if these soldiers are killed) as a separate army of smaller creatures. It does not have its own separate Consumption, nor does it count against the kingdom’s Command Limit. If the mount army is bloodied, defeated, destroyed, disbanded, or routed, the rider army suffers the same fate. Source: LG:UB
- Howdah, Grand (20 BP): Grand howdahs are mounted on creatures three size categories larger than the howdah’s riders. A grand howdah carries 10 soldiers, so its OM is determined as an army three size categories larger than the mount army.
- Howdah, Light (12 BP): Light howdahs are mounted on creatures two size categories larger than the howdah’s riders (such as humans and elephants). A light howdah carries 4-5 soldiers, so the ranged OM of the howdah army is determined as an army two size categories larger than the mount army.
Magic Potions (8 BP): Armies with magic potions can choose any one of the following effects that they can use as a single use special ability that lasts for the duration of one battle phase: elemental resistance 10 (choose one type of energy), magic weapons, aligned weapons (overcome some damage reduction), climb (Speed 1), defense (+2 DV), flight (Speed 5), invisibility (+4 Morale check to disengage, +2 Camouflage). To purchase this resource, a settlement in your kingdom must have an Alchemist, Caster’s Tower, Sacred Grove, or Temple. Source: LG:UB
The multiplier affects the resource’s initial cost and the increase to Consumption. The multiplier can’t reduce the cost of a resource below 1 BP.
The list of abilities that could be translated into mass combat equivalents is essentially endless, but the following are offered as additional rules to expand the range of possibilities for customizing your armies so that their combat statistics reflect the creatures that comprise them more fully.
Ability Damage/Drain (Alternate): When you successfully attack in melee, the defending unit takes a –1d4 penalty to OM and DV for the remainder of the battle. Source: LG:UB
Ability Modifier: When an army is comprised of a humanoid race with a modifier to its physical ability scores, it affects the combat statistics of the armies they comprise. Source: LG:UB
- Strength: The army gains a +1 bonus to OM if its soldiers gain a bonus to Strength, –1 if they have a penalty.
- Dexterity: The army gains a +1 bonus to OM if its soldiers gain a bonus to Dexterity, –1 if they have a penalty.
- Constitution: The army gains 1 additional hit point and a +1 bonus to Morale checks to avoid fatigue if its soldiers have a bonus to Constitution, –1 if they have a penalty.
Amorphous: This unit is immune to critical hits in mass combat; when an attacking unit rolls a natural 20 on its attack, they deal normal damage. Source: LG:UB
Bane (Inquisitor 5): Once per day, an army with this ability can gain a +1 bonus to OM, and if the attack succeeds the attack deals an extra 1d3 points of damage. This ability affects only a single attack, even if this army would be eligible to make an extra attack later in the battle phase, such as against a retreating army. Source: LG:UB
Banner (Cavalier 5, Samurai 5): An army with this ability gains a +1 bonus to Morale checks to avoid routing, and it gains a +1 bonus to OM (or AV) when using any of the following Tactics: Cavalry Experts, Furious Charge, Overwhelming Onslaught, Pursuit. Source: LG:UB
Brawlers: An army whose members possess the augmented critical, rake, or rend abilities gains +1 OM for each ability it possesses when attacking an army with which it is already engaged. Source: LG:UB
Charger: An army whose members possess the pounce, powerful charge, or trample abilities gains +1 OM for each ability it possesses when attacking an army with which it is not already engaged. Source: LG:UB
Create Spawn: If an army with the energy drain ability destroys a living humanoid army of equal or greater size, it may add a new unit of its own type to itself; an army with 5 units already cannot create spawn. Source: LG:UB
Damage Reduction, Greater: An army gains a +2 bonus to DV per 5 points of DR/chaotic, evil, good, or lawful, or DR/-. magic. Attacking armies cannot ignore this bonus unless they have appropriately aligned weapons or natural attacks or if they are attacking with magical abilities that bypass damage reduction. Source: LG:UB
Damage Reduction, Improved: An army gains a +2 bonus to DV per 5 points of DR/bludgeoning, cold iron, piercing, silver, or slashing. Armies with superior weapons
or magic weapons ignore this bonus. Attacking armies that have magical weapons or have damage reduction (magic) themselves ignore this, as do magical abilities that bypass damage reduction. Source: LG:UB
Damage Reduction, Magic: This army gains a +2 bonus to DV per 5 points of DR/magic. Attacking armies that have magical weapons or have damage reduction (magic) themselves ignore this, as do magical abilities that bypass damage reduction. Source: LG:UB
Divine Bond (Paladin 5): This army gains either Magical Weapons or Heavy Mounts for one battle phase per day. This does not affect the army’s Consumption.
Dwarven Resilience: An army of dwarves does not have its movement rate reduced when wearing Medium Armor or Heavy Armor and gains a +1 bonus to DV and Morale checks to resist poison and magical effects. The army also gains a +2 DV bonus against armies comprised of creatures with the giant subtype.
Elven Grace: An army of elves gains a +1 bonus to Morale checks to resist Magical Trickery and a +1 bonus to scouting checks. Source: LG:UB
Energy Immunity: An army with this ability takes no damage from attacks of the energy type to which it is immune. Source: LG:UB
Energy Resistance: An army with this ability gains a +1 DV bonus for each 10 points of resistance. This bonus affects only Breath Weapons, Burn, Magical Artillergy, Magical Barrage, and special siege weapon attacks using that energy type. Source: LG:UB
Favored Terrain (Alternate, Ranger 3): Reduce an enemy’s bonuses from advantageous terrain and battlefield advantage by half. An army with this ability also gains a +1 bonus to both Scouting and Camouflage and can use the Living off the Land command boon whenever they are in their favored terrain. Source: LG:UB
Greater Animal Companion (Druid 4, Ranger 7): The army’s animal companions allow the army to attack climbing, flying, or swimming armies in melee, with a –4 penalty to OM. When fighting an army on the ground, the animal companions can serve as Light Mounts without increasing the army’s Consumption. Source: LG:UB
Greater Favored Enemy (Ranger 5): This army increases its OM by 2 against an army comprised of one creature type and by +1 against a second creature type. If attacking a mounted army, if this bonus applies against either the mount or the rider’s creature type, it applies against that army. Source: LG:UB
Greater Inspire Courage (Bard 7): This army gains a +2 bonus to OM and a +3 bonus to Morale checks to avoid routing. In addition, when they are engaged with an enemy army, any allied army engaged with the same enemy army gains the same bonuses. They also share these bonuses with any allied army using the Screening Defense tactic to protect them (or vice versa). Source: LG:UB
Halfling Luck: An army of halflings gains a +1 bonus to all Morale checks. Source: LG:UB
Improved Uncanny Dodge (Barbarian 5, Rogue 8): An army with this ability negates any bonuses an attacking army would gain from any of the following Tactics: Expert Flankers, False Retreat, Pincer Maneuver. Source: LG:UB
Light Blindness: An army of creatures with this special quality take penalties in bright light (see Visibility) as other creatures would take in darkness. Source: LG:UB
Light Sensitivity: An army of creatures with this special quality takes penalties in bright light (see Visibility) as other creatures would take in dim light. Source: LG:UB
Marksmanship (Gunslinger 7, Ranger 6 [with Improved Precise Shot], Fighter 4 [with Precise Shot,Weapon Focus, and Weapon Specialization with a ranged weapon]): An army with this ability ignores up to 2 points of Defense bonus that a defending army gains from terrain or fortifications. If shooting at an enemy army engaged with a friendly army, you never inflict friendly fire damage. Source: LG:UB
Orcish Ferocity: An army of half-orcs or orcs gains the Ferocity special ability and gains a +1 bonus to opposed Morale checks when fighting an unit that has taken more casualties than they have. Source: LG:UB
Paralysis (Alternate): Each time the army damages an enemy army, reduce the enemy army’s DV by 1. This also reduces the Movement of the target army by 1. If movement reaches 0, the target army can continue to fight but cannot move, disengage, retreat, or withdraw, nor can it prevent enemy armies from disengaging or attack them when they do. The effects of paralysis can be removed by the Magical Healing ability. In addition, an army can attempt a Morale check at the beginning of the next Rout phase to reduce the penalties caused by paralysis by 1. Source: LG:UB
Petrification (Alternate): This ability functions as paralysis above, but this effect cannot be removed by Magical Healing. Source: LG:UB
Smite Evil (Alternate, Paladin 1): In one Melee phase per battle, the army may increase its OM by 2 against an evil army. If the target army is undead or evil outsiders, the OM increases by 4 instead. In addition when this ability is used this army’s Melee attack ignores any damage reduction if the defending army is evil. This ability can be used in only one Melee phase per day. Source: LG:UB
Smite Good (Antipaladin 1): This ability functions as smite evil, but affects a good army instead.
Sneak Attack (Alternate, Rogue 1, Ninja 1): The army increases its OM by 1 when making an ambush, when using the expert flankers tactic, or on the phase after using the false retreat tactic. the army can also use this ability in conjunction with the Pincer Maneuver Tactic and the Wolves in the Fold Command Boon. In addition, on a successful attack when using this ability, the attack deals an additional +1 point of damage for every 2 levels of the ninjas or rogues in the army over 1st. Source: LG:UB
Spell Resistance (Alternate): This army gains +1 DV and a +1 bonus to Morale per 5 points of spell resistance, but these bonuses apply only when an attacking army uses the Magical Advantage, Magical Barrage, or Magical Trickery command boons. Source: LG:UB
Spellcasting (Alternate): An army comprised of spellcasters or creatures with spell-like abilities can make use of the Magical Advantage, Magical Barrage, Magical Healing, Magical Protection, or Magical Trickery command boons, provided its members have spells or spell-like abilities of the appropriate type to qualify for each boon; they do not need a leader to grant those boons. Source: LG:UB
Trip (Alternate): Each Melee phase, the target enemy army reduces its DV by 1 until the end of the phase. The defending army also takes a –1 Movement penalty until the end of the current battle phase. Source: LG:UB
Uncanny Dodge (Barbarian 2, Rogue 4): If an army with this ability is ambushed, the attacking army must resolve the attack as a normal attack. An army with this ability is unaffected by Feint tactics. Source: LG:UB
Warfare involves more than what happens when swords are drawn on the field of blood and the deadly results of such an encounter. There are also logistical realities to deal with in getting armies from place to place, and special and unusual rules for battles that take place far from level ground and open fields.
Armies are slow-moving beasts at the best of times, and moving one cross-country is an exercise in patience; however, care must be taken as an army (or a group of armies) can be quite vulnerable if attacked while strung out along the road.
Leadership Bonus (Scouting): In addition to a commander’s standard bonuses to morale (Charisma +1 per 5 ranks of Profession [soldier]), which applies to conventional warfare on the field of battle, a commander can also have specialized Leadership Bonuses for several other common situations in warfare. Many commanders specialize in one kind of warfare, but true warmasters try to be competent in all.
Camouflage and Scouting: In most cases, armies travel in the open, with little effort at stealth. As a result, detection of enemy armies is considered to be automatic for any enemy armies that are in the same hex. However, armies can bivouac under cover to hide their presence, and by moving at half speed they can remain largely out of sight. Note that if an army would already be moving at only 1 hex per day, it must use a forced march (see below) to continue moving at 1 hex per day while using camouflage.
An army’s Scouting modifier is equal to the Perception modifier of the creatures in the unit divided by 4, plus the LB (scout) of its commander. To notice another moving army that is using camouflage, an army rolls 1d20 and adds its Scouting modifier against a DC equal to the enemy army’s Camouflage score, which is equal to 10 plus the Stealth modifier of the creatures comprising the unit divided by 4, adding the commander’s LB (scout) bonus and applying the Camouflage modifier noted in Table: Army Size & Camouflage. If a unit has Mounts, it uses the worse Stealth modifier of the riders or mounts.
|Army Size||Camouflage Multiplier|
Since the size of an individual creature is already reflected in its Stealth score, it is not separately applied as a modifier to a unit’s Camouflage score. If no Stealth skill modifier is listed for a creature in its Bestiary entry, that modifier is equal to the creature’s Dexterity modifier, modified for its armor and by –4 per size category larger than Medium, +4 per size category smaller than Medium.
When two armies enter adjacent hexes, each makes a Scouting check with a -5 penalty. If both succeed, both are aware of the other. If neither succeeds, neither is aware of the other, and the two armies may continue moving and could blunder into one another. If one army succeeds and the other fails, it can set an ambush for the other, lying in wait until the enemy army moves into its hex.
Ambushes: When one army is aware of another but has not been noticed itself, it is in position for an ambush. An army waiting in ambush gains a +5 bonus to its Camouflage score against an army that has already failed once to notice it. If the enemy army enters its square, it can trigger the ambush, allowing it to make a melee or ranged attack (their choice) against the enemy army. For the duration of the ambush, the attacker gains the benefit of the Advanced Tactics command boon (gaining an additional +2 bonus to OM if it already has that boon) for the duration of the ambush. There is a 50% chance that high ground (see Terrain) is present at the ambush site; if so, the ambusher can occupy the high ground before the ambush begins. This initial attack is followed by a Rout phase, and if the army being ambushed survives and does not rout, the battle proceeds to the Tactics phase and initiative is rolled normally.
If the army it wishes to ambush fails to enter its hex, the ambushing army can hold its position and wait for the enemy army to spring the trap, or it can move to an adjacent hex and reset the ambush. Having to shift its position makes it easier to be discovered, and an ambushing army gains only a +2 bonus to Camouflage if it has to move.
If more than two armies (one on each side) are present, then usually all armies on one side of the battle must remain undetected in order for the ambush to be fully effective. At the GM’s option, however, it is possible for one or more armies to remain hidden while some of their allied armies engage in battle in the open. At the beginning of every Rout phase that occurs, however, all enemy armies present can make a Scouting check to notice these armies hiding in preparation to ambush. Hidden armies gain a +2 bonus to their Camouflage score as long as they remain stationary; they get no bonus to Camouflage if they had to move from their original position to reset their ambush. If any unit is detected, enemy armies sound an alarm and their opportunity for ambush is lost. Armies that are undetected cannot be attacked by the enemy. When they launch their ambush, it occurs after all other attacks have been resolved, immediately before the Rout phase.
Living Off the Land: Armies with the Living Off the Land command boon are highly skilled at surviving in the wild. Any army can attempt to supply itself by foraging and hunting, reducing its Consumption by half for one week. This requires a DC 10 Morale check, though the DC increases by 1 for every 100 soldiers in the army. Each time an army attempts to live off the land in the same hex, the DC increases by 1. Once a check is failed, that hex is exhausted in terms of available game.
Armies can choose to commandeer resources from people living in the hex, or simply rob them and pillage their supplies. This adds a bonus of +1d6 to the Morale check, +2d6 in a hex with farms, but each hex you pillage results in –1 Loyalty and +1 Infamy.
Supply Train: Most armies travel with supply trains to take care of ordinary physical needs of the troops and to transport their materiel. Any army that is more than 4 hexes from your nearest city or Fort must have a supply train traveling with it to keep it supplied. A supply train is typically comprised of two armies, one of 2nd-level commoners and one of 2nd-level experts. If they are supporting a single army, each unit is one size category smaller than that army. If the supply train is supporting multiple armies, each is the same size as the largest army in the group. These armies are typically noncombatant, remaining in the Camp Zone, but at the GM’s discretion may be forced into combat by a relentless opponent or may be captured or killed by a victorious enemy. Armies in the supply train do not count against a kingdom’s command limit or Manpower limit, but supply train armies lost in battle do stack with soldiers lost in terms of affecting their kingdom’s Economy, Loyalty, and Stability, as described in Victory and Aftermath, and they must be dealt with as prisoners of war if captured after a battle.
In warfare, the topography and terrain of a battle can have a huge impact. The standard rules assume a fairly even playing field for both armies and little in the way of impeding terrain. The following rules (and Table 6: Terrain) describe how to adapt a battlefield for greater variety.
Barriers: A cliff or ravine provides an impassable barrier, as does any substantial body of open water too wide or too deep to wade across. Neither prevents ranged attacks, but both prevent movement or melee attack across the barrier unless it is circumvented in some way.
Dangerous Terrain: This includes thorn brambles, hot springs or geothermally active areas, a forest fire or brushfire, toxic vapors, or magically treated areas of spike
growth and the like. If being used tactically to target specific enemy armies, use the Magical Trickery command boon. If the entire battlefield has been treated with such magic, then all armies (except those inside fortifications) take 1 point of damage at the beginning of every Rout phase unless they have the Magical Protection command boon.
High Ground: Typical battlefields are relatively even when it comes to topography, but if the GM wishes the general winning Tactical Initiative during the first battle phase of a battle may claim the high ground, placing one army atop that slope. It enjoys the bonuses listed above, while armies trying to attack it have the listed penalties. The army forfeits the benefits of the high ground if it is forced to leave the battlefield or if it leaves its position to use any of the following Tactics: Furious Charge, Overwhelming Onslaught, Pincer Maneuver, Pursuit. If an army vacates the high ground, other armies can try to claim it, though an engaged army must try to disengage in order to do so. If more than one army tries to claim the high ground, the two armies must fight; each of them takes the penalties for attacking the high ground and neither gains the bonuses of holding the high ground. If one army succeeds in its attack and the other does not, the successful army claims the high ground after both attacks are resolved.
Generally speaking, if a fortification (including a fortified settlement) is present on the battlefield, that fortification will always be built upon the high ground unless otherwise noted. At the GM’s option, spells like move earth could be used to reshape the battlefield and alter the position of the high ground.
Rough Terrain: This includes dense rubble, heavy undergrowth, shallow bogs or water (such as a ford or beach), or trees, including any area prepared with plant growth or similar magic. Such terrain often offers cover and concealment.
Treacherous Terrain: This includes snow, ice, mud, deep bogs, shifting sand or snow, or fast-moving water. This terrain rarely offers much in the way of cover, and footing in this terrain is very unstable.
|Cliff or ravine||X||–||–||–||X (climbing or flying possible)|
|Open water||X||–||–||–||X (swimming or flying possible)|
|High ground (holding)||+1||+1||–||+1||+1|
|High ground (attacking)||–1||–||–1||–||–1|
In warfare, simply identifying friend from foe is not always easy, and this is especially true when some creatures have perceptual abilities far beyond those available in the real world. Creatures able to see in the dark have a great advantage in battles at night, while those sensitive to bright light avoid fighting by day if they can. Weather effects are described in the subsequent section, but the table below describes the effect of various illumination levels on general combat effectiveness
on offense and defense, as well as the ability of armies to spot one another or even to move effectively. Creatures able to see normally in darkness take no penalties for fighting in it, while those sensitive to bright light take penalties in such conditions. Otherwise, all creatures present in a battle take the same penalties from poor visibility unless they have some special means of negating them.The Movement modifier below can never reduce an army’s movement below 1.
Fog of War: Whenever an army takes a penalty to its OM due to poor visibility, its chance of shooting awry increases. When attacking an army that is engaged with an allied army during the Ranged phase, the chance of dealing friendly fire damage (see ranged phase) is increased to 50%. In addition, even attacks during the Melee phase against an army engaged with an ally have a 25% of dealing damage as friendly fire to your allied army.
If you attack an army that is not engaged with any other army (including yours) using one of the following tactics, the attacking army has a 25% chance of inflicting friendly fire damage on itself due to the fog of war: Cavalry Sweep, False Retreat, Furious Charge, Feint, Overwhelming Onslaught, Pincer Maneuver, Pursuit, Skirmishers.
|Smoke, light *||–1||–2||–||–2||–|
|Smoke, heavy **||–2||–4||–||–4||–1|
* An army that has attacked with firearms or cannon during the current battle phase is covered in light smoke, as is an army that has been attacked with a Magical Barrage, Special Bombardment, or similar attack using fire. Light smoke can also be created by intentionally setting fires or (at the GM’s option) by repeated casting of spells like control weather, fog cloud, obscuring mist, and pyrotechnics. If spells are used, they should generally apply their effects to both sides; for specifically targeted tactical battlefield use of obscuring magic, a commander within the army should use the Magical Trickery command boon.
** An army that has attacked with multiple fire attacks (such as those described in the above footnote) may at the GM’s option be shrouded in thick smoke. A settlement with an uncontrolled fire may also be covered in thick smoke.
Weather also can play a major role in a battle. Presented below is a table for your reference translating the standard adventuring rules into battlefield terms, along with special rules for how weather can interact with armies in the field.
Extreme Conditions: High altitude, extreme heat, and extreme cold force armies to make a Morale check at the end of each Rout phase to avoid becoming fatigued, with a –1 penalty for armies wearing Medium Armor, –2 for those wearing Heavy Armor.
Precipitation: Light rain and snow have a 10% cumulative chance for each battle phase they continue of causing the battlefield to turn into treacherous terrain (see Terrain) due to the accumulation of snow or the liquefaction of the ground into mud. A rainstorm or snowstorm double this chance. This should be checked at the end of every Rout phase.
Wind: With very high winds, normal ranged attacks become impossible (indicated by the X above); however, siege weapons can still be used, as can magical attacks such as breath weapons or a Magical Barrage command boon. In addition, flying creatures and creatures on board wind-powered ships take double the listed penalties to OM.
|High Altitude||–1||–1||–1||+1||–1 (climb or fly speed is unaffected)|
|Wind, severe||–1||–4||–||–||–3 (Medium or larger creatures can move normally)|
|Windstorm||–2||X/–2||–2||–||–3 (Large or larger creatures can move normally)|
|Hurricane||–4||X/–4||–4||–||–3 (Huge or larger creatures can move normally)|
Ultimate Battle © 2013, Legendary Games; Author Jason Nelson.
The Book of Many Things Volume 3: Realms of Magic © 2019, Samurai Sheepdog; Author Kevin Glusing.