Sell Me on Your Favorite Mass Combat System

Posted by Labyrinthian in

I need a mass combat system for a fantasy game and I can't seem to find the right one.  For as long as I've been playing RPGs a great mass combat system seems to be that one thing that is just out of reach.  So I thought I'd turn to you, noble readers.

Please feel free to help out by recommending your favorite mass combat system and let me know why it is head and shoulders above the rest.

This entry was posted on Monday, December 13, 2010 at Monday, December 13, 2010 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


Tunnels and Trolls has a really simple MCS, so it might be worth checking that out. Since you can easily make rating for soldiers it's pretty quick to do. Say I want 20 peasant skirmishers of MR10 each, I know I'll be rolling 40d6 + 100 for that unit. But then I want a general commanding them, so add his MR30 (4d6+15) and less chance of failing morale to the total. It's a really simple method.

December 13, 2010 at 6:01 PM

The Mass Combat rules from the Classic D&D Rules Cyclopedia. I've used them for everything from 3e D&D to Mutants & Masterminds.

December 13, 2010 at 6:30 PM

Conan has a set of d20 mass combat rules so you might want to try those.

December 14, 2010 at 10:44 AM

Legend of the Five Rings

Mass Combat is one of the things that set L5R apart from almost any other Fantasy RPG. It's simple and effective. You have your two armies facing off against each other. Each General makes a battle roll to determine who's winning ("Battle" is a skill in L5R. It encompasses your knowledge of battle and warfare). After you decide who is winning, your players choose how engaged they are in the battle.

Engagement ranges from Heavily engaged (basically it's you knee deep on the enemy's side hacking away) all the way down to Reserves (where the archers and spellcasters are going to be hurling their wares).

Once a location is chosen in the battle, you reference a handy chart to determine how many wounds the PC takes, and what other benefits s/he gets, if any.

Depending on if your side is winning, losing or tied with the enemy will determine how much more intense the battle is. Obviously, being heavily engaged in the battle while your side is losing is going to earn a lot more wounds and a lot less rewards each round.

Every edition of L5R (1st - 4th) has a mass combat system that has gone off of these rules (though they've been updated and tweaked through the editions).

December 14, 2010 at 11:58 AM

Thanks Guys! I'm definitely going to check these out.

December 14, 2010 at 2:08 PM

I know yours is an old post, but if you are still intreted in a D&D mass combat rule set, I just posted mine here:

December 30, 2012 at 2:39 PM

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