To bring you up to speed on what I am trying to accomplish here I will quickly summarize...
In part 1 of this series I explained that I needed a good Mass Combat System for a game I am designing. Since I had never read one myself I asked for recommendations from our readers about what their favorites were.
In part 2 I took all the suggestions I had received and added a number of other systems I had read about while doing research on the subject to come up with a top 20 list.
My plan is to examine examine each of these systems in turn, determining the strengths and weaknesses of each and comparing them to my needs to make a final decision on which system to use in my upcoming game.
So before I can begin to look at the mass combat systems themselves I need to determine what I want out of the rules.
Alright, let's give it a shot...
- The system should allow for exceptional individuals such as the PCs to make a tangible difference on the battlefield.
- It should be easy to learn but not be over simplified.
- It should realistically simulate medieval combat.
- It should allow for tactical decisions that have pros and cons.
- There should be some type of skill that characters can invest in to make them more effective commanders.
- There should be some way to seamlessly integrate magic into large scale battles.
- It should use a grid map of some kind. Square are fine, but my preference is hexes.
- It should integrate miniatures or some other kind of physical representation to be used on the grid.
- Rules for Logistics on recruiting, equipping, feeding, and moving armies should be included.
- The system should be scalable. That is to say that it could be used on a smaller scale with hundreds of soldiers involved or with massive armies of thousands.
So as you can see I'm not asking for much (har har). If a system is missing one or more of these basic concepts it certainly isn't a deal breaker. Rather my perfect system would be able to accomplish hall of these things.
As much as I'd like the mechanics to be related to the base combat mechanics of the system I am using, I don't think that is a realistic request. Additionally, by choosing an unrelated system I'll have the flexibility to use it again later even if I change the system I am using.
With an idea of what I want it is now time to delve into one of the twenty mass combat systems on the list!