Battle System Amended

This system is an amended version of the battle system in the basic rule book, taking in some of the ideas in the Book of Battle, but not all of the complexity thereof.

A battle is divided into the pre-battle strategies, which is where the army commanders have their impact, and the battle rounds, where the unit commanders and individual knights have their impact.

Pre-Battle Strategies

Both army commanders roll against their battle skill, applying the below modifiers:

  • +5/-5 Outnumbering at least 2:1
  • +10/-10 Outnumbering at least 5:1
  • +10/-10: Surprise attack
  • -10 In enemy commander’s homeland
  • +5 superior troops

This then determines the results as follows:

  • Critical Success: First charge allowed, +10 to battalion commanders first charge roll
  • Success: First charge allowed
  • Failure: No first charge
  • Fumble: No first charge

Each battle lasts a duration that is determined by the GM and kept secret from the players.

Battle Round Resolution

First charge only

To participate in the first charge, troops must be mounted and equipped with a lance. If this does not apply, treat the first round like any other round. The lance charge charge may get a bonus based on the battalion commander’s battle roll:

Roll battalion commander’s battle roll, modified by the strategic success of the army. Apply the results as per below:

  • Critical Success: +5 on lance skill
  • Success: no impact
  • Failure: -5 to lance skill
  • Fumble: -10 to lance skill

Roll on enemy table to determine the enemy type.

Subsequent Battle Rounds
Disengaged units

Units (or lone knights) that are disengaged may each take one of the following actions.

  • Engage the enemy – see Engage the Enemy, below.
  • Withdraw to the back of the battle
  • Get and/or give several treatments of first aid
  • Check a fallen character for signs of life, give first aid, get them on a horse and ride them to the back of the battle
  • Pillage a corpse or a living person of goods and armour
  • Attempt to rally troops to himself

In addition, a lone, disengaged, knight may perform the following actions:

  • Make a Squire Roll to have his squire arrive at this side. Squires can then supply spare lances, shields, horses etc.
  • Look for his unit if he is alone
  • Look for and mount a riderless horse

Rally Troops
Make a battle roll, with a +1 per 1,000 glory, and minus 2d6.

  • Critical Success: Rally 2d6+6 knights to your side and become their unit commander
  • Success: Rally 2d6+3 knights to your side next round. He becomes their unit commander next round.
  • Failure: No effect
  • Fumble: If a unit commander, your unit rallies to someone else and deserts him. You starts the next round alone.

Find your unit
Make an awareness roll. On a success or critical success start the next round with your unit.

Find a mount
You take the time to find an unhurt and riderless horse somewhere on the battlefield. Roll a d6 to find it’s type:

  • 1-4: Charger
  • 5: Rouncey
  • 6: Palfrey

Make a horsemanship roll to catch it and mount the horse. On a success or critical success you mount it in time for the next round.

Engaged units and knights

Units and knights that ended their last round engaged have the following options:

  • Remain in the fight with new enemies, determined in Fight Combat, below. The unit does not count as charging and cannot use the lance.
  • Pull back to end the turn disengaged. Must achieve a partial success, tie or better in the opposed battle rolls, otherwise remain in the fight. Fight 1/3 enemies (GM choice), with a -5 due to the disorderly maneuver. If the combat is lost, the unit remains engaged.
  • Withdraw (orderly). Must have won the previous round and tied the battle roll or better. Fight 1/3 enemies (GM choice), with a +5 due to the ordered maneuver. If the combat is lost, the unit remains engaged.
  • Run away. Enemy gets one free attack versus the horsemanship (or DEX if on foot) of the knight. +10 if mounted versus foot. This option can still be chosen AFTER the enemy type has been determined.
    • (Critical) Success: Get away without damage and become disengaged.
    • Partial success: Take damage as normal, with shield reduction. Become disengaged.
    • Failure: Take damage as normal, with no shield reduction. Remain engaged.
    • Fumble: Take damage as normal, with no shield reduction. Drop or break weapon. Remain engaged.
  • Surrender. Whether the opponent is likely to accept the surrender varies depending on their type. Other knights probably will. Non-knight enemies are much less likely to.
Fight combat
Opposed Battle Rolls

Opposed roll between unit commander and enemy battle skill.

Player Roll
Crit Success Fail Fumble
GM Roll Crit 1v1 1/2 GM 2/3 Pl Stand v 2/3 GM
Success Opportunity 1v1 1/2 GM Stand v 1/2
Fail 1/2 PC 1v1 Stand 1v1
Fumble 1/2 PC Disorder 1/2 PC 1v1

What does it mean?

  • 1v1: Roll once on the enemy table to determine opponent
  • 1/2: Roll twice on the enemy table to determine opponent, pick one
  • 2/3: Roll thrice on the enemy table to determine opponent, pick two
  • PC: Player choice (unit commander)
  • GM: GM chooses (enemy choice)
  • Disorder: Enemy is disordered by friendly archers. -10 to enemy rolls.
  • Stand: Receive enemy charge while at the halt. Unit immediately becomes engaged.
  • Opportunity: See below under Opportunity

Opportunity

GM rolls a d20 to determine the opportunity result. It is the players choice whether they seize the opportunity – which may be risky – or whether they fight a regular battle round (1v1).

D20 Opportunity
1 Enemy hero can be attacked. Use hero and household stats.
2~3 Your unit can be Disengaged this round, and immediately charge.
4~7 Attack one random (1/2 PC), Disordered enemy unit with -10 modifier to their melee Weapon skills.
8~9 You have flanked an enemy unit. Attack one random enemy, but with +5/-5 to melee Weapon skills.
10~11 You have flanked an unprepared enemy unit. Attack one random enemy unit, but with +10/-10 to melee Weapon skills.
12~13 Battered enemy unit. Attack one random enemy unit, and they’re -10 to their melee Weapon skills.
14~15 Save the commander! An enemy unit (1/2 GM) is bearing down on the army commander. Charge them in the flank with a +5. This will certainly be noticed by your army commander.
16~17 Your unit can, unexpectedly, Charge. If missile troops are rolled, they will shoot, but the Gamemaster also rolls for a melee unit to fight.
18 A random enemy unit thinks it’s Disengaged and is relaxing, praying and performing other non-combat-ready tasks. Gain +10 to melee Weapon skills used against it.
19 Battalion Commander can be attacked. This is a risky endeavour. Fight one round against enemy bodyguard troops (1v1). May choose to fight another round where reinforcements join including the battle commander.
20 Army commander can be attacked. This is a very risky endeavour. Fight one round against enemy bodyguard troops (1v1). May choose to fight another round where reinforcements join. Then may choose to fight another round where reinforcements join again, including army commander.
The actual fight

Resolve combat against the enemies that have been determined. In case of one enemy unit this means one enemy per player knight – and in case of 2 enemy units 2 per player knight.

Determine the result

A unit victory or loss is determined by the cumulative result of all of the (player) combatants in a round and at least three. If less than three players are present, resolve combat for sufficient non-player knights.

  • Triumph Everyone wins or ties. Enemy falls back in disarray and unit becomes disengaged and a +2 on the next battle roll. Glory for this round is doubled.
  • Win Half or more knights win or tie. Unit remains engaged, with a +2 on the next battle roll.
  • Loss More than half knights lose. Unit remains engaged.
  • Crushed Everyone loses. Glory for this round is halved. Unit remains engaged with a -2 on the next battle roll. Also receive a battle-induced passion of 4D6+1. (Roll D6; 1-3: Fear, 4-6: Hate)
Follower’s fate

Roll one weapon skill of 15 versus the enemy skill to determine the fate of NPCs/followers in the unit.

  • Critical success, win or tie: No losses
  • Loss: Lose one man (1d6 if infantry versus mounted) or 15%, whichever is greater
  • Loss and fumble: Lose 1d6 men (2d6 if infantry versus mounted), or 30%, whichever is greater
Extended melee

Each combat consists of only ONE round of fighting until a lull in the battle follows, unless the players decide to extend the fight. Extended combat rounds are fought against a fresh wave of enemies. Reasons for extending the fight could be:

  • Rescue a friend: Prevent an unhorsed friend from being captured or worse
  • Take a prisoner: Claim a prisoner and have him escorted to the rear
  • Fight an enemy leader
  • Rally troops (as if disengaged)

Rescue a friend – if conscious
Fight a number of opponents equal to the number of player knights including the downed knight. The downed knight can either attempt to mount a spare horse (requires squire roll + horsemanship) or mount behind someone else (horsemanship roll). Any enemies who are not yet fighting will try and fight the escaping knight.

Rescue a friend – if unconscious
Fight a number of opponents equal to the number of player knights including the downed knight. One knight must dismount to grab the body, survive the fight for that round, throw the body over his horse and remount. If the horsemanship roll is failed, the knight and rescued friends do remain with the unit and another extended melee round starts. If the roll is successful, they manage to escape. Alternatively a squire can be ordered to help the downed knight, with a -5 to his squire roll. Another enemy will attack the squire unless a knight takes on the additional foe.

Take a prisoner
If the prisoner is unconscious and on the ground, this works exactly the same as rescuing a friend. If the enemy is disabled but still on horseback, then the knight need not dismount, but can simply make a horsemanship roll. However he has to chose to either not take part in the fight, or halve both weapon skill and horsemanship. In case of a squire assisting, a squire roll -5 would apply.

Fight an enemy leader
After the regular combat round, fight a next combat round against the surviving enemies from the first round reinforced by a number equal to the active player knights. If the fight is against the enemy battalion commander he is among these reinforcements. To find the army commander, fight yet another round, with additional reinforcements that include the army commander.

Note that enemy leaders can chose to turn tail and run – depending on their courage and honor.

Rally
After winning the regular melee, a knight can choose to try and rally friendly knights to his side while still engaged. To do so, you must survive an extended melee round against the same unit he just fought, and then roll against your glory divided by 1,000:

  • Critical: 1D6+5 knights come to your side and you become their unit commander
  • Success: 1D6 knights come to your side and you become their unit commander
  • Failure: No knights rally.
  • Fumble: If you were leading any knights they desert you

Battle System Amended

Knights of the Realm DerkG DerkG