Friday, September 19, 2014

The Battle of Elfwood

I've just posted our adventure log, but I wanted to go behind the scenes with you guys about how the battle was won. Using the ACKS Domains at War rules, army units have a battle rating (BR) for each unit. I calculated out each realm's maximum armies based on the number of families in each, and came up with the following order of battle:

Elfwood Troops
  • 240 Light Infantry - BR 3
  • 120 Longbowmen - BR 7
  • 60 Light Infantry (Human Mercenaries) - BR 0.5

    Wormcult Troops
  • 240 Heavy Bugbears - BR 16
  • 360 Light Bugbears - BR 18
  • 120 Hobgoblin Longbowmen - BR 4
  • 120 Hobgoblin Light Inf - BR 2
  • 120 Hobgoblin Heavy Inf - BR 2.5
  • 60 Hobgoblin Light Cav - BR 3
  • 360 Goblin Light Inf - BR 1.5
  • 360 Goblin Bowmen - BR 1.5

    In a "simulated" combat as written in the D@W Campaign book, that is a combat where the battle itself if "offstage" and just background to the player characters' efforts, each "round" of simulated combat each side rolls a D20 for each rank of BR they have and subtract units for each "hit" which is a roll of 16 or greater after any changes. A 20 is always a "hit".

    I ruled that the Elves managed to ambush the wormcult troops, and that they had an advantage in that they were fighting in the trees. I went through the battle...and the Elves were just *crushed* in three rounds.

    If this battle had gone this way, the PCs would have been in a world of hurt following the battle we fought. They would have had to deal with Hobgoblin cavalry and bowmen as well as the heavy bugbears lingering around - each led by capable lieutenants. It would have been boring, long, and honestly the players may not have won.

    So, I decided that Griggle the Wormpriest was cocky and only brought along a percentage of his force. Here is the updated Wormcult order of battle you saw in the log:

    Wormcult Troops
  • 120 Heavy Bugbears Infantry
  • 120 Medium Bugbear Infantry
  • 60 Hobgoblin Light Cavalry
  • 120 Hobgoblin Heavy Infantry
  • 120 Hobgoblin Archers
  • 360 Goblin Infantry
  • 360 Goblin Archers

    I also posited that the Headhunters are attacking Wolton, and that 60 Light Infantry are there to protect it, bringing the Elf army back to this:

    Elven Troops
  • 120 Elven Longbowmen
  • 180 Elven Light Infantry
  • 60 Human Mercenary Light Infantry from Edge

    The elven army *STILL* would have lost. After four rounds, the elves would have had to make a morale check...which they fail!

    TurnElf BRWorm BRNotes
    110.521Surprise round; Worms don't roll
    51.59Elves break and run when under 1/3 of starting BR

    So, I went back and ruled that each round the players would kill off 1.5 BR rating of bugbears each round. Which brings VICTORY!

    TurnElf BRWorm BRNotes
    110.521Surprise round; Worms don't roll
    44.56.5Worms break and run when under 1/3 of starting BR

    So what is the upshot of all this? First of all, there are a huge number of goblinoids still out there ready to plunder the Elfwood and beyond. Not only are the headhunters in this area active with a fair number of armies which are currently working in concert (guided by some sinister unifying force) but Griggle could put his army back together and march back on Elfwood again at any time!

    Second of all, you guys defeated a LOAD of bugbears, and as such you get the spoils of war which includes a month's wages for the units you destroyed as tribute and bounty. For these bugbears you would get 4,320gp additionally to split up amongst yourselves. Additionally, unlike the elven army you could have decided to take prisoner up to 60 wounded and routed bugbears. You could sell them as slaves for up to 40gp each, which could count as 12 peasant families in terms of labor and output, at a possible cost to domain morale.

  • International Talk Like A Pirate Day

    Today as you all know, is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Arrrgh!

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    Get Well Soon!

    It is no fun to go to the hospital, particularly if they are going to cut you open and take something out. Here's hoping Dave feels better soon!