View Full Version : d&d wars

2010-02-16, 04:55 PM
hey all, i have been trying to think of how to wage war in d&d, like wargaming...im a huge fan of warhammer, but i think that's too complex for this - i was thinking about this; for instance an army consisting of orcs and goblins against dwarves - just taking their individual hp, ac, attack and special attacks or whatever and putting them on a card or something. of course they can only move however many squares they can, like 6 and whatnot, and they can only attack and move once, and then just rolling 1d20 for every attacker individually...of course, i post this here because i want to see what everyone thinks of it or if they know of some easier way!

the reason id like to do it this way is because of special creatures, for instance if we have a giant eagle and a half-elf druid or something it probably isnt listed somewhere else...

is this a good idea or a bad one?

2010-02-16, 04:56 PM
Miniatures Handbook did something like this.

Mass battles is one of the things that may need a bit of abstraction to avoid absurdly long fights.

2010-02-16, 05:08 PM
oh god, i dont know why i didnt even think to look at that, thank you sir!:smallbiggrin:

2010-02-16, 05:12 PM
Making up rules might be preferable, given the Miniatures Handbook irules are much more focused on small squads- not large armies.

Hmm- maybe the Mob rules from DMG2 and Cityscape might work. Basically, instead of having single guys, you have the whole group being abstracted into a single monster with the Swarm rules.

Might be a place to start when homebrewing your own battle rules.

The Tygre
2010-02-16, 05:15 PM
There are plenty of third party books that handle this. 'Cry Havoc!' by Malhavoc Press is my favorite, but you can find the basic hard tacks of that system in Green Ronin's 'Advanced Player's Handbook'. Last but not least, have you looked at Wizards' 'Heroes of Battle' yet?

2010-02-16, 05:19 PM
nah, i used to have it but it was on the computer...had to do a system restore...anyway, i think i like the swarm idea actually, so ill probably stick with that. although i will look into those other books tyger!

2010-02-16, 05:28 PM
The "War Machine" rules (classic D&D, found either in the D&D Companion boxed set, or in the Rules Cyclopedia book) has a rather solid set of rules for converting regiments into useful stat blocks for mass combat. It's written for classic D&D, but it shouldn't be much work to adapt it to any version up to and including 3.5e.

2010-02-16, 05:32 PM
The mob template in my sig is aimed to allow the DM and players to use big groups of troops more easily, including an unit template for more organized groups.

2010-02-16, 05:37 PM
unless there is a free version of classic d&d i wont be able to get it...sucks, because i've always wanted to play classic and ad&d, but i can never find the books for cheap :(

2010-02-16, 05:40 PM
osclecamo, thanks alot, i think you jsut saved me a lot of time lol!

2010-02-16, 05:55 PM
unless there is a free version of classic d&d i wont be able to get it...sucks, because i've always wanted to play classic and ad&d, but i can never find the books for cheap :(

Basically, what the War Machine rules do is analyse each creature+equipment combo (HD, damage, special abilities, etc), and use that to generate a "combat potential" number. The compot numbers of each side are then compared to see a ratio, and that ratio combined with a random number determines the casualty rate for one "day" of fighting. Throw in modifiers for intelligence and terrain as appropriate.

That's the generic basics. It shouldn't be too hard to build your own version based on that basic description.

As a very rough example, you might take average hp + average damage per full attack sequence + 5x attack bonus for compot values.

Bear in mind that, compot values and random numbers being equal, the ratio of casualties will be proportional to the square of the number of troops present. If 200 elves fight 100 equally-skilled orcs, that 2:1 ratio of troop numbers means a 4:1 kill rate, so 25 elves would be killed by the time the orcs are all slain.

2010-02-17, 03:16 AM
For handling such situations behind the screen very quickly, I recall this utility.


It's pretty cool, but doesn't offer much for 'special units'.

Surfing HalfOrc
2010-02-17, 04:53 AM
unless there is a free version of classic d&d i wont be able to get it...sucks, because i've always wanted to play classic and ad&d, but i can never find the books for cheap :(

Wll, I can't help you with your mass battle rules, but I CAN help you in the Classic D&D department:


The Labyrinth Lord rule set is a retro-clone of the Basic/Expert rules from the early D&D days, and are based on the Original D&D rules as written by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. The rules are FREE for a .pdf for a no art version, and around $20 for the art version. If you join the Labyrinth Lord Society (also free), they will send you a link to the no art copy of the Advanced Edition Characters rules for free. Yes, free is a magic number, the rules weight nothing on your laptop, and the print copies are very reasonably priced.

There are also two other rules sets based on the 1st Ed rules, OSRIC (http://www.knights-n-knaves.com/osric/) and Basic Fantasy. (http://www.basicfantasy.org/main.html)

All three are excellent "simulations" of the 1st Ed rules, but with slightly different presentations.

And all are available for FREE!

2010-02-17, 05:24 AM
Dark Dungeons (http://www.thepiazza.org.uk/bb/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=3055) is another retro-clone of the Rules Cyclopedia/BECMI rules set which may interest you.

2010-02-17, 03:20 PM
All creatures have a level, size, attack bonus, AC, damage, speed, and hp statistics. All stats apart from speed are decided by getting a group of 50 creatures and then averaging the stats of each, rounding up (use full attacks). Only creatures with the same speed can be grouped.

You should have 1-50 units per side.

For PCs and other "heroic" characters they operate on their own, with a +3 bonus to attacks, but all units gain DR 5/area effects.