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Strategic Planning

The construction of battle plans is a necessary part of any engagement. Though troops may take to the field of battle without any previous intentions, those who are careful to lay plans invariably have the upper hand - at least at the beginning of a conflict.

Formulate Battle Plan (Dramatic Action)

Rather than requiring a player to actually come up with a specific plan, it is simply assumed that the War-using strategist comes up with an appropriate strategy, and the bonus dice from the Effect Pool reflect the preparation for performing those plans. Creating a battle plan requires an Intelligence + War roll. The difficulty is a base of 3, with the following modifiers:

  • Bonuses: home field advantage (-1), have access to enemy's battleplans (-2), have fought enemy commander before (-1), having excellent maps and schematics (-1)
  • Penalties: not scouting battlefield (+1), rough terrain (+1), difficult terrain (+2), not having maps and schematics (+1)

Assistance: Most armies take advantage of having multiple strategists on hand, all contributing their advice. These men and women are not always battlefield experts in Creation: they may be historians who can lend suggestions based on battles in the past, diviners and occultists who perform divinations and auguries, specialists in troop morale and intelligence and ambush specialists. All of these individuals can suggest tactics and lend their advice in the crafting of a battle plan.

In game terms, one character acts as the strategist, performing the Intelligence + War roll. Before the Formulate Battle Plan roll is made, however, his advisors must roll their own Ability rolls, with a difficulty equal to the difficulty for constructing the battle plan. On a success, that advisor adds one die to the strategist's Formulate Battle Plan roll. A strategist may benefit from no more extra dice from advisors than his Intelligence + War dice pool (though this does not count as dice gained from Charms). Applicable Abilities include:

  • Athletics: Specialists in terrain navigation can offer advice on dealing with difficult terrain, or making terrain more difficult to navigate.
  • Bureaucracy: Bureaucrats can suggest ways to take advantage of an enemy's infrastructure, chain of command and maintenance.
  • Lore: Historians can lend perspective on similar battles fought in the past.
  • Occult: Augurs can read portents for the battle, choosing the ideal times to engage, and those with knowledge of local gods and elementals can make suggestions to placate or even curry favor from them.
  • Performance: Specialists in morale-building and communication can suggest ways to improve troop spirit, or dishearten the foe.
  • Ride: In a battle where horses are involved, a skilled rider can suggest tactics for spooking enemy mounts, and preventing one's own mounts from bolting.
  • Socialize: Those who understand the nuances of culture might suggest traditions and customs of the enemy to take advantage of, and help arrange things to keep one's own troops happy and motivated.
  • Stealth: Specialists in ambush can help set clever tactical traps for the foe, as well warn of likely dangers of such on the battlefield.
  • Survival: A skilled outdoorsman can give advice on fighting in a specific terrain, and help an army prepare for the sort of difficulties the weather presents.
  • War: Other strategists are always valuable in pointing out flaws in one's plan, or suggesting tactics the primary strategist has missed.

Allocating Successes

Successes generated in the Formulate Battle Plan action are divided into two pools: the Duration Pool and the Effect Pool.

Duration: The Effect Pool remains available for use by a general for a single action after the Join War roll. For each success placed in the Duration Pool, the Effect Pool remains available for one additional action beyond the first. Battle plans must be put into effect immediately following the clash with the enemy, for rare is the battle plan that survives prolonged contact with the enemy. Thus, allocating three successes to the Duration Pool grants the leader of the unit access to the Effect Pool for a total of four actions.

Effect Pool: Every success that goes into the Effect Pool acts as a non-Charm-based bonus die that may be withdrawn to augment actions during the planned for battle. A unit commander may not add any more than his War rating or the Drill of the unit he is commanding (whichever is less) to any given action, and multiple units on the same side in the same battle must use the same Effect Pool.

Unexpected Surprises




In-Battle Actions

These actions may only be taken by the Commander of a unit.

Attack (varies/–1)

Unit attacks using Wits + War + Accuracy of the Unit.

Bolster Troops (3/–1)

Charisma + War, diff 1 + Wound Penalties + Magnitude; each success allows expenditure of one Morale to negate one point of Wound Penalties for [Drill] actions.

Change Formation (5/–1)

Charisma + War, diff based on Formation; +1 diff if attacked last action; +2 diff if currently engaged

Coordinate Units (5/-0)

Charisma + War, diff (half total units) + (Magnitude of largest unit) - (lowest Drill of any unit), to a minimum difficulty of (half total units). Functions as Coordinating Attacks, reducing enemy DV by 1 per success or attacking unit (whichever is less), if they all attack on the coordinating Commander's next action. This action requires a number of Relays equal the number of units being coordinated, above the number needed to cause the unit to function.

Dash (3/-3)

Charisma + War, diff (Magnitude – Drill); success doubles movement, inflicts Morale damage equal to Fatigue of armor worn (min. 1). If the unit attacks at the end of the Dash, they inflict +2 damage, but suffer double normal DV penalty for the first attack (min. -2).

Disengage (0/-0)

(Wits + War + Drill) – Magnitude roll, diff opponent's (Drill +3) to disengage; otherwise Unit suffers DV 0 against next attack by enemy. These successes may also be used to negate the successes gained through a Target Special Character action, on a one-for-one basis.

Envelop (5/-2)

The unit envelopes and completely surrounds the enemy unit, limiting his ability to defend himself and escape. This action is performed as an attack, using Wits + War + Accuracy, but it inflicts no damage. The unit being used to perform this action must be at least one Magnitude higher than the target unit. If successful, the target unit has a DV of 0 against the first attack of the enveloping unit in each action; if the enveloping unit performs a flurry, this only applies against the first attack of that flurry. Individuals may not gain the benefits of this action as attackers, but individuals acting as Magnitude 0 units in their own right can be surrounded and affected by this maneuver.

Examine Unit (5/-2)

An enemy unit may be examined with a Perception + War roll, difficulty of the Magnitude of the unit. For every success gained, one piece of the following information may be gained: identify Commander, identify number of non-Commander Special Characters, identify Special Character, identify Might rating of unit, identify Drill rating of unit.

Flurry (varies/varies)

Multiple actions as single action; Spd = highest speed of actions; DV = cumulative DV penalties; multiple action dice penalty = #actions, +1/action in flurry.

Guard (3/None)

Defending; interruptible.

Join War

Initiates long ticks; Commanders roll Wits + War – Magnitude of Unit; Solo Units roll typical Wits + Awareness.

Merge Units (3/–1)

Charisma + War, diff (Magnitude – Drill); add smaller unit to larger; each success heals one Health Level of damage taken by larger unit; if new unit numbers are large enough to increase Magnitude by one step, first Unit gains +1 Magnitude.

Move (0/None)

Unit moves 1 Movement; total movement may be modified by Formation and other modifiers.

Position Troops (3/-1)

This action is effectively the Aim action for mass combat, granting a unit a +1 per tick it spends positioning its units for an attack. The Commander can abort the action at any time to launch the attack.

Rally Troops (4/–1)

Charisma + War/Performance, dif (Magnitude – Drill) +3; each success allows Unit to heal 1 Morale damage.

Read Strategy (5/-0)

Once Join Battle has commenced, the strategy of an opposing unit may be read with a Perception + War roll. Each success subtracts one die from the enemy's strategy pools. The player of the opposing unit may choose which pools lose how many dice. This roll has a bonus of the opposing unit's (Magnitude - Drill); note that if Drill is higher than Magnitude, this can become a penalty.

Retain Footing (4/-1)

Troops fighting in unstable terrain often are forced to spend effort to retain their footing there. Dexterity + Athletics, diff of the Instability rating of the terrain to do so successfully. Failing this roll means that the unit comes to a halt as many of its members fall. Its next action can be spent only regaining its feet and mobility with another Retain Footing roll; during this action, its DV is penalized by its Magnitude.

Scatter Opponent (4/–1)

Manipulation + War/Performance, dif (Magnitude + Drill of target Unit); each success inflicts 1 Morale damage.

Set to Receive Charge (3/0)

Interruptible; Unit prepares to receive Charge action; Considered an Aim action; additionally, Unit set to receive Charge may attack as a Counterattack, allowing them to retaliate before taking any penalties for effects of Charge.

Signal Unit (3/–0)

Charisma + War, dif. Magnitude of unit; each success grants +1 Relay for one turn. Must be flurried with other actions when commanding Units with a higher Magnitude than Commander's War.

Solo Unit Action (varies/varies)

As per a normal action.

Split Unit (3/–1)

Divide unit into multiple units; Charisma + War, diff (Magnitude – Drill) to avoid becoming Unordered; +2 diff if engaged.

Target Special Character (varies/-2)

This modifies an attack on a Unit. Such attacks receive an external penalty of –2, but once the Unit Commander has inflicted a number of Health Levels of damage equal to the Magnitude of the target Unit, he may designate any of his Special Characters to enter into single combat with any Special Character in the opposing unit. This damage need not be inflicted all at once, but all the damage must be inflicted over consecutive actions. A Commander may take Disengage actions to avoid the enemy hacking his way through the soldiers looking for his unit's Special Characters. Note that Commanders and other Special Characters must be identified via the Examine Unit Action before this action can be taken.

Second Actions

Seconds may take the following actions: Bolster Troops, Flurry, Rally Troops, Scatter Opponent, Solo Unit Action and Target Special Character.

Flagmaster Actions

Flagmasters may take the following actions: Change Formation, Flurry, Merge Units, Signal Unit, Solo Unit Action and Split Unit.

Sorcerer Actions

Sorcerers may take the following actions: Solo Unit Action.

War Sorcery (as normal sorcery)

A military sorcerer knows the techniques for getting the most benefit from his battle magics, enabling them to scythe through enemy forces. He casts a spell, and then makes an Intelligence + Occult roll, with War as a limiting factor to this roll. This roll is treated as an Attack War Action, rather than a normal Solo Unit Attack.

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