BATTLESYSTEM and Armies in Combat


BATTLESYSTEM was mentioned in some of the early literature. Did anyone use it? We never did and I don’t think it’s really available anymore. How did it work? Was it efficient? If not, how do you run huge battles, or really any encounter with more than a few dozen individuals? I remember an old Dungeon article where the PCs had to face off against large monsters with the help of the slave tribe. For every 10 damage the PCs took, a member of the slave tribe was slain. I thought that was well done.

We use percentiles for large battles. Each discrete unit (kank cav, legionnaires, hoplites, chariots, archers, etc.) would roll d100 at their turn. The d100 would be modified by weapons and training, and then the armor of the enemy. If a 5,000-man unit rolled 50%, with modifiers, that would indicate 2,500 casualties/damage to the enemy. The casualty number would then be divided by the HD of the defender. A unit of 10 HD half-giants would sustain 250 losses. Morale, of course, would be important as the losses mounted.

(Brent Welborn) #2

I used Battlesystem to run a combat with the Urikite army and the Crimson Legion. It worked rather well. That was five years ago, so I don’t recall alot of the details, but I didn’t have any complaints.


Who won and how? Is this the event from “Road to Urik”?

(Brent Welborn) #4

It was a heavily modified version of the Road to Urik. The PCs (Tyr) won and attacked Urik. The players had good ideas, unlike Rikus, so they ended up fighting Hamanu. They lost that fight and beat a hasty retreat. It’s important to mention that they were all above level 10.


In what form did Hamanu appear? How did he sweep away the PCs? Was it a one-sided trouncing? How did they even escape?

(Brent Welborn) #6

Oh man, this was awhile ago. I’ll see what I can remember… Hamanu was in his lion-headed humanoid form. the fight was very one sided. One PC, a mul gladiator, hit Hamanu and made him bleed his own blood. Then Hamanu cut him in half. That was the only PC death. The others were near death and unconscious. The last conscious PC simply ran away. Hamanu had more important things to death with, so he didn’t give chase.
The surviving PC dragged the unconscious PCs away after Hamanu left. He put them in the back of a wagon and rode away. He hid out in a client village and nursed them back to health.
As for Battlesystem, I do recall the rules are not overly complex and heroes just wade through normal troops. I wish I could remember more.


Haha! Magnificent! Hamanu was using a sword? Sort of a Mordenkainen’s thing? Was he twice the size of a man? How did he do so much damage in one hit? He didn’t even need spells? I suppose I should ask why wouldn’t he do so much damage? Why wouldn’t he wield an absurdly powerful artifact with dimension blade, strength bonus, haste, time dilation, magnify …

(Brent Welborn) #8

It was a magical sword, but it wasn’t too crazy. He’s not dumb, he knew the player’s had killed Kalak. He beefed himself up with spells and psionics before engaging the players. Enlarge was one of the spells, so he was taller than the players.

You’ve got me interested in reading the Battlesystem rules again, so I will do so and let you know what I think of them.