Tavern - Horde/Mass Combat Rules: a Drop-In Replacement [WH40K and others]


Horde/Mass Combat Rules: a Drop-In Replacement [WH40K and others]

udo · 05. Jun 2015 03:38 · 0

We're playing Deathwatch adventures with high level Dark Heresy characters (works quite well). However, the horde combat rules suck in my opinion. Every creature becomes laughable when battling a horde of them, except in the instances where they randomly kill you outright.

Here's an idea for an alternative.

The GM keeps the following stats for a horde:

  • TBAR (Toughness Bonus + Armor)
  • WP of a single creature
  • Magnitude of the horde, let's call it HM
  • Horde base damage is the base damage of a single creature

PCs Attacking a Horde

  • Attacks against a horde automatically hit.
  • Player rolls normally for damage multiplied by "M".
  • M starts at the number of attacks a PC can perform per round.
  • If the PC is using an area attack increase M by 3.
  • Increase M by a d5 if the PC performs a flamer attacks with the Cleanse and Purify trait.
  • Now GM subtracts the horde TBAR once, and divides the remaining damage by WP.
  • Round fractions down. Reduce the horde HM by that amount.

Horde Attacking PCs

  • The horde's attacks automatically hit.
  • Roll for horde base damage.
  • A PC is assumed to be surrounded from all (8) sides, add 2 points of damage for every side. Apply circumstance modifiers to the number of sides the PC can be attacked from - this brings tactics back into horde combat!
  • If the horde creatures have a ranged attack, execute it against otherwise unreachable PCs within range, using the same rules.
  • If the HM falls below a sustainable level, and provided the horde does not disband, a player is considered to be surrounded by a number of creatures equal to HM divided by number of PCs, minimum of 1.

Benefits of This Variant

  • Actual damage remains the primary mechanism for dealing damage
  • Horde magnitude and individual WP have a more realistic relationship
  • Both the horde and the PCs retain more of their unique attacks/strategies
  • Horde combat remains quick, but gets more exciting
  • Hordes can be generated from individual creature stats very nicely
  • You could round TBAR, WP and all damages down to the nearest multiple of 5 to speed up calculations if things get too cumbersome.
  • This whole thing could easily applied to many other RPG rules systems.