House Rules: Mass Combat - Victory And Aftermath

Once all armies but those belonging to one side have been eliminated, whether defeated, destroyed, disbanded, routed, or retreated from the field, the remaining side is victorious.

Victory: If your army is the last one left on the battlefield (not counting other friendly armies), it is victorious. Each time an army wins a battle, each of its unit leaders can make a Leadership check to see if their unit learns a new tactic and increase its its Morale by 1. The DC is equal to 15 + the number of tactics already known to the unit. Additionally, a unit leader who succeeds at the first Leadership check can then make another Leadership check to learn a new boon, with the DC equal to 15 + the number of boons already known to the unit leader.

Fighting the Enemy Commander: When the unit led by its army's commander has been destroyed, that commander can be captured or killed. If d% check results in capture, you can resolve this encounter in several ways.

  • Combat: The leader(s) of your army can engage in direct character-to-character combat with the leader(s) of the enemy army. This plays out using the standard personal combat rules, but leaders from the victorious army gain a +2 morale bonus to attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and initiative for the duration of this combat. Your armies generally do not participate directly in this kind of confrontation, as they are assumed to be securing the area and taking junior commanders and soldiers into custody while the major PCs and NPCs fight. If an NPC leader ends a round of combat at less than half his or her hit points, there is a 50% chance per round that the leader surrenders.
  • Execution: If a commander or other significant leader is captured, the leaders of the triumphant army have the option to publicly execute that leader. If that leader is a player character, they should generally be allowed the chance to escape execution by playing out a normal combat encounter; however, if they have already been overcome and rendered helpless in normal combat, execution may be their fate. NPC leaders are killed automatically if the victorious leader calls for execution. Being killed in combat is not considered an execution, nor is a leader choosing to commit suicide; a leader must be slain as a helpless captive (usually by a coup de grace) for it to be treated as an execution.
    • Executing an enemy leader earns +1 Infamy for the nation whose army performs the execution if the executed character is a nation leader (+2 if they are the ruler). If you execute all leaders you capture in a battle, rather than just one, you earn double the Infamy modifier for the highest-ranking leader you execute. Executing ordinary military commanders that are not nation leaders does not affect a nation’s Infamy.
  • Ransom: Leaders captured in battle (including those whose armies have been destroyed, even if their side later won the battle) may be held for ransom. A usual ransom demand is 1 BP times the captive leader’s character level for a nation leader. This ransom demand is halved for a leader that does not have a leadership role in the nation (i.e., an ordinary military commander) but is doubled if the captive leader is the nation’s ruler.
    • These ransom demands typically include only the ransomed person and a noble or royal outfit of ordinary clothing, though the leader’s captors can of course return any additional items they choose. If double the normal ransom is paid, the ransomed character’s goods are returned along with them. At the GM’s option, individual items may also be ransomed separately; if the captors are unaware that an item is magical, the nature of their enchantment or its market value. For example, their ransom for the royal crown is not required to be equal to its sale price as a piece of jewelry.
    • Offering to return leaders that you hold captive in exchange for a ransom is considered a mark of honor and gains your nation +1 Fame for a nation leader, +2 Fame for a ruler. You gain an additional +1 Fame if you offer to ransom all leaders you capture in a battle (assuming there is more than one). If you pay a ransom to recover your leaders, you lose an amount of Fame for your own country equal to what the captor’s nation gains; however, you gain an equivalent bonus to Loyalty, as your subjects appreciate the lengths to which the nation will go to reclaim its own.

Loot: The victorious army is able to loot the defeated enemy army of their equipment or harvest their remains. The victorious army gains BP equal to half of the defeated army's ACR. If the defeated army is outside of their territory or contested hexes, the victorious army is also able to loot its BP stockpile (if any). This is usually equal to the defeated army's ACR, but may vary at GM's discretion.

Casualties: After a battle, determine the number of Casualties each unit of your army has suffered. A unit loses 20% of its soldiers for ever section that is reduced to 0 during the battle. Having soldiers captured or killed in battle (or deserting from the field) has a significant impact on the health and vitality of a nation. Soldiers killed or captured in battle count as Casualties to your nation.

Fame and Infamy: After the battle, the nation of the victorious army gains a bonus to either Fame or Infamy equal to the combined ACR of all defeated, destroyed, disbanded, or routed enemy armies divided by the combined ACR of all armies on the victorious side (minimum 0). This bonus is doubled if the victorious army is able to triumph while losing no more than 1 unit. This bonus is increased by +1 if a Fort is captured and occupied, and +1 per district if a settlement is captured and occupied. The nation of an army on the losing side in a battle loses Fame equal to the bonus gained by the victorious side.

Prisoners of War: As described in the Defeated, Destroyed, Disbanded section, armies on the losing side in a battle are rarely if ever completely wiped out. Generally, 20% of the soldiers of a defeated unit can be taken prisoner, while only 10% for a destroyed unit. This raises the question, of course, of what to do with enemy soldiers now in your custody. Turning them loose to rejoin their fellows in the fight against you is hardly a viable option (though officers and leaders may be ransomed). Generally speaking, a victorious army has three options: forced labor, internment, or massacre.

  • Civilian Prisoners: Civilian populations can be rounded up and imprisoned, put to work, or slaughtered just as captured soldiers can. This allows you to reduce the enemy nation's Manpower, and their loss are treated as Casualties to their population. Abuse of civilians is generally frowned upon. Imprisoning civilians generates +1 Infamy per 1,000 civilians placed in internment, and Infamy modifiers for forced labor and massacre are doubled. However, civilians are generally less likely (or less able) to rebel against their captors, and each civilian counts as only 1/10 of a prisoner of war for the purpose of how many guards are required.
    • If any portion of a civilian population of a hex or a settlement is made captive, any nation bonuses from improvements in that hex or settlement (except for Defense value) is halved; if 50% or more of the civilian population is eliminated, all nation benefits for those improvements or buildings are lost.
  • Forced Labor: Soldiers captured in battle can be put under guard and forced to work for the benefit of their new nation. For each 100 captives forced to work for a full month, you can reduce the cost of any terrain improvement by 1 BP, or you can compel them to labor on a Farm, Mine, Quarry, or Sawmill, increasing the BP output (or Consumption reduction) of that improvement by 1. Forced laborers do not increase your nation’s Consumption, as their unpaid labor and meager standard of living offset what little they consume. However, using prisoners for forced labor results in a -1 penalty to Stability per 100 forced laborers (or fraction thereof), and your nation gains +1 Infamy each month it uses prisoners for forced labor. Prisoners used for forced labor must be guarded at all times, as described under internment below.
  • Internment: Soldiers captured in battle can simply be locked away, kept as prisoners for the duration of the conflict. Prisoners must be kept under guard, either in temporary stockades or permanent prisons. Any army capable of fighting can guard a number of soldiers equal to 10 times their number. If there are more prisoners than this, the nation holding the captives must make a Stability check each week with a cumulative -1 penalty for each multiple of the number of guards beyond x10 (e.g., an army of 20 soldiers could safely guard up to 200 prisoners; if there were 250 prisoners, a weekly Stability check would be required with a -2 penalty, since there are 12.5 times as many prisoners as guards, which exceeds the limit by 2 multiples over x10). A failed Stability check results in an uprising among the prisoners, which is treated as a Vandals (if prisoners are kept inside a settlement) or Bandit Activity (if outside a settlement) nation event.
    • Prisoners can instead be escorted to permanent internment at a Barracks, Fort, Garrison, or Jail; a Barracks or Jail can hold up to 100 prisoners each while a Fort or Garrison can hold up to 200. This number can be increased by crowding prisoners into narrow quarters, up to five times the normal amount, but each additional 100 (Barracks or Jail) or 200 (Fort or Garrison) prisoners or fraction thereof beyond a building’s normal capacity generates 1 point of Unrest. Garrisoning army at the same building to its full capacity reduces the Unrest generated by excess prisoners by half.
    • Interning captives increases your nation’s Consumption by 1 per 100 prisoners (minimum 0). You may choose to reduce this Consumption increase by half by starving your prisoners; however, doing so causes you to gain +1 Infamy each month.
  • Massacre: A victorious army may decide that they lack the resources or the desire to keep its captive enemies alive, choosing instead to wipe them out, killing them to the last. Massacre of enemy forces earns +1 Infamy per unit put to death (regardless of size), plus an additional +1 Infamy for every 1,000 soldiers (or fraction thereof) of all of the units put to death combined. Your nation earns +2 Infamy for the massacre of any number of civilians, plus an additional +1 Infamy for every 100 civilians (or fraction thereof).
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