Mass Combat Primer

Mass combat is performed in largely the same fashion as normal physical combat. The characters that are in the contest use their normal stats and charms and the combat proceeds along the battlewheel etc. There are three primary differences

  • The space and time involved are larger. Ticks are roughly a minute rather than 1 second and units move hundreds of yards rather than dozens.
  • Men led by a commander add to their stats and provide extra health levels.
  • All ability rolls are capped by the War ability


Each unit has the following statistics:

Magnitude: The size of a unit. This is measured from 1-N where 1 is 30 or less health levels of soldiers and each successive level is up to 2x the previous.

Drill: The trained discipline of a unit.

Endurance: The physical reserves of a unit’s members. Solo units also have this trait.

Might: The overall mystical power of a unit, factoring in magical equipment.

Close Combat/Ranged Attack Rating: The skill of the unit members at attacking.

Close Combat/Ranged Attack Damage: The lethality of unit members when attacking.

Armor: The average protection provided by unit members’ armor.

Morale: The overall bravery of a unit.

Formation: A non-numerical trait that describes a unit’s current tactical arrangement, this effects the attack, defense and movement of the unit

Formation Speed Multiplier Required Drill Notes
None (Solo) x100 0 -
Unordered x30 0 Bad
Skirmish x100 1 Strong vs. ranged, weak vs. melee
Relaxed x70 1 -
Close x40 2 Strong vs melee weak vs. range

Order of Battle

Declare War This is the equivalent of Join Battle, the roll is Wits + War – Magnitude

Select Action There are some new actions available beyond those that carry over directly from normal combat.

  • Change Formation: (5,-1) Charisma + War difficulty of Magnitude – Drill
  • Disengage: (0,-0) ([Wits + War + Drill] – Magnitude) against a difficulty of (the opposing unit’s Drill + 3)
  • Turn (>90 degrees): (Speed 3, -1 DV) Charisma + War difficulty of Magnitude – Drill
  • Signal Other Units: (Speed 3, -0 DV) No roll.
  • Rally: (Speed 4, -1 DV) (Charisma + [War or Performance]) at a difficulty of (Magnitude – Drill) This can restore lost magnitude or endurance


There are some differences in how attacks are conducted

  • The Close/Ranged Combat rating is added directly to the attack’s successes
  • Attacker’s Magnitude – defender’s Magnitude up to +/-3 is added directly to the attacks successes
  • Ranged attacker can carry limited ammunition, 4 attacks worth if moving, 7 if fortified
  • Mass combat units can only be grappled by units of a Magnitude greater than theirs (this is called enveloping)
  • Attacking an enemy commander suffers penalties for the Magnitude of his unit
  • Health levels of damage are applied to a copy of the character’s health track, the suffer no wound penalties, when they fill the track to incapacitated the unit loses a point of magnitude reseting the health track to full.

Endurance and Rout

After every attack both involved unit must test for Fatigue, this is Charisma + War versus the Fatigue value of their armor with bonuses and penalties for morale and weather conditions. After losing Magnitude or other frightening circumstances a unit must test for rout this is Morale at standard difficulty with a dice penalty/bonus equal to the unit’s (Magnitude – Drill) and for the circumstances. Failure means the troops rout, it cannot move until its next action and it loses a Magnitude for each missed success.

Mass Combat Primer

Exalted: Lords of Asparagal Xarei