Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Fast Combat: Musketry

In Honor+Intrigue unless Pawns gang up they usually have little chance to hit or damage the Heroes. Grouping Pawns is handy for the GM since it cuts down on the number of 2d6 rolls that need to be made by the GM. But if there are large numbers of Pawns the GM may still end up rolling multiple 2d6 rolls. One trick I've found takes advantage of one of the quirks of 2d6 odds. If the chance to succeed is 10+ then there is a 6/36 or 1/6 chance to succeed. This means that instead of having to make multiple 2d6 rolls, the GM can just roll 1d6 for each Pawn or group of Pawns that succeed on 10+. 

This tends to work best with Ranged Combat, in part because there is much less that a PC can do that will change the odds of success than there is in Melee Combat. Whereas the ranges beyond Short all have negative modifiers. By grouping the number of shooters so that each group hits on 10+ the GM can simplify the shooting by simply rolling 1d6 with a 6 = Hit.

With no bonuses or penalties, 9+ is a success in H+I. So 10+ is needed for success whenever there is a -1 penalty. Range penalties based on distance are listed in the table below. Each additional Pawn attacking the same target gives a +1 to hit. So the far right column indicates the number of Pawns needed to for the group to succeed on 10+. In the first two rows the number of the Pawns needed is still only 1 and so instead of # of Pawns the table lists the 2d6 roll needed to succeed. 


Example 1: A militia platoon of 24 musketeers are firing at 3 Heroes. the range is Distant. For simplicity I assume that the musketeers will target all three of the Heroes. The militia are not good shots, but they aren't terrible, so I assume their base Ranged Attack +0. The range gives a penalty of -4. Looking at the table I see that a group of four musketeers firing need a 10+ to succeed.  The militia are in two rows so half fire the first round and half the next and then it will be a few rounds before they can reload.  There are 12 musketeers in each row so each row has 3 groups of for, so one for each Hero. Since each group succeeds on a 10+ I can just roll 1d6 with a 6=Hit for each of the groups. 

Example 2: As above but we'll assume the Heroes are charging and the second row holds their fire until the Heroes are at medium range.  Now each musketeer succeeds on 10+. So just grab a handful of d6s, roll them all, count the 6s and distribute the hits amongst the Heroes. You might notice that this could be really fatal. Mordieu, but I hope each of your Heroes have the Fortune Points to turn their hit into a Close Call.

Example 3: As above but the Heroes are at Extreme range. (Maybe the militia is nervous and they don't hold their fire). Now we need six musketeers in each group, so there are only 2 groups firing each round. Figure out who is the lucky Hero who doesn't get shot at.

Example 4: As in the second example but we'll assume that the 12 musketeers hold their fire until the Heroes are at point blank range. (Personally I doubt the militias would do that normally so I'd make them roll morale e.g. Daring to hold their fire that long, but we'll ignore that for now.) Now each militia man hits on an 8+. So I can either roll 2d6 twelve times (tedious) or I can group the militia and adjust the odds. I'll still have to roll 2d6 but instead of 12 times I'll just roll once for each Hero. There are 4 militia men for each Hero so that gives the group +3 to succeed so they will score a hit on a 5+.

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