Lord of the Rings (5E)
With a realm full of proud rulers and loyal warriors, combat on a large scale is not only common but an integral part of martial stability. Throughout the campaign, players will have opportunities to lead armies into battle against opposing forces. Success or failure can affect not only social standing, but ultimately the survival of a region or whole of Middle-Earth itself.
When opposing forces engage in mass combat, roll for Initiative. The commander with the highest Initiative chooses where to put their units and the direction from when the enemies may approach.
Each round on your turn, you can choose a number of Units to use equal to your Honor Rank. These units are considered to move and act simultaneously or in the order you choose. Each unit has a movement speed and distance it can attack, measured in squares. All units move as your Move action, and attack as your Action. There are no Bonus Actions in Mass Combat unless specified.
When attacking, make an Intelligence (Battle) check opposed by your opponent’s Battle check. If you succeed, your attacking unit damages the enemy unit – effectively destroying or scattering it. Some attacking units had disadvantage on this check for making attacks under certain conditions. All attacking units have advantage on this check if they are flanking the enemy unit. This includes ranged units, though they must be adjacent to the enemy unit to have advantage.
The player’s character token or miniature remains on the map as a Commander. As a Commander, you can move 1 square at a time but cannot attack by yourself. A Commander can be attacked by units, and you are considered to have a number of Health Points equal to your character level. At any point in combat you can announce your intent to withdraw from battle. In doing so, all of your attacking units have disadvantage on Battle checks (including defensive checks) until your next round. On your next round, if you are still alive, you and your army successfully leave the field of battle and the encounter is ended.
There are three types of units that can be procured and used in Mass Combat: Archer, Foot, and Horse. Their statistics are listed and detailed below.
Archer. Archers are a vital and cost-effective unit in any army. Their great range allows them to not only attack from a safe distance, but also target enemy units beyond the range of their own soldiers. Archers have disadvantage on Battle checks if there are friendly units between them and the enemy units they are attacking, or if an partial cover such as trees or fog obstruct the view.
Foot. Foot soldiers are the staple of every army, and the easiest to conscript. Charging onto the battlefield, their bravery and determination is as much a deciding factor in battle as the commander leading them.
Horse. Cavalry and mounted horsemen are considered a luxury to lesser commanders, but an integral part of their war machine by experienced generals. Their mobility and increased range make them extremely versatile, able to flank or overrun enemy units. Horses treat enemy units as difficult terrain, but can move through them as long as they end in unoccupied squares.
Cost. Before every battle, each Commander is granted a leadership pool with which to conscript units. Unless the battle is an ambush, the Commanders are aware of the total units of the opponents as well. When you begin a battle, select units of your choice totaling no more than the leadership pool you have been assigned. The typical pool for a lesser Commander is 5, and esteemed Generals may wield 50 or more.
Range. This is the maximum distance a unit may attack or affect, measured in squares.
Move. This is the maximum distance a unit may move, measured in squares. A unit cannot move twice, Dash, or trade an attack for movement.