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Mass Combat: Heroic

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This mass combat system is designed to model combat on a massive scale, in a simple way, while still allowing heroic characters to perform actions similar to those in regular d20 combat.



Like normal d20 combat, it takes place on a grid. However, the scale is different:

  • Each square represents hundreds of feet rather than just 5 (typically ~1000-2000 feet).
  • Each combat round lasts minutes rather than seconds (typically ~5-10 minutes).

The participants of the mass combat are units:

  • A squad consists of a number of soldiers fighting together, occupying one square. The exact number is left intentionally vague, but the general rule is to model increasing numbers of soldiers using additional squads, rather than increasing the "density" per squad.
  • A hero is an individual fighting alone or with other heroes. Any number of heroes may occupy the same square. Unlike squads, a hero keeps track of his health using injury points. In many other respects, a hero functions similarly to a squad, as far as mechanics go.


Phases of a combat round

  1. Special actions โ€“ Each hero can activate a special ability during the special actions phase.
    • Decided immediately
    • Typically no movement involved
    • Includes things like healing, buffing, debuffing, etc.
    • See "special actions" below for a list
  2. Movement โ€“ Each unit moves.
    • Units move in order from highest initiative bonus to lowest (no dice are rolled).
    • If two initiatives are tied, whoever rolls higher on a d20 goes first that round.
  3. Attacks โ€“ All units attack simultaneously.
    • Everyone rolls their attacks simultaneously.
    • After everyone has rolled, damage is assigned in reverse initiative order (i.e., lowest initiative must assign damage first).