How to handle Heroic PCs with war on the horizon

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Jard
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How to handle Heroic PCs with war on the horizon

Those of you following along on G+ know my group is getting close to having a mass combat battle.  Currently their relatively small platoon scale army of 1 each of Heavy Infantry, Light Infantry, Bowmen, Longbowman, and Light/Medium/Heavy cavalry are about to smash into a fully enveloped rear guard of an evasive goblin army that was just looking for easy plunder.

 

Anyway, on to my questions.

My players seem more interested in representing their PCs as Heroic units than heroic forays.  That has made me suddenly aware of something that may be a limiting factor: most of them are already acting as division commanders.  It never ocurred to me that there would be a problem letting PCs both lead divisions and perform heroic forays, but the idea of them both leading divisions and being a heroic unit seems odd.  I'm wondering what the original intent of the rules is.

Ok, second question.   Related to heroic units, one of the PCs is big into cavalry.  He's got the riding proficiency, he's got a lance, he's got a heavy warhorse with full plate barding.  How should I figure a mounted PC into the formula in domains at war: campaigns?  If I have to resort to the D@W Battles formula to figure this out that's fine, but I'm curious if I can keep everything within D@W:C for now.

koewn
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On #1; it's been my impression that Heroic Units start attached if they're a commander; then can detach - my expectation is as long as their units are still in their ZOC, they can still act in that capacity. Your second question seems to imply you're running in Campaigns; so my previous statement was mostly for Battles.

If you're using Axioms 4, it ditches the heros-as-abstract-BR-units concept entirely, IIRC, in favor of the heroic foray, and being able to foray and lead units is just "how it is". 

As far as estimating the BR:  it should be plenty high enough from just level that it'd work, if you still go that way. I'd really have to use the D@W:B formula to see how much difference it makes before I'd state further myself! :)

 

Jard
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yeah, sorry, I should have been more specific.  In order to settle into an acceptable level of comlexity, we're starting with original D@W rules, then if those prove unsaitsfactory we'll move to Axioms 4, and if those still aren't enough we'll start using Battles.

The omission of heroic units from Axioms 4 suggests an intentional decision.  Is that the case or was it just an accidental omission?

koewn
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IIRC it was intentional, but I'm sure Alex will chime in. I'm not entirely sure 'heroes as units' would work properly with the zone system.

FWIW, I did a lot of playtesting of those rules, and developed the battlemat, cards, and tracker. There's some pretty compelling play that's tied up in the zone movement, etc, that adds a good deal of excitement over the previous system without necessarily bringing in the "classic wargame" experience that is Battles.

 

Alex
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Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

A division commander can still heroically foray. He would be doing so in the context of his command. Think of Alexander the Great at the tip of the wedge, fighting to get to Darius.

What you should be wary of permitting is for heroes who are commanding different divisions from foraying together, as they wouldn't be close enough in proximity to do so.

Does that answer the question?

Jard
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that definitely sheds some light on the situation, but i'm still a bit unclear as to how to handle the other method for resolving a PC's contribution to battle: a heroic unit.

 

I see that Axioms 4 only offers Heroic Forays as a way to resolve Heroes in Battle.  By contrast, Domains @ War: Campaigns offers eiither Heroic Units, which is described near the bottom of the 1st column of page 71 (relying on a formula for exotic units from pg 70), in addition to the Heroic Foray rules described immediately after.  Was the option for Heroic Units removed from the rules as presented in Axioms 4 for a specific reason?

Right now, my players seem concerned that doing heroic forays would be too time consuming, so they're hoping to initally try out creating a heroic unit with some amount of BR (and of course, if at any point they complained something was unsatisfactorily simulated i would say "ok! then it's time to do forays").

 

Maybe a more specific example would help. Right now a level 6 fighter, Qorin, commands a division of just 15 heavy cavalry.  since he's the division commander, he's also the lieutenant of that unit, but all units could potentially benefit from his command if he had a high enough strategic ability. But the rules for heroic units suggests that he could be a unit in his own right as well. The player did the math and found that, at platoon scale, by himself he'd be BR 1.5 at least (more if i allowed the magic items he had besides his armor to count as an additional special ability).  So the question becomes, assuming we opt for heroic units rather than heroic forays, can he only contribute to the fight by EITHER being a commander of a division OR being a heroic unit, or is he allowed to do both? In theory, if each heroic unit uses up a command slot, heroic units might slowly become unnecessary in large enough armies, but I'm not sure how it all shakes out.

koewn
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I'd allow both. Conceptually there's not a huge difference between commander+foray or commander+unit - the heroic unit is, largely, a further abstraction of the heroic foray function.

I'm not entirely sure how casualties are handled for heroic units (pg 74), my first thought would be on Destroyed to flip a coin; dead or wounded & a prisoner, and for routed to do a d4, on 1 dead, 2 wounded, 3-4 OK. That's not quite the best resolution for a player's PC, however.

Otherwise, in your particular example, his BR of 1.5 adds 1, maybe 2 die to the side. If the opposing forces are also platoon size, and are the normal humanoid mooks, my gut tells me he's more effective foraying than as an abstract die roll.

Jard
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yeah, I feel the same way that he's more effective than 1.5  He's a level 6 fighter with several magic items, I'm confident he could kill more than 90 goblins given enough time.  But i'm ok with the abstraction being imperfect because eventually you just need to accept that if it matters that much you gotta switch to a foray.

In his case, he's specced for ridiculous high AC, which is mapped pretty well in the existing formula, but the formula doesn't directly take into account, for example, his flametongue weapon.  Of course once we looked up what a horn of blasting (from the example) was, we realized just what a high bar a magic item needs to cross to count as an extra special ability.