Reference Book: Star Wars Saga Edition Clone Wars Campaign Guide
The Clone Wars are all about the massive battles that transform the galaxy for decades- even centuries- to come. No conflict on the scale of the Clone Wars is complete without sweeping battles that cover entire planets. In most cases, these battles serve as the backdrop for adventures, with either predetermined outcomes planned in advance by the Gamemaster or outcomes based on the results of smaller encounters, as described in the guidelines for Large-Scale Conflict. However, sometimes the GM might want the players to act as commanders and tacticians on a higher level. In these cases, Jedi Generals can truly be generals in command of entire battalions, and all the heroes can participate in these large-scale battles.
The following rules govern massive ground combat, like that seen in the Star Wars movies and The Clone Wars animated series. In many ways, these rules mirror Vehicle Combat- and for good reason. Units- the basic organizational name for a large number of troops- function like Vehicles in that heroes can join the Unit and take Actions to control and manipulate that Unit. The Mass Combat rules are designed to simulate the outcome of large-scale ground battles, and Vehicle-only or space battles are likely better resolved using the existing Vehicle Combat rules (Including the expanded rules from Starships of the Galaxy).
These Mass Combat rules represent the chance to put thousands of soldiers into play during a single encounter. This section also includes rules for integrating both individual Vehicles as well as groups of smaller Vehicles, allowing Gamemasters more diversity than just having two armies firing at one another across an open plain. Like designing interesting character-scale and Vehicle encounters, designing interesting Mass Combat battles is a matter of choosing compelling opponents, providing an engaging setting, and adding existing Hazards and challenges. The Clone Wars feature battles deep in the jungles of Felucia, on the ash-choked streets of Mygeeto, and deep in the sinkholes of Utapau. Picking an exciting setting for a Mass Combat battle is an important step- just as important as choosing the two (Or more) opposing forces.
Everything in a Mass Combat encounter takes place at Starship Scale. As in Starship Scale, each square is abstract, representing however much terrain the Gamemaster needs it to. In a densely packed battle, the squares might be relatively small, focing the members of each Unit to crowd together (As in the Battle of Geonosis). In other cases, the battle might be spread out over several kilometers. As a result, the actual time taken up by the combat round is also abstracted, and to a certain extent, so are the Actions of each Unit.
A Unit represents a group of combatants taking part in Mass Combat. For the most part, a Unit is based on a single creature or character representing the majority of the combatants in that Unit. Therefore, the statistics for the Unit are based on the statistics for this representative creature. Units are like Vehicles in that heroes can join Units, filling specific roles in the Unit, just as heroes can serve as Pilots, Copilots, Gunners, and System Operators on a Starship. Furthermore, a Unit has statistics and Actions comparable to those of Vehicles, allowing Vehicle Combat and Mass Combat to integrate seamlessly. Indeed, the Mass Combat system is effectively also the Vehicle Combat system, allowing Vehicles, Mass Combat Units, and individual characters to take part in the same encounter. Like Vehicles, Units can be used in Character Scale combat, but they are designed to be used primarily in Mass Combat. The Squad rules found in Large-Scale Conflict provide an easier method for including large numbers of enemies and allies in a single encounter.
A Unit represents a large group of more-or-less identical creatures that work together in Mass Combat. Unlike a Vehicle, a Unit is composed of dozens, or even hundreds, of individuals. Therefore, single attacks do far less damage to the Unit than a spray of Autofire or an exploding Grenade. Though members of a Unit do not need be identical, the Unit's statistics are based on a single creature for simplicity and ease of play. Heroes contribute to the Unit by their leadership and ability to affect the whole Unit, not their individual combat prowess. A single creature or character within a Unit cannot be targeted; all attacks target the Unit, effectively providing all heroes in a Unit with Total Cover from outside attacks.
When a Unit is reduced to 0 Hit Points, or when the commander of the Unit orders it so, the Unit Disbands. Any heroes in a Unit that Disbands are no longer part of the Unit, and they are then considered individual targets. Two or more adjacent Disbanding Units can recombine into a single Unit. The newly formed Unit is of the same type as the lowest CL Disbanding Unit; thus, a CL 8 Unit and a CL 10 Unit can Disband and reform as a Unit of the same type as the CL 8 Unit. The Hit Points of the Disbanding Units are added together, and become the new Hit Point total of the Unit (Up to the Unit's maximum Hit Points). If the CLs of the Disbanding Units have a difference of 4 or more, the Gamemaster can designate the new Unit as an advantaged Unit (See below). However, this is solely at the Gamemaster's discretion, and might be affected by the circumstances surrounding the formation of the new Unit. A Disbanding Unit that does not reform with another Disbanding Unit leaves the battlefield.
Creating a Unit Edit
To create a Unit, make the following changes to the statistics block of a base creature to transform it into a Unit:
- Challenge Level: The Unit has a CL equal to its base + 6.
- Size and Type: All Units are considered Colossal in size. Colossal (Frigate) and larger Vehicles are typically used as terrain, not Units in Mass Combat. See "Colossal Vehicles in Mass Combat" below for more information on how to use larger Vehicles and Starships.
- Initiative and Senses: Use the Initiative and Senses of the base creature.
- Defenses: The Unit retains the Defenses of the base creature.
- Hit Points: The Unit multiplies it's Hit Points by 4.
- DR/SR: The Unit uses the Shield Rating of the base creature, and gains Damage Reduction 15. Additionally, Units take only half damage from non-Area Attacks.
- Damage Threshold: Replace the base creature's size bonus to Damage Threshold, if any, with a +50 size bonus to their Damage Threshold.
- Attrition: All Units have a set of 3 Attrition numbers. Each time a Unit's Hit Points drop below one of the steps in the Attrition list, the Unit moves -1 Persistent step down the Condition Track.
- For example, when a Clone Trooper Battalion drops below 62 Hit Points, it moves -1 Persistent step down the Condition Track. If the Unit drops below 42 Hit Points, it is now -2 Persistent steps on the Condition Track. The Persistent Condition cannot be removed from the Unit.
- To determine Attrition numbers, divide the Unit's total Hit Points by 4 (Rounding down). Then, subtract that number from the total Hit Points 3 times, each time marking the result on the Attrition line.
- Speed: For most base creatures, the Unit's base Speed at Starship Scale is 1 square. Certain creatures with a high base Speed can move faster (See "Speed," below). The Unit retains the movement mode of the base creature.
- Melee Attacks: Convert basic Melee Attacks to Unit Melee Attacks. Attack bonuses remain the same, but all attacks without a damage multiplier gain a x2 damage multiplier.
- Ranged Attacks: Convert basic Ranged Attacks to Unit Ranged Attacks. Attack bonuses remain the same, but all attacks without a damage multiplier gain a x2 damage multiplier.
- Fighting Space: All Units have a Fighting Space of 1 square at Starship Scale.
- Base Attack Bonus and Grab/Grapple: The Unit retains the Base Attack Bonus and the Grab/Grapple scores of the base creature.
- Ability Scores: The Unit retains the Ability Scores of the base creature.
- Talents and Feats: Units have no Talents or Feats. However, the Unit retains the benefit of any Talents or Feats of the base creature that provide a flat numerical benefit, such as Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Improved Defenses, or Martial Arts I. If the Unit has Talents or Feats that alter attack rolls with flat numerical values (Such as Power Attack, Rapid Shot, or Burst Fire), those attack options can be converted as well. Units cannot use Talents or Feats that rely on other conditions or situations to activate.
- Skills: The Unit retains the Skill modifiers of the base creature.
- Possessions: Units have only the possessions relevant to their Attacks and Defenses.
Vehicle Units Edit
Large, Huge, and Gargantuan Vehicles can also be combined into Units. A Vehicle Unit typically represents four of the same Vehicle. To create a Vehicle Unit, multiply the Vehicle's Hit Points by 4 and calculate Attrition numbers based on the new Hit Point total. Like ground Units, Vehicle Units take half damage from all non-Area Attacks, but also suffer Persistent Conditions due to Attrition, as per normal Unit rules. Additionally, if a Vehicle possesses any antipersonnel weapon (Weapons that do not have a damage multiplier), the damage is for those Weapon Systems also gains the x2 damage multiplier for the Vehicle Unit. Otherwise, Vehicles follow all the same rules as Nonvehicle Units. Additionally, Vehicle Units can take Vehicle Actions as though they were individual Vehicles (See Vehicle Combat).
Starfighters and Airspeeders can also join together into Fighter Groups instead of forming a Unit, following the normal rules for Fighter Groups (See SotG Starship Combat). Colossal Vehicles typically operate alone in Mass Combat. Colossal (Frigate) and larger Vehicles are typically used as terrain elements, and are usually not a part of Mass Combat (Except when they fire on the battlefield from orbit).
Vehicle Units do not have the same roles as Nonvehicle Units (Such as those described below). Instead, the Vehicle Unit is considered to have the same roles as in normal Vehicle Combat, as determined by the base Vehicle. If a unique character occupies a role in a Vehicle Unit, use the lower of the unique character's statistics and the default statistics for that Unit's role. For example, if a hero with a Base Attack Bonus of +10 acts as a Gunner on a Vehicle Unit with a Base Attack Bonus of +4, that Vehicle Unit still uses the +4 from the Vehicle Unit's base statistics.
Mounted Units Edit
See also: Mounts
On rare occasions, a Unit can be composed of mounted combatants riding creatures and not Vehicles. In these cases, you can create a Unit stat block that integrates both the mounted combatant and it's Mount as a single Unit. First, start with the statistics for the creature being ridden and it's rider. Give the rider the same base Speed as the Mount. Next, choose one Natural Weapon possessed by the Mount and transfer the attack and damage to the rider (Keeping attack bonuses and damage intact). Now modify the rider's stat block as normal for creating Units, and you have a stat block for a Mounted Unit.
If the Mounts used in the creation of the Unit are not trained for combat, the Unit must make a DC 20 Ride check at the beginning of it's turn; failure means that the Unit can take no Actions this turn. If the Unit uses a two-handed weapon, increase the DC to 25. Otherwise, the Mounted Unit functions exactly as any other Unit.
Riders on Colossal or larger Mounts cannot be made into Units, and instead function as normal on the battlefield.
Colossal Vehicles Edit
Colossal Vehicles function as individual combatants in Mass Combat. For example, the heroes might be in command of an LAAT/i Gunship, flying over the battlefield, dropping off or picking up Units and manning the guns to both devastate enemy forces and to deal with antivehicle Weapon Emplacements. However, the LAAT/i Gunship acts as an individual combatant, meaning it doesn't gain the benefit of taking half the damage from all non-Area Attacks.
Colossal (Frigate) and larger Vehicles do not usually participate directly in Mass Combat. However, including a grounded Capital Ship as a piece of terrain can produce interesting tactical choices. For the most part, Colossal (Frigate) and larger Vehicles have difficulty targeting Units, and Units are treated as Gargantuan for the purposes of being targeted by Capital Ship weapons (Thus, Capital Ships take a -20 penalty on attack rolls against Units). Having a Capital Ship act as terrain (Blocking particular avenues for Units) can produce situations where tactical decisions must be made, and Capital Ship weapons can also be used to target Vehicles on the battlefield, effectively serving as antivehicle Weapon Batteries.
Advantaged Units Edit
Sometimes, a Unit is more than just the sum of its individual members. Some Units have exceptional training, have a small number of artillerists, or integrate a small Vehicle into their ranks. Some Units have more members than other standard Units, and thus can produce a greater amount of firepower. These Units are known as Advantaged Units, and they carry with them benefits above and beyond those provided by the standard Unit creation system.
A Gamemaster who designates a Unit as Advantaged makes several alterations to the Unit's statistics. First, the base creature's Hit Points are multiplied by 5 instead of 4 to create the Unit's Hit Points, and Attrition numbers are calculated as usual. Second, the Gamemaster can apply one or more of the following Special Qualities to the Advantaged Unit, granting that Unit it's benefit. For each special quality selected, increase the Unit's CL by 1.
- All-Terrain Unit
- Antiair Unit
- Antiarmor Unit
- Dedicated Officer
- Mobile Unit
- Superior Formation
- Superior Training
- Superior Weapons
- Vehicle Contingent
Disadvantaged Units Edit
In contrast with an Advantaged Unit, a Disadvantaged Unit is distinguished from other Units of it's type by a detrimental feature in its makeup. Typically, this could mean inferior numbers, poor equipment, or even low morale. When the Gamemaster designates a Unit as Disadvantaged, he or she makes only two alterations to the Unit's statistics. First, the base creature's Hit Points are multiplied by 3 instead of 4 to create the Unit's Hit Points, and Attrition numbers are calculated as usual. Second, the Gamemaster reduces the Unit's CL by -2.
Mass Combat Statistics Edit
The following fundamental statistics are used in Mass Combat to determine the basic Actions of a round. While similar to basic combat, some fundamental differences do exist.
Characters in Units Edit
A character in a Unit fills one of several possible roles, determining not only the Actions a character can take but also how the Unit behaves in Mass Combat. Mass Combat allows several distinct roles, but a single character can fill multiple roles at the same time. You can change roles from round to round, but you can fill a particular role only if no other character has filled that role since the end of your last turn. Characters within Units cannot be specifically targeted by effects or attacks, just as one cannot target specific vehicle systems in most circumstances.
- Commander: The Commander of a Unit is the central authority and leader who issues most of the Unit's commands. A Commander controls the Unit's movement and can also fill every other role not currently filled by another character. A Unit can have only one Commander at a time.
- First Officer: The First Officer is the Unit's second-in-command, helping to ensure that all orders are carried out properly. A First Officer can perform all the same Actions as the Commander, though only if the Commander hasn't performed the same Action since the end of the First Officer's last turn. A Unit can have only one First Officer at a time.
- Attack Leader: The Attack Leader coordinates all the Unit's attacks. An Attack Leader can order attacks and use special tactics. A Unit can have only one Attack Leader at a time.
- Communications Officer: The Communications Officer is responsible for coordinating all the orders within the Unit and coordinating with other Units. A Unit can have only one Communications Officer at a time.
- Medic: The Medic is responsible for making sure the Unit remains a healthy fighting force. The Medic coordinates a team of combat physicians who oversee the general welfare of the Unit. A Unit can have only one Medic at a time.
Using Talents, Feats, and Special Abilities Edit
Characters filling the various roles in a Unit might have Talents, Feats, Force Powers, and other special abilities that they can use in Mass Combat. As a general rule, special abilities that function in Character Combat have too small an effect to be noticeable in Mass Combat. However, some abilities, especially those used by Officers and Nobles, can give Units a big advantage through superior leadership. Talents, Feats, and special abilities can be used in Mass Combat only if they meet certain criteria.
- All Targets who can See, Hear, and Understand You: Abilities that require your targets to be able to see, hear, and understand you function only for targets within your same square in Mass Combat.
- All Targets in Line of Sight: Abilities that affect enemies, allies, or targets in line of sight function in Mass Combat. They affect all targets of the appropriate type within your same square.
- Single Target, Limited Number of Targets, or Nearby Targets: Abilities that affect a single target, a limited number of targets, or targets within a certain number of squares of you have no effect during Mass Combat.
Starting Mass Combat Edit
Unless noted otherwise, joining a Unit is a Move Action.
There are two options for determining Initiative in Mass Combat. First, each character can make seperate Initiative checks. This is probably the best method if most or all characters are part of the same Unit, but it can result in excessive Delayed or Readied Actions as Attack Leaders wait for Commanders to Move Units into position. An alternative is to make an Initiative check for each Unit, using the Unit's Initiative check modifier. This is particularly appropriate when the characters are parts of different Units, since it allows everyone in the same Unit to act more or less simultaneously.
Special: If a Unit or a Unit's Commander is Trained in Knowledge (Tactics), you can choose to make a Knowledge (Tactics) check instead of an Initiative check to determine that Unit's place in the Initiative Order.
Special Mass Combat Rules Edit
The following additional rules apply to Units in Mass Combat.
Additional Using Organisation to Resolve Mass Combat Edit
See also: Organizations
You can use the Organization Power Check rules to resolve Mass Combat. Though the Gamemaster might have an outcome of battle in mind when Mass Combat takes place, the Power Check rules make it easy to resolve large-scale battles without having to script them entirely. When the heroes participate in a large battle, such as the Battle of Naboo or the Battle of Endor, they have the chance to make a difference and turn the tide of combat. Typically, a massive fight will take place in the background while the heroes engage in a small number of more focused encounters. If you want to use this system to resolve Mass Combat, design adventures using massive battles as the backdrop for a number of encounters.