The Murder of Crows
“Finest Hour” the last charge of the Cadian 111th infantry by the Artist Chulun 671 M.41
Due to a number of factors (Intelligence, Weather, Light, Infiltration, Treachery) it is possible for one unit to surprise another in Large-Scale Warfare. Before combat begins, the GM should determined if any units are surprised.
At the beginning of a strategic round, each unit or element rolls 1d10 and adds their characteristic Bonus to determine its initiative. Once the initiative order is determined units take their strategic turns in descending order, starting with the highest Initiative. In mass combat, the rounds are referred to as Strategic Rounds, and the turns are referred to as Strategic Turns.
During a strategic turn units may execute one Order. Any players embedded with a unit may execute this order or perform a flashpoint action.
Once element of one unit are within 1km of elements of another, they are considered in contact and combat begins.
Upon making contact, when one unit is within range of another, each unit rolls damage against the other. No test is required, units simply need to be in range. This represents massive amounts of soldiers fighting. Each unit rolls damage, then the enemy unit subtracts their armor and cover from any damage taken. The remaining Damage is applied to the unit’s Strength. If the unit is benefiting from cover, it adds the cover value to its armor before reducing damage. A unit attacks and is attacked by all units it is in contact with during a strategic Round of Ground Combat unless ordered otherwise by their commanding officers.
Unit Attrition and Cohesion
For every 10 points of strength lost in combat a unit suffers 1d10 morale damage, for every 20 morale lost the unit (and any explorer’s attached to it) is -5 to all characteristic and skill tests. When a unit reaches 1/2 of its maximum morale it must make a Morale test (Using its base morale) to see if morale is broken. An explorer embedded in the unit may make a COMMAND test to rally the troops and give the unit +10 to any Morale tests. A unit that hits 0 morale or fails a morale test breaks, a unit that reaches 0 strength is no longer combat viable until replenished, repaired, or resupplied. (Accomplished by upkeep tests if the explorers have the means available)
End of the Strategic Round
Once every unit has taken its Strategic Turn, the Strategic Round Ends. Combat continues in this way until there is either a clear victory or one side achieves the Strategic Goals it had set.
The unit moves up to its maximum movement. On the Advance: Any unit that encounters an enemy unit during an Advance may break off their advance to fight, but roll 1 less damage die during the remainder of their strategic turn.
The Unit makes three attacks against any units it is in contact with.
A unit executing a Cautious Advance moves slowly and carefully across the battlefield and stays constantly alert for any threats. During a Cautious Advance a unit moves at half its speed but incurs no penalties if it makes contact with the enemy.
Target enemy loses 1d10 morale and rolls 1d10 less damage against this unit for the rest of the Strategic Round.
Combat Air Patrol
An air unit conducts a CAP by loitering over a battlefield ready to make attacks of opportunity against air and ground-based units and to provide air support for friendly ground units. A loitering unit can cover an area 50 square kilometers wide and will intercept any units it encounters.
SCHOLASTIC LORE [TACTICA IMPERIALIS]
If passed, the unit digs in and gains 10 points of cover. If failed they gain 5 points of cover.
Units that disengage break Contact and are considered Dug In at the beginning of their next Strategic Turn. Failure means the unit is unable to extract itself from combat and is now in a state of panic and confusion. Any tests made suffer a -10% as they try to regroup and round up stragglers and fleeing troops. This action can be reattempted after two Strategic Rounds and a successful COMMAND -20% Test.
On Success: The attacking unit deals +5 Damage for 1d5 Strategic Turns as the enemy comes to their senses and faces the real threat.
On Failure: The attacking Unit is treated as Surprised for the remainder of the strategic turn.
SCHOLASTIC LORE [TACTICA IMPERIALIS] +10%
COMMON LORE [WAR]
The target unit must be in contact with one other friendly unit. On success the flanking unit gains +10 Damage for 1d5 strategic rounds. Failure means the unit is not surprised. Failure by 3 Degrees or more means that the enemy unit gains the benefit of the Charge! Action against this unit.
Double speed for one strategic turn. Upon Arrival the unit is fatigued and suffers a -10% to all tests and roll 3 less damage dice until they spend 1 turn resting.
COMMAND or INTIMIDATE -20%
A successful goal means the attack unit achieved its goal (Scattering or cutting off the enemy), but in the process of the push the defending unit deals 1d10 additional damage to the attackers. If the test is failed, the unit is pushed back and the defending unit deals an additional 2d10 damage instead.
Flash points and instances where the explorers get the chance to directly affect the outcome of a battle. Flashpoints are moments of collaborative storytelling between the players and the GM. They can be simple, involving a single player and a few skill Tests or complex such as a full blown combat encounter or exploration challenge involving the whole party. Some example flashpoints are listed below. Note that the GM and players are free to create flashpoints that do not fit this mold and should not feel constrained by this list.
The explorer calls in a pinpoint air strike from friendly air forces. An explorer in a ground unit must pass a NAVIGATION [SURFACE] Test to determine the coordinates of the air strike, then a COMMAND test to direct the aircraft to the target. If a second explorer is piloitng the strike craft he makes an attack run on the target with a PILOT test followed by an attack roll on the target with his craft’s weapons against a suitable target (Bunker, command vehicle, xenos power array, etc.). He gains a DOF km away from its intended target.
Anything Directly Hit by a planetary bombardment is destroyed. However, residual blast waves cause significant damage to nearby units.
Lance: 1km radius / 75+5d10 unit strength / 5d10+10 E Pen: 6 Individuals and vehicles
Macrobattery: 10 sq km / 40+5d10 Unit Strength / 4d10+5 Pen: 4 Individuals and vehicles
A unit subject to a planetary bombardment breaks immediately unless an embedded explorer makes a COMMAND -40% test to get the survivors under control.
The explorer tests BLATHER, COMMAND, DECIEVE, or INTIMIDATE (-10%). Success restores 2d10 morale and grants them +5 to all combat tests for the remainder of the current strategic round. Failure reduces morale by 1d10 and gives a -5 penalty to all combat tests.
A team of explorers and scouts must approach the enemy positions, making SILENT MOVE, CONCEALMENT, and AWARENESS tests. Other skills (TECH-USE, NAVIGATION, SECURITY and SEARCH) may be required at the GM’s behest. Success grants any units attacking the enemy +10 to tests and +1d10 damage during the current and following strategic round. Failure botches the recon mission, failure by several degrees may mean the recon team comes under attack.
Requires one or several identified targets and several SILENT MOVE, CONCEALMENT and DEMOLITIONS tests to destroy the target. Other skills may be required as well if there are other objectives. Successful sabotage means the targeted unit deals 2 less damage in combat, suffers 2d10 damage to unit strength (ignoring armor), and loses 4d10 morale.
With a MEDICAE -20% test the explorer can reduce lost unit strength by half and lost morale by a quarter. This only applies to damage suffered during the last strategic turn.
With a SLEIGHT OF HAND -10% or DECIEVE -20% the explorer procures extra supplies for his unit, permanently improving morale by 2d10