Rise of Nations
Tactics and Resources
This section allows you to customize your army further, by determining which maneuvers they know and can perform, as well as the kind of gear and equipment they have at their disposal.
Tactics differ from strategy in that they represent specific maneuvers that an army can perform on the battlefield focused on attack, defense, movement, or a combination of the three. Strategy dictates each side’s overall approach to what all of their armies will do, but each individual unit can adopt its own unique tactics.
A unit can select one tactic each Battle phase, and certain maneuvers are usable only once during a battle by each side as they represent either maneuvers based on limited resources or on battlefield deception. Some maneuvers require one or more kinds of specialized equipment for the unit performing it. An army learns new tactics by being victorious in battle and can know a number of tactics equal to its ACR.
When a battle begins, the commander selects one tactic to use for that battle (if the army doesn’t know any tactics, it uses the standard tactic). At the start of each Ranged or Melee phase, the commander may try to change tactics by attempting a DC 15 Morale check. Success means the army uses the new tactic for that phase (and the modifiers from the old tactic cease); failure means the army continues to use its current tactic. The effects of tactics end when the battle does. As with battlefield conditions, gaining benefits from a tactic is subject to GM discretion. (For example, you may not get the expert flankers benefit if you cannot actually flank your enemy.)
Tactics marked with an asterisk (*) are default tactics all armies know; these do not count towards the number of tactics an army knows.
Cautious Combat: Your army fights cautiously in order to maintain morale. Decrease its OM by 2, and add 2 to all its Morale checks.
Cavalry Experts: Your army’s OM increases by 2 against armies that aren’t mounted. The army must have the mount resource to use this tactic.
Covering Fire: Your army keeps some of its soldiers back from the front lines in order to provide covering fire for you and your allies and to strafe targets of opportunity trying to move around you. Once per battle phase, when your unit or an allied unit disengages from an enemy unit, or a unit that routs or is destroyed, you can make a ranged attack against the enemy army from which it is trying to disengage. If your attack hits, you inflict 2 damage and your allied unit gains a +1 bonus to DV and to opposed Morale checks made to disengage. The army must have ranged attacks to use this tactic.
Defensive Wall: Your army fights defensively, taking actions to protect fellow units as needed. Decrease its OM by 2, and increase its DV by 2.
Dirty Fighters: Your army uses trickery and unfair tactics to gain an advantage at the start of a battle. For one Melee phase this battle, its OM increases by 6. (After that Melee phase, the opposing army knows to be ready for such tricks.)
Expert Flankers: Your army is skilled at surrounding the foe and distracting them, at the cost of spreading out too much and being more vulnerable. Increase its OM by 2, and decrease its DV by 2.
False Retreat: Once per battle, your army can make a false retreat, luring a target enemy army deeper into your territory. On the phase your army makes a false retreat, it doesn’t attempt an Offense check. On the phase after it uses this tactic, increase its OM and DV by 6 against the target army.
Feint: You army feigns an attack to draw enemies out of position and distract them from greater threats elsewhere on the battlefield. On a successful attack, you deal half damage but do not become engaged. In addition, your army and the army you attack must make opposed Morale checks with a bonus equal to the unit’s ACR. If you win this opposed check, the defending unit is drawn out of position and takes a -2 penalty to DV for the rest of the battle phase. If your attack fails, your attack does no damage and your unit becomes engaged with the defender. You cannot use this tactic against an enemy army with which you are already engaged.
Full Defense: Your army focuses on total defense of the battlefield. Increase its DV by 4, and decrease its OM by 4.
Pike Square: Your army grounds its polearms and sets them to fend off enemies, especially mounted foes, while setting a shield wall to protect against infantry. Your army decreases its OM by 2, but gains +2 DV against mounted armies and deals +2 damage on a successful attack against a mounted unit. In addition, your army deals +1 damage against any army using the Aggressive strategy, +2 damage against an army using the Reckless strategy on a successful attack. The army cannot be mounted in order to use this tactic.
Relentless Brutality: Your army throws caution to the wind and attacks with savage and gory vigor. Increase its OM by 4, and decrease its DV by 4.
Screening Defense: Your army may choose another army to protect on the battlefield. Melee attacks made against the army you are protecting affect your army instead. While using this tactic, your army cannot attack any army unless it first attack attacks you in melee. The unit are you protecting cannot be engaged by an enemy army unless your army is routed or destroyed. If the unit you are protecting is already engaged, it remains engaged; using this maneuver does not force the opposing unit to disengage. The unit you protect can be targeted with ranged attacks, though it gains a +2 bonus to DV against them. You take 1d4 points of damage if the unit you guard is hit with a ranged attack; likewise, the unit you guard takes the same damage if your army is hit with a ranged attack.
Siegebreaker: Your army targets another army’s siege engines in an attempt to destroy them. If your army damages the target army, your army attempts a second Offense check; if successful, destroy one of the target’s siege engines. This tactic has no effect on enemy armies without siege engines. In addition, a unit this tactic can try to circumvent the protection of a unit using the Screening Defense tactic if the unit it protects is equipped with siege weapons. If your attack against the screening unit succeeds, your attack deals half damage to that unit and you can make a second attack against the protected unit and its siege weapons. This attack also deals half damage.
Sniper Support: Your army holds some ranged units in reserve to attack a target enemy army during the Melee phase. If your army damages the target army in the Melee phase, it deals 2 additional points of damage from these ranged attacks. The army must have ranged attacks to use this tactic.
Spellbreaker: Your army has specialists who can disrupt enemy spellcasting. Increase its DV by 4 against armies with the spellcasting ability.
Standard:* Your army’s attacks have no additional modifiers to its OM, DV, or damage.
Taunt: Your army is skilled at taunting its opponents, provoking stupid mistakes and overconfidence in battle. The target army must attempt a Morale check (DC = 10 + your army’s ACR) at the start of each Melee or Ranged phase; failure means it reduces its OM and DV against your army by 2 for that phase. If the target army succeeds at two of these Morale checks, it’s immune to this tactic for the remainder of the battle.
Withdraw:* Your army tries to escape from all armies attacking it. The army attempts an opposed Morale check against each army attacking it to maintain discipline (any army may voluntarily fail this check), but doesn’t need to attempt the usual Morale check to change tactics when switching to withdraw. If all of these checks are successful, your army may withdraw from the battlefield or treat the phase as a Ranged phase. If only some are successful, you may withdraw or treat the phase as a Ranged phase, but enemy armies in the battle may attack you as if you were in Melee. Whether or not the checks are successful, reduce your army’s OM and DV by 2 for the rest of this phase.
Resources are physical assets the army can use to improve its abilities. At the time an army is created, as a default it is assumed to possess simple melee weapons and light armor. Gear can be upgraded at any time after the unit is created, assuming the army is in the same hex as a settlement containing a building of the appropriate type. You must spend the BP for a resource before you can apply it to the army. Some armies can’t use certain resources— an army of wolves can’t use healing potions or improved weapons, mindless creatures can’t use siege engines, and so on.
The cost of a resource doesn’t end when you purchase it. Units must be trained to use new equipment, elite units demand higher pay, expensive items are more costly to maintain and repair, and so on. Each resource added to an army increases the army’s weekly Consumption by the listed amount. The costs listed are for a Medium army. Resources for a smaller or larger army cost proportionately less or more than this amount, as shown on the table below:
|The multiplier applies to both the resource’s initial cost and the increase to Consumption. The multiplier can’t reduce the cost of a resource below 1 BP.|
Healing Potions (4 BP): Each unit is equipped with a few healing potions. At any point during a battle, the commander can order her units to drink their potions. The army doesn’t attempt an Offense check that phase, but heals a number of hit points equal to twice its ACR. Unlike other resources, there is no Consumption cost for using healing potions. Instead, once used, they must be replaced before being usable again. To purchase this resource, a settlement in your kingdom must have an Alchemist, Herbalist, Shrine, or Temple.
Improved Armor (4 BP): The army is armed with masterwork armor, increasing DV and Consumption by 1, and decreasing Speed by 1. For 25 BP, you can outfit the army with magic armor, increasing DV and Consumption by 2 instead. To purchase this, a settlement in your kingdom must have a Smithy or Tannery. Magic armor also requires a Caster’s Tower or Magic Shop.
Improved Weapons (8 BP): The army is armed with masterwork weapons, increasing OM and Consumption by 1. For 50 BP, you can outfit the army with magic weapons, increasing OM and Consumption by 2 instead. To purchase this resource, a settlement in your kingdom must have a Smithy. Magic weapons also require a Caster’s Tower or Magic Shop.
Mounts (BP = Mount’s ACR): The army is mounted on horses or other war-trained animals. Increase its OM and DV by 2, and double its normal Consumption cost as the mounts must also be provisioned. If your army uses mounts that are more powerful than the units themselves, your army’s ACR and derived scores might increase. To purchase this resource, a settlement in your kingdom must have a Stable.
Ranged Weapons (2 BP): The army is equipped with ranged weapons (such as crossbows, slings, or bows), gaining ranged attack capability. Increase its Consumption by 1.
Siege Engines (15 BP per engine): Your army includes catapults, rams, trebuchets, ballistae, and other siege engines designed to break down fortifications. Increase OM by 2 (regardless of the total number of siege engines in the army) and Consumption by 3 per siege engine. Each Melee phase, reduce the enemy’s bonus to DV from fortifications by 1d4 per siege engine in your army. Unlike other resources, the cost of a siege engine doesn’t scale with the army’s size. To purchase this resource, a settlement in your kingdom must have an Academy, Foreign Quarter, Military Academy, or University.
You may take a purchased resource from one army and give it to an army of equal or smaller size so long as the creatures in the recipient armies can use the resource (for example, improved weapons for a hill giant army are of little use to an army of human zombies). Doing so doesn’t cost BP, but reduces the Morale of the donating army by 1.
At the GM’s discretion, you may divide a resource among several smaller armies, so long as the total number of units in the smaller armies doesn’t exceed the number of units in the donating army. If you disband an army with a resource, you can give that resource to another suitable army, store it for later (such as an army you recruit next year), or sell it for half its BP value.