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Years ago I purchased the Chivalry & Sorcery Sourcebook (2nd Edition) for its Battle System, but there's one basic thing I've never been able to figure out. On p 65 of the book, it has the procedure for dealing with melee combat, which is:

  1. Determine how many figures in each unit are engaged
  2. Roll a d6 for each unit
  3. Modify the dice rolled with the included table

...then, nothing. It never says what to do with the result. Does anyone have any idea? The best I can figure, you're supposed to remove as many figures as the final value says, but I can't decide if that's a reasonable result. Thoughts, anyone?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What edition of Chivalry & Sorcery? \$\endgroup\$
    – RS Conley
    Mar 23, 2016 at 17:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ 2nd, I think? The one that came with three rule books with white covers. This is the sourcebook, purchased separately, that I'm talking about: amazon.com/Chivalry-Sorcery-Sourcebook-2nd-Edition/dp/… The first edition of the source book, which I also have, doesn't have the mass combat system. \$\endgroup\$
    – mark1000
    Mar 25, 2016 at 3:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ The battle system was also in 1E, but in the core book. Not having had second, I don't know if it was changed; the other edition I have is 5th... which is definitely not the same. Unfortunately, my 1E is 1700 miles from me at the moment. Someone with 1E should probably check and see about the missing table. \$\endgroup\$
    – aramis
    Sep 7, 2016 at 5:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi Aramis. I used to have a copy of 1E as well, but it was a different battle system entirely, unfortunately. :( At least, I wasn't able to figure out how to apply it. \$\endgroup\$
    – mark1000
    Sep 12, 2016 at 0:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Update: I got a copy of "The C&S Redbook 1e," which says it is an updated version of C&S 1st edition. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_Book_(C%26S)#C&S:_the_Red_Book This version has a mass combat system that has a table for determining the results of melee. I haven't fully tested this yet, but it looks very much like it could be used with the mass combat system in the 2nd Edition C&S Sourcebook. \$\endgroup\$
    – mark1000
    May 5, 2020 at 4:17

2 Answers 2

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The combat tables give the number needed on D6 to score a hit, where a hit removes one figure. The engaged figures are rolling, bucket of dice fashion, and numbers matching or exceeding the to-hit number are figure-kills. This is a bog standard miniatures combat mechanic going all the way back to Chainmail in 1971, which is probably why the rules are light on explaining how the mechanic works.

I hope that helps.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ First of all, I apologize for the ridiculous delay in replying. I haven't looked at RPGs in a year. Second, thank you very much for your answer. However, I'm unclear about where to find the "to-hit number." Is it the number in the "Class" column? If so, I think that might make sense. Otherwise, I see nothing else that might be a "to-hit number." :( \$\endgroup\$
    – mark1000
    Mar 31, 2019 at 3:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Update: Unfortunately, the "bucket o' dice" approach turns out not to work. The rules explicitly state that one die is rolled per unit, not per figure. In addition, if I assume the "Class" column is the "to hit," number, then if two units of six light infantry figures each fight each other with no modifiers and if I roll six ones on each side, all 12 figures are still killed. That doesn't seem right. \$\endgroup\$
    – mark1000
    May 5, 2020 at 4:12
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There is no clear indication of what the die roll is used for.

I haven't been playing RPGs long enough to remember any edition of Chivalry and Sorcery when it was new, so when I approached researching this question, it was with fresh eyes and no inherent assumptions about how combat in this game is supposed to work. What I've found is just based on the rules text, and some further research on Chivalry and Sorcery sites across the internet.

There is no mention in section 9.01 CLOSE COMBAT about what you are supposed to do after you "modify the 1d6 result". There is mention of minimum and maximum casualty numbers, and what to do when one side loses more figures than the other, but no mention anywhere of exactly how many figures you are supposed to kill based on your roll.

On other sections of the rules, there is explicit mention of how kills are calculated. For example, in section 8.01 MISSILE FIRE, it states:

A target figure is killed and removed from play when the fire team rolls 1d6 and equals or exceeds the die values given in the table below.

Other sections describe additional tactics that can be used to adjust the melee combat roll:

In any turn in which a 'lift of pikes' cannot be accomplished, the pikemen melee with -2 to their 1d6 combat rolls

And instructions for how to divy up casualties:

Once the total number of casualties suffered has been determined at the conclusion of the battle,

But in a fairly thorough perusal of the mass combat rules presented in that book, I can't find any indication of exactly how mass combat casualties are calculated.

Looking through some forums related to Chivalry and Sorcery, the overall trend that I can see is that people who love the system overall find the mass combat rules hard to understand and opaque. Given that there is no mention in the book in any relevant section about how to calculate losses in combat, and the dearth of information elsewhere on the internet, the only thing that I can conclude is that there are no rules written for what that die roll is supposed to be used for.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for researching so thoroughly. I did try to apply missile fire rules to melee, but also got stuck. At least I'm not the only one who can't figure it out. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – mark1000
    Sep 12, 2017 at 18:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am searching for my origiona C&S book, and if it is still in existence, I'll offer an edit for you. May take a few days. Not sure which box it might be in. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 31, 2018 at 0:42

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