Drow Wars - Mass Battle System


I ran the first battle over the weekend. Generally the system worked well except for the player encounters.

Firstly most of the time it seemed that the opponents were on 50% HP or less, even on the first round of combat. The chances in the early rounds are too great to get something with low HP. So even though they get a hero opponent with a CR of 7, with 25% HP they fall to a few blows from the fighter. That is a massive amount of XP for little risk.

Also for the high risk top choice you get 1 major officer and 1 major hero or 3d6 opponents. If you choose the opponents only 3 can attack you at a time so you just get a queue. A fighter with cleave can work through these 1st level opponents very quickly and again get a massive amount of XP.

So I'm thinking of making a few adjustments.
1. Make the prior wounding more likely to have higher HP in the early rounds.
2. Adjust the CR by the prior wounding table as well.
3. Adjust the encounter table to remove the OR with just opponents for the higher rolls.

Has anyone else had issues and made any adjustments to the mass battle system?
I noticed the Mass combat system had some similarities to the one from AEG in WAR and Rokugan. In the Rokugan system if you could go 3 rounds heavily engaged and live you where a genuine hero.

I have not started the Drow camp, but looking at the mass combat system, in which both sides are loosing soldiers and taking damage, I plan to not only use the charts given, but add to it. You might consider doing the same. A personally designing chart like the above mentioned systems.

The chart would have your various "engagement" levels accross the top, with the battle roll down the left. You cross reference your PC's point and have a set dice of damage you take every battle round. UNLESS you have an encounter. IE: if nothing happens but normal combat for that round, you don't make it to your objective "enemy general" but you take a bit of damage from hacking your way to him. at low levels make it d4's at higher levels make it d10s. With encounters they will be taking damage so no need to use the chart.

That way just three or four rounds of combat could net you loosing 4d4 (16hp) That could kill most level 1 - 2 characters, if they didn't have healing potions, or a level of cleric. You could define this several ways. Arrows volleyed into the masses. Area effect spells. Anything you want.

As far as XP rewards from a battle. Yes they are huge for a reason. You take a normal person, put him in a couple of controled arena fights. He will get a bit of experience. But take that same person, and place him in the middle of a full out riot or battlefield. If he comes out, he will come out that much the wiser, and a much better fighter. Sure reign it in a bit to keep the levels balanced in your game.

But remember if the players live, they are the heroes of the battle, Glory, EP and most of all they treasure there life.

Has anyone tried Fields of Blood for mass combat? I have been reviewing the book and it seems to cover all the bases but is it playable?