Abstracting Hex-Clearing

AKA “The Isengard Scenario”

Our group has mentioned several times the possibility of having other people clear hexes for you. What happens if I just tell 200 heavy infantry to go out and get rid of all the lairs they can find?

It’s been talked about a few times, but to my knowledge, there does not exist a system for abstracted hex-clearing.

(PS - how is this the Isengard scenario? There aren’t any hobbits in ACKS!)

Saruman is a powerful wizard who wants to expand his domain but does not want to personally wander the forests fighting monsters, nor does he have an elite hunting squad; he just wants to throw his faceless soldiers into the forest until it no longer contains threats. (or trees, but that’s besides the point)

IANAA, but…

The only official abstraction I know of would be as a battle using Campaigns of DaW. Stat up the 200 infantry as a platoon scale army, stat up the lairs, and roll as a battle. There probably is a way to collapse that to one roll, but I haven’t dug in that deep.

DaW or not, at a minimum they need an officer, or you just have an ad hoc committee of mercenaries. If a hench isn’t available, an npc mercenary commander can certainly be hired. For a force of 200 men, a 5th level character would be required in DaW. When they’re working under a hired commander on a day to day basis and you’re out of sight, loyalty becomes an issue; they may consider themselves “X’s Men” and not yours.

Mercenaries on campaign count on plunder as part of their pay, and without their patron present to share in the danger and claim a share on the spot, it’s unlikely they’ll turn over the usual share a leveled character could claim, if any. (The officer’s in good shape though. Did I mention loyalty?)

Finally, standing up to powerful single monsters is probably closer to going into a dungeon than going on campaign. I would expect mercenaries to clear any beastman lairs they think they can handle, but dragons would just be something they come back and tell you about. (Unless you get very lucky and the dragon engages them, but they win.)


Search for “single proper” to get to the meat of the post - there Cameron lays out how he abstracted clearing hexes into simple roll + time spent.

Thanks Koewn! I’ll pass that along to my DM as a starting point.