Battles vs D@W campaings battles

In your expirience, what its your opinion in the advantages and cons of the D@W battles battles system vs the abstract D@W campaings battles with heroic forays. 

I have make a couple of battles with units and battlemat and love it, but i will like to know how the other way works in practice. 


1. Battle adjudication is much faster.

2. Easier for the players to learn. The battle mechanics are quite simple, while the heroic forays use standard ACKS mechanics.

3. Use of one heroic foray per 10-minute battle turn resonates well with cinematic and fictional presentation of battles as a series of "waves" with heroes performing exciting deeds at each wave.

4. Tends to keep the party together.


1. Battle is adjudicated as a battle - very satisfying for tactical wargamers

2. Allows for interplay of mass combat and personal combat in unique ways; emergent possibilities appear that were not possible in Campaigns system

3. Different unit types expose different strengths and weaknesses against different opposition and different terrain - it's more obvious why rough hilly country is suitable for skirmishers, or vast plains suitable for mounted bow, or why foot longbow scare mounted bow, but not heavy infantry

4. Rewards players who have invested in Command, Leadership, and Military Strategy in a very visceral way


Thanks! considering the absolutly epic siege that my players survive yesterday and that advice i will keep using the battle system. And use the campaing system for battles in wich there are none players involve. 

Tell us about the siege!!

After an initial conquest the party realice that they have an army to big for the small budget that the newly created domain provide they have savings to pay the army only one more time, as their wages where of 31210 gp. Decidet to not disband their military force they try to get money in any way (taking over a small criminal guild, serching treasures, etc.) in the end they realice that the only productive way to keep the army was to use it and conquer an orc domain nearby. But they didnt know how big the orc realm on the other side of the mountains was. With good use of terrain and come luck they asault an orc castle b surprise and took it with minimal loses, there, they decide to wait for the orcs retaliation. 

The army was composed by 300 light infantry, 180 heavy infantry, 90 slingers, 120 bowmen, 120 long bowmen, 210 ligth cavalry, 60 heavy cavalry, 60 horsed archers and 45 veteran catapharcts. Accompanied by a small elven force of 60 light infantry, 30 heavy infrantry, 30 long bowelfs, (all together formin a mix unit) and 30 light horselfs and 15 horsed archers (forming the other mixed unit) and 60 trained direwolfs.

at the last time they recibe reinforcements in the form of 360 dwarven heavy infantry and 240 dwarven crosbowmen.

They where confident with their almost 2000 strong army till they get the report of a 3100 strong army of orcs and goblins aproaching. In that army they were also a good number of terrible gnolls, some bugbears and worst of all 10 fire gigants.

The siege started with an artillery duel betwen the castle´s trebuchete and the enemy armie´s trebuchete. That was the first victory of de players as the sheep familiar of one of the wizards was an expecionaly talented siege engienieer. With their longest range siege weapon lost and the fear of looking weak in front of the other clans the orcs marched to a frontal assault.

The march was painful for the orcs and many goblins died before geting to the walls, but then a unit of orcs armed with a ram managed to get to the main door, and one of the walls was swarmed by a large group of gnolls armed with flails and a group of orcs. At the same time the gigants started to rain stones on the elven archers and force them to retreat to the safety of the keep.

The dwarves knowing that the ram was about to break the doors in no time open the doors themselves and charged the surprised orcs to great efect, till the gigants meet the brave dwarfs and sent them to their ancestors in a brutal attack (13 attacks is just painfull). 

Now things look dark, the orquish general was at the gates leading the gigants behind them the bugbears and the ogres wait for their turn, the gnolls managed to take a foothold on the south walls and more orcs where climbing. 

But a concentrated attack from the crossbowsdwarfs, and then the slingers, and then the bowmen, and finally an advance of a phalanx of heavy infantry and the dwarven heavy infantry managed force a shock roll for the gigants, bad dice force them to retreat, but they have no way out as the bugbears and the ogres blockthem their pat, so they end disbanding. And on the outside of the castle the veteran catapharcts managed to kill the goblin unit that spell doom to the orcs, for they have lost more than 1/3 of their army and the enemy had only lost one unit. The players capitalise this by poking units to disorganize them and give them the -2 to the morale roll. The rolls where bad, with most of the enemy units wavering, some fleeing. 

The victory was taken away from the orcs, as morale roll after morale roll make the army unmanageable to the liders, the players army pushed that advantage, keeping the enemy disorganized and aiming to the liders. The general fell when surrounded by the trained direwolfs alone. And of those orcs that scape half died in the chase. 

The battle lasted more than 2 hours. with lots of other details, like 2 fireballs used to kill one of the orc commanders that had a ring of delusion, and belived to the last second that he has resistance to fire. the almots doom of the veteran catapracts when one unit of goblin wolfriders charged at it. etc. 

But it felt epic, and dangerouse and good. 



That is absolutely awesome! Thanks for sharing the write-up.

I am delighted to hear that a siege-sheep was integral to the battle. You could say he lamb-blasted the enemy.

Dolly (the battle sheep) is a valuable member o the party, capable of constructing castles, destroying castles and see visions of the future. She is also a capable comander (+3 military strategy thanks to a 18 in inteligence) leading the siege crews with the help of her human wizard, and is used in at least one of the banners of the party. 

"The Battering Rams", perhaps, as a platoon/company name for the siege teams?

Also, Rule #9 of these forums, you can't have a hyperintelligent General Mutton without telling us how that came about! :)


It sounds epic, dangerous, and awesome!

Dolly is the familiar to one of the wizards (Agata), because Agata has 18 inteligence, so does her familiar. the fun part is the choice of a sheep as familiar and the choice of proficiencies. Also Agata consider herself as Dolly´s henchwoman.

half of the fight was the players asking "can we survive this?" and my responding "honeslty i dont know". 

That's awesome! 

This is fantastic. So Dolly's in charge?

If Agata has "Animal Husbandry" as her proficiencies I'm going to die of laughter.

Dolly is not in charge of the entire group, but its cosulted often. 

Agata dosnt have animal husbandry curiusly. But uses some of her defensive magic on Dolly when needed. 

Another cool thing about Battles is how presicion strike to kill enemy commanders can turn around the tide of battle.

Last session the groups army was faced against an army double their size and with two companies of gigants, and 6 ogre companies. They win thanks to using a wand of polymorph with 15 charges to transform all of their high level warrior into hydras and use them to kill commanders (includion one attack using an invisibility potion on one of the hydrafighters)

They won the battle by killing all officers, even as more than half the enemy army was still on the field.