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(TFT) Morale Reviewed

From: James Eckman <fugu@wenet.net>
Subject: (TFT) Re: Charge and this and that
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 19:06:59 -0700

> From: Michael Taylor <MichaelTaylor1@compuserve.com>
> Subject: Re: (TFT) Cavalry Charge Proposal
> The Treasure of the Silver Dragon has decent Morale rules and
> there are some in the Ships & Swords article in Space Gamer #24,
> page 11.

I don't have either, at least I don't think so. Is there a simple
summary you can give?

Jim Eckman

Silver Dragon's morale is set up on single die roll system with modifiers.

"Each time an opponent in an enemy group is downed make a die roll for each remaining opponent. Each opponent will react according to the one die roll made for him. This reaction may be for the combat round to follow the current initiative roll or for another time period designated. Add one to the roll for each opponent previously downed.

"Die Roll    Reaction
 1 - 3      Continues fighting, no reaction
 4          Hesitates, will not engage voluntarily this turn,
              but otherwise fights normally.
 5          Hesitates, will not take any attack option this turn.
 6 - 7      Break and run, will try to disengage and/or run off
              map away from danger.
 8+         Surrender - opponent drops to knees, drops weapons
              and trys to surrender.

"An opponent who rolls a Break and Run will only Hesitate (no attack) for one turn if he is the only one to have the Break and Run reaction. An opponent who is Engaged when he rolls a Break and Run will try to Disengage for two turns, if unsuccessful he will then continue to fight normally. An opponent who isn't engaged will run from the map at every opportunity at top speed, dropping all weapons and trying to avoid the adventuring group. Any opponent or Character who leaves the combat map is considred out of the battle and can't return."

This means that if you had a line of Barbarians up against a Roman Legion, they might break in the skermish. 6 Barbarians. Barbarian #6 splats. Barbarians #1 thru #5 roll 1 die. All roll under 4 except Barbarian #5 who rolls a 5. I would roll morale check right after Forced Retreat in the Turn Sequence & Option AM Page 2. The results are set as initiative is rolled, so Barbarian #5 hesitates during movement and action this new turn.

Guess what. Barbarian #5 is Splat. Barbarians #1 thru #4 roll 1 die and add 1 (for 2 dead). All roll under 4 except Barbarian #4 who rolls 5+1 or 6: Break and Run. But luckily for him he's the only one who is breaking, so he just hesitates this next turn. (Does this mean he will also try to Disengage?)

Next turn, there is no morale roll because no one is killed.

Well, now Barbarian #1 is splat. Barbarian #2 thru #4 roll 1 die and add 2 (for 3 dead). The results of the die and modifiers make it 6 and 7s. All try to disengage next turn.

On next move it turns out that Barbarian #4 disengages, but the others don't. For some reason the Romans don't engage Barbarian #4. The skirmish resumes and no Barbarian goes splat. No morale rolls.

All Barbarians are still wanting to bolt out of there. They win inititive. Barbarian #4 is not engaged and per the rules of low morale, he flees. Barbarian #2 and #3 try again to disengage per their previous morale roll. Barbarian #3 manages to disengage. Had he lived, he would have ran too. Splat!

Barbarian #2 had just fought it out two rounds and was now settling in for a long conflict. He has his morale shaken again. Barbarian #2 roll 1 die and add 3 (for 4 dead). The results of the die and modifiers make it 8. And he crumples to his knees and surrenders.

This will work for me. I think the Romans would be a bit more disciplined and hold up longer. That is perhaps what the Soldier, etc. talents suggested by Brett Slocum might be able to handle.

Also, this might work if the group is four to eight troopers, but what if its 25? I don't think its set up for that. Perhaps a percentage system worked into a chart? If you have 20 men, then every other one who drops affects the roll.

The Space Gamer #24 article by Glenn Williams SHIPS AND SWORDS
"4.0  Leadership
"The function of a leaer is to keep everyone fighting in the situations which will follow. Consequently, whenever a leader falls (slips, becomes unconscious, or dies), all his troops must make a 3-die saving roll against their own intelligence. Failure means they may only defend until they make a saving roll during a plotting segment. A 17 or 18 means panic; the figure dives off the ship (or flees) and is lost."

This becomes morale from a personal capacity, which can fluctuate from character to character, but is set against the captain falling and not the quantity of his fellow troopers. This means that 60% of their fellows splat, but no one cares because the captain is everything.


I think what I will adapt for my future miniautres TFT games is a combination of these two (probably in combination with some of the trooper talents suggested in the list). The following is a tentative morale concept:

For small groups with no charismatic leader, I would use the Silver Dragon 1D6 morale roll. For larger groups, I would use the Silver Drageon 1D6 morale matrix roll (an expanded chart that says as the Base # of troops goes up, it takes more splats to break morale).

For a group that has a charismatic leader, or a highly trained and organized group that has an ordinary leader (the Imperial Roman Legion at its height), then the Naval Melee Morale would be appropriate. [This setting would probably also invovle some new talents like LEADERSHIP, SOLDIER, perhaps something like WILLPOWER.]

For a group that has a charismatic leader but are green or poorly paid or already known low morale, or a mostly trained and organized group that has an ordinary leader (the Roman Legion in its last days), then a combination of the two might work. If the characters see a number of their fellows fall, they start rolling 1D6. If they break, their leader can try to rally them (perhaps an action option called RALLY.) Those who broke can make IQ roll to gain control and those who surrender but aren't captured can roll to see if they hesitate. If the leader drops, they make the IQ roll to see if they fail and break. Perhaps those truly upset that the leader went down may go BESERK.

Again, I would make all of the one group make the rolls, even player characters. They can ignore the results because they are heroes, but at least it give them the idea that there should be some reason all the others are breaking around them.

Hail Melee

John Paul

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