Challenge Combat

By Mark Cordone

Rules Variants Resources Fanaticus

In accounts of Ancient and Dark Age battles one often reads of challenge fights between the generals and/or a champion of the army. The following variant is offered as a quick and easy way to simulate this.

Both players should agree, and it is recommended that this variant only be used for armies from DBA Book one and three, with the negative effects of avoiding the challenge being ignored for generals (only) of "professional" armies, such as the Romans towards the end of the Republic, or Persian and some Egyptian armies due to the deified status of the King.

Both players roll 1D6 with the highest roll having the option to issue a challenge first. In case of a tie, the defender has the first choice. The player may choose to issue a challenge from his general to personal combat with the enemy general, or he may have his champion issue a challenge to fight the enemyís champion. His opponent must then decide to accept the challenge, or refuse it but may not then issue a challenge of his own.

If the other player accepts the challenge then both roll 1d6, with the highest roll winning the combat. The loser then rolls a die, if the roll is equal to or lower than the number he lost by he is killed, if higher he is badly wounded and can not take part in any battles until next year. If the result is a tie then both combatants manage to slay each other.

If the first player elects not to issue a challenge then the second player may do so, giving the first player the option of accepting or declining only. If there were no challenges, or after the challenge has been resolved, the battle proceeds normally.

Effects Of Challenge Results

Generals: If a general is slain, then that army is without a general for the battle, and he counts as lost for determining victory. If the general is wounded he may nominate one of his subordinates to command the army, negating the PIP penalty for the general being lost, but he still counts as 1 element lost for victory determination. If the general refuses the challenge it will reflect poorly on him, and his men will think him a coward. As a result, the general's element loses its +1 modifier for the battle.

Champions: If both champions are slain then there is no effect on the armies. A general who refuses to accept a championís challenge passes the initiative to his enemy, who then moves first in the opening bound of the battle. If an armies champion is slain it is considered a bad omen or the army, and a good one for the enemy. As a result, the enemy general may re-roll any one die roll for PIPís or combat during the battle, but the general must take the second roll. This reflects the foreshadowed good/bad fortune.

Players may wish to paint up and individually base a suitably imposing figure and name him, for their champions.

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Last Updated: 25 May 2005

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