How is large-scale combat normally handled?

I’m a DM looking to run a campaign with Burning Wheel for the first time, and I was wondering how it handled large-scale combat. The campaign is going to be in a low-magic alt-history Europe, focusing heavily on politics and intrigue a succession crisis of the Holy Roman Empire. From what I’ve read so far, I think Burning Wheel would be a really good system to run this; however, there’s also a nonzero chance that the players will wind up in a civil war. They would be commanders and strategists, not front-line soldiers. Battles would probably range from a few dozen to several thousand. Does Burning Wheel (or an expansion/hack) have systems for handling tactical combat?

I’ve searched around a bit and seen references on some old threads on other sites to something called “Battle!”, but most of the links are dead due to the forum system evidently being changed at some point in the last decade. Sorry if I missed something obvious!

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The core book has Range and Cover, which handles skirmishes of teams between one and about a dozen people.

The recently-released Anthology has a chunky chapter on war, from fighting battles to raising troops, to maintaining supply lines. It’s cutrently out of stock, but they will likely be doing a second prining soon. Meanwhile, this post has an earlier draft of said rules you can check out.

There is also, of course, the core mechanics and resolutions that can be brought to bear – Test Logistics to establish supply lines, test Administration to set your men into effective regiments, test Strategy vs your opponent to win a war against them. Maybe link all those tests together. Burning Wheel facilitates multiple levels of play: You can resolve a year’s worth of war fighting with a single Vs Test at the table, or crack open the Anthology and get stuck in like it’s the fucking Creative Assembly.


And welcome to the forums! You seem a fine fellow!

Thank you so much! This is exactly the answer I was looking for. Definitely excited to potentially test these mechanics out! Perhaps I need to make a few of the princes a little more hawkish than I originally intended…

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Groovy! Happy to hear it! Be sure to let us know how your games turn out!

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