Regular readers will know I've been chewing on simple domain and mass-combat rules lately. I've had a "Mass Combat rules Powered by the Apocalypse" blog post due for some time; as sometimes happens, however, actual life went faster than typing, and experiences at the gaming table, testing out my thoughts, plus reading some excellent ideas by others, have brought me to a slightly different place than the one I expected to write about next. :-)
With significant influence from Into the Odd, Dungeon World, Apocalypse World, Macchiato Monsters, and blog posts from Jeremy Strandberg's Spouting Lore and at "Enthusiastic Skeleton Boys," I've arrived at a second draft of how I (think I) want to handle mass combat in my current campaign. That campaign basically runs on Dungeon World, but even if you're an OSR 'purist,' you might find something thought-provoking here. Comments and critiques welcome. What follows was written primarily to myself, as part of an ongoing interior conversation, but I hope it is clear enough to follow!
[One quick proactive comment: at this stage in the process, you should feel free to say whatever seems helpful in the comments, but I'm less interested in checking out brand-new systems and more interested in critiques to hone this system or its influences. Thanks!].
A Unit fights as if it were a single character, with various bonuses and penalties reflecting the size differences among rival units.
-1 if the unit is Green/Frightened,
+1 for Veterans,
+2 for Elites.
(Can treat Large creatures as +1, Huge creatures as +2, or even forego the roll at all for Huge creatures, and maybe Large too, and Brave combatants, on a case-by-case basis).