Mass Combat

The combat rules thus far have been enough to cover the clashes of heroes, but tracking each member of the faceless mob quickly leads to a headache. To best represent the cinematic, hero-driven combat of Exalted, Battlegroups are used.

Anatomy of a Battlegroup:

A battlegroup is a unit of non-heroic extras with similar traits under a single command. Rather than stats like a character might have, they give bonuses to their leader, and have a “special” set of traits.

  • Precision: Battlegroup’s organization, weaponry, and precision is represented by their Accuracy on a scale of 1-5. 1 represents peasant conscripts, and 5 represents the peak of martial prowess.
  • Might: How hard a unit can hit is represented by their might, rated on a scale of 1-5. 1 represents weak peasants, while 5 might represent hulking Beastman wielding axes.
  • Defense: The defensive value of troops is represented by their Defense value. 1 would represent weak peasants, while 5 would represent a hardened legion of automata.
  • Magnitude: Magnitude represents the number of soldiers in a battlegroups. 1 is a squad of ~10, 2 represents a century of ~100, 3 represents 500, 4 represents ~1000, and 5 represents ~5000 troops. A unit fills one range band for each point of magnitude.
  • Morale: As with all troop traits, troop morale is rated on a scale of 1-5. This represents their confidence, tested if they break.
  • Health: All Battlegroups have 10 health for each level of magnitude. When a Battlegroup drops to 0, they lose a level of Magnitude.


Effectively, Battlegrounds are a weapon, wielded by a single Commander. When the leader of a Battlegroup takes an attack action, they roll their normal attacks, and then an attack with their leader’s (Attribute + Command + Precision), and damage of (Might*2). An attack from a Battlegroup targets characters in a range band, rather than single opponents, though they can choose not to hit allies.

In addition, if a Battlegroup attacks a unit of small magnitude, they add the difference in magnitude in successes to their attack roll.

When attacking or riposting a Battlegroup and it’s leader, an opponent has two choices—attack the Battlegroup directly, or try for a Called Shot against it’s leader. Making a Called Shot against the leader imposes a penalty of (Battlegroup’s Magnitude*2) to the Attack Action.

When attacking a Battlegroup, the leader must attempt to respond with Command.

A Battlegroup has Soak equal to it’s Defense.

Going Down Magnitude, and Morale Shock

When a Battlegroup reaches 0 health, rather than “dying” like an ordinary opponent, it crumbles, component troops dead or fleeing. This is an intensely terrifying moment to line troops.

Thus, the battlegroup enters “Morale Shock.” The leader must succeed on a Charisma + Command rule at a difficulty of (Magnitude + Number of Times Unit has Enter Shock – Morale) as a miscellaneous action before the Battelgroup can take any non-reflexive action.


Heroic characters can be embedded in Battlegroups as Officers. Like a leader, an officer cannot be targeted without a Called Shot, and can attempt Rally actions on their turn. Unlike a leader, an Officer does not roll attacks for the battlegroup.

A unit may have (Magnitude*2) officers.

Mass Combat

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