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simple 2d6 combat example


Simple 2d6 Combat Example: Traditional

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Previously posted was the gritty combat example. This post is the default Simple 2d6 damage system. That sounds rather complex but it really isn’t. The combat system can be tuned with a simple decision.

Will we use Toughness as a “damage buffer”?

In this example we will, and we’ll show how a knightly duel migh play out between highly skilled and heavily armoured opponents.

Melee with Toughness and Gambits

Sir Kraven faces off with Sir Brightheart.

Both are in full field plate amour, wield kite shields, and war hammers. Their plate armour is armour value (AV) 5, the kite shield adds 2 AV, and 2 Melee. War Hammers are “Savage” which means any damage getting through can ignore 2 points of Toughness (Tuf) – which is the same as adding 2 points of damage that penetrates armour. Both Kraven and Brightheart have Melee +9, so with the kite shield, they have +11. Dangerous and skilled fighters, both.

They roll.

Kraven rolls 8, and Brightheart, 10. that’s 19 vs. 21. Brighthearts blow is caught by Kraven’s shield (AV:2).

They roll.

Kraven totals 20 and Brightheart 17. Kraven’s blow slips past the shield but Brighthearts polished field plate amour turns it aside.

At this point you might be able to see that Kraven and Brightheart will be fighting a long time. What needs to happen is that one rolls very high at the same time the other rolls very low. That’s where Gambits come into play.


Kraven curls his lip in disgust and growls. His player prepares the Gambit (7). Brightheart hears the growl and also prepares a Gambit (7).

They roll.

Kraven rolls a 3, adds 11, for 14.

Brightheart doesn’t do much better, with a total of 17.

Both combatants used Gambits, but Brightheart won. That means his result is increased by both Gambits, adding 14 to his result. A total of 17 damage! Kraven’s shield and his plate armour provide AV combined of 7 leaving 10 points. Kraven’s toughness is high, at 9, but not that high. He takes a Wound and is at –1.

Gambits must be declared (ideally in secret) before the combat roll.

Now Kraven is adding 10.

Brightheart, buoyed with confidence, takes a Gambit of 5. Kraven is fearful and does not take a Gambit at all.

They roll.

Brightheart rolls a 10 and Kraven only a 4. That’s 21 vs. 14. Brightheart’s Gambit of 5 brings the damage on Kraven up to 12. After AV Kraven suffers 6 points. Since he’s already had his Tuf exceeded he takes those as Wounds, and is now at –7. Brightheart’s victory seems assured.


In this example we can see that a battle which may have lasted dozens of rounds can be cut short with Gambits. By risking damage for the chance to inflict greater damage the combat is made more deadly: especially when both combatants perform Gambits at the same time.

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Simple 2d6 Combat Example: Gritty

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Simple 2d6 is fast and easy. It doesn’t suffer from the kung-fu movie beat of most games, in that there’s no my turn your turn pacing to combat. Everyone just declares their target, rolls, and the higher rolls inflict damage on their targets.

One on One

Sir Roger is fighting Garth of the Dirks. Roger has an arming sword and a shield. Garth a pair of dirks.

Roger has Melee of +6 and is fighting in the power style, so adds his Strength bonus of 2, for Melee of +8.

Garth of the Dirks is fighting in the speed style (the only other style) and adds his Agility bonus of 3 to Melee +3 for a total of +6.

Roger and Garth are ready and know they’re about to fight. Roger’s shield gives him +1 to melee, as does Garth’s extra dagger. Roger has +9 and Garth has +7.

They both roll, comparing results.

Roger turns up a 9, for 18.

Garth’s dice land on 7 for 14.

Roger hits Garth for 4 points. Luckily Garth had the foresight to wear some armour, a padded haubergeon, and its armour value of 2 reduces the damage on Garth to 2 points.

Now the fun thing here is that your campaign can be setup for different levels of combat intensity with minor changes to the rules. The standard is for heroic adventure and everyone can take a bit of damage, equal to their Toughness,  before they start to death spiral out with Wounds. If it was to be a gritty, hardboiled, sword noir kind of game, then you’d just have the Wounds start immediately. Let’s say this is a hardboiled campaign.

Garth has 4 wounds. That’s –4 to all combat and skill checks. He’s in bad shape.

That’s the end of the first bout, or combat round.

Neither tries to disengage and flee. The combat continues.

Roger rolls 9 again, for 18.

Garth rolls 6, for 13, but is –4 from wounds. Only 9.

Roger chops him open for 9 more damage, –2 from armour, and nets 7 points inflicted on Garth. Garth is at –10 and since that’s higher than any of his statistics he is unable to continue.

Three on One

Garth’s friends arrive too late to help their buddy. Roger stands victorious. The three friends look at each other, draw their shortswords, and spring to the attack.

“For the shire,” the cry.

Roger looks them over and thinks they’re all rather short and quaint but intends to cut them into smaller, less offensive pieces.

Since the friends, Fred, Simon, and Peter, outnumber Roger they get to help each other. Each ally adds one to each fighter. So there’s three, that means each fighter gets +2, since they can’t aid themselves any more than they are with skills and stats. They all have Melee of +4 and Agility +2, for +6, but with their allies, they have +8 each.

They all roll.

Roger rolls box cars, 12, +9, for 21.

Fred gets total of 18. Simon scores 16, and Peter, 16.

Roger can only wound one of them and chooses Simon, to inflict 5 points. Simon has no armour and chooses to disengage, rather than die.

They all roll.

Roger rolls 7, adds 9, and ends up with 16.

With only one ally, Fred and Peter have only +1 for that, so they get dice +7.

Fred scores 10 on the dice, adding seven, for 17.

Peter scores 4 on the dice, adds seven, for 11.

Fred hits Roger for one point. Roger’s shield has armour value of 1 and deflects the strike.

Roger hits Peter for 5 points, and Peter follows Simon’s lead, to run for his life.

Roger and Fred face off.

Fred has to pull something out of his proverbial hat. He goes for a Gambit. Roger fights straight up. Secretly Fred’s player declares his Gambit of 4 points (no more than his melee skill). It might be a post-it note, a scarp piece of paper, a white board, or even a playing card with the Gambit value represented with a number.

They roll.

Rogers scores 6 on the dice, adds 9, ending with 15.

Fred rolls 11 on the dice, adds 7, for 18.

Fred won. He inflicts 3 but because of his Gambit of 4 points he increases the result and inflicts 7 damage on Roger. If Fred had of lost Roger would have added 4 to his result.

Roger’s shield reduces damage by 1, leaving 6 points. Now Roger is at –6 and it’s his turn to run.


So there you have it. Simple 2d6 melee combat is really quite easy, and when setup for grittiness, is very dangerous. To make it more traditional the damage accrued has to exceed Toughness to start inflicting wounds and therefore penalties. With an average Toughness of 7, this lets most people take two decent hits before they start to lose their combat effectiveness.


Well dear reader, I hope that shows how simple it is to resolve a combat in Simple 2d6. If you would like to read more leave some comments. Would you like the next post to be a full fight between two heavily armed, armoured, and skilled opponents to show how Gambits are used to win such duels?

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