Mounted Combat

Fighting form horseback (or other suitable mount) requires exceptional agility and not a little training. The advantages of a stable, elevated position to fight from and the speed at which most mounts can travel can more than compensate for the difficulty. Mounted combat is largely handled by combat modifiers appropriate to the combat situation. There are significant disadvantages in defense against a mounted combatant. The appropriate modifiers are documented in the Foot Attacker/Mounted Defender page.

Weapon Selection

    Mounted combat generally requires that one hand be free to control the mount. A shield may be utilized in the mount controlling hand excepting for the Off-Hand Attack tactic. Most two-handed weapons are too unwieldy for successful mounted use. The risk of damaging the mount is considerable and the problem of balance untenable. One exception is the two handed flails, the additional hand is generally used as a fulcrum with a minimal amount of movement though at a -5% to hit penalty. The premier mounted weapon is the Lance, concentrating the power of the mount into a stout piercing weapon can be devastating. The Mounted Lance always uses the Clash of Arms combat turn.

Tactical Options

    By extension of the two handed weapon prescription above, any tactic that requires that the weapon be wielded offensively in two hands is prohibited. Two-Handed Attack, Great Blow and Ferocious Blow are NOT appropriate to mounted combat.

Events per Turn

    Combat from a mount restricts facing options and generally requires some concentration on controlling either the mount or the combatants connection thereto. This requires that characters attacking from a mount reduce their total Blows by -1. Characters wearing restricting armor (i.e. AC8+) reduce total Blows by an additional -1.


    Mounted characters receive a +5 on their initiative for all hand held weapons due to their superior position relative to an unmounted opponent of similar size. Note that this would not be appropriate against an opponent that is taller than the mounted attacker or a similarly mounted defender..

Attack Modifiers

    Attacks are made with an additional +2% per level of Riding Skill to hit for the superior combat position afforded by height and the implementation of the mount itself in combat. Reduce this advantage to +1% per level of Riding Skill against opponents of equal size/height and ignore it altogether for enemies larger than the mount.

Bash Modifiers

    All hand held weapons wielded from a mount add +1 to Vigor for purposes of the Bash when in stationary melee. When a mounted attacker is charging his opponent in a Clash of Arms turn, the Mount's Vigor is used for Bash determination.

    Any Bash delivered against a mounted opponent must check for unhorsing of that opponent rather than the usual fall test. This test is made against the Combat attribute using the Riding Skill and a difficulty level +1D greater than that indicated by the Bash (Vigor) roll. Failure of this test indicates that the rider has failed to maintain his seat and is plummeting to the ground. A Dexterity test can be assigned to determine the effects of the fall - usually 1d6 damage requiring a roll for location and criticality.

Hit Location Modifiers

    It is appropriate to subtract 10 from the location roll, treating any negative result as a head hit. It is also recommended that limb hits (on standard bipeds) be determined with an eight sided die, allotting only '7' and '8' as leg hits.

Damage Modifiers

    A stationary mount provides a sufficient leverage advantage to inflict an additional +1 point of damage in melee against shorter unmounted opponents. A moving mount will increase the damage delivered by +2 and a mount in full charge adds +3 to damage inflicted.


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updated on:   11 Feb 1999