Granada: A Combat Analysis
By J.R. Jarvinen
January 2020

The Granada system itself is deceptively simple: Each unit has a combat value from 1 to 7; when attacking, you roll a 10-sided die. If the number rolled is less than or equal to the combat value, you score a hit. Each unit attacking gets to roll one die.

All units have two steps; if it takes a hit, the unit is reduced (turned over) which reveals its new attacking strength which in every case is two less than it’s original attack strength. A cavalry unit of 5 strength which takes a loss is now reduced to a unit of 3 strength, diminishing its chance to hit in its own turn. If a reduced unit is hit, then that unit is eliminated. The owning player always gets to decide which unit is hit.

In the first round of combat, the defender always get to roll first; the attacker takes his losses, and then rolls for his attacks. After the first round, the attack and defense rolls are simultaneous.

Thus, we have a pretty straightforward system that some might even compare to a more simplistic method used by Risk-like games. However, some aspects that require more analysis, and yield some surprising results (see Tactical Combat Analysis in Granada).


Attack Modifiers

Unit strength can be modified by several different means. However, a single unit can never be modified to greater than a strength of 7. This means that no matter what modifiers you apply, a single unit never has better than a 70% chance of a successful hit.

Leader Modifiers

Each leader has an Attack Rating and a Defense Rating, which can modify a unit’s strength depending upon whether it's attacking or defending. The Rating tells you the amount by which he can modify a unit’s strength. For example, Ferdinand has an Attack Rating of 4 and a Defense Rating of 3. When attacking, he can add four points to an individual unit, or spread the points among two or more other units. Again, however, no unit can attack with more than a strength of 7 regardless of additional modifiers.

Castle Modifiers

While defending in Granada (the only strength 4 castle in the game), each unit adds 2 to its strength when defending.

There are also five strength 3 castles (two in Spain — Cordoba and Lorca — and three in Granada: Malaga, Pinos Puenta, and Almeria), which add 1 to the strength of each unit in the castle. When the Moors make a stand in places other than Granada, these three castles should be chosen. Even a +1 bonus spread across a few units rolling double dice can be very effective.

These larger castles are also the key to winning the game. If at the end of a campaign season the Spanish player controls Granada, Malaga, Pinos Puenta, and Almeria, he wins the game. Similarly, if the Moors control Cordoba and Lorca at the end of a campaign season, they win the game.

Unbreached Castles

If a castle is Unbreached, then the defender gets to roll TWICE in each round of combat until the walls are breached. This is a huge advantage for the Moors while defending in Granada, a strength 4 castle. Until the walls are breached, the Spaniards have little or no chance to take Granada. Furthermore, when attempting a siege, the attackers are committed to one round of combat regardless of the siege attempt results. The obvious conclusion is not to attempt a siege unless you can weather at least one round of devastating defensive fire.

The bad news for the Spaniard is that he must take Granada in order to win the game, so he must eventually face these withering defensive rolls.

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