Mass Combat in Adventurer Conqueror King

hmmm…pg. 60 and 121 of the reformatted 0d&d reference a “sling ended” catapult which fires in a “shotgun like” formation, presumably of multiple rocks. Only those have a area of 2" and 3 1/2".

This is area and not radius whatever that means. Presumably then, the boulders thrown by giants (1-2 foot diameter at most) then were single target missile weapons and could not damage multiple creatures.

Interesting! This was not mentioned in CM, I feel as if this is a retcon of sorts so as to account for the size of catapult shots referenced in CM. As 3 1/2" only works in 1" 1 yard scale and there was no way to keep the area of damage at 2" and 3 1/2" in the 1" 10 foot scale. So a "sling ended"catapult has a damage area of 20 feet or 20 yards outdoors…laughable.

Indeed, giants missile fire effects only one target and is not “sling ended” and the sling ended option is not available in CHAINMAIL.

Well, now here goes the arguement I was trying to avoid…

First, base size is irrelevant in CM, because the rules were written to accomodate whatever fiigures you had - thus the 1" melee distance and 3" melee range. Gygax mentioned using all sorts of figures in his battles, including plastic toy monsters from the 5 and dime.

Second “catapults” in CM (and in the ‘60’ and '70’s generally) is used as a generic term to include any kind of large mechanical missle hurling device. Finer distinctions like trebuche and ballista etc, were not being made, no more than they were for the variety of Cannon. This is why Gygax notes the use of different types of shot (shotgun and dart) in Underworld and Wilderness Adventures (p27). Your misunderstanding here may be why you made the claim that catapults were only employed in sieges. Of course, that is not true, there are many types of catapults employed in field battles - the Romans and Byzantines loved to use them.

Third, I’m sorry coop, but you are not going to convince me that there is a special hidden and completely unmentioned scale for area of effect in CHAINMAIL.

Forth - Fireballs in OD&D have a RADIUS of 20’ - that’s a 40 foot circle area of effect.

Well, gygaxian clearly lists base size for the fantasy supplement, and most fantastic creatures outside of elves, orcs, goblins (anything with a 30-300 # appearing in d&d) were extensions of the man to man game.

If you look at the “leader” from the man to man write up you see much of the same language as the hero, army commander shares much with the super hero, wizard is a single catapult, dragon a single creature–magic swords and armor are specifically referenced to man to man combat.

The fantasy supplement in part allows you to run eowen and the nazgul, beorn and bolg. The wizards fireball chases off a single dragon not a flight of 20, likewise the dragons breath is designed for roasting 1:1 figures and gygax’s rules for how many people can stand shoulder to shoulder in a dungeon (the man to man game) is derived from a 1" 1 yard formula taking the basing structures from s&s.

So, if a single giant throws a rock at a single wizard on a 5/8" base, how big of an area effect is his 2" rock?

In swords and spells, gygax recommended 5/8" figure of men, orcs, elves and dwarves at 10 men to 10 yards. This would give us a man taking up 5/8" of 1 yard (3 feet) or 22.5 inches for a man wielding a small or thrusting weapon like a short sword or spear. A long sword requires a 3/4" base as does slightly larger than man sized creatures (bugbear or lion), so our elf armed with a longsword takes up 27 inches or just over 2 feet to fight properly.

So 4 elves armed with longswords or 5 elves armed with spears or short swords can fight in a 10’ corridor.

However! this only applies to fighting in formation with like troops. An open attack order requires 3 feet (1") between allies which would give us 2 elves armed with longswords or daggers could fight side by side.

It looks like gygax split the difference between 4 and 2 and pretty much just say 3 abreast down a 10’ dungeon corridor.

Found it. DMG says the combat table is 1" = 3 feet. The exploration maps are 1" = 10 feet, 1" = 10 yards, and 1" (hex) = 5 miles.

Nobody expects a fireball to turn into a neutron bomb just because you’re on the wilderness exploration map, do they? Why is the dungeon ‘exploration’ map any different? The person gary put in charge of writing up the PHB volume was wrong. No where does the fireball description say 20 feet, or 20 yards, it simply says 2". And in combat, gary says the game table is 1" = 3 feet.

Combat is not done on the 1" = 10 feet map grid. That map is for exploration only.

Even if the killing power/gp of a fireball is less than the troops you get for that coin seeing 50 of your mates getting roasted at once ought to be a tough morale check.

I solved the Fireball vs Medieval Tactics issue in my 1e Yggsburgh game by not having it be a common spell. Easy to do in 1e thanks to the various restrictions it places on M-U spell acquisition, plus the culture restricts access to offensive magic due to sensible fear of out-of-control wizards.

I was wondering if this kind of slight tweak is easy in ACKS, or does it hardcode in routine fireballing?

That sort of tweak is very easy to do in ACKS. I was actually contemplating just that same concept for a Ravenloft-style gothic horror ACKS campaign.

I was debating getting ACK, but seeing that its tactical system assumes too little abstraction and too much miniature-battle mechanics, I guess I will pass on it. I am not trying to rant here, but just offering some insight why I, for one, am not buying the game. If there is ever going to be an option for those of us who desire a more abstracted battle system (Birthright did that brilliantly), I will be glad to reconsider.

I just posted my version of D&D mass combat rules here:
I would love to have you compair them to your’s.