"War without fire is like sausages without mustard”
Jean Juvénal des Ursins on Henry V’s firing of Meaux in 1421 (from Wikipedia)
My players are pyromaniacs. Well, some of them. Use of military oil in ACKS tactical combat has proven interesting. Due to the relatively short range of military oil, various efforts to draw monsters into “placed” oil have proven effective. Thrown oil has been very swingy, which may be appealing in itself, especially when combined with “miss” (splash) damage. I started to wonder how this propensity for military oil might manifest at scales above adventurer tactical combat.
Also, I was curious enough about the historical use of “military oil” to read a bit on Wikipedia:
From this admittedly brief summary, battlefield use of incendiaries is not as rare as I suspected (flaming caltrops flung from catapults?). However, I was struck by how most of the references to battlefield use are Byzantine empire or later. Incendiary use in the Classical age seems rare – although perhaps this has something to do with available sources.
Another observation, early incendiaries seem dependent on crude oil (petroleum) as a base ingredient, suggesting availability and use of incendiaries might have more to do with the natural resource of available crude oil than alchemists and secret recipes.
Which led me to wonder if “military oil” in ACKS might be an artifact of BX, and not necessarily available in the same way in the Auran Empire Campaign Setting?