OD&D The one man army is awesome.

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I was reading today because I have been finding Chainmail inspiring for D&D actually - I haven't played Chainmail so bear with my ignorance.
The Superhero piece in Chainmail who got identified as a One Man Army his piece on the battlefield represented one character and is valued as 8 figures (edited not units) which is referred to as having a 1:20 men ratio am I right in thinking that means a One man army == 160 typical soldiers?
That is awesome it fits with gets within charge distance and induces morale checks
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
A few more details

Chainmail has 2 hero ranks calling them Hero (4x) and Superhero (8x) , my calculation sets this as levels 13 and 17th respectively in 4e D&D. This is based on the ability of the characters to handle large amounts of relatively normal troops rather than their ability to tackle individual big bads.

As a more single character focused game and because Gygax wanted a sense of progression D&D has many more gradients of capability and if you begin the game from level one which is basically slightly better than 1 normal heavy soldier so that is significant amounts of progression towards reaching the status of those figures in Chainmail.

However in spite of the general difference D&D does have a mechanic that creates a very similar context for comparison it's generally called a swarm ( they could have called it something less pestilence sounding considering you can for instance in 4e anyway have a swarm of hyenas or orcs or zombies or an angry mob of humans).

A basic example would be peasants in an angry mob (an appropriate sized swarm) which is monster level 5 in 4e would be a match for but could be quelled by 1 level 1 character but it would be dangerous and they might be crushed under it before forcing it to disband if it came to violence. That said a better example swarm in 4th edition and an sample of a what might be largish squad/small platoon of Orcs is called Blood Savage Throng a level 9 swarm its individual components which might be average monster level 3 (and basically the same as heavy soldier ),

Based on the games encounter guidelines against the Orc Platoon these a single hero could fight 4 throngs at 13th and 8 throngs at 17th level give or take and variable including how much the player optimised and so on)

Basically the Hero and Superhero are the 4e low and high Paragon Tier characters.
 

Lord Crimson

Explorer
IIRC, the Hero was, in pre-3rd editions, a 4th level Fighter and a Superhero was an 8th level Fighter, so the x4 and x8 power assumption is where those level-baselines come from (and why characters increase in power the way they do in early D&D... it was a rough calculation of their unit value on a Chainmail battlefield).
 

Today the word is "musou" for the videogame subgenre where one warrior could defeat a complete troops.

And pathfinder added the "troop" monster subtype where a group (usually sentient beings, but sometimes packs of beast) works like an unity, as the swarm monsters but here they can bigger.

This thread is a serious challenge for game designers if they want a strategy+roleplay game. The players have to choose between spending money for a healing potion of the main champion or hiring more archer mercenaries.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
IIRC, the Hero was, in pre-3rd editions, a 4th level Fighter and a Superhero was an 8th level Fighter, so the x4 and x8 power assumption is where those level-baselines come from (and why characters increase in power the way they do in early D&D... it was a rough calculation of their unit value on a Chainmail battlefield).
Yes but they were worth 4 figures which did not represent a single character but rather a squad/platoon each

A level 4 fighter was only worth a few more than 4 single first level characters it LOST a lot in the translation
And an 8th level fighter in AD&D is not a one man army
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Today the word is "musou" for the videogame subgenre where one warrior could defeat a complete troops.

And pathfinder added the "troop" monster subtype where a group (usually sentient beings, but sometimes pacts of beast) works like an unity, as the swarm monsters.

This thread is a serious challenge for game designers if they want a strategy+roleplay game. The players have to choose between spending money for a healing potion of the main champion or hiring more archer mercenaries.
Troop would be better than swarm I suppose thanks
 

Croesus

Adventurer
Per the copy of Chainmail that I have, a Hero is equal to four figures, not four units. Superheroes are just like Heroes, except they are twice as strong (8 figures). Here's the relevant quote:

HEROES (and Anti-heroes): Included in this class are certain well-known knights, leaders of army contingents, and similar men. They have the fighting ability of four figures, the class being dependent on the arms and equipment of the Hero types themselves, who can range from Light Foot to Heavy Horse, Heroes (and Anti-heroes) need never check morale, and they add 1 to the die or dice of their unit (or whatever unit they are with). They are the last figure in a unit that will be killed by regular missile fire of melee, but they may be attacked individually by enemy troops of like type (such as other Hero-types) or creatures shown on the Fantasy Combat Table. Heroes (and Anti-heroes) may act independent of their command in order to combat some other fantastic character. When meleed by regular troops, and combat takes place on the non-Fantasy Combat Tables, four simultaneous kills must be scored against Heroes (or Anti-heroes) to eliminate them. Otherwise, there is no effect upon them.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Per the copy of Chainmail that I have, a Hero is equal to four figures, not four units. Superheroes are just like Heroes, except they are twice as strong (8 figures). Here's the relevant quote:

HEROES (and Anti-heroes): Included in this class are certain well-known knights, leaders of army contingents, and similar men. They have the fighting ability of four figures, the class being dependent on the arms and equipment of the Hero types themselves, who can range from Light Foot to Heavy Horse, Heroes (and Anti-heroes) need never check morale, and they add 1 to the die or dice of their unit (or whatever unit they are with). They are the last figure in a unit that will be killed by regular missile fire of melee, but they may be attacked individually by enemy troops of like type (such as other Hero-types) or creatures shown on the Fantasy Combat Table. Heroes (and Anti-heroes) may act independent of their command in order to combat some other fantastic character. When meleed by regular troops, and combat takes place on the non-Fantasy Combat Tables, four simultaneous kills must be scored against Heroes (or Anti-heroes) to eliminate them. Otherwise, there is no effect upon them.

I guess I am having trouble parsing this

"The ratio of figures to men assumed is 1:20 "

I was conflating a unit with just one figure but you were conflating a figure with one man. Or maybe you were just refuting my language use because it doesnt change my conclusions.
 
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Croesus

Adventurer
Personally, I always preferred the rules in Swords and Spells. Unit size was 1:10 and damage was easily calculated, based on the number for individuals in a unit. If the unit was full strength, it did base damage x 10. If it was half strength, damage x 5. If a fighter had levels, it did damage x level. So no, a Hero (4th level fighter) was not as strong as 80 men, it was as strong as four.
 

Croesus

Adventurer
"The ratio of figures to men assumed is 1:20 "

Ah, I see what you're saying. My understanding from various articles Gygax wrote decades ago is that a Hero is equal to four men, not forty. How that worked on the table using the Chainmail rules... you're guess is as good as mine. (Such confusion is why I never used the Chainmail rules, preferring the later ones.)
 


Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
"The ratio of figures to men assumed is 1:20 "

Ah, I see what you're saying. My understanding from various articles Gygax wrote decades ago is that a Hero is equal to four men, not forty.
The translation mismatches with the original (intentionally or not) cause a one man army is not 8 men nor does his presence send armies of the enemy running from the field.
 

Coroc

Hero
I was reading today because I have been finding Chainmail inspiring for D&D actually - I haven't played Chainmail so bear with my ignorance.
The Superhero piece in Chainmail who got identified as a One Man Army his piece on the battlefield represented one character and is valued as 8 figures (edited not units) which is referred to as having a 1:20 men ratio am I right in thinking that means a One man army == 160 typical soldiers?
That is awesome it fits with gets within charge distance and induces morale checks

The combat value of a knight on foot in full plate was about 10 normal soldiers, (mostly due to his armor, and if mounted he and his trained horse would have an even higher ratio)
 

Archers with low bows could kill a knight, and even war wagons could cause the end of the chilvary.

And in medieval fantasy magic is expensive, but it is worth against the main enemy champion or monster.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The combat value of a knight on foot in full plate was about 10 normal soldiers
a peasant was a cost of 1/2 and the highest normal type heavy mounted was cost 5 (10 peasants)... with the hero being 4 times that (cost 20) and the superhero being 10 times (cost 50). If we are using the costs directly different results come out. I was using the figure to man ratios and approximate worth presented in the text though which gives a bit higher results.
 
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Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
And here I was going hoping ot see a discussion of adapating the M&M 3E rules from the Gamemaster Guide about Captain Freedom fighting the entire 13th Panzer Battalion by himself to AD&D. C'est le vie.
 


Beleriphon

Totally Awesome Pirate Brain
Mutants and Masterminds eh? Hitpointless D&D?

It's more how one could adapt the idea of a one man army, which is entirely possible in M&M (in fact trivially easy if one chooses), and then having them fight well an army without rolling every single possible soldier's attacks. I'd have to check the GMG, but it has something to do with turning a whole army into particularly large monster.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
It's more how one could adapt the idea of a one man army, which is entirely possible in M&M (in fact trivially easy if one chooses), and then having them fight well an army without rolling every single possible soldier's attacks. I'd have to check the GMG, but it has something to do with turning a whole army into particularly large monster.
Yeh It does sounds pretty much like the swarm mechanic.
 

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