Today's pick was my gaming collection, specifically, Chainmail: rules for medieval miniatures, by Gary Gygax and Jeff Perren, first published in 1971. Now, you'd think i've pretty much exhausted whatever nuggets of wisdom could be mined from that old wargame ruleset. But my earlier post on Battle of Wits Combat Systems got me thinking about old-school combat, and what could be more old-school than Chainmail?
Lord Of The Rings Strategy Battle Game, apparently. Like Chainmail, LOTRSBG is a tabletop miniatures wargame that allows you to field fantastic monsters, orcs, goblins, trolls, wraiths, wizards and heroes, and conduct battles between them.
The above "Wound Chart" is from LOTRSBG. In the game, you compare your attacker's strength to your opponent's defence, and must roll the indicated number, or higher, on a d6, to score a kill. For example, my Warrior has an Stength of 3. Your Orc has a Defence of 5. I need to roll a 5+ on a d6 in order to kill your Orc.
In many ways, the LOTRSBG Wound Chart is very similar to the mass combat rules in Chainmail, except that Chainmail uses light foot, heavy foot, armoured foot, etc., rather than numerical attack and defence categories. Both Chainmail and LOTRSBG also give Heroes multiple dice when attacking opponents. In short, it has just about everything that Chainmail has.
LOTRSBG has rules for Initiative, Armor, Weapons, Movement, Shooting, Combat, Cavalry, Charging, Courage, Morale, Magic Weapons and Spells, Equipment, Seiges, Catapults, Fortresses, Heroes and Heroic actions, Climbing, Leadership, Rallying Troops, Monsters, High Ground, and Effects of Terrain on Movement.
If I was going to play a D&D game using the Chainmail mass combat rules, I might instead be tempted to adopt the LOTRSBG rules, because they are clearly written, readily available, and i'm guessing you could get an old version of the LOTRSBG rules for free, or nearly free, since the rules have been updated several times since 2001.