Smashes (was: Another combat factor)

Carl Edman (cedman@cedman.remote.Princeton.EDU)
Tue, 20 Sep 94 21:03:48 -0400

Here is another proposal to fix up the relative combat weakness of strong
monster compared to stacks of peasants. It does not require any additional
parameters, alter combat between comparable fighters and actually gives
meaning to some parameter ranges, so I hope I'll be forgiven if I think it is
more elegant.

Currently high defense factors have meaning. In battles against armies a
monster with a df of 500 has about one fifth the chance of dying from any one
blow as a monster with a df of 100. Not so for high attack factors. True
enough, a monster with an af of 500 will virtually always hit its opponent,
but then so will a monster with an af of 100 and against peasants even a
monster with an af of 5. In short, a dragon is just as good attacking
peasants as a soldier, even if it has 100 times the af. That is one of the
main causes for the weakness of strong monsters.

The way I propose to fix this is by allowing "smashes" in addition to normal
hits. When a fighter hits another fighter strong enough to hit even if the
df of the defender had been N (typically 5 or 10) times higher, this is
scored like a normal hit. But in addition the attacker gets to attack again
immediately. The effect in extreme cases like a dragon attacking an army of
peasants is that the dragon will get dozens of hits in a row (in effect just
walking over them) until it comes up against a stronger target (like a noble)
which will probably still be killed but will also stop the rampage, or it
just gets unlucky.

Smashes require about two lines of extra code, no transcendental functions,
no extra parameters, no additional calls to the RNG, and they make strong
monsters fight for what they are worth (and like one would expect from their
combat values). I've run combat simulations with this smashing rule added
and in my opinion the results are just what you are looking for. I mailed
them to Rich some time, but if there is any interest I can post them to the

Carl Edman

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