Re: Smashes (was: Another combat factor)

Scott Turner (
Wed, 21 Sep 1994 12:36:13 -0700

I'm not sure I like smashes all that much. They seem to make sense
when you talk about a dragon versus a group of peasants, but do they
make any sense in mixed combat groups?

5 nobles 1 dragon
2 chimera 3 nazgul
25 peasants 25 undead

So this battle will probably start off (after some period of the
cannon fodder swinging at one another) with side A "smashing" through
the undead and side B "smashing" through the peasants, followed by
more-or-less the battle system we have now.

Even worse, consider:

1 noble 1 dragon
100 archers
1 noble
100 peasants

This is likely to start off with the dragon "smashing" through the
entire front line before the 100 archers get off more than one or two
shots, then smashing through the 100 archers. Is it really reasonable
to assume that the swarm of 200 attackers around the dragon are only
going to get off 3-4 blows before they are all killed?

The smash rule also doesn't fix the more subtle problem that the side
with the numeric advantage in Olympia takes fewer casualties than it
"should". Consider, for example:

100 peasants 1 peasant

In this battle, side A is 99% (100/101) likely to win without losing a
single peasant. But that's not realistic; all 100 peasants on side A
cannot attack B at once. Maybe 4 can. Maybe 6 can. Maybe 10 can.
Whatever the limit is set at, there should be some reaonable chance in
this case the A will lose a peasant or two. The smash rule won't fix
this problem.

I reiterate that the underlying problem with the combat system is the
rule that selects the next attack randomly from everybody on the field
(*). 30 peasants can beat 1 dragon half the time because they're
getting 30/31 of the blows in. The "smash rule" fixes this in some
cases -- because it effectively shifts the ratio of blows towards the
more powerful monster -- but doesn't in others. I feel that if you
fix the ratio problem, you'll discover that powerful monsters won't
need any other help.

-- Scott T.

(*) Actually, it's a combination of this rule and the "monsters die
after one hit" rule, but it's easiest to fix the attack selection

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