Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Natural Line Spacing in Mass Combat Lines

--Natural line spacing: spacing per soldier equal to creatures height, roughly equal to arms distance apart (i.e. one human every six feet).
--Maximum line density: 50% of creature height per soldier (exceptions to be made for especially thick-bodied creatures, such as dwarfs)
--Maximum line stretch: 200% of creature height per soldier (anything greater than that would instantly be broken once combat began)

Natural line density will always be maintained by an untrained unit. Only a professional unit, or a non-professional unit that has undergone extensive training, can maintain cohesion at maximum density or maximum stretching.

An untrained unit that is forced into battle in a condensed or stretched formation will quickly rearrange itself into multiple units at the natural line spacing (drawing together into new lines with large gaps between new lines if originally stretched, or separating into multiple stacked rows if originally condensed).

To the untrained soldier, the condensed formation is simply too dangerous, as each soldier is subject to errant swings and jostling from his neighbors, so he would step backwards into a new row behind the original. The stretched formation is too isolated, and he would naturally draw closer to his neighbor to avoid the sensation of exposure and the danger of being cut off.

Ave. HD modifiers for attacks

The average HD determines the skill of the attack, which means the likelihood of causing damage. This likelihood of causing damage is enhanced with sufficient superior numbers. In game terms this means the average HD is increased by the force multiplier to determine the enhanced average HD attack ability.

Example A: 10 trained human soldiers in a line 30 feet wide (in maximum line density) vs 15 halfling soldiers in a line 30 feet wide. Thus, in a battle line, there would be 10 humans facing 15 halflings, so the halflings would have a force multiplier of 1.5. Let's assume the average HD of the halfling unit is 2. To find their effective attacking HD level, we would multiply their average HD times their force multiplier (2 x 1.5). Thus, they would attack as 3 HD attacker.

Example B: Let us imagine that a unit of 10 human soldiers is at natural line spacing, blocking a 60 foot pass. However, a concentrated force is able to attack them, meaning, using the 3 foot width rule, the attackers can fit 20 soldiers in their line. Their force multiplier is thus x2, so they would double their average HD level during the melee attacks. So, if their average HD was normally 2, they would attack using the HD = 4 row of the attack tables.

Example C: Let us image a unit of six Hill Giants marching into the attack, according to natural spacing rules at 12 feet apart, for a total line distance of 72 feet. A well-trained human army could fit 24 soldiers into that same space (3 feet per soldier at maximum line density), providing a force multiplier of x4. This would mean that if the average HD of that human line was 2, given the x4 force multiplier, the human unit would strike as a HD = 8 attacker versus the Hill Giant unit.

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