In the last two most recent game sessions, our DM has played out two different scenarios involving large numbers of troops vs. our party.
He wound up using Warhammer 40k rules, which went really smoothly the first time, but it went kind of wonky last week. Ever since he announced the mass combat sessions, I've been frantically searching for any & all mass combat rules that I might have on my gaming shelves to use, and most importantly, compatible with 5e rules.
No such luck, before game time. :P I did find all versions of AD&D Battlesystem rules, which included the large red boxed set for 1st edition, and both books for 2nd edition - the regular Battlesystem and Skirmishes rules, and I quickly read through them, thinking these would be fairly simple to convert into 5e to use for mass combat.
Well, I didn't really think so, after I finished going over them both. Ironically, the 2nd edition versions of Battlesystem was far more complicated than the 1st edition version. Of the two, I'd choose 1st edition, even though I used and ran several sessions BitD using 2nd edition's Skirmish rules for large PC/Monster encounters.
This weekend, days after our last Warhammer 40k rules laden session, I recalled (!) the original Chainmail rules, and got out the full sized copy I made out of (legal) PDFs a few years back. Wow. What a breath of fresh air! I'd completely forgotten this ancient system, but mainly because the last time I gave it a serious read-thru, the system completely baffled me.
Now, years later, and invariable 0e & Holmes house rule writing exercises, I look at Chainmail, break out Jason Vey's "Forbidden Lore; Supplement VI" and read that stem to stern alongside the Chainmail rules.
Holy chimi-cha-ching!-changas, Droogpool! It all makes sense! It all fits perfectly into 0e, sand-tables, and even freakin' 5e!
There is no conversion to be done at all from 5e to Chainmail rules. Simply look at the troop types, find the correlating chart, roll dice, cross-reference the results!
Yes, there are a lot of confusing charts & tables in Chainmail, but once you learn that each one serves a different purpose, according to who's attacking, and defending, the choices become much clearer.
Now, I was not going to post anything of real, physical teach-wise stuff about Chainmail here, at least not in this post, as I have another thing that I might post about shortly. The point is, I would be interested in posting more about Chainmail here, in the interest of clearing up the wonky/fuzzy rules bits that no one seems to understand, and I'm talking to those who have a copy of Chainmail and Jason Vey's excellent "Forbidden Lore" the so-called "Supplement VI", that used to be free, but these days I'm not so sure if its still available.
Anywhat, I'mma looking at my next post: 5e's Challenge Rating system for monsters and thinking what doucheable material this section of the DMG is, and what I'd love, love, lurrrrve to see in anyone's future monster supplement at the DM Guild - if anyone is interested in taking suggestions on what to put out there for 5e at the Guild.