Want to include some oddball weapons or vehicles into your games of Chain of Command? Confused by some of the stats in the rulebook or Pint Sized Campaigns? You need the Consolidated Arsenal!
What is it?
It’s a spreadsheet.
No wait, come back! It’s a very useful spreadsheet. It’s got the stats for just about any vehicle or gun you might want to put on the table.
Where did it come from?
Not me, this is a collective effort from the community of Chain of Command players.
A while back some of the players started to notice that there were a few errors and inconsistencies in some of the published stats. The same vehicle would be shown with different stats from two different sources published by TFL, or there were genuine mistakes. Helpfully though, Richard Clarke soon published the “CoCulator” which gave the formulas for working out the stats for vehicles in the game.
However, going back and checking/adjusting all the stats was going to be a mammoth job, and quite frankly well beyond Rich’s limited time. Frankly this kind of detail-oriented work is pretty much perfect for crowdsourcing, everybody has their own little area of expert knowledge and favourite vehicles. So a TFL forum member Neal Smith put the original Consolidated Arsenal up online and in a stroke of genius allowed everybody to work collaboratively on it. In a short time it grew into a well-researched and stable resource for players to use. Anybody can suggest edits, and the “many eyes” approach has ironed out the kinks better than any one person could have. Ultimately Neal and Rich Clarke have admin rights and can approve suggestions, although in practice it’s Neal who’s running the show.
Why should I use it?
It should be much more free of errors than other lists, and everything is compared on a level playing field. If you’re designing your own campaign or scenario it’s a brilliant resource that’s ready-made for you.
To be honest, even when running a Pint Sized Campaign I go and redo the campaign support lists to use the Arsenal values. Rich has an exasperating habit of republishing the old rulebook stats in his PSCs and not leveraging the good work done in the Arsenal, but to be honest I find it’s not the detail in the PSCs that are where the value is. Rich provides the general framework and historical background beautifully, but the nuts and bolts sometimes need a tweak to get the campaign purring nicely.
Even if you’re not writing campaigns or scenarios the Arsenal values make much more sense. One example is the AT guns available to the late war British in the rulebook. The rulebook has the 6pdr on List 5, with the much, much more capable 17pdr on List 6. Why would anyone use the 6pdr? In reality this was a battalion asset, and much more likely to be employed in a platoon position than the gigantic 17pdr. However, when you run the stats through Rich’s own CoCulator you find the 6pdr should be List 4, and the 17pdr List 7. That makes the decision about which one to use much more sensible.
I guess the main vote of confidence for the Consolidated Arsenal is that I find myself linking folks to it all the time. People are constantly asking on the forum or Facebook group “where are the stats for X”, and the Arsenal invariably sorts them out. It’s a useful resource to tuck away in your toolbox.
How do I contribute to it?
If you’re signed in to a Google account you should simply be able to right-click on any cell that you’re suggesting should be edited. Put some notes in there about what you’re suggesting, and why. All other users will be able to see what you’ve written and they can add their own comments. If there’s a good consensus or you’ve supplied strong sources then it’s likely Neal will approve the edit.
Simple as that. By all means do check the numbers. Especially valuable is helping out with the minor nations such as Dutch, Polish or Italians. This kind of thing works best if as many people as possible check the numbers, and these nations will have had fewer eyes on than the big players.