Lately, I've been think a lot about how best to use chainmail when running OD&D. I'm thinking that each character would be assigned a troop type (light, heavy, or armored), al la the chainmail mass combat system, depending on character's arms, armor, and the situation at hand.
For example, a character wielding a longsword might be considered a "light footman" when attacking an opponent in plate mail (who would considered an "armored footman"), but a character with a mace would be considered an "Armored Footman" when attacking the same opponent. Both characters were wielding a one handed weapons and, therefore, normally attack as "heavy footman." Longswords, being almost completely useless against plate mail, become "light" while a mace, very effective against plate mail, becomes heavy. However, when attacking a opponent is leather, on the other hand, a longsword would become "armored" and a mace would become "light."
Depending on the exact situation, even a dagger could become "armored" and a two-handed sword "light." What I like about this is that all weapons have their place to shine, and , depending on the situations, different weapons will be more effective than others. There are too many circumstances to make a table or anything, so everything will have to be done on the fly, but with only three categories of troops it shouldn't really be too difficult to do.
More powerful characters and monsters would then fight as a larger number of men and would have special abilities, spells, etc. A giant, for example, would light as ten men, but because of its size would likely fight and defend as "a light footman." And, since armor would not really protect a character against the blows of a giant, all character would defend as "light footman" as well. Characters armed with spears or other long, shafted weapon would fight as "heavy" while just about anyone else would fight as "light."
Keeping in mind that I haven't quite thought everything through, What do you guys think? Does this idea have potential?