Patrol Base sells Airsoft guns and will occasionally get involved in geeky projects as a clever way to remind the internet that they’re still there.
There, by the way, is Dale Street, Longwood, Huddersfield in the UK but due to the situation here, that physical space is closed. Use their online shop to support this small business instead.
I’ve been in paintball battles, and it gets pretty intense with just a few people. So when I got an email inviting me to guess what the biggest on-screen battle of all time was, I was curious.
Okay, so it’s that last clash between the First Order and the Resistance. I remember it being big but forget just how many people those Star Destroyers hold and that Sith Eternal collective had put together a fleet of them!
I was curious about the methodology behind getting to these totals. So, being cheeky, I asked. There’s no trick to it, just hard work and having a data specialist/researcher to help.
The figures come from fandom sites, which are usually pretty good, but in some cases, Patrol Base’s team actually talked to the visual companies such as Avengers Endgame. The weakest link is Buffy, a show the researcher had to go to the fan forums to a steer.
Kindly, I’ve been given a summary of the researcher’s notes – complete with sources.
Battle of Exegol (Star Wars)
- 1,080 Star Destroyers, each with a crew of 29,585 = 31,951,800 bad guys
- 16,000 spaceships (data confirmed ) with a crew of > 1 million (my conservative estimate for the crew size) for the good guys
- Total: at least 33 million
- Source (Sith Star Destroyers)
- Source (Citizen fleet size confirmed by the visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) in this behind-the-scenes video)
Battle of Winterfell (Game of Thrones)
- Good guys: 128,000
- Bad guys: about 100,000
- Total: about 228,000
The Battle of the Pelennor Fields (Lord of the Rings)
- Good guys: 11,250
- Bad guys: 200,000 (movie – confirmed by Peter Jackson in commentary) [Note: according to the book, only meant to be 45,000, so numbers exaggerated from screen adaptation]
- Total: about 211,000
Battle of the Five Armies (The Hobbit)
- 47,000 good guys
- 124,000 bad guys
- Total: about 171,000 [In the book, only about 6,000 in the final battle, so again numbers exaggerated for the screen adaptation]
- Source (averaged min and max battle group sizes)
Battle of Earth (Avengers Endgame)
- The digital visual effects company Weta Digital employed its crowd simulation software, Massive, to populate battle scenes with tens of thousands of soldiers. (Source: Post magazine interview with Avengers Endgame visual effects supervisor Dan DeLeeuw)
- Total: about 20,000-80,000 (“tens of thousands” in a quote from the visual effects company, and safe to presume 90,000 would’ve been rounded up.)
- Estimating a 70/30 split in army sizes for bad guys/good guys.
- 14,000-56,000 bad guys – using average of 35,000 for data viz.
- 6,000-24,000 good guys (but with the might of many Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy and other heroes!) – using an average of 15,000 for data viz.
Battle in season 7 finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- No data available on the number of Turok-Han (ubervamps) in the final battle, and Joss Whedon has never publicly commented on the size of the battle, as far as I can tell, so I had to get creative.
- As this battle was fought underground, there’s a physical limit to the amount of space to contain the fight. I researched the size of the largest known cave on Earth, Son Doong in Vietnam (by volume) at 40 million cubic metres and is 9km in length with a max depth of 150m. The ubervamps are roughly the size of an average human, so we can estimate a volume of 0.062 cubic meters per ubervamp – so you could theoretically house a vast ubervamp army underground.
- I put the question to a forum of Buffy uber-fans. The most popular response (sadly, only 4 votes) was < 5,000. But two fans voted for > 230,000, so the jury is out on this one!
- Total: < 5,000 (best guesstimate)
The Battle of Hogwarts (Harry Potter)
- Total: < 1,000 (display as good guys in visual)
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