Archive.org posted a copy of TSR's old Warrior of Mars game so I took a look.
In it I found this curious chart:
It is a combat system where the to-hit roll is determined by comparing level vs level. Similar to the one described in Dragons at Dawn.
Also, I was surprised by this XP table as it is similar to the XP table described in FFC pg 52 where it starts out a 1,000 and each level needs 50% more XP than the previous one rather than D&D's more traditional doubling.
Could these be relics of Dave's earliest game rules?
Overall, this is a fascinating game booklet as it combines large scale battles (clearly derived from Chainmail), individual battles, large ship-to-ship combat plus a RPG element with levels and random encounters. All within 60 pages.
Oh, just to add fuel to the fire. Combat round are listed as 1 minute for large scale battles but only 10 seconds for 1-to-1 battles.
I've never heard Dave's name connected with WoM. My gut feeling is "no" to all of the speculation.
I'm not clear on exactly when Warriors of Mars was written, but I assume it was after the publication of OD&D and was clearly after Chainmail so any influences of the OD&D rules certainly could spill over into other products.
The level charts look similar enough to OD&D's that they could be from there or from other sources.
Some neat discussion, however.
Marv / Finarvyn DCC playtester (2011) S&W WhiteBox author (2009) C&C playtester (2003) Builder of the TrollBridge for T&T; Amber Diceless player since 1993 OD&D Player since 1975; Metamorphosis Alpha since 1976
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!" - Dave Arneson
Definitely cool things in WoM, but I'm with the skeptics in that I doubt there's any particular influence from Arneson.
As I've mentioned in the forums, the Hit Dice vs Hit Dice (or Attack Values vs Defense Values) in Dragons at Dawn is an adaptation by me of CHAINMAIL's Fantasy Combat Table with HD as the basis instead of individual monsters. This is because the FCT is the only method we have Arneson on record saying he actually used pre D&D, though with the publication of Peter Gaylords character sheet we can at least say his method involved roll under target numbers based on the ability to use a specific weapon. Anyway, Level vs. Level isn't an Arneson thing.
That is really interesting about the exp scores, but if there is any connection to Arneson's exp method given in the FFC (doubtful, I think), then it could easily be the other way around, meaning Arneson could have gotten the idea from WoM rather than vice versa.