Wednesday, October 27, 2010

War of the Ring Houserules

This is a draft of a forum post I intend to make, once people I have forwarded it to have an opportunity to comment. This format will permit a few more comments at the bottom.

WOTR Houserules / suggestions for a new version

Preamble: Look, I know these things go round and round, they aren’t ‘official’ and everyone has their preferences. However, I will say this: I have played a bit myself, though not as much as some. More importantly, these suggestions incorporate the best (in terms of properly argued for) changes I can see on the web and I draw on ideas/feedback from others that have wargamed a fair bit more than me even before WOTR and, have played WOTR a fair bit themselves. There are not a large number of changes.

The last thing you want with a system is for some armies/units to dominate. I agree that you always get better/worse options in any point-buy system and it is not worth the effort to ‘fix’ absolutely everything. What follows is in two parts: the more ‘solid’ list and then two suggestions for how to re-balance two specific lists and two rules, which I feel do not play like they should in WOTR. I am happy to enter into discussion on the balance implications of specifics. But if you think that an alternative fix is better, please provide a specific rationale, so there is something to go on. The ‘not so solid’ is a suggestion to be tried.

What I would love is to have some wider feedback/testing on this. Then I can at least email it in as a set of player feedback and have it posted for players to try, if they want.

The solid:

General Rules:

Will of Iron, change to work on a 3+.

Epic Strike, change to not work in duels. (edited)

Crossbows, remove ability of ‘heroic shoot’ to permit them to shoot after moving.

You are allowed an Epic Hero and banner bearer in the same company of cavalry.

Epic Rampage, hits for the purposes of this rule, cannot be rolled again on 1s to hit.

Units with the ‘Counsellors’ rule, may not benefit from might bestowed by another unit with that rule.


Faction specific rules:

Nazgul now Mastery 2 base, with these specific changes:

The Witch-king of Angmar

Remains Mastery 3, Gains ‘No Man may Kill Me’ (each hit in a duel is negated on a 4+) – except for any female hero. His ability works in rear arc.

The Betrayer (edited due to feedback)

Rerolls for just for his company.

Khamul the Easterling

Save changes to 6+ and player of units receiving the bounced hits get to allocate.

The Knight of Umbar

Boosts apply only to him and his company.


The not so solid:

General Rules:

Will of Iron, change to work as: spend a point of might, then roll equal to or under unit’s courage (not including Epic Heroes) to negate spell. A roll of 6 always fails to negate the spell.


"Sleep, Caradhras, be still, lie still, hold your wrath!" Heroes with at least one level of spell mastery may 'Will of Iron' any enemy spell, no matter the target, on a 3+. (added by suggestion, I like it)

Faction specific rules:

"Their armour is weak at the neck..." Elven Longbowsgain the ability to always ignore shields.

"...Ride for ruin and the world's ending! Death!" All Rohan cavalry, in a Rohan list, benefit from the Lances rule.


Additional comments:
The 'not so solid' are my suggestions based on numerous army polls on theonering.net and a very good houserules discussion with 'glabro' there.

The Will of Iron suggestion is a slightly more complicated version of the 'solid one'. It works out the same for standard troops, worse for cowardly evil troop types and better for units with high courage. The reasoning behind it is to make the courage stat a little more worthwhile, since units pay for it. I have not allowed heroes to contribure for two reasons: 1.it makes the mechanic work as intended for courage 3 2. Epic Heroes are useful enough without also adding to this too, and then basically making unit courage irrelevant again, though they pay for it.

It has been my experience that heavy infanty armies can laugh off Elven shooting much too easily. They should be the best shooters in the game and are very expensive per base - in fact often over twice the cost of some of the infantry that laugh off their bowfire. This fix, which needs testing, would make heavy infantry worse off while not screwing over units that pay a lot for high base def (which costs more than the shield boost) and screwing over monsters.

As to Rohan, if I were playing that list I would gravitate toward the Royal Knights. Only 5 pts more gets you +1 def and lances. Lances are the key, without them cavalry are no more hard-hitting than infantry, and are half as durable. Extra mobilty is not worth this - since there are a lot of things that can chew up a cav unit very quickly, if you are not careful.

These are two of the least fancied armies in the game. I am not sure how to sort the issues with Ghost units at the moment.

Any comments from those around the web, more than welcome.

Cheers

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