Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Houserules redux

The last thing you want with a system is for some armies/units to dominate and for the set of viable choices to be too narrow. 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. In fact people have suggested they might undertake this in the past (and I even made suggestions for how to modify one list) but the exercise founders due to the sheer effort involved. These suggestions also often reflect a different way to read RAW, and many even match the way certain groups are playing already. Also, it would be nice to just keep using our books and just insert one sheet of changes!

General Rules:

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

Epic Strike
, change to give the hero his base fight + 2. (ie this will lift it back up from 0, if used)

Crossbows, give priority to the specific crossbow text and disallow the ability of ‘heroic shoot’ to permit them to shoot after moving.

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.

Epic Charge, change to incorporate the features of a heroic charge

Overlord cannot be used to give a non-hero monster the ability to call a heroic duel.

(This one might be controversial, but I think there is wide agreement that heavy inf are a bit of a ‘no-brainer’ and some are 5pts more/less than others, when they shouldn’t be?)
Heavy infantry, set a price floor:
1. No def 6 (including shield) troops below 25pts in cost, 30 pts if they have crossbows/berserkers/pikes/special charge ability etc
2. No def 7 (including shield) troops below 30pts in cost, 35 pts if they have crossbows/berserkers/pikes/special charge ability etc

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 vs female heroes. His special ability works in rear arc.
The Betrayer Rerolls for just for his company.
Khamul the Easterling Save changes to only negate hits, and not reflect them onto other units.
The Knight of Umbar Boosts apply only to him and his company.

Elven Longbows, change to add ability to always ignore shields.

Rohan, change to give all cavalry in the list the benefit of the Lances rule.

A few of us have been playing with these rules, and it is refreshing to see how it changes the mix in terms of what is cost-effective. It makes a huge change to Gondor lists I have run and I am perfectly happy to have my Carn dum lists toned down a little - with less magic for the Nazgul (I've always played them as mastery 2 anyway), no more cheap dueling from 'the King of Carn Dum' and my opponents having a reasonable chance to negate my darkness spells. I have to say, I actually quite like feeling I can use my Ringwraith's might for something else and not risk getting ganked by some cheap punk hero with ES. I got a kick out of actually advising a mate to take Riders rather than heaps of knights in his Rohan list, that's definitely something I would never do without houserules.

For some of the experiences that have led me to suggest these changes - you can have a look at my Batreps



  2. Hi Santos, I probably should post the most recent version, and will do so.

    The only houserule that would affect the Mumak is the one preventing Overlord being used on it.

    Let me assure you, the Grey Company is not overpowered, in fact rather the reverse! I take it now and then, but when I use it I remember why I stopped.

  3. Hi jamie, I appreciate you posting the recent house rules, but I noticed that in a post (on ppbst or something like that) you priced captains at 35. And I recall a comment about the mumac causing hits/disorder instead of instakill. Also, any ideas for a low magic/hero match with a high unit count? I'm more into ancient armies and combat tactics. How about a rule for hoplite type formations? And I'm not too keen on the heroes not having individual stats, or the fact that they can't take on a unit by themselves.

  4. I would suggest captains be 40pts. Half the problem with them before was Epic Strike, and I almost considered them worthwhile (ie I sometimes took them) at 50pts a pop.

    I am not sure what to do about the Mumak. At the moment, I'd suggest that any army you make have a plan to deal with them though! What you need is either a large number of shooting dice, or something, and there are a few things, that cause auto-hits.

    There are a few of heroes in the game that have individual stats and fight as monsters. I personally think the got it right with the role of Epics as upgrades for a unit, but the game also gives you options (Glorfindel, Buhrdur, Kings Champion, Three Hunters etc) to have heroes as lone killing marchines.

    The closest to a hoplite formation would be Easterlings with Spears, which are pretty good all around, get a bonus attack vs most infantry, are heavily armoured, and stop cav from the front.

    You can set the terms of your battles, so you and your opponent could just restrict things to one Epic per 1000pts, or something like that. I've seen a few people do that.