Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Houserules - after extensive feedback. (edited 08/04/11)

This is the current houserules set. I will keep this post updated and maintain a link to it.

I also have a draft set of tournament guidelines: here.

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.
Throwing weapons, ignore note in shooting text about being unable to shoot if you move more than half.

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 allow a formation without a hero to call heroic actions.

Inspiring Leader cannot be used to boost courage vs Spirit Grasp

(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

Pikes can fight as two bases deep when allocating hits to the front. This might seem like a big lift, but 2HW generally doubles how effective the troops are anyway and the two upgrades cost the same. Pikes are now better to the front but remain no good to the sides. 

Banner    15pts
Hornblower/Drummer    10pts
Taskmaster    20pts
Goblin Drum    40pts
Captain    40pts
Shaman/Stormcaller    75pts

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.

Fallen Realms - Corsair Arbalesters, the Pavise shield only grants a defense bonus for shooting and spells, and grants no defense bonus in melee.

Elven Longbows, change to add ability to always ignore shields.
Elven Glaives, change to add new priority: infantry with glaives strike before other infantry, cavalry with glaives strike before other cavalry.

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


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

    This one seems like a hugh advantage and potentially unbalanced the Rohans into super troops...

  2. Hi Madarin,

    Thanks for the comment.

    From my experience, I am not sure that Cav will ever have what it takes to be super troops in WOTR.

    The best Cav out there (in terms of effectivness for points) seem to be Knights of Minas Tirith. These have lances and def 5, which is better than the def 4(5) of the standard Rohan Rider. The Riders get throwing weapons or bowfire, which lets them do a small amount of additional damage, but Knights of Minas Tirith are only 25pts to the 30pts of the Rohan Rider!

    Coming at it from the other direction, Rohan player have access to lancers as common choices already. They could ally in Minas Tirith Knights for only 25pts (I see people doing this) or they can just take Rohan Royal Knights for 35pts as the common choice and not bother with Riders at all.

    So the houserule is there because Rohan players are currently have a strong incentive not to take Riders, which just seems wrong to me.

    How do the Rohan players in your area fare? While many Rohan players feel they need a houserule like this (I don't play Rohan btw), I have had one say he manages to make the list work without it.


  3. I like what you did for elves, and I agree for your statement about Rohan. Couple of problems, first off, like where your head is at for glaives. Only problem, what do we do with Legolas' ridiculous point cost? And the bows, I like it, but it confers no bonus to outflanking. Personally, I think Str 3 bows would solve your problem, because it means most high defence troops are dying on 6's vs 6/4's, (except dwarves, who are armed to the teeth) and if you outflank, your going to get some sick casualties (5's), because you are shooting them in back (again, Dwarves die on 6's because of their high armor). Also, it wont be overpowered because of the -1 strength at long range, even tho they have 36" range. Also, dont give the elven bows to other races like rangers, cause that is BS.

  4. Hi whipplemd, thak you also for your comment and the points you raise.

    Glaives: I cannot take credit for this idea personally, but do like it. The upgrade sets Elves back 5pts per Coy over and above their already exhoribant cost and is not available to one of their best melee units - the Cohort. I am concious of the fact that upgrades of that cost can confer as much as twice the lethality (eg 2HW) in some other lists.

    The point about Legolas is well made though. I guess my answer is that: 1. Legolas' ability is still better than what I suggest for the Glaives. 2. Legolas confers other wothwhile abilities. 3. Not all useful Elven melee units can have Glaives. So I think that in the context of a list where Legolas was worth it before, he remains worth it, though I agree that I've taken away a bit of what he offered.

    I can't really argue with your point about alternative ways to boost Elven bow. It definitely has to be a boost only for Elven bow, we all agree on that. I see your suggestion as similar to another popular suggestion (giving them rerolls) in that it makes the bow more effective. I have chosen the boost that I have because I don't want to make monsters any worse than they already are vs missile fire and give some units that pay a lot for high base defense the benifits of the points spent. The real problem I am trying to target is units that get their high defense much too cheaply via shields - I see these units as the ke unbalancing factor.


  5. See I disagree, monsters largely would be unaffected. Str 3 bows vs Def 6 (Cave troll) need 6s, same as strength 2. Same with def 7 (Eagles or Mordor Trolls). The real difference with this would be with long range Str 1. Which is 6/5|6/4 vs 6/4|6, really only improving the likelyhood by less than a 1/6 (16.7%)

  6. Yes, but moving the strength by one point to 3 at short and 2 at long, combined with the 18"/36" range of longbows does make life materially harder for many common monsters, which already seem to be fairly vulnerable to randomly dieing.

    A str 3 bow up to 18" now bags a Def 7 Monster twice as often. Two coy of bow will throw out 20 shots and can now bank on getting it to roll on the table, with a not unreasonable chance of getting two rolls. Those Elven bow units could reasonably even be three strong - death to such monsters. At 36" range, Cave trolls will now have to contend with the same prospect. You've also extended the range of the point where tough def 8 monsters have to actually worry from 18" to 36" and suddenly def 9 Monsters are in this worrisome category. Many of those monsters only have the 'hard to kill' table.

    That's possibly not the worst of it though. While I agree that MT Warrs, Morranans etc are too good vs Elven shooting at the moment, your proposal creates circumstances where they become total victims: if the Elves get around the flanks they are now bow hitting on 5s. They are the lucky ones though, I'd give up on taking def 4(6) troops - those guys suffer that fate up to 36" away, which is a bit harsh given generous WOTR flank arcs.

    I don't dislike the idea per se, but prefer something more targeted, to avoid creating other problems.

    When calculating the lethality, I think it is important to bear in mind that WOTR is a 'buckets of dice' system, which collapses a number of other rolls into one. Since they have done this (multiple roll systems tend to make things look more likely than they turn out to be once you crunch the numbers), the resulting single rolls are usually quite marginal. The normal table even bottoms out at 3+, though that can be modified in a limited set of circumstances. So the key thing to watch for is not the % change, but the degree to which changes in the initial (fairly marginal) chances multiply or halve etc outputs.

  7. K, after debating with my gf, we conclude that your ignore shields would probably suffice. We are still going to do extensive play testing. I have a couple questions though:
    If legolas is in glaives inf unit, will they strike at faster than cav but not monsters?

  8. I'll be interested to see how you find it.

    I think that giving infantry the ability to beat cavalry (rather than strike at the same time) is a bit too far in the other direction.

    However, these ARE house-rules, so you could always try the other way - I hadn't actually thought too hard about that specific interaction so there could be an argument for it? He is still a 200pt character.

  9. I'm not arguing for glaives making them beat cavalry, only when legolas is with them, because of his higher "initiative" level. Also, I'm not sure if your xelee from warseer, but I made a post about steadfast tests. In fantasy, each point you lost combat by you take a courage test penalty by one.
    Another question, if aragorn is in grey company projecting his courage, and you cast say "reduce courage spell", would that unit take the courage test using his courage still at full value or would they use his courage but with the -X courage value?

  10. A Goblin Drum being 40 pts when a banner is 15 and a horn 10 doesn't make any sense, as the Drum is just a combination of these two.

  11. Hi Anonymous,

    The Drum also combines the effect of the Taskmaster, which is where the rest of the cost comes from.