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 Post subject: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 9:51 pm 
Elven Warrior
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Look, I know these things go round and round, they aren’t ‘official’ and everyone has their preferences. :) However, I will say this 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 even before WOTR and, have played WOTR a fair bit themselves. There are not a large number of changes. These suggestions also often reflect a different way
to read RAW, and many even match the way certain groups are playing already.

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. Also, it would be nice to just keep using our books and just insert one sheet of changes! :D 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.

General Rules:

I've done an updated 2011 version based on this thread and discussions elsewhere:

New to the list this year are changes to how Monsters work to try and make 'Hard to Kill' and 'Very hard to Kill' Monsters less of a case of false advertising. I have also adjusted a number of units that had no option to move at the double (which proved to really hamper already expensive options) to be able to do so and I have made Spirit troops a little tougher. This year's version of the 'Ard Boyz' also had a good idea in one of their scenarios so I have switched 'Will of Iron' back to being a 4+ but now any hero that still has at least one might point remaining can do this for free. A small change (call it 'Editor's Prerogative') was to tone down one spell that I have found too silly. I've decided to be conservative on the issue of Captain costs.

Here is this year's handy one-page rules mod. Enjoy and any and all comments welcome here on thethread for this doc. These can all fit easily on a single, one-side, A4 sheet.

General Rules
Will of Iron, change to roll for free, on a 4+, whenever a hero has at least one might point left..
Units with the ‘Counselors’ rule, may not benefit from might from another unit with that rule.
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
All Monsters and formations with 'we stand alone' may attempt move at the double.
Battlehosts: Only heroes purchased as part of the Battlehost may join during a game.

Epic Actions

Epic Strike: change to give the hero his base fight + 2. (ie this will lift it back up from 0, if used)
Epic Charge: change to incorporate the features of a heroic charge
Epic Rampage: hits for the purposes of this rule, cannot be rolled again on 1s to hit.


Equipment
Crossbows: 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. If used within 3”of defensible terrain, they are always able to hit troops inside.
Pikes: can fight counting full attacks from second rank when allocating hits to the front.
Heavy infantry with shields, 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
Banner 15pts; Hornblower/Drummer 10pts; Taskmaster 20pts; Goblin Drum 40pts
Captain 40pts; Shaman/Stormcaller 75pts

Spirits: All spirit formations count as Defense 7.

Monsters: 'Hard to Kill' Monsters deduct 1 from all rolls on their table (the same as the former VH2K) and 'Very Hard to Kill' Monsters now use the following instead of the old table: D6 result (+ wound counters) - 1-2: Nothing, 3-5: 1 wound, 6-8: 2 wounds, 9: Dead. On any natural 6, you apply that result and roll again for free.

Nazgul now Mastery 2 base and Winged Nazgul in the battlehost now count as 'Hard to Kill':
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.

Elves - 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.

AngmarBuhrdur becomes 'Hard to Kill' (ie he does not benefit from the new VH2K table)

Spells: 'Wings of Terror' now just allows unit to act as if it has a drummer/hornblower and banner, and always pass rolls to move at double.

(changed 7 November 2011)

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. 8)

For some of the experiences that have led me to suggest these changes - you can have a look at my Batreps: http://roughwotr.blogspot.com/search/label/Batrep

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Last edited by Xelee on Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:59 am, edited 8 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 11:28 pm 
Loremaster
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2 points: Rohan rule means that the Royal Guard aren't any better than Rohirrim, really (or at least, not for the extra cost) and Khamul's "save" should be on a 6, like the others that have that ability.
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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 7:43 am 
Elven Warrior
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Hi Hashut's blessing, well they are still Theoden's chosen Knights, that has to count for something. If it doesn't, then for 5pts you go to an even defense at the front and against str3 that will actually halve the damage you take. Throwing in +1 fight and courage on top is not too bad either. Seems a pretty worthwhile 5pts to me - though I suspect the stronger reason is theme and I can easily imagine that it is in fact reasonable to have large Eoreds with no Knights anyway.

I actually sort of agree about Khamul. Consider the above a 'conservative' position, based on player feedback that I have recieved already. I think we can at least agree it is miles less abusive than the current situation? :)

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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:17 pm 
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im not too sure about the ES one... i agree that currently its not balanced (thrydan is WAY too good....), but removing it completley seems to also be a bit too imbalanced (although it does make elves worth getting). i just see lots of monster captain lists (or regular monsters with an overlord hero) cause then they would dominate duels

although this is just on paper, trying it out is something completley different

*i was make a rule for the mumak, destroying a unit outright is OP, inflicting additional hits is more like it (maybe leave them disordered?)
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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:29 pm 
Elven Warrior
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Thanks Shadowswarm, you reminded me of one I forgot to include - exactly a case of houseruling things to how we played anyway. :) OP will be edited.

We have been using many of these rules for quite a while, and overall they seem to be working well. I'm not overly perturbed by the case of Monster Captains btw, they are getting to be equivalent in cost to a proper dueling hero. They have advantages and disadvantages over these. In anycase, with the crazyness of ES in duels - if Evil players really wanted to push things in Duels via taking monsters, they'd all be fielding Buhrdur anyway. ES isn't a deal-breaker either, it is actually in there because I am sick of only seeing the same subset of heroes earn their keep, it's getting boring!

Still, please try it out. I think you will like the changes overall, and more feedback is always welcome. My original theory was to have ES always set a hero's fight to base fight+2. That seemed a good compromise between having it disproportionately boost heroes like Faramir and Thrydan and losing the usefulness of the ability vs Blinding light etc. However, one player said this seemed too much like giving Boromir and Aragorn the ability to have their cake and eat it to. On the principle that those two are already good enough, I just dropped it entirely.

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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:18 pm 
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Me and Spuds used these rules recently. One thing we noticed was how much they affect the Undying. His free Will of Iron rolls are much better now on a 3+, and his ability to have a higher Magic Mastery is also much more useful.

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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:31 pm 
Elven Warrior
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He does look pretty useful under these rules - given his opponents can still attempt to dispel the key spells on a 3+ (which I found out was cold comfort, last game), do you think the Undying's abilities become too problematic?

How did the rest of the changes work out for you?

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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:25 am 
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nah the undying is fine i think, it actully give ppl a reason to get him, not to mention that they have to have a spell caster nearby, and you can always move gandalf into a formation away ect...

as for ES, this is still tricky for me, it would mean that gil-galad would be unstoppable save black dart. I just think that Duels in general should be reworked a bit

as for the betrayer, I would change it to the whole formation rerolls 1s and 2s, or something similar (id rather have a small effect in a large radius then a large effect in a small radius). if you had it as the one C then you'd have to roll separately for that which slows the game down a bit as well (i would like a similar thing for the knight of umbar, but not sure how)
and i REALLY like the changes for the witch king, he now seems like the leader of the nazgul

as for crossbows, maybe make it so they have to move at half speed or something? making it so they cant move at all is a bit too far (just a little movement will stop ppl getting angry over such a huge nerf ect..)

oh and in the recent GT apparently they made a ruling so you cant use OL to call a duel with a non-hero, so thats a big relief

there also need to be some reworking on the pts, even if your not MM, durburz is such a good hero, and thrydan is a must have ally for any evil army.... so making some of them more expensive will go a long way (and making some good heros cheaper)

I also want to see some special rule for the balrog, I was really disappointed at how bad he was for the wopping 500pts you pay, a -1 courage and -1 movement in a 12" radius or something seems appropriate (and give him 1 more pt of might?), oh, and he needs +1 defense


something I'd love to see (but probably will never happen) is for GW to have have some ppl contact the community through sites like this and find out what needs to be done to balance the game (this would also be quite effective as the 100ppl on sites like this and TLA have way more collective experience then GW, so better results would come out)... just a fantasy of mine

on a positive note, some things are balanced really well like the dragon :)
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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:40 am 
Elven Warrior
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It seems reasonable for Gil-Galad (and Elendil) have that kind of impact, he'd finally be worth his points! He'd still struggle to get a big enough margin to always do well vs the tougher duelists that have fight 7 and ES though.The shade, black breath, blinding light and even simple Terror also knock Elendil/Gil-Galad down while heroes with ES can actually come back from most of those.

Likewise, without ES to give them the cheap lift, Durburz and Thrydan are nice, but nothing too special when a proper hero comes along to take them out.

Re: The Betrayer and KOU, rolling the separate dice isn't that time-cpnsuming in practice, I have to do it every game with Aragorn. I'd like to claim credit for the Witch-King idea, but its from another local :)

Letting Crossbow move and shoot even a small distance would allow them to still flip around to fire in any direction, which would defeat half the purpose of the change. They are still defintely worth it for their points, IMO. Let players take the crappy (or pretty awesome, in the case of Haradrim) bow in their list if they want something that can move and shoot, each missile weapon now has a niche.

The vast majority of the game balance is pretty good already, I agree.

I really do hope they put those GT changes into a FAQ.

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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:45 am 
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Xelee wrote:
How did the rest of the changes work out for you?


Due to our armies, none of the other rules had much of an effect.

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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:43 pm 
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Xelee wrote:
Likewise, without ES to give them the cheap lift, Durburz and Thrydan are nice, but nothing too special when a proper hero comes along to take them out.

well ES is the reason that also of heros are chosen. sure their not that special to boromir, but they are a fraction of the cost
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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:54 pm 
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I quite like those rules. One change I'd make would be to make Nazgul magic level 1 though. Look at a Shaman - for 25 points less it's level 1 and no special rules. Wraith gets Epic Strike, higher base fight and special rule - for 25 points that is fair. Nobody else gets unnamed (you can't say they're named if you can have as many as 9 of them) level 3s or even level 2s for that low price. They weren't exactly superb magicians in my opinion.

Actually, different option - make Shamans 75 points. Also make captains compulsory for every formation and cost 25 points. That would even help fixing the magic problem because captains have might.

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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:38 pm 
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BlackMist wrote:
Actually, different option - make Shamans 75 points. Also make captains compulsory for every formation and cost 25 points. That would even help fixing the magic problem because captains have might.


While we're on the subject of Command Ugrades, how about dropping the price of Hornblowers?

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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:38 pm 
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General Elessar wrote:
BlackMist wrote:
Actually, different option - make Shamans 75 points. Also make captains compulsory for every formation and cost 25 points. That would even help fixing the magic problem because captains have might.


While we're on the subject of Command Ugrades, how about dropping the price of Hornblowers?


15 points I think is low enough, I might give them another rule like you get +1 for charge distance as well, that would easily make them worth their points.

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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:22 pm 
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Hi Blackmist, do you think making them only mastery 1 is not a little rough? Thranduil springs to mind as an Elven hero with that level of ability. I like the idea of dropping Shaman cost better - Darkness and Ruin shamans are pretty cool but pretty vulnerable atm. It is possible that they made the cost so high to stop the spam of them at higher points totals? In general though command upgrades are a bit expensive. So maybe:

Shamans 75pts (I've seen suggestions that Ruin and Darkness epseccially should cost a little more) Captain 35pts (and not compulsory, but I like the 25pt and compulsory way too - what do people think?), Banner 20pts and Hornblower 10? Just to 'throw numbers at the wall'. I know Hornblowers are an upgrade we sometimes take here for Cav. Units that move 22" are nothing to sneeze at. How do that look guys?

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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:40 pm 
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I would have the nazgul as lvl 2, but increase the points. (150 to 180)

shamans are obviously overpriced to dropping it seems reasonable (they will still be duel targets, so you wont see them spammed)

not sure about compulsory captains. that makes things way more expensive overall, and cause there will be so many heros, ill never get a shaman as a lowly captain could take it out
id also drop the price of the drums, I really want banners in my gobs army, but cant afford it
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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:58 pm 
Elven Warrior
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As an intermediary step, I could update (tonight, when I have my book) that list with a new box (like the Nazgul box) giving new costs for command upgrades? It's not an unreasonable amount of re-pointing, since they apply equally to all armies.

If Shamans were 75 pts, then Nazgul would be +50pts, cause terror, have an additional mastery and two lists, and an Epic Action. Given that their spells are now negated on a 3+, involve dice and can fail, we are looking at making Captains much more common, and ES only gives +2 in duel now (while enemy heroes can use it to get around the Nazgul's terror/BB), I'm pretty hesitant to restrict them further by raising costs. If they got more expensive, you might have to look at upping their resilience. It is only 2 at the moment and even if they use ES, a proper dueling hero is likely going to crush them.

To recost Nazgul fairly, you'd really be in the territory of looking at all the Epics as a group IMO to address them consistently. Personally, I am happy enough at the point where: the OP Nazgul are toned down, 125pt Nazgul have less mastery than Istari, and changes to ES mean the Nazgul and a swathe of under 100pt heroes aren't so potent. Still, repointing the entire lot as a separate project might be the better way, if anyone is keen? :)

Good point about the other Evil command options Shadowswarm, the infantry in my Evil list are all Carn Dum warbands and I completely forgot about the other generic upgrades for the Orcs and Goblins.

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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:40 pm 
Elven Warrior
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I've added this table:

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

Do those costs look about right? I've pitched upgrades to generally be cheaper than their 'opportunity cost' in extra companies. Captains are slightly cheaper too. I don't think they want to be any cheaper than that, since ES is now not so useful, Will of Iron is more useful, and they were already not a bad addition to an army in some cases IMO.

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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 6:08 am 
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Id asked around (post these on TLA as well) to hear what others say (a bigger audience).
it looks good, but im not sure about the drum, most ppl hate them cause of the cost, but they do give you alot (but a bit too much) so it might need to be fiddled with to get it right
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 Post subject: Re: WOTR houserules
PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:58 am 
Elven Warrior
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From what I can see, most of the active posters on TLA post here already though. I've posted and got comment on Warseer as well though.

I know what you mean about the Drum, but I think a lot will still not want to take it because they have Durbuurz, Marshall, etc anyway and want to be 'efficient' and it does cost them 2 Coys of Gobs with shields (but not the now more expensive Gundabads!). Others will like it because it is always there. So hopefully, hopefully, it will be a real choice. I can see an argument for it being more expensive and we could do so by making hornblowers/drummers and taskmasters 5pts more each, which will then lift the drum 10pts?

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