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Commissar von Toussaint
23-12-2005, 17:48
Over the past couple of days, I've been thinking a lot about fantasy miniatures, mostly due to the fact that Narnia fully rocked. As I left the theater, I turned to my wife and said "If only Warhammer could do battles that cool."

Veteran (and frustrated) High Elf player that she is, she agreed.

Having read and participated in lots of discussions about Warhammer over the past five years, I distilled the criticisms with it into four main areas:

1. The profile
2. The game system
3. The army selection process
4. The magic system.

I immediately dropped magic because it's really an add-on that is the easiest to fix.

That left me with the big three.

It is kind of a paradox that the profile used in WHFB is both the strongest and weakest point.

It is strong because it has stood the test of time and is pretty intuitive. Most people can easily relate to how fast something moves, how well it hits something, how tough it is, etc.

GW has tweaked this from time to time, but the basic concept is pretty much set in stone.

My first question was: Does this really work?

After some of the debates this summer, I don't think it does. WS doesn't count for enough and Strength counts for too much.

In fact, looking over the profile, it seemed to me that many of the aspects didn't need to be included.

So my starting point was to consolidate the stat line into what was really useful.

Now as a veteran gamer, I understand that we like numbers. Indeed, the more possible variants the better. You can see this in the old hex-based games where they went from one "combat strength" to "attack" and "defense" and later to "Close attack," "armor attack" and so forth.

We love numbers.

So I fully expect that a lot of people are already wary of cutting down on the stat line.

Anyhow, the first thing I did was agree on what SHOULD stay. That was easy: Movement, Ballistic Skill and Leadership.

All of these are very important. For my purposes, I renamed them to make them fit better with the RPG I'm also working on (the rules are over 100 pages and I think we've got the magic system down - finally).

Some measure of health is also important, so I kept that.

This left the main melee combat skill - which I creatively named Melee Skill.

This is a catch-all for WS and S. A combination if you will.

Finally, armor is important and so is toughness. I combined these into a Save stat.

So the final profile looks like this:

MS AS SV HL MV ML

MS is Melee Skill
AS is Archery Skill
SV is your armor/toughness save
HL is Health level
MV is Movement
ML is Morale

So what does a "normal" human look like?

Well, that brought me to the second point: the system.

GW uses a 10 point system with 6-sided dice, which doesn't work that well. Originally, it meant that a lot of troops couldn't hurt other troops.

GW figured out that people didn't like this, so they toned it down. The effect is that it is effectively a 6-point system with some outliers.

My reasoning was that it would be easier to just use a 6-point system and have special rules for the outliers, so that's what I did.

MS is rated 1 to 6. That way, everyone has at least a chance of hitting everyone else. I use the same table as the GW wounding one (so if it's equal, you hit on a 4+, one better a 3+, one worse 5+ and so on to a maximum of 6+ and a minimum of 2+).

In practice, the MS 1 troops do rather poorly against their "betters," but that was my intention.

This allows un- or lightly- armored troops to plow through the rabble as they should.

an MS 4 Elf will simply tear up a bunch of MS 2 gitlings (my version of goblins).

Of course, MS isn't all there is to it. Once you hit, you also need to wound.

In WHFB as we all know, this is where S and T come in and a lot of problems start.

High Elves and other high WS troops simply don't matter as much as S. Indeed, as several folks have pointed out, S is arguably the most important stat in the game as it can negate Toughness AND armor.

I'm using a similar scale for armor (light armor 6+, add +1 for shield, etc.) but the maximum is a 2+. Particularly tough creatures might get a bonus on their save, but the maximum is still 2+.

So basically you hit and then they save.

I'm getting ahead of myself, but I know people are already saying "Great, so how do you kill cavalry?"

I have two answers for you. The first is that weapons have an Armor Penetration number that helps cut into armor. Great Weapons are AP 2. Lances are AP 2 on the charge. Spears are AP 1 if used two-handed (no shield).

The other way is that certain big creatures (ogres, for example) get an integral AP on their profile.

The final change I made was to morale. I really don't like how you are either broken or totally fine. There is no "disorder" or anything like it.

So rather than go with a number, morale is a letter from A to E. When you need to make a morale check, you roll on a table and the results are no effect (you're fine), disorder (ranks disrupted, may not charge or fight/shoot in two ranks) and rout.

The table uses 2d6 and A is similar to Ld 10 in terms of odds, but the results are more graduated. Basically it's easier than doing a "margin of failure".

So a basic human man-at-arms with sword, shield and light armor would have the following stats:

MS 3
AS 3
SV 5
HL 1
MV 4
ML C

For contrast, here is what an elf looks like:

MS 4
AS 4
SV 4
HL 1
MV 5
ML B

Finally, here a gitling:

MS 2
AS 3
SV 6
HL 1
MV 4
ML D

Anyhow, that's all I have time for right now. I'll post the whole rules once I get them tightened down a bit.

Crazy Harborc
23-12-2005, 18:55
It reads well, makes sense (that's a curse sometimes). Since I want to keep in touch with this thread, I decided to chime in.

By the by, the writers of the 6th Edition rules have a statement in the rulebook that makes it clear (at least to me), that threads and efforts such as this, are a very important part of what they hoped to encourage WHFB players to do........Think.

crashbang
23-12-2005, 20:11
argh...i love that ur trying to change the system, and i like these rules, but im only just getting into the current rules, and this system does some big restrictions on stats. e.g a blood thirster would be mele skill 6 under these rules, but then so would a lord of change, or a lord choice. it does restrict. nonetheless this is minor, and could be worked around. and this way, elves would infact be superior to otherwise almost the same stat line gobbos. good luck with this

EDIT: light alliance members will also be commenting on this soon enough (i sent them hyperlink)

Commissar von Toussaint
24-12-2005, 00:28
So basically you're re-inventing the wheel? Not a dig at you, but it seems more like you're designing a new game for use with Warhammer models than improving the WFB game.

Actually, it really is a seperate game. It started as "What little things need fixing" and went downhill from there.

I want it to be fairly applicable so that anyone can use it for their fantasy world but yes, I am designing it with my own background fluff in mind.

Earlier today I ran some mock combats to see how things stack up. So far, so good.

The high MS units just rip through the chaff, and points will have to reflect this.

On the other hand, all the chaff's attacks will add up and even heroes can be buried by bodies.

But you are correct. As I go through this (I'm on skirmishers now) I am subjecting each and every facet of the game to a test:

Is this necessary?
Does it matter?
What would I lose if I got rid of it?
Can I make it easier and more intuitive?

Getting ahead of myself for a minute, I've eliminated the entire CR system. It's not all that intuitive and leads to some strange contortions.

I am giving a bonus for having lots of ranks, but it is morale-based and morale really decides what happens on the battlefield.

To put it another way, I'm doing morale similar to how some of the historical games I play do it: First one side rolls, if they "stick," the other side rolls. If they "stick," the fight goes on.

One thing that my (admittedly limited) playtesting has shown is that when you cut out the "middle stat" (the S vs T thing) you get a LOT higher casualty rate.

As I said, high MS troops plow up inferior ones and if you give them great weapons, it's good night for the spanks.

I know you may be thinking "Great, so you made High Elves unbeatable. Good job."

Not quite. You see, I consider melee to be simultaneous, so even if your front rank gets creamed, the rear ranks still swing.

What this does is give you a much more game-focused (as opposed to rules-focused) reason for having deep formations. Those dense blocks of gitlings may die easy, but they just keep coming.

This also prevents the "bloodless battle" problem that some people have with WHFB where you win by CR rather than actually fighting.

So ranks DO matter, just in a different and more directly applicable way.

Getting back to the profile for a minute, by using this format, I've cut down on a lot of other rules, like cavalry and so forth. You see, there are no horses. Horses give you a save bonus and a movement bonus, that's it.

So far, knights seem to do pretty well. I'll see if that holds up.

Now, as far as WHFB monsters, yes, there is some detail being lost. In my first post I recognized that we love numbers. Even if the numbers don't mean much ("Ooh, he's initiative 10, better than that other guy's initiative 9!") we like to have them there.

The thing is, those numbers don't really fluctuate that much. When you get down to it, goblins aren't all that different from high elves.

No one is going to mistake a gitling for an elf with this system.


I'm looking forward to reading the rest of it.

Thanks. I've been cranking on this since yesterday morning and it's starting to come together. (A big help was that I had an almost-finished rule set for WW II so the template was already there for me to fill in).

What with the holday, I'm not sure how much computer time I'll get, but I'll be sure to dig this out and update it.

In the mean time, let me know what you think of my design concepts at least.

Commissar von Toussaint
25-12-2005, 06:42
Just a quick note. My earlier post indicated that missile troops could shoot in two ranks. Since I'm using two shooting phases, that is now out.

Carry on and Merry Christmas. :)

Commissar von Toussaint
27-12-2005, 22:02
Well, I have a draft of the rules. I'll post them as soon as I can figure a way to get them out into the ether.

Crazy Harborc
28-12-2005, 02:52
Going to take a short, midweek holiday. Hope to read the rules when we(I) get back.

Easy E
28-12-2005, 05:34
The Morale system sounds like it involves a great deal of charts. Is there a seperate one for each letter, or is it a sliding scale? Do you startat say B and then as casualties accrue you can slide down to a C or D?

I am interested to see how this comes together, and how user friendly it is.

crashbang
28-12-2005, 21:15
one thing i'd like to know,as i may get my mates to playtest this. how did you determine stats for certain units. did u do averageing (S+WS divided by 2) or did u do some other method? if so, did you round the Ms up or down in the case of, say 4.5?

i believe that heroes and monsters should be allowed to go above MS 6 personally, it would sort them out from the elite units. overall i like where this is going, and think that some Gw developers should keep an eye on it.

Commissar von Toussaint
28-12-2005, 21:58
one thing i'd like to know,as i may get my mates to playtest this. how did you determine stats for certain units. did u do averageing (S+WS divided by 2) or did u do some other method? if so, did you round the Ms up or down in the case of, say 4.5?

No, I used a six point scale.

1 = untrained
2 = poor
3 = trained
4 = veteran
5 = elite
6 = legendary

This provides a good deal of variation and puts most of the emphasis on skill rather than power.

Certain weapons confer armor penetration, as do monstrous creatures.


i believe that heroes and monsters should be allowed to go above MS 6 personally, it would sort them out from the elite units.

An elite unit is MS 5. And that would be a very, very elite unit. Think Grail Knights or Swordmasters. Most armies will only reach MS 5 for their characters.

Remember, this works like the current S vs T, so a unit with even MS 4 vs MS 2 is going to hit on 2+ and will only be hit back on 6+.

Since I don't want anyone to be unhittable, going beyond MS 6 was out of the question.


overall i like where this is going, and think that some Gw developers should keep an eye on it.

Gee, thanks. :)

Okay, I playtested last night and it goes pretty damn fast. I made a couple of changes (gave characters an extra attack) and so forth.

Here (http://posseincitatus.typepad.com/the_lantern_waste/)is a site with the documents on it. Download and be amazed.

The three documents are the army lists, main rules and a summary sheet.

One thing I should warn you about is that since I've broken so completely with WHFB, I'm using my proprietary fluff. The conversion is pretty easy though.

These parallels aren't totally exact, but they're pretty close to what people are used to dealing with.

If folks really like the system, we can do mass conversions to the WHFB army lists.

Goblin = gitling
Weirland = Empire
Red Knights = Bretonnia
Borean = orc
Yagur = black orc

Enjoy!

Adept
29-12-2005, 08:58
For heroes and monsters, I would suggest taking a look at the Lord of the Rings mechanics, and adding Might, Will and Fate points, or their equivalent. That way you can distinguish powerful, hard to kill or arcane individuals without going over 6 on any stat.

Cpt. Drill
29-12-2005, 13:40
After some of the debates this summer, I don't think it does. WS doesn't count for enough and Strength counts for too much.

If people were able to hit on 2+ then I think that it would make it alot more WS orentated but it would just make high ws characters too good....


But for new stats everyone loves random charts right? why not generate befor the battle with a d66 chart!

Commissar von Toussaint
29-12-2005, 13:53
Obviously this is the very first draft so I expect there may be signifcant changes.

Regarding characters, I'm open to the notion of special rules that apply only to them, however one of the big differences between this and WHFB or LOTR is that I have an actual scale: 1 model = ten real figures.

That means the power of characters is going to be a little diminished.

The other thing I want to avoid is having combat effectively decided by CR. The only reason why characters can't take on whole units in WHFB is CR, which is the convoluted mechanism that keeps an otherwise unrealistic and ungainly miniatures system on the rails.

I don't really use CR. I let the units fight it out and then test to see who has had enough, which is a more traditional (and IMO) realistic approach.

It is still possible (and likely) for small units of excellent troops to hammer mediocre ones and send them running. It is also possible for big blocks of decent troops to resist hard-hitting elites, since I give them a morale bonus.

But the bonus of having more ranks won't help you if your unit is being chewed up and spit out.

I like the notion of big battalions being better. That's why cavalry are 5 models and infantry are 20. And yes, I am planning on offering different sizes of units. But additional models will be cheaper, since mostly they will be there to enhance morale (adding ranks) and stave off being broken.

I think GW understands this by doing the 25 percent threshold for a break check.

My problem is that realistically, when units lose that many troops (especially units of average or below-average troops) they tend to fall apart.

This morale system punishes even elite units if they take heavy losses, which I like.

Crazy Harborc
31-12-2005, 04:11
Wellll.......What I've got looks good, so far. I started with the second list, then did the Army lists.

When I tried to print the Summary, the worm on a paperclip said the "stuff" was outside the margins did I want to continue. Then, fini worm. the two pages for the summery were gone to. I can't get it back.

I know, it's my messup.....Help. Thank you oh great one.:D

big squig
01-01-2006, 02:19
Not to rag on you, but your stats look suspiciously like the ones from LOTR.

Commissar von Toussaint
01-01-2006, 17:32
Not to rag on you, but your stats look suspiciously like the ones from LOTR.

All stats that use a similar engine are going to look "suspiciously alike."

I freely admit that I took inspiration from several sources, including Warhammer and LotR. Also included in that list is the Brigade Series from The Gamers and Napoleon's Battles (despite the fact that I really dislike Napoleonics).

While I have the LotR books, I've never actually played them. I actually had to open the book to see what the character profile was and whether you were right. I did remember that LotR had a combined save/toughness and I thought that was a good idea so I used it. But my primary motivation for doing so was the debates we had last summer over high WS troops vs low WS high S troops.

So in the end, it's fairly coincidental.

The Morale system really sets this game apart. There is no Psychology, just morale. I may use add some aspects in, but that is some ways off. I have to make sure the core system works.

The thing about morale is that it isn't just a number, it's a variable rating, which I why I used a letter. Your morale state is influenced by your losses, whether you are in Disorder, and so forth. It is therefore quite likely for a Morale A unit to see its effective leadership reduced because it of events on the battlefield.

Similarly, I wanted to get away from GW's CR system. Killing more people should count for a lot - more than ranks, actually, but I wanted them all to be factors.

The way morale works also helps give an advantage to chargers: defender tests first, regardless of who takes the most losses. this was important because I got rid of the very unrealistic GW system that has the front rank die and no one behind them having the brains/coordination/time to swing back. It's pretty laughable and arguably one of the weakest points in GW's system.

If you look at the problems with balance regarding cavalry, great weapons, etc., you can see most of them originate with this convention.

With my rules, cavalry still hits very hard and can do some major damage. This comes from four sources:

1. Mobility. Cavary is more likely to get the charge. This in turn forces the defender to test against morale, even if they mave more troops and somehow win the combat. What this simulates is that often infantry simply broke in response to their fear of cavalry.

Cavalry mobility also makes it more likely to get flank/rear attacks.

2. Hitting power. Lances are nasty, but the real strength of cavalry is the high skill of its knights. A knightly unit will tear up less troops in terms of losses. It will also avoid getting hit because of its skill.

3. Protection. Cavalry gets better saves and without S or T, this matters a lot more. I also scaled back save mods so that when they do happen (lances, great weapons) they are significant.

4. Morale. Cavalry units almost always have excellent morale and this means that even if they lose, they will tend to "stick." This is also critical for knightly units that wish to countercharge.

Now looking over that list, I know some of you are thinking "Geez, isn't cavalry overpowering enough? Why make it worse?"

Certainly I designed the game with the knightly ideal in mind. I don't use war machines or gunpowder because they aren't high fantasy (though rules for these can be put together for those of you who wish to stay in the Warhammer world).

But what I wanted to achieve was a more realistic feel for a high medieval army and this is where the fill-in rule comes into its own. Even with all those advantages, cavalry still fears a head-on clash with decent infantry armed with great weapons. This is because even if the front rank dies, the rear ranks will still tear them up. This is particularly true if the unit has decent MS and good morale.

One of the fun things about designing a new system is that you get to go over everything. The real annoying thing is that in the early stages, you have to constantly fix stuff.

So those of you that have downloaded the rules, keep in mind that I was typing pretty fast and if stuff doesn't download properly, just wait a few days because I'll probably have a newer and more expanded version.

Commissar von Toussaint
02-01-2006, 04:33
After some additional playtesting, I have tightened the rules up a bit.

Here are the latest offerings. (http://posseincitatus.typepad.com/the_lantern_waste/2006/01/first_major_rev.html)

What did I change? I realized that I had gone too far in limiting missile fire, so I deleted a negative to hit modifier. Missile units are super expensive and either they need to be worth it or cheapened considerably. For now, I'm going with the "worth it." We'll see how that works out.

I also decided that melee combat wasn't as decisive as I wanted. Not that figures don't drop right and left, but morale-wise the units are still too durable. So instead of a base -2 if you take more losses, you actually suffer a modifier equal to the margin of your defeat, which is to say your losses.

This can be offset if you have more ranks, are on a flank, etc, but I wanted units that were really pasted to pay for it.

I cleaned up the pursuit rules, dropping the "stand and slaughter" option which was kind of silly anyway and not worth trying. Now it's pursue/don't pursue and unlike GW, you don't have to test to refrain from pursuit.

I always thought that was kind of strange. Seems to me the natural inclination after winning a fight is to chill out, not go running off after them. If that were the case, hardly anyone would ever get away. So I changed it.

I clarified some other areas, fixed typos and tightened things down overall.

I only made two changes most people will notice (assuming you've even played it yet) and those are in regards to characters and crossbows.

I created a new rule for "swarming" characters. Per my previous post about how I don't like using CR to curb the menace characters present to formed units, I'm allowing units to "swarm" over individual character models, completely surrounding them if they are on their own. This is what would happen, after all, so we'll see how it works.

Crossbows now have the option to fire whenever they want to and wait a turn to reload. Hmmm, can crossbows move and reload? I'd say no, but let them move and shoot. Any thoughts?

crashbang
02-01-2006, 16:07
okay, now im gonna be evil and ask u some really nasty stuff

*how are you gonna represent the ultra hard warriors of khorne, and other such beasties? the system u have now dosnt give them the killing capability they are capable of, and should be, unless you give them a hell of alot

*monstrous mounts, what rules will be made for these?

*same for artillery

*what will happen to the psychology and main special rules? they didnt neccesarily unbalance the game, and would be good

*ogre kingdoms: what mele skill will the basic ogres be given? their bull charge rules could be unbalancing in these games.

*can magic items still be used in this version?

*will magic be incorporated?

*how will chariots work?

i know im scratching these up, but i really am hoping you dont get rid of the things which make fantasy, well fantasy. im trusting u not to do that. so no pressure. good luck

Commissar von Toussaint
02-01-2006, 17:34
okay, now im gonna be evil and ask u some really nasty stuff

The most important thing right now is to make sure the underlying system is sound. What you are talking about is what wargamers used to call "chrome," the special rules that added some glitter but weren't really core features of the game.

One of the problems with Warhammer is that when you get down to it, the chrome is too important. Don't get me wrong, they've toned it down a lot, but it is still a dominant feature of the game.

In reconceptualizing fantasy combat, I have to first get back to the basics. Once these are clear and solid, I can worry about going for specialty units.

I should also point out that GW's system is built to emphasize often superficial differences between units. Some folks live for these special rules, but I find them increasingly silly and tedious. In many ways, it's like the old rule in 2nd ed 40k where you had to roll scatter for each jump pack each time it jumped: neat fluff, very characterful and a complete and utter pain in the @ss. I happen to like 2nd ed. a heck of a lot, but I don't bother with that any more.


*how are you gonna represent the ultra hard warriors of khorne, and other such beasties? the system u have now dosnt give them the killing capability they are capable of, and should be, unless you give them a hell of alot

Actually, if I get them a high MS, I'll probably greatly increase their killing power beyond anything in WHFB. As it stands, they never are better than 3+ to hit and then must wound, two filters that usually halve the potential killing power of a unit.

If I'm really motivated, I could give Khornites +1 attack, Slannesh a morale rating of X (unbreakable) and Nurgle fear. Tzeentch will have to wait until magic is developed.


*monstrous mounts, what rules will be made for these?

Gosh, I'd have to make the rules for monsters first, wouldn't I?


*same for artillery

This is actually pretty easy, but also not a priority. I expect artillery will be a lot less effective because I think it is too powerful right now (for that, all my fellow Empire players will ban me from game play).


*what will happen to the psychology and main special rules? they didnt neccesarily unbalance the game, and would be good[/qutoe]

No, but they did confuse it and if you look at what they did, I think there are other, easier mechanisms to accomplish similar things.

[quote]*ogre kingdoms: what mele skill will the basic ogres be given? their bull charge rules could be unbalancing in these games.

Don't own the army book, don't care about them. Sorry to be cold, but there you are.


*can magic items still be used in this version?

Yes, but they will be rare far less important.


*will magic be incorporated?

Yes, but see above.


*how will chariots work?

They won't. I think chariots are stupid. But I may make up rules anyway because some folks seem to like them.


i know im scratching these up, but i really am hoping you dont get rid of the things which make fantasy, well fantasy. im trusting u not to do that. so no pressure. good luck

I don't think most of those things make fantasy, well, fantasy. I think they make it silly.

Chariots came into being because horses were too small to carry riders. Once horses could be bred large enough, they went the way of the dodo and disappeared - except in backwaters where they were done in by technologically superior armies.

That being said, I may come up with something.

But to me, the core of the game is medieval armies smashing into each other, led by valiant and powerful characters.

I also want monsters to be important and scary and not to need to be ridden in to battle.

But mostly my intent is to let the numbers speak for themselves. My goal is to design a clean, clear system that focuses on core combat, not special rules.

I know that a lot of people are going to be turned off because I'm not going to blind them with numbers or burden them with dozens of army-specific special rules. Oh well.

This is a more transparent game (that is, you will be able to point your own stuff) and so far my playtests have had plenty of character to them.

For example, knights are hard, very hard, but yagurs with great weapons chew them up quite well. Not a good idea to charge them.

Similarly archers are scary but brittle. The real focus of the game is on good tactics and line regiments pounding each other.

If my next game works out (and I think it will), I'll move on to some of the more exotic stuff like monsters.

Commissar von Toussaint
02-01-2006, 22:09
I figure I'll put it up on TMP when things are less fluid. Since you guys are my sounding board, I feel a bit more comfortable "thinking out loud" here.

In terms of mechanics, the best place to go is the holding site for the rules, where you can see (almost) everything that I've written so far. I just noticed that I don't have rules for two hand weapons though, so I have to put that in there as well. Also, it's looking like archers are pointed a bit too high, so I'm going to have to tackle that as well.

Now, in terms of mechanics, the game uses the old IGO-UGO system with some exceptions. I think that this works well for games of this sort, where huge linear armies march toward each other.

Turn sequence goes like this:

Movement
Shooting
Melee Combat
Rally

Movement starts with chargers and then other moves. I like the way that works so I see little point in changing stuff. Chargers may measure before declaring, (this game fully embraces free measurement) and there are charge reactions such as flee, stand there and a new one: emergency formation change, which I still haven't tried out yet. It seems like a good idea, but it may get tossed.

Shooting is divided into two sub-phases: the non-moving player shoots first, then the moving player does. This readily incorporates the "stand and shoot" option, while providing more interaction.

This makes shooting pretty powerful, which is why I'm very stingy with AS and charge a high point cost for missile troops. Historically missile troops were elites and I'm keeping with that.

From there we go to melee combat, which is generally simultaneous and both sides whack at each other.

Finally, we hit the Rally Phase where units may attempt to pull themselves together - even those that broke and routed that turn.

So far, the system seems to be working, I'm just tinkering around the edges, mostly. Assigning points values is probably the hardest part simply because I'm having to build my own frame of reference.

Right up there with the lists is making sure the rules are authoritative. Writing rules is hard work, particularly if you don't have a large staff and the luxury of making it your full-time job. ;)

Chuffy
02-01-2006, 22:30
I don't think most of those things make fantasy, well, fantasy. I think they make it silly.

Chariots came into being because horses were too small to carry riders. Once horses could be bred large enough, they went the way of the dodo and disappeared - except in backwaters where they were done in by technologically superior armies.

Well...you're kind of forgetting the Seleukids, they used Chariots and had one of the most technalogically advanced armies of their day. Chariots still weren't very useful...but still....

And your forgetting this is fantasy, many armies that use chariots aren't very rational or...alive. The orcs don't use horses for one, so you can't apply that rationale to them, to the orcs having a huge spikey wheeley thing, pulled by two or three of the most ferocious beasts in the Warhammer World is a big plus. It's also probably a lot more effective than a normal horse drawn chariot.

Also the Tomb Kings come are New Kingdom Egyptian, they've also been sleeping for thousands of years, they are kind of out of the loop a bit in military advancements. However they make up for it by having a chariot and crew that can be brought back from the dead and besides, seeing a chariot hurdling towards you is probably very frightening, seeing one pulled by the living dead is even worse!


But mostly my intent is to let the numbers speak for themselves. My goal is to design a clean, clear system that focuses on core combat, not special rules.

I know that a lot of people are going to be turned off because I'm not going to blind them with numbers or burden them with dozens of army-specific special rules. Oh well.

And yet you play 2nd ed 40k? ;)

Commissar von Toussaint
03-01-2006, 00:39
It's hard work? I do it as a hobby. To each their own, I suppose.

Making up rules is easy and fun, which is why we do it.

But writing, editing and correcting a rule book is a lot different.

Many hobbies involve hard work. That doesn't mean they aren't enjoyable.


Okay, you say it works well. What does it work well by comparison to?

Well, it beats hitting yourself in the head with a hammer. :eyebrows: How else can one answer that?

I want a system that has a fairly accepted frame of reference and is therefore easy for existing gamers to adopt. Like when I did hex game design, I often used zones of control because they worked and were widely accepted.


How much of the chrome will be necessary to make up for deficiences in the system?

Ideally, next to none.


Well...you're kind of forgetting the Seleukids, they used Chariots and had one of the most technalogically advanced armies of their day. Chariots still weren't very useful...but still....

Huh? They were a corrupt regime living on the corpse of Alexander's empire. The Romans made pretty short work of them.

Of course it's also worth pointing out that that area had natural parking lots (called "pediment") that made chariots almost worthwhile. I still think that most units should simply make a ld test and let the damn things through (hey, the Greeks, Romans and everyone else with a brain figured that out).


And your forgetting this is fantasy, many armies that use chariots aren't very rational or...alive. The orcs don't use horses for one, so you can't apply that rationale to them, to the orcs having a huge spikey wheeley thing, pulled by two or three of the most ferocious beasts in the Warhammer World is a big plus. It's also probably a lot more effective than a normal horse drawn chariot.

Also the Tomb Kings come are New Kingdom Egyptian, they've also been sleeping for thousands of years, they are kind of out of the loop a bit in military advancements. However they make up for it by having a chariot and crew that can be brought back from the dead and besides, seeing a chariot hurdling towards you is probably very frightening, seeing one pulled by the living dead is even worse!

Ok, I'll be a bit more clear. I don't own any chariots.

And realistically, I'm not going to be able to crank out a dozen army lists complete with special rules by next Tuesday.

My goal is to provide the framework for you guys to adapt it to your favorite armies.

I'm big on user feedback.

And yes, I like 2nd ed, but I also cut out a lot of those annoying rules that bog the game down. Virus grenades, jump pack scatter, persistant templates and all that are gone as far as my group is concerned.

So I'm pretty consistent. I'd also point out that the scale is quite a bit different.

When you have 200 models marching across the table top you take a different attitude than when you have 20.

Chuffy
03-01-2006, 10:47
Huh? They were a corrupt regime living on the corpse of Alexander's empire. The Romans made pretty short work of them.

According to the Romans. According to the Romans they lost 100 men at Magnesia. Everyone else said they lost 2500-5000 men, making it one of Romes most costly victories. Plus it was mainly the Pergamones who did all the work, the Roman Legion was helpless in the face of Antiochus Phalanx. The Seleukids, along with Epeiros were the ones who gave Rome the most trouble.


Of course it's also worth pointing out that that area had natural parking lots (called "pediment") that made chariots almost worthwhile.

And the Warhammer World doesn't have these?


I still think that most units should simply make a ld test and let the damn things through (hey, the Greeks, Romans and everyone else with a brain figured that out).

Now thats a good idea, however I'd say if they pass the Leadership check they let the chariot pass through but still suffer some damage. Also if they fail to let them through and the chariot hits them they automatically become disordered?

Commissar von Toussaint
03-01-2006, 20:21
According to the Romans. According to the Romans they lost 100 men at Magnesia. Everyone else said they lost 2500-5000 men, making it one of Romes most costly victories. Plus it was mainly the Pergamones who did all the work, the Roman Legion was helpless in the face of Antiochus Phalanx. The Seleukids, along with Epeiros were the ones who gave Rome the most trouble.

I wasn't aware that chariots were an essential element in the battle.


And the Warhammer World doesn't have these?

Sure. Out in Khemri, they make sense. Almost everywhere else, they are rediculous.


Now thats a good idea, however I'd say if they pass the Leadership check they let the chariot pass through but still suffer some damage. Also if they fail to let them through and the chariot hits them they automatically become disordered?

Hmmm, it's worth looking at. Chariots to me are an add-on. My focus is to make sure the basic stuff works well.

Since I already have a mechanism for emergency formation changes, that may be one way to do it. If the unit passes, the chariots go clean through. If it doesn't, well, it's pretty screwed anyway (if it doesn't rout, the only other result is disordered).

So in the face of a chariot charge, you can flee, stand and take it, or open ranks and hope they go on through. If you fail the ld check, you either rout or become disordered and get hit.

Odds are, poor ld units will just take the impacts while Morale B units and above will let them through.

Commissar von Toussaint
04-01-2006, 01:35
Ancient history aside, here are a few things I've worked out so far.

The way I'm doing point costs is designed to reflect the fact that front ranks do all the killin' and that rear ranks are there for three purposes:

1. To fill in and give the unit more staying power,
2. To allow the unit to take more casualties before it is broken, and
3. To provide a morale bonus for having more ranks.

That being the case, units are priced in blocks of 20 for infantry, 10 for archers and 5 for cavalry. From here I get their basic cost.

I'm then allowing infantry and cavalry (but not archers, yet) to buy more models for a discount. To go from 20 to 30 infantry costs 25 percent of the original unit cost, which means that 10 additional models cost half per figure.

Cavalry goes from 5 to 10, again for 25 percent more. I expect that this may need some work as cavalry units may go with a 6x4 or even 7x3 formation to maximize hitting power. However, since cavalry is already pretty steep, I think this works.

This should address the problem we've all noticed where buying big elite units is insanely expensive.

Here are two examples (I'll post the whole lists once I finish off the elves):

A unit of 20 gitling (goblin) swordsmen with lousy morale and minimal equipment (shield only, no armor) costs 70 points. To bring it up to 30 models is only 85 points.

By contrast, 20 Arcadian (High Elf) spearmen run a whopping 165 points and 30 are 205 points.

It goes without saying, by the way that 20 spearelves will utterly massacre 20 gitlings. The elves will hit on 2s, the gitlings on 6s. The points reflect this mismatch.

Because I'm making MS count for so much, I'm not doing the "high elves get three ranks with spears" thing because frankly, it's overkill. MS 4 (the elven standard) is exceptional, meaning that even elite units will have some problems against them.

I'll give one final unit as reference. Yagurs (black orcs) with great weapons are 150 for 20 and 190 for 30. Pretty scary stuff and as my last playtest indicated, Yagurs w/great weapons simply munch of heavy cavalry.

As yet I'm not diving the armies into core, special and rare because I'm still getting a feel for how the units stack up. I figure that is the final stage. Naturally, I want there to be some limits. For example the Red Knights are analogous to the Grail Knights and should therefore be quite scarce.

On the other hand, I'm going to resist using 0-1 designations because if the battle is big enough, there may well be multiple units even of Red Knights.

Royal retinues are another matter, and in their case I may come up with a special rule (like stubborn) to set them apart from the other elites.

crashbang
04-01-2006, 09:15
thanks very much for answering the questions. meanwhile an important one. how is fear going to work? its one aspect that undead generally rely on, so whatever it is will have a big effect on them

* cause the enemy to be disorderly on the failing of a test
* -2 to leaderships (since both units test now, this would be effective)
* the 6s to hit on the failing of a test

or a combination of these, or something i havent thought of.

btw now were on chariots, they are typically rare already in the game (2 to a 2000pt army at the utter most) anywhere bar tomb kings, so it should stay that way. and as such i think that tomb kings chariots charging would be impossible to dodge causing the hits and disorder automaticly.

Commissar von Toussaint
04-01-2006, 16:39
Nurglitch: I've already explained my thought processes on what led me to this point. If there's something specific that you don't understand, I'm happy to elaborate on any given area.

Crashbang: You're pretty sharp. :) The -2 to morale is exactly the effect I was planning to use on fear.

Yes, since both sides have to test, fear means units are unnerved and low morale units will likely run away.

I think that this eliminates the need for any other conventions and allows units to charge freely, but C and lower morale run the risk of routing even if they "win" the combat.

At the same time, this completely avoids the problem of fear causing otherwise elite units to break. Units with A and B morale will likely "stick", reflecting the premium they pay for that leadership. I'm pretty happy with this conceptually and look forward to trying it out.

Undead units will have a special morale state, by the way, known as X, which is "unbreakable." This is huge, and it will be paid for with lower overall stats and higher point values (exactly how high remains to be seen).

That's the plan, at any rate.

Nurglitch can say that I'm swapping chrome for different chrome, but I take a different view. By focusing on morale, I don't need a special rule for fear, charging against fear-causing enemies, auto-breaking from fear and so forth.

Morale X means it always passes morale checks. Now this means undead units can reform on a dime, open ranks and so forth which I feel is completely appropriate. Rather than mindless shambles, I think of them as very responsive robots, the ultimate soldiers, who not only hear every command, but will instantly obey it without question. A lot of what command checks/leadership/morale rules are supposed to simulate is that war is noisy and commands simply can't be heard. The undead hear nothing but the commands of their master and never hesitate.

That's part of what makes them scary, in my view. And the fact that fear is incorporated right into the core rules indicates that I have in fact made something new and better.

I expect there will be several criticisms of my game and its system. "Insufficiently different" is not one that I'm worried about.

Commissar von Toussaint
04-01-2006, 19:01
Unfortunately you haven't defined your terms, or analyzed any of your 'design concepts'.

What is this, a final exam?


I'll let you know when you're layed out your design concepts in some sort of systematic manner.

:eyebrows:

While it may not be your intention, you're sounding like a lecturing professor. Your credentials for evaluting my "design concepts" are what, exactly?

My concepts are pretty damn clear: A fundamental reworking of Warhammer. Check out the thread title.

This is also a bit more: a stand-alone game that doesn't rely on familiarity with Warhammer to succeed. It uses none of the fluff nor does it rely on GW figures to play.

On the other hand, it is not independent of Warhammer because that is the dominant fantasy rules set. I purposefully designed this to use my existing 28mm models. As a bonus, it will also be backwards-compatible and (hopefully) people on Warseer will be able to do their own Warhammer armies using this system.

For example, I'm going to do chariot rules because players want them. But I'm also going to do them my way.

I sense there is a demand for this thing, and I'm trying to fulfill it.

And frankly, I've wasted enough time on this game designer navel gazing.

The system is what it is. It works the way I like and that's that. It's similarity and widespread acceptance isn't a bug, it's a feature. Just like how Warzone, Starship Troopers, VOID and other games are tapping into the 28mm scale to appeal to an existing market. People are comfortable with this type of game, as am I.

I hope that clears things up for you. :cool:

Sybaronde
04-01-2006, 20:07
:eyebrows:

Nurg, aren't you going a bit overboard? I mean, basically, what you've done in this thread is criticising his work method. One way is to say that 'this is how I think you should do it', but what you've done so far is 'what you're doing sucks, because I don't think it does anything else'.

Not to discredit you, because I've seen what you've done with DM, but in the spirit of games developers, this is really a farce.

Oh well,

Syb

Commissar von Toussaint
04-01-2006, 22:08
The "metric" is the finished product.

Is it playable? Is it fun? Is it realistic (by which we mean reasonably intuitive and consistent within its own fluff)?

Those are the metrics of game design that I'm talking about.

For 20 years I've read articles on game design and the thought that they are actually giving out advanced degrees in this gives me the shudders. :eek:

So my first suggestion to you is this: I'm not your student, so don't address me as one.

In terms of underlying philosophy, you'll have to go back over multiple threads which I have no interest in summarizing and suspect most folks have even less interest in reading. As I said from the get-go, this project has been a long progression, from debates over spears vs hand weapon/shield bonus to the endless "high elf revision" threads.

The amazing thing is that most people who've commented on this thread picked up on that right away.

Since you're all about examples, let me give you one you may relate to. If I tell someone I wish to design a new car, I don't have to explain why it has four wheels, burns gasoline, uses a steering wheel and so forth. Most folks undertstand that a "car" is a "car."

Were I to launch into a fascinating and deep discussion about the merits of horse-drawn travel, bicycling and such, my target audience would quickly get bored and leave.

As someone familiar with quite a few systems, I notice that they always leave the philosophy for a short article in the back. That's because the rules are what people want to read, not the game designer's ruminations. These are interesting, but only as an afterthought. A game that is unplayable at any speed is of little interest because even if the concept is great, it has failed in its primary purpose.

Andy Chambers is able to sell Starship Troopers because he is a known game designer with a proven product, not because legions of Heinlein fans and Warhammer players are dying to read his latest philosophical treatise on game design.

Since you insist upon a shorthand summary, I will tell you that having played a variety of systems, I find that Warhammer's has much to recommend it and therefore, using the advice given by James Dunnigan (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0595155464/qid=1136412241/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-5333831-0456745?n=507846&s=books&v=glance), I'm not going to reinvent the wheel but borrow the aspects I like and modify what I don't.

After six years of posting first at Portent and now at Warseer, my views are pretty well known in terms of what I like.

I began this thread with a discussion specifically of what I didn't like and what I wanted to improve. Re-read the thread to get a feel of it.

Then download the rules and see my conclusions. Read through them to see if they are coherent and - if you dare - play them to see if they are fun.

If you have specific questions, I'm more than happy to explain my decisions, as I was with fear, chariots and so forth.

Maybe I'm missing something, but given that I've already said why is use a six-point scale, why I use a letter for morale and why I like the IGO-UGO format, what do you really want to know?

Why I'm using miniatures and not computers? Why I use inches and not milimeters? Why a profile, why those stats? Why 6-siders rather than 12-siders? Go ahead and ask, I have lots of answers.

Just because I haven't typed all this out doesn't mean I haven't thought about it or discussed it with other folks. I have, quite a bit with folks who have been gaming for decades.

I'm quite happy to have that discussion, but not if you approach it as a professor handing out grades. Here, at least, we are equals.

And I will warn you that I'm pretty committed to the framework I've adopted. Playtesting is going well and things are coming together nicely. My armies are performing the way I want them to and the game runs pretty smoothely. The biggest problem is making the points add up and keeping the rule book current.

Sybaronde
05-01-2006, 00:04
Sybaronde: I'd suggest that you've mischaracterized what I've done in this thread. If CvT shares that mischaracterization, then I should probably clear some things up.

Perhaps indeed I used some colour, but however mischaracterized, you seem to find CvT's work unagreeable simply because his working method opposes yours.


Yes, I have criticized his method. It would be nice if he had a method, for instance. It's impossible to evaluate or judge a work unless some metric or method has been established against which that work may be judged.

Did the thread's title just pass you by somehow? And did it even occur to you that his work doesn't necessearily need a judge? After all, it inherently bases itself on his intuition of what is 'better' (whether that be a long-winded mutation or a tiny list of tweaks), which he has no need to define, given that this is his own little bird. All we have to do is like it or not.


What I've done so far is ask: "If your game is an improvement on WFB, by what measure can we judge that claim?" I understand that this can be interpreted as "What you're doing sucks, because I don't think it does anything else." because what he is doing does suck. It sucks because he gives us no measure or standard by which to evaluate his work.

No, that's not it. You were coming to verbal blows with CvT based on a question that really doesn't need answering. Games development on this amateur plane, is not really a science, but an entertainment. It's not like he is constructing a Theorem for the Calculus book.


Since CvT leaves his terms undefined, and the intentions that he cites are either vague or vacuous, we cannot even do the work for him.

Oh, we can, but since we're not working with mathematics, it boils down to a matter of taste - of what we find agreeable or not. Unless you haven't noticed, that was mostly how other threads on Portent and Warseer went on, even in your Dark Millennium project: Throwing around ideas and using/discarding them according to how people liked it.


I suppose we could just throw out suggestions like "This is how I think you should do it", but without a method of comparing those suggestions to his proposals, I don't really see a point to that either. How I think he should do it may not be how he actually should do it. I wouldn't want to burden him with my mistakes.

All in all, we need only to say what we think of the project, if we agree on it being a better Warhammer or not. I guess my own little quote was a bit odd, if not misapplied in this case. Anyway, it wouldn't really matter if you had a method or not, as he would make the call in the end, and decide how to treat your suggestions.

I guess you need to learn to sprinkle powdered sugar over your thoughts before you post them, because throughout the thread, you've been borderline condescending and even producing some comments that could be interpreted as insults.

Syb

Commissar von Toussaint
05-01-2006, 01:36
So you're going to measure the finished product by the finished product... Amazing.

No, I'm going to measure it by how much fun it brings me. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

If you can't enjoy a movie, a book or a beverage without breaking out an abacus and developing a ten-point objective scale, I feel sorry for you.

Similarly, if you can't say "Hmmm, I notice you haven't got anything about fighting uphill in there," without 12 pages of backstory and explanation, you're input isn't worth much to me.

Please, I invite you to start your own thread about game design and its requirements. This one is about my game design. If, as you say, I have provided insufficient material for you to comment on it, I guess you're done here.

Commissar von Toussaint
05-01-2006, 02:26
Meanwhile, back on topic, I did a 1,000 point playtest game last night that showed me a couple things, the most important of which was:

1. 1,000 points is a lot of models.

Seriously, I was pretty pleased by the way the system worked. the one thing I'm looking at is a sliding scale for captured banners, pegging them to the morale of the unit they come from. It makes sense that the standard of a knightly unit would be worth more than that of bunch of gitling slaves, yet Warhammer gives them both equal value.

This in turn leads to the debate over whether units should even get standards, which strikes me a silly in the extreme. Standards are an essential element, if only to help guide the movement of the unit. They are a rallying point and a source of pride.

Characters also seem to be right where I want them. They offer good leadership and can help tilt the battle (with those two higher MS attacks) but they don't win by themselves.

All in all, pretty promising. I'm hoping to do another run tomorrow night (only 500 points or so) and I'll keep you posted. Maybe even a battle report!

Oh, and I almost forgot: Latest version of rules, army lists and of course your handy dandy summary sheet can be found here. (http://posseincitatus.typepad.com/the_lantern_waste/2006/01/still_another_u.html)

It occurs to me some folks may not be able to read Word documents. If that's the case, let me know and I'll paste them in here.

Commissar von Toussaint
05-01-2006, 03:40
This is surreal.


Oh, I understand. I just find it amusing when you say things like:
Especially when you immediately contradict yourself and declare that the metric is actually the fun you have with the finished product. It's even funnier because the metric is what you would measure the fun by.

Okay, you got me. How do you know if you enjoy a game? Did you analyse the factors you enjoy, build a model of what elements you seek and whether they are present or what?

Seriously.

We have a frame of reference and a pretty clear one: Warhammer. That's the game that got me into miniatures in the first place and, having looked at other systems, I come back to it because it's fun. I enjoy playing it.

But I've noticed problems with it. My first post noted those problems and how I proposed to deal with them.

Now at this point you can go and say, "Hmmm, is this game easier to play than Warhammer?"

Being a philosophy major, you'll first get hung up on the term "easy," but here we'll define it as "requires less time, mental energy and dice rolling."

The next metric we might use would be realism. Does it stay true with the internal background of a fantasy/medieval world? This is big debate, and one I'm happy to have. Indeed, even historians and historical gamers get into raging fights about what is historical and what isn't. I'm happy to lay out my views on what these are, but I do have a job, family and other responsiblities.

That is why I suggested that you first read the rules.

It's a pretty simple thing to do. We can talk about analogies, calculus and so forth, but in the end, the game is playable or it isn't.

I've owned more than a few that aren't. So if this thing can actually be played, that is my first metric of success.


Surely you can think of a better ad hominem than that.

You're damn right I can. I was trying to be polite. :)


You don't need an abacus or "a ten-point objective scale" to decide whether you enjoy a movie. You say to yourself: "Gosh, that was a good movie. It was even better than Ghostbusters."

Hmm, sort of like "building a better Warhammer?"


There you go: The metric is the existing body of movies that you've seen. The measure is "better than x". I can see why you might confuse this with rocket science.

You mean like Warhammer, which is in the title of this thread?


I haven't done anything of the sort. I have asked you to elaborate on your design philosophy (post #24), and you've just obfuscated, posted platitudes, and waved hands. A polite refusal would have been just dandy.

You know, I wasn't the only one who "misconstrued" the tone and content of your remarks. Now when both of the people involved in the conversation think you are being insulting, maybe you should consider the possiblity - however remote, I admit - that you were being insulting.


I have also carried on a bit about the utility of rigour, and why you should use it. Which, oddly, has only involved about six relatively short posts (#28, #33, #35, summarized in #37, #40-41, and #42). Much of those posts includes a conversation with Sybaronde (who incidentally has a thread (http://www.warseer.net/forums/showthread.php?t=20860) you could learn a thing or two from). A wee bit shy of 12 pages.

First off, I am scared that you bothered to check this thread with such detail. :eek:

Secondly, I've repeatedly asked you to pick a point of reference so we can discuss it. You want to go over movement? Turn order? Name a feature and I'm happy and indeed eager to explain why I'm doing what I'm doing.

But do keep in mind that many of my answers are going to boil down to "because it works well enough."

If I don't have an overwhelming need to refine or redesign something, I don't.


Without that framework within which to evaluate your work, or indeed any substantive statements about your work, I have no input to give you.

Re-reading the thread, I'm trying to figure out where exactly you lost the plot and started going off about processes. I didn't write a big conceptual essay because I already had the rules. That's what I spent my time doing, wriring the rules, not what I wanted the rules to say.

I'm a results-oriented kind of guy. I guess I get that from my grandfather, a very talented woodworker. He didn't talk much, certainly not about his carving. He handed it to you and you could tell what it was. "Wow, Grandpa, that's a really cool duck." He would explain to me how he carved it, how he burned the feathers on and so forth, but the "metric" was the duck, not what he said he wanted to accomplish. After hours of labor, he had a beautiful wood carving that looked like a duck.

My duck is the rules I've posted. Pick them apart - please.

Find that typo on page 4 or tell me that my rules for morale are still incomplete and confusing.

That's the kind of input I need. I'm sure you can provide it.

You want a metric? Are the rules even coherent? is a great one.


No, you're right. I've completely wasted my time. Enjoy your game. I hope it works out for you.

I'm sorry you feel that way.

Sybaronde
05-01-2006, 14:09
Sorry, but this is another mischaracterization. I'm not sure how I'm giving you that impression. I thought that I had stated quite clearly that CvT's working method gives me no opportunity to judge whether his work is agreeable or not.

Well, yes, you made it quite clear. I should've said "CvT's work-method" instead of "CvT's work".

I did read the title. That's why I'm raising this stink. He says that he wants to build a better Warhammer. Surely we'll want to know if he succeeds. In order to know whether he succeeds in his project, and in order to help him with it and fortify the project against unexpected problem, we need a method for judging the quality of the finished product. I know you feel that intuitive preferences are sufficient, but they aren't. Methods of peer review exists because intuitive preferences are demonstrably insufficient.

I know it's a great method to establish a goal and perhaps some principles that a person wishes to work by. I usually do so myself. However, what I wanted to convey was that a community like Warseer (or at that, those who go to this sub-forum) most likely have some sort of intuition to work with. And I know it's not the best of methods to go by, but if he leaves no ground for anything else, and repeatedly refuses to establish other grounds, then doesn't it ring a final bell?

Moreover, while you could say that this thread is really just an opportunity for CvT to think out loud, he seems to want our input. If it is just him thinking out loud, then he doesn't need to do so in a public forum. CvT could just present us with a final product for an unqualified waggle of our thumbs.

Well, some people might take other people's thoughts into consideration and think aloud differently. Perhaps that's what he wants. ;)

Me, I think he's onto something and is actually doing something sensible in putting his work out there for public discussion. Given that he has put some of it out there for public discussion, it would be nice if we could publically discuss all of it, and even nicer to discuss it in a productive fashion.
No, that's actually it. While I appreciate that many people feel that the kind of rigour exhibited in mathematics, and the better kind of academia in general, isn't suited for casual discussion that attitude is wrong-headed.

Well, I'm not opposed to the notion, but except for a select few threads, that's usually not how it went on in the Portent rules development forum.

Uh, what people find agreeable or not, a matter of taste as you say, is the essence of mathematics. What the rigour of mathematics allows us to do is give other people good reason to agree or disagree with our tastes. Throwing around ideas and using them according to their utility is what we're doing. It's what I'd like us to do. I'd just like us to do it rigorously so that we don't waste any time or effort.

Well, the word 'agreeable' might've been a wrong choice of words, but hey, I'm Norwegian and my grasp for context isn't immaculate.

And for the record I do think that this conversation about the merits of rigour is productive.

Well, at least interesting.

So? I can't say that I've found other poster's to be particularly polite, myself. CvT's posts in particular strike me as alternately snotty, condescending, dismissive, insulting, and often all four at once.

Well, I make it as a point to respect participants in discussions like these and do my best to avoid being interpreted as an insulting aggressor. While it's admirable that you wish to heighten CvT's format of writing and rules development, your approach wasn't exactly what I'd call pedagogic. Also, I think we can agree that the results, so far, isn't what either of us wanted.

If you feel that I've been insulting, then please contact the moderators. Otherwise please take my comments as the constructive criticisms that they are intended to be.

No, that'll be up to CvT if he finds you insulting. I only tried to put forth some perspective on the issue, of not meddle a bit for sports.


Sincerely,

Syb

Commissar von Toussaint
05-01-2006, 18:18
You know if you enjoy the game by comparing the experience to other games that you've played. Notice the plural of 'game'. It's not simply whether you enjoy one game more than another, but whether the game you play shares enjoyable features with other games that you have played.

I've played a lot of different games, but not all of them are applicable. Indeed, as far as miniatures go, I'm not as well versed as others. Traditional wargames, jeez, I could go on for hours, but my miniatures experience is quite limited, which is why, Dear Reader, I'm posting my stuff here.


For instance I find minimal dice rolling to be an enjoyable feature of a game.

Ah, now we're getting somewhere. :)

I'm of two minds on dice rolling. What I like about GW's system is that there is a great deal of simplicity in the concept of it: you roll a bunch of dice and count the sixes, or fives or whatnot.

Columbia Games uses a similar mechanic for their block games and I find that it works quite well.

What I wanted to avoid was the extra dice that GW makes you roll: the wounding ones.

Mindful of the problems people have with WS being a minor stat and the balance issues that relate to Strength and Toughness, I decided to drop those stats and go straight to armor saves.

This also allowed me to ignore most armor save modifiers. It's just pure AP, and that is in the troop description.

So I've cut dice rolling by 1/3, but preserved the simplicity of the mechanic.

The alternative to using lots of dice is a cross-referenced table, the old CRT you'll find in every board game since Tactics (ah, for the days of D-Elim).

At the same time, tables have their uses, which is why I decided to include one for morale.

As I'm sure you noticed, you don't really need the table at all, you could simply go with numbers and then lots of modifiers. The basic rule would be "If you exceed leadership by 1 or 2, you are Disordered, by 3 or more and you Rout. A modified roll of 2 or less is always a Rout."

But I think the table is easier and numbers crunchers can always memorize it anyway.

See how easy that was? You got questions, I got answers.

In terms of grand concepts, I should think it is obvious: a game that uses the same models and terrain as Warhammer, but, unlike other designs, does not rely on GW's intellectual property for its appeal. Kind of like Stargrunt: you can use it for anything you want, but it will probably appeal to the same audience that likes WHFB.

Mechanically, it is intended to play faster and smoother, with less time taken for measurement and less emphasis on the minutae.

At the same time, I think it is more intuitive; rather than a convoluted CR to determine who wins, you simply see who did the most killin'. :skull:

Chargers force defenders to check first, giving them a clear advantage, but not an overwhelming one.

Most weapons go simultaneously, allowing players to roll dice at the same time and then apply them. Even for weapons that don't the fact that I allow fill-in ranks to fight means that in most cases, you can both roll at once, saving time.

Yet I believe that there are cases where priority matters, such as units with a single rank or characters.

So in that sense, it is an opportunity for me to address what I feel are problems with WHFB. Another example is that I allow cavalry to countercharge, something I feel appropriately emphasizes leadership and that accurately represents that fact that cavalry rarely awaited a charge at a standstill, but instead spurred to meet it.

Similarly, I've made arrow fire very deadly and archers very pricey. Archers historically were specialist troops, well-trained and highly prized. Crossbows have longer range and better penetrating power, but they cannot win a shooting duel with equally talented archers - the superior rate of fire from bows will take the day.

That's all I have time for now.

crashbang
05-01-2006, 20:17
now that its progressing really well, i'd like to know: are you going to make the army lists for certain armies (e.g high elves) or are you going to give people tools for converting their armies to this format? once this is all completed that is.

i might be able to force my mates to playtest these if u do happen to get some lists out (not likely, stubborn asses :( )

Commissar von Toussaint
05-01-2006, 23:34
now that its progressing really well, i'd like to know: are you going to make the army lists for certain armies (e.g high elves) or are you going to give people tools for converting their armies to this format? once this is all completed that is.

At present, I'm working on my own lists, but the point values will work anywhere.

I'm quite happy to do army lists for Warhammer, but they won't be a perfect match because the game system does have some significant differences.

For example, the High Elves don't need a lot of special rules because the stat lines reflect their skill in warfare.

A unit of MS 4 spearmen with B morale and 5 movement are scary and fully fit what High Elves ought to be. Were I to give them three ranks of fighting, it would be really unbalancing but more importantly, it would be unnecessary.

Similarly, Swordmasters have high MS, great weapons and high morale. That makes them excellent troops.

In my system, great weapons don't strike last, so does that mean I have to give them something else?

Just thinking about some of the lists we can see how different my game is. Yes, the models translate well, even the concepts for the units, but the actual special rules don't because they rely on GW's convoluted rules.

Another question is whether you want me to make flawed lists or improved ones.

If I'm going to do a Conqueror list for High Elves, I certainly wouldn't want to include Intrigue at Court and I'd absolutely want to give spearmen heavy armor. I mean, why use a different system to create an admittedly flawed list?

So to answer your question, yes, I will make Warhammer lists, but they operative idea is that they will be better Warhammer lists.

Let me know which one is a priority for you and I'll put something together.

crashbang
06-01-2006, 01:20
neither so much, do your style. i just wanna see how it pans out through my own eyes.

Commissar von Toussaint
06-01-2006, 14:53
Well, what list do you want? I can put something together fairly quickly.

Last night I did another game against my nephew and I was very happy with how it went.

The points calculations seem dead on, the combat resolution went very quickly and the game was a lot of fun.

I was crushed :( but I still had a lot of fun. We did a 700 point game in under two hours, including setup and cleanup.

The armies were:

Boreans

30 gitlings w/sword and shield
30 gitlings w/spear
30 Tribal Boreans w/sword, shield and light armor
30 Yagurs w/great weapon, heavy armor and shield
1 Yagur chief w/great weapon, heavy armor and shield
1 Tribal chief w/sword, shield and light armor
1 Gitling boss w/sword and shield

Red Knights

30 men at arms w/greatswords, heavy armor, shield
10 crossbowmen w/light armor
5 Red Knights w/lance, heavy armor, shield, barded warhorse
1 Knight Commander on foot w/heavy armor, sword, shield
1 Knight Commander w/lance, heavy armor, shield, barded warhorse

Looking the lists over, it may seem self-evident that the Boreans should have won, but actually it was pretty balanced. I made a couple of mistakes (like trying to stop the Red Knights with regular tribals and when the tribals broke, I was in trouble.

Still, things might have been salvaged if the Yagurs hadn't broken :eek: against the men at arms. That was just hideous luck.

They managed to get away and reformed in time to be hit by the Red Knights, at which point the fight became very even.

What interested me was that despite the differences between the units, the point costs were almost identical 275 vs 295. The cavalry had the edge on the charge turn, but once the Boreans weathered that, the tide began to turn.

The game ended before the combat was complete (since it was a late game charge), but overall I was very happy. The rules for unit standards are going to be changed in light of yesterday's game: from now on, they are there for looks, to help indicate front facing and for victory point awards. Otherwise, they have no game effect.

VPs for capturing banners are as follows: E morale = 0, D = 10, C =20, D = 30 and A = 40. I like this because it encourages players to use leader stands even for lousy troops.

I should point out that archers and skirmishers don't have banners, which reflects their more spread out fighting style and that routing missile troops isn't much of an accomplishment.

crashbang
06-01-2006, 18:15
sounds cool. good battle report.

as for the army lists, hmm, high elves, orcs, and ...mmm... maybe undead.
those would be kool

Commissar von Toussaint
06-01-2006, 18:46
The orcs are already on the web site. Boreans are orcs.

I don't use GW names (I could, I suppose) but you'll find most every core troop out there.

high elves are next on my list. Maybe this weekend, maybe next week.

Commissar von Toussaint
09-01-2006, 21:55
The latest version of the rule book is now up here. (http://posseincitatus.typepad.com/the_lantern_waste/2006/01/rules_update.html)

The rules about morale should now be quite a bit clearer. Also, I've changed how maces work. I thought I'd do the "they strike last" thing to balance their AP 1, but upon reflection that doesn't work out too well.

So I'm simply raising the point cost for units to get maces.

There may be some updates and upgrades to the army lists in the next few days, but basically I've got things where I want them. Once the core system is solid, I'll add chariots, monsters and magic.

Commissar von Toussaint
13-01-2006, 17:04
Okay, here is the High Elf list. Should be pretty straightforward.

A couple of notes to explain things.

There are no rules for psychology as yet, so hatred, fear, etc. don't exist. My goal was to design a system that didn't need add-ons to work properly.

That's why spearelves don't get "fight in three ranks" with their spears. Honestly, they don't need it.

So go forth and playtest and tell me how it goes.

Arcadian Lord
Brave and proud, Arcadian lords have centuries of experience in warfare. Though they seldom take the field, when they do so it is with consummate skill and determination.

Character on foot 85 points
MS AS SV HL MV ML
6 6 5 3 5 A

Equipment: Heavy armor. May have shield (10 pts), great weapon (20 pts), spear (20 pts) or composite bow (30 pts). shield.

Character on horseback 120 points
MS AS SV HL MV ML
6 6 2 3 8 A

Equipment: Heavy armor, shield, lance, barded warhorse.

Arcadian Noble
Though not as skilled or deadly as their betters, Arcadian Nobles are still worthy adversaries.

Character on foot 75 points
MS AS SV HL MV ML
5 5 5 2 5 A

Equipment: Heavy armor. May have shield (10 pts), great weapon (20 pts), spear (20 pts) or composite bow (30 pts).

Units

Arcadian Archers

The Arcadians understand the importance of providing missile fire support to their line regiments. Standing in ordered ranks, Arcadian Archers are capable of raining death on their foes.

10 models 220 points
MS AS SV HL MV ML
3 4 5 1 5 B

Equipment: Heavy armor, long bow.

Arcadian Scouts

The trackless glens of the Western Vales are a place where Scouts learn their skills. They are warriors who specialize in ambush and stealth. They appear out of nowhere, hit their targets with precision accuracy and then disappear.

10 models 260 points
MS AS SV HL MV ML
4 4 6 1 5 B

Equipment: Light armor, long bow.

Special Rule: Skirmishers.

Arcadian Spearmen

Deadly foes with superb equipment, the Arcadians prefer to fight in deep phalanxes.

20 models 165 points
30 models 205 points
MS AS SV HL MV ML
4 3 4 1 5 B

Equipment: Heavy armor, shield, spear.

Arcadian Blademasters
Some of the most elite warriors in the world, Blademasters can recall battles that took place before the fall of the Hesperian Empire.

20 models 150 points
30 models 190 points
MS AS SV HL MV ML
5 3 5 1 5 A

Equipment: Heavy armor, great swords.

Arcadian Outriders

The scouts for the main army, Outriders ride swift steeds and can perform feats of incredible horsemanship.

5 models 220 points
10 models 275 points
MS AS SV HL MV ML
3 4 5 1 9 B

Equipment: Light armor, composite bow

Special Rule: Skirmishers.

Arcadian Knights

Some of the most elite warriors in the world, the Arcadian Royal Guard can recall battles that took place before the fall of the Hesperian Empire.

5 models 180 points
10 models 225 points
MS AS SV HL MV ML
5 3 2 1 8 A

Equipment: Heavy armor, shield, lance, barded warhorse.

Hlokk
14-01-2006, 14:14
*Does the CVT dance*

CVT, what I love about this system is that your not drowning it with ******** like a lot of GW games. For example, when a GW supliment comes out, the person will have to spend hours learning pages and pages of new rules.

One question, do you have plans to convert all GW armies to your conquerer rules set, or is it something you will leave for other members of the board to do?

Commissar von Toussaint
14-01-2006, 15:55
Cool. :)

Regarding the army lists, I think there can be a little of both: I can do the main conversions and people can add what they wish.

I'm glad you picked up on the main focus of the system: keeping it simple.

Let's take the High Elves for an example.

Leaving out the wizards for a second (yes, there will be magic, but I'm taking my time in getting it right) I am going with the lord/hero idea of having two "levels" of character. Sometimes more.

Okay, now the units.

High Elf core units are:

Spears
Archers
Seaguard*
Silver Helms

Specials are:

Reavers
Dragon Princes*
Swordmasters*
Shadow Warriors
Chariot

And the rares:

Phoenix Guard*
Bolt Thrower
White Lions*
Giant Eagle

The ones with the * are 0-1. I'll get to them later.

Okay, looking over that list and comparing it to mine, you don't see a lot of gaps.

For example, the only core unit I left out is seaguard, which I could change by adding bows. The problem with that is that archery is hideously powerful to point out, especially for elves. My algorithm means you double missile troops because they get two shooting phases per turn. So you'd be looking at 330 points for just 20 of them.

But I guess if people want to, they can give it a try.

Now let's look at the specials.

I have Shadow Warriors (but without the hate, which isn't really important anyway) and Reavers. I also have Swordmasters, but they are unrestricted.

Stepping back for a moment, that is most of what High Elf players bring to the table.

I haven't nailed down the chariot rules yet, but as you've seen, I'm thinking about them. Chariots weren't a priority with me for two reasons I've given above:

1. I think they are somewhat silly in a high medieval context
2. I don't own any, nor do any of my friends.

So when I was designing the core rules, they weren't a priority. But if one of you wants to give it a try, we can go with it. Come up with rules, play them, and tell me how they work.

Dragon Princes are generally agreed to be marginal cavalry choices. I'm not averse to making a fire-proof unit, but I would need to nail down the magic rules first.

Also, since I'm already giving elves bonus charge distance (without a special rule, it's just marked that way in the profile) I don't see the need to create an even more special super secret charge distance bonus. That's one of the main things I hate about GW: the army list arms race.

They create a special rule in one list, and then feel they have to trump it in another list.

Enough already! Aracadian (High Elf) cavary moves fast and hits really hard. That should be enough for anyone. They are already better than the best human cavalry in the game: the Red Knights.

I see no need to make them even more better.

Okay, now let's look at the rares.

I'm not planning on using war machines because they are actually very inappropriate for a field battle. I admit I'm not the world's greatest authority on pre-gunpowder warfare, but the only field battle where I could find artillery (catapults, ballistae) of any kind being used (and making a difference) was the Second Battle of Cremona in 66 A.D. One bolt thrower was used to good effect before some troops infiltrated and cut the cables on it. Of course, the battle was also unique in that it was fought by moonlight, which was amazingly rare.

If people want to make rules for them, that's fine, but what I'm saying is that when I think of a high fantasy/medieval world, siege weapons belong strictly in sieges.

My final thought on the matter is that the way I'm structuring Conqueror, no one will needthem they way they do in WHFB. Monsters will be big and scary, but that is why you need mighty heroes to take them down.

That being said, people have the models and they'll want to use them. My thought is to treat all bolt throwers like cannon: they cut a swath through a unit once every other turn.

However, I think a lot of HE players will frankly enjoy not feeling they have to take RBTs to have a chance at winning and will really enjoy watching their archers rip into enemy units with showers of steel-tipped death. :evilgrin:

Okay, the other rares are the PG and WL, both much-maligned and dare I say it, largely useless.

I don't have rules for halberds because a halberd is really a kind of great weapon. So if you have PG, they are like Blademasters, they just use a different kind of blade. Same with the WL: axes have blades, too.

Now I know there are some players out there saying "but what about fear, and woodcraft, etc?"

My response is that none of those are really necessary and in any event a lot of GW's special rules don't amount to that much.

If people really, really want to do that, they can suggest points values and we can go from there.

I will warn you that the way I do fear will be different and that a unit with it will cost a lot more. So the PG problem will persist.

One thing I am considering is allowing every player to designated a "bodyguard" unit that gets a morale boost. You get one per army and it can be whatever unit you want.

So people could then use White Lions or PG to represent that elite unit.

Finally, what I'm doing is allowing people who bought all three units (SM, PG, WL) to "upgrade" them all to SM standard, which a lot of people seem to like.

And let there be no mistake: Blademasters are hell on other units. I'm trying to think of a heavy cavalry unit that would dare take them on and I can't find any. Maybe some Death Knights I haven't come up with yet, but certainly the Red Knights would get munched, and they are my gold standard.

The last unit is the great eagles and I haven't gotten rules for fliers yet. Just to give you an idea of what I am thinking, I am leaning toward two options for fliers:

1. Zipping across the battlefield as you do in WHFB
2. Dive bombing as in 5th ed. WFHB.

In both cases, I'm thinking of having fliers simply make what one might call a "strafing attack" and then zooming away. Big monsters might stick around, but the others wouldn't.

Anyhow, I hope that clears things up.

I don't feel I need all the specialized units because my system gives them far better bonuses already.

If you compare Arcadian spears to other line infantry, they fully rock. Three ranks is overkill and unneeded.

GW's problem - particularly with elves - is that WS doesn't count for much, so to make low Toughness, average Strength armies amount to something, they need to give them extra bonuses.

Since I emphasize Melee Skill and Morale, I don't need to resort to add-ons.

I'm also comfortable with having different units in different armies sharing the same stat line and relying on their role in that army and equipment to make them different.

I think GW's need to change at least one number per profile - often one that rarely if ever matters - shows a geeky insecurity with their system.

I don't want to go down that road.

Commissar von Toussaint
22-01-2006, 19:33
So, has anyone played this thing yet? Just curious.

RGB
31-01-2006, 08:48
I have looked through it and...it's a good system, but really, it's designed for yet another boring, standard high fantasy game in a boring high fantasy setting, and makes no allowance for anything else.

Where's the different fighting styles, for one? All it seems to do is encourage slaughtering as much as you can - certainly Hollywood would approve, but I don't. Essentially, I am convinced you will not be able to make too many armies distinct enough using these rules, and in removing the chrome, you will remove the appeal of a fantasy/pseudohistorical game. Perhaps these rules would work better for 15mm scale; at 28mm I feel that I wasted my time painting my guys, it's just so detached and generalised.

Finally, slings should DEFINITELY outrange shortbows and be at least on par with bows. Likewise, a good heavy composite should outrange a longbow.

I do however like the simultaneous combat - in normal WH, it would make unarmoured troops somehwat viable. Here, it hardly matters as the MS factor is so overwhelming.

I guess this is all I have to offer - not particularly useful, perhaps, as it is a criticism of the underlying idea rather than the actual work done. Best of luck otherwise.

Commissar von Toussaint
04-02-2006, 23:40
I have looked through it and...it's a good system, but really, it's designed for yet another boring, standard high fantasy game in a boring high fantasy setting, and makes no allowance for anything else.

I'm not sure how you can say the setting is boring, since I haven't provided any fluff. :confused:


Where's the different fighting styles, for one? All it seems to do is encourage slaughtering as much as you can - certainly Hollywood would approve, but I don't.

I assume you mean "style of armies," and the answer is: they aren't finished yet. These are the base line armies and units. Magic, monsters and special rules can come only when the core system is tested to my satisfaction.

As for encouraging slaughter, some friends of mine who blind playtested it found the opposite: that morale is the key to victory.


Essentially, I am convinced you will not be able to make too many armies distinct enough using these rules, and in removing the chrome, you will remove the appeal of a fantasy/pseudohistorical game. Perhaps these rules would work better for 15mm scale; at 28mm I feel that I wasted my time painting my guys, it's just so detached and generalised.

It depends on what you mean by "distinct," doesn't it? Using GW's system, elves and goblins are almost identical in terms of combat effectiveness. Goblins hit on 4s, elves on 3s. Both wound each other on 4s and they can have the same armor saves as well.

In my system there is a much bigger difference - both in terms of morale and combat power - between elves, goblins and humans. Elite skills matter, which is why I have made them the centerpiece of the game.

I've also made morale extremely important and - you will see this later when the undead army is put together - fear and leadership now mesh a lot better. With no autobreak, there is none of the problem that you have in WHFB where otherwise elite units run away simply because they lost CR due to ranks or something.

This also has the benefit of making it unnecessary to have "unbreakable" units.


Finally, slings should DEFINITELY outrange shortbows and be at least on par with bows. Likewise, a good heavy composite should outrange a longbow.

There is no "bow." I have short bows, composite bows and long bows. I have seen nothing to indicate that "heavy composite bows" existed outside of Dungeons and Dragons equipment lists.

The short bow is the classic European/Asian hunting bow, often used by skirmishers. The composite bow is the Mongolian/Near eastern version that uses horn and other materials to achieve greater penetrating power. The long bow is the Welsh classic.

So basically I don't have the "goblin short bow" that you may be thinking of.


I do however like the simultaneous combat - in normal WH, it would make unarmoured troops somehwat viable. Here, it hardly matters as the MS factor is so overwhelming.

Which is as it should be. If you want units to be differentiated, they should be differentiated.


I guess this is all I have to offer - not particularly useful, perhaps, as it is a criticism of the underlying idea rather than the actual work done. Best of luck otherwise.

Fair enough. I'm glad of the feedback, but keep in mind that this is a work in progress. What you are looking at are the basic rules and the basic armies.

The armies of Godenland, Weirland and the Dominion of the Red Knights are supposed to be similar. They are successor kingdoms and if you add in Suebia, the Ostmark and the city-states of Old Thracia, you get a set of armies that are closer to the Empire's provincial lists than completely different army books in WHFB.

The Ostmark - because it relies on cavalry - will be a bit more like Bretonnia. But all of these are basic armies that fight in similar ways because they share a common lineage.

Once I have the core rules down - and remember, a big part of this is finding a working system for points values - I will move on the more unique parts.

That means monsters, undead and chariots. Eryxia, for example, is like Hellenic Egypt, so it will have chariots, elephants and so on.

Hesperia is very much like ancient Rome, so it will get special rules to reflect the organization and flexibility of the legions.

So there's a lot more to come, it's just a matter of working it all out. Magic, for example, is something that I'm still working on. Obviously that can have a big effect.

RGB
06-02-2006, 01:13
There is no "bow." I have short bows, composite bows and long bows. I have seen nothing to indicate that "heavy composite bows" existed outside of Dungeons and Dragons equipment lists.

The short bow is the classic European/Asian hunting bow, often used by skirmishers. The composite bow is the Mongolian/Near eastern version that uses horn and other materials to achieve greater penetrating power. The long bow is the Welsh classic.

So basically I don't have the "goblin short bow" that you may be thinking of.


Alright. The sling should have at least equal range with the shortbow, and the composite and the longbow should also be roughly the same, although it's the first of these points that is important.

"heavy composite" is not a specific term. It's just a composite with a draw weight of over, say, 120 pounds. No need to throw the "D&D" argument at me. A composite is easier to shoot at higher draw weights than a longbow of comparable draw weight, due to being smaller, and having a sight window, and several other mechanical reasons.

Commissar von Toussaint
06-02-2006, 16:16
Alright. The sling should have at least equal range with the shortbow, and the composite and the longbow should also be roughly the same, although it's the first of these points that is important.

I hadn't heard slings were particularly long ranged. While short bows tend to be short range on a flat trajectory, they can fire quite a reasonable distance using plunging fire. I recall getting 60-70 yards out of a 30-lb recurve doing this. Maybe more.

Plunging fire isn't necessarily accurate, but it does have a psychological effect, which is why models that take any missile casualties must make a morale check.

I haven't heard that slings could do the same. Outside of David and Goliath, the Balearics and Cretans were the only slingers I know of and while they were highly prized by the Romans, they tended to do their work at short range. They also fought against Western European enemies (Iberians, Celts and Germans) who didn't have the same archery skills that middle eastern armies did. I suspect slingers would have come off rather badly against the Parthians, for example.

But I admit I don't know how to use a sling, so my knowledge here is limited. I own a short bow and compound bow and have owned a crossbow and know some longbowmen. That's what I'm basing my ranges on.


"heavy composite" is not a specific term. It's just a composite with a draw weight of over, say, 120 pounds. No need to throw the "D&D" argument at me. A composite is easier to shoot at higher draw weights than a longbow of comparable draw weight, due to being smaller, and having a sight window, and several other mechanical reasons.

If you have a specific weapon in mind, I'd like to hear about it. From what I've seen, the long bow was unique in its penetrating power. It was about the upper end of what one could reliably get. When I was reading about Louis IX, there are references to Muslim arrows penetrating their mail but not their gambesons - which leads me to believe they were quite inferior to either crossbows or long bows.

I'm sure there is stuff I haven't seen, but if there was a form of "short bow" - that is one that could be used from horseback that had the ability to blast through mail and/or light plate, I've never heard about it. The long bow was the only bow that could do that as far as I've seen.

Crossbows are another story and I treat them as such.

I mentioned D&D because there are lots of mythical weapons out there that supposedly were devastating that really didn't exist. Even the fabled samurai swords weren't all that great. Yes, they were good blades, but hardly the magic swords they've been made out to be. Toledo, Damascus and (later) the Rhineland produced steel of comparable quality and effectiveness. In fact, the European blades were arguably better because - being heavier -they didn't break as easily.

You mentioned one other thing that I wanted to address. I did it before but Warseer ate my first reply and I forgot to retype it. :(

You referenced highly-skilled troops without armor and how that impacts WHFB. Because MS is so important, I think that also opens up new opportunities in Conqueror as well.

If there are fighting styles or types of armies you want, let me know and I can generate a list for you - or you can make one for yourself! I mean, that's what is cool about making up a new rules set - you don't have to wait three years for a codex.

RGB
06-02-2006, 22:11
On slings - since you have clasical-themed armies planned, you should probably ditch the GW interpretation of slings.

Xenophon says that his Rhodians outranged his Cretans (the best archers of the Med. at the time) and on several occasions were sent to drive off Persian skirmishers, which they did succesfully.

In addition, the sling threw a stone/bullet and had a greater impact and could in fact bend and smash bronze armour easily, as well as deal concussive blows. By all accounts, slings were better than bows in the classical era, unless they were parthian bows or something.

Which brings me to the point: slingers' weakness is that they have a shallow attack ark, have trouble against iron armour, and must fight in open formation. They do, however, outrange and outdamage primitive bows.

Certainly they should not only have +50% range over thrown weapons.

On longbows and composites - there are aguments that the longbow could't necessarily "blast" through plate (I mean even early bullets didn't most of the time), but I won't object to it being the "best" as yes, it had good penetrative power and could be shot en masse and had a long range.
Plus that one longbow they found on that wrecked ship was like 160 lbs...nothing to joke about.

At the same time there are rather outrageous accounts about how powerful you could make a composite - mostly dating fairly late, like the 1600/1700s - and talking about the Turks. However, most bows used by horsemen were indeed not very powerful, and could be stopped by a lot of padding.

Fighting styles: well, this is always a problem. Some fighting styles rely on holding fast and not dying (shieldwalls, romans etc.), and some are more about massive killing. The WH system favours shieldwalls, your system favours great weapons. I'm not saying what you did is poor, it's just hard to balance.

If you are interested, there's hammer-anvil.com - we mostly do rules development and so on. You may well get a few comments if you post there.

Cheers.

Commissar von Toussaint
09-02-2006, 02:39
On slings - since you have clasical-themed armies planned, you should probably ditch the GW interpretation of slings.

Xenophon says that his Rhodians outranged his Cretans (the best archers of the Med. at the time) and on several occasions were sent to drive off Persian skirmishers, which they did succesfully.

In addition, the sling threw a stone/bullet and had a greater impact and could in fact bend and smash bronze armour easily, as well as deal concussive blows. By all accounts, slings were better than bows in the classical era, unless they were parthian bows or something.

Which brings me to the point: slingers' weakness is that they have a shallow attack ark, have trouble against iron armour, and must fight in open formation. They do, however, outrange and outdamage primitive bows.

Certainly they should not only have +50% range over thrown weapons.

It's been a while since I read my Xenophon. :)

Since I haven't even put slingers on the army lists, changing their range isn't that big of a deal. What I might do is give them an 18 inch range, but no long range penalty. This would give them a longer effective range than short bows, but also represent their flatter trajectory.

But I've got to read more about slings. To be honest, I'm a little rusty on the classical stuff. College was when I really dived into Tacitus, Xenophon, Polybius and the rest.


On longbows and composites - there are aguments that the longbow could't necessarily "blast" through plate (I mean even early bullets didn't most of the time), but I won't object to it being the "best" as yes, it had good penetrative power and could be shot en masse and had a long range.
Plus that one longbow they found on that wrecked ship was like 160 lbs...nothing to joke about.

Yes, it's effectiveness has been extremely overrated. That's why I don't give it armor penetration. Heavy crossbows could punch through solid plate, but they also required a machine to wind them up.

longbows had long range, a high rate of fire and they did go through mail - which was pretty significant.


At the same time there are rather outrageous accounts about how powerful you could make a composite - mostly dating fairly late, like the 1600/1700s - and talking about the Turks. However, most bows used by horsemen were indeed not very powerful, and could be stopped by a lot of padding.

Yeah, I'm aware of the later composites. They're not really proper for this game setting.


Fighting styles: well, this is always a problem. Some fighting styles rely on holding fast and not dying (shieldwalls, romans etc.), and some are more about massive killing. The WH system favours shieldwalls, your system favours great weapons. I'm not saying what you did is poor, it's just hard to balance.

What I've tried to do is establish a fantasy world that isn't static. Technology has moved forward, but mostly this is confined to magic rather than machines.

To give you some background, the serious systematic study of magic by humans began only about a thousand years ago. As this "science" advanced, humanity became more powerful but also more dangerous to itself.

At the same time, metallurgy and real technology has also progressed, but only in those areas where it is needed.

So gunpowder is unexplored and uninteresting because magic is better.

However, the development of armor and hand-to-hand weapons continues because these are established technologies of proven worth.

I'm also assuming that elder races (like the elves) have already discovered some of this technology and imparted it to humans, so accurate clocks and astronomy is possible, but steam power is not.

What this means is that militarily, most armies are in the late middle ages. The mounted knight still is formidable, but disciplined units of pikes (two-handed spears) and great weapons backed up by crossbows are becoming dominant.

Now you can say that these "styles" are dull, but I believe there was a reason that attempts to revive the Roman legion failed. Great weapons are pretty much the apogess of melee weapon development. They have range, can destroy armor, protect against cavalry and are fairly easy to produce and maintain.

There is a reason why shields disappear as great weapons multiply.

GW tries to balance great weapons by making them strike last, which is complete crap. If anything, a longer weapon would striike first. If I can hit you at six feet and you can hit me at three, who gets the first swing?

Common sense tells you that.

So in terms of "fighting style", I think it's appropriate. Now one of the fun things about fantasy settings is that you can take elements that are thousands of years apart and run them into each other.

That is how we can take Augustan Roman legions and pit them against Renaissance phalanxes and Egyptian charioteers. Add in ogres, dragons and walking dead and you've got a host of fun options.

But everyone has their idea of what the ultimate style is. For me, it is the late period army, at least in terms of technology.

The other armies are fun, though, and with good morale and leadership, they can win, too.

That is why my list puts a premium on MS and Morale, because when it comes down to it, these are really what matter.


If you are interested, there's hammer-anvil.com - we mostly do rules development and so on. You may well get a few comments if you post there.

Cheers.

I may do that. This week has been pretty rough, hopefully things will settle down soon.

Commissar von Toussaint
09-02-2006, 21:27
The thing the Romans had going for them was discipline. That matters a lot.

But the Roman war machine wasn't that impressive on an individual level. It was the discipline their soldiers brought to the battle that decided it. Man to man, the Gauls would have beaten them (and did, sacking Rome at one point).

Same thing with the Phalanx vs the legion. Yes, the legion won, but it did so based on its superior maneuver and the quality of its troops. By the time Rome went toe to toe with Macedon, the Greeks were decadent and their troops were no longer as skilled or disciplined.

When the Romans fought against the Phalanx in its prime, they fared a lot worse and they ended up winning more by attrition than anything else. That's also important: kill one Roman army, you get to fight another. And another. See Hannibal.

The Gallic great weapons therefore weren't at all similar to the late medieval ones. If you look at a Swiss phalanx, they used pikes and great weapons to deadly effect in large part because they were disciplined.

They also didn't have to swing their weapons in huge arcs as the Gauls did because they understood the value of close-order fighting. If you look at some of the period sketches (which are pretty amazing) it is almost a forest of spears, a solid hedge of pikes and halberds.

Where the legions had problems was cavalry. The Parthians gave them problems of course (just ask Crassus and Marc Antony) but the real kicker was the stirrup. All of a sudden horsemen can use long couched lances to rip clean through infantry formations. The gladius is horribly ineffective against a horseman like that - you can't even reach him for the killing thrust.

That's probably why the gladius was replaced by the spatha as you get into the later Empire and why they relied more and more on federated cavalry and missile troops.

Of course we don't know exactly how all this worked because records are so fragmentary. Hell, people can't even agree how the Greeks fought.

Anyhow, my system posits that disciplined and skilled troops with great weapons (and decent armor) are pretty much dominant in an age when gunpowder doesn't exist.

Thanks to the fantasy environment, though, I can use other styles. To be honest, I'm still not sure whether I want my "Romans" (the Hesperians) to use Augustan, Republican or late Imperial tactics and equipment. Timeline-wise, the Hesperian Empire fell about 500 years ago - so there's plenty of time for a classical revival.

My thought is to use discipline and formations that give Hesperians an edge. Yes, I'll give them javelins, but I'm also looking at a unique formation.

Doing the three-line formation would be kind of interesting (allowing units to charge through and relieve engaged ones).

Or use something like detachments where maniples can make supporting charges.

Another thought is to go with the WAB bonus and allow them to make facing changes before charging.

Commissar von Toussaint
23-03-2006, 19:59
Well, it's been a while since I did any work on this. However, the project continues: I'm reading up on ancient and medieval warfare.

So far, I'm pretty happy with the way things are represented. If I can get some more playtesting in, I'll make whatever adjustments are necessary.

But the big thing is going to be magic. Any thoughts?

Commissar von Toussaint
04-07-2006, 16:27
The project grinds forward bit by bit.

The thread on dragons has got me thinking about how they should fit into the game. I'm leaning towards the riderless version, where dragons are huge monsters and the army general. I don't like the dragon-as-steed concept.

Dragons in my game world are uniformly evil, and the armies they will lead will be human, Borean (orc) and dragonkin (lizardmen).

Two other armies under construction (I hope to have lists later this week) are dwarves and undead.

I'm hoping to get some battle reports up so that people can see how it plays.

Commissar von Toussaint
11-07-2006, 00:50
A new version of the rules has been posted and I have updates on some of the army lists - complete with new points values (ones that actually work!).

You can download them here. (http://posseincitatus.typepad.com/the_lantern_waste/2006/07/latest_versions.html)

Highlights include the long-awaited rules for chariots. As soon as I finish off the Undead and Dragonkin lists, those will be up as well. Actually, the Undead are mostly complete, I'm just looking at adding a character or two.

I don't suppose many people have played the rules yet, but they go quite a bit faster than WHFB. There are a few reasons for this.

1. Simultaneous combat. Both sides roll at the same time, which speeds things up a lot. You roll for your guys while your opponent does the same, then you both do saves (if any).

2. No "To wound" rolls. Since I eliminated an entire step (wounding), there is less rolling and less of a wait to do it. You don't need to ask "Okay, what toughness are they?" and then roll. All that matters is if you hit and their save. This also makes combat a lot more bloody, which I think is a big plus.

3. I allow obliques. They're a little complex, but when you use them (and free measurement), the game goes a lot quicker because units can maneuver more.

4. Charges aren't so important. Since combat is simultaneous, you don't have to fret over whether your unit will even get to fight back. Charges are still important for morale (defending units always test first) but if you have a high morale unit (a B or a C with a general close by) you should "stick" even if you take some losses.

I've taken some pictures and when I get the chance I will post a more detailed battle report - turn by turn, phase by phase as it were, to show how the system actually works.

For those who saw the first version, things are quite a cleaner - as you would expect. Based on playtesting, the only real changes I forsee after this version are additional special rules for chrome.

That is one thing I like about the simplified unit profile. Since I don't use "junk stats" (every rating has a very real effect), I can differentiate units with special rules and not bog the game down too much.

The downside is that I can't create "filler" magic items that do very little but pad the list. Swords of +1 WS or +1 Initiative are, well, useless since I don't use any of those stats. Okay, I use MS for WS, but since most characters are maximum WS anyway, giving a bonus there doesn't do much.

On the other hand, things like a +1 save (dwarves get this) or ignoring the movement penalty for barding (the horses of the Ostmark) or getting two attacks (Ogres and Wyrms) definately stand out.

This makes them easy to remember so the game doesn't get bogged down in trying to sort everything out.

Oh, and when the Dragonkin rules go up, you'll see what I think a dragon should really do. Suffice to say they are basically an army unto themselves. The way my points values add up, they're about half of what GW uses; so a 500 point army in Conqueror is about 1,000 in WHFB. A dragon is 370 points. Playtesting will determine if they are worth it.

Commissar von Toussaint
12-07-2006, 00:46
As promised, I did a small battle the other day and took some notes. Here follows a breakdown of the action.

The scenario was the only one I’ve created yet, Field Battle. The armies were Weirland vs Borea.

I went with a 500-point game, which – based on the size of the armies – is equivalent to about 1,000 points in WHFB.

Here are the armies:

Weirland Border Guard

1 Lord Knight w/heavy armor, shield, lance on barded warhorse = 95 points.
MS 5, AS 2, SV 2, H 3, MV 7, ML A

30 Men at Arms with light armor, shield, great weapon = 115 points.
MS 3, AS 2, SV 5, H 1, MV 4, ML C

10 Crossbowmen with light armor and medium crossbows = 140 points.
MS 2, AS 3, SV 6, H 1, MV 4, ML C

5 Feudal Knights with heavy armor, shield, lance on barded warhorse = 140 points.
MS 4, AS 2, SV 2, H 1, MV 7, ML B

Basically a knight and his retinue.

Borean Raiding Party

1 Yagur Warlord (army commander) with heavy armor, shield = 95 points.
MS 6, AS 2, SV 4, H 4, MV 4, ML A

1 Tribal Borean Chieftain with heavy armor, shield, great weapon = 80 points.
MS 5, AS 2, SV 4, H 3, MV 4, ML B

1 Gitling Boss with light armor, shield = 35 points
MS 2, AS 1, SV 5, H 3, MV 4, ML D

30 gitling spearmen with spears = 35 points
MS 1, AS 1, SV 0, H 1, MV 4, ML E

30 gitling swordsmen with shields = 25 points
MS 1, AS 1, SV 6, H 1, MV 4, ML E

30 Tribal Boreans with light armor and shield = 90 points
MS 3, AS 1, SV 5, H 1, MV 4, ML C

30 Yagur Crushers with heavy armor, shields and great weapons = 140 points
MS 4, AS 2, SV 4, H 1, MV 4, ML B

The boreans set up in a compact formation with the gitling swordsmen on the left, then the Yagurs, then the Tribals, then the gitling spearmen on the right.

The Weirlanders set up with the cavalry on their left, the men at arms in the center and the crossbowmen on the hill on the right flank.

Because Weirland had fewer units, it got a +1 to its die roll to see who got the first turn and won the toss.

Commissar von Toussaint
12-07-2006, 00:50
Photos for reference are here. (http://posseincitatus.typepad.com/the_lantern_waste/2006/07/battle_report_p.html)

Weirland Turn 1: Weirland decided not to move, and since the Boreans were already within crossbow range, opened fire.

Crossbows may only fire during their own turn. Alternatively, they may fire every other shooting phase. In this case, they elected fire. With BS 3 (which is pretty good) they would normally hit on 4s, but long range reduced this to 5+. After some debate, they targeted the gitling swordsmen opposite them. They scored a mighty 6 hits, which, because they were AP 1, negated the 6+ save of the gitlings.

The gitlings made a Morale Check but passed thanks to the presence of the warlord nearby.

Borea Turn 1: The Boreans advanced. Because the Weirlanders were using crossbows, they took no fire during the second shooting phase (missile weapons fire twice per turn, not once).

Weirland Turn 2: The Knights moved forward and to the left, taking a flanking position against the Borean advance.

During the shooting phase, the crossbows scored 4 more hits on the gitling swordsmen.

The gitlings were now less than 75 percent of their starting strength, which means they were below the Break Point. This gave them a -1 to their Morale Check – offsetting the +1 from the nearby warlord. They rolled well, though and were only Disordered.

Borea Turn 2: The army continued to run forward but the Borean right slowed slightly to face the knights. This meant the gitling swordsmen were now beyond 12 inches from the army commander. Since they were below their break point and did not have a character, they could not attempt to rally. So they staggered forward in Disorder.

Weirland Turn 3: The knights opted to charge the gitling spearmen, who also had a boss in their ranks.

The knights used an oblique to complete their charge, allowing them to “drift” to the right without having to wheel. Obliques make moving a lot easier.

The crossbowmen moved backwards and did not shoot.

The combat between the knights (140 points plus 95 point Lord Knight) and the gitlings (35 points plus 35 point boss) was as lop-sided as it looked. With MS 4, the knights needed 2s to hit and their AP 2 lances on the charge negated any armor for the gitlings.

On the other hand, the gitlings MS 1 meant they hit on 6s, though the fact that they used spears with two hands meant that they got an AP 1 against the knights, reducing their 2+ save to a 3+.

With those odds, it’s not surprising that the knights got 5 hits. The gitlings, fighting in two ranks came back with a single hit (combat is considered simultaneous, so all 11 gitlings got to swing), but the knights made their save.

The Lord Knight challenged the Gitling Boss, who accepted. Duels consist of three rounds of individual combat. On the first round, the knight scored 1 hit with AP 2, on the second and third rounds he did three more (lances only get their bonus on the first round of a duel).

The gitling missed and failed his save, so he was dispatched. This meant that the gitlings lost the combat by a whopping 9 hits. They weren’t past their break point, and were within 12 inches of the warlord (+1), and they outranked the knights (+1), but the remaining -7 meant that they were ultimately doomed. They routed.

Routing units (and pursuers) roll a d6 and add it to their movement. This means that cavalry (especially light cavalry) almost always catches what it chases. This was no expection. The gitlings fled 7 inches, which the knights didn’t even need to roll anything to beat. Still, they rolled a 3 so went 10 total inches into the Borean back field.

Normally, the nearby Borean swordsmen would have to take a Morale Check because a unit within 6 inches was routed in Melee Combat. However, Boreans ignore this rule – they never check when a unit (any unit) routs in Melee. Basically they are immune to panic (note that this doesn’t apply to Ogres, gitlings or evil humans – just boreans).

Borean Turn 3: The Boreans resumed their advance, with the borean swordsmen turning to cover the army’s rear against the knights.

Meanwhile, the gitlings and Yagurs staggered forward.

Weirland Turn 4: The Men at Arms charged the Yagurs and the knights advanced a few inches and then did an about-face (to stay out of the boreans’ charge range).

The crossbowmen fired their first volley at short range, hitting 5 more gitlings, who remained Disordered thanks to excellent die rolling.

The Men at Arms surged into the Yagurs, killing two of them. The Yagurs killed 3 and the warlord killed only 1 (bad rolling for him), but the Men at Arms made their Morale Check. The Yagurs then checked (in Conqueror each side makes a Morale Check during combat, usually the loser goes first, but in charges, the defender always goes first) and (as expected) did fine.

Borean Turn 4: The Gitlings charged the crossbowmen, who decided to stand there and take it. Since they fired in their own shooting phase, they could not shoot during the Borean shooting phase.

The crossbowmen need not have feared, however. Even their poor MS 2 meant that they hit the gitlings on 3s, which they did, hitting five and killing four of them (one actually made his save!). The gitlings hit two crossbowmen, who failed their saves. By a margin of 4 to 2, the ranked gitlings lost to crossbowmen. Oh the shame…wait, these were gitlings. Shame? Whatever.

The gitlings proved fast runners, fleeing 9 inches. The crossbowmen pursued, but only went 7 inches. Without a leader or the army commander, the gitlings were basically done anyway, but this at least got the crossbowmen away from the Yagurs, who were pounding the Men at Arms.

The Men at Arms killed two Yagurs with their great weapons, but lost 2 back plus 2 more from the Warlord. With only 22 of 30 models still in play, they were now Broken, but just scraped by Morale-wise to be Disordered.

Weirland Turn 5: The crossbowmen charged again and the gitlings (who had to flee) rolled a 1, meaning the crossbowmen ran them over and finished them off ) and got well away from the melee in their rear.

Meanwhile, the knights now charged the tribal boreans.

Again there was a duel. The Lord Knight scored one hit on the charge and three more in the subsequent rounds. In return, the tribal borean did two hits. The borean only made one save, so he died, but the Lord Knight made one of his. He had two Health Levels left.

The knights inflicted four hits (no save) on the boreans, who inflicted two hits of their own. Unfortunately, for them, the knights made their saves. The margin of the combat was – 6 for the boreans (7 dead – 1 HL on the Lord Knight). They got a +1 for outranking the knights, but it wasn’t enough and they Routed, fleeing only 6 inches. The knights promptly squished them.

Meanwhile, the Men at Arms continued to hang in there. They warlord killed two and the Yagurs hit three more, but the Men at Arms dropped two of the enemy. Despite being Disordered and Broken, they just missed Routing, getting a second Disordered result instead (which has no additional effect).

Borean Turn 5: It all came down to the Men at Arms. Clearly outclassed, they were hanging in there. They killed two more Boreans but lost two to the warlord and two the unit. Yet their dice rolling for Morale remained strong and they once again got a Disordered result.

Game Over.

Commissar von Toussaint
12-07-2006, 00:50
In terms of victory points, this was a crushing victory for Weirland. They picked up 265 points for the shattered units, plus 20 points for the banner of the tribal boreans (banner VP are calculated using a sliding scale – E morale units are worth 0, so gitlings are even easier to let die).

The men at arms were below half strength so they gave the other side half of their points, which was 57.5 points.

A couple of observations:

The first is that combat is very bloody.

One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard about WHFB is that combat is basically a shoving match. Well, whatever its faults, Conqueror is not like that at all.

The side that kills the most is pretty much going to win. Some units may hang in there, but they are the exception (those Men at Arms should have routed but kept rolling hot).

This dovetails with another complaint about WHFB: WS doesn’t matter.

In Conqueror, it really matters. Units with high MS not only are going to dish out a beating, they are going to avoid getting one. Finally here is a game where lightly armored, highly skilled troops can administer a true thrashing to horde troops.

It’s simple math. Two evenly matched models in Warhammer square off. They hit on 4s, wound on 4s and (if they have light armor and shield) save on 5s. That’s a lot of dice rolling for not a lot of results.

Conqueror increases kills by 50 percent (hmm, maybe that should be my slogan: “Fifty percent more death than other leading games!” ;) ), and it skill that really does it.

This adds up in a lot of ways. Great weapons really come into their own with AP 2. That means that even knights only get a 4+ save. Most infantry get no saves at all.

Think about what this means for elites, particularly elves.

In WHFB, an elf with a great weapon hits a goblin on a 3 and wounds him on a 2. Of course, he in turn gets hit on a 4, wounded on a 4 with maybe a 5+ save.

In Conqueror, the elf hits on a 2+ and that’s it. One dead gitling. The gitling hits back on a 6 and the elf still gets a 5+ save.

So horde troops get hammered.

But what about heavy troops, particularly cavalry.

A Swordmaster vs an orc hits on a 3+, wounds on a 3+. No save.
Against a knight he may hit on a 3+ or 4+ (depending on if it is chaos) and will wound on a 2+ or 3+. Even so, the knight may still get a 3+ save (full plate or chaos armor).

Now look at Conqueror. He’ll hit on a 3+ and the knight gets at most a 4+ save.

Boreans get hit on 2+ (unless they are elites) and at most gets a 6+ save.

Meanwhile, most infantry will need 5s or 6s to hit back.

I think you see where I am going.

Commissar von Toussaint
20-07-2006, 23:28
I've got another battle report in preparation. When it goes up, so will a new copy of the rules and revised army lists - with extra fluff for your enjoyment.

One of the things I'm doing now is making sure the rules are clear. To that end, I'm using charts and such, which takes a little time.

The battle is between Arcadians (High Elves) and Boreans (Orcs). And of course there's no magic, since I haven't got the rules for that yet.

Katastrophe
24-07-2006, 03:06
Keep Plugging, I'd like to see the newest rules when they are complete

Commissar von Toussaint
24-07-2006, 23:36
Ask and ye shall recieve.

I haven't had time to write the battle report, but revised everything is up.

Check it out. (http://posseincitatus.typepad.com/the_lantern_waste/2006/07/revised_charact.html)

As you can see, the revisions are becoming less profound and a lot of the work I'm doing is polishing: charts and commentary and so forth.

There was a glaring hole that I had overlooked that got filled: units leaving the table. After much thought, I've decided that once you go, you stay gone.

Routed units are dead anyway, so it doesn't affect them. Non-routed units can either decline to pursue (you don't test ld to restrain pursuit, it's entirely your call) or stop on the table edge.

This prevents the "run off the board into safety" effect and it also discourages armies from lining up with their backs to the edge to torment would-be pursuers.

The big new things are the armies, and a word of explanation may be in order.

There are at this point 8 human army lists, many of them quite similar. This was done on purpose. The Successor Kingdoms have a lot in common and I expect (and hope!) that people will want to use them as allies.

They also fight amongst themselves, though, so that remains wholly within the fluff (except the Red Knights - they only fight bad guys).

In terms of other armies, there are two flavors of Boreans (Borea proper and the Tusk Confederation), so orc players get two lists and fighting styles.

I'm using two kinds of elves (there are no dark elves) and one general dwarf list.

The other races are Dragonkin (desert-dwelling lizardmen), Undead, Tauria (beastmen/minotaurs) and Salix Marshes (eeeevil fishmen).

A fifth army (that isn't evil but will be in that file) is Tigrans, who are cat people.

So, that's what, 12 good guys and 6 bad guys? Fine with me, especially since 8 of the good guys are very similar (Erxyia is probably the most unique because they use chariots).

Ultimately, the plan is to do one volume of rules and commentary, and one volume of army lists/background. A third section will deal with magic.

That's the plan at least.

Commissar von Toussaint
04-08-2006, 01:39
Well, the new battle report got dumped because:

1. I've decided to put my time into more revisions and
2. Those revisions make the battle report somewhat obsolete.

I'm quite pleased with the core rules, the biggest thing that is slowing me down is the chrome: characters, magic and magic items.

I've finally nailed down characters, who have revised points values and a simplified system of fighting duels. I also have begun to generate a magic item list, which will probably expand as playtesting goes on and new ideas are offered (hint: like from you guys).

The big news is that the magic system is finally coming together. By that I mean I'm pretty sure of where I want to go, now comes the hard part of writing it all out.

Happily, I'm using a stripped-down version of my RPG (Adventures, Realms and Quests(tm) ) so a lot of that text can be recycled.

Oh, I've also added a new weapon choice: the flail. Can't imagine how I forgot to have this in the first place. The flail is a one-handed weapon that confers AP 1 and negates the opponent's shield. So it's like the ne plus ultra of armor-piercing weapons (which it pretty much was).

Anyhow, I'll have updated files hopefully next week.

Mr. Sir
12-08-2006, 11:44
Impressive work so far. But there is just one thing, I don't see why you would get rid of initiative. Surely It would make sense that some units would strike faster than others, even just the rare/special choices?

Mr. Sir
12-08-2006, 11:56
And(sorry about the double post) Under the measurement section it says that you can measure any distance any time.

I would've thought it would be more challenging if the players had to judge distances than just go for the easy option. I realise that you may have wanted to speed up game play, but IMO it'd be 'better' to have that element of uncertainty in the game.

Another thing, in the stat line there is nothing about the number of attacks a model has, did i miss something?

Commissar von Toussaint
13-08-2006, 17:09
All of those are excellent questions.

Intiative: The question of who strikes first is relevant only if you don't let successive ranks "fill in" and strike back. This is what GW does and I hate it. Conceptually, it doesn't make a lot of sense. The rules clearly state that if the attacking unit kills the front rank, the losses "bleed into" the second rank.

This means that troops are pushing forward and dying, but are too stupid to swing back. It makes no sense at all. A more realistic option is that after the initiative side goes, the surivors hit back.

In my first games, I used a concept called "priority" that reflected who got to swing first. The thing was, I found it didn't really matter. So in the interest of simplicity I just dropped it.

Combat in WHFB is about impacts: who gets to charge hits first and often breaks the opponent.

Charging has its advantages on Conqueror (Morale and lance bonus) but the real elements of combat are combat skill and leadership, at least as far as I'm concerned. And yes, position: flank/rear attacks are very bad.

Free measurement: This is an old cause of mine. Most games don't require guessing and I think it's silly that GW still does. There isn't really any "chance" once you get in practice, but what does happen is that new players or players with bad depth perception get screwed. So I dropped it. Games go a lot faster - particularly since people don't have to break out the micronometers to find out of a charge is in range. Usually they know exactly what is coming. I like that.

Multiple Attacks: All models have one attack unless otherwise noted. Characters get two. Some monsters (ogres) get two. Dragons get six depending on what attack mode they are using.

And if you have two hand weapons you get an additional attack.

Originally there was an Attacks stat in the profile, but it was always "1", so I dropped it. I know a lot of potential players are going to be used to GW's system, but I wrote the rules assuming they had zero gaming experience. I may put something to that effect in my discussion of the profile at the beginning.

Thanks for the feedback!

In other exciting news, here are the latest updates (http://posseincitatus.typepad.com/the_lantern_waste/2006/08/first_view_of_m.html). The rule book is about done, though magic still needs some serious work (read: playtesting).

The Undead are finished (look for them in the "Other Armies" document). Tonight (hopefully) we'll kick off a game between the Tusk Confederation and the Undead so we'll see how those rules for fear and such pan out.

Note: the Undead require NO spells to function normally. That's always been a pet peeve of our gaming group so we fixed it. There are spells that help create new undead, but they can march, fight, etc. anyway they want. In fact, rather than make them slow, I simply made them supernaturally fast! Should be an interesting game.

Also, character got a bit of a revision, at least in how they are laid out and what equipment you can get. Magic items are up and ready for your selection as well.

Finally, I've been giving some thought to an "intermediate" upgrade of units, allowing you to have 20, 25 and 30-man infantry units. I'm content to keep archers and cavalry units the way they are. Most this lets people have a middle size that suits their figures and helps them make the points work out.

grickherder
17-08-2006, 09:45
Excellent thread that I will continue to watch. I got out of fantasy with the release of 6th edition just after I bought my 5th edition vampire counts army book (and army!). I've pondered getting back into it ever since.

I'm thinking instead of using a different scale. I'll probably go for 15mm or 6mm. I'm definitely on the hunt for rules sets and will be thinking about Conquerer and how it could be adapted for smaller scales. Given that they'll likely be mounted on stands rather than as individuals, it'll probably be a matter of making a "making change" system where only the back ranks are individual miniatures (or still stand based but on fractionally sized stands).

Once again, great thread (despite the attempted derailment)

Commissar von Toussaint
18-08-2006, 02:03
Thanks. :D

The reason I went with 25mm was that it was the scale I already had. Certainly you could reduce it and the distances proportionately. One thing that works in your favor: Conqueror uses fixed unit sizes.

That means if you use standard frontages, you could arguably base it anyway you want and simply use an army roster to record wounds, etc. Since melee combat is simultaneous, units will fight by basic frontage until they've been cut down to essentially single-digit size.

Obviously the individual figures look nice, let you track losses and give more variety for formations. But I can't see any reason why your idea wouldn't work.

Good thinking!

grickherder
18-08-2006, 02:34
The reason I went with 25mm was that it was the scale I already had.


Oh, I totally get that. It's right in the title of your thread. A better "Warhammer." Not a better "Warmaster" or something else. Obviously you'll have WFB miniatures.


Certainly you could reduce it and the distances proportionately. One thing that works in your favor: Conqueror uses fixed unit sizes.

I think I missed that in my glances through the rules. Very, very intersting.
I also like that each guy represents more than one guy. No more of this 20 guys taking a flag for a parade march nonsense.


That means if you use standard frontages, you could arguably base it anyway you want and simply use an army roster to record wounds, etc.

I'm thinking it might make sense to make small playing cards or business cards that have the unit info that are laminated so you can use a washable marker.


Since melee combat is simultaneous, units will fight by basic frontage until they've been cut down to essentially single-digit size.

This is where the making change comes into play. For example, say I have a unit where the frong is made up of 2 40mm stands with 4 15mm figures on each. That's 10mm or 1 cm per figure. The unit is a few ranks deep but the last rank has, instead of 2 40mm stands with 8 guys, has 8 guys arranged as follows:

40mm stand - 4 figures
20mm stand - 2 figures
10mm stand - 1 figure
10mm stand - 1 figure

No matter the losses, I can always "make change" to reduce it to the correct amount. And as long as both sides use the same basing, it should work fine.


Obviously the individual figures look nice, let you track losses and give more variety for formations. But I can't see any reason why your idea wouldn't work.

Hmmm. Formations might be an issue.

With 4 guys on a 40mm base as a stand size (an arrangement very common in other wargames for which I might use the figures) there are only a few formations I can make without extra "make change" guys. I guess I could always have more "make change" stands.

Commissar von Toussaint
18-08-2006, 03:44
I don't think it will be much of an issue, honestly.

There are only two real formations per se: column (the standard one from WHFB) and square, which is easily represented by having the various stands face outwards.

The only challenge you will have is altering the frontage, and I'm not sure how important that is. Usually my units keep the same frontage for the whole game. I think most people do the same.

You may want to experiment until you get to the optimum frontage for a particular unit before you finalize your bases. Otherwise, I don't see any problem with what you propose.

grickherder
18-08-2006, 22:16
The links to the rules don't seem to be working. I've tried with firefox, explorer and the latest versions of both MS Office and OpenOffice. All the files seem to be blank pages with a 0 kb size.


square, which is easily represented by having the various stands face outwards.

I find this a bit strange. Why is there a square? Are there any examples of a square being used prior to the English civil war pike blocks (who rarely actually formed into squares facing all directions-- if ever)? I take it the square is designed to repel cavalry-- but it would only really work if those forming the square have spears, pikes or as they were equiped in the Napoleonic wars, long muskets with bayonets.

Why have early 19th century tactics in a high fantasy game?

I went to get the latest rules and take another look at it incase I am misunderstanding something, but the links don't seem to be working.

EDIT -- The other armies and the elves list work, but none of the other files.

Commissar von Toussaint
19-08-2006, 19:11
It isn't a 19th century formation. That would be a hollow square.

The square I use in Conqueror is actually an abstraction. It represents a unit refusing its flanks and basically facing all directions. Since the models have square bases, that's the terms I use because that's the shape they will generally assume.

Historically, units in that situation formed more of a circular shape (for obvious reasons - corners are particularly vulnerable).

The rationale is that many times a unit will face an attack by multiple elements on multiple sides. In WHFB, they basically are screwed - even knowing what is coming, they cannot react. With Conqueror, they can do what units realistically did: turtle up and plant the flag.

I'll take a look at the files and make sure that they work.

Crazy Harborc
19-08-2006, 21:49
Likely, those good ol' days squares (before the 19th cent.) were more like circles. Those warriors were a "little" busy for playing "dress those ranks"!!

Commissar von Toussaint
19-08-2006, 22:28
Yes. The Romans certainly used that formation and given the scale - a full-strength unit has 300 men in it - it makes perfect sense for a surrounded unit to face all sides, plant the flag, and build a wall of enemy corpses around their position. :skull:

I think the rules give decent tradeoffs for this: units in square may not charge, move or pursue, so even if they break their foes, they have to stand and watch them get away.

In one of my games, I had badly outnumbered Arcadians (High Elves) do that and they kill their enemies in heaps. Still, they enemy was wearing them down simply through numbers. Basically it works the way I want it to.

I suppose I could change the name if people have a problem with the "square" - I could call it "shield wall" for example. But what about units that don't have shields? So that's why I went with "square."

Oh, and something is definately wrong with the site. The files load fine, but don't download worth anything. If I can't get it to work, I'll try putting them up in .pdf format next week.

grickherder
20-08-2006, 05:49
Alright, I was thrown by the missnomer. I know what you mean about the amorphus defensive blobs. The hollow square distinction is helpful. I don't know what other term to use-- but I know that if I were to be demoing this game to my gaming group (mostly hex based wargame playtesters and historical grognards extraordinaire) the second "square" came out of my mouth, they'd forget about it being fantasy and we'd get side tracked into a lengthly discussion about how "square" isn't appropriate for the era or a discussion about when square and square like formations (or formations that accomplsihed the same thing) were first used and how it developed. When I do demo a little fantasy game for them, I'll call it "defensive posture" or something. It's not that they or I are opposed to fantasy and sci-fi gaming-- infact, we all love it, but when when people who like to pick nits find a nit, they pick it.

From the results the rule produces though, it looks like it accomplishes what you set out to do.

Care to email the files to disreality@yahoo.com ?

grickherder
25-08-2006, 17:47
The download links are still not working-- could someone with the latest version please email a copy to the address above?

Commissar von Toussaint
28-08-2006, 00:22
Sorry about the delay. My car died and we're moving in less than a week, so things have been hectic. And school starts tomorrow. Whew! :eek:

I've gone Acrobatic on the rules, (http://posseincitatus.typepad.com/the_lantern_waste/2006/08/the_acrobat_ver.html)and they worked for me.

Enjoy!

grickherder
28-08-2006, 03:16
No problem. The PDF worked fine.

I wanted to wait until I took a look through the latest version before commenting.

There are a few artificial feeling things I'd like to comment on.

1) The first being the rules about the board edge. My main question is "why?" Why have it be an autoelimination? The justification is that they've passed beyond the influence of the commander. But there are tons of instances when the unit is right in the middle of the table and does not respond to the influence of the commander. Should we remove them then as well?

And what would the commander of that particular unit do? Simply leave? Or head back into the battle, taking his own initiative and looking for signal flags and listening for horns and watching for messenger riders?

Perhaps some sort of rallying or morale check to return would be better. One of the main problems with games like Warhammer (and even DBA on the historical side of things) is that armies can artificially anchor a flank on the board edge. It could be miles of clear open ground, but cavalry won't be able to flank because if they tried, they get auto-eliminated for leaving the board.

2) Shooting -- only the front rank or two ranks on elevation? Why? Another warhammer hold over that doesn't make any sense. When a bunch of medieval archers shoot, do they directly aim at their target like they're using a rifle, or do they shoot up in an arch and have their arrows rain down?

Historically archers shot many, many ranks deep and over friendly units that weren't too close to the target. I understand that each base equals multiple troops, but archers typically formed their lines to maximize their fire.

You may want to have certain weapons capable of volley fire where all ranks attack (slings, bows, crossbows, etc.,). Or make all of them be able to fire.

"Composite Bow" is a bit of an artifact. Just make it a medium bow or a bow. It's definitely a sign of the influence of dungeons and dragons weapon descriptions on the minds of fantasy gamers. Certain armies had bows that
were made of more than one material like bone, wood or whatever in the same bow. But that didn't make them a different class of bow. Just what the bow is made of.

3) The arbitrary can't shoot into melee rule. It happened quite a bit historically. Intentionally or not, friendies got too close to where archers might be shooting. Probably the easiest way to handle it is to compare the relative sizes of the two units and distribute the hits accordingly. Or something. I understand the desire for simplicity behind not allowing it, but surely a simple solution that will allow for the character of some armies and commanders to come through would be good.

4) Benefits of charging. It really depends on what the attackers and defenders are armed with when it comes to whether or not a charge should be beneficial. Light horsemen with sabres charging into a bike block are not going to automatically cause the pikes to break first because they charged. And often times, when it was just melee troops, they were both moving at a light run at the time of contact.

It's another unneeded warhammer hold over. Why have this artificially charging construct that pretty much assumes that everyone stops and huddles into a defensive position at the end of every movement phase. Odds are, they're advancing from one turn to the next. Charging should only really matter with cavalry designed to charge and against non-melee troops like archers. As well, it should matter against units already engaged in combat.

5) Yet again, another warhammer hold over in the form of the pursuit rules. The morale rules and pursuits leave no real room for the historical gaining and losing of ground that often went back and forth on the battle line. It's basically a meet grinder of death until someone runs and then they might get caught and instantly wiped out.

6) Two hand weapons = extra attack. Here just because it's in Warhammer or is there an actual reason for it? Find historical examples of two weapon fighting-- there's not a lot of them. There's a reason for that-- unlike in Warhammer, having two swords did not automatically mean you could attack twice as much.

7) Skirmishers don't really act as historical skirmishers. A formed group of infantry that charges skirmishers is not going to suddenly have the
skirmishers dress ranks and put up a fight. They're going to be simply pushed back and/or scattered. Skirmish formation seems quite powerful and functions more like a loose horde than actually performing any skirmish function.

-----

It seems to me that this might be better off as a modification pack of house rules for Warhammer than as a stand alone rules set. Basically you've got:
play warhammer except:
1) remove toughness, make armour save 1 better for toughness 4-5, 2 better for 6-8 and 3 better for 9+ All hits wound without a toughness roll
2) translate LD into your morale/combat resolution system and use it instead
3) add the square/blob formation
4) have both armies shoot in both turns
5) move the magic phase to the top of the turn

and probably a couple other minor tweaks.

While I think you have succeeded in "building a better warhammer," I think you simply ported too much of warhammer in to really consider it
a stand alone game. It's more like a collection of house rules for warhammer.

From one of your earliest posts in this thread:

As I go through this (I'm on skirmishers now) I am subjecting each and every facet of the game to a test:

Is this necessary?
Does it matter?
What would I lose if I got rid of it?
Can I make it easier and more intuitive?

I'd suggest going through the process again. Maybe being a bit more cutthroat in the answering of the questions. You may also want to add the questions:
What results does this produce?
Are these results congruent with what I want in the game?
How could I do this differently if I had to in order to ensure the results are congruent with what I want?

Altogether I like it better than WHFB, but I think it's got a long way to go before it's a great stand alone system for fantasy battles.

Good job on tweaking warhammer into something much better though.

EDIT -- I'm also curious about the point system. Is there an actual system that is consistent from army to army or is everything priced at what you felt was about right?

Commissar von Toussaint
29-08-2006, 00:10
First off, thanks for the feedback. When you read down my responses, keep in mind that I’m trying to clarify things rather than argue. A lot of what you say are “holdovers” from WHFB in fact were conscious decisions. Others actually are unrelated.


1) The first being the rules about the board edge.

The short answer is: It’s easier.

The long answer is that board edges are inherently artificial. Works the same whether you’re doing miniatures or using a hex grid, I’m afraid.

I looked at the WHFB system for a unit coming back on and it is rather complex and doesn’t derive a great deal of benefit. So basically I cut to the chase – either a unit is off on its own or it stays on the field. Realistically, there isn’t much difference is, there? If the unit stops, it spends a turn facing anyway, but at least it is still on the table. With WHFB you pull it off and put it back on in the same place.

Basically if you have a better idea, I’d love to hear it.

I have to disagree with your assessment on command and control. History is replete with cavalry (especially) running off in hot pursuit and leaving the battle.


2) Shooting -- only the front rank or two ranks on elevation?

As you note, archers already get three ranks (each model is 10 real people, average three deep).

I do archery as a hobby and I’m a hell of a lot more accurate when I can SEE what I’m aiming at. I think the current system gives players the choice of shooting vs depth.

It may seem like WHFB, but there are some big differences:

1. Any archery fire that hits forces a morale check. Archery isn’t about kills, it’s about harassing fire.
2. Archery has a much higher (and more historically accurate) rate of fire.

I think when you take those two together you get a different game.

I tried to do it with unlimited ranks and the short version is that it didn’t work.


You may want to have certain weapons capable of volley fire where all ranks attack (slings, bows, crossbows, etc.,). Or make all of them be able to fire.

Have you ever tried to use plunging fire when you couldn’t see the target? Not much use.


"Composite Bow" is a bit of an artifact..

Hey, those “fantasy gamers” that play D&D are my target audience! Using terms they already know and are comfortable with is a feature, not a bug. :)

If I called it a “recurve” would you feel better? :p


3) The arbitrary can't shoot into melee rule.

First off, it isn’t arbitrary. That is a clear design decision. If I allow it, it will get abused.

People keep saying it “happened all the time.” Okay, when? And was it deliberate?

What you’re talking about would require a lot more in terms of command and control rules, like giving units pre-game orders, rolling for messengers and such. I’ve played games like that, and that’s not what I want to do here.


4) Benefits of charging.

I don’t see how this can be a “holdover.” Combat is simultaneous and the only real benefit for non-cavalry is a morale one. Seems quite a bit different to me. This has far more in common with the Brigade Series than WHFB.

Having the impetus of the charge is significant. Every historical account I can find backs this up. It is better to charge than to be charged. At least I dumped the whole “ooh, they have a flag, and a drummer and we don’t so we’re afraid” nonsense that is WHFB.


5) Yet again, another warhammer hold over in the form of the pursuit rules.

The key difference here is that the morale system isn’t binary any more. There is an intermediate state between “fine” and “routed,” which I think shows that units gradually start to come apart. Units can be “broken” through their losses and “disordered” by poor Morale Table rolls. This is quite a bit different from the WHFB system where units are perfectly cool unit they scamper.

I want melee combat to be bloody and decisive. People don’t sit back and shove each other until someone gets bored and slowly trundles home. For that reason I don’t think much of the “pushback” that you see in Warmaster. All it does is force a constant realignment of the units.

Conqueror is a good deal bloodier than WHFB. One of my pet peeves with WHFB is how you can have two huge units pile into each other and no one dies. :wtf:

Do you have a suggestion? I mean there has to be a mechanic to allow the winners to finish off the losers. Like WHFB, I don’t insist that Routed units are slaughtered to a man. They aren’t, they are just shattered and cannot reform.

Unlike WHFB, my morale system allows units to charge, lose the combat, rout and run away, and reform on the same turn.

I think that is what you are talking about. If you want pursuit to be less deadly, I’m willing to look at that. But at the same time, there should be some way for units that are Routed to be “finished off” through vigorous pursuit.

Historically, very few units actually rallied once they broke. More often they fled the field and turned to brigandage or (if they had discipline) returned to their camp/base/castle. My personal favorites are the ones who looted their own baggage trains before leaving the field. I haven’t figured out how to do a rule for that, though. ;)


6) Two hand weapons = extra attack.

It’s a tradeoff and something fantasy players seem to like – and it’s quite common outside of WHFB.

Unlike WHFB, I restrict two hand weapons to a select group of units. I think one unit in the entire Thracian list gets it and one Borean unit has it as well. That’s a far cry from WHFB where just about everyone has access to it – so much so that entire armies use it as their primary fighting style.


7) Skirmishers don't really act as historical skirmishers.

I think they do. The rules for what happens when they get charged are there to illustrate that it is a bad idea.

If you look at my Morale rules, a couple of things should stand out. The first is that it is quite easy for non-broken (that is, intact) units to rally. So skirmishers are there to do three things:

1. Harass the enemy with missile fire
2. Threaten flanks
3. Pull line units out of position

All of which they do quite well.

Commissar von Toussaint
29-08-2006, 01:04
It seems to me that this might be better off as a modification pack of house rules for Warhammer than as a stand alone rules set. Basically you've got:
play warhammer except:
1) remove toughness, make armour save 1 better for toughness 4-5, 2 better for 6-8 and 3 better for 9+ All hits wound without a toughness roll
2) translate LD into your morale/combat resolution system and use it instead
3) add the square/blob formation
4) have both armies shoot in both turns
5) move the magic phase to the top of the turn

and probably a couple other minor tweaks.

Well, that was how it started.

But once you play it, the differences become more apparent.

It is similar to WHFB in the same sense that Avalon Hill's Afrika Korps is similar to GDW's Third World War. Both use counters, Zones of Control and a hex grid. One is clearly derived from the other.

But once you play them, the differences are quite stark.

Obviously Conqueror is still a work in progress. And I have to admit, I haven't playtested it enough to fully appreciate its tactical possibilities.

For example, there is no "magic" number of ranks for the Outranking morale bonus. This means that some units will want to broaden frontage - particularly because "centering up" is mandatory.

And Outranking isn't the key to victory. Basically the tempo of the combats is quite a bit different.

I have to say that it is farther from WHFB than VOID is from 40k.


While I think you have succeeded in "building a better warhammer," I think you simply ported too much of warhammer in to really consider it
a stand alone game. It's more like a collection of house rules for warhammer.

From one of your earliest posts in this thread:

I'd suggest going through the process again. Maybe being a bit more cutthroat in the answering of the questions. You may also want to add the questions:
What results does this produce?
Are these results congruent with what I want in the game?
How could I do this differently if I had to in order to ensure the results are congruent with what I want?

Actually, I'd prefer your answers. That's why I started this thread.

You see, I know what I like. The results are pleasing to me and the rules make sense.

What do you think needs to be changed?


Altogether I like it better than WHFB, but I think it's got a long way to go before it's a great stand alone system for fantasy battles.

Good job on tweaking warhammer into something much better though.

Your criticisms (and I appreciate them) seem to fall into two categories:

1. I have my history wrong
2. I am too similar to WHFB.

Now 1. is debatable. Records of historical battles are spotty at best and we're not entirely sure how combat really went. So it's a judgement call. That's what makes game design so much fun.

As for 2., I don't see the point of changing something that I don't consider broken.

Jim Dunnigan (the Godfather of wargames) once remarked that one shouldn't be afraid to borrow concepts and game mechanics from systems you like. The worst thing you can do is change stuff just to make it yours.

So while I am really quite happy that you spent a lot of time outlining your issues with the game, I would be even happier if you could give some suggestions for what needs to be done.

To me, "that's just like GW" isn't really a problem. The whole point is that GW players will feel very much at home and able to use almost all of the same figures and armies.

But Conqueror has a few tricks of its own, particularly the focus on Morale and Melee Skill over Toughness and Combat Resolution.

To put it another way, if you play Conqueror like WHFB, you will get crushed.


EDIT -- I'm also curious about the point system. Is there an actual system that is consistent from army to army or is everything priced at what you felt was about right?

There definately is a system. The first one didn't work, so I retooled and came up with a new one.

The thing was, many units' point values didn't change when I recalculated - which is probably why I didn't notice how bad the original version was.

A basic unit of 20 models costs 10 points and has the following profile:

MS AS SV HL MV ML
1 1 0 1 4 E

This is the baseline for all tabulations.

For each increase in MV and ML, add 10 points. Increases in MS cost 10 points per increment up to MS 4. MS 5 and MS 6 each cost 20 points. Increase in SV cost 10 points through SV 3. It costs 20 additional points for SV 2.

Maces cost 30 points per unit while great weapons cost 20 points. Flails cost 40 points.

Spears and two hand weapons are a little different because they multiply the effectiveness of attacks. Their cost is 10 points per MS of the model in question.

So MS 2 units pay 20 points for them while MS4 units pay 40.

Cavalry follows the similar rules, but since their units start with only 5 models the base movement for them is 8 (reduced to 7 if barding is used). Lances cost 10 points.

Skirmishers add 10 points per 10 models.

Archery is a little different. Archery uses the same basic calculations as above, but applies to units of only 10 models.

What is more, the end result is multiplied by two.

Thus a unit with the above stats costs 200 points for 10 models.

Thrown weapons are 10 points multiplied by AS.

If AS is not used (the unit has no missile weapons) the profile may include it for completeness, but no points are charged for it.

The Undead abilities cost 40 points (20 for Obedient Beyond Death, 20 for The Horror).

Characters use the same profile but the base cost divided by four – or two in the case of missile weapons. In addition, the cost of leadership increases from 10 points per step to 20 points for B and A morale units. This morale cost is reduced by half, not by 4.

Also, characters do not pay the base 10 points (since they are single models).

There is a certain amount of discretion in tabulating the final results, generally taking the form of rounding up, particularly in cases where the unit’s potential clearly exceeds its listed stat line.

Chariots' trample attack costs 20 points.

grickherder
29-08-2006, 01:16
First off, thanks for the feedback. When you read down my responses, keep in mind that I’m trying to clarify things rather than argue. A lot of what you say are “holdovers” from WHFB in fact were conscious decisions. Others actually are unrelated.

After reading your replies, I'm beginning to see how much of a difference your replacement morale rules make.



The long answer is that board edges are inherently artificial. Works the same whether you’re doing miniatures or using a hex grid, I’m afraid.


This is certainly true. It's also why I prefer smaller scales. With 15mm, I can use a regular 4x6 table and have tons of space around the battle so that whereever it moves, hitting the table edge is incredibly unlikely. I just thought the auto-elimination, while a common wargaming convention, was unnecessarily harsh.



Basically if you have a better idea, I’d love to hear it.


I guess you could just leave it at the edge and mark it, or take it off table, to be returned on a successful role of some sort.


I have to disagree with your assessment on command and control. History is replete with cavalry (especially) running off in hot pursuit and leaving the battle.

That is certainly true. But there are also instances of infantry and pikeblocks getting out of sight of the battle by cresting a hill. They almost always made their way back. Sometimes though, too late to do anything of consequence.

I plan on avoiding the scenario entirely by using a larger table compared to my smaller scale miniatures (and measurements in cm).


As you note, archers already get three ranks (each model is 10 real people, average three deep).

I do archery as a hobby and I’m a hell of a lot more accurate when I can SEE what I’m aiming at.

While that is certainly true, an experienced sergeant and a good signaller can accurately asses the various factors and tell the archers at what angle and draw to fire. It's how they did it during the 100 years war and War of the Roses.

However, I do realise that even if you do come up with some sort of volley system, it's functionally going to be just a limitation of the firepower... which is what you already have. So... ummm. Yeah.


1. Any archery fire that hits forces a morale check. Archery isn’t about kills, it’s about harassing fire.

I didn't catch the weight of this distinction during my first read through. It is certainly an important one.


2. Archery has a much higher (and more historically accurate) rate of fire.

Defintely. Bows could typically fire 9-14 arrows a minute with crossbows about half that. I think what you have is about right. I think the every second phase for the crossbows might be a bit artificial. Not sure of a better way of doing it. It's not like they're reloading during that time.

Crossbows, after all, were adopted more and more into the Rennaissance because of the economics involved rather than effectiveness.


I tried to do it with unlimited ranks and the short version is that it didn’t work.

Especially when you get into situations where some ranks are out of range or at long range while others are not. Perhaps the simplest thing to do would be to give each archer group a quarter of their number in shots and a half when elevated. Regardless of formation. And range is measured from the centre of the unit. Just an idea. Don't know if it's better or not.



Have you ever tried to use plunging fire when you couldn’t see the target? Not much use.


Except when guided by someone who knows what they are doing. It's not wonderfully effective, but good enough to be adopted at times.


Hey, those “fantasy gamers” that play D&D are my target audience! Using terms they already know and are comfortable with is a feature, not a bug. :)

Then, by all means keep it.


First off, it isn’t arbitrary. That is a clear design decision. If I allow it, it will get abused.

I guess I'm just used to playing with gamers who wouldn't look for abusive situations. Maybe make it possible, but a punishingly bad idea. 3 hits to your side, 1 hit to the enemy.


People keep saying it “happened all the time.” Okay, when? And was it deliberate?

There are accounts of Greek Peltasts raining slings and javelins on opponents already engaged with the hoplite line. The Persians did it a lot-- they had those big shield walls and had infantry holding up the enemy while the archers fired blindly into the mass-- those guys did a lot of blind volley fire and the typical soldier's life wasn't exactly valued.

There are also instances of European commanders doing it. Especially when levies and conscripts were on the recieving end.


What you’re talking about would require a lot more in terms of command and control rules, like giving units pre-game orders, rolling for messengers and such. I’ve played games like that, and that’s not what I want to do here.

I'm pretty sure an immediate morale role with a penalty for it being friendly fire would be enough.



I don’t see how this can be a “holdover.” Combat is simultaneous and the only real benefit for non-cavalry is a morale one. Seems quite a bit different to me. This has far more in common with the Brigade Series than WHFB.

But morale is everything. Automatically causing a test first is a big advantage. Especially given that both sides would contact with momentum.


Having the impetus of the charge is significant. Every historical account I can find backs this up. It is better to charge than to be charged.

But those charges that were of consequence historically were ones against battle lines that were already engaged or outclassed by their opponent in the first place. In many Mideival battles, both lines would be advancing. It was the cavalry crashing into the flank of an already engaged body of soldiers that usually did the deed. Or well armed footmen engaging a unit already fighting with weaker forces like levied spearmen.

I suppose it works either way, but I just think there are too many variables to give an advantage to the charger all the time.


At least I dumped the whole “ooh, they have a flag, and a drummer and we don’t so we’re afraid” nonsense that is WHFB.

That's certainly true. Kudos for that.


I want melee combat to be bloody and decisive. People don’t sit back and shove each other until someone gets bored and slowly trundles home. For that reason I don’t think much of the “pushback” that you see in Warmaster. All it does is force a constant realignment of the units.

Which was actually how a lot of the battles were decided. When a line couldn't be redressed and the enemy broke through and started getting in everyone's flank and rear. Ground was given and taken back.


Conqueror is a good deal bloodier than WHFB. One of my pet peeves with WHFB is how you can have two huge units pile into each other and no one dies. :wtf:

Yeah, especially if it's 1 to 1 like WHFB. When it's 100s to 1 like Warmaster or DBx it makes more sense to have push backs and less eliminations. I'd say your figure scale is close to on where casaulties should be appreciable.


Do you have a suggestion? I mean there has to be a mechanic to allow the winners to finish off the losers. Like WHFB, I don’t insist that Routed units are slaughtered to a man. They aren’t, they are just shattered and cannot reform.

You could have some units give a bit of ground when they don't fail too badly. If the enemy pursues, you could mark them to have a penalty in the next fight.

But if the flow and breaking of the battleline is abstracted away, then by all means, keep them static until one is finished.

It could simply be that the disintegration and redressing of lines isn't something you want to represent.


Unlike WHFB, my morale system allows units to charge, lose the combat, rout and run away, and reform on the same turn.

Again, i can only say that I didn't quite comprehend the full gravity of your morale system. That's a great feature.



Historically, very few units actually rallied once they broke. More often they fled the field and turned to brigandage or (if they had discipline) returned to their camp/base/castle. My personal favorites are the ones who looted their own baggage trains before leaving the field. I haven’t figured out how to do a rule for that, though. ;)

While that is true, units also gave ground and/or took it before breaking. If routing after melee is only supposed to represent full breaking, then there's no real reason to change it. It's just assumed that some shoving is done, but it's not represented for simplicity.



Unlike WHFB, I restrict two hand weapons to a select group of units. I think one unit in the entire Thracian list gets it and one Borean unit has it as well. That’s a far cry from WHFB where just about everyone has access to it – so much so that entire armies use it as their primary fighting style.

That makes sense. It also makes units capable of doing so far more elite.

As for skirmishers, I'll give the rules another read with more of an eye on the impact of morale.

It seems to have a much larger impact than I first comprehended.

I'll give the rules an actual try and get back to you.

Commissar von Toussaint
15-09-2006, 01:48
My hopes for a battle report and continued work have been dashed by a combination of factors, not the least of which was the need to pack up everything and move in less than two weeks.

Now that this is accomplished, it will be a bit before things can be unpacked and sort out. Heck, it took this long simply for my internet connection to be hooked up.

Regarding the game, my goal is to get the Undead involved in some playtesting to see how they stack up, particularly with regards to morale.

Commissar von Toussaint
27-10-2006, 01:37
Well, a hellish schedule has kept gaming from happening at all. However, game design continues to creep forward. Of course, without playtesting much of what I'm doing is hypothetical, but at least the framework is useful for when things calm down a bit (say in December :( ).

One of the things that got me interested in minis was the coolness of the battlefield. Basically the look. Board games can beat miniatures in most respects: space, time to set up, game balance and complexity and realism.

Minis win because they look cool and have that individualized aspect. One copy of Panzer Leader looks just like another. But all orc armies are different.

My motivation for playing 40k is the ruined cityscapes and cool tank conversions.

While field battles are all well and good, I find myself tinkering with a siege/assault system for Conqueror.

A couple of thoughts to let people know where I am coming from:

1. I want the system to be simple, but realistic. To that end I'm doing a bunch of research on historical sieges (as opposed to reading fantasy novels and watching Lord of the Rings over and over again).

2. I want it to move fast, but also keep the scale constant.

So the first thing that came up is bombardment. Basically this should happen before the assault even begins. That you can smash a wall in WHFB is kind of strange. Armies didn't assault until the breach was there - or they did it without expecting to get one.

Yet in WHFB you can trundle forward and hope that with three turns and three cannons, you will get one by the time your troops get there.

Which brings me to the other problem: wasted movement.

Having units run forward and got shot for three turns is a waste of everyone's time. I'm leaning toward starting assuaulting forces 12 inches from the walls. It saves time and, given the higher rate of missile fire in Conqueror, still leaves ample time for troops to get cut down.

The big things I still haven't sorted out are ladders and siege towers.

Any thoughts?

itcamefromthedeep
15-02-2007, 20:27
---First off, well done. The basic rules system is sufficient. Having said that, I do not want to play the game you have created. I really do not think that you have enough variation in killing ability, 12 variations total is just not enough for high fantasy when compared to at least 100 common variations in Warhammer (WS 2-5 times S3-7 times A1-4). For a game based on close combat, it can get really boring if you only use 2 stats. More stats may be unnecessarily complicated from a rules standpoint, but from a fun standpoint I like to have some variation in my army lists.

---Heroes kinda suck. High fantasy is about heroic stuff, so have characters rock. You say that models in your game represent about 10 soldiers: models in fantasy represent about 25. Characters and Champions are just that killy. I think you need to bring back Attacks, if only to deal with ogre-sized models. The utility for characters and monsters (even cavalry) is an incidental benefit. Even if you just add it to models with multiple Attacks (models without the stat have 1 Attack as a convention if you like), it would add some variety.

---In short: nice try, but I prefer an imperfect Warhammer to a soulless game that approaches zen-like perfection.

Commissar von Toussaint
19-02-2007, 16:45
---First off, well done. The basic rules system is sufficient. Having said that, I do not want to play the game you have created. I really do not think that you have enough variation in killing ability, 12 variations total is just not enough for high fantasy when compared to at least 100 common variations in Warhammer (WS 2-5 times S3-7 times A1-4). For a game based on close combat, it can get really boring if you only use 2 stats. More stats may be unnecessarily complicated from a rules standpoint, but from a fun standpoint I like to have some variation in my army lists.

I can appreciate this viewpoint, I really can. I love games that get into the deep details of fighting. Ever play Imperium Romanum II? Comes with a 32-page rule book and 8 pages of charts and tables - plus the province maps and the scenario booklet. I love checking for corn rebellions, rolling for barbarian activation and all that.

My point is that I can really understand where you are coming from. Numbers are cool.

The reason I got away from GW's system is that I realized that they actually have LESS variation than it appears. Don't look at the numbers, look at the percentages.

Now it is true that my system is clearly a little shorter in terms of calculations. Instead of WS, S and T and then a Save, I only have MS and Sv.

So there are less inputs, meaning that you get less gradations. However, GW's gradations are actually in a very narrow area.

For example, even though WS has 10 possible ratings, there are only three actual options you can get: 3, 4, 5. So that cuts their results in about half.

Same with S and T. You are never better than a 2+ to wound, and the differential has to be quite high in order for T to completely outstrip S.

Finally, S can negate the armor save and often does. The 6+ save is generally worthless as a high percentage of troops and weapons neutralize it.

My point is that when you go through GW's system and strip it to the core, you get a vary narrow range of results which tend to result in rather indecisive outcomes.

I completely agree that it seems as though you have a higher degree of variability with WHFB than Conqueror, but in actuality you don't.

The maximum expected result of a GW combat is .56 kills per model - and remember this is a situation where a you have a WS 3 S 3 model fighting a WS 1 T 1 model with no save. Remember that these odds will not change even if you use a WS 10 S 10 model against the same defender. So even though the numbers change, the result is exactly the same.

In my system, the maximum result is .83 kills per model. While you can get at this a couple of ways (MS 3 vs MS 1 or MS 6 vs MS 3) there is less superfluous numbers.

I will grant that GW does have the "unhittable" monster, but I look at that as a bug, rather than a feature. I'm not a big fan of games that turn into Godzilla vs. Japanese Defense Force.

My point is that there really isn't that much variation in GW's lists. It looks that way, but it isn't really the case.


---Heroes kinda suck. High fantasy is about heroic stuff, so have characters rock. You say that models in your game represent about 10 soldiers: models in fantasy represent about 25. Characters and Champions are just that killy. I think you need to bring back Attacks, if only to deal with ogre-sized models. The utility for characters and monsters (even cavalry) is an incidental benefit. Even if you just add it to models with multiple Attacks (models without the stat have 1 Attack as a convention if you like), it would add some variety.

A clarification: The game is scaled to 10 troops per model, whereas WHFB is 1 to 1.

Now, my characters do get double attacks, and with their high MS (and the fact that they have higher kill probabilities) they are arguably more effective than many of their WHFB counterparts.

In the "best case" combat outlined above, your WHFB character only has a 56 percent chance of a kill while a Conqueror has an 83 percent chance. What this means is Conqueror characters, who get "only" two attacks, run about 1.66 kills per turn, while WHFBs get barely one - indeed, a WHFB character needs three attacks to get the same number of kills a Conqueror character can.

I grant you that WHFB has more outliers, but they are just that: The odds of getting three kills on three attacks is pretty remote.

Now, as to ogres, they get bonus attacks. Ogre models have the "extra attack" special rule and their leaders get three attacks. :eek:

I will say that I don't much care for Herohammer and I want Conqueror to show that the main impact of characters is to lead armies, not kill them single-handedly.

That being said, since combat is decided by kills, the side with more characters in the battle has a much greater advantage proportionally than in WHFB.

That is something I'm pretty proud of: in my game armies kill each other, they don't shove back and forth until someone gets bored and goes home.

So you are correct that GW uses a lot more numbers than I do, but most of them don't amount to anything.


---In short: nice try, but I prefer an imperfect Warhammer to a soulless game that approaches zen-like perfection.

I don't think numbers are what gives WHFB it's "soul." It is the fluff and the look. Right now, Conqueror needs both of those things. I need some art to evoke the "look" of Ryeworld and background so that people understand what is going on and what is at stake.

I'm pretty happy with the core rules and lists and you are basically confirming my sense that what Conqueror really needs is some solid artwork and evocative stories. I'm working on both. :)

Sybaronde
19-02-2007, 21:24
So Conqueror (or the better warhammer) is becoming sort of its own brand?

Crazy Harborc
20-02-2007, 02:14
Hey, never met, likely we won't. I, I do hope you create a very good set of rules and get them published. Here's hoping they then catch on.....world wide:evilgrin:

Commissar von Toussaint
21-02-2007, 00:10
So Conqueror (or the better warhammer) is becoming sort of its own brand?

Yes.

It was a gradual process, but rather then be just another web-based set of variant rules, I'm trying to get Conqueror to stand up on its own.

I'm putting the RPG side of it into a d20 system book. Most of the core rules are done and the main thing is getting the background put together.

I really don't like GW's background, but I give them credit for making it pervasive. They saturate their books with art and pack them with little vignettes that give people an idea of what the world is about.

That's the kind of stuff I need to add. A lot of it is already written. For example, the founder of the Red Knights was the last great Goden King, Otto III the Brave, who died at the epic Battle of Oldburg in 1344. In the 250 years since then, the successive kings of Godenland have retained a claim to be Grand Master of the Order, though no one takes it seriously.

Stuff like that. I need to make Thracios and Luminos as famous as Sigmar and Khaine, or help people to look at the Red Knights like they do the Bretonnians (though actually they are closer to Knightly Orders fluff-wise).

Needless to say, that takes time. I'm pretty happy with the core system and most of the army lists work. I am in the happy circumstance of being able to shape my fluff and my rules into a seamless whole.

The big challenge remaining before me is actually the magic system. :(

That's going to be tricky. The one in the rule book now doesn't work the way I want it to, so it's going to be discarded.

Harborc: I don't think anyone could accuse you of being a sock puppet. :)

Crazy Harborc
21-02-2007, 00:21
All hail the great one!! All hail the keeper of the sock soap:D

A suggestion/question/whatever....okaaa....my 2 cents worth. Having a magic phase IS important. I suggest that the main rules be able to be balanced and playable with OR without magic spells etc. Here's hoping yours will do so??

Commissar von Toussaint
23-02-2007, 01:17
As a matter of fact, I just finished the revision. It went faster than I thought.

I'm glad to see we agree completely on what magic should be.

All armies are fully operational without magic. Undead require no spells to work properly. Magic is a purely optional, but I think most people will use it.

Magic has its own phase and all spells are cast then.

In terms of the system, you buy the wizard, then buy the spells. During the magic phase each wizard casts one spell and it automatically works. There is no dispell/power dice system.

For people who want to protect themselves, they can buy a wizard and give him the "Countermagic" spell, which will stop one spell on a 4+. If they are serious, they can buy him the Antimagic Box item, which adds +1 to his die roll.

If you read through the spell, though, you won't find any game-enders. No Curse of Years or Gork's Tap Dance Session. The damage spells are limited, the enhancement spells do just that - enhance. So people will choose magic with a mission in mind - maybe to speed up their cavalry or make their archers even more accurate.

Or they may want to use magic to protect themselves from missile fire. The point is that magic helps tactics, it isn't the tactic.

Crazy Harborc
23-02-2007, 02:27
:) Sounds like my idea of how magic should work!!! Sooo......now I'll have to talk to my regular opponent's. I hope one or more of them will be interested in trying it out or whatever.

EDIT TIME Well, after I posted the above...my old fart eyes noticed the link. I guess I'll be reading some rules for a couple of days. New reading material for my home library.

Commissar von Toussaint
23-02-2007, 22:49
This weekend I'll try to put revised army lists up as well - ones with wizards on them!

I'm also adding a couple of units to the Dwarf roster: berserkers and skirmishers. I actually want the dwarves to be reasonably mobile, which is why they don't have a lower movement. With some decent skirmisher options, I think it will be possible to make them more of an offensive force.

Crazy Harborc
24-02-2007, 01:36
Army lists :D :D By the by, I am reading my way through the rules (I'm slow). I like them, I think I understand them (hey, I have to re,re,re,reread GW's double speak, bounce around versions). Anyway, I am looking forward to the army lists;)

Commissar von Toussaint
24-02-2007, 16:32
Glad to hear it. :D

With things as they are, I'm not sure when I can revise the army lists.

However you should be able to download them here. (http://posseincitatus.typepad.com/the_lantern_waste/)

Eventually there will be two books: Core rules and army lists. At the back of the army lists there will be an appendix that will explain how to do the points for your own custom lists. That information is somewhere else on this thread I think.

Anyhow, you should find your existing WHFB armies fit rather well into the system. If there are units that aren't used or lists that are missing (for example, I don't have any interest in skaven) you can simply make up your own points for them once you decide on what you think their stat line should be.

One other thing: some of the races that I am using don't translate directly. For instance, elves are much tougher to reflect their skill and age. Gitlings (my version of goblins) are a lot closer to what I feel they should be: hordes of chaff that overwhelm you with numbers.

If you have any questions, I'm happy to clarify. I know the rules have some gaps and after I ran that .pdf I tightened down the magic rules some more. I'll try to do an update next week.

itcamefromthedeep
24-02-2007, 19:19
---Okay, I think we just talked right past each other a while back. Of course Warhammer has less variation then it looks, because only Weapons kills of 2 through 5 are at all common. WS 6 and 7 appear in almost every game, though. And while most troops have a Strength of somewhere between 3 and 5, Strength 6 and 7 happen a lot as well, and even 8 and 10 make appearances along with War Machines. Having the option to deal with excessively powerful things is flexibility that Conqueror lacks. Simplification means that you inevitably lose variation. Previous simplification by Games Workshop usually meant amalgamating rules so that many armies followed a similar framework rather then slightly different rules that accomplished the same thing. You take it too far however, cutting out variations that are evocative during gameplay. I like the idea of seeing a dumb brute Kroxigor smash stuff. This is borne out by the difference between WS and S, where flat MS fails to give this kind of distinction. You put yourself in a straightjacket, preventing yourself from using values that contribute to the flavor of a fight if nothing else. Flavor matters in making a game cool, more so then convenience. The answer to the lack of variation you see is to widen the scope (notably through an edit in the WS chart) rather then to cut down the variation that comes up relatively rarely.

---When I said that heroes kinda suck, I was actually paying attention to the kill ratios. I was comparing, say, an Empire Captain to his unit of knights. Higher WS (which matters in that case), higher Strength (which matters in most cases), and three times the Attacks makes for a much more powerful individual. Taking on elves you are looking at 22/12 kills for the hero compared to 7/12 the knight, including horses (hero does 3 times as many kills). Change those elves to Ironbreakers and you are looking at 31/36 compared to 7/36 (more then 4 times the kills). Taking into account the deadlier normal troops of Conquerer compared to heroes, the difference becomes even more pronounced. But enough of statshammer. Note that I completely ignored super-characters in that comparison; I am no more a fan of Herohammer then you are.

---Believe it or not, the battlefield scale of Warhammer is about 1" to 40' which conservatively means that a Warhammer model represents about 25 troops, maybe as many as 100. That makes heroes start to look really powerful by comparison.

---By soulless I was referring to the fluff. I found nothing compelling aboutthe armies you outlined. If instead you showed me how it would apply to Warhammer units, then go ahead. If you can demonstrate that your system is sufficient to represent all the units in a given Warhammer army, then I will reconsider my opinion.

---Thnk you for your respectful response and your honest attempt to demonstrate your points. I'm not convinced, though.

Commissar von Toussaint
25-02-2007, 00:00
This is borne out by the difference between WS and S, where flat MS fails to give this kind of distinction. You put yourself in a straightjacket, preventing yourself from using values that contribute to the flavor of a fight if nothing else. Flavor matters in making a game cool, more so then convenience. The answer to the lack of variation you see is to widen the scope (notably through an edit in the WS chart) rather then to cut down the variation that comes up relatively rarely.

No, I understood exactly what you meant. My point was that while a low WS, high S model may look different than a high WS, low S model, the percentages are the basically the same. To me, that's just wasted numbers and superfluous die rolling.

If you go through the motions of running a round of combat using Conqueror, you will see the difference immediately. There is less die rolling and it happens simultaneously, meaning combats go very quickly. They are also more decisive.

Now in terms variation, I have to disagree with you about that. Elves and goblins are only marginally different in combat effectiveness. The percentage different in kill potential is basically determined by the elves using spears in three ranks. Otherwise goblins can hold their own against elves.

There is differentiation, of course: Initiative and leadership. But initiative only matters in a continuing combat, and WHFB is a game of impacts.

Leadership can be decisive, but WHFB undercuts it in two ways:

1. They use psychology rules that completely undercut high leadership (fear, terror), and
2. Leadership only matters if a unit loses the combat.

So even here, the mighty elf stat line looks different but the real reason elves can thump goblins is that GW had to add two special rules. Otherwise, in practical terms the units would be very similar.

What Conqueror does is make those numbers matter. I don't try to blind players with irrelevant statistics. A MS 2 ML D gitling will get crunched by a MS 4 ML B elf every time - no special rules needed. I think people have gotten so used to GW having to make special rules that they forget why they are necessary and the critical part they play.

I made a decision early on that I didn't want to make players memorize dozens of special rules but instead I wanted the stats to tell the story. That is what they do.

Now you mention the idea of the WS 3 S5 Kroxigor - low on cunning but high on strength. We both know that in WHFB, Strength is the most important combat stat. High strength negates both toughness and armor. WS is mostly for chrome.

If you go through the lists, you will see that I have created similar effects. Ogres and such have multiple health levels, multiple attacks, a save bonus, and an AP bonus. Technically I use special rules for these, but only to explain why they have a higher save and their greater AP.

So I guess we can agree to disagree in terms of what is important in a game. For me, a bunch of numbers that look significant but really don't have much game effect is a bad thing. I want my numbers to matter and I will let the actual combat effectiveness of the unit create its feel and flavor.


When I said that heroes kinda suck, I was actually paying attention to the kill ratios.

Not the overall ones, though. The Empire hero you are talking about may be relatively more effective than the troops he leads, but he is still ineffective overall in terms of what he can do.

Heroes in Conqueror are both more effective in terms of kills (since attacks are more effective) and in comparison to the troops they lead. Yes, the Empire captain rolls more dice, but at the end of the day he still isn't doing that much because WHFB prohibits anybody from doing all that much.


Believe it or not, the battlefield scale of Warhammer is about 1" to 40' which conservatively means that a Warhammer model represents about 25 troops, maybe as many as 100. That makes heroes start to look really powerful by comparison.

The official line is that one model = 1 person. I'm inclined to agree with you, but that's been explicitly spelled out several times.


By soulless I was referring to the fluff. I found nothing compelling aboutthe armies you outlined.

I'm working on that. It is worth noting that GW has had a 25-year head start on me in terms of fluff. ;)


If instead you showed me how it would apply to Warhammer units, then go ahead. If you can demonstrate that your system is sufficient to represent all the units in a given Warhammer army, then I will reconsider my opinion.

I don't know that it will apply for all of them, but it will do most.


Thnk you for your respectful response and your honest attempt to demonstrate your points. I'm not convinced, though.

I can't convince you to like something that you don't. What I can do is try to show you a side of it that maybe you haven't considered.

Conqueror looks painfully simple.

But once you start playing it - actually moving pieces across the table top, rolling the dice, etc. - the tactical complexity becomes apparent.

In practical, hands-on terms, you spend less time measuring, less time rolling dice, less time resolving combat and more time concentrating on the actual battle.

Combats aren't a series of whiff-fests that center on combat resolution scores but actual engagements where units chew into each other. Morale is structured so that units gradually start to lose cohesion and come apart.

Of course you can also have mass assaults where low-morale troops charge, fail to dislodge a superior foe, rout and then rally so that they can try again next turn. :skull:

The next time you have a chance, fight a combat between 20 goblins and 20 high elves, then do it between 20 gitlings and 20 Arcadians. Tell me which is more in line with what you would expect elves to do to crap horde troops.

The battles are also more interesting because of what the units are doing and what they are capable of. With the square formation, you have a lot more options than you do in WHFB.

Also, I offer a lot more variantion in terms of what weapons actually do. I have two kinds of spear and three kinds of hand weapon. So units may have the same stat line but different weapons and they fight very differently.

I admit that the fluff is a huge weakness, but it is one I'm trying to address. The trick is to provide fluff for them that want it while not overwhelming players who simply want an alternative combat system. I'm trying to cater to both crowds: people hungering for a new campaign setting and people who could care less but just want a better rules set.

itcamefromthedeep
25-02-2007, 21:04
---The variations in the results of Attacks are not that huge, but I don't care. I don't roll dice because in order to determine the outcome, I roll dice because it's fun to roll dice. If I wanted to quickly determine the outcome of a fight, I'd play chess with my beautiful models. Or better yet a computer game, where the computer can figure out who wins in a randomized manner a whole lot faster then I can by rolling dice.

---You have it in your head that the dice rolling is superfluous, but I consider it the entire point of playing. Rolling dice is fun. If you wanted to quickly dtermine the outcome of a fight you might as well just do an opposed die roll between the units with bonuses or penalties based on unit effectiveness (use a 20-sided die if you want more variation in the possible results). Higher number wins the combat, with the difference determining damage (ties do damage to both sides, in Health Levels and Morale). There, you're entire unit's combat effectiveness described in a single number: Combat Bonus. Your bonus could be the result of any number of factors, including Morale and Melee Skill, with bonuses for characters and such. That might be the kind of elegance you want to use, but I would find that that kind of simplicity takes away from the entertainment value of my games.

---There are flaws in how Warhammer works, mostly in how Initiative and Weapon Skill are undervalued (as you described with your goblin and elf example). Perhaps Leadership needs to have a more expanded role as well, but that is a problem that can be fixed within the framework of the Warhammer system. You are attempting to sidestep those problems rather than doing the difficult work of fixing them. While it is true that there is not a lot of variation in the outcome of an attack, I think that the answer is not to reduce the stats to better reflect those odds but rather to change the effect of the current stats to widen the range of possible outcomes. In this way I think you are going about the business of "building a better Warhammer" backwards. The answer not to remove dice rolling, but instead make dice rolling easier and/or more decisive.

---I suggest that you avoid wasting any more of you time and buy a Lord of the Rings themed chess set, because that is trend that your game is moving in. I do not mean that to be dismissive or insulting, but the trend toward removing dice rolling and measuring points in that direction. I can see that you don't like to do a lot of dice rolling or measuring or memorizing of special rules, but chess already does that a whole lot better then any game system that used Warhammer as a template. Your perfect game system has already been made, and has been there for millenia.

Commissar von Toussaint
26-02-2007, 01:01
Okay, I have to admit I found this set of responses rather petty. I don't expect people to praise my system unabashedly, but if your point of reference is that WHFB is the ne plus ultra of wargaming and cannot be improved upon, I have to wonder why you even visit this forum.


---The variations in the results of Attacks are not that huge, but I don't care.

Obvioulsy you do care, you did a lot of math earlier.


I don't roll dice because in order to determine the outcome, I roll dice because it's fun to roll dice. If I wanted to quickly determine the outcome of a fight, I'd play chess with my beautiful models. Or better yet a computer game, where the computer can figure out who wins in a randomized manner a whole lot faster then I can by rolling dice.

Sorry, I don't believe you. I don't believe you sit at home and roll dice just to amuse yourself. I don't believe that when you play WHFB, you pay no attention to what the dice do and just roll them around because you like the rattling sound on the tabletop.

This strikes me as a cop-out. Why do you like dice rolling? Is it the randomness? Is it the sense that you're taking some physical action? Maybe you really do just like to make them roll. I don't know you.

But your earlier remarks indicated that you felt that WHFB's extra dice gave you more variation in results which I think I demonstrated isn't the case.


---You have it in your head that the dice rolling is superfluous, but I consider it the entire point of playing. Rolling dice is fun. If you wanted to quickly dtermine the outcome of a fight you might as well just do an opposed die roll between the units with bonuses or penalties based on unit effectiveness (use a 20-sided die if you want more variation in the possible results). Higher number wins the combat, with the difference determining damage (ties do damage to both sides, in Health Levels and Morale). There, you're entire unit's combat effectiveness described in a single number: Combat Bonus. Your bonus could be the result of any number of factors, including Morale and Melee Skill, with bonuses for characters and such. That might be the kind of elegance you want to use, but I would find that that kind of simplicity takes away from the entertainment value of my games.

Dice rolling is a randomization mechanic, nothing more. It is a means to an end. I like the simplicity of GW's system of rolling by model for miniatures rather than using a Combat Results Table or some other method. That's why I use a variation of it.


---There are flaws in how Warhammer works, mostly in how Initiative and Weapon Skill are undervalued (as you described with your goblin and elf example). Perhaps Leadership needs to have a more expanded role as well, but that is a problem that can be fixed within the framework of the Warhammer system. You are attempting to sidestep those problems rather than doing the difficult work of fixing them.

I take quite a bit of exception to this in particular. I addressed these flaws in a comprehensive manner. I am under no obligation to use GW's stat line or to "fix" it for them. Instead, I looked at the point of the exercise and then determined what areas were necessary.

For example, I believe the initiative stat is unnecessary. Why? Because I think it is absolutely stupid to assume that troops will march mindlessly forward and die but not bother to swing their weapons.

That is the core supposition of WHFB and I hate it. I believe that if the front rank is cut down and losses bleed into the second rank, the second rank will fight as well.

Once you allow this "fill-in", Initiative becomes useless. Hence, I got rid of it.


While it is true that there is not a lot of variation in the outcome of an attack, I think that the answer is not to reduce the stats to better reflect those odds but rather to change the effect of the current stats to widen the range of possible outcomes. In this way I think you are going about the business of "building a better Warhammer" backwards. The answer not to remove dice rolling, but instead make dice rolling easier and/or more decisive.

There is nothing stopping you from doing this.


---I suggest that you avoid wasting any more of you time and buy a Lord of the Rings themed chess set, because that is trend that your game is moving in.

I already own one. I assure you Conqueror plays quite differently.


I do not mean that to be dismissive or insulting, but the trend toward removing dice rolling and measuring points in that direction.

Again with the chess argument. :rolleyes: Listen, there are LOTS of games out there. This whole idea that if you don't play WHFB you HAVE TO play chess is, to put it bluntly, stupid. It's a pathetic argument and after all the productive and civil discussion we've had, I'm very disappointed to see you make it. :(


I can see that you don't like to do a lot of dice rolling or measuring or memorizing of special rules, but chess already does that a whole lot better then any game system that used Warhammer as a template. Your perfect game system has already been made, and has been there for millenia.

This is game design forum. If you have no interest in anything other than chess or WHFB, why come here?

The pettiness of this post is so at odds with the earlier, respectful and constructive comments you made that I can't help but wonder if someone hijacked your account.

If are truly interested, I suggest you go through this thread and read through the process by which I came to use the current stat line and system.

The reason I wonder if your account wasn't hijacked is that it is as if our earlier discussion didn't even happen.

Aelyn
26-02-2007, 03:01
Your perfect game system [Chess] has already been made, and has been there for millenia.
Don't want to get involved in the argument, but I would like to point out quickly that the current ruleset for Chess has actually only been around for a few hundred years; while the game is at least two thousand years old in the same way as WHFB is a good twenty-five, thirty years old, the original was a totally different game, and changes to the rules have been made (comparatively) pretty recently (a few hundred years ago, capturing en passant didn't exist because pawns couldn't move two squares in their first move.)

Sybaronde
26-02-2007, 16:11
---I suggest that you avoid wasting any more of you time and buy a Lord of the Rings themed chess set, because that is trend that your game is moving in. I do not mean that to be dismissive or insulting, but the trend toward removing dice rolling and measuring points in that direction. I can see that you don't like to do a lot of dice rolling or measuring or memorizing of special rules, but chess already does that a whole lot better then any game system that used Warhammer as a template. Your perfect game system has already been made, and has been there for millenia.

Dude, this is a rules development forum. If you can't handle being constructive when people disagree with your opinions, then don't go Ad Hominiem on them. There are a lot of games with minimal dice rolling which do not resemble chess, and at the same time there are plenty of games nuanced inbetween WHFB and Chess, with their distinctive amounts of dice rolling.

To be honest, I don't think his 'reduction' of dice-rolling is a bad idea. In fact, I'm doing the same in my new project, but with D10 instead of D6. A can work well without copious amounts of special rules and bucket-loads of modifiers, you know...

Commissar von Toussaint
28-02-2007, 01:23
Dude, this is a rules development forum. If you can't handle being constructive when people disagree with your opinions, then don't go Ad Hominiem on them. There are a lot of games with minimal dice rolling which do not resemble chess, and at the same time there are plenty of games nuanced inbetween WHFB and Chess, with their distinctive amounts of dice rolling.

Thanks. :)


To be honest, I don't think his 'reduction' of dice-rolling is a bad idea. In fact, I'm doing the same in my new project, but with D10 instead of D6. A can work well without copious amounts of special rules and bucket-loads of modifiers, you know...

I thought about using d10s. They offer more meaningful variation and you can fine-tune results. I decided against it for two reasons:

1. I felt a d6 had enough variety to do what I wanted, and
2. d6s are common and widely accepted. I have several bricks of them that I'd still like to use. :D

Sybaronde
28-02-2007, 15:40
1. I felt a d6 had enough variety to do what I wanted, and
2. d6s are common and widely accepted. I have several bricks of them that I'd still like to use. :D

The D6 is perfectly fine for a lot of things, and most likely it would've done just as well in the rules system I'm making. That D6 are common, though, is often a decision winner because it's in popular use.

However, I felt that that D10 as quite the novelty for what I'm doing. I'm using modifiers and thus it's a bit more interesting.

Crazy Harborc
01-03-2007, 03:30
I do remember two differnent gamers who managed to cheat at rolling with 10 and more sided dice. That still causes a bad taste in my mouth. Yeah, I know, they would likely have used loaded 6 sided dice too!!

I prefer D6s for whatever rolling I do gaming-wise.

Commissar von Toussaint
02-03-2007, 01:22
When I first started the project, it was to revamp WHFB.

One of the problems is that WHFB uses a 10-point system with six-sided dice. To maximize their ratings, they really ought to use d10s.

I thought about doing that but decided against it for the reasons I've given above.

Rather than repeat GW's mistake, I simply used a six-point system with six-sided dice and I'm very happy with the results.

On the surface, it may look as though a six-point system has less variation, but in fact it has quite a bit more. For one thing, you use every rating.

GW goes from 1 to 10, but how many WS 1 or S1 or T1 creatures are there?

My baseline for MS 1 is gitlings and zombies - two somewhat common troops. MS 2 brings you militia and tribal gitlings. MS 3 is where regular troops are found - humans and Boreans. MS 4 is where the elite regulars are and Elves and Dwarves come in. The supra-elite elves and dwarves are MS 5 while MS 6 is basically where characters come in.

It may look simple but it works and gives the right amount of detail. The more extensive rules for morale, weapon types and saves provide the the rest.

I'd be interested in seeing where you would go with a d10 system. If you used it in a manner similar to GW, there could be some gains, but I doubt it could really be fully exploited the same way.

Wadders
04-03-2007, 08:58
I have read the rules and followed the thread (and quite frankly there are some people who need to get out more rather than tearing other peoples ideas to shreds with no real point)..... and i like the rules and where your going.

Things i would like to see implemented:-

Massed combat, where as units become entangled and fight more and more ranks as the fighting goes on.... this is where numbers can really help.....

i.e. first round front ranks,
second round - 2 ranks fight
third round, 3 ranks fight

so and so forth.... this is where numbers really play.... we tried it with warhammer once (old 4th edition) worked very well, see how something like that can help the combat system.

Shields and their benefit against bow fire (this was their main strength)

Crazy Harborc
05-03-2007, 18:27
Now THAT is an idea that not I nor my regular opponents have suggested. I'll be bringing it up for this Friday. It may be during a WAB/Punic War game, but WHFB without magic, special characters, etc = WAB as far as systems go.:eek:

I'm going to reread the Conqueror rules while in Flordia:D next week. Oh, I spend alot of time on a cruise or a sandy beach, thinking about gaming rules......surrreee I do.;)

Commissar von Toussaint
06-03-2007, 01:11
I have read the rules and followed the thread (and quite frankly there are some people who need to get out more rather than tearing other peoples ideas to shreds with no real point)..... and i like the rules and where your going.

Thanks! :D


Things i would like to see implemented:-

Massed combat, where as units become entangled and fight more and more ranks as the fighting goes on.... this is where numbers can really help.....

i.e. first round front ranks,
second round - 2 ranks fight
third round, 3 ranks fight

so and so forth.... this is where numbers really play.... we tried it with warhammer once (old 4th edition) worked very well, see how something like that can help the combat system.

Bear with me on this one. You've raised a good point, and I want to show that I'm not just blowing you off.

One of the things I am trying to accomplish with Conqueror is to make it as realistic as possible. I know that sounds strange for a game with dragons and elves, but within the secondary reality I've created, I want players to be able to say "Yeah, I can see that."

That is why I've tried to structure the way my weapons work, the missile fire ranges, rate of fire and so forth based on reasonably solid historical information.

I've also emphasized morale, which is the single most important fighting "stat."

Realistically, troops don't watch the guys in front of them get killed and then sit there and wait to die. They fight back (or they run away).

So I use "fill in" in my fighting system.

This combined with the fact that I've eliminated the strength/toughness filter (for a lack of a better term) means that combat is very bloody.

I think the reason why what you describe worked (and to a certain extent was necessary) in WHFB, is the problem I mentioned a few posts ago: GW's system isn't very decisive. Units bump into each other until someone gets bored and leaves. The truly "killing" units have to have special powers to achieve their body counts - usually a combination of high strength, WS, and multiple attacks. Even then, they can whiff (and if they are my knights, they usually do. :p ).

Consider the following encounter: two units of 20 average human spearmen in light armor with shields fighting it out on a five-man front. Each unit thus brings ten models into the fray.

Using GW's system half will hit (5), half will wound (2.5), and one-third of the those will save, leaving only 1.675 kills out of the while encounter. You will, on average, pull between one and three models off the board.

In Conqueror, 5 will hit and 1/3 of them will save, meaning 3.35 models will get killed. Because the S/T roll is eliminated, you have doubled the casualty rate. Your two units will each kill between 3 and 5 models.

I should point out that the GW example will likely produce less than 1.675 because if one unit gets any kills, fewer models will be able to counterattack.

Keep in mind that these are average units - no frenzy, additional hand weapons or additional attacks, just grunts on grunts.

Where I am going with all of this is that Conqueror is plenty bloody. Units get chewed up fast in this game. You really have to play it to see just how nasty close combat can be.

Units making last stands and fighting to the last man are actually quite rare. We know about them because it is so noteworthy.

This gets back to the realism argument. Victory in Conqueror is decided by kills, so if an elite unit slams into a low-grade one, odds are the lesser will be sent backing. "Horde" units actually take some skills to run because they simply can't take much punishment and if they do, they will run at the earliest opportunity.


Shields and their benefit against bow fire (this was their main strength)

I've thought quite about this one. If I were re-doing WHFB, I would eliminate the HW/S bonus and instead give shields +1 save in hth and +2 against missile fire. I may yet be pursuaded to do that in Conqueror, though the game works pretty well as it is.

Shields went out of fashion when great weapons became more prevalent. A great weapon in Conqueror does AP 2, which neutralizes the benefit of a shield and light armor. Great weapons have advantages in WHFB, however this is generally neutralized by the HW/S rule - and the fact that they go last.

I think your ideas have merit, and I will take a long look at the shield thing.

In related news, I've got some major fluff-writing done this weekend. I will edit it and post it by itself if people want to see it.

LordofCaledor
17-04-2007, 13:04
Hey,
I found this thread yesterday (not a very active forumer :cool: )
I really liked the idea behind your ruleset and I think you worked them out very well. I made an army based on the dogs of war armies, but without the ogres etc. I will try the ruleset soon, using Tilea vs. Arcadia. The Tilean armies are very advanced technology wise (you don't seem to like gunpowder, but I used it anyway). The fluff is not very good I think. English is not my first language, so there might be a few spelling mistakes :/.
Anyway, here it is (http://www.svdb.nl/files/tileanarmiesforconqueror.pdf).

LordofCaledor
17-04-2007, 15:46
I played a playtest battle vs. my brother:
1000 pts Tilea

Character on Foot
Horn of Bravery
Dragonscale armour

30 Regular pikemen

20 paymasters bodyguard

10 musketteers

10 lancers

1000 pts. Arcadia

Mounted lord
axe of destruction

10 archers

20 spearmen

20 blademasters

20 blademasters

5 knights

Tilea started.

The first two turns were completely dominated by the elven archers. They killed a total of 11 paymasters bodyguard and 6 pikes. (in 4 shooting fases, most of the time at long range). In return 2 Blademasters were killed by the musketeers.

Turn two saw the first combat, a unit blademasters charged the pikemen. This combat would last 6! combat rounds. Mainly because of the high morale on both sides. (blademasters ML A , War veteran with paymaster allive ML B)
in those 6 turns the swordmasters killed 20 pikemen, the pikemen killed 9 swordmasters in return.

In turn three the musketeers were wiped out in two shooting fases, at the cost of two elven archers. (long range)
The paymaster and his bodyguard charged the spearmen at the front and the lancers from the flank. The spears were disordered because of the general near. The knights charged the lancers in the flank and killed five. Spears were disordered again and the lancers fled. They ran faster than the knights and ended just behind the other unit of blademasters, who was threatening the flank of the pikemen.

Turn 4
The lancers rallied with the horn, and charged the rear of the swordmasters. Doing 5 kills, the swordmasters killed two, ran away and were caught.
The other combats went on and in the second combat fase of turn 4 the paymaster was finally killed by the spearmen. They had only six men standing.
The lancers were shot by the elven archers.

Turn 5
The knights charged the pikemen in the arcadian turn and issued a challenge. The war veteran was killed and didn't do any wounds himself. De knights and blademasters made three kills, and got none in return. The last 4 pikemen routet and were caught.

Tilea 270 pts.
Arcadia 1000 pts.

Final thoughts:
Morale didn't do as much as I expected, most units just fought to the dead, this had more to do with lucky dice rolling than with a flawed system though.
The archers were godlike, they killed 30 troops during the game.
The musketteers didn't really show themselves, they never got into short range, on long range they are pretty useless with their reloading.
Pikemen are really bad vs. elite infantry, wich is good imo. They would slaughter anything below MS4. Regular pikemen without a hero would run pretty fast.
I like the lancers, uncatchable, killy, but will run when things get hot, archers own them easily.
The paymasters bodyguard was ok I guess, as long as you screen them for archers they will make short work of everything in combat. But you pay for that.
I like how the game plays faster than regular warhammer, also the cassualties were skyhigh especially from shooting. Disordered should have a little more effect imo. You didn't see any difference for the arcadian spearmen. Just a little bit more chance of running, maybe give them -1 to hit in combat aswell?

Keep up the good work :)

Commissar von Toussaint
20-04-2007, 01:32
Wow. :eek:

Thanks for the amazing show of interest. :)

The list looks reasonable at a glance. Good job.

As for the result of the combat, your views seem accurate. If units do not break, the casualties will pile up.

And of course you used Arcadians, who have the best leadership in the game.

I've also noticed that elven archers are deadly powerful, but they are also extremely expensive.

Mucho
31-05-2007, 13:20
Commissar von Toussaint,

I have downloaded your ruleset and played one game of 1000pts with a friend and I can only say that you build a good, strong straigth forward ruleset. Congratualations! Really.

Now you must excuse me that I'm going to compare your ruleset with the warhammer ruleset but that is the onlyone I know and played with for this kind of games.

Me and my friend we have only one critic actually:You don't have that strong connection between rules and fluff like in warhammer. With your rules who are from the point of view of playing games and battles just excellent, make it very hard to theme army's and characters.

Maybe it would still be a good idea to add 'less useable' characteristic's in your ruleset so that more and clearer variends of army's can be made. e.g: (I know warhammer but...) HE vs DE

greetz

Mucho

Commissar von Toussaint
01-06-2007, 03:24
Mucho: Thanks!

I agree with you on both counts.

The fluff is basically nonexistant for you guys.

There is actually a ton of it (several hundred pages) but the trick is putting it into a readable, useable format. That is what I am working on right now.

My hope is to post some new items next week:

1. Revised, cleaner rules
2. Improved army lists
3. Two short stories that help explain the world

The first one is about the Battle of Oldburg, which takes place 150 years or so before the "present day."

This was the last time the Dark Lord invaded the lands of the Free Peoples and it was when the Red Knights were founded.

The other one, which I am still working on, is about Alarion the Ageless, King of the Alfenwald. The story of his life is really the story of the world, and it will give new insight into the Dark Lord, how he came to power and how the elves see the world.

Anyhow, no idea when that will be finished, but hopefully not too long.

Which armies did you use?

Mucho
01-06-2007, 10:27
Thanks for your reaction...

I used the Arcadian Elfs against a Borean army. I won't command that much about the game and strategy's used in the battle, because we had to check often wether we did the things right and so didn't really have an fluid, tense game.

But there are a few commends I can already make:

1) Archers are deadly but sure isn't a bad thing. (opens new tactics: control of territory and battle corridors)


2) Due to your adapted points/model army composition systhem, we had a weird army composition. I, as a DE player, was impressed by the 'cheap ranks' and brougth an army with full units and maxed out with models, instead of the ussual MSU I use. He, a goblin player, did the invers.

As a consequence my unit of archers dominated the all flank but in the center I was completly overrun by the many charges... My point is that it is an intresting point-systhem to make infantery more viable against cavalery. Independend units are stronger and the need of characters is reduced (wich I like) but ...

On the other hand I'm all ready thinking of tactic's in wich to abuse it... (won't say more... I'm first gonna play the tactic's a few times but I will let you know)

A third thing I would like to point out is on a totaly different matter: As a non
-native speaking english person I have it difficult to readapt to all the new terms you use in your rules. Certainly when sometimes they mean a similar thing I know from warhammer. I think it would be a good thing from 'sales perspective' {I know :)} to re-use the warhammer term... It would make the transition easyer for a lot off people.

Ps: Take your time with the fluff. It is, after good basic rules, the thing that makes or brakes games...

Pps: It would be a good idea to put a link to your site in your signature... that way a new player doesn't have to go back 3 pages to find it every time again..

see you

kahunadave
03-06-2007, 16:34
Hi ive just been reading the thread so far and im about to download the rules to try them out for myself. Just a couple of questions to ask?

Will you be doing army list combatible with the current Warhmmer armies? I only ask this as i love the background of the warhammer world and i would like to pick my armies based on this background, for example like a chaos army following a certain god?
it will be nice to use a rule set that concetrates on the armies fighting rather relying on characters etc so in looking forward to trying out your rules but i dont want to loose the flavour of the warhammer world.

I completely agree that the WS stat is under used and these rules seem to be a nice way of changing that, although my concern is that by reading other posts you do seem to love the elvern races and your new rules may favour them, although I write this without yet trying out the rules so i apoligise if i have this wrong.
You are right that GW does have a lot chrome in there army lists and in purely game mechanics terms alot of it does seem pointless, but i feel you have to remember the rules are set in a fantasy universe and some of those rules are to represent the background of the races onto the actual game itself.
i look forward to trying out your rules and i will have some feed back shortly, maybe a small battle report, keep up all the good work.
PS: if your intention is to get away from the Warhammer theme then you can pretty much ignore all of above lol:)

kahunadave
03-06-2007, 19:08
Hi, tried downloading your other armies file but couldn't get it to work, just thought i would let you know

Commissar von Toussaint
04-06-2007, 03:06
I just put the new rules up. They should work.

As for WHFB army lists, the parallels aren't exact. People who want to create their own lists can do so (the formula isn't a secret or anything) but I'm just more focused on my own fluff at this point.

Mucho: There may well be an advantage to using smaller units to try to turn flanks, especially gitlings, which are cheap as dirt.

However, gitlings are also like dirt in that they get walked on a lot. Run over, actually. :evilgrin:

kahunadave: I'm not trying to favor the elves, they are simply the most broken WHFB army at the moment so naturally I want to make sure they work.

They are also the other extreme of the continuum: Boreans are the horde army, Arcadians the elite. Dwarves also need to be worked over, but I don't actually own any dwarf models, so I'll have to do some serious proxying.

The "base" armies I began with were Weirland vs. Tusk Confederation, in case people want to know. From there, I expanded to the extremes. I'm now looking at mixing things up somewhat and doing "historical" battles against rivals that Mucho referenced (i.e. DE vs HE kind of stuff).

For Ryeworld that's mostly the two Borean realms vs their neighbors plus allies (Weirland, Godenland, Ostmark, Dominion, Arcadia and Alfenwald).

After that "first tier" is set, I'll look at other rivalries: Hesperia vs. Salians, Tauria vs. Pylea and Dragonkin vs. Suebia.

Ryeworld isn't like the "arena-world" that is Warhammer. There are going to be countries that never fight each other. Weirland and Aquilea, for example, have never fought. Arcadia hasn't fought any of the Thraciot nations and is unlikely ever to do so.

Now people can always play those games, but in the fluff, it isn't going to happen.

Commissar von Toussaint
02-07-2007, 14:56
It's taken a while, but the first major "fluff" piece is done.

You can read it here. (http://http://posseincitatus.typepad.com/the_lantern_waste/2007/07/the-battle-of-o.html)

For those craving a little context, the Battle of Oldburg was the last major attempt by the Dark Lord to overrun the Free Peoples. It took place about 250 years before the "current" game setting (Hesperian Year 1590).

The invasion resulted in the creation of the Red Knights and the last great king of Godenland, Otto III, was the first grand master. After Otto's death, Godenland went into decline and the Red Knights grew in power until they are now a leading nation in their own right - certainly more powerful than any other.

I'm still hammering away on the life of Alarion the Ageless, and when that is finished, you will pretty much have most of the world's history (since Alarion is, well, ageless).

Enjoy!

easyname
21-09-2007, 16:41
It looks like a good system. You've thought it through very well, but i have one question. It says in the basic rules that at the back of the army lists section it explains how to create your own armies. I can't find it...so can you tell me where it is?

Commissar von Toussaint
02-11-2007, 02:03
You know, it used to be at the back of the army lists. There have been so many revisions, I'll have to dig it out again.

I'll try to get to that tomorrow if I get a spare moment.

I haven't been posting much here because most of my time is absorbed in being a dad, working, etc. and what little gaming time I've had has been with 2nd ed. 40k - because I like that game as well. Just to give a glimpse, tonight I finally finished a tank I started working on in August.

Commissar von Toussaint
07-11-2007, 02:35
This was what I dug out. I'll format it later:

The formula for determining point values is not set in stone, but uses the following guidelines:

A basic unit of 20 models costs 10 points and has the following profile:

MS AS SV HL MV ML
1 1 0 1 4 E

This is the baseline for all tabulations.

For each increase in MV and ML, add 10 points. Increases in MS cost 10 points per increment up to MS 4. MS 5 and MS 6 each cost 20 points. Increase in SV cost 10 points through SV 3. It costs 20 additional points for SV 2.

Maces cost 30 points per unit while great weapons cost 20 points.

Spears and two hand weapons are a little different because they multiply the effectiveness of attacks. Their cost is 10 points per MS of the model in question.

So MS 2 units pay 20 points for them while MS4 units pay 40.

Cavalry follows the similar rules, but since their units start with only 5 models the base movement for them is 8 (reduced to 7 if barding is used). Lances cost 10 points.

Skirmishers add 10 points per 10 models.

Archery is a little different. Archery uses the same basic calculations as above, but applies to units of only 10 models.

What is more, the end result is multiplied by two.

Thus a unit with the above stats costs 200 points for 10 models.

Thrown weapons are 10 points multiplied by AS.

If AS is not used (the unit has no missile weapons) the profile may include it for completeness, but no points are charged for it.

The Undead abilities cost 40 points (20 for Obedient Beyond Death, 20 for The Horror).

Characters use the same profile but the base cost per model is 30 points. Because they shoot less (once per turn as opposed to 10), the cost for missile weapons is only 5 points per AS rather than 10.

There is a certain amount of discretion in tabulating the final results, generally taking the form of rounding up, particularly in cases where the unit’s potential clearly exceeds its listed stat line.

In terms of selection requirements, there currently aren’t any save that an army must have a commander. Other than that, use whatever mixture suits you.

Chariots’ trample attack costs 20 points.

The Arrows Won’t Stop Them: Ghosts rules costs half the points value for SV 2.

Mahatma
09-11-2007, 15:30
I'd like to shake your hand Commissar. The rules you've included such as moral are what I have been looking for and what WHFB and Warmaster have not been able to give me. Only DBx, a few others and Conqueror can save my interest in wargaming right now.

I appreciate the work you've put in to your rules system and wish you the best of luck.

One point I'd like to make. In the army lists, have you thought of including some artwork to give people an idea of what the armies look like? I've glanced through the army lists and haven't got a grasp of what is what like I would have done with some pictures. I'm sure someone will chime in.

Also, have you considered creating army lists which match up with the 28mm miniature ranges that are out there? Vendel miniatures do some very good models of orcs, dwarfs, wood elves etc etc and I think your system would do well to support and be supported by alternate companies such as vendel, gamezone and many others that i've forgotten.

Mahatma
09-11-2007, 16:01
One more nit-pick: Dwarf Heavy Crossbows have light armour *gasp*. I think heavy armour would be more appropirate considering that elf archers get heavy armour and a dwarf wouldn't be caught dead in light armour imo.

Commissar von Toussaint
10-11-2007, 06:56
Thanks!

Yes, I know there is still some work to be done. One thing I really need is some artwork. I have next to no graphic arts skills and so that will have to be someone I hire to do it for me. I'm hoping to get moving on that this spring, when hopefully I'll have some pocket change.

As for the dwarven crossbows - I hadn't thought of it that way. On the other hand, dwarves are so much tougher, that they don't need as much steel plate as those wimpy elves. :D

One thing I am planning on doing is putting together a real, illustrated battle report, complete with army lists and so forth, so people can get a feel for the totality of the game. You are correct in that it plays quite differently from WHFB and some of the other systems I've tried.

Morale is huge, no question, but right up there with it is the fact that units kill their way to victory. Combat is very bloody and elites - yes even elite infantry - will leave a trail of corpses in their wake.

This means that horde armies have to do something other than "git 'em!" to win. If they don't coordinate their attack, they will simply get crushed piecemeal - which is as it should be.

The other element that I've noticed is that cavalry dominates where it would expect to, but not everywhere. For example, even Red Knights fear to charge Yagurs with great weapons. It's a bad idea. Ogres are also tricky - if you don't break them on the first pass, odds are you will get chewed up.

I like that, it's the way I think it should be. Cavalry should dominate the quasi-medieval battlefield, but the same things that stopped them historically will stop them in Conqueror.

One thing that still isn't set in stone is magic. I'm still not 100 percent sold on where it is, but so far I like how it is working. I need to do more testing to see if it can be broken, but on the whole magic is a decent support, but not necessary if you don't mind taking some random pelting.

A final thought: once you set the pieces up and play the game, I think you'll like how much faster it plays. I mean that sheer mechanics of rolling dice, removing kills and resolving combat are a lot faster. It does take a little bit to get used to how shooting works if you've been playing a lot of WHFB, but once that's down, the game moves at a good clip and that is one thing I really enjoy.

Urgat
10-11-2007, 09:27
"Waves at fellow rulesmaker"
I'm writing my own rules, for my own fantasy universe too, as you might guess. My take is rather different than GW (or yours, from what I've gathered so far). Basically, I hate it when dies dictate the outcome of a battle, yet randomness is, w/o argument, a real factor. So what I'm trying to achieve is make rules where bad luck will make things a bit harder, but won't implacably crush your tactics through bucketloads of 1's.
My rule sets are nowhere near as advanced as yours (got movements, moral, I'm fleshing out the ranged attack rules, but the melee and magics need more work), but I'm getting there. Only problem is that since I elected the use of hexagons over rulers for various reasons, building myself a tabletop is taking time, and I can't playtest it on a large scale (at least I'm pretty ok with artwork, so I have an edge over you somewhere :p ). So I'm actually trying to make a second, mini-ruleset for smaller battles (somewhat between the warhammer skirmish rules and the regular 1000pt battle)
Well anyway, if you wouldn't mind, I'd like to take a look at your rules in order to find inspiration :)

Commissar von Toussaint
12-11-2007, 14:45
Be my guest!

Clausewitz said that fortune is the single most important factor in war. Still, it's nice to keep a lid on it, particularly if you want something approaching an even game.

I debated using a combat results table rather than just fistsfuls of dice, but one the whole, I'm pretty happy with the way it works.

Good luck!

Urgat
13-11-2007, 14:36
Well, it's a mix of both actually, you get an "average" of hits/wounds, modified by disparities in stats and gear. In theory, it works rather well, you're sure to get kills (no chaos knights charging and killing zero goblins, if you will), the result will vary (it might actually vary a lot), but you should be assured a few kills nonetheless (I'm aiming for bloody combats like you do). As it stands, there is not really a fixed number of attacks per mini, what I have is some kind of mix between WS, A and I, so a successful roll of dice may (or may not) grant more than one attack for a single mini against a weaker foe. Well that's the theory, as I said.
Anyway, thank you, good luck to you too :)

Commissar von Toussaint
17-11-2007, 15:19
The biggest thing I'd suggest is that the math be simple enough that you can do it in your head. That's a nice feature of both WHFB and Conqueror and I think at this point any viable miniatures game needs it to succeed.

I will point out that by eliminating Toughness and Strength I pretty much eliminated the problem of bloodless combat. Elite knights will hit most rank and file on a 2+ with no armor save. I guess they could fail to achieve any kills, but it would take really amazing luck.

To put it another way, if it happens, go buy yourself a lottery ticket. :)

Urgat
17-11-2007, 15:51
Oh, it's failry simple really: you roll a dice per mini (depending on the "quality" of the unit, if it's base, elite, legendary etc, it's a D3, a D6 or up to 2D6 - but mostly D3 -), you add the equivalent of warhammer's WS, you deduct the opponents WS, add/deduct the modifiers from gear/special rules/magic buffs and you're basically set. Some more complicated rules to add when units got parrying or the like, but that's about all there's to it.
Everybody strikes at the same time, so casualties are removed only when the two sides have resolved their attacks.
I wanted to keep T and S to add more variety, not really to troops, but to gear modifiers, and armour bonuses go there too (like a chaos warrior with heavy armour and shield would not get a 4+ save, but T7 instead, if you want. Seems enormous, but weapons then kick in with stuff like rending or others).

Well anyway, to put it bluntly, it's not been playtested yet (because I lack a couple rules that would prevent a game from reaching an end), so it's all subject to change, but I think it works ok, at least on paper.
Still, yesterday, I lost so badly because I rolled so many 1's and 2's (example: 16 spearmen attacks on marauders, 3 hits iirc, and no wounds, I guess I should have gone and bought this lottery ticket :p) that I'll keep firm on my volition of limiting the dice results to a matter of randomness, and not of definitive factor of winning/losing combat. My main objective (be it in making these rules, or when playing warhammer) is to have, above all, fun, and sometimes, I just can't have fun at all, because of dice rolls...

Mahatma
19-11-2007, 20:41
I've some more suggestions.

I assume this game is designed to be used with 28mm models. The unit sizes you have chosen will make the game too expensive for most people. If I'm using 30 men per unit, I'm looking at two £16 boxes of plastic or 10 x £7 blisters for metal. Now the game, as I see it, is meant to represent a battle in which up to 100,000 creatures are on either side. We can't buy and paint 100,000 men so we have to make do with a scale of 1 miniature =100 men or something like that.

Here is my fix. Reduce the size of each unit and make the casulties less severe, or give each model a couple more wounds so that the combats still last a long time. This way, the battleline will look more authentic, with a center composed of a dozen units and a flank composed of another half dozen. I don't know if you are familiar with DBx, Field of Glory and other historical games but that is similar to what I am thinking about but with a 28mm scale.

Also having archers able to deploy behind a spearmen screen would be a nice touch. Give them a -1 shooting penalty for being unsighted and it would allow a few other possibilities.

Commissar von Toussaint
20-11-2007, 02:27
Mahatma: I've been thinking about special rules and formations for some time. Once I've got the "core" game taken care of, I intend to do an "ancients" version that uses more advanced tactics.

Basically, the world is coming out of its Dark Ages and, like ours, that meant that tactics were still evolving.

But in the days of the Hesperian Empire, the armies had more discipline and flexibility because they were professional. So the Hesperian Legions wil get some nifty tricks to explain their hegemony.

Your idea about shrinking the unit size has some merit, though. It would allow fewer figures to go farther, which is a good thing, so long as the units still are big enough to fill out the table top. I can see maybe dropping from a 20-30 for infantry to 16-20. What do people think? I want to keep the four-rank standard. It looks good and fits with the system.

I guess the thing I want to avoid is the "buy each man" pain that GW games give me. It's much easier (and realistic, when you get down to it) for troops to muster in by company.

All my playtesting has of course been with the current size and it's worked quite well. One fear I have is that with combat being so bloody, dropping the unit size too much could mean that units would simply get wiped out in a turn or two, which isn't where I want to go.

I'll have to think that one over.

If you are inspired, give it a try and let me know what happens. The points should hold (they are based on stat line rather than models).

As for changing the scale, I'm content with things the way they are. In pre-industrial times, you simply didn't see 100,000 men on the battlefield that often. When it happened, it was truly epic - an event for the ages where the fate of the world would be decided.

Basically that would take a mega-battle of suitable magnificence.

I could be persuaded to bump it up more (say 20 per figure) but then the scale gets a little strange. Remember, the linear scale is roughly 10 yards per inch, which gives about a yard of frontage per soldier. If I increase the number of people as you suggest, then the scale goes to 100 yards per inch - which means bows shoot two inches!

That's something that is easy to forget, especially because GW plays so fast and loose with its own scales. I try to take it seriously, though, so the game doesn't get too silly. :)

If I were to reduce the figures per unit, I could go with a slightly larger ground scale without messing things up too much. This would be because the "footprints" of the units would be smaller, leaving more open space, so missile units would be harder to screen, etc. Man, that's a lot of work though.

Still, it gives me something to ponder while I'm driving. Thanks for the suggestion! :cool:

Glabro
28-11-2007, 04:33
A very interesting-looking project.

A long-time wish of mine in Warhammer would be to see Spearmen be able to perform in a historically correct manner against cavalry (ignoring unit quality).

Perhaps in the next revision, you could research the matter and see if you can find a way for such interplay between unit types?
It would be something akin to "When a unit equipped with spears chooses the "hold" charge reaction against a mounted charging unit in the front, they get to "X" (which could be that the first rank of spears gets to "strike first", and that the spearmen count as having extra AP for the first round).

Also, Cavalry might require a morale test to charge spears in the front because of this, and so on...

I assume you want to keep the timeframe of the game out of the bounds of weapons such as halberds and pikes, which are specifically designed against cavalry (although again they lack these features in the Warhammer rules), but if you do include them, they could have similar rules.

Crazy Harborc
29-11-2007, 04:02
Cav charging into a wall of pikes OR spears IS too easy to do in WHFB. Head on charges against pikes and spears should be harder for cav to pull off.

IMHO, pre-charge rolls for receiving OR doing a charge should occur.;)

Commissar von Toussaint
02-12-2007, 02:44
When I first began developing the rules for Conqueror, I had a mechanic called "priority" that was used to determine when various weapons attacked. Pikes went first, then lances, then spears, great weapons, hand weapons and finally maces.

The reason I discarded it is that if combat is simultaneous, it doesn't really matter who goes first.

I believe that at the scale of the game, things are plenty realistic. I have seen too many systems that try to simulate each and every detail of combat. Whether they are more realistic is debatable, but they are unquesitonably ponderous and not much fun to play.

If I may quote Thulsa Doom: "What is steel next to the hand that wields it?" Infantry with spears or great weapons can and do beat up cavalry in Conqueror. I don't think a "fear" check is warranted - the player makes that when he decides to commit his very expensive troops into a contest of attrition with a unit that outnumbers them by a factor of three or more.

I can be convinced that the rules for spears could be refined. As it is, I don't differentiate between spears and pikes that much. This means that units basically can choose to use spears as pikes (two handed, no shield) or the standard hoplite-style spear (with shield).

Clearly there's a difference between a spear and a pike. When I was putting the game together I didn't really consider it that much, but during playtesting I have noticed situations where players prefer to drop their shields and gain the +1 AP of two-handed spears.

I suppose I could make a seperate "pike" entry, which would basically be the two-handed spear. I can say from playtesting that two-handed spears do a serious number on heavy cavalry.

This would also require me to revise the army lists and create some new entries. Some units would remains spearmen, others would become pikes.

I'm really trying to avoid special rules, but one other one that might work is allowing spears and pikes to "ground" their weapons before a mounted charge, giving them an extra +1 AP. Now this would be a huge bonus, and a Morale test would be required. Still, that would pretty much make it so cavalry rarely hit these units from the front.

What does everybody think?

Glabro
03-12-2007, 00:21
I think a morale test for an extra AP1 is a great idea, since it indeed takes guts for a unit of spearmen to stand up to a heavy cavalry charge that way. Only professional or determined soldiers could do it, after all (since the first rank knows it will probably be crushed - this causes a domino effect in peasant rabble).

Commissar von Toussaint
04-12-2007, 00:37
Over the weekend I thought about it some more and when I get a chance, the rules will be revised.

Pikes will now be what two-handed spears used to be: fight in two ranks, AP 1.

Both pikes and spears will further be able to "set" against charging cavalry, giving them +1 AP, (so most spear units will be AP 1 and pikes will be AP 2) on that turn only.

No Morale check will be required, but if the unit is hit from flank or rear, the unit will not be able to "set." However, since squares have no flanks, it will be possible for those units to "set" on all sides.

Thus, an unengaged spear or pike unit being charged from multiple sides could do an emergency formation change and then "set" against any cavalry. :eek:

I will offset this advantage for pikes by ruling that they cannot be issued shields - not even against missile fire. This seems accurate (the Swiss didn't use shields) so there is a precedent.

So far, I see three armies getting pikes: the Pyleans (humans), the Tusk Confederation (Boreans) and Aquilea (human).

The Arcadians (High Elves) will still have spears, because Elves are too conservative to use the new-fangled pike. ;)

Glabro
04-12-2007, 14:11
That´s very cool! An anti-cavalry element to pole weapons gives the system that extra bit of historical and tactical flair.

Nice to have an influence on the development of this game. I hope you can realize it commercially some day!

Commissar von Toussaint
07-12-2007, 04:03
Don't forget that great weapons have AP2 as well, meaning that only very brave (or very foolish :evilgrin: ) cavalry will charge decent units equipped with them. Yagurs with great weapons are very scary even to Red Knights (basically black orcs vs grail knights).

Since combat is simultaneous, you don't have to worry about your front rank being cut down before it can strike, which makes infantry much more dangerous.

On the other hand, knights still have very impressive hitting power since elites will generally score kills (not hits, but actually dead models) on a 2+ against most foot troops.

A unit of Red Knights led by a Knight Commander has a decent chance of breaking a unit of Yagurs with great weapons on the charge. But if it doesn't, the knights are basically finished.

As for the rules taking off, that's the idea. Of course if you were to download them and show them to your gaming group and build some interest and anticipation, well, that wouldn't hurt. ;)

thedodgeypanda
04-01-2008, 00:49
I personaly i think 7th ED was made in buggmans bar!. I think warhammer's BASICS are good such as how combat is worked and how shooting is formed. Mages still controll most of the game but then again they always did. But if i would like to see is a compleat game re-do ut keep the basics how they are.

Maybe you sould consentrate on the psycology

Commissar von Toussaint
05-01-2008, 14:31
On the face of it, Warhammer is a decent game and its core rules are reasonably clear and easy to use.

The problem is that once you begin to systematically study the “gaming engine,” the flaws become unavoidable.

You can scroll back through this thread to read about the many complaints if you want. Having played a game of Conqueror this past weekend with someone who isn’t used to it but has a lot more experience with WHFB, I’ll give you a summary of what he noticed, which should also illustrate why I struck out in a new direction.

The first problem with WHFB is that it uses a lot of numbers and a rather convoluted process to try to achieve realistic results (that is, results that are consistent with player expectations based on fluff, points and stats).

I’m not going to go into the problems of a 10-point stat system that uses d6s for resolution, the fact that the points don’t work out and so on. Scroll back to see that stuff.

What I want to illustrate is how, from a mechanical perspective, Conqueror plays faster and easier.

To do a melee combat in WHFB, you have to go through the following steps:

1. Charger rolls to hit
2. Charger rolls to wound
3. Defender rolls saves
4. Defender removes casualties
5. Defender rolls to hit with remaining models
6. Defender rolls to wound
7. Charger removes casualties
8. Calculate CR
9. Loser makes morale check

Now try as you may, there is no way to streamline this. One player has to wait for the other player to roll dice before he can react because the system is sequential. What is more, because of the extra “filters” (WS, S and T, Armor Save), combat isn’t very decisive on its own. Most of the time ranks, position and banners matter more.

In Conqueror, it goes much faster, because it is simultaneous:

1. Charger and defender both roll to hit
2. Charger and defender both roll saves
3. Both remove casualties
4. Defender rolls morale
5. Charger rolls morale

Now you can argue that I cheated a little because I don’t have a “calculate CR” entry for Conqueror, but the fact is that this is determined entirely by kills. When the casualties are tallied, you know who won.

The point is that combats take a lot less time to resolve, making the game a lot faster.

A couple of other things he picked up on:

Magic is powerful, but not dominating. Choosing to take it is a positive choice (no scroll caddies) and no army has to have magic to play – not even the undead. It is wholly optional.

Morale works better and is more realistic. Instead of units being just fine until they break and run, there is a continuum to reflect units getting worn down. They can still bolt on the first test, but it isn’t like WHFB where units are either routed or just fine.

Morale also integrates with other abilities – like fear – so that high morale units have a clear edge over fear-causing critters. This is a direct contrast with WHFB where your elite, high-morale stubborn troops autobreak if they lose to a more numerous opponent.

There are very few special rules. Basically, I don’t need them. High Elves don’t fight in three ranks with spears because they don’t need to. Same with goblins – they don’t fear Elves because Elves are already scary enough to kill them in heaps.

(Am I the only who has noticed that EVERY army has to have special rules now in WHFB? There is no “base line” unit because even the core choices have special rules: orcs have choppas, Empire infantry detachments, etc. How lame is that?)

Basically, when you play a game of Conqueror, units do pretty much what they are supposed to. GW’s engine is so broken that for them to get realistic results (like Elves being able to pound goblins) they have to add fear and fighting in three ranks for it to work out right.

Anyhow, that's part of why I struck out with a completely new system. (The other is that I wanted to be free of GW's copyright.)

The thing is, if you like the way WHFB flows, you'll like Conqueror even better. It goes faster, the points actually reflect combat abilities, and the combats are about kills rather than CR tabulations.

Commissar von Toussaint
05-01-2008, 16:06
The rules have been updates, btw. The pike rules are now included, and magic has been clarified a little.

Whitesun
05-01-2008, 16:39
Haven't read through the entire thread, but perhaps WS for WHFB should be brought back to it's 3rd Ed matrix? At least WS counted more then, and intuitively makes a bit more sense. Elves technically superior swordsmen, but somewhat frailer, so while they might hit you many times, it might not hurt as say a swing from a Borc...
Always wondered why GW decided to nerf WS so much...

Commissar von Toussaint
05-02-2008, 01:27
Well, I'm putting the finishing touches on the rules. They've been re-formatted and I'm hoping to get a professional edit in the next couple of weeks. I've commissioned an artist to do some sketches to liven it up and I'm adding a bit of fluff to give the world its due.

I decided not all armies will be represented because some still need a lot of work. Hopefully I'll find a publisher, but if not, I'll certainly link back with the site if I end up self-publishing.

meltaskelta
12-02-2008, 04:15
CvT, congratulations on a tight piece of work so far. I've just read the rules and I'm looking forward to reading the army lists, especially for the brief fictional content.

The version I'm reading is conqueror_complete_rules.pdf, and the Morale section has me a little confused. I can't find a Morale table, and I can't for the life of me tell the effective difference between a "No Effect" result and a "Disordered" result. (Also, is "broken" and old word you used for "shaken"? If so, there's still a reference to it in 6.2 after the bold part.)

I'm loving your efforts, and as I said, I'm looking forward to digesting the fictional aspect (which, I understand is still only a glimpse at the whole -- true?).

Commissar von Toussaint
16-02-2008, 17:39
You are correct. "Shaken" is the new "broken."

I've put together a version with maps and font changes and - most importantly - pull-out sheets with all the charts and tables on them. I'll post it next week.

Commissar von Toussaint
22-02-2008, 01:16
The new rules are up. Enjoy! (http://posseincitatus.typepad.com/the_lantern_waste/2008/02/improved-rules.html)

Pink Horror
08-05-2008, 06:25
I skipped around in the beginning of the thread, read most of your rules, and read the last few thread updates.

One little thing that bothers me is your statement along the lines that troops are just as dead whether they're killed with agility or brute force, so why have different stats? Well, the huge number of different ways to murder your foes are some of what makes fantasy gaming interesting to me. Also, there's little grievances, like how your system doesn't support the kind of crazed or selfless troop who can go totally on the offensive, with a really good chance to main someone but a bad chance to defend himself.

The main thing that bothers me, however, is how one man-sized regular infantryman is your system can so easily dominate another. All it takes is a 4 vs. 2. And spears are the ultimate weapons: choose AP or shield, and brace against cavalry. Usually, when I see a wargame trying to be smooth and realistic, spearmen are spearmen. Goblins aren't that much worse than Elves, IMO. Once they're at each other's throats, they're humanoids with spears.

Basically, I don't like the concept of Elves (or Dwarves, though they usually get shorted) as supermen in a fantasy setting, even if the armies are balanced by point costs. I understand you must think differently, so I'll move on.

As you appear to believe, I also think a game should have a simple, solid core. But my "metric" here is how much "chrome" it can support - a very different desire from what you put forth. But good games come in many forms, right?

It's good that Fear and Morale go together. It's good you can roll the dice at the same time. There's other nice features in there, like the counter-charge. When two players are voluntarily moving their units towards each other, turn by turn, I don't think it should matter whose turn features contact. Simultaneous dice-rolling helps speed things up.

Now I'll think a little about a human vs. human, even swords and shields fight. You've doubled the number of wounds by removing one "filter". But still, a rank isn't usually going to have a ton of models in it. 40 total men collided, and 4 died in one turn. Can't we kill more? :evilgrin:

This is about medieval fantasy and entertainment, right? One thing that happens in movies nowadays (I can't say anything about fantasy novels or about real medieval combat) is that when the troops get within range, they charge and the ranks penetrate each other, often completely. If you wanted even more violence, which would help speed up combat further, you could add some kind of penetration roll for a charge, to see how many ranks are involved. I'd put a die next to each unit to mark how deep they're in. Now you could start doubling or tripling the number of deaths. Also, to help move combat along and finish things off, when units "stick", up their penetration by one rank.

Basically, you're designing a game with different goals than I would have, and I'm newcomer here but I've been into game design for a long time, so I'll try to give your rules a good examination soon. I'll try to look for whatever might go against what you're trying to do. Though maybe you should consider some of that "chrome": I think fluff in rules form works a lot better than fluff as mere story. Maybe some kind of swarm unit that always hits on a 4 if it outnumbers the target, or a unit that reacts to a charge by changing formation?

One last thing: in most games I've played, there's often many kinds of things that are better than humans, but not many that are worse. I think the base human should have a 2 in everything, not a 3. I also like higher-is-better systems, and minimal dice exchange, so maybe, instead of just saves, have just wounds. The attacker has to meet or beat the armor value. AP adds to your roll. This gives you the same scale, 1 to 6, and it goes a little faster.

Things keep popping up: wouldn't it be nice in a fantasy setting to have the classic fantasy weapon, a sword, be something other than the default piece of trash? If swords weren't any good compared to things like maces, flails, and spears, why do so many soldiers in fantasy carry them around? They're not the easiest things to make.

Commissar von Toussaint
15-05-2008, 11:24
I skipped around in the beginning of the thread, read most of your rules, and read the last few thread updates.

One little thing that bothers me is your statement along the lines that troops are just as dead whether they're killed with agility or brute force, so why have different stats? Well, the huge number of different ways to murder your foes are some of what makes fantasy gaming interesting to me. Also, there's little grievances, like how your system doesn't support the kind of crazed or selfless troop who can go totally on the offensive, with a really good chance to main someone but a bad chance to defend himself.

At a certain point, a game designer has to decide how detailed to make the game. If I am simulating divisional combat, rolling for casualties through artillery vs grenades vs machinegun fire simply isn't appropriate.


The main thing that bothers me, however, is how one man-sized regular infantryman is your system can so easily dominate another. All it takes is a 4 vs. 2. And spears are the ultimate weapons: choose AP or shield, and brace against cavalry. Usually, when I see a wargame trying to be smooth and realistic, spearmen are spearmen. Goblins aren't that much worse than Elves, IMO. Once they're at each other's throats, they're humanoids with spears.

I'm not sure what you are getting at here. In real life, people dominate each other. Look at military history. It happens.

As for spearmen being spearmen, they are spearmen. Again, look at history. Spears are better than swords. The only time this wasn't true was with the Romans, who exploited the phalanx's weakness in terms of maneuver. But in a straight-up slugging match, spears usually won.


Basically, I don't like the concept of Elves (or Dwarves, though they usually get shorted) as supermen in a fantasy setting, even if the armies are balanced by point costs. I understand you must think differently, so I'll move on.

They aren't "supermen," they are simply elite troops. But they still die. And they are usually outnumbered.

The alternative is to have elves and dwarves - who are ancient, dying races - take the battlefield in huge hordes and die by the score, which seems much sillier.


As you appear to believe, I also think a game should have a simple, solid core. But my "metric" here is how much "chrome" it can support - a very different desire from what you put forth. But good games come in many forms, right?

Let's be clear on what chrome is: a plated covering that adds shine. I think Conqueror has chrome. It has a some small but signficant special rules to give a bit of luster.

But it does not rely on the chrome (as WHFB does) to sustain the core game. If you strip out the special rules, WHFB collapses as a system. That's a fact.


It's good that Fear and Morale go together. It's good you can roll the dice at the same time. There's other nice features in there, like the counter-charge. When two players are voluntarily moving their units towards each other, turn by turn, I don't think it should matter whose turn features contact. Simultaneous dice-rolling helps speed things up.

Now I'll think a little about a human vs. human, even swords and shields fight. You've doubled the number of wounds by removing one "filter". But still, a rank isn't usually going to have a ton of models in it. 40 total men collided, and 4 died in one turn. Can't we kill more? :evilgrin:

Think outside the box a little. In our games, we're seeing spearmen with 10-model fronts. Think 12 models killed by one side. :skull:


This is about medieval fantasy and entertainment, right? One thing that happens in movies nowadays (I can't say anything about fantasy novels or about real medieval combat) is that when the troops get within range, they charge and the ranks penetrate each other, often completely. If you wanted even more violence, which would help speed up combat further, you could add some kind of penetration roll for a charge, to see how many ranks are involved. I'd put a die next to each unit to mark how deep they're in. Now you could start doubling or tripling the number of deaths. Also, to help move combat along and finish things off, when units "stick", up their penetration by one rank.

Basically, you're designing a game with different goals than I would have, and I'm newcomer here but I've been into game design for a long time, so I'll try to give your rules a good examination soon. I'll try to look for whatever might go against what you're trying to do. Though maybe you should consider some of that "chrome": I think fluff in rules form works a lot better than fluff as mere story. Maybe some kind of swarm unit that always hits on a 4 if it outnumbers the target, or a unit that reacts to a charge by changing formation?

There are still some lists in the hopper that will have various special powers. Right now, though I'm focusing on the "core" lists with core rules.

As for how combat should work, we just disagree. I still have a copy of WHFB 5th Edition, so I can use that for my "mighty hero kills everything on the field like in the movies" fix. :p


One last thing: in most games I've played, there's often many kinds of things that are better than humans, but not many that are worse. I think the base human should have a 2 in everything, not a 3. I also like higher-is-better systems, and minimal dice exchange, so maybe, instead of just saves, have just wounds. The attacker has to meet or beat the armor value. AP adds to your roll. This gives you the same scale, 1 to 6, and it goes a little faster.

After two years, the core mechanic is pretty much done. All I'm working on now are refinements and finding typos.

As for the stats, I'm not sure what you mean. Human militia are MS 2, regulars MS 3 and usually only knights are MS 4.


Things keep popping up: wouldn't it be nice in a fantasy setting to have the classic fantasy weapon, a sword, be something other than the default piece of trash? If swords weren't any good compared to things like maces, flails, and spears, why do so many soldiers in fantasy carry them around? They're not the easiest things to make.

Because it is a fantasy. :D

Historically (and practically) a sword is great if the people you are fighting don't wear much armor. But if they are, you are much better off with a mace or flail.

Spears are better for killing at distance and pikes are better still. That's why by the late middle ages - when the "fantasy" look is fully developed in terms of body armor - swords are something only knights have and they leave them strapped to the horse. What they use for business are their lances and maces.

Thanks for looking over the rules. My only suggestion is that you play a quick game and see what happens. Once you actually go through the steps, I think you'll find it is a bit different than it looks. For example the killing thing - Conqueror kills models in heaps, something you don't see in WHFB. When an elite unit slams into a militia, models are coming off the table top. Lots of models.

Pink Horror
21-05-2008, 09:41
Because it is a fantasy. :D

Historically (and practically) a sword is great if the people you are fighting don't wear much armor. But if they are, you are much better off with a mace or flail.

And you're writing a fantasy game, right? :evilgrin:

Looking back over everything I wrote, and the various rules I've read, the sword issue is #1 in my list of changes I'd like to make to the common fantasy game. Swords are the iconic weapons of fantasy. Militias carry spears and pikes. Elite killers have swords. It's not about history or physics.

Commissar von Toussaint
24-05-2008, 14:54
I disagree.

In fantasy, it is the MAGIC sword that is iconic, and I have them. Rank and file troopers, on the other hand, don't get them.

There is a place for elite units armed with swords - but they usually use greatswords, not the run of the mill thing. Whether we are talking about film or written works, elite troopers rarely are shown using sword and shield - that's for the extras.

Top-notch fighters (samurai, Peter Jackson's elves, Conan the Barbarian, etc.) use a blade two-handed.

I do have a few elite units with sword and shield - Hesperian Praetorians come to mind, Yagurs can have them as well - but for the most part, they are a fairly low-end combination.

You can always make up your own units, of course. The point values are open to anyone. Make a MS 5 unit of killers with heavy armor, sword and shield. That would be pretty scary.

yabbadabba
05-08-2008, 09:51
It's a shame that you have all this creativity and good ideas, yet use the trashing of another system as justification that yours is better. If your system is that good, people will make their own comparisons. I will eagerly read the rules and try and play a few games - but as to comparing it with WFB - if your rules cannot hold their own without the comparison, what's the point? This reminds me of Great Escape games - a great system sullied by the obvious anti-GW bias of the writers even though it is not necessary.


Anyhow, that's part of why I struck out with a completely new system. (The other is that I wanted to be free of GW's copyright.)

This quote more than anything intrigues me. First you are building a better warhammer according to the title, but you obviously aren't, you are writing your own rules. Fair play to you but it is not a better warhammer, is it?

Second why do you feel the need to break free of GW's copyright if you are writing a better WFB? And how does their copyright bother you unless you are planning on selling an improved Warhammer? GW actively encourages people to play/convert/house rule with their stuff, it's them who have to worry about the copyright, not us. Hence why all the crap in restrictions at their events.

I love seeing creativity like this, and I wish people would apply that same balanced meticulous approach to making house rules for all GW games. Looking forward to reading the rules.

Thanks CvT

Commissar von Toussaint
06-08-2008, 02:08
It's a shame that you have all this creativity and good ideas, yet use the trashing of another system as justification that yours is better. If your system is that good, people will make their own comparisons. I will eagerly read the rules and try and play a few games - but as to comparing it with WFB - if your rules cannot hold their own without the comparison, what's the point? This reminds me of Great Escape games - a great system sullied by the obvious anti-GW bias of the writers even though it is not necessary.

Okay, what am I to compare it with? I do borrow elements from other systems and I bet that most people on Warseer have never heard of them, let alone played them.

Warhammer seemed the obvious reference.

More importantly, if you read this thread from the beginning, this was a gradual process. it started as "thinking out loud" house rules and then became something more. Like "Lord of the Rings," it "grew in the telling," so to speak.


This quote more than anything intrigues me. First you are building a better warhammer according to the title, but you obviously aren't, you are writing your own rules. Fair play to you but it is not a better warhammer, is it?

Well, it is and it isn't. You can use it for Warhammer games, it's designed to the same scale models and most lists and units will convert over quite easily. Arguably it is more true to Warhammer's fluff than Warhammer is. So in that respect, it's a better kind of Warhammer.

But you are correct that it isn't actually Warhammer any more. For one thing, there is no gunpowder. Sorry about that. I could probably come up with something if people wanted, but I am more interested in a pure medieval tactical game and less interested in something focused on characters and oddball units with pages of special rules.

Not that there is anything wrong with special rules. Some folks really like them. I like them too, but in moderation. So as it said, if you approach it as a set of alternate rules for Warhammer, it will work mostly fine. But you need not be a Warhammer player to enjoy it. I'm catering to both market segments. :D


Second why do you feel the need to break free of GW's copyright if you are writing a better WFB? And how does their copyright bother you unless you are planning on selling an improved Warhammer? GW actively encourages people to play/convert/house rule with their stuff, it's them who have to worry about the copyright, not us. Hence why all the crap in restrictions at their events.

Because I am planning on selling it. :)

Look, you can live your life writing fan fiction or you can finally strike out on your own. I have some ideas about how a fantasy setting should work, and how a fantasy game should work, so this allows me to pursue both. House rules ultimately aren't all that fulfilling if you want to really do something with them.

I admit to some inconsistency here: I'm quite content to make minor tweaks to 40k 2nd ed. and leave it at that. Writing my own space opera doesn't fire me up at this point (well, it does, but not in a gaming sense).

But I like the heraldry, the notion of building an imagined world, and I like game design and I don't feel that the definitive fantasy game is out there. Maybe mine isn't it, but I'd rather play it than anything else.


I love seeing creativity like this, and I wish people would apply that same balanced meticulous approach to making house rules for all GW games. Looking forward to reading the rules.

Thanks CvT

You're welcome. Thanks for your feedback.

yabbadabba
06-08-2008, 08:55
Okay, what am I to compare it with? I do borrow elements from other systems and I bet that most people on Warseer have never heard of them, let alone played them.

Warhammer seemed the obvious reference.

More importantly, if you read this thread from the beginning, this was a gradual process. it started as "thinking out loud" house rules and then became something more. Like "Lord of the Rings," it "grew in the telling," so to speak..

Dipped in and out of it mate, so yes I know it started out as houserules ;). Maybe comparison was the wrong word because of course on a forum you need some sort of common base to work from. Ummm I just think that any successful product should stand on it's own - fair enough by exploiting a niche left or poorly exploited by others - but if the only reason to try your product is "because X's product is far more rubbish than mine" then, for me, that just comes across as a poor salesman selling a poor product. As I haven't read this yet I will refrain from making that sort of judgement on the game :D


Because I am planning on selling it. :).

Explains the break from GW. And the best of luck to you!

theunwantedbeing
06-08-2008, 11:30
Put up a nice summary of the rules in an easy to read fashion and maybe it'll be taken seriously.

As it stands, you have a huge amount of very boring looking text for your rules that is utterly uninteresting to read. Try as I might I simply can't get myself to read it, it's just not at all engaging.

The 6 stat 6 point system seems simple enough.
But it just looks like a dumbed down version of 40k.

Infinitium
06-08-2008, 16:58
Just gave this a read-through. Nice job man! I've had some simular concepts of my own, but none that so elegantly wraps it all up together as the ruleset seen here. However, I cannot having to ask about some, for me, rather curious disrepencies in your current system:

---The Statline
My primary concern is the lack of an attack stat, which frankly doesn't make sense whatsoever to me. You have stated that you want to convey as much information as possible in the statline yet you have chosen to omitt one of the stats altogether and instead add them right back in as special rules for the affected heroes and units, when it is much simpler (as well as more comprehensive) to just add it back into the core stats instead. I understand that most troops only get one attack, but so be it. Not to mention it opens up design space for low-MS multiple attack units ('sup berserkers?).

Also, although this is more aesthetic than anything really, you should probably consider renaming SS and ML back to BS and LD; wehrmacht allusions aside there's a Lot of S's and M's in the statline as it is, and it's slightly confusing to look at. Compare -MS SS SV HL MV ML- to -MS BS SV HL MV LD- or - M WS BS SV W A LD- for that matter - the later is definetly easier on the eyes imho. Why fix what isn't broken?

---Unit Selection
Is there a restrictive system in place for how to allocate points a la Warhammer? I couldn't find it when I skimmed through but I assume there is, otherwise add one asap. leaving it to the players have proven not to work anywhere, at any time.

Also what's with the fixed unit sizes? It detracts from choice when designing armies and feels.. restrictive to say the least. How about you buy a fixed minimum size for the unit for X points, then add extra models for y points a piece (like regiment of renown units) with a maximum unit size in place.

---the Setting
More of a friendly reminder than anything, but if you plan on selling this in the future you'll need more than a few name permutations from the Warhammer setting to avoid copyright infringement (eg Gitling Berserker). Other than that, if you are serious about writing up your own lore you should probably cut most of your current background and cut down on the written material (as Warhammer did when the first editions came out) until you can hire proffesional writers to envision your own -unique- setting. I know it sounds harsh, but unless it's top-notch written lore (especially considering you're hardballing it and write about a world nobody's ever heard of) will probably just come of as amateurish fan-fiction. I'm not saying I can do it better myself, because I'm can't. I'm saying hold off on the lore until you've created a demand for it as a stand-alone product. Also you should probably cut down on the number of supported armies as is right now, especially as several of them are extremely alike in playstyle. Having a few niche armies balanced is likely a less of a daunting task than going Age of Empires 2 on us.

Until then, I'd love to see rules for Warhammer units utilizing your setting (seeing as this is a Warhammer forum; most people know exactly what to expect out of given unit types; and it'd probably spark some more interest seeing the nature of these forums etc. Hey, I might even take a shot at converting some Armies myself if you give the word. Seems plenty fun enough.

---The Magic System
Kind of moot since you're reworking it anyway, but I guess I couldn't keep me fingers to myself =). As is, the entire system seems very non-interactive right now, and the spell selection is kind of off as well. What I for one propose is a simplified WHFB approach with power dice and spell levels. Each army starts with a pool of 2 power dice and each wizard in the army generates 1 power dice only useable by himself. Spells should generally have low casting costs, say 2+ through 7+, and unused power dice carries over to the opponents magic phase to be used as dispel dice (and Dispel dice carries over for the player going second to be used as power dice). In order to cast a spell the wizard can roll any number of dice in "his" pool for powering the spell. If the roll is equal to or over the casting cost of the spell it succeeds, otherwise it fails and the power dice are wasted. The other player may then try to dispel the spell by rolling any number of power dice from one of his Wizards pools in order to counter the spell cast. If he rolls over (not equal, over) the total thrown by the casting player the spell is countered, otherwise the spell succeeds. A Wizard may cast any number of known spells in a single turn as long as he has the prerequisite power dice to cast them.

the benefits of a system like this is that it adds strategic depth and interaction to the magic phase. Do I try to force one of my spells through? Should I hold back in order to counter some perceived threat from the opponent? Should I pour the max 3 dice into one spell to force it through or spread it out on 2 spells for 2 dice? I've always been a fan of the 6th edition system in principle, even if it was far to all-or-nothing for its own good and hade a fluctuant power curve to say the least.

On that subject, note that since each wizard only adds 1 dice to be used by himself the maximum amount of dice that can be used to cast or dispel spells are 3 - and that's once per turn only since the PD generated by each Wizard is personal. Since there are no magic levels and magic itself should be a boon more than anything this means that magic heavy armies - in theory - should be possible but not overwhelming depending on how many characters are allowed in the scenario at hand.

The obvious disadvantage is that the player going second will know exactly how many DD the opposing player will have at hand. Since the magic phase is at the very beginning at the turn maybe have both player cast in order as in the shooting phase? Each player takes turns casting a single spell starting with the active player, and when both players run out of dice/pass the magic phase ends. Would need some clever wording and hosing of movements spells in particular, but it could work.

As for spell selection; a few Lores suited for different playstyles with say 4 spells in each and have each wizard know every spell in his lore, then balance those towards each other is probably the best approach. having to pay for spells is just encouraging not going for diversity, which magic should be adding imho, and it would make it easier to make variants of the same effects and not only have the most powerful one seeing actual play. -

Ps you might want to move the morale tables from the appendix to the rules proper; it took at least me ages to actually find them. Had me spending ages first writing a long as paragraph about them rules being incomplete and immedieatly having to edit it out again :p.

Sybaronde
07-08-2008, 00:38
At this point, it might be a good idea to change the OP's title, CvT. ;)

Commissar von Toussaint
07-08-2008, 03:04
Just gave this a read-through. Nice job man! I've had some simular concepts of my own, but none that so elegantly wraps it all up together as the ruleset seen here. However, I cannot having to ask about some, for me, rather curious disrepencies in your current system:



Thanks.


---The Statline
My primary concern is the lack of an attack stat, which frankly doesn't make sense whatsoever to me. You have stated that you want to convey as much information as possible in the statline yet you have chosen to omitt one of the stats altogether and instead add them right back in as special rules for the affected heroes and units, when it is much simpler (as well as more comprehensive) to just add it back into the core stats instead. I understand that most troops only get one attack, but so be it. Not to mention it opens up design space for low-MS multiple attack units ('sup berserkers?).

It is something I have thought of, and the reason I haven't done it is exactly the reason you gave: it opens the door for multiple-attack troops, which is something I don't want to see. As it is, monsters and characters are the only ones who get multiple attacks, which makes it easy to remember. I'm willing to rethink it, though, but at this stage that would mean a LOT of editing work. :(


Also, although this is more aesthetic than anything really, you should probably consider renaming SS and ML back to BS and LD [...] Why fix what isn't broken?

I can understand why people would think I just randomly renamed all the stats. It does fit in with the "total break from Warhammer" thing, but the names are actually from an abandoned RPG I worked on for several years as a hobby. I actually put together a rule book for this monstrosity, had delusions of getting it published and once I got inspired with Conqueror, decided that this would tie in neatly with it.

In the RPG, those were the skill names. Characters had a Melee Skill, Health Levels and so on and it seemed a nice seamless transition.

Then I got a clue, realized that the last thing the world needed was another fantasy RPG (especially given the excellence of the revised d20 system), so I pulled the plug on the RPG and put my energy towards Conqueror.

For the record "Shooting Skill" was orginally "Archery Skill" but I broadened it later. Big edit, much time wasted. Not sure if I want to do that again.


---Unit Selection
Is there a restrictive system in place for how to allocate points a la Warhammer? I couldn't find it when I skimmed through but I assume there is, otherwise add one asap. leaving it to the players have proven not to work anywhere, at any time.


Real points-based games don't need limits.

I'm still playtesting, trying to find out where things can be abused. When I find those pesky little loopholes, I'll close them. Frankly, it would be great if you could show me which list was unbalanced and why. I'll even give you a credit. :)


Also what's with the fixed unit sizes? It detracts from choice when designing armies and feels.. restrictive to say the least. How about you buy a fixed minimum size for the unit for X points, then add extra models for y points a piece (like regiment of renown units) with a maximum unit size in place. It's not hard to implement with your current point standard so I can see no real reason why you shouldn't go with it.

In my designer's notes (which you may have skipped) I give two reasons for not using them. First, they are wildly unrealistic. My basic training platoon was never up to nominal strength - someone was always on sick call, KP, or the like - so why should a pre-industrial field army commander get the luxury of picking every last man on the day of battle?

More importantly, it doesn't work. As numerous posts here have pointed out, the first rank costs more than the second, which costs more than the third, etc.

That is why Warhammer elite infantry are so awful and why cavalry should never be used more than one rank deep - the points system works against it.

Now I could say that models 1-4 cost X points and 5-8 cost X-1 points, or I could go with fixed units and leave it at that.

I will say this: it speeds up army creation like you wouldn't believe. You buy blocks of troops and spend your time tooling up the characters, which is as it should be.


---the Setting
More of a friendly reminder than anything, but if you plan on selling this in the future you'll need more than a few name permutations from the Warhammer setting to avoid copyright infringement (eg Gitling Berserker). Other than that, if you are serious about writing up your own lore you should probably cut most of your current background and cut down on the written material (as Warhammer did when the first editions came out) until you can hire proffesional writers to envision your own -unique- setting. I know it sounds harsh, but unless it's top-notch written lore (especially considering you're hardballing it and write about a world nobody's ever heard of) will probably just come of as amateurish fan-fiction. I'm not saying I can do it better myself, because I'm can't. I'm saying hold off on the lore until you've created a demand for it as a stand-alone product. Also you should probably cut down on the number of supported armies as is right now, especially as several of them are extremely alike in playstyle. Having a few niche armies balanced is likely a less of a daunting task than going Age of Empires 2 on us.


Uh, GW would have a very thin case, to say the least. You can't copyright "goblin," and I'd absolutely love to see them claim with a straight face that they invented the notion of drugged-out imps with axes. :rolleyes:

I've been working on my own background going back to the early 1990s. It's still a work in progress, and I'm conflicted on how much fluff to actually add in, as well as how to lay out the rule book with the fluff that I have. On the one hand, fluff can really draw people in - it's probably the only thing that keeps people playing 40k. On the other hand, Warhammer got its start as a fairly generic system that could easily be adapted to your RPG or fantasy environment.

I will say this: for good or ill, my fluff is utterly unlike Warhammer. My primary influence is Tolkien, with a little Joseph Conrad and H.P. Lovecraft mixed into classical (Greco-Roman) history. Above all, I strive to be realistic within the confines of my secondary world. That is why, as some people have commented, my rules are a bit like historicals. Well, that's what I know. And my fluff sometimes reads like a history book. My goal is to come up with a narrative that helps showcase the world - a novella or full-fledged book. We'll see about that.


Until then, I'd love to see rules for Warhammer units utilizing your setting (seeing as this is a Warhammer forum; most people know exactly what to expect out of given unit types; and it'd probably spark some more interest seeing the nature of these forums etc. Hey, I might even take a shot at converting some Armies myself if you give the word. Seems plenty fun enough.

The word is given!


---The Magic System
Kind of moot since you're reworking it anyway, but the entire system seems very non-interactive as it is right now, and the spell selection is kind of off as well. What I for one propose is a simplified WHFB approach with power dice and spell levels. Each army starts with a pool of 2 power dice and each wizard in the army generates 1 power dice only useable by himself. Spells should generally have low casting costs, say 2+ through 7+, and unused power dice carries over to the opponents magic phase to be used as dispel dice (and Dispel dice carries over for the player going second to be used as power dice). In order to cast a spell the wizard can roll any number of dice in "his" pool for powering the spell. If the roll is equal to or over the casting cost of the spell it succeeds, otherwise it fails and the power dice are wasted. The other player may then try to dispel the spell by rolling any number of power dice from one of his Wizards pools in order to counter the spell cast. If he rolls over (not equal, over) the total thrown by the casting player the spell is countered, otherwise the spell succeeds. A Wizard may cast any number of known spells in a single turn as long as he has the prerequisite power dice to cast them.

the benefits of a system like this is that it adds strategic depth and interaction to the magic phase. Do I try to force one of my spells through? Should I hold back in order to counter some perceived threat from the opponent? Should I pour the max 3 dice into one spell to force it through or spread it out on 2 spells for 2 dice? I've always been a fan of the 6th edition system in principle, even if it was far to all-or-nothing for its own good and hade a fluctuant power curve to say the least.

On that subject, note that since each wizard only adds 1 dice to be used by himself the maximum amount of dice that can be used to cast or dispel spells are 3 - and that's once per turn only since the PD generated by each Wizard is personal. Since there are no magic levels and magic itself should be a boon more than anything this means that magic heavy armies - in theory - should be possible but not overwhelming depending on how many characters are allowed in the scenario at hand.

The obvious disadvantage is that the player going second will know exactly how many DD the opposing player will have at hand. Since the magic phase is at the very beginning at the turn maybe have both player cast in order as in the shooting phase? Each player takes turns casting a single spell starting with the active player, and when both players run out of dice/pass the magic phase ends. Would need some clever wording and hosing of movements spells in particular, but it could woirk well in practice.

As for spell selection; just make up a few Lores suited for different playstyles with say 4 spells in each and have each wizard know every spell in his lore, then balance those towards each other is probably the best approach. having to pay for spells is not only weird, but it encourages Wizards only knowing 1 spell each, which again removes strategic choice.

Ps you might want to move the morale tables from the appendix to the rules proper; it took at least me ages to actually find them.

Okay, I just went to the site and those rules are OLD. I'll put up a more recent set. It has color graphics and everything! And the magic rules flow a bit better because (get this) I've actually played with them! :eek:

The version you were looking through were the "placeholder" rules. The new ones actually work.

Thanks for your feedback, I think it is clear that I actually do listen and make needed changes.

LordSkrolk
07-08-2008, 06:30
So does has anyone besides the author actually played this? It looks like just another set of homebrew rules. Anything special to recommend it above commercial products like Warhammer?

neXus6
07-08-2008, 06:49
It's a shame that you have all this creativity and good ideas, yet use the trashing of another system as justification that yours is better. If your system is that good, people will make their own comparisons. I will eagerly read the rules and try and play a few games - but as to comparing it with WFB - if your rules cannot hold their own without the comparison, what's the point? This reminds me of Great Escape games - a great system sullied by the obvious anti-GW bias of the writers even though it is not necessary.

Never heard of a company called Privateer Press, they seem to be doing okay for themselves and they wheel out the "other game bashing" mantra often enough. ;)

The guys who make Dark Age are the only game designers I've come across so far that don't at all dig at other companies games, infact quite often they praise them for getting them into Wargaming. :D


111page pdf...okay I'll get back to you once I've read it. :p

Infinitium
07-08-2008, 19:31
I come back a day later and look what's here for me :)


It is something I have thought of, and the reason I haven't done it is exactly the reason you gave: it opens the door for multiple-attack troops, which is something I don't want to see. As it is, monsters and characters are the only ones who get multiple attacks, which makes it easy to remember. I'm willing to rethink it, though, but at this stage that would mean a LOT of editing work. :(

Given that you've created your own system more or less from scratch methinks you've got nothing but time to put into it :p. Came thinking of it, you might as well add an "Armor Piercing" stat in there as well and put even more info into the profile. There are enough troops in there with GW/maces as well as monsters to make it wortwhile imo.


I can understand why people would think I just randomly renamed all the stats. It does fit in with the "total break from Warhammer" thing, but the names are actually from an abandoned RPG I worked on for several years as a hobby. I actually put together a rule book for this monstrosity, had delusions of getting it published and once I got inspired with Conqueror, decided that this would tie in neatly with it. [...] For the record "Shooting Skill" was orginally "Archery Skill" but I broadened it later. Big edit, much time wasted. Not sure if I want to do that again.

I can understand that. Just saying that the profile as is is could be more comprehensive, especially for new players. eg MV, MS and ML are alike to the point where mixing them up from a quick glance is a very real possibility, especially if one isn't accustomed to the system.


Real points-based games don't need limits.

I'm still playtesting, trying to find out where things can be abused. When I find those pesky little loopholes, I'll close them. Frankly, it would be great if you could show me which list was unbalanced and why. I'll even give you a credit. :)

What about a list composing of nothing but archers and a couple of the biggest baddest flying monsters available to flank and chew incoming heavy cavalry/flyers? Granted it's more of an issue in a competitive enviroment and this is still a pet project, but giving unlimited access to the most effective troops for their role would most likely cause large parts of the army lists to be unused.


In my designer's notes (which you may have skipped) I give two reasons for not using them. First, they are wildly unrealistic. My basic training platoon was never up to nominal strength - someone was always on sick call, KP, or the like - so why should a pre-industrial field army commander get the luxury of picking every last man on the day of battle?


I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say. What I'm proposing is that you buy the initial models for a set point cost and then get to add additional ones on an individual basis for a discount. For an example, a block of 20 spearmen costs 200 points and 30 spearmen 250 points as is right now; instead what one still had to pay 200 points for the 20 spearmen but then got to add additional ones for 5 points a pop? It would make it easier to tailor the total cost of the unit without a functional change (it's still 250 pts for 30 spearmen) and give players an opportunity to field all of their models at once in case their collection isn't divisible by 10.


[...]
I will say this: for good or ill, my fluff is utterly unlike Warhammer. My primary influence is Tolkien, with a little Joseph Conrad and H.P. Lovecraft mixed into classical (Greco-Roman) history. Above all, I strive to be realistic within the confines of my secondary world. That is why, as some people have commented, my rules are a bit like historicals. Well, that's what I know. And my fluff sometimes reads like a history book. My goal is to come up with a narrative that helps showcase the world - a novella or full-fledged book. We'll see about that.

Well, what is it that sets your setting apart from the legion of other ones out there? Warhammer, whilst starting out as a nondescript fantasy game has come to feature some very unique features over the decades, for some examples the entire concept of Chaos for an instance, the allusions that Orcs are de facto a biological weapon running rampant and Assyrian evil dwarfes. Speaking of the later, where they have taken inspiration from real-world cultures the end result is usually warped enough to prevent it from being a straight rip-off (the exception being the human factions).

Your world by comparison doesn't really have any features thats sets it apart enough to make it stand out amongst the crowd. I kind of feel that you're trying to much at once here. At it's core, it's simply a high fantasy setting with a rather nondescript evil master in the north plotting to sweep into the fractured humans in the south along with their waning Elven and Dwarfen contemporaries. That's already been done. A lot. The WH fluff, as you've mentioned is probably the single biggest (if not only) reason as to why GW is dominating their niche of the market. I guess what I'm trying to say is that whilst you do have a fantasy background story and you admittedly isn't as bad a writer as I hinted at in my opening post, you don't really give good reason for me as a reader to take the time and effort immerse myself in your storyline since it feels as if I've already been there, seen that. As it is right now, this feels a lot like WHFB, except without the unique features that pulls people in. And Gitling Berserkers may indeed fool the judical system, but your fellow wargamers are a different crowd altogether ;).

Moving on to the individual armies the problem remains: they simply aren't diverse enough, and some of the designs feels rushed. For an instance, you have 6 different human factions taking inspiration from prerenneissance Germany and Italia - that's a lot. How do you plan to distinguish their playing styles enough as to not to confuse players of who's doing what? More importantly since they share a lot of characters and armanent, how are you going to vary their appearance enough so that anyone can cast a glance on the Tabletop and immedieatly know who's fighting what? Likewise, why are there human Knights and Necromancers in an Orc army? Art design has been another incredibly strong card GW has picked up on for the last decade or so.

Likewise, the Egyptian and Roman factions just feels like that - Egyptians and Romans. It doesn't really feel as they belong in the rest of the setting, and whilst you can draw heavy inspiration from them (I for one would heavily endorce fascistoid Pilum brandishing High Elves for one) porting the real world into a fantasy setting seldom works out imo.


The word is given!

Sweet, maybe I'll make up something later then and post it itt.


Okay, I just went to the site and those rules are OLD. I'll put up a more recent set. It has color graphics and everything! And the magic rules flow a bit better because (get this) I've actually played with them! :eek:

The version you were looking through were the "placeholder" rules. The new ones actually work.

Be as it may, I still don't like them. Magic shouldn't be 100% reliable, if it was, that'd be more like applied physics if anything. And the Counterspell system seems iffy as well. A 50% chance to stop any spell no matter what? Also the spell selection system still premieres choosing a singleton spell (and Counterspell) and then sticking to it the entire battle.

Oh and for new features to add, how about a morale check when Reforming/Turning formations? A pass means that the unit only loses a quarter of it's move as opposed to half or something. Kind of makes sense as properly drilled troops should be quicker about it than untrained rabble.

Commissar von Toussaint
08-08-2008, 02:52
Given that you've created your own system more or less from scratch methinks you've got nothing but time to put into it :p.

Yeah, tell that to my wife and kids.


Came thinking of it, you might as well add an "Armor Piercing" stat in there as well and put even more info into the profile. There are enough troops in there with GW/maces as well as monsters to make it wortwhile imo.

I can understand that. Just saying that the profile as is is could be more comprehensive, especially for new players. eg MV, MS and ML are alike to the point where mixing them up from a quick glance is a very real possibility, especially if one isn't accustomed to the system.

At the same time, too many stats can be intimidating. I'll think it over.


What about a list composing of nothing but archers and a couple of the biggest baddest flying monsters available to flank and chew incoming heavy cavalry/flyers? Granted it's more of an issue in a competitive enviroment and this is still a pet project, but giving unlimited access to the most effective troops for their role would most likely cause large parts of the army lists to be unused.

An all-archer list is an interesting idea, but do remember that archers are hideously expensive (the ones worth taking, that is). I think things work out. I was playing it regularly against some of my friends earlier this spring and we made some adjustments, but I'm pretty happy the way things are. What I do need are some people to try to break stuff.


It would make it easier to tailor the total cost of the unit without a functional change (it's still 250 pts for 30 spearmen) and give players an opportunity to field all of their models at once in case their collection isn't divisible by 10.

I resemble that remark.

Again, it is something I've thought about and I can see making some adjustments.


Well, what is it that sets your setting apart from the legion of other ones out there?

Your world by comparison doesn't really have any features thats sets it apart enough to make it stand out amongst the crowd. I kind of feel that you're trying to much at once here. At it's core, it's simply a high fantasy setting with a rather nondescript evil master in the north plotting to sweep into the fractured humans in the south along with their waning Elven and Dwarfen contemporaries. That's already been done. A lot. The WH fluff, as you've mentioned is probably the single biggest (if not only) reason as to why GW is dominating their niche of the market.

Ahem. The Warhammer fluff stinks. It's terrible. It's goofy, derivative and makes zero sense. The 40k fluff is what drives the game - it's just dark enough to interest people and borrows heavily from Dune, which is a fascinating universe that never got good marketing.


I guess what I'm trying to say is that whilst you do have a fantasy background story and you admittedly isn't as bad a writer as I hinted at in my opening post, you don't really give good reason for me as a reader to take the time and effort immerse myself in your storyline since it feels as if I've already been there, seen that. As it is right now, this feels a lot like WHFB, except without the unique features that pulls people in. And Gitling Berserkers may indeed fool the judical system, but your fellow wargamers are a different crowd altogether ;).

Gitling berserkers are a sop to the GW crowd, no question. I'm walking a fine line here - on the one hand, I have some of my own ideas, on the other, I'm trying to entice people who may have invested years in another system and have certain conceptions about how fantasy is done.

You are correct that Conqueror needs a narrative. I've got hundreds of pages of background, lots of little short stories, but no narrative. When I do, I'll let you know. :)


Moving on to the individual armies the problem remains: they simply aren't diverse enough, and some of the designs feels rushed.

There are other designs in the works, but I wanted to get the "basic" ones out of the way first. I have a Dragonkin army - the general is a dragon - and some other stuff, but I wanted to make sure the core mechanics work before I go into the wild and wacky.

Also, do keep in mind that not everybody is all-out for super-differentiated lists. Historicals gamers aren't, and I'm a historicals player at heart. Battletech also had great success with five essentially identical factions with different fluff and paint schemes.

The idea with the lists that I have is that the Thraciot list is Empire on crack - massive amounts of human choices that can appeal to everyone, from the Anglo-Norman heavy cavalry fans to Egyptians to Romans. One army (the Aquileans) is all-skirmisher. Fun fun fun.


Art design has been another incredibly strong card GW has picked up on for the last decade or so.

I've actually hired an artist whose reputation is growing beyond my ability to pay him. :D He's got some nice stuff, but I'll probably have to hire somebody else simply because he's too busy.


Likewise, the Egyptian and Roman factions just feels like that - Egyptians and Romans. It doesn't really feel as they belong in the rest of the setting, and whilst you can draw heavy inspiration from them (I for one would heavily endorce fascistoid Pilum brandishing High Elves for one) porting the real world into a fantasy setting seldom works out imo.

My wife REALLY likes traditional high elves. Not an option.


Be as it may, I still don't like them. Magic shouldn't be 100% reliable, if it was, that'd be more like applied physics if anything. And the Counterspell system seems iffy as well. A 50% chance to stop any spell no matter what? Also the spell selection system still premieres choosing a singleton spell (and Counterspell) and then sticking to it the entire battle.

It isn't 100 percent reliable. Most combat spells have random effects.

Just to be clear, I really don't like GW's approach to magic. I heartily hate the idea that magic is this hugely random thing and that if you don't bring a wizard, you're effectively doomed.

Magic in Conqueror is an affirmative choice - you take a wizard to cast spells, not to countermagic them. Yet at the same time, you can use a wizard to protect yourself, but you will experience diminishing returns.

I don't know how you get the "take a wizard with only one spell" notion, that seems rather inefficient.


Oh and for new features to add, how about a morale check when Reforming/Turning formations? A pass means that the unit only loses a quarter of it's move as opposed to half or something. Kind of makes sense as properly drilled troops should be quicker about it than untrained rabble.

Had it in an earlier version. "A" Morale units stomped all over everything. Too unbalancing.

I've put up a new .pdf of just the rules for your convenience.

I appreciate the criticism and advice. I do have one request: play the game.

Sit down, even with slips of paper or note cards, and play a game. It's a lot different than it reads.

As a seasoned gamer, I like to think that I can read a set of rules and immediate know how it will play. We all like to think that. In a lot of cases we are right.

But Conqueror is a bit deceptive. You look at the stats, the points, the weapons and you think "Oh, so it's Warhammer Lite." No, it isn't. Doesn't play much like Warhammer at all.

That is especially true with magic. Yes, it doesn't have a ton of bells and whistles, yes there are less lores. But you know what? GW has a ton of duplicate spells that all do basically the same thing. How many flavors of "magic missile" do we really need?

All those Thraciot armies look cookie-cutter, but they aren't. Same with the Realm of Borea vs the Tusk Confederation. Quite different on the field - and yes, I'm still working on tweaking the lists.

Oh, one list that I am very proud of is the Undead. Much fun to play with. Totally unlike the way GW does them - they are fast, deadly, implacable and magic-free. And their "fear" rules mesh perfectly with the Morale system.

I suppose from a marketing standpoint, I should make them the Chosen Army of the Dark Lord, or maybe make the unexpected reappearence of Aulus Culetekius (a.k.a. Culetek the Raver) a key part of the plotline.

Commissar von Toussaint
23-08-2008, 17:34
Just a couple of updates. I was on the road for a week and now I'm getting the kids ready for school, so I haven't had a lot of free time, but I thought I'd let you know what changes I plan on making.

Re: unit sizes. The minimums will stay the way they are, but I will allow people to buy additional models on an individual basis. I still don't like the concept of being able to pick the exact numbers for each unit, but two arguments outweigh this:

1. Not everyone has the right number of models.
2. Characters don't fit evenly into the ranks. That's bugged me the whole time. I like the idea of buying 23 or 29 or some other odd number and using a character to round out the formation.

I'm sure you can think of other reasons (like different formations) but these are the two that I find most compelling.

Also, I'm rethinking magic a bit. I like the way the spells work, but I'm looking at the dynamic of using it.

The way Warhammer does it, magic starts strong and gets stronger as the game progresses. As the dispel scrolls and items are used up, magic-heavy armies just get nastier and nastier.

I think this runs contrary to how magic would really work and how it is usually portrayed in the genre. Wizards that cast lots of spells tend to get tired, to lose concentration, use up their spells, etc. Whether we're talking magic points, or whatnot, the edge in a prolonged contest should go to "reality" over magic.

So what I'm thinking of doing is allowing players to purchase spell power (either in points or casting dice) and these are depleted during the course of the game. There may be some items to refresh them, but basically if you are a wizard, you are going to have only a few turns of full power before you are too worn out to continue.

Conversely, you can pace your casting to last the whole game, which means less impact on any given turn, but a consistent one throughout the battle.

Anyhow, I'm still working on how that will go, but that's where things are. I'm happy with the spells, but may add a few that take the new system into account.

Commissar von Toussaint
19-10-2008, 14:18
Just a quick update. I've been pretty busy this fall, but my plan is to redo the army lists and the rules with an eye to making the game essentially "generic," that is easy to use in any setting.

As others have noted, my proprietary fluff lacks much of a narrative to give it any interest and I will have to wait until the muse strikes for that to happen, which could be never. So in the meantime, I'll try to strip down the rules some for those interested in a straight Warhammer version.

treben1234
25-10-2008, 21:06
So any word about undead? I was thinking about re-working the rules for them. Two things came to mind. A less charator driven hord list that relies or numbers and not staying dead dead, and Elite unit list feild with small numbers of uniqe undead, basicly wrights, knights, monsters, warmachines and heros.


Still trying to work out how to put range attacks in without messing with the balance.

I think those two thoughts in mind will statisfile the people who wants blood knights or hords of dead things.

Come to think you just have to re-think how to replenish your ranks with special rules instead of spamming nechek.

Commissar von Toussaint
26-10-2008, 15:41
I'm pretty happy with Conqueror's undead rules. The Dark Riders are legitimately scary, and the zombies are legitimately awful.

My system doesn't have the ability to create new units of undead, only the ability to somewhat replenish the ranks. My "fear" mechanic (I call it "the horror") also meshes nicely with the morale rules.

Of all parts of my game, I'm probably happiest with them. Is there some specific change you had in mind? As I said, I hope to build a more direct correlation to WHFB until I get my own fluff up, but I've been traveling a lot on business of late.

Kinaes Ethyn
06-11-2008, 19:59
I have been playing Warhammer for a year and a half maybe two.

On average, depending army size I would play anywhere between
2-5 battles a day. (10,000 pts can take a while!) Over a 10 month
period we played the 7ed rules to death.

We had no access to Forums and at the time didn't really know about
them. Warseer is the 2nd forum I have joined. I happened across your
thread and was in awe of how much effort you are putting in.

I have read all your posts and I am downloading your rules.

Why aren't GW offering you a job?!

I have told my friends and we have implemented a few of your concepts
already.
The Sliding Morale Scale is amazing and the simultaneous "fill in" combat makes perfect sense.

Apologies for the length. Your hard work is mega-appreciated. I can enjoy the game again. I may well be converted! thanks!

Kinaes Ethyn
06-11-2008, 21:06
I have just read the first 15 pages of your rules.

I like the common sense approach I've read so far.

I have argued with friends over simple things like Units not being able to pivot,
No counter charging ( I know you stated Cavalry only) unless Empire ( detachments) for example.

I like LOS for terrain being (discussed) dependent on the extent of its growth.

As a Wood Elf player I'm in love with the turn sequenced Phasing/Non-phasing approach in regards to ranged attacks. 2 shooting phases a turn! I like the way you have to reload the crossbows etc, levels them out nicely.

The Square Formation. Praise. Personal favourite.

I am planning to play at least 3-5 battles based on your army lists and rules...
within the next week. Will probably play more.

Off to finish reading those rules!

Commissar von Toussaint
07-11-2008, 22:48
Glad to hear it!

You made my month!

Funny that you should stop by this week.

I’ve been inspired to make some changes in line with the feedback I’ve gotten here. If you hit the link, you will find the new, revised rules that are hopefully the final incarnation Conqueror will take.

What did I change?

Three things.

1. Unit sizes. All units now have a minimum size and a maximum, but you have the freedom to purchase individual models between these ranges. Note that for “line” units, there is a discount for these additional models since they mostly will stay in the rear ranks. However, because skirmishers and archers will all get to fight, the additional models cost the same as the first few.

Skirmishers/archers may now have as few as five and as many as 12 models, giving you more flexibility. Similarly, I bumped the cavalry up to a 12 model max so that you could have more formations – such as a four-rank front three deep or a six-file, two-rank formation.

“Line” units are from 20 to 40 models. I think this gives you more options, particularly with elites who may want to thin out their frontage. I recognize that for some units, (elf spears) this means the “discount” gives them a let up, but so be it. They’re already going to be outnumbered, so we’ll see how it goes.

When I started doing the conversions, I noticed at almost all troops would have low fractions for point values, so I doubled the points. This makes things a little easier, and it brings the points more into line with what you are used to. So 1,000 points in Conqueror is now about 1,000 points in WFHB.

2. Terminology. I changed “health levels” to “wounds.” I originally used “health levels” because Conqueror was going to be a companion game for an RPG I was working on. I pulled the plug on that little project (after 120+ pages of type-written rules and a dozen updates) a couple of years ago. I like “wounds” better, so I’m changing it. The other terms I’m keeping because they mesh well with the system.

3. Magic. Man, the old system sucked. It was always a place-holder and with a lot of my big work projects behind me, I was finally able to give this some thought. The new version uses a lot of what you said you wanted: casting is more powerful than countermagic, the spells are divided by school and there is even a new way that they interact with each other.

I’m sure some of you will complain that there aren’t that many spells – 15 in three “schools” of five. It is true that GW cranks out more schools and spells, but they are almost all repetitive. How many flavors of magic missile do we really need?

A quick overview for those who don’t want to read all the way through the rules.

When players purchase wizards with their points, they pick which school the wizard uses. There are three: Elemental, Life and Death. There are five spells per school and the wizard knows all of them.

Each spell has a difficulty number. To cast it, simply roll a d6. If you equal or exceed the number, it works.

You can also upgrade your wizard to a “master.” This adds +1 to casting rolls and allows the wizard to cast a second spell in the magic phase (normally he gets to cast just one).

Magic takes place in a joint phase at the start of the turn. Basically the player who goes first casts a spell, and then the other player does, and so forth until all wizards have done what they want to do.

So I know you’re asking: how do dispels work?

I call it “countermagic,” and the way it works is that after a spell has been successfully cast, an opposing wizard within 24” or the effected area of the spell may declare roll a die. On a 5+, the spell is stopped. If the countermagic wizard is a “master,” he adds +1 to his roll.

Wizards (masters or otherwise) only get one countermagic attempt per turn.

This means that if you each have a master wizard, you each get two spells off, but can only attempt to stop one. There are no “dispel scrolls,” either. That’s on purpose. One thing I’ve always hated about WHFB is that you take a wizard, the other guy takes more, and you just get shut down. Boring. In Conqueror, if you take a wizard, odds are his spells will work. Obviously if you take a base-line wizard, try only for the hardest spells and are up against a master, you will still have problems.

But if you buy a master, his spells will work.

Okay, one last thing. I added a thing called “Wizards’ Duel” which allows wizards to call each other out from across the battlefield and kill each other with pure spell energy. At the very start of the magic phase, the wizards can challenge each other. They have to be within 24” but no LOS is needed. If the other guy accepts, each player rolls a die. Add +1 if you are a master. The challenger also modifies his die roll based on the schools of the two wizards.

Essentially it goes like this: Death beats Life beats Elemental beats Death.

So a Death wizard who challenges a Life wizard is +1, while if he challenges an Elemental Wizard, his die roll is -1. It helps balance the schools and adds another strategy dimension.

The high die roll wins, with the loser taking wounds equal to the difference. If there’s a tie, each wizard takes a wound.

Now if you refuse a challenge, the wizard is shut down for that magic phase. He hides. He can’t cast spells or use countermagic, but he’s also spared. He can still move and fight (so he can run out of range if he wants to).

I put this in there to allow wizards to stalk each other, which I think is a key part of how magic would work.

And of course there are magic items that enhance casting, countermagic and duels, so you can tool things up.

I also allow wizards to sacrifice a wound to boost casting (casting from health).

Finally, I have decided (based on your negative feedback and my own dissatisfaction) to essentially punt on my proprietary fluff for now. So the first of the “WHFB Conversion lists” is also up. Because it has so few units and is one of the more broken lists in WHFB, I tackled the High Elves first.

Not all units are converted because HE tend to rely on special rules and Conqueror doesn’t really have them.

Actually, a lot of GW’s units rely on special rules to work, which is a big part of what got me going on this project long, long ago.

Conqueror doesn’t have much in the way of special rules and what I do use is mostly for chrome.

Anyhow, give the armies a try, tell me how it works.

Kinaes Ethyn
08-11-2008, 10:30
Meeting up with my Nemesis today.

Top of my Agenda?

Showing him the High Elf Army List you've revised.

It doesn't even matter if we haven't access to
the other WHFB races yet.

This should be more than enough to get a feel for
how your rules work. No arguing either over who to choose!

I can say that the idea of "Wizard Duels" is inspired.
And again... It just makes sense!

Always felt like they lacked unless you used them as "Scroll Caddies" Vs.
Magically over powered opponents or as a magical "Hammer" to punish Magic-weak army set-ups.

Gonna go and mock a few battles to get your basics then I'll be off
to spread the knowledge to the unenlightened!

To the Commissar!

Kinaes Ethyn
08-11-2008, 11:58
Just going over your Army Lists now.

Will report back in 2 days.

Should have had A fair number of battles by the end.

Commissar von Toussaint
08-11-2008, 14:10
Cool. :cool:

The undead armies have had their points fixed, but I haven't converted the list. The orcs are half done.

I could probably get the dwarves done soon since their list is short.

One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of the special rules won't make it through the conversion. High Elves don't fight in three ranks because they don't need to.

That means that some units aren't going to cross over real well. Flyers, for example. I don't have rules for them. So that I'll have to figure out yet.

Similarly, I don't have any war machines. So those rules will have to be fabricated and then points worked out.

On the plus side, the core Conqueror rules are such that no army really needs to rely on them. Most people would say that an Empire army with no detachments and no war machines is really weak. Not in Conqeuror, though.

Just thinking it over, I will say that the points values on these things is likely going to cause some serious sticker shock. Also, since this is my copyrighted game, I can't very well use someone else's patent to make it work. So: No artillery/scatter dice. Guess weapons are right out.

So (again, this is just brainstorming here) the likely effects of war machines are going to be minimal compared with other missile troops. For one thing, they will only fire at half speed, so archers are going to tear them apart.

For another, they are going to have to roll to hit. Some folks will like the fact that cannons won't blow themselves up, but there you are.

A cannon, for example, would probably have unlimited range, inflict one hit per rank/file and cause d6 wounds per model with no save.

The hellblaster, would do d6 AP2 hits at long range and 2d6 AP1 hits at close range. I can see making it +1 at short range as well.

A mortar would do d6 AP1 hits on its target.

I have rules for a bolt thrower, and I could tweak those.

Catapults/rock lobbers are basically mortars.

One final note: Because I don't have the time or inclination to really go rule by rule through GW's stuff, I'm mostly going to draw on Ravening Hordes for conversion ideas. These are stripped-down rules that are well-suited to Conqueror. If your favorite new unit gets left out (remember, I don't own 7th ed. WHFB), make a suggestion for how it should work.

Kinaes Ethyn
09-11-2008, 02:21
Back again.

My Nemesis and I are going through unit by unit.

Using your High Elf Conversion List.

It's a little late but just started.

Had some ideas we'd love to put to you.

Basic questoin... may have missed the answer.

Do spears get to attack in 2 ranks on a charge?
May be a valid question if you like the idea we had.
please forgive me.... Been waiting all day to play...
think the tiredness is setting in.

For now will play it both ways.

Gazak Blacktoof
09-11-2008, 11:28
So: No artillery/scatter dice. Guess weapons are right out.


You don't need a scatter die to randomise direction though. You can use a spinner or a six point compass ie 1=0 degrees, 2=60 degrees, 3=120 degrees, etc. or a four point compass with a 5 or 6 being a "hit".

Commissar von Toussaint
09-11-2008, 15:48
You don't need a scatter die to randomise direction though. You can use a spinner or a six point compass ie 1=0 degrees, 2=60 degrees, 3=120 degrees, etc. or a four point compass with a 5 or 6 being a "hit".

I understand that. I can also mimic and artillery die by using a table.

I'm not interested in either. I think "guess" weapons are silly, and since I don't have templates anyway (which avoids another source of rules disputes and cumbersome mechanics), I find it easier to say that if the shell/cannonball/rock misses, it lands someplace else where nothing happens.

Remember, unlike WHFB, Conqueror has a scale to it. Each infantry model = 10 real people. Each artillery model = a battery. At this scale, working out individual shot scatter is highly unrealistic. The focus of my design is on tactics rather than game mechanics. I've found that the more game mechanics you add, the more the game degenerates into an effort to maximize these rather than real-world tactics.

Gazak Blacktoof
09-11-2008, 16:47
That's fair enough. What you seemed to be saying was you couldn't do it because you couldn't use a proprietary GW product, not that you though the mechanics were unsuitable. However I now understand your position from the reasons you've just given.

Commissar von Toussaint
11-11-2008, 13:50
The artillery rules are now included.

I'm going to add some additional gunpowder weapons and that should be that.

Hopefully I'll get some additional WHFB conversion lists in the next few days, so check back often.

Commissar von Toussaint
11-11-2008, 14:04
Okay, here's the Vampire Counts conversion list.

Commissar von Toussaint
16-11-2008, 14:26
I've got a couple more lists ready: Wood Elves and Empire.

Next up is Orcs. After that, you'll have to request them.

The web site also will have a revised rule book with handgun rules.

Glabro
17-11-2008, 14:28
I'm back!

Lately a club member has been disgruntled with Warhammer. The reasons are the same as those you highlighted in your original post on this thread, but also more importantly because Warhammer seems to be a game of cavalry, skirmishers, heroes & monsters and magic as opposed to battlelines and infantry.

I set about writing my own set of rules based on the WHFRPG / Dark Heresy system, purely for fun. After finishing up with the main rules, I hit a bit of a writer's block when it came to individual troops and armies, and started having doubts about its playability.

We discussed alternative ideas like using Warmaster rules with Warhammer models, but after talking about it with another friend I had to admit it lacked the flair and style of Warhammer by condensing the army lists and unit stats. What we wanted was MORE variety between unit types, not less!

Long story short, I remembered your rules. I'll have to give them a proper read, but from what I remember they seemed very much on the right track. The fact that many of the army lists are done is a huge plus. I'll just have to "convert" the names back to Warhammer before I present anything to the club, as anything else would turn the interest knob down for them.

If you feel like comparing notes, let me know.

Commissar von Toussaint
17-11-2008, 23:09
I think you'll find Conqueror strikes a nice balance. Knights can run over chaff, but solid infantry (MS 3 with spears or pikes, for example) are very tough.

Let me know if there are any lists that are needed and I'll make them a priority. Also, the points may need adjustment here or there - I kind of rushed through the conversions so I'll have to double-check my sums.

Infinitium
25-11-2008, 14:34
Good to see this is coming along nicely. I'm not playing actively anymore so it looks like I'm not going to be able to help you playetest, but I'm definetly gonna keep an eye on the project for a while longer.

Anyway feedback:

Magic: It's a definite improvement, but I've been thinking about your earlier points and realized that you were right; rolling to cast spells is not optimal. What about a system using counters instead; eg a wizard produces a set amount of counters each turn and each spell takes a specific amount of counters to cast. The effects of the spells are randomized using dice however. Countermagic could be handled by removing counters from the magic pool and then applying a +1/-1 to the dice roll for the affected spell for each counter removed. Countermagic would be applied before the casting wizard rolls for spell effects, naturally.

Alternatively, counterspells could only be used to dispel magic targeting your own models and apply a +1 AS v. Spells/+1 to Morale checks v. spells for each counter spent this way. This is more "realistic" in a way as it reflects Wizards not being terribly preoccupied with what their enemy does but rather seeks to protect their allies.

This makes countermagic relatively inefficient whilst retaining the sliding scale of success that is present in the rest of your system.

Also, I don't really like the Wizard Duels as they seems too advantageous to the player with the most wizards and makes Wizards much harder to protect overall. Besides, throwing fireballs at each other makes for cooler imagery than mindwrestling =).

Shooting: I think a hefty downgrade is in order here. I realize that archers shouldn't get the discount for extra models as rank and file infantry does; but being outnumbered 5 to 1 doesn't really strike me as overly realistic (not to mention that an elven archer is comparable in prize to elven heroes which is just odd).

A good place to cut costs would be to revise the morale check that units suffering casualties from archers have to take. An idea here is that any unit suffering casualties has to make a morale check and add the amount of casualties taken in that shooting phase to the roll. For each point the unit fails the check by the unit subtracts 1 from its movement in its next moving phase, representing the ranks getting disordered from the confusion and soldiers ducking for cover. If the check fails by more than a certain margin the unit loses it and routs.

The numbers probably needs to be tweaked, and having 2 shooting phases for each movement phase might present some trouble wording it correctly, but overall I think that it'd be an improvement.

Weapons Naming Conventions: Minor point really, but streamlining the rules for similar weapons saves some time for WYSIWYG purposes. I was thinking:

Hand Weapons: Swords, Daggers, Claws etc
Heavy Weapons: Maces, Flails, Big Axes, Choppas etc
Great Weapons: Greatswords, Greataxes, Heavy Flails etc
Spears: Spears
Polearms: Pikes, Halberds etc

Where Polearms uses the current Pike rules and Heavy Weapons uses the Current Mace rules. Flails are incorporated in the Great/Heavy weapons rules.

Random:

Archer Lords/Heroes are unnecessary and don't make a lot of sense. Having a system where you can buy stat increases a la the Ogre Big Names/Vampires system might work better.

Condition Saves: Brings Regeneration/Ward Saves/Etheral saves back. Essentially a special rule that means that the unit's armor save may not be modified beyond a specific value except by certain attacks, such as Magical attacks for an instance.

Example:
Amulet of Regeneration: Characters wearing the Amulet of Regeneration will always save on a roll of 5+ or better versus non-flaming attacks.

I still think you should have number of Attacks and Armor Piercing in the Statline. Removing abundant special rules is a good thing, even if it means filling in 1 and 0 respectively into 90% of the unit entries. Also means you can give certain characters such as Orc Warlords less MS and Armor Piercing 1 to compensate to create diversity.

Also, I'm not sure about this one but have you considered lowering the average MS by 1 for everything ie have 2 as the standard Human? It opens up room in the upper ranges, and imo it's more suitable to mark the difference in ability say between an Elven Prince and a Bloodthirster than an untrained Human and a Zombie.

Commissar von Toussaint
29-11-2008, 07:35
Good to see this is coming along nicely. I'm not playing actively anymore so it looks like I'm not going to be able to help you playetest, but I'm definetly gonna keep an eye on the project for a while longer.

Thanks for your interest.


Magic: It's a definite improvement, but I've been thinking about your earlier points and realized that you were right; rolling to cast spells is not optimal. What about a system using counters instead; eg a wizard produces a set amount of counters each turn and each spell takes a specific amount of counters to cast. The effects of the spells are randomized using dice however. Countermagic could be handled by removing counters from the magic pool and then applying a +1/-1 to the dice roll for the affected spell for each counter removed. Countermagic would be applied before the casting wizard rolls for spell effects, naturally.

Alternatively, counterspells could only be used to dispel magic targeting your own models and apply a +1 AS v. Spells/+1 to Morale checks v. spells for each counter spent this way. This is more "realistic" in a way as it reflects Wizards not being terribly preoccupied with what their enemy does but rather seeks to protect their allies.

This makes countermagic relatively inefficient whilst retaining the sliding scale of success that is present in the rest of your system.

I'm glad someone else saw where I was coming from on that. Having put together the new system, I'm going to see how it works. I also think it will be easier for players to accept and adjust to from other systems.


Also, I don't really like the Wizard Duels as they seems too advantageous to the player with the most wizards and makes Wizards much harder to protect overall. Besides, throwing fireballs at each other makes for cooler imagery than mindwrestling.

We'll see. I rather like the idea of wizards sensing one another from afar and targeting devastating spells at each other. It doesn't have to be a "mind war" - it could well be external spells sent like smart bombs after each other. I can change the description to that effect.

The idea is that you don't have scroll carriers and if a wizard is hindering your casting, you can kill him without trying to chase him across the battlefield and obliterating all the units he is hiding in.

Conversely, a weaker wizard can just keep his distance or, if that won't work, just "go dark" and stop casting spells.


Shooting: I think a hefty downgrade is in order here. I realize that archers shouldn't get the discount for extra models as rank and file infantry does; but being outnumbered 5 to 1 doesn't really strike me as overly realistic (not to mention that an elven archer is comparable in prize to elven heroes which is just odd).

I've put up a revised point chart. The reason the points didn't work is that they were tabulated incorrectly. Math has never been my strong subject, and when I decided to scrap the older points system to allow the purchase of individual models, things got mixed up.

So I went through the formula and streamlined it (the new version is in the rules currently on the web site) and the numbers make more sense.

But High Elf archers are hideously expensive. They should be. As a matter of historical fact, if skilled longbowmen could catch an enemy in the open, they were able to inflict terrible carnage.

The problem you noted was that the character prices were wildly out of whack as well, and that's also been fixed.


Weapons Naming Conventions: Minor point really, but streamlining the rules for similar weapons saves some time for WYSIWYG purposes. I was thinking:

Hand Weapons: Swords, Daggers, Claws etc
Heavy Weapons: Maces, Flails, Big Axes, Choppas etc
Great Weapons: Greatswords, Greataxes, Heavy Flails etc
Spears: Spears
Polearms: Pikes, Halberds etc

Where Polearms uses the current Pike rules and Heavy Weapons uses the Current Mace rules. Flails are incorporated in the Great/Heavy weapons rules.

I see pikes as a class by themselves and halberds as part of the great weapon family. We'll see how it works. I understand that a lot of WHFB players may not have maces or flails, but these are weapon types I want to include because they are historical and add more options to the old "handweapon/shield" combo.


Random:

Archer Lords/Heroes are unnecessary and don't make a lot of sense. Having a system where you can buy stat increases a la the Ogre Big Names/Vampires system might work better.

They're there for people who want them. The idea is that if you want to boost the leadership of a unit of archers, you take one. And, as a side effect, you get a guy who can hit a sparrow in the eye at 100 yards (so to speak :) ).


Condition Saves: Brings Regeneration/Ward Saves/Etheral saves back. Essentially a special rule that means that the unit's armor save may not be modified beyond a specific value except by certain attacks, such as Magical attacks for an instance.

Example:
Amulet of Regeneration: Characters wearing the Amulet of Regeneration will always save on a roll of 5+ or better versus non-flaming attacks.

I've got those in the magic items section.


I still think you should have number of Attacks and Armor Piercing in the Statline. Removing abundant special rules is a good thing, even if it means filling in 1 and 0 respectively into 90% of the unit entries. Also means you can give certain characters such as Orc Warlords less MS and Armor Piercing 1 to compensate to create diversity.

I want to keep the profile to a minimum and if I add an Attacks stat, there will be pressure to increase it.

AP is different because it is mostly a function of weapons. There are a few units (ogres come to mind) that get a bonus AP of one just for being so damn big.

Special rules are a tricky area. I understand that people like them, and they do add a bit of flavor to the game. The problem is that almost every single unit in WHFB has a special rule, and that gets annoying. My conversion lists are based on the idea that these are the way the units work in a game that isn't so reliant on special rules to make the system work. Thus, in the Orc list, Big 'Uns and Black Orcs are basically stronger and have better leadership. But there's no animosity/quell animosity stuff because (IMO) it just bogs the game down.


Also, I'm not sure about this one but have you considered lowering the average MS by 1 for everything ie have 2 as the standard Human? It opens up room in the upper ranges, and imo it's more suitable to mark the difference in ability say between an Elven Prince and a Bloodthirster than an untrained Human and a Zombie.

But what is that difference, really? Considering all the factors in WHFB, WS just doesn't amount to much. I have left steps than WHFB, but all of mine get used. The number of MS 1 units is about the same as the number of MS 5 ones. The lists I have right now may not showcase that, but if/when I get Bretonnia done, the human peasant militia will be MS 2. The Empire is MS 3, but that's because it's State Troops are actually supposed to be well-trained.

I'm very comfortable with how the MS stat interacts at this point.

As I noted above, the newest rules are up at the site (just follow the link in my sig).

Here are the conversion lists I have. They're mostly complete.

Glabro
30-11-2008, 21:36
I have couple of things to say.

First, unit formations. Take note that this isn't something that I think is a "flaw" of the rules as Fantasy Battle works this way and it's just too huge of a difference, but rather just food for though for future projects.

You seem to have a column formation as well as a square formation. In my mind, what's missing is the seminal battle formation: the line. Extreme examples of Macedonian phalanges possibly excepted, units do not generally deploy in a formation that is as deep as it is wide. A normal depth would be 3-4 ranks in a single formation. However, this would be for units of a hundred to several hundred (which is what I hope your rules represent for units), so the width-depth ratio is at least on the order of 1:30 to 1:50 and might be all the way for 1:100. Naturally, for a miniature game's sake, the depth of the unit (the depth of the bases) represents a certain amount of "empty space" the unit controls, so a ratio of 2:1 to 4:1 with 3:1 as the happy average is very suitable. In practise this means narrow, wide units, most likely one miniature wide unless they're pikes.

However, all this would mean many more narrow units (deployed in depth) and a necessity for rules that favour units that are wider than their opponents as it allows outflanking (as it historically was, and the reason lines needed to be wide).

Of course, this is a fantasy battle game instead of a historical wargame, so the real suggestions are to model in the advantage of having a wider formation (and not just in the 2nd round IF you win like in 4th/5th) which would lead to a bit wider units and would add an interesting tactical perspective. Oh, and we can always assume that since this is epic fantasy, each unit actually represents an element of a full formation including van, main and rear and the big lines would be formed by several of these in close proximity (and with improved outflanking rules this could be enticing).
I'd thus limit the maximum "rank bonus" to +2. This way, units would look cooler and more battleline-like!

As for the square (which represents a circle or a "back to back") formation, I would consider removing the rank bonus of units in a square. Squares are inferior formations when it comes to fighting, and are employed only out of necessity when outflanked.

As for halberds, they definitely feel like a "combo"-weapon to me - spear or heavy/great weapon. Longbowmen, remember, it was the quantity of the longbowmen, as well as the quality of the weapon that made it decisive. It was a cheap and effective way to make the masses of peasants into something that had a real impact on the field. The men would train to be strong bowmen and shoot into a target area, but marksmanship had little to do with it. It was 6000 longbowmen that devastated 2000 french knights in mud in Agincourt. That's why I'm not too sure why the elven archer should be expensive and few in number.

On a more goofball note (and I don't expect you to even consider these for this set of rules, this is more like brainstorming), I might also suggest a "pushing" rule for units defeated but not broken in combat. The loser would be pushed back an inch or two and the winner would have the choice of pressing on and staying locked in combat or holding (perhaps a command test?), the choice might tie in with another suggestion of mine (fatigue). If the losing unit is pushed into impassable terrain or enemy units, Bad Things could happen (though perhaps not a total wipeout, just the actual models that "cannot move").

A fatigue system based on toughness (and in an extreme case, armour) (unit can take x many fatigue, rounds of combat or special cases before starting to take combat res penalties), but is probably too annoying to keep track off compared to its benefit.

Anyway, that's it for now, maybe more later.

Infinitium
01-12-2008, 16:20
We'll see. I rather like the idea of wizards sensing one another from afar and targeting devastating spells at each other. It doesn't have to be a "mind war" - it could well be external spells sent like smart bombs after each other. I can change the description to that effect.

The idea is that you don't have scroll carriers and if a wizard is hindering your casting, you can kill him without trying to chase him across the battlefield and obliterating all the units he is hiding in.

Conversely, a weaker wizard can just keep his distance or, if that won't work, just "go dark" and stop casting spells.

I do see what you're trying to accomplish here. What about a rule where Wizards always have LOS to other Wizards for casting purposes, regardless of blocking terrain and arc of vision? This also opens up design space for low-level spells allowing wizards to "go dark" by use of a specific spell, or being more susceptible to hostile spells the more spells they attempt in a turn.


.
But High Elf archers are hideously expensive. They should be. As a matter of historical fact, if skilled longbowmen could catch an enemy in the open, they were able to inflict terrible carnage.

True, but I agree with Glabro that one of the main perks of Longbowmen (and more importantly Crossbowmen) was that it evened the field for relatively poorly trained and armed peasants to take down knights. This is also why I feel that Archery characters are a bit out of place; seeing as at least western-european nobility has traditionally been in contempt of missile weapons for this very reason. It also clutters the character selection process somewhat. One of the main appeals of 6th Edition of Warhammer was that it streamlined the amount of characters (O&G aside) and did away with the huge equipment selection lists in favor of the "may be equipped with X for Y points" system.


I see pikes as a class by themselves and halberds as part of the great weapon family. We'll see how it works. I understand that a lot of WHFB players may not have maces or flails, but these are weapon types I want to include because they are historical and add more options to the old "handweapon/shield" combo.

They are definetly different weapons; but they are very similar in design and function (being designed to counter Cavalry whilst being relatively easy to use effectively in actual combat (getting to the fight in formation however..)).
Also, this helps to differentiate certain units, eg Phoenix Guards/Swordmasters, Halberdiers/Greatswords, Executioners/Black Guard etc.
The Heavy Weapon thing is mostly because whilst a lot of units in warhammer carry what must be depicted as armor-breaking weaponry (White Wolves, Orcs, Chaos Warriors..) few of them are actually Maces or Flails. And I don't really see why Flails should be strictly better than Maces and so mashed them together with similar weaponry.


I've got those in the magic items section.

Ooops. Still, I think you should use it more as a sort of vanilla special rule for certain units (I was thinking Wraiths and Ghosts specifically, but also regenerators and Daemons) since it's pretty straightforward and comprehensible.


I want to keep the profile to a minimum and if I add an Attacks stat, there will be pressure to increase it.

Pressure != actually implementing it though, as being demonstrated here. Up to 7th Edition all rank and file units had 1 attack with Chosen Warriors, Grail Knights and Saurus as the notable exceptions, so i wouldn't worry about it being perceived as overly repetitive.


AP is different because it is mostly a function of weapons. There are a few units (ogres come to mind) that get a bonus AP of one just for being so damn big.

But you're putting Saves in the statline and this would complement those. What about putting both of these "derived" stats beneath the statline proper, as Warhammer currently does in the army selection sections?
Including an Attack Stat, MS reduction and using brackets to denote equipment bonuses that means the statline would be something along the lines of:

Greatsword: MS3 BS3 A1 W1 MV4 MR:B
SV: 0 (5+)
AP: 0 (2)

Ogre Irongut: MS3 BS2 A2 W2 MV6 MR:C
SV: 6+ (4+)
AP: 1 (3)


Special rules are a tricky area. I understand that people like them, and they do add a bit of flavor to the game. The problem is that almost every single unit in WHFB has a special rule, and that gets annoying.

Amen.


But what is that difference, really?

In essence it would give more varied MS ranges for characters/monsters whilst clumping together Goblins/Peasants/Skinks/Zombies/Gitlings and Swarm bases in the MS1 bracket, which I consider a fair tradeoff as characters are more prominent overall.


As I noted above, the newest rules are up at the site (just follow the link in my sig).

Here are the conversion lists I have. They're mostly complete.

I'll give them a proper readthruough later.

More Random Ideas:

Allow Units with Missile Weapons to fire on large targets in close combat (using their BS instead of MS and possibly with a negative to hit modifier and in multiple ranks. Casualties are tallied for combat resolution as normal). Makes sense and makes it a bit harder for flying monsters to chew up ranged units.

Commissar von Toussaint
01-12-2008, 23:26
First, unit formations. Take note that this isn't something that I think is a "flaw" of the rules as Fantasy Battle works this way and it's just too huge of a difference, but rather just food for though for future projects.

You seem to have a column formation as well as a square formation. In my mind, what's missing is the seminal battle formation: the line.

There are really two formations: the square and the other one, which, for lack of a better term, I call the column. But you could call it the line.

Historical armies fought in depth, usually at least eight ranks, sometimes (as with the Macedonians or Swiss) much more depth. So I leave it up to the players as to how deep they want their formations to be.

High-skill armies are usually outnumbered, so expanded frontages also have a tactical purpose in allowing them to match their more densely-packed enemies. In my most recent game, I was using High Elf spears in a formation that was ten models wide by three ranks deep. It was very effective against horde troops.


However, all this would mean many more narrow units (deployed in depth) and a necessity for rules that favour units that are wider than their opponents as it allows outflanking (as it historically was, and the reason lines needed to be wide).

I do not allow units to "bend" around other units. What players can do is take long, wide units and then smaller, denser ones to serve as flankers.


I'd thus limit the maximum "rank bonus" to +2. This way, units would look cooler and more battleline-like!

There are no "rank bonuses" in Conqueror. The side with more ranks gets a +1 on its Morale Check. If one side has no ranks and the other 40, the deeper unit still gets only a +1.


As for the square (which represents a circle or a "back to back") formation, I would consider removing the rank bonus of units in a square. Squares are inferior formations when it comes to fighting, and are employed only out of necessity when outflanked.

Units in square formation that are are attacked in the flank or rear cannot outrank their opponents. They also cannot move (either to charge or pursue) so there are definate down sides.


As for halberds, they definitely feel like a "combo"-weapon to me - spear or heavy/great weapon.

If you think about it, it works that way. Great weapons don't "set" for charges because they don't need to. They are always AP2. If it helps you visualize it, you can imagine them braced on the charge round and then being swung thereafter, but the rules effect is pretty much the same.

They are, however, too short to use in deep formations. That is the chief advantage of spears and pikes, and I think the rules reflect that.


Longbowmen, remember, it was the quantity of the longbowmen, as well as the quality of the weapon that made it decisive. It was a cheap and effective way to make the masses of peasants into something that had a real impact on the field. The men would train to be strong bowmen and shoot into a target area, but marksmanship had little to do with it. It was 6000 longbowmen that devastated 2000 french knights in mud in Agincourt. That's why I'm not too sure why the elven archer should be expensive and few in number.

Point cost for missile units is determined by the Shooting Skill of the unit. Because High Elves are phenomenal shots, their longbowmen are hideously expensive.

This isn't my fluff, this is my conversion to GW. If you want to build your own lists, the point calculations are in the appendix.


On a more goofball note (and I don't expect you to even consider these for this set of rules, this is more like brainstorming), I might also suggest a "pushing" rule for units defeated but not broken in combat. The loser would be pushed back an inch or two and the winner would have the choice of pressing on and staying locked in combat or holding (perhaps a command test?), the choice might tie in with another suggestion of mine (fatigue). If the losing unit is pushed into impassable terrain or enemy units, Bad Things could happen (though perhaps not a total wipeout, just the actual models that "cannot move").

I thought about it but dropped it because it slowed the game down and accomplished nothing. Units tended to pulse back and forth a couple of inches, as the slaughter occured, which didn't really affect the game, but made for lots of opportunities for models to get knocked over, bases to get stock and terrain to get messed up.


A fatigue system based on toughness (and in an extreme case, armour) (unit can take x many fatigue, rounds of combat or special cases before starting to take combat res penalties), but is probably too annoying to keep track off compared to its benefit.

That would be good for a special scenario. I'm assuming that most battles are straightforward affairs: the troops line up after sunrise and without much ado get stuck in.

Crecy and Agincourt were kind of unique in that you had one side walking up hill through mud in heavy armor. Kind of tiring.

I have something similar to what you are talking about in the rules for being "shaken." If a unit takes enough losses, it's morale degrades. Period. It can't rally from being shaken. So as the battle wears on, and casualties mount, the troops' morale wears down.

Glabro
01-12-2008, 23:48
Historical armies fought in depth, usually at
east eight ranks, sometimes (as with the Macedonians or Swiss) much more depth. So I leave it up to the players as to how deep they want their formations to be.


Indeed? That was my initial assumption as well based on classical warfare and phalanges & centuries / cohorts, but to my surprise, in my studies I found that medieval warfare favoured multiple wide but shallow lines (vanguard, mainguard, rearguard, comparative to the modern military concept of defense in depth), depending on the enemy and the armament of the troops, of course - deeper formations against cavalry, wide against infantry.

A shieldwall of spears & shields, for example, would be about four men deep.
Pikes would naturally be deeper (8 deep, as you said, at least), but would still have a frontage in the dozens).

Historical games such as DBM agree with this sentiment.

Anyhow, no problem, just talking academically here, and would welcome any further information on the matter.


Sorry about getting the rank bonus thing wrong, shows that I need to spend more time reading the rules rather than skimming them.

Commissar von Toussaint
01-12-2008, 23:52
I do see what you're trying to accomplish here. What about a rule where Wizards always have LOS to other Wizards for casting purposes, regardless of blocking terrain and arc of vision? This also opens up design space for low-level spells allowing wizards to "go dark" by use of a specific spell, or being more susceptible to hostile spells the more spells they attempt in a turn.

I really need to see if the system works before I tinker with it too much. I really like the idea of taking dueling away from other spellcasting since forces players to tool up for it.

So now you can have your duelist wizard which is a lot more interesting than a scroll caddy. Again, if fireworks are needed, a little extra text can be added.


True, but I agree with Glabro that one of the main perks of Longbowmen (and more importantly Crossbowmen) was that it evened the field for relatively poorly trained and armed peasants to take down knights. This is also why I feel that Archery characters are a bit out of place; seeing as at least western-european nobility has traditionally been in contempt of missile weapons for this very reason. It also clutters the character selection process somewhat. One of the main appeals of 6th Edition of Warhammer was that it streamlined the amount of characters (O&G aside) and did away with the huge equipment selection lists in favor of the "may be equipped with X for Y points" system.

The main reason I have archer characters is that GW does and these rules are conversions of WHFB. If it were up to me, I wouldn't have chariots as I think they are kind of out of place, but I made rules for them as well.

Why do they get their own entry? Because the cost of the weapon is a function of the hand that wields it. To put it another way, GW's system of fixed point costs doesn't really work. High BS characters should pay more for their weapons. Since elves are good at shooting, they pay a lot to get to shoot twice.

My point is that the quality of Welsh longbowmen isn't really germane when calculating the points values for High Elves.


They are definetly different weapons; but they are very similar in design and function (being designed to counter Cavalry whilst being relatively easy to use effectively in actual combat (getting to the fight in formation however..)).

Also, this helps to differentiate certain units, eg Phoenix Guards/Swordmasters, Halberdiers/Greatswords, Executioners/Black Guard etc.

The Heavy Weapon thing is mostly because whilst a lot of units in warhammer carry what must be depicted as armor-breaking weaponry (White Wolves, Orcs, Chaos Warriors..) few of them are actually Maces or Flails. And I don't really see why Flails should be strictly better than Maces and so mashed them together with similar weaponry.[/quote]

Flails take a little more skill but deal out even more damage due to the force they can generate. While I appreciate that many GW models aren't in perfect harmony with Conqueror, I'm not actually marketing my game solely on the bases of its compatibility to GW's model ranges.


Ooops. Still, I think you should use it more as a sort of vanilla special rule for certain units (I was thinking Wraiths and Ghosts specifically, but also regenerators and Daemons) since it's pretty straightforward and comprehensible.

I can see it as an 'army special rule,' but I really don't like creating a lot of special rules.


Pressure != actually implementing it though, as being demonstrated here. Up to 7th Edition all rank and file units had 1 attack with Chosen Warriors, Grail Knights and Saurus as the notable exceptions, so i wouldn't worry about it being perceived as overly repetitive.

Since people seem to want it, I guess I can add it.


But you're putting Saves in the statline and this would complement those. What about putting both of these "derived" stats beneath the statline proper, as Warhammer currently does in the army selection sections?
Including an Attack Stat, MS reduction and using brackets to denote equipment bonuses that means the statline would be something along the lines of:

Greatsword: MS3 BS3 A1 W1 MV4 MR:B
SV: 0 (5+)
AP: 0 (2)

Ogre Irongut: MS3 BS2 A2 W2 MV6 MR:C
SV: 6+ (4+)
AP: 1 (3)
I'm open to streamlining the unit profile.


In essence it would give more varied MS ranges for characters/monsters whilst clumping together Goblins/Peasants/Skinks/Zombies/Gitlings and Swarm bases in the MS1 bracket, which I consider a fair tradeoff as characters are more prominent overall.

Here is the problem, though: I don't want characters to be all that powerful. Look, I know it appears really impressive that a bloodthirster is WS10 while a hero is only WS 6, but the actual differential on what these things can do to line troops (and each other) is quite small.

Because MS counts for more, opening up the "upper tiers" makes characters more god-like and also reduces the differences for all other troopers.

My first thought is this: Play the game and get back to me. Tell me how it worked, and what you'd like to see. I'm open to going up to MS 7 for the Super Duper heroes. Mostly they won't be any harder to hit than MS 6 for the rank and file, but they would give the MS 5 and MS 6 something to aspire to.

But recalibrating the entire system is somewhere I really don't want to go.


More Random Ideas:

Allow Units with Missile Weapons to fire on large targets in close combat (using their BS instead of MS and possibly with a negative to hit modifier and in multiple ranks. Casualties are tallied for combat resolution as normal). Makes sense and makes it a bit harder for flying monsters to chew up ranged units.

I think the fact that missile units have decent range and get to shoot twice per turn is deterrent enough. I honestly haven't pointed out a bloodthirster or dragon yet, and I'm really, really reluctant to come up with special rules just to cover given creatures.

That is pretty much why I'm receptive to your changes on the unit profile. Right now, I have special rules to explain toughness, extra AP and such. With the stat, I can make it even easier to see that Ogres hit hard.

Cornelio
02-12-2008, 21:28
Hey Commissar,

I've downloaded your rule package and I'm very excited. Good job! I'm going to try it out.

I know it's not finished but I have some questions/comments:
- Are scouts to be included?
- And fast cavalry? I think skirmishing cavalry is really uncool.
- There should be a good rule for charging skirmishers like: move the unit in a straight line with as little wheeling as necessary to the closest skirmishing model it can see. Otherwise you can have situations where units directly in front of a skirmish unit (like 4") just make a huge wheel so they touch one skirmisher. Then the skirmishing unit would be oddly aligned in combat - meaning that models could run like 10" - and a nasty pursue could be made by the charger.
- Do mounts not attack? I think there should be something like impact hits for cavalry.
- You should only be able to charge a war machine if you can reach the machine (as in WHFB), to make things clear.
- There is nothing yet that describes what bases units are on.
- Terror: any enemy unit not in combat within 6" of the Terror-causer suffer a -1 ML.

Maybe Terror should be a standard monster rule.

Cornelio
03-12-2008, 16:00
Some things on weapons.

For weapons to be of equally price they should be equally good. It's even better when one weapon is more useful in a specific situation and the other in some other situation.
Spears are THE weapon. You get double attacks (like with 2 hand weapons) AND you can use a shield AND you can set them for cavalry! In the flank they become less good, but it doesn't really matter because you are already screwed when the enemy is in your flanks. You should keep in mind that attacks are way better in conqueror then in WHFB.

Great weapons on the other hand are quite useless. What should I use it for? Heavily armoured Cavalry? No, not cavalry, I could use spears and have the same AP 2, double attacks and a shield for about the same price.
Infantry? Nah, I'll use spears, they do more damage. Even if they are armoured.

Flails are almost the same as great weapons as almost every unit with armour has a shield. But Flails are better because you can use a shield. Flails should not get the standard AP 1. Alternatively it should not negate shields, but I think that's a less good solution.

Another little thing: heavily armoured infantry with two hand weapons are also very unrealistic. It would be a good penalty to demand that you can't combine 2 hand weapons with armour. Furthermore it should not be able for mounted units.

I suggest that spears do not fight in 2 ranks, but confer a -1 to hit for the enemy. This represents that the men are hard to reach because of all the spears that are threatening the enemy. It will make spears more of a defending type of weapon as it should be, rather then a offensive type of weapon.
I really like the set-rule, btw. Great idea!

Pikes could be the better version of the spears and do give one extra rank of models to fight, but apart from that they would be the same as spears (meaning no AP 1).



This would mean in strategy terms:
- Hand weapons are normal weapons. They are not good, but they are for free.
- 2 Hand weapons are very aggressive, but choosing to have so, you are also very vulnerable.
- Spears are very defensive and anti-cavalry.
- Pikes are offensive and anti-cavalry (really good weapon, but should be very expensive and rare).
- Great weapons are very good at armoured troops.
- Flails are only a little upgrade from normal hand weapons.

As you can see, this make every option a nice one. And you shall see more variety in weapons on the battlefield.

Infinitium
06-12-2008, 02:10
Spears are supposed to be "the" weapon though - they've been pretty much mainstay since we figured out how to point a stick for a reason. Don't worry about it being too good versus cavalry either as it has no business charging spear-wielding infantry in the first place (and even then they're only AP1).

Holding a weapon in each hand by contrast is very awkward and not very practical for Humans at least, and to my knowledge has never been adopted in warfare on a large scale for that very reason. Wearing armour has nothing to do with it though. From what I've been told it's actually pretty easy to move about even in Platemail armour since the weight is distributed evenly on the body and they are typically custom-made for the wielder.

Great weapons are, on average, better than spears against 2+ save opponents and on par against with them against 3+ save so calling them useless is a little misleading. Add to the fact that great/additional weapon users usually have better MS than spearmen (reflecting amongst other things those weapons being more effective in personal combat) and I wouldn't worry about having to change the rules for spears/2 Hand Weapons at all.

@Commisar

I'm reading through the rules at a leisure pace here and will give feedback as I go; but for now there's just a few details to get me started:

-You should add "fighting a Horror-causing opponent" to the psychology modifiers chart as a -2 modifier to make it a broader special rule that can be applied to more than the undead (daemons and large monsters specifically).

-Is there a paragraph stating that disordered units revert to "normal" status after succesfully rolling for morale? This should be made clearer as it can otherwise be interpreted that units stay disordered forever, which creates rule inconsistencies with rallied units.

-You might want to redefine "cavalry" to "models or units with a movement value of 7 or greater" for the purpose of setting spears/pikes to avoid assorted weird situations.

-Is there a functional difference between BS5 & BS6? They both hit on a natural 2+ and I didn't find any special rule pertaining to it. Maybe you could redefine the to hit table (eg roll 1d6, add units BS and subtract to hit modifiers - any score of 7+ is a hit. As an added bonus this means that BS0 units can't hit nothing without the need of a specific rule for it). I do like that there are no large targets though; that rule never made any sense to me either.

-Smaller troops shouldn't block LOS to/from sufficiently big models though; monstrous creatures are going to enough of a pain to balance without the option of screening them.

-Allow fliers to fly/charge/draw LOS over intervening troops and terrain. As long as they cannot end their move inside another unit this doesn't require any additional rules, and it always bugged me that they couldn't do it in Warhammer.

-Remove the need to pass a morale check in order to countercharge. Don't see Heavy Cavalry backing down ever without due cause.

-Add the need to pass a morale check in order to restraint pursuit - this makes undisciplined rabble more likely to get drawn into traps and simulates victorious units getting carried away quite nicely.

-If the army general is removed as a casualty or flees every unit within the army (or at least within a given radius) should be required to take a Morale Check to represent the confusion this entails. This also gives players more of an incentitive to actually protect their general.

-Is there really a need for capturing banners in the VP tallying section? Banners aren't bought actively in conqueror and whilst taking trophies has always been part of warfare the focus should be on actually destroying the enemy. It also raises the question of which units are counted as having banners in the first place, and could easily be done without. Similary, why should characters/monsters beneath 50% of their starting wounds yield VP? Wounds heal over time whereas troops need to be replaced. I do like that you made without the claiming table quarters nonsense however. Unit costs and the state of the army standard/the general is plenty for calculating who won imo.

-When I was writing about "condition saves" earlier I meant incorporating the ward save/regeneration into the models ordinary save (eg a model can have a total save of 3+ which will never be modified past 5+), which makes it easier to apply to certain units whilst making it so that characters with protective charms won't roll to save twice, removing another one of the damage filters that Warhammer has got.

Commissar von Toussaint
06-12-2008, 13:46
Good comments!


I'm reading through the rules at a leisure pace here and will give feedback as I go; but for now there's just a few details to get me started:

-You should add "fighting a Horror-causing opponent" to the psychology modifiers chart as a -2 modifier to make it a broader special rule that can be applied to more than the undead (daemons and large monsters specifically).

Yeah, I hadn't thought of "The Horror" as a generic rule, but it probably should be. I don't want it to be as prevalent as fear, though. Basically only stuff that would normally cause terror plus the undead would get it.


-Is there a paragraph stating that disordered units revert to "normal" status after succesfully rolling for morale? This should be made clearer as it can otherwise be interpreted that units stay disordered forever, which creates rule inconsistencies with rallied units.

I should put a sentence under Rallying that explains that the Rally Table is the only way disordered units can pull themselves together.


-You might want to redefine "cavalry" to "models or units with a movement value of 7 or greater" for the purpose of setting spears/pikes to avoid assorted weird situations.

Or I could simply put a standard notation in the army lists.


-Is there a functional difference between BS5 & BS6? They both hit on a natural 2+ and I didn't find any special rule pertaining to it. Maybe you could redefine the to hit table (eg roll 1d6, add units BS and subtract to hit modifiers - any score of 7+ is a hit. As an added bonus this means that BS0 units can't hit nothing without the need of a specific rule for it). I do like that there are no large targets though; that rule never made any sense to me either.

Both are pretty high-end. The big thing is that SS 6 can hit on a 2+ at long range, or in light cover, etc. I maxed it out at 6 to prevent the silly auto-hits that can happy if you have BS 8.


-Smaller troops shouldn't block LOS to/from sufficiently big models though; monstrous creatures are going to enough of a pain to balance without the option of screening them.

I'm not sure it's worth creating a general rule for that. The truly big stuff (dragons, giants) are fairly rare and it may be easier just to do a special rule for them.


-Allow fliers to fly/charge/draw LOS over intervening troops and terrain. As long as they cannot end their move inside another unit this doesn't require any additional rules, and it always bugged me that they couldn't do it in Warhammer.

I'd rather not. Conceptually, I don't like the idea of a flier taking off and only then deciding what to charge.

-Remove the need to pass a morale check in order to countercharge. Don't see Heavy Cavalry backing down ever without due cause.


-Add the need to pass a morale check in order to restraint pursuit - this makes undisciplined rabble more likely to get drawn into traps and simulates victorious units getting carried away quite nicely.

-If the army general is removed as a casualty or flees every unit within the army (or at least within a given radius) should be required to take a Morale Check to represent the confusion this entails. This also gives players more of an incentitive to actually protect their general.

I've thought about both of those.


-Is there really a need for capturing banners in the VP tallying section? Banners aren't bought actively in conqueror and whilst taking trophies has always been part of warfare the focus should be on actually destroying the enemy. It also raises the question of which units are counted as having banners in the first place, and could easily be done without. Similary, why should characters/monsters beneath 50% of their starting wounds yield VP? Wounds heal over time whereas troops need to be replaced. I do like that you made without the claiming table quarters nonsense however. Unit costs and the state of the army standard/the general is plenty for calculating who won imo.

I put the banners in there to give a bonus to breaking high-morale units in combat (as opposed to shooting them down). I suppose that broken is broken, though. Getting rid of that table would streamline things a bit.


-When I was writing about "condition saves" earlier I meant incorporating the ward save/regeneration into the models ordinary save (eg a model can have a total save of 3+ which will never be modified past 5+), which makes it easier to apply to certain units whilst making it so that characters with protective charms won't roll to save twice, removing another one of the damage filters that Warhammer has got.

Ah. I'll run some numbers on that. I don't mind the layered saves actually since there is no toughness and none of the "invulnerable" ones are that good.

Cornelio
06-12-2008, 19:37
Spears are supposed to be "the" weapon though - they've been pretty much mainstay since we figured out how to point a stick for a reason. Don't worry about it being too good versus cavalry either as it has no business charging spear-wielding infantry in the first place (and even then they're only AP1).

Holding a weapon in each hand by contrast is very awkward and not very practical for Humans at least, and to my knowledge has never been adopted in warfare on a large scale for that very reason. Wearing armour has nothing to do with it though. From what I've been told it's actually pretty easy to move about even in Platemail armour since the weight is distributed evenly on the body and they are typically custom-made for the wielder.

Great weapons are, on average, better than spears against 2+ save opponents and on par against with them against 3+ save so calling them useless is a little misleading. Add to the fact that great/additional weapon users usually have better MS than spearmen (reflecting amongst other things those weapons being more effective in personal combat) and I wouldn't worry about having to change the rules for spears/2 Hand Weapons at all.


First of all, this project is about building a BETTER Warhammer. That means not only historical accuracy, but definitely also balance.

It looks like you have not read my arguments.

I DON'T think it is a problem that spears are good against cavalry. In fact, with my proposal spears are also very good at cavalry. The difference, and this is huge, is against other infantry. Spearmen shouldn't be the best unit against almost everything.


Let me do some calculation:

10 spearmen against 5 knights with equal MS
Spearmen have SV: 5 and knights have 2. Spearmen are set against a cavalry charge.

Old Rules:
Spearmen: 10 x 1/2 x 1/3 = 1,67 (0,83 if knights hadn't charged)
Knights: 5 x 1/2 = 2,5 (1,67 if knights hadn't charged)
--Difference 0,8 kill in favor of the knights.

My idea:
Spearmen: 5 x 1/2 x 1/3 = 0,83 (0,42 if knights hadn't charged)
Knights: 5 x 1/3 = 1,67 (1,11 if knights hadn't charged)
--Difference 0,9 kill in favor of the knights.

However against great weapon infantry with equal armour (light armour + shield versus heavy armour) its get interesting:

Old Rules:
Spearmen: 10 x 1/2 x 2/3 = 3.33
Greatswords: 5 x 1/2 = 2,5
--Difference 0,8 kill in favor of the spearmen.

My idea:
Spearmen: 5 x 1/2 x 2/3 = 1.67
Greatswords: 5 x 1/3 = 1,67
--No difference at all.


This means that spears are still anti-cavalry, but not anti-infantry any more. Being great weapons a more interesting choice. It also makes two hand weapons a more different choice. Not just the less good version of spears (1 armour save less because of no shield and you can't set against cavalry)

Again, maybe great weapons and 2 hand weapons are not really common in history, that isn't a good argument too make spears overpowered.

Commissar von Toussaint
07-12-2008, 02:23
Cornelio, I've read your arguments, I simply don't agree with them.

Spears were very good weapons. Pikes were even better. They represented the apogee of melee weapon development. By 1600, shields had disappeared, great weapons were basically badges of office and pikes were the dominant weapon.

One thing I really dislike about WHFB is how they introduced ahistorical and unrealistic elements and called it "balance."

The balance in Conqueror comes from the point values. It has to. In a well-designed and realistic combat system, some units are simply going to be better than others.

The difference between Conqueror and WHFB (and what makes it "better") is that Conqueror uses core rules based on historical example to generate this dominance rather than a hodge-podge of special rules.

What makes High Elf spears devastating? In WHFB, it's their ability to fight in three ranks and the fear they cause against certain horde troops that might otherwise overwhelm them.

In Conqueror, it is the simply their weapon type coupled with the fact that High Elves are superlative troops in terms of MS and ML. No special rules needed.

Do great weapons have a place? Absolutely. Their ability to tear through armor makes them deadly against other infantry as well as knights on horseback.

To put it another way, light crossbows are inferior to heavy ones. Does this mean I should make up some sort of trade off so that light crossbows have an advantage? Of course not. You simply pay more points for the heavy ones because they are better, just as you pay more points for high morale than low morale.

Should I come up with some sort of tradeoff so that low morale units have an upside? Of course not. The tradeoff is that they are dirt cheap. I see weapons options as working the exact same way.

Cornelio
07-12-2008, 14:39
The balance in Conqueror comes from the point values. It has to. In a well-designed and realistic combat system, some units are simply going to be better than others.

The difference between Conqueror and WHFB (and what makes it "better") is that Conqueror uses core rules based on historical example to generate this dominance rather than a hodge-podge of special rules.
What makes High Elf spears devastating? In WHFB, it's their ability to fight in three ranks and the fear they cause against certain horde troops that might otherwise overwhelm them.

In Conqueror, it is the simply their weapon type coupled with the fact that High Elves are superlative troops in terms of MS and ML. No special rules needed.

I totally agree with you on this, and I might have formulated my opinion not 100% correctly. English is not my natural language. I always thought this was the big flaw of WHFB.



Do great weapons have a place? Absolutely. Their ability to tear through armor makes them deadly against other infantry as well as knights on horseback.

To put it another way, light crossbows are inferior to heavy ones. Does this mean I should make up some sort of trade off so that light crossbows have an advantage? Of course not. You simply pay more points for the heavy ones because they are better, just as you pay more points for high morale than low morale.

Should I come up with some sort of tradeoff so that low morale units have an upside? Of course not. The tradeoff is that they are dirt cheap. I see weapons options as working the exact same way.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you that there should be "good" weapons and "bad" weapons. But this should be weapons in the same category. For example: short bows and long bows, spears and pikes, light and heavy crossbows.

But between different types, they should be about the same. Maybe great weapons should be a bit better overall then two hand weapons, but the point is that when I have the choice between these, I really have to think which should fit best in my army. It shouldn't always be: "Oh, I have no points left, bummer, well then I'll take weapon A instead of B", for instance.


Like spears are a good defensive weapon and good against cavalry. Great weapons are good against heavy armoured troops. Two hand weapons should be good against vermin-chopping.

Two hand weapons is something that wasn't common in history, because you didn't really have superior races and inferior races. You had elite troops and peasants, but that difference isn't as big as Wardancers vs. Skaven Slaves.


Ask yourself: if my game where close to realistic, why did the dismounted knights in history were hand weapon and shield instead of spears? Spears are superior to normal hand weapons, right? NO, they aren't. They are good against cavalry. Swordsmen and Greatswords were the answer to spearmen, just as the Spearmen were an answer to the knights.

Why should Empire Spearmen beat Empire Greatswords? Why should Empire Spearmen be more expensive then Empire Greatswords? Why should High Elf Spearmen beat White Lions? It doesn't make sense. It isn't realistic, it isn't fluffy and it isn't fun.



Your game system is really great. Far better then GW's WHFB. I'm just trying to help you to make it perfect. Spears in WHFB are really worthless, and I think it's great you want to make them a very interesting choice. But please, don't make them overpowered. You've seen my calculation. 1 kill on average is a huge difference.

Commissar von Toussaint
07-12-2008, 15:23
I totally agree with you on this, and I might have formulated my opinion not 100% correctly. English is not my natural language. I always thought this was the big flaw of WHFB.

My second language is German and about all I can reliably do with it is cuss. :)


Ask yourself: if my game where close to realistic, why did the dismounted knights in history were hand weapon and shield instead of spears? Spears are superior to normal hand weapons, right? NO, they aren't. They are good against cavalry. Swordsmen and Greatswords were the answer to spearmen, just as the Spearmen were an answer to the knights.

Knights used swords because that was what they were trained with. They preferred to fight on horseback, and dismounted only in extremis (like their horse was killed or they knew that a horseback charge was suicide). Unless I'm mistaken, dismounted knights didn't do that well.


Why should Empire Spearmen beat Empire Greatswords? Why should Empire Spearmen be more expensive then Empire Greatswords? Why should High Elf Spearmen beat White Lions? It doesn't make sense. It isn't realistic, it isn't fluffy and it isn't fun.

In terms of greatswords vs spears, there are two dynamics at work. The first is that, historically, greatswords and greatweapons took more skill. The "dopplegangers" were double-pay men. Spears tend to be cheap and somewhat forgiving. Therefore, it wasn't so much that great weapons had an advantage as that the users were just better with them.

Using a six-man front against equal skill, the spears obviously have an edge over great weapons. If armor is factored in, things begin to shift the other way. Assuming both have 5+ saves:

12 spears = 6 hits with 2 saves for 4 kills.
6 great weapons = 3 hits with no save for 3 kills.

If the great weapons are MS 4 vs MS 3 spears, the numbers come out even as they will get one more kill.

So you are correct that the spearmen are more effective, but they also cost considerably more.

When you factor in the higher MS for Empire greatswords, you see the point values become more equal because the units are more equal.

On a side note, I think we can agree that this is much better than the WHFB convention, where spears basically obliterate great weapons since they get to go last AFTER casualties are removed.

Indeed, the thing that makes Empire Gtreatswords worth taking is that they are stubborn, not that they have an effective weapon.


Your game system is really great. Far better then GW's WHFB. I'm just trying to help you to make it perfect. Spears in WHFB are really worthless, and I think it's great you want to make them a very interesting choice. But please, don't make them overpowered. You've seen my calculation. 1 kill on average is a huge difference.

I don't think they are. If you look at the way the units interact, things seem pretty balanced. The units have a sort of rock/paper/scissors way of interacting with each other and things seem to balance well because the points add up.

Thus, High Elf spears are dominating. Not only do they fight in ranks, set against a charge, have heavy armor and shield, but they have excellent MS and ML.

That means they are hideously expensive and almost always outnumbered. So their flanks are a concern, and each loss they take is cause for concern.

The big weakness with spears and pikes is that they only get their cool AP against cavalry and two ranks if they are hit from the front. Greatswords and two weapons, by contrast, are good from every angle.

What we've seen in our games is that spear units tend to be very touchy about flanks because they are much more vulnerable. You pretty much breathe near a flank and spears/pikes form square.

Great weapons, by contrast, may be willing to risk a flank charge to stay mobile. When you see 30 Black Orcs with great weapons bearing down on you, those spears look pretty flimsy.

Cornelio
08-12-2008, 11:20
Thank you :)

I might even be convinced :p


Dismounted Feudal Knights were indeed not a huge success, but that was due to the huge amount of heavy cavalry at those times. However, they did beat the crap out of spearmen. But you think that should be mainly because of armour and melee skill.

I am going to play-test this game this Friday with my self made army books (O&G vs. Woodelves). Lets see how it works out.


I always wanted to do something similar like this, building a better Warhammer. But now I know it's already a project, I would like to contribute. Is there anything particular I could do? Should I pay attention to anything particular while playtesting?


Besides that, I have some questions:

With skirmishing cavalry, do you really mean they should not be in formation? That sound kinda odd, and it isn't pleasant to the eye. Maybe the always-run for skirmishing cavalry is a bit too strong too.

Why do you want the 4-models-is-a-rank back? I thought 5 models was a really good improvement in the 7th edition of Warhammer. I think 4 models wide just doesn't look nice. It's also not really historically as units were always very wide. 5x4 or 6x3 would be better looking and would be historically more accurate then 4x5.

And what about changing the 1 point you can get from outranking the enemy with 1-3 points? E.g, a unit with 6 ranks is outranking a unit with 3 ranks by 3, and is getting 3 points extra combat resolution. This would make numbers count a little more.

Infinitium
08-12-2008, 19:13
Yeah, I hadn't thought of "The Horror" as a generic rule, but it probably should be. I don't want it to be as prevalent as fear, though. Basically only stuff that would normally cause terror plus the undead would get it.

Daemons also qualify imo but yeah, /agree.


I should put a sentence under Rallying that explains that the Rally Table is the only way disordered units can pull themselves together.

I thought they were whipped back in line as soon as they passed another Morale test (unless they got another disordered result)?


Or I could simply put a standard notation in the army lists.

I guess. I was thinking of Flying units and Juggernauts and simular monsters plowing into spears but that'd work too.


Both are pretty high-end. The big thing is that SS 6 can hit on a 2+ at long range, or in light cover, etc. I maxed it out at 6 to prevent the silly auto-hits that can happy if you have BS 8.

Yeah, but from what I can see the rules actually making 6>5 seems to be missing?


I'm not sure it's worth creating a general rule for that. The truly big stuff (dragons, giants) are fairly rare and it may be easier just to do a special rule for them.

Maybe. Probably.


I'd rather not. Conceptually, I don't like the idea of a flier taking off and only then deciding what to charge.

Why would they land in the first place though? I always pictured fliers as soaring above the battlefield until suddenly preying down on stuff at their own leisure. Obviously having units that cannot be charged by ground units and that can move about unhindered presents some balancing issues, but is overall much more flavorful than just having them be really really fast ground units as Warhammer has it.

I'll probably find some other points to nitpick on later so check for edits.

EDIT:

-Chariots should only be able to cause impact hits on infantry or simular sized models (ie no running over Dragons). Also if the unit passes the open ranks test the chariot should just stay in the combat (minus the impact hits). Not because it's historically correct but because it's easier ruleswise and because chariots should imo operate in units like everything else (using an adaptation of the Tomb King chariot rules, meaning d3 impact hits per chariot, 3+ unit size etc). They still only make sense for Tomb Kings and High Elves, but at least it'd make a little bit mpore believable.

-Pure brainstorm here, but artillery might be a little bit more interesting if it could simulate the crew getting at targeting units in a specific area over time (what's the English term again? Shooting in? Targeting?). This would work by making firing artillery a two-step procedure. First place a firing marker (a coin) within the artillery piece's line of sight and within it's range. Next, target any unengaged enemy unit within 4" of that marker and in line of sight/range of the artillery and work out hits as normal. In consecutive shooting phases, the artillery might either opt to move the firing marker or add another marker on top of it. The Artillery piece may add +1 to its to hit roll for each shot fired that turn for each marker placed upon the original one. If the marker is moved or if the artillery piece moves, remove all extra markers from the artillery marker. Basically this reflects the crew gauging their shots and adjusting accordingly; eventually getting -very- good at hitting a specific spot.

Commissar von Toussaint
09-12-2008, 01:34
Cornelio: I'm somewhat of an old timer, I guess. When I started WHFB, "fast cavalry" were in fact skirmishers.

You know, there's nothing to stop you from roughly aligning them if you choose, but I really envision them as more of a swarm of horse archers than linear formations. I often use a loose line in fact, and the skirmish rules allow the models to turn individually and shift, giving you more flexibility.

In terms of how you can help, you're already doing it! I need feedback. Let me know if the rules make sense - not just in terms of how they work but whether you can understand them.

I just uploaded a new version on the web site that should be a little clearer. Let me know if there are problem areas. I haven't had a chance to redo the army lists yet, but will try to get to them this week.


I thought they were whipped back in line as soon as they passed another Morale test (unless they got another disordered result)?

No. I just put additional text clarifying that the only way to rally is to use the Rally Table. This happens at the end of your turn, so there's time to recover from a bad roll. Otherwise, with low morale units, they get used to being disordered.


Yeah, but from what I can see the rules actually making 6>5 seems to be missing?

You know, I just now figured out what you were talking about. I'll have to redo that.


Why would they land in the first place though? I always pictured fliers as soaring above the battlefield until suddenly preying down on stuff at their own leisure. Obviously having units that cannot be charged by ground units and that can move about unhindered presents some balancing issues, but is overall much more flavorful than just having them be really really fast ground units as Warhammer has it.

There are two reasons I set up fliers the way that I did.

The first is that I always hated the "flying high" rules and I wanted to stay as far as possible from that.

The second is that from a realism standpoint, fliers would be very remote from the battlefield if they got too high. They need to basically hop here and there or they lose track of what is going on. So for command and control purposes, they need to stay close to the ground.


-Chariots should only be able to cause impact hits on infantry or simular sized models (ie no running over Dragons). Also if the unit passes the open ranks test the chariot should just stay in the combat (minus the impact hits). Not because it's historically correct but because it's easier ruleswise and because chariots should imo operate in units like everything else (using an adaptation of the Tomb King chariot rules, meaning d3 impact hits per chariot, 3+ unit size etc). They still only make sense for Tomb Kings and High Elves, but at least it'd make a little bit mpore believable.

To be honest, I don't like chariots and it was only one of the more recent drafts that even carried rules for the things. That's another way of saying I didn't put a lot of thought into them. I'm fine with them getting impact hits on infantry only. Back to the word processor!


-Pure brainstorm here, but artillery might be a little bit more interesting if it could simulate the crew getting at targeting units in a specific area over time (what's the English term again? Shooting in? Targeting?). This would work by making firing artillery a two-step procedure. First place a firing marker (a coin) within the artillery piece's line of sight and within it's range. Next, target any unengaged enemy unit within 4" of that marker and in line of sight/range of the artillery and work out hits as normal. In consecutive shooting phases, the artillery might either opt to move the firing marker or add another marker on top of it. The Artillery piece may add +1 to its to hit roll for each shot fired that turn for each marker placed upon the original one. If the marker is moved or if the artillery piece moves, remove all extra markers from the artillery marker. Basically this reflects the crew gauging their shots and adjusting accordingly; eventually getting -very- good at hitting a specific spot.

The term you are looking for is "ranging" or perhaps "registering." A "ranging shot" is used to find the range, which is the really hard part of artillery.

In WHFB, what with the guessing, you do more of that, though honestly once you've gotten into the habit of playing, your "ranging shots" are dead on.

In Conqueror, each artillery model represents a battery of 4-6 guns, so the ranging shots are factored in. The first one fires, the second adjusts and fires, the third adjusts and fires and finally the rest open up after the range has been determined. Gunnery is a fascinating subject, but not someplace I really want to visit. I'm more of the "light it up with the laser designator" generation. ;)

Infinitium
09-12-2008, 21:35
No. I just put additional text clarifying that the only way to rally is to use the Rally Table. This happens at the end of your turn, so there's time to recover from a bad roll. Otherwise, with low morale units, they get used to being disordered.

Oh. Ok.


[...] The second is that from a realism standpoint, fliers would be very remote from the battlefield if they got too high. They need to basically hop here and there or they lose track of what is going on. So for command and control purposes, they need to stay close to the ground.

I'm not suggesting flying high; I'm suggesting them staying airborne about 20-30 meters above the ground flavourwise. At that altitude they'd likely have a better vantage point of the battle below than the General. Even if they didn't; battles were usually orchestrated well out of cannonshot range, and even then generals could do little to control their units once they'd been set in motion other than to hope that their subordinates adhered to the preset battleplan and thus relied on units being able to act independently.

In any case it's better than the imagery of, say, Great Eagles having to land every few minutes and proceeding to get charged and run over by heavy cavalry.


The term you are looking for is "ranging" or perhaps "registering." A "ranging shot" is used to find the range, which is the really hard part of artillery.

In WHFB, what with the guessing, you do more of that, though honestly once you've gotten into the habit of playing, your "ranging shots" are dead on.

In Conqueror, each artillery model represents a battery of 4-6 guns, so the ranging shots are factored in. The first one fires, the second adjusts and fires, the third adjusts and fires and finally the rest open up after the range has been determined. Gunnery is a fascinating subject, but not someplace I really want to visit. I'm more of the "light it up with the laser designator" generation. ;)

I'm by no means an expert myself; but wouldn't each contraption in that battery be sufficiently different from the others as to be needed to be aimed at an individual basis (this being before standardized molds/parts and all)? In any case it'd serve to differentiate artillery from ranged units somewhat, and also turns it into a counter to them of sorts.

Also:
Laser Designator 4+
Choose a stack of one or more Firing Markers in LOS of the Wizard and add three extra markers to it. Remove these extra markers when this spell ceases to remain in play or if the firing markers are moved. Remains in play

Cornelio
10-12-2008, 15:01
I'm not suggesting flying high; I'm suggesting them staying airborne about 20-30 meters above the ground flavourwise. At that altitude they'd likely have a better vantage point of the battle below than the General. Even if they didn't; battles were usually orchestrated well out of cannonshot range, and even then generals could do little to control their units once they'd been set in motion other than to hope that their subordinates adhered to the preset battleplan and thus relied on units being able to act independently.

In any case it's better than the imagery of, say, Great Eagles having to land every few minutes and proceeding to get charged and run over by heavy cavalry.

I agree with you on this one. It's kinda silly that flyers would land every few seconds.
However, for a miniature game they have to. Otherwise, normal ground units could just walk "under" a flying unit. Or flyers could decide to be in the air to prevent a foe charge for the entire game, which is a bit overpowered.

What about giving flyers a line of sight over units (and terrain?)? Just like in WHFB the flying large targets have. You could say fluffwise flyers hover about 10 meters (that is 3" in the game) above the ground and thus can see over other units. But when enemies get close, they sweep down to attack.

Commissar von Toussaint
12-12-2008, 23:34
Since we basically have the luxury of making up rules from scratch, maybe it is a good idea to completely rethink how flyers work.

You see, there are two basic types of flyers: big birds and big monsters.

The bird group is basically great eagles, harpies, pegasi and the like – things that are scary only because they can fly.

The monsters are your demons and dragons – stuff that is just scary period.

We’re really talking about the first group here. Dragons and demons don’t really need to fly to be effective. You could basically let them “swoop” 12-18 inches and call it good.

It seems to me that flying critters would have two big advantages in a fantasy setting:

1. Observation. You could finally have a “bird’s eye” view of the battlefield.
2. Communication. You could rapidly move orders from one part of the battlefield to the other.

Both of these are basically factored in to modern miniatures games. Unlike a real general, you see everything from above, and you get to move your units without having orders miscarry.

So what else would flyers be good for?

I’ve come up with three things.

1. Dive bombers. They could drop rocks or Greek fire on people.
2. Death from above. They could dive down anywhere on the battlefield.
3. Air cavalry. Super fast and able to leap terrain and other units in a single bound.

I’ll deal with the last first. This is basically what I have now and how GW is doing it. The more I think about it, the less I like it. Flying critters have to be really lightweight. Birds have hollow bones, and even “heavy” modern ground-attack aircraft are still amazingly fragile.

I know, it’s a fantasy and all that, but even winged horses would probably not really like charging into the crush of combat, even on the flank. Too many bad things can happen. Even a relatively soft target like artillery could mess them up.

Same with death from above. I can see giant eagles diving on a single engine and snatching a crewman, or (as in The Hobbit) knocking people off of the heights, but I don’t see them diving into a mass of 300 spearmen. Given the scale of the game, grabbing a single guy would be disruptive, but not decisive.

Which brings us back to the dive bomber. In the old days, terradons were basically reptile Stukas, which was typical GW goofy humor coupled with excessive special rules.

I don't want to go that route, but I'm thinking something new and different would be a good idea.

Infinitium
13-12-2008, 13:57
I didnt really think of a distinction into light & heavy fliers, but that is a good place to start. I agree that heavy fliers should retain the old rules for flying, the justification being that they're simply too big and unwieldy to maneuver as close to the ground as they'd need to in order to stay in touch with the battle below. I'd imagine this group encompass everything Pegasi-sized and up?

That leaves light fliers as a rules headache.. I'd consider the following rules for all of them:

*All light fliers follows the rules for Skirmishers.
*Doesn't block line of sight to & from other units.
*Other units & terrain doesn't block line of sight to & from units of fliers.
^(This means that they effectively see and can be seen anywhere on the battlefield).

*May move over intervening units & terrain without penalty (including charging).
*May not end their movement (including fleeing movement) above another unit.
*Doesn't prevent other ground units or units of heavy fliers from moving through/beneath them (including chargers).
*Light fliers may not pass through hostile units of light fliers however.
*If for some reason any unit (friendly or otherwise) finishes its move beneath them immediatly move all flying models 1" away from that unit on the closest vacant spot on the table (remember that the fliers still skirmish and so must keep in proximity to eachother as well).
*Cannot be charged except by other light fliers.
^(Means that they effectively don't affect the movement of units below them whatsoever & the other way around).

*Ranks up in and fights in close combat as normal.
*I gtg so I'll edit in the rest later, however long story sort have everything hit & run.

Cornelio
13-12-2008, 14:23
That's great thinking!

I also have thought about the odd thing that dragons could fly. That's not realistic if condors are about the biggest bird that could fly (heavier and birds can't lift off).

So I like the idea of grouping flyers into 2 categories. The swoop idea is also a good idea. They should be able to swoop 12", which is the same as a march move basically. The advantage of swooping over marching is that you can always swoop, and that you can swoop over units and low terrain. You shouldn't be able to swoop over forest and castles for instance ;).

I would group flying cavalry with the monster group as they are also very heavy. Think of Bretonnia Pegasus Knights. The Pegasi are barded and have an armoured knight riding them. I think Pegasus should not be in the same category as Great Eagles. I don't think you can really fly if you have this kind of heavy load.
Swooping 12" should be enough for Pegasus knights as they would normally only march 14" anyway.

The swooping mechanic is easy and probably works great. Swooping units can be charged, because they don't get high in the air or something. But they have a nice little advantage over normal units.


Real Flyers (Harpies, Great Eagles, Gyrocopter, Warhawk Riders etc.)

Real flyers - the group that consists of harpies and Great Eagles (with or without riders) - are another thing. If I were a harpy I wouldn't get down to get charged by a Giant :p. So flyers are really in the air, and don't get to the ground if they don't want to.

So if normal units like Giant shouldn't be able to attack real flyers, who should be?

- Artillery and javelins could not reach flyers of course, but normal ranged units could. However, if a longbow would have 36" range horizontally, he wouldn't be able to hit a Great Eagle at 34", because he is in reality farther away. Ask Pythagoras. Flyers can not hide behind anything (including other units).

- Flyers can be attacked by other flyers in the air of course.

- If flyers got into combat, they could expect to get something back.

How would real flyers attack?

They would lurk around above the battlefield and attack like birds of prey. Meaning that they would strike down, attack, get some hits back and then immediately get back in the air. Just like eagles catch (spiky :p) mice. Because striking down like that is at a very high speed they should get some charge bonus.


In the game system, this could be implementing as follows:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Units with the fly special rule can always move 18" and may move over all other units and terrain. They have a 360 degrees line-of-sight over all other objects, including other flyers.
They can only be charged by other flyers.
They never block line-of-sight and can always be shot at if within range. The ranged weapons of units (including ranged weapons of flying units) wishing to shoot flyers are modified by -6" because flyers are in reality in the air and thus farther away. This means that short weapons like javelins mostly cannot reach flyers.
Artillery may not target flyers, because they can't aim in that direction.

When wishing to charge another flying unit, work out charging, combat and everything else as normal, with the exception that both units are still in the air and cannot be charged by non-flying units.

When wishing to charge a non-flying unit, they first have to make a morale test with a negative modifier for every rank that unit has. E.g. to charge a unit with 3 ranks, you need to pass a ML test with a -3 modifier. If the target unit doesn't have ranks, no roll is required.
Rank up as normal and work out combat. Spears and pikes may be set against charging flyers. Flyers get an additional AP 1 on the turn they charge.
However, the combat results are different.
If the enemy routs, the flyers pursue 9 + d6 inch. If the flyers rout, they are destroyed. If the flyers are disordered they stay in combat (with a -1 ML as normal) and count as being on the ground, meaning that they can be charged by non-flyers. If the flyers pass their morale test, they get out of combat and move up to 6" behind the charged unit and are back in the air.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------


What do you think about something like this?

Commissar von Toussaint
13-12-2008, 15:17
These are great ideas!

The first thing we need to do is make sure the line between the flying units is clear and sharp.

To do that, I will create two separate rules: winged and flyers.

Winged units include dragons, demons and pegasi. They may "swoop" but that is all.

Flyers are the birds, and they basically hover over the field.

In terms of flyers in melee, I'm a big fan of KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid).

The question we need to ask is: how would eagles really fight? They aren't really going to "engage." They will strike and leave. This really is more like shooting with their MS than anything else.

I think the way to do it is to have them declare their charge, allow the reaction, and then (assuming both sides are still there) fight one round of combat. The charged unit then tests at a -2 (flying attack) and if it sticks, the flyers then test. Flyers that rout are eliminated, otherwise they move d6+6 inches away (meaning missile units that stick will get to open up on them next turn). Ground units that rout cannot be pursued by fliers since even if they win, flyers are already banking back up for the next attack.

Essentially, flyers are a morale check on wings that can kill small units. The additional kills and -2 modifier are what make them scary to big units. While javelins, throwing axes and pistols can't shoot at them normally, they can "stand and shoot" with these weapons if charged.

Otherwise, I agree that they get no cover, move through all other units, and anyone can shoot at them but do so at +12" range. If they fight other flyers, the same thing happens - one round, negative mods for BOTH sides (so charging is big) and pursuit is a dead issue since routed flyers are (as we noted above) simply eliminated. Oh, and flyers can't flee a charge from other flyers because routed flyers are eliminated.

In the mean time, the web site has new rules up incorporating our previous changes (the URL is slightly changed and I've cleaned it up a little. The link in my sig is correct). What I am looking at now is creating a general "special rules" section that will incorporate Flyers, Winged, The Horror, Tough, Strong and some of the other widespread concepts.

Infinitium
13-12-2008, 17:15
I really like that flyers are routed automatically and doesn't pursue. Good call. What about fliers charging fleeing units? They wouldn't be able to rout them, but a (hefty) penalty on the Regroup roll maybe? This would make flyers useful for making sure that fleeing units staying fleeing and disordered units staying disordered, but wouldn't allow them to autokill any fleeing unit within range. I'm thinking a wording where any unit that has taken casualties from flying units since the beginning of their owners previous turn gets a -2 modifier to their Regroup roll or somesuch (whilst we're at it, this could also apply to units trying to regroup despite having taken ranged casualties).

On the ranged issue, a -1 to hit modifier (in addition to Skirmishing) is probably more KISS than adding to range, even if that's more realistic in a sense. Seeing as fliers flavourwise shouldn't have no Save whatsoever this might increase their survivability somewhat as well.

Oh yeah, and I'm not sure if the -2 to test is necessary since Skirmishers still get the -2/-3 morale modifier for attacking in the rank/rear? This admittedly makes them way worse versus Skirmishers which doesn't make any sense though, so a rule where fliers doesn't get the flank/rear negative modifiers is in order imo.

Cornelio
13-12-2008, 17:35
I think the way to do it is to have them declare their charge, allow the reaction, and then (assuming both sides are still there) fight one round of combat. The charged unit then tests at a -2 (flying attack) and if it sticks, the flyers then test. Flyers that rout are eliminated, otherwise they move d6+6 inches away (meaning missile units that stick will get to open up on them next turn). Ground units that rout cannot be pursued by fliers since even if they win, flyers are already banking back up for the next attack.
Looks good. So the "charge bonus" is the -2 ML modifier instead of AP 1. You're right, that's better, because if flying units are only going to charge, their charge impact (in terms of strength) could be integrated in their profile.

But what about disordered flyers. Disordered is just ignored and counts as passed?



Essentially, flyers are a morale check on wings that can kill small units. The additional kills and -2 modifier are what make them scary to big units. While javelins, throwing axes and pistols can't shoot at them normally, they can "stand and shoot" with these weapons if charged.

Otherwise, I agree that they get no cover, move through all other units, and anyone can shoot at them but do so at +12" range. If they fight other flyers, the same thing happens - one round, negative mods for BOTH sides (so charging is big) and pursuit is a dead issue since routed flyers are (as we noted above) simply eliminated. Oh, and flyers can't flee a charge from other flyers because routed flyers are eliminated.
These are some really good points. Maybe 12" is a but much.



In the mean time, the web site has new rules up incorporating our previous changes (the URL is slightly changed and I've cleaned it up a little. The link in my sig is correct). What I am looking at now is creating a general "special rules" section that will incorporate Flyers, Winged, The Horror, Tough, Strong and some of the other widespread concepts.
Nice :)

Commissar von Toussaint
16-12-2008, 23:21
Oh yeah, and I'm not sure if the -2 to test is necessary since Skirmishers still get the -2/-3 morale modifier for attacking in the rank/rear? This admittedly makes them way worse versus Skirmishers which doesn't make any sense though, so a rule where fliers doesn't get the flank/rear negative modifiers is in order imo.

The way it works is that flyers never actually "engage" ground units per se. If a ground unit moves where flyers are, they are simply pushed aside.

So when flyers attack, they are diving down from on high, which negates spears/pikes/lances (no countercharge!) and imposes a -2 morale test penalty on the unit.

I want to keep this seperate from outflanking because I think it is easier than trying to say "this counts as that" which can be confusing.

It also allows units to get really hammered, say by being flank charged AND hit by flyers.:eek:

Cornelio: Disordered flyers are just that, disordered. That means -1 on all morale checks. So they are that much more likely to rout. I think they should be allowed to rally, but if they rout, they're gone.

I think that you are right and the 12" added to range is a bit much. Six inches is much better. It fits the scale, and lets flyers have the option of 'hovering' by the battle flag and general to rally themselves.

I think it also helps people visualize how high these guys are: six inches above the table top.

Cornelio
17-12-2008, 13:46
This Monday, I played a battle with a friend of mine, Bram.

We used self-made armylist, with basically your lay-out and your unit-creating system. Some adjustments were made. Army selecting was done using GW rules (in 2000- pts: 0-3 heroes 2+ core...).

If you are interested I have included these two lists in the attachments. I've done all the lists for all other armies as well.

It was a 1000 points battle of Dwarfs vs. Orcs & Goblins.

We both agreed that the min. need for a rank should be 5 models instead of 4, because that's way cooler. Plus units are bought in numbers of 10, 15 or 20, so it makes more sense.
Furthermore, we agreed to not use magic and magic weapons, because we didn't want to make it too complicated for a start.

Army lists:
Dwarfs (my army)
Thane with great weapon. (and standard heavy armour)
25 Warriors with shields.
10 Thunderers with shields.
20 Slayers.
1 Cannon.
1 Bolt Thrower.
1 Gyrocopter.

O&G (Bram's army)
Orc Big Boss, heavy armour and great weapon. (Black Orc)
Goblin Big Boss (with nothing!!)
40 goblins with spears and light armour (and standard shield)
20 goblin bowmen
20 Black Orcs with extra choppas.
30 Orc Boyz, light armour and shields
1 Orc Chariot
5 Spider Riders.


It was a very exciting battle. It started out good for me. Shooting is really awesome, and my cannon and bolt throwers killed about 6 orcs or goblins everytime they hitted :D ! I marched blocked a lot with my Gyrocopter and it inflicted 2 wounds out of 3 on the chariot.
I lost the game because I didn't killed the chariot with my Gyrocopter. Once that thing was in my flanks it all went wrong. That thing has got some punch! I opened my ranks on the first charge, but I thought I couldn't do that the second charge, because I was in combat. That's correct, isn't it?
Well, I had lost the game because of the chariot's flank attacks and its impact hits. Man, I should've killed it with my Gyrocopter!

The goblin archers were quite good too. They had to move the first or 3 turns, but they managed to kill both my war machines eventually.


I have to say that overall, your rules are very good. The biggest impact on play style compared to Warhammer are the new army lists, which are easily made and very well balanced because the core of the game is good. Battles are about units again, instead of magic items, heavy monsters and heroes. All of them are cool to bring to battle, but shouldn't be too dominant. My compliments :) !


Some things we noticed while playing:

- You suggested that the crew should get a 5+ save, because they can hide behind their war machine. We thought this should be for ranged attacks only. In combat you can't really hide behind a war machine, and they should be killed easily.

- About chariots: who can open ranks? Should a unit with only 1 rank, like ranged units, be able open ranks if the chariot is in the flank? Can skirmishers, or other units without ranks, open ranks?

- About stand and shoot: may a harquebus stand and shoot even if it has just fired in the same (enemies) shooting phase?

- Can lone characters, or really small units, really get a flank bonus (and negate outranking)?? If so, it shouldn't be. What about the need of at least 4 wounds to gain a flank bonus?

- Outranking should be more important. It would be better to get a max. of 3 points of outranking (1 per extra rank). This way, units are better defended against skirmishing killers (Dryads, Wardancers, Beast Herds), lone characters. Furthermore, horde armies are better defended against elite armies.

- Cavalry, but more importantly: light cavalry, is too weak. Bram's Spider Riders couldn't win from a war machine. Although Goblins on spiders aren't really strong, they should be able to win from a war machine.

In Warhammer, light cavalry has a mount attack, a spear AND they can kill the crew before they can strike back meaning less casualties.
I don't mind about the spear, a hand weapon resembles those spears good enough.
I don't mind about not being able to kill the enemy before they can strike back.
I do however think the impact of a cavalry charge isn't as heavily in conqueror as in reality. Think about the Theoden's charge out of Helms Deep in LotR. The horses kill more Orcs then the knights themselves!

Now, I have thought about this and I came to the conclusion that the best way to add this to the game would be to give cavalry (= any unit with Mv 7+ ?) an extra attack on the charge. I know, horses don't carry lances, but it is KISS and knightly barded warhorses, cold ones and boars are stronger then light cavalry horses and wolves anyway.

However, this would mean that knights would actually win a combat from spearmen. They're not supposed to. Luckily, the spear rules were wrong anyway :p, so I have come up with a grounded solution.

Spears are peasant weapons. They are cheap (you can make 1 sword or 3 spears with the same amount of iron) and little skill is required. The perfect weapon for retards (read: goblins and men-at-arms). Noblemen never used spears, not because they just thought it was a peasant weapon, but because a sword was more effective.

Normally, charging knights can't really reach spearmen that good and loose momentum. Not-moving cavalry are dead cavalry. They get swarmed and get thrown out of the saddles. That's how spearmen win from knights!

Spears aren't really killer weapons. Spears are pointy and scary to charge into. That's nice against cavalry, but you can't go berserk with a spear, which is needed to kill lightly armoured troops.
In the Warhammer world knights aren't dominant.

Now my friend Bram came up with this brilliant idea for spears. He said (in Dutch ;) ) "What about just giving spears the rule that the enemy doesn't get charge bonuses?".
This way, spears are not better if you have higher MS. This would be more realistic as spears are weapons for low-skilled warriors. They could be 10 points for 10 models.

I thought this was perfect in combination with giving cavalry an extra attack on the charge AND the outranking of max. 3.

Against spearmen, knights don't get an extra attack and don't get AP 2 from their lances. That should about even the kills and the spearmen win the combat with 3 more ranks.

Against other units, knights kick ass as they should. And light cavalry could actually do something against skirmishers and war machines.

Spearmen vs. swordsmen would be an even battle. Spearmen vs. greatswords would be a loss for the spearmen. Both situations are more realistic and balanced.



Think about it.

Commissar von Toussaint
18-12-2008, 04:36
I have to say that overall, your rules are very good. The biggest impact on play style compared to Warhammer are the new army lists, which are easily made and very well balanced because the core of the game is good. Battles are about units again, instead of magic items, heavy monsters and heroes. All of them are cool to bring to battle, but shouldn't be too dominant. My compliments !

You know, reading this makes almost three years worth of work worthwhile. Thanks. :)


Some things we noticed while playing:

- You suggested that the crew should get a 5+ save, because they can hide behind their war machine. We thought this should be for ranged attacks only. In combat you can't really hide behind a war machine, and they should be killed easily.

A better solution would be to give them a -1 to hit modifier against shooting. Same cost, less rules.


- About chariots: who can open ranks? Should a unit with only 1 rank, like ranged units, be able open ranks if the chariot is in the flank? Can skirmishers, or other units without ranks, open ranks?

The idea is that at the last minute, the targets of the chariots step aside, so in theory, anyone could do it.


- About stand and shoot: may a harquebus stand and shoot even if it has just fired in the same (enemies) shooting phase?

No. Like crossbows, they must spend a shooting phase reloading after they fire. I'll check over the rules and put that in under the stand and shoot section as well.


- Can lone characters, or really small units, really get a flank bonus (and negate outranking)?? If so, it shouldn't be. What about the need of at least 4 wounds to gain a flank bonus?

That would be fine.


- Outranking should be more important. It would be better to get a max. of 3 points of outranking (1 per extra rank). This way, units are better defended against skirmishing killers (Dryads, Wardancers, Beast Herds), lone characters. Furthermore, horde armies are better defended against elite armies.

I'm not really interested in duplicating the GW bonus for ranks thing. If I change it at all, it would be to give a +2/-2 to the side with more ranks. But at this point, I'm not sold on it.

Remember that skirmishers with multiple attacks should cost a lot more than the ranked units they face, meaning they actually should win.

Also remember that lone characters can be swarmed, which makes pretty short work of them.


- Cavalry, but more importantly: light cavalry, is too weak. Bram's Spider Riders couldn't win from a war machine. Although Goblins on spiders aren't really strong, they should be able to win from a war machine.

To be fair, this particular war machine was a dwarven one. So you've got usually tough crew. If we get rid of the armor saves, the combat probably tilts against the dwarves.

Light cavalry should ONLY be used on flanks or against archers. If the war machine crews won, we need to reexamine the rules for them.


In Warhammer, light cavalry has a mount attack, a spear AND they can kill the crew before they can strike back meaning less casualties.
I don't mind about the spear, a hand weapon resembles those spears good enough.
I don't mind about not being able to kill the enemy before they can strike back.
I do however think the impact of a cavalry charge isn't as heavily in conqueror as in reality. Think about the Theoden's charge out of Helms Deep in LotR. The horses kill more Orcs then the knights themselves!

I guess it depends on if you are looking at the movie or the book. ;)

I'm pretty happy where cavalry vs infantry is at the moment. Tough cavalry (MS 4 or 5) can do some serious hurt to infantry - in part because outranking isn't that dominant.

I fully understand that in my system, it is the fact that knights typically have more skill that sets them apart from the infantry rather than the horses' extra attacks.

Still, if you look at the dynamics of the thing, knights with lances vs inferior opponents will win the combat pretty decisively. Even against spears, they have an edge.

What you're suggesting would effectively inflate the system without really changing the result. If I give cavalry an additional attack, but then boost rank bonuses (which offset the damage of the attacks) we're pretty much right where we started, just with more dice being rolled.


Spears aren't really killer weapons.

Actually, they were. The Greeks used them to deadly effect, and later the Swiss did horrible things with them. Pikes are basically longer, heavier spears.

Spears are great weapons - cheap, easy to manufacture, easy to train, but in skilled hands they really come into their own.

Spears are one of the oldest elements in the game and I'm very happy with how they work. I think part of what you are seeing is that they are a bit different than in Warhammer. I guess what I'm saying is try not to think "How can I make this like Warhammer," but rather "So how does Conqueror work?"


I thought this was perfect in combination with giving cavalry an extra attack on the charge AND the outranking of max. 3.

Okay, let's give it a try.

Six knights fight 24 spears. Knights are MS 4, the infantry are horde, MS 2 with Sv 5.

On the charge, the knights will score four hits with no save. The infantry will average 4 hits which three will save. So the knights win the combat by a margin of 3, add in outranking and the infantry will be making a morale check at -2. If they pass, the knights then go at +2. Obviously, it's possible for fewer spears to die and for more knights to die, but on average, the advantage clearly lies with the knights.

With your friend's rule, the knights would still hit 4 spears, but 1 would save. So now only 3 die. Then one or two knights fall, plus outranking and the knights are now at a net of -1 or -2.


Against spearmen, knights don't get an extra attack and don't get AP 2 from their lances. That should about even the kills and the spearmen win the combat with 3 more ranks.

Right, but that's not what I want to happen. I don't want horde spears to defeat knights. Knights should be able to run over horde troops. Now average ones (MS 3) are another story, and only elite knights (MS 5) should be willing to tangle with them. Pikes basically shift things over by one MS.

To put it another way, things work pretty much the way I want them to.


Against other units, knights kick ass as they should. And light cavalry could actually do something against skirmishers and war machines.

Again, war machines are brand new rules. Congratulations, you've just given them their first live test. :D

That means they may need to be toned down.

Light cavalry vs skirmishing infantry is another story and something I'll have to look at. I will say that I am more interested in point values-based fixes than rules-based ones.


Spearmen vs. swordsmen would be an even battle. Spearmen vs. greatswords would be a loss for the spearmen. Both situations are more realistic and balanced.

Except that they wouldn't be. I think we just have a fundamental disagreement as to how effective spears are. In skilled hands, they are nigh well unbeatable. And when refined into pikes, you're basically talking about the ultimate pre-gunpowder weapon.

I am curious as to how the dwarves fared against goblin spears. They should have done a number on them. Their high MS combined with heavy armor should have ground the goblins into paste. Did the chariot do them in?

From what you said, the chariot was very strong. maybe we need to tone them down. Here again, you got to run the first actual test of the chariot rules. I don't actually own any chariot models and included them only because people asked me to. So it is possible that we should cut down on impact hits or simply eliminate them - or use another mechanism (bonus attacks? Extra AP? I'm open to suggestions).

Thanks for getting involved. Once we nail this down and if it ever goes anywhere, send me your name and I'll put you in the design credits as a playtester. :)

Cornelio
18-12-2008, 13:43
What you're suggesting would effectively inflate the system without really changing the result. If I give cavalry an additional attack, but then boost rank bonuses (which offset the damage of the attacks) we're pretty much right where we started, just with more dice being rolled.

Well, that's not entirely true.

If cavalry hit the flanks, the impact is heavier (and flank/rear bonus could be just 1/2), because the enemy will lose 3 ranks for outnumbering.

If cavalry charges any unit with no ranks (monsters, lone characters, skirmishers, war machines, chariots, archers), their impact is heavier.



Actually, they were. The Greeks used them to deadly effect, and later the Swiss did horrible things with them. Pikes are basically longer, heavier spears.

Spears are great weapons - cheap, easy to manufacture, easy to train, but in skilled hands they really come into their own.

Spears are one of the oldest elements in the game and I'm very happy with how they work. I think part of what you are seeing is that they are a bit different than in Warhammer. I guess what I'm saying is try not to think "How can I make this like Warhammer," but rather "So how does Conqueror work?"

Greeks and Swiss pikemen used pikes. Those are different weapons. Spears are just pointy weapons. With a great weapon or a sword you could easily just knock the spear aside and strike at the spearmen.

With spears you can only stab. With swords you can stab, slash and defend yourself. With a greatsword you can slash and stab even harder. If a spearmen didn't wear a shield, defending with a greatsword would be easier.

The little longer reach spears have is not a huge enough advantage over other weapons.

You say that that Greek pikemen were really good. And yes they were quite good, but IIRC the Greek got beaten by Roman Swordsmen!

Swiss Pikemen were really successful because they were very well trained (spearmen were peasants) and there were a lot of knights in that era.

That's it. You didn't have brutal savage orcs with 2 hand weapons who could show that they easily could massacre a spearmen unit.



Okay, let's give it a try.

Six knights fight 24 spears. Knights are MS 4, the infantry are horde, MS 2 with Sv 5.

On the charge, the knights will score four hits with no save. The infantry will average 4 hits which three will save. So the knights win the combat by a margin of 3, add in outranking and the infantry will be making a morale check at -2. If they pass, the knights then go at +2. Obviously, it's possible for fewer spears to die and for more knights to die, but on average, the advantage clearly lies with the knights.

With your friend's rule, the knights would still hit 4 spears, but 1 would save. So now only 3 die. Then one or two knights fall, plus outranking and the knights are now at a net of -1 or -2.

Well actually, out of 6 spearmen only 2 would hit and with an armour save of 2+ probably none will die. Excact numbers are 2,67 vs. 0,33. This means with 3 ranks the knights would lose the combat with 1 or tie.

He suggested that the only rule for spears is that the enemy doesn't get a charge bonus. You can't set and you can't fight in 2 ranks.

Fighting in 2 ranks is silly anyway. As if spearmen in the second rank really could fight. The second rank just annoys the enemy a bit with their spears.

In the movie 300, the second rank of spears didn't even pointed their spears. They just stood there and waited for the first rank to attack. After that, they switched positions.



Right, but that's not what I want to happen. I don't want horde spears to defeat knights. Knights should be able to run over horde troops. Now average ones (MS 3) are another story, and only elite knights (MS 5) should be willing to tangle with them. Pikes basically shift things over by one MS.

To put it another way, things work pretty much the way I want them to.

Men-at-arm peasants with spears are exactly evenly skilled as Skaven or Goblins with spears.



Again, war machines are brand new rules. Congratulations, you've just given them their first live test. :D

That means they may need to be toned down.

Whoohoo!

I don't think they need to be toned down. However, bolt throwers and cannons are very similar. Maybe they should be more different.

Early cannons were not really damaging, as they often could only shoot once in a whole battle. But they were really frighting, because of the bang. You could do something with that to set them more apart from bolt throwers.



Except that they wouldn't be. I think we just have a fundamental disagreement as to how effective spears are. In skilled hands, they are nigh well unbeatable. And when refined into pikes, you're basically talking about the ultimate pre-gunpowder weapon.

Well, I guess we have.

Can I see your references?

I'm not trying to attack you of course, but the only argument I hear of you making spears (and pikes) the best weapon available is that in the middle ages they were used a lot. Besides that, you say they were the best. But why do you think they were the best?



I am curious as to how the dwarves fared against goblin spears. They should have done a number on them. Their high MS combined with heavy armor should have ground the goblins into paste. Did the chariot do them in?

The dwarfs only got into combat with the Orcs. Only on the last turn, the goblins got into the flank of my last unit, and I gave up as they would be overrun easily.



From what you said, the chariot was very strong. maybe we need to tone them down. Here again, you got to run the first actual test of the chariot rules. I don't actually own any chariot models and included them only because people asked me to. So it is possible that we should cut down on impact hits or simply eliminate them - or use another mechanism (bonus attacks? Extra AP? I'm open to suggestions).

Well d6 hits, no armour saves allowed, could easily be 5 kills, which is heavy. I think d3 would be better.

Talking about chariots, what if the chariot cannot be placed on the other side of the unit? In our case I had a unit of 10 Thunderers with a war machine right next to it, while the chariot was in the flank of my Thunderers. Our solution was that I could not open my ranks, which was a bad solution, but easy.

Another rule I should include is that if the unit is already in combat, you can't open ranks. Otherwise, a chariot in the rear of a unit who is already in combat in the front, would run through a friendly unit and end behind a friendly unit.



Thanks for getting involved. Once we nail this down and if it ever goes anywhere, send me your name and I'll put you in the design credits as a playtester. :)
Cool! I'll do another one tomorrow. Dark Elves vs. Wood Elves.

Commissar von Toussaint
18-12-2008, 22:41
Thinking it over, the chariots should only do d3 hits. I'm going to put that in the rules and also double-check on the open ranks thing.

Warmachines are now considered skirmishers. It gives them a little protection against missile fire and also streamlines their movement and turning rules.

Now, as to the spears...we just disagree.

I've read Livy, Thucydides, Xenophon, Herodotus and Polybius, and based on that, I can say a couple of things about sword vs spear.

The first is that spears won. Almost always. The Romans that fought the Greeks were not the Imperial Legions of stage and cinema, but rather the Republican legion that used...spears.

Not as a mainstay, to be sure, but if you look at the wars of the Romans in Magna Graecia, you find they had a very difficult time beating the Greeks. What tipped the scale was that the Romans became more tactically flexible - they could maneuver better, especially over rough ground. They also had a demographically more robust army, which allowed them to get pounded and still come back for more. (As against Hannibal.)

The Roman trump card in those battles were the Triiari - their third battle line, made up of their most experienced warriors. Their weapon was the spear.

And spears most definately fought in ranks, and people in the second rank could swing. I don't care what 300 showed - it also show war rhinos - what made spears nasty was that they formed a hedge of steel points. If you swatted aside the first guy's spear, the one behind him could gut you. Years ago, I did some historical reenactments, and I can tell you that with some training, spears rock against all other infantry.

What the pike did was build on the strength of the spear. By lengthening and strengthening it, you brought even more men into the battle. You also added to its penetrating power. Thats' why I make them even better.

The point that I'm making is that I didn't need to read GW to know that spears could fight in depth, I got that long before I ever heard of Warhammer. I've been playing miniatures since the 90s, but I've been a wargamer for 25 years.

Basically, we'll have to agree to disagree on this. I think sword and shield are an inferior weapon style and I price them accordingly. I don't think knights are too strong against infantry, but they are very good against militia/goblins. Against tougher units, they risk getting stopped and worn down, which is as it should be.

I'm interested in how the next battle goes. Keep me posted. :)

Cornelio
20-12-2008, 15:50
Yesterday, I had played the battle I promised to do.

Dark Elves vs. Wood Elves. 1000 points

We decided to try out the magic phase so we both included wizards.

Wood Elves (my army):

- Spellsinger

- 2 x 11 Glade Guards (SS 4 archers with longbows)
- 2 x 7 Dryads (MS 3, skirmish, 2 attacks)
- 5 wardancers (MS 5, skirmish, 2 hand weapons)
- 1 great eagle

Damn, this army is tiny...

Dark Elves ( Bram's Army):
- 1 Noble with great weapon (MS 5)
- 2 Sorcerers

- 2 x 17 spearmen (heavy armour, shield, spear, MS 4)
- 10 Witch Elves (2 hand weapons, MS 4)

Another tiny army :p


He deployed his 2 units of Spearmen next to each other and he deployed his Witch Elves behind them to protect them from my missile.

My 2 units of Glade Guard stood facing the Spearmen. The Dryads, Great Eagle and Wardancers lurked on the flanks of my Glade Guard.

Bram got depressed as he saw his traitorous Elves got more then halved by my superb archery units and a little of luck. My Great Eagle and skirmishers tried to sneak in his flanks and rear.

On turn 2 we decided to stop with the magic, as we didn't understand it, and it looked quite useless. He changed one of his mages in the middle of the battle into a noble to even it up.

But then it all went wrong for me. I thought I was winning but when his spearmen unit could reach my Glade Guard, the table turned. I didn't know he could charge with an oblique move, so I was screwed big time. My dryads tried to finish off the other unit of spearmen. They succeeded, but even though I killed all 4, he also killed 5 (he also had a hero), meaning I had 2 left.

The Witch Elves reached the other unit of Glade Guard and some more butchering was done.

Eventually, the result was a draw. Both sides ended up with a couple of mini's (3 vs. 5 models!!!)


To be honest, it was a quite boring game. I just stood there shooting and he was storming at me. I killed about 2/3 of his army in the shooting phases, but when he reached me, it was his turn to butcher.

It looked a bit like a 40K game - no tactics, just shooting and charging ASAP.

Well, one could say that this was just a 1000 points battle, and you just need more units to make it more enjoyable. But in the game of Dwarfs vs. O&G there were quite enough O&G and Dwarfs. In a 2000 points game, O&G would have a enormous army, and Elves would just have the minimal size for a nice battle.

In the next post I'll post our C&C.

Cornelio
20-12-2008, 16:29
Yet another very long post :p. I hope you won't dazzle.


First of all, we misinterpreted the magic phase heavily. We thought every wizard could only cast one spell. But I'm reading it again now, and it looks like I can cast every spell from one list once with a single mage, right?

Anyhow, it's not really clear.
And both cases aren't fun IMHO. In fact, I think (apart from some spells) the GW magic system is very good. I think you should have something similar.

Besides that, duelling is a bit too much like rock-paper-scissors. I roll a 6, you roll a 3, whoohoo you're dead! I think d3 is better, or it shouldn't inflict wounds, but should give a bonus/penalty for casting spells. I think the latter is a better idea. I would scrap the system of Elemental beats death and Death beats Life. Again, this is too a much rock-paper-scissors thing.
I like the idea of duelling, so you should really keep it in.


I know the magic system is still in a (early?) development phase, so I'll help you with my view on magic ;)
A fun and effective magic phase needs to include these aspects:

1) Spells are easy to cast, meaning if you have a lot more wizards then the enemy, you can do some real damage. In other words, if you spend a lot more points on something then the enemy, it should do a lot.

2) Every wizard should have a limit of spells he can cast. This means that the phases won't take too much time and you can anticipate with your countermagic on the enemy.

3) Countermagic should be limited. This means you should be really careful with your countermagic. Anticipating with countermagic is THE MOST important thing in the magic phase.

4) Magic should be expensive.

5) Lores should have a play style theme. Just some examples: defensive (anti shooting magic), damaging (magic missiles), aggressive (extra movement), buffing (like ogre magic).

You only have 3 and 4.
My suggestions:

- Wizards can cast 2 spells per magic phase, master wizards 3.
- Every spell is cast with 2 dice.
- Every wizard can dispel once per magic phase using 2 dice.
- Min. casting values should range between 4+ and 7+.
- Lores should have only 4 spells (otherwise I have to remember a lot)
- A wizard can only cast the same spell once.
- There should be about 6 lores.
- The Shooting Skill should be used for magic missiles and maybe some other things. This makes a difference between a goblin and an elven wizard.





Allright, now the big thing comes. You may ignore everything I've ever said, as long as you really pay attention to this.


I am going to compare this game with Warhammer, as it is the only good miniature game I have ever played, and because this project once started as building a better Warhammer.

To people who want to know why WHFB is better then LotR or 40K, I say it has strategic and tactical elements of chess, that the other 2 lack.

In Warhammer, the movement phase is the most important. Just as in chess, you have to anticipate on the enemy and use strategies to get your different types of units and theirs into the right position. If you can trap your enemy, you'll win.
40K and LotR, is way too skirmish to have a complicated and strategic movement phase. So those games are basically about dice rolling. That's boring. We want strategy and tactics!

This is strategic element is also something that lacks in your game. I'm sorry. But as it is for now, Warhammer is a better game. Even though your genius fixes like the oblique.

Why is this? Well, it's not just one reason. It's three: charging, casualties and odds. All these elements are well balanced in Warhammer. Unfortunately, all three elements are problems in the core of your system and fixing this would mean some quite big changes.

Besides that, having a shared shooting phase and magic phase is confusing. We were constantly reasoning whose turn it was. This is also something to not take lightly.


I shall start with charging:
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There are two things with charging. First of all, charging with an oblique in combination of the clipping rules makes your charge range extremely huge. If I just see one model of a unit (just in line of sight) and the distance is the same as my charge range, I can reach the unit. And if I reach the unit, I get a free clipping move and a slide move. This could quadruple my movement instead of just double, comparing to Warhammer.
This is bad because it the 'danger zone' becomes to big. It's too difficult to flank and trap the enemy.
And this is bad because such a high movement is odd.

This probably isn't hard to solve.

The second problem with charging, is the bonus. Charging should have a big bonus. If not, players are going to be too scared with charging, which results in no action and boring battles.
In Warhammer this is solved to allow chargers to hit first, therefore saving wounds on the chargers side. Why would I want to finish a unit off if I'm going to get killed too? It is another trapping issue.
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Casualties:
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There are a lot of casualties in combat and in the shooting phase. Besides the fact that units in history were mostly butchered when fleeing and not necessarily in close combat, this also doesn't contribute on strategy.

In Warhammer, most points and casualties are gained and caused by winning combat resolution and overrunning the enemy. This is a nice system as once a unit has finished of the first unit it can charge a second (hopefully in the rear this time :evilgrin:). In conqueror this unit would be too damaged to be useful again. This a really big thing as you can't think more then one turn ahead.

In conqueror, shooting is too devastating and too expensive. Because my archers were so expensive I couldn't get some decent combat units. And yes they killed a lot (10-16 models per turn), but I would prefer to make less casualties and be able to bring some more combat units.


Another point is panic tests. Units hardly panic in Conqueror. I prefer needing a min. amount of casualties (like 25% in WH) and being able to break that unit easier.
If shooting would cause less casualties but heavier panic tests if you concentrate fire (<- Tactic!!), it would be about the same. The difference is that you don't halve 2 units, but you take out only 1. The intact unit can still do some decent fighting.
More strategy and more interesting combats.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------


Odds:
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I'm not sure if 'odds' is the right translation, but with odds I mean the chances with dice rolling.

In conqueror the Strength versus Toughness part is left out for the sake of realism. This is a good argument, but it has a big side effect. And that's odds.

Your main goals are to make a realistic, balanced and easy game system, right?
Well, although chance calculation is not one of my strongest points of mathematics I do know that if you roll more dice, the actual result shall be more close to the expected result.

In the current design of combat and shooting, the odds of killing a lot more or a lot less then what you've been expecting is a lot bigger then in Warhammer. That's because of less dice rolling. I'm not talking about attacks, but about re-rolling the dice in S vs.T.

I don't like blaming the dice (as it sounds as a sham), but I hate it if I really have lost because of the dice.

This random outcome of combat is not more exciting. It limits my strategy. It's cool when not everything goes as planned, as in Warhammer, but in Conqueror, the odds are to big.

I'm not preeching to get Strength and Toughness back. But I can't think of another solution.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------


To conclude, I think your ideas are great. I think it's great that you have quite some historic knowledge.

But as for designing a strategy game, the biggest part should be strategy and fun.

I won't worry about making it too difficult if you have to. Warhammer is not too difficult, and has way more rules and complicated things then conqueror.

In the end, I don't really care if Strength and Toughness are a bit double. I don't care if spears in history really was the best weapon ever or not.

In the end, I don't care at all, as long as I have played a great strategy game.

Commissar von Toussaint
22-12-2008, 16:26
One of the tricky things about playtesting over the internet is that it is kind of hard to tell where the glitches lie.

On the one hand, it's awesome because I know that you are going purely off the rules rather than stuff I'm telling you.

At the same time, I can't tell if part of the problem is that there was a minor misunderstanding.

Your criticisms are of interest to me. I'm putting up a new rules version based on last week, so some of what you were talking about has been fixed. As for your new observations, here goes...

Magic: It's still a work in progress. I'm liking the core concept on this version, and am open to doing a revamp in terms of lores. Conceptually, I want wizards to be a positive choice (that is, no scroll caddies) and I there will be no random spell selection. Those are the big ones. In terms of how the spells work and what they do - that's still open to discussion.

Charging: The dynamics of charging on Conqueror take some getting used to. Your units have much more open movement. To me, that's not a bug, it's a feature. I cordially despise the "measure to the quarter inch but Oh God Don't Clip" nonsense of WHFB. Realistically, units that impact will get stuck in.

One thing to remember is that measurement is wide open. You should know when you are going to charge and when you are getting charged. Same with ranges. I think this makes the game a bit more strategic since it opens up movement considerably. Basically, you use more of the tabletop, which is a good thing.

Combat: No question, Conqueror is bloodier. Again, that was on purpose. Using S/T would basically cut casualties in half, meaning combat is less decisive. WHFB gets around this by having an (IMHO) convoluted and utterly contrived combat resolution system.

Regarding your game: Looking at your army selection, I can see why this would be unsatisfying. There isn't much armor on either side, and then you have a preponderance of two-attack units. I'm curious as to the terrain. Both sides were very skirmish-oriented, which means an open field would have made this pretty vicious for the guys without all the bows.

A hill, or line of woods on the flank would have made it a bit more interesting. Again, not knowing the board, it's hard to say.

My point is not to blame the players (Lord knows GW does that enough) but to try to find out where the wheels came off the cart for you.

In my playtest games, I've done quite a bit with High Elves, humans, orcs and undead. Against massed armies, missile fire is nasty, but those big blocks of grunts still get stuck in. They just get thinned a bit.

I understand the two shooting phases may confuse you, but that's actually fairly common outside of GW-land. In fact, I'm trying to think of a system that doesn't use it. It basically incorporates reaction fire. I find it helpful to have a player aid card handy and just tick down the phases. The easy way tot remember is that you shoot second on your turn. But it does take some getting used to.

Panic: Your results have been a bit different from mine. This leads me to wonder a few things. Are you using the Shaken rules? Once a unit takes a certain amount of losses, it is permanently -1 on all morale checks. This adds up.

Do keep in mind that both WE and DE are high-morale armies. Their base morale should be B. Looking over your list, you used a lot of elites, (Witch Elves should be A), so you wouldn't see much panic in any event. I'm open to imposing a heavier penalty for being Shaken, but also keep in mind that each time a unit takes shooting casualties, it must test. Those tests add up. In a smaller battle, of course, you have less archer units and with elves, the few you have are really good. So that may skew things a bit. To put it another way, if you showed me those lists and asked for predictions, I'd say morale wouldn't play much of a role. You have two armies of elite troopers with very little armor. They are going to seriously cut each other up. :skull:

Casualties: You are right that Conqueror is a very bloody game. If you want units to fight multiple combats, you must make them bigger. The multiple small-unit thing simply doesn't work that well - they get chewed up too fast. That is very realistic and I set it up that way on purpose.

Notice that except for specialists (skirmishers, archers) models get cheaper as you build up a unit. Even cavalry benefit from this. Small, elite units tend to get used up. So supersize them. :)

On a more serious note, this allows you to so something you can't in WHFB: field big units of elite troopers like Swordmasters. Bigger units also mean it takes longer to make them Shaken, adding to their power.

Odds: I have a little sympathy for you here but not much. For years I played games where combats were decided on a single (1) die roll. I understand how annoying it is for the dice to utterly desert you, but I see fewer dice as being better. If they go phenomenally against you, do what I do: buy a lottery ticket. :D

On a more serious note, I can't count the times that GW games were decided by a single die roll. It's nice to think that all those dice will even things out, but that's not always the case.

What I do know is that the more time you spend rolling, the less time you are doing something else, like playing the game. So that's why it is the way it is.

---

I guess what I will leave you with is just to remember that Conqueror is similar, but still very different. Armies will not fight the same way, even though they may look the same.

That's probably the hardest part for people thinking of switching over. Also keep in mind that to make things work, we may have to alter the entries and special powers of some units. GW has spent 30 years on its WHFB line, and it still is riddled with mistakes.

So my request is that you stick with it for a little while longer and see if we can't figure out what things need to be fixed - particularly with the army lists.

Maybe what we need to do is go through each one, see what is wrong, and then move on. Again, GW spends months on each book, whereas we're spending a few hours. You basically built a bunch of lists on the fly and they mostly worked! :eek:

That's pretty awesome.

I'm going to try to do some gaming over the holiday break, and I'll post my findings.

Oh, and new rules are up.

Cornelio
22-12-2008, 22:28
Charging: The dynamics of charging on Conqueror take some getting used to. Your units have much more open movement. To me, that's not a bug, it's a feature. I cordially despise the "measure to the quarter inch but Oh God Don't Clip" nonsense of WHFB. Realistically, units that impact will get stuck in.

I think this was a good idea. However, I wouldn't allow obliques for marching and charging. The free clipping and slide are more then enough movement bonuses already. The charge range is just enormous! Not to the front, but to the flanks. This makes outmanoeuvring even harder, which should be a big part of the strategy.

Besides that, I think when I just want to finish a tiny but strong unit (e.g. 3 models with MS 4) off, that unit could do me too much damage. The charged unit might be shaken or whatever, but morale doesn't influence fighting skill.

I should easily be able to butcher such a small unit with a small (5 models) unit of light cavalry without taking casualties. A unit frightened to death, could still easily beat such a charge!



Combat: No question, Conqueror is bloodier. Again, that was on purpose. Using S/T would basically cut casualties in half, meaning combat is less decisive. WHFB gets around this by having an (IMHO) convoluted and utterly contrived combat resolution system.

I expected you wouldn't touch this area :(
Still I don't like the randomness.

You could say that the warhammer system is contrived, but it's good and balanced. And with this system, GW is emphasising on Morale.



Regarding your game: Looking at your army selection, I can see why this would be unsatisfying. There isn't much armor on either side, and then you have a preponderance of two-attack units. I'm curious as to the terrain. Both sides were very skirmish-oriented, which means an open field would have made this pretty vicious for the guys without all the bows.

A hill, or line of woods on the flank would have made it a bit more interesting. Again, not knowing the board, it's hard to say.

The Dark elves had heavy armour and shield (4+) and I played Wood Elves who aren't supposed to wear armour.

The Idea with (Wood) Elves is that they'll kill you even before you could hit back. Unfortunately, this can't be done in conqueror...

As for the battlefield, it was had about 6 pieces of terrain on a 4' 6' table. We had hills and woods on the flanks.



Panic: Your results have been a bit different from mine. This leads me to wonder a few things. Are you using the Shaken rules? Once a unit takes a certain amount of losses, it is permanently -1 on all morale checks. This adds up.

Well, we always roll before counting combat. That saves time. E.g. the combat is at most lost with a margin of 2 then the dice are rolled and a 10 is scored. As units were only affected with a result somewhere around 4 or so, we are not going to exactly calculate the result. And just conclude the unit passed its test.

Shaken didn't really matter, as the shaken units were or entirely killed in one turn or rolled very low on their ML tests anyway.

But yes, we didn't really paid attention to shaken, maybe it would make a difference but probably not.



Do keep in mind that both WE and DE are high-morale armies. Their base morale should be B. Looking over your list, you used a lot of elites, (Witch Elves should be A), so you wouldn't see much panic in any event. I'm open to imposing a heavier penalty for being Shaken, but also keep in mind that each time a unit takes shooting casualties, it must test. Those tests add up. In a smaller battle, of course, you have less archer units and with elves, the few you have are really good. So that may skew things a bit. To put it another way, if you showed me those lists and asked for predictions, I'd say morale wouldn't play much of a role. You have two armies of elite troopers with very little armor. They are going to seriously cut each other up.

Does this mean that if I have 4 units of 5 archers all directed upon the same target it must take 4 tests, whereas I had 1 of 20, the unit only had to take 1 :confused:

I hope not.

What's wrong with the 25% of GW?
I think it's great. You have concentrate fire to enforce a test, and you can get a test easier if the target is smaller.



Casualties: You are right that Conqueror is a very bloody game. If you want units to fight multiple combats, you must make them bigger. The multiple small-unit thing simply doesn't work that well - they get chewed up too fast. That is very realistic and I set it up that way on purpose.

A lot of casualties in this game means a lot of casualties to both sides. That is not necessarily very realistic.

A battle - or better: a charge - could definitely be won with only a few casualties on one side and a wiped out army on the other. Not just by superior soldiers, but tactics were just as important.



Notice that except for specialists (skirmishers, archers) models get cheaper as you build up a unit. Even cavalry benefit from this. Small, elite units tend to get used up. So supersize them.

Meh...

That limits army diversity.

I love ambushy, guerilla like armies like Wood Elves and Beastmen. Translated to these armies you say: "I'm sorry guys, you can't have a unique playing style. You should have the same as everything: big units with heavy armour and spears."



On a more serious note, this allows you to so something you can't in WHFB: field big units of elite troopers like Swordmasters. Bigger units also mean it takes longer to make them Shaken, adding to their power.

There is a reason why this once was as it is in WHFB: Making elite units not too strong.
If you want elite units, fine, but you can't have big units.



Odds: I have a little sympathy for you here but not much. For years I played games where combats were decided on a single (1) die roll. I understand how annoying it is for the dice to utterly desert you, but I see fewer dice as being better. If they go phenomenally against you, do what I do: buy a lottery ticket.

On a more serious note, I can't count the times that GW games were decided by a single die roll. It's nice to think that all those dice will even things out, but that's not always the case.

There is a difference between 1 combat being decided on a single die roll and many combats being very random.

1 combat being decided on a single die roll, sucks, but it ensures the game is not too predictable.
That's a good thing.

Not being able to rely on many combats...
That's is not a good thing.



What I do know is that the more time you spend rolling, the less time you are doing something else, like playing the game. So that's why it is the way it is.

For me, it takes a couple of seconds to roll dice.
I can handle a few more.

Seriously, are you annoyed by the 'amount' of dice you have to roll in Warhammer?

-------------------------------------------------------------


I shall leave you with some questions ;)


Are you trying to make a Warhammer better or are you trying to make an alternative game?

If the first: why do you change the good aspects of Warhammer? (5 model a rank, panic tests, order of hitting, magic, mount profiles)

If the latter: why don't you change the name of the thread to "Conqueror: an alternate to WHFB"?

Do you have a grudge against Games Workshop?

If you HAD to choose between enjoyable strategy and realism, which would you choose?

You say I should remember that Conqueror is a very different game, so I might use 'old' strategies. Could you point out what Conqueror's strategies are? What considerations should I make in designing armies, deployment, playing the battle etc.?

If you think it is too early to have a good answer to the above question: could you point out what Conqueror's strategies should be?



I hope my comments aren't becoming annoying :p

Good luck with your holiday battles!

Llew
22-12-2008, 23:26
Since we basically have the luxury of making up rules from scratch, maybe it is a good idea to completely rethink how flyers work.

You see, there are two basic types of flyers: big birds and big monsters.

The bird group is basically great eagles, harpies, pegasi and the like – things that are scary only because they can fly.

The monsters are your demons and dragons – stuff that is just scary period.

We’re really talking about the first group here. Dragons and demons don’t really need to fly to be effective. You could basically let them “swoop” 12-18 inches and call it good.

It seems to me that flying critters would have two big advantages in a fantasy setting:

1. Observation. You could finally have a “bird’s eye” view of the battlefield.
2. Communication. You could rapidly move orders from one part of the battlefield to the other.

Actually, there's one other really, really important factor that hasn't been addressed. If you're a flying unit, you should really be able to decide if a melee unit gets in a fight with you.

For an example of this, try to run up and catch a robin sometime. ;)



...

I don't want to go that route, but I'm thinking something new and different would be a good idea.

Making flyers able to choose whether or not they are engaged would be a significant change. You'd probably have to make them more expensive to compensate, but perhaps make them more vulnerable to missile fire in return.

Non-beastly flyers should be significantly more fragile than other troops -- you can't really breed a more muscular, denser-boned bird if you want it to be able to fly. Or maybe that ability to fly away would make their morale far weaker -- they're less likely to stay if things turn since they know they can get away from their foe once they take to the air.

Make opponents deal with flying enemies by missle fire or using their own flyers back at them, or just hope to beat them when they finally launch an attack.

A fragile force that can be used to try to exploit weak spots with great precision (greater than traditional skirmish units) could be an interesting addition to the tactical side of the game.

Commissar von Toussaint
24-12-2008, 17:11
I think this was a good idea. However, I wouldn't allow obliques for marching and charging. The free clipping and slide are more then enough movement bonuses already. The charge range is just enormous! Not to the front, but to the flanks. This makes outmanoeuvring even harder, which should be a big part of the strategy.

I don't follow you here. You can't charge a flank unless you start in a flank arc. The only exception to this is that if the front is fully engaged, you can charge to the flank, but you still have to get there - in most cases this will be a massive wheel.

Obliques and the "center up" rule simply allow units to maneuver a little more realistically.


Besides that, I think when I just want to finish a tiny but strong unit (e.g. 3 models with MS 4) off, that unit could do me too much damage. The charged unit might be shaken or whatever, but morale doesn't influence fighting skill.

I should easily be able to butcher such a small unit with a small (5 models) unit of light cavalry without taking casualties. A unit frightened to death, could still easily beat such a charge!

Realistically, if they are MS4, they're tough. If they started small, then they knew they'd be outnumbered. If they were cut down to that size and didn't run, then they are hard-core and willing to fight to the death.


I expected you wouldn't touch this area :(
Still I don't like the randomness.

Generally, the less dice you roll, the less random something is.


You could say that the warhammer system is contrived, but it's good and balanced. And with this system, GW is emphasising on Morale.

Balanced? No. Random? Yes. And GW's morale rules are crude and inconsistent. I'll leave it at that.


The Dark elves had heavy armour and shield (4+) and I played Wood Elves who aren't supposed to wear armour.

The Idea with (Wood) Elves is that they'll kill you even before you could hit back. Unfortunately, this can't be done in conqueror...

That's highly unrealistic. If you get within weapons range, the other side is going to hit you, or at least try to.


As for the battlefield, it was had about 6 pieces of terrain on a 4' 6' table. We had hills and woods on the flanks.

Okay.


Well, we always roll before counting combat. That saves time. E.g. the combat is at most lost with a margin of 2 then the dice are rolled and a 10 is scored. As units were only affected with a result somewhere around 4 or so, we are not going to exactly calculate the result. And just conclude the unit passed its test.

Shaken didn't really matter, as the shaken units were or entirely killed in one turn or rolled very low on their ML tests anyway.

But yes, we didn't really paid attention to shaken, maybe it would make a difference but probably not.

Every modifier is very important. This is because using a 2d6 system, you don't have an even progression. Even B morale units will start to see problems if they are put at -2 or -3. Unlike WHFB, there are intermediate stages in morale. So if you get disordered and shaken, it adds up.

Does this mean that if I have 4 units of 5 archers all directed upon the same target it must take 4 tests, whereas I had 1 of 20, the unit only had to take 1 :confused:[/quote]

Yes. The idea is that each time the unit takes fire, its morale is put to the test. For most armies (basically all non-elves), missile fire is more of a nuisance than a game-winner.


What's wrong with the 25% of GW?
I think it's great. You have concentrate fire to enforce a test, and you can get a test easier if the target is smaller.

For starters it is highly unrealistic.


A lot of casualties in this game means a lot of casualties to both sides. That is not necessarily very realistic.

It depends on the matchup. Two evenly-matched groups of warriors who stick it out will cut each other to pieces. But if there is a serious skill differential, the better troops will basically blow through the chaff.


A battle - or better: a charge - could definitely be won with only a few casualties on one side and a wiped out army on the other. Not just by superior soldiers, but tactics were just as important.

And that happens in Conqueror. I've sent units of knights pounding right through goblins without a loss. High elf spears simply tear up horde troops as well. And even decent troops who get thumped on a flank will flee with amazing speed.

The key is to make sure we are comparing like with like. In WHFB, you can have an elite unit his a large unit of punks, cut into them without loss, and then decide to run away because of rank bonus and banners. It's silly.


I love ambushy, guerilla like armies like Wood Elves and Beastmen. Translated to these armies you say: "I'm sorry guys, you can't have a unique playing style. You should have the same as everything: big units with heavy armour and spears."

Far from it. Smaller, more agile units are at a huge advantage in Conqueror. The more fluid movement allows them to achieve the flanks - real flanking movements, not the piddling GW stuff.

The thing is, if they go on a frontal assault against decent troops, they will be worn down. Not very different from WHFB.


There is a reason why this once was as it is in WHFB: Making elite units not too strong. If you want elite units, fine, but you can't have big units.

Compare the costs of goblins with handweapons and high elf swordmasters.


There is a difference between 1 combat being decided on a single die roll and many combats being very random.

1 combat being decided on a single die roll, sucks, but it ensures the game is not too predictable.
That's a good thing.

You're confusing me here. Do you want more probability or less?


For me, it takes a couple of seconds to roll dice.
I can handle a few more.

Seriously, are you annoyed by the 'amount' of dice you have to roll in Warhammer?

Yes, because those dice are meaningless.

Look, the percentages are what matter, not how many times you roll them. True, there is some regression towards the mean, but it isn't that significant. I had a game of 40k where my opponent made 13 consecutive 4+ saves. Bad luck is bad luck.

The reason I set up the tables the way I did was for the percentages. I found, as a welcome side effect, that I rolled less dice and could do them simultaneously. So it was a win-win for me.

If you like rolling dice, simply resolve each combat three times and go with the mean.


Are you trying to make a Warhammer better or are you trying to make an alternative game?

Yes. :D

I started with just doing some house rules but eventually decided to make a wholly seperate system. Hence the name.


If the first: why do you change the good aspects of Warhammer? (5 model a rank, panic tests, order of hitting, magic, mount profiles)

Because I don't consider those to be the good aspects!


If the latter: why don't you change the name of the thread to "Conqueror: an alternate to WHFB"?

Why bother?


Do you have a grudge against Games Workshop?

Nope. They produced 40k 2nd ed., which remains one of my favorite games. They also got me into miniatures. I designed Conqueror so that I could keep playing with my fantasy models.


If you HAD to choose between enjoyable strategy and realism, which would you choose?

The classic debate is between "realism" and "playability." I believe Conqueror is both more realistic, and more playable.

The game flows faster, far less time is spent arguing about measurements, and the results are more consistent with the fluff (i.e. realistic).

I think certain aspects (particularly magic) need to be ironed out, but that at this point we are mostly working on how to make the specific army lists work well with each other.

This should not be an instant event. That is to say, I do not expect the first draft of Conqueror armies to be flawless. For one thing, I am trying to take a game system that depends on myriad special rules and bring it back into line with core stats and a little chrome.

This means that some things that people take as writ in WHFB (HE spears in three ranks) simply won't translate.

Having played WHFB for many years, my thought was to fix the problems and to make the armies play better - that is with less gimmicks.


You say I should remember that Conqueror is a very different game, so I might use 'old' strategies. Could you point out what Conqueror's strategies are? What considerations should I make in designing armies, deployment, playing the battle etc.?

If you think it is too early to have a good answer to the above question: could you point out what Conqueror's strategies should be?

By that I mean that tactics have changed. Strategically, you're trying to sweep the enemy from the field, but the way you do that has changed.

For example, the MSU swarm may not work now because units can form square. Also, because combat is more decisive (or, if you prefer, 'bloodier') there is more benefit to having a broad front. In our games, HE spears have used a three-rank formation (10-model front) to very good effect against orcs and goblins. I've never seen that in WHFB.

Similarly, the ability to form square adds another dimension. Do you form square when threatened, or try to move through the danger area and make your charge? An army is square is impregnable, but also immobile, so otherwise sub-par missile troops can advance to point blank range and tear you up.

Some things don't work as well. Skirmishers are still vulnerable to missile fire, especially from elite archers (like elves). The solution to this is twofold: on the one hand, you should use "big battalions" rather than screens to just suck up the fire. For specific units, the profile may also need to be changed.

For example, Witch Elves may need a 5+ save. This would reflect not just their armor but also their ability to ignore (or perhaps enjoy) pain.

That is why I say there are going to be differences.

Another example: you pointed out that a small unit of good troops (MS4) will still make a hole if it gets hit in melee. In WHFB, they wouldn't, you'd just run them over and kill them with CR. In Conqueror you can still do that, but you may lose some troops. Still, they will be wiped out.

Now one thing I could do would be to give bonus VP for units actually wiped out (as opposed to overrun in a rout). This would discourage players from making that "last stand" - and would make running them over worthwhile. I think that's not a bad idea: units don't typically fight to the death and actually killing one off is significant.

I will say that I firmly believe that bigger is better. That's not to say that smaller, more elusive armies can't win or shouldn't win, but that from a historical perspective, they are at a disadvantage.

Hope that clears things up. Merry Christmas!

Commissar von Toussaint
24-12-2008, 17:12
Actually, there's one other really, really important factor that hasn't been addressed. If you're a flying unit, you should really be able to decide if a melee unit gets in a fight with you.

For an example of this, try to run up and catch a robin sometime. ;)

Making flyers able to choose whether or not they are engaged would be a significant change. You'd probably have to make them more expensive to compensate, but perhaps make them more vulnerable to missile fire in return.

Non-beastly flyers should be significantly more fragile than other troops -- you can't really breed a more muscular, denser-boned bird if you want it to be able to fly. Or maybe that ability to fly away would make their morale far weaker -- they're less likely to stay if things turn since they know they can get away from their foe once they take to the air.

Make opponents deal with flying enemies by missle fire or using their own flyers back at them, or just hope to beat them when they finally launch an attack.

A fragile force that can be used to try to exploit weak spots with great precision (greater than traditional skirmish units) could be an interesting addition to the tactical side of the game.

I think that's what the new rules do. I'm looking forward to testing them out.

Infinitium
25-12-2008, 00:10
I'd like to take this opportunity to turn focus back on what imo is the biggest flaw of Conqueror as it stands: the shooting phase. As me and others have pointed out our main gripe is the fact that it just sticks out like a sore thumb from the rest of the system. Whereas the rest of the ruleset typically seems to favor simple, streamlined rules with limited dicerolling and an eye historical realism shooting is just.. awkward. The dual shooting phase with certain units only firing in certain phases isn't intuitive, having to pause after each salvo in order to remove casualties and conduct panic tests is time-consuming, and to add insult to injury it has to be conducted twice a turn by both players. And as have been previously noted, ranged troops are generally the chaff of historical armies, whereas in conqueror.. well. Let's just say it makes me wonder why your ingame High-Elves doesn't fetch bows & arrows for their hordes of spearmen and proceed to machinegun down everything that dares oppose them instead of relegating them to a few chosen SWAT teams (sic).

Anyway proposed simplifications/downgrading in order to whip the phase in line with the rest of the system.

* No shooting on your opponents shooting phase.

^Half the amount of dice rolled, half the amount of panic tests, no more keeping track of which unit of crossbowmen you held back in order to fire on your opponents turn and less confusing and time consuming and more KISS overall. As an added bonus it will in time make it much easier to implement a simple, fair magic system without added rules for casting orders etc.

* Give Bows and Thrown Weapons 2x Multiple shots.

^Achieves much of the same pros of the dual phase system in a much less convoluted way.

*I'd prefer it if the system with multiple panic tests/unit would be streamlined into one test per turn, however I realize that this opens up for massed archers to more or less force routs by massing fire if (massive) casualties tallies up.

Other Random Ideas:

**Add "Harrassment" penalties to the rally table for routed/disordered units in addition to the positive boons granted by the presence of the general/battleflag, eg:

* Unit have suffered one or more casualties as a result of ranged attacks (spells or otherwise) during the opponent's precious turn.
^gives an incentitive to shoot routed units as they run away.

* Unit have been succesfully charged by a flying unit during the opponent's previous turn.
^Since flyers destroying routed units is quite extreme, but the idea of them picking them off as they try to escape is coolsauce.

*There is an unrouted enemy model within 8'' of the unit.
^Since nearby people waving pointy sticks at you is unnerving

*The unit is engaged in close combat.
^Since it's hard to bark people back in line when they are busy chopping. This is in addition the "unrouted enemy model" one for affected units.

**Separate the rally table from the morale table!
By this I mean that you should use the rally table exclusively in the Rally Phase at end of turn (move the rally table from the morale section of the rules to a new Rally Phase section of the rules) and only in order to rally disordered/routed troops. This for simplicity and in order not to confuse players as when to use which table. For an instance the restrain pursuit roll should use the morale table and not the rally table as it's prone to getting mixed up (also frightened, disordered mobs tend to be harder to restraint).

Commissar von Toussaint
25-12-2008, 02:09
I'd like to take this opportunity to turn focus back on what imo is the biggest flaw of Conqueror as it stands: the shooting phase.

And now a few words about the shooting phase...

The reason I use two shooting phases is that it nicely incorporates how fire and maneuver work in a fluid battlefield environment.

If you look at most of the "literature on the topic" (i.e. non-GW products), you find that this format is the rule, rather than the exception.

Why do they do it?

Because it incorporates reaction fire directly into the game sequence. If you take that out, you then have to make a special rule for reaction fire, either "stand and shoot" or some sort of overwatch mechanism. Without it, units are able to traverse covered ground in full view without penalty.

As a grizzled old wargamer, that kind of unrealism drives me nuts. I'd rather pour root beer on my 1960s copy of "Gettysburg" than design a game that allows units to move right across the front of a unit of motionless archers without drawing a single arrow.

Interactive turn sequences keep both players engaged and promote better (that is, more realistic) tactics.

Anyhow, I wanted to get that out there before addressing some of the detailed concerns/suggestions.


Anyway proposed simplifications/downgrading in order to whip the phase in line with the rest of the system.

* No shooting on your opponents shooting phase.

^Half the amount of dice rolled, half the amount of panic tests, no more keeping track of which unit of crossbowmen you held back in order to fire on your opponents turn and less confusing and time consuming and more KISS overall. As an added bonus it will in time make it much easier to implement a simple, fair magic system without added rules for casting orders etc.

* Give Bows and Thrown Weapons 2x Multiple shots.

^Achieves much of the same pros of the dual phase system in a much less convoluted way.

Okay, it seems to me that there are two issues that we're really dealing with here.

The first is that high-end archery is just too damn powerful. I get that. Park a line of Wood Elves on one end of the table and suddenly Skullfire Pass looks a lot like First Day on the Somme.

There are two ways we can work around this. One way, which is the way I've been going, has been to adjust the point values so that these deadly ranged killers cost and arm and a leg.

But what I'm getting from you all is that this simply isn't enough. So perhaps a rethink of missile fire is in order.

What I think you guys are looking for is a filter to tone down archery fire. I'm open to that. The mechanic would be similar to "strength vs toughness" but a fixed value. Say...half.

So for the shooting phase you roll to hit and then roll for casualties. This would drastically reduce how much damage missile fire does. Maybe by too much, but if you guys want to try it, go ahead.

Now, as to panic from missile fire, a simple fix to the Morale rules would be to say that units hit by missile fire must take a morale test, while those taking losses test at -1.

What this will do is make missile fire less deadly - and bring down point costs for archer units.

Some of the other ideas aren't really "simplifying," they are simply familiar to WHFB players. While that's a big part of my target demographic, I also want to appeal to people beyond that.

Allowing bows to shoot twice, won't solve the problem of units teleporting across the field without taking fire.

To fix that, I would have to create a new "stand and shoot" rule, which still wouldn't do enough.

With two phases, I avoid the whole "stand and shoot" rule. Instead, I simply can say that charged units may only shoot at units charging them. The "stand and shoot" is built in.

Now, in terms of remembering who fired in which phase, a bit of cotton wool along the front line is a time-honored way of keeping track of this. I think it goes back more than a century. When a missile unit fires, stretch a line of cotton balls across the front. At the start of their next shooting phase, remove it. On their next turn, they can shoot again.

This should be required by law for gunpowder units because it looks damn cool.

This is what I mean by getting beyond WHFB and taking Conqueror as a game in its own right.


*I'd prefer it if the system with multiple panic tests/unit would be streamlined into one test per turn, however I realize that this opens up for massed archers to more or less force routs by massing fire if (massive) casualties tallies up.

It's all a question of tradeoffs.


Other Random Ideas:

**Add "Harrassment" penalties to the rally table for routed/disordered units in addition to the positive boons granted by the presence of the general/battleflag, eg:

* Unit have suffered one or more casualties as a result of ranged attacks (spells or otherwise) during the opponent's precious turn.
^gives an incentitive to shoot routed units as they run away.

I suppose I could just say that routed units that take additional casualties make an addition rout move. Either they leave the tabletop or they go so far away that they might as well have.


* Unit have been succesfully charged by a flying unit during the opponent's previous turn.
^Since flyers destroying routed units is quite extreme, but the idea of them picking them off as they try to escape is coolsauce.

I think we put that in there: Flyers charging routed units make them rout again. That's enough.


*There is an unrouted enemy model within 8'' of the unit.
^Since nearby people waving pointy sticks at you is unnerving

*The unit is engaged in close combat.
^Since it's hard to bark people back in line when they are busy chopping. This is in addition the "unrouted enemy model" one for affected units.[/quote]

Long ago, in the early versions, I made rallying a lot harder than it is now. The result is that if you rout, you're done. Maybe that's more realistic, but it is also rather dull.

I'm content with the way things are. Good units will rally no matter what, while bad ones won't.


**Separate the rally table from the morale table!
By this I mean that you should use the rally table exclusively in the Rally Phase at end of turn (move the rally table from the morale section of the rules to a new Rally Phase section of the rules) and only in order to rally disordered/routed troops. This for simplicity and in order not to confuse players as when to use which table. For an instance the restrain pursuit roll should use the morale table and not the rally table as it's prone to getting mixed up (also frightened, disordered mobs tend to be harder to restraint).

I thought they were pretty well separated. :confused:

The reason I used the Rally Table rather than the Morale Table is that I think it's rather silly for a unit to defeat another unit in melee combat and then rout simply because the commander didn't want them to go tearing off after them.

I suppose I could conceptually separate the act of "rallying" by saying that one does it to recover morale OR to prevent troops from launching pursuit. I can see that.

----

There are things I am willing to change and things that I'm not. Rules placement and clarifying language is one area where I think I have proved myself to be very receptive to your suggestions. Obviously, I know what I mean, but I don't know if you know what I mean. So doing things like separating out particular sections, repeating language in multiple places (to avoid confusion) is fine with me.

The areas where I'm less flexible are in the core concepts of the game. Because shooting seems to be a big issue, when I play I may use a filter and compare the results.

Until then, Merry Christmas!

Infinitium
25-12-2008, 12:46
Without it, units are able to traverse covered ground in full view without penalty.

As a grizzled old wargamer, that kind of unrealism drives me nuts. I'd rather pour root beer on my 1960s copy of "Gettysburg" than design a game that allows units to move right across the front of a unit of motionless archers without drawing a single arrow.

True that. There is a workaround with a single shooting phase where you place a marker at the point where a unit started it's movement and allow archers to fire at the unit if it can draw LOS between themselves and any open ground between the unit and the marker (so that the archers in effect can shoot at units "trails"), but that's counterproductive again in that its complex and time-consuming. That and the amount of markers needed to keep track of unit's morale status and whatnot is starting to pile up. It does however work around units crossing open ground but starting/finishing their move in cover.


Park a line of Wood Elves on one end of the table and suddenly Skullfire Pass looks a lot like First Day on the Somme.

=)


What I think you guys are looking for is a filter to tone down archery fire. I'm open to that. The mechanic would be similar to "strength vs toughness" but a fixed value. Say...half.

So for the shooting phase you roll to hit and then roll for casualties. This would drastically reduce how much damage missile fire does. Maybe by too much, but if you guys want to try it, go ahead.

If possible I'd try to retain the "roll to hit, roll to save" mechanic since it's one of my favourite parts of Conqueror as a whole. Maybe something as simple as giving a bonus to saves vs. Bowfire and Thrown Weapons might do the trick since their high rate of fire is where the problem primarily lies.


Now, as to panic from missile fire, a simple fix to the Morale rules would be to say that units hit by missile fire must take a morale test, while those taking losses test at -1.

Would probably work; however units being rapidly decimated should have some sort of larger penalty relative units who make it through relatively intact. Dunno how to word that atm though.


What this will do is make missile fire less deadly - and bring down point costs for archer units.

Good call!


Some of the other ideas aren't really "simplifying," they are simply familiar to WHFB players. While that's a big part of my target demographic, I also want to appeal to people beyond that.

Probably true that.


I suppose I could just say that routed units that take additional casualties make an addition rout move. Either they leave the tabletop or they go so far away that they might as well have.

This creates some weird situtations where fleeing units move much faster than they should flavorwise though.


Long ago, in the early versions, I made rallying a lot harder than it is now. The result is that if you rout, you're done. Maybe that's more realistic, but it is also rather dull.

Well, there could be more positive modifiers as well, for an instance a +1 for each non-routed friendly unit within 8" of the unit. This is kinda cool since it also encourages people to keep their armies together for morale reasons.


I thought they were pretty well separated. :confused:

It's in the Morale section next to the Morale table..?


The reason I used the Rally Table rather than the Morale Table is that I think it's rather silly for a unit to defeat another unit in melee combat and then rout simply because the commander didn't want them to go tearing off after them.

Maybe you could start separating "rout tests" and "morale tests" since there's a lot of situations where a unit's morale/willpower is put to the test without it necessarily results in them running away (mostly spell effects, but also acts such as restraining pursuit and manuevering in formation should that ever be implemented again).


There are things I am willing to change and things that I'm not. Rules placement and clarifying language is one area where I think I have proved myself to be very receptive to your suggestions. Obviously, I know what I mean, but I don't know if you know what I mean. So doing things like separating out particular sections, repeating language in multiple places (to avoid confusion) is fine with me.

And do I ever love you for it? <3


Until then, Merry Christmas!

And Happy Hanukkah!

ps

I recently got to thinking that since you want most of your phases to be simultaneous (combat, shooting, magic), why not the movement phase as well? Having a single game-turn would make a lot of rule wordings and concepts much easier to implement, speeds the game up some more, implements "reaction manuevering" and makes the game even more thematically coherent.

In practice it'd work along the lines of both players both players declaring bracing units and charges, moving these and then taking turns moving units until everything has been moved (with players alternating who moves first).

Proposed turn sequence for simultaneous turns:

Turn Begin - Magic Phase - Shooting Phase - Movement Phase - Combat Phase - Move Routing Units - Rally Phase - Turn End

You could probably work in a secondary magic and shooting phase after the combat phase, but I prefer to keep things as simple as possible; and this way ranged units always get to take a pot shot at the enemy before they can react anyway. Undoubtedly this creates a slew of new problems, but I rather like the possibilities of it.

Commissar von Toussaint
25-12-2008, 16:04
Hello folks. We've opened presents and now Dad (that's me) has a moment whilst the coffee brews.

A couple of thoughts to tide you over the remainder of this fine holiday:

Talking things over with my Chief Advisor on All Things (Mrs. CvT), I think part of where people are getting worked up over the shooting phases is that they invert what you are used to. That is, you move first, but shoot second.

Would it be more intuitive for the phasing player to move and then shoot, and THEN have the non-phasing player shoot? This does break up some of the reaction aspects I like about the current version, but I can see of advantages:

1. It is more intuitive. You move first, you shoot first.
2. It makes it easier to track on if your archers moved, since you just moved them.
3. It is consistent with historical practice as your missile troops would move into range, fire a volley, rather than moving into range and drawing one before they can shoot.
4. It retains the reactive aspect, so that movement can still draw fire and eliminates the need for a "stand and shoot/overwatch" mechanic.

Basically, I see this as requiring very little modification to the existing rules, mostly a cut/paste on the turn sequence chart.


If possible I'd try to retain the "roll to hit, roll to save" mechanic since it's one of my favourite parts of Conqueror as a whole. Maybe something as simple as giving a bonus to saves vs. Bowfire and Thrown Weapons might do the trick since their high rate of fire is where the problem primarily lies.

Yes, but how do we deal with 2+ save units?

I'm thinking that the only real option is to impose an additional filter on shooting. It makes sense - missile fire is simply less effective in terms of generating casualties. It mostly forces morale checks. This would bog down things slightly, but not too much, since you are looking for a fixed value rather than having to calculate S/T or something.


Would probably work; however units being rapidly decimated should have some sort of larger penalty relative units who make it through relatively intact. Dunno how to word that atm though.

I think the -1 for taking losses would cover it. If they get hammered, they'll be shaken, which is a -2. That means low morale units will probably rout.


This creates some weird situtations where fleeing units move much faster than they should flavorwise though.

True. I suppose the alternative would be to force an immediate rally check with failure resulting in elimination.

This would give people some incentive to cover retreating units, which is very historical. Hmmm, I like that...


Well, there could be more positive modifiers as well, for an instance a +1 for each non-routed friendly unit within 8" of the unit. This is kinda cool since it also encourages people to keep their armies together for morale reasons.

Too many modifiers spoil the table. The Morale Table is pushing things as it is. I don't want the Rally Table to go the same way. The +1 for army commander and +1 for army banner are plenty.


It's in the Morale section next to the Morale table..?

Yeah, I guess I'll break that out and put it in the next section after morale. "Rallying" will cover three instances: the rally phase, restraining pursuit, and emergency attempts to bring routed units back together.


Maybe you could start separating "rout tests" and "morale tests" since there's a lot of situations where a unit's morale/willpower is put to the test without it necessarily results in them running away (mostly spell effects, but also acts such as restraining pursuit and manuevering in formation should that ever be implemented again).

KISS on this one. If you have to test morale, you may run away. I think my revamp of Rallying will cover things.


And do I ever love you for it? <3

:)


And Happy Hanukkah!

While I'm not a big fan of matzoh, I do love kosher pickles and sausage. Shalom!


I recently got to thinking that since you want most of your phases to be simultaneous (combat, shooting, magic), why not the movement phase as well? Having a single game-turn would make a lot of rule wordings and concepts much easier to implement, speeds the game up some more, implements "reaction manuevering" and makes the game even more thematically coherent.

In practice it'd work along the lines of both players both players declaring bracing units and charges, moving these and then taking turns moving units until everything has been moved (with players alternating who moves first).

Proposed turn sequence for simultaneous turns:

Turn Begin - Magic Phase - Shooting Phase - Movement Phase - Combat Phase - Move Routing Units - Rally Phase - Turn End

You could probably work in a secondary magic and shooting phase after the combat phase, but I prefer to keep things as simple as possible; and this way ranged units always get to take a pot shot at the enemy before they can react anyway. Undoubtedly this creates a slew of new problems, but I rather like the possibilities of it.

Oy vey! Such a thing!

Overall, I'm happy with the turn sequence as it is. I combine magic because it really should be combined. This way both players' spells go into effect at the same time - no more overlapping spells. We can dicker over how many lores, etc., but I'm liking the concept and looking forward to giving it some testing.

I think moving the order of the shooting will help people get a better grasp of the concept.

Rules should be intuitive, and inverting the order makes more intuitive sense. "I go first, I move first, I shoot first" is something people understand.

GW has been counterintuitive for so long that people are starting to assume that they are intuitive, when they aren't. That's why I was urging Cornelio to take a step back and look at Conqueror not as a WHFB clone, but as its own game with its own lineage.

I want to make it accessible to WHFB players, but not limited to them. Basically, I figure there are a lot of frustrated or bored WHFB players who might be looking for something different. Conqueror allows them to use the same "hardware" (minis) for a minimal "software" upgrade. It's fully compatible, but you don't need WHFB to play.

Anyhow, thanks for the input. Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah! Joyous Boxing Day and Felicitous Saturnalia!

Commissar von Toussaint
27-12-2008, 19:59
Thinking things over, I will keep things pretty much as they are. I will flip the order of the shooting phase so that the phasing player shoots first. The more I think about it, the more it seems more intuitive. It is also easier to remember if the unit moved, and to describe the -1 modifier for moving (if they didn't just finish moving, they don't get it).

I want there to be an advantage for 'defending' missile units to shoot at ones that just moved into range, and I think this captures it. The phasing player retains the initiative (shooting first) but does so at a disadvantage (-1 to hit). The non-phasing player then replies at full strength. This seems to strike the right balance between realism and intuitive game play.

I'm going to give rallying its own section to emphasize the separation between the Rally Table and the Morale Table.

Finally, I'm going to tone down shooting substantially by having it work at half effectiveness.

That is to say, you roll to hit, divide the total hits by two (round up) and this number is the amount of hits that the other player must save against.

It is like using S/T, but less random and faster. If you happen to get one hit, then they will make a save - there is no danger of rolling a 1,2,3 and losing your long shot.

This is something that has bothered me from the beginning, and my previous solution - making archers super expensive - wasn't really working that well. The people who fought against them still hated being shot to pieces while those who like archers were forced to sacrifice most of their melee strength. This makes things a little more balanced.

Units hit by missile fire take Morale tests as normal. If the unit is shaken, they are of course -1 but no additional modifiers are needed.

So, other than some minor formatting tweaks, I think we're there. I will recalculate the formula for missile units (they're obvious going to get a lot cheaper) and their chief power will now be (as it was historically) to damage morale and disrupt units. At close range of course, they will still be deadly, but I think this will put an end to the First Day of the Somme-style shooting matches.

Infinitium
28-12-2008, 18:49
I still don't approve of the archery filter 100%, but since I won't be able to playtest anytime soon (medschool etc) I'm going to have to stick with throwing unfounded ideas out there.

The simplest "Solution" I can think of is giving man-sized+ models a natural save of 6+ to be combined with Armour as usual, which would result in fewer casualties overall and make high-AP attacks comparatively better (which they should be). It'd have to replace the +1 AS gained from being mounted on an unbarded horse to preven AS 1+ Knights, but that wouldn't be a big loss imo (especially as the horsies were historically more prone to dying than their riders). It'd also bring casualties down in CC overall and mess with combat math which may or may not be a good thing (again, I can do the calculations but until I see the effects in a real fake battle for myself those are just statistics).

Also, I've been doing some thinking on units being disordered and have started to wonder whether this could be replaced by having units morale degrade solely on a casualties basis. I had a three-tier system in mind ranging from Shaken to Wavering based on the % of models remaining in the unit and the units morale value.

For an instance, a Morale E unit would be shaken once, say, 75% of the original unit remained, Severely Shaken at 50% and Wavering once 33% or less remains. A Morale A/B unit on the other hand could be shaken at 50%, Severely Shaken at 25% and Wavering at 10%. Each tier simply adds a -1 modifier to whatever leadership test the unit takes. Additionally, Wavering units are automatically removed from the table if they rout and has to take a rout test at the beginning of each turn to see whether the survivors keep it together or not.

Advantages of this:

*Easier to interpret the Morale Table.
*Easier to incorporate non-breaktest morale tests since there's no disordered result to interpret.
*Less need for a separate Rally table (since rallying can be integrated in the Morale table, modifiers and all).
*Easier to keep check of what moral state any particular unit is in (using marked models to signify whether a certain casualty threshold has been reached; in fact these could be enforced ruleswise to prevent miscalculations).
*Means ranged attacks has a more profound effect on morale (since decimated units aren't as likely to stick around in combat).
*Less dice rolling since there are no disordered units to rally.
*Somewhat solves the problem high-MS units with very few models remaining still having a relatively major impact in close combat.
*Retains the sliding scale morale system.

Commissar von Toussaint
28-12-2008, 19:41
Clearly you and I are on the same wavelength. :)

I've played other systems (mostly boardgames) where they have many different morale states. Shaken, Disrupted, Disordered, Routed, Bloodlusted, etc., and dozens of different charts and tables. You have no idea how tempting it is for me to go that way, but I'm not gonna do it.

Shaken is easy to remember as the few number of models remaining pretty much indicates it.

Disordered unit get a bit of cotton near them to show the dust rising from their confused ranks.

Beyond that, I'd have to start using lots of different markers.

To put it another way, I want to give players a taste of the far more intensive world of wargames. Ideally, units should be rolling for commands and orders acceptance, but I'm trying to keep this a casual affair.

RE: armor saves, I'm going to try the filter this afternoon. I think it gets me where I want to be. You see, even a +1 to saves isn't going to really make a dent in the firepower elite archers can put out. And it won't reduce the archer point costs, it will just mildly inflate everyone else.

Besides, I can only do so much with saves. If I give all infantry +1 SV, what do I do for dwarfs? Extra wounds? Then what about beastmen?

No, the problem is that shooting is just to effective. The solution has to be based on reducing its effectiveness. A filter does that and is nice and compartmentalized.

W0lf
29-12-2008, 00:15
Hey i and one of my fellow gaming buddies have just found and finished reading this thread (well he will have by the time you read this.).

Me, him and 4 of our other mates reguarly play fantasy as a group and discuss all things warhammer. I reguarly play 3-5 games a week of WHFB as does W0lfmother on this forum.

My group would be VERY interested (and by group i mean ive talked them into it) in extensivly playtesting this ruleset for you and help with army books. For a long time ive been searching for an alternative gaming system to GW (and PP sucks. imo) and in particular a fantasy-esk one.

After reading your thread ive come to the conclusion you are infact a genius (shamless fan-boism, i appologise) and would absolutly love to help in any way possible where it comes to testing/balance. Im very excited about playing several games of conqueror this weekend to see if it meets my expectations.

P/M if you want to open a better contact link (or we can use this thread), and id be honoured to help. Especially with the playtest side.

Commissar von Toussaint
29-12-2008, 14:41
Cool! :cool:

Yes, playtesting is what I really need more of right now.

Last night I played my first game in six months or so (it's been busy around here).

I played high elves against VC and things went very well from a game flow perspective. I won (always nice) but what was more important was that I won for the right reasons.

I took extensive notes so that I can put up an illustrated battle report. My basement was also leaking, which disrupted game play a bit. :eek: Still, in the space of little over four hours, we built two lists from scratch, set up, mopped the floors three times, had a dinner break and resolved a 2,000 point game. While taking notes not just on the battle but for future rules revisions/clarifications.

So what will I change? Not much.

At this point, I'm in the "clarifying" stage where I have to make sure the book says what I think it says. That being said, there are areas that need to be tightened up.

Shooting: The filter worked perfectly and applying it was easier than I thought. You roll to hit, cut the result by half (rounding up) and the other guys makes saves. Seamless.

The HE archers were still very dangerous, but not overpowering. And because you round up, the skeletons (who usually got only one or two hits) could still register a kill because you round up.

One thing I will change is that there will be only one (1) morale test per shooting phase. It just slows things down too much. If players want to pound a unit, they will have to mass fire against it and hope that they can make it Shaken. Otherwise, you spread your fire for forcing morale checks. I like it, and it worked well.

Magic: Worked better than I thought it would. I'm dumping Countermagic. Just deleting it. Neat idea, painful to use, clunky to read about. I'll use the space for perhaps another "standard" lore. I also need to clarify that Master Wizards may cast TWO spells per turn, instead of only one. I maxed out my wizard, gave him the Staff of Power so most of his spells went off. Accuracy made the HE archers quite nasty, but they still weren't like the Vickers guns of the previous version. Was he worth nearly 300 points? I think so. +1 to hit really helps when you shoot twice a turn, plus you get another spell!

As an aside, magic may seem pricey, but that is because of the enhancement spells, not the damage ones. The ability to reroll a save each phase, or do an extra hit in melee combat is potentially game-changing. Fireballs and stuff get more attention, but they're actually less important.

Morale: I will be adding a rule allowing units to voluntarily rout after Melee Combat. We had a couple of situations where if the unit could have run, it might have survived (cavalry vs infantry). So I'll put that option in.

Characters: Language on "swarming" needs to be cleaned up. Actually several sections need to be cleaned up, but that one stood out as a little confusion. For the record, if you swarm, you don't get to fight in ranks.

Now the army lists also need to be cleaned up and here is where people can get into design work. Since these aren't my lists, you can knock yourself out designing and posting them. Put the results of your work here and we can look them over.

If you're less into that, let me know the armies you play, and I'll put something together. The lists that are currently posted are a little out of date because of some of the rules changes - the most important being that archers now cost half of what they used to. Some of the specialty units may need to be tweaked here or there. The VC list will shortly be seeing new stats for Ghosts, Wraiths, Ghouls and Dire Wolves that make them a little more expensive but more effective.

I hope to have the revisions up in the next couple of days. Check here often!

Infinitium
29-12-2008, 18:21
Some good points there sir. Allow me to retort. =)


Shaken is easy to remember as the few number of models remaining pretty much indicates it.

Disordered unit get a bit of cotton near them to show the dust rising from their confused ranks.

Beyond that, I'd have to start using lots of different markers.

I was thinking more along the lines of distinguished models placed in a certain position in the unit to signify whether the unit has a certain percentage left of its original size or not. It's pretty hard to describe, so I'll just use an example instead: Say it's a morale C unit and the morale tiers are at 60% (Shaken), 40% (Shakener) and 20% (Shakenest) of the units original size. If the unit was 30 models strong to begin with and rounding fractions down that means that its morale state will change when there is 18, 12 and 6 models left respectively.

Now if the models to the right of the 6th, 12th and 18th model counting from the front of the formation is marked somehow, say a with a differently colored base, a small banner or a different model (say an officer model in a different color scheme) this means that in order to apply the morale modifier one only has to count the remaining marked models, which means that the markers are effectively built into the unit and doesn't need any further tinkering with (unless the unit changes its facing or start rearranging ranks; but shuffling around all those models needs some concentration anyway, which reduces the risk of misunderstandings).

Complementary ASCII for the above example: O=Model X=Marker Model, Unit is facing north. This assumes that models are on a right to left basis.

OOOOOOXOOO
OOXOOOOOXO
OOOOOOOOOO


To put it another way, I want to give players a taste of the far more intensive world of wargames. Ideally, units should be rolling for commands and orders acceptance, but I'm trying to keep this a casual affair.

Exactly! Instead of keeping track of which units managed their morale test by a hair but has to test with a negative modifier until they pass another test in another phase off another table they only use one table with only two possible outcomes for all their morale-related needs. I can see dropping the rout tests at the third tier though as -3 to all morale tests is pretty harsh as is, and it streamlines it further.


RE: armor saves, I'm going to try the filter this afternoon. I think it gets me where I want to be. You see, even a +1 to saves isn't going to really make a dent in the firepower elite archers can put out. And it won't reduce the archer point costs, it will just mildly inflate everyone else.

It'd reduce casualties by another approx. 17% across the board. I know you don't like my suggestion to have MS2/BS2 as the "trained human benchmark" to which everything else is compared, but this is another area where this change would shine (and imo eveything worse off than an untrained human doesn't belong on a battlefield), and without the multiple morale tests this could/should be enough to balance out Archers without filters. I wouldn't worry too much about the pointcost itself since you in all likelihood will have to adjust your formula as playtesting progresses in the future anyway.


Besides, I can only do so much with saves. If I give all infantry +1 SV, what do I do for dwarfs? Extra wounds? Then what about beastmen?

Beastmen will be unplayable without a high natural save anyway as they lack armour and as Dwarfs are likely to wear Heavy Armour the lot of them they should be plenty tough. Never really understand what made them more resistant to cold steel than humans anyway. I mean Orcs/Beastmen I can picture shrugging off minor wounds due to sheer size, but stunties?

W0lf
29-12-2008, 23:16
Shooting filter is good and removing counter magic seems fine.

What i will say of the rules thou is id re-arrange how some of it is ordered. The thing i remember was that run is mentioned like 10 times before you read about what running is (id already guess it was marching). Id put it first in movement section. When you post a revised rules again ill print and read it through in detail and tell you whats missing. Its pretty clear but i deffinatly remember having the distinct feeling the rules made alot of assumed knowledge.

As for lists?

im currently working on making a chaos list that plays like i want it to. Ive avoided using the name 'Chaos' or mentioning the 4 Gods (its infact an undivided list to help balance and avoid special rules). to keep it more in oine with your other armies. Ill post it here when it is done. Currently called it 'Hordes' for want of a better name :P.

As for magic lores might i highly suggest that you remove all generic lores and instead have a seperate one per race. I think it would be a great thing to encourage diversity and a diffrent feel to each race; have a lore that plays to there strengths. Another reason i suggest this is it is hard to make units feel unique without resorting to special rules.

W0lf
30-12-2008, 01:21
My Hordes aka Chaos list is done.
Id really like input on how to improve/expand and balance it.

I pretty much stuck to the points formula you gave when costing units and at first glance they seem about right. The only 2 concerns i have are; 1. How to cost Dragon ogres and 2. Chaos warriors seem underpriced.

I hope you dont mind me adding my 2 special rules at the start, it just seemed to work for chaos warriors. I envisioned them as more of a 'Tank' unit then outright killing machines (which they ofc still are).

So C&C please? Ill likely write a skaven one for W0lfmother and we will play using skaven/hordes/elves/orcs this weekend if possible.

Commissar von Toussaint
30-12-2008, 01:26
Well, I played another game today. Orcs vs High Elves. The orcs dominated, largely due to the inexperience of the HE player. The moral of this game was that you cannot approach Conqueror the same way you approach WHFB. If you do, you will get mulched.

Infinitium: Dude, I know where you are coming from. Truly, but I've drawn a line on complexity and I'm just not gonna cross it.

WHFB has no intermediate stage of morale and no mechanism that accounts for units to degrade as they take losses. Conqueror has both, and I'm content to leave things there. Maybe, if it catches on, we can do a "Advanced Conqueror" that has all the bells and whistles, but for now, it's got to be basic.

I also used the archery filter, and once again, It worked perfectly. I can even see the filter opening up additional magic design space - say a spell that removes or alters the filter.

WOlf: Over the last couple of days I've been going through the rule book with a pen and marking things that needs fixing/clarifying. Movement definately needs an overhaul. For example, I talk about formations before I even introduce the heading.

A lot of it boils down to editing and when I play, I try not to go with what's in my head but rather what is in the book. It's hard, though, because every time you reach for the rules, you slow the game down.

I'm thinking a lot about lores at the moment. I'm kind of torn on how to proceed. On the one hand, I hate that every stinking army gets its own lore, plus the eight core ones. It's basically spell inflation since more are duplicates anyway.

But I can also understand how players crave a unique-sounding lore for their specific army, even if most of its spells are duplicates.

Right now, we have 15 spells divided into three lores of five spells each. I'm already thinking of new spells to add, and looking at additional magic items. I'm on the verge of going with a four spells per lore and focusing them a little more narrowly, and creating a magic item that lets you use more than one ("Book of Knowledge" or something like that).

One other change I'm looking at is reducing the cost of wizards and also reducing their profile to 1 attack rather than 2. I like how magic works at the moment. It's quick, does make a difference but isn't overwhelming. But I do want players to be able to have magic-intensive armies, and that means more arcane items and bonuses. Coming soon: an item that lets you cast three spells per magic phase, and perhaps one that lets you attempt a second countermagic roll (on a 6+ rather than 5+).

Okay, stray thought: What if I renamed the "Rally Table" the "Command Table," and allowed it to be used for rallying, restraining pursuit and other tests (like Beastmen infighting)? That would open up more design space for armies to get some quirks, and help clarify the difference between Morale Tests and Rally Checks.

You see, the Rally Table is more forgiving and also is pass/fail, so it's a better fit to see if the unit carries out specific commands (like rallying, pursuing, etc.). Just a thought.

W0lf
30-12-2008, 01:37
The thing is with army lores is that they dont have to be repeats. Also id stick to 4 spells per lore, cant explain why but 4 feels right.

Example of what i mean by diffrent lores:

Skaven: Focus on ranged/direct damage. Missiles and damage dealers,
Chaos: Buffs to units durability such as extra morale, Additional minuses to hit with shooting etc.
Vampires: Raising and buffs to units CC abilities, think skeletons/Zombies at MS 3 etc
High elves: Spels that support but dont do direct damage. Curse of arrows kinda thing
Orcs and goblins: Leadership bonuses to army or minuses to enemy.

With only 4 spells per lore its pretty easy to avoid duplicates and stop that stupid sydrome where your scratching your head for spell 5 and 6 and come up with highly situational or just pointless spells.

Commissar von Toussaint
30-12-2008, 21:38
The new rules are up. Hit the link below.

Not a lot of surprises, mostly fixing what everyone else saw was wrong. There are four lores now with four spells each. Also some new magic items that I hope people will like.

Check the point value calculations - they should be more balanced and make more sense. Wizards and archers got cheaper.

Enjoy!

W0lf
30-12-2008, 23:31
An overall improvement, still twomain issues.

1. the spells in the lores are a little.. meh? Lots of repition of D6/D3 with Ap Wounds.
2. How do you cost up ogre-type infantry? Itd be handy to know

Commissar von Toussaint
31-12-2008, 00:17
To answer your questions.

1. I expect the number of spells to expand. Keep in mind that almost all of my effort has been to focus on the core system. As those mechanics are tested and verified, I can then turn to finding creative ways to cheat them. :evilgrin: After all, that's what magic is: a way to cheat within the rules.

In my own defense, WHFB has scores of spells that basically do the same thing. I'm not up on the current edition, but during 6th ed. if people weren't summoning luck they were calling in a comet. Out of the 48 spells in the core book, people maybe used 6. Each new book created another kind of magic missile, maybe something essential to that army (VC, TK) but other than that, there wasn't much variety there.

2. [wracks brain] Price them like cavalry, save that you get three models rather than five to start with and their extra wound is free. The bonus AP costs 10 points. I think that's how I did it.

Do keep in mind that there are two processes moving forward here. The main thing is making sure the rules are clear, concise and consistent. Balancing the armies within that framework is a whole other issue. To put it another way, I'm on my second system for calculating points. This one seems to work better, though I am aware that there is a certain "fudge factor" at work. To put it another way, units seem to perform at their values.

Archers were pricey but effective, so I reduced their effectiveness and cost. Magic seemed weak for its points, so I made wizards cheaper but also offered them more toys to play with and increase their effectiveness.

I already found some typos (sigh) so I'll try to clean it up and repost it tomorrow.

Infinitium
31-12-2008, 00:29
If you want to reduce the amount of spells then why not cut the 8 winds completely and go for race-specific lores? For an example The Empire could solely employ Bright Wizards alongside their armed forces as it fits the rather simplistic approach to magic humans have got - living artillery platforms. The other colleges still exists, but aren't typically seen on the battlefield as their abilities are best used elsewhere. Of course some races would require multiple lores (ie Chaos, and Slann should probably have access to Geomancy in addition to Astromancy) but those would be exceptions to the norm. Another plus for this dumbed down system is that the strength of the lore itself can be used to calibrate the Wizard's pointcost.

skuller
31-12-2008, 00:36
The system your using is looking to similar to the original LOTR before all expansion without the lotr rules, and your trying to make a WHFB system to work only for units/races that u like, stating that just cause you dont care about ogres or chariots will limit the amount of races in a big scale game.
Maybe your system will be better suited for skirmisher/band action where you dont really need monster, chariots, ogres or mounstrous mounts. Just my two cents

W0lf
31-12-2008, 00:42
In reguards to 1 lore per race with no generics. That was my idea and again i say its a good idea.

Really helps add diveristy.

As for lists id combine HEs/DEs/WEs into 'Elven' factions.

-> Highborn, Noble, Wizard for characters.
-> Elf light cav and heavy cav.
-> Elf archers
-> Elf Blade masters (wardancers/executioners/swordmasters)
-> Elf Bodyguard (Phoneix guard/black guard)
-> Elf spearmen (wood elves have eternal guard remember)
-> Elf scouts

1 unique unit per race;

Dark, Crossbowmen
Wood, Dryads (possibly done as a U unit rules wise?)
High, Eagles? (they arnt exclusivly high but i think they fit)

Then a sperate lore each.

I think that would work well and hit three birds withone stone, afterall below the layers of special rules they are all very similar.

Commissar von Toussaint
31-12-2008, 20:53
If you want to reduce the amount of spells then why not cut the 8 winds completely and go for race-specific lores? For an example The Empire could solely employ Bright Wizards alongside their armed forces as it fits the rather simplistic approach to magic humans have got - living artillery platforms. The other colleges still exists, but aren't typically seen on the battlefield as their abilities are best used elsewhere. Of course some races would require multiple lores (ie Chaos, and Slann should probably have access to Geomancy in addition to Astromancy) but those would be exceptions to the norm. Another plus for this dumbed down system is that the strength of the lore itself can be used to calibrate the Wizard's pointcost.

I don't necessarily want to reduce the amount of spells so much as ensure that the ones I have aren't redundant. I don't think it's "dumbed down" so much as "stripped down."

Hence, I don't see much point in creating 48 basic spells if only 6 of them get used.

WOlf: I agree. The 16 spells in the rule book should be looked at as "core" spells that are non-specific. To put it another way, Conqueror is its own game and can be used in a variety of fantasy environments. I'm not going to shape the core rules exclusively around the Warhammer universe. If you are a fan of WoW or Dragonlance, or Greyhawk or even Middle-Earth, you can use Conqueror to fight your battles. Simply assign ratings to your units, develop your lists and start fighting!

Race-specific magic would therefore belong in the army lists, and I'm happy to start putting those together. But the "core" lists should also be included, even if we limit their use.

As for combining the elves, I've got no problem with that. My entire purpose is to get my system out there. Coming up with WHFB conversion lists is a means to that end. It may be easier to simply do a list-by-list conversion so that people feel more comfortable with it, but what you are talking about also has a lot of merit.

Skuller: You misunderstand me. I am all for using ogres, in fact I own two units of them and they have been in many games. I just failed to document how I got their points. I've gone through two completely different points systems and it's hard to remember stuff when you work on it for a few weeks, then take three or more months off.

I also have these three little creatures that claim descent from me who keep moving my stuff around. :D

Anyhow, Conqueror is definately not a skirmish game. It's for massed battles between companies/battalions of troops.

W0lf
31-12-2008, 22:31
About army list i really liked that you kept it seperate from warhammer with your elves/goblins at the start.

I think you could easily do that and still appeal to the warhammer audience by haviung races they can identify to. Having elves rather then 'High elves' means you can avoid expectations of elves. in the same way having 'Hordes/Northmen' rather then having warriors of chaos allows you to ignore the 4 Gods/marks that will really complicate things.

Edit: As for core lists im happy to help with any. Though id be working with the old points system.

Commissar von Toussaint
01-01-2009, 15:05
It's kind of a tossup to me.

On the one hand, a lot of potential players are going to be looking for lists they know and recognize. If you play Tzeentch or Skaven, you want to see your specific list and favorite unit.

On the other hand, I think a lot of players may like that I am not bound by GW's conventions in terms of unit combos.

It is important to remember that I am putting a lot of effort into balancing the individual units against each other, rather than trying to paper over imbalances by claiming that the lists are balanced.

GW will create hideously unbalanced units and then try to offset them by giving every army one or two of them. It isn't balance, it is distributed imbalance, which is a different thing.

I'm open to "faction elves" and "hordes of northmen" as well as straight-up conversions. In both cases it's just a matter of assigning stats and calculating points.

I've refined the High Elves because that is the army my wife plays and having them laid out nice and neat is more convenient for her. I may also generate a High Magic list just for them. Basically, I'll go where the interest lies. If people want new/different stuff, I'm there - whatever it takes to get people to give the game a try.

Happy New Year. :D

Commissar von Toussaint
02-01-2009, 16:22
Here is the battle report from earlier in the week. Enjoy!

Holothuria
04-01-2009, 03:22
I just read through the entire thread and am now going to go download the rules. I am very interested in your game and will try to see if I can get my group to play-test some lists.

Do you have your point-assigning formulas finalized yet? If so it would probably be fairly easy to create a worksheet in excel to auto-tabulate point costs based on skill values and added abilities. That would make it much easier for others to create or translate their own armies.

Commissar von Toussaint
04-01-2009, 15:52
The formula is in the appendix, though it is an ongoing process. That's a big part of what playtesting is helping me figure out - if the points are accurate.

Last night I did a 2,000 point game, Empire vs VC. VC won handily, in part because the Empire (me) sent a massive cavalry force on a flanking maneuver that took too long to turn the corner. It sucks to realize on turn 2 that you blew it, but some decent die rolling and good use of terrain kept me in the game until turn 5.

As always, it's a learning experience. The rules are pretty solid, but I am going to change/clarify some things. Hopefully these will be up later in the week.

1. Charges. I'm eliminating the concept of the "failed charge." When you charge, you charge. If they run away, you go to where they were. If something else was behind them, that's what you hit. It's an easier concept and also removes the need for a redirect rule. I'm surprised it didn't come up before now, but there you are.

2. Artillery. Point costs are going up by 20 points based on last night's slaughter. It confirmed that the High Elves' experience was not unique. Also, I'm going to explain how bolt throwers/cannon work a little better so that people know that if you are in a wide but thin formation and you offer your flank to the cannon, it gets to rake you. The ball does not turn 90 degrees to hit you on your front. Finally, though the crews have three models, they get a total of one (1) attack for the unit. They are exceptionally weak in hth, as they should be.

3. Characters. Just a minor thing here, to clarify that characters can move around within the unit, but that it counts as 1/4 of the unit's move (since everyone has to get out of his way or wait for him to run around the outside).

Magic worked pretty well. The two master wizards were able to make themselves felt. I will clarify that you can cast the same spell multiple times (pretty much a necessity with a four-spell list).

Anyhow, that's what is on tap. The orc list is going to be revised with a second army rule: "Ferocious charge" to offset the disadvantage of larger bases. On the turn they charge, orc units get and additional AP 1. You can call this the "choppa rule," but it applies to all orc units, even those with spears or great weapons.

Son of Makuta
06-01-2009, 11:49
I haven't read the entire thread, just the start and the end of it. But this looks like a very interesting game, with a lot of thought and care going into it, and I'm very tempted to download m'self a Conqueror rulebook. I don't play Warhammer, my interest in the game waned some time ago, but I think your ruleset's definitely worth a look anyway (if we're very, very lucky, GW will come across this thread and email you asking if you want to write 8th edition Warhammer, everybody will play Conqueror and I'll have an excuse to buy some dark elves or something).

If you weren't so far down the development process, I'd suggest something that would fix all your limited-MS woes: a D10 system. D10s give you stats ranging from 1 to 10 rather than 1 to 6, and same with the armour saves; it also allows you more freedom with modifiers. I switched my own game to D10s quite some time ago and it's a definite improvement. My next game will be D10-based as well. Of course it doesn't have to stop there - D8s and D12s are also possibilities. I guess though, it depends on how many dice you need - games where you need to roll 72 attacks on the charge are exclusively D6 territory! - but if you're fighting in ranks you can easily make do with about 10 dice, for which anything smaller than a d20 is fine. I'm digressing though, because you seem to already have a working system in place.

Will download the rules, read 'em when I get time, and tell you what I think once that's done. :)

Commissar von Toussaint
12-01-2009, 14:20
Early on I ruled out the d10 for a variety of reasons.

The d6 is more than up to the job, it simply forces you to think more about how everything interacts. You have to be a lot more cautious about giving a +1 to someone than you do with a d10.

Where d10s and d12s are good is in situations where you want most percentages to be near and over 50, so that most people have a good chance but not the same chance. In Conqueror, I'm comfortable with longer odds.

New rules are up. Enjoy.

Son of Makuta
12-01-2009, 21:51
Early on I ruled out the d10 for a variety of reasons.

The d6 is more than up to the job, it simply forces you to think more about how everything interacts. You have to be a lot more cautious about giving a +1 to someone than you do with a d10.

Where d10s and d12s are good is in situations where you want most percentages to be near and over 50, so that most people have a good chance but not the same chance. In Conqueror, I'm comfortable with longer odds.

New rules are up. Enjoy.

Fair point. Although D10s can also give long odds; it's just that you have more room to inflict various modifiers and greater variety in stats. For example, when two models are rolling-off (for example, in a Necromunda-style CC system) it lessens the impact of some models being utter combat monsters and some being completely non-melee. In my game, it's feasible to have something with 6-8 attacks, Assault 6 or more, hefty combat damage and some mean special rules dive on some poor fire support mech with one basic attack and Assault 2-3... but of course, you should have put your own assault mech in the way. ;)

As promised, I downloaded Conqueror and got around to reading it a couple of days ago. Overall, I think it's a very decent ruleset, and a solid replacement for Warhammer.

Minor quibbles first. I did notice one or two references to obsolete rules that slipped through the net (there's one in the magic section and you've got a reference to marching somewhere near the end as well... plus a few more... you've probably fixed them by now though). I think it could be made more comfortably readable if you used a nicer, less 'official' font than Times New Roman (have a look at fonts like Centaur, Garamond, Palatino Linotype, Lucida Bright or the one they use for Warhammer) and fewer paragraph breaks. Some of the item wording is off (the dragonscale armour should read 6+ 'ward' save not 6+ 'unmodified' save for example, the Antimagic Box's description doesn't make a lot of sense, and I presume a polearm is a great weapon?).

Okay, the meat of the C&C. Your movement system is Warhammer standard; good, the best part of Warhammer is probably its movement rules. Your shooting must be decently quick, with only 2 sets of rolls per action rather than 3. I like the artillery rules quite a lot; they're not devastatingly overpowered, they're quick, and they're more reliable than they currently are, although they must absolutely obliterate lone monsters and characters! You might want to limit the dice roll of models hit to the number of models in the unit (if you haven't done this already; I didn't notice it written down, it may have been implicit or intended though).

Morale. Tables in games are iffy, but your Morale system's pretty neat, so we'll ignore them. I don't really see the point of Disordered though, as all it does is provide a cushion between broken and unbroken (fair enough) but all *that* does is chuck a -1 on future morale tests. I think a disordered unit should have more disadvantages - for example, they could lose the ability to march and to fight in multiple ranks, and suffer -1 to hit when shooting.

Assaults. Your system of both units taking morale tests is interesting, and I vastly prefer your modifiers to Warhammer's, with kill margin taking its rightful position as top of the modifier heap. It strikes me though, that Unbreakable units must be broken (the irony). One Chaos Spawn can engage a massive unit of swordsmen or something, and until they kill it, they're taking morale tests every turn as well as being locked in place/out of the game/vulnerable to flank charges. You might want to rectify this, although generally, the rules system is a big improvement over Warhammer's in pretty much every way. I don't think the items and spells are quite as strong, though.

I like the variety and the uniqueness of some of the items, but there are some I wouldn't take if hell froze over. For example, the Duelling Swords are pretty rubbish, if fluffy. Suffering -1 attack instead of being reduced to a base 1 when not duelling might be a better idea; as it is, you'd never take Duelling Swords on a serious combat build, and said serious combat build would likely beat a cheap character with Duelling Swords into the ground. The Sword of Swiftness makes no sense in the context of a simultaneous assault - you presumably mean that the character attacks the enemy before other attacks are resolved, but that needs to be clarified in the wording.

I think the Enchanted Shield isn't fantastic either for 30 points, as it's essentially an extra wound that you can't save against. Would be good on wizards who don't have saves, but wizards can't have it. Compared to the Armour of Luck, which gives you a 3+-with-a-re-roll save if you have a shield and ride a barded horse and is 10 points cheaper, I think the Enchanted Shield loses out. A better rule for it might be to provide an additional +2 to your armour save against shooting (totalling +3), with the possible exception of artillery. 80 points for a 4+ counterspell is a bit rubbish as well, and the 10 point Potion of Healing needs to be once per game!

As to the spells themselves, I like how you've gone for a variety of effects and tactical uses, although it seems odd that Ice Storm and Mortality are identical except that Mortality has more AP. The lores do seem generally balanced against one another though. Flight doesn't need to be a persistent spell, as it's immediate. Resistance might need a buff - one rerolled save per phase isn't particularly fantastic unless it's cast on Knights. I like the way Lightning and Raise Dead work in particular. I think it'd be cool if Banish and Fire Storm were castable in combat (at a unit engaged with the caster).

All in all though you've created a very solid ruleset, which I'd consider to by now be in the fine-tuning stage: there's not that much left to fix. The item/spell section needs some TLC, but that shouldn't be too difficult either.

Hope that helps! Once again, well done, and get this thing published :D

Commissar von Toussaint
13-01-2009, 22:30
Thanks for checking it out.

I agree that there are a lot of little fiddly things in there, and what I really need is someone (local) to mark up a draft and find them; after three years, it's hard for me to stand the sight of the thing any more.

A fresh set of eyes is a huge help.

As to the substance of the rules, I'm pretty happy with where things are, and happier that people can tell why I'm doing what I've done.

Disordered, for example, used to have more effects, but they really slowed the game down. Units that can't find in ranks, or charge or shoot may as well be routed and they end up that way pretty quick anyhow.

What Disordered does now is show that units are starting to give way. You can just barely pass a test and know that next turn, it's going to get bad if things don't change. I like that.

You are correct that magic and magic items need some work. The impressive thing to me is not that some need fixing, it is that some of them don't. Most of those items go back to the first draft - that is before the melee combat table was revised and the points system totally redone. And magic was redone, too.

With the new profile (the old one didn't have attacks) it makes it easier to fiddle with that, so the dueling sword can be buffed up a bit. The Sword of Swiftness, to be honest, stinks. So far, every model that has carried it has died in the first round of a duel. So it's going away.

Now, as for "unbreakable" units, there won't be any. I want that clear from the start.

Same with swarms - yes, I will have rules for them, but they won't be mobile blobs of flypaper that stick to units. Swarms aren't like that.

Really.

If you ran into a bug swarm, you wouldn't stand there and swat yourself (and you certainly wouldn't use spears in ranks to do it!), you would get out of there. The VC list has bat swarms and the other kinds will work the same way: they crash into a unit and inflict a morale penalty for a round.

Chaos spawn... I haven't gotten to them yet, but I will. Suffice to say they also won't work the same way.

That's one thing I want people to understand: I'm all about coming up with rules for them to use their favorite units, but Conqueror isn't a WHFB clone. It is its own game and units interact differently. As the lists I've already done indicate, I'm not a big fan of special rules. Those that I do use are about chrome or a serious tradeoff (like orcs and base size) rather than gimmicks. For example, HE spears don't fight in three ranks - they don't need to. MS4 is more than enough to make them scary with spears.

By the same token, goblins don't "fear" elves - they don't have to because elves are plenty scary on their own. Once you make MS the main engine of combat resolution, you don't need special rules to make the outcomes make sense.

Anyhow, play a game or two and let me know how it goes. Right now I'm looking at rules for Chaos and Bretonnia. This weekend I'm hoping to do Orcs vs Empire. I'll let you know how that one works out.

Son of Makuta
14-01-2009, 14:31
Disordered, for example, used to have more effects, but they really slowed the game down. Units that can't find in ranks, or charge or shoot may as well be routed and they end up that way pretty quick anyhow.

What Disordered does now is show that units are starting to give way. You can just barely pass a test and know that next turn, it's going to get bad if things don't change. I like that.

Fair enough.


You are correct that magic and magic items need some work. The impressive thing to me is not that some need fixing, it is that some of them don't.

Oh, sure - some of the items are great (and pretty cool also).


Now, as for "unbreakable" units, there won't be any. I want that clear from the start.

Same with swarms - yes, I will have rules for them, but they won't be mobile blobs of flypaper that stick to units. Swarms aren't like that.

Excellent stuff!


That's one thing I want people to understand: I'm all about coming up with rules for them to use their favorite units, but Conqueror isn't a WHFB clone. It is its own game and units interact differently. As the lists I've already done indicate, I'm not a big fan of special rules. Those that I do use are about chrome or a serious tradeoff (like orcs and base size) rather than gimmicks. For example, HE spears don't fight in three ranks - they don't need to. MS4 is more than enough to make them scary with spears.

By the same token, goblins don't "fear" elves - they don't have to because elves are plenty scary on their own. Once you make MS the main engine of combat resolution, you don't need special rules to make the outcomes make sense.

Being a Warmachine addict I'm a fan of special rules that provide tactical ways to play a unit, but then games like Conqueror/Warhammer don't have that sort of tactics (as it's about the positioning of units and resources rather than individual models - whereas in Warmachine a special rule like Ghostly or Weaponmaster or Stealth does much more than make a model easier or harder to kill. Ghostly, for example, wins me almost all of my victories in Warmachine because I have a spell that grants it to my Slayers, which can walk right through terrain and past enemy units defending the warcaster, and beat said 'caster into a pulp. I daresay Conqueror works nicely without them though.

Commissar von Toussaint
15-01-2009, 22:24
Being a Warmachine addict I'm a fan of special rules that provide tactical ways to play a unit, but then games like Conqueror/Warhammer don't have that sort of tactics (as it's about the positioning of units and resources rather than individual models - whereas in Warmachine a special rule like Ghostly or Weaponmaster or Stealth does much more than make a model easier or harder to kill. Ghostly, for example, wins me almost all of my victories in Warmachine because I have a spell that grants it to my Slayers, which can walk right through terrain and past enemy units defending the warcaster, and beat said 'caster into a pulp. I daresay Conqueror works nicely without them though.

I think the key is what kind of game you want and what kind of game you are playing.

For smaller games like Warmachine, tricking out your little force and optimising individual abilities is fine. I've got no problem with games like that: you build your strike team and rely on it's integrated abilities to win.

It's not my cup of tea, but I can respect people who want that kind of game.

I am more interested in the "grand tactical" scale for fantasy games, where you have cool lines of battle and vast hordes slamming into each other. I absolutely love the look of a well-painted army drawn up in neat ranks - whether its elves glittering in their thin lines or Empire's colorful regiments - to me that is the main reason to be in the hobby. I have been known to take a moment during a game just to savor the look of the board - like the time we had a block of orcs three feet wide slamming into skeletons - it was a thing of beauty (no, it wasn't one unit, but it was an almost continuous front of huge units).

Where things went wrong for me on WHFB was that the game wasn't about those big units. I remember in 5th edition having my nicely painted Empire spearmen charged by Chaos Knights - who the spearmen couldn't actualy hurt. GW fixed that by saying there are no automatic saves, but the problems persisted.

One of my design goals is that every unit has a purpose and that infantry units in particular matter. If you take a decent unit of just about anything, the other player has to take it seriously.

I am looking at special rules to give the Bretonnians their virtues, chaos gifts and so forth, but I want them to be mostly within the framework of the game rather than add-ons.

To put it another way, I want to focus on what the units do rather than neat things to give them.

I'm looking at Bretonnia right now, specifically the virtues. The draft version of the Knights Virtue is that they ignore the rout of friendly units - pretty easy. Questing Knights ignore that, and also ignore being Shaken. Grail Knights ignore Shaken and Outranking.

It isn't as huge as immune to psychology or any of that, but it makes them that little bit better. No special formations or any of that, either. Their powers speak for themselves.

Since charging isn't the end-all be-all, I see no reason to give them super warhorses, btw. But if enough people whine...

Anyhow, take it for a test drive. It plays very quickly. I think people will surprised by that more than anything.