Before the rules are posted, I would like to thank Ediblespread for rewording and reformatting the rules, in addition to adding a couple of rules that are used in other AoDs. The rules submitted by Ediblespread were examined by End of Mankind and myself, and were edited by me (not much was necessary to fix his wonderful rules and format).
Note that things in Italics are not 'necessary reading', they are pieces of advice, needless notes etc.
2) The Arena
6) Standard rules in an AoD
1.1 What is it?
A Cotec arena of death is not quite like a normal arena of death; instead of merely rolling turn after turn of combat, we let the players control their characters themselves, using an arena. This means that a CAoD fight is much more involving than an AoD one; its not only about finding a powerful build, it’s also about tactics! For more information, see here
1.2 The Arena
There a few different arenas for CAoD matches, and more are always coming. However, apart from different layouts, they all follow a basic set-up. Firstly, every arena is set into columns and rows, designated with letters and numbers respectively. These letters and numbers help distinguish exactly where things are, just like in a map; the reference D2 refers to the second square down in column D. The squares are also used for other things; movement, charging, shooting, magic; as detailed later.
Apart from the use of squares, the other main thing that CAoD arenas have in common is the interface box; usually found to the left of the page. It contains everything you need to ‘decorate’ your arena, if you could call it that; player markers, terrain markers, markers for certain attacks, and so on. All of these just click + drag onto the arena; its really that easy! Then, when things move, you merely drag them about the arena to show this.
1.3 These rules
These rules are not guaranteed to be a 'rock-hard' ruleset. Many arena masters will have different ways of doing things. Also, if a character somehow becomes invulnerable (either due to these rules, or some other bug in the system), the Umpire will often use their own discretion to actually give the fight some meaning (rather than an insta-win).
2 Setting Up
Terrain works almost exactly like it does in WFB; each piece either blocks LoS, restricts movement, or both!
2.1.1 Terrain Types
There are currently 3 types of terrain:
- Pillars – these block LoS, and cannot be moved through.
Forests – these block LoS, and halve your movement (to pass through a forest square takes 2 squares of movement rather than 1.)
Lava – these do not block LoS, but cannot be moved through.
2.1.2 Setting up Terrain
Usually, each player will have a set number of terrain pieces to place. The Umpire will roll a dice to decide who goes first, and the winner places his first piece of terrain, giving its type and location (i.e D2) so that his opponent and the Umpire can place it upon their Arenas. Then the other player places his first piece of terrain, and it alternates until all pieces are placed. Terrain pieces cannot be placed in a corner square; a square which does not completely fit into the arena. Note also, it is considered very unsporting to hide your character behind terrain, and an Umpire will punish you if you try it.
3 Rules for a fight
Note that you do not need to fully understand all of these rules. Many of these are for interpretation by the Umpire only.
Note that the majority of AoDs will use slightly modified rules. For example, they might disallow killing blow, or set requirements for characters etc. In these cases, alterations to the rules will be noted by the Umpire in their opening post.
3.2.1 Movement Speeds
CAoD arenas do not use inches to measure movement, instead they use squares. A model can move a set number of squares, depending on its movement value (Obviously, the higher the value, the farther you can move.) Please note, CAoD does not use marching; the below values are the definite maximum that a character can move.
- A model with no movement value may not move
A model with a movement value of 1 may move 1 square
A model with a movement value of 2 or 3 may move 2 squares
A model with a movement value of 4 may move 3 squares
A model with a movement value of 5 or 6 may move 4 squares
A model with a movement value of 7 or 8 may move 5 squares
A model with a movement value of 9 or 10 may move 6 squares - includes fliers.
You can move diagonally, but if you do, do not
count corner-corner for the distance. Instead, count ‘stair-like’; for example, diagonally up & right is counted as one square up, and
one square right – a move of 2 squares.
Movement is told to the Umpire and opponent in the form of your starting position, then your finishing position.
Example: Bob wants to move his Dark Elf Assassin, who is in square D3, down three squares and one to the right. This is a total of 4 squares of movement, which is allowed as he is M5. Therefore, he moves his character on his arena, then tells the Umpire and his opponent: “My assassin moves from D3 to E6.”
In CAoD, charging works mostly like in normal WFB. However, there a few changes. Firstly, you do not double your movement for charging; your maximum move value is also your maximum charge value. To successfully complete a charge, you need to end up in a square which borders your opponents (corner to corner does not count), at which point you are in combat. In charges, opponents may choose to Stand and Shoot or Hold; there is nowhere to flee to! Finally, you may charge even if you cannot see an opponent (i.e. if he is hidden behind a piece of terrain which block LoS), by passing an I test.
Please note that if you want to charge diagonally it follows the same rules for movement; count the squares ‘stair-like’ rather than corner-corner.
3.3 Ranged attacks
Unlike normal AoDs, as CAoD has an arena, and therefore space to move in, it allows ranged attacks, be they magical or mudane. Again, as CAoD uses squares for distances, you must compare the weapon’s range to the following list (in each case, the first square you count is the one in front of the character, and to be successful the attack has to reach the target’s square, not the one in front of him/her!):
- Ranged attacks that are range 30” have a range of 10 squares.
Ranged attacks that are range 24” have a range of 8 squares.
Ranged attacks that are range 18” have a range of 6 squares.
Ranged attacks that are range 12” have a range of 4 squares.
Ranged attacks that are range 8” have a range of 3 squares.
Ranged attacks that are range 6” have a range of 2 squares.
Please note that if you want to shoot diagonally it follows the same rules for movement; count the squares ‘stair-like’ rather than corner-corner.
Magic is also allowed in a CAoD, but again there are some changes for balance.
3.4.1 Magic Missiles
Magic Missiles work as normal, and follow the rules listed in the Ranged section for their range.
3.4.2 Healing Magic
Any magic which can heal wounds (such as the Empire Priest’s Healing Hand
) are disallowed. However, healing spells that have other purposes as well are still allowed; for example, the Vampire Counts Invocation of Nehek
can still be cast, but only to summon units, not to heal.
3.4.3 Bound Spells
Bound spells work as normal, save for the following: Any character which comes with a bound spell (such as the Warrior Priests of the Empire) casts them with a power level of 5, unless their normal casting power is higher than that.
Like a normal WFB battle, each side has 2 Dispel Dice. When the battle has teams, each team
has 2 DD. As usual, wizards of level 1 or 2 add 1DD, and wizards of level 3 or 4 add 2DD.
The fight is rolled like a normal challenge (so all challenge-related special rules are in place, for example Crom the Conquerer's). This means that dice are rolled 'to hit', 'to wound', 'saves', and 'ward saves'. It continues until one warrior dies. If both warriors die simultaneously (most commonly due to the 'black amulet' or 'warpstone armour'), it is up to the Umpire to decide the result; he may choose to call it a draw, or might restart - either from when the combatants reached combat, or right from the beginning. When in combat, heroes are considered to be unbreakable.
3.6 Summoned Units
Normally, there will be no units in a CAoD; however, some races can summon units, and sometimes an Umpire may decide to include them. To cover this, the following rules apply to all units (but are headed under Summoned Units, as it’s the most likely scenario).
3.6.1 General Information
In a summoned unit, each square represents 4 models. Units must always try to be formed in a square. When moving, a unit can never break formation.
3.6.2 Units in Combat
Units fight just like WFB; you match up the hero to the unit and fight. As there are 4 models to a square, and in CAoD you cannot attack from corner-corner, there will always be a maximum of 4 models attacking the opposing hero.
3.6.3 Combat Resolution
In a unit, there are no flanks or a rear, so there are never any bonuses for them. However, you can still claim a bonus for outnumbering. If a unit is beaten by a hero in combat, they do not flee. Instead, the unit takes a crumbling test, regardless of whether or not it has the crumble rule.
At the end of each combat phase, whether they are in combat or not, summoned units take D3 wounds as the magic begins to fade.
Monsters work exactly as detailed in the WFB Rulebook, save for one thing: ridden monsters never take monster reaction tests when their rider is killed; they continue to fight on under the control of their player.
Most abilities work as normal, exceptions listed below.
3.8.1 Killing Blow
Killing Blow has been experimented with for a long time. For many AoDs (but not all, check the Umpire's first post for rules), Killing Blow will not instantly kill its foe. Instead, when a 6 is rolled, their armour is ignored as normal for the rules for killing blow. If it then byasses their ward save, the victim will suffer D2+1
wounds, instead of instantly killing them. This will do 2 to 3 wounds, so most characters have a 50% chance of instantly dying anyway, but this modification gives the victim a fighting chance. An arena using this modification will refer to it as the 'D2+1 rule'.
The alternative to this is the D2+N
rule, where N is the number of the victim's starting wounds minus two. This gives a uniform 50% chance of killing the opponent, and is marginally fairer, as otherwise KB is devalued against some opponents (i.e. Tomb Kings, Exalted Daemons... ogres) and made better against others (i.e. hero choices) where really a uniform points cost should reflect a uniform ability.
As always, check with your Umpire to see which rule will be used.
3.9 After the Fight
After the fight, should it be a tournament or league as opposed to a friendly one-off game, the victor advances to the next round. Any wounds they suffer are healed, as well as any other effects (such as the manbane poison: or anything else that permanently reduces statistics).
4.1 Break tests
Break tests are ignored in the Arena, save for crumbling tests taken by units. Characters also never suffer from crumbling. Other psychology that may force an opponent to flee from combat is also ignored. You can never flee in a CAoD
. For this reason, Panic, Unbreakable and Stubborn also have no effect.
4.2 Other psychology
Other psychology is treated pretty much as normal. For the purposes of clarity, the rules are stated below.
Fear is handled similarly to normal. In the first round of combat, a warrior facing a fearsome foe will take a Ld test. If he fails, he will hit on 6+ for that round of combat.
Terror is similar to fear, but the Ld test is taken at a –2.
Hatred is also handled as normal. The warrior will re-roll failed 'to hit' rolls against hated foes.
Each turn the warrior will take a Ld test. If failed, a further die will be rolled. On a 1-3, the warrior will not strike; on a 4+ they will strike as normal.
Frenzy is also handled as normal; the character has +1A and must charge if he can. The character loses frenzy if he suffers more wounds in combat than he causes, or if he loses combat to a unit.
In most AoDs, the Umpire will allow challenges. These simply determine who fights who in the next round. If the fight is a 1 vs 1 it is assumed to be a challenge and does not need to be declared.
Before saying any more on challenges, I'd like to say a few things about them. Firstly, don't take a challenge personally. It is quite common to throw a whole lot of random insults at the character being challenged: either because it is fun to do so, or to goad you into accepting. Act in character in these situations, reply based on how your character would react, not how you would react. I'd like to reiterate: Do not
take insults personally if they are directed at your character and not you. Similarly, if you are challenging, ensure you insult characters and not other members of the board.
The second thing is responding to challenges quickly. It can be very unnerving for an Umpire to deal with challenges that have not been replied to; sometimes they may delay the next round while waiting for a reply. Obviously, no one wins in this situation, so try and reply quickly.
5.2.1 Making a challenge
There are many reasons to make a challenge, the most common being for strategy (fighting a character who you could easily beat, while avoiding one who will thrash you), or a grudge match (simply because you want to kill an enemy character due to them defeating you, or because your fluff compels you to fight your racial enemies). I recommend that if you make a strategy challenge, disguise it as some sort of grudge-match: believe me, I know what I'm talking about!
To make a challenge, simply post something along the lines of 'I challenge .....', making it very clear who you are and who you challenge. Frequently, people will add some fluff to their challenge, giving their reasons for fighting (and naturally, some goading insults). This is encouraged, but ensure that at the bottom of your post you say the phrase "I challenge [name]" .
Again, simply post whether you accept or decline. This will usually also be accompanied with some fluff, but again it should be clear whether you accept or refuse.
5.2.3 The results of the challenge
An accepted challenge will result in the two of you being paired against each other in the next round of combat. A declined challenge will ensure that you will not be paired together (unless you must be, due to lack of other players). An unanswered challenge will be treated as if the challenge never happened (though sometimes an unanswered challenge will be treated as an acceptance). Aside from the pairings in the next round, an accepted / refused challenge has no additional effect.
6 'Standard' format for CAoDs
Note that this is the part most likely to be changed in CAoDs. It is used for quite a few, but certainly not all.
6.1 Banned Items
Some items have been deemed too powerful for CAoDs, others have been modified. In many CAoDs, Banned / modified items are used as described in the following list. The majority of these banned items have the words 'nominate one enemy character' in their description.
- Tress of Isolde
Sword of Fate
Van Horstmann's Speculum
The Daemon Sword
The Talisman of Saphery
Virtue of Confidence
Annoyance of Netlings
- Kurbog's Curmudgeonly Klobbera: changed to 60 points
Grudge Rune and Bane Head changed to 50 points.
Greedy Fist: only works for successful armour saves, not successful ward saves (or regeneration saves for that matter)
Warpstone amulet: same points cost, but roll to see if you die BEFORE the fight instead of afterwards.
All other 4+ ward saves with additional rules that are ignored in the CAoD (that are penalties in a normal WHFB game), such as Gaze of the Gods, are increased to 45 points and is only a ward save.
The Umpire has the power to edit the above list for his/her CAoD as he/she sees fit.
Over the course of countless arenas, it has become obvious that many characters are underused, so have points adjustments. This may be because they pay for abilities that are useless (or less useful). Alternately, the character may be significantly weaker in combat than other characters, such as wood elves, empire and skaven.
Note that equalisers are in a constant state of flux. If there is an equaliser posted in the Umpire's rules, it supercedes the list posted below.
-Skaven and Empire lord choices (who do not take the Runefang) may go up to 20pts over their magic item limit providing that they do not exceed the set total points limit.