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Thread: Building a better Warhammer

  1. #41

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    sounds cool. good battle report.

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

  2. #42

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    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.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

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  3. #43

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    The latest version of the rule book is now up here.

    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.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  4. #44

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    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.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  5. #45
    Chapter Master Hlokk's Avatar
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    *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?
    Hlokk: Warseers Resident White Wolf fanboy.
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  6. #46

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    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.

    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.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  7. #47

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    So, has anyone played this thing yet? Just curious.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  8. #48
    Commander RGB's Avatar
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    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.
    Last edited by RGB; 31-01-2006 at 08:57.

  9. #49

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by RGB
    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.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  10. #50
    Commander RGB's Avatar
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by Commissar von Toussaint
    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.

  11. #51

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by RGB
    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.
    Last edited by Commissar von Toussaint; 06-02-2006 at 16:28.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  12. #52
    Commander RGB's Avatar
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    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    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.

  13. #53

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Quote Originally Posted by RGB
    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.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  14. #54

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    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.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  15. #55

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    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?
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  16. #56

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    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.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  17. #57

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    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.

    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.
    Last edited by Commissar von Toussaint; 11-07-2006 at 00:55.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  18. #58

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    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.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  19. #59

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    Photos for reference are here.

    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.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

  20. #60

    Re: Building a better Warhammer

    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.
    Want a better way to fight fantasy battles? Try Conqueror: Fields of Victory!

    Do you like Star Wars but hate the prequels? Ever wish someone came up with a decent story about how a decadent galactic commonwealth descended into chaos and civil war? Look no further.

    A proud player of 2nd edition 40k.

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