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Author Topic: Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8  (Read 3339 times)

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Offline empireaddict

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Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8
« on: September 18, 2016, 01:02:51 PM »
Following feedback from fellow tournament organisers and the experience of last April's TriWiz, I have tweaked these rules a bit further.  Intending to use the mercenaries rules for next April's TriWiz.  Thought I'd put it out for community comment well in advance of that. So, with thanks for previous suggestions, comments please.  And if anyone can see any cheesemonger loopholes, please flag them up.  Don't just come to the tournament and exploit them!

Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8

ALLIES
Two or more armies of the same size may ally together in a battle.  For simplicity, they will be referred to as allies.

COMBINATIONS
Alliances cannot be made between ‘good’ lists (Empire, High Elf, Dwarf, Bretonnia, Kislev, Witch Hunters, Wood Elf, Lizardmen) and ‘evil’ lists (Chaos, Orcs, Goblins, Skaven, Dark Elf, Vampire Count, Daemon, Beastmen, Chaos Dwarf).  All other lists are ‘neutral’ and can combine with anyone.

WITHDRAWAL
Allies each have individual ‘break points’.  If one army withdraws, the other(s) continue(s) fighting.

COMMAND
Allied armies each have their own general but orders given to allies incur a minus 1 command penalty.

MAGIC
Casting upon allied or mercenary units incurs a minus 1 penalty. Before dicing for any spell that affects multiple units, the player must declare whether they wish it to also affect their allies/mercenaries and apply the penalty if they do.

Dispel rolls against spells cast upon allies or mercenaries incur a minus 1 penalty.  Also, when using a dispel scroll against a spell cast upon an allied or mercenary unit, roll a D6.  On a 1 or 2 the scroll fails and cannot be re-used.

Allied armies can each take their own quota of magic items.

MERCENARIES
Alternatively, armies may hire sell-swords or recruit small contingents of allies from other lists.  For simplicity, these will all be referred to as mercenaries. However, ‘good’ lists cannot hire/recruit from ‘evil’ lists and vice versa (see above).  Anyone can hire/recruit from ‘neutral’ lists. Monsters, machines, generals, and magic users/dispellers (wizards, liche priests, runesmiths, shrines, etc.) cannot be used as mercenaries.

Mercenaries may be drawn from multiple lists but can never exceed one quarter of an army’s points.  They count towards the army’s ‘break point’ in the normal way.  For cavalry, chariots, and artillery no more than one of any unit type may be hired from any list; for infantry the limit is two. If the hiring army has artillery units in its own army selector, it may not hire mercenary artillery units.

Mercenaries always incur a minus 1 command penalty when receiving orders.  However, if mercenary heroes are hired, they order mercenaries from their ‘home’ list at no penalty and all other troops at minus 1.  Therefore a mercenary hero ordering mercenaries from a different ‘home’ list incurs a penalty of minus 2.  Mercenary heroes may bring their mounts.

If an order to mercenaries, or an order given by a mercenary hero results in blunder, do not use the normal blunder table.  Instead roll a D6 and apply the following results to all mercenary units in the brigade that was ordered:

1. Treacherous.  The mercenary units transfer to the control of the opposing player from the start of the opponent’s next command phase. If the mercenary hero rolled the blunder, they also change sides. These units do not count as casualties for the blundering player but recalculate each side’s ‘break point’.

2. Homesick. The mercenary units decide to go home.  They are removed immediately from the table and count as casualties.  If the mercenary hero rolled the blunder, they are also removed.

3. Mutinous.  The mercenary units do not move.  If they can shoot, at the start of the shooting phase they fire at the nearest friendly unit.

4. Disaffected.  The mercenary units and/or character do not move and suffer a minus 1 command penalty for the rest of the game.

5.  Craven.  The mercenary units move a full pace away from the nearest enemy unit, even if that unit is not visible to them.  The mercenary units and/or character also suffer a minus 1 command penalty for the rest of the game.

6.  Greedy.  The units move twice their normal distance towards the nearest visible enemy and charge if possible.  If they engage in combat they do so with plus 1 attack per stand.  If they win a combat round they must pursue, but will not advance because they will stop to loot the bodies

« Last Edit: September 18, 2016, 05:40:52 PM by empireaddict »
“I cannot believe you when you say [your friend] has identical plastic boxes for his armies, all color coded [...] Don’t you think that is being little obsessive?”
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Offline Stormwind

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Re: Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2016, 06:48:09 PM »
I really like this - I would love to have Skaven fighting alongside my Chaos.
My Personal & Modelling Blog >>http://theancienttrack.blogspot.co.uk/

Offline empireaddict

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Re: Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2016, 07:25:38 PM »
In which case, make it so.  And then let us know how the playtest went!
“I cannot believe you when you say [your friend] has identical plastic boxes for his armies, all color coded [...] Don’t you think that is being little obsessive?”
“Yes, but not enough to scare us wargamers.”
© Larry Leadhead (2004)

Offline cjbennett22

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Re: Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2016, 05:58:45 PM »
I love the mercenaries/allies.  These seem to be very complicated rules though, maybe its just me.  I'm thinking get rid of the magic rules all together, I don't understand why that would change at all.

I like the thought that the allies need to be lead by one of their own heroes and no magic spell casters or generals and then yeah, all orders from any other character would get a -1 to command and I like the blundering stuff.

I wonder about the math between having 2 break points for your entire army though, would that boost the breakpoint up higher than it should be?  because you could then cheese both armies at an odd number of units and boost it.  Maybe just one break point?  :/

Also, with allies, you can get rid of any tourney rules you have put in place for dwarves and cavalry  :)

Offline empireaddict

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Re: Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2016, 08:01:23 AM »
@cjbennett22, thanks for the feedback.  I will ponder the magic suggestion.  The rules have grown since the first version and editing out the magic stuff would simplify and shorten things.  On the different breaks for different armies, we went down that route partly for simplicity because Bretonnians and Nippon would mess up any overall calculation.  But it also ‘feels right’ that one army might flee leaving the other to try and salvage a  victory.  And we saw that in some of the early test games.  Also, in the tournament games the most successful teams were those that mixed up their armies across the board rather than having army A on the right and army B on the left.  No-one tried mixed brigades and the command penalties are designed to deter that sort of thing.  That said, there were a few desperate attempts to command allies at long distances when the planned command rolls didn’t come off.  Thanks again.
“I cannot believe you when you say [your friend] has identical plastic boxes for his armies, all color coded [...] Don’t you think that is being little obsessive?”
“Yes, but not enough to scare us wargamers.”
© Larry Leadhead (2004)

Offline cjbennett22

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Re: Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2016, 02:51:20 AM »
I totally did not think about the bretonnians for their break point, that makes sense then for having 2 different break points  ;)

Offline empireaddict

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Re: Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2016, 06:26:09 AM »
Updated version.  Dropped the magic restrictions and stopped defections from good to evil and vice versa.

Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v2.0

ALLIES
Two or more armies of the same size may ally together in a battle.  For simplicity, they will be referred to as allies.

COMBINATIONS
Alliances cannot be made between ‘good’ lists (Empire, High Elf, Dwarf, Bretonnia, Kislev, Witch Hunters, Wood Elf, Lizardmen) and ‘evil’ lists (Chaos, Orcs, Goblins, Skaven, Dark Elf, Vampire Count, Daemon, Beastmen, Chaos Dwarf).  All other lists are ‘neutral’ and can combine with anyone.

WITHDRAWAL
Allies each have individual ‘break points’.  If one army withdraws, the other(s) continue(s) fighting.

COMMAND
Allied armies each have their own general but orders given to allies incur a minus 1 command penalty.

MAGIC
Allied armies can each take their own quota of magic items.

MERCENARIES
Alternatively, armies may hire sell-swords or recruit small contingents of allies from other lists.  For simplicity, these will all be referred to as mercenaries being hired. However, ‘good’ lists cannot hire from ‘evil’ lists and vice versa (see above).  Anyone can hire from ‘neutral’ lists. Monsters, machines, generals, and magic users/dispellers (wizards, liche priests, runesmiths, shrines, lammasu, etc.) cannot be used as mercenaries. 

Hiring armies maintain their normal min/maxs.  Additionally,  mercenaries may be drawn from multiple army selectors but can never exceed one quarter of an army’s points.  They count towards the army’s ‘break point’ in the normal way.  For cavalry, chariots, and artillery no more than one of any unit selection may be hired from any list; for infantry the limit is two. If the hiring army has the option of artillery units in its own army selector, it may not hire mercenary artillery units.

Mercenaries always incur a minus 1 command penalty when receiving orders.  However, if mercenary heroes are hired, they order mercenaries from their ‘home’ list at no penalty and all other troops at minus 1.  Therefore a mercenary hero ordering mercenaries from a different ‘home’ list incurs a penalty of minus 2.  Mercenary heroes may bring their mounts.

If an order to mercenaries, or an order given by a mercenary hero results in blunder, do not use the normal blunder table.  Instead roll a D6 and apply the following results to all mercenary units in the brigade that was ordered:

1. Treacherous.  The mercenary units transfer to the control of the opposing player from the start of the opponent’s next command phase. If the mercenary hero rolled the blunder, they also change sides. These units do not count as casualties for the blundering player but recalculate each side’s ‘break point’.  However, mercenaries from ‘good’ lists cannot defect to an ‘evil’ opponent and vice versa.  In those cases the units are simply removed and count as casualties.

2. Homesick. The mercenary units decide to go home.  They are removed immediately from the table and count as casualties.  If the mercenary hero rolled the blunder, they are also removed.

3. Mutinous.  The mercenary units do not move.  If they can shoot, at the start of the shooting phase they fire at the nearest friendly unit.

4. Disaffected.  The mercenary units and/or character do not move and suffer a minus 1 command penalty for the rest of the game.

5.  Craven.  The mercenary units move a full pace away from the nearest enemy unit, even if that unit is not visible to them.  The mercenary units and/or character also suffer a minus 1 command penalty for the rest of the game.

6.  Greedy.  The units move twice their normal distance towards the nearest visible enemy and charge if possible.  If they engage in combat they do so with plus 1 attack per stand.  If they win a combat round they must pursue, but will not advance because they will stop to loot the bodies.
“I cannot believe you when you say [your friend] has identical plastic boxes for his armies, all color coded [...] Don’t you think that is being little obsessive?”
“Yes, but not enough to scare us wargamers.”
© Larry Leadhead (2004)

Offline jchaos79

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Re: Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2016, 01:55:49 PM »
I like them !

Offline empireaddict

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Re: Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2016, 07:49:29 AM »
Many thanks.  Please let me have any comments from playtestiing.
“I cannot believe you when you say [your friend] has identical plastic boxes for his armies, all color coded [...] Don’t you think that is being little obsessive?”
“Yes, but not enough to scare us wargamers.”
© Larry Leadhead (2004)

Offline jchaos79

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Re: Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2016, 09:07:31 PM »
They are very good.

25% of merceanry sounds good for me.
-1 command are acceptable as a drawback.
Blunder chart is fun and balanced, also have the flavour of warmaster blunder charts.


I can imagine some cheesy situation, in example:

- A chaos army with 1/4 of his points in skelleton only to boost the breakpoint. Those sack of bones could sit down in reserve. For chaos general it is the same - in command because they are not intended to move a finger in battle. Well I could find interesting a couple of skelletons units ins a nurgle theme based army... but you know when people are exploting the system and when not....

- Dwarf army with knight cavalry.

so my opinion is:

Using allies sounds very fun... so I think it is the responsability of each player how to make their list with the heart and have fun more than exploit the system.

Also those rules feels perfect to make scenarios.




 

Offline empireaddict

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Re: Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2016, 08:09:43 PM »
@JChaos79, Thank you for the feedback.  Let us stress test your two scenarios against the rules:

1) Chaos hires Undead etc. to boost break points.  2 Skeletons & 2 Skeleton Bowmen from TKs (150 points).  Add 2 Skeletons, 2 Zombies, and 2 Ghouls from VCs (240).  Why not add 2 Skaven Clanrats (80) as well?  Overall spend = 470 points to increase break by 6.  But have 2.5 brigades of difficult to command and vulnerable troops.  Very easy target for enemy that detaches a brigade to go after them?

Better option to boost Chaos break?  4 Chaos hounds (120 points), 6 Marauders (360).  Overall spend = 480 points to increase break by 5.  Normal to command and 6 of those units have 5+ armour.

2) Dwarves hiring knights more interesting. Hire 1 Empire knights (110 points).  Want more knights! So hire 1 Dogs of War knights (110) and 1 Silver Helms (110).  Go crazy and have 1 Kislev knights too (110).  Total spend = 440 points.  But all at minus 1 to command unless you buy 'home list' heroes to go with them.  Yes, Dwarf general has command 10 and would order them at 9.  But if he finds himself doing other tasks, it is a Dwarf hero or Runesmith ordering on a 7.  So better option might be 1 Empire knights + 1 Empire pistoliers + 1 Empire hero (285); which would fit with the fluff of Empire sending detachment to help Dwarves?

But I can see the potential problem here with cheesemongers 'cherry picking' from different lists.  So, possible solutions:

a) Cannot hire units with same basic stats from different lists?  So multiple Cav 3|3|4+ not allowed? or
b) Cannot hire from more than one other list?

Solution (a) is a bit complicated, so my initial preference is for (b).  Perhaps that would mean that the best 'menu' would be Dogs of War?  And that fits with the fluff!
“I cannot believe you when you say [your friend] has identical plastic boxes for his armies, all color coded [...] Don’t you think that is being little obsessive?”
“Yes, but not enough to scare us wargamers.”
© Larry Leadhead (2004)

Offline jchaos79

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Re: Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2016, 09:55:17 PM »
Haha those lists are interesting  :D

First of all, sorry for the heavy message. My mind skidded in some old thoughts about wargaming, you can skip it. and go directy for the last sentence of the message.

As a chaos and orc n goblin commander I face dwarves sometimes and I could say they are a tough army. I can imagine, Dwarf warriors take the forests, or cannon + thunderes take the hill. Dwarves do not move, so dwarf general can focus in the brigade knight.

With chaos and undead it is not needed to maximize. Only need half of units of skelleton. In example over 1000 points. you get one general 125, 4 chaos warrios 600 points, then you need 4 skelleton in reserve. better in a forest (120 points) to force your enemy to fight and beat 4 chaos warriors. You have then 845 points. Take harpies for 65 points and you can then beat up 12cm of cavalry. 910 points. Still have 90 points marauder and hounds.

But even with this derranged list that pop up from the cheesy depths of my mind, warmaster is such game that I think it will be fun to game with/against that. And that is good. The problem is if this hypotetical chaos commander take the same list day after day... then it is boring. I think is the same problem like legal list choosen with extra raiders. Not mercenaries in that situation. One day you can laugh, the next is annoying, the next you do not want to play with that dude, and say the problem is the rules.... well, in my humble opinion... not really the rules but the way of making the lists.

[mode ramble on: warning it is not necessary to read] Warmaster is a game that give you the possibility of wargaming different situations. But if you choose the same situation always, then it is boring. Is like eating ice cream... if you only feed with ice cream day after day... well you could say... eating is boring, but is the food you choose that is making the thing boring. In example I love bronze age, becasue... what ever, I like that period ... but in a warfare point of view, it is very interesting... you can play with two armies compose of infantry and light chariots. No cavalry in the period. That is interesting for me. That makes you thing about different games. It is really the same if they are cavemen, savage orcs, hittites or egyptians. The thing is about infantry and chariots. Warmaster system is lovley with infantry but I see sometimes that is not explored because cavalry is worth in.... .... in ... points? but is not a game of points, I think, is a game about other things....

Fantasy is a really cool thing because when you came from historical, you can mix whatever... landschenet spitting powder while bretonnian knights charge, and a giant monster is smashing infantry somewhere in the battle field... but sometimes I feel that makes that all the list has the profile of cav 3/3/4+ or similar that kills all the other options to play. Then, you could return to the roots and face historical... but not because the rules are cooler because have warband option or because fighting is only two rounds... because it offers you different gameplay situations, with different lists. And then I think limited list of 5 o 6 entries of troop types are good. If all the lists have 10 to 14 troop type entries then at the end you are playing always the same list.

Another interesting issue is macedonian list (you could play it the same theme with dogs of war of fantasy). Macedonian list is a complete list based in short. Infantry phalanx in short, elephants in short and shock cavalry. It is worth to try, a couple of times, then move on.... and even looking too dangerous, it is not easy to win with this list. Warmaster makes you to take important decisions about movement that brings you victory in less than half games. It is a power army but you need to know how to "drive" it (like a sport car). [ramble mode off]

So, I can conclude that It is not needed to force rules to parcel the cheesy part. It is chimera. The game is good at it is. You could modify max/min or increase the points of cavalry or decrease the points of infantry, or whatever. Do not touch the "motor of waramster" and still work. It is a matter of what you expect of the game. Sometimes is fun and good bend the system to the limit and say ...what if .... but if you go to the extreme every single day... then... simply it stop to be funny.


If you read the message and you feel the gramma is awkward and you do not really understand what I am trying to say, please substitute above message for the next sentece:

- Make the list you want to play using the explendid empireaddict mercenaries rules  and have fun... do not think hard about fancy strategies to win based in the points, that will make you unhappy.




Offline empireaddict

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Re: Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2016, 10:23:21 PM »
@jchaos79, thank you for the extra thoughts.  I agree very much with your idea that we should not touch the basic motor of WM!  I also agree that for most games, it is the spirit of the game system that matters.  But I want to stress test the rules - especially the mercs rules - because we plan to use them in a tournament in April.  So I need to find a balance: enough incentive to take the risk of using mercs (extra capabilities for your army) but without over-powering with certain combinations (such as Dwarves + Knights).  I will give it some thought and post v2 soon.
“I cannot believe you when you say [your friend] has identical plastic boxes for his armies, all color coded [...] Don’t you think that is being little obsessive?”
“Yes, but not enough to scare us wargamers.”
© Larry Leadhead (2004)

Offline jchaos79

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Re: Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2016, 12:17:29 AM »
Ok, then b) option seems good for me.

Another variant is not forbid but penalize different lists of b) could be, -1 command for succesive mercenary list.

In example. Empire are allied of the dwarves (-1 command for the thunderes) but hire the tuska from dogs of war (-2 command when ordering to the monster). Finally the scouts has contact with local tribes of lizardmen and seems friendly to the army. Some skinks are leading the army through the jungle (-3 command to the skinks).

Cheesy example: Dwarf with winged hussars (-1 command), reiksguard (-2 command) and silver helm (-3 command). Now it is not sense to brigade them.



Another idea completely different (focusing in a tournament) is limiting the use of mercenary in a randomize way: Use a modification of the territory rules of warmaster ancient armies. But you could only buy mercenaries with the points of the territories.
I used the rules in a long campaing four years ago (times goes by... :o) and I like the mechanics. Old World
I read WFHGS  use them for short campaing of 3 battles in a day, and work for them.

Maybe could add a little bit more of complexity. But I discovered that players use to like this kind of things. If you prepare two set of cards with territories (bad and good), like Tilea for pikemen, Mines karak a karak for thunderers, wasters of chaos for monsters, mountains of uthulan for flyers, plains for chariots, lizardmen from lustria jungle, some samurais from the far Cathay, then could hook the attention of the players to use new units in their armies.

The rules state that territories give you points you can use to buy some type of units (cheapest cavalry of your list, infantry of your list, etc...) avoiding max and min and over the fixed points. You can combine two territories usually mines, port or citadel with whatever to boost the points of the unit. In example two plains give you 2 cheap units of cavalry but a plan and a gold mine gives you a unit of heavy cavalry.
You have 3 cards and you have to play with 2 of them. This is your bet, if you loose the battle the winner can stole you one card forcing you to take one from the deck (you could improve) or the winner can try luck and take one from the deck directly.

You could simplify that, making a really cool cards with images from landscapes and illustrations, printed and glue over a normal poker cards, that state a place and the merc unit. Each card is divided in two with Ligth territory and a Dark Territory, so each card could be used for two types of armies.

Then you are quoting/controling in a very cool way the units of mercs, giving them some background, and avoiding extra cheesy players. There is always a touch of luck and randomize when taking the intial territories and of course the pleasure of conquerer and victory taking the card to the beatan army. Also make non symetrical games (in points). In 1000 points game could be not good. but in 1500, 2000 and 3000 in my experience is affordable (the asymetry of points is not going to break the game).

Examples:

Mountain --> monster / flyer   (black mountains, wyrm mount / Middle mountains griffon mount)
Forest --> archers  (Lorien, wood elf archers / Naggaroth dark elves crossbow)
Wastes --> monsters ( Land of death sphinx  /  araby deserts Tuska)
Plains --> chariots (kurgan territories chariot  / uthulan plains high elf chariot)
Mountian passing -->  hard tough infantry (world edge mnts black orcs / karak a karak dwarf warrior)
River crossing --> light fast infantry  (skull river 2x goblins / reik river fishermen and hunters 2x peasents)
Farmlands --> infantry (Talabecland  halberdiers  / bad lands 1x warrior)
Town --> Infantry ( wolfenburg free company halberdier + skirmisher / castle of drakenhoff tomb guards)
Pasture --> cavalry (Stirland pistoliers / Bad lands 2xwolf raiders)
City --> heavy cavalry (Altdorf empire knight / The inevitable city chaos knights)
Mines --> infantry dwarf ( karak azul dwarf thunders / Mingol Zharr blunderbusses)
Port -->   infantry (sea of claws elf spearmen / Naggaroth port dark elf spearmen)
Fortress --> artillery ( Nuln cannons  / black cragg stonethrower)
Fate card / famous hero leading the army--> gives a magic object
Intrigues --> see table
Events --> see table


That means more work for he organizer and extra units painted to be used for different players. But people usually have lots of fun with this kind of things. You can not solve the riddle of the "cheesy player" but you can go around.



 
« Last Edit: October 06, 2016, 12:33:34 AM by jchaos79 »

Offline empireaddict

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Re: Warmaster Allies & Mercenaries Trial Rules v1.8
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2016, 07:25:08 PM »
@jchaos79, some good ideas there.  But quite a lot of work for the tournament organiser!  I have played in WM tournaments where magic items were banned and cards given instead.  Might also work for (single?) units of mercenaries?
“I cannot believe you when you say [your friend] has identical plastic boxes for his armies, all color coded [...] Don’t you think that is being little obsessive?”
“Yes, but not enough to scare us wargamers.”
© Larry Leadhead (2004)