[From Eric Reel]
A while back, someone suggested posting playtested house rules. I finally got around to compiling 'The Rules.' The main point of most of the following rules is to tweak the game in favor of lower CF supporting units, and to curb some of the abuses possible with flyers and other fast attack units. All of these have been playtested, both in standard 'high magic' games and using the JHills 'low magic' guidelines @100-200 points of specials/characters per army.
Anyway, hope someone finds these useful...
Alternate rule for followups: If a unit destroys its opponent & follows up, it does NOT turn to face other enemies it may be in contact with until the 'turn to face' combat subphase following the enemies movement (unless aided by magic such as 'invigorate' or 'fly').
Justification: This rule seems to favor armies with more numerous troops by weakening the followup ability of heavy hitters. Also, it can lead to some amusing situations, like a monster breaking through a line, only to be killed next turn by 2nd rank bow units.
All Heavy Artillery has a 360 degree arc of fire. (Indirect-fire HA has 360-degree arc according to FR2, but since this makes direct-fire HA incredibly lame in comparison....)
Justification: see above, also means you don't always have to cram your DFHA into the back corner of your deployment zone.
Cost: 30 points. When two enemy units first come into face-to-face contact, both roll a d10. If the grappler rolls higher than its opponent, then the opponent is grappled. The grappled unit's CF goes to zero, neither combatant will move backwards on a DD, and the combatants will NOT turn to face other enemies. Neither unit can voluntarily disengage or be removed from the combat by magic while the grapple is in effect. The grapple lasts until one combatant is destroyed, or until the grappler voluntarily releases the grapple.
If two enemy grapplers come into contact, make grapple rolls both each unit ( i.e. both, one or neither of the units could wind up being grappled ).
Justification: This change makes grapple an equalizer for weaker units, rather than making strong, fast units even stronger.
Juggernauts can change facing by expending their entire movement allowance for the turn.
Justification: prevents 'chasm' from being an insta-kill!
Taunt requires line-of-site.
A flyer or burrower can taunt a unit that cannot engage it (not sub surface though.. no LOS).
A taunted LC or F/S/B unit cannot disengage in the same turn it is taunted into contact.
Taunting a demoralized or double-demoralized unit has no effect.
If another unit of the taunter's army is between the taunter & the tauntee, the tauntee must make a good faith effort to go around; if it can't go around, it must stop at the intervening unit. Note that this will engage tauntee & intervening unit if no detour is possible.
If another unit of the tauntee's army is between the taunter and the tauntee, the tauntee must make a good faith effort to go around; if it can't go around, it must stop at the intervening unit.
If there is an impassible obstacle between the taunter & the tauntee, the tauntee must stop at the obstacle.
If the tauntee must pass through the ZOC of a 'taunter friendly' unit, it ignores ZOC (the taunter's buddies want to see what will happen).
Justification: Taunt is poorly defined in the main rules set
Like other specials, Ethereals are destroyed by kill results from bowfire/artillery.
Units can move through enemy ethereals, but must make a morale check.
Ethereals cannot 'park' on top of friendly, unattached characters.
Ethereals must cover at least 50% of the target unit to cause a demoralize.
When in doubt, give ethereal player the benefit of the doubt or roll for it.
Ethereals CAN end the turn on top of friendly/enemy units. If they start the turn w' 50% or more of the unit covered & maintain at least that coverage, they cause another fear test. [Note that this directly contradicts the rules, which state that an ethereal may not end it movement on top of another unit. -SCR]
Justification: Try playing with ethereals some time.
Fear tests are taken after the 'turn to face opponent' subphase. Only units engaged in combat (not flank/rear units) are subject to/cause fear tests. Fear tests are only taken when the opponents first come into face-to-face contact.
Justification: Tweaks monsters/undead down in power a bit, prevents certain armies (i.e., chaos, undead) from loading up on hordes of fast, weak, fear-causing units so as to augment most combats with 2 or 3 extra fear tests.
L2 Magic users roll 2D5 for spell points
The clerical spell CURSE/BLESS cannot be augmented
Justification: Maintains some degree of randomness, but cuts WAY back on the rounds that one spell caster vastly outclasses the other. Mass curse is way too good.
When a group wishes to move into contact with an enemy group, it must declare and execute a special 'charge move' in lieu of normal movement. Here's how to do this:
6 abcd abcd5 12345678 -> 123478
Justification: This prevents battle lines from ALWAYS getting clobbered in the flanks, makes it difficult for fast units to surgically attack the weak points in a battle line, and makes it difficult to surgically disrupt support bonuses. In short, it makes support useful in the face of flyers, spirits and super-fast chaos cavalry.
If a unit charges an engaged enemy, and the enemy turns to face the charger, the charger's charge bonus is included in the combat.
Justification: Makes charge bonuses more useful. Makes intuitive sense.
Only Bad People(tm) use Protection from Magic items.
Character-based magic items & special abilities are not revealed at the start of the game.
Unit-carried items & abilities are revealed at the start of the game.
Justification: Just like it that way
F/S/B units can make one altitude transition per move. Altitude transitions can only be made during a move. Push backs, moves from magical effects (except spells which allow a free move such as invigorate), etc. do not affect altitude.
Justification: Makes it easier to engage fliers. Cuts down on flyers ablility to 'teleport' from combat to combat. Prevents burrowers from always getting a +2 on the charge.