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Jan 9 16 7:13 AM

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Here's an optional rule that I suggested in the mumakil thread. I thought I'd post it here in case it's of wider interest. 

Stampede (free upgrade for Greater Warbeasts)
When certain Greater Warbeasts are wounded, frightened or otherwise upset, they won't meekly rout but will instead run amok - posing a danger to friend and foe alike. 

If a Greater Warbeast with the Stampede upgrade fails to rally when Battered, it will immediatley move in a random direction. There is no need to roll for activation (a crazed mammoth won't stand still, after all). Instead, roll two dice beside the figure for the direction of movement, tracing a line from the lower roll to the higher. The beast moves in that direction - and woe betide anything that gets in its path! NB: this random-direction system is shamelessly stolen from Andrea Sfiligoi's marvellous Advanced Song of Blades and Heroes rules (included in FIghtin' Fungi).

This random move is treated as a normal Move activation, with the affected unit moving its full allowance (10" in most cases) in a straight line. If, however, that move brings it into contact with another unit, it is treated as an Attack instead. The stampeding unit immediately attacks the contacted unit, regardless of whether it is friend or foe. Units with Counter-charge may NOT use it against stampeders: everyone will be hoping that the thing gets out of their way before it's too late. Scouts and Light Riders may attempt to Evade, however, with the usual consequences. 

Stampeding units get harder to rally with each failed attempt, so keep track of each failure and modify all subsequent Courage tests accordingly (even if the beast rallies and then requires a later test). They do not, however, lose Strength Points in the normal manner from failed rallies. This makes them all the more dangerous - they won't "peter out" unless they stampede off the table, but will get progressively more difficult to control (so a beast that fails a Courage test after a single wound could, if it fails enough rallies, end up with a -8 or -9 modifier to Courage tests, even though it's still careering around and attacking units with 12 dice.


Any thoughts? I think this should be a free upgrade because it will probably disadvantage the beast's own side more than the enemy, given the direction of the initial retreat before the next rally phase - although a Stampede could prove beneficial if the gods smile. Once the beast has failed a few rallies, it will be highly unstable and more vulnerable to running amok. There's a little more book-keeping involved with Courage modifiers being separated from Strength Points; that's to ensure that the beast can be a spectacular (and annoying) threat to both sides for as long as possible!




 

Last Edited By: Hobgoblin Jan 9 16 10:50 AM. Edited 1 time

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#1 [url]

Jan 9 16 11:56 AM

One addendum: it struck me that this rule should generally be restricted to single-model units of Greater Warbeasts - hulking behemoths rather than packs of beasts.

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#2 [url]

Jan 9 16 3:36 PM

I could imagine a herd of (large) critters that spooks and runs over everyone. I suggest not limiting to single models, and keep the principle of allowing the rules to represent what you want. Are there other rules limited in such a way?

In terms of simplicity, how necessary do you think the rule is about increasingly modifying the Courage rule? It is something to keep track of. Would it work mostly the same without it?

andy

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#3 [url]

Jan 9 16 6:04 PM

andyskinner wrote:
I could imagine a herd of (large) critters that spooks and runs over everyone. I suggest not limiting to single models, and keep the principle of allowing the rules to represent what you want. Are there other rules limited in such a way?

In terms of simplicity, how necessary do you think the rule is about increasingly modifying the Courage rule? It is something to keep track of. Would it work mostly the same without it?

andy


Yes, that's a good point. I suppose you could imagine a pack of Moorcock-style chaos hounds (huge, vulture-headed things!) running amok in the same way.

It would be simpler just to do the Battered effects as normal - but my worry was that the beast(s) would get depleted before much damage could be done. As Greater Warbeasts only have six Strength Points and would usually have lost at least one before failing a Courage test, you'd only have a turn or two of failures before they go to six dice (and become much less of a threat). But if you keep track of the failed Courage tests separately (five-bar gates in a different column or ink, or using a dice for one and paper for the other, or whatever), then you have a  much more dangerous rampager - one that can pose a very serious threat to his own side and others until brought under control.

And because the beast is going to be more nervous once brought under control, you have a situation where the player has a powerful weapon at his disposal again - but also one that is likely to become uncontrollable again - "spooked", even if only lightly wounded! So there's a risk/reward dilemma - do you keep the rest of your troops far back/out of his way, or do you pile in hoping that he won't run amok again?

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#5 [url]

Jan 10 16 6:18 AM

That would be simpler - and I entirely agree that simplicity is generally preferable. But I'd worry then about losing most of the effect (and fun!) of the stampede. Because Greater Warbeasts have only 6 Strength Points but Courage 3, they're quickly be diminished under the normal rules for Battered units (as, in the rare event that they fail to rally, they'll soon be at half-strength), and they're also unlikely to stay Battered for long.

With the extra bookkeeping for failed rallies, you get a higher chance of the beast running amok while staying at full strength, so it poses more of a danger when it does. There's a big difference between a 12-dice attack and a 6-dice attack, and I like the idea that out-of-control mammoths or mumakil are really dangerous. 

The other thing that it facilitates is the idea of the beast being "spooked" without debilitating physical damage: so that failed Courage tests add up even though the beast remains a very serious threat.

I've never used the "small dice" method that Dan recommends in the book to record Strength Points, as I find it easy enough to keep score on the roster sheet. So I don't see an additional set of marks on the roster sheet - or a small dice on the base - as that much of an additional hassle. And as one warband is unlikely to have more than one or two Greater Warbeasts (and the situation might never arise), it doesn't strike me as a huge deal. I'll give it a go in our next game, though, and see how it works. 

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#6 [url]

Jan 11 16 12:01 PM

Maybe make it a Negative Upgrade

Maybe it could be a Negative upgrade?  This would allow you to add more of of the positive upgrades and still stay within 10 points.  I don't have my rule book with me right now but something like this for say the Mumak:
Greater Warbeast  6pts
Flame attack (Archers)  +2pts
Fear                             +2pts
Cunning                        +2 pts
Stampede                     -2pts
Total                           10pts

It would make it tough and nasty, but there would be that chance that it could go berserk and start stampeding around the table.

 

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#8 [url]

Jan 11 16 4:46 PM

ThomO wrote:
Maybe it could be a Negative upgrade?  This would allow you to add more of of the positive upgrades and still stay within 10 points.  I don't have my rule book with me right now but something like this for say the Mumak:
Greater Warbeast  6pts
Flame attack (Archers)  +2pts
Fear                             +2pts
Cunning                        +2 pts
Stampede                     -2pts
Total                           10pts

It would make it tough and nasty, but there would be that chance that it could go berserk and start stampeding around the table.


 


I don't think the Stampede rule is that much of a negative, though - after all, you might get through a whole game without the Warbeast being Battered. And even if it does run amok, there's chance that it'll help you out by stomping through the enemy. And of course, a player can exploit the Stampede rule by marching the Warbeast into the midst of the enemy and keeping the rest of his troops well clear!

There's also another benefit to using the rule: you're more likely to rally a Stampeding beast at more than half strength, as he won't be debilitated by losing successive Courage tests (he may well, however, debilitate your other units!). The trade-off, of course, is that he remains "spooked". So you get him back, but he may well run amok again if he gets hurt or startled. 

All in all, I think it's a net zero - ultimately, it adds chaos and unpredictability to the battle without necessarily benefiting either side. 

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#9 [url]

Jan 11 16 5:38 PM

ThomO wrote:
Hobgoblin,
On the stampeded die roll what happens if you roll doubles (the same number on both d6)?

Good point! In Song of Blades and Heroes, nothing happens in that situation. But that won't do here, as we need a stampede in one direction or the other. I'd just roll a third die: 1-3 from left to right, 4-6 from right to left. It shoudn't happen that often. 

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#10 [url]

Jan 12 16 8:50 AM

Why not on a double roll simply retreat as a normal failed Rally test.

Actually why not use the dice roll from the Rally test for the direction - saves rolling again

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