House Rules Forum

A house rule is best defined by the old saying, "When we play at my house, we play by my rules." Rather than use the "official" rules, many of us leave out some parts, simplify other parts, add our own rules for certain things, or impose certain limitations on armies or battles. This page is a place for you to share your favorite house rules.
Michael Thomas (mthomas@netgenics.com)
In our gaming group, we've always felt that the movement options in Warhammer Fantasy were too restricting. All you can really do is move forward or turn. So we designed some additional movements you can do (based on a bit of research on block unit tactics):

Reverse Movement:
The unit can move up to 2 inches straight backwards. The unit may perform no other movement action. The unit may not shoot, as it takes a lot of concentration to move backwards while staying in formation. (We were originally going to have mounted models move 4 inches backwards, then we found out how hard it is to get a horse to move straight backwards.)
Fighting Withdrawal:
If a unit is in hand-to-hand, it may perform this action. The unit attempts to break out of hand-to-hand. If a successful leadership test is passed, the unit is moved its base-move distance out of hand-to-hand, still facing the enemy. The enemy unit gets to attack (as normal) for free as the other unit is performing the move action. If the leadership test fails, the unit remains in hand-to-hand.
Extreme Charge:
You must declare an Extreme Charge before any other charge action. When you preform an extreme charge, you are attempting to blitzkrieg through your opponent. But in doing so, you frequently lose unit coherence and become a disorganized mob. When you extreme charge, roll a d3 for any unit with a base movement of 6" or less, or roll a d6 for any unit with a base movement greater than 6". Add that to the total distance you can charge; however, subtract that many rank bonuses you have during combat resolution. If you do not have enough rank bonuses to cover the additional movement, the extra points are added to your opponents rank total.

For example: A knight unit 6x2 wants to perform an extreme charge. After declaring the extreme charge, the player rolls the d6, getting a 2, and adds 2" to his charge distance. Since the knight commander has only one rank for combat bonus, the opposing player gets +1 to combat resulution, while the knight commander gets nothing from his second rank of soldiers.

Just some thoughts. If you have any comments or questions about our extra movement options, feel free to email me.

Dave Ross (frogrckt@interlog.com)
Regiments of 4 are legal in my gaming group. Why? Ranks of 4 are legal, so as long as you have a full rank, you should be able to field a regiment.

We also allow this because GW usually blister packages minis in pairs, and they want to sell you a 3rd pack or a command pack for front line 'symmetry'.

Rank depth in WHFB is not played properly. At my place, we play that rank depth is only a bonus to the owning player's leadership roll at the end of a failed combat. That way if you have a regiment of 40 guys, you will generally not run away as long as you have a whack of models left. It does mean however, that if you're not doing well in the combat, you will still be testing more than your opponent. This ties in nicely with poorly trained units who will take heavy casualties anyway against almost anyone.

Example: A typical combat ensues between Rgt. A with 25 guys and 5 ranks, and Rgt. B with 8 Guys and 2 ranks. Both have std. bearers. If Rgt. B inflicts 6 kills, and Rgt. A 1 (typical in a charging, elite unit combat), then Rgt. B has won the combat by 3! Try passing a leadership roll of -3 on an L:5 regiment - forget it! Rgt.A will most likely be run down and totally destroyed anyway. 40 guys!

Instead, ignore rank bonuses in deciding the victor of the combat. So above, Rgt. A loses the combat, but his Leadership roll will be at +3 for a total of 8. This means he will most likely, but not certainly, stay in the combat for more than 1 round, as long as he has the grunts to do so. A good tactic to boost the morale of poor troops. If this seems like too much of a swing, just remember, Rgt. B still gets to lap around, and those poor troops will be below their +3 rank bonus pretty quickly.

Sean Sunley (smsunley@one.net.au)
I totally agree with Alec Lloyd regarding allowing fresh soldiers to move forward and attack! Although I must admit I played this way for the first couple of years by mistake. I failed to read the rules properly! It wasn't until my first comp did I realise my error but I still believe it to be more logical.

I just got Siege and greatly enjoy the way it severely limits magic and characters/monsters. We play our campaigns using the table below which gives us four interesting short games before the big storming of the fortress.

(Read as from the Besieged's point of view.)

                       /        \
                     Loss      Win
                     /         (+1 Ld)
                    /               \
               Forlorn Hope   Reinforcements
                  /    \          /   \
               Loss    Win     Loss   Win
(-D6x15 Siege Equip)     \      /      (+50 pt for each Unit)
               /          \    /         \
Testing the Defences    Starve Out   Sallyout
                \        /      \       /
(Loss=Gate destroyed) Loss      Win  (Win=Besieger 10% Siege Equip)
                  \  (-D3 Models) \  ( or Pay 2 x War Machines)
                   \  /            \ /
                Infiltrate      Undermine
                     \             /
(Loss=Pay 2 X Siege Equip)      (Loss=D6 S10 Hits D6 Damage)     
                       \         /
                      Final Assault
A.H.Lloyd (bad email address)
There are two fixes, one of which GW has already begun to embrace:

  1. Severely limit magic and characters/monsters. GW's Siege rules are showing that they themselves are moving in this direction, often limiting the armies to only one character per side with no magic items. Many players are frustrated that their (very expensive) masses of footsoldiers (which they took a lot of time to paint) are dusted in almost every battle by single characters and monsters. Limit these, and the grunts will flourish.

  2. When resolving combat, remove the "dead" figures from the back of the unit and assume that fresh ones move forward AND ATTACK! This is a somewhat unique idea but our group likes it a lot. Suddenly, great weapon units have a powerful punch even when charged.

    Under the rules as written, second and later rank troops can die, but can't swing if the front rank is killed. This way, greater depth is rewarded and a more realistic result is obtained. Spears will almost always get maximum shots in and (to repeat) halberds and great swords can be utterly devastating when employed in depth - just like real medieval warfare. Knights that charge lightly-armored-but-heavily-armed units tend to get absorbed and ground down.

    This not only serves to weaken the power of huge characters/monsters, it also levels the field against the "superknight" units which usually obliterate the front rank of whatever infantry they hit - thus escaping any losses. It also tends to make the impact of massed units much more like a "crush" - which is what most of us seem to want. The current system is entirely a game of impacts, with chargers having a disproportionate advantage. This rule cuts down on that edge, making the game one of greater endurance rather than sharp, quick impacts. Suddenly, those massed units of footsoldiers may want more than four ranks as they grind in on a thin elite unit of knights. Victory will tend to go to the bigger battalions rather than the few supermen.

Both of these "fixes" emphasize the massed battle flavor of the game, and help give the basic infantry trooper a chance to influence the battle. As it stands, they tend to be either bait, speed bumps, or magic item/character delivery vehicles - none of which is a lot of fun.

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Last Updates
20 August 1999comments by Michael Thomas
16 August 1999comments by Dave Ross
comments by Dave Ross
14 August 1999comments by Sean Sunley
comments by A.H.Lloyd
13 August 1999page first published
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