Blessings of the Valar

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Blessings of the Valar

Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:59 pm

These are just a few house rules I came up with a while back, found them the other day and after a few twerks here they are. People that plan on playing First Age based battles and scenarios would be particularly interested in these rules but really they could be used anywhere! Special rules I suppose they are but more so for the whole army rather than one specific character. These powers are only available to the good side and may be purchased before the game for there respectable points values in place of models.

The 14 Valar and Valier:
Manwe Lord of the Air...........Varda Maiden of the Heavans
Ulmo King of the Sea.............Yvanna Queen of the Earth
Aule the Craftsman...............Nessa the Swift
Tulkas the Strong.................Vaire the Weaver
Orome the Huntsman.............Este the Healer of Hurts
Mandos the Doomsman...........Nienna the Mourner
Lorien the Master of Visions......Vana the Ever Young

Manwe: 100pts
All good models have automatic line of sight to everywhere on the board.

Varda: 100pts
All good models count as being in range of a banner.

Ulmo: 80pts
All good models automatically pass all swim and boat tests.

Aule: 120pts
All good models get +1 to their Defence value.

Yavanna: 80pts
All good models count difficult terrain as normal.

Orome: 100pts
All good models that are on horseback count as having the Special Rule 'Terror'. (Ceases to count if rider is dismounted)

Tulkas: 120pts
All good models have +1 to their Strength value.

Nessa: 100pts
All good models get +1 to their Move value.

Mandos: 100pts
All Evil heroes must -1 on all their Fate rolls.

Vaire: 80pts
Once per game a single good hero may call a free Heroic Action.

Este: 120
Choose one good hero at the start of the game. If this hero reaches 1 wound at any point in the game he automatically gets 1 wound restored. This may only be used once per game.

Lorien: 80pts
Before priority is rolled the good player may declare they are using the Foresight of Lorien and automatically gain priority that turn.

Nienna: 100pts At the start of the game choose one good hero. Everytime this hero suffers a wound he gains a Will point in return (even if the wound is avoided by a successful Fate roll)

Vana: 100pts
Much the same as Nienna though instead the appointed hero gains a Might point rather than a Will point.


So there it is, please share your thoughts, do they need a few changes? points values fair? etc etc

Any constructive criticism appreciated!
If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. - Carl Sagan.

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Re: Blessings of the Valar

Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:36 am

Welcome to TLA! :) Hope you enjoy it here Huan the Hound!

Anyway, these are some excellent ideas!
Many people have tried to make profiles for the Valar to represent them with a model, but this has always seemed unsuccessful to me: the Valar are simply too powerful and mighty to represent in a battle game, I think. That is why I like these rules especially! This way, players can represent a Vala who from a distance helps them, and though they rarely (if at all?) did so, it seems plausible enough to me. Some groups were still said to have the favour of a Vala (especially Ulmo was still fairly busy). While I might personally do some things differently, I still love the idea! :)

It would be very hard to balance the point, though. For example: in a 400 points battle, giving everyone +1D might not be worth it for 120 points, but in a 1500 points battle it would most certainly be worth it!

As an alternative I would personally go for something along these lines: give each side per battle X 'Valar Points' (or whatever you like to call them). Each Valar power would then have a certain cost. Also the Evil troops could get rules for Morgoth supporting his troops from far away in different ways (maybe think of things like +1 Courage, mightier Monsters, etc etc). Each of these powers would have a certain costs, and players can buy them before a game.
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Re: Blessings of the Valar

Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:16 pm

Cheers Feanor!

I agree that the Valar are indeed too powerful to be represented as a model effectively. Please tell how youd do it differently? I really want some outside opinions and ideas.

And we do know that Valar did intervene during the War of Wrath and there are other examples of their direct influence in the books (ending with their decision to never again directly intervene with the fate of Middle-Earth instead sending the Istari to guide/lead the peoples there)

Yeah I see what you mean about balancing the points but I dont get the system you mentioned there, could you run through it again?
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Re: Blessings of the Valar

Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:34 pm

Okay, so as I said I really like the idea, but I think some of the rules seem very strong and should be toned down a bit. These can lead to strange situations.
For example, with Manwe's Blessing, every good model would be able to see every part of the field. This will lead to situations where a warrior can charge around a house to an enemy that was unseen normally. To me, this doesn't sound logical. Same goes for giving everyone +1 Strength, Defence etc.
Maybe, for Manwe (and others) you could give one Hero some vision of foresight, granting him re-rolls for his Fate rolls, or maybe give a Hero Gift of Foresight like Malbeth has?
I would slightly tone down those very strong improvements. So for example: Aule/Tulkas could give 1 Hero +1D/+1S, Ulmo could give everyone +1 (or +2) on Swim/boat tests, etc.
I love the rules for Varda, Orome, Mandos, Vaire, Este, Lorien, Niena and Vana though! :) These need no change, for me.

Also in general, I would personally let the Blessings give some improvements to Heroes (from the stories it seems to me they mostly interacted with Heroes, giving them Courage, good advice, etc), not so much with generic warriors (although sometimes, normal warriors were chosen to bring a message or something like that).

Some possible rules that pop to mind (without a Vala assigned yet):
- Legendary Hero. Choose one Hero that gains this rule.
- Bold. All Heroes get +1 Courage.
- Wrath of of the Valar. This Hero becomes Terrifying.
- +1 To Wound.
- Protectress of the Woods. +1 Courage for all Good models in woods/brush land.
- Inspiring. This Hero counts as a Banner.
- Master of Battle. Add this special rule.

For Morgoth/Sauron some other rules pop to mind:
- Broken Mind. Choose one Hero that becomes maddened with rage. He gets the Broken Mind special rule. (This rule should be expensive!).
- Estrangement. Elves may not use Men's Heroic Actions and Stand Fasts!
- Weary. Choose an opposing Hero. He looses 1 Might, Will or Fate (or all?).


Sure. :) This is the point system I had in mind. Before a battle starts, the players decide how many 'Valar Points' (or however you like to name them) will be available to each player. Each Blessing will have a certain predetermined Valar Points cost. Each player can then select Blessings worth up to the VPs as agreed before.
To do this, each player must have available Blessings, so Evil should get them too, if you want to go for this system. In this way, you can decouple it from the regular point costs of models, which I think might be better. It will also be a lot easier to balance the Blessings.
No for a concrete example: in general, I guess players could get 1 VP for every full 100 points of their army. So, a 700 points army would get 7 VP to spend.
Now, a quick guess would give these costs to some rules:
Orome - 3 VP
Este - 1 VP
Lorien - 2 VP
Niena - 1 VP
Vana - 1 VP
Mandos - 3 VP
Varda - 6 VP
Morgoth (Broken Mind) 8 VP
The army could for example choose Varda and Niena then, or Orome, Este and Mandos. A 500 points army would not be able to buy 6 VP.
You see what I'm getting at? ;)
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Re: Blessings of the Valar

Mon Sep 23, 2013 6:32 pm

Okay yeah I see where your coming from but I just wanted to add diversity and it represented Manwe as the lord of the air and that he used the eyes of great birds to see all.

Being able to charge someone that isnt visible is not a total game-changer per say, but yes it is a powerful advantage over your opponent, maybe too powerful as you think but for now Im happy with how that one is. But if it proves to be way OP I was thinking of something like "All good models have automatic line of sight anywhere within 5", this still represents Manwe but prevents most models from charging straight away.

Your right there about it being more common for Heroes to receive blessings from the Valar so I changed these ..
Ulmo: "Choose one good hero. This Hero automatically passes all swim and boat tests during the game."
Tulkas: "Choose one good hero. This Hero gets +1 to his Strength value." (or counts as weilding a two handed weapon?)
Aule: "Choose one good hero. This hero gets +1 to his Defence value." (or counts as wearing Heavy Armour/shield?)

They sound promising for the evil side, I havnt given much thought to rules for evil yet, but Ill get around to it.

Okay nice I understand now, that works out fine except that I dont think anyone should be able to equip more than one Blessing per game. So instead I think that per 100pts each blessing should cost either 10/15pts.

So for the more powerful 15pts blessing in a 500pts game would cost 75pts. Just an idea but I think its a solid system to balance small and large games.
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Re: Blessings of the Valar

Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:14 pm

Yes, I very well understand. :) And by all means, you should not be discouraged by my words, I'm just giving my opinion and if you prefer your way, you should obviously do that.
Cool, I like the changes of Tulkas and Aule. Ulmo sounds good too! You could give the Ulmo bonus to everyone though, if you want to represent him that he quiets the water for all good warriors (this sounds believable to me).

Okay, if you want to do one Blessing max, then yes, my system might not be the best. In this case, they could indeed best have a normal Points Value. This might be hard to calculate, so some should maybe have a relative cost (so for example: "this Blessing costs 5% of the Points Total" - so in a 500 points battle it would cost 25 points). Others could indeed have a fixed cost (I imagine Aule/Tulkas should cost 10-15 points). Play around a bit with the points to find some sort of balance. It should matter too much though, as long as the battles are enjoyable. :)
Also known as "Fëanor, the mighty elf"

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