Weather rules

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Weather rules

Sat Oct 12, 2013 4:46 pm

Hey everyone!

I know many people have tried to make rules to represent the effect the weather can have on a battle. Often, they seemed unrealistic to me. I have therefore worked on my own set of rules now for quite some time (I actually lost track). They form a small part of a large Fan Supplement on Map Campaigns I've been writing for even longer. Therefore, some things I say in the rules might not make much sense to you.. yet!

I now wish to present these rules anyway, separately from my campaign rules (which are nowhere near finished), because I think players might enjoy using these rules in their normal battles too.

I would like to stress that I tried to make these rules as realistic as possible. I'm always after more realism, if possible, and this was one of the ways for me. Many people who are more interested in balance will see that these will affect some armies more than others, but this is only natural. I thus suggest to only use these rules if you like to have a fun friendly game. I reckon these are not very well suited for tournament games.

Anyway, you can download the pdf file in the link below.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/cnsg8y1l3r7r6 ... dit%29.pdf

Note that some of the terms used are underlined and in dark blue. These are hyperlinks to the relevant parts of the file (so, for example, Mist links to the rules for Mist).

Any feedback would be much appreciated. :) Also, what do you think about the layout? This is a bit of a test layout for my campaign rules. I quite like the background, though it's a bit simple. I intend to use two columns in the campaign rules though.

Cheers,
Koen

Edit: sorry Coën, I forgot to mentioned you helped me a lot with these rules too, with great ideas, and with playtesting some. So, thanks a lot for that pall! ;)
Last edited by Fëanor on Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Weather rules

Sat Oct 12, 2013 5:29 pm

Great stuff. I particularly like the idea of separating the climates, so you don't end up with snowstorms in Harad. I'm thinking that the rain and storms may overly penalize archers - -1 strength for a bow is a huge hit. Most bows are only S2 anyway; even light rain would render most archery useless.

The other thing that troubles me is how much some of the passive rules could affect battles - for example, in the desert terrain, Harad is pretty much guaranteed an automatic win. No matter how good you are at playing, if you have any army that doesn't count as "used to the heat", it's not a level playing field. While I recognise that that reflects reality, it wouldn't make for a particularly good game. Not to mention that it's fairly ambiguous as to who is actually "heat resistant" so to speak.

Overall, though, I like the idea. As an extension to this, why not include some more area-specific rules? Such as firestorms in Mordor, rockfalls and stone giants in the Misty Mountains, and sudden, unexpected floods in Beleriand and Numenor :P

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Re: Weather rules

Sat Oct 12, 2013 6:53 pm

It should be noted that these rules are often used in combination with many other house rules (such as +1S for bows at short range - that is, within half of the maximum range) and of course in a campaign - in which case Harad would get less points to balance out their obvious advantage in a desert environment, which also helps realism, as the fertile lands of Gondor would allow for larger armies to be amassed than the uninhabitable plains of Harad, but the latter have some advantages (or: do not suffer as badly from the disadvantages) locally.
Rules such as these are useful for scenarios too: a 500pts force of Harad ambushing 700pts of Gondor in the desert.

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Re: Weather rules

Sat Oct 12, 2013 7:20 pm

Coën wrote:It should be noted that these rules are often used in combination with many other house rules (such as +1S for bows at short range - that is, within half of the maximum range) and of course in a campaign - in which case Harad would get less points to balance out their obvious advantage in a desert environment, which also helps realism, as the fertile lands of Gondor would allow for larger armies to be amassed than the uninhabitable plains of Harad, but the latter have some advantages (or: do not suffer as badly from the disadvantages) locally.
Rules such as these are useful for scenarios too: a 500pts force of Harad ambushing 700pts of Gondor in the desert.


Well that would certainly make more sense - any plans to publish those rules, too? :)

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Re: Weather rules

Sat Oct 12, 2013 9:10 pm

Thanks for the feedback Elentir!

The rain also renders archers near useless in real life, I think. This is what happens, bows are less effective in the rain. But indeed, it is as Coën pointed out, these work best with our other set of House Rules. Then the -1S is not as bad.

Also, yes, I forgot to point out that sometimes you would need to rebalance things a little in the way Coën also pointed out: giving one side more points. It's no rocket science by how much the armies should differ in points though, as long as both players reckon it's a bit fairer and it's fun.
Of course it is also very ambiguous who is used to the heat. Usually in campaigns (which these rules are actually designed for) you determine this at the start of the campaign. For example, you say: all Haradrim and everyone from the Gondorian army who has been on campaign in Harad for years are used to the heat, the fresh army arriving from Gondor is not.
In a normal stand-alone battle you would just determine who is used to the heat before the start.

Thanks for the idea. I did intend to make rules for Mordor, but I need to read more about it before I make up my mind. Stone Giants in the Misty Mountains sound like fun, but I don't want them to be anything like PJ's. I have to give some thought to it, but in campaigns it might be better as a Special Event.
The sudden floods like in Beleriand and Numenor sound like great fun though: "every turn roll a D6. On a 1, the board floods, the game ends and both players loose. Pwah, pwah pwah..." :)

I do plan to publish those rules too, yes, at some point. We use a lot of House Rules (profiles, Courage tests, Warbands, weapons and more), but still have SBG as a base (usually playing with the One Ring rules mostly). These rules are not complete yet, and they are more intertwined, so I will have to finish them all for them to make sense. These Weather Rules were much more separate, so allowed for an early, separate 'publication'. Maybe I got some more that can be published separately, I'll look into it.
The Campaign Rules are a different story though. I first started writing up some house rules for that some 4 years ago, I think. They are still far from finished, but I get closer every now and then. The problem is just that every time I go and write some of it, I will get more and more ideas..

Coën, indeed I probably should have pointed that out, but I think these Weather Rules can also be used on their own fairly well. Cheers for all the help though, I figured I needed a motivation to 'finish' these rules finally and put them online. So, today I wrote them down properly (or so I hope).
By the way, sorry, I forgot to give you credits for all your help on these rules. :oops:
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Re: Weather rules

Sun Oct 13, 2013 12:13 am

Interesting, seems like a nice and balanced system and very fun to play with! Even though it would probably leave me cursing at the dice haha

I am particularly interested in the cold/frozen climate rules (I play a lot of battles in that environment). I believe GW released their own version of those rules but it doesn't have a patch on the detail of yours. Looking forward to incorporating them into my games!

P.S I'd love to see more of you and Coen's other house rules as mentioned!
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Re: Weather rules

Sun Oct 13, 2013 9:52 am

Cheers mate! :)
Yes, it will leave you cursing at the dice. Lately, Coën and I played 3 consecutive games in the desert, with me playing 800 points of Gondor and Coën playing 600 points of Haradrim (both with House Rules, so probably some 600 vs 450 from a normal perspective). When a model died, it had a chance of getting back.
Anyway, the battles were great fun, and quite balanced in the end. I was pretty unlucky in the first one, loosing most of my Might because of the desert before combat even started. The desert had a pretty big effect on my troops, and what was more, we felt it was realistic! This added a lot for me.

The cold climate rules are in one aspect very similar to the desert rules, but have more special rules. GW did indeed at some point release some rules, but they felt just off for me. Therefore, I took some rules from them, changed them to my liking, and added some of my own.

Okay Coën, it seems people are quite interested. Maybe it is indeed time to publish some more? It might actually be the long-wished-for motivation to finish things. :)
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Re: Weather rules

Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:18 pm

No bother! Anyway sounds great.

I dont know if you've considered this or maybe even doing it already, but I think it would add even more depth to it if some models were better/worse suited to certain weather types. For example the Haradrim would obviously benefit more from Desert climates (as mentioned) and I think it would be cool to have a set of rules that would show this in-game (unless I've missed something and you do). Another few examples would be dwarves in frozen/mountain climates, Elves being generally more immune to all climates (except than those native to them) and Rangers etc having some advantages. Just an idea no serious thought given to it! haha

Oh and I think you and Coen would also do a great job on detailed rules for terrain.. No pressure ;)
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Re: Weather rules

Sun Oct 13, 2013 10:31 pm

Nice.But I think there are other projects that deserve your attention more..(cough cough,dwarvern mines battle report)but no pressure.
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Re: Weather rules

Mon Oct 14, 2013 11:51 am

Unless you play pure scenarios and not points games - or possibly scenario-driven campaigns - it's very difficult to balance the benefits and/or penalties for climate. Harad benefiting from their enemy's struggle with the heat would be replicated by their freezing as they advance north - it was early March as they approached the Pelennor Fields so temperatures in the low teens centigrade during the day and colder at night, which would have been disheartening at best for the soldiers from warmer climes. They would not have been equipped properly, they would not know how to deal with it and would suffer terribly from low morale (even with Orcish whips to 'encourage' them!), cold-related ailments, lack of sleep, and so on.

It's perhaps better for points games and one-off battles to focus on climate that affects all models equally, so that the generals battle the elements or exploit them, rather than simply being favoured by them or penalised by them. Rain, for instance, could be considered neutral (unless you're an archer perhaps!). The mud left after a rainstorm might affect both sides equally, so the general might choose less heavy cavalry that would struggle and more spears to support the front line as it marches quickly to battle. If the weather is known after the armies are decided (after all, not every general can pick and choose on the day of battle who will get involved!) then players will have to go for general purpose orders of battle.

One idea that I've been playing with is to use cards to show what the weather will be for each turn - the rain stops, the wind increases, everything stays the same, etc. The benefit of cards is that Dunedain, Woses and others with experience of the weather can peek at the card for the following turn and get an idea of what weather is coming up! In fairness both sides could look at the next turn's weather, since blue sky breaking through clouds is hardly a great secret, in which case the 'weather-forecasters' get to look two cards ahead. There is plenty of scope for taking appropriate measures - 'The wind is shifting - archers to the left so that you're up-wind!' or sending your archers under the shelter to trees to trick your opponent into thinking that rain is coming...

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