Mighty Empires Club Rules 4th Edition
Home brew club rules for use with Warhammer Fantasy Battle, though they can be easily converted for use with Warmaster....
A reinterpretation by WARLORD PAUL.
1) Game set-up and Free Lords. 2) Background.
3) Realms. 4) Campaign season: -Armies (Banners) and Banner Composition -Movement -Battles -Book-keeping 5) Winter season: -Winter quarters -Diplomacy -Reorganisation -Espionage -Deployment 6) Summary (The aim of the game).
Chapter 1) Game set-up. A new Player first selects which Warhammer race they will use to represent their Realm on the battlefield. This is a permanent choice although some freedom is allowed if you control at least one Town tile; (see Armies/Banners). Although this Campaign is set in the Warhammer world and alignments will be familiar to Players it uses its own set of alignments to allow Players more freedom and these are worth clarifying here. Good forces are as follows; High Elves, Wood Elves, Lizardmen, Bretonnians, Dwarfs and Empire. The Evil races are; Dark Elves, All Chaos factions, All Undead factions, Orcs & Goblins, and Skaven. Ogres and Dogs of War Armies can be either Good or Evil but not both at once. These alignments limit which allied troops you can select as part of your own army but do not prevent you from allying with a Player from a different alignment (see Diplomacy). Each new Player must select a Free Lord Character and name them (see below). The purpose of the Free Lord is to represent the Player as a leader of a nation with few if any restraints on their resources, of course it’s fun to use a free death machine too. Each new player begins their campaign with one army which starts in any tile of either their choice or one designated by the GM.
Of Free Lords; Your Free Lord may choose his equipment including a basic mount (a horse or single wound equivalent) for free although you must follow the Army composition limitations from the main rulebook. This means no magic items to begin with and no Lord choice that counts as something else too, like an additional rare or hero choice. Any Free Lord can take any compulsory upgrade but not further upgrades until later. Magic levels are fine if they can be purchased from the relevant army book entry of the selected Lord. During any winter season you may redesign your Free Lord to incorporate any extra selection bonuses you may have earned. If your Realm shrinks you are not obliged to redesign your Free Lord. A Free Lord cannot usually change his equipment during the campaign year, but if your army acquires a magic item or similar and no other character exists to use it the item may be used by your Free Lord. If the Free Lord is used they do not count against the points allowance nor do they use a character slot (they can be used in games smaller than 2000 points e.g.) but they must act as General. See Reorganisation for more details on Free Lords.
Chapter 2) Background. This campaign is set in the Warhammer World, though your GM will want to establish their own background narrative that explains the reason for the forthcoming war. Fantasy literature and GW fluff should provide all the inspiration necessary to come up with a suitable story that gives the campaign context. Please endeavour to tell a story as you play games, even role play a little. The experience will create better memories that way!
Chapter 3) Realms. A Players Realm is the nation he carves out on the map. In simple terms it is the number of tiles he controls. At the beginning of a Player’s campaign they will not control any tiles and therefore do not have a Realm. Players deploy their army on the map initially as a travelling warband or a nomadic tribe though it is assumed all Players will eventually settle down by winning a game and claiming a tile. All tiles begin as independent factions and all tiles not controlled by a player are independent. Independent tiles defend themselves in the same way as a Player though they do not have Armies, just defensive garrisons. The first tile a Player conquers becomes his Capital. This remains their Capital unless they elect to change Capitals in a Winter season (see Winter season, reorganisation). A Player who loses his last tile continues as a nomadic force until such a time as they reconquer a Capital or Winter sets in. Tiles are automatically garrisoned to varying degrees so your Armies are free to act offensively. The composition and size of your Armies as well as how many Armies you have under your control is directly linked to the size of your realm. Realms are recorded though it may be necessary (and certainly more visually striking) to use flags as a visual representation on the map. A City is represented on the map by the walled settlement token. A Port is represented by either a walled settlement or a castle on a coastline, it is not to be confused with a City or Town and the modelling of extra detail such as a dock or lighthouse may be helpful. Towns are represented by the castle token. Resources use the mine token, these represent the outlying villages, farming hamlets, mining communities and logging communities etc. Players must name their Capital. Players must name every tile they conquer. Players whose Realm consists of three or more tiles (including counting the City as two) must name their Realm. OPTIONAL SPECIAL RULE. Mountain tiles are impassable (and unoccupied) until one is claimed by a Dwarf Player. A Dwarf Player may claim any mountain tile by moving onto it in the normal fashion (though with no opposition) and declaring a HOLD FOUNDING. The mountain tile then counts as a city tile permanently. From this point on however all the mountain tiles become accessible as the increased traffic in the underground passages reveals the ancient portals and are treated as independent Towns (even to Dwarf Realms).
Chapter 4) Campaign Season. The GM should choose a start date for the campaign using the Imperial calendar (round numbers like 3000 are easiest). A year will be recorded as it passes and consists of three turns of movement on the map (spring, summer, autumn) and one winter season which is when any record keeping takes place. Spring, summer and autumn are known collectively as the Campaign season. The mediator will decide how long in real time each season will last (envisioned to be on average 3-4 weeks). A season is the time allowed to organise battles, fight battles and write movement orders for the following season. No movement takes place in Winter.
Of Armies/Banners; In Mighty Empires one's Armies are traditionally known as Banners. Throughout the remainder of the rules Armies will be referred to as Banners. A Player’s Banner has a percentile value which should be recorded even though it is easy to calculate. When a game is organised Players are free to choose any size game that suits them. Once it is decided how many points will be used Players are allowed to use a percentage of those points depending on the percentile value of the Banners in question. The rules for Army selection are those associated with the original size of the game agreed, not the recalculated points of the Banner’s percentile value. Players have to earn the strongest units that Warhammer has to offer. To begin with, when writing your army list, no characters may be selected except one to act as General (The general may be a magic user). If the Free Lord is used they do not count against the points allowance nor do they use a character slot (they can be used in games smaller than 2000 points for example) but they replace the General and must act as General. Nothing that could be traditionally considered as a war machine may be used (this would include chariots, stone throwers and anything else your GM places in this category). No rare troop choices may be made. No special/named characters are allowed. No monstrous creatures or monstrous mounts are allowed. No magic items, magical unit upgrades or ability upgrades are available except for command groups and basic weapons and armour. The GM is responsible for ensuring there is no confusion over the terminology used to allow and disallow units. As an example, if Player A and Player B choose a 3000 point game all the 3000 point allowances apply regarding accessible troop types but Player A is new and has no modifiers while Player B has recently been on the receiving end of two sound thrashings and suffers a -10% penalty, using 2700 points. This is a small disadvantage but not an insurmountable one
A Player who is doing well and winning lots of battles will have slightly more points and more freedom to choose their troops than a Player who is new, hasn’t played many games or who has suffered defeats. On average the difference will not be too great and possible to overcome although mathematically it is possible for a huge gap to appear under certain circumstances. In order to mitigate this, Players will be encouraged to use Diplomacy. In these instances it is hoped two smaller Players will find common cause against a greater foe. A Banner occupies the single tile it is in and has a zone of influence that extends to any adjacent tile (see Movement). It can elect to move up to one tile per season (see Movement). In this way it will come into conflict and Players will organise games to decide the outcome. A Player has one Banner as standard plus another for every three tiles he controlled in the preceding Winter season. A player with multiple Banners must choose one to be his ‘Guards Banner’. This Banner contains his Free Lord and only when using this Banner to fight can the Free Lord be fielded. Other banners may select up to one character which may be a magic user to be the army general regardless of available selection bonuses. This character is paid for in the usual way. A Player may not have more than one friendly or allied Banner on the same tile. Hostile or unallied Banners sharing the same tile after movement must fight a battle. Any Banners that are not fighting a battle directly, that is to say sharing a tile, can join in any battle taking place in an adjacent tile. This means you can have two banners supporting one another if they of the same Realm or allies. It is also permitted to form a temporary alliance where two unallied Banners are close enough to offer support to the other should the whim take them. It is worth noting that in this way support would be available to both participants in the battle from a third party who should choose one or neither Banner to support. A supply route is necessary to keep a Banner fighting, if you find yourself cut off from an adjacent friendly tile you fight with a -10% penalty. To count as friendly an adjacent tile must be entirely free of enemy Banners. A Banner is the offensive part of a Players armed forces, every tile will defend itself to varying degrees however. This is known as a defensive garrison. Defensive garrisons and independent garrisons may always select a general (which may be a magic user). Defensive garrisons are automatically destroyed if defeated.
Banner Composition For every three tiles in Realm: +5% Lost last battle: -5% Lost last two or more consecutive battles: -10% Defending Capital: +50% (cumulative with settlement type modifier) Defending City: +50% Defending Town: +25% Defending Resource: +10% No supply route traceable to friendly tile: -10% Disease!: -10% For every one Town owned the Banner or defending garrison may use one selection bonus from the following list (subject to other selection restrictions). Control of any City allows you to count it as either a Resource or a Town for each game, but not both at once. Don’t forget it counts as two tiles when calculating how many you own.
1) May include non-magic using characters as normal. 2) May include magic using characters as normal. 3) May include special characters as normal.
4) May field rare choices as normal. 5) Has access to allies (up to 50% of the agreed points) from an aligned army list or up to one choice from an unaligned list. This can be selected multiple times. Allies do not cause panic in units from the main army but do suffer panic caused by other allied units and units in the main army. The exception to this would be a main army unit that has a rule preventing it from causing panic to other units in the main army, these units do not cause panic in allies either. The allied units may use the Leadership of a Free Lord but not an ordinary general and they may only be joined by their own characters, not those of the main army. Any unusual situations not covered here will be dealt with by the GM (the ‘General’s Compendium’ allied rules are recommended).
For every Resource owned the Banner or defending garrison may use one selection bonus from the following list (subject to other selection restrictions). Control of any City allows you to count it as either a Resource or a Town for each game, but not both at once. Don’t forget it counts as two tiles when calculating how many you own.
1) May use common magic items. 2) May use army list magic items 3) May use war machines. 4) May use any denied upgrades to characters or units. (Remember that basic equipment and command groups are always allowed anyway) 5) May use monsters and monstrous mounts. OPTIONAL SPECIAL RULE. It is fun to include individually modelled special tiles to allow one of the following bonuses. Their bonuses are as follows;
1) One FREE monster/monstrous mount. 2) One FREE war machine. 3) One FREE special character. 4) One FREE magic user. 3) One FREE magic item. 5) One FREE rare choice. Where there is no Limit to the number of models in a rare choice the maximum unit strength is 15 unless stated otherwise by the GM. You may take these free units/items in any friendly Banner or defending garrison regardless of selection restrictions.
Of Movement; A Banner may move one tile per season. A player is to write down a clear movement order for each season and communicate this to the GM either verbally or via Email. Movement is therefore to be considered simultaneous. Banners cannot pass like ships in the night so to avoid this a battle is instigated by the movement, a dice off takes place to decide which tile the resultant battle takes place in. North should be marked on the Map by a visual indicator or made clear by the GM, this gives every tile a north facing, a south facing, a north-east and south-east facings to the right and north-west and southwest facings to the left. Players must be careful when issuing orders as they are obliged to live with the consequences of a mistake. All tiles are occupied at all times as they begin as independent factions and remain so until they are absorbed into a Players realm. This means that unless a Player has an established Realm to patrol or express permission to have military access to a rival Realm every order given will result in a battle. After a battle the victor takes or retains possession of that tile. Every battle takes place in a single tile and that is the tile taken possession of. Supporting Banners cannot claim the tile. The defeated Banner retreats one tile which must be friendly. If this is not possible The Banner retreats to its Capital. If this is not possible the Banner is destroyed. Remember, a Banner is considered to have a zone of influence one tile from its position in all directions. It can be called upon to join any battle taking place in this zone at full strength if it has no battle of its own to fight that season.
Of Battles; Battles can be any agreed size, or type. Players should be free to play any kind of game that suits them and should agree any victory conditions that suit them. The percentile value of a Banner allows Players to track their success or failure without becoming a huge constraint. All battles must have a winner and a loser, to avoid the campaign becoming bogged down and progress being slowed by draws, so if after considering the established victory conditions the outcome is inconclusive use the main rule’s Victory Points to determine a margin of victory (being ahead by as little as a single point is still a win). In the unlikely event of Victory Points being the same ask the GM to adjudicate and announce a result. Special games with agreed victory conditions that strengthen the narrative are encouraged so feel free to use your imagination. Two Players with Banners that share a tile after movement fight a battle of their choice normally using the restrictions and bonuses to build an army list. Independent tiles defend themselves counting only the appropriate bonus for defending whatever size settlement is represented with the cumulative bonus for defending their capital, not the full points agreed upon for the game, so will often be smaller than a Players Banner. They count as owning one tile so a selection bonus is allowed. The GM or any player nominated by the GM can control an Independent faction in battle. When two Players clash on an independent tile or an unallied third party tile a temporary alliance must be formed. The two invaders may ally in which case they need to first agree who keeps the tile if they win. Ownership of the tile must be discussed before the battle takes place or the original owner retains control. One invading Player may opt to support the tile instead and will fight alongside their forces but cannot claim the tile, in this case the first Player to offer support by notifying the GM becomes the tile's ally and may not claim the tile if they win. If neither Player wishes to ally and both want to press the attack fight a game as normal between the Players without any interference from the Independent faction. A victory means the independent tile is sufficiently impressed enough to join the victor's realm. In the event of a Player using his Banner's zone of influence to join a battle, that Banner may not claim the tile, it must go to a Realm that has a Banner actually on the tile.
Before every battle each Player rolls to see if Disease! has affected his Banner. Roll a D6 and the score of a one means that that Player suffers a -10% penalty for the game. (Best to do this as you organise the game rather than on the night). It is important to note that new Players with no realm are immune from Disease! and need no supply route to a friendly tile, they are well used to their roaming and nomadic lifestyle. Ousted Players who have lost their last tile become nomadic once more and do not need to worry about supply routes though must still roll for Disease! OPTIONAL SPECIAL RULE. It may be difficult to squeeze every last battle into a realistic time frame without the campaign becoming a chore, to avoid this a game can be settled in an arbitrary fashion. Any battle can be decided (if both players and the GM concur) by two champions slugging it out. A character is selected up to an agreed points total (adjusted for the percentile value of the banner but with no other restrictions). In the event of a game ending in an exact draw the GM may prefer to have a trial of champions to determine the winner. OPTIONAL SPECIAL RULE. A Player may find he is prevented from playing a game within the season time limit because of factors outside his control. At the discretion of the GM a game can be declared to be a SIEGE. A siege allows the game to be put on hold indefinitely until Player movement disrupts the siege. A Banner entering the tile cancels the siege and sends the sieging Banner on a retreat to a friendly tile. If the sieging Banner leaves the tile voluntarily the siege is lifted and the move takes place as normal. The Banner may be issued with orders and behaves as normal in the season following that in which the siege was resolved. If a Banner that is under siege wishes to move away it may do so without penalty.
Of Book-Keeping; After every battle the victor must supply the mediator with a minimum of a 100 word battle report which should be as biased as possible. It is key to the aims of the campaign that a strong narrative is developed so this rule is to be considered the GOLDEN MOST IMPORTANT RULE! Strong sanctions against offending/forgetful Players will be gleefully considered by the GM.
Chapter 5) Winter Season.
Of Winter quarters; After battles resulting from Autumn moves have been decided Winter sets in. All Banners are returned to their capital. Banners with no Capital are returned to a friendly tile the Player intends to nominate as a new Capital. If this is not possible that Player is destroyed (perhaps literally, at the GM’s discretion) and may return as a new Player if the GM allows. Players wishing to retire voluntarily are asked to do so at this point, though they may do so at any time.
Of Diplomacy; Players are free to make or break alliances anytime throughout the Campaign season offering wild promises in return for dubious aid but in Winter it is possible for two or more players to sign a formal treaty. Written contracts governing signatory Player behaviour may be submitted to the GM. After a GM review the treaty becomes a hard and fast rule. In this way protectorates and satellite realms can be coerced into supporting a more powerful Player as well as genuinely fair contracts written to allow peace of mind or to prevent a Player from achieving domination with the threat of an alliance which becomes active in the event of invasion or act of aggression. Tiles may be swapped freely at this stage, never during campaign season. Other suggestions for treaties would include non-aggression pacts lasting for a set period of time and promises to attack other Players. To make things simple a Player can use the standard definitions that follow. An alliance requires that participants make no hostile moves towards each other and that if an allied Banner is free to join a battle on the side of an ally it must do so. A non-aggression pact requires that participants make no hostile moves towards each other.
Of Reorganisation; At this point a Players Free Lord may be ‘re-spawned’ if destroyed. You may also update them by giving them upgrades based on your current Realms status which will of course be free too. You may choose any selection bonuses your Realm allows to redesign your Free Lord who then stays fixed, until you deign to redesign them, and then choose different selection bonuses in subsequent Seasons without changing your Free Lord.
You may change your Capital. You must recalculate how many Banners you can field, gaining or losing some. You have one Banner plus one more for every three tiles owned (remember Cities count as two). You are not required to lose banners during campaign season if you lose tiles, nor can you gain them during campaign season by conquering new tiles, it happens only in Winter. OPTIONAL SPECIAL RULE. Any Player whose Free Lord amounts to less than 200 points in value and is either on foot or mounted on a single wound creature may select a FREE BODYGUARD. The Free Lord will be joined on the battlefield by up to unit strength 15 of free special troops on foot (if the Free Lord is on foot) or unit strength 10 of mounted special troops (if the Free Lord is mounted). This rule may only be used in your second campaign year.
Of Espionage; A Player controlling one or more towns or cities may elect to use one agent in Winter. A Player controlling at least one of each (a town and a city) may use up to two agents. Agents and their uses are as follows. 1) The Spy; You may examine your opponents army list before the battle. You may veto one magic item or rewrite your own to adapt (10 minutes allowed for this) in the next battle you fight against this opponent. Alternatively a spy may be selected and held back to cancel the effect of one enemy agent. 2) The Courtesan; This lovely lady (Lizard-maid? Ratess?) is practised in the arts of infiltration and seduction, charming her way into the arms of enemy nobles and leaving them too fagged to fight the following day. You may veto one character in the next battle you fight against this opponent. 3) The Assassin; He wanders discreetly into the field kitchen, potion in hand, and… gloop! In the next battle you fight against this opponent they will only avoid Disease! By rolling a 6. 4) The Saboteur; “Look at the pretty flames!” The next battle you fight against this opponent they will count as having one tile less than they own thus losing a selection bonus, your choice which tile (note if you select the tile the Banner occupies they lose only the selection bonus not the defensive garrison). Simply select an agent and a target Player, inform the GM of your underhanded ploy and sit back while rubbing your hands together, or possibly twirling your moustaches.
Of Deployment; In order to commence a new year all Realms can place their Banners in any friendly tile. Spring orders are then submitted as normal. Orders for a new Spring must therefore include a start point and a move order. If more than one Banner is available don't forget to nominate a Guards Banner to contain your Free Lord.
Chapter 6) Summary. Having read through the rules you may note the complete abandonment of the current official Mighty Empires rules, this is because they are a bit short and too simple to be interesting. Instead these rules have been adapted from the original rules, making them less restrictive and time consuming while retaining the spirit and flavour. This is an attempt to establish a structured campaign system which can link games and add strong narrative, depth and meaning to the games. It is to be hoped that by limiting the availability of units in the early stages that a fresh set of tactical challenges will give a new look to an established game system. Later on you will have access to your full miniature collection. Competition is a fundamental part of wargaming but within these rules, even this is directed toward establishing a narrative with the recording of battle outcomes and the developing map. A note on the role of GM, it is virtually impossible to run the campaign and take part in it. Content yourself with playing as an independent faction from time to time. As a final note, it is left deliberately uncertain exactly what the conditions for final victory will be as it should be informed by events as they unfold and can be decided by the GM, although it will probably warrant a massive battle.