bottle

Hinterlands: Skirmish Campaigns in the Mortal Realms

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NOTE: This first post is continually updated. Last update 05/03/2017  DISCLAIMER: THIS IS A FAN MADE PROJECT AND IS 100% UNOFFICIAL. IT IS NOT ENDORSED BY GAMES WORKSHOP IN ANY WAY.

Hello everyone, welcome to my project called, Hinterlands.

Hinterlands is a Skirmish Campaign system for Age of Sigmar. It is similar in scope to Mordheim or Frostgrave, but tries to stay as true as possible to everything we love about Age of Sigmar.

Version 1 was released in October 2016, and since then I have been very honoured with the positive response. It has become the #1 downloaded file on TGA with over 2,500 downloads and more excitingly, games of Hinterlands have been happening all over the globe!

The rules are free to download, and what you'll find are:

  • Clear concise rules (the core rules are no more than 4 pages) for playing skirmish style campaigns and RPG style campaigns.
  • Professional presentation (I have tried to make this look like the real deal!)
  • Full modularity of the rules (so you can tweak/add/remove whatever you fancy without causing headaches for yourself with a long list of knock-on effects)

You can download the latest version from the following link:

Hinterlands: Skirmish Campaigns in the Mortal Realms - by Sam James <- Download Link

Here are some screenshots of what to expect:

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Hinterlands Version 2.0

NEWS: January 2017 sees the first update to Hinterlands!

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FAQ & ERRATA

The eagle-eyed among you have found a few grey areas in the rules. Rather than constantly update the file (forcing people to re-download on a regular basis), I have instead decided to keep a living FAQ for the version. This will grow as you give more feedback, and when version 3 eventually comes out all these questions will be clarified and updated.

Here is the current FAQ:

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Your questions and feedback is super useful, so please keep it coming! :D 

UPDATE: 05/03/2017 VERSION 2.1

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I am thrilled and honoured with the community response to Hinterlands and would like to thank all the players who have downloaded the rules and tried them out on the battlefield! :D This started out as a personal project and a challenge to myself to make something that looked like the "real-deal", the Games Workshop logo on the front cover is a relic of that humble beginning as I really never expected the rules to receive this much attention. I have decided to remove the logo to make sure everyone knows this is 100% unofficial and to make sure that no ill-intent is perceived by any party.

As I had to update the version to do that, I took the opportunity to incorporate all the FAQ clarifications into the rules :P. The rules do not play any differently to version 2.0, but I would recommend downloading the latest version so you do not have to consult the FAQ.

Future Updates and Involving the Wider Community

With version 2.1 I think the rules are now a solid foundation. Gaming groups can tinker with any part of the rules and adapt/add/delete as they see fit. This makes customising Hinterlands super easy.

So why should I have all the fun?

I want to open up Hinterlands now to the wider community, so if you have a neat idea for some add-ons or would like to take these rules and make something even better out of them, DO IT! But even better, why not share it with the wider community too? If you are happy to do so I would love to start updating this first post with extras other forum members have made. So let's see what you can do :D

bottle (Sam James)

 

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As Hinterlands grows I want to share and spotlight the extra additions gaming groups are coming up with. I would be more than happy to share something you've made for Hinterlands here in this post, so send me a PM if you've got something neat! The following section will showcase extra content made by players which you can incorporate into your games of Hinterlands. Feel free to talk and discuss any of these extras here in this thread too.

AoS28 - The Dark Age of Sigmar (Hinterlands Expansion)

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The first community add-on for Hinterlands I want to include is Ex Profundis' fantastic AoS28. Now, AoS28 is something much bigger than Hinterlands, you can use any ruleset with it (from Hinterlands, to Frostgrave to Mordheim), but I am honoured that @Bruticus wants to support the Hinterlands rules with the project too.

With that in mind we worked on a quick expansion to the standard Hinterlands rules, to allow more room for creative freedom to let you explore those dark corners of the mortal realms without limit or constraint.

Essential Links for AoS28

Ex Profundis - The home of AoS28 on the web!
AoS28 Facebook Group - Already 500+ members, including Mr John Blanche himself. 
TGA AoS28 Thread - Crammed full of WIPs and inspiration 
#AoS28 - The official twitter hashtag 

Hinterlands Expansion - If you are playing games of AoS28 with the Hinterlands Rules, please feel free to use the additional rules below:

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Shardsfall - Mordheim Flavour for Hinterlands

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Download link: Shardsfall

The next bit of extra content I want to share with you is, Shardsfall by @Grand Exemplar. Most of you who played Mordheim a lot will know Hinterlands is only loosely based on it (and is probably much closer to Necromunda). This set of extra rules here injects many classic Mordheim rules back into your AoS Hinterlands games, from selling shards of Wyrdstone after each battle to having psychology of old, like Frenzy and Hatred

I will say the presentation isn't very dressed up, but there are 28 pages crammed with rules so if you read through the Hinterlands rules and find a few of your favourite Mordheim rules are not there, you might want to have a look at this for inspiration.

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Edited by bottle
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Real life's been getting in the way and I haven't had a chance to properly playtest Bottle's awesome rules yet, but can thoroughly recommend them to anyone after well crafted narrative fun with all the elegant simplicity of GW's own rules for AoS and none of the over detailed faff that goes hand in hand with most skirmish rulesets.

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I have played a test game and might be playing a narrative with them soon. 

definitevly try it! 

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I got to try the Hinterlands rules with a friend the other day and we really enjoyed it! Can't wait for our next session.

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Just finished reading the rules for Hinterlands campaigns. Very intrigued, I'm looking forward to playing some games, I even shared it with the community that plays in my town ;)

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Hi Moderators, Can we move this to the Narrative Section? :D

Hey everyone, thanks for the kind words of all in this thread. I really hope you are having fun with the rules as that's what they were designed for! :)  Lots of players have been sending me some amazing feedback too which has been incredibly useful as I am putting together now the first big update! I want to give a special mention to @Double Misfire and also @StoneMonk (and his gaming group) for the incredibly in-depth feedback as well as everyone else who has posted here and there with what works and what could be improved.

 

I thought I would share the direction I plan to take Hinterlands in for the first update, and hopefully you will be very excited. The core design philosophy is the same; keep it simple, make as few changes to AoS as possible but I think the new rules are going to add even more excitement and fun to your games.

Okay, so first I wanted to talk about general rules changes. Let me know if any of these raise a red flag for you, but I think the changes are what everyone is after:

  • Heroes are going to be"Half wounds rounded up" rather than capped at 3. Sorry Ogor players, I forgot about you guys!
  • Cover rules are going to be reverted back to AoS standard rules. All scatter terrain will work like Walls & Fences, i.e. if you are touching it you gain a cover save against attacks coming from the other side. The original change to the rules was to nerf shooting which can overpower a skirmish game like this, but I think introducing TLOS and to hit modifiers was too clunky and too much of a throwback to WHFB. This is an example of where my original rules fell short of my design philosophy - I didn't need to change the rules as the solution was in AoS all along.
  • I will change the "Dead" result to "Mortally Wounded" which will permanently reduce your wound characteristic by D3. This means 1 wound characters will still die but  Heroes and other nasties will stick around to live another day (although crippled) which should soften the blow of rolling a 1 for your Heroes in a campaign.
  •  There are a few other tweaks I am toying with, I want to look at the Allegiance Abilities as I think some are clunky (Death) and some have very little impact (Order) where as the Destruction one is amazing in a game where speed is king. I am open to any suggestions with these, but I do want to make the Death one involve summoning as I think that is thematically the best for the faction. I am toying with them being able to resurrect fallen Zombies/Skeleton Warriors and Ghouls.
  • Lastly I am toying with a "Rule of Three" - which would mean a model could only target up to 3 enemy models in a single phase. This is to stop Waywatchers sniping half a Warband Legolas style, or the Knight Azyros doing a Lantern Bomb and killing everybody. 

Then there are some bigger changes to how I want Hinterlands to work - this revolves around the campaign mode and is based on feedback the players have given me. Firstly, as the system is strongly tied to Mordhiem and Necromunda, it has inherited some of the flaws. Mainly, after a strong start Warbands can race away as they win games, earn gold, and buy more models, while others can get crippled and have no money to rebuild causing them to get worse and worse - this is compounded by the scenarios which are often "all or nothing". Speaking of the scenarios - they were designed to be simple (3 fit onto a single page) and allow for Warband growth but I don't feel like they truly embrace the narrative nature of Age of Sigmar, so with all the above in mind here are the planned changes:

  • I am going to remove the loot/treasure system and remove the three scenarios. :o *gasp*
  • I am going to instead create 5 new scenarios based on classic AoS scenarios (for example 'The Ritual' is the first one planned).
  • Both the winner and loser will earn gold coins after the battle so both can grow their warband (the winner will earn more of course).
  • Winning a battle will also provide a unique benefit in your next game - these will be different for each scenario and in asymmetrical scenarios will be different depending on the role you took (for example as a winning attacker or winning defender).
  • I feel like this is truly embracing the nature of AoS narrative play and also provides much more scope for introducing any battleplan into the campaign thus making your campaigns easily adaptable and fun. (At them moment the income is directly tied to loot counters making it lots of work for players to add new battleplans.)
  • This is all in the aim to make the game closer to vanilla AoS and to mitigate the difference between Warbands that win the first few games and those that lose.
  • I have one new mechanic to add into this to further mitigate the difference between Warband strengths. This is a simple 1 page mechanic called 'Underdog Gambits' which I have posted a preview of below. I think you guys will love these rules.

So those are the planned changes coming out in the next month or so (fingers crossed). I hope everyone will think these changes are for the best. It will hopefully give all Warbands scope to grow if they win or lose the game, it will also allow players to use any of the AoS battleplans in Hinterlands making the scope of gaming mindblowing! Lastly it is going to be packed with flavour and really bring your campaigns to life. 

 

Underdog Gambits

As mentioned above here is a new mechanic I wanted to share with you that will be introduced (although the rules below may be tweaked). If you are already playing Hinterlands please feel free to add this mechanic into your game. I wanted a way to give the weaker Warband in any game an ace up their sleeve. And to do this I devised a simple method for determining the underdog (whoever has the least points total) and came up with a table that adds some fun and flavourful "gambits" for the player to use (it might be enough to turn the odds in your favour if you use them right!). The gambits themselves were taken from various warscrolls and rules already in AoS so they should feel right at home. Please see below and let me know what you think:

Underdog-Gambits.jpg

 

I look forward to posting more in this thread as it is getting worked on. Thank you to everyone for your support so far and I hope Hinterlands continues to be a super fun set of rules for you to use! :)

- bottle

Edited by bottle
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Keep up the good work, and really looking forward to seeing what you come up! :-)

Would you consider making one of the 5 Battleplans possible to play it 2 vs 1, so two lower rated warbands could gang up on another warband that is double their rating?

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10 hours ago, Spiky Norman said:

Keep up the good work, and really looking forward to seeing what you come up! :-)

Would you consider making one of the 5 Battleplans possible to play it 2 vs 1, so two lower rated warbands could gang up on another warband that is double their rating?

Thanks Spiky! That's a great idea too! I won't be making it one of the 5 simply because there is a battleplan table with each as an option (and the underdog choosing on the roll of a 6) so I need all 5 to be playable with just two Warbands.

However, another plan I had for the future is to remove the 'Realm Master Campaign' section as that will get made into it's own supplement (which I am also working on now). I want to replace the Realm master Campaign section with ideas for using the standard Hinterlands rules to play even more narrative driven games - this is inspired heavily by the Arbitrator Campaign in the Necromunda Outlanders book if anyone is familiar with it. That section is pretty much my favourite collection of GW rules ever published. What I would want to do is include multi-player scenarios in that section as well as ideas for a single Warband vs a GM style games. The first idea was to make a 4 player gladiatorial arena (goreschosen style) battle with rules for the weaker players to gang up on the stronger players. I would also like to include a 2 vs 1 scenario like you mentioned. Do you have any neat ideas about the narrative and mechanics? 

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Your plans sounds good :-)

 

In terms of a 2vs1 Battleplan, I guess the most obvious one would be an Ambush - The two weaker warbands have conspired to take the leading warband and divide the loot between them. So one weak warband draws out the strong warband, knowing that the other weak warband are waiting in cover ready to charge from cover and attack the strong warband in the back.

Would be interesting if it allowed for either of the weak warbands to switch side or maybe simply run away and leave the other to its doom, if they could see the battle going against them.

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Underdog gambits look great, and like a much better way to reward a weaker warband than the proven method of just chucking more gold and xp at them at the end of a game.

The rule of three sounds like a good way of curbing AoE stuff that would otherwise dominate such small games. I'd maybe think about changing the name of your "mortally wounded" injury result to just about anything else so it can't be confused with the popular way of bypassing save rolls at a glance. Is cripplingly wounded still PC?

The new scenarios sound very fun and hopefully I'll get the time to playtest them this time round!

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Gravely wounded perhaps?

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Haha, yes, good call! I am going to go for 'Critical Injury', and after that have 'Major Injury', 'Minor Injury' and then 'Slow Recovery' (suggested by @StoneMonk's group - miss next battle), Full Recovery and Miraculous Full Recovery. :) 

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I have been busy working on the Hinterlands update all weekend :) It should all be ready very soon, I would say its all at 80% currently. Here is what I have been working on recently: The Warband Roster!

Roster-Sheet.jpgRoster-Sheet-page-2.jpg

I tried to make it as simple as possible, so it should have everything you need. The stat wheel is pastel so you can write your stats over it. There is no space for adding in the weapon stat lines but they are on the Warscroll anyway. The notes box would be to add any artefacts, -1/+1 to hit/wound and anything else about the character.

On page two I removed one stat block (as you can only have 15 models max) - placed in a big box to record triumphs (this relates to the battleplans. Some give permanent benefits, others just for the next game). And also some fun counters to record your Kill/Death ratio and total battles played (on the front there is a victory counter).

Let me know what you think :) 

Edited by bottle
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Great stuff, and think everything is heading in an excellent direction.  I especially like the opportunity for both warbands to advance to some extent, even if they lose.  Gives the loser something positive to do in the "between games" portion.

 

I think my only two bits of feedback that isn't already being addressed are:

 

1- Advancement table- +1 wound squats on a very wide portion of the table's bell curve.  ~44% of results will land on that spot.  Feels like maybe a bit much?  Or is it intentional, to slow the lethality of the encounters in later games?

2- Bravery- Seems like a pretty minimal impact right now, and not entirely intuitive.  Is there some way to introduce a mechanic, similar to how unit upgrades like musicians work?  If someone goes down, anyone within 3" will need to check bravery?  Something like that?

 

Anyhow, thanks for a great chunk of work already.  Lots of fun!

 

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1 hour ago, Red_Zeke said:

Great stuff, and think everything is heading in an excellent direction.  I especially like the opportunity for both warbands to advance to some extent, even if they lose.  Gives the loser something positive to do in the "between games" portion.

 

I think my only two bits of feedback that isn't already being addressed are:

 

1- Advancement table- +1 wound squats on a very wide portion of the table's bell curve.  ~44% of results will land on that spot.  Feels like maybe a bit much?  Or is it intentional, to slow the lethality of the encounters in later games?

2- Bravery- Seems like a pretty minimal impact right now, and not entirely intuitive.  Is there some way to introduce a mechanic, similar to how unit upgrades like musicians work?  If someone goes down, anyone within 3" will need to check bravery?  Something like that?

 

Anyhow, thanks for a great chunk of work already.  Lots of fun!

 

Hey Zeke, thanks for the comment. I was already thrilled to hear you guys talk about Hinterlands a fair bit on your All Gates episode on the podcast. Both things you addressed will get a fix so thanks for bringing them up :) The advancement table was designed for my 'Realm Master' campaign before I even thought of tackling a project like the Hinterlands so it's a relic from that system really where more wounds meant the GM could thrown more adversaries against the heroes. I have redone the advancement table with the wound bonuses taken off the peak of the bell curve.

As for Bravery, its been my biggest headache since the project began. I have tried loads of systems but can't seem to get it right - it's either too much micromanaging or has no effect on the game. For this version of Hinterlands I am going to remove it with the 'rout' option taking its place thematically. I think its something we as a community can then look at going into version 3 to see if its missed or not and if an eloquent solution can be found or not. :)

 

Thanks for all the feedback, hopefully you'll see lots of your groups ideas in the new version.

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For Bravery what about a roll at the end of the game turn, anyone within 12" of your Leader tests against the Leader's Bravery, otherwise on their own Bravery. You pick which models flee. Model count cumulative rather than what has died that turn

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Looking forward to the update. Im intending to use these rules in a fairly large Campaign in naming Shardsfall. Both in my local store and the Games Workshop in Bromley. The Roster will be a life saver as ve been trying to put one together but so far no luck! and 5 Scenarios will add additional variety to the games. Im also working on a table of Mortal Realm random events for each of the 8 Mortal Realms. (If anyone has done so already send me a link)

 

Keep up the good work, its been written really well. :)

 

 

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Love that you're moving into more cool things.

The stat sheet has the character stats but no weapon stats, is that intentional?

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37 minutes ago, StoneMonk said:

Love that you're moving into more cool things.

The stat sheet has the character stats but no weapon stats, is that intentional?

I wasn't going to add it in, but maybe I could half the notes box to fit 2 weapon lines :-)

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5 hours ago, bottle said:

I wasn't going to add it in, but maybe I could half the notes box to fit 2 weapon lines :-)

What if, instead of filling it in with their own profile numbers, that's where you add the +1/-1 modifier. So instead of copying over your warscroll stats, you're just looking there for the modifer? 

Man this is the D&D character sheet conundrum all over again and again

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7 hours ago, StoneMonk said:

What if, instead of filling it in with their own profile numbers, that's where you add the +1/-1 modifier. So instead of copying over your warscroll stats, you're just looking there for the modifer? 

Man this is the D&D character sheet conundrum all over again and again

Nice idea! (I would give you a like but I am out of ammo it seems haha). I think I will put in blank boxes for range/hit/wound/rend/damage and then players can choose to put the modifiers or the actual rolls in them. The roster won't ever be able to fully replace the warscrolls just because of all the ability information on them and that was my initial consideration for leaving the weapon stats off - but with the new rules you can get increases to hit/wound/rend and damage (the latter 2 being harder to achieve) so it makes sense to have an area on the stat block for them!

And because I am enjoying showing everyone in this thread hints at the update, here is the first page of the battleplans section. There will be 5 battleplans in total. 2 Symmetrical deployment, 3 asymmetrical (attacker vs defender), 2 adapted from AoS existing Battleplans and guidelines on how to incorporate others.

This will be perhaps the biggest change to Hinterlands, and I really hope everyone agrees it is for the better. Taking away the treasure/loot allows for ANY battleplan to be used with a minute spent to tweak it. I took the idea of 'Campaign Outcomes' from  one of the GHB campaigns. In this one the winning player may be rewarded with an artefact after the battle. Every Battleplan has a narrative based reward like this which should really bring your campaign to life and (for the better in my opinion) this moves the system further from Mordheim and closer to AoS Narrative Play.

Battleplan---The-Lost-Artefact.jpg

:)

(Edit - I should mention this is the only Battleplan where you will be "picking up counters" - I wanted to pay homage to the original battleplans I made at least once!)

Edited by bottle
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hinterlands-2-0-teaser.jpg

2 more days guys :D I hope you're all excited!

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The rules look interesting and the presentation is absolutely fantastic! I'm just disappointed because there's no way I could do a Beastclaw warband ulness it's all Yhetees and Frostsabers. :(

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