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bottle

Hinterlands: Skirmish Campaigns in the Mortal Realms

244 posts in this topic

bottle    1,174

Hi everyone, I am retiring Hinterlands for the time being now that we have not only the fantastic AoS Skirmish but also lots of exciting fan made content being made for it too. I would like to thank everyone who supported this project, helped it grow and gave feedback along the way. The AoS community is really one of the best things about this  game and why I love this hobby so much :D. Who knows if Hinterlands will ever come back, but for the moment I am going to keep it on the down-low. Doesn't mean you won't still be seeing me around here though :P.

Cheers, bottle.

 

Edited by bottle
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Double Misfire    1,304

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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Kramer    674

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

definitevly try it! 

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Laerethian    2

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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bottle    1,174

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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Spiky Norman    244

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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bottle    1,174
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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Spiky Norman    244

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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Double Misfire    1,304

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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bottle    1,174

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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bottle    1,174

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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Red_Zeke    15

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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bottle    1,174
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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Lucio    202

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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StoneMonk    264

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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bottle    1,174
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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StoneMonk    264
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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bottle    1,174
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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HeadHunter    63

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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