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Homebrew help... Ethereals and caves...


JPjr
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Hello... Guess the 'narrative' forum is as good a place as any for this, so I'm definitely planning on playing a lot more Skirmish sized games this year and something that I've wanted to do for ages and, to me, seems best suited to games this size is create a campaign based in a cave system. I really like the idea of tunnel flighting and making movement more tactical as you have to plan routes and that kind of thing. The 'Darkest Depths' rules in the core book are a start but there's one thing I wanted to homebrew.

In the DD rules it has an entry for 'Walls of Solid Rock' (where you can nominate pieces of terrain to be solid rock reaching from the ground to the cave ceiling, to create the effect of a 'tunnel complex'. Now my plan is to use something like the old 80s Dungeon/Cavern floor plans to build maps instead, that way you end up with much more intricate, interconnecting tunnel systems.

Of course it then occurred to me that this could give armies like Nighthaunt a HUGE advantage if they can just phase through the space between tunnels (especially in Skirmish with no unit cohesion). At the same time I don't want to just say NO as the idea of vengeful ghosts appearing out of the walls is just too wonderful and thematic and could make for some great games.

My idea was something along there lines of saying that deep underground cave systems often contain rich seams of concentrated realmstones, which can effectively short circuit Ethereal beings who pass through them and the further you travel the more likely you are to hit one of these seams. So at the end of your movement add up all the blank spaces on the map that model has passed through and roll 2D6, if you roll under the distance travelled (in inches) that model receives 1 Mortal Wound.

Does that sound fair/make sense? Means you can travel 1 inch without risk, and travelling 2/3 inches only has minimal risk but as most Nighthaunt rank & file only have 1 Wound it would giver you pause for thought.

Any better ideas? More damage? Less Risk, vice versa? I originally thought 1D6 but that seems too risky.

 

 

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I think I'd just make passing through walls slow you down a lot - either it costs much more movement to do, or, once you've gone into the wall, you have to roll to get out again - say a 4+, and if you fail you're stuck there until the next turn? Might end up with the slightly absurd situation of a bunch of ghosts getting stuck at once, though. 

I think a chance of death is a bit *too* much, and for me the idea of ghosts getting fried in the walls is a bit odd. The Nighthaunt do pay for their ability to fly and be ethereal, so it should still feel like a big advantage IMO

Edited by robinlvalentine
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Half movements phasing through scenery additionally the model must be able to finish its move on the other side of the scenery otherwise it cannot move through the scenery. =}

 

 

funny enough I am planning on building a underground terrain set which will be relatively high (columns etc) while trying to keep every part of it accessible via ways, wooden planks etc. thst‘s Why I had to think about the same issue as you =}

imagine you have a 20“ high broken bridge and the Nighthaunt player can simply „teleport“ up? That‘s immersion breaking.

Edited by JackStreicher
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53 minutes ago, JPjr said:

thanks guys, something to consider definitely.

of course now I'm thinking about how to add in tunnelling rules for Duardin/Skaven. 

Just the same as Realmgates: place markers or even tunnel-entry scenery:

skaven/dwarfs can teleport between them if they move into one. You only have to decide if they can choose where to reappear or if it‘s random

Edited by JackStreicher
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As you’re in the narrative section.. I’ll give some narrative options:

Since Malign Portents almost every story I read included a tomb with a maze that was build to contain the restless dead. Sometimes by the Stormcast, Soul Wars, sometimes build in the time of myth. So if you place it within Shysh all the underground structure is build to contain the undead.1

Alternatively if you place it in a Skaven wyrdstone mine, some walls could be lined with warp stone and hence unbind the ghosties. 2

1. In game this could be represented with wards failing if the undead win. Maybe for every win they can ‘nullify’ the wards on D3 walls. Every subsequent win for the opposing player could be D3 walls shores up with wards.

2. In game this could be a fun guessing game for the undead player. Draw a quick sketch of the map beforehand , and mark half of the walls as lined with warp stone. Ethereal models can declare to move through a wall. If liked with warpstone it will suffer 1 MW/ Wound and stay in its place. Works best if both players don’t know in advance. Maybe if the fight moves deeper into the mines the more walls contain warpstone. 

Hope this helps, I tried to find some ideas that simply remove an in game advantage all together because it’s such an vital part of the nighthaunt.

 

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@JackStreicher I can't imagine this is that high on anyone's priorities, so wont change (officially) any time soon (if ever) but the more I think about your particular issue with Nighthaunt seemingly teleporting between levels, the more agree it's annoying, feels wrong and should be looked at.

I mean it make sense from a streamlining perspective that as you already have one rule, flying, that essentially mimics how we think incorporeal beings should interact with the physical world (ignoring terrain, moving through units etc) we, as far as I can gather, give it to all Ethereal units (& the combination of the 2 gives our spooky boys their innate ghostliness).

Because probably 90% the game is still essentially 2D it's not a huge issue but does still feel wrong. So maybe unless they're specifically mean to be swooping around the place (Reikenor, for example) most these units should lose Fly but the Ethereal ability should be expanded to include the relevant Flying rules but without the ability to ignore distance up & down. If they want to move up to a higher level they have to climb like every other unit*.

It's a bit clunky but they'd just need to change the wording on warscrolls, adding one line like...

------------------------------------------------

EtherealThere are creatures whose bodies have long since rotted away, making them difficult to harm with mundane weapons.

Ignore modifiers (positive or negative) when making save rolls for this unit. In addition it can pass across models and terrain features as if they were not there when it makes any type of move. It cannot finish the move on top of another model or within any terrain feature.

------------------------------------------------

Sorry this feels like a longwinded, yet obvious post but just been playing on my mind.

 

 

 

* Actually whilst we're at it the climbing rule bugs me as well. The idea someone can scale a 20ft wall or cliff face as the same speed that they can walk (or that someone on a horse can climb a cliff face anyway!) feels WRONG. Personally I'd like to see something like half-movement for vertical climbs, and certain units say, Skaven for example, have a Climb ability that lets them scale walls at their normal speed. But again that's adding more layers of complexity which seems to be the antithesis of what they want. One of my aims for this year is to build lots of scenery myself, especially multi-level stuff like you seem to be doing and it does throw into sharp relief some of the issues that exists. 

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It’s true that being able to go through walls can kind of break the whole cave thing...

Thinking about it, most caves are not actually sitting on a 2D plane: tunnels are going up and down and twisting in various way. So  going through a cave wall there would be a risk of the ghost not finding it’s way out or simply coming out in the wrong place.

I like the idea of tying the difficulty to the length travelled so how about using the mechanics you describe (roll 2D6, must be over the distance travelled), instead of taking a mortal wound the model is removed until the next movement phase where he is placed on a random tile / board edge? 

Could lead to some fun situations, ghosts still have a big advantage since they can take shortcuts, and even when they get lost they could potentially find themselves in a good position. I don’t know if the 2d6 test is too easy or hard, it could also be « roll 1d6 for each full 3 inch section you go through, on a 1 you get lost » or something of that nature...

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