Monday, 23 November 2015

Warband Siege Rules

Warband Siege Rules

These adaptations to the basic Warband Game Engine came about as I wanted some quick play siege rules for my ongoing Warband Campaign. Having fought several siege games in the past, I have found siege gaming to be quite tedious using some of the rules out there on the market. I wanted to avoid this in my games of Warband and keep the games simple and relatively quick to play.

In keeping with Warband’s fast play style, I have tried to keep the rules relatively simple by dealing only with the existing game mechanics. I would rather be playing the game and enjoying it, than working out how may points a siege engine costs, how mining works have undermined the castle defences and the minutiae of demoralisation on the defenders of being under siege.

I believe these mechanisms can be included in the game by simply having a scenario that starts with walls that are already breached and by other imaginative scenario setting prior to the game being played.

At the end of these suggestions I have included some thoughts on scenario planning for siege games.

Movement Phase

·        All movement along/within fortifications and ramparts is reduced to 1 BW. Unit motivation may still be boosted by Command Points but no unit may move more than 1BW in any turn.

·        Siege Towers, Battering Rams, Wheeled Mantlets and Units equipped with Siege Ladders may only move a maximum of 1BW per turn – unless being pushed/carried by any unit classed as GIANT where they may move up to 2BW per turn.

·        Once Siege Towers and Ladders are touching fortifications, further Command points may be used to represent ladders being fixed in place or siege tower platforms being dropped onto the ramparts

·        Units in Siege Towers and those using Siege Ladders move in the turn immediately following the turn the ladders have been fixed or the platform has been dropped.

·        Movement through gateways is at normal movement allowances.

·        Movement through breaches and through Sally Ports is considered to be in limiting terrain.

 Shooting Phase

·        Shooting at units in fortifications and in siege engines is at -1d6 for target being behind defences.

·        Units in Siege Towers and Covered Battering Rams are classed as being in defences for the purposes of shooting and melee.

·        Units shooting from ramparts and towers gain +1d6 range and may shoot over the heads of friendly troops below their lane of fire as long as the friendly unit is not within 1BW of the enemy.

·        Powerful Hits from shooting weapons are negated against units defending ramparts and towers.

·        Catapults may fire over castle walls as if they had line of sight to the enemy unit beyond, however the unit being fired at counts as being behind defences and the firing unit loses 1d6 shooting dice.

·        Cannon and Bolt shooters positioned on hills or siege works can fire over castle walls as per the above rule for catapults

 Melee Phase

·        In melee the direct charge bonus may not be claimed against any unit behind/inside defences or against units in Towers/Gatehouses being charged by units on the Ramparts, however if a direct charge is possible the fierce direct charge bonus can be claimed.

·        Units defending ramparts do not gain any charge bonus other than fierce against units attacking the ramparts.

·        Units in Fortifications count as being uphill of their opponents in melee except against units in Siege Towers who are charging from the platform onto ramparts or towers

·        Units in Fortifications and within siege equipment have no flanks or rear

·        Melee within the areas of a breach is considered to be in limiting terrain.

 Protection Phase

·        Units within fortifications never suffer the -1d6 Protection loss for no friends being within 2BW or for being within 1BW of the table edge.

·        Powerful hits are negated

 Imaginative Siege Scenario Ideas

·        Breached Walls - Start the game with walls that have been breached already prior to the actual battle. The breach itself is full of rubble and debris and counts as limiting terrain for movement and melee purposes. If the breach is only a minor breach I would suggest that the breach still offers cover to units within the breach from shooting.

·        Treachery – subterfuge of some sort has taken place during the siege. One or more units of defenders may have lost the heart to fight or may even swap sides during the battle.

·        Low on ammunition -  units with a shooting capability may have limited ammo for the duration of the game

·        Siege Equipment - depending on how long the siege has been in place, more or less siege equipment may be available/unavailable to the besieging force. I have deliberately avoided trying to put a points costs on siege equipment. Most Warband Armies have some form of long range shooting weapons. Those that do not could have captured enemy equipment that they are turning on their former masters.

·        Length of siege – The besieged army may have low morale. I suggest representing this by lowering the morale value of units by 1. This could apply to all or some of the units involved.

·        Defiant Defence – The besieged army is led by its Chieftain/King. The Chieftain comes free of charge to the besieged forces and is automatically the Army Lists most powerful character. If he falls in battle, the game ends automatically with the instant demoralisation of the besieged army.

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