Friday, 27 January 2012

Trial Officer Rules

I'm a pretty big pan of creating house rules.  The ruleset is very adaptable, and can be modified pretty easily to accommodate your desired style of play.  For example, I like to have quite cinematic games where everything is gritty and realistic, but still a bit cliched - have a look through the 2nd Battalion Hardened Veterans Squad to see what I mean.

So, one of my biggest bugbears with the IG codex is the commanders.  Fair enough, Guard officers are never going to be beating Carnifexes in close combat, but platoon commanders now have stats that make them basically like veteran sergeants.  I wanted to create some rules for officers; as well as heroes and legends, a few cowards and weasels as well.  All of the trial officers incorporate some negative rules as well as positive ones to try and make it a bit fairer.

The way I've incorporated the Officer Rules is as a series of 'upgrades'.  Officers command either companies (i.e. the HQ slot) or platoons (Troops slot), so either of these leaders are candidates for upgrades.  Also, I allow one ordinary squad veteran sergeant to be upgraded, probably something like the stormtroopers squad which might be led by an officer.

The special rules that officer has only apply to his command; so a HQ slot officer will bestow his special rules on the whole army (hence the high cost), the Troops choice officer will lend special rules to that troops choice, while a squad upgrade will only affect that squad.  This is why there are three points costs given for each upgrade.  The wounds are blank because the upgrades don't affect the number of wounds; they always stay the same as the un-upgraded officer was before.

I'll stress that these aren't play tested and (particularly the points costs) may be unbalanced.  But I've tried to keep the rules sensible (no special rules like:  'Tough.  Gives all troops +1 W') and there are some negatives as well.  Some even so negative that it's actually a minus-points cost.  I'll post up one of these now as an example and as I come up with more I'll follow with an update.  Enjoy!

THE OLD MAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45/35/25 POINTS
The men looked bleakly at each other across the gloom of the dugout. They could sense the futility of it all; it was not that they did not want to fight, quite the reverse. They had come to this hell-hole of a moon to fight the forces of the Great Enemy, not to be thrown away in some pointless suicidal attack. It was useless to protest. Protesting would normally be as suicidal as going through the attack – but this was not an ordinary protest. 
Brevet Captain Faroe swept into the room. Everybody shifted their gaze onto him – the fact that he was back at all was good news. The Executive Officer would normally just fling any such upstarts at the Company Commissar and be done with it. But he could not fail but to notice Faroe. Although he was ‘from the ranks’ he had just about every decoration the Departmento Munitorium could make, and the undying respect of each and every man under his command.
If anyone could get Nineteenth Company out of this mess, it was the Old Man.
He looked up at his men, and they could immediately see the tears in his eyes. “I’m sorry, boys...”

‘Old Man’

One of the Guys
The Old Man lives, sleeps and fights with his men, and they respect him for it; they’ll follow him to the very gates of hell if he asked! All models under the Old Man’s command may re-roll any break tests for morale purposes (so not for target priority or other tests based on leadership).
They Got Him!
If the Old Man buys it, the boys’ morale will be shaken badly. If the Old Man is killed, at the start of their next turn all models within the command radius must take a leadership check.
If the officer is a Company Commander, he has the Senior Officer rule, and can issue two orders per turn as described on page 30 of the Imperial Guard Codex. Otherwise, he has the Junior Officer Rule and can issue one order per turn, as described on page 36. Note that orders can only be given to the officer’s own men.
House Rule Note: Some players may wonder why the Old Man has such a low leadership value. Unlike a lot of other indoctrinated officers, the Old Man has seen too many of his friends and comrades killed to keep fighting against insurmountable odds. Better to break contact and pull back, than throw all of the boys into some death-trap assault...


  1. I love the idea! Nice rule set. I'll try it out some time fore sure. I'm interested to see what else you had in mind for others....

  2. Thanks! Broadly, I was going to do some 'movie stereotype' characters, so probably a disciplinarian, a redshirt 'father's son', a master strategist, and I'll post up some more as I come up with them in the next few days. If you have any other archetypes, let me know and I'll try and do them as well. It's about a bit of diversity and choice really