Warmaster Revolution (WMR) is a project supported by Czech Warmaster community. It aims to implement Warmaster Ancients rules into Warmaster Fantasy. Main motivation for this project is the fact (stated by Rick Priestly himself), that WMA is in fact second edition of Warmaster that was firstly released for historical environment.
Unfortunately for us who love the Old World, the version for fantasy setting has never come to light. This fact motivated us to check WMA rules to see how would have the second Warmaster edition looked like.
Though Warmaster is very well working rules system, it is obvious, that WMA are simply advanced version especially regarding combat. Apart from introduction of skirmishers and light cavalry which was not planned for fantasy setting due to miniatures (also confirmed by Rick), it clears all the blind spots that occurred in WM. The main differences are in limitation of number of orders, number of combat rounds and introduction of new infantry support rules which make infantry (unlike in WM) adequate tactical force. For these changes, the supremacy of cavalry over infantry is gone and the course of events tends to go less random, not mentioning bunch of minor rules adjustments making situations clearer.
Our community is not the first to discover the advantage of WMA over WM. French community rewrote whole WMA rules for fantasy setting and named it Warmaster Evolution. Unfortunately for us they did it in French. And as none of us can speak or read French, we decided to make our own version written in English so everyone can check it. So that’s where the name Warmaster Revolution comes from. However we didn’t opt to do complete rewrite as French guys did. Because lots of rules in WMA are still the same as in WM, we implemented the changed parts (mostly combat) into WM rules preserving its original structure (which is slightly different in WMA).
Compiled texts are in their original versions changed only where absolutely necessary to fit into WMA environment.
What was overtaken from WMA:
- Command phase – maximum of 3 orders to a unit in row
- Movement – Drive back – units driven back move as one block without rearranging stands
- Combat phase – whole Combat phase was overtaken from WMA
- Charging - using zones, any attacker’s stand moves c2c of the closest attacked stand, enveloping charge
- Sequence of combat – maximum of two rounds of combat, if enemy is wiped out unit can advance 20cm and fight another two rounds in the same turn, no charge bonuses for advance. If enemy is not wiped, victorious unit can fall back or carry on fighting in enemy’s next turn with all the bonuses and wounds being carried over from the previous turn.
- Attacks – all stands must fight to their front edge if they can, stand has always at least 1 Attack,
- Support – supporting units are part of combat and can pursue, when infantry charging on initiative charging unit can take one unit with it to get support, supports count before combat round
- Fall back – unit can only fall back outside its “line of sight area”.
- End phase - Units brought down to 1 stand from 3 count as 0.5 point for purpose of break point"
There are some rules in WMA that are obviously not suitable for fantasy environment so we decided to leave them out.
- -1 Command penalty for enemy in flank or rear zone - To get into enemy's flank or rear in WMA is a matter of real tactical skill. Not so much in WM with all the flying units and spells such as Mirage.
- Maximum of 60cm visibility - There are some units (e.g. Trebuchet) that have range over 60cm, and that would colide with maximum 60cm visibility. However to prevent flyers to charge 100cm we added this generally used house rule into Optional rules.
There are also some rules in WM we thought they should stay and are not included in WMA.
- Bursting through friendly units - In WMA no rank & file units can move throught other friendly r&f units under any cirtumstances. This ability was assigned to skirmish units. However there are no skirmish units in WM (not counting the Empire skirmishers who are based on different principles), so we felt the option to move through friendly units during evade should remain. In fact it’s not a big deal as this rule is used very rarely.
- Line of Sight for Shooters - We liked the straight-forwardness of WM LoS system and didn’t feel the real need of change here. Furthermore we felt that for scale WM rules represent is the WMA shooters' line of sight not suitable. In game where one regiment represents hundreds of men you don't need an order for bolt thrower to pivot on spot.
We also added a chapter with Optional rules. These are the rules that are neither in WM nor WMA. These come mainly as an unprocessed suggestions from the last (at least until 2016) big international WM playtest weekend held in 2013 in Bergen op Zoom.
There are also two optional rules that come from inside our community. They may seem the most “game breaking” ones, but they work really well and we like them a lot.
One of them allows units to move even when failing to receive an order but only to some limited extent and when it is the first order to a unit in row. It doesn’t have that big impact on the overall game as it might seem on the first glance thought. Games tend to be slightly more dynamic, less frustrating and results less dependent on just one or two successful command rolls. The main inspiration for this optional rule comes from Epic Armageddon, where it works in similar way.
So that’s about it. Those who are interested in trying it, enjoy. We are always glad for any feedback.
Here it is for download: Warmaster Revolution Rules
PS: Current version is still considered as Beta until all the typos are found.