Author Topic: Ranked Units In Aos  (Read 728 times)

Offline Darknight

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Ranked Units In Aos
« on: August 01, 2015, 02:41:44 PM »
Here we go.....

I now know why the rules are only 4 pages - you can pretty much describe everything EXCEPT movement of ranked units in that!

Obviously, these rules add MUCH complexity to the game and will create many ambiguities. I offer them simply because it was an interesting thing, and they might be fun.

I have tried to represent the "eternal war" aspect of AoS here - basically, ranked units lack the ability to move in an agile fashion but have staying power. They don't get too-badly nixed by flanking or rear charges - because I wanted to represent armies ready to quickly adapt to changing circumstances.

Ranked Units In Age of Sigmar

(Note; these rules are optional, experimental and – most importantly – open to interpretation and even abuse. Players should not insist on these rules, nor use them to gain some kind of advantage clearly not intended by the rules.)

Although units and models in Age of Sigmar move freely without formation, these optional rules allow you to rank your models up.

You may rank any unit of 3 or more models – if a unit falls below 3 models, it may not rank up. You may begin the game with a unit ranked up, or you may adopt a ranked posture during the game.

A ranked unit has its models arranged in a grid-like formation, evenly and tightly as possible. It may be helpful to imagine your models are on square bases which fit together in a chequerboard fashion. The distance between the center of the models must be equal and as small as possible. Larger models will have to have an “imaginary base” larger than smaller models. Most regular infantry would have an imaginary base of 20mm square, larger models 25mm and very large models (such as Stormcasts, Ogors etc.) might have 40mm square “imaginary bases”.

Command models – a champion, musician, standard bearer or equivalent should appear in the front rank as near the center as possible.

To adopt a ranked posture during the game, declare in the Hero Phase your unit will be adopting a ranked posture. You may not adopt a ranked posture if any models from the unit are within 3 inches of enemy models. In the Movement Phase, assemble the models into a ranked posture. Do not measure distances – simply move the models the sufficient distance to adopt the posture (they may be able to move more than their approved Move characteristic).

You should assemble the unit around one model which will appear in the front rank – a standard bearer or equivalent if you have it, then a musician, then a champion or – finally – a regular trooper near the center of the “mass” of unformed troops. This model does not move – the rest of the unit assembles around him.

You may choose facing (see below) when you rank up the unit.

If assuming a ranked posture would bring any models in your unit to within 3” of an enemy unit or in contact with / standing on impassible terrain then the unit should be shuffled the shortest distance necessary to avoid this. If there is no way this can be done, then the unit may not rank up and models should be left in place.

A unit which has adopted a ranked posture during the Movement Phase may not move further, Shoot, Charge or otherwise act for the rest of the turn.

To break out of a ranked posture, declare the unit is doing so in the Hero Phase. You may not break from a ranked posture if any models from the unit are within 3 inches of enemy models. In the Movement Phase, simply move the models as normal, moving them apart so they are no longer ranked up. They may not Shoot or Charge in the turn they break from a ranked posture.

(Note – although it is possible to arrange a unit of models in Age of Sigmar tightly packed in a grid formation, this is NOT a ranked posture unless the player has declared and or adopted such a posture. A unit tightly arranged but not in an official ranked posture gains no benefits or penalties related to a ranked posture.)

A ranked unit has ranks – rows of soldiers running left to right – and files – columns of soldiers running from front to back. A unit may not have any number of ranks and files; the minimum number of ranks is equal to the number of files divided by 3 (rounding fractions under half down and other fractions up). A unit may not have fewer than 3 files. Ranks must be completed before a new one is started – that is, all ranks must have the same number of models as the first, except the back rank, which can have fewer.

A ranked unit moves as a single model – it may be helpful to consider it as a single model on a very large, rectangular base (or even place the models on a tray to make this easier). It has a “facing” which points directly forward from the front rank (perpendicular to the ranks and parallel to the files). The facing is a direction, not a fixed line – each model has a facing parallel to its unit-mates.

During the Move Phase, the unit may move its Move characteristic, directly along the line of facing. If it wishes to turn, it must make a “wheel” move. Treat one of the front corners as a pivot and move the opposite front corner in a curving motion. Measure the distance it moves – this comes out of the allowed Move for that turn. You may make as many wheels and any combination of wheels and forward movement as you desire.

Ranked units may run – although it might be better to imagine it as marching – and add 1 die to their move characteristic. They may make wheels as described above.

A ranked unit may only shoot weapons at models within a 90 degree arc, centered on the facing for the unit. You should check to see if each model can see the enemy.

A ranked unit may only charge enemy models who fall within a 90 degree arc, centered on the facing of the unit, of the front rank. Roll dice to determine the charge distance, measure the distance. If there is sufficient range to get any of the models in the unit within 1/2” of the enemy unit, make a free wheel to point the unit directly towards the enemy and move them within 1/2” of the enemy unit.

Ranked units do not pile in. Instead, they may (if fighting other ranked units) make a free wheel / shuffle to get into direct, flat-surface contact with the enemy unit. If fighting non-ranked units of more than one model, and they are not within 1/2” of all models in the unit already, they may make a “push forward” move of 3”. This shoves back any enemy models they come into contact with and allows them to come into contact with more enemy models.

Ranked units fight as normal in the attack step of the Combat phase (measure range to and from models, make attacks etc.). As normal, the controlling player may decide which models are removed from the ranked unit as casualties.

Ranked units exchange maneuverability for staying power – unit-mates encourage and protect each other. To represent this, a ranked unit may improve its Save value by 1 point. Note; this is not a +1 to the save roll, but an improvement of the characteristic (so, a Save of 3+ becomes 2+, and a model with no Save at all has a Save of 6+ while ranked).

Ranked units also benefit from increases to their Bravery – they may add +1 to their Bravery characteristic for each complete rank they have. This is in addition to bonuses for having multiples of 10 or more models.

A ranked unit which is “flanked” (charged in the side – an edge of the unit perpendicular to the facing) by an unranked unit suffers no penalties; the ranked unit is disciplined and arranged strongly. However, if a ranked unit is charged by another ranked unit in the flank with at least as many models as the ranked unit has either ranks or files (whichever is higher) then the unit becomes “disrupted” (see below).

A ranked unit charged in the rear (the edge of the unit pointing directly away from the facing) by any ranked unit, or an unranked unit with at least as many models as the ranked unit has either ranks or files (whichever is higher), becomes “disrupted” (see below).

A disrupted ranked unit has lost a degree of cohesion – the unit no longer benefits from the bonus to Bravery for being ranked. Disruption is immediately lost during the unit's Hero Phase – trained warriors closed ranks, turn to face the enemy, and shake off the momentary shock.
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Offline Baron von Klatz

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Re: Ranked Units In Aos
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2015, 09:40:11 PM »
Really nice ideas, Darknight! Increased bravery and superiority over un-ranked opponents is a nice concept.

Far more elaborate than my own as well. I was just planning on flanks causing increased casualties from failed bravery tests. I was shooting for a speedier warmaster-type game though.
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Offline Darknight

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Re: Ranked Units In Aos
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2015, 10:44:24 PM »
Well, it might be too elaborate - I am not sure.

But I wanted some decent advantage without a crippling disadvantage. If it caused MAJOR issues to be flanked, no-one would ever rank up ... unless ranking gave a huge advantage. And then it just becomes a game of "who can flank?"
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Everyone finds their balance between satisfaction and obsession.