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Monday, August 17, 2015

Ancients: Leader Abilities

As part of my ongoing Ancients wargame project, I will now turn to generals and leaders.  I'd like my game to be mostly about commanding, bolstering and manipulating a battle-line of infantry units. I envision each leader in the players' army as having a set of abilities which can be activated with a successful roll. Different forces will have different abilities, representing national focus or training or style.

Each force will have a commanding leader, known as the Warlord.  Secondary leaders will be known as Commanders.  These are game mechanical terms, distinct from any historical titles or ranks. A leader model may move independently or it may join a unit. When joined to a unit, the leader is vulnerable to destruction if the unit takes hits or breaks, but often has a bigger effect of that unit through certain Abilities.

The following are draft lists of Abilities.  An army will typically chose two lists, buying abilities from each. They are in rough order of utility. The higher level abilities will often be reserved for the Warlord. Each will typically have two chosen Abilities. Additionally, all leaders will have access to a set of universal Abilities.

Only one Ability may be attempted by each leader each turn. 

Universal Abilities

Bolster Morale: Does not require a roll to activate.  Use when a Unit fails its Break Test.  If the leader is currently independent, and the Unit is within 6"of the leader, then that Unit may roll its Break Test using the Leader's Leadership score if it is higher. If the Leader has joined the Unit, you may reroll the Break Test using the Leader's Leadership score if it is higher, with a +1 bonus. If the Leader is your Warlord, use a +2 bonus instead.

Deployment Abilities
Deployment Abilities are activated at the end of the Deployment phase, and require a Leadership roll to activate. If both players have Leaders with Deployment abilities, roll off to see who activates an ability first.  (High roll may choose.) Then alternate until both players have finished activating all the Deployment abilities they wish.

Lateral Deployment Move: Select a friendly unit within 6" of the Leader.  That Unit may be placed in any valid location within the player's deployment zone within a Standard Move of its original location, with any ending facing.

Scouting Deployment Move:  Select a friendly unit within 6" of the Leader.  That Unit may immediately make a Standard Move inside or out of the Deployment Zone

Rear Deployment Swap: Select two adjacent friendly units within 12" of the Leader, one of which is in the rear arc of the other.  Swap the locations of these two units, retaining the same facing.

Lateral Deployment Swap: Select two adjacent friendly units within 12" of the Leader and in each other's side arcs.  Swap the locations of these two units, retaining the same facing.

Deployment Trickery: Select two friendly units anywhere within 24"of the Leader.  Swap the locations of these two units, with any facing.

Reserve Abilities:
A player declares if he will activate any Reserve Abilities at the start of his Deployment Phase.  When each ability is activated, the player must immediately declares which Unit he will place into which type of Reserve.  If both players have Leaders with Reserve abilities, roll off to see who activates an ability first.  (High roll may choose.) Then alternate until both players have finished activating all the Reserve abilities they wish.

Ambush Reserve: A Unit placed into Ambush Reserve remains in Reserve until the end of the Deployment Phase. The controlling player must place the Unit into a valid location in his Deployment zone. Doing so counts as activating a Deployment Ability.
 
Flank Reserve: A Unit placed into Ambush Reserve remains in Reserve until the controlling player Activates his Flank Reserves at the start of his Movement phase. This requires a Leadership roll from a Leader with the Flank Reserves Ability.  If the roll is successful, the Unit Moves immediately onto the table from any edge.


Lead from the Front Abilities

Genius for Murder:  Activate in any melee phase. Requires a Leadership roll to activate. If the Leader has joined a Unit, that Unit gains Advantage over one enemy Unit.  Lasts until the start of the activating player's next turn.

Retinue: Activate in any melee phase.  Does not require a roll to activate. If the Leader has joined a Unit, that Unit gains 3 extra attacks.  Lasts until the start of the activating player's next turn.

Heroic Resistance:  Activate in any melee phase. Requires a Leadership roll to activate. If the Leader has joined a Unit, that Unit may reroll failed Saves.  Lasts until the start of the activating player's next turn.

Rally:  Activate in any melee phase. Requires a Leadership roll to activate. If the Leader has joined a Unit, that Unit automatically passes all Break Tests until the end of the Turn.

Defensive Abilities

Testudo: Activate in any shooting phase. Requires a Leadership roll to activate. Select one friendly unit within 12" of the Leader.  That Unit may reroll failed Saves.  Lasts until the end of phase.

Change Facing:  Activate in any phase. Requires a Leadership roll to activate. Select one friendly unit within 12" of the Leader.  That Unit may rotate its facing in any direction.  If it is in contact with an enemy Unit, the enemy Unit remains stationary and strikes the new facing.

Flank Protection: Activate in any phase. Requires a Leadership roll to activate. Select one friendly unit within 12" of the Leader.  That Unit may count one of its flank or rear facings as "front" for determining Advantage and number of Attacks .  If it is in contact with an enemy Unit, the enemy Unit remains stationary and strikes the new facing. Lasts until the start of the activating player's next turn.

Immovable Mountain: Activate in any phase. Requires a Leadership roll to activate. Select one friendly unit within 12" of the Leader.  That Unit counts all its flank and rear facings as "front" for determining Advantage and number of Attacks .  It may not move in its subsequent Movement phase. If it is in contact with an enemy Unit, the enemy Unit remains stationary and strikes the new facing. Lasts until the start of the activating player's next turn.

Narrow Frontage: Activate in any Melee phase. Requires a Leadership roll to activate. Select one friendly unit within 12" of the Leader that is engaged with multiple enemies to its front.  One of those enemy Units (opposing player's choice) does not contribute any Attacks in Melee. Lasts until the start of the activating player's next turn.

Offensive Abilities

Push: Activate in any Melee phase. Requires a Leadership roll to activate. Select one unit within 12" of the Leader that is engaged with a single enemy Unit to its front. If successful, push both Units directly backwards by one standard Move.  Use the lowest Move value of the two Units involved.

Berserkergang: Activate in any Melee phase. Requires a Leadership roll to activate. Select one friendly unit within 12" of the Leader.  The selected Unit may reroll failed to-Hit rolls in Combat, but must also reroll successful Saves.Lasts until the start of the activating player's next turn. 

Rain of Arrows: Activate in the controlling player's Shooting phase. Requires a Leadership roll to activate. Select one friendly unit within 12" of the Leader.  The selected unit may reroll failed to-Hit rolls.  Lasts until the end of Phase.


Support Abilities

Bolster the Line:  Activate whenever a friendly Unit is destroyed within 12" of the Leader.  Requires a roll to Activate  Select any other unengaged Unit within 6" of the destroyed Unit and on its flanks.  Replace the destroyed Unit with the selected Unit.
 
Shorten the Line: Activate whenever a friendly Unit is destroyed within 12" of the Leader.  Requires a roll to Activate  Select any other unengaged Unit within 6" of the destroyed Unit and in its rear arc.  Replace the destroyed Unit with the selected Unit.
 
Rest and Refit:  Activate whenever a friendly Unit suffers hits within 12" of the Leader.  Requires a roll to Activate  Select any other unengaged Unit within 6" of the destroyed Unit and in its rear arc.  Swap the two Units.

Strengthen:  Activate in any Melee phase.  Requires a roll to Activate. Select a friendly unengaged Unit within 12" of the Leader, and in the rear arc and within 6"  of a unit engaged in Melee, it may contribute half its dice to the other Unit's combat. Lasts until the start of the activating player's next turn. 




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