There have been other posts about this subject on these forums, but I don't think I've seen one that includes a complete system that's ready for playtesting. I printed up some prototype cards a while ago, but I haven't ever played with a group that wanted to try them. Then, in my most recent game, I was playing Khorne and seemed to have difficulty rolling anything less than 6, prompting me to post the variant here in case anyone else wants to test it.
Caveat: These cards work fine with the expansion, but would need some modification to work with the base game. Khorne's ability to roll some battle dice before the main battle and Slaanesh's 'can only be hit by a 6' upgrade both cause problems with this system.
While CitOW is usually a very balanced game (sufficiently skilled players will gang up on one player who's doing too well), it will occasionally be decided by the dice. This variant is an attempt to remove the possibility of the dice screwing over one player. It also adds a bit more tactics to each battle as you choose whether to focus on offense or defense.
This system will be familiar to anyone who has played Kemet or Game of Thrones.
• Each player has a set of four battle cards.
• When there is a battle, each player with figures there chooses a battle card from their hand, revealing them simultaneously.
• In the usual turn order, each player assigns hits equal to their total attack value (their base Attack from all normal effects, modified by their combat card) divided by 2 and rounded down. (If your group is sufficiently comfortable with math, you can multiply by 0.6 instead of 0.5 (still rounding down) for better emulation of the dice at high attack values.)
• The card you chose is discarded, and you get all of your battle cards back once you've used them all.
Obviously, you could give each player a different set of more thematic cards (e.g. more Attack depending on how much corruption you have or calling in reinforcements from adjacent regions), but I'm trying to change as little as possible beyond replacing the dice. On the other hand, the card names could certainly be customized for each player for a more thematic experience.
Reckless Carnage: +3 Attack or double your Attack, whichever is lower. One opponent with base Attack at least 1 assigns +1 hit to you.
Murderous Swarm: +2 Attack if your base Attack is at least 1.
Vile Hordes: +0 Attack. If your followers are assigned more than one hit in this combat, cancel one of those hits.
Lurking Shadows: -1 Attack. Cancel the first hit assigned to your followers.
These charts assume a battle between two players, each of whom plays a random card from their hand.
Probability of Khorne getting a dial tick: (scoring at least one hit)
Attack Cards Dice
1 0.5 0.5
2 0.75 0.75
3 0.875 0.875
4 0.938 0.938
5+ 1 0.969+
Expected number of hits: (slightly different if you multiply your Attack by 0.5 or 0.6)
Attack Cards (0.5) Cards (0.6) Dice
1 0.625 0.625 0.6
2 1.188 1.188 1.2
3 1.624 1.875 1.8
4 2.063 2.313 2.4
5 2.5 3.0 3.0
6 3.0 3.5 3.6
7 3.5 4.25 4.2
8 4.0 4.75 4.8
Standard deviation in number of hits:
Attack Cards (0.5) Cards (0.6) Dice
1 0.72 0.72 0.69
2 0.98 0.98 0.98
3 1.08 1.20 1.21
4 1.12 1.35 1.39
5 1.21 1.21 1.55
6 1.21 1.21 1.70
7 1.21 1.44 1.83
8 1.21 1.34 1.96
Neat idea, have you tried playing this? I'd be interested to see if it slows down the game a lot.
Personally I just love to roll dice
I haven't actually tried it, but I keep the cards in the box in case I ever play with a group that wants to. As you say, the dice are usually fun, but every once in a while I'll see the dice decide the game and think "I really should try that diceless variant next time I play."
Hi, so any news about this battle variant?