First stab at this idea so your comments please.
My thoughts behind this were units that was part lore council part unit on the board whilst not being a full mercenary force (I'll leave that to the Goblinoids and Dwarves). Not too sure if balance is quite (or at all) there but gut feeling says its okish. I'm not too wowed by having Cleric and wizard being the same but I couldn't see anything that could be done without relatively nerfing the other.
I next need to thing how they fit in with my campaign rules, perhaps a pot of cash that can be used for different things like replacing units or hiring a Lance or two
These are small bands of men for hire who are paid by results and so tend to get them.
Rules for Free Lances
1- They take a slot on the war council like creatures do.
2- There are five variety of Free Lance, 1 for each of the Lore council type and a non lore council type.
3- Free Lances come with a single Blue unit from any race (from the base box) to embed with, this is deployed in the third of forth row and can be either Infantry or Mounted.
4- Leaders are embedded figures and as such are probably the second last figure to be removed.
5- Free lance units can be customised by selecting from a list of features prior to battle starting
6- If the Free Lance has a leader associated to a War Council Lore Master then they provide a virtual* level in the war council. This benefit goes when and if the leaders are killed.
7- If the Lance leader is not associated then they will get more sections from the features list.
*they don't count toward getting terrain associated with the Loremaster in question but do count as far as determining effects of lore cards.
Each Lance may choose from 1 general choice from a-g and one associated Lore choice. If not associated then they receive any three general choices.
a) Ignore 1 black flag (if this unit is a dwarven unit they will ignore two black flags)
b) Ignore 1 Hit or bonus hit
c) +1 dice when battling (not battling back)
d) +1 battleback dice
e) Gain a second Blue Unit
f) Turn 1 blue unit into two green units of the same type$
g) Turn original unit into a red unit of the same kind£
h) Add an additional figure to 1 unit
i) If using specialist cards then the Lances unit(s) may be equipped with gear (long bows, arbalests) even if it has peen previously chosen, though race restrictions apply (they can't use things such as illusionary troops, it has to be kit carried by the unit)
$- Note that your leader will have to be embedded with one of these three units
£- your leader will be embedded with this unit
Wizard / Cleric choices
- Treat Wizard/ Cleric Lore council as being 1 higher for purposes of casting Wizard/ Cleric lore cards in section leader is in (yes this can mean a Wizard or Cleric level of four)
- Reduce Cost of wizard/ cleric spells by 2 when the target is in the same section the Lances leader is in
- Always inflict +1 black flag when battling
- Re roll one miss matched helmet (black flags or lore aren't re-rolled) in any battle or battle back
- +1 move (i.e. blue infantry can move 2 and battle or move 3, they aren't actually moving more just very good at misleading the enemy where they really are)
- The maximum dice cap for terrain is raised by one (i.e. hills effectively no and 3 for woods)
Some sample Lances available:
John Hawkwood (White company) - Warrior, Blue cavalry
Utterly merciless on the battle field, few could withstand the White Company’s assaults.
+1 dice when battling, inflict an additional black flag on all rolls
Owain of the Red Hand - Generalist
From the south of Wales, hand selected the best archers from many units; they now are to be found where commanders feel the battle will pivot around.
Two Green Infantry units, equipped with longbows, Owains unit has a bonus figure in it.
Free Company Of The Falcon (holy order)
Ride along and protect the routes to and from the Holy Lands, occasionally some of their number can be persuaded in the virtue of a cause and join the field of battle.
Treat Cleric lore level to be 1 higher when determining effect. Red Cavalry
Sir Leigh-Anne Hendrick - Warrior
Perhaps not one of the most exciting or charismatic of Lances but will be utterly dependable
Re-roll 1 mismatched helmet, ignore 1 Bonus hit or normal hit
Roger de Flor (Catalan Company) - Wizard
A skilled war mage who seeks thrills of the field over 'safety' of the rear lines when it comes to battles and will join the men of his Lance on the front line
Second blue infantry, reduced lore cost by two if target is in the same section as the wizard.
Hugh Calveley - Rogue
As likely to empty allies’ war chests as his enemies Hugh none the less still attracts many offers
Three green infantry, + 1 hex movement (can move 3 and battle)
Bohemian count Albrecht von Wallenstein - Generalist
Has joined both sides in the Hundred Years War for no other reason than the glory from winning battles (well the coin helps).
1 Red cavalry, 2 green cavalry