Faction customization

Supplement ideas, house rules, homemade stat cards, homebrew weapon types, and other cool variations

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Faction customization

Postby Theblackdog » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:59 am

Now that alot of us are building factions with backstories and political intrigue, I'm starting to think about how to add custom rules for each faction, to represent their individual strengths and weaknesses.

The first thing I came up with was that officers could add a special faction-specific bonus to the troops in their squad -- not just generic "+1 to stats" stuff, but things like allowing them to fire ranged weapons while sprinting or attack again if they kill someone. Faction specific weapons would be cool, but hard to balance. Faction specific bonuses for infantry/vehicles are another possibility. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts, either about the topic in general or on the sorts of special abilities you'd like your factions to have.
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Re: Faction customization

Postby Falk » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:37 pm

I'd actually been thinking about this recently. Another thing to consider would be religion. Maybe just a couple religions with bonuses, as not to make it to complicated.
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Re: Faction customization

Postby Quantumsurfer » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:57 pm

The thought filtered through at some point, yeah. I think I prefer *highly* specific abilities to any random bonus. Stuff that is specifically themed toward the faction, something you couldn't easily just attach to another faction and call it a day. They would be difficult to balance with one another but I'm not sure many people here care that much about balance.

Another solution is just the opposite. A system of advantages, modifying the basic ruleset, that balance with one another. A faction might then choose one. An example, even though I understand there is disdain for the game here, is the 4th ed Space Marine codex from Warhammer 40K. They had a system of minor and major advantages balanced out by disadvantages. I don't remember how it worked exactly, but it was pretty fair, and a great way to build chapters. Some folks didn't like it because it got rid of the chapter specific stuff (i.e. now anyone could effectively run like Blood Angels).

Just preference, I think.
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Re: Faction customization

Postby IVhorseman » Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:13 pm

I think unit choices customise factions just fine. Some factions rely on cannon fodder to be strategically maneuvered by leaders and officers into battle - others rely on highly trained specialists to do the hard-hitting work. Some armies field super-death-tanks, and others just send in more jets. ACTUAL ABILITIES would be a bit harder to figure out.

They'd need to be extremely specific things, like when Warhead sees a mom.
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Re: Faction customization

Postby samuelzz10 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:39 pm

I made a page on this, the link is in my home brew thread.
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Re: Faction customization

Postby Quantumsurfer » Sun Mar 03, 2013 8:58 pm

IVhorseman wrote:They'd need to be extremely specific things, like when Warhead sees a mom.


If we did this sort of thing, this is essentially what I'm saying I prefer.
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Re: Faction customization

Postby pkbrennan » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:55 am

My faction is easy to write rules for: if there is loot involved, they are more likely to be motivated to fight. Basically, they're legalised pirates and tomb burglars when one really looks at it...
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Re: Faction customization

Postby *CRAZYHORSE* » Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:16 am

IVhorseman wrote:I think unit choices customise factions just fine. Some factions rely on cannon fodder to be strategically maneuvered by leaders and officers into battle - others rely on highly trained specialists to do the hard-hitting work. Some armies field super-death-tanks, and others just send in more jets.

This. The unit's fielded make up the feel and specialty of a faction. Like for example the forces of the komunistic space rebel faction leaded by Chay Guavara trying to over take the planet Kuba uses all kinds of guerrilla tactics. And thus their units will probably consist of many stealth units equipped with rocket launcher and molotov cocktails appearing out of nowhere, striking and disappearing again. Molotov and machete wielding brawlers and of course Chay himself impaling the enemy forces with a pole from which waves the komunistic red flag of victory and equality.
Your goal when building an army shouldn't be to create a balanced and strong force. Instead it should be to create an army representing the distinct flavor and awesomeness of that faction as stated in th example above. If you do this right then there is no need for faction specialties as every faction will already have it's very distinct play style.

Actually I think I just inspired myself to create a Komunistic Space Rebel faction lead by Chay Guavara. I'm making that shit.
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Re: Faction customization

Postby Theblackdog » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:37 pm

Quantumsurfer wrote:The thought filtered through at some point, yeah. I think I prefer *highly* specific abilities to any random bonus. Stuff that is specifically themed toward the faction, something you couldn't easily just attach to another faction and call it a day. They would be difficult to balance with one another but I'm not sure many people here care that much about balance.


Yeah, this is sort of what I was thinking of when I mentioned the officer abilities, but I didn't express it too well. At the end of the day, I would prefer to customize factions by assigning special abilities to individual units than by applying special rules to the entire army. It also seems like most factions have some form of custom weaponry these days. Damn, maybe instead of talking about this we should all just add more stuff to the Plastik Armoury thread.

IVhorseman wrote:I think unit choices customise factions just fine. Some factions rely on cannon fodder to be strategically maneuvered by leaders and officers into battle - others rely on highly trained specialists to do the hard-hitting work. Some armies field super-death-tanks, and others just send in more jets.


True, but I feel like given the number of factions we have it doesn't provide that much wiggle room.
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Re: Faction customization

Postby Quantumsurfer » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:22 pm

I'm almost positive I've seen someone use some faction or unit specific (which itself seemed representative of the faction), totally made up bs ability in a forum battle or battle report somewhere. I'm suddenly hard pressed to point it out though.
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Re: Faction customization

Postby aoffan23 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:41 pm

I remember an old WH40k Space Marine codex had this kind of stuff in it, where you could choose a trait to give your own custom chapter. I like the idea of special rules, but I agree with the people saying to give them to specific units. You can give everyone the same rules, but keeping it on actual stat cards makes them easier to remember. It also lets you be a bit more flexible if you have unit you'd like to exclude from the rule. Instead of writing "except for x, y, and z" you can just leave the rule off of their stat card.

And because it's not a rule thread without "it all depends on the player", I'll drop the line in. It really does, but it just seems very inconvenient to keep track of a universal rule on a separate piece of paper, rather than just seeing it in the stats of whatever unit you're looking at. If you're making your own stat cards anyway, there's no point leaving something out.
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Re: Faction customization

Postby Quantumsurfer » Tue Mar 05, 2013 10:36 pm

aoffan23 wrote:it just seems very inconvenient to keep track of a universal rule on a separate piece of paper, rather than just seeing it in the stats of whatever unit you're looking at. If you're making your own stat cards anyway, there's no point leaving something out.


Agreed. If there were a set of universal rules, as in WH40K, that'd be fine. Or maybe if you only had one special rule that affected your whole faction...you could drop that in the wiki or something for ease of reference. But yes, BW is highly diverse...too diverse to keep a list of universal abilities for everyone to pick from. That would be highly limiting, probably mostly due to BW multi-genre concept. Inevitably, we'd leave something out or someone would come along with a concept later and wouldn't find any of the abilities fitting.

So I'd say:

As a general courtesy, if you make a faction specific abilities, keep them limited in number, as close to singular as possible. Drop them on the wiki. The factions section is almost a list of codices anyway.

Try instead to keep abilities limited to unit specific. Put them directly on the stat card. Try to avoid propagation of the ability among multiple differing units unless strictly necessary, to avoid confusion and maintain the flavor of the unit.
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Re: Faction customization

Postby Whiteagle » Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:20 am

...Wait, you guys didn't customize your forces to start out with?

My Briktoid Space Skeletons were stated to reflect the Battle Droids they are blatantly ripping off, so they have the Marksman Specialty and Armor 2.
Hence why they send Grillions as a threat, they're cheap to produce and repair en-mass.
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Re: Faction customization

Postby Taxonomer_X » Wed Mar 13, 2013 10:24 am

This is my first post to the forums, so take this with a grain of salt.

It seems to me if you can get the folks you play against to accept your faction ability, then it's good. Now, if they look at it and say, "That's over powered, dude" then you don't get it. This is why I'm trying to get my boys to take up construction points, so we can at least have some kind of ruler.
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Re: Faction customization

Postby Quantumsurfer » Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:37 pm

Taxonomer_X wrote:It seems to me if you can get the folks you play against to accept your faction ability, then it's good. Now, if they look at it and say, "That's over powered, dude" then you don't get it. This is why I'm trying to get my boys to take up construction points, so we can at least have some kind of ruler.


I agree with this.
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