House rules and game tweaks

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House rules and game tweaks

Post by Paul7926 »

Hello everyone.

I was thinking the other day, especially after the release of WaT and the avalanche of people proposing modifications, about the whole subject of House Rules.

On one hand I support the idea that people are completely free to play a game in any way that they see fit. It's their time and their toys and why shouldn't they enhance their enjoyment with whatever changes or additions that give them a better game experience.

On the other hand you end up with what I call the 'Monopoly Syndrome'. It's probably true that if you are invited to play Monopoly anywhere other than your own house you will end up playing a game that is almost nothing like the actual published Monopoly rule set. Most of the time this doesn't matter too much until you stumble across large changes halfway through the game that invalidate how you have been playing from the start.

Everyone else knew that playing at Pete's means houses on Mayfair cost twice as much because they consider Mayfair to be too over powered but you wouldn't have tried so hard to get it had you known. Now that's a silly example but I do like the idea that if I walk into a different club or FLGS and get involved in a game of <insert favourite game here> that you are all using a common rules set.

So to those of you that employ a lot of House rules, do you find it a hindrance when playing somewhere new or getting new people at your venues or doesn't it matter?

Rich H
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Re: House rules and game tweaks

Post by Rich H »

It depends. Conventions, especially for 'duscuss before the game' type, can be confusing sometimes.

I've had people very surprised (Bolt action) when I've fired over a 2" hill with my tank. But hills block LOS... no they don't by the rules. My tank is >2" tall adn can draw an unobstructed LOS to your unit. A lot of places play a hill of any size blocks LOS.

Woods - hard or soft cover? Bloc LOS or not? Rough ground or not? etc.

More structural changes to games are not usually a good idea IMHO

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Re: House rules and game tweaks

Post by BaronVonWreckedoften »

As long as you publicise any "house rules" clearly (maybe with a written summary) to any/all newcomers before the game starts, I don't think that's a problem. However, playing the game at a public event (ie not at your club or in your own home), I would keep the rules "as written" so as not to confuse last-minute joiners and passing members of the public who might be watching.
No plan survives first contact with the dice.

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Re: House rules and game tweaks

Post by Contrarius »

I find introducing house rules to an opponent who already plays the vanilla set can be problematic.

For a long time I was convinced that British Napoleonic musketry was only marginally superior to that of other nations. So, I tweaked the rules to give the Brits a slight advantage, perhaps +1 as opposed to the +2 as written. My opponent and guest that day, being a strong Anglophile (which I am too by the way, but not the extent that he was) was adamantly opposed to this change, but it being my house and my figures, bit his lip, and agreed to play by my house rules. Of course when his first attack failed to go as planned and his redcoats got mashed by my bluecoats, the moaning began:
"That's unhistorical! That would never happen! Three rounds a minute! Guffaw, guffaw, guffaw..."

Suffice to say, the game continued to be punctuated by moans and complaints and objections. Two hours later he left unhappy. And we never played again.

So, yes. House rules do need to be negotiated beforehand. Carefully. Perhaps with a bit more give and take than I was once prepared to allow. (If his Brits don't shoot as well as written, then your Frenchies should be less impetuous when charging in column...) If you have 'clarifications' to tendentious rules then these are also best written down and agreed before play starts.

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