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War Machine modifications for X10

by Ville V Lähde

Here are some rule modifications for War Machine. They are specifically intended for the module X10: Red Arrow, Black Shield. The intent of the modifications is to make the Nomad war more challenging. They were made for use in "the Twin Campaigns", where the Nomad war will be much harder for the Nomads than in the environment after WotI. But the modifications will be useful in any case, whether you intend to play X10 in the original setting or after WotI.

Why the modifications?

The main problem with the old X10 module is, that if you follow the scenario and the rules too closely, it will be very hard for the Nomads to pose a significant threat to Darokin. If the PCs are successful in their diplomatic endeavours, it may very well be that the dramatic final events don't seem necessary anymore. One DM on the Mystara mailing list told that when he was using X10, the Legion of Doom, Hosadus' personal guard, was pretty much the only Nomad counter left during the climax. That kind of spoils the mood of the module.

There are also some clear errors or omissions in the rules, and I think some of them will be remedied by these modifications. I am still in the middle of playing out the war, so some things may still change.

The Hosadus Bonus:

Before Glantri joins the war the Nomads get a +25 special bonus in every battle. This resembles the magical forces and special troops (red sand storm, wizards, Warlords of the Air) that Hosadus uses to spearhead his invasion. The combined efforts of the Glantri Council will offset this advantage.

The War Preparation Bonus:

Nomad HQs are able to remove all fatigue from ONE unit, and only once. This comes from the loot that the Nomads got from pillaging Darokinian spring caravans.

Unit movement:

- To make movement around the Lake Amsorak easier, any and all coastal hexes may be used as "clear" movement hexes.

- The controller of Akesoli and Amsorak may move 1 unit/turn across the lake with the speed of 6 hexes/turn. Unfavourable weather is of course a GM option.

- When moving a unit may cross a river (2 MV) even though it can't enter the next hex. In the next turn the crossing has already been done.

- Units with serious fatigue move 1/2 normal speed.

Changes to the Terrain table: (page 37, X10)

Mountains: Units can move through passes without significant effort. But moving across mountain ranges they move 1 hex/turn, and will be seriously fatigued when they reach the other side. Note that supply lines can only be drawn across passes. Dwarven units can move through mountains, but with 1/2 Normal.

Passes: Movement Normal, not 2 times Normal. The GM may wish to increase the speed in permanently controlled passes along caravan routes (like the pass between Selenica and Ylaruam).

Broken lands: Units can move through by using the "Passes" speed, but the unit controller must be able to leave troops in BL to keep the passes open (1 Unit will suffice).


Mobilisation of any country will take 1 full turn, during which no movement is possible. The units should be set up logically to reflect the demographics and military situation of the country. Especially when setting up the Darokinian forces, the GM may make the victory totally impossible for the Nomads.

Fortress battles:

I added some of the fortresses mentioned in the Gazetteers to the battle map. This will make sudden invasions much more difficult. Fortresses multiply the troops of the defender by 2, and "routs" are ignored. (Note! An exception to this are the first Nomad raids on Fort lakeside and Fort Anselbury. Due to the general unreadiness of the Darokinians, "rout" equals surrender. The application of the no rout -rule should be reconsidered in individual cases. At its worst it can make a successful siege impossible. Examples of this will be mentioned in the coming Nomad War updates.)

Sieges of cities and fortresses:

In any siege situation the only viable tactic for the defender is "hold". Otherwise the battle is moved outside the siege situation. As shown by the WM rules, "holding" will automatically give the defender a +10 bonus. If defending a fortress or a large city the bonus is +50. In smaller towns the defender gets the +20 "behind a wall" bonus. NOTE! These bonuses are not cumulative, they are alternatives.

In city sieges too, the troop multiplier is times 2, not times 4. Otherwise sieges will be too hard, especially for the Nomads.

Darokin City: As the city is so large, the defender of hex 2419 gets the behind the wall"-bonus.

Stacking and combining:

The stacking limit of 2 units is still on, but Nomad NQ's don't figure here. The Nomads can, however, engage only one HQ in a battle.

The option of combining units is still on, but it is limited. You can only combine similar units, and only 2 units altogether. Note: Even with this option the battles will remain relatively small combined to many real world historical battles. I think this rule should be relaxed a little, especially in sieges of very large cities like Darokin.

In practice this means that 4-5 units from one side can be used in one combat. For the Nomads this means the HQ and two combined divisions. As one Nomad Army is comprised of 5 Divisions, the fifth remains in reserve.

Stone Juggernauts:

Due to their extreme resistance and powerful attacks, Stone Juggernauts give a +10 bonus against fortresses, towns and cities. They are carried only by the Nomad HQs. In effect, a Nomad HQ may choose to remain out of the siege battle, but can still send the Juggernaut to help the other units in the stack.

The juggernaut bonus doesn't work against units with a lot of magical abilities: Alfheim, Glantri etc.

Battle results:

Errata: With rolls 121-150 the result is 10%:70%, not 10%:10%

If the tactics table indicates an increase in casualties, the increase is in percentage UNITS, not percentages. For example: if the winner in the battle result above (10% casualties) got a C2 from tactics, the casualties are 30%.

The casualty percentages should be counted from the troops left after each round of battle (3 in each turn), not from the troop maximum. To make counting the number of wounded easier, do it from the total amount of losses after the 3rd round of battle.

Other battle rules:

- The terrain modification for "units with mounted troops in mountains, woods or strongholds" (-20) applies only to units with MOSTLY mounted troops. For example: Darokin Legions I & II, Regular Nomad Divisions, Nomad Guards Divisions, Ethengar units, Atruaghin units... NOTE: "strongholds" means only units defending in strongholds. Attacker can still use the mounted troops effectively.


As the rules say, one unit may be reinforced to full strength every round. But not only in the national capital, but any conquered "capital hex" - in the map Akorros is also "a capital" even if not in the governmental sense. Thus, the Nomad units wishing reinforcements don't have to travel all the way to Sayr Ulan, but they can take advantage to the supply lines draw to Akorros, when it is conquered.

Hints for playing out the war:

Don't let the allies of Darokin to send all of their troops to the front. The counters represent the whole army of the nation (except Ostland - I decided to have the bulk of the Ostlandi army to be engaged in the Isle of Dawn). The countries are sure to leave some units to guard their territory. Thus for example Glantri, when going to help Darokin, would leave a units in Skullhorn Pass, Glantri city and the northern valley. Also they'd need one unit in Broken lands to keep the passes open. the remaining units would be helpful to Darokin, but wouldn't decimate the Nomad advance totally. Same goes with Alfheim: not all clans are willing to step outside the forest. have some troops stay behind to guard the border clans and valuable magic points.

Use the forced march, spiced up by the HQ ability to relieve fatigue, in the initial Nomad push. If you set up the Nomad units close to the Darokin border, you can have them in Akorros soon enough that the Darokinians don't have time to send reinforcements. In my mind the fall of Akorros should take place in the first month, of the Nomads will have hard time keeping up the pressure. In our campaign Darokin and Corunglain were besieged in the 5th turn, but of course not conquered. The Hosadus bonus was then gone, and Glantrian units were starting to move for Corunglain... But check the coming War updates for more info.

(Note! The first update may be expected some time November 2001. That's what you get when your players are scattered all over the country.)