The dust has settled, the swathes of compliments have come in, and I am a very happy chappy indeed having finished my Knight. But with a miniature you care about, getting the painting done is just the first step. I expect him to be long storied, and I expect the both of us to be able to share some war stories in the grim darkness of the not too far future. The next step on this path, involves coming up with some rules for a unique miniature who deserves some unique abilities on the tabletop.
Writing homebrew rules for miniatures is great fun, and committing them to paper (physical or digital), is a good way to get a sense of how the model will act on the battlefield. They also help to give it personality. There are a few ‘dos and don’ts’ that are worth observing, and I’m listing them below. They’re not hard and fast, but I find that these help keep things sensible. Then, I’ll add my first draft of this big Knight’s rules below…
• …playtest your creation.
You don’t need to take on every possible opposition unit out there. Nor do you have to ‘mathhammer’ every aspect of your new creation. If you’ve got a mate or two who are relaxed and up for it enough, take your new unit into a couple of battles with them and see how it performs. If it’s indestructible and destroying entire formations every turn, you might have gone too far, but this will be apparent very early on. Same goes for if it’s dying straight away or running from the board. If you’re paying lots of points for something, remember that it should be putting out some serious damage too, but if you’ve made it cheaper, you should be forfeiting something. That leads us too…
• …get your points costing as right as you can.
It’s not an exact science. GW have never got it 100% right, though (and I acknowledge that depending on your faction of choice, this may be somewhat contentious) they are heading slowly in a better direction with recent books and faqs. Anyway, try and be fair. I think I’ve made Dios Toros a little better than a Palladin overall, while sacrificing a couple of things, so I’ve made him a little more expensive. A few 1-on-1 games against another knight with a standard profile might help work out if this is true, though again, it’s not going to be exact.
• …add a little fluff.
For example, I’ve given my Knight three things that I think are particularly fluffy. I’ve given him hatred (Imperial Knights), I’ve given him a suitable sonic weapon, and I’ve upped his initiative. Anyone familiar with Slaaneshi units will understand the latter two, while my own fluff has dictated the first of those rules. If it makes him too OP, I can always tone it down a bit.
• …know your role.
Is your new unit going to be there to kill lots of basic troops, vehicles, elite units or real monsters. Will it have more of an assault role, or will it hang back? Will it grant boons to other units in your force, or will it passively blight those of your opponent? All of these things and more should all be considered, and some units are good at doing several of these things. Word of warning though – almost nothing provides all things to all men (or roughly man-shaped creatures), so be selective.
• …make these rules for a tournament.
Put simply, you almost certainly won’t be allowed to use them. I think I could probably get away with fielding Dios Toros as a Paladin, but then I don’t need to because I don’t play tournaments. Just be aware that these rules are for friendly games.
• …ignore the fluff.
It can be tempting. You’re making something else up and you know that something has a really cool rule and you want to use it, and you can always try and justify it but don’t milk it. If I had gone this direction, this Knight would have been armed with a Serpent Shield and Helfrost Cannon. By all means invent, but don’t plagiarise for the sake of it.
• …spring this on your opponent, even in a friendly game.
Pretty basic stuff really. If you’re taking this to a game, let your opponent know before hand that you have a homebrew and make sure they’re happy taking it on. If not, be a man about it and play by the book-written rules. Simple as that.
That’s about it really. If you do all of that, you’ll find yourself in a good place and making up your own rules should always be loads of fun. I’m looking forward to pitting the big pink guy against his first opponents soon, so I’ll let you know how I get on. What do you think of the rules below though? Is the points cost about right? Did I miss something, or is something else OTT? Stick a comment below and let me know!
Dios Toros (390pts)
Unit Type: Vehicle (Super-heavy Walker, Character)
Wargear: Heavy Stubber, Battery Cannon, Dread Siren, Tentacles, ion Shield
|Heavy Stubber||36″||4||6||Heavy 3|
|Battery Cannon||36″||7||2||Heavy 6, Pinning|
|Dread Siren||Template||6||3||Assault 1, Pinning|
Ion Shield (as per rulebook)
The wailing screams of agony and ecstasy destroy the eardrums of any who might try and take on Dios Toros by getting too close. This high-powered doom siren also causes pinning test.
Battery drums out its shots across its victims, armoured and non-armoured alike. This multi-barrelled cannon also causes pinning tests.
ion Shield (as per rulebook)
The vast tendrils of the demonically possessed are adept at pulling even the heaviest armour apart. This weapon conveys an extra melee attack to Dios Toros, as represented in the above profile.
Fear, Hammer of Wrath, Invincible Behemoth, Move Through Cover, Relentless, Smash, Strikedown, Hatred (Imperial Knights)
Hatred (Imperial Knights)
Dios Toros fell from the Emperor’s services long ago and regards the knightly houses that remained loyal to Terra as weaklings and cowards. Dios Toros has the special rule Hatred for all opposing Imperial Knights.
Gift of Slaanesh
She Who Thirsts has rewarded the daemon now piloting Dios Toros with preternatural quickness in combat. Dios Toros has +1 Initiative as represented in the above profile.
Another spot on GW’s best of the Flickr pool, as seen in the What’s New Today blog on their site. Dios Toros getting a bit more fame. 🙂
One great way to offset any advantage you grant your home-brew unit is to grant a (fluffy) bonus to your opponent. GW does this with Cypher and some others.
For instance, in your case, it might grant all models of the Grey Knights faction _Zealot_ as they strive to banish this abomination back to the Warp.
Or maybe Imperial Knights get _Hatred_ in return.
All good points! True, I hadn’t considered properly what boons to give the opposition. Giving hatred to Imperial Knights as a rule, while fluffy, might not be great. Maybe give them preferred enemy instead might even it up a little. Will work that in somewhere. Cheers!
cool rules although the mechatenticals are redundent as as it can already do str10 AP2 attacks (base strength + smash rule)