On the 'Who's playing Dragon Rampant?' we started a bijou discussion on rules changes to this particular engine and this thread is extracted out to continue the discussion.
It might well extend to Dragon Rampant, Pikeman's Lament and Men Who Would Be King given the derivation of those rules sets or they might hive off into other threads - it's a free forum
I've been considering three slight changes:
1. Bowmen seem dangerously strong. Perhaps appropriate for 100 Years War Anglo-Welsh but as I'm playing Baron's War at present my usual opponent, Baron Hardup, suggested halving the impact of shooting (i.e. 6 rather than 12) when the range is greater than half. Only tried it once and my archers were run down, but to be fair I'd stuck them out up front unsupported and probably deserved that fate. Will trial it again.
2. The activation phase can mean you miss a turn if you fail the first roll or shorten your turn badly. I don't particularly mind this disruptive approach, but I do miss having a specific commander and I'd wondered about having a separate command stand - I was going with two figures a base that looked different to the usual rectangular bases of the units - and allowing him (or her) to re-roll an activation if failed as long as they are with the unit that failed. That gives one chance a turn to avoid a fail if
you put the commander with the right unit.
There ought to be an appropriate threat to the commander - he or she isn't contacted as a unit in their own right, they always evade - but if the unit they are with takes damage there ought to be a slight risk, say 1 in 10? I think the risk should be slight as the loss of the commander in a relatively small scale engagement should have a significant impact, say all Courage tests at -2. Or one unit could decide to avenge their fallen leader, +2 to all Courage tests?
This gives the player another decision to make: put the commander with an elite unit to protect their august person and make that unit a lynch-pin of their tactics or with a poor quality unit to make sure they pass activation and don't hold the whole army back - but with an additional risk of embarrassing death.
3. One variation we tried on a 4 player game (24 points a man) was to have cards for each player, shuffled at the start of each turn. Your go is on your card. This potentially increases disruption, you may not get your turn for 6 goes or you might get 2 goes in a row, but it worked well for us when we tried it out over a couple of games.
I should say, there's nothing wrong with the rule set as far as I'm concerned, it gives a good and fast game, very much like DBA. These changes are merely flavours that suit me.