Might of Arms

New Optional Rules

Developed Since Publication in February, 1996


Optional Rule No. 22.  Standard Unit Width of Two Stands (4/25/98)

Each unit is two stands wide. A unit may have up to four ranks of stands. Unit cost is reduced from 15 points to 10 points. The cost of a leader is reduced from 75 points to 50 points. Multiply all numbers in the "Stands" column in the army lists by 2/3, rounding fractions up. For example, if the number of stands specified for a particular troop type is 3-18, adjust the stands allowed to 2-12.

Comment: This rule is useful if you want to economize on figures or have limited table space. If you are using Optional Rule No. 23, it is also easier to maneuver units with a frontage of two stands to achieve one-on-one melees between units than to use units with a frontage of three stands or units with mixed frontage (2-, 3-, and 4-stands wide).
 

Optional Rule No. 23.  Mandatory Pairing of Hostile Units in Melee (4/25/98)

A charge may be declared against only one enemy unit. A unit may be contacted in melee by only one enemy unit on a side. Once a unit is in melee, it may not be charged by an enemy unit on the same side where it is already in contact. A unit may be contacted on each of its four sides (front, rear, two flanks) simultaneously by enemy units, one on each side, provided legal flank or rear attacks can be achieved.

Comment: The single most time-consuming task in melee resolution is allocating stands and determining hits for several units with overlapping fronts in the same melee. The game is speeded up by requiring enemy units to pair off with each other. This rule is especially recommended if using Optional Rule No. 24.
 

Optional Rule No. 24.  Mini Might of Arms (4/25/98)

All units are one stand wide. This rule supercedes the requirement that a unit consist of at least two stands (page 7 in the text). A mounted unit and a skirmish infantry unit must each consist of a single stand. A formed infantry unit may consist of one stand or two stands arranged in two ranks. A unit, except for artillery, inflicts hits and receives hits as though each stand in the unit consists of three stands. In other words, the single stand of a mounted unit or skirmish infantry unit counts as three stands. A formed infantry unit consisting of two stands counts as six stands. An artillery stand counts as a single stand.

When a stand armed with missiles shoots, it rolls three dice. When a unit with one actual stand strikes in melee, read the hits in the Hit Table for three stands attacking. A unit with one actual stand exchanges three hits for one fatigue point. When a unit of formed infantry having two actual stands strikes in melee, read the hits in the Hit Table for six stands attacking. A unit of formed infantry having two actual stands exchanges six hits for one fatigue point.

The distance required for support of formed infantry for the melee morale modifier for supporting formed infantry is reduced to 1 1/2" (15mm) [2" for 25mm] instead of 2" [3"].

Unit cost is reduced from 15 points to 5 points. The cost of a leader is reduced from 75 point to 25 points. Multiply all numbers in the "Stands" column in the army lists by 1/6, rounding fractions up. For example, if the number of stands specified for a particular troop type is 3-18, adjust the stands allowed to 1-3.

Comment: This rule provides for the most economical use of figures, requiring 1/3 the number for an equivalent army using units with a frontage of three stands. The use of Optional Rule No. 23 is highly recommended. Combat is not resolved using actual stand counts of one or two in a unit because the Hit Table does not provide a fine enough degree of resolution. Counting one stand as three might seem tedious, but is easy to adjust to. The addition of 5 points for unit cost to the points cost is important because it preserves the original cost relationships of the various troop types. The points system was originally designed for armies consisting of units with an average frontage of three stands. If you don't add in unit cost, then the more expensive the troop type, the less cost effective it becomes. In keeping with the small-scale format, games no larger than 400 points per side are recommended for a two-player game.
 

Optional Rule No. 25.  Defending a River Against Troops Crossing It (4/25/2000)

Rivers or streams or bodies of water are defined as follows:

Small stream
Minor river
Moderate river
Major river
Impassable river

The type of water must be indicated when the water feature is placed on the table. A water feature may be of any width. All troops moving through water treat the water as rough terrain for movement purposes. See also page 23 in the rules text. Effects on melee and morale are described below. The effects of water derive from any combination of width, depth, fast current, and steep banks, which need not be specified or depicted by the model.

Small Stream

A small stream slows movement as described on page 23 in the rules text.
A unit that charges out of a small stream cannot count the charge modifier for melee. A unit that charges into the stream does count the charge modifier for melee.
A small stream is fordable at all places.

Minor River

A minor river is fordable at all places. Troops who count as located in the river who engage in melee with defenders on the bank of a river count as fighting troops defending higher ground (even if the defending troops are not actually on higher ground).

Note that the following modifiers already in the basic rules apply:

The troops in the river count the - 1 melee modifier "Any vs foot defending higher ground and/or fieldworks."

The defenders count the + 1 morale modifier "Foot defending fieldworks, not charging"

Also note the following points:
1. The defending unit must be entirely out of the stream. That is, it cannot be counted as being in the stream using the rules on page 49 in the rules text.
2. Medium, light, or skirmish foot cannot count the melee modifier for being in rough terrain, provided the defenders do not count as being in the stream.
3. Neither the troops in the stream nor the defenders count the melee modifier for charging.
4. If the defending unit counts as being in the stream, then the stream counts as rough terrain and the defenders do not count as defending higher ground. (In other words, if the melee is in the stream, then the stream is treated as rough terrain.)

Moderate River

All the rules for a MINOR RIVER apply in addition to the rules below, except that the river is not fordable at all places.

The location of fords is determined after completion of terrain placement and retention, prior to deployment of troops. Measure off each 2" [3" for 25mm] segment of the river. The player who placed the river rolls a number of D6 equal to the number of 2" [3"] segments. For each 1, 2 and 3 on the dice there is a ford. Each of the sides chooses a segment as a ford, alternating turns. The side that placed the river chooses first. If there is an odd number of fords, the side that placed the river gets the odd number. If the number of fords is less than the length of the river piece divided by 3 (round any fraction up), then the number of fords is set to this quotient. [Comment: The probability is that half the length of the river will be fordable. My thinking is that the river is a part of game tactics and not a near-impassable barrier. If the places to cross are severely restricted, it's going to produce a constricted game.]

Troops who declare a charge must check morale for charging if any part of the charge movement involves movement into, through, or out of water.

Melee modifier:
- 1 Knight, heavy, or subheavy infantry located in water (regardless of the location of their opponents) (represents disorganization)

Major River

All the rules for a MINOR RIVER and MODERATE RIVER apply in addition to the rule below:

The following condition is inserted into the Melee Morale Check Precedence after "Contacted by fierce troops 1st turn" and before "Foot with 1 or more FP charge by mounted troops:"

Troops who are located in water fighting troops who are not located in the water. (In other words, troops fighting to cross the river must check morale at the end of melee every turn. This will be very deadly.)

Impassable River

Impassable in terms of fighting to cross it. A campaign might specify that a river could be crossed if not defended.
 

Optional Rule No. 26.  Knight cavalry and cataphract melee factors (4/25/2000)

The "Troop Type Melee Factor" for Heavy Knight Cavalry fighting Heavy Knight Cavalry is 4 (instead of 3)

The "Troop Type Melee Factor" for Cataphract Cavalry fighting Cataphract Cavalry is 4 (instead of 3)

This is hard to represent on the table on the reference card. I suggest that you pencil in an asterisk on the appropriate numbers and make a note on the margin of the card.

The reason for this rule is that melees between the troop types affected by this rule take too long when the original melee factors are used.
 

Optional Rule No. 27.  Neutral Terrain Selection (7/30/2000)

Delete the fourth paragraph on page 15 beginning with the sentence "Before dicing for terrain retention begins . . ." in its entirety. In other words, you cannot choose a piece of terrain for mandatory retention.

Comment: The terrain selection system provided in the basic rules favors an army positioned in a static defense with its flanks anchored on rough terrain. Use of this optional rule evens the odds somewhat without favoring the attacking army.
 

Optional Rule No. 28.  Option for Mandatory Terrain Removal (7/30/2000)

Delete the fourth paragraph on page 15 beginning with the sentence "Before dicing for terrain retention begins . . ."

Replace the paragraph with the following:

"After dicing for terrain retention is completed, the side that placed a terrain piece first may remove one terrain piece that remains after dicing. The terrain piece may have been placed by either side. Then the other side may choose to remove a piece. The second side gets to choose a piece for removal regardless of whether the first side does so.

Comment: The terrain selection system provided in the basic rules favors an army positioned in a static defense with its flanks anchored on rough terrain. Use of this optional rule goes a bit further than Optional Rule No. 27 in evening the odds for an attacking army.
 

Optional Rule No. 29.  Full Purchase Cost for Dismounted Cavalry (9/27/2001)

In the first paragraph under the heading Dismounted Cavalry Or Camelry on page 65, delete the following sentence: "If the cavalry are dismounted prior to placing them on the table, then the cost of the dismounted cavalry is the corresponding infantry cost."

Insert the following sentence in place of the deleted sentence: “The full cost of mounted cavalry and mounted camelry must be paid, even
                 if the mounted troops are deployed dismounted prior to the first turn.
                 In addition, any mounted troops who dismount, other than medium knight
                 cavalry and heavy knight cavalry, are treated in their infantry form as
                 having one morale class lower than their purchased morale class. Note
                 that not all mounted troops are eligible to dismount (page 5).”

In addition, delete the next paragraph, beginning with the sentence "For convenience, the cost for dismounted cavalry . . ."
Also delete the table beneath the second paragraph which shows costs of dismounted cavalry and camelry.

In other words, cavalry must be purchased as cavalry and then the player has the option of dismounting them if he wishes.

 Comment: The points cost system in MOA breaks down in the following tactical situation: When both flanks of a defensive battleline are invulnerable because of  protection by terrain and the battleline consists of high morale heavy infantry or knight infantry, many armies have no troops effective in defeating the tough battleline. The challenge is even more difficult when the defensive battleline has units armed with bow. In effect, the defending troops have a points cost value much higher than what was paid for them. While this situation might be historical, in a game both sides need to have a chance for victory, which requires an acceptable play balance. This type of battleline can be created by several armies, notably the later Byzantine armies and certain medieval armies, by dismounting cavalry that was purchased at infantry cost. This optional rule restores play balance by approximately doubling the cost of dismounting and by penalizing non-knight troops in morale.
 

Optional Rule No. 30.  Decrease of Melee Capability of Close-Order Infantry in Rough Terrain (9/27/2001)

In the table of Melee Morale Check Precedence Conditions on page 40, insert the following condition as a new item number 5: "Knight, heavy, or subheavy infantry counting as fighting in rough terrain." The conditions following the new item are renumbered 6 through 10.

Also insert the new condition on the reference card after "Foot with 1 or more FP charged by mounted troops" and before "Worn unit contacting enemy not worn."

In addition, add the following morale modifier to the table on page 36 and to the reference card:
Minus 1  Knight, heavy, or subheavy infantry in rough terrain
"In rough terrain" means slowed by rough terrain if the unit were to move, or located in rough terrain for purposes of melee. The modifier does not apply to a unit in clear terrain and fighting a unit in rough terrain.

Comment: The requirement for close-order infantry to check morale when fighting in rough terrain makes them inferior to loose-order troops except possibly for high-morale heavy knights when using this optional rule. Checking morale for melee and the morale modifier simulates the effects of disorder. This optional rule provides a reason for an army with strong close-order troops to supplement their order of battle with loose-order troops.
 

Optional Rule No. 31.   Redefinition of “Worn” (9/27/2001)

Units with “A” or “B” morale class become worn when they have accumulated two fatigue points (instead of four or three, respectively).

Comment: Because of various adjustments made to the rules during development, A and B morale class units have a higher probability of surviving melee than was originally intended in the design of MOA. This optional rule makes the endurance in melee of A and B troops less predictable. It turns out that the play balance provided by the definition of worn in the basic rules (A and B become worn at four and three FP, respectively) is acceptable to most MOA gamers. If you believe that A and B troops are too strong, then use this optional rule.


Optional Rule No. 32.   Infantry Charging Cavalry (10/12/2003)

An infantry unit is prohibited from declaring a charge against cavalry engaged in a melee with friendly cavalry. In other words, infantry may not charge cavalry in a continuing mounted melee. An infantry unit may charge a cavalry unit that is in melee with friendly infantry. A cavalry unit is prohibited from being in melee with both an infantry unit and a cavalry unit simultaneously. If  a cavalry unit charges an enemy cavalry unit that is in melee with a friendly infantry unit, the melee between the enemy cavalry and the friendly infantry ceases immediately. The infantry unit must retire 1/2 inch [1 inch for 25mm scale] as part of charge response movement, with no penalty, in order to provide a clear separation between the cavalry melee and the infantry unit.  An infantry unit is allowed to be in melee with both an enemy cavalry unit and an enemy infantry unit.


Optional Rule No. 33.   Shooting Factor for Heavy Infantry As a Target (10/19/2003)

The shooting factor for bow, javelin, sling, and staff sling is changed from "3" to "2."

Comment: There is a disparity in play balance in the rules as written, since the usual gamer expectation is that medium infantry should be more vulnerable than heavy infantry as shooting targets. The disparity is especially apparent when bow-armed medium infantry and bow-armed heavy infantry shoot at each other.

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