Book of War Updated Prices

I'd very much like to update the OED Book of War (see sidebar) for a 2nd Edition, but at this point it's unclear when I'll have the time. I will take the opportunity to release this much:

For more than a year now we've been playing our games with a somewhat revised pricing list. This was triggered by a few things. One, I revised the simulation/pricing program to take into account the effect of a large unit "wrapping" around a smaller unit, which gave a boost to the efficacy of really cheap unit types. Two, I allowed myself a little more leeway to slightly massage the prices at the higher end to round numbers to make it easy for players to quickly budget their forces without needing a calculator. (For example: The cavalry costs are now simply 10/15/20 -- the exact same as seen in Original D&D Vol-3, as opposed to having heavy cavalry priced at 18 or 19 as the simulator actually estimates).

Another important item that we've made a core rule (whereas it used to be optional) is the requirement that any units on the board need to have a total budget cost of at least 50. This corrects a few possible trouble spots: Players taking cheap forces and making them into lots of tiny 3-figure units; buying all different types so as to create 1-figure units; short-circuiting the critical importance of the morale rules; greatly slowing down the game due to the proliferation of units on the board; and so forth.

Some other changes that we now regularly play with can be found at the bottom of this post.


  1. I sure vote for a second edition, despite sadly never having played the first one. But your stuff is always top-notch, so... :-)

  2. More or less as soon as you publish a second edition, especially one that incorporates all the new units like Treants and such, I'll be shelling out the money to get it. It'd also be cool if it added the optional rules developed by Chgowiz (assuming his permission, of course).

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence!

    2. That would be awesome and permission is definitely given - all I'd like is a credit for the PC Party rules.

  3. I am pondering to include the following two rules:

    1) When a 7+ is needed on a die roll, then roll dice as normal, rerolling all 6s. Any of those rerolled dice that come up as 5 or 6, indicate a hit. This reflects the critical hit that is needed.
    2) In case of mixed units:
    - MV = lowest MV in unit
    - AH = median AH in unit
    - HD = per figure
    - morale = -1 per type over 1
    - damage = median damage (possibly median damage of first rank only)
    - casualties: defender chooses how to apply dmg to first rank (or higher ranks after the first ranks are completely depleted); front rank is filled up by pushing rows to the front.
    - special ability: only possible if >50% of the unit has this ability

    Median in stead of average, because it is easier to keep track off. And the morale modifier ensures that you do not get completely mixed-up units.

    What are your thoughts on these rules?

    1. Just thinking of the 7+ rule (similar to WarHammer); I didn't go with that intentionally because OD&D has no auto-critical hit rule. If you feel that simulates the AD&D rule (repeated 20's in the charts), then I can see that.

      I tend not to want to mix arbitrary units because you can create situations (on the same topic) here unhittable creatures become hittable by virtue of standing next to weak figures (e.g., an AH 7 and AH 3 combo, average AH 5). Stuff like that for an extreme case, and other wonky stuff that's a bit more subtle to detect.

  4. What's all going to be in the 2nd edition? I keep on losing my little book, maybe a bigger one would be nice.

    1. Good question -- I would tend to make pretty minor edits (keeping things compatible); the above are the majority of the changes, in fact.

      Email me if you need a digital copy to print out when you need it? :-)