[Archive] Artisan's Contest #4 - War Machine Rules Competition!


Welcome all to Artisan�?Ts IV!

After our extensive requests for feedback we have decided to run this Artisans as a rules based competition.  Future ones may or may not be similar; perhaps we will see some terrain next time.

What to enter?

The theme for this Artisans is to write a complete rules set for a Chaos Dwarf themed war machine.  Those who made an entry for the last Golden Hat could have some fun here…

To be more specific, it is important that people consider these machines in a similar context.  A war machine that may be appropriate for Warhammer Armies:  Chaos Dwarfs may be stupendously unbalanced if considered in the context of the Ravening Hordes list.  So to try and be even handed we want people to think of a Regiment of Renown war machine, so that it could be used in addition to WA: CD or RH (but NOT part of the main list).

Being a Regiment of Renown, we should expect to see some characterfull fluff as your machine may be one of a kind!


The deadline for the submission of entries is 30th April 2009 11:59pm EST.  That�?Ts a whole month!

Rules of the Competition

Each member may only enter once, and with one war machine per entry.

Seeing as it would be all too easy to present �?~cool�?T rules that are seriously unbalanced, this competition has to have a fair few more rules than usual:

You MUST have the following per entry:

1.  Basic points cost (the base cost before all upgrades or options)

2.  A profile for the war machine (see below for formatting).

3. At least 1 crew, who must have a profile and equipment listed. This cannot be a lord or hero level character, but can be ‘mounted’ (without a seperate base), effectively making the ‘war machine’ a monster. Chariot type monsters can be included as well. If you go down the route of a ‘crew’ mounted monster, you must include a base size.

4.  Unit Strength (only if different to number of crew remaining).

5.  Number of choices taken (i.e. 1 special, 1 core, 1 rare + 1 hero etc).

6.  If the war machine makes a ranged attack the rules for this must be described in the Bestiary section.

7.  If it is pulled/pushed by anything these also need a profile listed (i.e. the equivalent of horses/ beasts of burden).

If your entry does not include all the above by the closng deadline it will not be included.

You may include 0 - 4 Optional upgrades (aka �?~Options�?T) per entry, these can be for either war machine or crew (or split between them), but they must each have a points cost.  If the upgrade involves adding an additional crew member with a different profile to the existing ones it must have a profile listed.  I left a line underneath the main crew ones for this.

You cannot include lord or hero level characters (or special characters).


Concerning Monsters and Handlers

To keep this simple we are not allowing people to create ‘war machines’ using the monsters and handlers rules.

How to Enter?

Seeing as lining up all the code and making things bold etc could be hard to do without first creating a thread, you can submit your entry by an email attachment to cdostaff@hotmail.co.uk.  You must have your CDO user name in the title or text of your message so we know who you are!

I have attached the proforma I’d like everyone to use below.  If you all use this we can very quickly proof read and assemble into a decent looking pdf for the judging to begin.

Bestiary 1 and List must both be completed, if you need to go onto the second page for the bestiary bit please use Bestiary 2.  If anyone needs to go onto a second page for the list part let me know.

How will this be judged?

On 1st May we will create a thread whereby people can openly discuss the merits or problems with each entry as they see fit.  The people who made the entries can then answer any questions people have, but they cannot edit their entry.  After a week of open discussion we will have a 10 day timed poll to decide the winner(s).

If there are more than 10 entries there will be Silver and Bronze Artisan’s medals.

Judging a rules based competition is unlike any other sort of judging, it requires people to use both common sense and their gaming knowledge and experience to find the strengths and weaknesses of every entry.

To help people with this we have designed a list of categories that people should use to help them decide.  Note that we have listed all the things as being equally as important.

  • Use of Language (is it professionally written?): /10

  • Playability (are the rules streamlined?): /10

  • Balance (are the rules and points fair and do they adhere to typical GW design?): /10

  • Fun (do the rules make for a fun experience?): /10

NOTE:  Playtesting feedback should not be something that will be judged.  Anyone can claim to have playtested things, and we are not all in a position to playtest at a moment’s notice. :wink:


Yah Artisan’s Contest! Nice job on the banner dude.

Pyro Stick:

Are we allowed to make rules for the 3rd edition War Machines like the Siege Cannon and the Juggernaut? They never had any official rules so i dont see why not but you are saying we have to think of a regiment of renown war machine.


Think of it like a RoR yes, meaning the unit type would be a rare thing. Just treat them as if they are unique/rare unit and not abundant.

Thommy H:

How malleable is the “war machine” aspect of this? I see that monsters and handlers have been ruled out, but what if we want to design a Kollosos (or something similar that rhymes with “Scatter Feast”…) that counts as a large monster? Would that be allowed, or does it have to be an artillery piece with a number of crew?


It has to have at least one crew (with a seperate profile).  If you can do a kollossus with a pilot crew then you can include it.  We cannot have machines without crew as they are effectively monsters (which may be a theme for another Artisans… and golden hat).

It doesn’t have to be an artillery war machine, there are plenty of ways to include close combat… :slight_smile:

Damn, thought of something else to add to the rules:

If it is pulled/pushed by anything these also need a profile listed (i.e. the equivalent of horses/ beasts of burden).

Thommy H:

Yeah, it’s just that “war machine” is something specific in the Warhammer rules, so I want to be clear on whether it’s a fluff or rules distinction. A Kollossos with a pilot would actually be a ridden monster (like a Stegadon) or possibly a chariot rather than a literal “war machine”. I’m hoping we have a bit of leeway here! I understand the necessity of not just saying “do what you want, guys!”, but I wouldn’t want people to feel like they can only make a cannon with some dudes crewing it. Stuff like gyrocopters and Kollossi should be allowed.


I am inclined to agree with Thommy. What do you think, Grim?

Tarrakk Blackhand:

Love the idea…but I don’t know enough about rules design to enter. Last time I tried to design something was that Wizard’s Wagon of Spells, and it was pretty much shot down for being too Uber-powerful.

So in the meantime, I’m going to try and finish my Space Marines and Chaos Dwarfs and wait for the next GH.

Good luck to all the entries! :smiley:

I’ll be following the thread and learning about the rules development for a future Artisan’s.


The rules state that a war machine ‘usually’ consists of two to four crewmen.  So it is possible to have a single crew member.  The issue here being them ‘mounted’ on it, as opposed to on a seperate base.

You are right about the ridden monsters & chariot distinction.  Neither of these are literally ‘war machines’, even though they may look like it.  

I managed to get round that one in the GH by enforcing a two crew minimum :wink: (fortunately nobody made a chariot).  But as I’m hoping to get as many people as possible entering this I think we should make a compromise and say that you can do either of these as long as there are no Lord/ hero level characters involved.

Fluffwise this effectively means they are crew and not character mounts.  Rules wise they would still be treated as monsters.

So to clarify (what I will ammend the rules to).

3.  At least 1 crew, who must have a profile and equipment listed.  This cannot be a lord or hero level character, but can be ‘mounted’ (without a seperate base), effectively making the ‘war machine’ a monster.  Chariot type monsters can be included as well.  If you go down the route of a ‘crew’ mounted monster, you must include a base size.

We don’t need to allow monsters and handlers rules to allow this I don’t think.  So that stays the same.

Thommy H:

Awesome. You’re all going down now.


Jolpis asked a valid question I’ll answer here as well.

He asked whether any part of the crew can have a ‘look out sir’ rule.  As I ammended the rules to not allow any lord/hero/special characters it means no, you can’t.  So a single Chaos Dwarf surrounded by a horde of goblins does not count as a character.


All sounds great to me and especially good timing as i have the next two weeks off work so can dedicate lots of effort to it … goes of to sharpen pencil


I made mine up and sent it and now I’m worried that it might not be legal. One of the crew members is a little better than the rest. :slight_smile: I hope they let me know if it’s legal or not.

Thommy H:

You may find this link useful for giving your entry a realistic points cost. Avian (who you may recognise as one of the mods from Warseer - he has an eagle as his avatar) made some pretty comprehensive rules for designing units in the 6th Edition rules. Some of his stuff is now slightly outdated, and that part of his website no longer works properly so you’ll have to mess around with urls to get to some of the other information (like the creature deisgn rules), but I’ve found it very handy over the years.

Kera foehunter:

i probably pass on this one !


i have a really good idea, however don’t know nearly enough about rules making to enter damn damn damn


i have a really good idea, however don't know nearly enough about rules making to enter damn damn damn

Give it a try Grotsnik, you can't win anything if you don't enter.:hat off


okay i think i might, however wont be able to this weekend as im going down to wembley to watch scunthorpe thrash luton in the johnstones paint trophy final


a clue to my idea perhaps?

EDIT: by the way, the clue didn’t quite work


curse launcher (thrower)