I noticed that other games have forums or threads for homebrewed and customized rules, so I thought I'd start one here. Feel free to post your own, the more we have, the more people can use!
Now, it's homebrewed so there is no guarantee of balance or testing. These are just fun little tweaks you can add to the game to alter it slightly. So that everyone's on the same page, let's have a format for the rules heading:
Difficulty: + (makes the game harder to beat for the marines) or - (makes the game easier to beat for the marines)
Type the details of your house rules here.
Each marine Team gets a set amount of special Fate tokens at the beginning of the game. These tokens are like Support tokens, except that when you sacrifice one it allows you to automatically survive a Defense roll, regardless of the number of Genestealers, or to automatically hit the maximum number of times (counts as rolling a 4 for Green Team's attack, 3 kills for the minigunner on Red Team, the Pyschic attack of Grey team will kill all genestealers in the target swarm, etc.)
The caveat is that there is no way to restore these tokens, once used they are gone forever. They are meant to counter the bad luck that the die brings, while also giving players a little extra oomph in case they want to take risks. Keeping this in mind, a lower number of counters keeps things exciting while a high number (3+ per team) makes the game too easy. Consider starting with 1 or 2 at the most.
Whenever an Event card says "spawn genestealers", draw these new genestealers from the Genestealer deck instead of from the appropriate blip pile. This does not affect the Major and Minor spawns that happen in the 4th phase of the turn, only special events like "Out of Thin Air" and so on.
Have a go at it!
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Cool, fate token are a good idea for Brother Claudio "Heroic Charge", he will use all.
Show the selected '4' card (the last terrain card you will encounter) to the players at the start of the game, along with a sentence that starts: "Your mission is to..." This gives the players a sense of purpose and an idea of why they are in the Space Hulk at all. Doesn't really affect gameplay but makes the game more enjoyable.
I remember reading your post, and it makes a lot of sense. I would even go as far as to reveal all of the location cards ahead of time as an extra level of option.
Sometimes I find this game very difficult to beat and get really frustrated when losing marine after marine after marine. Here's a way I make the game a little easier:
Makes game slightly easier for the marines
When defending, you only have to roll a equal to the number of genesteelers in a swam, not greater than.
When defending if the dice roll is equal to the number of genestealers, you can shot a last time before die, roll a dice if result is a skull, kill one genestealer engaged with space marine.
"Pull the grenade pin"
When defending if the dice roll is equal to the number of genestealers and the defend mariner have at least one suport token, before slaim your space marine you may pull their grenade pin, roll a dice, slaim a number of genestealer engaged with space marine equal a dice result.
Or you can pull the grenade pin before genestealers atack, for marines without defence abilities and swarms with six or more genestealers.
The only house rule that we used was to allow us to see each others cards and decide openly what decisions we would make. Considering we were working together to beat the game we could not understand why we would not.
But this only applies to my gaming group, I could understand the rule being enforced so players can protect their teams first and not have them sacrificed to keep other players safe.
Mind you, we still do Instinct cards properly.
I've only gotten a few games in (around 10, around 5 being a solo game), and by reviewing the rules and playing solo repetitively I find out that my group had played the game with several mistakes that seemed to make sense, and are argued by my friends to be more enjoyable.
Such mistakes were:
1) Defending against swarms that your marine was not facing. (NOTE: After writing this, I referenced the rules, and can't find where I read that your marine had to be facing the swarm to defend, so the houserules written below will reflect both ways you can rule it.)
2) Moving only the generstealers whose symbol was revealed, not the entire swarm.
3) Choosing which direction genestealers moved. Only recently did I realize that I missed the rule using the red arrows on the engaged Marine's card.
Those of my friends to who I explained these mistakes, argue that the game is too difficult if we play as the game is written. I originally agreed. However, I'm the kind of guy who feels like he's won a game by only playing it the way it's supposed to be played and have played it correctly in solo games since. I haven't won yet, but it certainly feels satisfying making tough choices, and overcoming the odds. I see how our incorrect gameplay can be considered houserules that significantly make the game easier, though we still saw a few games of failed missions (even with these rules, Brood Lords are vicious and swarms can get out of hand).
You may spend a support token to roll a die when defending against a swarm your marine is not facing.
"Back Against the Wall"
You may NOT defend against a swarm that your marine is not facing. Instead that marine is slain instantly.
When moving genestealers, only those with the symbol on the Event card will move. You may also choose which direction they move.
I haven't really tested these two rules but my suggestions would be to beef up the green team and depower the orange (expansion) team in the following ways:
Rule: Add the following text to the green support card: 'Sergeant Gideon may spend support tokens when defending even when flanked.'
Reason: It seems like the green team are considered to be weak, which I agree with. Besides, may as well improve his storm shield since the chaplain nicked the power that should belong to his thunder hammer... (Apologies to RedCliff, I realise this is somewhat similar to your Defensive Training rule.)
Rule: When attacking, Brother Adron must choose which swarm he is targetting before rolling the dice to determine range. If the swarm is out of range the attack misses. I'd probably allow support tokens to be spent on this roll.
Reason: I haven't played with the expansion set much but it feels to me that the orange team are too powerful and kind of obsolete the yellow team, at least in terms of offense. It should be noted that I usually play solo though. Although maybe I'm biased because, if I remember correctly, cyclone missile launchers weren't in the original board game due to the low ceilings and cramped nature of the hulks.
Finally, I like the mission briefing rule and the endless swarm suggestion is actually how I played the game the first few times before I re-read the genestealer spawning rules again!
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