This page was last updated on 23 Febraury 98.

DRAFT Blind rules for Horus Heresy

When I first played Games Workshop's Horus Heresy, I immediately decided that it would be an excellent candidate for blind play. One evening I scribbled down some thoughts on how you might go about doing it. As I have not yet playtested these myself, I can't comment on how play balance might be affected.

These variant rules require that you have access to game counter stands of some sort (such as those in TSR's Hunt for Red October, A Line in the Sand, or Red Storm Rising). These stands allow the counters to be placed vertically on the game board, effectively concealing the information on the counters from one side. These rules cover mostly what information must be revealed when.

Random Thoughts (In no particular order)

  • Dummy counters are not revealed first turn and may be used throughout the game. Dummy counters represent very small numbers of highly mobile forces engaging in electronic, physical, and psykic deception operations. Since they are not subject to the same sort of constraints as regular combat forces, they are capable of unrestricted movement, although the Imperial player would be well advised to hide this fact. Dummy counters represent forces too small to have any combat strength, and so are automatically destroyed in combat. [Actually, they are dispersed and will make their way back to friendly territory, will they can be used again.] The number of dummy counters allowed in play is limited by the counter mix. Factories may construct dummy counters following the normal construction rules, but dummy counters do not count towards construction limits.

  • Loyal Space Marines have two sets of counters, set-up counters and strength counters. Loyal Space Marines should be represented on the board by their set-up counters. For each chapter, one of the set-up as well as one of the strength counters should be marked to differentiate them. The strength counters should be placed offboard, active side up.

  • The Emperor and his Custodes do not have set-up counters, and are represented by their strength counters. This is because Horus and the Traitor forces have a psychic lock upon them.

  • Horus and the Traitor Space Marines do not have set-up counters, and are represented by their strength counters. These forces are arrogant and use their mere presence as psychological weapons to strike terror into the hearts of the Loyal forces.

  • Battle Cruisers and status markers (i.e., factory control, space port control) should not use stands.

  • The Imperial player must identify the Sky Fortress anytime it moves. The Imperial player is only required to divulge this information when the Sky Fortress moves. The Imperial player is not required, however, to divulge the identity of any unit the Sky Fortress may be transporting.

  • Players are not required to divulge the identity of any counter except during combat (except the Sky Fortress--see above), including stationary defenses such as defence lasers. It is the opposing player's job to keep track of them. Only when the forces are in face-to-face combat, or a special card is played, are the counters revealed.

  • During combat, all counters involved in the combat are tipped forward so their information is visible to the opposing side. At the end of combat, all counters are returned to their upright position.

  • Don't cheat. If a player accuses another of exceeding a counter's movement allowance, the accusing player must specifically indicate which counter he feels to be in error. The accused player then reveals the counter. If the accusing player is correct, the counter is elimated. If the accusing player is wrong, the accusing player must reveal all the counters in an entire area selected by the accused player.

If anyone does try these rules out, I would be interested in knowing how well they worked. Please feel free to email me.