Friday, October 17, 2014

Revisiting Empire of the Dead - House rules

During the last couple of weeks I have been thinking about my Empire of the Dead miniatures. They really are lovely models - shame about the rules. I want to get them back on the table again, and since Westwind seem uninterested in Empire of the Dead and delivering the promised Requiem book, I decided to change the rules to my liking.

I have yet to try out these house rules, but I hope to do so within the next couple of weeks. Some of these rules like scrapping IGOUGO in favour of alternate activations is something we have previously played with, others are brand new. My aim with these house rules is to make melee combat more common, and to remove the IMO clumsy way of handling melee combat, with the Cbt Attribute almost without use. Missile combat has also become a tiny bit more difficult, with changed ranged modifiers.

The most radical change within the house rules is the dropping of the Opposed Roll Table in melee and missile combat. In it's place is now an opposed Fortitude roll - the idea behind this is that the defender no longer just sits there, while the attacker rolls on the Opposed Roll Table.

As usual comments/critique are much appreciated.

House Rules:


Opposed Rolls
The Opposed Roll Table is dropped for Melee and Missile attacks. See Missile Attack and Melee Attack.

Starting a game

Turn sequence
Combat Phase is dropped. Melee combat is moved to the Action Phase.

Initiative Phase
The winner of the initiative decides who starts the turn. The player who starts activates one model, then the other player activates one model. Activations alternate until all models have been activated.

1” rule is dropped, meaning that models can move within 1” of each another at which point they become engaged in hand-to-hand combat.

At the end of a Charge (double the model’s base movement rate) the model performs a melee attack with a +2 bonus.


Missile Attacks
- Determine LOS

- Apply modifiers - Target Modifiers and Cover Modifiers

- Roll d10 and add Marksmanship score and add/subtract modifiers. On a score of 10 or more you score a hit.

- If attacker score a hit, he rolls a d10 adding the weapons Strength. Defender rolls d10 and adds his Fortitude score.

- If the attacker’s roll is equal to or higher than the defender’s roll, attacker rolls for the wound effect.

For example – a Wulfen Jaeger(Mk 4) fires his Hunting Rifle at a Wolfskin(Fort 3). He rolls a d10 and adds his Mk score(+/-Target and Cover Modifiers), scoring a hit with a result of 11. The Wulfen Jaeger then rolls a d10 adding the Hunting Rifles Strength 6 scoring a 12. The Wolfskin then rolls a d10 adding his Fort 3, getting a result of 9, not enough to resist the shot. The Wulfen Jaeger now rolls for wound effects.   

Melee Attacks
- Apply modifiers - Combat Modifiers

- Roll number of d10 equal to your Attacks (add an extra die if your using two combat weapons) and add Combat score and add/subtract modifiers. On a score of 10 or more you score a hit.

- For each successful hit the attacker rolls a d10 adding his Strength plus any weapon modifiers. Defender rolls d10 and adds his Fortitude score.

- If the defender’s result is more than all the attacker rolls, the attack has failed. Otherwise the attacker rolls for wound effect  with a number of dice equal to those attacks rolls that are equal to or higher than the Fortitude roll.

For example – Gentleman’s Club member Fairbanks(Att 1, Cbt 3, Str 3) (armed with brass knuckles and a light pistol) attacks a Vampire Thrall(Fort 3). He rolls two d10 adding his Cbt to both rolls, scoring a 10 and a 12. Two hits. Fairbanks now rolls two d10 adding his Strength (+/- weapon modifers), he scores an 8 and a 10. The Vampire Thrall now rolls a d10 adding his Fort, scoring a  9. The result means that the Vampire Thrall only succeeded in resisting one attack, and Fairbanks rolls a d10 on the Wound Effect Table. Had the Vampire Thrall scored an 11 on his roll, both attacks from Fairbanks had been resisted.

Target Selection
Target selection is free, meaning the attacker can freely determine his target.

Target Modifiers
Medium range                                                          -1
Long range                                                                 -2
If target has moved 8” or more in this turn      -1
Larger than man-size                                             +1
Smaller than man-size                                           -1
Watch & Shoot                                                          -1
Aimed Shot                                                                +2

Cover Modifiers
Soft cover, part of base hidden                             -1
Soft cover, full base hidden                                   -2
Hard cover, part of base hidden                          -2
Hard cover, full base hidden                                -3
Target prone                                                              -1

Combat Modifiers
Charging                                                                     +2
Charged target using a spear/polearm            -1
Unarmed (no weapons)                                         -2
Using one or more improvised weapons         -1
Target is prone                                                          +2
Prone                                                                            -2
Discombobulated                                                     -2
Model was Drained in this or the last turn      -2

Throwing Weapons
Cannot be used as a short range missile capability when charging.

Starting a faction

Leaders begin the game with 3 Wounds
Other Heroes begin the game with 2 Wounds.


  1. I have a set of the rules but I have not yet got around to giving them a try.

  2. Interesting I may have to borrow these and give them a try. I have to agree they are lovely figures that are begging to be used. I plan on returning to my EotD figures in November. Starting with getting the bobbies all painted up.

    1. Hi Simon, looking forward to seeing more EotD on your blog. Hve you thought about what to do with the Wulfen Jaeger Houndmasters rules wise.

  3. I haven't actually played the game but have the rules. Your changes look good, the original rules seemed a bit clunky when I read through them initially. It's a real shame this game has died off so quickly, it had so much potential. The figures are lovely, I painted up some Lycaons and a couple of Requiem figures. I even started a blog chronicling the back story of my faction. This proved more fun and engaging than the actual game! Will be interested to hear how you get on with it :-)

    1. The EOTD blog is I haven't posted on there for quite a while, but I may return to it at some point. I have a blog on other games at

    2. The EOTD blog is I haven't posted on there for quite a while, but I may return to it at some point. I have a blog on other games at

  4. Interesting, I'll look this over again, when I next break out the game...