House & Optional Rules by Walt Mulder
Optional Rule: Strategic Battle Plan Review and Reorganization. (use in place of discard rule) Simply this. During your turn you may discard up to ½ your unusable cards (rounded up) and draw as many new cards as discarded in lieu of taking any actions on your turn. NOTES: This may be due to an inability to play any cards, or a total change of your battle plan strategy. It simulates the Army Commander's (you) decision to reevaluate the battle and affect some (limited) changes. Most Civil War battles were only a day or two long, with Gettysburg being one of the longer ones at three days. Granted, the campaigns of the war were longer, but the actual battles were usually decided in a day or two. Battlefield communications were slow to non-existent once the battle began, but changes could and were made during battles. Weaknesses in flanks were exploited when able. Most of the scenarios start both players with 3-6 Command Cards. Allowing the exchange of ½ of your cards seemed reasonable without breaking the rules or shifting the balance too much. This usually results in at least two cards being exchanged, and no more than three (under the current scenario set-ups). It helps simulate the limited control a Commander had over implementing a change of battle plans. It also eliminated one of the major gripes I've read about players being stuck with unplayable cards for too long.
Optional Rule -- Retreats: Use any or all three options if forced to eliminate a unit due to retreat off the edge of the board. They are:
NOTES: There are situations I have noticed in some scenarios, where your opponent could get the jump on you in a certain flank, position themselves for attack, and get lucky with two or more retreat flags before you've had a chance to advance a unit forward on that flank. If this happens within the first few turns of the game, elimination of the unit due to retreat off the board is unreasonable. Furthermore, ranged attacks against a full strength unit which is still on the back edge of the board wouldn't necessarily make them retreat off the battlefield. I hope the optional retreat rules above will alleviate some of the complaints in this area.
Optional Rule -- Sunken Roads: (use in place of sunken road rule in FAQ) The sunken road provides the die reduction benefits on attacks from any side of the road, including an adjacent (sunken) road hex.
Optional Rule -- Dismounted Cavalry: Cavalry designated as dismounted can move 1 space and conduct a ranged attack (and may not use "Hit and Run" card). It attacks at a range of 3 with die rolls of 3/2/1. Normal terrain restrictions apply. NOTE: This rule is good in certain user created scenarios.
UNOFFICIAL GOODIES and RULE EXPANSIONS
(Buy an extra game, and then use the provided hexes to make the ones below. Convert the rivers into roads and sunken roads by painting them or using paint marker pens to color them brown. Convert rivers into lakes by making the hex all blue. Convert fields into swamps by coloring blue/purple specks onto the hex.)
WARNING: Many of these terrain types are not fully tested and may unbalance certain game scenarios and or gameplay, use them at risk to your own enjoyment.
Movement: Units moving along roads gain one additional hex of movement, as long as their *entire* movement is along the road. This extra hex of movement is optional, but if used it must be used on a road. Units starting in a town/building hex are considered on a road for the sole purpose of starting a move from a road.
Battle: Any infantry, cavalry or artillery unit on a road is attacked with one additional die. Generals are not affected (assume the general and his staff represent a small, fast target compared to a regular unit.) Terrain restrictions apply to battle die rolls. (I have designed road hexes that go through wood and hill terrain. Attacking units on them would negate the extra die bonus. So, for example, attacking an infantry on a forest road hex from an adjacent hex would give you 4 dice; 4 for adjacent, +1 attacking a unit on a road, -1 attacking a unit in woods.)
Line of Sight: Roads do not block line of sight. Roads through terrain such as woods or hills do block line of sight.
Movement: Units moving along a forest road gain one additional hex of movement, as long as their *entire* movement is along any type of road. This extra hex of movement is optional, but if used it must be used on a road.
Battle: Any infantry, cavalry or artillery unit attacked on a forest road (from any direction) is attacked as though it were a clear hex (one less die for forests, one more die for road). Lone Generals are not affected, and are attacked as normal. Units attacking from a forest road hex roll one less die. Units may attack the turn they entered a forest road hex if they used road movement this turn.
Line of Sight: Forest Roads block line of sight
Movement: Units moving along a sunken road gain one additional hex of movement, as long as their *entire* movement is along any type of road. This extra hex of movement is optional, but if used it must be used on a road.
Battle: Any infantry, cavalry or artillery unit attacked on a sunken road (from any direction) is attacked with two less dice. Artillery may not attack from a sunken road. Generals are not affected, and are attacked as normal.
Line of Sight: Sunken Roads do not block line of sight.
Movement: Units moving along a hill road gain one additional hex of movement, as long as their *entire* movement is along any type of road. This extra hex of movement is optional, but if used it must be used on a road.
Battle: Any infantry, cavalry or artillery unit attacked on a hill road (from any direction) is attacked as though it were a clear hex (one less die for forest, one more die for road). Lone Generals are not affected, and are attacked as normal. Units attacking from a hill road hex roll one less die.
Line of Sight: Hill Roads block line of sight
Movement: No units may enter or cross a lake terrain hex.
Line of Sight: Lakes/Ponds do not block line of sight.
Movement: Units entering a swamp/marsh hex must end their movement. Artillery may not enter or retreat into a swamp/marsh hex. Units may not attack the turn they enter a swamp/marsh hex.
Battle: Units attacking from a swamp/marsh hex roll one less die. When attacking a unit in a swamp/marsh hex, normal rules apply.
Line of Sight: Swamp/marsh hexes block line of sight. (Much like fields with high grass and reeds)
Movement: No special rules
Battle: Any infantry, cavalry or artillery unit attacked on a railroad hex (from any direction except another railroad hex) is attacked with one less die. Generals are not affected, and are attacked as normal.
Line of Sight: Railroads do not block line of sight.
Use fence hexes to represent Walls. The same rules as walls apply.
Notes on Entrenchment tiles: You may not place an entrenchment tile on any type of road, swamp, lake, or railroad hex. Per the rules, you may place them on forest, hills, fences (walls), and even buildings (though no extra benefit is derived from placing them on buildings).
Warning: Use of rules below should be agreed upon by both players prior to starting the game. They require the use of special dice. Note: I own 2 sets of Battle Cry. Using extra stickers and dice, I have created special dice listed below.
Optional Rule -- Rally: Instead of playing a card or discarding useless cards, you may opt to rally one unit not at full strength. In order to rally, a general must be attached to the unit and the unit may not be adjacent to any enemy units (enemy generals are OK). You may not rally above the scenario start size of the unit. To rally, roll two rally dice for the unit you are attempting to rally. For each of your flag rolled (Union or Confederate), you may replace one unit up to the starting size of the unit. For each enemy flag rolled, you must fall back one space using normal retreat rules. This could result in regaining two units, one unit and falling back one space, or no units and retreat two spaces.
Optional Rule -- Charges: A unit may only charge if it has a general, at least two figures in the unit (not counting the general), and is attacking an enemy unit from an adjacent space. Artillery may not charge. Normal terrain rules apply. Units may not initiate a charge from a field, orchard, stream, or swamp hex. Charges may not be conducted on lone generals. If conducting a charge, determine the number of dice to be used in the attack. You then have the option of replacing two dice with Charge Dice. If three retreat flags are rolled in the attack, the following occur after normal casualties are removed:
Optional Rule -- Rear Assault -- If you attack an enemy unit from a position opposite one of your other units (not a lone general), you may opt to roll two "Assault Dice" in place of two regular dice. Note: this simulates chewing up the enemy from the rear with no place to retreat. This is a difficult position to obtain and should also be guarded against. Your other unit opposite the enemy does not have to attack this turn to gain the bonus dice choice.
A Charge die has two retreat flags, one cavalry, one artillery, two infantry, one crossed swords.
An Assault die has one cavalry, one artillery, two infantry and two crossed swords (no retreats).
Rally die has three Union flags and three Confederate flags.
Die Notes: These dice merely increase the odds of rolling a needed hit in a rear assault, or forcing a retreat during a charge to get special bonuses. The rally is an interesting option in addition to the rally card in the deck. Note that units rallied via dice cannot attack the turn they rally.
THE BIG BOARD BATTLEFIELD
With two or three sets, I have combined the boards to create a huge battlefield. I scanned the board, and created 13 additional clear hexes to cover the areas where the boards overlap. With all the additional terrain hexes, along with the ones I've made above, you can make one helluva battle.
There is a link to a nice player aid card posted by Michael Fitzgerald. It can be found atwww.grognard.com or www.boardgamegeek.com It cuts down to card size nicely and fits into an ultra pro card protector just fine. (I've got all my cards in sleeves to protect them). Also, with more than one set, each player gets their own deck of battle cards.
The optional rules and/or additions to the game are not endorsed by Richard Borg or Avalon Hill. The original intent of the designer and Avalon Hill was to keep the game as simple as possible to reach the widest audience. The inclusion of additional rules may complicate the game. The BattleCry game, rules, and trademark are the property of Hasbro. Any changes presented here are to enhance game play for those who are interested. Thank you. Walt Mulder Modified 20 Feb. 2002