Although house ruling 8th is pretty popular, I haven't seen a set that had everything I thought was required. So this is my proposed set to use for friendly play and test, I just wanted the opinions of others. If you have an opinion, please back it up with a logical argument, thanks in advance.
1. No more than 3 of a Core Choice and no more than 2 of a Special Choice per Army (doubles for 1 Choice i.e. Bolt Thrower still works). No more than 1 of a Rare Choice may be taken per Army unless they're Warmachines.
This is intended to prevent armies with cheap blocks, like Slaves or Night Goblins, from spamming the game and presenting an almost unbeatable layout of 50+ man blocks. This also encourages diversity in armies, which is where the strategy part of Fantasy shines by exploiting the synergies of unit types and special rules.
Likewise the Rare portion is to prevent doubling up of incredibly powerful units that often decide the games by themselves. Rare Choices are good center pieces and can get out of hand in pairs, i.e. Hydras and Hell Pits. The Warmachine exception is because most of the Rare Choice Warmachines are either not incredibly powerful, or the armies only access to them.
2. The following spells have been changed to add additional effects.
The Dwellers Below
The Purple Sun of Xereus
Pit of Shades
These spells only inflict one wound with no saves of any kind allowed instead of killing outright.
This is to prevent the snipe spells from ending games, or just swallowing up very expensive units of Monstrous Infantry or Cavalry. Obviously having Dwellers wipe your General out or losing a unit of 6 Ogres to Purple Sun isn't very fun and makes some armies almost unplayable.
I don't think these spells being cast on Infantry blocks would be as big of a deal if they allowed characters to live, and also once you take into account the restrictions on Power Pools and decreased importance on Infantry. Having that one big spell makes your opponent hold back dice for it which is how the Magic Phase should work, it just shouldn't completely end the game if that spell goes off once and eats a General.
3. No player may add more than one Power/Dispel Dice to their respective Pools per turn except via Channeling, a Spell or Lore Attribute.
Magic and Dispelling can get out of hand, leaving one player either powerless to stop any spells or a player unable to cast any spells of their own. This takes away all the strategy that Magic brings to the table, which requires you carefully plan the use of your dice. It is intended the casting player has an advantage but not an overwhelming one, the dispelling player should be able to stop 1-2 spells a turn, not all of them or none of them.
I personally don't think this would leave Dwarves out in the cold because they can still take a Power Dice and turn it into a Dispel, run mass Scrolls and the banner that makes their army count as a Lvl 4 Wizard for Dispel purposes. That was my main worry but after rolling out a bunch of scenarios, I didn't find Dwarves to be shafted.
4. Any Flank or Rear Charge causes Disruption and units suffering from Disruption cannot benefit from Steadfast.
As is, most Skirmishing units, as well as Chariots/Cavalry are not very useful because they can be trapped in a unit that is Steadfast for 2-4 turns with no way to leave and no way to reliably break the opposition. Having an easier way to remove Steadfast would make those units better and again encourage more diversity in armies.
This is the one that is most risky because potentially blocks become worthless since one Chariot etc. can crash in the flank or rear and break them, however the game does regain that feel of jostling for position instead of slamming into each other head on and seeing who has less ranks at the end of the day. I am very open to opinions on this rule in particular.
5. All Lord Level Special Characters are Banned in addition to the following Items
Book of Hoeth
Standard of Discipline
Neferra's Scrolls of Mighty Incarnations
Most Special Characters are either 100% crap, or to good to NOT use. However the Hero level ones are often way toned down and fun flavor additions, so I do not think letting those into a game will do anything bad. The banned items are the same one most every tournament bans because they are to good or easily exploited. Note: I have not read the recent WD so I don't know what the Power Scroll nerf actually was, but it's probably not a big deal if it stays out.
My intention is not to make rampant changes to 8th Edition, just small ones that open up a lot more strategy and variation. If the game is played as written, there is very little incentive to not take units that can be easily made into huge blocks, add Magic, add Monsters and see what's what. That seems like a huge letdown since half the attraction to Fantasy is all the variety from the various units and types.
I know many have problems with TLoS, I do not. I had the same position when it came to 40k and it is much simpler in Fantasy because there is not multi-level terrain all over the table and units are not firing from tiny individual windows. The way buildings were handled is awesome and I hope 40k makes the same changes. I would classify removing TLoS as a big change and one that is not badly needed, so it is beyond the scope of what I am trying to do.
However I would be willing to put the old way of Charging (Double M) or Double M plus 1d6 to the test. I personally don't have a problem with Random Charges but I have absolutely seen it cost games or make a very well laid out turn into crap. Generally the less dice are involved, the more strategy is involved so that is something I want to try out.
The only other big one I know of is terrain, which I would never change. The terrain rules add a lot of humor to the game and open up new opportunities for both players. The simple fix for tournament play is to lay out each table before the rounds and label what each piece of terrain is and its special rules. No surprise Blood Forests or Sorcerous Portals when the game are anything but friendly seems like a way to keep everyone happy.
So please give me any opinions you have on these as I plan on testing them and adding them to the Arizona Fantasy League, as well as all Fantasy events I run after that if they're appropriate. I'd also encourage others to test them if they want and tell me the results, every little bit helps!