Had a little time to do some more work on it today.
I think I found the source of the staleness - The core problem was that I blasted the system back so far there was no randomness to action points. Having randomness in how many actions you can play each turn makes you feel engaged in the moment... what can I do right now with what I have? It forces you to strategies on the fly.
I wanted to try something fresh today, so I experimented with a custom die for action points.
I put stickers on a d6 so that it reads 0, 1, 1, 2, 2 and 3 actions. This gives a dirty sort of bell curve.
I am trialling proximity to a leader allows a model to roll two action dice instead of 1 and take the best number- meaning more chance of coordination among troops with a leader present.
All this messing with custom dice drew me to try out a small half sized deck of cards - that can be drawn to give both action points and d6 dice roll results. Couldn't resist doing them up like tarot cards... but that's just me.
The second thing I am trying out is the concept of critical failure by rolling all fails in a combat roll. This drops your guard, allowing opponents to score bigger hits against you than would normally be possible. Since heroes and monsters have around three or more dice, its less likely they will be caught off guard than a peasant- but conversely a halfling can get a lucky shot on a dragon who fails to defend itself.
Well, thats it from me... Will post the new rules up on lead adventure when they are ready to play!