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 The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?

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StyrofoamKing
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PostSubject: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Wed 19 Nov 2008 - 21:39

Okay, for years, the Brunelleschi's Dome of the mordheim world, the feat that NO one seems to think is possible, is the balanced all Demon Warband. I'll elaborate some of my ideas later, but I pose this question to the brilliant minds of TBMforum:

COULD A DEMON WARBAND WORK, AND WHAT WOULD IT TAKE?
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 2:31

Due to the warped setting .. yes a demon warband would work. but it would need a few alterations. firstly i'd alter it so that they are very small in numbers. Kind of like the Enforcer team in Necromunda, 6-10 max warband size.

the heroes are the only tough demons bar 1 huge brute style one (aka rat ogre), the rest would be minor demons in service.

they would be almost all CC no ranged, i assume tough and hard to take down but instead of rout tests, they have a warp style test where if they loose X amount or % they get sucked back through the warp where their god berates them for not suceeding.

maybe have a random roll where if they loose instead of injury rolls just a pure destroyed roll due to the gods displeasure.

The problem is al the demons will cause fear, they will be tough. Demon weapons / mutations would be the route to go for equipment.

some ideas

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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 2:56

I did consider this briefly for BTB. A daemon warband would fit both the Northern Wastes and Mordheim setting so that's a definate pro. But as I don't have any of the required models I quickly dropped the idea.

Whatever you do, make sure you base it on the latest Warhammer daemons armybook. Actually they have taken a huge step forward for the feasability of a Mordheim warband by now mixing followers of the different gods as will. Prior to the book I would have said you might as well write one warband list for each Chaos God, but with the new possibilies you can easily make a daemon warband list with lots of choices. Heck, they even provided you with Champion types. If I had the models I think I'd give this a shot...

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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 2:57

The Necromunda idea is a good one. You could use the Spyrers as a model for the band.
Rather than reporting & being called back to the Great Powers themselves, perhaps they are minions of the Shadow Lord, himself.
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 4:48

Shadow Lord: Well, yes and no, as the Shadow Lord is technically an uber-powered, rogue Tzeentch Demon Prince. I fortet his name, but he showed up in Storm of Chaos.

Spyers: I'll look into them.

Personally, I think the ideal base for the Demon Warband would be the Undead Warband. Here's how I see the frame work:

CORE DEMONS:
Whenever I say 'Core Demons', I refer to one of the major four demons, Plaguebearers, Daemonettes, Horrors, or Bloodletters.

NEW RULES:
Grounded Demons- they suffer psychology, have no demon saving throw, do not suffer demonic instability, and need to buy equipment (see next). They do gain experience.

Grounded Equipment: Very limited, and befitting each demon type. Ex. Bloodletters are allowed Halberds or Swords of Khrone: thats it's. Daemonettes choose between Base claws (two axes), or Enchanted claws (two axes, wth magical bonus). A cheap version, and a magical, pumped up version. They can 'buy' back their demonic armor save for 20gc.

MAX SIZE= 12

HEROES:
1 Daemon Prince- Undead parallel to Vampire
Possessed Stats & max stats, may buy mutations. Starts with a Mark of Chaos, taken straight from the BTB Maruader list (although the Undivided mark has a different affect.)

0-1 Weaver - Undead parallel to Necromancer
A Core, Grounded Demon with MUCH reduced stats. May be picked from any God, not just the Mark of the Daemon Prince. Tzeen, Slaan, & Nurgle are spell casters. The khorne one (knows Strength skills instead of Acad) and gives another bonus, like dispells all spells within 6" on a 4+, or gives hate.

0-2 Demon Champs - Undead parallel to Dregs (except there are 2 strong heroes over 3 weak ones.
Core, Grounded Demons, at Base Demon stats. Same mark as the Daemon Prince.

HENCHMEN
Lesser Daemons -Undead parallel to Zombies
Like Nurglings, but one for every god. NOT grounded, meaning they're immune to psych, demonic instability, gain no exp, etc. Give them a slight God-related bonus.

0-5 Grounded Demons -Undead parallel to Ghouls
Core Grounded Demons, with slghtly reduced stats (to make them cost no more than 40gc or so.) Same god as the Daemon Prince.

0-2 (3? 5?) Greater Demons -Undead parallel to Dire Wolves
Core Demons, chosen from the same god as the Weaver (or if it's the same as the leader, any god). They have full stats, but are NOT grounded, gain no exp, etc.

UNDIVIDED MARK
Any daemon prince with an Undivided Mark has no restrictions on which gods he buys any champion or henchmen from. The one limitation is that once they have bought a henchmen to be that god type, they may not have more henchmen of a different god type unless all of the existing henchmen die (example: if you buy one Khorne Greater Demon Bloodletters, you cannot also buy a Greater Demon Demonette. You can only buy a second Bloodletter, or wait to till the first one dies.)

~~~~~

WITH THIS MODEL, you get the feeling of One Major god, with a Splash of a second god. (Unless you are swimming in Demon models, in which case you can go Undivided.) It also means a single box of Demons and a blister will cover most of your warband. The Ungrounded demons lend that fantastic power that demons are known for, but at the cost of dying easily and not gaining exp.
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 4:58

I wouldn't go for minions of the Shadowlord, as he already has the Cults ofthe Possessed to serve him.
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 5:07

Daemon Prince? Come on!

Daemon Princes are Warhammer Chaos Warrior generals. Exalted Champion that are granted the highest gift of the Dark Gods. The entire purpose of Chaos worshippers in a Border Town Burning campaign is to have your leader reach daemonhood in the end (if you are lucky and worthy). You don't have these guys running around as warband leaders. At the least, their stats should make them obviously unsuitable for Mordheim warbands: S 5, T 5, W 4, A 5. This is simply ridiculous.

Eliazar wrote:
I wouldn't go for minions of the Shadowlord, as he already has the Cults ofthe Possessed to serve him.

Very good point too.

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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 5:12

I'd say daemons should be restricted to a role as top-brass baddies in a campaign, or for use as random mayhem in a campaign.

There's plenty of Chaos Warbands around and I see no need to field an all-Daemon warband, save for the sake of them being 'über'.
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 5:26

Eliazar wrote:
I wouldn't go for minions of the Shadowlord, as he already has the Cults ofthe Possessed to serve him.

lol! Well, I see I didn't get what I meant across at all. Belacor was meant to be the rationale for Daemons operating in Mordheim proper & the ULTIMATE man in the chain of command, like Von Carstein is to the Vampire's operating in Mordheim.

AND Sigmar has both the Witch Hunters AND the Sisters of Sigmar working for him. Giving the Shadow Lord another group of minions kind of evens it up. Suspect

While I'm getting myself in trouble, I HATE Daemons unless there are Avatars of Sigmar, Ulric, Morr, & Tahl to counter them. If you're going to have daemons/devils/demons, you should have angels. Suspect
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 5:35

DeafNala wrote:
AND Sigmar has both the Witch Hunters AND the Sisters of Sigmar working for him. Giving the Shadow Lord another group of minions kind of evens it up. Suspect

Considering how well the get on with each other, there would not even be need for any evil warband to keep them fighting Wink


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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 5:44

Unwanted wrote:
I'd say daemons should be restricted to a role as top-brass baddies in a campaign, or for use as random mayhem in a campaign.

There's plenty of Chaos Warbands around and I see no need to field an all-Daemon warband, save for the sake of them being 'über'.

I tend to agree. But when someone from my gaming group came to me and said he would like to use models from his Warhammer daemons army for a Mordheim warband, then I think one could come up with a fair, colorful warband (that's why the Marauders of Chaos warband was made). I do understand the desire to field a little warband of around ten daemon models into battle. I really love the Tzeentch horror models because of their alien look so that thought seems really attractive to me. You'd have to be careful though to keep the list fair and balanced while tying it in with the Warhammer background.

I think Eliazar's point is pretty strong, however. They don't fit the City so well. If GW would have wanted them to be in Mordheim they would have introduced them in the rulebook (like they included Plaguebearers in the Carnival of Chaos and put one Bloodletter in the random happenings). Mordheim isn't meant to be an 'anyhing goes' setting, where you throw in abritrary warhammer army rip-offs as warbands. It is much more than that and that is why it is so popular in the first place. Because of its unique and strong atmosphere. It is still an Imperial city, runied and tainted by the corrupting powers of Chaos. But instead of simply adding a daemon warband they went for the Posessed warband, which has a lot more style and atmosphere and actively supports the theme of this setting. The City of the Damned is about the Empire being infested by Chaos. It's about humans. There are many many different warbands all coming from one Warhammer army: The Empire. Some are even totally new and unique (Sisters of Sigmar and Possessed). Some other races can be easily included in this setting because they make sense: dwarfs, beastmen, orcs and skaven. But there are many more that do not only make no sense here but who would also destroy the strong theme and atmosphere of the ruined Imperial city that is Mordheim. This includes all things Khemri, Lizardmen, Norse & Marauders, Dark and Wood Elves, Chaos Dwarfs, and also Daemons. I have to thank Eliazar for reminding me what Mordheim is about and why I initially got so hooked by this game as I, like many other Warhammer players, tend to get carried away by the looks and background of other parts of the Warhammer universe.

Thank you for reading.

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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 6:19

What cianty says is exactly what was nagging me when looking at a lot of newer warbands. WIth Mordheim, you have a lot of warbands based on one army, thus adding a lot of new unit types and a lot of character to the individual warbands, instead of making toned down versions of all the Warhammer armies.

Back to the demons... I think you have to bear in mind that most of the Mordheim bands are "simple people", ie. citizens and peasants who had nothing to lose, picked up a club and started collection wyrdstone to get rich or whatever. They are already scared like hell when facing Undead, Skaven or Possessed, and I think they would just drop dead upon seeing a host of demons warping their way around the city.

Still, if it you did a Demon warband which is balanced against the other warbands, you could try to create a new setting in some ruined city during or just after a Great War against Chaos, with a Brotherhood of Ulric, some zealots following a Chaos Warrior etc...
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 10:34

I think a lot of you are caught up in the fluff and the 'why we shouldn't' aspect. Fluff, aesthetics, and loyalty to the 'traditional' mordheim feeling aside, I impose the challenge, namely COULD A DEMON BAND BE BALANCED? This is more of a technical exercise, like the Devil's Den, than anything else.

And no more of this 'defeatist' talk either... You are proud Mordheim Fan Rules Crafters! The next person to say it can't be / shouldn't be done has their village burned to the ground. :magister:

Cianty: Well, maybe not demon prince...as I said, Possessed stats seem about right. Maybe a Demon 'Knight'? 'Squire'? 'Marquis'?
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 10:44

StyrofoamKing wrote:
Cianty: Well, maybe not demon prince...as I said, Possessed stats seem about right. Maybe a Demon 'Knight'? 'Squire'? 'Marquis'?

If you want this to be taken seriously you will have to stick to the Warhammer background instead of making up fluff at will. With that being said, I won't be posting in this thread any more. Good luck.

Oh, and before I leave: To answer your initial question: I am very positive that from a technical perspective this can be done. But there are more questions that you should probably answer as well.

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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 11:35

Okay, as far I'm concerned, the two MOST IMPORTANT things that govern the game are:
1. Do you have fun playing it? And
2. Do other people have fun playing against it?

To me, that is 90% of a warband. I don't want Space Marines showing up, but if a gm found a way to make it balanced, fun, and well thought out, I'd be willing to try it and judge afterwards.

It is impossible to guarentee Fun, but he closest thing a designer can achieve is Balance. Once that is achieved, Champions can be renamed, minor changes can be made, to make them coincide to fluff. *shrug* That is how I work.
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 12:37

Hey StyrofoamKing!

Ok first off, I think that a Demon Warband would be feasable. If you are talking about rules and ballancing, I have no doubt that this can be done.

HOW-EVERRRR

I am not sure if I would like to see such a warband played in my group. Someone said before that demons should be random encounters and final-boss villains. I would tend to agree insofar as I think that in Mordheim demons draw a lot of their fascination from being rare and unknown, thus justifying many different types of demons. I feel that in Mordheim Chaos should be far from united and that a multitude of small cults (bickering and fighting amongst themselves) should be the rule. Thus minor demons would spawn cults of followers, worshipping them as their lord according to the saying "Amongst blind men the one-eyed is king".
Furthermore a demon warband would utterly lack the adventurous element. Since they are the personification of evil, there really is no greater evil (not entirely true: there always is a bigger fish, but just not in the immediate vicinity) around to be afraid of, And this kills the - imo very important - aspect of the "unkown dangers lurking in the streets of Mordheim". Because if you play a demon warband... well... you ARE the (un)known dangers!

Thus I think making a demon warband may well be a nice rule designing exercise but for me personally, does not hold any relevance.

My humble opinion. Feel free to gainsay.

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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 14:07

Tom: You do have a very interesting point, in that demons personify adversity itself...

Needless to say, I'm still going to have to burn your village.

Code:
(  )  (  )  (  (    )  )
 )(    ) (    )  )  (  (
( )  (    ) (  (  )  )  <-smoke
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  <- fire
HHH HHH HH HH HH  <- your village

^_^    <- me laughing

True, in most campaigns, it would not be fair, or fluffy, or anything like that. Still a scant few might make it interesting to try:

~North pole: No one allowed but Possessed, Beastmen, Maruaders, Norse, and Demons!
~Siege of Praag! The tide of chaos magic has descended unto Kiev, and dmeons walk the land!

Also, besides creating demons for the sake of exercise, there is also the practical application for GMs. You want to make a worthy, NPC group of demons strong enough to take on the others, but not so strong as it would swamp them? Send in 500gc worth!

And to be honest, I want to see if WE can write them balanced on the sole principal that most people say it can't be done!

*Note: Personally, I love the idea of Lesser Chaos Gods, something that works well with tiny cults, worshipping gods too small to be taken notice of. I even make my own list of lesser gods, each with their own mark... but that would DEFINITELY be adding my own fluff, as cianty accused me of doing. Maybe I'll do it someday, but no pressing need now.*
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 15:04

*firefighters rush into Tom's village, fire bells sounding, general confusion*

*trebuchets being readied*

*projectiles being soaked in tar and light with torches*

*trebuchets firing*

*flaming balls of fire going down on StyrofoamKing's village*

*population cheering*


Good idea with the NorthpolePraag thingies, however now we have left Mordheim and are playing Warhammer skirmish.

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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 15:15

StyrofoamKing wrote:
Needless to say, I'm still going to have to burn your village.

Code:
(  )  (  )  (  (    )  )
 )(    ) (    )  )  (  (
( )  (    ) (  (  )  )  <-smoke
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  <- fire
HHH HHH HH HH HH  <- your village

^_^    <- me laughing

This really made me laugh! :D

And since I don't want my village burned to the ground I'll have to encourage you: Of course it can be made balanced! If you insist on giving the Demons Demon-worthy stats, ie. better than a Possessed or a Vampire it can still be balanced. Skaven have a RatOgre with sick stats, they're (fairly) balanced!
But the RatOgre doesn't gain xp, you say? Just make sure your Demon Leader starts with enough experience so that he practically doesn't get more evolved.
But all leaders start with 20 xp, you say? So what? The Demon Leader starts with 36!
But with so powerful models they'll get overpowered in the long run, you say? Not if their models are expensive enough AND limited in numbers to a max of 10 or even 8 figures!

Another unconventional idea would be to let henchmen start with experience. Letting all Henchmen start with 5 experience would make it incredible hard for them to get any LGT-Heroes...
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Thu 20 Nov 2008 - 22:09

*Watches his styrofoam kingdom melt away*
NOOOOOOOOOOOO!
THERE WILL BE BLOOOD! BLOOOD!

but I digress...

North & Praag: do you mean, the other settings, or the idea of using siege rules? You lost me, I'm afriad.

Drud wrote:

But the RatOgre doesn't gain xp, you say? ... But all leaders start with 20 xp, you say?
But with so powerful models they'll get overpowered in the long run, you say?

Wow, I didn't know I said so much...

If we are going to go with big guys, a good basis is the Ogre warband. A few very powerful guys with a lot of drawbacks, supported by a lot of really weak guys. In theory, a strong Plaguebearer Champion, with 2 full strength Plaguebearer heroes, and a 3 max Bearer henchmen, surrounded by 10 Nurglings, would work.

36 Exp Hero: Of course, the cost still needs to be raised too, otherwise it's unfair in One shots.

Other possible caps for henchmen:
~Learn halfrate
~they only learn win they win
~they only learn if the leader gained an exp (outside of survival)
~They pass a Ld test to gain exp
~If the warbad looses, roll 2D6: on a natural 2, a random henchmen group (or 1D3 henchmen) have their experience and advancements wiped clean, and restart at default.
~If you fail a mission, roll 1D6: on a 1, instead of gaining +1 exp for surviving, the gods take AWAY 1 exp from henchmen & heroes. And advancements gained are temporarily lost until their experience is at a level to earn the advancment.*
~They gain experience, but the henchmen do NOT gain advancements. Any roll except TLGT is ignored.*

*The last two seemed like an interested things to try with Demons. The first gives the ehterial feeling, of the Gods holding the strings of the demons,a nd their attachment to the real world. The second gives them a cold, distant feel: that they are mostly disconnected to the mortal plane; except a rare demon may get the knack for it, and learn to develop and cogniscend the mortal plane enough to count as a 'hero.'
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Sun 23 Nov 2008 - 1:39

I do think that this warband can work, but it does not fit into all settings. Empire in Flames, Nemesis Crown and Border Town Burning (Cianty will probably kill me for saying this Wink ) are possible settings, Mordheim, Lustria and Khemri don´t fit the fluff for this warband.

Well, here are my thoughts on daemon warbands:
Apart from coming up with convincing and fluffy names for the heroes (daemon prince sort of implies an unstoppable killing machine...) the real challenge will be XP, as all daemons previously used in Mordheim do not gain XP at all.
Only the possessed normally get XP, so maybe the heroes should all be daemons that have possessed a mortal? At least there is an established precedent for that.
I like your idea that daemon henchmen don´t get any advances except for TLGT, that would largely ignore the XP issue for henchmen. But since they stay the same a mechanism to give a daemon warband a chance against late-campaign warbands with advanced henchmen is needed. Maybe allow better daemon henchmen only after the warband has reached a warband rating of XYZ or tie it to warband rating of the opponent?
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Sun 23 Nov 2008 - 21:32

If the warband is anything like Undead, they start off strong, but have some trouble in late games, in that only one henchmen group can learn EXP. They can buy cheap blockers (Zomb) and expensive shock troops (dires), but the average guys (ghouls) are the only who can advance. To me, that seems a good system: weak screens and strong demons, with a third type, that learns exp. In theory, the idea that only the demons of One God being able to learn exp makes sense, as it is only they who are 'grounded' enough in this plane, setting apart how they are different.

Well, one idea I propsed (that was shot down on the SG forum), was the idea of a half demon, half human, called Daemonkin. They were human warriors who have drunken the ethereal blood of daemons, and survived. They are mortal by all means, but they are goaded on by the powers and whispering of the other side, and have culled enough favor to be strongly on the path towards becoming a Chosen. Model-wise, you'd use maruaders or Ungors.

Some objected to them because they were new, others because they were basically humans, defeating the entire idea of an 'All Demon Warband."

Rating= Power: Wow. That'd be a hard system to develop, and a complex one, but the idea that they had their power 'sealed', unlessed based on the power of their enemies? Interesting...

If that WERE the case, it'd only effect henchmen, and they may or may not have a random Henchmen advances, making them learn advancement in predetermined order.

ENEMY RATING HIGHER: Play with all Gates Unlocked.
RATING EQUAL OR 50: Play with last Gates Locked.
51-75 BELOW : Play with last two Gates Locked.
76-100 BELOW: Play with last three Gates Locked.
101 OR MORE BELOW: Play with last four Gates Locked.

GATES: When a demon henchmen group gains an advance, instead of rolling randomly, they receive a Gate bonus, as mentioned below. When facing an opponent weaker than you, gates that a demon group has received may have their gates temporarily sealed, based on the warband rating of the next highest warband. If the number of Henchmen with the Gate Restricion is equal or higher than the number of heroes in your warband, the difference between your warband and the next warband is halved for determining an underdog bonus. (Example: Your warband has a rating of 220 versus a warband of 100. Your henchmen have all of their gates locked. So, in the post game, when determining Underdog bonus, the difference is halved; instead of a 120 difference, it counts as a 60 point difference.)
Gate 1: Initiative
Gate 2: Weapon Skill
Gate 3: Strength
Gate 4: Attack

In theory, the same Gate system (minus the 'Lock/Unlock' system,) could be used as well...

2exp=GATE 1: Lose demonic instabilitly.
5exp=GATE 2: May gain advances. Roll for one immediately.
9exp=GATE 3: Gain Demonic Armor. Roll for TLGT.
14exp=GATE 4: May gain a second advance, possibly receiving that TLGT.

This way, they still get 'Stronger', but don't turn into massively powerful monsters. Also, the "Demonic Armor" could be an option (take instead of an advance), and/or could be put at any gate, not necessarily 3. It's a variation on Drud's "Start at 5exp" idea, really.

Another possible Handicap is that they cannot have more than 5 heroes.


EDIT:

Evreka, I've got it!

The Warband Leader is known as the "Demon Host". He's not a Chosen warrior, who's cullied favor to the gods and been awarded the status of Demon Prince: rather, he was a lowly human possessed by one or more demonic entities, warping his mind and body. He still bears the shadow of a human intellect, so often he will drap pieces of garment over his malformed body, and grip weapons in his inhuman appendeges.

(Thus, he's a Possessed who can have equipment. Also, it's possible the he's the 'Vampire' of the group: all are funneled through him, and if he dies, you only have X number of games to replace him, or the warband dissappears!)
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Tue 25 Nov 2008 - 16:50

I'll try to add a rough 'Undead Version' and an "Ogre Version' of the list to the thread next week... it'll have to wait till Dec, as I'm trying to finish a novel by the end of the month! Wish me luck!
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Wed 26 Nov 2008 - 12:40

I'm looking forward to your lists. I prefer constructive comments on other's work rather than doing it from scratch myself, so I'll be following this thread! Smile

Oh, and good luck!
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Sat 13 Dec 2008 - 7:34

Grr. Sadly, I've been forced to miss all Mordheim games for the next game, which means I have no acces to a copy of the WFB Demon book until Jan. Unless someone can get me the stats to the major four core demons, looks like the Impossible Dream will have to wait a few weeks.
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PostSubject: Re: The Impossible Dream: the Demon Warband?   Today at 5:44

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