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 Rules for Wissenland, Hochland, Nordland and Talabecland

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PostSubject: Rules for Wissenland, Hochland, Nordland and Talabecland   Tue 9 Dec 2008 - 18:45

Below is an article I was working on instead of studying for my international tax exam. I'm afraid I just have no will to finish it. So, I'm hoping that by posting an "extremely rough draft" will give me enough motivation to want to finish. Feel free to destroy it.


The Empire is the most powerful nation of men in the Old World. Further, the Empire contains many provinces and city-states, only some of which have been developed in the rules and supplements for Mordheim. In fact, several provinces remain undeveloped in the Mordheim story, and it is those provinces that are the subject of this article. These undeveloped provinces are Nordland, Hochland, Talabecland, and Wissenland. Thus, the purpose of this article is to provide rules for using these Provinces in your Mordheim games.
The 1st edition of Mordheim contained rules for playing human mercenaries warbands hailing from one of three different Empire provinces, Reikland, Middenland and Marienburg. Games Workshop further developed rules for Averland, Ostland, and Kislev in the Town Cryer magazine. Also, the Citadel Journal provided rules for warbands hailing from Stirland and Ostermark. The features that are common to all of these warbands are what I have termed the “base mercenary warband.”
It is my hope that by recognizing that all Mercenaries lists derive from the base mercenary warband, the Mordheim community can establish rules for campaigning with warbands hailing from the four remaining provinces. This is not to say that the rules for these four provinces are “fair and balanced.” That is what play testing is for. Assuming you have your opponent’s permission to use these experimental rules, these rules only mean that using one of the four provinces in your Mordheim games is “not so unfair as to have your opponent reach across the table and slap your dumb ass.”
All mercenary warbands have several features common among of them. The term “base mercenary warband” means all those features commonly found in mercenary warbands. This irreducible core of features sets the minimum floor for warband development when designing homemade rules. That is to say, there are no warbands that are “weaker” game wise then the base mercenary warband, though many warbands might be stronger then the base mercenary warband.
But what exactly is the base mercenary warband? The base mercenary warband is made up of six features. It is the basic mercenary list at the beginning of the Mordheim Rulebook. If you have campaigned with mercenaries in your games of Mordheim before, then you probably already know the base mercenary warband, even if you don’t realize it. Just look at the formula below and see if you catch on.

(Base Mercenary Warband) = (1 Captain at 60 gc) + (0-2 champions at 35 gc) + (0-2 youngbloods at 15 gc) + (Warriors at 25 gc) + (0-7 Marksmen at 25 gc) + (0-5 Swordsmen w/expert swordsmen skill at 35 gc).

From this base mercenary warband, all other mercenary warbands have developed. In other words, all mercenary warbands have developed from this basic equation, either by adding slightly to the equation, or adding greatly to the equation and subtracting other parts of the equation for balance. Thus, all mercenary warbands can be defined as (base mercenary warband) + (upgrades) – (features removed from the base mercenary warband equation). By way of example, employing the equation above, let’s define the three original Mercenary Warbands.

Reiklanders = (Base Mercenary Warband) + (Marksmen+1 BS) + (Captain 12 inch leadership)
Middenheim = (Base Mercenary Warband) + (Captain and Champions + 1S)
Marienburgers = (Base Mercenary Warband) + (20% gc)

The original three Mercenary warbands are easy to put into the equation. Even easier are Stirland and Ostermark.

Stirland = (Base Mercenary Warband) + (“counts as” Reiklanders)
Ostermark = (Base Mercenary Warband) + (0-1 warhound) + (reroll LD/All Alone tests)

But that still leaves three more warbands. Averland, Ostland, and Kislev have much more variation from the base mercenary warband then the other five. Games Workshop has removed some features from the base mercenary warband in creating Averland, Ostland, and Kislev lists. But let’s define these three provinces anyway.

Ostland = (Base Mercenary Warband) + (0-1 priest) + (0-1 ½ experience ogre) + (0-5 new henchmen type) + (0-7 marksmen w/different equip list) + (special skills list) – (0-2 youngbloods) – (0-5 Swordsmen)
Averland = (Base Mercenary Warband) + (2 Champions w/set traps rule) + (0-3 Halflings w/new equip list) + (30 gc Swordsmen/no expert swordsmen rule) + (unlimited marksmen) – (1 champion) – (1 youngblood) – (Warriors)
Kislev = (Base Mercenary Warband) + (Captain +20GC + inheritance – 1I) + (Bear Tamer +1S/gives access to bear) + (tamed bear) + (swordsmen w/hate chaos at -5 gc) + (marksmen w/gun rest) – (1 Champion) – (Swordsmen) – (Marksmen)

We can see that Games Workshop did much to distinguish Ostland, Averland and Kislev from the other Mercenary warbands. For purposes of unofficial, yet reasonably acceptable Mordheim rules, warband upgrades such as Kislev, Ostland, and Averland are probably best shied away from. But what we can do is define the final four provinces by considering the upgrades Games Workshop has applied in developing all eight of the Mercenary warbands. It is these upgrades that make each province different, and give warbands from each of these provinces their own distinctive flavor. I have come up with the following nine upgrades that I feel might be appropriate for adding flavor to warbands from Nordland, Hochland, Talabecland, and Wissenland.

Upgrade 1- (Base Mercenary Warband) + (3-20 maximum size limitation)
This option allows for a hoard type mercenary warband, perhaps not special at the beginning of the campaign, but the upgrade will get potentially brutal later in a campaign. And this would provide a reason to actually use warrior henchmen option, as 7 marksmen, 6 heroes and 5 swordsmen equals just 18 soldiers, room for 2 warriors.

Upgrade 2- (Base Mercenary Warband) + (Captain with the skill “weapons training” and Hochland long rifle)
This idea is specific to Hochland. Perhaps the captain is a famous big game hunter. Admittedly, on paper this starting warband does look like 500gc + 200 gc equipment, however, assuming the long rifle is sold after the first game, the warband’s worth is really just 600 gc. Selling the rifle makes the warband most similar to the Marienburgers, at this point, the warband is just a Marienburg warband + the Captain’s weapon’s training skill.

Upgrade 3- (Base Mercenary Warband) + (replace the henchmen option) – (remove marksmen, swordsmen or warrior option).
This option is similar to Ostland, Kislev and Averland, and your opponent probably won’t be too keen on letting your warband fly. Home brewed rules for your own troop type smack of cheese. However, if you simply substituted one base mercenary warband henchman option for another the henchman type of another warband, your opponent might be more amenable. For example, substitute the 0-5 swordsmen option for 0-3 Dwarf warriors from the Dwarf Treasure Hunters list, and one could call the henchman substitution the Province’s upgrade.

Upgrade 4- (Base Mercenary Warband) + (a 6th hero)
This option would allow six heroes from the start of a campaign. Again, probably not one your opponent would be all too happy to let you do, without first seeing the hero’s attributes and skills. The Norse warband does this, but Norse aren’t mercenaries.

Upgrade 5- (Base Mercenary Warband) + (fourth henchman option)
This option is similar to Ostermark, which allows its captain to take a wardog as part of his equipment. Ostland and Averland also allow an extra henchman option. The better option is probably to replace one henchman option with another.

Upgrade 6- (Base Mercenary Warband) + (some hired sword as a henchman type)
Ostland does this with its option to take an Ogre (and no other). This upgrade could be either a replacement or an addition to the henchman option. 0-2 Pit fighters or 0-2 dwarf slayers come to mind. I would not use Ogres, Halfings, Mounted Mercenary, Ranger, or Warlock, as then the later campaign combinations become much to deadly. The pit fighter and slayer are purely combat, so adding a third of either down the campaign road doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, especially if the warband loses the option to take swordsmen or marksmen.

Upgrade 7- (Base Mercenary Warband) + (“counts as”)
Stirland uses this upgrade as warbands from the province of Stirland “count as” Reikland. This option is perhaps the easiest, fairest rout of all.

Upgrade 8- (Base Mercenary Warband) + (addition to a stat for either some/all heroes or a henchmen option)
Reikland does this with its marksmen, and Middenheim does this with its Champions and Captain. I would propose the following possibilities to add character to the four provinces: +1 to one of either T, W, I, WS, or A characteristics. (LD, S, BS have been used already)

Upgrade 9- (Base Mercenary Warband) + (henchman given a skill/piece of equipment)
This upgrade is seen in Swordsmen from Mercenary base list, Black guard from BTB’s merchant caravans and Bosons with rope and hook from the Pirates list.

My proposals for the four undeveloped provinces:
Wissenland = (Base Mercenary Warband) + (0-3 dwarf treasure hunters) – (0-5 swordsmen)
All but one of Wissenland’s borders are surrounded by mountains. The Empire has always had dwarves in its ranks, and so its not all that surprising to see Dwarfs traveling to Mordheim while employed by the Empire.

Hochland = (Base Mercenary Warband) + (Captain with the skill “weapons training” and Hochland long rifle)
If only to have a reason for someone to use a Hochland long rifle in Mordheim.

Nordland = (Base Mercenary Warband) + (warband hates elves)
Nordland is located on the coast and has a history of sailing. Centuries of having sailing ships sunk by elves provides enough incentive to hate high and dark elves.

Talabecland = (Base Mercenary Warband) + (3-20 cap)
Talabecland has lots of people, it’s warbands just tend to be a little bit bigger.

This article basically tails out at the end. While the mercenary warband floor is pretty well defined, the ceiling is not. I guess I would consider the ceiling to be the Reiklanders warband. I’m pretty certain they are considered as the “best” of the Mercenaries. But then I’ve never done anything with the Ostlanders.
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PostSubject: Re: Rules for Wissenland, Hochland, Nordland and Talabecland   Tue 9 Dec 2008 - 21:14

I wrote a similar one, from the Unknown Warrior article for Necromunda. The first part is taken straight from it, and still says 'gangs'.

Creating your own House is surprisingly simple- after all, Skill Tables and Weapons Lists are all that distinguish the main Houses from each other (in rules terms that is). When creating your own House your should go through 4 different stages, all described below (Styro - Now FIVE)

Stage 1: House name and background
Of all the different stages, this is the most important. These rules are not designed for allowing players to create a perfect Gang type, they are for allowing players to create their own unique Gang type. As such, players who use these rules to get that bolt pistol and bolter gang they always wanted without considering their House's history or philosophy will lose out on an important part of this game system. As such, it is worth taking a long time on perfecting this stage until you have a House you are happy with. If done well, creating a unique background for your miniatures can be one of the most rewarding aspects of the hobby. Although there are many examples of different types of Houses given above to act as inspiration, it is far from an exhaustive list. Do not hesitate to draw ideas from books, films, or real world history, if you think it will help you to create an idea you feel happy with (a Wild West inspired gang instantly springs to mind for example).

Creating names for your House can also be difficult, but with a little bit of thought, can be evocative and pleasing. When creating a name, try and make it sound imposing and try and avoid anything that ventures into the "silliness" category. For example, Gang Leader acting on behalf of House Happyland won't gain much respect, but will sound all the more intimidating with the power of House Kronarch behind him!

STAGE 2: Equipment Lists
When building your own warband, you have two Equipment Lists: Warriors & Marksmen. Both lists start with the following, which are Easy to Use items.

Hand to Hand
Double-Handed Weapon

Short Bow

Light Armor

The following items are rarer, harder to use items. For you may add five of them to your Warriors Equipment List and five of them to your Marksmen list. They do not have to be the same items for both lists, and you are allowed to repeat. Alternatively, Marksmen may choose to forgo one of the choices on this list, in exchange for an Elite Missile weapon... the combination of the two may never be more than five.

SPECIAL Hand to Hand
Brazier Iron
Cat o' Nine Tails (Pirate Warband) -heroes only
Steel Whip -heroes only
Scourge (Relics of the Crusade) -heroes only
Morning Star
Horseman's Hammer
Pike (Border Town Burning)
Katana (Border Town Burning)
Quarterstaff (Border Town Burning)

Heavy Armor
Toughened Leathers

Javelin (R8")
Throwing Knives
Throwing Axes
Long Bow
Crossbow Pistol
Dueling Pistol
Fish Hook (Border Town Burning)
Cathayan Candles (Border Town Burning)
Vermin Pot (Relics of the Crusade)
Stickfire pot (Relics of the Crusade)
Stickpot thrower (Relics of the Crusade)

Flaming Arrows
Hunting Arrows
Lucky charms
Holy Relic
Rabbit's Foot
Rope & Hook

You may choose only ONE of the following for the Warriors Chart. Marksmen may pick an Elite missile weapon instead of a a Special Missile weapon (see above). Marksmen may not pick a non-Missile item.

Sigmarite Warhammer (No Marksmen!- Captain and champions only, 1 each.)
Weeping Blades (No Marksmen!)
Gromril Weapons: x3 cost at start up
Ithilmar Weapons: x2 cost at start up

Gromril Armor - 100 at start up
Ithilmar Armor - 60 at start up
Pavise 10gc, +2 save on foot, +1 save mounted

Hunting Rifle
Repeater Crossbow
Double-barreled Pistol
Double-barreled Handgun
Double-barreled Blunderbuss

Wagon/Stage Coach: 100gc (must pay for animals, but does not take up an additional slot)

When choosing a set of skills for your warband, you need to pick two Primary Skill sets. These will be given to all Heroes in your warband. For most Mercenaries, Combat is a very good basic one... and in the cases of Reiklanders, Shooting would be a second. However, if you want a warband of fast intellectuals, you may choose Academic & Speed instead.

Captain Starts with: All Five Skill tables
Champion Starts with: The Two Primary skill tables, plus one additional.
Youngblood Starts with: Starts with: The Two Primary skill tables, plus one additional.

Your warband may start with one of the following bonuses. Just because a Bonus has a Location's name attached (ex. The Marienburg Bonus) doesn't mean your warband HAS to be from that setting... what's in a name?

Middenheim bonus: * Heroes and Champions start with +1 to any Stat (except Wounds).

Reikland Bonus: * One Henchmen Group starts with +1 to M, WS, BS, or Init. Also, your Leader starts with 1 Academic Skill of your choice.

Marienburg Bonus: Start with +100gc at formation.

Miraglean Bonus: Choose a Special or Elite Missile Weapon. All Heroes and Marksmen are at +1 to hit when they use that weapon and that weapon only. (Alternatively, you may choose any Special Hand-to-Hand weapon, which your Heroes and 'Swordsmen' receive +1 WS when using that weapon and that weapon only.)

Remesian Bonus: Heroes, Champions & Youngbloods start with +1 to M, WS, Init, or Ld.

Outland Bonus: You may also hire one of the following in your warband: 0-3 Halfing Scouts (from the Averlander List), 0-1 Ogre (from the Ostlander List), 0-3 Dwarf Beardlings (from the Dwarf Treasure Hunters Warband), 0-3 Wardogs (from the Witch Hunter Warband), 0-3 Shadow Warrior Novices (Shadow Warrior Warband,) or 0-5 Slaves (Arabyan Tomb Raider Warband.)

Outrider Bonus: All warriors in the warband have the skill "Ride___" for one animal of your choice.

Estalian Bonus: Your Captain & Champions start with one Skill from the Combat Skills List.

Priest Bonus: The Champion may be replaced with a Priest of Taal, Wolf Priest of Ulric, Priest of Moor, or Sigmar Priest (same cost and stats as Priest of Taal, but casts Prayers of Sigmar.) If your playing group consents, he may instead cast from any approved Prayer list (no spells!). The Priest must have choose Academic as one of it's Skill lists.

Arabyan Bonus: You may replace one of your Youngbloods or Champions with a Scholar, from the Arabyan Tribe warband from the Relics of the Crusade campaign. You may choose to treat him as an Arabyan scholar, or a Empire scholar.

Pit Fighter Bonus: Your Champions and Leader may learn the Special skills from any Human warband. May not gain any magic or prayers this way, nor learn mutations.

STAGE 5 - ELITE WARRIORS - Swordsman no more!
Alternatively, rather than starting with the skill "Expert Swordsmen", you may have your Swordsman start with one of the following skills:
Combat Master, Web of Steel, Step Aside, Pistolier, Mighty Blow, Pit Fighter, Strongman, Unstoppable Charge, Lightning Reflexes, Dodge, Scale Sheer Surfaces

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PostSubject: Re: Rules for Wissenland, Hochland, Nordland and Talabecland   Tue 9 Dec 2008 - 21:27

Oh, and for your Upgrade #6, I recommend the price be: Hiring cost + 2x upkeep... for the Trollslayer, Ogre, Warlock, and Halfling, that comes closest to the normal permanent cost. Oh, and make sure they buy the equipment separately.
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PostSubject: Re: Rules for Wissenland, Hochland, Nordland and Talabecland   Wed 10 Dec 2008 - 8:21

Hi folks.

Having read this post through, it's hard to do anything else than piss on the fire...

The opening post includes the quite frankly ludicrous statement;

Quote :
...these warbands should be shied away from', with respect to; Kislevites, Ostlanders & Averlander warbands.

There is no constructive reason supplied here why one should avoid these warbands, apart from some poppycock about spoiling the mercenary template. Pffft!

A Kislev warband is nothing like a gang of Reiklanders, and rightly so. Marienburgers are far removed from the men of Ostland. The games rules reflect the true themes very nicely so I am afraid your post comes across as poorly informed at best.

The most interesting point I found in the entire thread was this;

Quote :
Nordland is located on the coast and has a history of sailing.

Quite true. Undoubtedly a warband of warriors from Nordland would be very different beast from a Middenheim party.

There are some other warbands which should be categorised as mercs. Pirate warbands are mercenaries. The men of the Norse are irregular mercenaries with a side plate of dark worship. Pit Fighters could also be considered a mercenary retinue. Ogres can also be played as mercenaries in the Border Town Burning supplement.

Of the provinces of the Empire, two of those mentioned on this thread have had existing rules published to represent them. In the Nemesis Crown supplement for Mordheim, there is the Hochland Bandits designed by Mark Havener and a warband from the heart of Talabecland called the Horned Hunters, developed by Ian Davies & myself. These two opposing themes were purposely developed as mercenary warbands to play differently from likes of Marienburgers.

I say 'stick' your formula fellas. It's bureaucracy from the spires of Altdorf, or heresy from the ashes of Middenheim. Take your pick! Wink


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PostSubject: Re: Rules for Wissenland, Hochland, Nordland and Talabecland   Today at 17:52

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