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 Why bother to group henchmen

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Cian Shieldbiter
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 7:57

I plan to use a marauders wb and all my henchmen will be in groups of 1 because thats chaos and i want differences between all of them if possible. Yeh they might die and i lose those exp gains for ever but thats also chaos.
My middenheimers however will be in groups because i fluff that they are closly related and have similiar strengths and weaknesses.

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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 9:18

wyldhunt wrote:
To alleviate being able to tell which models are used for which, we simply write a singular description of models on the warband sheet. My ghoul models are: 1 carrying a sword (he came that way), 1 with a skull, 1 holding a bone to the side of him, and 2 holding bones above their head (one with a gray loincloth, the other with a brown loincloth). So, in their 1-man henchmen groups, I simply label them in the left margin of the warband sheet.
Everyone in my all warbands gets their name painted on their base. I write the names on the roster as well, so there is no confusion in-game for me,
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 9:42

I always play with 1-model henchmen groups, and so does everyone i know. I have no idea why some people want to force henchmen into groups - there is no fluff reason for it and there is no rule reason for it - but judging from some posts we obviously disagree on this . Telling one henchmen from another is absolutely no problem if you add some identifying marks to them (my freehand writing is rubbish...) like a red shirt, striped pants or some rocks on the base etc. Writing that down on your warband sheet will avoid any possible confusion.
For me developing heroes is the part of mordheim that is the most fun - and only heroes can get skills, old battle wounds, loose limbs etc. So i maximise my chances of getting six heroes.
Just as another thought: For an enjoyable campaign it is best if all warbands develop six heroes so that all get (potentially) six rolls in the search phase - this gives a pretty even income for all warbands and more doubles, triples etc. will appear which is always welcome. Forcing henchmen into a few groups will seriously weaken warbands like orcs or dwarves that start with only four heroes and give an advantage to skaven who start with six.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 10:10

Listen here:

THERE IS NO FLUFF REASON WHATSOEVER FOR A MERCENARY CAPTAIN TO GROUP HIS HENCHMEN INDIVIDUALLY! (I say that in a totally friendly tone )

A good warband commander has his subordinates fill certain battlefield roles (Flankers, Marksmen, Infiltrators, Back Up, Scouts etc.). To have them do each task individually is tactical suicide.

I UNDERSTAND and ACKNOWLEDGE the reason as to why some people DO play one man henchmen "groups". That reason is powergaming and maximizing. I do not say taht powergaming and maxing are inherently WRONG, but I what I DO want is that you too acknowledge the SUPERIOR FLUFF reasons as to why henchmen should be in GROUPS and NOT INDIVIDUALLY.

And I cannot agree on anything you say about a campaign only being enjoyable if everything is doodle dandy for all warbands all the time. Do you restart a campaign if your leader die becasue it makes your warband suck? No. Do you complain because the Skaven got six heroes from start and the orcs just four? NO. You make do with what you got, and since that SHOULD apply to all players, no problems should appear. At least that how you play the game fluff-wise. Yet again I must stress that I do NOT think it is wrong to powergame in a campaign if a majority is for that style of play, but yet again AGAIN, I also want to hear the same in return.

So, instead of just agreeing on disagreeing, I would instead like to agree that we both think any style of play is good, but that the fluff reasons for indivudal henchmen are totally overcome by te fluff reasons for GROUPS of henchmen. I dont care which of the two you use, but please, do not pretend it is fluff when I give you good arguments as to why it is not. At least do not pretend I do not have a point here Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 12:29

Nice one Opheliate, i really like it when you use a REASONABLE tone .
But your fluff argument is still wrong....they are henchmen, not clones.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 12:46

Horatius wrote:
Nice one Opheliate, i really like it when you use a REASONABLE tone .
But your fluff argument is still wrong....they are henchmen, not clones.

Henchmen are henchmen and for a warband to use rational tactics, the warband is devided into groups (henchmen) lead by some kind of group leader (hero or maybe even a hired sword).

To me, its crystal clear fluff-wise. This does NOT make them clones. I mean, the army today is used in the same way. You think an infantry commander has all battlefield roles filled in by indivual soldiers? Hell no, they work in groups. And if one is good enough to go solo (spies, assassins whatever) they are not your usual run-of-the-mill grunt.

But please, you say they aren't clones, and I agree, but that does NOT make it fluff in any way. It only slightly rationalises the idea of having one-man groups, but it certainly does NOT make it fluffy.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 13:30

Your assumption that soldiers/henchmen whatever work in groups is correct - but that is why the warbands have different henchmen types like marksmen or brethren or ghouls. To work together obviously (at least to me ) does not mean that all have to develop in the same way. To fullfill the same battlefield role they do not have to be exactly the same, they remain individuals and can have different equipment. Ranged fire support for example can be done just as well by crossbows as by bows. And if one of your henchmen shooters is slightly better at it while another is stronger or faster - so what?
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 14:14

Well isn't the possibility to replace a dead henchmen with a warrior with the same experience (as the dead) a good reason to group henchmen? If you only play with one and loose it the experience is "wasted".
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 14:47

Apologies, I didn't bump this thread to create more arguing on the subject, and I'm not here to tell anyone how to play. Damn the fluff or not, I don't care how you do it. I just wanted to know if there was some errata some where about using multiple henchman rosters. I like the idea of being limited to 1, and having to manage your warband around it. Seems I am definitely in the minority, but it wouldn't be the first time.

And yes, putting all of your henchmen in single man groups is beardy. Logic has nothing to do with it. It's not cheating, it's not illogical, it's just plain powergaming as stated earlier and that is not an opinion. Get as snarky as you want, it doesn't change anything. In the end play how you and your group want to play.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 15:05

I also donīt like using 1 meber groups as a standard, but restriction of number of groups has at least one problem - later in campaign, after group experinece leaps to 13, you have no chance to add new henchman to this group any more. In case, that after few battles there is only one henchman left in such group, it blocks you one group slot and you can do nothing about it. If you are unlucky and there are more such groups in your gang (and it is easily to happen), you get soon in trouble with numbers..
And more on, when the group experience is just getting close to 10, most often you cannot even afford to buy it a henchman, because he is too expensive, since you have to pay extra 2 gc for every experience.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 17:07

sartori: "it's just plain powergaming as stated earlier and that is not an opinion..."

Yes, it is.

Opheliate: "A good warband commander has his subordinates fill certain battlefield
roles (Flankers, Marksmen, Infiltrators, Back Up, Scouts etc.). To have
them do each task individually is tactical suicide."

Quite possibly. But having the good warband commander say "Reinhard, Erik, Heinrich - go down that ally and around the inn and up into that bell tower for covering fire" is no more difficult than having the GWC say "henchman group 1 - do down that ally blah blah blah. The differences are that the former is more in the spirit of a skirmish game and also more flexible: henchman group 1 are all clones (presumably marksmen), where Reinhard and Erik might be marksmen, but Heinrich could be a swordsman whose job it is to stabbity-stab anyone who attempts to climb up the bell tower and mess with Reinhard and Erik.

Actually, I guess groups of clones could do something similar: you two guys from Hench 1, and you (yes, you) from Hench 2 - go down blah blah blah. But Opheliate's post seemed to imply that a henchman group of specialists would all have the same assignment and hang out together, which isn't necessarily the case, of course.

At any rate: Mordheim is a skirmish game where each model represents an individual warrior; to me, having individual henchmen is more in keeping with the spirit of the game than a group of three or four henchmen clones who all mysteriously become more charismatic simultaneously.

That, too, is an opinion.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 17:16

Now for the opposite, equally-reasonable viewpoint, with no caps:

It is never "fluffy" to group Henchmen. At best, grouping Henchmen is a convenience mechanic to ease record-keeping. At worst, it is beardy, in order to retain gained advances over time.

I'm glad Opheliate brought up the RL example, especially that of the military. In RL groups, no matter how small, people will point out their differences - often more than their similarities. In the military, divisions are maintained at an appropriate size. There is constant attrition, and constant new people coming in. So if we are to liken henchmen groups to military groups, we should always allow new additions. Now, the new recruits won't have the experience of the veterans, but they can learn similar skills, and so will come up along a similar path. However, in every group of a certain size, specialists will appear. Even in small groups. Even when it's as simple as who goes left and who goes right.

In order to model RL military groups using henchmen groups, these groups should never be allowed over 1 model. They can be equipped similarly and treated similarly, but they are still individuals, and should track experience individually. That will take care of the attrition/replacement simulation of henchmen.

The only time groups of people are treated as "exactly the same" are:
1. In governance and management of larger groups of people.
2. In games where there are large numbers of pawns.

Allowing model groups in wargames is purely for convenience and manageability of the game rules, and not fluffy at all.

As far as beardiness, here are the points:
1. 1-man henchmen groups allow more rolls for LGT.
2. 1-man henchmen groups allow a player to possibly get a better spread of advances, and possibly add henchmen to the groups which get the better advances. However to do so, he must do both of the following:
a) Have room left in how many henchmen of that type he can add (in other words, if I have 5 1-model Ghould groups, I can't add any more, period). The only way to do this for restricted model types is to either dismiss, lose, or leave enough space to add these models - in other words, the player must suffer a negative result in order to receive a positive result from this course of action.
b) Roll enough available henchmen XP and pay 2gc per extra XP of the henchman (or roll an appropriate Exploration Chart result).
3. Multiple-man henchmen groups which have more desirable advances allow for the loss of individual henchmen, without losing the corresponding advances.
4. Larger-hero warbands benefit from restricting other warbands to multiple-model groups, as they are not penalized by the loss of LGT rolls as much as other warbands. In other words, not allowing 1-model henchmen groups benefits Skaven, and penalizes Dwarfs and Orcs, out of proportion to other warbands.

You can see that allowing both 1-model and multiple-model henchmen groups, with the official rules for adding models to existing henchmen groups, strikes the best balance between player options. If one is to go for fluff over game convenience, one should not allow henchmen groups at all, instead treating them completely as individuals (with the exception of henchmen which don't gain experience and can't use equipment, since tracking them individually is unnecessary for any game-mechanic reason).
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 17:25

I'm just curious what everyone thinks of my take on the subject...

I tend to keep my warband numbers fairly middling...ie, I don't ever take the maximum numbers available. Generally I manage with the allowed heroes and 2-3 henchmen ONLY. Those henchmen I run as individuals due to my take on the Dark Elves I play as analogous to a sort of small unit special warfare team...every man/woman has an individual role to play in the overall tactics on an individual level.

Quite honestly, if I wanted to play with massed groups of infantry, I'd play WFB. In my mind's eye Mordheim seemed to fit the fantasy version of a special forces team of elite specialists infiltrating an area and getting the job done with minimal numbers and fuss. Hence each model is an individual, hero OR henchmen. If that's 'beardy' or 'cheese' then I'd have to say that some people need to reevaluate their definition of fairness...
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 18:12

Heh, I agree with all of your points for the most part.

Most of my friends like to run 1 henchmen per group, and while I might consider it beardy, they don't and it doesn't lessen the fun for us. That's the most important thing in the end.

I like 2 per henchman group similar to Whisper. So far it's working pretty well in allowing me to get the LGT's I need, but also not having to start from scratch when a henchman dies. Most of the time i've been able to bolster a team back to 2 if 1 dies off...which happens quite a bit!
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 21:48

Opheliate wrote:
A good warband commander has his subordinates fill certain battlefield roles (Flankers, Marksmen, Infiltrators, Back Up, Scouts etc.). To have them do each task individually is tactical suicide.

I absolutely agree with this sentiment. The problem is, you're talking about grouping warriors during the game. It's completely irrelevant to grouping henchmen on the warband roster. If my henchmen are grouped on the roster, I can still have them running around willy nilly on the battlefield. Conversely, if my henchmen are tracked individually on the roster, I can still have them move and act together on the tabletop, so that they function as a group. What's the compelling fluff reason for my 2xp darksoul and my 14xp beastman not to move together as a melee group?

Opheliate wrote:
That reason is powergaming and maximizing. I do not say taht powergaming and maxing are inherently WRONG, but I what I DO want is that you too acknowledge the SUPERIOR FLUFF reasons as to why henchmen should be in GROUPS and NOT INDIVIDUALLY.

Personally I'm with Horatius, I don't really see any fluff reason for henchmen to have to be grouped together. As I pointed out above, if they're acting in concert that's something that's done on the battlefield, not on your roster sheet, so in a skirmish game about individuals (15-20 men tops), why should we pretend that groups of them are clones rather than individuals?

To be fair, I only like to run henchmen individually, because I prefer having a more personalized warband, so I avoid hiring new recruits onto existing "groups" because I'd rather they progressed individually, on their own.

One last little point - if I loot any equipment, and none of my heroes need it, it's nice to be able to give it to a henchman without having to buy duplicates for the rest of his group, which doesn't make any sense at all.

sartori wrote:
I like the idea of being limited to 1, and having to manage your warband around it. Seems I am definitely in the minority, but it wouldn't be the first time.
I don't think it's a bad idea, necessarily, but it makes it a little harsher on warbands that either have more henchmen types, or Undead who very well may end up with several "unique" henchmen through their zombies.


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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 22:05

sartori wrote:
I like 2 per henchman group similar to Whisper. So far it's working pretty well in allowing me to get the LGT's I need, but also not having to start from scratch when a henchman dies. Most of the time i've been able to bolster a team back to 2 if 1 dies off...which happens quite a bit!

Lol, you misunderstand! I didn't mean 2 per group. Quite simply, 2 or 3. Period. I don't tend to run more than that. My current Corsairs wb consists of 5 heroes, 1 ladded Corsair, a hench Shade, and a hired sword. That's it...one of each type available to the roster (with fellblades being the exception, but mine are brothers from a different family house than the rest of the wb).

I can easily add 4 more henchmen if I really wanted to, but I don't. Want to, that is. I prefer to run smaller bands and work around the limitations this implies.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 22:13

To me it is still crystal clear. A group of soldiers who are used to fighting back to back, who have the same experience as they have seen the same battles, they have bonded and are used to the same sitations and tactical agenda. DONE.

Of course you want these guys to go at it together. Okay, maybe they will not do the exactly same thing during the game as they might split and go with soldiers form other groups (who also might split), but they are still tied to the same unit, or company. At the end of the day, they still carried out the same duty (i.e cover fire for marksmen, or maybe flanking for a fast moving warrior)

I also acknowledge the illogical reasons as to why one must buy the same equipment for all henchmen in a group, but to me, the fluff is so overwhelmingly FOR groups, that I can take it.

being in a group does NOT make you a close, it just means that this group of warriors have the same set of skills and probably will develop in the same direction. OR some of them might get LGT. Which brings me to my next point.

LGT: The lad's got talent. He has differentiated himself from the otehr guys in his group. Bravo, *claps*. Now, if he is an individual already, and you have seven more individual henchmen, pray tell: What is the fluff reason that now sudently marks this allready individual warrior as just that, an individual warrior? Becoming a hero is the one thing that marks you as an individual of importance! You might be a good shot or you just got lucky you caught the eye of your superiors. Now, an individual henchman with all his individuality intact is pretty much already a hero, he just wont gain XP from the same things. Logic would state that in a warband of one-man groups, they shouldn't be able to get LGT, as they allready are "talented" enough to be marked as an important individual.

And yes, this is a skirmish game, not an army simulator, but the group rule is clearly there as a way to FURTHER differentiate the Heroes and Henchmen.

I must say I am surprised that so many tend to go with 1-man groups.

I could go on and on, but I realise there is no point. I wont change my mind about this, and neither will many of those who dont think like me either. And thats okay. I, once more, must stress that I do not think it is wrong to play 1-man groups, and I do not want you to change your style of play just for the sake of my own views on the game. I still cant understand, however, how anyone can pretend a certain way of gaming is fluff when so much more speak of the same style of play as being for powergaming.

Anyway, I do see some points to the arguments against my case, but in the end, they are not enogh to turn me Smile I have tried to adress these issues above, but I feel I am not really the man for this task.

Anyway, I must say, though, that I really enjoy a good argument, and as far as arguments go, this was a darn fine one I hope to have many more. I also hope I haven't stepped on someone toes (not too hard anyhow Razz)
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 26 Jan 2010 - 22:42

Opheliate wrote:
being in a group does NOT make you a close.
Well, rules-wise it does, which means even if I have different looking models these guys are going to behave identically in-game. While I like to personalize my henchmen in terms of the models, if I can, I also prefer if they actually play differently from one another, even if only slightly. I go for varying equipment on my henchmen when I can afford to.

Opheliate wrote:
LGT: The lad's got talent. He has differentiated himself from the otehr guys in his group. Bravo, *claps*. Now, if he is an individual already, and you have seven more individual henchmen, pray tell: What is the fluff reason that now sudently marks this allready individual warrior as just that, an individual warrior? Becoming a hero is the one thing that marks you as an individual of importance! You might be a good shot or you just got lucky you caught the eye of your superiors. Now, an individual henchman with all his individuality intact is pretty much already a hero, he just wont gain XP from the same things. Logic would state that in a warband of one-man groups, they shouldn't be able to get LGT, as they allready are "talented" enough to be marked as an important individual.
Sure, you're promoting someone out of a bunch of other guys that are, for all intents and purposes, exactly alike, so in that sense you're making him stand out more. But the logic of grouped henchmen and LGT carries its own issues. What makes someone from that henchmen group worthy of promotion? Suppose I have a group of henchmen who has performed really well, and they hit their 14th xp box without promoting a single member to Hero status, while my newly hired henchmen group who haven't actually done anything but survived 2 games roll LGT on their first advance? Exactly who gets LGT often won't be the guy that deserved it the most, grouped or not, and that's just the nature of the beast.

As I see it, with 1-man henchmen groups, the pool that the promoted henchman stands apart from is the collective of all of your henchmen.

To me, individual henchmen are still far from being heroes. They don't get miscelaneous equipment, skills, or injuries, which make heroes play much more dynamically, and their stat growth is stunted (missing out on some of the best advances altogether).

Opheliate wrote:
I still cant understand, however, how anyone can pretend a certain way of gaming is fluff when so much more speak of the same style of play as being for powergaming.
"Powergaming" is such a subjective judgement, though. Personally I think what makes all the difference is the player's intent. Grouping by 1 for the express purposes of increased LGT odds and to hire onto henchies with desireable advancements, is powergaming in my opinion. Even then, the benefits of having a full roster of heroes are so strong and tangible that a lot of people don't see it as "powergaming" to increase the odds of that happening, and would consider grouping henchmen to be shooting themselves in the foot. To a degree, I can understand that mentality too.

However, some of us just like to stress individuality, and 1-man groups is another way to do it. Really though, I think what it boils down to (for me, at least), is that I really don't like the Hero/Henchmen distinction very much at all, and keeping my henchmen as individuals is just one other way around that.

Opheliate wrote:
Anyway, I must say, though, that I really enjoy a good argument, and as far as arguments go, this was a darn fine one I hope to have many more. I also hope I haven't stepped on someone toes (not too hard anyhow Razz)
Agreed! thumbsup
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 3:47

I see your point. I guess its all a matter of why you use individual henchmen groups. Sure, do it for individuality, or, ir fou want to be like that, do it for powergaming reasons. Its all good, really, as long as everyone can enjoy the game. Me? I stick to groups of henchmen. Fluff is one reason, but another reason is to avoid any and all powegaming that could potentially be exploited.
But thats just me, and that doesn't have to be the right way either Smile

Anywhoo. Thanks for this time guys, im glad there was no bloodshed
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 5:39

How do you guys define "powergaming"?

When do you cross the line from making good sensible strategic choices for the structure of your warband become "powergaming"?

Is hiring a hired sword for a starting warband powergaming?

Is recruiting the maximum number of heroes allowed for a starting warband powergaming?

Is making sure your swordsmen have swords powergaming?
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 5:58

The thing about henchmen though - by the end of a campaign when they have all the advances they can get, they aren't all that different to each other when you just look at their stats. The differences come in the stories they have taken part in, their achievements and blunders. Those things happen whether they started in groups or not! Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 6:35

mweaver wrote:
How do you guys define "powergaming"?

When do you cross the line from making good sensible strategic choices for the structure of your warband become "powergaming"?

Is hiring a hired sword for a starting warband powergaming?

Is recruiting the maximum number of heroes allowed for a starting warband powergaming?

Is making sure your swordsmen have swords powergaming?

Short answer (my definition): Overgoing fluff for pure maximising (Vampires with bows...) or exploiting rules (In my opinion only; One man henchmen groups. And this is MY opinion and does not represent any other players opinions).

Hired swords are okay, of course, and so is buying swords for your swordmen. NO buying swords for your swordsmen would be pretty bad fluffwise Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 7:35

This thread is a good definition and discussion of what a Powergamer is. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 14:20

Why would you bother that a henchman group takes a slot if it's level 13? I mean, level 13 henchmen are quite rough.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 14:27

Hmm, apparently I'm a powergamer as I almost always start my henchmen as individuals.

Thing is, I do it so I can get the most variation in models. I hate having identically armed warband members so I build up whatever I think looks cool on the models and then shoehorn them into the warband somehow. Because I don't have identically armed fighters, I'm not allowed to make groups of henchmen. It's a skirmish game after all, if I want ranks of identically armed models I'll play more WFB.

I don't really think it's fair to lump everybody into the powergamer category just because they don't have groups.
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