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 Why bother to group henchmen

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Fungomungus
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 17:26

pg. 128 Scenario 3: wyrdstone hunt says: " +1 per (experience) wyrdstone counter. If a Hero or Henchman is carrying a Wyrdstone counter at the end ogf the battle he recieves a +1 exp."

Just a monkey wrench Smile

And I do both, depending on the warband Smile


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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 17:50

The point I was trying to make above is that everyone tries to build a warband that will be successful in its endeavors (well, except for Sqkwikskweek's Suicide Squad). At what point does making logical choices based upon the rules you are playing with go from sensible to "beardy" or "cheesy"? The answer is that there is no real answer, although for most of us there is some point where we will all go... ugh. But because this point is so intangible and - I suspect for many of us - internally inconsistent, I think it is a dodgy thing to proclaim using this tactic is "beardy", or organizing your warband that way makes you a "powergamer".

In the examples I gave above: having a swordsman use a sword is clearly not over anyone's personal line (I used it as an example of a tactic that everyone would find acceptable). I think almost everyone would accept it as only sensible to take the maximum allowed number of starting heroes, although you are clearly using the rules to make your warband more viable in the long run, even though that choice is not in some ways logical (why would a Marineburger captain hire and kit out a couple of youngbloods when he could hire a swordsman or a couple of warriors for not much more cash instead?)? Most of us clearly have no problem with single-man henchman groups, but a few do feel a line has been crossed, and aren't too shy about pointing fingers at the offending powergamers. Yet so far no one has offered an objective explanation for why this particular tactic is cheesy/beardy/powergamey, while other tactics that are also based on eccentricities in the rules seem OK.

Opheliate takes an interesting stab at defining powergaming: "Overgoing fluff for pure maximising (Vampires with bows...) or exploiting rules...". If I can rephrase, perhaps something like "Violating the spirit of the game in order to maximize chances of success". The problem, of course, is that even if we all agree to this (or any) definition, we will likely all still disagree on its implementation.

Back to the henchman issue: given that Mordheim is a skirmish game about brave men and women (and things) searching for fame and fortune, treating henchmen as individuals is very much in the spirit of the game and the world it is set in.

Opheliate, you are clearly pretty conservative on this issue. I note, for example, that you use vampires packing bows as an example of powergaming/beardiocity... yet clearly the game's creator, Tuomas Pirinen, had no problem with the concept or he wouldn't have let vampires take bows! (Incidentally, generally my vamps pack a bow - they just almost never use it. But sometimes and undead fellow just needs to stop and wait for the rest of the warband to shuffle along and catch up, and when you are undead and facing eternity it is so easy to become bored. A little target practice can help kill time... not to mention the odd skaven, Middenheimer, Chaos cultist, religious nutter, etc.).
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 18:13

@Fongomungus,
That's about the only scenario where it is advantageous to group henchmen.
Maybe if there were more scenarios where groups of henchmen could advance through the acts of just one of them, then more people would be inclined to put them in large groups.
But then someone would start calling that power gaming.


As it is, I like small groups so I can have more variety in my warbands, along with maximizing my chances of getting 6 heroes.
If I buy a group of 5 swordsmen, then I don't have enough gc to buy any marksmen. Or, any cheap 2-dagger henchmen-shields.

What I don't understand the most is this lableing someone as a powergamer just because they play diferently.
Heck, I've know some to claim playing Dwarfs is powergaming.
Who cares? More importantly, why care? Just use the rules to play a game. Why restrict roster pages? How is using more than one page for henchmen groups wrong?
I think someone, multiple someones, have control issues!

Sorry about MY rant Mr. Tom's BMF. I just play to have fun. If someone sets up terrain to benifit themselves, most time I just go with the flow. OK, if they need to do that, I'll play along. I keep in mind that I'm playing more to have a good time than to win.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 18:33

Amen Mr. playtable! Seconded, thirded, ad infinitum Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 19:12

Bless you, Whisper2053
Play on.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Wed 27 Jan 2010 - 21:19

catferret wrote:
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.

I do not wish to sound as if I am "lumping" everyone who plays one man groups into the powergamer category. What I mean is that, IMO, one should never poise oneself in a way that exploiting takes place (voluntary or involuntarirly), which is what could/does happen in the case of one man groups. But as I said, thats how I think, and is not representative of the group Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Thu 28 Jan 2010 - 12:29

Wow! What a debate over, really, nothing. To Group or Not to Group that is the question. Iíve read here that some groups could get into a physical confrontation over whether their opponent is grouping their henchmen. Folks, seriously, ITíS A GAME! The point of any game is to get some friends together, crack open a case of Mountain Dew, open a bag of chips, grab some dice ,and have fun.



ďFluffĒ is story, not rules. The rules donít state if Henchmen have to be grouped or not, but if they are, they need to be equipped the same. That means on paper. If you group plays WYSIWYG, then yes, your models must have the same equipment. Grouping is strategy. What is the greater risk to the Band player? If the player runs Henchmen as individuals then that increases the chances for LGT. And yes, you risk losing a good henchman if OOA. There is risk, but thatís strategy. If you think itís an unfair advantage to run individuals, remember, you can do it too. Heck, try this, group some Henchmen and some that arenít.



As to the players saying that say they canít tell what models are who on their sheets, or the opponent keeps changing which model is which, hereís what I do. It may help. Over the many years Iíve played, I have over 20-30 Warbands. All with different Strategies, Weapons, and Gear. Why so many? Someone new wanted to try and play. Or someone wanted to try something new and didnít want to run First-Run Band and didnít want it slaughtered against an experienced Band. Or something like that. Eight of those are Skaven. Which would make me more than a Warband Leader, but more of a Warlord. So naming everybody, would be a major hassle. With only 22 Skaven models I couldnít possibly paint their names on their bases, for 8 different bands. Describing each one on the Roster by description can get kind of hard. How many of us have models listed on our Rosters like Brown hat with shield, Sword and fish, or Brown boots with rocks. So hereís what I have done with all my models by specie. I color stripe their bases. One to three vertical colored stripes of different colors. They are now described on my roster as Red 3, Blue 2, Green 1, Red 2, ect. Then latter they may get names too, if they do something special. With color codes, your opponent canít switch ghouls on you and say this is the one with 4 attacks not the other one you hit.



I hope this helps some.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 12:53

Proposed Solution:

ē Henchman groups can never be reinforced.
ē Henchmen groups can never be split up or merged.
ē There is a maximum of six Henchmen Groups pr. Warband.


This:

(1) Gets rid of a small hidden exploit in the rules. (Fielding all henchmen as one-man groups at the start in order to get the 6th hero as soon as possible.)

(2) Gets rid og a lot of auxiliary rules (Rolling for experience, adjusting hire fee etc.)

(3) Makes players think harder about the economic descisions concerning henchmen.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 13:02

then, according to taste, you would also add the following:

ēHenchmen Groups with four or five members may re-roll their experience advances.

ē Academic Skill: Quatermaster: +1 to the max Number of Henchmen Groups in your warband. At the end of any combat where a henchman died, you may buy back *one* recruit pr. Quatermaster in your warband.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 14:31

OR
Just leave it alone and play by the rules as they are.
Other than the less than useful armor problem (which is not that hard to live with), the rules are good.
Clairify things, OK.
Re-write them?
I vote no.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 14:50

vote all you want, we dont get votes
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 19:18

Asp, I do find the proposal to allow 4-5 strong henchmen groups the abiltiy to re-roll and advance interesting. However, a like mechanic already exists when we can add henchmen to existing groups - we just follow along with the best-advancing group and add to them.

However, we've already digested the proposal to not allow additions to henchmen groups, and found that it limits options - and most importantly, reduces fun - too much to adopt.

We have found that the disparity in number of heroes in a warband to be one of the most game-breaking properties, and so have standardized all of our warbands to start with five heroes.

Yes, henchmen are normally set in groups of 1 at start, but this changes as soon as the 6th hero is raised, then we quickly start bulking up the more promising henchmen groups.

Is this gaming to be more effective? Yes! Is this fluff-breaking? No! (Opheliate, I do completely disagree with you on this point.)

At the beginning, our warband leaders don't really know which men they're getting - untried and untested greenhorns. So they watch each one individually to see how they develop. As certain ones progress better, they find other individuals which match their style, and join them up, presumably under the tutelage of the first individual.

There are always more warbands going into Mordheim than the player warbands represent. There are always other "non-player" warbands getting trounced, with few survivors. Our wily warband leaders, spending their time in encampments (between forays into Mordheim), would always watch our for surviving veterans of these other trounced and broken warbands, and find some like-minded warriors who want to dump their old warband (or are the sole survivors), will fit in with our own groups of "fine men," and are ready to join us. Such is always the case in mercenary groups, in real history as well as a plethora of fictional stories. That's what the whole adding henchmen mechanic is all about - and this official mechanic is actually one our group will continue to use.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Fri 29 Jan 2010 - 21:56

"We have found that the disparity in number of heroes in a warband to be
one of the most game-breaking properties, and so have standardized all of our warbands to start with five heroes."

Interesting, since the number of heroes was (I assume) was intended as a balancing factor. Surely dwarves or orcs starting with five heroes would be too powerful compared to a standard band. And cutting the Bretonnians back to 5 would really make them underpowered (which in my experience they are anyway). Have you found a need to do anything else to those bands to compensate for this change?
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Sat 30 Jan 2010 - 3:10

playtable wrote:
OR
Just leave it alone and play by the rules as they are.
I have to agree with playtable on this - I'm not a fan of re-writing. Mainly because new members of a gaming group would be at a massive disadvantage when they expect to be playing Mordheim and find they are playing some other set of vaguely-Mordheim-esque rules!

I have to say wyldhunt hit the nail on the head, I also think they number of starting Heroes (in Orcs for example) is to balance other advantages, like Toughness 4 Henchmen and Heroes! Whether the balanicng works or not is anther matter, but you have to recognise why it's there before you try to change it.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Sat 30 Jan 2010 - 6:38

WarbossKurgan, we've definitely done the rules research before making changes willy-nilly, and do recognize why the disparities were originally placed.

However, we have found that during the course of several campaigns over many years, Orcs and Ostlanders severely underperform, and Skaven overperform. One of those reasons is disparity in the number of starting heroes. As mweaver has shown in another thread, Dwarf performance largely relies on 1) whether they get trounced early on, and 2) whether the scenarios require mobility to win. In our campaigns, Dwarfs have more often underperformed because of those traits. We're still testing the effect of our change on starting heroes to Dwarfs. If five starting heroes makes them too powerful, it's easy to remove Incomparable Miners.

Orcs' Animosity and Initiative penalty still keeps them in check wonderfully (we are experimenting with swapping the Initiative penalty for a BS penalty). We gave them a 3rd Big 'Un, so they don't have any cheap starting heroes, and none of their heroes start with 0 XP - these are balancing aspects, and help conform to fluff.

I'm less concerned about Bretonnians for this general rule, as we've just barely allowed them as a "singular" warband, however, we have rebalanced model costs as well, and the Bretonnians benefitted greatly from that. Even so, testing continues...

I am a fan of re-writing Mordheim rules, as it's the only way our group will continue to play the game. Since we don't have a large body of "official-Mordheim" players to draw from, we've never found that to be a detriment. Our group also likes to experiment, as it helps keep the game fresh.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Sat 30 Jan 2010 - 8:05

I have seen orc warbands played, but not really in a long campaign. I could see that they might be an underperforming warband, since the more powerful other warbands become the relatively less effective T4 becomes. Certainly dwarves seem the better warband compared to the greenskins. The main orcie benefit is T4 and a shaman with some excellent combat spells. The dwarves have the same T4, plus Hard Head, Hard to Kill, the +1 shard rule, the ability to wear heavy armor and shields w/o being slowed down, and the beefed up range on missile weapons that the engineer gives them. Oh, and outstanding leadership for everyone. The 3 movement is their other big balancing factor, besides the 4 heroes. Accordingly, it seems to me that the 4-hero limit is probably more important than it is for the orcs (who also have the squabble disadvantage). It will be interesting to see, whether, after more playtesting, you feel the need to implement some other changes to the dwarves to counter-balance again for the five heroes.

Heroes are a lot of fun, because of the more individual way they develop, so letting the 4-hero warbands have a fifth is good from that perspective (i.e. fun for the player running them). What is the fifth hero for the dwarves? I always thought they needed a champion type, since all of the non-Captain heroes are very specialized. In our group, all of the early dwarf warbands were abandoned early on by their players (frustrated by the slow movement), and one of the changes everyone agreed I could make before trying them again was to reduce the slayers from 2 to 1 and make the fourth hero a basic champion type who could benefit from armor and carry missile weapons. Later, I decided the two slayers were OK, a dwarf player just needs to be patient.

What has your group done to help the Bretonnians, wyldhunt? I assume you have removed the rule that you have to have a squire for every knight. One thing I noticed is that the champion knights (I forget what they are called) have a worse stat line than the human merc champions - one less WS, which seems odd, especially given the knight is more expensive (presumably because of the Blessing of the Lady benefit, which I suspect is over-costed). As with orcs, I have never seen Bretonnians run over a long campaign. My brother ran them over the long "The Wyrdstone Belongs to Us" campaign, but having run those warbands through a post-campaign game this Christmas, it seemed to me his Bretonnians were clearly the weakest warband of the three run during that campaign.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Sat 30 Jan 2010 - 10:04

Orcs also have an experience penalty. All of their heroes start with 10 or more experience so even with 4 heroes their base warband rating is 60. Witch Hunters are 56 with 5 heroes. Skaven are 46 with 6 heroes. Dwarfs, that ancient, civilized yet warlike race are base 46 with 4 heroes. Orc characters get fewer opportunities for advances than any other warband.

Orcs (and Skaven) are likely to start campaigns as the highest rated warbands. This means they will not get to choose a favorable scenario and they will be targets of the dread Surprise Attack more often than other warbands. The world is against the Green, but adversity makes us stronger!
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Sat 30 Jan 2010 - 10:09

I don't think that is a penalty, Von Kurst - I'd say it is a benefit. Warband rating is not (at least that I have ever noticed) extremely important. But starting a hero with 10 experience guarantees him an advancement roll if he just survives his first game, where the champion with 8 might, if unlucky, have to wait three games for his first advancement roll and is likely going to have to survive two games unless he is quite lucky his first game.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Sat 30 Jan 2010 - 10:41

It is not a huge disadvantage but it is definitely measurable. I did not say it was extremely important.

Being able to roll for the scenario means that you have a 2 out of 11 chance of picking exactly the scenario you want to play, it also means that you get to choose the role of attacker or defender in 2 player games. In multiplayer games the default Defender is always the warband with the highest rating which puts a bulls eye square on that warband.

As for the Shaman's 10 exp. that is nice. For him. For the Biguns it means they do not get the opportunity for 2 advances a Champion gets despite having only T as a difference in their profiles.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Sat 30 Jan 2010 - 11:02

I strongly agree about the big uns - starting them at 15 experience is a distinct disadvantage.
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Sat 30 Jan 2010 - 11:07

Big'Unz get WS4 as well though...
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Sat 30 Jan 2010 - 11:17

So do Reiklander/Marienburger/Middenheimer champions, who start with eight experience and will thus gain improvement rolls more quickly.

Haven't seen orc warbands played long enough to gauge how they stack up - every campaign where someone has started them seems to peter out quickly (not the orcs' fault that I can tell).
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Sat 30 Jan 2010 - 11:20

Well don't look at us. I play 'em to the end but I'm not playing to win anything just to survive, tell some tales and kill some Dwarfs along the way. Unrepentant Powergamer though I be.

Boss?
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Sun 31 Jan 2010 - 12:05

I have a bucket of fun with Orcs - I'm on my fourth different Orc and Goblin warband at the moment. I have fairly uneven luck with them (and trust me, you need luck and a good sense of humour when it comes to the Animosity Test!).

I came second in our last campaign and I think I'm currently first in Bell, Book and Candle. Victory conditions for both those campaigns have been based on number of locations controlled and the "control factor" in each (which is partly based on Warband Rating and partly on number of wins/losses in the location).

I'm not a particularly skilled or tactical gamer and so far I've only won 3 out of 12 games this campaign. I have started to get wise to a few strategies that are working for me but I've recently shyed away from the staples for OnGs (double clubs for everyone and a maxed-out warband of 19 Orcs and a Troll as soon as possible!)

At the moment I'm sticking to a smaller number of Orcs, a bunch of Goblins and getting swords whwneever I can afford them!
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PostSubject: Re: Why bother to group henchmen   Tue 2 Feb 2010 - 6:08

Sorry I hadn't gotten back to responding to you mweaver - local stuff always has precedence over forums!

mweaver wrote:
What is the fifth hero for the dwarves?
We took the Journeyman Runesmith from the Nemesis Crown supplement (wonderful scenarios in there, btw!), altered both him and the Runes list with information from the Nemesis Crown Dwarf Ranger warband's Runesmith and other fan-based ideas from other sources, and added him to the Dwarf Treasure Hunters. We really haven't seen how he's played out yet (only one turn, during which Dead Air prevailed).

mweaver wrote:
What has your group done to help the Bretonnians, wyldhunt?
We need to look at the Bretonnians more - another forumite here started, and others helped, with some really good ideas for updating that warband - your Bret player will likely want to search this forum for that thread. I haven't yet incorporated those ideas into our rules, however, if you want to review what we have done, our rules are linked from http://sites.google.com/site/wyldhaunt/games-workshop/mordheim. I should especially let you know - if you review the Campaign Rules section, you will find that rules from "The Warpstones Belong To Us!" figure quite prominently in the Global Events, Fate Points and Campaign Movement - the Campaign Movement rules y'all came up with are the best I've seen anywhere for Mordheim itself!


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