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 Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary

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Von Kurst
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Sun 23 May 2010 - 7:23

THE GAUNTLET by Erik Johnson. Published in TC#21 pp. 19-21.
The Gauntlet is an Indiana Jones inspired dash through a trap filled dungeon. It is written for inclusion in a Mordheim campaign as a special event.
I liked the idea behind this scenario the minute I read it. I really didn't see it as a city of Mordheim kind of scenario, but it seemed custom written for Lustria or Khemri.
Playing the scenario--The idea is to traverse the trap filled corridor to reach the treasure chamber. Traps are triggered by a warrior's movement and/or by combat. The more movement points used, the more likely it is that a trap will be encountered. As written each warrior must test for a trap after its movement ends. If the warrior charged then it must see if it set off a trap by charging, then roll again at the end of combat to see if the melee triggered a trap.
Repeating this process for each warrior means that the game takes a while to play. In addition since the warbands start on opposite sides of the treasure chamber with no side corridors connecting them with any other parts of the dungeon, there is no opportunity for interaction with your opponent aside from assigning them rolls for damage or to hit for a trap. Reaching the treasure chamber is much like a solo game.
Also since each warrior has an opportunity to spring a trap and some traps remain in play the corridor can become nearly impassible quite quickly for an aggressive player.
Once the depleted warband reaches the treasure chamber it encounters the survivors of the other warband and the final trap guarding the treasure. Attempting to grab the treasure and run may result in random zombies popping out of walls, huge pits opening in the floor or the ever popular boulder Ping-Pong!
I renamed this scenario the Temple of Doom and moved it to our Lustrian lost city. Playing it as written was a problem. One warband usually routed before it had even glimpsed the treasure chamber. We tried continuing the scenario until the survivor could drag the treasure off the table but the volume of traps usually meant that the corridors would become impassible. Ending the scenario when one warband routed meant most games didn't last long enough to reach the treasure chamber.
As a compromise we decided to limit the number of traps encountered in a player turn to D3. Each player rolls for the number of traps he can encounter before movement begins. If all of the traps are not sprung by the end of the combat phase, a new number is still generated on the next player turn. Also we end the game when one player has secured the treasure, the other player has routed and no non-player zombies are in charge range of any warriors.
This solution sped the game up considerably while retaining the flavor of the scenario. The first few turns of a game are still largely a solo game as the player navigates the corridor. Reckless or unlucky players will still be taking rout tests before they reach the treasure chamber and corridors can still become nearly impassible, but aside from the first, these results are more likely to be the consequence of the player's approach to the scenario rather than inherent in the design.
Our favorite event is when the giant boulder drops from the ceiling on the treasure chamber. We play that the boulder keeps rolling in a randomly determined direction until it hits a solid obstacle (crushed warriors don't count). The boulder then ricochets in a new direction and the process is repeated until it falls in a pit or rolls out an exit. Woe to the clumsy warrior in a pit when the boulder is rumbling down a corridor!

FEEDBACK.
Comments on the above or your experiences with this scenario or other scenarios is welcomed.
Next installment--The Haunted Wreck
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Sun 23 May 2010 - 18:57

Thank you for all the thought and hard work you have put into these reviews. I would like to play some of the more esoteric scenarios but too ofter they seem unbalanced or that the rewards are way too good for the winner, which is usually the warband in the campaign lead anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Mon 24 May 2010 - 6:29

You are welcome.

I'm sure there are many variables. Our group campaigns in Lustria, Khemri and the other non-city of Mordheim settings. Thus we play a lot of non-standard scenarios. If a scenario doesn't work out it gets dropped from the scenario list or gets tweaked until we're happier. Also since scenarios are determined randomly all warbands have an equal chance at any rewards over the course of a campaign.

Scenarios are what make the game interesting for me. We recently played a vanilla Mordheim campaign to give the guys a break from jungles and deserts. After a month I was bored to tears. HornedRat's "Thing in the Water" was just the ticket.
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Sat 2 Apr 2011 - 6:59

Stagecoach Ambush TC#25, pp. 10-11.  No specific author credited.

We are visiting the Empire in Flames setting.  As a tourist of many of the Mordheim campaign settings I am familiar with the difficulty of communicating an idea for a game into rules.  Stagecoach Ambush seems like a shining example of the problem.
 
The premise is simple, but the number of questions raised by the scenario are never ending.  We have rarely played the scenario, but we have rolled it at least 3 or 4 times in the last eight years or so.  I expect to play it more often in the next few months.  Rather than a review I have some questions and observations.

The Ride Skill--do you require the skill for anyone riding a horse (or whatever) during the scenario?  I recommend that any mounted model count as having the skill for the scenario to reduce the number of special tests need to do anything.  Our group always discusses this first, (because we can never remember what we did the last time).  Without the Ride skill no chase is possible, because models spend the game taking 'Whoa Boy' tests.

What about Skaven and Beastmen?  Do you allow them mounts?  Dwarfs get a wagon but no mention is made of what to do with other warbands that do not have access to mounts. The last time I attacked a coach with Beasts I pursued with a Centigor, a flying shaman, Minotaur and hounds.  The rest of the band rushed from the thickets near the road.  

What would Skaven do?  Skinks are just as fast (M6) but have access to mounts.

The disparity in the price of mounts means that Orcs will have fewer possible pursuers than a human band, even though Orcs are more likely to be Ambushers.   scratch

There is a rules section for ending the game, but none for starting it.  This always results in a discussion for us before we roll off as usual.  Is the attacker supposed to move first?

Does Applying the Lash count as running for the coach?  This only matters if you roll appropriate weather. but on icy roads Applying the Lash seams like a bad idea...

Has anyone played this scenario?  Any tips for making it simpler to accomplish?

EDIT 5/3/2015
The Coreheim scenarios include a completely revised version which eliminates many of the problems by getting rid of most of the special rules and mounts altogether.

http://www.indadvendt.dk/wordpress/wp-content/coreheim_scenarios12.pdf


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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Sun 3 Apr 2011 - 22:10

I have not, and did not because I was partially dismayed by it too... the fact that the 5 pages of stage coach rules were in a completely different section didn't help the confusion.
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Thu 7 Apr 2011 - 21:07

So tonight we rolled it as a multi-player game...How does that work? We didn't try to find out because of lack of time, but it seems really unfair for the poor warband on the coach.
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Sun 10 Apr 2011 - 0:48

I haven't played the Stagecoach scenario yet.

But as a Multiplayer scenario it is really unfair, that 2-4 arbands hunt one warband, if they all have a similar level. Ok if there is an uber warband who defends the coach it could be fair.

This don't work out good very often.

I also have some problems with the riding skills.

I think everyone owning a mount should get this skill for free.

But this is an other discussion.
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Wed 27 Apr 2011 - 21:58

Lost in the Bogs TC#25, p.12.  No specific author credited. (See also the Empire In Flames booklet.)

If you follow my recent campaign threads you may have gathered that I am not fond of this scenario.  We have rolled it the most often of any scenario thus far and my luck has not been great whether I am being attacked or am the attacker. (My one chance to be the attacker was sabotaged by the weather conditions in the game.)

The things I do not like about the scenario.  
~I do not like the fact that the attacker can pick his or her set up zone--The scenario mirrors the rulebook scenario Surprise Attack, however, the Defender starts with his or her entire warband.  Then the Attacker gets to choose a side to attack from.  This makes having a weak side inevitable.  High first turn casualties are often a result.

~I hate the multiplayer rules.  The scenario specifically mentions using the Chaos in the Streets article for multi-player games, but it also specifically says that the attackers may set up within 8 inches of a table edge (but stay 4 inches away from the sides.)  The Defender is squeezed by the Attackers and should rout by Turn 2.  Our Defenders generally last until turn 3 at least, but that is because we are a stubborn lot.  Having regular multiplayer rules where the attackers are 6 inches from the table edge would be a slight improvement.
In addition to the 8 inch set up zone the Attackers go first.  In a multi-player game this means the Defender should take a rout test at the start of his first turn.

Things that just confuse me.
Why bogs?  Did the author have some reason to specify boggy terrain?  If so what was it? There are specific rules for swamps in the Empire in Flames supplement, but they are not repeated in the scenario.  Thus we often forget to use them. (Read 'always forget'.)

Mitigating circumstances.
Terrain--the store that we play at recently reorganized the gaming area.  Part of the re-organization was to change the way the scenery collection was stored.  Many pieces of scenery disappeared and the rest is stored in bins in random, illogical ways.  Do not expect a bin of trees, for example, (at least until we sorted through enough of the bins to make one.) Thus it is really hard to put together a proper table.  This affects all the scenarios we have played, but it is really obvious in Ambush, Surprise Attack and Lost in the Bogs.

In conclusion this is one of those scenarios that I would vote off the island.  It would be better to play the standard Surprise Attack with different scenery as a two player game and to play Ambush for the multiplayer version.

FEEDBACK.
Comments on the above or your experiences with this scenario or other scenarios is welcomed.



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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Mon 26 Sep 2011 - 22:07

Bounty Hunting
TC #25, p.9. No author credited, although my bets are on Nick Kyme.

I think of this scenario as beginning a trend in scenario writing that I really don't like. The warbands each suffer random damage each turn until one routs. The warbands can do nothing to mitigate the damage during the game (except manipulate terrain set up.)

Plot.
The warbands have supposedly trapped some outlaws in a house. The outlaws shoot a random number of crossbow shots at the attacking warbands each turn. They target the nearest warriors to the house and must roll to hit and to wound as normal (BS3 and S4). The warbands can do nothing about the snipers, but must fight each other until only one warband remains. At this point the outlaws surrender and the winner of the scenario gets rich: 6 crossbows!

Player reactions.
I was surprised to find that my friends really don't care about how the scenario is written or played, they just wanted to win and collect the crossbows. 2 warbands gladly fought until one had been completely shot out of the game. (Crazy number of passed rout tests.) The players took the damage and stuck it out. And they had great fun making rout test after rout test as their warbands melted away.

Reservations.
I don't like including this scenario in a campaign. I would prefer that the rewards were less and that the players were encouraged to actually fight the outlaws in the house. I like scenarios where the rules enhance the 'plot' rather than ignore it.

Also in my experience the example of players who brave the crossbow shots to gain the reward is the exception rather than the rule. In that game the players had not really read the scenario through when they set up. Neither player placed all that much cover on the board.

FEEDBACK.
Comments on the above or your experiences with this scenario or other scenarios is welcomed.




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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Tue 27 Sep 2011 - 7:03

Don't think I've played this one, or at least, if I did I played it so long ago I can't remember.

As for the "random damage" thing, I think there's occasionally a place for it. Some days you want to play chess- no luck, only pure strategy. Some days, you want to play Egytian Rat Screw (almost entirely luck.) Generally, lack of luck will always favor the stronger player... thus, random elements will sometimes favor the weaker player, as he now has as much chance of winning as his opponent.

I'll agree, however, that the bounty hunt didn't actually include any bounties to be hunted.
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Tue 27 Sep 2011 - 17:48

I think the mitigating circumstances for me were playing Beastmen against Dwarfs and Rieklanders in that particular campaign cycle. We played that scenario often enough for me to loathe it. The other warbands would fort up at a corner of the table and refuse to move. The Beasts would have to slog across the table taking pot shots from the outlaws and the enemy warband too.
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Wed 28 Sep 2011 - 13:47

Yeah i don'tlike this scenario either.

6 crossbows for the winner? And you can't do anything against those outlaws?

Na, it is so much easier to just develop a balanced scenario on your own.

Why no actually hunting those outlaws down. You just need 6 models or so and go hunting.

The NPC move phase might be difficult, but it is doable.
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Sun 29 Apr 2012 - 9:19

Threadomancy!
And what better topic than the Land of the Dead, Khemri. We are journeying through Araby on the way to Khemri for the first time in a couple of years, so I will comment on the scenarios we encounter. Starting with:

Defend the Oasis
The author is not credited in either the Khemri website version or the TC #19 version.

The scenario is a variant of Defend the Find and follows the rules for that scenario almost exactly although it is important to follow the scenery suggestions when setting the table up. The size of the oasis (and the definition of what the oasis is) becomes important which is one of those maddening things ignored by the authors of the scenario. As usual with a Mordheim scenario neither version is particularly coherent or logical.

The Khemri website version:
-Explains things fairly well until it gets to defender deployment. "The Defender deploys inside the oasis." Certain personalities will have a field day with this one. Is the oasis the scenery placed 18 inches from a table edge? Is it the one piece of scenery that represents a well? So the defending warband must be placed in a well?

-The game ends when the attacker has more models "within 6' of the well." Since the attacker is the warband with the most models this means that the game is over after the attacker's first turn. Unless you spend some time clarifiying things before you play. The ' instead of " is a fairly common typo in the Khemri rules.

The TC#19 version:
-Reduces the scenery free zone to 12" from the table edge.
-Declares the Defender to be the warband with the lowest warband rating (the Defender is the warband with the fewest warriors in Defend the Find and the original version of this scenario. In the next sentence it says "if both warbands have the same number of warriors" to pick the Defender by lowest water supply. So this looks like a cut and paste error.
-Clarifies the error in the original scenario by "if the attacking warband has more men within 6" of the well than the defender..."

Other than the above errors the scenario plays like a Defend the Find with less cover. My experiences are that if you ignore the scenry free zone and give the attackers cover or worse any heights in their deployment zone, the defender has little chance.

As always comments on this or any other scenario are welcome.
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PostSubject: Khemri: Land of the Dead scenario review   Mon 28 May 2012 - 7:33

Tomb Raid
The scenario appears in the original Khemri: Land of the Dead website and was published in TC#19. No author is specifically credited.

The scenario is an Underground battle and uses the rules from either the Khemri website or TC #17. The Underground rules are not reprinted with the scenario, which means you must have a copy of both to play.

The scenario is very simply written. The warbands must enter the tomb, find their way to the central Objective Room and capture the treasure. Then they must get the treasure chest off the board. Fast warbands will do better in the race than slow warbands.

The only difference between the Khemri website version (aside from cleaning up cut and paste errors and removing some confusing words) is that the fabulous treasure is much less fabulous in the TC version.

The scenario in either version triggers one of my pet peeves about fan-written scenarios--not including special rules from the setting in the scenarios written FOR the setting. I have a theory this is because a different person or group of persons write rules and other people write scenarios or perhaps the idea is to make the scenarios useful in other settings. Whatever the reason it drives me slightly bats. In this case there are rules for traps in the rules for Underground battles, but there are no traps included in the scenarios written to use the Underground rules. Sigh.

Usually when we play these scenarios we include random traps in rooms and corridors, a special trap on the treasure chest and some wandering monsters for flavor. It makes for a challenging evening.
Undead

FEEDBACK.
Comments on the above or your experiences with this scenario or other scenarios is welcomed.




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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Mon 28 May 2012 - 13:42

Amazingly I have never seen this thread before so I'm quite pleased it's been resurrected. Hey, what happened to your review of the Haunted Wreck? It was cited as the next review - then it never featured.

Having played a handful of the above scenarios in various campaigns as bonus scenarios to mix things up, I was pleased to see them deconstructed in the form of critical reviews.

My opinion on your criticisms is one of shared frustration. Every time you hit a vague, misordered or badly described (with superfluous waffle) body of text it makes you wonder why the playtesters didn't revise or redraft the scenario! Speaking form experience, I find myself constantly finding clearer ways to describe goals and effects to enhance scenarios for the player. Every time a player points out something is not fair or can be improved in some other way or if we come across an unclear situation in a gamestate then the scenario can be updated.

I provided feedback for some scenarios in the Nemesis Crown supplement and most of the ones in Border Town Burning. I'd like to think they're better off for it, especially the ones in BTB which I know Cianty put a lot of hours into.

A lot of the one-off scenarios from Town Cryer have some brilliant features but the final execution isn't, well, final enough. The best thing about 'Down At The Docks' scenario is the Medicine Chest. Thanks for reminding me of that item! I won't add it to the price list but it wants to crop up on the manifest of contraband items.

A few of the best classic scenarios have inspired daring escapades in Marienburg. I've worked on a couple of adaptations plus I've looted ideas from various sources to fuel piratical adventures in espionage.

In respect of the Last Orders! We always think of this scenario as a recovery game. With the permitted Injury Chart re-rolls, the players in our campaign count it as brief respite from front-line action! It's treated as a time-out in the campaign where the Captain and his crew retreat to the tap room to lick their wounds before the next serious tussle but they end up being caught in bar brawl. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Mon 28 May 2012 - 20:08

Thank you.

Quote :
Hey, what happened to your review of the Haunted Wreck? It was cited as the next review - then it never featured.

Since I am the author of that scenario, I had intended the review as sort of an apology and insight into how errors get published. But about a year went by and in the mean time StyrofoamKing offered to put a revised (completed) version of the scenario on his website so we did that instead as part of the Sartosa add-ons.

Haunted Wreck story--When I was contacted about submitting that scenario, I sent off a file from one of our campaigns. I never heard anything back so I kind of forgot about it until, bam, my rough draft was published! Oops!
Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Thu 27 Sep 2012 - 14:07

Von Kurst wrote:
Lost in the Bogs TC#25, p.12. No specific author credited. (See also the Empire In Flames booklet.)

In conclusion this is one of those scenarios that I would vote off the island. It would be better to play the standard Surprise Attack with different scenery as a two player game and to play Ambush for the multiplayer version.

FEEDBACK.
Comments on the above or your experiences with this scenario or other scenarios is welcomed.

I feel the same way about this scenario. The picture makes it look like an exciting scenario with random troll attacks and difficult footing. If they at least tried to remind people what rules to use for the terrain it might have been effective. Instead of trolls it needs Fimir wandering monsters... that would be interesting!

Von Kurst wrote:
Bounty Hunting
TC #25, p.9. No author credited, although my bets are on Nick Kyme.


I like scenarios where the rules enhance the 'plot' rather than ignore it.

FEEDBACK.
Comments on the above or your experiences with this scenario or other scenarios is welcomed.

I found it an interesting scenario with a really simple rule to work the outlaw attacks instead of requiring actual models and a third player. The reward is too good in my opinions.

I would like to see a rewrite of this that functions like a Treasure Hunt (using the x marks the spot variant) but instead of looking for a chest you are looking for the outlaw hideout. They do not fire each turn, but instead the finder would take one volley of fire. The game would then become a fight over the hideout. The reward would be a bounty for each hero occupying the building at the end of the game (each hero bags a bandit and hightails it)

I'm going to have to write this scenario now!
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Thu 27 Sep 2012 - 20:50

Thanks for the feedback. I would love to see your scenario when you write it.

Quote :
I found it an interesting scenario with a really simple rule to work the outlaw attacks instead of requiring actual models and a third player.

We always have the players play the NPCs. Not an ideal solution, but as long as the NPCs have clear orders like 'attack the closest enemy model', its pretty straight forward.
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Tue 26 May 2015 - 14:23

Threadomancy II It is aliiiive!

Its been awhile since I added to this thread.  Partially because I find myself being very critical of scenarios these days, so I want to go back and change some of my positive reviews to negative ones.  Instead of editing previous reviews, I'm going to review the Nemesis Crown scenarios, because I actually enjoy several of them.

I have already done a review of two of the scenarios: Last Orders and the Lost Mines, which are my favorites of the set.  However we recently played an Empire in Flames sort of campaign that I incorporated several more of these scenarios into, so I thought I would give my reactions.  I am going to go in order according to the scenario table (except where I have already written something.)

Nightfall
No author given.  Still available for download from the Nemesis Crown website.
http://www.mordheim-nemesiscrown.de.vu/

The plot is that two warbands are racing to enter a walled village before nightfall.  However, the gates of the village are closed so the only option is to scale the wall which is one entire short edge of the 2'x4' game board.

Special rules: the warbands set up in table quarters that do not contain a wall edge.  They must not set up within 8" of an enemy model. There are no rout tests because it is important to get into the village before night. Random game length: on the 6th turn players begin rolling to see if darkness falls and the game ends.

Just plain odd rule: the wall is 4" tall.  Now by the normal rules of the game this means that Dwarfs cannot enter the village because the wall is too tall for them to climb.  The scenario does not address this, but does state that: "A model who fails his second climbing roll is assumed to fall 2" to the ground."
When I encounter sentences like this I am forced to question the author's grasp of the rules. By the rules you can either climb a wall because you have enough movement to reach the top or you can't, there IS no second climbing roll.

Given the setup zones this oddity in rules interpretation was moot in all of the games played.  One warband just fell upon the other and the first warband to get tired of losing models voluntarily routed. The scenario offers +1 Experience to every hero who climbs the wall, but we just went looking for enemies to take out of action instead which was pretty easy as they are 8" away.

As someone running a campaign, I lost interest in including this scenario again because it played out as a really bloody skirmish* that used only half of the recommended board.  This was influenced by my warband choice as halflings are not fond of enemies starting so close by. Not a thumbs up from me.

*EDIT 6/6/2015: One reason our games played out the way they did was that we (more likely I) did not see that there is NO +1 Experience for heroes taking an enemy out of action! Well doh! Embarassed Since the only extra experience heroes can gain is from climbing the wall to leave the table, actually racing to do it is more likely.

As usual, I would be glad to hear of your experiences with this scenario or indeed any scenario covered in this thread.  Your own reviews of scenarios are welcome here as well.


Last edited by Von Kurst on Sat 6 Jun 2015 - 6:14; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Wed 27 May 2015 - 10:55

Enter the Necromancer's Tower
No author credited.  Published on the Nemesis Crown website.
http://www.mordheim-nemesiscrown.de.vu/

I started these Nemesis reviews with a scenario that I do not like, but I do enjoy Enter the Necromancer's Tower, as do the players in my group.  In light of my comments on the scenario Bounty Hunting, some might find that odd.

Enter the Necromancer's Tower features random magical attacks that a player cannot stop, however, the random attacks target the closest model to the tower AND/OR the farthest model from the tower AND ignore line of sight.  Therefore, it is harder to 'game' the scenario by electing to surround the center building with forests, for example, or by forting up in a corner of the board.  Also there are random zombies to kill, which I always enjoy.

It is possible to mitigate damage by getting within 12" of the Tower, but that just means that both warbands are encouraged to fight each other and the closer you are to the Tower the more likely you are to encounter zombies.

I do find it odd that the Tower surrenders when one warband routs, but that is a minor quibble and, apparently, a popular way of ending this type of  scenario.  I am also slightly annoyed by the title as actually entering the Tower is not encouraged... Ah well. As written the scenario has provided us with many interesting games and few sour grapes.

OTHER VARIANTS OF THE SCNEARIO:
Enter the Necromancer's Tower is a coreheim scenario which changes the rewards for winning the scenario, but is otherwise the same scenario as the Nemesis Crown version.
http://www.indadvendt.dk/wordpress/wp-content/coreheim_scenarios12.pdf

The Wise One's Tower
http://boringmordheimforum.forumieren.com/t1998-scenario-the-wise-one-s-tower

The Black Tower
http://boringmordheimforum.forumieren.com/t3737-scenario-idea-help-me-develop-this

The Tower
Redclaw Gaming. Likely author: Brahm Tazoul.
This scenario features a Necromancer and his guardians as NPCs. I used it in our last Empire in Flames campaign in place of Enter the Necromancer's Tower.
https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=02B7C1D22EA7D959&id=2b7c1d22ea7d959%21148&authkey=%21AByFcnV1qMjZdzg

FEEDBACK WELCOME
As usual, I would be glad to hear of your experiences with this scenario or indeed any scenario covered in this thread. Your own reviews of scenarios are welcome here as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Thu 28 May 2015 - 12:13

The Warmachine
No author credited. Still available from the Nemesis Crown website, see above for link.

Although I have some issues with this scenario, I love the premise and I have included it unchanged in every Empire in Flames/Nemesis Crown type campaign I have run.  As the title suggests the scenario features a warmachine (actually given that many of the Empire in Flames scenarios have misleading titles, this is quite refreshing.)  The warmachine in question is an abandoned Imperial Army mortar. The scenario includes rules drawn from 6th edition Warhammer for firing the mortar and some scenario specific rules for its use.  This is another scenario that my group enjoys although most of us would prefer to attack because the Attacker finds an rusty Hochland Long Rifle which they may use AND keep regardless of whether the warband could normally USE a Hochland Long Rifle. (It is easier to keep the Long Rifle if you win, but you have a 4+ chance of keeping it even if you flee.)

The access to a mortar and a Long Rifle in a skirmish game scenario are the big draws for me.  However, the player with the mortar rarely gets to fire it more than once because the scenario uses the Defend the Find setup.  Fast attackers are on the machine quickly and mortars cannot guess less than 12" when estimating range, so the opportunities to fire are few.

The rewards for an Attacker winning the scenario are both the Long Rifle and the mortar.  A victorious Defender may only retain the mortar, which is worth for 40 gc (unless your group allows the mortar to be used in subsequent games).

My issues with the scenario mainly lie with the choice of Defend the Find as a template for the setup for the Defender, while the Attacker may setup within 8" of any table edge.  You are going to have a quick game, but the Defender isn't going to get much use out of that mortar.  The scenario is tilted toward the Attacker pretty heavily, both in rewards and how it plays.  The lowest rated warband is hardly ever going to opt to defend because even if they rout they have a 4+ chance to snag a Long Rifle.  I would prefer a board setup more in line with Hostile Embargo or The Watchtower.

My other quibbles are mainly about the special rules.  The mortar may be fired by one crewman and may fire every turn.  Horror!  This is kind of necessary given the constraints of the scenario, but a similar weapon in Warhammer needs a crew of 3 (who represent 10-100 actual men).  Moreover, a heavy siege weapon (and a ill maintained one at that) has a faster rate of fire than a simple black-powder weapon (which is why our group forces the automatic sale of the mortar rather than allow warbands to keep it.)

I keep this scenario around mainly because the players enjoy the rewards and the Defenders don't complain too much, which may not seem like a ringing endorsement but in our group is actually high praise!

FEEDBACK WELCOME
As usual, I would be glad to hear of your experiences with this scenario or indeed any scenario covered in this thread. Your own reviews of scenarios are welcome here as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Fri 29 May 2015 - 13:48

The Flood Plain
No author credited. Available from the Nemesis Crown website.
http://www.mordheim-nemesiscrown.de.vu/

This is another scenario that I like despite the original version's triggering of many of my pet peeves. The premise of the scenario is that the warbands are exploring a flooded area. The entire surface area of the board is considered water except for "a large number of hills" which represent the only dry land. The warbands may wade through the water which counts as difficult ground or they may cross walkways between the hills or they may use "[a] number of small, flat-bottomed boats (used by the locals) may also be placed on the board. One or two at each end should suffice."

If you have read more of my reviews you may know which pet peeve this scenario triggers. If not I shall not keep you in suspense. This is the only 'official' scenario written for an Empire in Flames type setting that features water. What rules doesn't this scenario use? The Empire in Flames rules for moving in water and using boats, of course!

On the plus side the scenario is well written and the rules it uses are at least similar to the existing Empire in Flames rules. While simpler than the Empire in Flames rules, they at least allow the players to experience the environment: instead of making the water impassable, for example.*

It does make one wonder why those Empire in Flames rules were written if no one who writes scenarios is interested in using them. Am I wrong?

This scenario influenced the changes that I have made to the Island Hopping scenario I use in our campaigns. We tend to use house rule versions for boats and swimming.

*See the original Lustrian scenario Island Hopping.

FEEDBACK WELCOME
As usual, I would be glad to hear of your experiences with this scenario or indeed any scenario covered in this thread. Your own reviews of scenarios are welcome here as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Fri 29 May 2015 - 16:41

Thanks VK for this thread. I haven't played any of these recent scenarios to comment but I have bookmarked this thread ages ago as a reference for of we ever play some of these scenarios.
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Sat 30 May 2015 - 6:55

You are welcome. I hope you have some games to report one of these days.
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PostSubject: Re: Scenario Reviews-An Irregular Commentary   Sun 31 May 2015 - 9:25

The Shifting Paths
No author credited.  Available from the Nemesis Crown website, see above for link.

The Shifting Paths is one of those scenarios I want to love. The plot is that the warbands are marching through a forest and the path they are on is very difficult to follow.  The warriors become lost in the deep woods and must find their way out.

Part of me feels that this is a great idea for a scenario, however, it is also a scenario which requires at least some special scenery: the paths.  These are (supposedly) available from websites and as gaming aides from role playing companies (I have never found any).  It also requires a number of special rules since the paths move and just plain odd things can happen.

The scenario as written lays out the premise, gives a couple suggestions about how to play and then kind of leaves the game up to the players.  Thus a lot will depend on who you are playing the scenario with, how they approach open ended rules and your own personality.

I've had mostly fun games.  A lot depends on how much preparation you have done to play the scenario, which has been my downfall a couple of times.  (I had a home made road system,  but it disappeared a while ago.  Playing the scenario with dungeon tiles is not as fun.)

As noted above the scenario requires special scenery, but it also DOESN'T require the scenery which would make the game visually interesting: a dense forest.  The game needs to be played on a mostly bare table because the path pieces are always moving.  Any game in which the scenery moves is going to take longer to play and requires flexibility about rules from both players, because unforeseen things are going to happen.

On the plus side the scenario includes forest glades which DON'T ever move and contain a treasure counter.  So the game is kind of like Wyrdstone Hunt scenery surfing.  Add the random events chart from the Nemesis Crown supplement and you will have a long, eventful evening of gaming.  

The scenario is really one that your playing experience depends entirely on you and your group.  The scenario has only broad guidelines and leaves everything up to the players  as far as path layout, the number of paths, etc.  There is no suggestion of even an appropriate website to obtain templates for forest paths.  The more paths you have the more path sections you have to move individually.  Having LOTS of path sections creates more chaos, but it can take forever to move all of them which is not as much fun.

Occupied paths DO NOT move.  Thus it behooves warbands to spread out to keep the paths stable. Shooty warbands will not do as well unless your path layout is boring as any space not occupied by a path or glade is assumed to be dense forest which blocks line of sight.  My halfling warband did not enjoy meeting a Chaos Warrior warband in the woods.

FEEDBACK WELCOME
As usual, I would be glad to hear of your experiences with this scenario, links to websites that offer downloads are also welcome as my google foo is weak when searching for forest paths  Wink


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