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 Why Change Mordheim?

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cianty
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 1:29

lol!

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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 3:15

Quote :
But to say you can "do whatever you want with it" sounds a little... strange. That means we get ppl who play Mordheim with Dragon Warbands, wielding magic swords, or Assassin Warbands (yeah, I have spotted one), which have no business whatsoever in the original setting.

You forgot Elves Wink

Quote :
And let's face it, Mordheim as written is about 3/4s complete

Sounds about right to me.

Quote :
not any less complete than a loaf of bread.

you know what you call an incomplete loaf of bread? half-baked Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 3:17

i am still offended and hurt that i didnt get an eager elf-basher icon when you were handing out the honours Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 5:18

Got one even worse then Elves, which a Town Cryer article transformed from Lustria to Mordheim itself: Amazons.

From its very beginning, from the official organ and staff of Mordheim-ness, it was a game in flux, and a game that was constantly modified - not just additions, but changes in the very heart of the game - First Strike, Steel Whips, Lucky Charms, the list goes on.

Mordheim was a game birthed and steeped in the sacred gamer tradition of "take this and make it what you want it to be." You can see several quotes from the original designers which fervently back this up.

The later declaration from GW that Mordheim was "finished" is to be really translated as: "we're done with Mordheim, and we don't care to spend additional time on it." That's fine - I'm not done with Mordheim.

Official Mordheim is not a great game - however, it has the potential to be a one of the best games of all time. It does have the setting and story for this, and just needs rules-balancing and expansion to complete it. That's why the game is so frustrating to me, and why I've been in-and-out of playing. I've decided to bring out the potential in the game, so that's what I'm working on. Why call it Mordheim still? Well, I'm calling it "Wyldhunt's Mordheim Revision" because that is exactly what it is - the flavor of Mordheim is being maintained, but revised to be balanced and expanded to include a lot of fan-based material that should be in there.

Read carefully the posts from those who state they like the official rules: they're still adding house-rules to the game, because they must. These house rules are at the very least:

1. Decisions on equipment and playstyle are to be dictated by GW fluff.

2. Players may not play to win unless done so in the GW-style of the warband.

So why change Mordheim? Because one must to make it a playable game.

I can see from many posts already on this thread that I've received a chorus of "agreeds."
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 5:53

so wyld, how does elven warbands get into the eastern empire, let alone why?
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 6:48

Our group play vanilla Mordheim. Vanilla Mordheim with official warbands. Vanilla Mordheim with official warbands and, with the exception of the occasional bit of campaign experimentation, no house rules. We've been playing vanilla Mordheim like this since 1999 so, it came as something of a surprise to me to hear that Mordheim is not playable.

While I think that Mordheim is far from perfect and that it could be improved, it's unlikely that my group could agree on what should be improved and how. Consequently, we play vanilla Mordheim. We think it's playable. Many, if not all of us, also think it's a great game.

Moving on, I'm seeing people here increasingly talk about balance like it's some sort of holy grail. This troubles me somewhat. They seem to think it's important and that we need to strive to balance the game. Why? For the sake of fairness? To stop our tabletops being overrun by tier one warbands? Something else?

Personally, I doubt that any tabletop wargame can ever be truly balanced. It might be that the balance-seekers are questing for a grail that doesn't exist. They are, of course, welcome to continue do so, but I remain to be convinced that this is a quest worth joining them on.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 7:01

Asp wrote:
so wyld, how does elven warbands get into the eastern empire, let alone why?

They have these warp gates that allow them to mass telepo...oh wait that's 40k.

I think it must be an individual or small group decision...where either one person or a small collective of gamers decided "screw this part of GW's fluff, we want to change it for our own uses". It's sort of like ignoring and/or altering rules (who the hell does that around here?), but instead of `rules' it's backstory. Anyone that has done the former should understand the latter IMO. It's not like it is scripture, though GW and their fanboys might want to believe so. Rules are meant to be broken, and fiction isn't reality, yo. If you don't like it you are not required to participate, and finally: Damn mutual exclusivity to hell, I'm off to get a mocha.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 7:29

Quote :
Personally, I doubt that any tabletop wargame can ever be truly balanced.

let me tell you about a game called chess...

sartori i agree with everything you said. it was wyld who said he honoured the fluff behind the game
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 7:33

Asp wrote:
Quote :
Personally, I doubt that any tabletop wargame can ever be truly balanced.

let me tell you about a game called chess...

sartori i agree with everything you said. it was wyld who said he honoured the fluff behind the game

Then please allow me to apologize as I misunderstood your intentions!
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 7:49

Asp wrote:
i am still offended and hurt that i didnt get an eager elf-basher icon when you were handing out the honours Sad
Crying or Very sad

Anyway, I say change away, but its good to keep to the core of it. Most Mordheimers are private players, so when I rarely do get to play with outsiders, I always ask if they have any house rules. Its a good idea to print up a summary sheet for your group so everyone is on the same page. Adding small changes to balance out the weapon selection here and there, whether it works or not is what keeps the game fresh after so long. :3

I rarely even play 'Mordheim' technically, but play the Empire in Flames rules that fit woodland instead. My elves (reiklander rules; don't worry) come from a hidden city up in the vaults, and often its fun to just run around the Empire. It inspires people to make camp-terrain, and we play over Mighty Empires tiles... I'm thinking about trying to play three game systems at once as part of a Mighty Empires campaign, with games of Warhammer Skirmish and games of up to 2k points of regular WHFB using Mordheim rules for character creation and challenges. Mixed in with it all would be Mordheim style bands, operating as elite scouts, skirmishers and assassins, kind of like Kelly's Heroes or something. The Warhammer bands would be allowed to move much more freely than an army, sneaking into enemy territory for assassinations or raids... there'd be an ever present danger of them running into a Warhammer Skirmish group, in which case they'd be shit out of luck, but if the warband was sufficiently advanced, could make some pretty uneven (IE awesome) battles where the 15 not only survived against 50, but chewed through them with impunity. :3

I've also been tinkering with the idea of making rules to represent the board itself - since its in the Empire, if you're fighting in a city, the Altdorf watch might show up and try to throw your entire gang in the clink... or a woodland battle might be ambushed by a herd of beastmen.

Yay ambition! :3 Anyway, I seem to have rambled a bit...
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 7:53

It is worth mentioning the GW also considered that Mordheim needed more tweaking - they have just never followed up with additional changes after the last rules revision (2005?). In the "Stuff for Later" section of that document they talk about the need to playtest various changes and find the best solutions to things they feel aren't right yet. The example in the rules revisions is the classic shield vs. second weapon issue:

"There was much debate about hand-to-hand combat in general, though it tended to be sparked off by details. In the end I decided that it was going to take a major overhaul of the phase, not to change lots of things, but to perhaps shift the balance slightly. For example, two weapons are the norm in Mordheim and almost nobody uses a weapon and shield. This imbalance feels wrong to me: I’d much rather either was a viable choice, and one that was taken based on playing style, or perhaps warband type. Anyway, this subtle shifting of balance is actually extremely complex to achieve, and so I decided that we’d look at proposals after the RR, trial them in the Playtest Vault over the next year, and debate their adoption as official changes at next year’s RR."

Sadly, there never was a "next year's RR".
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 8:08

Asp wrote:
Quote :
Personally, I doubt that any tabletop wargame can ever be truly balanced.

let me tell you about a game called chess...

Let me tell you about white's first-mover advantage ...
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 8:49

Citizen Sade wrote:
Asp wrote:
Quote :
Personally, I doubt that any tabletop wargame can ever be truly balanced.

let me tell you about a game called chess...

Let me tell you about white's first-mover advantage ...

lol!

I count that a 1:0 for Sade.

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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 9:07

Quote :
Let me tell you about white's first-mover advantage ...

the one thats easily equalized in tournaments? Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 9:16

Balance is highly over-rated in my opinion anyway. No matter what, nothing is ever 100% equal, ever, if you look hard enough. Some of the very best games and campaigns are the ones where you're at a marked disadvantage and you need to fight for everything you get. I'm terrible in anything where I think 'I'm at an advantage here...' and I'll often throw away my lead on purpose, because I do so much better when I'm scrapping. :3

Screw balance! Damn the torpedoes and all ahead full! For Chrace and the glory of the Asur! *headbutts an ork into the ground like a tent peg*
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 11:02

Hmmm, I have to agree with screw balance. If we are intellectually honest with ourselves,the unbalanced part gives Morheim its feel. I mean a Chaos warband can bring a "daemon" onto the board. A daemon. An extra-dimensional being from thenetherworld. Wow! The skaven, can bring massed vermin. Yikes! Marienburgers get a whole lot more money to hire mercs. Must be nice to be rich. The point is, Mordheim is not about being fair, it's about challenges. Granted, the rules could use some work (I think we all agree on that), but the game is fine in it'soriginal beer & pizza form or for more serious gamers who want some more continuity. Fun and games for all!
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 13:48

Yep, yep, yep. How do Elves get into Mordheim? The same way they sneak all over the Old and New Worlds. There is fluff given with the Shadow Elves band as to why - and I'm allowing that. In contrast, the Bretonnian warband article in a Town Cryer specifically states they wouldn't, but I'm flexible enough to say maybe, just maybe, one Questing Knight decided for some reason to make it over (maybe he's on a quest to slay the Shadowlord?). And I've restricted Shadow Elves and a host of other "unlikely" warbands to a Singular Warbands list (such as Chaos Dwarfs and Clan Skryre), which means no more than one such warband may be in our campaign each go. However, even though a Town Cryer gave fluff that an Amazon warband in Mordheim is made up of escaped slaves, that's where I draw the line. I do honor fluff, but I'm not strict by it either - all in balance, where fun is the goal.

Fun is the goal - that's the driving factor behind pursuing a better balance of the rules. Of course it won't be 100% - what game is? But even 60% balanced is better than 30%. I'm glad there are some who can accept official Mordheim - however either you must add houserules as I've noted above, you must not mind losing time after time if you don't take the obvious and very simplistic optimizations, or you must not have even one single person who actually plays this as a game as defined in its rules - in other words, plays to win scenarios.

I'll grant that most games which are most-perfectly-balanced are drier than the Sahara - in my view, Chess is one, and its why I don't play it. I don't like games that are just exercises in math and bluffing. I want a game where I can explore variations, and also where my tactical possibilities of winning aren't determined by random dice nor the obviously-super DW combination - how damn boring is that?

Again, I've found official Mordheim to be a maddingly-vague set of incomplete rules, just begging for some time and thought to get this ironed out. Maybe you haven't, but I have. You go pursue your fun, that's fine - I'm going to pursue mine.

Citizen Sade, I am interested in one thing - your vanilla Mordheim - is that the Mordheim from the original 1999 book, with no Town Cryer changes; no Living Rulebook changes; no FAQ/Errata changes? If so, how do you handle omissions and differing interpretations of the rules in the original rulebook? An example: if I come into your game and assume that LoS means exactly that, a direct line from one of my models to one of yours, would you tell me that I'm incorrect, and that bases block LoS? Another: how have you worked out who strikes first between a charger with a Spear and a higher-Initiative chargee with Lightning Reflexes?
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 15:53

I can see both sides of the issue. On the one hand, to me playing Mordheim RAW is like settling for an obviously imperfect set of rules, but on the other hand I also don't want to change the game to the point that it actually plays differently. To me alterations to the game should be sparse, and only introduced out of necessity, usually learned from experience (for instance, most people know from experience that armor needs a fix).

We play by very few house rules, and leave the game for the most part intact, because overall we really like the game. There are certainly more drastic changes that I personally would like to make, but as others have said it's something that would change the game to the point that it no longer felt like Mordheim. It would be one thing had we introduced these changes when we first started playing, but at this point we're so accustomed to the game as it is that it would seem silly to make big changes.

I will also add that my group is primarily a fluff-gaming group (as far as I can tell, anyways), and lots of the supposedly blatant unbalanced aspects of the game hadn't occurred to us until we started browsing Mordheim forums.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 16:35

wyldhunt wrote:
Citizen Sade, I am interested in one thing - your vanilla Mordheim - is that the Mordheim from the original 1999 book, with no Town Cryer changes; no Living Rulebook changes; no FAQ/Errata changes?
No, it's LRB.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Sat 6 Feb 2010 - 22:29

Why do you assume my changes strive for balance? Partly they do, but mostly I just strive to make the game, well, better. Most of the tweaks I use just add nuance to the game. For example, many relate to equipment so that a sword and a mace isn't the optimal choice in all situations.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Mon 15 Feb 2010 - 22:41

Milliardo wrote:
Balance is highly over-rated in my opinion anyway. No matter what, nothing is ever 100% equal, ever, if you look hard enough. Some of the very best games and campaigns are the ones where you're at a marked disadvantage and you need to fight for everything you get. I'm terrible in anything where I think 'I'm at an advantage here...' and I'll often throw away my lead on purpose, because I do so much better when I'm scrapping. :3

Screw balance! Damn the torpedoes and all ahead full! For Chrace and the glory of the Asur! *headbutts an ork into the ground like a tent peg*

I agree that no game will likely ever be 100% balanced, but why not get as close as possible? For every anecdotal story about the joys of pullin' out a victory against the odds there is probably tens if not hundreds of stories about how lame and demoralizing it is to be trounced by an overpowered army/warband. Sure, some people play for the fluff, some people can lose game after game, and as long as their warband looks good on the table and satisfies their personal interpretation of how fluff says it should be they are fine. Well, good for them. I am glad that they are so easily satisfied. Not me.

Some people use the, "None of our gaming group are powergamers." arguement. Well, you don't have to be a powergamer, or play against one, to notice an imbalance. Skaven for example are largely considered to be overpowered. Furthermore, it is pretty fluffy to dual wield with most of your models, maybe give some of your henchmen some spears, and to give everything a sling. This is a fluffy build and totally legal in the vanilla rules, but still, in my opinion, an unfair advantage and not very fun to play against.

Is balance overrated? I guess the answer to that will be different depending on who you ask. For me? No.
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Tue 16 Feb 2010 - 2:48

Milliardo wrote:
Screw balance! Damn the torpedoes and all ahead full! For Chrace and the glory of the Asur! *headbutts an ork into the ground like a tent peg*
Haha! I love it!

Chess is a balanced game.
It's also boring game where chance plays no part and the miniatures are very poor quality. I'm mean, most players don't even bother to undercoat them! Razz Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Tue 16 Feb 2010 - 6:13

To me, playing and enjoying a game consists of slowly tweaking it to suit the players. I think that me and my various gaming groups have added changes to almost every game we've played more than a five times (with the possible exception of a nice little card game called Dominion...). It's natural. You like the game, but since no game is perfect for you and your friends right from the start, you make some changes, house ruling a few things. Making these changes gives the players all the more reason to play the game even more.

Come to think of it, how many popular games can you mention that does not have variants used in some circumstances? Chess is actually a good example (http://www.chessvariants.org/Gindex.html)- there are interesting variants (even if many chess players display quite a degree of conservatism)! True, when it comes to official tournaments you should use a basic ruleset, but since there are none such when it comes to Mordheim... well, you get the rest!

So, I'll keep tweaking, but if I ever get the chance to play against any of you nice people, I'm happy to revert to a more untweaked vision of Mordheim!
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Tue 16 Feb 2010 - 10:51

Continuing the off topic: How about Shuuro by GW's own Allessio Cavatore?

Alright, back on topic...

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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Tue 9 Mar 2010 - 11:17

It’s time to stoke the fire some more:



House Rules (HR) are fine. My Group uses HR. Use HR as long as it doesn’t change Game Rules. Some examples of HR are: Always using the Optional Crit Chart. Always using the Random Happenings Chart. Using the Optional Black Powder Chart. Or always using the Insanity Chart. Others like Random Weather for the game, is it raining today, or muddy, is it foggy, is it Night time and need torch light? Things like that. Because I could play on you table and agree it rains in Mordheim, or gets dark. And not have to change my Roster.



I have read many discuss the ideas like: All Armor gets a +1 to its base rating. Making Heavy Armor a 4+ save, and Grom. A 3+ save. And others wanted Shields to add +1 and you have a 3+ and 2+ saves. Followed by, removing the strength bonus against armor making it even harder to wound the opponent. And then the big discussion about penalizing Dual Wielding fighters, making it less of an opportunity to get the hit to even see if there’s wound to save from. You’d have to almost always score high with crits just to make a difference. These Game Mechanics changes alters so much. One, you just told the Undead player, he’ll not longer be competitive, because his Warband doesn’t have much armor to wear. Or as I read somewhere, Only Heroes can use slings. Which will upset the Skaven and Sister’s players. Things like this are Game Mechanics Changes. Which as I said before, I wouldn’t be able to play at your table without having to change my Experienced Warband’s Roster. I read that changes like this are to “Balance the game”. When actually it completely changes the balance into unbalance. Mainly it’s trying to Bonus one type or group and penalizing another.



I stated about Warhammer 40k, because those players play by the same rules. Yes it has gone through several revisions, and the players get the next rules and keep playing. Why the new revisions? Because GW wants you to buy more stuff. They dropped Mordheim probably because you buy 1 box of each race/specie and that’s it. 40K, is ARMY based. You have to buy a lot of stuff from GW to play it. Mordheim, all you need is the rules, you can use any Figures you want. Not secure money for a The GW Corporation.



Most of the people I listened to, who want to change a rule, telling me how great it is; has never played against it for very long. And I mean over ten games with the same Warbands. Use your Armor Bonus rules in a campaign with Humans and Dwarves, and you play Undead. See just how competitive you’ll be with your Zombies, Ghouls, and Necromancer being hacked to pieces because they can’t wear Armor. The Necromancer can wear Armor, but not cast spells without a skill for it. If he survives long enough to get it. You’ll be looking to change rules about Zombies and Ghouls not wearing armor and using weapons pretty quick, just for balance. And/or making Dregs better fighters and shooters. How about this idea, I think it’s unfair that Zombies can’t run. So nobody should be able to run. For all you Fluff players, I can even back up that statement with more fluff. In Mordheim, you’re looking for Wyrdstone, if you’re running you won’t see it. So every body walks, because you’re looking. That’ll make the Dwarf player happy. Yes, I’m pointing out the Absurd with Absurdity.



I mentioned before in another post about when I tried to play at Game Store where a local group tried to run a campaign with the Armor Bonus rules and the Dual Weapon Penalties. And Only Heroes could have slings. It started out with about 8 players (I think) after Game 3, Half the players dropped out. The Undead player the most vocal against it. I joined in Game 4 or 5. There were 3 players left and now me. I started Sister’s for the Steel Whip rules of strike first and +1 attack. I played against the Dwarf player. He had everybody in Heavy and Grom. Armor, shields (add +1 Armor Save), Helmets, Dwarf Axes, and Crossbows or pistols. My sisters could hit but it was REALLY hard to wound because of the 2+ and 3+ Armor Saves. I decided next game I would play my Amazons, if this group could cheese the rules then the Amazons should be welcome too. The Sun Staves, Sun Gauntlets, and Claws of the Old Ones; all have no armor saves. “Dwaves! BRING IT ON!” The campaign was dead before the next game. Nobody wanted to play those rules anymore. 1 point changed everything. The store wanted me to run a Campaign because they knew I was an Official Rules player. I’ve played every Warband in the Core book, Annual, and Town Cryer, and knew all their Bonuses and Penalties.



When I was younger in playing this Game, I too, tried rules changes and Homemade Warbands. But could never balance them. The Game is Balanced. But most choose not to see it because they don’t look at the whole game and all the Warbands. Most just compare one Band to another Band. Every Warband has Bonuses and penalties over another Band. Example: Compare Sister’s to Undead. The Sister’s overpower the Undead, with the Sig Hammer bonus, slings, Movement, and Armor availability. Does this mean the Sister’s shouldn’t be allowed to play, because it’s unfair to Undead?



The point I was making before was there’s a bunch here that play by different rules. How do we have a forum to discuss rules when several here have stated they don’t play those rules. How does someone come here and ask “RULES” questions? How would I post a question here about my Merc Captain using Sword, Mace, and bow as a combination when you use rules like “No Dual Weapons without penalty”, “Heavy Armor has a 4+ save (or better), No movement penalty”, “Armor is required”, “And his Strength 4 has no bonus against Armor.” You’d suggest how to work him in your game, i.e. no need for Mace, and buy Heavy Armor. But he’d get killed in a Core Rules Game, because he’s hindered by not having the Mace as a second weapon, and his armor is weaker because its only a 5+ save, and he move slower.



I’m saying Rule Changes, change Game Mechanics. I know Soccer, or Futball, is popular around the world. What if you were discussing the sport and a group of people started discussing changes the game? Things like: “The defense can only hop on one foot”, “The ball must be 1 yard (meter) in diameter”, and the Goal Posts. Would it still be the same game, or now is it different?
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PostSubject: Re: Why Change Mordheim?   Today at 7:31

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