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CygnusMaximus
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PostSubject: Mordheim Encounters   Wed 17 Mar 2010 - 8:32

*****REVISED 27-03******

I've always been a huge fan of the Encounters detailed in the Lustria supplement for Warhammer. While random, they simply add a level of strategy that other random happening tables seem to lack.

So, to make the City of the Damned an even scarier place, I present my very own encounters rules for your perusal, use, and/or critique. Some of the effects and names were shamelessly pilfered from the Random Happenings and Subplots tables, though the way they're played is somewhat different.

Encounters:

Before the battle, one player rolls a D6 and adds 3 to the total. This is the number of “Encounter Points” that each player is given for the game. Encounter points are used in the Encounters Phase (between the Movement and Shooting phases) to represent the varied and deadly happenings in the City of the Damned.

Unless the encounter is marked with an asterisk (*), an appropriate counter must be placed in the building to show players what is happening within. These counters remain in place and continue to affect models within range until a player rolls "All Is Well" and is able to remove them. Newly placed encounters immediately affect all models within their specified range but will only affect models from the Warband of the player whose turn it is in subsequent turns.

In the Encounters Phase, the player whose turn it is resolves the effects of any encounters that affect ONLY his models. The player may then nominate a building in which to play an encounter (doing so reduces the number of Encounter Points the player has by one – it is helpful to use poker chips or other tokens to represent encounter points). The player then rolls 3D6 and consults the table below to determine the type of encounter. The player may spend one (and only one) additional encounter point to reroll a single die from this roll. A suitable marker or model is then placed in the building to show the encounter taking place and any effect it may have on both players’ models is worked out immediately. There is no limit to the number of encounters a player may use in a single turn or to the number of encounters in play on a single terrain feature, though a feature may not have more than one new encounter played on it in any given player turn.

3: Hired Sword.* A desperate mercenary stumbles upon the battle and eagerly enters the fray in an attempt to prove his ability and gain a contract. Roll again to determine which kind of sell-sword is wandering the ruins. A 1-2 is a duelist, a 3-4 is a pit fighter, a 5 is a Tilean Marksman, and a 6 is an ogre bodyguard. The hired sword fights the remainder of the game for the player who placed this encounter even if the warband would not normally be able to hire him. If the warband can hire that type of hired sword, they may pay his upkeep at the end of the game and keep him on without paying a hire fee. (Note: If the building is too small for an ogre to be placed inside, he may be placed outside but in base contact with the edifice.)

4: Wyrdstone!* Place a Wyrdstone counter anywhere in the feature – it is treated in the same way as the counters from the “Wyrdstone Hunt” scenario.

5: A Bending of the Air.* The air itself seems to shift and bend, warping the landscape and separating warriors from their comrades. A random model from one of the participating warbands (the player whose turn it is may choose which warband, including his own) is immediately moved and placed anywhere in the selected building. If the model was in close combat, all models in base contact are moved with it. Note that this is a one-time effect and so needn't be represented with a marker.

6: (Un)Holy Vision. An apparition of deity appears in the building, bolstering the resolve of all who see it; though those who do will forever argue the exact nature of the vision. All models inside or within 6" the building while this encounter is active may reroll failed Leadership tests.

7: Impenetrable Darkness. The building is surrounded by a pall of inexplicable shadow. All shooting attacks directed at models in the building suffer an additional -1 to hit.

8: Madcap Fungus. The walls of the building are streaked with brightly-coloured mold and toadstools grow in the dark damp corners. Every model inside or within 2” of the building takes a S2 hit. Models that are not wounded count as if they have been given a dose of Madcap Mushrooms (including rolling for side effects after the battle).

9-10: All is well. All encounters currently in play on the building end and the counters are removed. The player may spend an additional encounter point to remove ONE additional encounter marker from anywhere on the table.

11. Carrion Creatures. The building is home to vile flesh-eating creatures that prey upon the injured and defenseless. All models that lose their last wound within the building go out of action with no need to roll on the injury table.

12: Vision of Temptation. Soporific musks rise from the building and strangely coloured lights flash within. Any model within the building suffers from stupidity. Such is the nature of this foul sorcery that even models who would otherwise be immune to psychology must test.

13: Fountain of Blood. A geyser of blood covers everyone nearby in gore, causing warriors to lose their footing. All models inside or within 2” of the building must take an initiative test or become knocked down. Models that run, climb, or charge within this area suffer a -1 Initiative penalty on this test.

14: Infestation. The ruin is inhabited by a swarm of small but ravenous creatures. Any model inside or within 2” of the building suffers D6 S1 hits.

15: Screaming Walls. The walls of the building twist and contort to reveal the agonized faces of damned souls. All models inside or within 2” of the feature must pass a fear test – if this test is failed, the model breaks and flees directly away from the building; if the model was within the building, it will exit the building taking the shortest route possible.

16: Burning Building. The smoldering ruin catches fire once again as pink, blue, and green flames suddenly engulf the structure. See "Let The Damned Burn" from Town Cryer 8 for rules on burning buildings. Note, however, that if the fire spreads to adjacent buildings, these fires also count as encounters that can be removed with an "All Is Well" result on this table.

17: Tentacled beast. Multiple tentacles burst from the shadows and drag their victims to their doom. Every model inside or within 2” of the building must pass a strength test or roll on the injury table.

18: Daemon! Drawn to the slaughter, a daemon tears through the fabric of reality and enters the mortal realm. Place a counter representing the tear in reality and a randomly determined daemon (1 – Nurgling, 2 – Fury, 3 – Pink Horror, 4 – Daemonette, 5 – Plague Bearer, 6 – Bloodletter) in contact with each other in the selected building. The daemon will immediately move as quickly as possible toward the nearest visible model (charging when able) and will attack in whatever way possible (i.e., a Pink Horror will shoot flames at the closest model in range). If no model is visible to the daemon, it will move its full movement in a random direction and will attempt to climb any features it comes into contact with (or fly over them, in the case of the fury). The daemon will continue to move in this way in all of the player’s subsequent Encounters Phases. Should the counter later be removed, the daemon will disappear with it.

*These results cannot be nullified by a later “All is Well” result.


Last edited by CygnusMaximus on Sat 27 Mar 2010 - 14:32; edited 6 times in total
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cianty
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PostSubject: Re: Mordheim Encounters   Wed 17 Mar 2010 - 10:29

It may be due to my inexperience with this system and if so feel free to set me straight. But this is what I think when looking at these rules:

They mainly provide negative effects for whoever is in that area. There is one neglectable exception: the wyrdstone shard. The Hired Sword doesn't count because although this is good for you (instead of bad for your enemy), you still can summon it near your enemies. So the effect is that you will want to summon all these encounters wherever your enemy is standing or just about to stand. It feels like an additional way of providing warbands with magic effects, which they can throw at their enemies.

I don't see much strategy in just this system as the encounters will just be unleashed at your opponent. Again, maybe it's because I don't fully grasp the way they work or how they actually play out in reality.

What I like about the normal Random Happenings is that you get events that make the game more interesting without requiring much additional work. Just roll a D6 and possibily let there be an effect. This system however required admin work that doesn't really pay off as it doesn't really have a huge stategic aspect. What you get it to fire more stuff at your enemy. If that is what you are looking for, it sure is fine. But it is not what I would want random happenings to do.

Now there is no criticizing without making suggestions: If you want to make these encounters more strategic, then I would suggest sorting the effects table from "good for you" to "bad for your opponent" (or vice versa). Then you could allow players to spend their encounter points in order to get +1/-1 on the 3D6 score. This way you can have an influence on what happens and you can actually try to achieve something by causing the encounters. And maybe you can come up with more tactical effects for the encounters to both represent the "weirdness" of Mordheim and to increase the strategic component. Some idea of the top of my head:
- Make this area (nigh) impassable (this is what most effects currently do).
- Place D3 markers here - the importance of this effect is that if you planned on placing this near your enemy, then it's bad for you. So this should be near an encounter that strictly punishes models (like burning house).
- Teleport a random model from inside this building to another random building?
- Teleport one of your random models into this building
-Teleport an enemy into this building

Things like these, if ordered properly, can indeed provide players with a great new challenge or tool. However, I fear this whole thing might be a bit to complex for most scenarios (depends on the players, of course), so I would suggest using this system mostly in vanilla scenarios or even making it the special rules of a new scenario.

So these are my instant thoughts. I hope I didn't come across too harshly. Let me know what you think and what I am probably missing. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Mordheim Encounters   Wed 17 Mar 2010 - 13:32

Cianty, those are all very good points. The Encounters from the Lustria book are really intended to cause all sorts of panic and mayhem among massed regiments and lack the subtlety required for a skirmish game - and that never really occurred to me.

So, I am revising my first post with a modified and somewhat toned-down system that you may find somewhat better.

Thank you for the feedback!
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PostSubject: Re: Mordheim Encounters   Wed 17 Mar 2010 - 14:25

I look forward to that, Cyg! I think this at the very least will make for a very interesting scenario.

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PostSubject: Re: Mordheim Encounters   Wed 17 Mar 2010 - 21:52

Looks ok. I'm not so sure about the hired swords part (I cant see a marksman deciding to join up with a bunch of skaven) also why choose those hired swords specifically?
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PostSubject: Re: Mordheim Encounters   Wed 17 Mar 2010 - 22:24

Dmig wrote:
Looks ok. I'm not so sure about the hired swords part (I cant see a marksman deciding to join up with a bunch of skaven) also why choose those hired swords specifically?

I chose the ogre and pitfighter because they're included in the Random Encounters list - I chose the other two for diversity (and because they have a wider range of hiring warbands than most).

I don't see it so much as fighting for the Skaven as giving a "demonstration" for another (possibly more sinister) employer who may be watching - they are mercenaries, after all.

They should get the rounds in a playtest soon, so expect more modifications. I'm hoping having another player behind the encounters will highlight the danger and general antagonism of the city itself.
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PostSubject: Re: Mordheim Encounters   Thu 18 Mar 2010 - 0:36

...but the skaven could keep them no?
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PostSubject: Re: Mordheim Encounters   Thu 18 Mar 2010 - 7:03

"If the warband can hire that type of hired sword, they may pay his upkeep at the end of the game and keep him on without paying a hire fee."

So no.
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PostSubject: Re: Mordheim Encounters   Thu 18 Mar 2010 - 12:32

my bad
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PostSubject: Re: Mordheim Encounters   Sat 27 Mar 2010 - 7:25

We used these rules for one 2 player game and two 3-player games on our recent gaming night. We did not play them completely as written.

--we only used D3+3 encounter points.
--I tried to edit the encounters to make the effects clearer. Many of the above specifically say that the encounter effects models within 2" of the building. Certain personalities will immediately notice that if you are in the building then you are not affected. This may indeed have been the intent, but it is odd.

We rolled up Ambush, Wizard's Mansion and Defend the Find. Defending the Wizard's Mansion was really difficult after it caught fire, was infested by carrion creatures and developed a fountain of blood. We had a good time with it for all that.

Like most random things impossibilities developed but we just went with them. We also had some discussion of what was meant by "a building" by players who wanted larger or more contained areas of effect. This is actually par for our group because we can never discuss all of the possible clarifications needed before a battle. Nothing was game stopping.

We also had discussions of what encounters remained in play and how that worked exactly. We worked it to our satisfaction, out but it would be simpler to state it more clearly.

We had a fun night. Mainly as cianty notes it was a way to flush shooting warbands out of their fortress and discomfit Pit Fighters. We liked that because it made folks change their pet tactics.

Like many Mordheim rules it suffers from inconsistencies with other rules on similar topics. The fire for example has its own rules, which are similar but not the same as "Let the Damned Burn" from TC#8.

The shooting warbands declared that they would be just as effective behind walls and barricades as they have been behind ruined windows and balconies.

All in all there was a positive buzz and people were discussing making encounter markers so that we could remember which building had which encounter on it.
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PostSubject: Re: Mordheim Encounters   Sat 27 Mar 2010 - 14:18

Von Kurst -

Your comment about defending a buning, carrion-infested, blood-spraying Wizard's mansion made me chuckle - and thanks for trying them out! I honestly can't believe you used these rules in a "defend" sort of scenario - that's crazy!

My thinking was that to be inside a building, you'd have to be within 2" of it - but I can edit my first post to make it more clear.

All of the encounters remain in play until a player rolls "All Is Well" for the building in question (or spends an encounter point after rolling "All Is Well" to remove the encounter from elsewhere.

Did you feel the reduced number of encounter points was enough? I found that a lot of rolls end up removing encounters and felt that more were necessary because of this. I hadn't really considered how insane these rules would be with more than two players - so that may have had something to do with it!

I sincerely appreciate feedback and recommendations, so if there are any other changes you made/make, please let me know!
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PostSubject: Re: Mordheim Encounters   Sat 27 Mar 2010 - 15:19

Now that I look back on it, I could have stopped the fire before it got out of hand by remembering the 'spend an extra point to remove an encounter' rule. Doh! As it was in both the 2 player game and the 3 players there were multiple buildings with multiple encounters in play and despite runs of All is Wells we were kind of overwhelmed by the number of things to remember with no more than 5 encounter points to play with each.

Limiting the scenarios the encounters apply to is an option but we had agreed to play with encounter rules just before we started rolling for the evenings games, so taking it back would have been cowardly!

As I recall these rules from the Lustria Warhammer campaigns we played, we reduced them there as well to speed up game play and make them less dominant. Also if I recall correctly each encounter had a range thus even though you could play more than one on a piece of scenery it took careful placement to generate multiple effects on one unit. Something to consider.

The inside a building and being affected thing, well no one argued too strongly, but I missed a few entries with my own edit, so we had the discussion.

"I'm not within 2" of the building, I'm IN it. The rule doesn't say anything about that!"

Your group may be blessed with less discerning types but my boyz want it spelled out.
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PostSubject: Re: Mordheim Encounters   Sat 27 Mar 2010 - 15:49

I had actually originally had these rules use the 5" Warhammer template but opted to change it because they seem to like to avoid using templates in Mordheim.

I may go back on that, though, since some buildings are MUCH larger than others and sets of templates are fairly easy to come by for those who don't have them.

I think I'll try it with the templates next time and see how that goes.

Thanks for your input!
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PostSubject: Re: Mordheim Encounters   Fri 2 Apr 2010 - 23:09

We played with the 5 inch template this week. This resulted in fewer multiple effect areas. Some larger buildings had several different things going on in different part of the buildings which was interesting. We also had several models that ended up being affected by several different things as they moved through the ruins. Stupidity and Frenzy for example. We did play that the effect of the encounter extended up and down in the building, which to a certain extent allows stacking of effects, although we played that no encounter could be played exactly on top of another.
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