DOGS OF WAR /BORDER PRINCES CAMPAIGN PROPOSAL
Note: I don’t plan to come out with this particular campaign for a WHILE… I got two a few other Mordheim projects on my plate right now. Rather, this is a pet project that I briefly poke at every few months, with the intention of releasing in a year or two. This post is a “litmus test”, to ask for advice or see if anyone other than myself might be interested. Here it is:
This campaign would change a LOT of the fundamental parts of Mordheim. This is NOT a stab at the original rules, or an attempt to “fix” a supposedly broken system. 95% of these changes would be created solely for “flavor”, and with the purpose of creating a unique gaming experience. Many of these rules, if integrated in with the a normal campaign, can- and probably WOULD- result in unbalanced games, and a lot of unhappy gamers.
In a Dog of War campaign, NO TRADITIONAL WARBANDS ARE ALLOWED… (Yeah, you heard me.) Rather, each player chooses one of two “Captains” to be the leader of his warband- a Human Captain or an Orc Boss. (Why these two? Because between the Border Lands and the Badlands, the two most common races are Humans and Orcs… there are plenty of other races, so don’t feel sad just yet.)
The Human Captain is the head of a band of mercenaries, hired by a Border noblemen to carve out a small kingdom- dealing with anyone who dares step on what you claim as your turf! He can represent any number of regions and paths- a Bretonnian Noble, a Tilean soldier, a Northen Raider, a Southland Savage… whatever you want!
The Orc boss is a proud native of the Badlands… he prefers the company of greenskins, but he knows that the ever shifting nature of the region means that gaining the trust of several different races is essential if he wants to stay on top. Also, there are plenty of ancient “roons”, full of loot… sometimes it takes a human what be good with “reedin’” to find out where to find the best stuff… and unlike those stuffy Empire humans, most of the man-things in the Border Lands would do ANYTHING if you give them enough money, even work with orcs. Stupid humans…
PICKING YOUR HEROES
After you have picked your Leader, you may pick up to four heroes: two “Champions”, and two “Support Heroes”.
Champions: A VAST array of heroes, all of them stronger than your average human. Humans have the most diverse choices: Knights, pirates, raiders, engineers, etc. You can also find other races, like Dwarf slayers, elf beastmasters, Skaven mutants, vampire thralls, lizardmen sauruses, and many others. You can also buy a spell or prayer caster (although, there’s a limit of one caster per warband).
Support Heroes: Weaker heroes, who act as gophers. Some are youngbloods- novice humans, elves, orcs, and so on. Others are weaker races, like Halflings, goblins, and skinks, who are useful in their own way.
ALIGNMENT – Each hero has his own Alignment – Good, Neutral, or Evil. Your Human Captain starts off as Neutral, which means he may pick from ANY of the different heroes out there… however, if he hires any units that are Good, he may not hire any that are Evil. The opposite also applies… if you’ve hired a Dark Elf Hag Elf, you can’t hire that Dwarf Longbeard like you had hoped!
All Orc Bosses naturally start as “Evil”… which means they may only hire Neutral or Evil Heroes.
If you lose a Leader, you must immediately buy another Human Captain or Orc Boss as soon as you are financially able… the next hero does NOT become the next leader!
If you lose any other hero, you may hire any hero of the same level to replace him (ex. Champion to replace a Champion, Support for a Support.) If you hire a Good hero but have any Evil forces in your warband, you must either immediately fire any of your evil forces, or the Good hero refuses to join… likewise, Evil forces will not work with Good heroes!
BUILD YOUR OWN HENCHMEN GROUPS
Upon warband creation, you will have 3 Henchmen groups-
1 Core Group – For Humans, this is 0+ Human Warriors. For Orcs, this is 0+ Orc Boyz
2 ‘Special Units’ – Picked using the following rules. Once picked, they remain a permanent part of your warband, and may be hired in any post game.
Picking Specials – In addition to your core units, you may pick two Special henchmen types. These take the form of familiar Mordheim henchmen groups, but boiled down to archetypical groups- Dark Souls and Flaggellants are merged into a unit of “Human Fanatics”. Witch Elves and Wardancers are represented by leadership-free elf fighters, “Crazed Elves.” Dwarf Clansmen and Chaos Dwarf fighters are represented with “Dwarf Warriors”.
As for which units you may pick for your two Specials, you may choose from the special troops allowed by your Leader and Champions. A Human Champion, for example, may give you the option of picking Human Elites, Human Marksmen, and an Ogre. Your High Elf Mage gives you access to Elf Novices, Elf Rangers, Familiars (same stats as Nurglings), and Elf Spearmen. Your Dwarf Engineer Hero gives you access to Dwarf Clansmen, Dwarf Beardlings, and Golems (same stats as Zombies… these represent the terrifying clockwork warriors the Engineer sends into battle as decoys!)
Now, from these three heroes, you may pick any TWO… in this case, an expensive choice and a cheap choice seem like good ideas, so the player goes with Familiars and Elf Rangers.
After picking these two, all other choices are abandoned… from now on, the only units the player may recruit at will are Human Warriors, Familiars, and Elf Rangers. NOTHING ELSE!
Support Heroes- Sadly, support heroes do not give you access to new troop types… they’re just not that influential yet!
POSTING AN OPENING
After any game, any Hero that was not taken out of action may, instead of searching for items or looking for DPs, may Post an Opening. To do so, he must Discard a piece of Treasure (Wyrdstone). If he does, he rolls on the Random Henchmen chart.
Random Henchmen Chart – a comprehensive list, involving every single different type of henchmen type. If they find a henchmen group that does NOT have a conflicting, the player may purchase any number of henchmen for this group, up to their maximum (ex. Some units might be 0-5.) They are so starved for work, that the first henchmen bought costs 15gc less! Not only that, but roll 1D6: on a roll of 5, they are Veterans- you may pay an extra 5gc per model to have them start with 2 experience- after they are bought, roll to see what advancement they start with (reroll any results of That Lad’s Got Talent.) On a roll of 6, they may be normal, Veterans (see above), or Decorated Veterans- they may start at 5 exp for an extra 12gc each, and start with 2 random advancements (roll after hiring, rerolling any TLGT.) If you do not desire to buy the unit or cannot afford them, the treasure may be used to “Fill the Ranks”.
Once you have a henchmen of this new type in your warband, you may hire more them as you wish, buying up to the maximum amount. However, if you ever drop to 0 henchmen of this type, your opportunity to buy more is lost- you cannot hire more until you roll on them again when Posting an Opening. (Ex. A player rolls “0-5 Sea Dogs, and buys two. He may hire up to three more, either into the same henchmen group or another. If the number of Sea Dogs ever drops to 0, however, he has lost the opportunity to buy more ever again (or until he randomly rolls them agan.)
Fill the Ranks – If your hero discarded a treasure to “Post an Opening” but did not buy a henchman, you may instead use the discarded treasure to gain 10gc off of buying a single henchmen from the normal henchmen you’re allowed to buy. (Ex. You have access to Human Warriors, Familiars, Elf Rangers, and Sea Dogs. You “Post an Opening”, knowing that any henchmen you roll you get the first one at 15gc less! Sadly, you roll “Skaven Clanrats” on the chart- you couldn’t buy them even if you wanted to! Instead, you may hire a single human warrior, familiar, elf ranger, or sea dog for 10 gc less.
Get Your Deposit Back – If you discarded a treasure to “Post an Opening”, and did NOT use the same treasure to “Fill the Ranks”, you may still sell the treasure… however, it’s now worth only 5gc! Write the treasure off your list and be contented that you even got 5gc for it.
In a Dog of War Campaign, you’re allowed to hire MORE warriors than your maximum size- to be specific, you may have up to 25 warriors. You may not FIELD more than 15 in any given battle. Likewise, you may have up to 8 heroes in your Warband, but only 6 are allowed on to the battlefield in any game.
Understandably, only heroes that participate in a battle may gain exploration dice, and only warriors that join battle gain experience. If you have a henchmen group with multiple models in it, you must either field the entire group in any battle, or leave them all out- you may not have one henchmen join a battle, and have all five gain experience! (The exception to this rule is that you MAY field part of a henchmen group if it doesn’t gain experience… for example, you can put a War Hound or a Zombie in separate of his normal group.)
Note: Your warband rating is equal to the warriors IN a battle, with no effect from warriors that are left in reserve. For this reason, it’s probably smart to include the rating of each warrior along with his stats, including his +5 for being a warrior… this makes tallying up your ever-changing warband rating a snap before each battle!
Why this rule?: With so many different options of henchmen out there (found, literally, at random), it seems a shame to limit the size of your warband to such a small size. Also, this provides an interesting strategy… do you field your Human Marauders, your Dark Elf Crossbowmen, or a mix of both? It gives the same flexibility as a Warhammer tabletop game, but keeps the number of miniatures down in any given game, hopefully leading to a no major difference in game time.
OTHER THINGS INCLUDED IN THE DOGS OF WAR CAMPAIGN
The campaign also has a lot of “throwback” elements and units- things that are too rare or obscure to make up an entire warband, but work great for a single mercenary hero. Expect fimirs, chaos dwarves, zoats, Norse Dwarves, sea elves, elementals, etc. The old Slann also return, albeit with the new name of “Kroaks”… they play the “evil” parallel to the Skinks.
WHAT I ASK YOU:
Is this completely f---in' insane? Does this inspire interest, or solely headaches? Does the return of "oldies" turn you against or for the project? What would you like to see added to the project?