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 home made warband: vampire coven

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Olimar von MordFuhrer
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PostSubject: home made warband: vampire coven   Fri 24 Dec 2010 - 23:14

SO! the vampire is controversial because he has the highest max stats in the game and a list of special rules as long as the tails on sigmar's comet.
you might, therefor, be reasonable skeptical about me, an avid undead player, coming to you with what i call a balanced vampire army, and i'm more than amenable to logical criticisms like "hey, why can they X? that allows them to do X which is unfair." but will not listen to "BLAH BLAH BLAH STUPID UNFAIR STICK TO THE RULEBOOK BLAH BLAH." you CERTAINLY don't have to allow them, the same way that other groups might only allow warbands existing int he original core rulebook. it's my understanding that imagination in mordheim is encouraged, and i realized that the undead army is overpowered and unbalanced, so i tried to cut out the necromancer to make things a bit easier on the other warbands in my group.


anyway. here are the rules, presented in a similar format to the book.
vampire warbands differ from other warbands in that instead of starting with 500 GP, you start with a matriarch (ideally a former leader of an undead warband, so he's experienced) one human, and one NewBlood- you have 200GP to arm them, and may keep any left over. (yes, this means that your first battle you will only have three figures)

SKILL LISTS
vampires can have access to strength or speed skills, and have access to the 'advanced study' skill.
vampire patriarch have access to the academic skill. vampires are all subject to the normal vampire special rules.

'ADVANCED STUDY allows a vampire to learn either combat, shooting, or lesser magic skills. (one of the three skill lists can be unlocked, this skill may only be taken once, there are no exceptions at all ever.


VAMPIRE COVEN EQUIPMENT LISTS
MELEE weapons
Dagger............first free/3GC
Mace...............5GC
hammer...........5GC
Axe.................8GC
sword...........12GC
Double hand..17GC
Spear............12GC
Halberd..........12GC

MISSILE weapons
pistol..............20GC/40 for a brace
Crossbow.....40GC

ARMOR
buckler.........10GC
shield............20GC
Light Armor...35GC
Heavy armor.50GC

HEROES
vampire patriarch 135GC (one and only one, if he is killed the next most experienced vampire becomes the patriarch[or matriarch, i suppose, but you get the picture] and gains a minimum leadership of 10)
M ws bs S T W I A ld
6 4 4 4 4 2 5 2 10

NewBlood 1 corpse (1-6)
M ws bs S T W I A ld
6 3 3 4 4 2 5 2 6
SPECIAL RULES
RAGE
newblood vampires are trained in restraint, but being new to their unlife, they generally aren't very much in control. every recovery phase, roll a leadership check on all newbloods- if they fail, they are subject to RAGE, which is similar to FRENZY. like FRENZY, they will charge all charge-able opponents, but will also charge any stunned/knocked down human allies within their move range, and are unable to leave a stunned/knocked down enemy until he leaves the field. they gain +1 WS and +1 attack dice when ENRAGED.
CREATION RITUAL
to make a new vampire, a patriarch needs to infect a human without draining his blood- even a recently killed man will do, but he needs to survive the transformation. when creating a new vampire, roll 1d6
1) vampire HATES creator- the vampire attacks his way out wounding the matriarch severely and escaping never to be seen again. (your matriarch loses a wound before the next battle)
2-3) your vampire drains the corpse, unable to help himself, and there is no vampire created.
4-6) you get a new vampire.


HENCHMEN
Human (35Gc) 1-5
M ws bs S T W I A ld
4 3 3 3 3 1 5 2 7
UPKEEP: your human followers want 5 GC to stay with the warband every battle, if the warband INVOLUNTARILY ROUTES all humans leave the warband.
Daywatch: at least one human must be in the party at all times, to guard them during day hours when they sleep. if there are no humans in the party, then roll a D6 after every battle- on a 1 you lose a NewBlood.

Vampiric Beasts (50GC) 0-3
M ws bs S T W I A ld
9 3 0 4 3 1 2 1 4
special rules same as dire wolf from undead army
(the beast must be a land mammal, be it wolf or monkey or bear, etc, and these stats do not change)


WARBAND SPECIAL RULES
BLOOD: vampires need blood. (duh) the only reason a coven stays together is because the numbers allow them to hunt more effectively. the catch is that if they don't have any fresh bodies to drain, they'll feed from one of your humans.
LEPERS: because no one wants to deal with a warband, it can be hard to find items you need., therefor, all items have a rarity of +1 and must be bought at the values listed above- to a maximum of rarity 11. (that means a gromril weapon is still rare 11, not rare 12. elf bows and other max rare items are still rare 12. this is because superior blackpowder and similar items will neve rhave the same value as elvish cloaks.



BALANCES. if you're using an experienced vampire from another warband as a leader, or if you manage to cultivate a strong warband, you may want to add the following balances into the game.
STAKES:
a stake would be a weapon (usually 3GC) that other parties could equip men with- it would offer a +2 to armor saves(being weaker than a dagger), but also a +2 to wound when used on vampires.
ALTERED GARLIC RULES
garlic would now cause a wearer to cause vampires FEAR, and could ALSO be placed in doorways, making vampires experience fear when attempting to enter that doorway.
BOTTLED DAY: (would be very rare and expensive)
an elvish concoction, it is a bottle full of what appears to be pure light. though not as effective as the real stuff, it can be unleashed on a vampire in close combat and will instantly remove all of his wounds, causing him to roll on the injury table


so there's that- if there are any revisions or implementations you'd like to recommend, i'm all ears.
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PostSubject: Re: home made warband: vampire coven   Sat 25 Dec 2010 - 0:34

Interesting proposal.

First off, I think you need to clarify the rules somewhat. When can the creation ritual happen? You don't specify. Does it happen after the game if the matriarch took a model OOA? OOA then killed by serious injury roll? Does it happen once for each model taken out? Does any living human work? Mutants? What if no one in the campaign is playing a human warband (or relatively few)?

With the rage rule, does the vampire player get to choose which model is charged if there are multiple targets? For instance, an enemy human and a friendly knocked-down human are both in rage, do you get to choose? What if the enemy is a skeleton and not a human? Also, I think the roll for rage should probably be at the start of your turn.

As far as overall balance:
The warband seems like it'll be woefully weak at the start of a campaign and invincible towards the end of one. Your balances mentioned are not particularly good ones, cause they create a rock-paper-scissors dynamic. Other warbands in the campaign can spend all their money to beat your warband, but then they will lose to the non-vampire warbands. I think a true balance shouldn't penalize the other warbands as such.

The really great thing you did with this warband was to not give them a single cheap filler unit option. This warband will be incredibly poor to offset its immense hero strength. I kind of see this warband going in 2 directions: either you get lucky with the first couple rituals, score 4 vampires early in a campaign and roll over all the opposition OR you are unlucky with early rituals, never get past 2 vampires (or do, but much too late), and get beat up by everyone else.

I don't really have any great suggestions for balancing the warband without toning down the power of your (possibly) 6 vampires (which would, I imagine, destroy the entire point of the warband in your eyes). The best I could come up with would be to have some sort of animosity amongst the New Bloods where they would occasionally fight amongst themselves for power. The "rage" rule doesn't really serve this rule, cause if anything it makes them more dangerous.

Personally, I like what you've done here, but I would not want to allow this warband in my campaign. The reason? It would completely change the way I would have to develop my warband because I'd have to build mine in a very specific manner in order to be able to compete with yours. The fun part about Mordheim campaigns to me is that I have immense freedom in how I develop each warband. Basically, you'd be making my experience less fun (that's my own personal feeling on the matter).

Also, why the strange costs for the warband equipment? I think it'd be ok to keep the standard Mordheim prices.

I really would like to see a warband like this succeed, so please continue to update us here on how it is developing. One of my buddies was trying to get a similar warband (basically lots of possessed) into a campaign, but it never reached a balanced state.
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PostSubject: Re: home made warband: vampire coven   Sat 25 Dec 2010 - 4:45

I agree with Identity, good start, needs some tweaking:

Vampire Max Stats: You yourself mention that the vampire max stats are CRAZY powerful. There's nothing wrong with using the stats there are, but if you feel afraid of them becoming too strong, why not use the max stats from Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition?

M WS BS S T W I A LD
6 7 5 5 5 3 7 4 10

You don't HAVE to , but you could make the above the max stats for the New Bloods. OR, make it so the Leader has the normal vampire max stats, and other vampires use the above. Just an option.

Skill List: No reason not to give them Combat skills at the start. Everyone except for weeny mages and halflings have access to Combat skills (it's pretty standard.)

Advanced Study: Rather than lesser magic, may I recommend that you pick a spell list that fits the Vampire theme a little closer? Either the Necromancy list or the Dark Magic List (from the Lustria Dark Elves) would be fitting.

Leader: Include the standard rules- leader, no pain, fear, immune to psych, immune to poison. Sadly, when writing rules, if it's worth saying once, you have to phrase it TWICE, and still some opponent will try to twist it around until it means something else. Way of the world.

New Bloods:
>DON'T write anything to be minimum "1" except for the leader. If your opponent wants to have 1 Patriarch and 2 wolves, he should be allowed (ignoring the fact that it'd be a poor choice and would suffer the "Blood Special Rule".
> No cost for the bloods. If you need help calculating the stats, I can help.
>1-6 is waaaaaay too many. That would let you start with 6 heroes that are stronger than most warbands! Generally, warbands start with 5 average heroes, 4 strong heroes, or 6 weak heroes (with a few minor exceptions.) These are STRONG, so start with 1 Patr. & 0-3 New Bloods.
> Stats are generally pretty high for the Bloods. May I suggest dropping the second wound? A2, T4, and No pain will mean that they'll still kick some serious butt.
> Does he start with all of the Vampire abilities? no pain, fear, immune to psych, immune to poison? If not, you can make one or two of them special skills for the vampire to learn.

Creation Ritual- Nooot very well defined. Also, why is it on the New Bloods only? Shouldn't the Patriarchbe the one doing it anyway, as he wants people to follow him? My suggestion:
You tie it into the Henchmen becoming heroes. Thus it reads:
"Whenever a Human rolls That Lad's Got Talent, you may attempt to turn him into a Vampire. Roll 1D6:
1 - Rejects - leaves warband or dies
2-5 Doesn't Keep - Stays human
6 - New Strength - Gains the max stats of a Vampire (or New Blood or whatever).

Humans -
~First off, need better name than "Human". Warriors would be good, even better if you find a more colorful name. Prized Servants, Gypsies, Sylvan Guard, etc.
~Stats are high, and without any explanation why. If you have the strongest heroes in the game, you don't NEED A2. Also, why the super high Initiative? Are they drinking vampire blood? If you have high stats, explain it with the back story. They're the elite guard, formed protect the vampire at all costs. Or they're death-cult worshiping fanatics, who fight in a near frenzy. To be honest, I think a WS4 and/or S4 is all the upgrade you need, and you don't even really NEED that.
~Upkeep- 5 gc upkeep? Crazy talk! Don't charge an upkeep on a weak guy like these. Upkeep is for monstrous big things like trolls.
~Leave if you involuntarily rout - this will drive everyone nuts. remove it. Or, weaken it- if you rout, the leader must pass a Ld test for each henchmen, or that one leaves.
>>A SOLUTION - If you insist on keeping the high stats, the upkeep, and the rout every game, give them access to Sylvan peasants. Low stats and morale, but cheap and expendable. This gives you the elite fights, and the lowly cattle. For example, here are the peasants from the BTB Battle Monks warband:

0-5 Raging Peasants
10 gold crowns to hire
The Emissary supplements his forces by making rousing speeches to stir townsfolk into taking up arms. Equipped with pitchforks, kitchenware and other improvised weapons, this angry mob follows the Emissary against marauders threatening their borders.
Profile M WS BS S T W I A Ld
4 2 2 3 3 1 3 1 6
Weapons/Armour: A peasant is usually equipped with a pitchfork, torch or other simple tool. Treat them as
fighting unarmed but without any penalties.
SPECIAL RULES
Simple folk: Peasants never gain Experience.
Mob: Peasants become threatening in large numbers. A Peasant gets +1 Ld for each other allied Peasant model within 3". Due to their rage they do not benefit from the leader rule.
Ignored: Peasants that are out of action do not count to the number of out of action models for the purpose of Rout tests.
Downtrodden: When a Peasant is wounded do not roll for injury. The model is immediately taken out of action.



Blood: As Identity said, not very defined. How's this:
Each Vampire needs to feed at least once per game. If the Vampire knocks down, stuns, or takes a human out action this game, that vampire is considered to have fed. If he did not, pick a human in your warband that was not taken out of action -after the game- that human is treated as "taken out of action" and must roll for injury. If you had no humans in your warband that were not taken out of action, you must pick one human to immediately remove from your warband. If your thirsty vampire cannot find a human to attack, he will leave the warband.

Stakes: Luckily, there are stakes in other warbands already (2 Vampire hunter bands I know of.) Leave the Garlic rule in, and you'll be set.


In the meantime, keep it up! New bands are always a blast to read!
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PostSubject: Re: home made warband: vampire coven   Sat 25 Dec 2010 - 5:19

well, those are a few really good points- i would imagine that the creation ritual takes place the same time that you would generally purchase units, since it takes place in lieu of doing so- i thought that went without saying-
as for the charging order, i (again thinking common sense would extend this far) would guess that it works just like arching, in terms of priority.

the raised costs are for balance and for fluff, the expense keeps the spare capitol of the warband down so they can't just buy back the leader everytime he gets taken OOA. it's a stopgap, but a normal undead army usually ends up with more wyrdstone than they can economically sell at once and in our last campaign i found myself debating whether or not to buy ithilimar gear for my dregs. it's my feeling that a warband shouldn't reach that point.

i would like to point out that the balances in terms of extra equipment (the stakes/garlic/etc) are not REQUIRED to kill the vampires, they're simply a measure that a warband who struggles with fighting this warband might appreciate. if your skaven and my vampires go up against eachother and you're not doing very hot, maybe next time you'll decide to invest some extra money in insurance. most of the misc items in the game fill this sort of purpose in one way or another.

the only real point i would disagree with in your response, which is that the army itself is unbalanced or that it has a strange curve of difficulty to run, and that it creates a rock, paper, scissors dynamic.
the humans in this warband are required and there are a lot of ways to lose them- so your power can change drastically. if i have a full compliment of soldiers and am forced to route (which happened in the first two games this warband played in, against an inexperienced and brand-new reikland army and a hardened group of witch-hunters respectively, though the latter was actually an intentional route and in both cases i put the army in as much peril as possible) than i lose those men, and if i can't immediately purchase more than i stand a chance to start losing vampires, too- so you see, the power of this warband can fade much faster than it can be accumulated. even if you ran the vampires with a decent compliment of stat upgrades and skills, and ran max numbers of everything, up against another warband with maximum numbers, you could still be easily outmaneuvered and if you are, the whole campaign may turn against you.

my argument that the army is balanced comes down to the following.
1) the crossbow and the line-of-sight bug:
the crossbow is move-or-shoot. the reason that's important is that in order to use it on an enemy, you have to already have been in position for a whole turn. unless you use them as fixed overwatch units, a crossbow is therefor uneffective in combat- a unit who would be in your line of sight has a turn to move out of that line of sight, causing you to move so they're back in your line of sight, giving them another turn to move out of it.
2) the pistol problem:
pistols have a shot range that's smaller than your enemy's charge range, unless he's a dwarf, in which case the ranges are the same. in order to use the pistols, you would have to first get the advanced study skill, than get the skill to double your range- dedicating that vampire to shooting skills only and gimping it in close combat, denying it combat master and step aside, which are both very valuable vampire skills.
3) magic
if you had a newblood learning lesser magic, his lack of academic skills disallows him from learning skills that allow him to wear armor etc, so he becomes squishy in physical combat.
4)the difficulty of accumulating forces:
you need to KILL (or find in exploration) one human every battle to be able to keep on going without suffering losses- which means that you need to kill two in order to ritualize one. then it's a 50/50 that you'll even get a vampire out of it, and with human level skill stats (WS3 BS3) and a 50/50 chance it goes apeshit and throws itself into every melee it can find, you're likely to lose many new vampires you create. your force can't rely on good equipment, and it might be bad strategy (with the extra rarity and price associated) to even BUY much gear because there's not very good odds that your vampire will have a long career, and there are terrible odds your humans will even last their first battle.
5)my own lack of attention when posting:
i didn't turn my notebook page, so i forgot that there were two other special warband rules for this band-
the first being that newbloods had to pass a leadership check to explore, and the second being that they HATE any creature that successfully kills a member of the coven.
if you look at the first of those two and think of the game as being as much about economics as it is about violence, you can see how this warband is always going to be NEEDING things.
when you have such little money that you're sending people in with daggers only, it's hard to expand much as a warband. only by being extremely crafty on the field (or doing that stupid route/XP farm glitch thing) is a vampire warband ever going to find itself with excess.

so there's that- i really sincerely do appreciate the diligence and speculation that you gave my band, and i hope to find a balance that we can all agree upon.

this response is quite lengthy, so styro, i'll try to keep my response to you sort of brief, please don't be offended.
1) the reason combat skills are off limits at the start is that it forces each individual vampire to pick one of three specializations- ranged, combat, or magic. that way you never have some kind of terminator vampire
running around draining blood and taking on armies singlehandedly.
2) the max stats from FB were ones i looked at, as well as some of the other differences in the vampire counts army, but because a vampire in this warband is so easy to lose, i figured they deserved something to shoot for- anyone who's played a hero all the way through EXP ranks knows that they rarely meet their max stats anyway, because the majority of exp rolls end in new skills.- i'd like to apologize for my typos, the newbloods were 0-6, which i think is more than fair because there's virtually no chance you're going to end up with the resources to breed that many, unless you're playing through MANY battles. from the start, liek i said, you have one leader, one newblood, one human. i'll go on record saying the original draft had a monetary cost for newbloods as well, and i would be amenable to including that in the final if you guys thought it added balance to this number. the humans are also 0-5, but when i wrote that i was articulating that there's a penalty for not having one. your lad's got talent thing is interesting, but i wanted to make the rules for the vampires work for a hunter mindset- so if you'e playing them, you're out for blood.
i think the ritual is well defined- on a 1 you suffwer a penalty (a wound) for the attempt, as well, you have only a 1/2 chance of creating a new vampire. the patriarch does the ritual, i have no idea what caused you to think otherwise.

THE HUMANS have average human stats, they don't have two attacks, and if the sheet says they do it must have been another slip of the key. 3 represents human strength and skill and they are supposed to be average in every way- i think you may have a point about the name, but i wanna get the rules straight before worrying about that.

BLOOD: if each vampire needed to feed, as opposed to one kill being enough, the warband wouldn't work- killing in mordheim is already tough, with even henchmen having 2/3 odds of surviving.


i know from a quick glance it may look like a random collection of rules, but everything i wrote down about the warband is designed to fit in with the natural balance of morheim- i can agree that tweaking is in order, but things like the upkeep on humans and the extravagant prices create a dynamic that makes the army more about your ability to outmaneuver a larger force than anything else. i'm working onto a way to feed this all into the battle generator on my computer (it's for some card game, i've been tweaking it to work for mordheim) but the pen-and-paper math i've done so far gives these numbers (math being my favorite subject)

1) in it's first game, assuming combat is the directive, this warband stands a %40 chance of victory, (allowing that the other warband is a 500 pt warband made up of heroes with maximum stats and soldiers armed with both swords and bows primarily, though my tweaking of the equipment didn't change the survivability index of the soldiers much, they were equally dominant in ranged and fell short in melee.) the victory increases incrementally between 8 and 12 percent per new vampire recruit, assuming you have 2 humans and a vampiric dire wolf stand in.

2) based on statistics, it will be three battles before a vampire warband can successfully breed a new hero, and they'll lose the starting newblood within 5 battles, with 6 out of ten of those lost in that time falling withing the first three games- 4 out of 10 simulations generated a warband gaining their new vampire and losing their old one simultaniously.

3) statistically, vampires can only expect to feed off of enemy blood in 1/4 games- in other games they either found blood in exploration or ate one of their own human members, with the latter being more common.

4) taking equipment out of the subject and putting a FULL vampire warband with max skills up against FULL warbands of each other type from the core rulebook (excluding all supplement-based warbands, official or otherwise) for a tourney tree where each opponent fights the vampires 3 times, the skaven almost categorically won every time, because the simulation allowed for an incremental increase in the survivability of each unit per battle to represent the purchase of new wargear. the simulation pitted each member of each warband in a butterfly-style tourney sheet where neither team would route- the vampires won one out of five trial toruneys, the skaven three, and the sisters of sigmar the other. it's worth noting that the witch hunters never made it very far, always being at a third or less of their starting strength by the third round, and that i used marienburgers as a mercenary model, even though they gain no strength or archery bonus.
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PostSubject: Re: home made warband: vampire coven   Sat 25 Dec 2010 - 21:01

Basing things off your 'simulation' introduces so many possible flaws that it's probably not even worth mentioning. Does you simulation favor keeping heroes alive and letting henchman die instead? How would you simulate that? If you put in a modifier, what modifier do you use and why would you pick that one? The moment you arbitrarily place in a modifier, the whole thing is prone to serious error.

One of you things mentioned was not routing. Did you mean you ran a simulation and the warbands would not route? I can already tell you Skaven are overpowered in that situation, since their low leadership (and therefore more frequent routing) is their primary weakness. If you take that out, of course they will win more. You also said maxed out warbands, does that include halfling scouts, cookbooks, and hired swords? If not, again, the Skaven have avoided one of their weaknesses. Your full mercenary warband should have about 20 models (18 from 15 max, two extra from scout/book combo, and the halfling scout himself, then figure in at least a Pit Fighter and an Elf, if not an Ogre Bodyguard in place of one of those). The Skaven get a max of 22 (20, plus 1 from cookbook, plus warlock). Also you probably gave the skaven a rat ogre, which of course was put in there to counter the other warbands Ogre Bodyguards, so if you didn't give the other warbands an Ogre Bodyguard, they were immediately put at a disadvantage there as well.

No offense, but I seriously question people's 'math' when they do things like this. One time I had someone 'prove' I was cheating at a first person shooter (which I wasn't) because he had 'proved mathematically' that it was impossible to get that many kills in that amount of time.

I really don't think it's even possible to run an accurate simulation of a Mordheim game on a computer. The best you can do is individual simulations of small portions of a fight (many simulations of a particular hand-to-hand combat, for example). But the actions leading up to those smaller fights are too important to their outcome, and too variable to ever accurately simulate (who's in charge range first; who notices first; how many models: all, some, or none; skill selections; warband setup decisions; terrain placement; amount of terrain; etc) If you've ignored all of this in your simulation and focused only on the attribute stats, you've ignored Mordheim.
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PostSubject: Re: home made warband: vampire coven   Sun 26 Dec 2010 - 2:09

i ran two statistical spreads based on two scenarios to determine the outcomes of different scenarios, reasoning that if the army was unfair, it would show in the numbers, i used models from my stat theory class text and a computer graphing calculator.
one being a simple battle to the death with a marienburger warband (using an army from my group)
this simulation involved a butterfly-style tourney sheet (splitting the team battle into individual battles, basically a two-factioned tourney that most WoW players won't be unfamiliar with, it can be very useful for calculating odds when two sides meet)
anyone who lost in the first round was removed from the second, so on. what i meant by 'neither side routes' is that i did not add routing into the simulation, all battles were to-the-death. none of my variables are arbitrary, and i added no variables. i used math to generate hypothetical battlefield conditions, and forced the units to mash themselves together. i used the highest strength attacks from each unit- so a human gunner hit with his S4 crossbow instead of his s3 dagger, to represent ranged combat.

the marienburgers won 6/10 times, despite having a smallish group of only 8.
these trials also generated the one-off misc statistics you see in my above post,where the next trials determined the statistical probability of the events that are campaign-specific, such as gaining a new vampire.

those trials took battles similar to the one above and simulated them between full-strength parties from each core warband. the fights were arranged in a campaign where everyone fought everyone three times.

the average ranking over the course of 10 campaigns was as such, which you can simulate to verify if you so choose.

1ST: Skaven
2ND: sisters of sigmar
3RD: the undead
4TH: marienburgers (representing mercenary warbands)
5TH: vampire coven
6TH:the possessed
7TH: witch hunters.


(this may have been a statistical anomaly- my predictions had the witch hunters doing much better, but i think when they ran up against mercenaries they were outmatched- as i said before, they rarely made it into the last round with even half strength.


statistics may be a mystery to you, and i don't doubt that the boy who tried to prove you cheated on the FPS was a dolt, but in terms of generating an unbiased statistical probability, my methods are sound.


THESE ARE THINGS THAT I MAY CHANGE ABOUT THE WARBAND
several very fair points were made by other parties and i posted the warband to gain insight from people who didn't play undead (thank you thread responders)
while my checks and balances are a little bit strange, largely i think the economic and populatory hinderances can and do outweigh the individual strength of the vampires, at least when combined with the rage rules.

1)i'm considering adding 50gc to the price of a newblood, attributing it to the cost of some sort of ritual supplies, whatever they may be, if you're reading this and thing that this makes sense or maybe would like to suggest a different fee, please speak up.

2)rage rules will be run at this week's painting sesh in an alternate manner (we're testing new ones) they would add to the strength of the vampire while lowering the WS, still adding one attack die as per usual frenzy rules. i think the lowered WS is smart because it represents the defense as well as attack in close combat, and the finesce required to skillfully dispatch an enemy is lost on the frenzied.

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PostSubject: Re: home made warband: vampire coven   Sun 26 Dec 2010 - 8:09

Best wishes of the season. Vampire sympathisers grab yourselves a copy of Nathan Long's spin-off adventure for Ulrika the Vampire from the Gotrek & Felix sagas. Quality insight into the machinations of the Lahmian's with their infiltration into human society.

Much of the action involves the human thralls bedazzled by their vampiric masters and this leaves the Mordheim reader with lots of groovy ideas concerning how their intrigues can be represented on the tabletop. In fact you wouldn't need much vamp representation during battles.

I can appreciate the desire to lose the necromancer in favour of developing other choices of themes.

Regards,

Werekin.
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PostSubject: Re: home made warband: vampire coven   Sun 26 Dec 2010 - 12:55

Olimar von MordFuhrer wrote:
what i meant by 'neither side routes' is that i did not add routing into the simulation, all battles were to-the-death.

Rout tests are a huge part of this game. Most battles end in either a rout or voluntary rout. Taking rout tests out immediately draws questions on what sort of applications any data results could be used for. Maybe Occupy scenarios, but even then, most people will never fight to total elimination.

Olimar von MordFuhrer wrote:

statistics may be a mystery to you, and i don't doubt that the boy who tried to prove you cheated on the FPS was a dolt, but in terms of generating an unbiased statistical probability, my methods are sound.

Statistics aren't a mystery to me. The limitations in applying statistical results to real world situations, especially statistics generated from artificial environments, are not a mystery to me either. They are, however, a mystery to a great many people, and many errors are made from this in scientific studies with massive budgets, much less from small projects like this. And that's not even getting into the direct, intentional manipulation of statistics to misrepresent results (tobacco companies, anyone?)

What you are essentially doing is taking combat attributes of warbands, putting them into an artificial situation (seems like a simplified direct conflict) and trying to apply the results to standard Mordheim games. Now, if you weren't applying this to standard Mordheim games/campaigns, my bad, I misunderstood you. But I believe you mentioned it in reference to people saying the balance of the warband looked off.

Vampires have the highest potential leadership in the game, the Skaven the lowest. You can't run simultations that shows your warband is not overpowered because it lost to Skaven, when your simulation took out the Skaven's biggest weakness (and a big strength of the undead) completely out of the game.

Your results are skewed.

Basically what I'm getting at is the only way you're going to be able to tell if your warband is over/under powered is to playtest it, in real games and against different opponents, and with different people using the warbands in a true campaign setting (they might see and use an advantage you didn't, etc). Not by running it through a simulator which is massively simplifying things.

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PostSubject: Re: home made warband: vampire coven   Sun 26 Dec 2010 - 14:11

we've been playtesting it, my first post recounted the results of two games against two different warbands.

the skaven's leadership would have worked against them, so you say, but they still won.
doesn't sound skewed to me- if anything, the skaven army is overpowered.

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PostSubject: Re: home made warband: vampire coven   Sun 26 Dec 2010 - 17:03

The skaven are generally regarded as the strongest combat warband in the official rules. This is intended to be offset by their pathetic leadership. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.

Your warband is obviously very weak in the start of a campaign. You start with 2 heroes max, and your chances vary from 0% to 75% for getting a new hero in subsequent games, depending on if you're fighting humans and how many humans your leader KILLS. You also have a substantial chance of your own heroes leaving or getting killed. Add to this the lack of cheap henchmen, and the upkeep of decent henchmen, and you will struggle through the early stages of the campaign.

It's the end of the campaign that you need to playtest though. It depends a lot on the luck of the dice, but you could end up with an unstoppable force of vampire heroes... or you could be woefully poor and never get enough gold to field a warband capable of competing.

Personally, I agree with Eagle5: you cannot hope to simulate a campaign; you must playtest it. My personal guess is that if half or more warbands lack humans, or if the human warbands use good tactics to keep their humans away from getting eaten by your leader, then your warband will be one of the weakest in the campaign. If you face a lot of human warbands who are not diligent and feed your vamp, then you will likely be one of the strongest warbands.

But only playtesting will tell! Please keep us updated on how this playtesting goes. I am, of course, more interested in the later games of a campaign than the earlier ones.

(oh, and please don't give your raging new bloods both +1S and +1A. Substituting a 1WS penalty does not balance this out in my eyes, I'd rather see a 2WS penalty if you're increasing strength). The 50 gold cost to the ritual seems excessive. Your warband is already extremely poor, and to even initiate the ritual (as I understand it), your leader has to outright KILL a human (so less than one ritual for every 3 HUMAN models taken OOA by the warband leader!). I think the rules concerning the ritual are far too random as written.
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PostSubject: Re: home made warband: vampire coven   Mon 27 Dec 2010 - 0:03

well, i don't think the ritual rules are that random, but i agree with your point about adding strength, and 50Gc may have been a bit overzealous of me.

after a game against russel's pit fighters, we've made several balances- in combat these are the things that i've noticed about vampires.

1) function as can-openers in close combat, my leader (being from my other campaigns and being basically as buff as vampires get) can only be wounded by a starting level human figure if that figure rolls nothing but 6s to hit and a 5 or a 6 to wound. this can make balancing a vampire force tough, because they're also so highly mobile that they can charge from very far away.

2) basically squishy when shot, yes you can add armor and dodge etc and counter this somewhat, but at the end of the day, most of the wounds you lose came from bows and bullets.

3) their natural enemy is anyone who can shoot their pistols twelve inches twice in one turn. Ian killed a newborn outright in one turn, for which the lucky witch hunter was awarded extra EXP.

as for the beginning of a campaign- yes, these choculas are very hard to run. one mistake during the movement phase will invariably leave you exposed and missing men. and while it is troublesome that a skilled player can lead them to flourish and devour weaker teams, in this case literally, it's worth noting that i came up with this warband to put up against warbands that have fought an excess of 30 battles, and have plenty of scars and spoils to show for it. i made it hard to grow or beef this team and the reason was that i tended to have somewhere between 12 and 15 undead at all times and they were so well rounded that even if i made intentionally poor decisions, i could salvage even the hairiest fray. i could send my wolves full speed one direction, have my dregs and ghouls support infinite and inexorably advancing hordes of zombies, send my vampire off to dig for buried treasure or brood or do whatever they do, and let my necromancer spit bandaids out everytime i lost a brain muncher. like i said in the first post, i had more money than fort knox and no one had any fun playing with me. if you're playing with 3 or 4 other warbands, mostly human, who are of a similar level to your warband- yeah, you'll probably stomp them and end up with a full complement of bloodsuckers. but a large gaming group with experienced and well armed opponents of diverse warbandage has the opportunity to supress you indefinitely unless you outmaneuver them flawlessly every time.
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PostSubject: Re: home made warband: vampire coven   Mon 3 Jan 2011 - 8:01

Creation Ritual: No, it's not really well defined at ALL. You don't have a when and how many times. Can you buy them at start up and at one cost? May I make an example of how it could be clearer?

0-6 NewBloods *
Special Recruitment Rules (see below)

M ws bs S T W I A ld
6 3 3 4 4 2 5 2 6
SPECIAL RULES
RAGE
newblood vampires are trained in restraint, but being new to their unlife, they generally aren't very much in control. every recovery phase, roll a leadership check on all newbloods- if they fail, they are subject to RAGE, which is similar to FRENZY. like FRENZY, they will charge all charge-able opponents, but will also charge any stunned/knocked down human allies within their move range, and are unable to leave a stunned/knocked down enemy until he leaves the field. they gain +1 WS and +1 attack dice when ENRAGED.

CREATION RITUAL
To make a new vampire, a patriarch needs to infect a human without draining his blood- even a recently killed man will do, but he needs to survive the transformation.

At the end of any game, your warband leader may attempt to convert living or dead human. This may be a Captured enemy model, a Human Henchmen, or even a deceased henchmen that died last game. In the post game phase, roll on the following list:

1) vampire HATES creator- the newly created vampire attacks his way out wounding the matriarch severely and escaping never to be seen again. (your matriarch loses a wound before the next battle). If your Vampire is reduced to only 1 Wound in this manner, he may not attempt any further Creation Rituals, as he fears for his life.
2-3) your vampire drains the corpse, unable to help himself, and there is no vampire created. You do NOT need to drain "Blood" this postgame, as the coven's appetite is sated.
4-6) A Newblood is created, using the above stats and rules. He loses any former rules or abilities, and may only use equipment from the Coven Equipment list.

Equipment from captured or living models is added to your Stash upon their creation. Equipment from corpses is discarded.

At warband creation, you may attempt this ritual any number of times before start-up on any of the humans in your warband, but any rolls of 1-5 will result in the human being removed from the warband.


Now, you can change it around however you like, but it has to be super-clear. When, where, and how it works with other rules.


BLOOD- Clearly define: Again, NOT clear. When writing rules, you have to define everything to a tee so it's clear for everyone. After that, clarify some MORE (solely because every group has one person who will look for any loophole to make things unfair.) Who can he grab? What happens to the equipment? If it's fed upon, can a Necromancer in another warband raise it as a Zombie? Will it work on hired swords? Is it removed from the roster, rolled on injuries? Can they feed on "dead" humans, like zombies? What about ghouls?

Also, what happens if you DON'T have a human to feed on? Is the warband disbanded? Does every hero need a LD test, or cannot be fielded?

Enraged - you can't have this AND have the "Hatred to anyone who kills a coven member". Too much together, so I recommend you pick one or merge them. Also, I suspect he'd only be mad if you take out a non-human... using the fluff you have now, the humans are more than happy to leave at any time! They hardly seem loyal members.

Humans- Fluff
Quote :
but i wanna get the rules straight before worrying about that.

I'd recommend the other way around. It's admirable that you're looking for balance (especially with such a powerful group like Vamps), but fluff has a huge factor. Are they simple Sylvanian guards who are blind to their masters' dark deeds? Are they local mercenaries who re suddenly having cold feet about their new employers? Are they loyal members of the Outer Circle, who would loyally die for their dark masters? The fluff sometimes has a major effect on how the rules are, which is why it should often come first. Otherwise, the result often doesn't "feel" right. Poorly conceived warbands often have a hollow feel, like they were built by a computer.

Along those lines, can a human become a Hero through that lad's got talent, or is the Creation Ritual the only way? If he can get TLGT, I suggest that a hero Human loses the 5gc upkeep... he has seen the light, and is inducted into the inner circle.
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PostSubject: Re: home made warband: vampire coven   Today at 5:31

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