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Eagle5
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PostSubject: Zombies   Mon 27 Dec 2010 - 7:47

So as not to derail another thread, I'm putting this in it's separate thread.

Zombies.

First off, are there additions from Town Cryer that my group doesn't know about? More than one person has referenced infinate zombies. My experience is one extra zombie a turn (and that's after they've engaged and start going OOA) isn't near enough to keep a zombie group going. Our warbands have either cut through them like butter, or simply ignored their slow, plodding butts if the undead exposed their other non-zombie members.

Any undead that has used zombies has gotten stomped in our group. Undead only got scary when they had experienced dregs, one or two dire wolves, and a full compliment of ghouls for rest of warband, ignoring zombies completely (an Ogre Bodyguard helps too).

My opinion of them is that they're dang near worthless... except when opposing them, then they make nice experience grinders for my heroes. Let's look at ther stats: WS2 S3 T3 W1 I1 A1 That means that even if you have a as many zombies as you can get (9 assuming six heroes) and even if you manage to get all of them to charge the first round (so that they actually get to attack, considering their pathetic Initiative), you still only get 9 attacks, and with a WS of 2, you will always hit on 4+ or 5+ to some heroes later in campaign. They're going to hit between 3-5 times average depending on who they're fighting, then they wound on 4+ through 6+ so by end you're talking maybe 2 wounds. That's it, two wounds, for a full charge of nine, NINE models.

Yeah, they have Fear. So what. The main attraction of Fear models is that many of them can actually do damage (vampire, possessed, even ghouls). Not being able to charge a Fear causing model means it's going to put a world of hurt on you on their turn. Not so with a zombie.

So... what am I missing? How is any Undead warband that uses zombies a threat?


Note: In our current campaign, the Undead are the strongest warband and will probably win overall, but they have not used a single zombie the entire campaign, even turning them down when free ones were available and the warband wasn't maxed. Of course, having an Ogre Bodyguard T4 W4 with Resilient and Step Aside doesn't hurt either. His standard tactic is Vampire (with Sprint), 1 Dire Wolf, and OgreBodyguard in one group, with Dregs/Necro following up behind them, other group is all ghouls (8 of them) with ghoul hero. Besides the Dire Wolf and two of the Dregs, his entire warband is T4 and all but the Dregs cause Fear (Necro has the spell). If that player would substitute in some zombies, I'd be ecstatic.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Mon 27 Dec 2010 - 14:15

After a few games in a campaign, zombies rather quickly lose their effectiveness. However, I don't believe this is due to their combat ineffectiveness as you claim. Zombies aren't meant to be good in combat; they're supposed to be terrible. Their role (as I see it) is one of tying up (good) enemy models and serving as missile fodder. This leaves them with a glaring problem: they can't run! Thus, they fall behind your main (i.e. combat-capable) forces, and can't serve as a missile screen or as a charge screen, both of which they excel at with their cheap cost, fear, and unstunnable attribute.

Thus, the most common houserule "fix" I've seen for them is to allow them to run. This doesn't change their dynamic at all (you can't hire a horde of them and go crush people in melee combat), but it allows them to serve their niche (reanimated pincushions).

As a skaven player, I can assure you 2-3 zombies in front of a pack of ghouls is a very effective and cheap deterrent to charging. Roughly half my forces will fail to charge, leaving the other half beating on 30-45 gold worth of forces. If not taken OOA, they'll just stand up again on the undead's turn, at which point the ghouls will get to charge me. If you eliminate the no-running rule, this is a plausible scenario, but otherwise, it really isn't cause the ghouls aren't gonna wait for the zombies (except for specific scenarios).

Note: it doesn't seem like you need to improve zombies in your campaign. It would just give the dominant undead player another tool to add to his disposal.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Mon 27 Dec 2010 - 17:11

UBER ZOMBIES!

That's what you need
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Mon 27 Dec 2010 - 21:44

Identity wrote:

As a skaven player, I can assure you 2-3 zombies in front of a pack of ghouls is a very effective and cheap deterrent to charging. Roughly half my forces will fail to charge, leaving the other half beating on 30-45 gold worth of forces. If not taken OOA, they'll just stand up again on the undead's turn, at which point the ghouls will get to charge me. If you eliminate the no-running rule, this is a plausible scenario, but otherwise, it really isn't cause the ghouls aren't gonna wait for the zombies (except for specific scenarios).

Note: it doesn't seem like you need to improve zombies in your campaign. It would just give the dominant undead player another tool to add to his disposal.

A couple questions. First, why would you charge undead anyway? Why not hammer them with your slings? Also as Skaven, I found the best route once one of your henchmen groups gets +1 I and +1 A is you arm them with spears and let them take the charge, they'll hit first anyway. With the Fear about half of them will hit at 6, but at least your lines are maintined instead of having half charge and half stay there, allowing all your front models to get ganged up on. If the undead want to hang back and shoot it out with you, let them. If the zombies charge you, so what? Better them than the ghouls. Plus if they charge (remember, you strike first anyway) anything that gets knocked down stays down for the next combat round.

I do understand what you're getting at, though. For warbands without slings or lots of ranged this may be an issue.

For the record, our second strongest warband in our campaign is mine, and it's Skaven Very Happy I'd rather fight T3 zombies all day than a pack full of ghouls at T4. Our 'Token' campaign is winding down now with only 5 warbands left, and the undead and I are going to start meeting a lot more frequently (who plays who is random). I have no idea how I'm going to beat them. We've played two times; first I got crushed, second I found the Hiden Treasure in the first building I explored (yea 12!). He would have had to come at me with only his vampire to attempt to stop or slow me down, and he didn't want to risk it. Map ended without a single shot fired or weapon swung. I keep hoping someone is going to kill that stupid Ogre, but so far it has never even been taken OOA, and it's almost 14 exp now. I swear if it gets a T for it's last advance...
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Mon 27 Dec 2010 - 21:48

In my game we were thinking of a house rule where the Necromancer could make a Leadership test or something to allow the zombies to run, but it hasn't been decided yet. I have to agree with everyone here so far: zombies as they are now are pretty useless.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Mon 27 Dec 2010 - 23:23

My group allows zombies within 6 inches of the vampire or the necromancer to run, too (a houserule adapted from WFB). As Identity said their role is to be a "meat shield" that protects the valuable undead models from ranged fire and that can absorb a charge if necessary (for example from strong close combat types like brutes or possessed). This allows the undead player to keep his heroes back and lets them get tthe charge.
In some situations the undead player has also used them to slow another warband down, trading off the XP the zombies give up against the scenario win the undead get.
The final verdict: Zombies are a cheap and expendable tool for the undead, not a strong combat unit.
The undead already have enough of those Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Tue 28 Dec 2010 - 0:19

As far as facing undead as skaven, I've found my assassin adept and black skaven can readily stand toe to toe with the vampire and ghoul heroes, with the occasional henchman skaven help. You should outnumber the undead player, and with 15-20 sling-throwers, you should be able to take up a strong terrain position and make him come to you. From there, sacrifice a few henchies to draw the vamp/wolf/ogre charge, and then counter with your heroes. If your sorcerer is half-decent, he should be able to cause a great deal of damage as well.

I'd focus on the vamp, wolf, and ghoul heroes, and just keep the ogre tied up with a henchman every turn or two. Immunity to weeping blades really hurts, but if any of your 3 melee heroes have the art-of-silent-death/fighting claws combos, they should be more than capable of taking out vampires or anything else in the world of Mordheim. Send the weeping blades at the ogre or ghouls to mince them up real quick (you got Expert Swordsman, right?). Unholy relics will really help your heroes get the charge that they need as well.

And if you're feeling a bit cheesy, add in garlic.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Tue 28 Dec 2010 - 8:01

how about you count zombies as a half modell.

Exampel:
4 Zombies count as 2 Modells, so you can have 6 Heros, 5 Ghouls, 2 Dire Wolfs and 4 Zombies.
This way Zombies can Boolster your Number.

Furthermore i would suggest that a lowly Zombie would give only a half point experience. So you can't use them for cheap exp-Grinding. (the same would i apply to all modells which cost less than 21 gold inclusive equipment).
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Thu 30 Dec 2010 - 6:08

counting zombies only half has also its downsides. as it takes much more ooA-ed models until volutary rout, you could get into a small financial disaster if many of them roll a 1,2 in the post battle phase...

concerning making zombies grant only 1/2 exp I think it might be a good idea but starts a chain reaction as you then would also have to adapt squigs, warhounds etc... but it is surely worth a thought I think.

anyway: I don't think zombies can so easily misused for experience grinding. rather exactly the opposite. they are damn hard to take out (at least at the beginning of the camaign) they are hit knocked down, but it takes a lot of effort until they finally go ooA.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Thu 30 Dec 2010 - 13:15

I don't use them generally, because I prefer highly mobile warbands (and I almost never recruit models that can't earn advances). But I played in a campaign a few years back where the player of the undead warband used them very effectively. They can absorb chargers (he was very good at making "speed bumps" out of them), and unless you have an altitude advantage, you have to shoot the zombie screeners, rather than the following undead who are liable to whomp on you when they close.

I think we all understand these uses of zombies, but never before (or since) have I seen someone who had such a knack for using them effectively.



Last edited by mweaver on Tue 25 Jan 2011 - 22:23; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Mon 3 Jan 2011 - 9:15

I was thinking about making an Objective like in BTB about Zombies and I have been thinking about 2 possible bonuses. The first would be that Zombies could run, the other would be that they gain exp at half the rate, much like the Man Eater Warband from BTB.

I like the Idea that they could run if they were within 6 inches of a hero. That is a good idea.

I think Zombies are well balanced in one-off games, but in a campaign they are not as good, they become less and less effective, party because of rising Leaderships, and more and more models gain fear, or become immune to it.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Mon 3 Jan 2011 - 9:44

Similar to Dahag, a taken OOA zombies 1/2 a model for the purposes of rout checks, just like goblins. This means you can lose 3 or 4 of them without being close to rout, and adds them great at bolstering your size with only a tiny (5) increase to your rating.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Mon 3 Jan 2011 - 17:57

Models counting 1/2 or in the case of the pirate's Swabbie not counting in some way are a pain to play with. If you are facing a tough opponent and just want to sacrifice insignificant models before routing counting them as 1/2 means you have to lose 2x the number of models in order to be able to retreat. Ridiculous!

Pirate Swabs are worse. They don't count but cost upkeep and count toward the warband total. We either don't take them or get them killed as fast as possible.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Tue 4 Jan 2011 - 4:01

Well, personally, I'm of the opinion that if insignificant people are the only ones taken out of action, there's no reason to rout. When the IMPORTANT people start going down, that's when I hoof it.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Tue 25 Jan 2011 - 5:08

We're not counting zombies for ooa-tests and that works very well. They also do not count towards warband size (up to 3 for a vampire and an additional 2 for a necromancer) which makes almost every vampire player take a zombie every now and then.

Yes, they are almost useless and give opponents easy XP, but on the other hand they have saved the heroes' buts numerous times by refusing to die while the hero is laying face-down in the mudd.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Tue 25 Jan 2011 - 6:15

Identity wrote:

And if you're feeling a bit cheesy, add in garlic.

Yum! Now i'm hungry...
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Tue 25 Jan 2011 - 10:38

I played a zombie heavy Undead warband and went undefeated. The next time I played them the same way and had about a 50% win/loss ratio. I think at 15 gc they do what I would expect them to do, and can be effective early on. If you change them you change the whole concept of the warband, but like I always say - if your group is okay with it do whatever works for you.
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PostSubject: Re: Zombies   Today at 2:46

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