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 Entering the Fray: Stories from my first games

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Rhoaran
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PostSubject: Entering the Fray: Stories from my first games   Tue 10 May 2011 - 7:01

Hello all. My group has always gone back and forth between fantasy, 40k, and d&d, so I suggested we look into Mordheim. I must say the rules are often clumsy, unrefined, and full of loop holes but the overall game design is a perfect synergy between table top wargames and experienced based role playing.

Having surfed this forum for sometime and sifted through hundreds of pages of Mordheim rules, it was time to jump into the game.

After three skirmishes my roster looks like this.

Ostlanders (using Reiklander rules)

Heroes
Captain Friedrik Steinfaust
- equipment: hammer, pistol, buckler, toughened leathers
- skills: Hunter

Master Ansgar, Champion of the Realm
- equipment: halberd, toughened leathers
- skills: Resilient, Immune to Fear (hardened)

Champion Burkhart
- equipment: hammer, shield
- skills: none

Young Diederik
- equipment: spear, buckler
- skills: +1 toughness

Hans, son of Lothar
- equipment: spear, buckler
- skills: +1 strength, -1 toughness (chest wound)

Hugh, Huntsman Renowned (promoted marksman)
- equipment: longbow, club, dagger
- skills: +1 toughness, +1 attack

Henchmen
Warrior Wulfgar
- equipment: club, dagger
- skills: none

Marksmen Gunter, Harald, & Jarik
- equipment: longbows, clubs, daggers
- skills: +1 initiative

Swordsman Nico
- equipment: sword, buckler
- skills: none

Warband size: 11
Rating: 121

_______

My opponent played O&G and effectively shut me out all three games. We had a good time, but I was frustrating to never see a glimmer of hope thanks to the dice gods' displeasure.

We did not have a great deal of terrain in these first games. This we hope to remedy soon. Also, we have adapted several rules in order to fix several problems people seemed to face. The main changes are...
1) attacking with two weapons suffers -1 to hit
2) shields cost 10gc but provide additional bonus to armor when paired with a nondifficult hand weapon (same as in 7th ed Fantasy)
3) halberds cost 15gc but gain 'strike first'
4) the base cost of hired swords is doubled.

1st Game ~ Chance Encounter

In our first game, his rampaging hoard of 17 models broke into two forces. One group sent its squigs and goblins directly towards a small village that my forces had set up in. A pair of orc archers provided ineffective covering fire. The other wing included similar fodder but all the heroes. This group came around a building of the village and quickly subdued Burkhart, two warriors, and a swordsman. My marksman were stationed on a hill above the village. From there they, picked off three squigs and knocked several goblins to the ground. After losing forces on my flank, I failed my second rout test without doing much damage.

Burkhart was deeply wounded and spent the next two games recuperating. All my henchmen died outright, which was swell.

2nd Game ~ Street Fight

We created a narrow street for this scenario. Seeing the warband arrayed before him, Captain Friedrik abandoned any thought of asking his men to leave the safety of their bulwark. There was little hope of getting through the throne to the other end of the street. His archers had a decently clear view of the enemy and their fire was accurate. Their arrows however didn't seem to find purchase in the cursed hides of the green skins. Despite hitting and wounding almost a dozen times in the first rounds, they only laid two opponents low. It was quite frustrating. The green tide broke upon my line. After taking a few casualties, Friedrik ordered a retreat lest his whole band be put the the sword.

His rating was much higher at this point, so I earned double exp. But another warrior died and my wyrdstone roll was low. The orcs, however, enjoyed a bounty of income which only bolstered their numbers.

3rd Game ~ Breakthrough

Unfortunately, I was the attacker in this game, so my archers could not set up in good positions. The orcs took up firing posts behind walls and on hills. As his force was divided, I opted to actually reach the other board edge rather than taking up a defensive position. While four of my company made a break for it, my main force assaulted a key overlook to remove the archers. Bow fire was exchanged ineffectually but when we clashed in melee I flopped my rolls then lost both my warriors. The next round his archers downed two more. Again, I retreated rather than fight outnumbered.

Another warrior died outright while a young Hans suffered a chest wound. Though I managed to get 4 wrydstone, I only have 63gc to work with. My band is down to 10 in the next fight while his has swelled to 20.

I'm unsure how to approach this differently. My shooting is superior but I can't seem to roll enemies out of action. He was unstoppable due to numbers and consistently high injury rolls. The 'not orcs' rule made it impossible for me to cause a rout test. Hopefully, the dice gods will favor me next time. The need for multilevel terrain is pressing too. If I could get to elevated positions, I would be safe from squigs and could target his orcs.

Thanks for reading. Do you have any advice against orcs or in general?


Last edited by Rhoaran on Thu 12 May 2011 - 6:49; edited 1 time in total
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Von Kurst
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PostSubject: Re: Entering the Fray: Stories from my first games   Tue 10 May 2011 - 10:07

Welcome to the forum.

Where in Iowa if you don't mind my asking? I'm from South Dakota originally, I got a degree from UI in '91.

Mordheim--good description of the rules. I love this game, but like most things we love it drives me bats on occasion.

House rules--We play with #2. #1 and #2 are pretty common.
Quote :
4) the base cost of hired swords is doubled.
What have you guys got against HS? They are generally considered too expensive because of upkeep, but YIKE! Your rule should effectively ban them from the campaign. Too bad for the home team, your boys could use some cheap help...

My advice would be to re-read everybody's rules.
Are the orcs rolling for animosity for orc and goblin henchmen?
Do the squigs go wild if out of range of a goblin?
The orcs (from your description) sound way too disciplined. My 20 guys move in fits and starts and are rarely efficient killers (except of each other). Your friend has better luck than I.
Did the orcs start with 4 heroes? You played Chance Encounter first so that's an opportunity for extra cash, but usually my mob is broke at the start.
Not Orcs--So? Even though you have to kill 2 goblins or squigs for every orc they still count and are much easier to kill. I love Mobs that show up for fights with lots of squigs and goblins because I am going to kill squigs and goblins. Easy experience for me, tough luck for him.

Two person campaigns. I learned the game during the heyday of Mordheim so I had a choice of 10 to 15 different opponents when I wanted a game. Now we play with 4 or 5 usually. A campaign between 2 people is hard because all campaign systems reward winners.
Usually when I have only one opponent we each play more than one warband. That way one player does not dominate.

Winning and being the obvious underdog--I don't know your style of play, but until you can build your warband a bit you are not going to win a straight up fight so don't expect to. Most importantly don't try to!
Fight as though you were a band of scouts trying to slow the advance of an enemy so that you can warn the settlements that the bad guys are coming. Hit and run, do not try to stand and fight. This may seem boring and cheesy, but it is really much more realistic and will result in better games later on.

Breakthrough--Why were you the attacker? You are the underdog so Attacker and Defender are most often your choice.

Reiklander/Ostlanders
With your hired sword restrictions you would have been better off playing REAL Ostlanders. The Ogre could make a nice dent in those orcs.

Since you are playing Reiklanders I would recommend playing to your strengths. You have great shooters so give them something to shoot with. A 15 gold pistol for your captain is not it. Give him a long bow and keep him back. Hunter, again the skill might look good and I applaud the original approach, but Its a waste for a guy with a pistol...
If he had a long bow and quickshot you could be mowing down squigs.

Despite common internet wisdom our Hoosier Reiklanders tend to start with crossbows. Fewer numbers of warriors, but a high kill ratio.

You have nasty rules for halberds, use them. Anybody with a spear should have a halberd. +1 strength for the win.

Terrain--so what are you using for terrain? If you have no proper buildings use Empire In Flames rules and climb the trees. Little terrain is the shooter's friend. When you get some, those orcs are going to hide.

Quote :
The need for multilevel terrain is pressing too. If I could get to elevated positions, I would be safe from squigs and could target his orcs.
Why would you be safe from squigs? If you have a height advantage shoot the goblins minding the squigs first. Wild squigs might be your friend.
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PostSubject: Re: Entering the Fray: Stories from my first games   Tue 10 May 2011 - 13:09

COOL beginnings! thumbsup
I have a friend/patron in Iowa City...he's a Professor of Anatomy at IU. I could give you his e-mail address if you're in the area; Dr.J has a wildly creative D&D game going. What a Face
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Rhoaran
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PostSubject: Re: Entering the Fray: Stories from my first games   Tue 10 May 2011 - 18:07

Von Kurst wrote:
Welcome to the forum.

Thanks.

Where in Iowa if you don't mind my asking? I'm from South Dakota originally, I got a degree from UI in '91.

Ames and Waterloo areas so central and NE

What have you guys got against HS? They are generally considered too expensive because of upkeep, but YIKE! Your rule should effectively ban them from the campaign. Too bad for the home team, your boys could use some cheap help...

We just though that it was ridiculously cheap to bring a mercenary on board. I know the upkeep costs can be prohibitive but they cost the same up front as a normal henchman while being far, far superior. We might change our minds about this one.

Are the orcs rolling for animosity for orc and goblin henchmen?

Yeah he as been. It has helped. In the last battle, the only casualty on his side was inflicted by a goblin.

Do the squigs go wild if out of range of a goblin?

Since I haven't been able to get people out of action this hasnt been a problem plus he has squig prodders on two goblins.

The orcs (from your description) sound way too disciplined.

Thats what I thought, but I just can't drop them fast enough to cause routs.

Easy experience for me, tough luck for him.

I am doing decently in the exp department.

Usually when I have only one opponent we each play more than one warband. That way one player does not dominate.

We will be making other warbands. I'm getting witch hunters and brets. He's bringing Dark elves and skaven.

Breakthrough--Why were you the attacker? You are the underdog so Attacker and Defender are most often your choice.

We missed that rule. We rolled off to determine who got to choose.

Reiklander/Ostlanders
With your hired sword restrictions you would have been better off playing REAL Ostlanders. The Ogre could make a nice dent in those orcs.

I had considered it, but I didn't like the feel of them. I'm going for the rustic and stubborn aspects but not the drunkard and Taal worship sides.

Hunter, again the skill might look good and I applaud the original approach, but Its a waste for a guy with a pistol...

Hunter was a mistake. I meant pistolier. The reason he chose the pistol is I love the model so. It's the empire captain with hammer/pistol wearing heavy armor with a large feather in his helm. The marksman hero will become the uber sniper.

You have nasty rules for halberds, use them. Anybody with a spear should have a halberd. +1 strength for the win.

I definitely wanted halberds to be worth taking because they are such a ubiquitous weapon in the empire. My young bloods may take them when I get some income.

Terrain--so what are you using for terrain? If you have no proper buildings use Empire In Flames rules and climb the trees. Little terrain is the shooter's friend. When you get some, those orcs are going to hide.

We had tons of trees, a few ruined buildings, and hills but no multilevel pieces. I'd forgotten to print the Empire in Flames rules but I will consult those.

Why would you be safe from squigs? If you have a height advantage shoot the goblins minding the squigs first. Wild squigs might be your friend. If I recall correctly, animals cannot climb, so no squigs on roof tops.

Thanks for the comments. I'll be sure to report how I fare next time.
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PostSubject: Re: Entering the Fray: Stories from my first games   Wed 11 May 2011 - 9:14

Ames and Waterloo--outside my bailiwick, but I have at least driven through them.

Hired Swords--you are right and I believe that is the point of them. It is refreshing to have someone argue that they are too cheap. The current movement is to reduce their cost although some campaign settings (Lustria) have more expensive hired swords.

Squigs--We take the bounding part of their fluff to hart, so the squig can go where it wants as long as rolls the proper distance. I do not believe your interpretation is wrong, however. Squig movement is one of those things that a group has to negotiate. Our squigs vary depending on who is running the orcs at the moment. Fortunately we have not ever run more than one orc band at a time.

Good hunting.
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PostSubject: Re: Entering the Fray: Stories from my first games   Mon 16 May 2011 - 21:06

Well. I've gotten five more games under my belt. All loses still...(oh the shame of it all). We played a three-way campaign with me as Witch Hunters verses Dwarves and Dark Elves.

Basically, it came down to the Dark Elves tearing me apart with repeater xbows since the Dwarves were slow enough to ignore for a few turns. I allied with the Dwarves a number of times but always came up short, especially in a scenario ('ambush' I believe) where the highest rating player (DE) started in the middle with tons of wyrdstone with the objective to get off the board (easy task with M5). My warhounds chased down a fellblade elf carrying no less than 8 wyrdstone only to have it all scooped up by a greedy Troll Slayer.

I can't say that I'm not having a blast, but winning would be a nice change as I'm 0-8. My favorite game was the Wizard's Mansion mission where the Dwarves where entrenched in the middle. I assaulted one side of the building while DE supported me. Those damn stunties are tough nuts to crack however. I only managed to drop two of the buggers before routing. This game is quite forgiving however with plenty of fun aspects between games to keep even the professional losers entertained.
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