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Shelena
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PostSubject: Dark Elves   Sat 12 May 2012 - 3:32

We have decided to accept Dark Elves (the Town Cryer 12 version) in our campaign. The other accepted warbands are:

All warbands from the printed rulebook.
Carnival of Chaos and Beastmen from Empire of Flames (both slightly houseruled).
Outlaws of Stirwood Forest.
Shadow Warriors (sligthly houseruled).
Dwarf Treassure Hunters.

I have two issues with the Dark Elves:

What - if any - Hired Swords can they hire? After preliminary discussions in the group we're thinking about only allowing them to hire the Warlock.

Does the Sea Dragon Cloak need balancing? I've seen it posted on this forum that some rules say they can't be combined with armour. Is this suggested anywhere (semi)official? What have you ruled?

All inputs are appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Sat 12 May 2012 - 4:14

The Mobsters in my current campaign have hired the Dark Elf Apprentice Assassin. Consequences have been hilariously deadly. Everyone dies laughing when the assassin fails an Initiative checked. He fell 10" down off a ledge last night (and survived!)

Dark Elf warbands can hire the assassin. We have had a novice player use that warband in our campaign. The only houserules we applied were maximum of 4 starting Heroes (this applies to any warbands for the elder races) and a +2 experience point handicap for all Henchmen in the warband.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Sun 13 May 2012 - 8:01

After a few test games (all lost by the Dark Elves), I think we'll allow them to employ the Dark Elf Assassin as the only Hired Sword / Dramatis Personae.
Not quite sure what to do about the cloak, though - perhaps disallowing dark elves from using Ilthilmar Armour (houseruled: All warriors who can wear light armour can wear ilthilmar, all warriors who can wear heavy armour can wear gromril).
An ilthilmar armour (5+ save) + sea dragon cloak (4+ save against shooting) + shield (6+ save) combo is mean. Combined with the Fey Quickness + Dodge combo (4+ save) a dark elf can be harder to kill than any dwarf.

The cloak is great - but we saw one of its flaws when the dark elf leader was targeted by a Doom Bolt Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Sun 13 May 2012 - 14:51

Sea Dragon Cloaks are something of a curiosity. They can only be bought by Dark Elves. They are cheaper (and better!) than Ithilmar armour and seemingly, as cloaks, they can be worn by Dark Elves over their armour. Armour and cloak combined affording a 3+ save in close combat or 2+ save against shooting!

All of this doesn't come cheap so I would be tempted to say you get what you pay for. It offers little protection against a Strength 4 warriors with Mighty Blow skill and a double-handed weapon. Wink
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Sun 13 May 2012 - 18:43

Check out cianty/ashton sander's master list of Hired Swords: http://cianty.ashtonsanders.com/mim/pdf/swords_of_the_empire.pdf

These are drawn from the core rulebook, town cryer, all the supplements (official or otherwise) and fanatic magazine (hard to find as in can't find!). He has some great homebrew rules for Hired Swords as well some of the restrictions for availability to warbands laid out.

Some notable ones I saw that were made available to Dark Elves:
-Slaver
-Dark Elf Apprentice Assassin

As far as the veins of unofficial and experimental rules and supplements go, this guy's work is the best of the best.

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Mon 14 May 2012 - 3:27

As stated above: I think we'll allow Dark Elves to hire the Dark Elf Apprentice Assassin. But I like what it says in the beginning:

Swords of the Empire wrote:
Uncommon sightings
Dark Elf, Lizardmen and Chaos Dwarf sightings are extremely rare in the Old World. [...] Any recruiting of Lizardmen, Skinks, Chaos Dwarfs, Hobgoblins or Dark Elves costs twice the normal hire fee. The usual amount of gold crowns is still paid for upkeep cost.

The only other hired swords we've allowed so far is Dwarf Troll Slayer, Elf Ranger, Freelancer, Halfling Scout, Ogre Bodyguard, Pit Fighter, Tilean Marksman and Warlock. We have chosen not to include hired swords with tons of special rules, like the Slaver and the Merchant. We like the gameplay to be simple (we have quite a few players new to Mordheim) and it's hard to calculate their influence on the balance. We have a few house rules, mainly due to the fact that official hired swords were never written for Beastmen:

Dwarf Troll Slayer
May be hired by: Mercenaries, Witch Hunters, Outlaws and Dwarfs may hire a Dwarf Troll Slayer. Warbands that include Elves may hire Slayers, but must pay 20 gold crowns after each battle instead of 10 gold crowns. Dwarfs won’t put up with weak pointy-eared folk unless they have to, or are adequately compensated for their sufferance.
House rules: None

Elf Ranger
May be hired by: Mercenaries, Witch Hunters, Outlaws, Dwarfs and Shadow Warriors may hire Elf Rangers. Warbands which include Dwarfs may hire Elf Rangers, but must pay 40 gold crowns after each battle instead of 20.
House rules: None

Freelancer
May be hired by: Mercenaries, Witch Hunters, Outlaws may hire Freelancers.
House rules: We're using the rules for riding found in the back of the rulebook, not the blazing saddlers rules.

Halfling Scout
May be hired by: Mercenaries, Witch Hunters, Outlaws, Dwarfs, Sisters of Sigmar and Beastmen may hire a Hafling Scout.
House rules: If hired by Beastmen, the Hafling Scout is instead called an "Ungor Scout" and gains +1 Movement and +1 Toughness, but suffers a -1 Initiative and - 2 Leadership. He is also concidered an ungor for all game purposes.

Ogre Bodyguard
May be hired by: Mercenaries, Witch Hunters, Outlaws, Dwarfs, Sisters of Sigmar, Possessed, Orcs, Beastmen and Undead may hire an Ogre Bodyguard.
House rules: None

Pit Fighter
May be hired by: Mercenaries, Witch Hunters, Outlaws, Dwarfs, Sisters of Sigmar, Possessed, Orcs and Beastmen may hire a Pit Fighter.
House rules: If hired by Beastmen, the Pit Fighter is instead called a "Gouge-Horn" and gains +1 Movement, but suffers a -1 initiative. He is also concidered a Beastman for all game purposes, including the bigger base size.

Tilean Marksman
May be hired by: Mercenaries, Witch Hunters, Outlaws, Dwarfs, Sisters of Sigmar and Possessed may hire a Tilean Marksman.
House rules: None

Warlock
May be hired by: Mercenaries, Outlaws, Possessed, Orcs, Undead, Skaven may hire a Warlock.
House rules: None

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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Mon 14 May 2012 - 9:15

With their mercenary nature, I'd say Dark Elves could hire an Ogre Bodyguard or Pit Fighter, but I don't think a Dwarf Slayer or Elf Ranger would go for being hired by Dark Elves (No reason other than fluff though).
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Wed 16 May 2012 - 20:49

I don't know if I agree 100% with the Ogre Bodyguard being available to the Dark Elves, especially when trying to remain empathetic to Shelena's outlook- but I do agree in regards to the Pit Fighter.

Good slave stock from the pits, turning into an expendable killing machine. Sounds nummy.

@Shelena: Unofficial/experimental warbands do not always need to be kept in check during your campaigns because they run the risk of being overpowered, sometimes its the opposite. If they've lost every game they've played so far (could be from any number of reasons I admit), and you're not focusing on the fluff first (as I usually do) it may not the best choice to limit their Hired Sword options to so few, and so expensive (given the cianty House Rules, that I still recommend using). Keep playing around with it, but every warband should have an edge in some department aside just from (un)holy rolling. These advantages and their paired disadvantages are often compensated with Hired Swords. Limiting them in that department may take away from the experience of your player(s).
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Tue 22 May 2012 - 15:41

Any problems relating to Hired Swords alignments to warbands can be reported back to me. Cianty presumably won't wanna know when the compilation article was my time-consuming pet project.

The Slaver is a nasty piece of work. If you're playing a campaign this Hired Sword's ability lends itself to some excellent interaction between the players. Smile

A great rule of thumb for choosing Hired Swords is always 'what models do I have to represent my next hireling'. LoL
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Wed 23 May 2012 - 1:09

Quote :
'what models do I have to represent my next hireling'
Smile

Usually we make a few hired swords when designing our warbands, to make sure they fit the colour scheme and basing Smile besides that im working on a side project, to make one of each of the hired swords we allow. For 666 rolls and such Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Wed 23 May 2012 - 1:39

Just checked out the painted warbands on your blog Stronzo. Marvellous colour schemes.

Loving the WHQ familiar. I always wanted a Hero with 'Spider Tamer' skill. Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Thu 24 May 2012 - 15:19

Thanks! Smile I'm flattered.
I've put my beastmen on hold, while making an undead warband for a freind, with a modded WHQ giant bat as the necromancers familiar Wink pic's once its done. I try to only do wip topics on my own warbands Smile
I'm still not sure weather the familiar rules are overpowered, as no one in our group have had one ingame yet, but I love to theme spellslingers with companions Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Thu 24 May 2012 - 15:32

I have to agree with werekin! I was just reading a article in one of the new white dwarfs by John Blance (in my opinion THE artist that defined Warhammer- especially 40k) and he made a great point. A lot of us try to emulate the painting styles we see on the studio miniatures, but in a way its a lifeless expression and well, incredibly difficult to master. He said to just find your own style as a artist of any medium and translate it to the miniature as well.

Your figures remind me of his, very gritty- they almost seem more lifelike than the ultra smooth heavy metal. No longer a miniature figure but a 3D rendering of some dark and sordid painting. Keep up the good work on finding your own way to express yourself as an artist!

Also love you and Shelena's fluff and AAR stories. Good stuff!


edit: some of Blanche's miniatures: (Link) (Link)

now after looking at these just google search for John Blanche 40k artwork or something like that. You can see how the two translate well.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Mon 28 May 2012 - 20:51

The guy running our campaign chose to give elves a max toughness of 3, i assume to balance things. my personal thoughts were getting more armor than dwarves is unfair Razz so while they arent against the rules here I refuse to use the cloaks, and if I do, i will use them instead of armor Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Wed 30 May 2012 - 2:43

fanfav wrote:
@Shelena: Unofficial/experimental warbands do not always need to be kept in check during your campaigns because they run the risk of being overpowered, sometimes its the opposite. If they've lost every game they've played so far (could be from any number of reasons I admit), and you're not focusing on the fluff first (as I usually do) it may not the best choice to limit their Hired Sword options to so few, and so expensive (given the cianty House Rules, that I still recommend using). Keep playing around with it, but every warband should have an edge in some department aside just from (un)holy rolling. These advantages and their paired disadvantages are often compensated with Hired Swords. Limiting them in that department may take away from the experience of your player(s).
The Dark Elves lost mainly due to two things: Surprise Attack and my lack of tactical skills. I'm still rather new to the game (Stronzo has played for decades - I've played for three months), and as of now I lose most games - no matter if I play Dwarves, Middenheimers, Marienburgers, or Dark Elves. Which of course makes it rather hard to decide a warband's over- or underpowerness Smile

We do look at fluff first. Both while adjusting warbands or rules - and while playing. The slayers do everything in their power to die epicly, the Marienburgers (Sisters of Myrmidia) never make an unnecessary kill, the Dark Elves will have no mercy (this includes their own), the Middenheimers (Sons of Ulric) are more aggressive when fighting Sigmarites... etc. I agree that all warbands should have an edge to them, but the Dark Elves already have lots to separate them from their cousins: melee, cold ones, poison, and darker spells. The Capture special rule of the Slaver is overpowered as we see it. That said, yes, Dark Elves are known to take slaves. And to reflect this we have decided to make them count as Skavens on exploration (for the rolls of 44 and 333).
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Wed 30 May 2012 - 3:05

fanfav wrote:
Also love you and Shelena's fluff and AAR stories. Good stuff!
Thanks! We can't really help it - must be our background in LARP/P&P or something Smile. Somehow we can't even testplay a warband type without giving the minis personalities and backgrounds. And a characters demands a mini, and suddenly more bits orders are placed, and the limits of our living room are noticeable once more. (Un)fortunately we do quite a lot of testplaying these days while preparing for our campaign... leaving Stronzo with five warbands (Carnival of Chaos, Skavens, Outlaws, Beastmen, Witch Hunters) and me with four (Dwarves, Dark Elves, Middenheimers, Marienburgers) Rolling Eyes (it may not seem as much, but nine warbands in progress takes up a lot of space Wink )
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Wed 30 May 2012 - 3:28

werekin wrote:
The Slaver is a nasty piece of work. If you're playing a campaign this Hired Sword's ability lends itself to some excellent interaction between the players. Smile
It's a good point. Interaction is good - especially when all the players are playing the fluff and not just the game. The Slaver is available for "Skaven, Dark Elves, Arabians, followers of Chaos and Chaos Dwarf warbands". In our campaign this would mean Skaven, Dark Elves, Beastmen, and Possessed - leaving Carnival of Chaos, Dwarves, Mercenaries, Orcs & Goblins, Sisters of Sigmar, Undead, Witch Hunters, Outlaws, and Shadow Warriors out of the loop. Wouldn't this affect the balance?
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Wed 30 May 2012 - 8:02

Balance--such a nebulous word. Your campaign is open to The Carnival, Shadow Warriors and Dark Elves, who are the big 3 of broken in my world. If your are willing to deal with the issues of those warbands, I would think anything else would be cake. Very Happy
In my experience the mix of players has far more impact on balance and imbalance then the rules themselves. I expect issues from some quarters no matter what warband they are playing, while our woebegone players can pretty much choose any warband they want.

I try to include a mix of hired swords that fits the warbands involved and the setting of the campaign (we don't spend much time in the city of Mordheim). We are giving werekin's version of the Slaver a go. I'm thinking it may take a couple of campaigns to see how we feel about it.

I also like the idea of modifying the base hired swords as you've done with the Ungor Scout, etc.

Quote :
Dwarves, Mercenaries, Orcs & Goblins, Sisters of Sigmar, Undead, Witch Hunters, Outlaws, and Shadow Warriors out of the loop.
All of those warbands may hire HS that other warbands can't hire or have their own strengths.

Side note: Do you allow Da Mob in your campaigns? I didn't see it on the list.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Wed 30 May 2012 - 13:04

The Slaver is only one man.

There are other ways and means to take captives through playing scenarios, procuring a piece of equipment called a Man-Catcher (which appeared in Border Town Burning).

Taking captives is a colourful theme. It might be depressing for anyone who loses a warrior (permanently or temporarily) yet there are always other avenues to off-set things.

I haven't done any more than revised the wording for some of the Hired Swords in that document. The Slaver and other sell-swords weren't so easy to make good sense of.

We're putting slavers to the test in our campaign. The 'Slaver' skill is featured as a special skill choice for one of the new warbands. Like the elf skill 'Powerful Bulild' it has been limited to two models per warband.

There is no such thing as balance in Mordheim.

To off-set the benefits of taking captives we have this thing called law enforcement! The long arm of the law (meaning any warband that qualifies as a constabulary in Marienburg) can do unpleasant things to criminals. And slavers are criminals. Rolling dice has never been so much fun. Smile

FYI - Forgot to mention before that the 'Uncommon Sightings' guideline, is a translation from a piece of text we found in the Chaos Dwarf warband article published in Spanish White Dwarf. It seemed pretty cool so we put it out there. If players don't like the 100% increase in premiums then I suggest applying a 50% loading.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Wed 30 May 2012 - 16:24

Von Kurst wrote:
Balance--such a nebulous word. Your campaign is open to The Carnival, Shadow Warriors and Dark Elves, who are the big 3 of broken in my world. If your are willing to deal with the issues of those warbands, I would think anything else would be cake. Very Happy
In my experience the mix of players has far more impact on balance and imbalance then the rules themselves. I expect issues from some quarters no matter what warband they are playing, while our woebegone players can pretty much choose any warband they want.

Exactly, exactly. This is one of the reasons why I drifted away from (drift perhaps being too light a word- ran screaming is more like it) from spending my time with the big standards like Warhammer Fantasy or 40k. There seems to be this attitude of OVERWHELMING negativity- any new book or rule set comes out is "terrible", there is only ONE "competitive" list that will ever work, etc. etc. There just seems to be such a focus on winning, no matter the cost. Not trusting tactics so much as abuse of certain rules; I've even seen articles on dice rolling "techniques"!

Specialist games, Indie developers, and 3rd party house rules were my saving grace. As werekin said, there is no inherent balance in mordheim, or really any of these games, but that's the best and worst part. By surrounding yourself with like minded gamers and focusing on a narrative you can expect to see natural competitive streaks develop (whether from the fluff like Shelena and Stronzo have descirbed or from old friends). You'll see the fluff rewrites the rules, creating an isolated balance within your own group. Perhaps most importantly, win or lose, maximum fun was had because a story was told, and you took part in that story. Not to mention you have a forum like this to share it and inspire others.

Here is one fun thing I'd like to try with my group sometime,




Bob Murch, who use to sculpt a lot of the classic citadel miniatures back in the day now focuses on his pulp figures (at http://www.pulpfigures.com/). The picture above though is his gaming group. They suggest you wear some minor prop while playing. This makes it easy to identify who is who (multiplayer games) but also removes the last shred of any aggression anyone has- I mean as he puts it, how can anyone take anyone seriously wearing such funny hats?
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Fri 1 Jun 2012 - 4:36

Von Kurst wrote:
Balance--such a nebulous word. Your campaign is open to The Carnival, Shadow Warriors and Dark Elves, who are the big 3 of broken in my world. If your are willing to deal with the issues of those warbands, I would think anything else would be cake. Very Happy
As written in the first post: Both the Carnival and Shadow Warriors have been modified. With this thread we are trying to find ways to modify the Dark Elves as well.

When it comes to broken warbands Outlaws are sometimes described as underpowered (especially compared to Reiklanders). To negate this we have made their Forest Cloak work in shadows (as described in the magic of the Shadow Warriors) - and make them count as a holy warband (along with Sisters of Sigmar and Witchhunters) on exploration IF the warband includes the Cleric.

Compared to other campaigns we allow rather few warband types. Instead we allow players to base themes on the few we allow. If you want to play Pirates, you can base them on Marienburgers. If you want to play Plague Monks, you base them on the Skaven warband. And so on.. As an example my Marienburger warband is Estalians Smile. To make this work the warbands should be "balanced" (in as much as this is possible) and differentiated (have an edge). Then the players can (and will!) play the fluff on equal terms. And trust this: No warband type is played the same by two players Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Sat 2 Jun 2012 - 22:27

Not to quibble but I had not heard that Hired Swords were an unbalnacing aspect of the Dark Elves. Why have you found them so?

Sea Dragon Cloaks. Dark Elves can not take Ithilmar armor unless you house rule it. This does seem odd, so it is not an unreasonable house rule to adopt.

We have never nerfed the Sea Dragon cloak because it is so expensive one rarely sees a fully kitted Dark Elf. (And since most of our Dark Elves are encountered in the Lustrian jungles, some handy Amazon with a Sunstaff was pretty likely to kill them...)

By limiting the availability of Hired Swords you are of course forcing the Dark Elf player to spend money on equipment since he (or in your case, she) has a maximum warband size of 12.

A simple nerf that I would recommend is to use the Warhammer 6th Edition rule of 6+ armor save in hand to hand and a 5+ against missiles (still able to combine with other armor). This is still worth the ridiculously low price the current abomination is offered for and is still useful without being as crazy.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Sun 3 Jun 2012 - 2:06

Dark Elves definitely use ithilmar armour. Their race forged it!

Anyone who lays their hands on it can wear it, unless there are 'strictures' which disallow the wearing of armour.
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Sun 3 Jun 2012 - 8:09

Quote :
Anyone who lays their hands on it can wear it, unless there are 'strictures' which disallow the wearing of armour.

I haven't time to look up the precise wording of the rule, but the upshot of the rules as written is that you may not use a type of armor unless you have it on your equipment list. My TC #12 does not list heavy armor for the Dark Elves. Ithilmar has been ruled as heavy armor in FAQs, thus the need for a house rule.
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Stronzo
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Sun 3 Jun 2012 - 8:30

Exactly Smile We have, however, among other changes to the armour rules, decided to let Ithilmar count as light armour. But then disallowed it to be used by dark elves because of the cloak, fae quickness etc.

Oh, and thanks for the comments about the blog btw Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Dark Elves   Today at 9:22

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