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 Updating / finetuning Mordheim (1)

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Captain Bernhardt
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PostSubject: Updating / finetuning Mordheim (1)   Mon 1 Jul 2013 - 8:15

Hi all,

I made two topics that are supposed to address certain points of the original Mordheim rules that annoy me. I'm not intersted in playing Coreheim or any other rulesset for that matter. I want to play Mordheim. However I feel there is room for improvement. I have presented my thoughts here since I would like some input from the community in adressing these points.

I have always assumed that Mordheim is ment as the skirmish variant of Warhammer Fantasy ( I base this assumption on the fact that the 6th edition warhammer rulebook included an appendix for Skirmish rules which are identical to the Mordheim rules). Therefore I would like to draw inspiration from Warhammer 8th edition to adress this first issue: Guessing ranges.

I think the Mordheim experience could be improved by removing the need to guess ranges. they did this in 8th edition warhammer and I think it greatly improved gameplay. It's easier and more relaxed for both sides if you can always measure any distance you want. It's also a good way to get rid of those hidden 'rulers' within terrain.

Eliminating the need to guess shooting ranges is very easy: just allow everybody to measure before declaring to shoot. This won't have an instrumental impact on the game and eliminate a lot of frustration for players (after all, the main purpose is the have fun)

When it comes to Charge ranges another approach is necessary. If you would allow to measure before declaring to charge it would be necessary to work with variable charge ranges, similar to warhammer fantasy. I have been thinking over several options listed below. (M stands for Movement Value, A human has a stat of 4 so M would stand for 4")

A) charge range= M +2D6. This is the way it's done in warhammer but I don't think it's appropraite for Mordheim. a human would have between 6" and 16" charge range, which is both to far (considering it's current charge range is 8", so that doubles potential charge range) and I think it's to variable.

B) Charge range = M+D6. I think this works for movement 4 warriors. Potential Charge ranges vary between 6" and 10" with an average of seven and a half inch. take a look at the following table:
Movement value - minimal charge range - maximum charge range - average charge range - current charge range
Movement 3 - min. 4" - max 9" - Average 6"-7" - current 6"
Movement 4 - min. 5" - max 10" - Average 7"-8" - current 8"
Movement 5 - min. 6" - max 11" - average 8"-9" - current 10"
movement 6 - min. 7" - max 12" - average 8"-9" - current 12"
movement 7 - min. 8" - max 13" - average 9"-10" - current 14"
movement 8 - min. 9" - max 14" - average 10"-11" - current 16"
Movement 9 - min. 10" - max 15" - average 12"-13" - current 18"

It becomes clear from this table that there is a problem with the faster moving elements concerning their average charge range and their current charge range. These numbers should be fairly close if we don't want to change the game to much.
Thus I have thought up option C:

C) charge range = M + M/2 + D6. (rounding down)
an example: a human would charge 4" + 2" + D6"
Skaven example: 5" + (5/2 rounding down = ) 2" + D6" = 7"+D6

this formula in a table gives the following:
Movement value - minimal charge range - maximum charge range - average charge range - current charge range
Movement 3 - min. 5" - max 10" - average 7"-8" - current 6"
Movement 4 - min. 7" - max 12" - Average 9"-10" - current 8"
Movement 5 - min. 8" - max 13" - average 10"-11" - current 10"
movement 6 - min. 10" - max 15" - average 12"-13" - current 12"
movement 7 - min. 11" - max 16" - average 13"-14" - current 14"
movement 8 - min. 13" - max 18" - average 15"-16" - current 16"
Movement 9 - min. 14" - max 19" - average 16"-17" - current 18"
This formula is more complicated but it brings the average charge ranges more in line with the current charge ranges. but it increases the charge range for the slower models.

I could see both option B and option C work. I prefer B because of it's simplicity but I prefer C because of it's accuracy. However C makes for a very long maximum charge range for the high movement stuff (warhounds, horses, giant rats, wolves and centigors). I think their extra movement and charge range is allready a huge buff and I can see how reducing their max charge range might balance these out somewhat. Remember they can still get to run double their M-value to get to objectives et cetera but they would no longer be able to charge enemies to far away.

Then there's also an option D) to use formula B for movement 3-5 and formula C for movement 6+. Offcourse this adds to the complication.


If there are any other options people can think of I'd like to hear them. i'd also like to know which of these options you prefer. And I'd like to hear what you think about changing the charge rules in general. So anyone who has an opinion on this (and I know you do!) please share it with me!


Last edited by Captain Bernhardt on Mon 1 Jul 2013 - 10:43; edited 3 times in total
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PostSubject: Re: Updating / finetuning Mordheim (1)   Mon 1 Jul 2013 - 10:21

C is the option that appealed to me the most so that is the one I am testing at the moment. After a quick round of practice skirmishes, I would recommend dropping the need to round down. In practice I found it actually simpler to just halve the movement and be done with it. If your bonus is 2.5" then it is 2.5". Also, most dwarfs are only move 3 so they don't really need their already tiny charge range made any smaller and that 0.5" missing seems to mean a lot to them.

Obviously a lot more testing is required Smile.
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PostSubject: Re: Updating / finetuning Mordheim (1)   Mon 1 Jul 2013 - 10:39

Thanks Lord 0. I agree that it's possible to work with half an inch. this is the same table for that formula without rounding down. C is closest to what it is now but it actually increases average charge ranges for movement 3, 4 and 5 models.

Movement value - minimal charge range - maximum charge range - average charge range - current charge range
Movement 3 - min. 5.5" - max 10.5" - average 8" - current 6"
Movement 4 - min. 7" - max 12" - Average 9"-10" - current 8"
Movement 5 - min. 8.5" - max 13.5" - average 11" - current 10"
movement 6 - min. 10" - max 15" - average 12"-13" - current 12"
movement 7 - min. 11.5" - max 16.5" - average 14" - current 14"
movement 8 - min. 13" - max 18" - average 15"-16" - current 16"
Movement 9 - min. 14.5" - max 19.5" - average 17" - current 18"

When you say you have been testing that do you mean you've been trying this before?
I haven't done any testing myself (yet) so I am interested in hearing your experiences
Also I forgot about dwarfs. I will include them in the tables
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PostSubject: Re: Updating / finetuning Mordheim (1)   Mon 1 Jul 2013 - 11:14

I was bored and your post intrigued me so I grabbed 3 dwarfs, 3 skaven, 3 humans, and 3 elves and ran them into the middle for a fight. I did that twice.

So not much testing at all, but enough to make me sick of rounding down :p. That and notice the dwarfs were hurt more than the others with the rounding. We have a campaign coming up so I will propose the new charging.
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PostSubject: Re: Updating / finetuning Mordheim (1)   Mon 1 Jul 2013 - 15:29

The new movement rules for 8th were one of the first things I disliked about the changes to the game. Replacing a simple mechanic with a random mechanic doesn't appeal. Further as some one who is old enough to remember playing 1st edition Warhammer, I remember how happy I was when they dropped all the fractions from movement.

Also how does Sprint work with these changes?
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PostSubject: Re: Updating / finetuning Mordheim (1)   Mon 1 Jul 2013 - 16:04

I'm one of the wierd people that like the 8th Ed. charge mechanic.
One of the biggest issues I have with wargaming that includes fixed distances (with no pre-measuring) is that you still invariably know exactly how far away you are despite all concerned (though this is admittedly a slightly smaller problem in skirmish games). This can make the progression of a game horribly predictable and wider strategy/tactics can suffer.

What the random distance brings is a big element of game theory: Risk Management.
The 2D6 probability curve means you know where you are likely to succeed, but opens up a whole range of gaming tactics unavailable to other systems. You can try for a risky manoeuvre, bait someone into performing said action, do you rely on a few units to make the charge or spread yourself over several to increase the chance of an average, these and other ploys that deal with not just the basic mechanics but the personality of the opponent and how they think you will respond/act.

Not to mention that this makes the game much more intense and in the end - fun. Better gameplay and better emotions.
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PostSubject: Re: Updating / finetuning Mordheim (1)   Tue 2 Jul 2013 - 4:11

Von Kurst wrote:
The new movement rules for 8th were one of the first things I disliked about the changes to the game. Replacing a simple mechanic with a random mechanic doesn't appeal. Further as some one who is old enough to remember playing 1st edition Warhammer, I remember how happy I was when they dropped all the fractions from movement.
Agree with every word (except that I'm 5th edition "oldie"). Fixed charge ranges are much better than random ones, it makes game less complicated and frustrating (like in 40k, when your terminator squad fails to charge from 3" because they rolled snake eyes).
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PostSubject: Re: Updating / finetuning Mordheim (1)   Tue 2 Jul 2013 - 5:19

Well,

I agree with some people here, random charging create another luck element in an already luck based game. Guessing ranges is one of the main strategic element of the game and removing it just create more randomness and (for me) more frustration.

One of the first thing I noticed in Mordheim is that the dices cannot be trusted. No matter how much statistic you have in mind, it doesn't change anything and a few bad rolls can spoils your plans very fast. Particularly with a single dice were your odds to get an ''average'' result are irrelevant.

I will not change this in our games and I'd greatly oppose to this changes should a player propose it. There are many area in Mordheim that need ''re-tuning'' but this is surely not one of them. (Weapons, Armors, Two weapon fighting, Morale rules are the rules that need to be adapted to your games style as they are so badly written or simply useless - In about 60 games of Mordheim, I think I only rolled once for an all-alone test. We never split warbands so... ).

Still, if your group agree those change and that almost everyone is happy with it I say GO ! Use them. As you said, fun is the main objective and if you are not happy with a rule... then just change it!
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PostSubject: Re: Updating / finetuning Mordheim (1)   Tue 2 Jul 2013 - 5:58

I'll answer Von kurst's question first: Sprint is not affected by these changes. There's nothing wrong with the rules for running/sprinting so I don't see any need to change that.

That said I don't think there's something wrong with the rules for charging, I just think the 'guessing of ranges' is flawed because of what dribble Joy says

Dribble Joy wrote:

One of the biggest issues I have with wargaming that includes fixed distances (with no pre-measuring) is that you still invariably know exactly how far away you are despite all concerned (though this is admittedly a slightly smaller problem in skirmish games). This can make the progression of a game horribly predictable and wider strategy/tactics can suffer.

yes random charge ranges adds a luck factor but having to guess your range is a luck factor also. At least rolling a D6 is fair, guessing ranges is not. AFter the first time you guess something you have a pretty decent idea of ranges. Then there's the problem of terrain (because you know that building is exaclty x" long). I also feel it rewards the more experienced players.

if you do away with guessing ranges you need something to replace the fixed charge ranges. To me random charge ranges is the lesser of two evils.
I Also believe it will ad the the experience because you get the opportunity to take a calculated risk. Yes, you might fail a charge because you roll bad and so be charged in return but maybe that enemy just reacted faster than you did and could surprise your warrior so to speak. I think it adds to strategy and to the narrative.

catachanfrog wrote:
Agree with every word (except that I'm 5th edition "oldie"). Fixed charge ranges are much better than random ones, it makes game less complicated and frustrating †(like in 40k, when your terminator squad fails to charge from 3" because they rolled snake eyes).
I disagree. It's equally frustrating to fail a charge because you miss-guessed with half an inch. Also don't forget I proposed to include a minimum charge range. There's a certain range at which you are certain a charge can't go wrong so that won't lead to absurd situations.
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PostSubject: Re: Updating / finetuning Mordheim (1)   Tue 2 Jul 2013 - 7:42

Quote :
I'll answer Von kurst's question first: Sprint is not affected by these changes. There's nothing wrong with the rules for running/sprinting so I don't see any need to change that.

I think perhaps we play with different versions of Sprint then. In the rulebook Sprint triples running/charging. Charging being what I was inquiring about.

As to the rest, since I hadn't been aware of this problem before I am loathe to fix what for me isn't broken. I don't wish to make my games slower and yet more random. However, if your group finds the current rules for charging unacceptable, then I'll echo Goglutin, "just change it."

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PostSubject: Re: Updating / finetuning Mordheim (1)   Tue 2 Jul 2013 - 8:05

VK, I thought with Sprint, you ment the rules for Running (moving at the double).
I am aware of the skill Sprint (Triple movement) but I had forgotten that it triples charge ranges as well. An easy solution would be to let Sprint double your base movement on the charge (M+M+D6) or to add another D6 (M+2D6)


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PostSubject: Re: Updating / finetuning Mordheim (1)   Mon 9 Sep 2013 - 6:11

Imo. this change would lead to tactical changes I do not wish to see in my games. This would lead to me standing 'over the average' range away from my opponent, trying to make him charge. When he fails half, I'd charge with the rest of my units, who can reach. One of the great stats is movement, this would gimp it a lot. As others have mentioned, there's so much randomness already, which I like - for instance when my skink crits some hero and takes it down. Adding this complication would make the game much slower as well. Atm. we have this "do we agree that they all can reach? Yes, just move them", and it really speeds the game up. Having this rule would force us to meassure every time.

Again, if you wish to implement this, feel free, I'd like to hear how it works out!
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PostSubject: Re: Updating / finetuning Mordheim (1)   Thu 12 Sep 2013 - 15:59

Of your choices Captain B, b is the best. The problem with option a, is the fact that missile weapons are even less effective than they already are when charge ranges are on average greatly increased. C, as mentioned earlier is just not very elegant with all the fractions. The problem I have with option b is the straight scale of a single die. 50% or more of the time you are not charging as efficiently as you could (you are better at running). Half the time is a lot for hardened warriors.

We are experimenting with charges being 2d3+M for M scores up to 5, 2d6+M for M scores of 6 or more.
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